Research suggests that a regular and moderate consumption of coffee/caffeine may have an effect on physiological, age-related cognitive decline in women, and those over 80 years old in particular. Moderate coffee consumption is typically defined as 3-5 cups per day, based on the European Food Safety Authority’s review of caffeine safety1.
A 2020 literature review suggested that coffee is associated with a reduced risk of developing dementia, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may also have a positive impact on the progression of Parkinson's disease2. Additionally, a 2021 dose-response meta-analysis suggested that light consumption of coffee (<2.8 cups per day) was associated with a reduced risk of cognitive deficits3.
A 2022 review also suggested that caffeine is neuroprotective against dementia and possibly AD, but further studies are required to prove this link4. Clinical studies also indicate that caffeine is a cognitive normaliser rather than a cognitive enhancer, and that the neuroprotective effect of caffeine might be confounded by gender4.
Studies have also reported that coffee consumption may have a protective effect on the risk of stroke, especially in women5,6.
The content in this Overview was last edited in December 2023. Papers in the Latest Research section and further resources are added regularly.