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Combination of Alcohol and Caffeine Too Deadly to Study on Humans

The previous post discussed a move by the maker of the alcoholic beverage Four Loko to remove caffeine from their products. The move came just as the FDA signaled they would begin cracking down on products containing alcohol and caffeine.

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, toxicologists and doctors have been pushing for a crackdown against products containing alcohol and caffeine because of the dangers they pose, especially to young people. 

According to the Times, the combination of alcohol and caffeine in the quantities found in Four Loko and similar products (like Joose or Core Spiked) are too dangerous and toxic to even study on humans in scientific studies. Scientists believe, however, that the combination of the depressant of alcohol with the stimulant of caffeine leads people to take more unnecessary risks than they would otherwise take.

A 23.5 ounce can of Four Loko contains the equivalent of 4 or 5 beers and two cups of coffee. Four Loko is also known as "blackout in a can" because drinking one can in an hour can be like drinking a full six-pack in an hour. The addition of caffeine may mask the drowsiness that alcohol creates and make someone feel more awake and may delay the feeling of drunkenness.

For this reason, a person may drink more quickly and more than they can handle. This makes the combination of alcohol and caffeine especially dangerous for inexperienced drinkers, such as college students, which may lead to underage DUIs.

Source:

Why mixing alcohol and caffeine is so deadly (Los Angeles Times)