How we underestimate the harm of coffee: The whole world drinks coffee. More precisely, 2 billion people in the world drink it “black”, with milk, cream, ice cream and fruit juices, adding a variety of spices: cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and even salt and black pepper.
The widespread distribution of coffee as a popular drink began in Vienna in 1683 and is associated with the name of the Ukrainian nobleman and Cossack Yuri-Franz Kulchitsky. A couple of years later, the first coffee shop in Paris was opened, and soon Europe was swept by a real coffee boom. In Russia, the custom of drinking coffee was introduced by Peter I, and in 1899 the Swiss chemist Max Morgenthaler created instant coffee. Instant coffee came into use in the 40s of the XX century.
The cult of this drink is created for a reason. It is not only the profit of European companies that creates conditions when you can drink this completely unhealthy drink at every step.
I saw an ad for him in Greenland, at the foot of a glacier. I saw an ad for him on the shores of South America, where the waters of Cape Horn beat against the rocky shore. It is used by nomads in the Sinai Desert and residents of remote villages in Tibet and China. Russia consumes millions of liters of it annually. You can see his ads on billboards all over North America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Walking through the streets of a European city, one cannot hide from its aroma. What is this thing that is being advertised all over the world?
The advertised poison is caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea and many cola drinks.
Many people drink caffeinated beverages because they feel they are refreshing, energized and confident at work. The most popular drink containing caffeine is coffee.
In the West, almost everyone over the age of 12 drinks coffee. In the United States alone, over a billion kilograms of coffee are consumed annually. And worldwide, the total is approaching 5 billion.
Five billion kilograms of … poison!
What’s more, of the 25 billion liters of popular soda consumed annually in the United States, 65% contains caffeine. These caffeine-containing drinks are the main source of caffeine consumption by teens.
How much caffeine is in coffee?
Around AD 850, the story goes, an Arab shepherd named Kaldi noticed the strange behavior of his goats. He noticed that goats, usually calm animals, literally lose their temper. They jump and jump like mad. The culprit, as it turned out, was the berries of some kind of shrub.
Kaldi tasted these berries himself. So, for the first time in history, a person experienced the effect of coffee – an unusual rise and a feeling of cheerfulness. He told about this to his fellow shepherds, and they, in turn, to the inhabitants of the village. By the 17th century, coffee consumption had spread throughout all Arab countries and in Europe.
Coffee lovers at that time could not know what substances in coffee beans cause an uplift and invigorate. If they were to chemically analyze a coffee bean, they would find various chemicals in it. The most important of these is caffeine, which has a stimulating effect on the body, especially the nervous system.
Coffee has a caffeine content of up to 1500 mg / l. Purine alkaloids (caffeine, theobromine and theophylline), when consumed regularly at a level of 1000 mg per day, cause a constant need for them in a person, reminiscent of alcohol dependence.
Caffeine is a drug that belongs to the xanthine family. Although theophylline (found in tea) and theobromine (found in chocolate) are also xanthines, they differ significantly from caffeine in their structure and biological functions. In terms of chemical composition, these drugs are very similar, but have completely different physiological effects on the body. However, most nutritional chemists agree that coffee, tea, and chocolate contain significant amounts of caffeine.
Effects of caffeine
Mohammed prohibited the consumption of intoxicating drinks in the Qur’an. Later, the Muslim authorities attributed this ban to coffee as well. We do not know for what reasons they did this, because then they did not have a scientific basis on which they could rely.
In the 16th century, Pope Clement VIII took the opposite position. He declared coffee “a truly Christian drink.”
Nowadays, the unique aroma and stimulating effect of coffee and tea have earned them fame all over the world. Most people find the aroma of coffee pleasant and appetizing. But caffeine not only stimulates, but also destroys. It has certain physical and mental effects that are harmful to health.
At first glance, caffeine seems to improve mood, relieve fatigue, reduce headaches, irritability, and nervousness. But these effects are mostly illusory. Caffeine does not solve the problem of fatigue.
