02 May, 2012

Mental Health Month: Coffee and Chocolate: The Phantom Menaces

Coffee and Chocolate are often underwhelmingly downplayed for their strong psychoactive effects. Coffee contains caffeine and chocolate contains large amounts of theobromine, both of which are strong psychoactive stimulants of the xanthine family. Caffeine is shorter lived and in general stronger and theobromine is generally milder and longer lasting.

Both have potential health benefits and health risks. This study, for example shows the benefit of caffeine with cognition. This talks about the potential cardiac benefits of chocolate, and this one about the potential weight loss benefits.Both of them are also widely used in the modern world. It is estimated 90% of United States Citizens use caffeine or coffee on a regular basis.

Ok. We all know this stuff or at least are somewhat aware of it. And I'm not here to say the addiction to caffeine or chocolate is anything like an addiction to meth. And if you're using coffee on a regular basis, or having a bit of chocolate, your body is probably immune to many of its' strong stimulant and laxative effects.

But  there are still dangers. Take this on the links between caffeine and anxiety- or caffeine and psychosis. Or this on the effects of caffeine blood constriction. What about this one that links chocolate and depression.

It's just something to think about. Something to consider, especially if you are dealing with stress the effects even so called benign substances have on your body. It's up to you what you put in your body. I'm not going to say "Just say no", because that's unrealistic, Still I would advise "Just know" what you're doing and be aware.

1 comment:

Andrea Rouda said...

What buffers do you allow yourself to lessen the horrors of reality?