Health Facts and Myths on Coffee

For most of us, this aroma filled golden vice is what starts our day! But when we are tempted to drink more of it, the endless conflicting stories about coffee fills us with guilt. Here we are with some deep research on how coffee affects your health, so that you can satisfy your taste buds and devour your next cup of brew with clear conscience. Let’s begin

Myth: Coffee causes heart disease

Fact: Two or more cups of coffee a day was associated with increased risk of heart disease and decreased mortality. This is not true.

There are many research evidence that coffee consumption does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease nor does it raise cholesterol levels or cause irregular heartbeat. There weren’t any high alert observations noted, except a slight temporary rise in the blood pressure in individuals who were sensitive to caffeine. Moreover, this rise was temporary and not very different from the result from normal activity, such as climbing stairs.

Note: People with high blood pressure need to watch out and are required to consult their physician about the caffeine intake as there are metabolic issues in this case.

Myth: Coffee causes decreased mortality

Fact: High coffee intake was associated with death from cancer, heart disease or anything. This is not true and there was a long research to prove this wrong.

The Harvard Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which began in 1986, and the Nurses’ Health Study, which started in 1976, have been following coffee consumption habits of healthy men and women for decades.

The statement given by Dr. Rob Van Dam of Harvard’s school of health is –

“We did not find any relationship between coffee consumption and increased risk of death from any cause, death from cancer, or death from cardiovascular disease. Even people who drank up to six cups of coffee per day were at no higher risk of death.”

Note: Some populations can find coffee consumption potentially harmful. People with sleep issues or uncontrolled diabetes may need to ask their doctors before adding caffeine to their diets.

Myth: High amount of coffee causes Cancer.

A huge study of more than 25,000 coffee drinkers in South Korea shows that moderate daily consumption — that’s three to five cups a day – is found to moderately reduce one’s risk for melanoma, a highly dangerous skin cancer. But in the case of decaffeinated coffee, it was not the same and didn’t provide protection. The study supports a previous finding of a link between coffee and a reduced risk for basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer.

The reality check

Weighing between the benefits and the harm caffeine gives our body, it was noted that high intake of caffeine significantly reduced the benefits that coffee gives to our body. That means- it’s necessary to watch your coffee intake and limit it to 3 times a day. High caffeine intake is associated with:

Women should take particular note. Coffee may increase menopausal hot flashes. And pregnant women might be more likely to be at risk as it reaches the fetus and might restrict growth. Doctors recommend only a cup a day during pregnancy.

  • Contributes to higher blood pressure

There’s a genetic mutation many of us have that can affect how fast our bodies metabolize caffeine. The gene is called CYP1A2 — if you have the slow version, it might contribute to your high blood pressure. If you already have High BP, it’s advisable to consult a doctor on your caffeine intake.

There’s more…

There multiple studies with Caffiene intake, but one thing is clear- high intake of caffeine is harmful (in some cases). And interestingly enough, the way you make your coffee could also make a health difference — there’s a compound called cafestol in the oily part of coffee that can increase your bad cholesterol or LDL. It’s caught in the paper filters, so as long as you use paper filters to strain those, it should be fine. But if you’re a lover of French press, Turkish coffee or the boiled dark coffee popular, you could be putting your health at risk.

What’s your thought on this article? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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