Essay about Effects of Caffeine on Human Health
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Caffeine is one of the most well-known orally consumed drug around the world. In the 1820s, a German chemist named Friedrich Ferdinand Runge first discovered caffeine by extracting it from coffee . Coffee and tea are leading sources of caffeine in the adult diet whereas caffeinated soft drinks are leading sources of caffeine in the diet of children in North America . The per capita consumption level of caffeine for consumers of all ages is approximately 120mg/day . The purpose of this investigation is to conclude whether the regular consumption of caffeine is beneficial to human health.
Caffeine is an alkaloid which is a pharmacologically active substance consumed by many worldwide . This chemical acts as a Central Nervous…show more content…
To a nerve cell, caffeine is analogous to adenosine. Thus, the caffeine binds to the adenosine receptor and acts as adenosine-receptor antagonist. Instead of slowing down the activity of nerve cells, the presence of caffeine on the receptors would speed up the neural activity. The common effect of this reaction would be the constriction of vessels in the brain.
Figure 1: The figure above illustrates the binding of caffeine with adenosine receptor . Since the adenosine receptor is being blocked by caffeine, it has caused a sudden neuron firing in the brain and the pituitary gland sees this as an occurrence of an emergency. The gland releases hormones which indicate the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline . Adrenaline is a “flight or fight” hormone which results in the increase of heart rate, dilation of pupils and many other effects. Overall, the secretion of this hormone has the ability to heighten energy and attentiveness. Besides that, similar to drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, the consumption of caffeine increases the production of the neurotransmitter called dopamine. The manipulation of dopamine levels has ability to cause positive effect on moods and contributes conscious body motion. Studies have shown that the addictive properties of caffeine is due to its influence on increased dopamine production wellbeing in laboratory rats which are extrapolated to apply to humans as well
When you ingest and metabolize caffeine into your body, you are setting up a cause and effect situation, the result of which makes you more alert and makes it harder for you to sleep. Using this cause and effect essay, I intend to explain how this occurs in layman’s terms.
Cause – You ingest the caffeine
It is most commonly ingested via a liquid, but you may also buy caffeine pills and there are certain edible items that have caffeine in them. Taurine is commonly mistaken for caffeine; however, taurine is more likely to be excreted more quickly via the kidneys, meaning that it is not as much of a stimulant as caffeine. It is also possible and more likely that you will have a caffeine crash, whereas it is harder to have a taurine crash. A crash in this sense is when you “come down” from the stimulant drug and your body instigates the opposite of its effects, ergo making you sleepy and lethargic.
Effect number one – your body turns the caffeine into adrenaline
This is not exactly what happens, but it is the eventual effect of ingesting caffeine. The caffeine is used by the body to metabolize the calcium in the ingesting person’s blood. The calcium and caffeine stimulate the production of adrenaline.
People who have broken a bone are often encouraged to take vitamin D and calcium pills. This often results in the person getting a big “buzz” from caffeine. If the person uses too much caffeine and does not compensate with a lot of calcium pills, then the body will start to metabolize bone, giving the heavy caffeine user weaker bones.
Effect number two – the adrenaline causes the affects commonly associated with caffeine
The adrenaline in the system is the effect of the calcium and caffeine metabolization. The adrenaline then goes on to cause all of the symptoms commonly associated with caffeine ingesting. It causes people to become more alert to the point of being giddy. It may make a person’s attention span wander from tasks where the person has to concentrate. However, if that same person is tired then it is often easier to work on harder and more mundane tasks if a person is alert and chipper as oppose to tired.
The adrenaline may also cause irritability or a feeling of nervousness. A person may shake or tremble in some cases, but in most cases becomes restless. It is often harder to sleep whilst on this adrenaline high. A persons endurance levels will go up too, especially if the endurance is physical.
The cause starts with caffeine ingestion, which is metabolized into adrenaline, which is what causes the alert and restless symptoms commonly associated with caffeine ingestion. The process is rather more complex on a biochemical level, but that is the basic result. Things such as amphetamines are harder to remove from the system and have a more potent effect of a person’s biochemistry and homeostasis. Sadly, amphetamines often cause a permanent shift in a person’s biochemistry to the point where they need high doses of stimulants in order to function with day-to-day tasks.