The Physiological Effects of Caffeine

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Caffeine, probably the most widely used drug, is a potent pharmacological and psychotropic agent. The white, bitter-tasting, crystalline substance was first isolated from coffee in 1820. The origins of the words, caffeine and coffee, reflect the spread of the beverage into Europe via Arabia and Turkey form North-East Africa, where coffee trees were cultivated in the 6th century. Coffee began to be popular in Europe in the 17th century, and plantation had been established in Indonesia and the West Indies by the 18th century. Nowadays, it is a regular component of the diet for most people. Caffeine is considered as a cheap drug that could be found in many nature sources such as tea, chocolate, and cocoa. What happen to the caffeine when it is ingested, and what are its consequences? In addressing these questions, there have been many contributors spent much time to prove that caffeine has been shown to behave as an adenosine antagonist to stimulate motor activity, mood and behavior. This antagonist behavior is the basis for an increase in cholinergic and dopaminergic behavior after caffeine intake. Beside of that, the acute administration of caffeine has been reported by several laboratories to elevate brain level of serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA). This increase of serotonin may be associated with the improvement in good mood. Recent studies also show the higher caffeine intake to a lower suicide risk. In this paper, I will investigate the caffeine at a biochemical level and relate its effects on physiological behavior of human with information from the recent research. For many years, the mechanism of caffeine was not yet clear. However, it was thought that the mechanism involves the re... ... middle of paper ... ...arches about caffeine in order to provide the benefits to the human health. Reference Garcia, R. 1994. The cardiovascular effects of caffeine. In Caffeine, Coffee, and Health, edited by S. Garattini. NewYork: Raven. Gilbert, R. M. 1998. Caffeine, the Most Popular Stimulant. New York: Chelsea House. Glass, R. M. 1995. Caffeine dependence: What are the implication? Journal of the Medical Association 272:1065-1066. Kaplan, G., D. J. Greenblatt, M.A.Kent, and M.M. Cotreau-Bibbo. 1996. Caffeine treatment and withdrawal in mice: Relationships between dosage, concentrations, locomotor activity and A1 adenosine receptor binding. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 266:1563-1573. Phillis, John W. 1989. Caffeine and premenstrual syndrome. American Journal of Public Health. WWW1: Caffeine home page

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