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Effects of Coffee: What a cuppa can give you….

Coffee has played a significant role in human society since the 9th century AD when it was exported out of the Middle East. Today millions of people around the world drink coffee every day because of its social connotations, taste, and caffeine content. With strains from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, coffee has had a major impact on almost everyone in the world. However, the drink has much more to offer than many people think.

Recent studies by a number of scientific institutions and universities have shown that the innocent looking coffee bean has a number of negative health affects.

The negative aspects of coffee

Coffee contains caffeine.
Caffeine causes a number of health problems including, but not limited to, sleep and anxiety disorders, elevated risks of Parkinson’s disease, elevated heart beat and stress, breathing problems in infants, and caffeine dependency syndrome. It is important to drink caffeinated beverages in moderation.

Coffee can cause constipation.
Because coffee is a diuretic it can cause people to become dehydrated; a lack of fluid in an individual’s body causes constipation.

Drinking coffee over a period of time can stain a person’s teeth.
Coffee has a similar affect on teeth as nicotine. Drinking coffee over an extended period of time can lead to an individual developing yellow teeth and cavities, especially if large amounts of sugar are added to the drink.

Daily coffee ingestion induces a 24 hour cyclic disturbance with morning arousal, irritability, difficulty concentrating, subtle levels of disorganization, clumsiness, and forgetfulness. As the day progresses, 3 or more cups later, a heavy fatigue sets in by mid to late afternoon. Further coffee doses may rouse one a bit, but then further collapse is inevitable by evening. Irritability may evolve into disproportionate or inappropriate angry outbursts, pleasure-loss, absence of good-feelings, or empathy anesthesia.

It is likely that the subtle psychopathology of moderate to heavy coffee consumption contributes to the production of unnecessary conflict and dysphasia. The subtle cognitive and memory deficits which appear after coffee intake should alarm employers who expect their employees to think, remember, or carry out skilled, coordinated acts. It may be that coffee facilitates dull, routine, rote tasks where thinking, skill and initiative are unimportant.

A lonely chemist from his R&D department, unwanted, depressed chemist published his invention in a scientific journal, describing the bad effects of coffee on health, hence, the importance of decaffeinating.

He wrote,” Caffeine causes thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), decreases the motility of the sperms, increases irritability and may harm the pregnant mother. Caffeine is habit forming and sudden cessation causes withdrawal symptoms.”

The caffeine, oils and acids in coffee irritate the stomach lining, which can cause excessive production of hydrochloric acid leading to a variety of digestive ailments. Decaf, which contains the same oils and acids as regular coffee as well as traces of ethylene chloride, brings on the same increase in stomach acid.

Drinking coffee on an empty stomach produces an even greater increase in stomach acid, and can cause stomach pain almost immediately in some people.

Research has shown a definite link between coffee drinking and ulcers. One study of 25,000 men showed that those who drink coffee have about a 72 percent higher risk of developing ulcers than those who don’t.

Coffee can cause a reflux of stomach acid which comes up into the throat causing “heartburn.”

Coffee tends to slow down the passage of waste through the small intestine and speed it up in the large intestine.

It is not how much coffee you drink but how long you have been drinking it. If you have been drinking coffee for years, the chronic irritation of your stomach lining can lead to inflammation and pain even if you only drink one or two cups a day.

Coffee’s as bad or worse, than nicotine and alcohol. It causes heartburn, excess gas, bloating ulcers, and it is terrible for your digestion. Drinking coffee increases your risk of getting ulcers by 72%! That’s a lot!

If you drink a lot of coffee, and you have digestion problems, stomach pains, or heartburn… Well, what are you waiting for! Stop already!

Side Effects of Caffeine

  • Women who drink caffeinated products lose more calcium in their urine and tend to have less dense bones than non-caffeine drinkers. This may increase the risk of osteoporosis in susceptible women. It has been suggested that women should drink at least one glass of milk a day for every two cups of coffee, to try to offset the calcium loss.
  • Caffeine aggravates pre-menstrual breast pain in a significant number of sufferers.
  • Caffeine can aggravate insomnia.
  • Women who drink more than four cups of coffee a day have twice the risk of urinary incontinence compared with women who drink little or no coffee.
  • Caffeine withdrawal can produce unpleasant headaches and shakiness.
  • Coffee contains many carcinogens, whether or not it is decaffeinated. There is, however, no strong evidence of an increased risk of cancers in coffee drinkers.
  • Coffee pumps up our stress hormones and can cause palpitations, a rise in blood pressure and symptoms of anxiety.
  • Caffeine is a diuretic; your body will flush more water than it needs to when you drink coffee and caffeinated soft drinks, so you urinate more frequently and can become dehydrated.
  • Caffeine blocks the naturally occurring chemical, adenosine from affecting the brain, which prompts the brain to create more adenosine.
  • Coffee impacts sleep cycles in a couple of different ways; caffeine and tannins can prevent restful sleep. Caffeine can also suppress REM sleep or deep sleep.

Coffee has a number of good and bad health affects. Drinking this bean in moderation should not lead to any problems, but it is always good to know how things will affect you.

But how many cups of coffee do you drink per day?


About Sanjana Shenoy

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India.She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore.Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

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9 Responses to Effects of Coffee: What a cuppa can give you….

  1. Chirag November 13, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    I like to have cold coffe mostly but only when i am tired and stressed
    And I prefer to drink hot coffee 2 cups a day in winter when I feel cold
    So is it still much harm full
    How much coffee should we drink in a day or in a week for being in normal health?

  2. Sanjana - Dietitian November 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm #


    2 cups of coffee per day will do to beat the heat. It can be undesirable if you exceed more than this quantity.

  3. Arlene March 24, 2012 at 6:02 am #

    If i take beano before i drink my decaf coffee will that help. i do suffer from gas pain every so often.

  4. niki September 6, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    How about dark tea? I’m starting to realize that some of my health issues are coffee related and would be willing to switch to dark tea (hate green tea-gives me gas). Is Tea the same as coffee in pro and cons? Also. Ive noticed that coffee drinkers (myself in particular) are less thirsty…but we are more dehydrated)…How ironic.

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