Caffeine — Best Study Aid Ever?

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brainLast week, I shared with you the news of the recently found heart protective quality of caffeine.

Caffeine appears to have an enhancing effect on memory consolidation as well, suggests a study published right on the heels of last week’s study.

 

 

Published on January 12, 2014 in Nature Neuroscience, caffeine was shown to have an immediate boost on memory.  140 participants of this study were able to remember and recall images that they were shown 24 hours later better if they were consuming caffeine while looking at the initial image.

They were better able to discriminate differences and similarities in images shown 24 hours apart when caffeine was on board the first time they looked at the image.

24 hours later, those who consumed caffeine (while looking at the original image the day before) were able to remember the initial image better and more accurately pick up on similarities and differences between the original image and an image shown a day later.

 

Bottom line:  caffeine enhanced recall.

 

As I explained in my previous blog post about Alzheimers prevention and caffeine, moderate caffeine intake “is associated with better longevity and a reduction in Alzheimer’s disease. This could potentially be a similar mechanism,” states Dr. Yassa, who next plans to study brain images of patients with mild cognitive impairment both before after consuming caffeine.

Consuming 200 mg of caffeine was found to produce optimal results in memory… about as much caffeine as in two cups of regular coffee, one cup of a coffee beverage with espresso in it (such as a Starbucks drink) or 10 cups of green tea.

Should coffee or tea be your next study partner?

Yes, the researchers in this study say.

We did this study as we have previously reported that the neurotransmitter norepinephrine has positive effects on memory, and caffeine liberates norepinephrine, so we suspected it might have an effect on memory. In addition, caffeine has been shown to enhance communication between neurones in the CA2 region of the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in memory,” Dr. Yassa reported.

 

Interested in more on brain health?  Next week I’ll be blogging about a supplement that is so brain protective it has actually been found to increase brain volume.

See you here on Monday for the reveal! 

xoxoxo, Laura