Thursday, April 14, 2016

TO BE OR NOT TO BE a Coffee Drinker!

TO BE OR NOT TO BE  a Coffee Drinker!

My wife often says I am drinking too much coffee! So I got to wondering if this is good or bad for me.

Starting facts have been revealed to me which I am sure you’d like to hear if you are a coffee lover too.

Firstly, what is coffee? 

Coffee is made by roasting seeds from Coffea plants. 

These plants initially in Africa and Southern Asia are now grown all over the equatorial region. 

Coffee drinking started in the 15 th century in the Sufi of Yemen. Then travelled to Arabia, Persia, Turkey and finally to Europe and the rest of the world.

What are the nutrients in coffee?

Coffee has vitamins (B2, B5, B1, B3), Folate, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus.

It also has a high concentration of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to prevent cancer!

Most importantly it has caffeine at an average of 90-100 mg per cup. 

Caffeine is a brain stimulant. By blocking adenosine, it increases activity of the brain and releases noradrenaline and dopamine. These make us more alert. So there is improved mood, quicker response time and increased level of alertness.

Caffeine also increases body metabolism, but most of these actions get tolerant when coffee is drunk on a long term basis and the effects are not so pronounced!

How does coffee prevent or delay diseases? In other words, what is the good news with coffee?

1.Alzheimer’s disease which causes forgetfulness and dementia in the elderly is delayed 65% in coffee drinkers.

2.Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease and coffee drinking brings the risk down by 32-60%

3.Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus may be protected by coffee drinking . Plasma levels of of Sex Hormone- Binding Globulins (SHBG) appear to have a role in development of type 2 diabetes.These are altered to protect against the development of diabetes (Harvard School of Public Health).

4.Liver Cancer - the risk of liver cancer is lowered by about 40% if one drinks 3 cups of coffee a day ( Italian Study).

5.Liver diseases such as primary sclerosing cholangitis and cirrhosis are reduced by 22% in coffee drinkers (USA study). Drinking decaf coffee also lowers liver enzyme levels.

6.Cardiac health - Beth Israel and Harvard School of Public Health concluded that coffee in moderation (2 European cups or two 8-ounce American servings) per day protects against heart failure.

7.Prevention of premature death - MNT news revealed that 4-5 cups daily reduced the risk of early death - even in those who drink decaf.

8.Multiple sclerosis ( Brain and nervous demyelinating disorder) risks are lowered by coffee.

9.Depression and suicides are reduced by 20 % and 53% by coffee drinking in Harvard study, 2011.

10.Longer life in coffee drinkers (4-5 cups per day) published in New England Journal of Medicine, 2012.

What then are the bad things about coffee?

In some folks, it causes anxiety, palpitations and panic attacks. 

Loss of sleep is well known. Best avoided after 2 pm. 

Coffee may  increase urination and to some extent the blood pressure by 1-2 mm Hg.

Tolerance ( tendency for coffee not to have any action and so need to increase dose) and addiction to coffee can post a problem.

Who are the folks who should avoid coffee in large amounts?

The pregnant, the anxious, hypertensive ( high BP), insomniacs and the highly strung best avoid excess coffee.

How to use coffee to aid the health?

Avoid sugar, excess milk, artificial cream or artificial sweetening agents .

I usually take 5-6 cups of coffee a day…. and enjoy it !

And I hope my wife gets to read my blog!