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From what I collected, coffee is a magical potion that lets you feel energetic, and essentially not-sleepy. But are there any tradeoffs? I mean, if it was so beneficial, wouldn't the human body produce caffeine naturally?
First of all, the fact that a substance is beneficial does not mean that our body will, perforce, produce it naturally. Think of oxygen and water for example1.
As for the negative effects of coffee drinking, yes there are many although coffee has both a positive and a detrimental effect on human health. The main active ingredient in coffee is caffeine which can have the following negative effects:
- Caffeine can increase blood pressure in non-habitual consumers.
- High blood pressure is associated with an increase in strokes, and cerebral vascular disease, which in turn increase the risk of multi-infarct dementia.
- Caffeine may reduce control of fine motor movements (e.g., producing shaky hands)
- Caffeine can stimulate urination.
- Caffeine can increase cortisol secretion, some tolerance is developed.
- Caffeine can contribute to increased insomnia and sleep latency.
- Caffeine withdrawal produces headache, fatigue and decreased alertness.
- Caffeine is addictive.
- High doses of caffeine (300 mg or higher) can cause anxiety.
- High caffeine consumption has been linked to an increase in the likelihood of experiencing auditory hallucinations. A study conducted by the La Trobe University School of Psychological Sciences revealed that as few as five cups of coffee a day could trigger the phenomenon.
- High caffeine consumption accelerates bone loss at the spine in elderly postmenopausal women.
The list above comes from the very comprehensive wikipedia page on the health effects of caffeine. In fact, wikipedia is particularly good on this subject, see the following pages:
1 Our bodies do produce both Oxygen and water as byproducts of various reactions but nowhere near enough to satisfy our need for these substances.
As always, it depends.
To be more precise, let's presume you are asking about habitual coffee consumption. Thus, for people asking: "I really like to drink several cups of coffee per day, but I have heard this might be unhealthy. Should I be worried?"
Based on my reading of O'Keefe, J. H. et al. (2013), overarching results indicate you should not be overly worried (but exception cases will follow):
a growing body of data suggests that habitual coffee consumption is neutral to beneficial regarding the risks of a variety of adverse CV outcomes including coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and stroke. Moreover, large epidemiological studies suggest that regular coffee drinkers have reduced risks of mortality, both CV and all-cause. The potential benefits also include protection against neurodegenerative diseases, improved asthma control, and lower risk of select gastrointestinal diseases. A daily intake of ∼2 to 3 cups of coffee appears to be safe and is associated with neutral to beneficial effects for most of the studied health outcomes.
However, you might want to be cautious in regards to:
… potential risks (which are mostly related to its high caffeine content) including anxiety, insomnia, tremulousness, and palpitations, as well as bone loss and possibly increased risk of fractures.
Those with dyslipidemia may consider brewed and filtered coffee as opposed to preparations made from boiling beans without filtering.
So if you have trouble sleeping, already have an overly anxious personality, are prone to fractures, or have dyslipidemia, you might want to consult your doctor about your coffee intake.
A systematic review and meta-analysis investigates the effects of coffee on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in hypertensive individuals (Mesas, A. E. et al., 2011) and concludes:
The results of this review have clinical implications for the control of hypertensive patients. On the one hand, the acute increase in BP may temporarily increase the risk of a cardiovascular event (10, 11). This is consistent with the increased risk of coronary disease and stroke in the hours after coffee consumption. Thus, hypertensive patients with uncontrolled BP should avoid consuming large doses of caffeine.… However, we found no evidence to justify avoidance of habitual coffee consumption in well-controlled hypertensive patients; therefore, in these patients, medical recommendations should prioritize modification of other lifestyles, such as quitting smoking, controlling weight, and increasing physical activity.
O'Keefe, J. H., Bhatti, S. K., Patil, H. R., DiNicolantonio, J. J., Lucan, S. C., & Lavie, C. J. (2013). Effects of habitual coffee consumption on cardiometabolic disease, cardiovascular health, and all-cause mortality. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 62(12), 1043-1051.
Mesas, A. E., Leon-Muñoz, L. M., Rodriguez-Artalejo, F., & Lopez-Garcia, E. (2011). The effect of coffee on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in hypertensive individuals: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 94(4), 1113-1126.
