Every Irish mother knows that a nice cup of tea will cure whatever ails you and as much as you might complain about having that tenth cup forced upon you (Or not! Who complains about tea?), there may be a method to her madness. As it happens, all that caffeine could be helping your remarkable Mam remember all of those essential words of wisdom and life advice that will get you out of your funk.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee have recently discovered that older women who drink above average levels of caffeine have a reduced risk of dementia and cognitive impairment.
Studying a range of over 65s from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study over a ten-year period, the research found that women who consumed more than 261 milligrams of caffeine a day were less likely to suffer from cognitive impairment than women who drank less. That means by simply drinking two to three cups of coffee, or five to six cups of tea a day, women could possibly be reducing their risk of dementia as they get older, although we can’t say it will do much for their sleeping patterns.
Although the research cannot be used to confirm a direct link between increased caffeine intake and good cognitive health in women as of yet, researchers believe the results to be in line with scientific literature previously produced on the subject and hope to pinpoint the exact relationship between the two in the future.
Speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the study’s lead author Ira Driscoll stated: “The mounting evidence of caffeine consumption as a potentially protective factor against cognitive impairment is exciting given that caffeine is also an easily modifiable dietary factor.”
Although the link is not yet confirmed, even the suggestion is enough to allow us to continue with our tea obsession, but if you needed another reminder of just why tea is the best, you can find ten great reasons here.
There are currently 47,744 people living with dementia in Ireland, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland believes, with a significantly higher number of women suffering from cognitive impairment. The latest statistics show 30,359 women with dementia as opposed to 17,385 men. Dementia is not in fact caused by aging, however, and is not a normal part of the aging process with 4,000 Irish people under 65 currently suffering.
According to Irish food organization Bord Bia, Ireland may lead the way as the world’s most prolific tea-guzzlers but our relationship with the hot beverage has become strained in the past few years with the numbers of cups thrown back every week gradually decreasing. We can definitely see a return of the teapot to every kitchen table if this research proves to be true. Mrs. Doyle will be delighted.