Sunday, August 26, 2007

What about coffee? To drink or not to drink?

My husband and I consider ourselves coffee lovers but that does not make us connoisseurs. We get our coffee beans direct from baguio every now and then. Ours is a mixture of Arabica, Benguet and Barako. Lately though, I haven’t been sleeping very well. I discovered that having two cups of coffee a day (one in the morning and one after lunch) does give me a bit of insomia. In nursing school, I have learned a few things about coffee, its pros and cons to health. And here they are:

The good news:
*Caffeine increases intellectual activity when fatigued or bored.
*Caffeine speeds up fat metabolism during exercise while conserving glycogen and glucose thereby maintaining brain activity and reducing hunger.
*Caffeine prevents crystallization of cholesterol and reduces risk of development of gallstones. Coffee has a protective effect against cirrhosis of the liver.
*Coffee has shown a protective effect against colon cancer likely due to enhanced colonic activity of the colon and antimutagenic components in coffee.
*Coffee may lower the incidence of Parkinson’s disease due to high anti-oxidant activity.
*The theophylline in coffee may be protective against asthma.
*Coffee has four times the anti-oxidants of Green Tea, makes an excellent anti-depressant, and enhances performance and memory.
*Caffeine dilates the arteries of the brain and may counter migraines. (Caffeine is also a cause of migraines.)
*The FDA considers caffeine to be “Generally Recognized as Safe.”
*Coffee may reduce the incidence of kidney stones by increasing the flow of urine and decreasing its concentration.
*Coffee lessens the incidence of bladder cancer in smokers due to its diuretic effect.
*Minerals like magnesium and antioxidants may contribute to coffee being shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
*Coffee has the ability to reduce the release of histamine from mast cells thereby having anti-allergic properties. With all of these conflicting studies, it is apparent that common sense must prevail.

The bad news:
*Coffee, including decaf, has high amounts of vitamin K, which affects coagulability of the blood – bad for people at risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots.
*Decreases quality of sleep.
*Caffeine may cause problems with blood sugar control after meals for type 2 diabetics.
*Coffee excites more rapid peristaltic movements of the intestines resulting in shorted transit times and less absorption of nutrients.
*Coffee hampers the absorption of essential minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and B’s.
*Coffee contributes to caries in the teeth.
*Coffee stimulates more frequent urination and subsequent loss of various vitamins and minerals such as B, C, calcium, iron and zinc.
*Caffeine may aggravate osteoporosis by leaching calcium from the bones.
*Caffeine may increase intraocular pressure in persons with glaucoma.
*Coffee may interfere with proper levels of homocysteine and cholesterol by inhibiting vitamins folate, B12 or B6.
*Coffee is one of most heavily pesticide sprayed crops.
*Caffeine aggravates stress in people who drink it every day.

So, what’s your verdict?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi! nice blog. my verdict? too much of anything is dangerous!