All about Caffeine

Caffeine – We have all heard about it. But, how much do we really know? For example, did you know that caffeine is a drug? Not only a drug but a psychoactive drug! The purpose of this article is to inform all about caffeine.

What is Caffeine?

As already mentioned, caffeine is a drug. More specifically, a central nervous system stimulant that is most commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, aiding an individual to stay alert and prevent the advent of tiredness and fatigue. It is in the class of drugs known as methylxanthines. These drugs are generally used in the treatment of non-obstructive lung pathology.

Unlike numerous other psychoactive matter, it is permitted and unregulated in practically all parts of the world. Presently, of the world population, 80% consumes a caffeinated product each day, and this number increases to 90% for adults in North America.

Where does Caffeine come from?

Caffeine is a substance that is bitter and occurs naturally in more than 60 plants including

  • Coffee beans used for coffee
  • Cacao pods used to make chocolate products
  • Kola nuts used to give flavor to soft drink colas
  • Tea leaves

Caffeine is naturally found in the seeds, nuts, or leaves of these particular plants. These natural resources are next harvested and developed to yield caffeinated foods and beverages.

Additionally, there is also artificial (man-made) caffeine that is added to a variety of medicines, foods, and drinks. For instance, some over-the-counter pain aids or relievers, cold medicines, and other over-the-counter medicines for alertness contain synthetic caffeine. Additionally, one can discover caffeine in some prescription pain medications as well as a common ingredient in weight loss supplements, energy drinks, and “energy-boosting” gums and snacks.

Common Caffeine Bearing Products

Most individuals take in caffeine from drinks. The amounts of caffeine in different drinks can vary to a large degree, but it is usually as follows:

  • Chocolate milk: 2–7 mg
  • Coffee 8-ounce cup: 95-200 mg
  • Cola 12-ounce can: 35-45 mg
  • Decaffeinated coffee: 3–12 mg
  • Energy drink 8-ounces: 70-100 mg
  • Espresso: 240–720 mg
  • Soft drinks: 20–40 mg
  • Tea 8-ounce cup: 14-60 mg
  • Yerba mate: 65–130 mg

How does Caffeine Work?

After consumption, caffeine is rapidly taken up from the gut into the bloodstream. After that, it travels to the liver where it is broken down into composites that can affect the function of various organs.

Caffeine’s main effect is on the brain. It functions by blocking the effects of adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain and makes an individual feel tired and fatigued. Normally, these adenosine levels build up over the course of a day, causing the body to be increasingly more tired and cause an individual to want sleep.

Caffeine on the other hand helps an individual to remain awake by linking to adenosine receptors in the brain without triggering them. This hinders the effects of adenosine, resulting in reduced fatigue.

It may additionally raise blood adrenaline levels and boost brain activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine associated with happiness and behavior.

This combination additionally stimulates the brain and advances the states of arousal, alertness, and focus. Because it affects the brain, caffeine is generally referred to as a psychoactive drug.

How Does Caffeine Affect the Body?

Caffeine has numerous effects both good and bad on the body’s metabolism. They are listed below.

  • Stimulates the central nervous system, which can make an individual feel more awake and supply a boost of energy as well as boost mood and brain function.
  • It is a diuretic; in that, it helps the body dispose of extra salt and water by causing more urination.
  • Increases the release of acid in the stomach, occasionally leading to an upset stomach or heartburn
  • It can disturb the absorption of calcium in the body
  • Increases the blood pressure

    All About Caffeine - Caffeine Positive Negative
    All About Caffeine – The Effects

A study reported that after contributors ingested 37.5–450 mg of caffeine, they had better alertness, short-term recall, and reaction time.

Another study connected drinking 2–3 cups of caffeinated coffee (providing about 200–300 mg caffeine) per day to a 45% lower risk of suicide.

Another study conveyed a 13% lower risk of depression in caffeine consumers.

More caffeine is not necessarily better regarding mood. A study found that the second cup of coffee produced no further benefits unless it was consumed ingested a minimum of 8 hours after the first cup.

Ingesting between 3–5 cups of coffee per day or more than 3 cups of tea per day may additionally reduce the risk of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by 28–60%.

Since it has the ability to invigorate the central nervous system, caffeine may step up metabolism by up to 11% and fat burning by up to 13%.

According to a study,
consuming 300 mg of caffeine per day may permit an individual to burn an additional 79 calories per day.

