Page last updated: March 2021
Alcohol, coffee and tea intake and the risk of cognitive deficits

The authors of a paper published in the journal Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences state that ‘Lifestyle interventions are an important and viable approach for preventing cognitive deficits. However, the results of studies on alcohol, coffee and tea consumption in relation to cognitive decline have been divergent, likely due to confounds from dose-response effects’. Their meta-analysis aimed to find the dose-response relationship between alcohol, coffee or tea consumption and cognitive deficits.
Their literature search identified 29 prospective studies from America, Japan, China and some European countries. The dose-response relationships showed that compared to non-drinkers, low consumption (<11 g/day) of alcohol could reduce the risk of cognitive deficits or only dementias, but there was no significant effect of heavier drinking (>11 g/day). Low consumption of coffee reduced the risk of any cognitive deficit (<2.8 cups/day) or dementia (<2.3 cups/day). Green tea consumption was a significant protective factor for cognitive health (relative risk, 0.94; 95% confidence intervals, 0.92-0.97), with one cup of tea per day brings a 6% reduction in risk of cognitive deficits.
The authors conclude that light consumption of alcohol (<11 g/day) and coffee (<2.8 cups/day) was associated with reduced risk of cognitive deficits. Cognitive benefits of green tea consumption increased with the daily consumption.
Source: Ran LS, Liu WH, Fang YY, Xu SB, Li J, Luo X, Pan DJ, Wang MH, Wang W. Alcohol, coffee and tea intake and the risk of cognitive deficits: a dose-response meta-analysis. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2021 Feb 11;30:e13.

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