Coffee and Health: Facts and Fiction
by Samuel W Connelly
Rated "G" by the Author.
edited: Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2007
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This is part of an article I recently wrote which won an award. I like the info, so I thought I'd share.
Coffee and Health:
Facts and Fiction
In the 1970’s and 80’s coffee got a bad wrap from the scientific world. Coffee was blamed for a vast array of health problems including: loss of calcium, cancer of the bladder, pancreas, and breast, benign fibrocystic breast disease, high cholesterol; increase risk of heart attacks, premature births, and low birth weights.
Fortunately, more recent research suggests that coffee may have a defensive characteristic against liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, gallstone disease, kidney stones, cirrhosis, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The institutionalization of the “coffee break” was designed specifically to increase worker productivity in the work place by lessening fatigue and the stress caused from it. Coffee achieves this by “mobilizing” body fat and making it obtainable to working muscles, which lengthens the time before the onset of exhaustion, weakness, and fatigue.
The International Olympic Committee considers caffeine a performance enhancer and screens athletes for excess amounts of it. Caffeine cannot be used before running or weightlifting because it is a diuretic, so, athletes can become dehydrated more rapidly with consumption.
For those who consume 2 cups a day or more, studies have linked the consumption of coffee to:
A decrease in suicides and suicidal tendencies
Heightened social skills
Increased self confidence
Drinkers are less likely to suffer from medical problems such as hypertension and diabetes.
Drinkers are less likely to have to use anti-ulcer, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, or anti-hypertension medications.
Claims to prevent cavities and possibly (though not conclusive) tooth decay
Raised Cholesterol – Although, it is not actually linked to the caffeine, but to the oil from the bean. To prevent this use a filter; this is a solution, presumably, because the oil is trapped in the filter.
Stains your teeth – But there are ways to avoid this; brush regularly with an whitening toothpaste, drink through a straw (as the coffee with directly bypass your teeth though they may stain the back sides.) And again, studies show that consuming coffee can actually prevent cavities.
Coffee can be, and is to many, an addiction. Caffeine is a habit-forming drug and can cause “caffeinism” a condition characterized by anxiety, irritability, nervousness, lightheadedness, and even diarrhea.
Caffeine can cause a dependence; making drinkers rely upon a regular fix to ward off fatigue and headaches and to increase concentration.
“I’m not an addict, I can stop anytime I want to.” Those who decide to kick the habit may find themselves going through withdrawal symptoms similar (though less severe) to those following quitting serious addictions. The more severed of the symptoms included a splitting headache, which usually starts pounding the day after the habit is kicked.
Brewing for Best Results:
Due to the cholesterol raising attributes in the beans natural oils, it is best to filter your coffee.
Unfortunately when you can only drink filtered coffee, you sacrifice the great taste of the bean, which is effected greatly by the oils.
If you decided to drink responsibly and watch your intake, you can enjoy coffee brewed without a filter. French press, espresso, and a metal coffee filter, are the best way for brew for the coffee experience.
And remember that coffee is an experience, which is always more enjoyable when you drink it with others.