preview

Effects of Caffeine on Human Health

Better Essays
Caffeine is one of the most well-known orally consumed drug around the world. In the 1820s, a German chemist named Friedrich Ferdinand Runge first discovered caffeine by extracting it from coffee [6]. Coffee and tea are leading sources of caffeine in the adult diet whereas caffeinated soft drinks are leading sources of caffeine in the diet of children in North America [7]. The per capita consumption level of caffeine for consumers of all ages is approximately 120mg/day [4]. The purpose of this investigation is to conclude whether the regular consumption of caffeine is beneficial to human health.
Caffeine is an alkaloid which is a pharmacologically active substance consumed by many worldwide [7]. This chemical acts as a Central Nervous System (CNS) stimulant which suppresses drowsiness and promotes alertness. It is a naturally occurring substance commonly found in tea leaves, coffee beans, cocoa beans, cola nuts and other plants species [7]. Today, caffeine plays an essential role of being necessary ingredient in beverages like coffee, soft drinks, tea, energy drinks and also in foods like chocolate. The level of caffeine composition in foods and drinks primarily depends on the plant variety of which it derives from, the serving size, brand and the brewing method.
Table1 : The table above shows the general caffeine composition in certain foods and beverages.
Caffeine is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream and it reaches its maximum concentration in the blood within 1 to 1.5 hours following ingestion [7]. The effect of caffeine on the body is largely due to the binding of it to the adenosine receptor. Adenosine is a central nervous system neuromodulator that has specific receptors [3]. Neural activity...

... middle of paper ...

...www.foodinsight.org/Content/3147/Caffeine_v8-2.pdf [Accessed: 10 Oct 2013].
[5] Miller, A. 2011. Does Caffeine Affect Dopamine Levels?. Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/454154-does-caffeine-affect-dopamine-levels/ [Accessed: 30 Oct 2013].
[6] Myaddiction.com. n.d. Caffeine History. Available at: http://www.myaddiction.com/education/articles/caffeine_timeline.html [Accessed: 30 Oct 2013].
[7] Nawrot, P., Jordan, S., Eastwood, J., Rotstein, J., Hugenholtz, A. and Feeley, M. 2003. Effects of caffeine on human health. Available at: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/10957470_Effects_of_caffeine_on_human_health/file/79e41508e60e522c2a.pdf. [Accessed: 10 Oct 2013].
[8] Reynolds, G. 2011. How Coffee Can Galvanize Your Workout. Available at: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/how-coffee-can-galvanize-your-workout/?_r=1 [Accessed: 30 Oct 2013].
Get Access