Published On: Mon, Feb 4th, 2013

Purine Alkaloids : Sources, Properties and Chemical Nature

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Distribution and Uses of Purine :

Purine alkaloids occur in various parts of the world and are used in stimulant beverages as it consists of caffeine, a CNS stimulant principle.

Sources of Purine Alkaloids:

Various plants like tea, , cola, , guavana and mate contains the derivatives of xanthine, they are called purine alkaloids.

Purine alkaloids mainly includes caffeine, theobromine and theophylline. These alkaloids contain purine base, which is a fusion of an imidazole and pyrimidine rings.

Chemical Nature of Purine Alkaloids - Caffeine

Chemical Nature of Purine Alkaloids – Caffeine

Chemical Nature of Purine Alkaloids:

Purine base is derived into xanthine and this to caffeine (1,3,7 trimethyl xanthine), theobromine (3,7 dimethyl xanthine), theophylline (1,3 dimethyl xanthine).

Properties of Purine Alkaloids:

  • Xanthine does not occur free in nature.
  • Although they are known as alkaloids, they do not respond to common alkaloidal reagents.
  • Purine Alkaloids gives a positive murexide colour reaction.
  • They are sublimatory in nature.
  • All these 3 alkaloids have stimulant and diuretic properties.
  • Caffeine has mainly stimulating effect and theobromine has diuretic effects.
  • Theophylline has both the above activities and mainly smooth muscle relaxant properties.

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