Images on this website are available for licensing for editorial and commercial use.

Content © Vivid Biology 2012-2018
0

Caffeine molecule

Caffeine is a stimulant drug that is isolated from seeds, nuts, leaves and beans of plants native to South America and East Asia. It blocks signals in the brain that slow down signalling. This increases heart and breathing rates, as well as providing a feeling of having more energy. It also acts as a natural pesticide killing insects and parasites.

Caffeine works as an adenosine antagonist. It blocks adenosine’s site of action in the medulla where it usually down regulates neural activity. Caffeine also increases presynaptic neurotransmitter release. Together, these properties lead to Caffeine’s stimulant effects. Caffeine can relax smooth muscle, when in the right quantities. It acts as a natural pesticide to kill certain insects making it easier to grow commercially.

Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug and has a half-life of 5 hours in the bloodstream. Finland consumes the largest amount of Caffeine in the world with the average adult consuming 400 mg per day, that’s double the UK’s average consumption!