Caffeine is a methylxanthine alkaloid found in the seeds, nuts, or leaves of a number of plants native to South America and East Asia. More specifically caffeine can be found in foods such as coffee, tea, and chocolate. It exists an odorless white powder or white glistening needles, usually melted together. Caffeine has a bitter taste. It forms solutions in water, which are neutral to litmus. When heated to decomposition, caffeine emits toxic fumes of nitrogen oxides.
To a nerve cell, caffeine looks like adenosine that causes drowsiness by slowing down nerve cell activity. Both molecules are water and fat soluble so they easily cross the blood-brain barrier. Caffeine binds to the adenosine receptor, however, it does not slow down the cell(s) activity like adenosine would. So the cell cannot see adenosine anymore because caffeine is taking up all the receptors adenosine binds to. Therefore instead of slowing down because of the adenosine level, the cells speed up. Caffeine also causes the brain’s blood vessels to constrict, because it blocks adenosine’s ability to open them up. Caffeine stimulates the brain like amphetamines, so the following overdose symptoms are similar: nervousness, headache, and rapid heartbeat. In the liver, caffeine is broken down into three molecules. They include theobromine, which increases oxygen and nutrients to the brain; paraxanthine, which improves athletic performance by releasing fat to fuel muscles; and theophylline, which increases heart rate and force of contraction.
Photo credit http://www.compoundchem.com/2014/07/02/the-chemistry-of-gunp
#chemistry #ilovechemistry #chemist #lifeischemistry #chemistryisthebest #caffiene #stimulant #diuretic #theobromine #paraxanthine #theophylline #coffee #tea #chocolate #chemistryisdelicious #chemistryisfun #chemistryislife #chemistryinforms #chemistryisbeautiful #chemistryisboss #chemistryiscool #chemistryisawesome #chemistryrocks #science #scientist