Table of Contents
Molecules, Volume 21, Issue 8 (August 2016)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Methylxanthines are phytochemicals that have been included in the diet of human populations for a [...] Read more. Methylxanthines are phytochemicals that have been included in the diet of human populations for a significant time. If one considers the widespread use of drinks and foods such as coffee, tea and chocolate (all methylxanthine-rich), one may have an idea of the extent of the putative impact that these compounds may hold globally. So, what is the impact that these compounds may hold on human health? The truth is that both positive (even pharmacological uses) and negative effects have been ascribed to them. What are, then, the molecular mechanisms underlying the systemic actions of these compounds? We discussed the described methylxanthine physiological actions, and what may sustain them at the molecular level. Taking into account all previously described actions, and even the lately proposed potential in novel medical contexts, we are inclined to advocate that a rational use of methylxanthines may have far more advantages than drawbacks, and moreover, that normal consumption should be ra