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Coffee and tea consumption can reduce the risk of stroke and dementia

Coffee and tea consumption can reduce the risk of stroke and dementia

Photo: reproduction

Samuel Fernandez
São Paulo, SP (Vulhabres) – The habit of drinking coffee or tea can have a better effect on health than expected. According to a recent study with data from more than 360,000 English people, daily consumption of the two drinks may be associated with lower incidences of stroke (cerebrovascular accidents) and dementia in people over 50 years old.

Published in the academic journal PLOS Medicine, the research was conducted by scientists at Tianjin Medical University in China and Yale University in the United States.

“It is an important issue because we have few options for measures that can essentially prevent or reduce the chance of developing dementia. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct research of this kind to fight a disease that is so prevalent,” comments Poliana Besa, a neurologist at Albert Einstein Hospital (who It was not part of the study).

According to a neurologist, approximately one million people live with different types of dementia in Brazil. In addition, none of the current treatment options can cure the patient, but only reduce the progression of the disease.

In the case of stroke, in Brazil alone, an average of 400,000 new cases are reported annually. The mortality rate is also high. Besa cites data from Arpen (Association of Registrars of Natural Persons), which shows that in 2020 Brazil recorded stroke as the fourth leading cause of death from the disease.

For the study, records from 2006 to 2010 were used from the UK Biobank, a database that aggregates biomedical information from nearly half a million people living in the UK.

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Because stroke and dementia are more common in older adults, there has been a cutoff for people aged 50 to 74 – with a total sample base of about 365,000 people.

The researchers analyzed responses to a questionnaire about coffee or tea consumption – in the latter case, the type was not specified, but black and green teas, both of which contain caffeine, were included in their composition.

Each participant can indicate that they drank less than 1 cup per day, do not know how to respond, prefer not to pass this information on or indicate the exact amount of cups taken per day – and can answer, say, zero, if they do – Do not drink any of the drinks frequently.

Participants were followed into 2020 to see who had developed some form of dementia, had a stroke, or were still healthy.

By comparing this data with routine beverage consumption, researchers found that those who drank two to three cups of coffee and two to three cups of tea each day had a 32% lower risk of stroke and 23% lower risk of ischemic stroke. . Stroke incidence of dementia, except for Alzheimer’s disease – a very common type of disease, which had no reduction in the analysis performed during the study.

Drinking unmixed drinks also reduced the chances of disease. Those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had a 12% lower risk of stroke, while those who drank the same amount of tea had a 16% lower risk of stroke.

Another part of the research has turned to understanding the development of dementia after a stroke. In this case, more than 13 thousand responses were observed.

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According to researchers, the consumption of three to six cups of coffee and tea per day represents a reduction in the development of some types of dementia. On the other hand, the isolated tea had no appreciable effect against dementia in stroke patients.

There are some explanations for why tea and coffee prevent stroke or dementia, but the authors themselves claim that animal testing is necessary to draw conclusions more accurately.

The article mentions, for example, the fact that the drinks consist of substances, especially caffeine, that would have a neuroprotective and antioxidant effect, reducing the incidence of diseases.

Although Besa states that “the study was well done and has a reliable database,” with a large sample of participants, it does indicate that being an observer is a limiting aspect.

Unlike a clinical study, where there are controlled groups to analyze the effects of a substance, an observational study consists of analyzing data from a population without the intervention of researchers.

Thus, the doctor says that the research serves more as evidence for further investigations that can achieve greater certainty about the effects of the beverage on preventing dementia and stroke.

“It is important to validate it with other surveys that also have a large, but manageable sample, [contem com] A group using coffee or tea compared to a placebo group,” he says.