Friday, May 27, 2016

Caffeine Controversy

There has always been controversy regarding how much caffeine is too much.  Caffeine intoxication became official when it was added as an official diagnosis to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2013..  Most caffeine is consumed in coffee although there are energy drinks and some soft drinks in which it is an ingredient. Caffeine affects different people in different ways.  For some people a small amount makes them feel edgy.  Others require two double espressos to get going in the morning.  Nervousness, excitement, insomnia, and rambling thoughts can result from overindulgence.  Most people who consume caffeine do not experience severe consequences.  Overdosing and dying from too much caffeine would require drinking 140 cups  (8-ounce cups) of coffee in one day.  Most people cannot consume more that 5 cups of coffee a day without uncomfortable symptoms resulting.

Some benefits are reported from consuming caffeine.  Among them there may be lessened mortality, reduction of depression, and helping to avoid clogged arteries.  However, in a depressed patient predisposed to panic attacks, caffeine may make the condition worse.  Pregnant women should not drink coffee.  While there may be benefits to their body, it is not beneficial to a fetus.  Caffeine does not provide any benefits to the baby, only potential hazards.  Children should never be given coffee or drinks containing caffeine.  Adults consuming coffee should drink it early in the day and drink only filtered coffee.