Pubescent children who drink coffee or consume products rich in caffeine might suffer from poor sleep and delayed brain development. A new study on pubescent rats showed that growth of a young brain slows down in the presence of caffeine.
Researchers found that caffeine intake of pubescent rats adversely affected deep sleep and brain development. The amount of caffeine given to the rats was roughly equivalent to three to four cups of coffee per day.
Caffeine might have a similar effect on a young human brain as it begins to mature rapidly during early life. “The brain of children is extremely plastic due to the many connections,” said Reto Huber of the University Children’s Hospital Zurich. “This optimization presumably occurs during deep sleep. Key synapses extend, others are reduced; this makes the network more efficient and the brain more powerful,” Huber added.
Curiosity in rats increases with age. However, caffeine-fed rats were more cautious and timid when compared to rats of the same age that had not been given caffeine.
Coffee isn’t just the only source of caffeine. Other food products such as chocolates and ice-cream along with energy drinks have high levels of the stimulant. Kids might already be getting more than safe levels of caffeine even if they don’t drink coffee.
The present study was conducted on rats and researchers believe that only further investigation conducted in clinical setting might help in the understanding caffeine’s effect on humans.
Read more: Nature World News