Medical Uses and Benefits of Coffee

Coffee medical uses and benefits

Medical Uses and/or Benefits of Coffee
As a stimulant and mood elevator. Caffeine is a stimulant. It increases alertness and concentration, intensifies muscle responses, quickens heartbeat, and elevates mood. Its effects derive from the fact that its molecular structure is similar to that of adenosine, a natural chemical by-product of normal cell activity. Adenosine is a regular chemical that keeps nerve cell activity within safe limits. When caffeine molecules hook up to sites in the brain when adenosine molecules normally dock, nerve cells continue to fire indiscriminately, producing the jingly feeling sometimes associated with drinking coffee, tea, and other caffeine products.

As a rule, it takes five to six hours to metabolize and excrete caffeine from the body. During that time, its effects may vary widely from person to person. Some find its stimulation pleasant, even relaxing; others experience restlessness, nervousness, hyperactivity, insomnia, flushing, and upset stomach after as little as one cup a day. It is possible to develop a tolerance for caffeine, so people who drink coffee every day are likely to find it less immediately stimulating than those who drink it only once in a while.

Changes in blood vessels. Caffeine's effects on blood vessels depend on site: It dilates coronary and gastrointestinal vessels but constricts blood vessels in your head and may relieve headache, such as migraine, which symptoms include swollen cranial blood vessels. It may also increase pain-free exercise time in patients with angina. However, because it speeds up heartbeat, doctors often advise patients with heart disease to avoid caffeinated beverages entirely.

As a diuretic. Caffeine is a mild diuretic sometimes included in over-the-counter remedies for premenstrual tension or menstrual discomfort.

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