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Coffee, is it good or bad for your health?

I woke up this morning and put the news on while I was having breakfast and one of the first items was a round up of today’s newspapers.  One article caught my attention, the title was Caffeine fix it: How a regular cup of coffee could help you live longer and it states that research shows that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, injuries, accidents, diabetes and infections with a nice little bi-line, from a doctor who just so happens to be an executive director of the British Coffee Association, which said ‘This important research adds to the overwhelming weight of evidence which demonstrates that moderate coffee consumption of 4-5 cups of coffee per day is safe and may be associated with certain health benefits.”

Now, strangely, from the same newspaper, in an earlier edition, there is an article Why Filter Coffee is bad for you and goes on to advise that dropping coffee from your diet could reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 15 per cent, according to another study.

Which should we believe??

Looking for some proper unbiased advice, I came across a site which detailed both the benefits and the dangers of drinking coffee:

The Benefits to Drinking Coffee

Antioxidants – Organic Coffee is full of antioxidants which help reduce oxidation, cell damage, and aging.

Parkinson’s Disease – Studies from Saaksjarvi et. al show that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.

Type 2 Diabetes – Other studies show that coffee consumption make protect us against type 2 diabetes.

Liver, Gallstones & Kidney Stones – There is a small amount of evidence that coffee may also protect us against cirrhosis of the liver, gallstones, kidney stones.

Cognitive Function – Caffeine is a stimulate. Drinking coffee has been shown to increase mental attention in the short term. Some have even suggested that by drinking coffee, we can better cognitive function.

Alzheimer’s Disease – Some studies show that habitual coffee drinking may protect us against developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life.


The Dangers of Drinking Coffee

Heart Disease – There is controversial scientific evidence linking coffee consumption to heart diseases. Some studies even state that “consumption is associated with significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease.” These same studies have shown a cholesterol-raising effect in some of the chemical compounds of coffee, such as determines, cafestol, kahweol and plasma homocysteine. This may be of-set by some of the antioxidants, but the overall agreement is that coffee may adversely effect the heart.

Blood Vessels – Coffee disturbs the functioning of blood vessels, both in turgidity and tone.

Cardiovascular System – Coffee affects our nervous system, heart rhythms and has been consistently linked to irregular heartbeats. It may also adversely affect blood pressure.

Osteoporosis – Coffee drinking should be heavily avoided by people at risk, or who have Osteoporosis. Studies show a link between drinking coffee and urinary calcium excretion.

Heartburn – Many people report that coffee increases heartburn.

Sleep Disturbance – Coffee, particularly in the evening or at night, can lead to sleep disturbance.

Dehydration – Drinking coffee depletes water reserves in the body.

Addiction – While the FDA recognizes caffeine as “safe,” it is still a drug, as it significantly alters the nervous system, leading to addiction over time.

Extreme Withdrawal Symptoms – You may experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to give up coffee. This can lead to headaches, irritability, body aches, and other more extreme symptoms.

Full article here

We actually gave up tea and coffee at the beginning of our clean eating diet and I haven’t missed it at all and we used to drink quite a bit of coffee, especially in winter, we could get through 5-6 cups a day, team that with sugar and milk and it all mounts up.  We now drink green or red bush tea which we both enjoy, green tea still has a little caffeine in, but it’s greatly reduced from a cup of coffee!

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