Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Caffeine - The World's Most Popular Drug

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is an alkaloid that acts as a stimulant drug. In humans it stimulates the central nervous system and helps to keep us alert. Although toxic in high doses and the most widely consumed psychoactive drug it is legal and unregulated. Caffeine appears to have many positive health benefits, and the negative effects seem to be limited.

Sources of Caffeine

There are many sources of caffeine found in seeds, leaves and beans of plants. Humans mainly consume caffeine from coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks.

Positive Health Effects of Caffeine

There is a number of positive health effects associated with caffeine consumption.
  • Increased alertness and focus
  • Elevate heart rate
  • Elevate metabolic rate
  • Reduced physical fatigue
  • Helps to break down fatty acids
  • Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Helps to prevent Parkinson’s disease
  • Improves liver function
  • Helps to improve memory

Negative Health Effects of Caffeine

Although there are a number of positive health effects that can be experienced from caffeine consumption, excessive consumption can lead to some negative effects.
·         Can develop caffeine dependence
·         Can effect sleep cycles
·         Can lead to panic attacks in some people
·         Headaches
·         Can lead to depression

Overall the positive aspects of caffeine consumption outweigh the negative effects and as long as we keep from exceeding around 250mg of caffeine a day we should be fine.

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