To Drink or not to drink coffee. THAT is the question…


Yes, I know I am about to tackle the pros and cons of a drink many of us consider sacred, essential to our very survival even, but I will post this anyway.  Coffee, joe, cafe, espresso, whatever you call it, it is in most of the households around the world.  Most of us drink it before or with breakfast, on the way to work, during the day, or after dinner.  We love the way it tastes, with or without the things we put into it, and the different ways it is roasted and the different places it is grown and the different flavorings give us a never-ending plethora of coffee to choose from, but is it good for us?  Being a coffee drinker myself, I am going to present the facts from both sides and let you decide.

Keep in mind three things…

*the link will open a new window

The average intake referred to in this article is 1-3 6 ounce cups of coffee.  

Unless stressed, I am referring to coffee, NOT caffeine.

 

Let’s start with what’s in it.  I am talking about the chemistry* portion, not whether it is taken with cream, sugar, or any of the myriad of artificial syrups that you can put in your coffee.  First, there is the main one which everyone knows, caffeine*.  It is the widest spread, unregulated drug on the market today, and can be found in anything from coffee to chocolate.  It is a stimulant that temporarily raises blood pressure, and gives us a short burst of energy.  It is addicting.  (I mean, have you ever forgotten to drink it.  The headache from the detox is horrible.)  Many of us swear by the caffeine.

There are micronutrients* in coffee:  potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, niacin and many others.  However, the vitamin E can be questionable due to the roasting and the brewing process.  Vitamin E doesn’t do well in heat.

Chlorogenic acid* is also found in coffee.  No, it’s not Chlorine.  It breaks down in the colon to make two more acids that benefit us, caffeic and guinic acids.  These acids have antioxidant properties and have also been proven in many studies to be anticarcinogenic.  Now that we have gotten the chemistry out of the way, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this post.

THE PROS

I figured the good news before the bad, right?  Right…

  1. Caffeine can help slow the onset ofAlzheimer’s*.
    • Studies show when people over the age of 65 consumed up to four cups of coffee daily, it helped to stave off the disease for as much as four years.
  2. Ongoing studies show that people with Parkinson’s showed an improvement with motor skills when drinking coffee regularly.  They are doing more studies on other effects.
  3. Drinking coffee before taking a test or giving a presentation will help with alertness and memory retention.
  4. Many studies have shown that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.  Even though it impairs insulin, it does not increase glucose.
    • The study also showed that it was a substance that has not been isolated that does this.  It’s not the caffeine.
  5. Caffeine in coffee is a mild antidepressant.  Keep in mind that it should not be used on a regular basis to treat depression.
  6. Coffee contains cellulose fiber and acts as a mild laxative.
  7. Coffee is a diuretic, helping to rid the body of urine and uric acid.
  8. Drinking up to four cups a day of coffee can help reduce the joint pain of gout.
  9. Brewing coffee helps reduce up to 90% of heavy metals from the water.
  10. Taking Tamoxifen?  Drinking coffee can help you fight breast cancer.
  11. Dark roast may be easier on your stomach.

Now, for the bad news…

THE CONS

  1. It contributes to a drug cycle.
    • The groggy feeling, grumpiness, and brain fuzz many experience in the morning is due to caffeine withdrawal suffered during the sleep cycle.
      • To prevent this and the headaches associated with not drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages is to ween yourself off of them.  Going off caffeine all at once can be dangerous depending on the amount of caffeine you consume during the day.
  1. Chemical pesticides.
    • Beans that are cultivated in other countries are done so under very lax regulations for pesticide use.  Most of those beans come here.
      • For a guide to safe or safer brews, click here.
  1. You may be sensitive to the blood-pressure elevating effects of the caffeine.
  2. Six to ten or more cups of coffee on a daily basis may be a major contributor to cardiovascular disease due to the homo-cysteine in the in the coffee.
  3. As stated earlier, unfiltered coffee has been linked to an increase in LDL cholesterol.
  4. The caffeine found in coffee can put a strain on your kidneys.
  5. The caffeine in coffee contributes to Restless Leg Syndrome.
  6. Too much caffeine, 4+ cups of coffee daily, increases loss of bone density.

There you have it.  The pros and cons.  As I find more, I will update this editorial, and re-distribute.

Sources:

Coffee: Pros and Cons | The Divine Addiction

Big Perks: Coffee’s Health Benefits – Health.com

Top 15 Effects That Coffee Has on Your Health

The Negative Health Effects Of Drinking Coffee | LIVESTRONG.COM

What is in coffee | A look at Caffeine, chlorogenic acid and other coffee constituents

KidneyStones.org

Drinking Coffee May Delay Alzheimer’s Disease

What a Cup of Joe Might Hold for Parkinson’s Patients | The Michael J. Fox Foundation

Caffeine Bad for Diabetes

Coffee and suicide

Coffee May Lower Gout Risk

Coffee and Health: Pesticides and Chemicals | CoffeeReview.com

Coffee consumption and blood homocysteine

Coffee may help prevent breast cancer returning, study finds

7 Foods that Are Actually Damaging Your KidneysKimberly Snyder



Categories: health

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