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Dr. Kumar Pati, CEO, Best Nutrition, Hayward, CA  USA

Caffeine was initially discovered in 1820 by German chemist, Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, and named kaffein.  Caffeine anhydrous is essentially the dehydrated form of caffeine, thus removing the water molecule from the equation.  The properties are identical to caffeine in its natural form, which functions as a psychoactive stimulant drug scientifically classified as a trimethylxanthine.  This chemical compound is found in a wide range of beans leaves, and even fruits of some plants to aid as a defense mechanism against pesticides.   Small dosages of caffeine can result in paralysis and death to insects.


To most people caffeine is most commonly used to battle the desire to sleep and rising alertness, as it acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system.  90% of adults, in North America, consume caffeine in the form of coffee, tea, soft drinks, or energy drinks.   Small amounts of caffeine occur naturally in cocoa, yerba mate and guarana berry.  In recent years, caffeinated herbal extracts have been used in drinks to promote a healthier substitute of caffeine.


Athletes are shown to experience increase in endurance when consuming caffeine, and even more so for those who don’t normally incorporate it in their diet.  Caffeine’s effective boost in energy levels has encouraged the nutraceutical industry to incorporate this chemical in the anhydrous form in diet pills.  Many years of research has concluded it to be a very effective weight loss supplement by increasing metabolic rates up to 6%.   Caffeine has been shown to have an effect on the adenosine receptors, which are linked to anxiety and panic disorders.  Some individuals are genetically prone to exhibit higher levels of anxiety in association with caffeine intake.  Similarly, it may contribute to nervousness and a reduction in fine motor coordination.


Caffeine is generally recognized as a safe food substance, but can be addictive.  Individuals may experience headaches upon withdrawal.  Daily dosages of caffeine should be limited to 200-300 milligrams to avoid “caffeine jitters”, and should not be consumed 4 hours before bedtime.


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