The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Coffee Consumption

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Coffee is heavily studied, but study results contradict one another. If science says that it is bad for you today, wait a day or two and another study will be published claiming the exact opposite findings.

The Good:

Coffee has had its medicinal purposes. My own ancestors used it to treat asthma. Certain chemicals in coffee have even be proven effective at stimulating bronchial dilation of people previously diagnosed with specific types of asthma. Some modern day asthma medications are even made from chemicals in the caffeine family.

Newly published findings suggest that men drinking caffeinated beverages, including coffee, have as much as a 3 to 6 times lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

The caffeine in coffee increases your metabolic rate, making weight loss faster and easier. It has also been associated with a reduced risk of suicide in women.

The Bad:

Women who drink more than one cup a day of decaf are considered at a much higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. The theory is that the chemically decaffeinated products are causing the increased risk of autoimmunity. If you are going to drink decaffeinated coffee anyway, be sure that it uses a non-chemical based method.

Those at risk of heart disease and stroke should avoid coffee. Drinking coffee interferes with your body's ability to keep homocysteine and cholesterol levels in check and can increase blood pressure. (According to a study done in the Netherlands, this is true even if the coffee is filtered.) Raised levels of homocysteine are as a factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. Australian researchers found drinking coffee has potentially harmful effects on blood vessels. The caffeine may cause a loss of aortic elasticity, the main artery supplying blood to the body.

The findings are disputed by the coffee industry and some studies, but it also appears to be associated with an increased risk for breast and endometrial cancer. This is due to an increase in estrogen levels.

Studies have also shown that caffeine in coffee can raise levels of stress hormones and can lead to heart palpitations, jitters, and nervousness. People with panic or anxiety disorders can be especially sensitive to the caffeine in coffee. Even in small amounts, the stimulant can exacerbate their symptoms.

Coffee relaxes the esophagus causing reflux.

The Ugly:

Pregnant and nursing women should never drink coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant drug that easily passes through the placenta to the developing fetus and is also transferred through breast milk. Fetuses have no ability to detoxify caffeine. Drink coffee increases the risk of miscarriage and various birth defects.

For more information, visit the following:

How Bad is it Really?

Coffee Drinkers Face Lower Parkinson's Disease Risk

Coffee May Damage Blood Vessels

Coffee and Suicide

Coffee and Diabetes

Coffee and Reflux

Coffee and Addiction;jsessionid=C1VYBJVSS04E2CRBAEZSFFA?type=healthNews&storyID=6369844

Heidi Whitaker is an author and speaker on the topic of nutritional support of autoimmune disease. She is also the co-owner of To read other articles written by Heidi or to learn how to participate in her next free teleseminar, visit her blog at

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