Coffee’s best-known substance is, of course, caffeine. As many
people know and have experienced, it combats fatigue and increases
awareness. As far as negative effects of caffeine are concerned,
many studies conclude that a moderate amount, three to four
cups of coffee, should not be a health problem.
According to the Coffee Science Centre (http://www.cosic.org/),
a moderate amount of caffeine is not habitual, meaning that
it does not affect the areas of reward, motivation, and addiction
in the brain. However, some people who are sensitive to caffeine
may experience caffeine withdrawal if they suddenly decrease
their consumption dramatically. The symptoms of the withdrawal
include headache and lethargy, and they can last a few days.
However, the effects of caffeine withdrawal are not prolonged.
Pregnant women and post-menopausal women should be more aware
of caffeine intake than usual, and their consumption should
not exceed a moderate amount. According to the EU Scientific
Committee, 300mg of caffeine per day, which is the quantity
of caffeine in three to four cups of coffee, is safe for pregnant
Osteoporosis, a degenerative bone condition, is a common health
problem among post-menopausal women. Many studies have been
done to determine whether drinking coffee can contribute to
low bone density, and the results vary. Osteoporosis can be
caused by many factors, such as estrogen deficiency, smoking,
lack of exercise, and poor nutrition, but many studies have
claimed that drinking coffee is not a significant factor. If
women maintain a healthy balanced diet and a moderate caffeine
consumption the risk of getting osteoporosis decreases.
A number of studies indicate that drinking coffee can actually
be beneficial to health by helping to prevent some major diseases,
such as kidney stones, gallstone disease, and even cancer.
In order to avoid kidney stones, sufficient water intake is
important, and coffee, which is a diuretic, can help too. One
study involved 45,000 men, and found that greater intakes of
regular and decaffeinated coffee decreased the risk of kidney
stone formation. Another study, which involved 81,000 women,
found that an eight-ounce serving of regular coffee decreased
their risk by 10 percent, and decaffeinated coffee decreased
it by nine percent.
Coffee also can lower the risk of gallstone disease in men,
one study reported. During 10 years of research, men who took
two to three cups of coffee per day had 40 percent less risk
of gallstone disease than those who did not. The researchers
concluded that this could be due to the metabolic effects that
coffee has, which derive from caffeine. Other drinks with low
or no caffeine did not lower the risk.
In addition, according to an article in Rocky Mountain News,
last year the AMC Cancer Research Center at Denver, Colo. developed
a new roasting method that does not destroy the cancer-fighting
anti-oxidant in green java beans.
This was not possible in other conventional roasting methods.
This anti oxidant compound is called polophenol. The AMC said
it can prevent tumor growth and work against cardiovascular
disease, immune system dysfunction, and inflammatory diseases.
As the research continues, coffee appears to be much more than
a jolt of caffeine. Even though studies on the relationship
of coffee and health are not yet conclusive, coffee’s original
aroma and taste refresh busy office workers and students alike