Brewing Smarter: Scientists Discover a Secret Brain Booster in Coffee

Coffee Brain Boost Science Concept Art

A new study found that Trigonelline (TG), a natural compound in coffee and some vegetables, significantly enhances spatial learning and memory in aged mice. The research indicates that TG modifies key molecular pathways and reduces neuroinflammation, highlighting its potential in addressing age-related cognitive decline.

Recent research has increasingly focused on finding natural compounds that can counteract age-related cognitive decline and promote healthy aging. Trigonelline (TG), a plant alkaloid found in coffee, fenugreek seeds, and radish, has been suggested as a candidate for enhancing cognitive abilities.

In a new study, researchers led by the University of Tsukuba investigated the effects of TG on memory and spatial learning (acquiring, retaining, structuring, and applying information related to the surrounding physical environment) from both a cognitive and molecular biology perspective in an integrated manner using a senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) model.

Study Findings

Following oral administration of TG to SAMP8 mice for 30 days, the Morris water maze test indicated a significant improvement in spatial learning and memory performance compared with SAMP8 mice that did not receive TG.

Next, the researchers performed whole-genome transcriptomic analysis of the hippocampus to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms. They found that signaling pathways related to nervous system development, mitochondrial function, ATP synthesis, inflammation, autophagy, and neurotransmitter release were significantly modulated in the TG group.

Molecular Insights and Conclusions

Furthermore, the research team found that TG suppressed neuroinflammation by negatively regulating the signaling factor Traf6-mediated activation of the transcription factor NF-κB.

Additionally, quantitative protein analysis confirmed that the levels of inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 were significantly decreased and the levels of neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin were significantly increased in the hippocampus.

These findings suggest the efficacy of TG in preventing and improving age-related spatial learning memory impairment.

Reference: “Transcriptomics and biochemical evidence of trigonelline ameliorating learning and memory decline in the senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) model by suppressing proinflammatory cytokines and elevating neurotransmitter release” by Sharmin Aktar, Farhana Ferdousi, Shinji Kondo, Tamami Kagawa and Hiroko Isoda, 18 September 2023, GeroScience.
DOI: 10.1007/s11357-023-00919-x

This work was supported by DyDo DRINCO and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST grant number JPMJPF2017).

3 Comments on "Brewing Smarter: Scientists Discover a Secret Brain Booster in Coffee"

  1. Your still going to die no matter what you do and the harder you try to live longer the harder it’s going to be to die why not just enjoy your life and except the fact your going to die you’ll feel better and be happier then trying to milk it for all it is worth except the truth and start to live for once in your life

    • Kaph Finneighdid | November 21, 2023 at 6:36 pm | Reply

      Yeah, that applies to every article, but still this is cool beans. You sound sad, have a cuppa coffee.

      Trigonelline is also in garden peas, hemp seed, oats, potatoes, dahlia, chinese artichoke (wikipedia). There’s lots more in sakurajima radish, some in buttercup squash and its seeds, and loads in the coffee fruit, and much in roast coffee but very little in an extracted cup of coffee (“Characteristic Analysis of Trigonelline Contained in Raphanus sativus Cv. Sakurajima Daikon,Vasodilator Properties in Humans”, Nutrients June 2020)

  2. I drank 7 cups this morning and I can remember stuff from my previous life. Kidding aside, coffee is one of those drinks that researchers spent many years trying to find something problematic about it, and although overdosing on caffeine is not considered healthy, the rest of the compounds appear to be very beneficial. I feel Irish people have funny accents, but I do like me a bit of Irish coffee, particularly during the holidays.

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