Caffeine may improve exercise performance by increasing the use of fat as fuel. The benefit of this is that it helps the glucose stored in muscles to last longer; possibly delaying the time it takes muscles to reach exhaustion. It may also enhance muscle contractions and increase easiness to fatigue.

In summary, consuming minuscule amounts of caffeine approximately an hour before exercise is likely to improve exercise performance.

Caffeine can also protect against heart disease and diabetes. According to a study, despite what has been said, caffeine does not raise the risk of heart disease (study, study).

Further, the evidence
indicates that a 16–18% lower risk of heart disease in men and women who ingest between 1–4 cups of coffee daily (providing approximately 100–400 mg of caffeine).

Additional studies indicate that drinking 2–4 cups of coffee or green tea per day is linked to a 14–20% lower risk of stroke (study, study).

To add one more thought, coffee and tea contain other bioactive compounds (in addition to caffeine) that may also be advantageous.

One thing to note is that caffeine may raise blood pressure slightly in some individuals. Nevertheless, this effect is generally minuscule (3–4 mmHg) and is likely to disappear gradually for most individuals when they consume coffee regularly (study).

Caffeine may also protect against diabetes. A review
noted that those who drink the most coffee have up to a 29% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In the same way, those who ingested the most caffeine had up to a 30% lower risk.

The result of the observation is that the risk drops by 12–14% for every 200 mg of caffeine consumed.

Intriguingly, ingesting decaffeinated coffee was additionally linked to a 21% lower risk of diabetes. This indicates that other beneficial compounds in decaffeinated coffee can also protect against type 2 diabetes.

Coffee ingestion is linked to a number of other health benefits that include:

  • Liver protection – Coffee can reduce the probability of liver damage (cirrhosis) by as much as 84%. It can slow the progression of the disease, enhance treatment response, and reduce the risk of premature death.
  • Longevity – Ingesting coffee may decrease the probability of premature death by as much as 30%, especially for females and individuals with diabetes.
  • Decreased cancer risk – Ingesting 2–4 cups of coffee daily can reduce liver cancer risk by up to 64% and colorectal cancer risk by up to 38%.
  • Skin protection – drinking 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily can lower the risk of skin cancer by 20%.
  • Reduced MS risk – Coffee consumers can have up to a 30% lower risk of contracting multiple sclerosis (MS). But, not all studies agree (study).
  • Gout prevention – Regularly ingesting 4 cups of coffee daily may reduce the risk of developing gout by 40% in men and 57% in women.
  • Gut health – Drinking 3 cups of coffee a day for as little as three weeks may increase the amount and activity of good gut bacteria.

Again, note that coffee additionally contains other substances that improve health. Some of the benefits detailed above can be caused by substances other than caffeine.

Safety and side effects

The consumption of caffeine is generally regarded as safe. However, it is habit-forming and if ingested in excess can cause side effects.

Some side effects linked to excess intake include trouble sleeping, restlessness, anxiety, tremors, and irregular heartbeat.

Excess caffeine can also additionally cause high blood pressure, headaches, and migraines in some individuals.

Also, caffeine can easily cross the placenta which can increase the possibility of miscarriage or low birth weight. Therefore, women who are pregnant should restrict their intake.

Caffeine can also interact with some medications.

People consuming the muscle relaxant Zanaflex or the antidepressant Luvox should steer clear of caffeine because it can increase their effects.

Recommended dosages

Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) believe a daily intake of 400 mg of caffeine to be safe. This equals 2–4 cups of coffee per day. However, it is worth noting that fatal overdoses have been reported with single doses of 500 mg of caffeine. Therefore, it is recommended to limit the amount of caffeine consumed at one time to 200 mg per dose.

In accordance with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women should limit their daily intake to 200 mg (report).

In Summary

Caffeine is not as unhealthy as it was once understood. Actually, the facts show that it may be just the opposite. Therefore, it is safe to consider a daily cup of coffee or tea as an enjoyable way to support good health.

All things in moderation is the safest road to travel!

Questions, comments, and concerns are welcomed below.

Good Health!!




Optizo: my personal experience

The Problem

We all know the importance of good eye health. But what do we specifically do to maintain our eye health? Does it include supplementation? There is a supplement on the market to aid in most of the numerous functions of our bodies and these include the eyes. This post is a descriptive article of a product specifically for the eyes named Optizo. It also includes my experience with this product.

