Impact of Caffeine on Cerebral Blood Flow Explored in Recent Study

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A new study published in the journal Nutrition investigates the effects of caffeine consumption on cerebral blood flow in young, healthy individuals. Caffeine is a widely consumed substance found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolates, and energy drinks. While moderate doses of caffeine can enhance alertness, cognitive function, and energy levels, excessive consumption can have negative health effects.

Previous research has shown that regular consumption of two to four cups of caffeine per day can reduce cerebral blood flow by 22-30%. This decrease in blood flow is caused by the vasoconstrictive properties of caffeine, which can increase blood pressure and arterial stiffness.

The study aimed to determine whether caffeine intake could impact blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery in young individuals. It involved 45 university students aged 18 to 22 who were not regular coffee drinkers. Participants were divided into three groups and given either low-dose (45 mg), high-dose (120 mg) caffeine capsules, or a placebo.

Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography was used to measure blood flow velocity before and after caffeine consumption. Participants also completed functional tests to assess their respiratory abilities and cognitive performance.

The findings revealed that the low-caffeine group experienced a significant reduction in blood flow velocity and heart rate during hypoventilation and cognitive tests. The high-caffeine group showed a decrease in all tested parameters, including mean velocity, peak systolic velocity, end-diastolic velocity, and heart rate. In contrast, the control group exhibited no significant changes.

During functional tests, the velocities increased significantly during hypoventilation in all groups, while heart rate decreased. Conversely, during hyperventilation, velocities decreased, and heart rate increased in all groups.

During cognitive tests, the high-caffeine group showed an increase in end-diastolic velocity and heart rate during the short-term memory test. The control group demonstrated an increase in end-diastolic velocity during the math problem-solving test.

Overall, the study demonstrates that caffeine intake acutely affects cerebral blood flow and blood flow velocities in a dose-dependent manner. The reduction in blood flow velocities observed may be attributed to the vasodilation of cerebral arteries caused by caffeine’s acute effects.

These findings provide valuable insights into the impact of caffeine on cerebral blood flow and highlight the importance of moderation in caffeine consumption to avoid potential adverse health effects.

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  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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