Coffee and dementia: Good or bad ?

Bad !

According to a recent large study which analysed ‘habitual coffee consumption in 398,646 UK Biobank participants aged 37–73 years’.

The study found that “High coffee consumption was associated with smaller total brain volumes and increased odds of dementia”.

In particular, consumption of >6 cups/day was associated with 53% higher odds of dementia compared to consumption of 1–2 cups/day.

A word of caution applies to all ‘food and disease’ association reports. Almost every week there are newspaper reports of studies exploring associations between “various food/drink” with “various diseases”. Some of them are conflicting and confusing with a positive study followed by a negative study !

This study report is no different in that respect.

A previous review published in 2017 concluded that ‘Drinking Coffee was often associated with Health benefits than harm for a range of health outcomes’.

The 2017 review in particular concluded that ‘Coffee consumption reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease’.

So how to make sense of these two conflicting study reports ?

A 2021 negative report versus a 2017 positive report.

One can look for quality of studies, pedigree of authors and further confirmatory studies .

But there are no easy answers.

Everything in moderation is perhaps the most sensible thing when it comes to Food and Drink.


High coffee consumption, brain volume and risk of dementia and stroke. Nutritional Neuroscience.
An International Journal on Nutrition, Diet and Nervous System. Published online: 24 Jun 2021

BMJ Minerva.
Calcification in arteries . . . and other stories
BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 05 August 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n1901

BMJ. Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes
BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 22 November 2017)
Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5024

Disclaimer: Please note – This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed, in any way, by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog likely represents some of the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and MAY CHANGE overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light.