Start your mornings right with a cup of coffee – it might just help your brain
11/29/2019 / By Bobbi Bruce / Comments
Start your mornings right with a cup of coffee – it might just help your brain

Many people like to start their day with a fresh cup of coffee. This beverage isn’t just energizing, it is also scientifically proven to provide plenty of health benefits. According to research, this is all thanks to one of coffee’s main active components, caffeine.

 

Caffeine is known for giving people a quick energy boost; but did you know that it can also keep your brain sharp even in your golden years?

Scientists have found that caffeine could help fight off cognitive decline caused by aging. While its pick-me-up effects are only temporary, caffeinated coffee offers brain benefits that are surprisingly long-lasting.

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Coffee has surprising anti-aging benefits for your brain, thanks to caffeine

A recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that in animals, caffeine counteracts age-related cognitive deficits. Conducted by Brazilian researchers from the Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM Lisboa), associates from Inserm in Lille, France, and in collaboration with teams from the U.S. and Germany, the study reported how a certain receptor in the brain plays a key role in brain aging.

Abnormal expression of the adenosine A2A receptor was found to induce aging-like memory impairments in rat models. However, the researchers found that this receptor is also targeted by caffeine. In the animal models, caffeine analogues blocked the adenosine A2A receptors and relieved memory- and stress-related deficiencies, returning the rats’ brains to their normal capacity.

“This is part of a larger study initiated 4 years ago in which we identified the role of this receptor in stress, but we did not know whether its activation would be sufficient to trigger all the changes,” said Luisa Lopes, study coordinator and Group Leader at iMM Lisboa.

“We now found that by altering the amount of this receptor alone in neurons from hippocampus and cortex – memory-related areas – is sufficient to induce a profile that we designate as ‘early-aging’ combining the memory loss and an increase in stress hormones in plasma (cortisol).”

David Blum, research director for Inserm, noted further that there is an increase of stress hormones that have an impact on memory in elderly people.

“Our work supports the view that the procognitive effects of A2AR [adenosine A2A receptor] antagonists, namely caffeine, observed in Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive impairments may rely on this ability to counteract the loss of stress-controlling mechanisms that occurs upon aging.”

Caffeine may help to stop brain-aging in its tracks, but the health benefits of caffeine (and the beloved beverages that contain it) don’t end there. Recent research has also shown that enjoying a daily cup of coffee can yield some miraculous effects on your health, including supporting the detoxification of the liver and gallbladder.

In a study that appeared in the journal Nutrients, European researchers found that coffee can help prevent the formation of painful gallstones and reduce the risk of fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver. Drinking one cup of coffee per day was also associated with a reduction in liver cancer risk.

Drinking a few cups of coffee on a regular basis can also help reduce your risk of death from all causes. Data recently published from a 16-year-long European study suggest that drinking three cups of coffee daily results in a lower risk of death, particularly death due to circulatory and digestive diseases. The study also found that coffee drinkers have healthier lifestyles than non-drinkers, and had better glucose control, as well.

While the piles of sugar and cream some opt to put in their coffee may not be the greatest thing for you, coffee in and of itself clearly has a host of health benefits that cannot be ignored.

Sources:

ScienceDaily.com

Nature.com

MDPI.com

Imperial.AC.uk

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