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Is Coffee Healthy or Is Coffee Unhealthy?

Monday Nov 25, 2013 | BY |
| Comments (88)

two cups of coffee cappuccino

Coffee: Friend or Foe?

We hear a lot of conflicting reports on coffee.

For years, we were told that coffee was bad for health. But in the recent decade, the media have often been spinning stories about the health benefits of coffee.

I’m going to try to put things in perspective for you, on a topic I have thoroughly researched over the years, in books and on myself.

My Personal History with Coffee

I never drank coffee or caffeinated sodas growing up. And I preferred white chocolate to dark or milk chocolate, for some reason.

I did my graduate studies in a music school (specializing in classical guitar) and noticed that many of my musician friends started to drink coffee. I remember giving it a try one day, thinking it would improve my concentration while practicing.

Since I was not used to drinking coffee, it gave me an instant buzz. My heart was racing, and when I sat down to practice the guitar (I was practicing 5 hours a day at the time), I noticed that my hand was shaking! I certainly couldn’t practice like that, so I didn’t try coffee again.

Later, a friend of mine told me that some Flamenco players drink a lot of coffee in order to be able to play in a very fast, jittery style. I remember thinking, “This doesn’t make sense! I couldn’t even play an arpeggio right when drinking the stuff!”

After that, I got into raw and healthy foods, and so I wasn’t enticed to drink coffee (even though I met many raw-foodists who were fond of black espresso coffee).

I eventually slipped off when a girlfriend introduced me to the wonderful world of gourmet coffees: lattes (you could even order it with soy milk!), cappuccinos, espressos, mochaccinos, and so many more delicious combinations.

I instantly became a coffee fan.

Since then, I have had a love/hate relationship with coffee. For most of the last 15 years, I managed to stay away from the stuff. But for quite a few occasions, I fell back into a coffee-drinking habit.

I basically love the stimulation I get from coffee and other caffeine-containing drinks, but my body seems to react more negatively to it than most people. So this led me to investigate the world of coffee to try to understand its dangers and its benefits.

The Biggest Commodity in the World

Isn’t it funny that what started out as a European delicacy has turned into one of the most craved substances and addictions in the world?

People drink coffee more than any other beverage, including soft drinks or tea. Second only to oil in world trade, annual coffee consumption worldwide was estimated in 2003 to be over 400 billion cups, with Brazil as the largest producer globally. Americans consume more than 400 million cups a day!

What’s Wrong with Coffee?

There are a few, well-researched dangers and negatives for drinking coffee. The amount necessary to bring about those negatives can vary according to the person, but there’s plenty of data to support each negative.

1) Unfiltered Coffee Raises Cholesterol Levels

Coffee contains two substances — cafestol and kahweol — that raise total cholesterol, including the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Cholesterol is raised by an average of 10% through consuming coffee, but strong, boiled coffee can raise cholesterol by as much as 23%.

Cholesterol-lowering medications will usually lower cholesterol numbers by 10%, so that means that most people could experience the same benefits that statin drugs provide just by giving up their daily coffee.

Which types of coffee raise cholesterol levels? Any type that has not gone through a paper filter, as the filter traps the cafestol and kahweol. Unfortunately, that includes the types of coffee popular these days:

- Espresso and any beverage made from it (cafe latte, cappuccino, etc.)
– Boiled coffee made in a French press (this type of coffee raises cholesterol levels the most)
– Decaf coffee

Filtered coffee may not raise cholesterol levels. Instant coffee is also safe in that regard.

2) Coffee Raises Blood Pressure

Coffee, and in fact any type of caffeine, raises blood pressure for most people. Decaf coffee also raises blood pressure, so there are probably elements in the coffee, besides the caffeine, that contribute to this rise.

Systolic blood pressure can rise from 5 to 15 mmHg, and the diastolic (bottom number) can rise 5 to 10 mmHg. Many medications lower blood pressure by this amount, so again, in sensitive individuals, giving up coffee can be as effective as medicines in lowering blood pressure.

3) Coffee Upsets the Stomach

Not every coffee drinker is sensitive to this effect of coffee, and consumption levels will greatly affect it. Both caffeinated and decaf coffees increase acid production in the stomach. Other factors are also at work that can create problems like heartburn and acid reflux, or ulcers.

