Coffee – Yet More Good News!

Coffee protects the liver against alcoholic cirrhosis [1] and there is previous animal and limited human evidence that it preserves cognition in older age.[2] Data on this point have now emerged from ten years follow-up of nearly 6,500 enrolees in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory study.[3] Women consuming above median caffeine intake experienced about a 25% reduction in dementia (p=0.04) or cognitive impairment (p=0.005). Surprise, surprise, caffeine modulates synaptic plasticity, discussed previously in your News Blog.[4-6]

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director


  1. Kennedy OJ, Roderick P, Buchanan R, Fallowfield JA, Hayes PC, Parkes J. Systematic review with meta-analysis: coffee consumption and the risk of cirrhosis. Ailment Pharmacol Ther. 2016; 43(5): 562-74.
  2. Shukitt-Hale B, Miller MG, Chu YF, Lyle BJ, Joseph JA. Coffee, but not caffeine, has positive effects on cognition and psychomotor behavior in aging. Age (Dordr). 2013; 35(6): 2183-92.
  3. Driscoll I, Shumaker SA, Snively BM, et al. Relationships Between Caffeine Intake and Risk for Probable Dementia or Global Cognitive Impairment: The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016; 71(12): 1596-1602.
  4. Lilford RJ. Psychiatry Comes of Age. NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands News Blog. March 11 2016.
  5. Lilford RJ. A Fascinating Account of the Opening Up of an Area of Scientific Enquiry. NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands News Blog. November 11 2016.
  6. Lilford RJ. Okay Then, There is a Fourth Period of Whole-Scale Synaptic Pruning in the Grey Matter of the Brain. NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands News Blog. January 13 2017.

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