Australian Natural Bodz - - Nutrition Knowledge Centre -

Many cof­fee and tea drinkers claim that drink­ing these bev­er­ages ap­pears to have a calm­ing ef­fect, per­haps as a re­sult of the as­so­ci­ated men­tal break or so­cial­iza­tion with others. Manuella P. Kaster, from the Univer­sity of Coim­bra ( Por­tu­gal), and col­leagues have re­vealed a molec­u­lar mech­a­nism by which caf­feine may ex­ert a stress­re­duc­ing ef­fect. The re­searchers ad­min­is­tered a caf­feinated bev­er­age to lab mice, and then ex­posed the an­i­mals to a stressful en­vi­ron­ment. The team ob­served that brain lev­els of adeno­sine A2A re­cep­tors ( A2AR) rose. Fur­ther, the in­ves­ti­ga­tors found that block­ing A2AR ac­tiv­ity via drugs or by re­mov­ing the gene for A2AR caused the same ef­fect as giv­ing the mice caf­feine. Ob­serv­ing a re­duc­tion in both synap­tic plas­tic­ity and pro­tein den­sity, the study au­thors sub­mit that: “These re­sults herald a key role for synap­tic [ adeno­sine A2A re­cep­tors] in the con­trol of chronic stress­in­duced mod­i­fi­ca­tions and sug­gest [ adeno­sine A2A re­cep­tors] as can­di­date tar­gets to al­le­vi­ate the con­se­quences of chronic stress on brain func­tion.” Foot­note: Even more proof to dis­pel the old ru­mors that cof­fee ac­tu­ally con­trib­uted to stress and high blood pres­sure. Bring on the cof­fee! Ref­er­ence Manuella P. Kaster, Nuno J. Machado, Hen­rique B. Silva, Ana Nunes, Ana Paula Ar­dais, Magda San­tana, et al. “Caf­feine acts through neu­ronal adeno­sine A2A re­cep­tors to pre­vent mood and mem­ory dys­func­tion trig­gered by chronic stress.” PNAS, June 8, 2015.

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