Coffee Confusion

October 7, 2011

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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
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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