Posted on Oct 24, 2023, 3 p.m.
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine) recently published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA) suggesting that adults with a high intake of caffeine via tea or coffee had better physical function later in life.
This study, led by Professor Koh Woon Puay from the Healthy Longevity Translational Research Programme at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS) was carried out based on data collected from over 12,000 participants between the ages of 45-74 years old who were enrolled in the Singapore Chinese Health Study, over a 20 year follow up period.
Analysis revealed that 84% of the cohort drank coffee and 12% drank tea as their main sources of caffeine. Of these, 68.5% drank coffee daily, with 52.9% drinking one cup per day, 42.2% drank two-three cups a day, and 4.9% drank four or more cups per day.
Participants were classified into 4 categories based on their coffee intake: one cup per day, 2 to 3 cups per day, 4 or more cups per day, and non-daily drinkers. Tea drinkers were categorized similarly to their intake frequency: daily drinkers, at least one cup per week, at least one cup per month, and never.
According to the researchers, drinking coffee, black tea, or green tea at midlife was independently associated with a significantly reduced likelihood of physical frailty in late life. Those who drank 4+ cups of coffee had significantly reduced odds of physical frailty in late life compared to those who did not drink coffee every day, and those who drank black/green tea also had significantly reduced odds of physical frailty in late life compared to those who never drank tea.
Regardless of the source of caffeine, higher intake was associated with lower odds of physical frailty, and the associations were stronger for the measured tests of handgrip strength and TUG, than for the other three components of physical frailty and for the self-reported measures of exhaustion and weight loss.
“Coffee and tea are mainstay beverages in many societies around the world, including Singapore. Our studies show that consumption of these caffeinated drinks at midlife may be associated with a reduced likelihood of physical frailty in late life. However, further studies are still needed to confirm these longitudinal associations, and to investigate if these effects on physical frailty are mediated by caffeine or other chemical compounds.” Prof Koh added.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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