Differential effect of caffeine on cerebral blood flow in habitual caffeine consumers vs. non-consumers of caffeine

June 13th, 2011

Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) was utilised in a study to investigate the effects of an acute dose of 75 mg of caffeine (comparable to levels found in popular caffeinated beverages) on cerebral blood flow in healthy young adults.

Participants were separated into two groups, those that regularly consume caffeine on a daily basis (habitual consumers) and those that  refrain from caffeine (habitual non-consumers). They were given either caffeine or a matched placebo treatment and were required to complete 4 repetitions of the Cognitive Demand Battery, administered using COMPASS.

Improved performance on the Serial 7 Subtractions task was observed in participants given caffeine. In addition, cerebral blood flow was reduced following caffeine, but only in habitual non-consumers of caffeine. These findings suggest that caffeine, at levels typically found in a single dietary serving, is able to modulate cerebral blood flow but these effects are subject to tolerance.

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