Caffeine And Health: 4 Issues

Submitted by: Greg Garner

Chances are that if you are reading this piece, you have heard conflicting studies on caffeine and its effects on health. While there is much debate and research from both sides, the manufacturers and proponents of caffeine and those who warn of its ill-effects on health, what you might want to know exactly what effects caffeine has on your body in order to judge for yourself.

While coffee-growing, processing and packaging is a 90 billion dollar industry, with 85% of coffee-consumption taking place in North America alone, caffeine has been linked to several health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, cholesterol, etc. Regular coffee contains about 170mg of caffeine per cup while decaf has about 30-40mg.

Caffeine consumption is said to increase heart rates, cholesterol, production of homocysteine (a biochemical linked to increased risk of heart attack), plus elevate blood pressure and contribute to the development of heart disease. Caffeine is also linked to coronary vasospasms, which are said to be the cause of nearly 20% of all fatal heart attacks which kill otherwise healthy people. More particularly, caffeine consumption has been found to be related to the following.


Nutritional Deficiencies

Caffeine can disrupt the proper absorption of certain essential nutrients and can cause excess-excretion of trace minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, etc. essential for the healthy functioning of the body.

Unresponsive Adrenal Glands

Since caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and causes the secretion of adrenalin (an important chemical the body depends upon in emergencies in order to elevate heart rate, increase respiration and blood pressure), it can lead to the exhaustion of the adrenal glands. These are central for survival and useful in case of fight-or flight situations, and the over-use of caffeine and other stimulants makes them dull and less prone to react, leaving you prone to stress, pollutants, pathogens and aging.


While stress is fast becoming a feature of the contemporary world and as such there s no running away from it, caffeine is known to further stimulate the excretion of stress hormones. These result in increase in muscular tension/pain, anxiety, insomnia, stomach and digestion-related problems and even decreased immunity. This means that you are less adept at handling the stress you are exposed to.

Coffee consumption also creates more hydrochloric acid, increasing chances of stomach ulcers, acidity and heartburn and increasing your reliance on antacids which are very harmful in the long run.

Dehydration, Aging and Male Health Issues

Caffeine irritates the urinary tract and bladder, aggravating urinary-tract problems. It can lead to enlarged prostate glands and causes extreme dehydration in the body, beginning with the kidneys and skin.

While the effects of caffeine may take time to show up, and caffeine tolerance reduces after the thirties, caffeine consumption is intrinsically related to the declining of vital hormones such as melatonin, DHEA, etc. Caffeine speeds up the process of aging, and has also been related to declining ability of the body for DNA repair and detoxification.

Yes, all this paints a very scary picture of coffee, but it is better to be safe than sorry, isn t it?

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