caffeine protects your brain

good for my brain in more ways than oneSeems that caffeine has neuroprotective effects beyond just keeping the lights switched on upstairs:

Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the body, research suggests.

The drink has already been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, and a study by a US team for the Journal of Neuroinflammation may explain why.

A vital barrier between the brain and the main blood supply of rabbits fed a fat-rich diet was protected in those given a caffeine supplement.
[…]
“Caffeine appears to block several of the disruptive effects of cholesterol that make the blood-brain barrier leaky,” said Dr Jonathan Geiger, who led the study.

“High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, perhaps by compromising the protective nature of the blood brain barrier.

“Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilise the blood brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders.”

hepped up on goofballs

I find this sort of thing fascinating.

With candy sales banned on school campuses, sugar pushers are the latest trend at local schools. Backpacks are filled with Snickers and Twinkees for all sweet tooths willing to pay the price.

“It’s created a little underground economy, with businessmen selling everything from a pack of skittles to an energy drink,” said Jim Nason, principal at Hook Junior High School in Victorville.

This has become a lucrative business, Nason said, and those kids are walking around campus with upwards of $40 in their pockets and disrupting class to make a sale.

the candy black market thrives!

via Freakonomics blog, naturally.

caffeinated donuts

woah.

A molecular biologist has devised a method to spike doughnuts with caffeine. Previous attempts to lace the sugary fried treats with caffeine proved unsuccessful because of the extremely bitter taste.

Dr. Robert Bohannon of Environostics is the man behind the caffeine-laced doughnuts, which he has dubbed Buzz Donuts. His manufacturing process allows the caffeine to be absorbed in the intestine, thus eliminating any off tastes.

Coming in October. bwahaha!

Diet Coke Plus

sspx0343.jpgSlashfood reviews the new Diet Coke Plus, which is essentially Diet Coke with a few vitamin and minerals added. Specifically, Niacin (PDV 25%), B6 (25%), B12 (25%), Magnesium (15%), and Zinc (15%). This appears to be a craven ploy on the part of Coke to make Diet Coke drinkers feel better about all the phenylketonurics. Personally, I favor Diet Coke with Splenda, though as an aside I completely failed a taste test a few months ago between DC/Splenda and Coke Zero. So who the heck knows why I drink what I do or what my real taste preferences are. I am more a poseur than a connoiseur, but whatever; my goal is to indulge in brand loyalty, and get my caffeine without the sugar load. Given that they were giving boxes of DC+ away with purchase of a regular 12 pack of Diet Coke (which I secretly swapped for DC/Splenda), I figured there was no downside to trying this new stuff out.

Verdict?

tastes pretty much exactly like DC. (yes, as mentioned above, I failed a taste test between Coke Zero and DC/Splenda, so your mileage is almost guaranteed to vary). No chalky aftertaste that I could detect, and overall far better than the crazy metallic tinge you get from drinks like Red Bull or Rockstar. What next, Taurine-enhanced Diet Coke? Maybe. At any rate, if you are drinking DC anyway, then you might as well go for the DC+. I think I will pass, though.