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Alkaloid



Caffeine: alkaloid present in coffee

What is alkaloid

Alkaloid is any component of the group of plant-derived organic nitrogen compounds. Alkaloids have several pharmacological properties, ie they can be used in the manufacture of medicines. Most alkaloids are used in medicine as analgesics and anesthetics.

Best known alkaloids (examples)

The best known alkaloids are: atropine, cocaine, morphine, caffeine and quinine.

Poisonous Alkaloids

Some types of alkaloids are poisonous to humans, such as bradykinin and strychnine. These act in the human body as inhibitors of cell division.