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Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 10:11 AM   #1
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Good for you?

I find it amusing how medical opionions change. For years we were told to cut back on coffee - that it was not good for you. I recently read in the AARP(don't tell anyone)mag. that you should drink at least 4 cups of coffee per day. Coffee is chock full of antioxidents, wards off dementia, protects your liver and helps to keep you from becoming depressed. I am going to go have my 2nd cup now.....
Also chocolate, red wine - good for you................binge drinking?!
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 10:31 AM   #2
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Re: Good for you?

Coffee is good for you? Yeah.... RIGHT!!!

I love my morning coffee, and have been unable to cut back to less than a huge mug full each morning. I haven't read that article yet, but (in my present state of ignorance) no way would I consider coffee to be a healthy habit.

Sure would be nice. Next they'll be telling us that a dozen donuts a day will extend life.
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 10:39 AM   #3
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Re: Good for you?

I have two cups a day, even though I do not think it is good for you.
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: Good for you?

Correct me if I am wrong, but it always seemed to me that all that 'coffee is bad for you' talk, was just old-wive's-tale-popular-myth stuff. So, who was it that was saying 'cut back on it'? Did they have any hard evidence for this? If not, it is not fair to say that the medical community is doing a turn-around.

I have been a coffee drinker since my teens. Over the years, I have looked, but never recall seeing a study (duplicated and confirmed) that showed that moderate coffee drinking was bad for you. Some risks have been associated with 'boiled' coffee (where the grounds are boiled with the water). It just seemed like something that some people wanted to believe and repeated until it was accepted as true. Probably the same people (ironically) that think that anything 'natural' is better for you.

Isn't 'natural' coffee better for you than 'processed' decaf?

I remember my Aunt pouring cups of coffee after a dinner and saying 'this is decaf - it won't hurt you' - I never understood why she thought that, she was a big reader of 'Prevention' magazine - maybe from that?

I follow the theory that one should eat many different types of food in moderation, and eat a bit more of the things that we seem to think are good for you. I have a personal MDR of coffee, chocolate, quality alcohol (craft or home-brew beer or a good red wine, sometimes white), nuts and fruits and veggies. I should get more fish in there, salmon every couple of weeks is about it.

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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 10:44 AM   #5
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Re: Good for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire
Coffee is good for you? Yeah.... RIGHT!!!

I love my morning coffee, and have been unable to cut back to less than a huge mug full each morning. I haven't read that article yet, but (in my present state of ignorance) no way would I consider coffee to be a healthy habit.

Sure would be nice. Next they'll be telling us that a dozen donuts a day will extend life.
try this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_and_health

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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 11:39 AM   #6
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Re: Good for you?

I gave up coffee years ago. For me it had bad effects.

It's probably good for people in moderate doses; though I wonder about the coworkers who drank 15 or more cups per day.
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 11:43 AM   #7
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Re: Good for you?

Other things that have had evolving opinions about their healthfulness:

Shredded-wheat: (Remember the senator saying the box was better for you than the cereal?)
Nuts
Alcohol
Olive Oil
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 12:04 PM   #8
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Re: Good for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
Interesting! Thanks.

A stimulant with psychotropic effects that causes dependency? Aargh. That doesn't sound like something I should be drinking. On the other hand, it's interesting that moderate amounts deter heart disease.

I tend to take all of this with a huge grain of salt, except that I do categorize caffeine as a (mild) drug.
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 12:50 PM   #9
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Re: Good for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire
I tend to take all of this with a huge grain of salt
Now, that could be a problem

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_salt#Health_effects

Quote:
A stimulant with psychotropic effects that causes dependency?
What's the problem? - it's readily available, socially acceptable, inexpensive and legal 8)

Quote:
except that I do categorize caffeine as a (mild) drug.
Well, it is a (mild - in reasonable doses) drug. I've got to have some vices - this looks like a good one as far as vices go.

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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 01:05 PM   #10
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Re: Good for you?

Heck, go back a few decades and you could find doctors on tv not only telling you that cigarettes are good for you, but which brands were best.

They even had special cigarettes for asthmatics.

Which means we're only a few short years before we see the article "Broccoli...the silent killer..."

