As you age, your brain's cognitive function will gradually decline. This process is not easy to detect, but at some point you will suddenly realize that your brain is really unable to keep up. For example, the speed of thinking about problems and reasoning logic slows down. , I find that my reaction when playing games is far less than when I was young, or I occasionally start to forget information related to time and space.
Long-term cognitive decline can lead to cognitive impairment, which can significantly reduce the quality of life of older adults. Scientists have been looking for ways to prevent or stop cognitive decline. Research over the past few decades has found that cognitive decline is often accompanied by neuroinflammation, especially a significant increase in the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).
This high level of neuroinflammation can cause brain cell damage and affect the balance of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, but how to inhibit this type of neuroinflammation? In recent years, some studies have revealed that natural active compounds in certain foods may have a role. We may know that the caffeine in coffee can help to refresh ourselves, but the trigonelline (Trigonelline) contained in coffee beans has also been shown in experiments It has antibacterial and anti-lipid properties, and some studies have even found that trigonelline can promote the regeneration of neuron dendrites and axons.
In a recent paper published in GeroScience, researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that the benefits of trigonelline to the brain are not just as simple as maintaining the function of nerve cells, but may also further improve the memory function and spatial learning ability of animals.
In the experiment, in order to observe the effect of trigonelline as soon as possible, the author selected a group of special aging-accelerated mice (SAMP8). These mice age much faster than wild mice, and generally show signs of aging in about 4 months. Cognitive impairment.
Therefore, the authors began to give trigonelline orally to SAMP8 mice when they were 16-17 weeks old, while the control group took a placebo. In addition, they also selected some wild-type mice as controls. After 30 days, all mice underwent behavioral testing.
The water maze is mainly used to test the spatial learning and memory abilities of mice. Among the three groups of mice, wild-type mice can quickly learn the maze path, while SAMP8 mice have obvious learning lags. However, in comparison, the learning ability of SAMP8 mice treated with trigonelline was significantly improved, and the improved test performance was inseparable from the enhanced hippocampal function.
According to the results of the author's whole-genome analysis of the mouse hippocampus, after trigonelline treatment, the expression levels of many genes in the hippocampus of SAMP8 mice changed. The expression levels of genes related to brain aging decreased, among which Traf6 was mediated. The NF-κB signaling pathway is a potential target of trigonelline. Under the action of trigonelline, the production of pro-inflammatory factors such as TNF-α and IL-6 is reduced.
While trigonelline reduces inflammation in the brain, it also regulates the interaction of various neurotransmitters. For example, some genes related to GABAergic and glutamatergic are upregulated, which means that these synaptic signaling pathways are increased, which It plays a key role in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory.
The researchers pointed out that after more in-depth research and testing in the future, this natural compound in coffee may actually help us slow down brain aging and promote healthy aging.