The effect of caffeine on heart rate

Topics: Caffeine, Coffee, Heart Pages: 2 (468 words) Published: November 13, 2013
To investigate the effect on caffeine on heart rate of water fleas and to understand the risk of high level consumption of caffeine to the health of the human circulatory system and nervous system.


Diagram 1: Chemical structure of caffeine
Image source:
The images above show the chemical structure of caffeine which has a chemical formula of C8H10N4O2. Caffeine was named by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) as 1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2, 6(3H, 7H)-dione. Caffeine is also widely known by several other chemical names which include 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, trimethylxanthine, methyltheobromine, 7-methyltheophylline, theine, mateine, and guaranine. Caffeine is identified as a bitter, odourless, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid which is a psychoactive stimulant drug.  Caffeine is found in the beans, leaves and fruits of some plant in various quantities. It is most commonly found in the beans of coffee plants and leaves of tea bush. Caffeine was originally used as natural pesticide that paralyses and kills certain insects feeding on the plants. However, scientists have discovered that caffeine causes an effect on the central nervous system (CNS) whereby it acts as a stimulant in the human body.

Diagram 2: Source of caffeine from the extraction of coffee beans Image source:

Caffeine is considered as a drug that stimulates the body and causes an increased amount of stimulatory neurotransmitter to be released. This temporarily reduces the sensation of being tired throughout the day and increases alertness. At high level of caffeine consumption, it can and has been linked to restlessness, anxiety and insomnia which can cause raised stress and blood pressure and thus, leading to hypertension. This will then lead to a more severe health problem such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). The following...
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