Coffee- A cup of confusion

Coffee- A cup of confusion


Many people do drink a cup of coffee occasionally, but before drinking it, they preface it by saying that they are not a coffee addict , but enjoy a cup once a way. So Is coffee a friend or a foe?.

The concern about the possible health risks of drinking coffee, being one side of the coin and the modern theory and reports of Coffee’s protective effects being the other. This  leaves many coffee drinkers thinking and confused. And so, what is wrong in calling coffee a cup of confusion.?

Here are some of the benefits of drinking coffee:-

  1. Laboratory studies suggest that the anti inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in coffee could help reduce the risk of some types of cancers.
  2. Coffee has a tendency to speed the passage of waste through the digestive tract. Potentially therefore, this property of coffee can lessen the time that cancer causing compounds spend in contact with the intestinal tract, which could thereby reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  3. Coffee has large amount of antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid and tocopherols,and minerals such as magnesium. These compounds are said to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism . So coffee can reduce the risk of diabetes.
  4. The Iowa woman’s Health study noted that 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day were linked with a 19% lower risk of heart-related death.But doctor’s advice is to be taken and followed.
  5. Coffee is said to lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease. It is said that new age Parkinson’s drugs are now being developed containing a derivative of caffeine.
  6. Coffee lifts the mood of one and cures headache,
  7. Caffeine enhances athletic endurance and performance.
  8. Coffee makes a person more alert,and boosts concentration.

Although the above points tell that coffee offers a variety of health benefits, let us not put all the above aspects on a high pedestal because:

  1. Medical conditions requiring the patient to limit or stop drinking coffee entirely.
  2. Coffee relaxes the muscle thus keeps stomach acids from raising into the throat, so those with heart burn or reflus disease(GERD) are encouraged to avoid or strictly limit coffee.
  3. people with sleeping trouble should limit or avoid caffeinated coffee.
  4. Excess dose of coffee can some times, more than what an individual can tolerate- can increase nervousness, hand trembling and cause rapid heart beat.
  5. Coffee can also raise cholesterol levels in some people and may contribute to artery clogging.
  6. On all the points above ,consult your family doctor. Ask his personalized advice for coffee drinking in case you are suffering from a health condition.

BEWARE that caffeine is addictive, be wise and limit yourself to 2 to 3 cups a day If you fancy a change from home, you can always  treat yourself to a long list of of delicious varieties at a good restaurant.

Author Bio Coming soon

5 Replies to “Coffee- A cup of confusion”

  1. Dear, Mr.Sundaram

    I have been following this excellent website for almost a year now. The blogs posted by you and Sanjana has provided me a plethora of information, and has improved my knowledge on food and diet on a larger scale, These simple points that both of you publish is not only beneficial for the community, but also, the easily explained terms are also very easy to understand.

    Please keep posting, And thank you so much for all the information on this blog.


  2. You articles are interesting but it would be nice if you quoted your sources too. For instance, “Laboratory studies suggest that the anti inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in coffee could help reduce the risk of some types of cancers”. Which lab studies? Any sources/citations? How is one to believe that this information is in fact true, specially when you also write about issues like Bottle Gourd juice when no in the western world would even go near it. TC

  3. Here is a news item appearing last week in the Bangalore Mirror printed by the wellknown daily news paper The Times of India under the caption “Tea,Coffee and Chocolate milk – Best health beverages”. There is however no mention at all as to which Lab. studied them, as also the sources and citations,. If such details were given by the oncerned people, they would certainly have appeared here The news item is very interesting. The fascinile of the article is given below:-


    A NEW research has described old-school beverages – tea,coffee and low fat or chocolate milk as the best elixirs for nutrition, health and workout recovery. Research indicates that Tea strengthens the body’s immune system, reduces buildup of plaque on arterial walls, and aids in the control and prevention of diabetes.

