health benefits of caffeine

A recent review examined the health benefits of caffeine consumption.

Caffeine is a psychoactive legal drug used widely without being regulated. Despite the possibility of dependence on caffeine, it is known to be a beneficial central nervous system stimulant. These benefits include the increase in attention, alertness, and cognitive behavior among humans.

In a recent review published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers highlighted the beneficial effects of caffeine on mental health. Caffeine comprises ‘mental activating’ properties causing increased alertness and performance. Its effects are clearer in situations of low alertness, specifically in the early morning, during sleep deprivation, and when relentless performance is required. However, in sensitive individuals, large doses of caffeine can lead to caffeinism, a condition causing insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, and restlessness. Caffeine withdrawal can also cause severe headaches, fatigue, and depressive condition.

The effects of caffeine on mood

Caffeine has been known to protect from mood symptoms at moderate levels and induce mood changes, including at higher doses. Researchers have found that 50-100 mg of was enough to induce mood changes among consumers, while in some cases 20-30 mg caffeine was enough to show noticeable effects, depending on an individual’s tolerability. Lower doses of caffeine have even been associated with a reduced risk of depression.

The effect of caffeine on psychotic disorders

Psychosis is a mental condition whereby a person loses its connection to external reality because of impaired thoughts and emotions. Some cases have shown caffeine-induced psychotic disorders in patients, however, this is possibly due to previous paranoid traits among those individuals. Some studies also analyze that caffeine may improve the negative side effects caused by antipsychotic drugs. Further studies need to be conducted to monitor the close relationship between caffeine and psychotic disorders.

Effects of caffeine on attention and cognitive performance

Research has found an increase in the amount of information processed after caffeine intake. One research study showed that about 400 mg of caffeine per day was linked to the highest performance among individuals, and caffeine consumption has been significantly associated with lesser cognitive failures, such as lack of concentration and forgetfulness.

Caffeine is readily available in the form of tea, coffee and energy drinks. Although research has reported positive effects, there have also been studies reporting negative effects associated with increased caffeine consumption.

 

Written by Sakina Bano Mendha

 

Reference: Lara, D. R. (2010). Caffeine, Mental Health, and Psychiatric Disorders. Journal of Alzheimers Disease, 20(s1). doi: 10.3233/jad-2010-1378

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