The immediate and short-term chemosensory impacts of coffee and caffeine on cardiovascular activity. Introduction: Caffeine is detected by 5 of the 25 gustatory bitter taste receptors (hTAS2Rs) as well as by intestinal STC-1 cell lines. Thus there is a possibility that caffeine may elicit reflex autonomic responses via chemosensory stimulation.
The quantity of blood arriving at the left side of the heart oscillates throughout the breathing cycle due to the mechanics of breathing. Neurally regulated fluctuations in the length of the heart period act to dampen oscillations of the left ventricular stroke volume entering the aorta. We have reported that stroke volume oscillations but not spectral frequency variability stroke volume measures can be used to estimate the breathing frequency. This study investigated with the same recordings whether heart period oscillations or spectral heart rate variability measures could function as estimators of breathing frequency. Continuous 270 s cardiovascular recordings were obtained from 22 healthy adult volunteers in the supine and upright postures. Breathing was recorded simultaneously. Breathing frequency and heart period oscillation frequency were calculated manually, while heart rate variability spectral maximums were obtained using heart rate variability software. These estimates were compared to the breathing frequency using the Bland-Altman agreement procedure. Estimates were required to be < ±10% (95% levels of agreement). The 95% levels of agreement measures for the heart period oscillation frequency (supine: -27.7 to 52.0%, upright: -37.8 to 45.9%) and the heart rate variability spectral maximum estimates (supine: -48.7 to 26.5% and -56.4 to 62.7%, upright: -37.8 to 39.3%) exceeded 10%. Multiple heart period oscillations were observed to occur during breathing cycles. Both respiratory and non-respiratory sinus arrhythmia was observed amongst healthy adults. This observation at least partly explains why heart period parameters and heart rate variability parameters are not reliable estimators of breathing frequency. In determining the validity of spectral heart rate variability measurements we suggest that it is the position of the spectral peaks and not the breathing frequency that should be the basis of decision making.
Caffeine users have been encouraged to consume caffeine regularly to maintain their caffeine tolerance and so avoid caffeines acute pressor effects. In controlled conditions complete caffeine tolerance to intervention doses of 250 mg develops rapidly following several days of caffeine ingestion, nevertheless, complete tolerance is not evident for lower intervention doses. Similarly complete caffeine tolerance to 250 mg intervention doses has been demonstrated in habitual coffee and tea drinkers but for lower intervention doses complete tolerance is not evident. This study investigated a group of habitual caffeine users following their self-determined consumption pattern involving two to six servings daily. Cardiovascular responses following the ingestion of low to moderate amounts caffeine (67, 133 and 200 mg) were compared with placebo in a double-blind, randomised design without caffeine abstinence. Pre-intervention and post-intervention (30 and 60 min) 90 s continuous cardiovascular recordings were obtained with the Finometer in both the supine and upright postures. Participants were 12 healthy habitual coffee and tea drinkers (10 female, mean age 36). Doses of 67 and 133 mg increased systolic pressure in both postures while in the upright posture diastolic pressure and aortic impedance increased while arterial compliance decreased. These vascular changes were larger upright than supine for 133 mg caffeine. Additionally 67 mg caffeine increased dp/dt and indexed peripheral resistance in the upright posture. For 200 mg caffeine there was complete caffeine tolerance. Cardiovascular responses to caffeine appear to be associated with the size of the intervention dose. Habitual tea and coffee drinking does not generate complete tolerance to caffeine as has been previously suggested. Both the type and the extent of caffeine induced cardiovascular changes were influenced by posture.
The Finometer records the beat-to-beat finger pulse contour and has been recommended for research studies assessing short-term changes of blood pressure and its variability. Variability measured in the frequency domain using spectral analysis requires the impact of breathing be restricted to high frequency spectra (>0.15 Hz) so that the data from participants need to be excluded when the breathing impact occurs in the low frequency spectra (0.04-0.15 Hz). This study tested whether breathing frequency can be estimated from standard Finometer recordings using either stroke volume oscillation frequency or spectral stroke volume variability maximum scores.
Caffeine stimulates both oropharyngeal and gut bitter taste receptors (hTAS2Rs) and so has the potential to elicit reflex autonomic responses. Coffee containing 130 mg caffeine has been reported to increase heart rate for 30 min post-ingestion. Whereas added-caffeine, in doses of 25 to 200 mg, ingested with decaffeinated coffee/tea decreases heart rate 10 to 30 min post-ingestion. This study aimed to clarify caffeines chemosensory impact. Double-espresso coffees were compared to a placebo-control capsule in a double-blind between-measures design. Coffees tested were regular coffee (130 mg caffeine) and decaffeinated coffee with added-caffeine (0, 67 and 134 mg). Cardiovascular measures from three post-ingestion phases: 1) 0 to 5; 2) 10 to 15; and 3) 25 to 30 min; were compared to pre-ingestion measures. Participants comprised 11 women in the control group and 10 women in the test group. Decaffeinated coffee elicited no changes. Decaffeinated coffee with 67 mg caffeine: decreased dp/dt in Phase 1. Decaffeinated coffee with 134 mg caffeine: increased heart rate in Phases 1 and 2; decreased spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity in Phase 1; and increased diastolic pressure in Phases 2 and 3. Regular coffee: increased heart rate in Phases 1 and 2; decreased dp/dt in all phases; and decreased systolic pressure in Phase 1. Caffeine is the substance in regular coffee which elicits chemosensory autonomic reflex responses, which involves heart activity and the baroreflex. Compared to the caffeine in regular coffee, added-caffeine elicits somewhat different chemosensory responses including a more pronounced pressor effect and resetting of the baroreflex. Caffeine in commonly consumed amounts, as well as modulating body processes by blocking adenosine receptors, can elicit reflex autonomic responses during the ingestion of caffeinated drinks. It is plausible that caffeine stimulates hTAS2Rs, during the ingestion of coffee, eliciting cephalic phase responses. These cephalic phase responses likely result from vagal withdrawal and it is uncertain whether they enhance digestion or not.
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