The benefits of drinking black tea and coffee appear to outweigh the risks, according to a new study.
Previous research has linked coffee drinking with a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke. Now, researchers from Harvard University believe that drinking either of the two beverages per day (espresso and brewed) can also reduce the risk of dementia.
The new study included 7,899 adults over the age of 55 and used data from two populations: the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) and the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II). Overall, 968 participants developed dementia.
The researchers analyzed participants’ coffee and tea consumption, as well as how well they drank water, fruits and vegetables, alcohol and fats. They used this information to determine the participants’ risk of dementia as well as their risk of developing heart disease, stroke and dementia.
Data from the studies was collected between 1977 and 2011. Researchers calculated that regular coffee and tea drinkers were 37 percent less likely to develop dementia than those who don’t drink either beverage. Daily coffee drinkers were 48 percent less likely to develop dementia, while tea drinkers were 63 percent less likely to develop dementia. The moderate consumption of both drinks is also associated with a 50 percent lower risk of heart disease.
The study comes just a few weeks after researchers from Italy found a possible link between drinking tea and weight gain. The Italian researchers analyzed data from 4,386 men and women who consumed different varieties of tea over the course of 19 years. The study indicated that women who drank more than six cups of tea daily were at higher risk of getting fat over the years.
According to the Institute of Food Research (IFR), Britons who regularly drink two or more cups of tea per day have a 40 percent lower risk of dementia than those who drink less than one cup per day.