Caffeine shown to stop diabetes memory loss

Tue, 08 May 2012
A new study from Portugal has claimed that caffeine can help to prevent memory loss in diabetes patients.

With diabetes being known to cause problems in the part of the brain affecting memory, this laboratory research examined mice with type 2 diabetes to show how diabetes can have an impact on the hippocampus area causing memory loss, and why the consumption of caffeine can stop this from happening.

The scientists from the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra in Portugal, whose work was published in the journal PLoS, showed that the long-term consumption of caffeine reduced weight gain and high blood sugar levels, as well as preventing memory loss, probably due to its interfering with the neurodegeneration caused by toxic sugar levels. When they examined the hippocampus, which typically becomes atrophied in diabetics, they found abnormalities that affect memory in the diabetic mice, and which were prevented by caffeine consumption.

However, the team do not recommend people drink eight cups of coffee every day. Team leader Rodrigo Cunha, said "the dose of caffeine shown to be effective is just too excessive. All we can take from here is that a moderate consumption of caffeine should afford a moderate benefit, but still a benefit."

He added "Our ultimate goal is the design of a drug more potent and selective (ie, with less potential side effects) than caffeine itself; animal studies enable us to pinpoint the likely target of caffeine with protective benefits in type 2 diabetes ."
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