There are copious studies on the health effects of coffee. The overall conclusion is that people who drink coffee have slightly less health issues than people that don't.
BMJ: The umbrella review identified 201 meta-analyses of observational research with 67 unique health outcomes and 17 meta-analyses of interventional research with nine unique outcomes. Coffee consumption was more often associated with benefit than harm for a range of health outcomes across exposures including high versus low, any versus none, and one extra cup a day. https://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5024
For adults consuming moderate amounts of coffee (3-4 cups/d providing 300-400 mg/d of caffeine), there is little evidence of health risks and some evidence of health benefits. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16507475
Caffeine for Your Health — Too Good to Be True?
by Candy Sagon, AARP | Comments: 0
Ines Perkovic/Getty Images
Drinking three 8-ounce cups of coffee a day can have positive health benefits, depending on the strength of the brew.
En español l Picture it: 624 million cups of coffee. A day.
That's about three cups per coffee drinker in the United States, where 83 percent of adults can't imagine life without their favorite cup of java.
Add to that tea, caffeinated soft drinks and those infamous energy drinks, and you won't be surprised to read that 90 percent of us consume caffeine in some form or another each day. Is this a bad thing? Not entirely.
Recent research has shown that coffee, in particular, may help prevent diseases like stroke and certain cancers, lower our risk of Parkinson's and dementia, and boost our concentration and memory. Partly that's because coffee beans are seeds, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reminds us, and like all seeds, they're loaded with protective compounds.
"Coffee is an amazingly potent collection of biologically active compounds," Walter Willett, M.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, told the National Institutes of Health's newsletter.
Caffeine, a mild stimulant, also provides benefits: It's been linked to lower risks of Alzheimer's disease, for example. But when it comes to caffeine, there really can be too much of a good thing. Those who study caffeine's lesser-known effects point to studies that indicate it can be worrisome for people with high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. Plus, caffeine can interact poorly with some common medications, and it can worsen insomnia, anxiety and heartburn.
It would make things easier if the caffeine content were listed on food labels so you would know if you've exceeded the 300 mg level that most health experts say is a safe, moderate amount for the day — about the amount in three 8-ounce cups of coffee, depending on how strong you brew it — but so far that's not happening.
So before you turn on that coffeemaker or grab a grande cup from your favorite cafe, here are some things to keep in mind.
First, the bad news about caffeine (and coffee)
Remember: Caffeine is a drug, says Steven Meredith, a researcher in behavioral pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
While low to moderate doses are generally safe, caffeine is addictive and users can become dependent on it and find it difficult to quit or even cut back, he says. (Caffeine dependence was even named as a new mental disorder this year.) Anyone who's ever quit cold turkey knows it can trigger pounding headaches, mental fuzziness and fatigue for a couple of days until the body adjusts.
Other effects of too much caffeine:
- It increases anxiety and disrupts sleep patterns, leading to a vicious cycle of restless sleep, relying on caffeine to help with daytime fatigue, followed by more insomnia.
, including thyroid medication, psychiatric and depression drugs, the antibiotic Cipro and the heartburn drug Tagamet.
What was previously thought&hellip
As coffee contains several active components in the form of minerals and antioxidants, it is inaccurate to say that caffeine is the primary source that affects our metabolism.
In the past, only a few lifestyle factors, and daily habits were known to be consistently linked to prostate cancer, especially with the risk of aggressive disease.
Therefore, this study might be of great significance in order to understand the biology and growth of prostate cancer. It may also help with possible approaches that will lead to the prevention of invasive conventional treatments.
It follows that coffee drinkers have no reason to stop drinking their favorite beverage.
However, men with an enlarged prostate or BPH, and prostate infection or prostatitis, should limit coffee intake. Or much better, they should set a stop time for coffee or liquid intake within the day.
This is because the caffeine present in your favorite coffee beverage may stimulate the bladder and can make your symptoms worse and troublesome.
Although the caffeine in coffee may increase urinary urgency, urinary frequency, bladder irritation, and increased pain, it is not the cause of an enlarged prostate or prostatitis.
Coffee and caffeine are, in fact, good for your prostate health.
The Downsides of Drinking Caffeine
For some, it can be hard to imagine any disadvantages of coffee. And yet, there are some potentially bad side effects of drinking coffee.
