Caffeine May Protect Blood-Brain Barriers from Cholesterol Damage

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A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation has found that a single cup of coffee a day can cause a more intact blood-brain barrier. Authored by Jonathan D. Geiger, Ph.D., of the University of North Dakota and colleagues, the study was conducted over a 12 week period and compared the effects of caffeine in a cholesterol enriched diet verse a standard diet when administered to rabbits.

After the 12 week period, the authors examined the olfactory bulb (chosen because of its known dysfunction in Alzheimer’s patients and its intact blood-brain barrier) for evidence of leakage. It was determined that the cholesterol-enriched diet of the rabbits increased IgG and fibrinogen extravasations, while having no effect on rabbits with a controlled diet.

“High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, perhaps by compromising the protective nature of the blood-brain barrier, “said Dr. Geiger. “For the first time we have shown that chronic ingestion of caffeine protects the blood-brain barrier from cholesterol-induced leakage.”

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