Coffee Confusion

Friday, October 7, 2011

Photo: Courtesy of africa

Ever since I was young, I had the common assumption that “coffee stunts your growth” drilled into my head. As I got older, I watched my parents drink multiple cups of coffee before heading off to work and I eventually found myself relying on the drink either in the morning or pulling an all-nighter to study for an exam. With that being said, there has been a constant debate for decades if coffee is actually harmful to your health and Health Magazine tries to get to the bottom of it.

An article recently published by Health Magazine offers two opposing views on the amount of coffee people should be drinking. Dr. Rob van Dam, a nutrition professor at Harvard School of Public Health, claims that unless you have any sort of medical condition such as hypertension or get an inadequate amount of sleep, there is no reason to cut back on drinking coffee. He also points out that there may be added health benefits by drinking the java. Scientific based evidence suggests that drinking coffee may lower the risk of becoming diabetic and developing Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. James D. Lane offers an opposing view that people should most certainly cut back on their consumption of coffee. Lane argues that the research on coffee’s benefits are not extensive enough to base such lofty claims on and the caffeine can actually make conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure worse.

Health Magazine then weighs in on the issue and gives the advice that “If you don’t have diabetes or high blood pressure, a coffee habit probably doesn’t hurt—and may even help your health.”

Coffee is most commonly used to jumpstart a person’s day and I know multiple people who argue they can’t function without a cup of it in the morning. However, I think it’s important to point out that coffee is not essential to feel a surge of energy in the morning or to serve as an afternoon pick-me-up during a busy day. Adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are a great alternative to not only feel more revived, but to also lower the risk of disease.

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