Love coffee? Love caffeine? A new study has shown that caffeine may reduce the risk of dementia in older women:

The study, published in the Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, found that higher caffeine intake in women 65 and older was associated with reduced odds of developing dementia or cognitive impairment.

Among the women in the study, self-reported consumption of more than 261 milligrams of caffeine per day was associated with a 36 percent reduction in the risk of dementia over 10 years of follow-up. That level is equivalent to two to three eight-ounce cups of coffee, five to six eight-ounce cups of black tea or seven to eight 12-ounce cans of cola.

How does this happen?

Medical News Today asked Driscoll what she believes are the underlying mechanisms that might explain caffeine’s potential cognitive benefits.

“The potential protective effect of caffeine is thought to occur primarily through the blockade of adenosine A2A receptors (ARs), whose expression and function become aberrant with both normal aging and age-related pathology,” she replied.

“Adenosine acts by facilitating A2A and acting on the inhibitory A1 receptors to integrate dopamine, glutamate, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling, thereby modulating synaptic plasticity in regions relevant to learning and memory and providing the molecular and cellular basis for AR role in modulating cognition,” she added.

Drink that extra cup of coffee! I may have an extra Diet Coke today.