A new study finds that excessive coffee consumption could make your brain smaller.
As reported by The Hill, a new study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience set out to examine the link between coffee consumption and brain health. For the study, researchers from the University of South Australia “assessed the effects of coffee on the brain” for nearly 18,000 participants, aged 37 to 73. In breaking down the participants by daily coffee consumption rates, the researchers found that those who drank excessive amounts of coffee—defined here as “more than six cups of coffee each day”—had smaller total brain volumes than those who only consumed two cups a day.
And it’s more than just creating that rattling sound inside your skull. The decreased brain volume comes with an increased risk of dementia, per the study. In fact, those who drank over six cups of coffee a day were associated with a 53% increased risk of developing dementia.
“This is the most extensive investigation into the connections between coffee, brain volume measurements, the risks of dementia, and the risks of stroke – it’s also the largest study to consider volumetric brain imaging data and a wide range of confounding factors,” Kitty Pham, the study’s lead author, said in a release.
“Accounting for all possible permutations, we consistently found that higher coffee consumption was significantly associated with reduced brain volume – essentially, drinking more than six cups of coffee a day may be putting you at risk of brain diseases such as dementia and stroke,” Pham said.
This study aligns with previous research done by the University of Basel, finding that the total amount of grey matter in the brain was affected, at least temporarily, by caffeine. Per The Hill, the FDA recommends healthy adults sticking to no more than four or five cups a day, the rough equivalent of 400mg caffeine.
So listen up, pea brains, if you're ever at a cafe and feel the need lecture the barista about shot times or extraction or suggest a different tamping style, leave immediately without getting your coffee. You've already had enough and you can't handle anymore shrinkage.