The nation’s obsession with coffee shows no signs of abating, but the dangers of overdosing on the caffeine-based beverage were highlighted when a teenager was hospitalised after an espresso binge.
Seventeen-year-old Jasmine Willis of Co Durham developed a fever, palpitations and breathing difficulties after downing seven double espressos. Doctors at the hospital diagnosed a caffeine overdose. Jasmine has since made a full recovery.
The Department of Health advises people on average to drink no more than five single espressos a day. A mug of espresso contains 107mg of caffeine, but filter coffee contains the most – 120mg.
A serious overdose of caffeine can result in delirium and seizures, but for anyone with the time and inclination to drink 200 cups of instant coffee in a day it could even prove fatal. However, coffee in moderation may also be good for you, with studies suggesting benefits for the liver and in protecting against Alzheimer’s disease and the effects of the sun.