Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

 

Coffee makes you drunker

Sobering news: coffee increases drunkenness

Drinking coffee does not sober you up – and may actually further impair your judgement, new research suggests.

 

Richard Alleyne

Telegraph UK

Science Correspondent
Published: 3:28PM GMT 08 Dec 2009

The combination of alcohol and caffeine produces a potentially lethal mix that just makes it harder to realise you are actually drunk in the first place.

And the study published in Behavioural Neuroscience suggests popular caffeinated energy drinks could also raise risks from intoxication rather than lessen them.

In laboratory tests caffeine made mice more alert but did not reverse the awareness problems caused by alcohol, including their ability to avoid things they should have known could hurt them.

Dr Thomas Gould, of Temple University, Philadelphia, said: "The myth about coffee's sobering powers is particularly important to debunk because the co-use of caffeine and alcohol could actually lead to poor decisions with disastrous outcomes.

"People who have consumed only alcohol, who feel tired and intoxicated, may be more likely to acknowledge that they are drunk.

"Conversely, people who have consumed both alcohol and caffeine may feel awake and competent enough to handle potentially harmful situations, such as driving while intoxicated or placing themselves in dangerous social situations."

Dr Gould and colleagues investigated how alcohol, caffeine or a combination of both affected the ability of mice to negotiate a maze and learn to avoid unpleasant stimuli.

Mice given alcohol alone were found to be less anxious, moved around more but had problems learning to avoid the unpleasant stimuli.

Those given the equivalent of up to six to eight cups of coffee for humans were more anxious, moved around less and learned less well.

If given both alcohol and caffeine, the alcohol was found to block the caffeine's ability to make the mice anxious, but did not reverse the alcohol's effect to inhibit learning. As a result, alcohol calmed the caffeine jitters, leaving the animal more relaxed but less able to avoid threats.

In people, this combination could lead to them thinking they are only slightly drunk and able to function normally – such as drive a car – when in fact, they are unable to do so.

Dr Gould said: "The alcohol-energy drink combinations have skyrocketed in popularity."

He cited other evidence that these drinks produce deficits in general cognitive ability and raise the odds of alcohol-related problems such as drunken-driving citations, sexual misconduct, and needing medical assistance.

He added: "The bottom line is that, despite the appeal of being able to stay up all night and drink, all evidence points to serious risks associated with caffeine-alcohol combinations."

The US Food and Drug Administration is looking into the safety and legality of combination alcohol-caffeine beverages. In November, it sent letters to 30 manufacturers asking for evidence that such drinks are safe and legal under FDA regulations.

To date, the FDA has only approved caffeine as an additive in soft drinks at concentrations less than 200 parts per million and has not approved adding caffeine at any level to alcoholic beverages.

Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, a substance added intentionally to food such as caffeine in alcoholic beverages is deemed unsafe and is unlawful unless its particular use has been approved by FDA regulation or is generally recognised as safe.


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

Archives

August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe