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The Effects Of Caffeine Essay

1236 words - 5 pages

The Effects of Caffeine
Works Cited Not Included
Caffeine has played a central role in many cultures. Coffee was first
discovered over 1000 years ago, and approximately 75% of Americans
drink coffee on a regular basis. Despite the thousand years that have
passed, there is still controversy surrounding the biological effects
of coffee and it's primary active ingredient, caffeine. Caffeine is
the most widely used stimulant drug in the world, usually ingested in
the form of coffee, tea, soft-drinks, and chocolate. (Honig) Caffeine
is derived from a bean or from tea leaves and can be found in the
seeds or fruits of more then 60 species worldwide.(American Academy)
Caffeine has numerous effects and it is disputed whether caffeine is
overall beneficial or harmful.

Caffeine is a naturally occurring xanthine (precursor to uric acid
often found in urine) used as a central nervous system (CNS) and
respiratory stimulant, or as a mild diuretic. Other xanthine
derivatives include the bronchodilator theophylline and theobromine, a
compound found in cocoa and chocolate. Caffeine is a mild, but direct
stimulant at all levels of the CNS that quickens the heart and
cardiovascular system as well. The related xanthine, theophylline,
share these characteristics and are used in the treatment of pulmonary
disease. Both caffeine and theophylline are CNS stimulants, with
theophylline exerting more dramatic effects than caffeine at higher
concentrations. Caffeine also stimulates the medullary respiratory
center and relaxes bronchial smooth muscle. Caffeine stimulates
voluntary muscle and gastric acid secretion, increases renal blood
flow. Heidegger enveloped simonou170's marxism .

While clinical responses of Caffeine are widely understood the
cellular basis is not well known. (Coffee House)"Currently, it is
believed that xanthines act as adenosine-receptor antagonists.
Adenosine acts as an autocoid, and virtually every cell contains
adenosine receptors within the plasma membrane. Adenosine exerts
complex actions. It inhibits the release of neurotransmitters from
presynaptic sites but works in concert with norepinephrine or
angiotensin to augment their actions. Antagonism of adenosine
receptors by caffeine would appear to promote neurotransmitter
release."(Coffee House) In other words, the molecular structure of the
caffeine molecule is similar to that of adenosine. *

This similarity results in the caffeine molecule binding to the nerve
cell membrane. Therefore, the signal to stop producing adenosine that
would have been sent by the adenosine becomes blocked, which results
in a surplus of adenosine and explains the stimulatory effects of

Decades of research and centuries of human consumption...

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