A survey has indicated that 78% of baby boomers revealed that vision was the most important of the five senses. But while over half of them took supplements for heart, bone, and health, fewer than 20 % used supplements for their eyes.

Baby boomers or not, we all should be concerned about maintaining our eye health. With the heavy use of electronic devices with screens these days, our eyes need more protection than ever from the damage that can occur.

We too often wait until there is a problem before we concern ourselves with our sight. So why not get a head start and supplement it as we supplement other aspects of our health?

Our bodies are under perpetual attack from pollution, harmful chemicals in our food, excessive sun exposure, toxins, and even waste products from normal metabolism that can lead to a buildup of free radicals.

Free radicals are tiny dangerous particles that can damage cells and DNA. Scientists refer to this condition as oxidative stress. Regrettably, this oxidative stress from the accumulation of free radicals has been shown to increase with aging. For more detailed information on free radicals, please read the article, “What are Free Radicals and why are they Bad” on this website.

In a fierce sequence, free radicals begin and proliferate an excessive inflammatory process, which in succession creates more free radicals producing a downward health spiral.

The cause for concern is. . .compared to most other organs, the eyes are especially susceptible to oxidative damage due to their continuous contact with light and their high biochemical activity (metabolism).

To make the situation worse, this exposure to light does not merely refer to ultraviolet light, but blue light. Ultraviolet and blue light are two different sources of light.

While UV light is measured as, invisible, blue light is a wave in the visible light spectrum. These are the rays that produce the blue color in the sky. There are numerous sources of blue light; they include sunlight.

In its natural form, the body requires a minuscule amount of blue light from the sun to regulate the natural sleep and wake cycles, also known as circadian rhythms. In more modest amounts, blue light can help advance alertness and elevate feelings of well-being. For more detailed information on blue light, please see the article, “Facts about Blue Light” on this website.

So with those advantages, why be concerned about blue light exposure?

Blue Light effects
The effects of Blue Light

Well, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. In addition, to being at hand in sunlight, blue light is contained in many forms of the light bulbs in use including LED, fluorescent, and to a lesser extent incandescent.

The most serious source as mentioned earlier: technology. The real dilemma is the blue light attacking us from such an abundance of electronic devices like:

  • Anything with LED lighting
  • Computer monitors and laptops
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets, iPads, and e-readers
  • TVs

Regrettably, research indicates that 80% of adults in the US utilize digital devices for more than two (2) hours daily. The percentage is higher for children and teens.

Blue light creates flickering and glare that can affect sharpness and clarity in vision that affects the ability to perceive differences between objects and their background. This condition has been linked to the following:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Eyestrain
  • And other issues produced by constantly looking at a computer screen or using an electronic device.

The natural filters of the eyes do not provide an adequate defense against blue light rays from the sun, not to mention the blue light stemming from the high-tech devices.

In addition to the conditions mentioned above, there is another concern.

In the retina, there are special cells called photoreceptors. They commence the process of sight by absorbing and converting light into electrical signals. Subsequently, these signals are transmitted to other cells in the retina and finally through the optic nerve to the brain where they are managed into the images seen.

Unfortunately, the photoreceptor cells display the greatest rate of oxidation of all cells in the body. Therefore, supporting the health of these cells is crucial to supporting complete visual function.

So what is the answer?

The Answer?

The key solution to supporting optimal eye health is antioxidants. An abundant supply of antioxidants daily is so crucial because antioxidants circulate inside the body, eradicating free radicals that modify the healthy functioning of cells (including cells in the retina). Excess free radicals can lead to adverse outcomes that affect health. For more detailed information on free radicals, see the article, “What are Free Radicals and why are they bad” on this website.

The thinking is individuals can acquire all the antioxidants they require with a diet high in vegetables and fruits. However, in the case of older adults, studies show many utilize less than the government-suggested levels of fruits and vegetables. However, on the contrary, individuals over 60 consume the lowest quantity of antioxidants. This is even though older individuals require more dietary antioxidants than younger adults do.

To make matters worse, the aging process can reduce the ability to absorb certain nutrients including antioxidant nutrients from food.

The point is, individuals in an older age group, are more likely to fall victim to an antioxidant deficiency.

Additionally, not all antioxidants are the same. Specific antioxidants excel at fighting specific kinds of free radicals or perform better under specific conditions.