4) Coffee Causes Headaches

Caffeine is a widely known migraine trigger. I’m prone to migraine headaches, like my mom, but I know it’s very difficult for me to get a migraine if I don’t consume any source of caffeine (that includes chocolate or raw cacao). One of my readers wrote:

“I love coffee so much but it gives me terrible migraines, insomnia, and anxiety. If I drink it 2 days in a row, I am a mess. I tried drinking decaf but after a week, I start getting migraines. I tried matcha green tea and I get the same migraines. When I stop the coffee, green tea & decaf, I no longer get migraines for months. If I try to have a cup, I know within a few weeks I will get a migraine. I have found that yerba mate will give me the same insomnia as coffee but no headaches.” Lola

5) Other Negative Effects that Come From Overstimulation

According to Gayle Reichler, MS, RD, CDN: “Within five minutes after you drink your morning coffee, the caffeine begins to stimulate your central nervous system, triggering the release of stress hormones in your body, causing a stress (‘fight or flight’) response. Within the next hour or so, after the stress response dissipates, you will probably feel more tired and hungry.” So what appears as “quick energy” is in reality a stress response triggered by the adrenal glands!

Some people are more or less sensitive to the stimulation provided by caffeine, and take more or less time to recover from it.

Over time, and depending on the level of consumption, coffee drinking can lead to many problems in sensitive or heavy users:

The negative effects of caffeine on the body include:

- Energy swings or periods of fatigue during the day
- Mood swings or periods of depression
- Constipation and/or dependence on caffeine for bowel movement
- Tension or stiffness in the neck, shoulders, hands, legs or stomach
- Premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularity, camps, sore breasts
- Painful/sensitive lumps in breast
- Insomnia
- Anxiety
- Irritability, including inappropriate fits of anger
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Light-headedness/dizziness
- Waking up feeling tired
- Generalized pain (back, stomach, muscles)
- Anemia
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty in concentration
- Ringing in ears
- Coldness in extremities
- Hand tremor

This list is taken from the highly researched book Caffeine Blues.

The Benefits of Coffee

Every now and then, a news story comes out touting the health benefits of coffee.

Some of the benefits include:

1) Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Research has shown that coffee consumption lowers risk of type 2 diabetes, especially with high consumption (6 to 7 cups a day!). Decaf coffee actually led to more benefits than regular coffee.

2) Protects the Brain and Lowers Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

The whole coffee/caffeine benefits for Alzheimer’s prevention research was done through animal studies with mice. Mice were given caffeine in their drinking water from a young age into adulthood. The caffeinated mice got some protection against memory impairment and other brain abnormalities that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. The equivalent of 500mg of caffeine a day was used.

I personally take this one with a grain of salt, considering that humans have a much more complex brain and other ways to stimulate it to prevent its decline.

3) May Help Ward Off Development of Parkinson’s Disease.

Research shows that in people prone to developing Parkinson’s disease, a higher caffeine intake lowers risk of developing the disease, and may also help movement in people affected from it.

4) May Help Protect Against Certain Kinds of Cancer, such as Skin Cancer.

People drinking at least 3 cups of coffee per day are less likely to develop certain types of skin cancer (21% less for women and 10% less for men).

The benefits are attributed to caffeine itself, but apparently more research is needed to confirm this positive association.

What to Think of the Benefits vs. the Risks

Coffee drinkers rejoice whenever news arrives that show that their favorite drinks isn’t so bad after all. It has some health benefits!

The health dangers of caffeine and coffee are well researched and established science. So what should we think of it all?

One critical element that is often missing from the discussion is the issue of caffeine sensitivity.

You’ll notice that many of the benefits of coffee come with high or extreme consumption (3 to 9 cups a day!). But missing from all the news stories are the dangers associated with such a high consumption of coffee.

Most people who enjoy coffee without too many side effects limit themselves to 1 to 3 cups a day.

But there is a significant percentage of the population, to which I belong, that could be considered extremely sensitive to caffeine. A genetic mutation was even found that slows down the breakdown of caffeine the body in some individuals, leading to increased risk of heart disease with caffeine consumption.

A study done on 4000 coffee drinkers found that drinking two or more cups of coffee each day increases the risk of heart disease, but only in those individuals with this genetic mutation. But this mutation apparently affects 54% of the population!

People without this gene can apparently drink as much coffee as they want and not risk their heart health! How do you know if you’re one of the lucky ones? There’s no way to test for now.

However, I do believe that signs of caffeine sensitivity are fairly easy to identify.

