ˇmuchos tacos! for the excellent primer -- this brings back memories of how
orderly the nomenclature of organic chemistry is. It has always appealed to the
obsessive-compulsive nature in me ;-) (but I'm serious about my thanks)

Stephen Beecroft wrote:

> Quick recap and primer for all interested parties (or should I say, both
> interested parties):
> Xanthine (ZAN-theen) is purine with oxygens bonded in the 2 and 6
> positions, that is, 2,6-dihydroxypurine. Ronn also referred to this as
> 2,6-dioxopurine and as purine-2,6-dione, apparently following alternate
> (I would guess older) nomenclatures. Structurally, it's actually a
> fairly small, simple molecule. See
> http://www.serva.de/products/data/38420.01.shtml for details.
> If you take xanthine and bond methyl groups (CH3) to it, you get a
> family of substances called (unsurprisingly) methylxanthines. If you
> bond three methyls in the 1, 3, and 7 positions, you get
> 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, also called caffeine. This is the best-known of
> the methylxanthines, which share some similar physiological properties.
> If you bond only two methyl groups instead of three, you get a related
> but slightly different molecule. Exactly which molecule you get depends
> on where you put the methyls:
> If you bond the two methyls to the 3 and 7 positions, you get
> theobromine, which Ronn tells us is the primary methylxanthine found in
> chocolate. Thus, when people tell you that "chocolate doesn't contain
> any caffeine", they are technically correct, though wrong in spirit.
> Theobromine differs chemically from caffeine only by a single methyl
> group, and its stimulant properties are not dissimilar.
> If you bond the two methyls to the 1 and 3 positions, you get
> theophylline (1,3-dimethylxanthine), which Ronn tells us is more common
> in tea than in coffee or chocolate. It's also an asthma treatment
> because it's a bronchodilator, something Stacy apparently realizes. Ronn
> tells us that regular old caffeine can be used in a pinch as a
> bronchodilator, as well.
> If you bond the two methyls to the 1 and 7 positions, which was Ronn's
> "missing" family member, you get paraxanthine, or 1,7-dimethylxanthine.
> Unsurprisingly, this is a major caffeine metabolite, which is to say
> that this is one of the chemicals produced by your body when it breaks
> down caffeine. It's also identified as an adenosine receptor ligand,
> which means it ties itself to certain receptor sites. By the way, that's
> typically how psychoactive drugs work -- they attach themselves to
> various receptor sites.
> Does this mean that paraxanthine is a psychoactive drug? I don't know;
> maybe. Perhaps other xanthines or methylxanthines act as adenosine
> receptor ligands. Maybe that's ultimately how caffeine produces its
> effects on the brain. In any case, now you have some idea about caffeine
> (found in coffee) and three closely related chemicals, theobromine
> (found in chocolate), theophylline (found in tea), and paraxanthine
> (found in Starbucks customers).
> Stephen

Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

///  ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at  ///
///  http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html      ///

This email was sent to: archive@jab.org

EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://topica.com/u/?aaP9AU.bWix1n.YXJjaGl2
Or send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

T O P I C A -- Register now to manage your mail!

Reply via email to