More good news on coffee?

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, February 21, 2009

The bad news about coffee of late has been:
1. price increases
2. health concerns

But, we all know the main benefits of coffee:

it helps you do stupid things faster.

But wait, there's more evidence of benefits. Or at least of a good PR compaign, headed by Dr Frances Pitsilis, who ever she is. Let's hope she's been given a life's supply of coffee.

You thought coffee was bad for you... Wait. Coffee is the most consumed drink worldwide and possibly the biggest source of antioxidants in the diets of those who consume it.

We are now a coffee society so what is the real truth about it?

First the bad news: There is a short term rise in your blood pressure and some stress hormones but tolerance quickly develops.

There are only two groups who should not have coffee or an excess of coffee. They are pregnant women who are at risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, and those who are genetically prone to osteoporosis, which it worsens.

The rest is all good news. Coffee improves your performance by shortening reaction time and enhancing your ability to stay awake. It is very helpful in enabling shift workers to manage their shifts.

Having a coffee before your lunch will increase gastric acid and aid digestion. It reduces fatigue and improves muscle strength temporarily - this is why it is banned by the Olympic committee.

In proportion to the amount you consume, coffee reduces numerous diseases and mortality from most causes across the board.

The risk of heart disease and stroke from blood clots (even in smokers) is reduced because coffee reduces platelet stickiness. (Platelets are in your blood alongside the red blood cells and the white blood cells and their job is to plug up holes when you have a cut.)

Coffee reduces incidences of breast cancer, bowel cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer, pharyngeal cancer (that's the back of the throat), and oesophageal cancer (the food pipe).

It has been found to improve glucose handling by your body and so also reduces type 2 diabetes by up to 60 per cent - that's the diabetes older people get.

It also reduces cirrhosis of the liver, gallstones and encourages fat breakdown in the body - so coffee helps you lose weight too.

The special antioxidants in coffee that are helping with all these benefits include polyphenols which are anticarcinogenic.

Coffee also contains the beneficial vitamins potassium, niacin (or B3) and magnesium; and natural chemicals which are beneficial called chlorogenic acid, flavenoids, quinides, trigonelline, and methoxanthenes.

So, out with any concerns about coffee - drink up and be healthier, live longer, be sharper, more energetic and generally more vibrant.

- Dr Frances Pitsilis
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