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Demystifying Coffee Benefits And Risks

Submitted by on September 20, 2012 – 4:26 pmNo Comment | 2,660 views

macchiatoMany of us are true coffee addicts. At least I can say that I am. Drinking 4 or 5 cups a day is no exception, and one cup is necessary for me to start in the day with full energy. We hear many bad stories about coffee, such as to much caffeine being bad for the body, and the fact that coffee dehydrates the body. But what is true about this?

Coffee bears both risks as well as benefits. To start with the risks, coffee has been found to be an increased risk especially for pregnant and nursing mothers. Research has established a link between the consumption of over 300 mg of caffeine per day, and low birth weight, miscarriage, and birth defects. Additionally, caffeine impacts our adrenaline functions and has hormonal impacts. Caffeine activates our adrenal hormones, putting the body in a ‘fight or flight’ sort of stage. This stage usually occurs when a person experiences great excitement, or when he or she is in serious danger. Usually, this stage is only temporarily, after which the body returns to its normal stage. Too much caffeine ensures that the body is in this ‘fight or flight’ stage over a longer period of time, limiting other functions of the body, such as its digestion system.

The last risk is, that coffee is notorious for dehydrating the body. Or, better said, it limits the body’s ability to absorb water. Therefore, for each cup of coffee a person should drink the same amount of water.

Now to the benefits. Yes, moderate coffee consumption does have some notorious benefits, as various studies suggest. For example, a moderate coffee consumption reduces the risk of diabetes, due to a reduction of C-peptide levels. Additionally, coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, reduce the risk of colon cancer, increase cognitive functions, and it may reduce the risk of liver damage. Also, coffee is believed to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson disease, and Alzheimer.

The benefits and risks of drinking coffee is an ongoing debate. Having a risk attached to drinking coffee does not mean that it will happen for sure, and many people might still develop Alzheimer, Parkinson, or gallstones in despite of drinking coffee their entire lives. Still, drinking coffee in moderate quantities is neither extremely dangerous nor extremely healthy.

The biggest benefit, is that you can simply enjoy your coffee, in one of the many variations as it exists in the world today.

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