A Perverse Perk of Coffee

Super injections of caffeine protect from radiation

| March-April 2000

Researchers in India report that caffeine may help fight the effects of radiation. Scientists injected 471 mice with varying amounts of caffeine before exposing them to lethal doses of gamma radiation. As New Scientist (June 26, 1999) reports, 70 percent of the ultra-caffeinated mice survived, while all their decaffed brethren gave their lives for science. The amount of caffeine a human may require to stave off radiation sickness, however, may not be practical. One researcher estimated that each surviving mouse was pumped up with the equivalent of 100 cups of java. At that point, radiation could be seen as a blessing.