the Facts On Coffee
is the most popular beverage worldwide (after water), but coffee
is close behind it in industrialized countries. While caffeine
is a natural component of both tea and coffee, coffee contains
more of it: anywhere from 60 to 120 milligrams in six ounces,
depending on brewing methods and other factors. Caffeine is a
mild psychoactive substanceit stimulates the central nervous
system and improves alertness. It also boosts the analgesic effect
of aspirin and other pain relievers, which is why it's added to
some of these drugs. In large enough amounts, it can cause heart
palpitations, stomach upset, and insomnia.
derived from a bean, contains many other phyto-chemicals besides
caffeine, and some of them may have beneficial effects in the
body, as do those in tea, though this aspect of coffee is only
beginning to be studied. Coffee itself has been extensively studied
for years, generally to see if it causes disease. While many people
believe decaf is more healthful than regular, there's no proof
that it is.
has been blamed for causing many ailments, but in nearly every
instance, it has been declared not guilty.
It was linked to heart disease, as well as pancreatic cancerbut
then exonerated. Research suggesting such links hasn't been
supported by subsequent studies. Some researchers still worry
that coffee drinking may promote hypertensionbut many
studies have failed to show that it does. When risk factors
like cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol consumption are taken
into account, any apparent link between coffee and heart attacks
Coffee was blamed for fibrocystic breast disease (lumpy, painful
breasts), but there proved to be no connection.
Coffee was a suspected risk factor for osteoporosis, but it
does not appear to increase the risk, even in heavy coffee drinkersthough
there is still some controversy about this. (It's true that
heavy coffee consumers are more likely to eat poorly and smoke,
which boosts the risk of osteoporosis.)
Coffee was suspected of raising the risk of miscarriage and
birth defects, butagainstudies haven't supported
this, except perhaps for high intakes. Some researchers are
still not willing to let coffee off the hook. Pregnant women
should probably drink no more than a cup or two a day.
on coffee continues. Here are the latest news tidbits:
According to one well-designed study in Honolulu, coffee may reduce
the risk of Parkinson's disease. Men who drank no coffee were
two to three times more likely to develop the disease than those
who drank one to four cups a day, and five times more likely than
those who drank more than four cups a day. The caffeine was identified
as the protective substance. No one can adequately explain this,
and it's only a single study, with many limitations. But it's
worth investigating further.
In another study, those who drank two or three cups of coffee
daily cut their risk of gallstones by 40%. Again, there's no explanation
for thisand it's only one study. It's far too early to recommend
coffee for this purpose.
studies continue, occasionally raising a few worries. As we've
reported, studies have shown that drinking five to eight cups
a day of unfiltered
coffeeEuropean-style coffee, made in a French press (a pot
with a plunger)raises blood cholesterol. The great majority
of coffee consumed in the U.S. and Canada is filtered. And anyway,
that's a lot of coffee.
study found that drinking lots of coffee may increase the risk
of urinary incontinence. The solution: cut down.
bottom line is still this: If you're
healthy it's fine to drink coffee in moderation (no more than
three or four cups a day). If you like the lift it gives, and
the sociability it affords, there's no health reason to deprive
yourself of coffee. If you overindulge and get coffee nerves,
the remedy is simplecut back. If it keeps you awake, stick
to decaf in the evening.
Reference Source 98,99,101