There are thousands of different antioxidants that include, vitamins, minerals, as well as phytochemicals (plant-derived nutrients).

The question becomes, how does an individual obtain the all-important antioxidants — specifically the ones that can help maintain healthy vision?

As it has been pointed out, it is difficult to obtain them from diet alone and many well-known vision formulas or store brands come up short. Many contain only limited amounts of ingredients.

Introducing, OPTIZO.

What is Optizo?

Optizo -Premiumm supplement for the eyes
Optizo – Premium supplement for the eyes

Optizo is an innovative dietary supplement with a potent blend of nearly all essential vitamins and nutrients that promote the most favorable eye health and assist in maintaining visual function.

It was developed by Dr. David Brownstein and Medix Select, a premium supplement company. Dr. David Brownstein, M.D., is the medical director at Michigan’s highly respected Center for Holistic Medicine. According to  Newsmax, Dr. Brownstein is one of the top ten (10) holistic professionals in America. He is also the producer of the popular newsletter Dr. Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health
and has also penned numerous books on various health-related subjects. As a board-certified family physician, he concentrates on natural as well as traditional solutions for health concerns in all age groups.

Optizo contains an exclusive combination of 25 potent vitamins, nutrients, and botanicals that offer benefits targeted to the eyes to maintain and improve eye health. Optizo’s progressive supplement formula includes Lutemax2020®, which has been proven clinically to have clear benefits that support the health and function of the eyes.

As a result, Optizo provides the following benefits:

  • Helps Filter Blue Light and Reduces Oxidative Stress
  • Improves Contrast Sensitivity in Retinal Health
  • Increases Macular Pigment Ocular Density (MPOD)
  • Reduces Digital Eye Fatigue and Eyestrain
  • Support Visual Adaptation to Low Light Conditions
  • Supports Eye Health and Vision
  • Supports Visual Acuity and Adaptation
  • Supports Visual Function
  • Supports Visual Recovery After Bright Light Exposure

Optizo Ingredients

Optizo Ingredients
Optizo all natural Ingredients

In addition to Lutemax2020, Optizo contains plant-derived nutrients called carotenoids. These carotenoids have demonstrated potent activity against free radicals in the eyes. While there is an abundance of 600 carotenoids found in nature, only three (3) carotenoids are established in excessive concentrations in the retina and its central portion, the macula — lutein, zeaxanthin, and its molecular relative meso-zeaxanthin.

Since lutein and zeaxanthin are not formed by the body, they must be acquired through diet or supplementation.

Taking a look at diet, lutein and zeaxanthin are derived in dark leafy vegetables and yellow to orange fruits and vegetables. Researchers also found meso-zeaxanthin in fish such as trout, salmon, and sardines but most evidence suggests it is primarily produced in the body.

Regrettably, the typical American consumption of these carotenoids is considerably below levels revealed by research to be favorable for eye health.  This is why Dr. Brownstein worked with the experts at Medix Select to create the antioxidant-loaded eye health and vision support recipe Optizo.

Because lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin are so important for vision support, it is understandable as to why Dr. Brownstein made them the most important ingredients in his eye-supporting Optizo formula.

But he didn’t merely desire the standard nutrients, but nutrients backed by science and provided at researched levels. That is why he chose Lutemax 2020®.

Lutemax 2020 is a naturally derived exclusive extract from the marigold plant. It supplies all three(3) macular carotenoids: lutein and superior levels mutually of zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin — at the same 5:1 ratio as found in nature to best support eye health to the maximum.

Notable scientific examination has backed the efficiency of Lutemax 2020.

My Personal Experience with Optizo

The Benefit

I have been taking Optizo for about a year and a half and the noticeable benefit for me is a noticeable increase in the clarity of my vision, especially concerning distance. It is more sharp and concise than before.

The other benefit, peace of mind. Medix Select, the company that Dr. Brownstein works with to produce Optizo is a very high-quality wellness company. I have used several of their supplements over time and they work.

Therefore, even though I spend a lot of time on my computers, I have peace of mind knowing that I am taking a quality supplement for my eyes that will help keep them healthy and functioning properly. For more information and pricing on Optizo and their other supplements, click this link.

As of this date, I have not experienced any disadvantages with using this or any product produced by Medix select.

Please feel free to leave any comment, question, or concern below.

Good Health!!





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