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EFFECT OF CAFFEINE ON COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS
Abstract
Caffeine suffices to be the among the few stimulant drug that are unregulated across most parts of the world. Caffeine ranks the second highest consumed product after water. The substance is highly consumed due to its capability to cause people to stay awake and alert. Subsequently, the substance enhances the cognitive function of an individual as well as improves his or her physical performance. However, uncontrolled intake of caffeine mostly causes abuse and addiction to the stimulant which leads caffeine intoxication. Caffeine intoxication is detrimental to a person’s health. To realize the enhancement of cognitive functions, people should take a controlled amount of caffeine. However, the instances when caffeine is harmful to health is when it is abused together with other substances such as energy drinks. Therefore, evaluation of the positive and negative implications of caffeine through expert opinion asserts that caffeine enhances the cognitive functions of an individual.
Caffeine consumption has been on the increase in many parts of the world since it is a psychoactive drug which is unregulated by policymakers. The motivations behind caffeine’s increasing rate of consumption are primarily the memory as well as physical performance improvement (Alzoubi et al. 2013). This paper assesses whether caffeine enhances the cognitive functions of an individual or harms his or her health.
Caffeine Enhancement of Cognitive Functions
Caffeine positively impacts the cognitive functions of an individual who may be suffering from chronic stress or induced cognitive impairment due to an unhealthy diet. According to Alzoubi et al. (2013), high carbohydrate intake and chronic stress impair the cognitive capabilities of a person. An individual’s dietary habits play a crucial role in sustaining the cognitive functions throughout his or her lifespan. The intake of a diet with saturated fat as well as refined sugar results in decline in the cognitive abilities. Subsequently, various health disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, aging, sleep deprivation, acute stress, and hypothyroidism interfere with the cognitive functions. However, the use of chronic caffeine treatment effectively addresses the health problems; henceforth, enhancing a person’s cognitive functions.
Also, caffeine has been scientifically proved to increase concentration, enhance memory, as well as improve one’s physical performance. Caffeine enters the bloodstream through the gastrointestinal tract after ingestion. After absorption, caffeine enters the body tissues and crosses the blood-brain membrane. Once in the brain, the caffeine causes an individual to stay awake and alert which eventually improves the cognitive function of a person. Additionally, after caffeine is absorbed from the stomach into the body tissues and circulatory system, it increases the fatty acid oxidation and eventually improves a person’s physical performance (Cappelletti, Daria, Sani, & Aromatario, 2015).
Negative Implications of Caffeine Abuse and Dependence
The caffeine’s uncontrolled consumption contributes to abuse and dependence which is detrimental to a person’s health. The dependence or abuse of caffeine places an individual at the peril of unnatural or premature death. Cappelletti et al. (2015), state that caffeine abuse arises when an individual develops an uncontrolled urge to consume the stimulant. On the other hand, dependence is when an individual only relies on the substance to execute most of his or her activities. The abuse and dependence on caffeine combined with the consumption of other substances such as energy drinks, renders the substance harmful to a person’s health. As such, the abuse and dependence of caffeine cause caffeine intoxication which harm’s a person’s health.
Recommendation
The evaluation of the effects of caffeine intake asserts that the positive effects supersede the negative impact. That is, caffeine consumption causes an increase in alertness, improves cognitive capabilities, as well as physical performance due to high metabolism rates and increased fatty acid oxidation (Alzoubi et al. 2013). Subsequently, caffeine proves to reduce stress caused by health disorders such as chronic and acute stress, and sleep deprivation among others. The negative effects of caffeine are caused by abuse or dependence on the substance (Cappelletti et al. 2015). Thus, if an individual regulates his or her intake amount, he or she could realize the positive effect of caffeine which is an enhancement of cognitive functions. As such, people should take a controlled amount of caffeine to realize the positive impact of the caffeine.
Conclusion
The rate of caffeine intake has been on the rise in many parts of the world due to its ability to enhance the cognitive functions. However, due to its unregulated state, the people often abuse the drug and develop a high dependence on it which is harmful to health. Nevertheless, if caffeine is consumed in controlled amounts, the substance causes an enhancement of cognitive functions.
References
Dorfman, Lj and Jarvick, M.E. (1970) Comparative Stimulant And Diuretic Actions Of Caffeine And Thecibromine In Man. (Clin, Pharm. Ther, 11, 869-872.
Dowell, A.R. (1965) Effect Of Aminophylline On Respiratory Center Sensitivity; N Cheyne-Stokes Respiration And In Pulmonary Emphysema (New England J. Med. 273,1447-1453.

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