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Coffee: Catalyst for Anxiety?
Oct 24, 2008
Questions About Coffee
††††††††††† Researchers, health practitioners and those in the coffee industry have long debated the health side effects of drinking coffee. Are the side effects good? Are they bad? How much is too much? How are different organs affected differently? How are different people affected differently? Studies and corresponding scholarly journal articles investigating these issues date back as early as the 1980ís.† One of the issues that was studied at that time has come back on the general publicís radar recently and that is the possible correlation between drinking coffee and experiencing problems with anxiety. In this day and age of fast-paced life and an on-the-go mentality people are busier than ever and general anxiety is on the rise. Additionally, according to Reissig (2008) more people are using caffeinated drinks as stimulants than in the past. The question then becomes, are people who drink coffee more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety and in some cases serious anxiety disorders? Or are people just more anxious overall and happen to be drinking more coffee?
††††††††† Online information regarding this topic is primarily targeted at concerned coffee drinkers, as well as anyone suffering from an anxiety disorder. These information sources range from those highlighting the positive health outcomes of drinking coffee to those claiming that coffee is the primary cause of general anxiety as well as severe anxiety disorder. This range of viewpoints leads to confusion among consumers and patients about where to turn for information, particularly when a lot of the sites appear to be official looking and highly scientific in nature or when seemingly regular people suffering from the same symptoms write on blogs about the information that they got from their doctors.
†www.Coffeescience.org which highlights a seemingly endless list of positive health consequences for coffee drinkers, to www.conqueryouranxiety.org/coffee-can-bring-on-anxiety-symptoms/, one womanís blog focused on tips to reducing anxiety that contributes a significant amount of general anxiety to consumption of coffee. When considering the information on web pages such as these it is important to understand where the information is coming from. For example, www.Coffeescience.org appears to be very scientific, as the name also implies, and quotes a wealth of experts, which might lead to the assumption that it is an entirely legitimate source. However, and this is not to say that any of the information is necessarily false, this site was constructed and is funded by the National Coffee Association, an entity that has a vested interest in the continued rise of coffee consumption. Similarly, the previously mentioned blogger may also have motivations and/or biases that determine the information and studies on which she chooses to focus.
The Bottom Line
(Boulenger, J., Salem, N., Marangos, P.J., and Uhde, T.W. (1987). Plasma †††††††† Adenosine ††† Levels: Measurement in Humans and Relationship to the †††††† Anxiogenic Efects of Caffeine. Psychiatry Research, 21, 247-255. )
Charney, D.S., Heninger, G.R., Jatlow, P.I. (1985). Increased Anxiogenic ††††††††† Effects of Caffeine in Panic Disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 42(3), 233-243.
Eaton, W.W., and McLeod, J. (1984). Consumption of Coffee or Tea and ††††††††††† Symptoms of Anxiety. American Journal of Public Health, 74(1), 66-68.
Lee, M.A., Cameron, O.G., and Greden, J.F. (1985). Anxiety and Caffeine ††††††† Consumption in People With Anxiety Disorders. Psychiatry Research, 15, ††††††† 211-217.
(Lee, M.A., Flegel, P;, Greden, J.F., and Cameron, O.G. (1988). Anxiogenic ††† Effects of Caffeine on Panic and Depressed Patients. American Journal of †††††† Psychiatry, 145, 632-635. )
Reissig, C.J., Strain, E.C., and Griffiths, R.R. (2008). Caffeinated Energy ††††††††††† Drinks Ė A Growing Problem. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. (Accepted ††††††† but not yet published).
Totten, G.L., France, C.R. (1995). Physiological and Subjective Anxiety Responses to Caffeine and Stress in Nonclinical Panic. Journal of Anxiety † Disorders, 9(6), 473-488.
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