If you happen to be a self-proclaimed coffee addict who cannot start their day without a cup,then this news might interest you.
In a recent research, scientists have found that regular consumption of caffeine may affect the gray matter. The gray matter refers to the parts of the central nervous system of the human brain that are mainly made up of the cell bodies of nerve cells, while white matter mainly comprises the neural pathways, the long extensions of the nerve cells.
The study published in the Cerebral Cortex on February 15, 2021 has shown how the volume of gray matter was greater than following the same period of time with caffeine capsules. Scientists from the University of Basel, Switzerland, conducted the research on 20 individuals who were regular coffee drinkers. They were given tablets to take over two ten-day periods, and were asked not to consume any other caffeine during this time. During the first study period, the subjects received tablets with caffeine, while in the second study, they were given tablets with no active ingredient, also known as placebo. At the end of each 10-day period, the researchers examined the volume of the subjects’ gray matter with the help of brain scans and they also investigated subjects’ sleep quality in a special laboratory by recording the electrical activity of their brain.
The team of twelve scientists then compared that data that revealed that the participants’ depth of sleep was equal, regardless of whether they had taken the caffeine or the placebo capsules. But what stood out in their observations was the significant difference in the gray matter, depending on whether the subject had received caffeine or the placebo. After 10 days of not consuming caffeine, the volume of gray matter expanded following the same period of time with caffeine capsules. The study further mentioned that the difference was particularly striking in the right medial temporal lobe, including the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is essential to memory consolidation.