Debunking Coffee Health Myths

Steve GOctober 9th, 2007
By: Steve G

(Page 4 of 4)

Caffeine is a drug. We all know it. By consuming it we end up being more alert and attentive. But what are some of the risks that come with taking this drug? Study after study has come out to either identify the danger or counter the status quo. Here are some of the most common concerns for people who consume coffee on a regular basis.

Heart Risk

Caffeine has been associated with irregular heartbeats when it is consumed at extremely high levels; it raises blood pressure for a brief time and is also suspected of raising cholesterol. With current fears of heart disease in the country, heavy research went into finding any links between caffeine and heart disease. Fortunately for the coffee enthusiast, studies have shown no link.

Cancer

Cancer is another fatal killer that has drawn attention to researchers. They posed the question: Can drinking coffee increase the possibility of cancer? Since the early the 70’s case studies have been conducted to determine whether a causal link between cancer and coffee does exist. The actual answer to this question is quite the contrary.

Researchers have considered whether drinking coffee increases the chances of cancer. Robert Hoover of the National Cancer Institute stated, “There is no good evidence of a causal relationship between coffee and any type of cancer.”

Many people fear a link between caffeine and pancreatic cancer. A study in 1981 stated that there was a correlation between coffee and pancreatic cancer, but it was soon overturned. Other mitigating factors such as gastrointestinal conditions and smoking were overlooked in the study, which are key components of that type of cancer. Another study in 1991 actually showed the contrary coffee drinkers actually had a lower risk of pancreatic cancer than non-drinkers. community has repudiated those ideas.

Pregnancy Potential Side Effects on Pregnancy

While the possibility of caffeine causing breast cancer has been dismissed, there are still other concerns about its effect on women during pregnancy or fertility. This is a cause for concern, because if a woman takes in caffeine it travels through the placenta and enters the fetus. The time it takes to breakdown caffeine is twice as long for pregnant women and increases as they progress through pregnancy. This can have dire affects on a undeveloped child that lacks the ability to break down caffeine and handle some its affects, such as increased heart rate. Studies in Denmark have shown that high levels of coffee during pregnancy can lead to miscarriages and lower fertility rates. The FDA has promoted the guidelines of moderate coffee consumption, under 300 milligrams a day (3 cups of coffee).

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