“Wait a minute! – you can argue. – Last night, when I was driving, I almost fell asleep at the wheel. I drove into a cafe and had a couple of cups of coffee. What effect! After that I was able to drive home and still watch the night TV program! ”
Sorry my friend! Coffee hasn’t taken off your fatigue at all. The body remained tired even after coffee, only you did not know about it. Reactions and reflexes temporarily sharpened, but soon dropped to a lower level than when you first felt tired. If you encountered unforeseen danger on the road, caffeine could prevent you from returning home alive. Caffeine can lead to accidents by creating a false sense of alertness.
Let’s take a closer look at the effects of caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. First of all, it mobilizes stress mechanisms by increasing blood sugar, heart rate, cardiac output, and blood pressure. It makes the kidneys produce more urine, and makes breathing quicker. What makes all this happen? Thanks to the narcotic effect. Caffeine gives us no calories, no nutrition, no vitamins. Its action is reminiscent of whipping up a trapped horse.
A horse in pain may move faster, but in fact, fatigue does not diminish. We force the horse to expend energy from its reserves. And it is not easy to replace these reserves. Some cannot be replenished at all.
Caffeine creates the illusion that it is an “actor.” A good actor makes his character seem real. Caffeine creates the illusion of wellness and health. But, as in the play, the curtain always closes. And if we continue to live with the illusion of energy and vigor, one day we will find that the curtain on our health has closed. Constant fatigue, exhaustion of the nervous system and various organs, “driven horse” syndrome – this is the price we pay for the illusions created by caffeine.
I remember the headmaster of a school not far from the hospital where I worked. He seemed full of energy, but not because of his natural health. He had high blood pressure, kidney disease, and sleeplessness, which he was hiding. Garvey, that was the name of the headmaster, drank 20 cups of black coffee every day.
I told him about the consequences of this lifestyle, but I never convinced him not to drink coffee. He did not smoke, rarely drank alcohol. He used to say to me: “Coffee keeps me on my feet, doctor.” Then he added: “Without coffee, I would be like a squeezed lemon, and I could not do anything.”
In the end, I convinced Garvey that he needed to quit coffee or he would drive himself to death. He followed my advice for several days, but the withdrawal was so severe that he soon returned to his 20 cups a day. Garvey was in his 40s at the time. He died of a heart attack before he was 50. I regretfully signed the certificate of his death: “Ischemic heart disease, acute myocardial infarction.” One could safely add the cause of death: “Coffee”.
A curious study was conducted by Dr. Mervin G. Hardingge at the Institute of Public Health at Loma Linda University.
Dr. Gardinge studied two species of spiders using large numbers of spiders. He discovered that one of the spider species weaves a beautiful symmetrical large web. This is what he used for his experiments. Very skillfully, he measured out infinitesimal doses of caffeine, which he injected with the thinnest needle into the spider’s body. Each spider received a dose equivalent to two adult cups of coffee. Then the cobwebs woven by these spiders were studied. They all turned out to be completely deformed. They were small in size, contained few rays, and had an ugly shape.
Before the caffeine dose was injected, the web had 30 to 35 concentric rings. The cobweb, woven even 48 hours after the injection of one dose of caffeine, still remained deformed and contained only 12-13 rings. The same picture was observed after 72 hours. Only 96 hours after injection did the size and shape of the web return to normal.
Drugs are not a cure for fatigue. The cure is a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition and rest.
Why is caffeine harmful?
So caffeine tricks the nervous system. But that’s not all. It increases the content of fatty acids in the blood. An increase in fatty acids, plus stress, plus an increase in blood pressure – all these are prerequisites for myocardial infarction. Medicine is only now beginning to recognize the reality of this danger. Statistics show that people who drink a lot of tea and coffee are more susceptible to all diseases, not just heart attacks. In my medical practice, I have observed numerous cases of heart rhythm disturbances due to the use of drinks containing caffeine. Often these disorders disappeared as soon as the patient stopped drinking coffee.
Caffeine causes the stomach to produce more acid, which can lead to heartburn. Consuming large amounts of coffee can lead to stomach ulcers. I recently met with a colleague at the Mayo Clinic who told me that he refuses to treat any patient with stomach ulcers who does not agree to stop drinking tea and coffee.
