Swiss Scientists: Caffeine Consumption Decreases Brain Gray Matter

Researchers from the University of Basel (Switzerland) conducted an experiment to study the effects of caffeine on the human brain. And they found that the presence of this substance in the diet on an ongoing basis leads to a noticeable reduction in the volume of gray matter in the brain. But this factor can hardly be called negative, especially since the effect was quickly reversible.

Initially, scientists tried to understand the problem of the effect of caffeine on sleep disturbance. The latter, as already proven, is guaranteed to lower the volume of the gray matter of the brain, however, the reasons for restless sleep are many. Including addiction to coffee, as well as energy drinks with caffeine in their composition. Young healthy people were selected for the experiment, half of whom were prescribed a 10-day diet with three caffeine tablets a day, and the latter received a placebo instead.

The volume of gray matter in the subjects was measured using functional MRI, and the quality of slow-wave sleep was measured using EEG. It turned out that taking caffeine did lead to a decrease in the volume of gray matter, but did not affect the quality of sleep, which was the same for both groups. It turns out that sleep has nothing to do with it, caffeine directly affects the state of the brain.

Scientists noted that no impairment of cognitive functions was observed in the subjects, their brains became physically smaller, but did not lose their abilities. And after stopping the caffeine diet, all changes quickly returned to normal. However, all this is true for short-term situations, while the effect of caffeine on the brain with regular and long-term use has not yet been studied.