Effects of caffeine on young brains

Early use of caffeine in children can slow brain development, affecting brain function.

Children consume more and more caffeine, because this compound is not only found in coffee but also in carbonated drinks, energy drinks, tea... According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 73% of children in this country. has used some form of caffeine since the age of 2.

In the study "Comprehensive safety assessment of caffeine" conducted by US scientists, children using high doses of caffeine can have seizures, cardiac arrest leading to death. Caffeine can also reduce appetite, making it harder for young children to feel hungry, skipping meals.

Children with light body mass, digestive and body systems are not yet proficient in handling foreign substances such as caffeine. The biggest risk your baby can face when consuming this drink is the effects on brain function.

Coffee is not good for children. Photo: Freepik

Adolescence is an important period for children's brain development. The brain has the most neural connections during these years. These connections continue to develop until 20 years younger. During this period, using caffeine can make the neural connection process less effective, preventing the formation of connections, leading to retarded brain development.

Caffeine activates pleasure circuits in the brain's reward system. It provides the brain with dopamine (the happy hormone) that leads to caffeine addiction. Experts believe that caffeine's effect on the reward center may influence children's eating preferences as they grow up .

Besides its negative effects on the brain, caffeine affects many other aspects of a child's health:

Sleep : Caffeine greatly affects sleep. Children are more prone to insomnia, tossing and turning when sleeping. Lack of sleep affects children's learning, mental health, and physical health.

Bones : Caffeine also causes the body to lose calcium. Consuming too much caffeine can lead to bone loss over time. Drinking carbonated water, tea, and energy drinks instead of milk can also increase the risk of osteoporosis in children.

Heart : Caffeine aggravates underlying health problems, such as heart problems. It may also interact with certain medications or supplements.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents should only expose their children to caffeine after 12 years of age, and caffeine consumption should not exceed 100 mg per day.

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