"New research discovers a strong link between teen consumption of high-caffeine energy drinks and use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarette smoking. Investigators found that nearly one-third of US adolescents consume high-caffeine energy drinks or 'shots.' Researchers believe the same characteristics that attract young people to consume energy drinks — such as being 'sensation-seeking or risk-oriented' — may make them more likely to use other substances as well."
"Caffeine enhances consolidation of long-term memories in humans," says some guy who comes from Science, which is all well and good until you remember that your long-term memories are full of disappointment, sadness and outright horror, at which point you may also recall that there is a solution to erasing those memories, [...]
"Scientists have worked out how caffeine might protect against certain skin cancers – a finding that could lead to better sunscreens. The research, conducted in mice, suggests that caffeine changes the activity of a gene involved in the destruction of cells that have DNA damage and are therefore more likely to become cancerous. The scientists said this may lead to new ways of preventing skin cancer, though other experts cautioned that it did not mean coffee lovers were better protected against the disease." —Science now knows why coffee lovers are better protected against skin cancer.
Here is a nightclub bouncer analogy that should help you understand how caffeine works.
Does drinking to much coffee make you insane? Sure, why the hell not.
"There is a link between high levels of stress and psychosis, and caffeine was found to correlate with hallucination proneness. The combination of caffeine and stress affect the likelihood of an individual experiencing a psychosis-like symptom." —Simon Crowe, Professor of Neuroscience and Clinical Neuropsychology at Australia's La Trobe University explains the findings of his studying showing that too much coffee makes you hear sounds that did not actually occur. Which, you know, thank God, I thought it was some kind of alcohol-related problem.
Photo by anthony_p_c, from Flickr.
"Despite the American Medical Association’s declaration that the moderate intake of caffeine is not harmful, new research suggests that some people have serious withdrawal symptoms that may be dangerous. Caffeine is such an ingrained institution that most people make jokes about being dependent on a favorite caffeinated beverage to make their day whole. A new study, however, suggests more people are dependent on caffeine to the point that they suffer withdrawal symptoms and are unable to reduce caffeine consumption even if they have another condition that [...]
"To overdose on caffeine, you'd probably have to drink around 75 8oz cups of brewed coffee over the course of just a few hours…. A review of 200 studies suggests that a safe dose for an adult is only about 3 8oz cups."
Good news from Israel (I know, I don't think I've ever typed those words in that order before): "Consuming the equivalent amount of caffeine found in three cups of coffee is good for the circulatory system and protects against heart attacks, researchers at the Sheba Medical Center have found…. The study found that caffeine consumption improves the functioning of the endothelium [the layer of cells inside blood vessels and the heart] by 30 percent, reduces by 40 percent the C-reactive (CRP ) protein in the body , a leading predictor of heart attacks and stroke, and increases by 25 percent the amount of adiponectin, a protein which prevents heart [...]
Medical notes from Prison Island: "Exhausted Australian doctors have been told to drink up to six cups of coffee a day to stay awake during extended shifts, building pressure on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to seize control of state-run hospitals. A document on fatigue management released by health officials in Queensland state recommended doctors ingest 400 milligrams of caffeine to stay awake on the job, or the equivalent of six cups of coffee, after warnings that patients were dying."