Friday, 16 Jan, 2009 Health & Fitness

Coffee And LSD Have A Similar Effect


People who drink too much coffee are more predisposed to have auditory and visual hallucinations. This is the conclusion of a research made by British scientists from the Dahrems University. Its results have been published in the journal "Personality and Individual Differences".

According to scientists, people, who daily consume a quantity of caffeine equivalent to 7 cups of natural coffee, hear voices 3 times more often in comparison to those who consume less than an equivalent of coffee per day.

The leading author of the research Simon Jones says that, "Hallucinations are not necessarily a sign of a psychic disease. The majority of people have been in situations when they heard voices while being alone, circa 3 percent of people regularly hear voices. Many of them cope well with it and live a normal life."

Together with his colleagues, Jones studied 200 students in order to find their level of caffeine consumption – including tea, coffee, chocolate, energetic drinks or medical remedies. The team also studied the frequency of hallucination cases and the level of stress.

Some of the students were mentioning visual and auditory hallucinations, the feeling of presence of people who have died.

Researchers assume that the high spreading of hallucinations is related to the capability of caffeine to intensify the physiological effect of stress – under the influence of caffeine the organism elaborates more of the "stress hormone" cortisol – which can be linked to hallucinations.

The authors of the research say that their work is the first step to the discovery of factors leading to hallucinations. They say that changing the alimentary diet, and especially caffeine consumption, can make people more resistant and can also lower the probability of hallucinatory phenomenons.

The simple smell of coffee can help the brain cope with the consequences of stress brought about by lack of sleep. Scientists from South Korea, Germany and Japan in their experiments on mice have showed that the smell of fried coffee beans leads to such changes in the activity of some genes and the synthesis of the respective proteins in the brain that help lower stress' consequences from lack of sleep.

Earlier, scientists from Harvard have proved that alcohol and smoking don't increase the risk of ovarian cancer in women, and caffeine even lowers this probability. Still, scientists believe that the consumption of 2 and more cups of coffee per day during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage.

Posted by summer_rain

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