Coffee: Caffeine Presence
Caffeine is a chemical compound classified as alkaloid (a basic substance derived from plants that contains in its formula basically nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and carbon) from the group of xanthines (organic, nitrogenous substance in muscle, urine, in various organs and some plants).
Where it is found and health effects
It is found in certain plants and is used for infusion in beverages as a stimulant. It is extremely soluble in hot water, has no smell and bitter taste.
Among the group of xanthines (which include theophylline and theobromine) caffeine acts most on the central nervous system. It also acts on basal metabolism and increases the production of gastric juice.
More harmful than many realize, caffeine is a psychotropic drug (psychotropic drugs are substances that alter the functioning of the nervous system). It acts on different parts of the nervous system.
Caffeine is found in coffee, black tea, mate tea, cola drinks, guarana and chocolate. Like any alkaloid substance (eg nicotine, theobromine, theophylline, etc.) it creates pleasant reactions in the brain and, consequently, it will require other doses.
It acts on the autonomic nervous system as a stimulant, producing a state of excitement. This fact explains why coffee helps people wake up in the morning. But just as it produces this sense of energy and disposition, it can also cause greater irritability and anxiety in its users.
Caffeine can also cause physical dependence. Many people who stop consuming it may experience unpleasant symptoms due to its consumption, such as: severe headaches, nausea and stomach problems.
However, being dependent on caffeine does not necessarily mean harm to health, as many people live a perfectly healthy life with small daily doses of caffeine. However, when its consumption is high, it can seriously increase the daily stress level.
Overall, reducing caffeine intake is a very beneficial attitude when we are going through a stressful period, as, as we have seen above, it acts as a stimulant, and this inevitably raises the stress level, which in turn is the trigger of a number of diseases.
Latest studies show caffeine benefits
- Harvard School of Public Health researchers released studies in July 2013 showing that caffeine not only stimulates the central nervous system but can also act as a mild antidepressant in the body, increasing the production of certain neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine). and noradrenaline) in the brain. The researchers also concluded that the risk of suicide for adults who drank 2-4 cups of coffee a day was 50% lower compared to those who drank decaffeinated coffee or very little or no coffee. (Source: Harvard Gazette, July 2013).
IMPORTANT: The information on this page is only a source for research and school work. Therefore, they should not be used for medical advice. To do so, see a doctor for advice and proper treatment.