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How Caffeine Affects Women's Brain Chemistry and Well-Being

Caffeine is one of the more controversial chemicals regularly found in our diet. Some claim that caffeine is, at best, a toxin that should be eliminated from our consumption. Others suggest that caffeine's metabolic boost and increased alertness justify – if not require – that people drink their daily coffee. And as with many of these debates about dietary chemicals, both sides have copious amounts of research supporting their positions.

With women, research has definitively shown that caffeine has somewhat different effects than with men, particularly in the areas of the brain. In elderly women, particularly 65 years and older, studies have shown higher scores on memory tests over time for women who drink coffee or tea each day (as sources of caffeine), as opposed to those who do not. Also, the older you are, according to this research, the more caffeine benefits your memory.

Caffeine increases female hormones, which can cause consequences during menstruation and the time before (PMS). Studies have indicated that higher consumption levels of caffeine during PMS and menstruation have led to more instances of bloating, nausea, and breast swelling.

Caffeine can inhibit mineral absorption – and those minerals are very important for female health. Magnesium and calcium are two minerals that do not absorb into the bloodstream with caffeine present, and instead leave the body directly through the bladder. This can contribute to anemia, and osteoporosis later on in life.

DrArronLark.com Trilane Skin CareIronically, while caffeine might initially make us feel more relaxed, it does the opposite to the body. High consumption of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, over time, cause the number of stress-related hormones to increase – also driving up blood pressure and endangering the heart.

Another interesting effect of caffeine that has been verified in rat studies is an increased desire for sexual activity on the part of women. In the lab study, the largest increase in sexual activity occurred in female rats, which received the middle level of caffeine – they had more of an interest than females who had received the higher doses.  There are intensive debates as to whether this effect extends to female humans.

Before you begin using caffeine to benefit your health, though, talk with your physician about whether this regimen would be right for you.

Please seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner before using any herbs, supplements or other natural approaches to health.

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