Caffeine is an integrated component of coffee, tea, and beans. Consumed with every intake of soft drink and energy drinks, this xanthine alkaloid is a stimulant. It is also a mild diuretic and triggers addiction. Here's verything about its negative effects on the body.
Caffeine was first discovered in 1819 by Friedrich Ferdinand Runge, a German chemist. He discovered the chemical compound that was an addiction trigger due to the presence of alkaloid stimulants formed in the presence of theophylline, theobromine, and polyphenols.
It is found naturally in the leaves and fruit of certain plants. Its presence in the plant acts like a pesticide. It is commonly consumed via leaves of tea and kola nut foods and beverages. On consumption, it stimulates the central nervous system. The result is restored wakefulness.
Caffeine works as a competitive inhibitor triggering the secretion of cAMP-phosphodiesterase enzyme that converts to cyclic AMP. This cycle activates the secretion of protein kinase A, leading to phosphorylation and subsequently, glucose synthesis.
The resultant formation of amphetamine and methamphetamine increases gastric acid secretion and heart rate. During the metabolizing process, the formation of paraxanthine releases fatty acids and glycerol into the blood stream, while theophylline increases heart rate.
Caffeine is an integrated ingredient within popular energy drinks. When in 1827, 'theine' was isolated from tea, it was proved to be similar to caffeine. In the following century, Hermann Emil Fischer earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1902, for the 'complete synthesis' of caffeine.
Alternately, it is now synthesized from malonic acid and dimethylurea. Each year, more than 120,000 tons of caffeine is consumed the world over. The metabolic stimulant is extensively used to:
Restore concentration and alertness levels;
Dispel weakness arising out of drowsiness;
Improve body coordination.
Caffeine metabolizes within the liver. It takes on the form of metabolites such as theophylline, paraxanthine, and theobromine. It is absorbed by the stomach and quickly ingested.
The time taken by the body to eliminate the content of caffeine depends largely on the age of the person and the enzyme level in the liver to metabolize the same. With its regular intake, the 'half-life' is greatly reduced, affecting metabolism. The result is increased lipolysis, dilation of blood vessels, and increase in urine volume.
Caffeine is an antagonist with regards to the brain's adenosine receptors. The reaction is pretty similar to that of alcohol. The alkaloid is not contained easily and quickly crosses the blood-brain system. It binds adenosine receptors, without activation.
Adenosine is an energy metabolism, which when acted upon manifests in the form of metabolic stress, ischemia, and anoxia. Neural activity is suppressed as a result of desired alertness. Its intake impairs short-term memory and subsequently leads to 'tip of the tongue' situations.
Its consumption does not, in any way eliminate sleep. What it does is temporarily energize the body and reduce tiredness. As an ergogenic, it increases labor capacity, but takes a toll on metabolism. With regular intake, the body becomes sensitive to adenosine, reducing the effect of the drug, and triggering withdrawal symptoms in the absence of it.
Caffeine withdrawals manifest in the form of headache, nausea, fatigue, depression, and drowsiness. Consumption by pregnant women increases miscarriage risk.
Overconsumption of the drug generates a condition called caffeinism. This condition manifests in the form of nervousness, social anxiety, irritability, muscle twitching, headaches, insomnia, peptic ulcers, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Caffeine intoxication brings on increased urination, jarred speech, psychomotor agitation, disorientation, and breakdown of tissues in and around the skeletal muscle. The intoxication has even resulted in death, that is, the result of ventricular fibrillation within the cardiovascular system.
Caffeine extraction is achieved with the use of solvents like benzene, dichloromethane, chloroform, and trichloroethylene. Through the water extraction method, the soaked coffee beans are passed through what is referred to as 'activated charcoal', to eliminate its content.
The supercritical carbon dioxide solvent is also extensively used to decaffeinate beans. These processes do not in any way hamper the taste or flavor of the coffee, while reducing the risk factors associated with caffeine intake.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.