    Tea is an antioxident-rich beverage, containing more polyphenols than many fruits and vegetables,according to the study. Besides being rich in compounds that combat cell-damaging oxidative stress , tea has a chemical makeup that includes enzymes , carbohydrates, protein, and lipids. Oxidative stress is a molecular imbalance that interferes with the body’s ability to detoxify harmful compounds leading to cellular damage and is associated with chronic health problems such as atheroscelerosis, diabetes, dementia and even cancer. Packed with compounds that protect cells from oxidative stress, tea has emerged as a natural dietary aid to lower the risk of these ailments.

    Like Tea , Coffee is packed with polyphenols, and it actually has a higher content of antioxidents than green or black tea and other beverages, such as fruit and vegetables juices.

    Researchers suggested that coffee consumption can lower cardiovascular risks as well as lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by upto 50 percent. Coffee also appears to have a positive effect on neurological diseases with coffee consumption possibly reducing the risk of both Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.The findings also detail the benefits of whole, low- fat, and chocolate milk when it comes to overall nutrition , bone density, weight loss , muscle- building and more.


    Now-a-days people have started realising that they are drifting away from nature and are leading a hectic life full of tension , inhaling polluted air, drinking polluted water, eating all types of junk food available in the market and indulging in all sorts of excesses. No wonder illhealth is on the increase. Diseases come as a natural punnishment . To get rid of the diseases, man resorts to poisonous drugs and deadly chemicals which ultimately disable or kill him, the end result..

    Thus, in trying to escape diseases which are of their own creation , man becomes a victim of drugs and medicines. He can save himself if only he knows the fact that right food has exceptional healing properties. Hippocrates, the Greak physician who is regarded as the Father of Medicines, once said ” Let thy food be thy medicine”. Nature can be gainfully employed to prevent as well as cure diseases.

    Since pre-historic times , man has turned to plants, trees, vegetables and fruits for healing and getting relief of physical discomfort, apart from the usage of them as food. Plants were therefore the earliest source of medicine and until comparatively recent times, they remained as mankind’s chief method of healing.

    Even today in this age of scientific and technological marvels and advances, majority of the prescriptions for medicines from doctors have a good bearing on herbs and plants etc as their origin. Man born in the lap of Naure should recognise the value of our god given body `and mind and maintain their health by using the natural food and juices.

    It is in the above background that consuming jucies of Ashguard, Bitter guard, Bottle guard, garlic,amla,etc to name only a few, are found very good for one’s health. Fresh vegetables satisfy and nourish each and every cell of the human body They revitalize the blood stream, they activate the nerves, they rejuvenate the glands and organs, they also soothe the acid irritated tissues. Such are the benefits of juices.

    Before concluding, let me say a word about the plant chemical industry. The manufacture by plant of medical substances is just one part of its great activities. Within the plant cells a great many inter connected chemical reactions are taking place silently. The most important reaction is “Photosynthesis” carried on mainly by the green leaves of the plant. This process is fundamental to our life on earth, for it provides both our Food and the Oxygen we need to breathe.

    Let us therefore adopt a natural way of life going back to nature, rather than living in these days of fast foods, houses made of plasticboards,cardboards and plastic and clothing of synthetic material.

  5. The Great Coffee Question: Friend Or Foe? Or a cup of confusion?.

    The greatest question on the great coffee, whether it is a friend or a foe or still a cup of confusion must be bothering the mind of everybody. To assist them in arriving at a firm conclusion, here is a very useful article on this beverage which is reproduced below in toto for the benefit of our esteemed readers Studies like the one given in this article, will certainly help everybody to understand his or her problem and in the present case, how coffee relates to your specific state of health and health condition. With that knowledge, one can define the right course of action to take in drinking coffee.

