Sounds crazy – but it’s true! Caffeine is produced by many plants and acts as a natural pesticide to protect them from insects. It can also help protect your brain function.
Most of the time, we consume caffeine for the energy boost it provides, but for the plants that produce it, caffeine serves as a pesticide that repels insects and animals that would like to chew their leaves and fruits.
Science has discovered that caffeine stimulates the production of an enzyme that may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
The enzyme NMNAT2 (nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyl transferase 2) helps improve brain health in two ways:
It protects neurons from the negative impact of stress. It helps prevent tau proteins from folding the wrong way and from forming masses of harmful plaques in the neurons of the brain.
Misfolded proteins have been linked to Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) as well as Alzheimer’s disease.
Reduction of stress in brain cells
Research has shown that caffeine reduces the activity of a receptor called adenosine A2A. This receptor increases stress in brain cells and can slow down your mental abilities as you age. Reducing the activity of this receptor prevents it from interrupting memory circuits in key areas of the brain.
Caffeine and Alzheimer’s
While NOT a miracle cure, research has confirmed that a daily intake of caffeine up to 261 mg per day (the amount in two to three cups of coffee) significantly reduced the risk of developing dementia.
Dark side of caffeine
Keep in mind that too much of a good thing is not good! Caffeine intake above 261mg has NOT been shown to enhance benefits, so limit your caffeine intake. This is equivalent to one large coffee.
In addition, there is considerable variation in how individuals respond to caffeine with slow and rapid metabolizers. If you happen to be a slow metabolizer, be very careful about how much caffeine you consume – and don’t take it after midday, or you’ll likely disrupt your sleep, which is very bad for brain health!
This post WORKOUT ANYTIME Fitness Blog: Caffeine was original published at “http://workoutanytime.blogspot.com/2022/03/caffeine-natural-pesticide-that-helps.html”