Caffeine: A Natural Stimulant and Cognitive Enhancer
Caffeine is a natural compound that is bitter in taste and occurs in more than 60 plants in total which include tea leaves, coffee beans, cacao pods with which chocolates are formed, and kola nuts which are employed for the flavoring of cold drinks, etc. It is also included in sodas and energy drinks by the manufacturers.
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Caffeine is consumed very commonly and is also referred to as a psychostimulant. There are also some man-made caffeine or synthetic caffeine which are added to some of the products such as drinks, foods, and medicines, for example, chewing gums, pain relievers, and cold medicines.
In the year 2019, a survey was conducted by a university that found that people who consume caffeine usually take an average of about 173 milligrams per day (mg/day). As per various studies, it is a moderate intake, and it promotes various health-related benefits like lessening the risk of liver problems, and brain conditions as well as reduces the risks of various forms of cancer, nevertheless the excess consumption of caffeine can result into adverse impact on the body too.
Besides, caffeine also activates the Central Nervous System (CNS) as because it acts as a stimulant for the body. It helps in improving focus and concentration and boosts energy levels.
In a review paper of existing literature in the year 2019, it was found that a moderate amount of caffeine can help fight against liver cancer. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry published a study in the year 2013 stating that drinking 2-4 cups of coffee diminishes the risk of self-harm in adults.
In the journal of Nature, it was found that caffeine enhances memory power for a longer duration whereas other studies stated that it helps in preventing the diseases like Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes and strengthens the Deoxyribonucleic acid.
It was identified in a 2015 review that more than 400 mg can lead to unwanted side effects in the human body. The high dose of caffeine can lead to harmful effects on the body such as anxiety, sleeping problems, tremors, agitation, etc. When a person faces caffeine withdrawal, these side effects are also seen in their body.
The study advocated that caffeine consumption of more than 300mg during pregnancy can risk the baby. A very latest survey by seventeen studies with more than 223, 617 participants indicated that drinking more than 4 cups during the day may raise the probability of heart attacks in men.
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The effect of caffeine on the body may vary from person to person. Individuals who are prone to anxiety, are suspected of anxiety-increasing effects during consumption of caffeine. People who smoke on regular basis can metabolise caffeine easily as compared to people who don’t smoke. Whereas caffeine metabolism in children, pregnant women, and people with liver problems is at a slower rate.
The effects of caffeine depend on the lifestyle factors and genetic characteristics of individuals stated by an associate professor of the department of nutrition at Harvard school of public health.
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