Fort Myers, FL, March 12, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Oenophiles take note – drinking this wine could result in more than a pleasant buzz. As part of its National Caffeine Awareness Month® public education campaign, the Caffeine Awareness Association annually chooses a product on which to bestow recognition as the “Worst Caffeinated Product” in order to draw attention to the problems of caffeine abuse and addiction. The 2010 award goes to a wine produced by Benedictine monks at Buckfast Abbey located in south Devon, UK. One bottle of Buckfast Tonic Wine™ contains 281 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of eight cans of Coke®, according to neuroscientist Dr. Steven Alexander of Nottingham University.
A report published in January on the BBC news channel linked the use of Buckfast Tonic Wine™ to violent crime in the Scottish region of Strathclyde. The brew had acquired a reputation as Scotland’s “commotion lotion” according to a report by special correspondent Kenneth Macdonald. A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that over a three year period, Buckfast Tonic Wine™ had been mentioned in over 5,000 crime reports.
The finding “echoes a study carried out in 2007 at Polmont Young Offenders Institution” which found that “of those offenders who had been drinking immediately before their offence, more than 40% had been drinking Buckfast.” This finding worries Caffeine Awareness Alliance founder Marina Kushner who observed that "Many adolescents and teens abuse caffeine without realizing the damage it causes to their health. The less a person weighs the greater the effect caffeine has. For example, a child who drinks a can of cola is equal to an adult who drinks 4 cups of coffee.”
In selecting Buckfast Tonic Wine™ to call attention to the problem of caffeine abuse and addiction, Kushner noted, “At 200 mg of caffeine, you can experience irritability, restlessness, tension, insomnia, excitement, and gastrointestinal disturbance. If you consume more than 1 gram (1000 mg), you can receive irregular heartbeats, panic and anxiety disorders, muscle twitching, incoherent speech, excessive urination, flushed skin, and depression. And, believe it or not, when you ingest more than 5 grams, the results can be fatal."
Launched in 2002 by the Caffeine Awareness Alliance, the campaign calls attention to the risks associated with caffeinism and caffeine withdrawal syndrome, a disorder recognized by the psychiatric community. The CAA has established a Web site at www.caffeineawareness.org where visitors can use an online calculator to determine their daily caffeine consumption, take on online quiz designed to test their knowledge of caffeine and view videos and download educational materials. A companion social network site at nocaffeine.ning.com was recently launched to provide a forum for discussions and online support for members struggling with caffeine addiction.
CAA founder Marina Kushner has authored two books on the subject, with a third soon to be released. The Truth About Coffee and The Truth About Caffeine are exposés on the ubiquitous drug found in beverages, foods and medicines. Scheduled for release in the spring of 2010, Confessions of a Caffeine Addict is a collection of 40 real-life stories from people who have kicked the habit of caffeine addiction.