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About Caffeine

Information prepared by postgraduate students Ruth Mokgokong and Swetha Suresh, edited by Dr Jenny Koenig.

Spray coffee or coca-cola on your plants to kill insects!

Caffeine is found in the beans, leaves and fruit of over 60 different plants including the Cola nut. It acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants.

You could use guarana because that also contains caffeine.

People who drink lots of coffee get desensitised

Scientists have shown that the bodies of individuals who regularly consume caffeine adapt to the continual presence of the drug.

Caffeine interferes with the action of the natural chemical adenosine. People who drink coffee continuously increase the number of adenosine receptors in the brain.

This explains why the body gets more sensitive to adenosine and why people get withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop drinking coffee.

Water fleas and humans have a lot in common!

Humans and Daphnia use the same chemicals to make their hearts beat.

Too much caffeine gives you palpitations and it gives water fleas palpitations too. Caffeine increases the levels of a chemical in your body called cAMP which makes the heart beat faster.