Coffee drinking linked to longer life reports the media

Coffee drinking linked to longer life reports the media

Remember that when a product becomes the biggest-selling beverage in a short few years, and there are billions of dollars at stake, the most powerful industry in the world (the food industry) are very clever at making it seem somehow “healthy” (also see the rubbish “alcohol is good for your heart” claims or the “cigarettes are good for the throat” adverts for more on this).

Here are some quotes from the fineprint of this article about “coffee extending your lifespan” to remember:

“The findings stop short of saying that coffee drinking directly lowers the risk of chronic disease”

“The study was based on a single questionnaire distributed in the mid-1990s that may provide an incomplete picture of the participants’ overall health and lifestyle”

The explanation for the study findings “might not specifically be the coffee, it might be some characteristic of the coffee drinker”
Susan Fisher, Ph.D., chair of community and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, in Rochester, New York.

Note that this was an observational study and not a randomized trial…”

“If you are not a coffee drinker, this study is not a good enough reason to start, I’m not confident that coffee is truly beneficial…”
Cheryl Williams, RD, of Emory Heart & Vascular Center in Atlanta.

Why I recommend you give up coffee
The growth of coffee as a ‘daily fix’ has been a modern-day success story.  Coffee is easily now the most popular drink in the world with over 400 billion cups consumed every year.  Between 80% and 90% of adults and children in the western world consume caffeine daily (adults through coffee and kids through soft drinks).  You generally tend to drink coffee when you are tired or stressed (hence the expression “coffee stress head”), which is the very worst time you can intake caffeine as it removes nor-adrenaline.  Nor-adrenaline plays a critical role in your moods, your memory and your behaviour.  Caffeine also wipes out your B vitamin, zinc and iron stores (which help you deal with stress) and lowers thyroxine and lowers nor-adrenaline.  Then you get even more stressed and stress itself also depletes the body’s reserves of nor-adrenaline – a destructive triple-whammy. 

Tired and stressed much?
So then you are tired and stressed with a B-vitamin and mineral deficiency.  When this happens your adrenal glands are called upon to produce quick energy.  Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to induce the breakdown and release of liver glycogen, releasing it as blood sugar, giving you an energy hit.  Your pancreas then responds by excreting higher levels of insulin than usual to try and bring back your blood sugar to normal levels.  Your adrenals then produce higher levels of cortisol and adrenalin because your body goes into survival mode.  They then get impaired or worn out, leaving you even more exhausted.  Adrenalin and cortisol are basically ‘worry about the consequences later’ hormones.  If they are at high levels continuously over a 24-hour period, they provoke internal damage.  The genes that control the narrowing of blood vessels are dependent on cortisol. 

High blood pressure
I have had the "coffee" experience from many people on my programme.  After giving up coffee for three months I suggest they have a strong cup and see what happens.  They are shocked at the true reaction in the human body from a drug that powerful.  They break out into a sweat, their heart rate rises (high blood pressure), their hands tremble and they feel hyperactive and ‘wired’.  They get a really immediate answer as to what coffee does to the system that is for sure!

A vicious cycle
Coffee stresses and over-stimulates the adrenal glands which stops long-term repair processes.  You then get addicted to the rush of caffeine as a replacement energy source as the body’s own adrenal glands are unable to help (can’t get out of bed in the mornings?).  Before long, you are completely addicted into a vicious acidic cycle.  Long-term coffee use usually creates overworked adrenals, an exhausted pancreas, disturbed blood sugar, unbalanced hormonal levels and a seriously overtaxed nervous system. This is why too much coffee or caffeine causes your hands to shake. 

We know coffee raises blood pressure
The bottom line?  Continuous long-term coffee drinking → over-stimulates cortisol production → adjusts the way your genes express themselves → blood vessels stay narrowed → raises blood pressure → heart attack, heart failure, cardiovascular disease and stroke.  Around 40% of New Zealander deaths every year are from cardiovascular disease.  The biggest precursor to this highly preventable death rate is hypertension (high blood pressure). 

Caffeine alone is a dehydrating neurotoxic insecticide (same as morphine and cocaine), but what is the take on decaf and normal coffee?

Here is a small mixture of studies on coffee.  These studies did not clearly differentiate between coffee and decaf but as decaf is so popular the results would cover both (and decaf contains traces of caffeine regardless).

