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Drink Up: Why Caffeine's Good For Your Brain

30/09/2010 11:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

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If you're a tea or coffee drinker, today is a good day. While we're bombarded with warnings about how too much caffeine is bad for you, researchers from Imperial College London say a daily cuppa may protect your brain against cancer.

Writing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, they claim tea and coffee drinkers are more than a third less likely to develop a type of tumour called a glioma than those who drink less than a cup a day.

That could be because the caffeine in tea and coffee is thought to restrict blood flow to the brain, and that may help stop the growth of tumours. Other experts also believe the antioxidants in tea and coffee help protect your brain against cancer too.

The study involved more than 400,000 people across Europe. It discovered that, on average, Danish people drink the most coffee, while Italians drink the least. And of course Brits guzzle the most tea, with the Spanish drinking hardly any.

However, when the researchers combined the results from all the countries involved in the study, they discovered there was a 34% reduced risk of developing a glioma in people drinking more than 100ml of tea or coffee a day (an average-size mug contains around 250ml).

But before you rush out for your second double espresso of the day, bear in mind that these brain tumours are incredibly rare in this part of the world (just 4-6 cases per 100,000 women), so it's hardly an excuse to go crazy for caffeine.

Are you addicted to tea or coffee? Tell us how much you drink.

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