While drinking coffee isn't bad for you, some people can experience negative effects from caffeine. Although caffeine is widely consumed, it still is considered a drug and it comes with some potential disadvantages.
While you may not be especially sensitive to caffeine, there are some telltale signs that you've had too much, according to the Cleveland Clinic. These include:
- Experiencing "the jitters" or feeling shaky
- Racing heart or abnormal heartbeat
- Increase in blood pressure
In the long term, drinking a lot of caffeine throughout the day might lead to a vicious cycle of insomnia and fatigue, wherein you consistently lose sleep because of caffeine's effects, but then you need to drink caffeine to be alert during the day.
Some studies have found a link between coffee and increased cholesterol. Coffee itself does not contain cholesterol, but the culprit here may be cafestol, an oil that is naturally present in coffee beans. One early February 2001 study in Epidemiology found that coffee oils may decrease bile acids and neutral sterols, a process that may lead to higher cholesterol levels.
Still, more research is needed to understand the link between coffee and cholesterol. Some research has found that different brewing methods can filter out amounts of cafestol. While some people say that K-cups by Keurig filter out cafestol, more research is needed.
Filtered vs. Unfiltered Coffee
Is unfiltered coffee bad for you?
An April 2020 study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in April examined the coffee habits of 508,747 men and women between the ages of 20 and 79, finding that drinking unfiltered coffee was associated with higher rates of heart disease and death than drinking filtered coffee.
Over half of participants (59 percent) preferred filtered coffee, 20 percent drank unfiltered coffee, 9 percent consumed both brews and 12p percent drank no coffee at all.
According to the researchers, coffee drinkers who consumed between one and cups of filtered coffee daily had the lowest mortality, while those that drank nine cups of unfiltered coffee per day had the highest mortality.
More research is needed to fully understand the health effects of unfiltered coffee. Something we do know? Excess cream and sugar won't do your health any favors.
Some people are more sensitive to caffeine — and there can be many different explanations as to why that might be. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends limiting your caffeine intake if:
- You are prone to stress, anxiety or sleep problems
- You are a woman with painful, lumpy breasts
- You have acid reflux or stomach ulcers
- You have high blood pressure that drops with medicine
- You have problems with fast or irregular heart rhythms
- You have chronic headaches
If you are extra-sensitive to caffeine, even a single cup of coffee could prompt undesirable effects, such as restlessness.
Caffeine can raise your body temperature, along with your heart rate and blood pressure.
Although sweating is not a common effect of caffeine, it does occur in some individuals, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Sweating from caffeine is more likely when someone consumes a large amount of caffeine.
If you tend to gravitate toward the maximum recommendation of 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, you may experience side effects like sweating, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The sweating is generally not a cause for concern and should go away on its own when the caffeine is metabolized and excreted from the body. However, if you are concerned about your sweating, call your doctor.
Moderate amounts of caffeine are not likely to cause uncontrollable sweating. But if you have any health issues that are triggered by caffeine, you may experience an increase in sweat production.
Certain medical conditions may interact negatively with caffeine. Menopausal women may want to take note in particular if they find themselves sweating from caffeine.
A July 2014 study in the journal Menopause found an association between caffeine intake and an increase in hot flashes and night sweats in postmenopausal women. Based on these preliminary findings, the researchers suggest that limiting caffeine may help reduce the severity of both night sweats and hot flashes.
While sweating uncontrollably is not typically a side effect of caffeine use, if you have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, you may experience an increase in sweating triggered by stimulants such as caffeine.
Sweating also may be a response to strong emotions, such as nervousness, anger, embarrassment or fear. Hormonal changes, illness, low blood sugar, an overactive thyroid, spicy foods, warm temperatures, cancer, alcohol and certain medications may also trigger sweating. Eliminating caffeine completely can help you determine if the sweating is due to caffeine or because of one of these other conditions.
Caffeine and Medications
If you're taking certain medications or supplements, you'll want to be mindful about your caffeine consumption. The following medications may interact negatively with caffeine, per the Mayo Clinic, but they're not the only kinds to do so. For this reason, it is recommended to talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the potential adverse effects of mixing your prescriptions with caffeine.
- Ephedrine: Mixing caffeine with ephedrine, an ingredient in decongestants, may increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke or seizure.
- Theophylline: This medication, used to open up bronchial airways, tends to have some caffeine-like effects. Taking it with caffeine might increase the adverse effects of caffeine, such as nausea and heart palpitations.
