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Wake up and smell the java

Study shows how the scent of coffee relaxes sleep-starved rats

7:08pm, June 6, 2008

The aroma of freshly roasted coffee may help rats take the edge off all-nighters, a new study suggests. Cells in sleep-deprived rats sniffing freshly brewed coffee turn up the volume of genes that soothe stress and prevent cell damage. The finding suggests one way the smell of coffee may calm stressed-out people — even if the drink itself revs them up.

Published in the June Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the study showed that rats exposed to the scent of coffee for 24 hours amped up production of products from genes that encode antioxidants.

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