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Question
Posted by: Willie | 2005/07/02

Short term memory

Can anybody tell me why cheese affects my short term memory? Very severe ! I am a type two diabetic. I noticed this long before I became diabetic. I have my blood suger under very strict control.
(mostly eaten cheddar cheese) I even find that Yoghurt has a lesser affect on my memory. What is the precise mechanism of cheese causing severe memory loss. I am 67 and has quite normal memory otherwise Thank you. Much appreciated.

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Our expert says:
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You raise a very curious point, and I dont think I've seen any other reports of this problem ; at least not of cheese / Yogurt affecting one's memory. And I'm guessing you're talking of a noticeably reduced short-term memory within a relatively short time of eating the cheese, improving again over time ?
Milk, and hence milk products may contain useful amounts of Serotonin, one of the brain's working chemicals. And cheese ( I'm not sure about Yogurt ) can include variable amounts ( depending on the type of cheese and even varying in different parts of the cheese ) of chemicals like Tyramine. This is why, with the older antidepressants called MAOI's, which inhibited an enzyme called MAO, there could be unpleasant reactions with headache and raised blood pressure when people who were taking an MAOI also ate cheese, especially some cheeses ( also some red wines ).
But apart from thse circumstances, I don't see a good reason why cheese would affect short-term memory. A separate observation I have noticed in some people, including myself, is that eating cheese or yogurt laate in the evening may lead to more vivid dreams, so there is at least some potential for an efect such as you describe.

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