Coffee and Health Benefits

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Coffee and Positive Health Benefits
Emily Kellogg
COM 220
May 18, 2010

Coffee is an excellent source of health and energy for many consumers worldwide. Coffee has been criticized for being solely a product of caffeine, but coffee has proven healthier than one would think with regard to its ability to fight diseases and promote longevity by protecting body cells, the liver, the colon, and the heart. Ninety percent of Americans consume caffeine every day (Brian, 2000). For those who once sacrificed their coffee drinking ways, the physical and mental advantages of coffee consumption are healthy and exciting. The caffeine, in coffee has many effects on the body. Caffeine has a medical name of trimethylxanthine and a chemical formula of C8H10N4O2. In plain form, it is a white crystalized powder that has a bitter taste. People in the medical field use this substance as a heart stimulant and at times, a mild diuretic. In coffee or teas, the caffeine is used more recreationally as an energy booster. Caffeine is very addictive and acts in similar ways to drugs such as amphetamines, heroine, and cocaine. Although caffeine is much milder than these drugs, they manipulate similar channels of the brain resulting in their highly addictive qualities (Brian, 2000). For example, caffeine and adenosine are drugs that act inside the body after consumption. Specifically, the brain creates adenosine so that the nerve cells can slow down and decrease activity. This initiates drowsiness, oxygen absorption during sleep, and causes dilated blood vessels. Interestingly to a nerve cell, caffeine, and adenosine look the same. So consequently, the adenosine receptors will attract to the caffeine. The adenosine would normally slow down activity levels, but instead it is sped up. When adenosine is inactive, blood vessels will constrict, often resulting in headaches (Brian, 2000). Next, when the pituitary gland notices high activity, a” flight or fight” response occurs. Messages are passed to the hormones that control the production of adrenaline. Adrenaline production effects the body in various ways. Brian (2000) states, "Your pupils dilate. Your breathing tubes open up. Your heart beats faster. Blood vessels on the surface constrict to slow blood flow from cuts and also to increase blood flow to muscles. Blood pressure rises. Blood flow to the stomach slows. The liver releases sugar into the bloodstream for extra energy. Muscles tighten up, ready for action.” This is why many coffee consumers believe their heart rate increases, hand temperature drops, muscles tense, and they become excited. As a result, caffeine releases dopamine, a brain chemical that stimulates alertness and pleasure. Because caffeine can manipulate and trick the body into believing it is adenosine, the neurotransmitter controlling certain pleasure centers in the brain will also be deceived into allowing higher levels of pleasure to occur. Alertness is another result because the function of the adenosine, which slows down activity, is blocked. This enables the brain to keep focus and maintain high levels of function. In general, cognitive abilities, logic comprehension, memory, and higher IQ tests increased in patients who drank two or more cups of coffee a day (Methods of healing, 2010). The results of coffee increase many cavities of the mind, making it very difficult not to like results of coffee. Likewise, understanding how the body deals with coffee-caffeine intake helps to inform consumers on how it interacts with other components of the body. Several studies produce claims that coffee protects and fights against health problems. For example, body cells, the liver, the heart, the colon, the lungs, various diseases, depression, headaches, and heart burn benefit from coffee consumption. These positive results are mostly effective because coffee is a very excellent source of antioxidants. As another result, coffee consumption affects brain function. An ample connection...
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