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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1996 Nov;55(3):365-9.

Stress-like adrenocorticotropin responses to caffeine in young healthy men.

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Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, USA.


The effects of oral caffeine (3.3 mg/kg, equivalent to 2-3 cups of coffee) on plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and cortisol (CORT) were tested in 47 healthy young men at rest in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Following caffeine, ACTH was significantly elevated at all times from 30 min to 180 min, and CORT was elevated from 60 min to 120 min (Fs > or = 8.4, ps < 0.01). Peak increases relative to placebo were: ACTH, 33% (+5.2 pg/ml) and CORT, 30% (+2.7 micrograms/dl) at 60 min postcaffeine. The results suggest that caffeine can activate important components of the pituitary-adrenocortical response in humans during the resting state. Caffeine's known ability to increase CORT production appears at least partly due to an increase in ACTH release at the pituitary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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