  • Coffee is associated with increased estrogen levels, which means an increase for breast and endometrial cancer.
  • Caffeine messes with your sleep cycle and raise blood pressure.
    Study by researchers from UNC Chapel Hill, the Harvard School of Public Health, and five other institutions as published in the journal PLoS Genetics 2011/2012.  As reported by The Charlotte Observer on January 1, 2012.
  • Caffeine blocks the action of adenosine - a brain chemical that promotes our natural sleep cycle.
    Study by researchers from UNC Chapel Hill, the Harvard School of Public Health, and five other institutions as published in the journal PLoS Genetics 2011/2012.  As reported by The Charlotte Observer on January 1, 2012.
  • Caffeine raises levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
    Study by researchers from UNC Chapel Hill, the Harvard School of Public Health, and five other institutions as published in the journal PLoS Genetics 2011/2012.  As reported by The Charlotte Observer on January 1, 2012.
  • Caffeine makes it harder to control glucose levels (diabetes management).
    Study by researchers from UNC Chapel Hill, the Harvard School of Public Health, and five other institutions as published in the journal PLoS Genetics 2011/2012.  As reported by The Charlotte Observer on January 1, 2012.
  • Coffee has been associated with increased risk of stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Coffee significantly lowers your ability to absorb iron.
    Morck TA, Lyunch SR, and Cook JD. “Inhibition of food iron absorption by coffee” Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 37 (1983): 416-420.
  • Coffee significantly lowers your ability to absorb zinc.
    Solomons NW, and Cousins RJ. “Inhibitors of zinc absorption (coffee) in N. W. Solomons and I. H. Rosenberg (eds)”.  Absorption and Malabsorption of Mineral Nutrients 161p. Alan R. Liss, New York, 1984.
  • Coffee food intolerances in the UK doubled between 2003-2007 alone.  These reactions include itchy skin, depression, migraine headaches, IBS, fatigue and joint pains. 
    New figures released in April 2008 in the UK by Food Intolerance Tester YorkTest claims that the number of allergic reactions to the proteins found in coffee has risen by 3.3% since 2003, from 2% previously. The testing was conducted primarily on females, who made up 83 per cent of the 50,000 people studied, looking at consumers reactions to 113 different food types.

Duke University Medical Psychologist James Lane has studied the health effects of caffeine for more than 20 years and says “People with heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety or Type II diabetes may want to quit or curb their caffeine intake.  Consuming caffeine on a regular basis raises your blood pressure higher than it otherwise would be…” 

Coffee ingredients
The ingredients in coffee are acidic (meaning if you do not have enough food-sourced calcium floating around, the PTH hormone will be forced to mobilise some directly from your bones).  Another contributing factor is that these stimulants acidify your blood, which naturally has a pH of between 7.3 and 7.4. Not only that, coffee also usually contains rancid oils, irritating acids, pesticides, herbicides and it is a diuretic which removes nutrients via the urine. 

Sugar then makes it worse
The sugar that is added to coffee seriously over-stimulates and then weakens the adrenal glands and of course, the liver, even further.  This then leads to fatigue, drowsiness, early aging, irritability, nervousness, headaches, weight gain, heartburn, mineral loss, a reduction in calcium and iron uptake (leading to anemia and osteoporosis), muscle weakness, diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety, increased blood pressure, depression, heart problems, hair loss, acne, regular cold, flu or frequent illnesses.  Drink coffee for 20, 30, maybe 40 years and you’re setting yourself up for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, even neurological diseases such as MS or Parkinson’s.

Caffeine poisoning is on the rise
Adverse reactions and toxicity from energy drinks are primarily linked to caffeine.  Caffeine toxicity can mimic amphetamine poisoning, cause seizures, psychosis, cardiac arrhythmias and rarely even death, but the most common symptoms reported include irregular heart rate, tremors, stomach upsets and dizziness.  Teenagers are the most common age group affected, and energy drinks were often consumed with other stimulants, mainly alcohol.  
Study by Naren Gunja, a medical director and toxicologist at the NSW Poisons Information Centre, and Jared Brown, a senior poisons specialist, as published in The Medical Journal of Australia, 2012.  As reported by and Fairfax NZ News on 16 January 2012.

Coffee is also the #1 Cross-Reactor Food
Cross-reactive foods (most common are coffee and dairy) are foods that set off other food reactions in the body.  You may be off gluten-containing foods but still getting poor reactions?  This could likely be the coffee as coffee cross-reacts with gluten antibodies.  Over 10% of coffee is a protein that cross-reacts with gluten-antibodies, causing the same symptoms of bloating, tiredness, constipation etc.  Chocolate, caffeine, dairy can also attract the same body gluten-antibodies, causing further reactions. 

Green Tea is fine!
Green tea contains caffeine but in very low levels.  You would need to drink 50 litres at once for a fatal 1g dose of caffeine - which you can get in 10 strong coffees!  If you make one green tea bag into a pot it is diluted even further.  Drinking green tea regularly is proven many times over in a myriad of health benefits from lowering heart disease, fighting cancer, strengthening your liver and keeping weight off but caffeine alone does none of these things, in fact it does the opposite.
Study published in the online journal Obesity, 2011.  “It has only been scientifically evaluated in the past 11 years, and it is thought that the combination of EGCG and caffeine are responsible for the weight loss,” says Teresa Mitchell-Paterson, Head of Academic Studies (Natural Therapies) at the Australasian College of Natural Therapies.  “However the consumption of caffeine alone does not give the same fat-loss benefit.”  As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald October 8, 2011.

Coffee drinking does not make you healthy
You can start to see how the simplest changes (give up coffee) will make the biggest difference to your health and longevity. 

 Anyone interested in high level health should avoid coffee and added sugar.

Posted: Monday 21 May 2012