Excess Coffee Use Shown to Decrease Brain Volume, Increase Dementia Risk

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Rather than a perking us up, new research shows that too much coffee could be dragging us down, especially when it comes to brain health.

In the News

It's a favorite first-order for the day, but while a quick coffee may perk us up, new research from the University of South Australia shows that too much could be dragging us down, especially when it comes to brain health. In the largest study of its kind, researchers have found that high coffee consumption is associated with smaller total brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia.

This research provides vital insights about heavy coffee consumption and brain health, but as with many things in life, moderation is the key.

– Professor Elina Hyppönen

Conducted at UniSA's Australian Centre for Precision Health at SAHMRI and a team of international researchers, the study assessed the effects of coffee on the brain among 17,702 UK Biobank participants (aged 37-73), finding that those who drank more than six cups of coffee a day had a 53 per cent increased risk of dementia.

Lead researcher and UniSA Ph.D. candidate, Kitty Pham, says the research delivers important insights for public health.

"Coffee is among the most popular drinks in the world. Yet with global consumption being more than nine billion kilograms a year, it's critical that we understand any potential health implications," Pham says.

Senior investigator and Director of UniSA's Australian Centre for Precision Health, Professor Elina Hyppönen, says while the news may be a bitter brew for coffee lovers, it's all about finding a balance between what you drink and what's good for your health.


Originally published on Medicalexpress.com a leading web-based science, research and technology news service.

More information: Kitty Pham et al, High coffee consumption, brain volume and risk of dementia and stroke, Nutritional Neuroscience (2021). DOI: 10.1080/1028415X.2021.1945858