By increasing the production of catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine), caffeine creates a stressful effect in the body. This is one of the factors contributing to high blood pressure, which is often found in coffee drinkers. And high blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart attack.
The stress effects of caffeine partially paralyze bowel activity. The processes of digestion and absorption are slowed down. Food lingers in the intestines longer and passes through the digestive tract for a longer time. This leads to increased gas production and indigestion, which increases the likelihood of rectal cancer.
Under the influence of caffeine, vitamin B1 is excreted from the body, which provides and regulates carbohydrate metabolism (including in the skin) and the work of nerves. With its lack, the quality of the skin and hair deteriorates – they become dry, memory deteriorates.
Coffee before bed is a surefire way to not get enough sleep. Difficulty falling asleep also occurs. For those who do not understand (who gets up early, you yourself know). In other words, a person who consumes coffee worsens not only physical health, but also mental health. As a rule, such people rarely dream or do not dream at all. I think it is worth recalling that up to 1/3 of our life we spend in sleep and, as a result, healthy sleep is also the health of our spirit. Moreover, people draw some discoveries and interesting thoughts from their dreams. By seriously disrupting this process, a person becomes an “ordinary gray mass”, he is more controllable, and the level of perception of the surrounding world decreases.
The love of coffee can prevent a woman from getting pregnant, according to scientists from Radboud University in the Netherlands. The researchers came to this conclusion after the completion of a large study involving 9,000 women. For 13 years, the participants in the experiment, who had previously undergone IVF, tried to become pregnant naturally. During this time, 1350 women had children. After examining the factors that could promote or prevent conception, the scientists concluded that drinking 4 cups of coffee, strong tea or other drinks containing caffeine daily reduced the chance of conception by 26%. Now researchers are trying to explain how coffee impairs fertility.
Caffeine passes into breast milk, therefore, regular coffee consumption leads to a decrease in the amount of iron in milk (and the baby suffers from a lack of it).
Caffeine is a terrible enemy!
One of the most serious consequences of caffeine consumption is the development of what is known in psychiatry as anxiety neurosis. For lack of a better name, we call this condition caffeinism.
Caffeinism is characterized by dizziness, anxiety and anxiety, recurrent headaches, and insomnia. Pallor of the face, tremors of the hands, sweating of the hands and feet are also symptoms of caffeinism.
Psychiatrists at Walter Reed Hospital have studied this type of neurosis. They found that treating it as a mental illness was ineffective. But in all cases, cure came quickly after the caffeine was eliminated from the diet.
Caffeinism is one of the most common medical conditions faced by doctors today. Most often it is misdiagnosed. In my practice, I have seen one or two cases of caffeinism daily. Garvey, mentioned earlier, was one of those who refused treatment. Patients often think they need tranquilizers or sedatives. Some even ask for psychotherapy.
My treatment is frank to the point of cruelty. Cutting back on caffeinated beverages is not enough. I tell my patients to stop caffeine altogether. Coffee and all caffeinated drinks are harmful to the last drop.
Many people think that it is impossible to completely give up coffee, tea, or Coca-Cola. But as soon as you experience the joy of feeling healthy and feel free from the constant “whipping up,” you wonder why you didn’t end it sooner.
When you master the other components of a healthy lifestyle – diet, exercise, fresh air, water, you will understand that you do not need any drugs, no stimulants supposedly helping to maintain good health. You will feel great. And this is not an illusion. This is a genuine, wonderful, full of life reality!
What can you do?
Avoid the tricky caffeine cheat, and stop drinking coffee, tea, cola drinks, and other caffeinated drinks.
To cope with withdrawal more easily, drink as much fresh water as possible, limit your usual work load, but increase your daily “dose” of exercise. Some soothing water treatments may be helpful.
If you like hot drinks, try herbal teas or cereal coffee substitutes.
Go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep.
Start living for real, without the “whipping up” of caffeine.
Try, look for what makes you happier, heal and be always young!