10 Things Coffee Does to Your Body
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1) Toss up: Drink coffee, see ghosts?
Seriously. A study conducted at Durham University in 2009 found that people who consumed at least 315 mg of caffeine (about three cups of brewed coffee) a day were three times more likely to hallucinate than more conservative coffee-drinkers. Seeing things, hearing voices, and sensing the presence of ghosts were among the experiences reported by test participants and tallied as "hallucinatory" by the researchers.
According to the researchers, the ultimate question is this: are the hallucinations a result of the coffee-drinking, or is the coffee something hallucinators flock to as a way to help them cope with their experiences?
At least one study, conducted by researcher Harold Koenigsberg back in 1993, seems to support the plausibility of the former conclusion. Koenigsberg and his colleagues discovered that caffeine, delivered intravenously to test participants during their sleep, had the curious effect of inducing olfactory hallucinations; when test participants awoke, they reported experiencing a variety of strange smells. One participant even reported experiencing a scent like that of "plastic or burnt coffee."