Anyone can tell you that caffeine makes anxiety worse and can cause increased heart rate, jitteriness and nervousness. But what I want to share with you today, is three reason’s WHY your anxiety can get worse with coffee, and explain what is actually happening in the body. Make sure you stick around to the end to learn about some of the genetics related to whether you should be drinking coffee or not. If you haven’t met me before, I’m Dr Janelle Sinclair and on this YouTube channel we discuss natural remedies for depression and anxiety. So subscribe and hit that bell button so that you’re notified about our new weekly videos. Caffeine and anxiety. Reason to quit #1: Coffee may lead to (or exacerbate) a magnesium deficiency Magnesium is an important mineral and is involved in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Anxiety and depression can be caused by a magnesium deficiency and other symptoms of low magnesium include Muscle Twitches, Cramps and weakness, Fatigue, High Blood Pressure, Irregular Heartbeat and insomnia.
When you drink coffee, your body can loose magnesium because of the diuretic effect of the coffee. Another way coffee may lead to reduced magnesium levels, is because it is an acidic food. When we eat too many acidic foods, including coffee, the body becomes acidic and it uses up magnesium to help buffer the blood. So by drinking coffee, especially high amounts of it, you can cause or exacerbate a magnesium deficiency, and this can lead to anxiety. Caffeine and anxiety. Reason to quit #2: Caffeine can cause insomnia Most of us will know that coffee can affect your sleep, and if you don’t get sleep, that your anxiety can definitely get worse. So I could just say, don’t drink coffee if you’re got anxiety, because it can cause insomnia. End of story. But do you want to know why coffee can affect your sleep? Well I will anyway because i think this is really interesting. There’s a neurotransmitter in the brain called adenosine. One of it’s roles is to slow down nerve cell activity, increase drowsiness and it tells your body that it’s time to sleep.
Well caffeine has a similar structure to adenosine, and it binds the adenosine receptors in the brain, like a lock and key. The thing is that the caffeine although it binds to the same receptors as adenosine, it doesn’t activate the receptors (it doesn’t open that lock), but rather it blocks it, so that the adenosine can’t work. So the caffeine interferes with the ability of adenosine to slow down nerve cell activity, and therefore the caffeine indirectly promotes stimulation and arousal. So caffeine is literally interrupting your bodies inbuilt mechanisms to tell it to go to sleep and calm down. Let’s move on to the final and maybe most interesting Reason to quit #3: Coffee increases stress hormones (and your genetic weakness may not tolerate that) Studies in humans have shown that caffeine increases cortisol, noradrenaline and adrenaline. Drinking coffee, in other words, re-creates stress conditions for the body. Because anxiety is associated with and maybe caused by high levels of these fight and flight hormones, it makes sense not to drink coffee if you have anxiety.
But that rule may be more important for some people with anxiety, than others, depending on their genetics. There’s 3 genes that I currently know of that impact caffeine sensitivity in the body. The Adenosine receptor, CYP1A2 gene and Catechol- O- methyltransferase or COMT. The COMT enzyme is what I want to talk to you about because it helps to break down noradrenaline and adrenaline. If this enzyme is working well, your body can get rid of these stress hormones, but if COMT is working very slowly, noradrenaline and adrenaline hang around in the body, and this can cause anxiety. What I find really fascinating in this area is the interaction of genes, lifestyle choices and our health outcomes. There’s a genetic weakness that you can inherit for the COMT gene that is linked to anxiety. The genetic change leads to the reduced activity of this enzyme, and a reduced ability to get rid of stress hormones. So what does this all have to do with coffee? Well it’s thought that coffee also slows down the COMT enzyme.
So we’ve got a situation that a genetic weakness of the COMT gene can lead to reduced enzyme activity and higher stress hormone levels. And the caffeine can cause increased stress hormones by changing that enzymes activity too. And if you combine the two it’s going to really increase your likelihood of anxiety, and at a minimum create unhealthy stress hormones. And if you’re interested in finding out about other biological causes of anxiety, such as nutritional deficiencies or hormonal imbalances download my free report. The link is in the description. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next video..
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