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As a writer, I consume a moderate amount of caffeinated beverages. As a chemist, I am interested in the alkaloids.
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Guide to Caffeine and Its Effects

Coffee Beans

Caffeine is an alkaloid—a nitrogen-containing base compound of plant origin that is pharmacologically active. It occurs naturally in coffee, tea, cacao and other plants. It is also added in some soda varieties and in currently popular energy drinks. Caffeine is a central nervous system

stimulant and it is consumed by a majority of the populace. Caffeine containing foods and beverages are deliberately consumed to ward off sleep, to awaken the intellect, and to impart a sense of well-being. Despite this, there are negative aspects to caffeine use—some real, some perceived. Individuals with specific circumstances, such as pregnant women and diabetics are rightly concerned. What is the truth regarding caffeine use for them?

Coffee Beans: Morguefile - courtesy Mark Miller

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