Regular consumption of coffee or caffeine leads to the following symptoms in sensitive individuals:

- Skin irritation: eczema, rashes, itching, etc.
– Back and shoulder pains
– Angry, irritable, bad mood
– Flu/Cold like symptoms
– Headaches
– Chronic fatigue and irritability
– Anxiety and panic attacks
– Depression
– Lack of focus and concentration
– Extreme jitters

Caffeine Allergy

A lot of information has surfaced in recent years on the web about individuals suffering from caffeine allergy. Tongue, glands or throat swelling are one sign, as well as all the symptoms I listed on caffeine sensitivity.

A documented case in 1936 presented a young woman allergic to caffeine, with symptoms of delirium and mania, resembling schizophrenia. (It’s actually my belief that many people are falsely being diagnosed with mental illness when in fact they have an allergy/hyper-sensitivity to caffeine.)

There seems to be a fine line between caffeine sensitivity and allergy.

“The allergic person may experience sneezing, an itchy mouth, hoarseness, difficulty breathing, hives, swollen throat/tongue/lips/face, difficulty swallowing, eczema, fainting, heart palpitations, pain in the chest or hyperventilation.” (reference)

Many of my readers who are also very sensitive to caffeine wrote to me with similar stories:

“I have given it up more times than I can remember. I give up because it ultimately makes me feel very bad. After about 4 days of having just one small cup a day, I begin to feel tired, headachy and even sickly. It’s like a buildup of caffeine in my system that my body can’t get rid of quickly enough. So then I have to stop drinking it because I feel sick and when I do stop drinking it, I get withdrawal symptoms of feeling even worse until it leaves my body. And yet, and yet… so far, I always go back to it because after I am caffeine-free, I feel good, and then I think, oh, just one cup won’t hurt. But, of course, it does, and it’s never just one cup.” Lisa Walpole

“I am very sensitive just like you Frederic, but I have discovered that combining even a healthy raw diet with too little sleep at times still leaves one tired. So I decided to buy some food grade matcha powder since (though probably not raw, but possibly) I thought it would be the purest form of the “drug.” It does work like coffee in keeping awake and I found that regulating the amount taken (in my green smoothies) I was able to have more ‘of that fake energy.’ But soon anxiety and depression came back. Instead of using that energy to be more productive I often found the caffeine energy helped me find more ways to procrastinate. The famous Russian scientist, Pavlov, called coffee ‘bad habit glue,’ and I have found this to be true.” Christopher

So What’s the Truth? Is Coffee Good or Bad?

Many people drink too much coffee and experience many health problems as a result. Their bodies are in a constant state of stress caused by the chemical stimulation of caffeine.

Others enjoy a daily cup or two with no or very few side effects.

Would I tell these people to quit? Unless you’re noticing many of the symptoms that I listed in my article, you can probably continue safely your moderate coffee drinking. In fact, I secretly envy you!

A smaller subset of the population is probably too sensitive to caffeine to consume it on a daily basis. Some people should avoid it completely. We don’t know if it’s an allergy, or the mysterious genetic mutation that makes some people process caffeine more slowly. But in any case, you probably know that you are sensitive to caffeine after reading this article, and in this case quitting makes sense.

Yes, there could be some benefits associated with coffee drinking, but clearly, there are also many negatives. What worries me with all those “pro-caffeine” articles is that nobody talks about the fact that caffeine is a drug, that people self-medicate with it, and few are aware of the side effects.

Many people live with “clinical depression” that is, in fact, a consequence of drinking coffee. Nobody ever told them that depression can have physical causes and be as simple as the regular consumption of coffee, when one is very sensitive to caffeine.

If you do realize that caffeine is not good for you, and you try your best to quit caffeine, you then have to face the terrible withdrawal symptoms, which include:

- Headaches
- Depression
- Profound fatigue
- Irritability
- Disorientation
- Increased muscle tension
- Nausea
- Vomiting

That’s one of the main reasons why people are afraid of quitting caffeine: those damn withdrawal symptoms.

Here are a few helpful tips for you:

- Don’t go cold turkey! Allow a period of 2-3 weeks to completely get off caffeine. Use the painless program at: http://www.teeccino.com/quitting.aspx?

- Once you have completely quit caffeine, don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t immediately feel better. It will take 4 to 8 weeks AFTER you are completely off caffeine to feel back to your old self. But be prepared for a big change in your health: you will feel a lot better! Just give it enough time.

- Replace caffeine with exercise! Get a natural oxygen boost that way.

- Learn some valuable breathing exercises.

- Improve your diet. Drink more green smoothies. The beneficial elements in greens will help you overcome caffeine addiction.

