Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Acknowledging The Benefits of Coffee

There are many people who have made coffee a regular part of their daily routine and lifestyle. They can't seem to live without it. They are those who look forward to their first cup of coffee as soon as they wake up in the morning. They are the habitu├ęs of coffee shops day-in and day-out.
The increasing number of coffee “addicts” have also raised concerns about the possible effects of coffee on the body, and whether or not caffeine causes harm to ones health. While some people acknowledge the beneficial effect of coffee when you have a headache, others claim that it's bad to drink coffee if you have stomach problems.

The general effects of coffee fall into the following categories:

  • as stimulant – caffeine makes coffee a well-established stimulant as it stimulates the nervous system, including the nerves controlling intestinal activity, blood pressure and airway size which may keep you alert and awake, yet may also impair sleep, cause jitters and anxiety.

  • as heartburn trigger – all types of coffee, even decaf, can stimulate secretion of stomach acid, which may lead to heartburn.

  • as diuretic – caffeine encourages the kidneys to produce urine to rid the body of excess fluid. However, coffee leads to urination so effectively that it may cause mild dehydration.

In addition to yellowing of teeth which are common among regular coffee drinkers, burn injuries from steaming hot coffee are very common. Some mental health professionals even suggest that regular caffeine users, including coffee drinkers, should be considered dependent, addicted or struggling with substance abuse.

The therapeutic effects of caffeine includes:

  • treating premature babies or those who have undergone surgery just after birth with caffeine to stimulate their breathing.

  • Some over-the-counter headache or pain relief medication include caffeine, acetaminophen and aspirin. The effectiveness of these agents may be linked, at least in part, to the treatment of caffeine withdrawal, a common cause of headaches.

  • Several studies found modest benefits with caffeine in the treatment of asthma as it gives dilating effects on airways. In fact, some recommend that coffee intake be avoided before breathing tests so as not to diminish the breathing abnormalities which the tests aim to detect.

  • During the Experimental Biology 2007, an American Society for Nutrition's annual conference, research experts reviewed evidence that moderate intake of coffee, say 3 to 5 cups per day, might reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, kidney stones, gallstones, and depression.
Since coffee causes minimal and rare health risks, the vast population of coffee lovers welcome the good news.

No comments: