(NaturalNews) Women over the age of 65 have a head start when it comes to mental faculties... if they drink 3 cups of coffee per day, that is. Caffeine consumption in moderation is now a proven boost to women's mental health.
When taken in moderation, it appears that caffeine can actually be a boost to women's health - and in particular, their capacity for memory. A report published in the August 2007 issue of the American Academy of Neurology's medical journal revealed the results of a study conducted by the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM), which focused on the impact of caffeine in both men's and women's health.
Three Cups a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
The study by INSERM included around 7,000 individuals over the age of 65, and checked a number of variables for each participant before the study began - things like medical histories and how much coffee or tea they tended to drink on a daily basis. Initially, participants took several tests to determine their level of mental skill, which centered around the use of memory. These tests were repeated two and then four years after the first test.
The women who had originally reported that they drank three or more cups of tea or coffee each day at the start of the study actually had less of a reduction in their test score than those women who consumed a maximum of one cup daily.
Memory Boost Only Impacts Women
Regardless of whether the women drank coffee or tea, it was the amount of caffeine which entered a person's system on a daily basis that made the significant difference – but in women alone.
As for the men, the test scores showed absolutely no benefits to males in terms of regular caffeine consumption, a factor which seems to indicate that women have a higher sensitivity to caffeine than men. The data indicates that caffeine is a psychostimulant which appears to reduce the amount of cognitive decline for females only.
The amount of memory impact also increased in parallel with age; for women around the age of 65, there was a 30% lower likelihood of memory loss, whereas women over the age of 80 were 70% less likely to have memory loss.
Everything in Moderation
The next step is to determine whether caffeine has any significant impact on more severe mental diseases, such as dementia. The study conducted by INSERM did not reveal any effects on degenerative mental diseases when combined with caffeine consumption, however the duration of the study may have simply been too short to effectively produce results in this area.
While doctors do not recommend that women dramatically increase their caffeine consumption as a preventative measure against mental decline, the study certainly indicates that caffeine taken in moderation by women is one way in which women can help boost their memories for significant and proven health benefits.