We’re always singing coffee’s praises, and a recent European study agrees with us. The study found that coffee can counteract the brain’s natural ageing process, blocking receptors which otherwise gradually wear down over time and cause memory loss. This new research is in addition to a huge, 22-year study which found that drinking a moderate amount of coffee a day could reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
The first new study, published US peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports, looked at a particular receptor in the brain which throughout our lifetime gradually wears down with age. Stress can also be a contributory factor, and cause accelerated wear on the receptors. Gradually, stress hormones build up in our brains and start to cause problems, affecting our memories. French researchers were able to induce this ageing process artificially in rats. The rats were then fed a substance design to simulate caffeine, in order to block the receptors. Afterwards, memories and stress levels returned to normal levels. The French experiment will help researchers increase our understanding of how our brains function, and why certain conditions such as Alzheimer’s cause cognitive impairment.
The research has been met with interest in both the coffee and health sectors. According to Chris Stemman, Executive Director of the British Coffee Association, this is an important new study as there have been very few prospective pieces of research looking into how brain tumours develop.
“It adds to a growing weight of evidence, alongside the findings from World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), to show that moderate coffee consumption is safe and may confer some health benefits,” says Chris.
So now, you can switch on the coffee machine in the morning guilt-free.
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