Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Is Caffeine an Excitotoxin and Bad for our Health?

I am giving up Caffeine for New Years and this goal may be one of the hardest thing I have ever done, because I love my morning high when I have a cup of Joe. But, I  have a desire to get in the best shape ever and coffee is getting in my way. I remember making a sick joke, that if San Francisco had an earthquake I would be walking over bodies to get to a cup of coffee. That is how hard it's hold is on my desires for more. 

There are experts who say that caffeine is an excitotoxin, which "excites our cells to death." Yikes!
I have been on the "raw food diet" for eight years, eating 75 percent of my diet live produce, like green juice and raw vegetables and fruit. This is the sexiest, I've ever felt on this diet.  Now,  I look for new ways to improve on this natural high I have felt. I read Dr. Amen's book, "Unleash the power of the female brain."  He says we should give up Caffeine all together, it's not health. I am trying to replace coffee with filtered water, which promises to unleash the power of my brain!!! :)

I have been drinking half my weight in ounces of filtered water. Dr. Amen is a Psychiatrist and a Neuroscientist, who is tired of doctors giving out drugs before correcting the overall problems, like our diet and hormones. The brain is the control center--everything starts with how much oxygen is getting to it. I am looking forward to experiencing my brain in 30 days, which is the magic number to real results. Today is day one, cold turkey on coffee, and alcohol.

Dr. Amen says every brain is different, depending on our exposures to toxins, healthy food or nurture or lack of— in childhood. He writes of a technique called ANTS in the brain, Automatic Negative Thoughts. In this process you name the thought, Blame, which takes your power away...Guilt Beating...ect. It's fun to look at thoughts and categorize them. I can dismiss them when logic is added. He said that the new hero in the future world,  will be the one with an IQ of a Million, not the one with a million dollars. Yet, I can imagine that you could have both with a sharp brain. According to Dr. Amens giving up caffeine and alcohol is the start. Here I go...:)



Caffeine disrupts the time neurons work and rest.)

Unlike cocaine, amphetamine, morphine, alcohol and nicotine, caffeine does not activate dopamine release (to D2 receptors), in the "pleasure centers" (the shell) of the nucleus accumbens, which are associated with addiction. The "addictive" properties of caffeine seem to be almost entirely connected to withdrawal symptoms.

IWith long periods of wakefulness adenosine accumulates in neurons as a result of ATP breakdown. Adenosine from inside the neurons is transported across cell membranes into the extracellular space. The A1 receptors of the basal nucleus neurons are particularly sensitive to the increased levels of adenosine, which increases potassium ion influx thereby hyperpolarizing (inhibiting) those neurons. Adenosine also reduces the activity of GABA neurons in the basal nucleus, thereby disinhibiting neurons in the preoptic/anterior hypothalamus which promote Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS) [BEHAVIORAL BRAIN RESEARCH 115:183-204 (2000)].

Caffeine promotes wakefulness by opposing all of these actions of adenosine — blocking the adenosine receptors. Additionally, the neurons in the raphe nucleus, locus coeruleus and caudate nucleus are all very sensitive to the ability of caffeine to block the inhibitory infulence of adenosine [BRAIN RESEARCH 858:71-77 (2000)]. For these reasons caffeine is particularly effective in opposing the sleep-inducing actions of adenosine. Caffeine blockade of adenosine action, reduces sleepiness while also impeding learning and memory [BEHAVIORAL BRAIN RESEARCH; 193:79 (2008)]. Caffeine even reduces "sleep" in fruit flies in a dose-dependent manner [SCIENCE; Shaw,PJ; 287:1834-1837 (2000)].
Caffeine increases attention & vigilance and lessens feelings of weariness. Caffeine enhances learning in maze tests in which animals are not rewarded, but makes no difference in tests that include a food reward. Caffeine reduces the tendency to become bored by a repetitive stimulus [BRAIN RESEARCH REVIEWS 17:139-170 (1992)]. Caffeine might therefore seem well suited for those working at night, driving long hours or working with hazardous equipment — and may save lives.
Adenosine levels rise during ischemia/hypoxia and this effect is thought to counter the detrimental effects by providing substrate for ATP synthesis and reducing excitotoxicity through agonist actions of adenosine on A1 receptors. 

General blockage of all adenosine receptors by caffeine worsens ischemia/hypoxia, primarily through blocking the A1 receptors. Caffeine worsens reperfusion injury from neutrophil accumulation in vascular beds — an effect normally opposed by adenosine action on A2 receptors.
Preconditioning with caffeine a few weeks prior to ischemia — with caffeine discontinued prior to the time of ischemia — can reduce ischemic damage as a result of increased number of A1receptors due to habituation/tolerance. Taking advantage of caffeine in an actual clinical/cryonics situation would be difficult because the timing of ischemic episodes & clinical death cannot be predicted — and the half-life of caffeine in a normal adult is roughly 5 or 6 hours.
Caffeine can significantly increase the secretion of gastric acid & pepsin. But coffee — even decaf — has an even stronger effect. Apparently there is a non-caffeine component to coffee which has a significant effect on gastric secretion.

ref-A very thorough review of the effects of caffeine on the brain can be found in  [PHAMACOLOGICAL REVIEWS; 51(1):83-133 (1999)].)

Thank you for being here! Love Kelly, author of "From Hollywood to God" a wild adventure around the world, in search of God and a Boyfriend. : Click link to read the reviews: MY BOOK!

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Kelly Granite Enck