Friday, July 11, 2008

My Genius is in the Coffee

An article on MSNBC has confirmed a long standing suspicion of mine. My Genius may be a result of my massive use of coffee. Study sessions at university in which we crammed an entire semester and 3 or 4 text books into a 24 hour enlightenment period, always made me wonder, "is it the incredible effort I'm putting in which is giving me the good grades, or is it just the coffee?" Researchers created a list of 4 foods which help memory recall and slipping in at number 4 is every teacher's friend, every cop's life blood, black gold, coffee. Now this is wonderful news for me, because I've always indulged myself with coffee as a pick me up which can aid me through my less than stimulating day as a high school teacher. 

Now if they can just come out with a study that says watching movies and eating cake all day will help me to understand quantum physics, then I will be really happy. 

Article from MSNBC:

Coffee (adjust to your personal tolerance)
Good news for coffee lovers. About two years ago, researchers from the University Innsbruck in Austria found caffeinated coffee can temporarily sharpen your focus and memory. After giving volunteers the caffeine equivalent of about two cups of coffee, they observed that their brain activity was increased in two locations—one being the part responsible for memory. Results were observed using MRI technology. Without caffeine, there was no increase in brain activity. 

Then, earlier this year, another study published in a leading Neurology journal, found the effects of coffee may be longer lasting — specifically in women. This four-year long study involving about 7000 participants... all participants went through thorough baseline evaluations – cognitive function was tested, along with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other vascular issues. Participants were re-evaluated at the two-year mark, and again at the four year mark. 

At the end of the four year period, researchers found that women age 65 and older who drank more than three cups of coffee per day (or the caffeine equivalent in tea) had 33 percent less decline in memory over time than women who drank one cup or less of coffee or tea per day. The results held up even after researchers adjusted for other factors that could affect memory abilities, such as age, education, baseline cognitive function, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, medications, and other chronic illnesses. This caffeine-memory association was not observed in men — the authors hypothesize that perhaps that’s because men and women metabolize caffeine differently.

So if memory problems are a major concern for you, and if you don’t have a medical condition that precludes caffeine, feel free to indulge in a cup or two in the morning to jump-start your brain.