Essay about The Effects of Caffeine

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The Effects of Caffeine
Works Cited Not Included Caffeine has played a central role in many cultures. Coffee was first discovered over 1000 years ago, and approximately 75% of Americans drink coffee on a regular basis. Despite the thousand years that have passed, there is still controversy surrounding the biological effects of coffee and it's primary active ingredient, caffeine. Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant drug in the world, usually ingested in the form of coffee, tea, soft-drinks, and chocolate. (Honig) Caffeine is derived from a bean or from tea leaves and can be found in the seeds or
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While clinical responses of Caffeine are widely understood the cellular basis is not well known. (Coffee House)"Currently, it is believed that xanthines act as adenosine-receptor antagonists. Adenosine acts as an autocoid, and virtually every cell contains adenosine receptors within the plasma membrane. Adenosine exerts complex actions. It inhibits the release of neurotransmitters from presynaptic sites but works in concert with norepinephrine or angiotensin to augment their actions. Antagonism of adenosine receptors by caffeine would appear to promote neurotransmitter release."(Coffee House) In other words, the molecular structure of the caffeine molecule is similar to that of adenosine. *

This similarity results in the caffeine molecule binding to the nerve cell membrane. Therefore, the signal to stop producing adenosine that would have been sent by the adenosine becomes blocked, which results in a surplus of adenosine and explains the stimulatory effects of caffeine.

Decades of research and centuries of human consumption suggest the relative safety of caffeine. According to the National Library of Medicine, more than 19, 000 scientific studies to date have been conducted on caffeine, and the US Food and Drug Administration still considers caffeine to be "Generally Recognized as Safe." A study at the University of California showed that the average daily
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