Caf­feine may in­crease pain tol­er­ance

Business Standard - - ECONOMY - NI­CHOLAS BAKALAR

Con­sum­ing caf­feine may in­crease the abil­ity to with­stand pain, a small study sug­gests. Re­searchers re­cruited 62 men and women, ages 19 to 77, and had them record their daily caf­feine in­take from cof­fee, tea, soda, en­ergy drinks and choco­late. They av­er­aged 170 mil­ligrams of caf­feine a day, about the amount in two cups of cof­fee, al­though 15 per cent of the group con­sumed more than 400 mil­ligrams a day. The study is in Psy­chophar­ma­col­ogy.

Af­ter seven days, they took the vol­un­teers into a lab­o­ra­tory to test their pain tol­er­ance us­ing cal­i­brated de­vices that grad­u­ally in­creased heat or pres­sure on a vol­un­teer’s fore­arm or back. The peo­ple pressed a but­ton on a hand­held de­vice first when the sensation be­came painful, and then again when it be­came in­tol­er­a­ble. The ex­per­i­ment con­trolled for sex and race, cur­rent tobacco use and al­co­hol con­sump­tion, among other vari­ables that could af­fect pain sensation.

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