Caffeine evolved to protect plants from microbes and other pests. Therefore, in nature, caffeine is an insecticide. It is added to soil as an insecticide by gardeners around the world today. However, by some uncanny, fortuitous twist of fate, it turns out that this insecticide can improve your health, protect you against a slew of serious diseases, kill pain, increase your thinking ability, improve your verbal fluency, improve your athletic performance, improve your mood, and extend your life.
Many drugs began their useful lives as naturally occurring chemicals that were found in plants. However, virtually every one of these drugs has been developed and refined through pharmacological research to increase its desirable effects and reduce its undesirable side effects. For instance, the forerunner of Tylenol (acetaminophen) was discovered in the bark of a tree and used to reduce pain and inflammation. However, few of us today use tree bark extracts, preferring instead the sophisticated pharmacological offspring of these naturally occurring anodynes.
My point is simple: Caffeine does more different good things for the mind and body than any other single drug in the pharmacopaeia. But caffeine is just an insecticide! No one has ever experimented with augmenting its favorable effects and diminishing its mild undesireable side effects. For example, caffeine dramatically reduces the incidence of and even can reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease. Heavy caffeine use reduces the incidence of metastatic prostate cancer by 60%. Doesn’t it make sense to imagine that a drug developed from caffeine might be even more effective against Alzheimer’s disease and prostate cancer than simple, naturally occuring caffeine? And there are literally dozens of other disease conditions about which the same point could be made. To give one more example, caffeine protects against strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular pathologies. Wouldn’t it make sense to find out if a pharmacological varient of caffeine might deliver even a more powerful benefit for the heart than little old caffeine itself?
Concerned citizens should make their voices heard and do what they can to let pharmaceutical companies and the government know that they demand research into developing the powers of this already remarkable panacea — caffeine!