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Caffeine

Caffeine is a drug and the principal ingredient in coffee, tea and soft drinks -- three of the most served drinks in the Western world.  Militaries -- particularly in the United States -- seemingly thrive on all three -- particularly coffee -- providing about as much free caffeine as imaginable.  [Which is curious, in that the Uniform Code of Military Justice (United States) prohibits anyone from knowingly and willfully harming themselves to the point of becoming incapacitated and thus unable to perform their duties.  And caffeine does harm!] 

 In an era of people seeking healthier lives, even taking responsibility for their health (as in Health and Responsibility), one can question why caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world, and why in the Western world, 8 out of 10 adults consume caffeine in some form or another.

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Disclaimer

The information contained within the pages of this website is for educational purposes only.  Nothing set forth herein is intended to be medical advice or able to be construed as such.  This discussion is private in entirety and non-negotiable between the parties.  Anyone acting on any of the contents herein does so solely on the basis of her or his own volition and at his or her own risk.  Everyone has the duty and absolute right to think, evaluate, research, learn, and act autonomously.  Inasmuch as Medicine and Law equate to the “right” to use potentially deadly force (destructive violence), it would appear prudent for anyone to refrain from adopting any course of action without first understanding the basis and reasons thereof and how to defend it if challenged.

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This is a particularly relevant question when one realizes that the amount of caffeine in just one cup of coffee can be enough to harden a  person’s arteries for several hours afterward. Hardened arteries, or atherosclerosis, then put extra pressure on the heart and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.  In effect, after drinking a cup of coffee, blood pressure can rise up to 5 or 10 millimeters of mercury; the amount depending on the individual and dose, or size of the cup of Java.

 Regular rises of this magnitude are important in a person’s long-term prognosis and could increase their risk of suffering from a stroke or heart attack.  People with high blood pressure should consider reducing their caffeine intake or having caffeine-free drinks.  But inasmuch as Cow’s Milk, Aspartame-laced diet drinks, dehydrating alcohol, all have their own negative health effects, perhaps it would be best just to drink Water.

 In one study, researchers gave a group of 10 healthy volunteers either inactive placebo  capsules or capsules containing 100 milligrams of caffeine -- a quantity  equivalent to one cup of coffee.  On another day, the volunteers received the opposite capsule from the  previous dosage.  Neither the volunteers nor the testers knew the sequence in which the volunteers had been given the capsules.  Caffeine consumption caused an increase in wave reflection -- a measure of  arterial stiffness -- for at least 2 hours, according to the study results.  [European Society of Cardiology Congress, Stockholm, Sweden Sept. 4, 2001]  

This is not good.  The author of the study commented that: “There are clearly worse beverages than coffee to consume.  It is my opinion that any diet or regular soda is worse than coffee.  Fruit juice is also worse due to the high fructose content.  So if you are  drinking fruit juice or soda, stop those first.  Coffee and caffeine can also interfere with your body’s ability to absorb water and can cause intracellular dehydration.”  [And it’s the lack of Water than can play havoc with your health!]  

Coffee has been previously associated with increased risk of Stroke and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  It should never be consumed during pregnancy.  One can use a product called “Water Joe” that is basically bottled water with caffeine added to help you wean off of the coffee.  If one stops coffee “cold turkey”, one will likely develop a severe headache from going through caffeine withdrawal.  

Also, avoid sugar and/or Cow’s Milk -- These are actually much worse for you than the coffee itself.  Compounding the detrimental health effects by adding cow’s milk or sugar to coffee comes under the category of multiple death wishes using slow techniques.  

In Nancy Appleton’s Book, Lick the Sugar Habit, <http://www.nancyappleton.com/> we might also note that as a stimulant, caffeine can actually increase the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.  When ingested, caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands, which release adrenaline-like substances called catecholamines.  These catecholamines cause the heart to pump harder than normal and the liver to release stored sugar, which raises the blood sugar level.  In turn, the pancreas secretes insulin to bring the level down to normal.  This process... can result in the eventual exhaustion of the pancreas.  

This release of sugar causes the “lift” most people associate with caffeine, but because caffeine also throws the body chemistry out of balance, the lift is short-lived.  The rush of insulin from the pancreas frequently goes so far beyond restoring normality that the sugar level falls below normal, causing extreme fatigue and other hypoglycemic symptoms.  It may be hours before the body’s chemistry returns to normal, and if another cup of coffee or tea [with caffeine] has been ingested, the cycle of imbalance will continue.  

Caffeine is implicated in a number of other problems as well. There is a possible connection between caffeine intake and birth defects, benign breast lumps, and irregular heartbeat.  As caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, it has also been linked to insomnia, nervousness, and anxiety.  It is also a cardiac muscle stimulant, a diuretic, and a stimulant of gastric acid secretion in the stomach.  In 1980, the FDA advised pregnant women to avoid or minimize the consumption of products containing caffeine.  

Noted biochemist Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., can’t say enough nasty things about coffee.  His studies show, among other things, that caffeine elevates cholesterol levels in the blood. Bland also explains that the reason for the frequency of ulcers in coffee drinkers is that coffee stimulates the secretion of gastric juices.  

Caffeine isn’t the only element in coffee that plays havoc with the body.  A study detailed. in the Tufts University Diet and Nutrition Letter shows that coffee can inhibit iron absorption by 39 percent, or as much as 87 percent when coffee or tea is consumed with or up to one hour after a meal.  (Drinking coffee or tea before the meal did not have the same effect.)  

One of the authors of the study, Dr. James D. Cook, claims that it isn’t the caffeine that interferes with iron absorption, but a family of binding substances called polyphenols (tannic acid), which are found in coffee and tea.  This group of chemicals strong arms iron and escorts it out of the body.  Since decaffeinated coffee also contains polyphenols, it too carries off needed iron.  Herbal tea, which is not believed to prevent iron absorption, is a good alternative for those who want to give up coffee and regular forms of tea.  

In spite of caffeine’s implication in heart disease, gastritis, heartburn, calcium secretion, increased stomach acid and stomach discomfort, cystic breast conditions, and nervousness and anxiety, the public continues to consume mountains of coffee beans, tea leaves, and cacao nuts.  Dr. Eyi Takaahushi, of the Tohoku University School of Medicine, has found a correlation between the amount of coffee a country consumes and the number of deaths from cancer of the prostate.  

Other data indicate that it is the sugar used in coffee, rather than the coffee itself, that is the cause of prostate cancer.  A definite correlation was also found between sugar consumption and cancer of the breast, ovaries, intestine, and rectum.  

Think of a “cup of Java” as a wish for a rerun of the Krakotoa (Java) volcanic explosion -- only in one’s health-oriented back yard.  

 

Health and Responsibility         Drug Enforcers

On the Other Hand         Aspartame         Cow’s Milk

Or forward to:

EMF Hazards         Microwaves         Evil Wind          Mental Health

               

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