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. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: caffeine, coffee, decaf, decaffeinated coffee, drinks, drugs, food, health, medicine, pregnant

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  1. icon
    justok (profile), 30 Aug 2013 @ 5:03pm

    Coffee doesn't lower the rate of premature death, it just makes you keep moving longer after your death.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2013 @ 6:53pm

    To quote Freddy Kruger: "Yeah! What are you on?"

    But all this does is reenforce my decision not to drink coffee.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Twitchy Yellowfingers, 30 Aug 2013 @ 7:39pm

    It should also be worth mentioning the possible preventative qualities it contains against Parkinson's Disease.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 30 Aug 2013 @ 7:40pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 31 Aug 2013 @ 4:16am

    caffeine factoid...

    caffeine has a lower LD50 than cocaine...
    (ie is MORE 'deadly')
    just sayin'...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2013 @ 6:59am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2013 @ 6:59am

    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.

    http://emedicine.med scape.com/article/813959-overview

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2013 @ 7:14am

    Re: Re: caffeine factoid...

    Here some more resources for ya.

    https://www.chemspid er.com/Chemical-Structure.10194104

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




    InChI=1S/C17H21NO4/c1-18-12-8-9-13(18)15(17(20)21-2)14(10-12)22-16(19)11-6-4-3-5-7-11/h3-7,12-15H,8- 10H2,1-2H3/t12-,13+,14-,15+/m0/s1


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2013 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: caffeine factoid...

    This is to say, which one of the Cocaine compounds you are talking about, and which one is she talking about?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2013 @ 7:30am

    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.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2013 @ 8:24am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous, 31 Aug 2013 @ 10:41am

    Oh no! We're all gonna die!
    Wait a minute...we ARE all gonna die!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    FM Hilton, 31 Aug 2013 @ 12:35pm

    Of all the ways

    To die, I'd take caffeine and cigarettes over any CII drug.

    True, they're all addicting, but I've never seen anyone held up by a crazed caffeine addict saying:

    "Your coffee cup or your life."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2013 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Of all the ways

    youve never seen me in the morning

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Magnus, 1 Sep 2013 @ 8:11am

    Retina damage

    Folks, drinking more than 3 cups per days increases the risk of damage to your retinas. Google it...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2013 @ 8:51pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2013 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Retina damage

    while you're at it, google the aspartame, saccharin, and fluoride found in various products deemed 'safe' by our all-knowing FDA. /sarc

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    Ninja (profile), 2 Sep 2013 @ 3:58am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2013 @ 6:31am


    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Jura, 4 Sep 2013 @ 3:10pm

    Actually, I am glad that this post gives me a wavering thumbs up to continue with my coffee-drinking...and for those who are on a crusade to rid the world of the evils of caffeine, kindly sail away to the mythical Land of Killjoys and leave the rest of us to it :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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