Sharpening Your Memory With Coffee?

Seems there's been an increasing number of studies extolling the virtues of drinking coffee as of late, including a new one that suggests drinking two cups may be enough to keep your memory sharp.

Two cups contain 100 milligrams of caffeine -- the most widely used and cheapest drug in the world -- which increases activity in the frontal lobe of the brain responsible for short-term memory (recalling information like a phone number you looked up online) and the anterior cingulate cortex that controls your attention span.

Fifteen male patients drank 100 milligrams of caffeine dissolved in water or plain water over two days. Every man improved their reaction times on memory tests after drinking caffeine, and not the placebo. Although how caffeine works on your brain is unknown, for now anyway, researchers suspect it may have something to do with how this chemical interacts with the brain's nerve cells or small blood vessels.

All the good news aside, drinking coffee is, at best, problematic, as it can interfere with your body's ability to keep cholesterol levels in check and increases your risk of stroke.

And, if you think going decaf is any safer for you, guess again...

Forbes.com November 30, 2005

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