A few cups of your favorite brew — coffee or tea — each day might help keep stroke and dementia at bay, a large new study suggests.
For close to 14 years, scientists stacked up coffee and tea consumption against the risk of stroke and dementia among nearly 366,000 healthy Brits between 50 and 74 years of age.
The researchers — led by Yuan Zhang of Tianjin Medical University in Tianjin, China — observed that those who drank 2 to 3 cups of coffee along with the same amount of tea every day had a 32% lower risk for stroke, and a 28% lower risk for dementia, compared to those who drank neither.
And drinking coffee — even in very small amounts — was linked to a lower risk for both. The same was true of tea.
The lowest risk for stroke and dementia was seen among participants who downed either 2 to 3 cups of coffee daily, 3 to 5 cups of tea, or a combined 4 to 6 cups of both.
While lower risk was seen for ischemic strokes resulting from a blood clot or narrowed arteries, there was no reduction in risk for a less common form of stroke (hemorrhagic) that results from blood vessel breakage.
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Proceed with caution
But don’t toast the news with a big jolt of caffeine just yet.
The findings don’t prove that coffee and tea protect against either stroke or dementia — only that there is an association.
“People need to remember that an association does not guarantee that the same outcome will happen” for everyone, Connie Diekman, a former president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who reviewed the findings says.
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So what’s likely protective about coffee or tea?
A previous study pointed both to “caffeine and the antioxidant actions provided by the