What Caffeine Contributes...

There is a large amount of caffeine in every coffee that we drink. Many people do not know what is caffeine as an ingredient of coffee. Aside from being a help in preventing the risk of cancer and being a stimulant, it is also had been proven to be one of the many vitamins and minerals that is helpful in fighting serious diseases.

According to some encyclopedias, caffeine is a bitter-tasting, odorless stimulant drug. Caffeine is also part of the chemical mixtures and insoluble complexes guaranine found in guarana, mateine found in mate, and theine found in tea; all of which contain additional alkaloids such as the cardiac stimulants theophylline and theobromine, and often in other chemicals.

It is fast-working, beginning its effects within minutes after being consumed. Caffeine from coffee or other beverages is absorbed by the stomach and small intestine within 45 minutes of ingestion and then distributed throughout all tissues of the body. It is eliminated by first-order kinetics. Caffeine can also be ingested rectally, evidenced by the formulation of suppositories of ergotamine tartrate and caffeine (for the relief of migraine) and chlorobutanol and caffeine (for the treatment of hyperemesis).

Acting on the central nervous system, caffeine increases the uptake of oxygen in the lungs, speeds up metabolism, and quickens the heart rate and pulse. These effects lead to enhanced alertness while decreasing drowsiness and general fatigue. Caffeine is also a diuretic, and it stimulates vasconstriction. Vasconstriction can help relieve vascular headaches, those caused by dilation of the blood vessels in the head. Caffeine also may increase muscular capacity and coordination. The drug is broken down and excreted from the body within a few hours.

The precise amount of caffeine necessary to produce effects varies from person to person depending on body size and degree of tolerance to caffeine. It takes less than an hour for caffeine to begin affecting the body and a mild dose wears off in three to four hours. Consumption of caffeine does not eliminate the need for sleep; it only temporarily reduces the sensation of being tired throughout the day. With these effects, caffeine is an ergogenic, increasing the capacity for mental or physical labor.

Caffeine relaxes the internal anal sphincter muscles and thus should be avoided by those with fecal incontinence. Because caffeine is primarily an antagonist of the central nervous system's receptors for the neurotransmitter adenosine, the bodies of individuals who regularly consume caffeine adapt to the continual presence of the drug by substantially increasing the number of adenosine receptors in the central nervous system. This increase in the number of the adenosine receptors makes the body much more sensitive to adenosine, with two primary consequences. First, the stimulatory effects of caffeine are substantially reduced, a phenomenon known as a tolerance adaptation. Second, because these adaptive responses to caffeine make individuals much more sensitive to adenosine, a reduction in caffeine intake will effectively increase the normal physiological effects of adenosine, resulting in unwelcome withdrawal symptoms in tolerant users.

Several large studies have shown that caffeine intake is associated with a reduced risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD) in men, but studies in women have been inconclusive. The mechanism by which caffeine affects PD remains a mystery. In animal models, researchers have shown that caffeine can prevent the loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells seen in Parkinson's disease, but researchers still do not know how this occurs.

An array of studies found that caffeine could have nootropic effects, inducing certain changes in memory and learning. Researchers have found that long-term consumption of low dose caffeine slowed hippocampus-dependent learning and impaired long-term memory in mice. Caffeine consumption for 4 weeks also significantly reduced hippocampal neurogenesis compared to controls during the experiment. The conclusion was that long-term consumption of caffeine could inhibit hippocampus-dependent learning and memory partially through inhibition of hippocampal neurogenesis.

As of what the passages have said, caffeine is probably one of the most healthiest drugs to be used but definitely not to be abused.


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