And dont try to fool me with cauliflower...its just white broccoli.
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 01:13 PM   #11
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Re: Good for you?

Recently there was a Twilight Zone marathon on TV - I watched some and they had on some of the old commericials. One of them was Chesterfield cigs and they talked about the health benefits of smoking - Rod Serling was the main spokesman......was'nt it cigs that "got him"?

Another good/bad? are eggs - you hear more positive now than negative
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 01:30 PM   #12
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Re: Good for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donzo
Recently there was a Twilight Zone marathon on TV - I watched some and they had on some of the old commericials. One of them was Chesterfield cigs and they talked about the health benefits of smoking - Rod Serling was the main spokesman......was'nt it cigs that "got him"?

Another good/bad? are eggs - you hear more positive now than negative
Yep, lung cancer - he was a heavy chain smoker.

Eggs - Yes, I think that has been a bit of a flip-flop. Cholesterol often has more to do with how your body deals with it than how much is in the food you eat. And eggs have other benefits. I eat them, but in moderation.

Margarine is another - they thought less sat fat was good, but apparently did not consider or did not understand the bad effects of trans fat at the time.

Unfortunately, this seems to get treated by many as 'ah-hah! the medical community doesn't know anything - forget what they say! Do the opposite!'. In reality, it is fantastic that they come out and acknowledge that, in light of new evidence and knowledge, that they were wrong. Adapt and change. I see it as a strength, not a weakness.

Another reason I believe in moderation, just like financial diversification, you are less likely of running the risk of being all wrong.

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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 04:09 PM   #13
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Re: Good for you?

I love coffee, and although I believe in moderation in all things, I have tended to drink too much of it at times. But how much is too much, it seems that what we thought we knew is being challenged:

Quote:
After analyzing data on 126,000 people for as long as 18 years, Harvard researchers calculate that compared with not partaking in America's favorite morning drink, downing one to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily can reduce diabetes risk by single digits. But having six cups or more each day slashed men's risk by 54% and women's by 30% over java avoiders.

Though the scientists give the customary "more research is needed" before they recommend you do overtime at Starbuck's to specifically prevent diabetes, their findings are very similar to those in a less-publicized Dutch study. And perhaps more importantly, it's the latest of hundreds of studies suggesting that coffee may be something of a health food -- especially in higher amounts.

In recent decades, some 19,000 studies have been done examining coffee's impact on health. And for the most part, their results are as pleasing as a gulp of freshly brewed Breakfast Blend for the 108 million Americans who routinely enjoy this traditionally morning -- and increasingly daylong -- ritual. In practical terms, regular coffee drinkers include the majority of U.S. adults and a growing number of children.

"Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful than it is harmful," says Tomas DePaulis, PhD, research scientist at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Coffee Studies, which conducts its own medical research and tracks coffee studies from around the world. "For most people, very little bad comes from drinking it, but a lot of good."
From standing watch in the military to weird shifts at work, drinking coffee at all times of the day has been what kept me on my feet and doing my job for years.

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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 05:00 PM   #14
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Re: Good for you?

Studying potential risk factors that are embedded in culture and lifestyle is a very dicey thing to do. Typically, this is done with what are called "case control" experiments which actually measure the the likelihood of having a risk factor once it is know that you have a disease, rather than the likelihood of developing a disease if you have a risk factor.

Most dietary or lifestyle risks are associated with a myriad of other lifestyle patterns which might also explain the increased occurrence of a disease. For example, coffee intake might be associated with increased cream intake, ,or a higher likelihood of sleep deprivation, or styrofoam exposure, etc. It is very hard to sort out, not to mention the associations we don't even think about.

This, IMHO, explains why so many wrong bits of advice flow out of such studies. Prospective, controlled, and "blinded" (where the patients and researchers don't know who is getting what) are much more accurate but often impractical in areas such as lifestyle risk.