    The article starts below:-

    The rich smell of fresh coffee. Is that the reassuring odor of health benefits or the uneasy scent of physiological danger? While some coffee studies show great benefits, others show potential harm. If you’re undecided about coffee, sniff out the research and decide if coffee’s health benefits — and its stimulating effects — are what you need.
    I really love coffee. I mean, I don’t just drink it; I enjoy it. I savor it. I relish the moments when I allow myself to indulge in the good stuff. For me, coffee is a treat that I don’t abuse. I respect its powers to both empower and harm.
    However, I have associates and clients who complain of insomnia, headache and irritable bowel syndrome, yet they refuse to stop drinking coffee. They are in denial about the role too much coffee consumption plays in poor health. I understand why.
    With a handful of recent studies on the positive health benefits of coffee, you can’t blame them for being confused. The decision about whether to drink coffee has become a conundrum. Mixed studies on coffee’s effects complicate the issue.
    Coffee Safe In Moderation For Women
    A report published in Harvard’s Women’s Health Watch looked at the effects of drinking moderate amounts of coffee. It described research that found that those who drink coffee regularly have a lower risk for type II diabetes compared to non-coffee drinkers.
    The Harvard reporters also note that “coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, discourage the development of colon cancer, improve cognitive function, reduce the risk of liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease, and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.”
    However, the Harvard publication warns of potentially negative effects of drinking too much coffee: increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and irregular heartbeat. In the end, it concludes that most of the negative effects of coffee consumption occur when you drink too much.
    But a key question remains about how much coffee is enough and how much is too much.
    Coffee Lowers Risk Of Lethal Prostate Cancer
    According to the findings of a recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, coffee reduces the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, men who drink coffee on a regular basis have a lower risk of developing the most lethal form of prostate cancer. According to this research, it doesn’t matter if the coffee is regular or decaf:
    Men who consume six or more cups of coffee per day were shown to have almost 20 percent less risk for developing any form of prostate cancer.
    Men who consume the most coffee overall had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the most lethal form of prostate cancer.
    Men who drink three or fewer cups of coffee per day showed a 30 percent lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.
    The results were the same whether the men drank regular or decaffeinated coffee, indicating that caffeine is not the primary factor affecting the results.
    Senior author Kathryn Wilson, a research fellow in epidemiology at HSPH, said: “If our findings are validated, coffee could represent one modifiable factor that may lower the risk of developing the most harmful form of prostate cancer.”
    While drinking plenty of coffee per day may prevent men from acquiring the more lethal form of prostate cancer, other research shows that coffee may harm the fetus of pregnant women.
    The Dangers Of Caffeine During Pregnancy
    A study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that pregnant women who consumed caffeine were at high risk for late miscarriage and stillbirth. The study, which recruited a cohort of 2,643 pregnant women, aged 18-45 years, found that caffeine can potentially affect the developing fetus.
    “We used a validated tool to assess caffeine intake at different stages of pregnancy and related this to late miscarriage and stillbirth, adjusting for confounders, including salivary cotinine as a biomarker of smoking status. There was a strong association between caffeine intake in the first trimester and subsequent late miscarriage and stillbirth, adjusting for confounders.”
    Many women consume caffeinated coffee. But while consumption may lead to miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women, coffee consumption benefits other women.
    Coffee Linked to Reduction In Endometrial Cancer
    A 26-year study assessing the effects of coffee consumption in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) with 67,470 female participants aged 34–59 showed it reduced the risk of endometrial cancer.
    The results were intriguing. Women who drank fewer than four cups of coffee per day did not have their cancer risk reduced. However, those women who drank four or more cups daily had a 25 percent lower risk of developing endometrial cancer compared to those who drank one or no cups per day.
    This benefit may be linked to the fact that coffee reduces levels of two hormones thought to impact endometrial carcinogenesis: estrogen and insulin.
    Coffee Catch
    So, overall, is coffee good or bad for health, friend or foe? It’s hard to say. These studies make it even harder to come to a firm conclusion since they point to both lifesaving benefits and deadly consequences.
    Coffee contains thousands of compounds including important antioxidants that reduce inflammation; regulate insulin; make us more alert; and help lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, Type II diabetes, prostate cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer, liver cancer and gallstones.
    However, coffee is also associated with migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, nervousness, fibromyalgia, insomnia, raised blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, miscarriage and stillbirth.
    It is also hard to know how much coffee is too much and how much is enough. For someone like me, who suffered debilitating migraines daily for roughly 30 years, coffee is both friend and foe. I love the taste of the well-roasted brands, and coffee wakes me up when I’m overly tired. But if I drink more than two cups per day, I succumb to migraine.
    You have to make up your own mind about coffee.
    Good Luck.

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