- Echinacea: This herbal supplement, which is sometimes used to prevent colds or other infections, may increase the concentration of caffeine in your blood and may increase caffeine's undesirable side effects.
Caffeine is sometimes used as an ingredient in certain medications — both over-the-counter and prescriptions, per the Cleveland Clinic. Caffeine's effects on the central nervous system can help some drugs work more effectively, particularly pain relievers.
Caffeine and Pregnancy
People are often advised to keep their caffeine intake to a minimum while pregnant — the NIH says drinking one to two small cups of caffeinated coffee or tea a day (240 to 480 milliliters) is considered safe.
Just like alcohol, caffeine travels through your bloodstream to the placenta. Drinking too much caffeine can have a negative effect on a developing baby.
Even coffee can pose health risks. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it increases your heart rate and metabolism, both of which can affect the baby.
Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world, and while is generally considered safe, an increasing amount of research shows that some people can become dependent on it.
Many people develop a tolerance for caffeine, and some people may show signs of a dependency through certain behaviors, according to a September 2013 review in the Journal of Caffeine Research. These behaviors include a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control caffeine use, continued use despite harm, and a characteristic withdrawal syndrome.
One of the clearest signs of caffeine dependency is an inability to perform routine activities without caffeine. Early September 2004 research in Psychopharmacology highlights some common withdrawal symptoms, which include:
- Low energy
- Decreased alertness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling foggy
So what do you think?
While many heavy coffee drinkers will praise the benefits of their caffeine addiction, there are some precautions you will need to keep in mind before you pick up your next cup of coffee. If you are highly sensitive to caffeine, pregnant, have digestive issues or problems, or you are feeling bad after a cup of really strong coffee, maybe it’s best to avoid it for a while or at least reduce your intake. Or at the very least you can switch to decaf or find another type of coffee to drink and enjoy.
That being said, I truly believe that the positive benefits you can receive from drinking coffee heavily outweigh the negative ones. Because honestly, I don’t think I could live without my daily cup of coffee!
Did you find any of these positive and negative effects of coffee to be interesting, helpful, or downright strange? Will you have a second thought before your next cup of coffee? Are you going to leave your grinder alone from here on? Let me know!
Healthy Amounts of Coffee
It appears that caffeine and coffee can be helpful to your health and brain, but it's unclear at what doses it may no longer be so helpful. Because the science is still being determined, it might be a good idea to just stick to healthy amounts of coffee each day. Besides, caffeine isn't all positive. It can raise blood pressure, make you more nervous or even interrupt your sleep. And sleep deficits can have a significantly negative impact on your memory.
So how much is too much? Mayo Clinic suggests that up to 400 milligrams a day, which is about four cups of brewed coffee, is safe for most adults. However, some adults may find that they have side effects like nervousness, insomnia or even muscle tremors, and they may need to drink less. You'll also want to be cautious about drinking coffee while taking other stimulants, like ephedrine found in decongestants. In those cases, both substances might enhance the adverse effects.
How Coffee Can Reduce Risk Of Pancreatitis
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found how coffee can reduce the risk of alcohol-induced pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing severe abdominal pain. It is often triggered by alcohol consumption which causes digestive enzymes to digest part of the pancreas.
Scientists have known for some time that coffee can reduce the risk of alcoholic pancreatitis, but have been unable to determine how. Researchers at the University have now discovered that caffeine can partially close special channels within cells, reducing to some extent the damaging effects of alcohol products on the pancreas.
Professor Ole Petersen and Professor Robert Sutton, from the University's Physiological Laboratory and Division of Surgery, have found that cells in the pancreas can be damaged by products of alcohol and fat formed in the pancreas when oxygen levels in the organ are low. Under these conditions, excessive amounts of calcium are released from stores within the cells of the pancreas. Special organelles, called mitochondria, also become damaged and cannot produce the energiser that normally allows calcium to be pumped out of the cells. The excess calcium then activates protein breakdown, destroying the cells in the pancreas.
Professor Petersen explains: "The primary cause of the build up in calcium ion concentration is movement of calcium ions from a store inside the cells into the cell water through special channels in the store membrane. We have found that caffeine, present in drinks such as coffee can at least partially close these channels. This explains why coffee consumption can reduce the risk of alcoholic pancreatitis. The caffeine effect, however, is weak and excessive coffee intake has its own dangers, so we have to search for better agents.