Best defense? Gramma's advice - everything in moderation, so if there is a problem down the road, the extreme users will be the canaries in the coal mine.
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 05:02 PM   #15
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Re: Good for you?

i used to drink about 2 or 3 large coffees in the morning followed by soda all afternoon and evening. about 15 years ago i stopped consuming all caffeinated products though i allowed myself a coffee drink maybe 2 or 3 times a year. each time it would be a frozen cappuccino at the news cafe on south beach. mmmm so good.

since studies came out on coffee and alzheimer's, et al (assuming i'm buying any of that), i allow myself coffee whenever i get the urge which isn't too often. fortunately i've broken myself of the caffeine habit and hope never to become too fond of that again.
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 05:09 PM   #16
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Re: Good for you?

Hmmm

Coffee is mandatory - right up there with breathing!

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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 05:31 PM   #17
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Re: Good for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Best defense? Gramma's advice - everything in moderation, so if there is a problem down the road, the extreme users will be the canaries in the coal mine.
Sound advice form Grammy and our resident chief of all things medical. Like I said, I try to follow that advice as well, but it can be difficult. I found it especially tough working hours that were unpredictable and often changing. Nothing spurred my coffee intake like one week spent going home at 3 am, and then switching to a week of going to work at 4 or 5 am. I almost never had a problem going to sleep unless it had been a particularly action packed night, but every now and then I knew I had been "using" too much when I got a case of the shakes or withdrawal headaches when I cut back a lot.
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 05:37 PM   #18
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Re: Good for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
Sound advice form Grammy and our resident chief of all things medical. Like I said, I try to follow that advice as well, but it can be difficult. I found it especially tough working hours that were unpredictable and often changing. Nothing spurred my coffee intake like one week spent going home at 3 am, and then switching to a week of going to work at 4 or 5 am. I almost never had a problem going to sleep unless it had been a particularly action packed night, but every now and then I knew I had been "using" too much when I got a case of the shakes or withdrawal headaches when I cut back a lot.
Not to worry. You're a light-weight in the caffeine department. I have known patients -- some being 90 lb 80 year old women -- who consume 12-15 cups daily. And now with grande and vente and latte and supersize - 3 cups a day can easily be 48 oz, or about 9 - 10 traditional cups.

Caffeine withdrawal headaches are interesting. They often go unassociated with the caffeine by the patient because, if anything, caffeine "makes them better." 5 days of washout are sometimes needed.

Tip: if your headaches are helped by Excedrin or Anacin but not by aspirin, think caffeine. It's the only difference between the two.
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 05:40 PM   #19
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Re: Good for you?

Coffee comes from the ground bean (fruit) of a plant; intuitively, that is going to be better for you (consumed in moderation) than any processed food (think donuts) that people eat. If you load your coffee up with sugar and cream, that's a different story. I think a lot of our common diseases and health problems these days can be linked to all of the processed foods in our diet (white flour, trans fats, sugar, etc). If you eliminate most of that crud from your diet and stick mainly to unprocessed or minimally-processed foods (things that do not come in a box or bag), you'll probably do okay. It's not easy to eliminate all of this stuff, but with some effort, you can cut way back. I've made an effort to do it over the last 5+ years or so, and I've noticed a positive change in my health.
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Re: Good for you?
Old 01-15-2007, 05:57 PM   #20
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Re: Good for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Not to worry. You're a light-weight in the caffeine department. I have known patients -- some being 90 lb 80 year old women -- who consume 12-15 cups daily. And now with grande and vente and latte and supersize - 3 cups a day can easily be 48 oz, or about 9 - 10 traditional cups.
Daaammmmn! That's a lot of java for such a small person. I'd love to own the Starbucks where they hang out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Caffeine withdrawal headaches are interesting. They often go unassociated with the caffeine by the patient because, if anything, caffeine "makes them better." 5 days of washout are sometimes needed.

Tip: if your headaches are helped by Excedrin or Anacin but not by aspirin, think caffeine. It's the only difference between the two.
I don't remember how I figured out that they were caused by caffeine withdrawal, but I remember being unhappy that it took a while for a cup of coffee (or two) to kick in and make the bad feeling go away. And your're right about the aspirin (and maybe some other OCT pain relievers), but one day I just grabbed one of DW's Excedrins and I got quick relief. I didn't like relying on either coffee or Excedrin to keep from feeling bad, so whenever I got a headache I cut back on my caffeine intake, but would stretch it out more so I didn't suffer any symptoms.
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