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The myth of unhealthy coffee

The myth of unhealthy coffee

Coffee is by no means disproportionately unhealthy, as numerous studies have shown

In the past, coffee has been wrongly classified as unhealthy and a risk factor for various diseases. Recent studies have been able to disprove almost all myths about the harmful effects of coffee.

Coffee has always been considered harmful to health. The caffeine-containing hot drink was defamed as a potential trigger for cardiovascular diseases, nervous disorders, metabolic disorders, fertility disorders and even cancer. In recent years, however, a large number of studies have examined the individual health aspects of coffee enjoyment in more detail and refuted them one by one. Most recently, a comprehensive study by the German Institute for Nutritional Research (DiFE) came to the conclusion that coffee consumption does not increase the risk of chronic diseases.

The Myth of Coffee Harmful to Health Refuted The myth of coffee harmful to health is finally refuted. Millions of Germans can continue to enjoy their favorite drink without worrying that it will contribute to stroke, heart attack, diabetes or cancer. Why coffee has been given such a bad reputation in Europe over the past centuries and black tea, despite a similar caffeine content, was considered uncritical, is hardly understandable on the basis of today's scientific knowledge. After a tea infusion, the final product actually contains less caffeine than conventional coffee, but the concentration of the waking alkaloids in the tea plants is often even higher than that of coffee beans. Only the name of the active substance is different. Instead of caffeine, we are talking about tea.

Coffee with a calming and, at the same time, stimulating effect The caffeine in a cup of coffee actually works much faster than with a cup of tea, because on the one hand the concentration is higher and on the other hand the alkaloids in coffee can be processed more easily by the organism. However, this quicker effect of caffeine does not necessarily have negative health effects, but can sometimes even be an advantage. Despite decades of research, the supposedly stimulating effect of coffee has not yet been fully deciphered. Because the caffeine shows both an activating and a calming effect on the organism. On the one hand, the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and adrenaline is promoted, on the other hand the respiratory rate and blood pressure are reduced. The release of neurotransmitters is promoted by blocking the body's own adenosine, which normally inhibits the release of dopamine, adrenaline and the like. Since the brain messenger substances have an activating effect on the organism, the cup of coffee is accompanied by a wake-up effect. On the other hand, coffee consumption increases the cross-section of the blood vessels (also in the airways) for a short time, as a result of which the blood pressure and respiratory rate decrease and a calming effect occurs. It is not until a quarter of an hour after the cup of coffee that the brain messengers have an invigorating effect.

Coffee without negative consequences for the fluid balance The most common prejudices to which coffee is exposed include the supposedly negative effects on the cardiovascular system, blood lipid levels, fluid balance and male fertility as well as the risk of heartburn, high blood pressure, diabetes and Cancer. But the accusations are mostly wrong, as numerous recent studies have shown. For example, the nutritionist Prof. Dr. med. Olaf Adam from the Physiological Center of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich in an interview with "Welt Online", the review of the scientific data on the effects of coffee on the fluid balance shows that coffee is by no means a draining "urine driver". According to the expert, "coffee is an important part of the total daily water supply" and "can usually be treated in the liquid balance like any other drink." According to Prof. Adam, "the story of coffee as a liquid predator is based on an error "It's actually a fairy tale." In fact, coffee promotes urine excretion and sodium through the kidneys, reducing the amount of water between cells without drawing fluid out of the cells, the nutritionist said. Because the falling sodium content in turn leads to a reduction in the osmotic pressure, so that no liquid can migrate through the cell walls. The coffee drinkers are in no way at risk of dehydration.

Heartburn, which is associated with excessive coffee consumption by many people, is also not based on the enjoyment of coffee, but on the state of the stomach while drinking coffee, according to Dutch experts. Only on an empty stomach does coffee cause gastric acid to flow back into the esophagus, but this also applies to other drinks such as fruit juice or lemonade. However, if coffee is consumed with other foods - such as breakfast - there is no increased risk of heartburn.

Relationship between coffee enjoyment and chronic illnesses? As part of the so-called EPIC study (EPIC = European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition), the scientists at the German Institute for Nutritional Research carried out a comprehensive evaluation of the disease risks from coffee enjoyment, which took numerous chronic diseases into account. While most studies "only consider the relationship between coffee consumption and one type of disease", the "German research team has now examined the long-term effects of coffee consumption not only with regard to one illness, but with regard to several chronic illnesses at the same time", reports DiFE. The researchers led by Prof. Heiner Boeing and Anna Flögel from the Epidemiology Department at the German Institute for Nutritional Research in Potsdam-Rehbrücke used the EPIC study, which as one of the largest prospective studies worldwide, the relationship between nutrition, cancer and other chronic diseases Diseases such as type 2 diabetes were examined. In Germany, the participating research centers include the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg (DKFZ) and the DiFE.

Health effects of coffee examined in almost 50,000 subjects The researchers around Heiner Boening and Anna Flögel used the data from more than 42,600 adult women and men from Potsdam and Heidelberg to evaluate the possible health risks from coffee consumption. During the average follow-up period, 1,432 study participants contracted type 2 diabetes, 394 suffered a heart attack, 310 suffered a stroke and 1,801 participants contracted cancer, the average follow-up period, according to the official information from DiFE. There was no increase in the risk of “cardiovascular and cancer diseases” and the risk of type 2 diabetes was greater in people who “consumed more than four cups (more than 600 milliliters) of caffeinated coffee every day People who drank less than one cup on average were reduced by 23 percent, ”according to the German research team. "Our study results coincide with the results of current prospective studies from the USA", emphasized Anna Flögel and added: "Whoever tolerates coffee well and likes to drink it should continue to do so." However, the result of her investigation should not be a request to Coffee consumption can be misunderstood. Previous coffee abstainers can confidently continue to do without coffee and it is much "more important to make sure that you eat enough whole grains, little meat and lots of fruit and vegetables, not smoking and getting enough exercise" in order to reduce the risk of personal illness Prof. Heiner Boeing explained.

Impairment of fertility from coffee? So far, the scientific results are not clear regarding possible impairment of fertility in men from coffee. In 2006, a team of US scientists led by Andrew Wyrobek from the University of California found that sperm cells were sustainably damaged by coffee consumption. "As little as three cups of coffee a day can damage the sperm," study director Andrew Wyrobek emphasized at the time. Damage to the sperm cells threatens to alter the chromosome structures in the embryos, which in the worst case can lead to malformations and miscarriages, the US scientists explained. In contrast to the statements, the results of Brazilian researchers who found that the fertility of coffee drinkers is favored by their extremely mobile sperm. They even recommend coffee to treat infertility. However, the contrasting results of the researchers may not be due to coffee, but to the accompanying lifestyle. Andrew Wyrobek also explained that under certain circumstances "not the caffeine, but something in the lifestyle of coffee drinkers" is responsible for the reduced sperm quality. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston had shown that coffee drinkers tend to be more likely to lead an unhealthy lifestyle than people who don't drink coffee. According to the US scientists, the proportion of smokers among coffee drinkers is disproportionately high, they tend to drink more alcohol and have lower social ties. (fp)

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Video: 6 Myths Youve Been Told About Coffee (October 2020).