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The Coffee Blues

Eight reasons to change to green, black, or herbal teas.  Scientific research and clinical experience links coffee (decaf included) drinking to the following diseases:

  1. Anxiety disorders and depression
  2. Arrhythmias and tachycardia (irregular or rapid heartbeat)
  3. Increased risk of heart attack
  4. Aggravation of ulcers and acid reflux
  5. Increased cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides (Cafestol)
  6. Increased risk of osteoporosis
  7. Increased risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
  8. Increased occurrence of colon and bladder cancer

While there is a great deal of research indicating coffee's various health benefits, I have only gotten feedback from my patients indicating how much better they feel being OFF coffee.The issue here is not about caffeine.  Caffeine is only an issue when it comes to hypertension, anxiety, insomnia, and pregnancy.  It is all about the coffee bean itself which on its own is inflammatory and acidic.  And then we all want our coffee to be dark roast which is essentially burnt—the crispy stuff on the barbeque we should not eat.  And with the roasting process there is always the risk of oil rancidity further adding to the inflammatory properties.

Not only does coffee contribute to the above conditions, but it profoundly upsets the digestive system causing tremendous inflammation which then leads to more systemic problems.  Even one cup once in a while can set off an inflammatory cascade counteracting even the best medical protocol.


Epidemiologic evidence on coffee and cancer.
Nutr Cancer. 2010 Apr;62(3):271-83.  Arab L. David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1736, USA. LArab@ucla.edu  Coffee consumption is a major and frequent dietary exposure in diverse cultures around the globe whose safety has been questioned. A substantial body of epidemiologic evidence, consisting of over 500 papers relating the consumption of coffee to cancer of various sites, has accumulated to date. Numerous individual, site-specific meta analyses have been undertaken at various times. However, there is no comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the entirety of the knowledge base. To address this need, this review summarized the findings of the meta analyses and recent papers on site-specific human cancers among coffee consumers. For hepatocellular and endometrial cancers, there appears to be a strong and consistent protective association; for colorectal cancer, the direction of association is borderline protective. There appears to be no association with breast, pancreatic, kidney, ovarian, prostate, or gastric cancer. Risk of bladder cancer appears to be associated with heavy coffee consumption in some populations and among men. The associations with childhood leukemia and mother's consumption of coffee were ambiguous-with some suggestion of risk at high levels of daily consumption. PMID: 20358464 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Coffee and Various Diseases
J Nutr. 2004 Sep;134(9):2381-6.  Coffee drinking is dose-dependently related to the risk of acute coronary events in middle-aged men.Happonen P, Voutilainen S, Salonen JT. Department of Public Health and General Practice, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland. pertti.happonen@uku.fi  “In conclusion, heavy coffee consumption increases the short-term risk of acute myocardial infarction or coronary death, independent of the brewing method or currently recognized risk factors for CHD”

Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jun;81(6):1307-12. Chronic coffee consumption has a detrimental effect on aortic stiffness and wave reflections.Vlachopoulos C, Panagiotakos D, Ioakeimidis N, Dima I, Stefanadis C.1st Department of Cardiology, Hippokration Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Athens, Greece. cvlachop@otenet.gr  “Chronic coffee consumption exerts a detrimental effect on aortic stiffness and wave reflections, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Mol Endocrinol. 2007 Jul;21(7):1603-16. Epub 2007 Apr 24. The cholesterol-raising factor from coffee beans, cafestol, as an agonist ligand for the farnesoid and pregnane X receptors. Ricketts ML, Boekschoten MV, Kreeft AJ, Hooiveld GJ, Moen CJ, Müller M, Frants RR, Kasanmoentalib S, Post SM, Princen HM, Porter JG, Katan MB, Hofker MH, Moore DD. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, BCM 130, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. mlrick@bcm.tmc.edu  “Cafestol, a diterpene present in unfiltered coffee brews such as Scandinavian boiled, Turkish, and cafetière coffee, is the most potent cholesterol-elevating compound known in the human diet.”

Ann Rheum Dis 2000 Aug;59(8):631-5 Coffee consumption, rheumatoid factor, and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Heliovaara M, Aho K, Knekt P, Impivaara O, Reunanen A, Aromaa A National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland. markku.heliovaara@ktl.fi  “In the cross sectional survey the number of cups of coffee drunk daily was directly proportional to the prevalence of RF (rheumatoid factor) positivity.”

J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 1992 Sep-Oct;11(5-6):303-7. Epidemiological factors of cancer in California. Moran EM.World Institute of Ecology, University of California, Irvine.  “Increased coffee consumption has been found to be associated with increased occurrence of colon and bladder cancer”

Br J Cancer. 1990 Aug;62(2):267-70. Coffee consumption and the risk of breast cancer. A prospective study of 14,593 Norwegian women. Vatten LJ, Solvoll K, Løken EB.Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.  “The results of this study suggest that coffee consumption reduces the risk of breast cancer in lean women, whereas coffee might have the opposite effect in relatively obese women.”

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 1991 Jun;20(2):313-24. Diet and the irritable bowel syndrome.Friedman G. Department of Medicine, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.  “Patients with reflux esophageal symptoms should eliminate foods that decrease LES pressure, such as chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, and coffee.”

**Data and resources researched and compiled by M.M. Van Benschoten, OMD



© Jordan Hoffman, L.Ac., Dipl. OM, 2011. All Rights Reserved.

The information presented here is not medical advice, is not intended as medical advice, and is intended to provide only general, non-specific information related to Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture and is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. You should consult a licensed health practitioner before using any of this information.

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2001 S. Barrington Ave. Ste 116 Los Angeles, CA 90025  l  310-729-9061  l  © Jordan Hoffman Acupuncture 2010
This site and any articles on this site are not medical advice and are not intended as medical advice and are intended to provide only general, non-specific information related to Chinese Medicine and acupuncture and are not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. You should consult a licensed health practitioner before using any of the information on this site and any articles.