Recent research in mice suggests that ingesting even a low dose of caffeine may interfere with the analgesic effects of acupuncture in acute and chronic pain models.
Previous animal research showed that the analgesic effect of acupuncture is mediated by a steep increase in extracellular adenosine levels at the acupuncture point and subsequent local activation of the adenosine A1 receptor. Furthermore, adenosine receptor activation during acupuncture is potentially impacted by caffeine, which is a potent adenosine receptor antagonist. Since a detectable amount of caffeine stays in the body for more than 12 hours after drinking one cup of coffee, a residual amount of caffeine could be present at the time of acupuncture treatment in people who ingest caffeine daily.
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