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Effect of caffeine and nicotine on the body and mind

Over 300 substances have been identified in chocolate. Some of these, including caffeine and theobromine another, less powerful stimulant could actually cause dependency effects. But the amounts of these substances in chocolate are too small to really have any effect.

Effect of caffeine and nicotine on the body and mind

The same goes for phenylethylamine, a substance related to a family of stimulants called amphetamines. For example, chocolate contains less phenylethylamine than goat cheese. Anandamide, a neurotransmitter produced naturally by the brain, has also been isolated in chocolate. The neural receptors for anandamide are the same ones to which THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis, binds. Be that as it may, many scientists agree that dependency on chocolate could simply be due to its taste, which causes a sensation of intense pleasure that people want to repeat.

Effect of caffeine and nicotine on the body and mind most of all, dopamine is a key element in identifying natural rewards for the organism. These natural stimuli such as food and water cause individuals to engage in approach behaviours. Dopamine is also involved in unconscious memorization of signs associated with these rewards. It has now been established that all substances that trigger dependencies in human effect of caffeine and nicotine on the body and mind increase the release of a neuromediator, dopamine, in a specific area of the brain: But not all drugs increase dopamine levels in the brain in the same way.

Some substances imitate natural neuromediators and take their place on their receptors. Morphine, for example, binds to the receptors for endorphin a natural "morphine" produced by the brainwhile nicotine binds to the receptors for acetylcholine. Other substances increase the secretion of natural neuromediators.

Cocaine, for example, mainly increases the amount of dopamine in the synapses, while ecstasy mainly increases the amount of serotonin.

Still other substances block a natural neuromediator. Alcohol, for example, blocks the NMDA receptors. Click on the names of each of the following drugs to read about how they work and what effects they have.