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Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements for Seniors

Caffeine Use Disorder Found to be Widespread Health Problem Needing Attention

A favorite for senior coffee addicts, caffeine is the most widely used drug, but little is known about helping those who depend on it

Jan. 29, 2014 - Senior citizens are probably the least likely to approve of legalized drugs, like marijuana, yet, many are addicted to the most widely used drug in the world, caffeine. A new study indicates this condition – “Caffeine Use Disorder” – causes withdrawal symptoms and many cannot resist their morning coffee even if they have a condition like pregnancy, heart trouble or bleeding disorder that can be negatively impacted.

The study found increasing numbers of people dependent on caffeine, which is found in everything from coffee, tea, and soda, to OTC pain relievers, chocolate, and now a whole host of food and beverage products branded with some form of the word "energy."

 

Related Archive Stories

 
 

Researchers Find Coffee Enhances Memory, Good News for Seniors

Already the favorite drink for senior citizens, here is a new reason to love caffeine even more

Jan. 12, 2014

Seniors Favorite Drink Coffee May Improve Blood Flow in Small Vessels

New study takes us one step closer to understanding how coffee might benefit cardiovascular health; previously linked to lower risk of dying from heart disease, stroke

Nov. 20, 2013

Senior Citizens’ Favorite Drink Coffee Reduces Risk of Liver Cancer

Study confirms claims that coffee is good for your health; liver cancer risk includes alcohol, tobacco, obesity and diabetes

Oct. 22, 2013

More news about coffee below news story.


Read more on Nutrition, Vitamins & Supplements

 

Laura Juliano, a psychology professor at American University and coauthor of the study, says health professionals have been slow to characterize problematic caffeine use and acknowledge that some cases may call for treatment.

"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."

"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," said Juliano.

"Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda," which Juliano coauthored with Steven Meredith and Roland Griffiths of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and John Hughes from the University of Vermont, published last fall in the Journal of Caffeine Research.

Grounds for More Research

Last spring, the American Psychiatric Association officially recognized Caffeine Use Disorder as a health concern in need of additional research in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders—the standard classification of mental disorders, now in its fifth edition (DSM-5), used by mental health professionals in the United States.

Juliano served as an appointed advisor to the DSM-5 Substance Use Disorders work group and helped outline the symptoms for the Caffeine Use Disorder inclusion.

"Furthermore, genetics research may help us to better understand the effects of caffeine on health and pregnancy as well as individual differences in caffeine consumption and sensitivity," she added.

Limit Your Caffeine

Based on current research, Juliano advises that healthy adults should limit caffeine consumption to no more than 400 mg per day - the equivalent of about two to three 8-oz cups of coffee.

Pregnant women should consume less than 200 mg per day and people who regularly experience anxiety or insomnia—as well as those with high blood pressure, heart problems, or urinary incontinence—should also limit caffeine.

But limiting one's caffeine intake is often easier said than done as most people don't know how much caffeine they consume daily.

"At this time, manufacturers are not required to label caffeine amounts and some products such as energy drinks do not have regulated limits on caffeine," Juliano said, adding that if this changed, people could perhaps better limit their consumption and ideally, avoid caffeine's possible negative effects.

But in a nation where a stop at Starbucks is a daily ritual for many people, is there really a market for caffeine cessation? Juliano says yes.

"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."

Notes:

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation's capital and around the world.


Links to More Archived Stories About Coffee

A coffee good to the last drop? Well maybe not for senior citizens, especially at $60 a cup

Civet eats coffee berry, passes the bean during its regular digestive process before being roasted and named Kopi Luwak

By Bill Kalmar, Retiree - Aug. 29, 2013


Seniors’ favorite drink wins again: four or more cups of coffee a day puts brakes on prostate cancer

Researchers see very big drop in this cancer for heavy coffee drinkers, but no drop in deaths; also find dangers for some men - Aug. 26, 2013


Warning on death risk from too much coffee does not apply to senior citizens

Only young people under 55 should avoid heavy coffee consumption, suggests new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

August 19, 2013


Crisis Looms for Senior Citizens as 'Coffee Rust' Wipes Out Production of Their Favorite Drink

A survey of seniors years ago found most prefer coffee to sex, but this devotion to caffeine may get challenged by an expected jump in price due to wide-spread fungus attack blamed on growing methods

Feb. 12, 2013


Moderate Coffee Drinking Good for Your Heart; Favorite Senior Drink Wins Again

Good news may warrant changes to current heart failure prevention guidelines of American Heart Association that say coffee drinking may be risky for heart patients; bit of bad news - excess coffee bad! - June 27, 2012


Does Coffee Deserve Credit for Boom in Senior Citizen Population?

Massive study declares coffee drinkers have lower risk of death; seniors have declared coffee more important that sex - see video - May 17, 2012


Coffee Antioxidant Properties May Protect Women Against Uterine Cancer

Drinking more than four cups of coffee daily cut risk by 25%; coffee fast-emerging as protective against a number of diseases- see video - Nov. 28, 2011


Coffee, Favorite Drink of Seniors, Provides Protection from Basal Cell Carcinoma

Women get almost twice as much protection as men among 3-cup a day drinkers - see video - Oct. 26, 2011


Older Women See Depressions Go Down as Coffee Drinking Goes Up

Depression is chronic and recurring condition affecting twice as many women as men; includes about 1 of every 5 U.S. women - Sept. 26, 2011


Coffee Drinking Fights Off Prostate and Breast Cancer: Happy Older Americans Month

Senior citizens say they will give up sex before coffee; must be delighted with latest news on how it protects both sexes from most prominent cancers

May 19, 2011


More Evidence that Coffee Protects from Diabetes; Caffeine Probably the Cause

Encouraging news for seniors who are major targets of diabetes and love coffee

June 8, 2010


New Study Says Caffeine Slows Alzheimer's, Other Dementias, Restores Cognitive Function

Positive impact of caffeine on cognition and memory performance, other benefits of caffeine in special supplement to the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease - (Amsterdam) May 17, 2010


 

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