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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Too much coffee may lead to hallucinations

Coffee may benefit health in some ways, but beware. Drinking too many cups of coffee could bring on hallucinations.
Stressed people who consume five cups of coffee per day to deal with stress can exhibit signs of hallucination, according to a La Trobe University study.

The new study conducted by researchers from La Trobe University in Melbourne suggests that drinking over five cups of coffee a day could lead to hallucinations.

Hallucinations are false perceptions that an individual has that do not exist. For example, a person may hear, see or smell things that are not there.
In an experiment, volunteers who had consumed 'high levels' of caffeine thought they were listening to Bing Crosby singing White Christmas even though the song was not being played.

The researchers described caffeine as 'the most commonly used psychoactive drug'.

The team from the university's School of Psychological Sciences found that five cups of coffee a day was enough to trigger this.

Prof Simon Crowe from the School of Psychological Sciences, who examined the effect of stress and caffeine on 92 participants, found stressed people who had consumed about 200mg of caffeine during the day were more likely to imagine hearing things.

In an office environment, a caffeinated worker would be on edge and not correctly interpret situations, says Crowe.

Professor Crowe added: "Caution needs to be exercised with the use of this overtly 'safe' drug."

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