Fw: Caffeine story in National Geographic. 'The world's most popular psychoactive drug'. Sent fyi.
ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Wed Jan 19 23:30:55 EST 2005
Peace and love,
"Madness is not enlightenment, but the search for enlightenment is often
mistaken for madness"
ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Editor "Under the Influence- the Disinformation Guide to Drugs"
Cont. High Times mag/.com
Cont. Editor http://www.disinfo.com
Columnist New York Waste
----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew Byrne
To: ajbyrne at ozemail.com.au
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 10:10 PM
Subject: Caffeine story in National Geographic. 'The world's most popular
psychoactive drug'. Sent fyi.
This month the National Geographic Magazine has a 30 page cover story on
caffeine which makes fascinating reading. Caffeine is the world's most
popular drug, even eclipsing tobacco and alcohol.
The history of beverages, nuts and confection containing caffeine makes
quite a story, paralleling civilisation itself. Prior to the industrial
revolution there was little to be gained in keeping awake after dark. Since
caffeine increases alertness, improves reflexes and reduces fatigue, it is
an ideal accompaniment to round-the-clock factory work. With few proven
side effects at normal doses, it would thus appear to be the ideal drug for
the modern era.
After tea, coffee and cocoa, the latest incarnation is in 'energy drinks'.
We are told that "Red Bull" was an Austrian invention which is now copied
all around the world. I recall seeing "Jolt" cola when in Japan over ten
years ago. Strangely, it is compulsory in many countries to state contents
details on the label of most products, but tea, coffee and cola often still
remain exempt from this requirement.
We are informed that dark chocolate contains up to three times as much
caffeine as milk chocolate and 12mg is a typical dose contained in a small
block. The article quotes a cup of brewed tea at 50mg, about the same as a
single shot of espresso coffee. A 20oz (US) bottle of Coca-Cola has 57mg
caffeine while a small tin of Red Bull contains 80mg.
There is an exhaustive discussion of the benefits versus the potential side
effects of the drug, including its use in pregnancy and in children. The
author's conclusion on balance is parallel with the FDA, that the drug is
'generally recognized as safe' in doses of up to 300mg daily. However they
sound a warning that 'people who consume caffeine have higher rates of
kidney and bladder cancer, fibrocystic breast disease, pancreatic cancer and
osteoporosis' even if these are not necessarily causative. Nervousness,
panic attacks and temporary increases in blood pressure are also occasional
associations of caffeine consumption.
Other interesting quotes: "The caffeine extracted from coffee beans to make
'decaf' is sold to drug and soft drink manufacturers". "Military studies of
subjects who had not slept for 48 hours showed that 600mg of caffeine
improved alertness and mood as much as 20mg of amphetamine". "The robusta
coffee beans used in less expensive brands contain almost twice as much
caffeine as the arabica beans favored by connoisseurs". "Going without
caffeine for a day and a half increases blood flow in the brain which may
explain why people get headaches when they first give it up". "Cigarette
smoking nearly doubles the rate at which the body metabolises caffeine".
"Vietnam is now the world's second largest coffee producer, yet is largely a
nation of tea drinkers".
See also http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2004/09_29_04.html
(Caffeine withdrawal recognised as DSM disorder).
comments by Andrew Byrne ..
Dr Andrew Byrne MB BS (Syd) FAChAM (RACP)
75 Redfern Street, Redfern,
New South Wales, 2016, Australia
Email - ajbyrneATozemail.com.au
Tel (61 - 2) 9319 5524 Fax 9318 0631
My grandfather Harry Gracie's letters from 1924 trip to Mayo Clinic:
More information about the Ibogaine