[Side effects of caffeine]

Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2009 Nov;27(161):357-61.
[Article in Polish]


Caffeine is one of the most commonly ingested alkaloids worldwide. It is present in coffee, tea, soft and energy drinks, chocolate, etc. Currently published data has been stressed that the metyloxantine consumption increases the risk of coronary heart disease, arterial hypertension, arterial stiffness, and an elevation of cholesterol and homocysteine plasma concentration. The acute high consumption may also modulate insulin sensitivity and glucose blood level. However, the long-term consumption reduces the incidence of the type 2 diabetes mellitus. When administered in high doses the substance may cause various side effects, related to abnormal stimulation of the central nervous system, decrease tonus of the lower esophageal sphincter, as well as increase risk of miscarriage and intrauterine growth retardation. The final manifestation of side reactions is dependent on the genotype, especially polymorphisms of genes associated with caffeine metabolism, i.e., cytochrome P450-CYP1A2 and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT).

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / chemically induced
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Arteries / physiopathology
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Caffeine / adverse effects
  • Caffeine / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Elasticity / drug effects
  • Esophageal Sphincter, Lower / drug effects
  • Esophageal Sphincter, Lower / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / chemically induced
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / epidemiology
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Homocysteine / blood
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors


  • Homocysteine
  • Caffeine
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Cholesterol
  • CYP1A2 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2
  • Glucose