"At the moment there is no specific pharmacological treatment for pancreatitis. As a result of this research however, we can, for the first time, begin to search for specific chemical agents that target the channels causing the excessive liberation of calcium ions inside the cells, which is where the problem originates. We are also hoping that these findings can be used to warn against the dangers of binge drinking. Some of the effects of the non-oxidative alcohol products on isolated pancreatic cells cannot be reversed, explaining why excess alcohol intake can be so dangerous."
The research by Professor Petersen and Professor Sutton, which is supported by the Medical Research Council, is published in TRENDS in Pharmacological Sciences and Gastroenterology.
Materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Drinking coffee before breakfast could have negative effect on blood glucose control, study suggests
Fox News Flash top headlines for October 2
Put down your cups. Or at least, put them down until after breakfast.
New research from the Center for Nutrition, Exercise & Metabolism at the University of Bath has found that drinking coffee after your morning meal is better for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels after a night of poor sleep.
A limited study showed drinking coffee before breakfast impaired blood sugar control. (iStock)
According to the scientists behind the research, which was published in the British Journal of Nutrition, drinking coffee as a way to wake up first thing in the morning can have a negative effect on blood glucose control.
“Put simply, our blood sugar control is impaired when the first thing our bodies come into contact with is coffee especially after a night of disrupted sleep. We might improve this by eating first and then drinking coffee later if we feel we still feel need it. Knowing this can have important health benefits for us all,” Professor James Betts, Co-Director of the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism at the University of Bath who oversaw the study, said, in the report.
To conduct the study, 29 men and women were studied after three different overnight experiments. In them, the participants had one night of undisturbed sleep and then drank a sugary beverage first thing in the morning one night of disturbed sleep – waking up every hour for five minutes, SciTech Daily reported – and then drinking a sugary drink in the morning and a night of similar sleep disruption, but first drank black coffee 30 minutes before drinking the sugary drink.
Each of the men and women had their blood tested before and after ingesting anything.
According to the study, when participants drank coffee first, the blood glucose levels increased by about 50% after having the “breakfast” drink. However, when participants had the breakfast-meal replacement drink first, there did not appear to be a negative effect on the glucose levels or insulin responses.
Though, the study was limited and further research is needed into the effects of caffeine first-thing in the morning on the metabolism, the early findings suggest drinking coffee first could limit the body’s ability to process sugar immediately after.
“There is a lot more we need to learn about the effects of sleep on our metabolism, such as how much sleep disruption is necessary to impair our metabolism and what some of the longer-term implications of this are, as well as how exercise, for instance, could help to counter some of this,” lead researcher, Harry Smith from the Department for Health at Bath, said.
But, for all those morning “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my cup of coffee” people, you might want to revise to “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my piece of toast” – or whatever else people eat for breakfast. Maybe these tiny pancakes, that TikTok fell in love with during quarantine.
Speaking of quarantine throwbacks, maybe whipped coffee will make for a nice post-meal treat.
Daily coffee creamer can impact your cholesterol
Dietitian, Dana Angelo White, explained that most "creamers" contain no actual cream, per the Food Network. While this might be good news for those that are lactose intolerant, it often means the products are full of sugar, oil, and thickeners. The oil is often partially hydrogenated, making in a very unhealthy trans fat to consume daily. Eating a lot of trans fat raises your chances of having bad cholesterol that can raise your risk of developing heart disease or stroke, according to EatFresh.org. Though Food Network notes that "a one-tablespoon serving contains less than 0.5 grams" of trans fat, given its incredibly unhealthy nature, pouring it into your cup of joe each morning is not the best idea. The solution? Go for the real deal if you can.
- There is minimal or no spiritual purity (sāttvikta) in coffee
- Tea is less sāttvik compared to milk, but a little more sattvik when compared with coffee
- Since milk has sattvik vibrations and is healthy, it is beneficial to drink milk more than tea and coffee
The above scan and analysis was done with the help of Mr. Santosh Joshi (Universal Energy Researcher, Mumbai, India).
SSRF appeals to scientists and experts in the field to join us in studying the various unexplained phenomena in the spiritual science research centre in Goa, India.