By drinking emmet
I know people who actually get up in the morning and start their day without coffee. For reason I cannot remember, I went without coffee one day last week and never really woke up. All right, I am an addict.
There will be no Maxwell House at Cobb Manor, not even after atomic attack. My former addiction was to Dark Star from Second Read in Rockland. Then my life coach (in all things nonpolitical) John Purcell introduced me to Sumatra Coffee from World Market. I wouldn’t say it was better than Dark Star, but it is about half the cost. Done.
You know about those endless “studies,” don’t you? It seems that every think tank and every college does these studies to illustrate the dangers and benefits of eggs, coffee, olive oil, red meat and go-kart racing. I can’t imagine how anyone takes them seriously. If you really pay attention they contradict previous studies with remarkable regularity.
But this one, last week, was from Harvard University. You know that Harvard cannot do wrong. Wait. Didn’t they give a degree to George W. Bush?
This one was a beaut. It claimed that the use of coffee diminished suicide rates by 50 percent. Since you can’t poll the successful suicides, I question the validity of this latest study. But what do I know? I have not harbored suicidal tendencies for any longer than I can remember the cheeseburgers at Trackside or the roasted vegetables at Café Miranda. There is always another meal approaching and I would hate to miss them.
But just in case, I shall continue to slurp my Sumatra, with half and half, of course.
You might have missed the latest issue of The World Journal on Biological Psychiatry, but it reported that the Harvard School of Public Health compared the risk of suicide for adults who consumed two to four caffeinated cups per day with those strange non-coffee drinkers, those who drank less than four cups and those even stranger people who choose decaf (Why bother?). This was no weekend study at Cambridge coffee bars, since in included 200,000 participants who were studied for at least 16 years. No word from the successful suiciders.
Talk about a waste of money. Why didn’t they study why L. L. Bean’s zipper are so lousy?
“Unlike previous investigations, we were able to assess association of consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, and we identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee,” according to “lead researcher” Michel Lucas a research fellow in the university’s department of nutrition. A previous study (the funding never stops) determined that caffeinated has been linked to a lower risk of depression among women in the past. In a 2011 study, also conducted by Harvard researchers, women who drank coffee were shown to have a 15 percent reduced risk of depression as compared to non-coffee drinkers.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Lucas stressed that it’s the caffeine in coffee that’s primarily responsible for these effects. He linked the lowered risks of depression and suicide to the impact caffeine has on the brain or, more specifically, on neurotransmitters that have been shown to have an effect on emotions. And while other drinks like soda and tea also offer caffeine, they don’t contain nearly the same levels as coffee.
“Caffeine from coffee is about 80 percent caffeine intake,” Lucas estimated. “In one cup of coffee, you could have about 140 mg of caffeine.”
“In tea, for example, you have about 47 mg,” he told HuffPost, adding that someone would need about three more cups of tea to achieve the same effect as one cup of coffee. I don’t know about the 200,000 study members, but tea has the effect on me of methamphetamines. If I have a cup of tea after 5 p.m., I have awake dreams until dawn. Much, much worse than coffee. But what do I know? I have only driven past Harvard in a heavy fog.
This does not mean that you should slurp down 15-20 cups all day long. “Overall, our results suggest that there is little further benefit for consumption above two to three cups/day or 400 mg of caffeine per day,” the authors wrote.
The Harvard study joins a growing body of scientific evidence, which has claimed the health benefits of coffee. Last year, published research linked moderate coffee intake with delayed Alzheimer’s onset, lowered risk of heart failure and reduced risk of basil cell carcinoma- the most common type of skin cancer.
I am by nature, a suspicious person and would love to find out who is paying for all those positive studies of coffee consumption. Other “studies” indicate that coffee will raise cholesterol and raise blood pressure. The Mayo Clinic advises a limit of 200 mg a day.
Now Buzzle.com does not have the cachet of Harvard, but it reports that coffee can also interfere with absorption of medicine, constrict blood vessels, lead to “sluggish sperm,” damage teeth, and increase blood sugar levels.
The only advice I have, even if you have “sluggish sperm,” It to avoid all studies, at all costs.