Caffeine is the number one stimulant in the world. It’s cheap and widely available, too. But a new research shows that Caffeine Use Disorder is becoming a health problem.
I’m addicted to caffeine. I tried going cold turkey, but I ended up having headaches, chest pains, and was really lethargic. Turns out I’m not alone.
Millions of people around the world drink coffee on a regular basis. Some like to brew their own cup, while others prefer to hit the nearest Starbucks in the neighborhood.
But some take too much of it, leading to what is now known as “Caffeine Use Disorder.” Yes, folks, addiction to caffeine has been officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a health problem.
A new study has been published last fall in the Journal of Caffeine Research. It is titled "Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda" and it is coauthored by American University psychology professor Laura Juliano, Steven Meredith and Roland Griffiths of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and John Hughes from the University of Vermont.
The study, which included previous research on caffeine use as well as present biological evidence for caffeine dependence, reveals how widespread the problem is.
Professor Laura Juliano said that there is a common misconception among professionals and lay people that caffeine is not difficult to give up. In a population-based study, more than 50 percent of regular caffeine consumers report that they have had difficulty quitting or reducing caffeine use.
"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."
Researchers recommend drinking not more than 400mg of coffee per day. That’s around two to three cups. For pregnant women who cannot kick the caffeine habit, they are advised to consume less than 200mg per day.