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Heavy Coffee Drinkers Experience Less Caffeine Withdrawal When Given Decaffeinated Coffee



Decaffeinated coffee can significantly reduce caffeine withdrawal symptoms in heavy coffee drinkers, even when they are informed that it is decaffeinated, according to a study comparing the reduction in caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Journal of Psychopharmacology was the journal that published the study.

A person who is dependent on a particular drug will typically experience a series of extremely unpleasant symptoms when suddenly ceasing to use that drug. Depending on the drug, symptoms may include irritability, mood swings, aches and pains, a drug craving, depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and other symptoms. One of the main obstacles to quitting drug dependence is the severity and sheer magnitude of these symptoms.

As a result, one of the main approaches to treating addictions has been to find ways to lessen or prevent withdrawal symptoms. Yet, even the best existing medicines have restricted viability and a critical portion of patients at last re-visitations of utilizing drugs even subsequent to figuring out how to go without their utilization for quite a while.

New approaches to addiction treatment and easing withdrawal symptoms are constantly being investigated by researchers. The use of the placebo effect is one novel strategy that is generating a lot of interest in research. A self-influenced consequence is a gainful impact that is created by a medication or a treatment that has no chance of delivering such a result and which is because of the patient trusting in that treatment.

The placebo effect has been shown to be present in a wide variety of psychophysiological phenomena, including reducing pain, improving sleep or motor function, widening breathing pathways in some respiratory system-related medical conditions, and others.

Study author Llewellyn Mills and his partners needed to investigate whether fake treatment can be utilized to diminish withdrawal side effects brought about by restraint from drugs. Deception of patients into believing that the medication they are receiving has the desired effects is the primary method by which the placebo effect is induced. However, these researchers wanted to know if a placebo administered openly, with study participants being informed that it is a placebo, could also produce the desired outcomes.

The drug they decided to work with is coffee. Coffee contains caffeine. “Caffeine is an acceptable analogue with which to model the underlying processes involved in addiction as it bears the hallmarks of all addictive substances including tolerance and a well-established withdrawal syndrome, but these are mild compared with more serious drugs,” the study authors explained.

There were 72 regular coffee drinkers, including 22 males aged 18 to 56. They all stated that they drank at least three 200 milliliter cups of coffee each day. Participants were instructed not to consume coffee for 24 hours prior to the study and informed that saliva samples would be used to determine whether or not they had consumed coffee in order to induce withdrawal symptoms. A lie was told about the saliva samples. These examples were to be sure gathered to keep up with the main story, however were not exactly broke down.

Participants were randomly divided into the deceptive, open-label, and control groups when they arrived at the laboratory. The Caffeine Withdrawal Symptom Questionnaire, or CWSQ, was used to assess each participant’s caffeine withdrawal symptoms and to collect demographic and caffeine use information. Following that, beverages were made and distributed to participants in front of them.

There were three groups of participants in this study. The initial two gatherings were given decaffeinated espresso, however one gathering (Open-Name) was informed they were getting decaf, while the other gathering (Misleading) was persuaded to think they were getting standard espresso. The water was given to the third group. In the Open-Label and Deceptive groups, the coffee was either in its original packaging or in counterfeit packaging that simulated the presence of regular coffee. Members were approached to drink their espresso gradually and finish it totally.

Participants were allowed 45 minutes to absorb the caffeine after drinking their beverages. They were free to study, use the internet, or their phones during this time in the laboratory. They completed the caffeine withdrawal symptoms assessment for the second time after this time.

Results showed that caffeine withdrawal scores diminished considerably during the trial in the misleading and open-mark groups. There was also a negligible decrease in symptoms in the control group. In comparison to the open-label group, the reduction was greater in the deceptive group.

At the point when members’ assumptions regarding the impacts of various drinks on withdrawal side effects were thought of, results showed that members anticipated that ordinary espresso should affect decreasing withdrawal side effects, however that they additionally anticipated that water should be more powerful at this than decaffeinated espresso. Participants in the deceptive groups were 15 times more likely than those in the control group and 10.7 times more likely than those in the open-label group to report that they believed the beverage they drank would make them feel better after the experiment.

“Though not as large as in the Deceptive group, the reduction in caffeine withdrawal in the Open-Label group was substantial and significant, suggesting that caffeine withdrawal symptoms can be reduced by placebo caffeine even when people know they are receiving placebo,” the study authors concluded.

The study added to our understanding of how a placebo affects drug withdrawal symptoms. But it also has restrictions that need to be taken into consideration. Decaffeinated coffee still contains a small amount of caffeine, it should be noted. Thus, it is not a complete placebo. In addition, the sample sizes were small and the effects were evaluated through self-reports even though participants were aware of the study’s objective.

Llewellyn Mills, Jessica C. Lee, Robert Boakes, and Ben Colagiuri wrote the study, “Reduction in caffeine withdrawal after open-label decaffeinated coffee.”


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