Let me eat cake

There’s a lot of lousy stuff happening in the world. In my own life, I’ve had more than my share of stress lately. (Think “crowds with torches” level of stress.) Well, I could use some good news, and I found just the thing in my blog hopper.

Scientists in Catalonia have found that the bourgeois world’s favourite drug caffeine improves cognitive ability, especially when taken in combination with glucose. The ‘active ingredients’ of coffee and cake have a synergistic effect, say the researchers, who report their findings in the journal Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental.

According to psychobiologist Josep Serra-Grabulosa

“Our main finding is that the combination of the two substances improves cognitive performance in terms of sustained attention and working memory by increasing the efficiency of the areas of the brain responsible for these two functions.”

Serra-Grabulosa’s claim about increased efficiency arises from an observed reduction in activity in the bilateral parietal cortex of the brains of experimental subjects who had consumed caffeine and glucose together. This is compared with others who had consumed either a placebo, or caffeine and glucose alone.

The neurological basis for the reported effect is unknown, but the economic and dietary implications are clear enough. Lattes and gâteau all round!

So drinking coffee whilst eating cake might not solve problems, but it will help the brain work better to deal with them. Plus it puts you in a better mood. This is fantastic news for me, as my one vice is coffee. I also love cake — dark chocolate cake, which is also health food. So next time the crowds pick up their torches, I’ll just say, “Let me eat cake!” Not long after, I’ll add, “And drink coffee!”

Wave of the fork to the eChurch Christian Blog The photo comes from flickr user Food Thinkers.

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