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Caffeine and health related issues

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Introduction

Caffeine is one of the most comprehensively studied ingredients in the food supply. (7) We consume caffeine from variety of sources - primarily coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, some soft drinks, and both prescription and non-prescription drugs. Caffeine Molecule Caffeine can be found in many drinks, food and drugs. The following items all contain various amounts of caffeine. (8) Drinks Item Item Size Caffeine Content (mg) Coffee 150 ml (5oz) 60-150 Coffee, decaf 150 ml (5 oz) 2-5 Tea 150 ml (5 oz) 40-80 Hot Cocoa 150 ml (5 oz) 1-8 Chocolate Milk 225 ml 2-7 Jolt Cola 12 oz 71 Josta 12 oz 58 Mountain Dew 12 oz 54 Surge 12 oz 51 Tab 12 oz 47 Diet Coca Cola 12 oz 46 Coca Cola 12 oz 46 Tab 12 oz 46 RC Cola 12 oz 43 Dr. Pepper 12 oz 41 Mr. Pibb 12 oz 41 Pepsi Cola 12 oz 38 Cherry Coca Cola 8 oz 31 7-Up 12 oz 0 Mug Root Beer 12 oz 0 Sprite 12 oz 0 Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and belongs to the xanthine chemical group. It enters the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine, where it takes about 15 - 45 minutes to reach peak level. The level of caffeine in the blood reaching the brain determines the potency of its effects on the body. Usually the central nervous system is maximally stimulated within 30 - 60 minutes. (5) Caffeine is metabolised by the liver and eventually its metabolites are excreted in urine, although can be secreted in saliva, semen, and breast milk. ...read more.

Middle

Caffeine is added both for its specific ability to relieve headache, including that caused by caffeine withdrawal, and for its ability to help analgesics do their work better. The ability of caffeine to stimulate breathing is used in the treatment of apnoea (cessation of breathing) in newborn babies, and as an antidote against the depression of breathing by overdose of heroin and other opiate drugs. More controversial therapeutic uses of caffeine are theses: to kill skin funguses; to improve sperm mobility; to enhance the toxic effects of chemicals used in cancer therapy; and to facilitate the production of seizures during electroconvulsive therapy. (6) All these factors put together create a very interesting study of the chemical, caffeine. The effects of caffeine, being so diverse, made me think that it would be interesting to see how caffeine would effect my blood pressure, pulse rate and reflex action. I believe that the more caffeine that is consumed the more it will increase the pulse rate, which means the oxygen and glucose goes to create energy reaching the muscles quicker. For this to happen my pulse rate and blood pressure has to rise, therefore the caffeine will increase the rate of respiration, which will prepare the muscles ready for contractions. The more caffeine I will consume the shorter the reflex action will be and I will be able to respond to a stimulus faster. The reflex action will decrease because of the increase of speed of neurotransmitters in the body. Method 1. Before the experiment, carry out the reflex action with the 1/2 meter ruler a couple of times. ...read more.

Conclusion

The blood pressure after consuming caffeine fell, because less effort is needed to pump blood. All of these changes vary considerably among people and may depend upon the individual's sensitivity to the caffeine, their metabolism, or upon whether the consumer habitually uses or rarely uses caffeine. Evaluation My overall results were quite good. There still might be the possibility that they are not quite perfect. For example, to get better results I would have done the experiment more times to get a much better average. Thoughts or laughter can alter the pulse rate, so maybe getting myself to concentrate and keep my thoughts or emotions from affecting the results. The pressure of getting the readings and results done in a set of time can increase adrenalin levels, which would increase pulse rate. The varying presence of food in my stomach could alter the absorption of the caffeine into blood stream. I may have got better at catching the ruler by the process of repetition (practice). The measuring of the point on the ruler where I caught it is not really very accurate. To improve my results it may be better for all the participants to refrain from having any caffeine for a set period before the experiment (for example 12 hrs). It would be better to conduct the experiment in a more relaxed environment with no pressure or stress and no noise. All these things can affect the overall results. Taking all these factors into account the results obtained gave a satisfactory connection between blood pressure, pulse rate, reflex action and amount of caffeine consumed. ...read more.

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