Jan 22, 2019 | Updated: 06:36 PM EST

First Caffeine-Related Death Reported

Dec 24, 2015 01:50 AM EST


In the fall of 2014, the world of medicine was shocked to have received a report of death because of caffeine overdose. The incident reports only released certain details about the man except for the name.

A Japanese man in his 20s has been concluded to have died because of large amounts of caffeine in his blood that led to his poisoning. The man, who worked on a night shift schedule for a gasoline station, periodically consumed caffeine in various forms just to help him stay awake through the night. Caffeine granules, powder and pills have been found in his stomach, and excessive amount of caffeine levels has been found in his blood works, too.

Although we all know that anything taken in excessively large amounts can be bad, no one could have seen the incident coming due to lack of any records or data that it could actually be fatal. Fortis-Escort Hospital's Dr. Rupali Datta said that caffeine by nature is extracted from plants. It can be consumed in various methods like coffee, chocolate, cocoa and even in several drugs. Also, it is widely known to pass through the blood brain barrier causing temporary alertness and fatigue reduction. 

However, recently, "A lot of young people, especially in the west combine energy drinks that are a source of caffeine, with alcohol because it blocks the slowing down reactions of alcohol. This leads to an excessive alcohol intake which is detrimental to the young body. When taken in large amounts this can lead to addiction that can have serious health implications," Datta explained.

Because of the popularity of caffeinated products in this modern time, different variations of consumption have also circulated, be the traditional brewed ones to stay alert and responsive, mixed in an alcoholic drink, even in teas, colas and energy drink to give adrenaline and temporary boost from tiredness. 

The maximum dosage for coffee would be three cups a day for an adult and 350 mm of soda for children. Many people have now depended on the effects of caffeine in their day to day routines, despite the awareness of its unhealthy side effects due to over consumption. However, caffeine has its own helpful and healthy effects as reminded by Japan's Safety Commission. 

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