Caffeine is a common stimulant drug that is consumed by everyone. It is most commonly known as a central nervous stimulant drug as it increases the body's activity. These stimulant drugs keep you awake and active for a long period of time. It has a bitter taste and has a white crystalline structure. It is most commonly consumed by everyone through coffee, energy drink, coke and etc. There are many possible benefits with health effects from the use of caffeine: Help treat bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is a chronic disease that most occurs in infants and children which is commonly associated with the lungs.
Health Risks from Caffeine
However consuming too much caffeine can lead to many health risks that can occur. There has been a recent death of a 16 year old teenager who has died from consuming so much caffeine in the space of 2 hours. He had drunk a cup of mcdonald's latte and a bottle of Mountain Dew which was tested to show there was a huge consumption of caffeine. Similarly in 2015 university students had died as it was said that they have consumed the equivalent of 300 cups of coffee. It is further said that caffeine can act for around 3-4 hours within our body.
But the question is what are the dangers of consuming too much caffeine?
Caffeine can cause problems sleeping, restlessness and irritations. This is due to the properties of a stimulant drug, As it triggers more faster neurological responses and faster brain activity.
Heart Abnormalities - It can faster heartbeats, meaning your heart can beat faster than usual. This can result in a high blood pressure and then heart attacks. This can also cause flutter and palpitations - which is when you have an extra heart beat or when you miss a heartbeat. Again this is due to the stimulant properties that caffeine has.
Refluxes - Caffeine can cause the muscles around the esophagus to relax and loosen, This can contribute to gastroesophageal reflux and heart burns. This can cause stomach acid to travel back up the esophagus causes burns and pain.
Diuresis - Caffeine can cause more blood flows through the kidneys which produces more urine and waste. As more urine is passed out through the body this can cause dehydration and hence disrupt the water balance.
Insomnia - Caffeine can act as an inhibitor for adenosine. This a transmitter that is released by our brain which helps you to fall asleep when tired. By inhibiting adenosine it will make you restless and hence you won’t be able to go to sleep.
It is recommended by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority that the minimum about of caffeine consumption is around 400mg per day. For pregnant women is important that their caffeine intake is cut down to 200mg due the development of the embryo in the womb.
Electrical bacteria are the key ingredient in a new process, which was developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They recycle waste-water from biofuel production, which is then used to generate hydrogen. This hydrogen can then be used to convert bio-oil into higher grade liquid fuels such as gasoline and diesel.
The team’s lab scale demonstration has the potential to produce 11.7 litres of hydrogen per day at rates that are required for industrial used. However, it has been noted that more work is required to bring the technology to the commercial scale. Although, the progress demonstrates the potential of microbial electrolysis to make bio-refineries more efficient and economically viable.
Abhijeet Borole, an ORNL research said “We are solving multiple problems at the same time” who led the multi-year project to develop the system. Microbial electrolysis is powered by electrogens - bacteria which digest organic compounds and generate an electric current. Borole put these bacteria to work in breaking down organic acids in liquid bio-oil that is produced from plant feedstocks such as switchgrass. Usually, a quarter of the liquid bio-oil is contaminated water which contains corrosive acids.
The hydrogen which is generated from the microbes could displace the need for natural gas in the future, which is used later in the production process to upgrade bio-oil into more desirable drop-in liquid fuels. They commented saying “We are taking this waste, which can be 20 to 30 percent of the biomass that you put in the process, making hydrogen from it and putting that hydrogen back into the oil, and the water can be recycled to produce clean hydrogen and eliminate the natural gas”.
The researchers developed a procedure to evolve and enrich a hardy bacterial community that could tolerate the toxic compounds that could tolerate toxic compounds in the biofuel waster. In this application, the bacterial poison comes in the form of products created by the degradation of lignin, a cell polymer found in plant cell walls. However, understanding how to build and optimize microbial electrolysis systems that can tolerate and treat contaminated wastewater could have benefits outside of the biofuel production industry. The research team is now focused on completing a life cycle analysis for the technology for evaluation purposes.
Research has shown that ¼ of the British adult population has been regularly taken by the population for the last five years. However recent research has shown that taking a common kind of painkiller such as ibuprofen can lead to an increased risk of heart failure, at times up to 100% increment. Heart failure or myocardial infarction is common in the UK with over 190,000 people a year going to hospital due to heart attacks. The five nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have shown that they could have an impact in one week of usage, which could potentially lead to a higher risk of heart attack. Studies showed that the percentage chance of a heart attack varied depending on the individual and in some circumstances the heart attack was around about 50% greater at times. The study that took place was observational and the cause and effect are yet to be established, the study carried out research on 10 million users mainly from Europe and compared them to those who did not take the drugs. This study builds on from previous studies that have suggested NSAIDs could increase the risk of heart disease.
BMJ published the research and its results suggested that the risk of heart attack associated with NSAID use was greatest with higher doses and during the first month of use. Over a longer period, the treatment did not increase the risk; the researchers have advised that the use of NSAIDs is used as short as possible. Of the NSAIDs, they found that rofecoxib increased the risk by more than 100% and both ibuprofen and naproxen increased risk by 75%, the time period at which the risk increases is unknown. The researchers have urged for there to be more public awareness around the subject and that people must be advised of other alternative treatments. The study itself however failed to exclude external influencing factors, and that the findings are still relatively a small risk. Due to the fact that NSAIDs are effective in offering short-term relief from pain, and that the decision to prescribe them should be done based on a patient’s individual circumstances and medical history, thus reducing the risk itself. Despite this it is still an area that requires more research and the safety and implications of NSAIDs need to be identified.