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Coffee Health Benefits

Drinking coffee after breakfast could improve metabolism

Researchers say consumers’ sleeping habits may also play a role

A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Bath explored what effect coffee can have on consumers’ metabolisms. To ensure that our metabolisms are operating at optimal levels, their findings suggest that it’s better for consumers to have their morning coffee after eating breakfast instead of having it immediately after waking up -- especially after a night of disrupted sleep. 

“We know that nearly half of us will wake in the morning and, before doing any...

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    New research suggests caffeine may reduce dementia risks

    Caffeine among 26 compounds boosting protective brain enzyme

    Good news if you're a heavy coffee drinker. The caffeine in your favorite beverage may be helping your brain fight off dementia.

    Researchers at Indiana University (IU) are advancing that theory after a study identified 24 compounds, including caffeine, that appear to boost a brain enzyme that keeps dementia from occurring. The enzyme, NMNAT2, was discovered last year and the account of the findings appear this week in the journal Scientific Reports.

    IU professor Hui-Chen Lu, who led the study, said the discovery could lead to development of drugs that boost the enzyme, perhaps creating a preventive treatment against age-related neurological disorders.

    Misfolded proteins

    The Indiana study was the first to reveal what Lu calls the "chaperone function" in the enzyme, that prevents the misfolding of proteins called tau, which can pile up in the brain as plaques as a person ages.

    These misfolded proteins have been linked to brain disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

    Of particular concern to researchers is Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia that affects over 5.4 million Americans, and those numbers are expected to rise as the population ages.

    The Indiana study is not the first to suggest that caffeine plays a beneficial role in brain health. Last August, researchers from three countries reported their findings that caffeine can combat the effects of age-related memory impairment.

    Other research

    In this case, the international research team focused on a certain receptor in the brain, called adenosine A2AR, which is linked to memory impairments related to age. Following up on previous research, the researchers say they were able to manipulate this receptor to induce a sort of “early aging” that led to the release of hormones related to stress and memory loss.

    To prevent this early aging, the researchers tested a caffeine analogue on animal models. They reported that caffeine blocked the receptor from acting properly, which in turn normalized the memory- and stress-related deficits.

    While coffee has had something of a checkered past when it comes to health -- in the 1970s it was thought to cause heart disease -- lately research has emphasized its positive role. Recent health studies have suggested it can reduce risks to colon cancer and multiple sclerosis.

    Good news if you're a heavy coffee drinker. The caffeine in your favorite beverage may be helping your brain fight off dementia.Researchers at Indiana...

    Caffeine helps fight memory loss, study finds

    Researchers confirm that caffeine blocks a brain receptor that affects memory problems

    Having that first cup of coffee in the morning can be a great way to start your day, but could it also help keep your memory sharp as you age? One recent study shows that maybe it can.

    A multinational collaboration -- including researchers from France, Germany, and the United States – has found that caffeine can combat the effects of age-related memory impairment. This could point to another way to slow the decline of memory function in older consumers and those affected by cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s.

    The researchers have confirmed that a certain receptor in the brain, called adenosine A2AR, is linked to memory impairments related to age. Following up on previous research, they were able to manipulate this receptor to induce a sort of “early aging” that led to the release of hormones related to stress and memory loss.

    “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. 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),” said Luisa Lopes, coordinator of the study.

    Potential therapeutic target

    In order to prevent the onset of early aging, the researchers tested a caffeine analogue on animal models. They found that caffeine blocked the receptor from acting properly, which in turn normalized the memory- and stress-related deficits that were created beforehand.

    The researchers believe that their work could allow medical professionals a means of treating memory-related problems in older people and those affected cognitive disorders. Additionally, it has opened the door for further research on the causes of memory dysfunction.

    “In elderly people, we know there is an increase of stress hormones that have an impact on memory. Our work supports the view that the precognitive effects of A2AR 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,” said researcher director David Blum.

    “This is important not only to understand the fundamental changes that occur upon aging, but it also identifies the dysfunctions of the adenosine A2AR receptor as a key player in triggering these changes. And a very appealing therapeutic target,” added Lopes.

    The full study has been published in Scientific Reports.

    Having that first cup of coffee in the morning can be a great way to start your day, but could it also help keep your memory sharp as you age? One recent s...