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Monday, November 09, 2009

Caffeine Health Effects – A Psychoactive Drug

by Kevin Pederson


Caffeine is a stimulating chemical that occurs naturally and is used in beverages like coffee and foods like chocolate. Caffeine, the most commonly found psychoactive drug, is consumed regularly by about 80% of the world’s population.

Since caffeine is such a potent psychoactive drug, its effects are under constant observation.

Every year, many studies are conducted to find the real health effects of caffeine. Whether or not caffeine has any health benefits, is still unclear. However, it is known that this substance is addictive and commonly used in many beverages, including the much popular soft drinks.

Caffeine is absorbed by the blood stream almost as soon as it is consumed. It takes our body about 30-40 minutes to completely absorb caffeine. After the initial 30-40 minutes, its effects can be experienced the most.

However, soon after, in about three hours, the psychoactive affects begin to diminish.

Caffeine, in its purest form, is a white crystalline substance which is bitter to taste. It is chemically known as 1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine. From various studies, it has been proved that caffeine in fact has a strong effect on the cerebral vascular system, as well as the mood and stamina of a person. Caffeine may also have some effect on digestion and the activity of the gastric system as well as the colon (usus besar).

Caffeine occurs naturally in the fruits, leaves and seeds of a variety of plants. Coffee, tea and cocoa beans make up for a major part of the caffeine consumption of an average person. Sometimes, caffeine, because of its stimulating effects, is added artificially to various foods.
The psychoactive stimulation of the drug is so significant that a lot of times, people are not able to function without their first cup of coffee. There may be a feeling of sleepiness and lethargy until the first cup of coffee in the morning. While some people consume coffee simply for the pleasure of its rich taste and aroma, there are many others for whom coffee is much more than a simple beverage.

Research has provided compelling evidence of the fact that coffee is an addictive substance. However, there is a growing body of equally compelling evidence which states that caffeine is in fact not addictive. However, there is no denying that for people who have a habit of consuming large amounts of coffee, omitting it from their diet is a very difficult proposition. There are several withdrawal symptoms when a person tries to refrain from having coffee. The withdrawal symptoms may range from headaches and nausea to difficulty in concentration and depression.

There have been studies which are trying to link consumption of caffeine as a part of high risk lifestyle. Caffeine consumption has begun to be viewed as an impediment to good health. There may be risks of developing heart diseases associated with consumption of caffeine. Evidence also suggests that a heavy intake of caffeine may cause accelerated bone loss, causing irreversible damage and making a person prone to diseases like arthritis.

References:

Caffeine: The Most Popular Stimulant (Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs. Series 1), Richard M. Gilbert

2 comments:

ummufarhan said...

Salam, nice sharing..akak salah seorang penggemar kopi selepas bersalin. Sebelum mengandung tak minat sangat. masa mengandung tak minum langsung. tapi sekarang selalu pekena kopi:-). Kalau akak minum kopi, selalunya tak menyebabkan susah tido, tetap mengantuk dan tido seperti biasa. Ada juga kajian mengatakan kopi (caffeine) baik untuk kesihatan. Apapun yang kita makan, biarlah bersederhana,makan apapun, kalau berlebihan akan memudaratkan kesihatan.

miss BazLa' said...

;)

Salam,

Yeah, withdrawal symptoms, had felt it...So, to not get withdrawal symptoms, drink coffee back; but have to sure others are in balanced...

Malam2 minum susu =P

Salam

 

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