DailyDirt: This Is Your Brain On Caffeine. Any Questions?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Making the perfect cup of coffee is an experiment that’s been studied for decades — if not for hundreds of years since coffee was first brewed in the 1300s. It’s not an exact science yet, but studies on coffee drinking seem to point to it being mostly beneficial. Here are just a few interesting links for coffee lovers out there.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: This Is Your Brain On Caffeine. Any Questions?”

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Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Are Drugs Bad?

Caffeine is a drug. Ethanol is a drug. Nicotine is a drug. Cannabis is a drug.

Want a more precise term than ?drug?? How about ?psychoactive substance??

Some people don?t like the thought of imbibing drugs for pleasure. A lot of these same people don?t like to see ethanol and nicotine lumped in with other drugs.

Also I?ve seen repeated studies try to find something bad about caffeine?even trying to link it with cancer. So far, none of the charges have stuck.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Are Drugs Bad?

I would call it a chemical compound, is it bad?

Could be, it depends on a lot of things, like genetic makeup of the subject exposed to it, mean of exposure(oral, nasal, injected, absorbed, etc), dose, lenght of exposure, production of the substance that may not be entirely pure and may have contaminants(e.g. Ontario Minamata disease, which used the Castner?Kellner process which is a mercury cell that despite recycling the mercury still contaminates the products and by-products of the process.

Now it is a grave threat to humans?
I don’t think so, is not like caffeine is produced with dangerous chemicals that can contaminate it, and people have been using it for almost a thousand years without mass dying or severe consequences, different from heavy metals like lead that was used by VIP’s in antiguity for cosmectics or mercury that a Chinese imperor drank to be immortal or something and died.

But I am glad that we are almost at the point where sensors for almost everything are just around the corner, than we will be to create huge databases of information to see what is what, if governments don’t screw it up, I don’t know how they will do it, but I am certain someone somewhere will find a way to use this to screw others and it will be a threat to privacy, then we will need rules to guide us to how we collect and interact with such data, data that we need to keep us safe but that it can also be misused.

But I digress, when I encounter a chemical, I look at what it does, its toxicity, how it is produced and how it could interact with others chemicals, this information is not easy to come by though, I would love to see a public database of all known chemical reactions where I could just type the inCh, SMILE or popular name and see what it happens.

It took me months to realize that gases from burning biomass can be turned into gypsum and other useful substances so that toxic “sulfur” would be transformed into something inert, still this is just the tip of an iceberg.

Imagine using Hydrogen sulfide as a precursor for another substance or substances. That smelly gas can be used to produce elemental sulfur and hydrogen or be transformed into another substance that uses hydrogen and sulfur.

Can you imagine when you can take samples from your air, water and see the substances that are in it, and query a database about possible chem reactions? which can be influenced by temperature, PH, pressure and some other factors, and you can transform “toxic” elements into useful things for yourself?

This is one initiative trying to sense the enviroment we live in.

That is the time when we transform ourselves as a group from parasites to a symbiotic relationship with our environment I believe.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: caffeine factoid...

You hit the chemical databases online didn’t you?

Here for your entertainment, see the funny named compounds that exist from Arsole to Draculin


Check with the IUPAC, CAS number, ATC Code, PubChem, DrugBank, ChemSpider, UNII, KEGG, ChEBI or ChEMBL databases

You learn more factoids about the compounds you are looking for.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: caffeine factoid...

Ummm…. That’s not right at all about the caffeine LD50.

So LD50 in mice for Caffeine is 192 mg/Kg(when ingested orally) in rats.(Just wait for it.) In humans LD50 is considered 150-200 mg/Kg depending on sensitivities and what not. So we take an average human(180 lbs, convert to Kilograms 180/2.2 = 81.81repeating. Take that number and multily by the mean of the LD50(I say is 175 mg/Kg) = 14.318repeating Grams is the LD50.

For cocaine it is roughly guessimated(All sites never broke past 1.5G so I decided to use this number) to be 1.2-1.5 Grams for a human. So in other words cocaine is a significant figure more lethal than cocaine.

So instead we’ll use a different method. We can assume that a ratio of LD50s when compared to in Rats will produce a ratio that should represent the approximate ratio in humans.

Therefore the LD50 of caffeine for rats is 260 mg/Kg(Injected into cavern) and for cocaine it is 92mg/Kg(Injected into cavern.) This produces an approximate ratio of cocaine being 3 times more lethal than caffeine, which is supported above.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: caffeine factoid...

Here some more resources for ya.


methylbenzoylecgonine, benzoylmethylecgonine, ecgonine methyl ester benzoate, 2b-Carbomethoxy −3b-benzoyloxy tropane






Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: caffeine factoid...

7.2 Toxicity

7.2.1 Human data Adults

Lethal doses are estimated at 0.5 to
1.3 grams per day by mouth; 0.05 to 5 grams
per day by the nasal route, 0.02 grams of
cocaine by the parenteral route (Baschard &
Richard, 1984; Haddad & Winchester, 1990;
Burnat & Le Brumant-Payen, 1992).
Cocaine addicts can tolerate doses up to 5
grams per day.
Toxic effects can be manifest with plasma
concentrations equal to or above 0.50 mg per
litre; deaths have been reported with
concentrations of 1 mg per litre (Clarke,
1986). Children

No data.

7.2.2 Relevant animal data

The LD50 for the rabbit is 15 mg per kilogram
by the intravenous route, and 50 mg per kilogram by
the nasal route; the intravenous LD50 for the rat is
17.5 mg per kilogram (Budavari, 1989).

7.2.3 Relevant in vitro data

Experiments on animal heart tissue show a
direct, reversible, depressant effect of cocaine on
ventricular myocardium (Chokshi et al., 1989).
Experiments on rats prove that alcohol potentiates the
toxic effects of cocaine (Nahas et al., 1992).

INCHEM: Cocaine – 7.2 Toxicity

Some doctors estimate that 1.2 grams of cocaine, when used orally, and 750-800 milligrams, when used intravenously or by inhaling, is fatal. It is unknown how much cocaine is fatal when sniffed. (Source: Cocaine Vraagbaak, Federatie van Instellingen voor Alcohol en Drugs, 1986). A user sniffs 0.1-0.2 grams of cocaine, i.e., 2-4 lines a night.

The average lethal dose of intravenous use of cocaine is about 500 milligrams. That doesn’t mean, however that a smaller dose is safe. An estimated lethal dose when sniffing cocaine is unknown. These doses are estimates.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Of all the ways

just wait ’til the politicians decide to outlaw coffee and nicotine in order to save us from ourselves(you see this happening already with the nicotine in certain places). then you may actually see this scenario you describe. undoubtedly that cup of coffee or pack of smokes you’re being held up for would be worth multiples more in the black-market dynamic.

Ninja (profile) says:

Even though people have been drinking coffee for centuries, the effect of coffee on our health isn’t really clear

Is there really a need to address century-old food consumption habits? Isn’t the problem the overindustrialization of food to begin with? I take those studies with a ton of salt, not a grain. Really. Specially when they address food that’s been around for ages.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

We were hardwired to consume as much as we could and it was not so long ago that this abundance started, less than a hundred years so maybe is just time, we haven’t had time to adapt to this new way.

Which I believe is a bit suicidal, any organism that adapts itself to great amounts of resources may fail in the long run.

So all those illness caused by over consumption of food like diabetes type II are not necessary a bad thing, they are a warning from our biological systems to stop munching so much and those who don’t pay attention will die.

I think over production is a symptom of over consumption.

As the old saying goes, the poison is in the quantity.
In this case the quantity you consume.

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