Monday, March 29, 2021

Caffeine: Alkaloid of the methylxanthine family

The most commonly known source of caffeine is coffee and cocoa seeds. Caffeine and also theobromine are found in chocolate products and cocoa, and they are responsible for the bitterness of these products.

Caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) is a heterocyclic organic compound with a purine base called xanthine, consisted of a pyrimidine ring linked to an imidazole ring. Caffeine is known as an alkaloid of the methylxanthine family.

In its pure state, it is an intensely bitter white powder. It dissolves well in boiling water, and its solubility is increased by the addition of acids and formation of complexes, such as benzoate, citrate, and salicylate, at high temperatures (1%, w/v, at 15 °C and 10% at 60 °C). Its chemical formula is C8H10N4O2, its systematic name is 1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine.

The average cup of coffee or tea in United States is reported to contain between 40 and 150 mg of caffeine.

As a psychoactive stimulant, caffeine is known to increase alertness, elevate mood and give temporary energy boost thereby easing fatigue. It also increases the effectiveness of certain drugs, hence its use in some over-the-counter drugs for the treatment of conditions such as migraine and cluster headaches.

Too much caffeine may lead to sleep deprivation and a tendency to disregard the normal warning signals that the body is tired and needs rest.
Caffeine: Alkaloid of the methylxanthine family

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