Essay Caffeine

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Caffeine

Caffeine is the most-widely consumed psychoactive substance by human beings throughout the world (Reid, 2005).
This report will detail its natural origins, chemical structure (as well as those of similar substances), and the methods and dosages in which it is rendered into its usable form. Additionally, this report will detail caffeine's various biological pathways within the human body, including access to the brain and various neurotransmitter pathways.

Caffeine is a chemical that occurs naturally in over 100 plant species throughout the world (Steffen, 2000). Perhaps the most widely recognized of these plants is the coffee tree, whose small seed (commonly referred to as a
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The term "alkaloid" refers to compounds that can be extracted from plants, and whose salts can be crystallized. Other alkaloids include cocaine, serotonin, and the hallucinogenic compound, LSD. A purine is a base compound, consisting of a six-membered and five-membered nitrogen containing ring fused together; other examples of purines include adenine and guanine, two bases found in human DNA (Angstadt, 1997). The term "methylated" refers to the fact that hydrogen atoms upon the compound have been replaced with a methyl (CH3) compound (Methylation,
2005).[See figure 3]

Caffeine is often served within hot beverages, such as coffee or tea. In the case of the latter, the coffee bean is ground up into a coarse powder, which is used as a filtrate for hot water (Weinberg and Bealer, 2001). Hot water can also be passed through tea leaves. At hot temperatures, such as those found within serving temperatures of coffee and tea, provide for the complete solubility (Weinberg and Bealer,
2001). Caffeine can also be found in solid food substances such as chocolate and gurana fudge (Steffen, 2000).Certain soft drinks and so-called "energy" drinks also contain caffeine additives (Reid, 2005). All of the above substances are ingested orally. The percentage of caffeine in the above substances varies. In

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