Regarding the story headlined “Put down the coffee, pick up the aspirin” (The Sunday Capital, Oct. 17):
Americans are already subjected to enough conflicting health advice without hearing bogus claims that caffeine is an addictive drug. I experience baseball “withdrawal” symptoms every October, but post-World Series disorder shouldn’t be a recognized medical condition.
Roland Griffiths, the researcher responsible for this assault on common sense, isn’t exactly a reliable source. The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse has already rebutted his claim that caffeine is a “psychoactive drug.” And Griffiths’ earlier caffeine “addiction” study involved just seven human subjects – including himself and a family member.
His latest research also ignores a well-regarded 1999 study that demonstrated that one to three cups of coffee per day had no effect on the region of the brain responsible for addiction.
Mr. Griffiths’ conclusion is just plain silly. Cash-strapped Americans aren’t knocking over convenience stores to get their next latte fix. If the definition of addiction continues to be stretched to its breaking point, it won’t be long before our children need prescription drugs to break their peanut-butter-sandwich habits.