Experts Warn of 'Caffeine Use Disorder'

Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 10:26 AM

By Nick Tate

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Addicted to coffee or soda? It's no joke. A new study has found a growing number of people are dependent on caffeine and experts are issuing a "caffeine use disorder" warning.

The study, led by American University psychology professor Laura Juliano, indicates many people are unable to reduce their caffeine consumption without suffering withdrawal symptoms.
 
"There is misconception among professionals and lay people alike that caffeine is not difficult to give up. However, in population-based studies, more than 50 percent of regular caffeine consumers report that they have had difficulty quitting or reducing caffeine use," Juliano said in a press release. "Through our research, we have observed that people who have been unable to quit or cut back on caffeine on their own would be interested in receiving formal treatment — similar to the outside assistance people can turn to if they want to quit smoking or tobacco use."

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According to a CBS News report on the study, the findings are based on an analysis of research into the biological evidence for caffeine dependence and the significant physical and psychological symptoms experienced by regular caffeine users.
 
"The negative effects of caffeine are often not recognized as such because it is a socially acceptable and widely consumed drug that is well integrated into our customs and routines," Juliano said. "And while many people can consume caffeine without harm, for some it produces negative effects, physical dependence, interferes with daily functioning, and can be difficult to give up, which are signs of problematic use."
 
Juliano recommends limiting daily caffeine consumption to no more than three eight-ounce cups of coffee for healthy adults. Pregnant women and people who experience anxiety or insomnia regularly should consume about half that amount.
 
The study was published in the Journal of Caffeine Research.
 

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