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Coffee – A Boon or Bane?

By: Dr. Ganesh. D, Gastroenterologist, Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai

A cup of coffee or caffeine early in the morning might give you a boost, but not everything is moonlight and roses. Millions of people around the world may simply need a cup of coffee to start their day. An early morning coffee is all you need to give yourself a boost to face the daily challenges and stress in our life today. Alongside water, coffee is also considered as a universally consumed liquid substance which has its own benefits but is also has some dangerous effect on our health.

Coffee, which was been continuously mocked and praised from centuries has been blamed to cause impotence and madness, or at times proved as a cure for your laziness. These heavy stuffs are great to hear but what do you think is the actual theory or the scientifically proven pros and cons of coffee.

There are many differences of opinions among people about the health effects of coffee while some say it’s good for you while the others warn you against the dangerous side-effects. However, the solution is probably moderation. Let’s look through some of the health risks and benefits of coffee.

Coffee has always been a get going boost early in the morning but too much of everything often causes dangerous side effects. A recent research conducted on the consumption of coffee, it was found out that “Coffee consumption by pregnant women on a daily basis in large amount may lead to increase in the risk of miscarriage”. But according to another study it’s also being said that “Adults who consume three cups of coffee or more daily might tend to lower their risk of dying from common causes by 10%.
There was even a time when the only news we heard about coffee and health was how dangerous can it be for our heart, which likely to give us ulcers and aggravate our nerves, but now it seems that it is even receiving a favorable kind of press. Every coin has its two sides; even coffee is not a exception from that. Talking about the impact of coffee in our daily life it can be boon and even a bane to us. Thus, there should be a moderation for everything, as too much of anything can be disastrous.

Regular intake of coffee can provide other benefits, too – it helps you protect against diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer and even liver cirrhosis. It can also be of use if you’re suffering from a headache; the caffeine in coffee causes blood vessels to constrict, which can relieve you from the pain. But if not taken with a limit, coffee can be hazardous to your health. Coffee tends to increase the risk of heart disease, depression, cancer, and dementia and depletes vitamins and causes mineral loss, including magnesium the relaxation mineral. Thus, we should always have a watch on our daily coffee intake to protect ourselves from all the health hazards.

Coffee, the No.1 diet Source
Fruits and vegetables always have the maximum source of diet, but according to a recent study conducted by experts it’s been concluded that, coffee was the most consumed and the no.1 source in our daily diet regime. Excess of coffee can even be a threat to our health, if not being controlled on its consumption.

The problem with coffee generally is its high caffeine content. While caffeine can even act as a drug on our health which causes dehydration. It may even interfere your sleep making you feel jittery and restless. Beyond this it’s even said that, caffeine the acid present in coffee may even increase the chances of ulcers. According to experts, it’s also being said that coffee may even raise the risk of both blood pressure and cholesterol and speed up your heart rate.

Boycott Coffee?
Although there may be numerous benefits of coffee, regular intake of it can increase its negative effects. For many people, having a cup of coffee a few times a week, or even once a day, is alright but it should be in moderation. But if you’re suffering from anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues, or thyroid problems like Graves’ disease, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or Wilson’s temperature syndrome, you should completely avoid coffee, and all caffeine for that matter, until these are cured.

People who are worried about coffee’s negative impacts are suggested to have decaffeinated coffee. Decaf has the same levels of anti-oxidants and nutrients, but without any heavy stimulatory effects. It will still have a impact on your digestive system like regular coffee does, but its effects are reduced. But, If you decide to cut out coffee completely from your diet, it is crucial to always find a new source for all your antioxidants. You can even consider clove or peppermint tea, since they have higher levels of polyphenols, a potent type of antioxidant, than coffee does. Completely neglecting antioxidants from your diet can also be a serious threat to your health which might lead to withdrawal symptoms such as extreme fatigue or headaches. Thus you should always have a substitute for your source of antioxidants.
There is no benefit of doubt that, coffee is the most pleasurable and energy boost supplement for everyone but if not taken in a moderate quantity it may even prove to be a hazard and have a dangerous effect on your body and health.



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