The New York Times featured a story about a recently concluded study that linked coffee consumption to a lower dementia risk. The researchers were able to conclude that “subjects who reported drinking three to five cups of coffee daily were 65 percent less likely to have developed dementia, compared with those who drank two cups or less.” They were not able to draw significant conclusions about even higher coffee consumption because the number of participants who reported drinking 5 or more cups per day was too small.
One of the reasons that this particular study is noteworthy – aside from the results – is that it is one of the longest running studies on the subject. Swedish and Danish researchers tracked coffee consumption in a group of 1,409 middle-age men and women for an average of 21 years. The data on coffee consumption was self reported over that period of time, though the tests that accompanied that data were not.
It’s not conclusive, but the observational study is interesting and offers insight into one possibility that may help keep us alert longer.