Coffee is one of the most widely consumed drinks all over the world. It is a stimulant and helps in getting over the feeling of tiredness and fatigue. All this could lead to coffee drinking habbit which could be difficult to leave with time.
The impact of coffee is all due to its high concentration of caffeine (psychoactive drug) and active alkaloids. Coffee is an addictive drug similar to cocaine as it stimulates central nervous system that lead to withdrawal symptoms like irritability, headaches, anxiety and lethargy. All this shows that coffee is quite strong to constitute a possible health hazard and could cause psychiatric disturbances.
Ask any night bird and the chance is that he or she is likely to vouch for the stimulating effect of coffee. This excellent beverage helps you stay alert if you have to stay awake, working late in the night. But the case in point is that, the widely consumed beverage is also not without its health benefits. Coffee could lessen the risk of headache, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, colon cancer and even type II diabetes.
Harmful Effects of Coffee
- Heart Disease
- Gall stones
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Fibrocrystic Breast disease.
- Lower bone density in women
Coffee could bring Dyspepsia. Expect digestive distress after drinking as less as 2 cups of coffee a day as per the researchers at university of Michigan. It might be the acid content of the coffee which causes Dyspepsia.
According to a study conducted at Stanford University, sedentary men in between 30 and 55 consuming more then 3 cups of coffee a day could be at a higher risk of developing heart disease then people who consume less. According to another study conducted on 100,000 people by Dr Klatsky claims that 4 or more cups of coffee a day could boost chances of heart disease by 30% in men and a whooping 60% in women.
The US National Institutes of Health study has revealed that drinking decaffeinated coffee may raise the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol. This can lead to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia), etc.
According to a study conducted at University of North Carolina, people who are often constipated drink more coffee. This might be due to action of colon which may come to tolerate the constant stimulant effect of caffeine and thus become sluggish. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic which disturbs the body fluid balance by drawing fluid out of the gut where they are required to soften the stool. This makes stool hard and difficult to expel.
People with sensitive colon could diarrhoea on consumption of coffee. According to a research, even a single cup of coffee could stimulate muscle contractions in bowel. This could happen with both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees. Caffeine is diuretic that lessens the body fluid that is most required in diarrhoea. Drinking coffee could induce or aggravate diarrhoea.
Coffee could stimulate gall bladder for gall bladder attack. This phenomenon was discovered by Bruce R. Douglas at university of Leiden. Men and women consuming as less as 115 ml of coffee could experience stimulated gall bladder contraction. People prone to gallstones should avoid all types of coffee.
Caffeine could cause osteoporosis by promoting excretion of calcium thus robbing bones of the minerals. 2 or more cups of coffee a day could increase the chances of breaking a hip by 50%.
Coffee drinking could lead to premenstrual syndrome which could be quite disturbing in women’s life. Dr. Possignol conducted a study on 841 women and found that those consuming more caffeine per day are more prone to premenstrual syndrome.
Coffee and Women Health
Though it is not yet conclusive, but some studies have also shown that coffee may increase the risk of breast cancer, premenstrual syndrome, osteoporosis, fibrocystic breast disease, etc.
Lastly, it could be added that there is no direct answer to whether coffee is a health drink or not. Before taking it, though, you may want to do your own research and come to the conclusion. Let us have a look at some of the evidence based benefits too.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Many studies have suggested that those who regularly drink coffee have less likely chance (by 80%) of developing Parkinson’s diseases. Other studies have also pointed that compared to those who do not drink coffee, drinking a minimum of two cups may reduce the risk of cancer (colon) by up to 25%, liver cirrhosis by 80% and gallstones by 50%.
It is suggested that the rich presence of antioxidants such as tocopherols, chlorogenic acid as well as magnesium may boost sensitivity to insulin and glucose metabolism. This could help in treating type II diabetes.
Further evidences have also pointed towards the beneficial effect of coffee in managing asthma, treating headaches, improving mood and treating cavities.