I’m not saying that there’s no place for caffeine in the world, and that everybody should quit drinking coffee. But you have to find out how your body can operate at its best, and for many people, that means drinking no coffee or caffeinated beverages at all.

But I want to hear from you. Do you consume any form of caffeine? Do you consider yourself sensitive to caffeine?

Did you quit coffee or caffeine?

I’d be curious to hear your story! Let me know in the comment section below…

References:
Coffee to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes?: A systematic review.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22497654
Caffeine and coffee as therapeutics against Alzheimer’s disease.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182037
Association of Coffee and Caffeine Intake with the Risk of Parkinson Disease
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=192731
Coffee May Help Protect against Skin Cancer
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coffee-may-help-protect-a
Genetics Found to Have a Hand in Coffee Risk
http://articles.latimes.com/2006/mar/08/science/sci-coffee8
http://www.caffeineallergy.net
Coffee: The Great Energy Sapper:
http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/articles/coffee.html
Coffee: Pleasure or Pain:
http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2004nl/040700pucoffee.htm

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998. He is the author of several books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies.

He was named Best Health Blogger of the year in 2011 by Renegade Health. Frederic has experimented with many diets and specializes in raw food, vegetarian and vegan topics, as well as how to balance a healthy diet in the real world. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

88 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Bill Kranker says:

    Frederic,

    I actually prefered tea to coffee and was a heavy iced tea drinker. I used to brew it so dark it looked like coffee. One of the things that I did not like about coffee was the bad breath odor. I can always tell who drinks coffee at work.

    Drinking caffeine made my attention span very short (ADHD) I could not concentrate on anything. When I finally gave it up it took about 2 years before I really felt normal or could calmly deal with anything.

    I am now on a LFRV diet (Partially thanks to you) and now have a morning smoothie instead of coffee or tea. I wake up much better and do not get that drop at the end of the day any more.

    My personal experience is that coffee is not a health promoting food and is best to be avoided.

    Bill

  2. Suzy Fischer says:

    You failed to mention the high anti-oxident content of my favorite beverage

  3. wendy green says:

    i quit coffee a few years back (which was quite a feat since i live in honduras which grows some mighty good coffee) and switched to one cup of matcha green tea a day. i enjoy matcha quite a bit and understand it’s great health benefits. i recently did a 7 day juice fast and gave up the matcha. now i have a cup of joe or matcha once in a while…once a week or something. i feel in control now, rather than the other way around…when i “had” to have it. i have done my best to release myself from any addictions. so far so great!

  4. John E Stevens says:

    From my research, conventional coffee is one of the most heavily “pesticided” products in the world, thus I only drink organic coffee – as I am a 90 – 95% organic eater. I also grow a lot of my own organic veggies and fruits and pressure can many for winter usage. i also pressure can grass fed natural meat and free range poultry meals.
    I’ve done this for decades. Pesticides are too dangerous to ingest – they cause many diseases.
    I drink a lot of coffee, mostly black. I draw pure water from a natural Spring down the road for all cooking and drinking. I don’t drink tap water poison… I store my coffee beans in the frige to keep them fresh and grind them just before brewing. I make 8 cups at about 4:30 a.m., when I rise, and while that’s brewing, I feed my felines before they feed on me… I love the little monsters! I drink a couple cups in the morning as I devour my organic toast covered with organic butter. i save the rest unheated for later usage warmed up. I’m 72 years old. I give blood every 56 days. My sitting pulse is 70 and my BP is 68 over 122 – or so. I don’t get hypertension or the jitters from too much coffee. I love coffee! I used to drink 10 cups a day, but now only 8 cups. I sleep very well at night. I take NO meds! Do I worry that plaque is building up in my veins and arteries? No. It takes me less than 5 minutes to give a pint of blood. I’ve taken 10 grams of vitamin C and 500 mg of L-Lysine for 30 years, added 5 more grams of Vitamin C when I hit 60 years of age, and routinely take 15 grams daily now (40 years of Vit C) which not only cleans out any plaque, but strengthens the integrity of my veins, my heart and arteries (actually all of my tissues) so plaque doesn’t have a chance to come by and patch any weakness in the system. NO! I’ve never had a kidney stone which many of these quack MD’s tell me I’ll get if I take too much vitamin C.
    So you play classical guitar, huh? Very interesting. One of our anti war, anti poverty, anti pain songs, called “Cannot Cure” is on youtube video, under my band’s name: Jon Ellis Stevens and The NY All-Stars. Check it out Kevin, i think you’d dig this ole’ timer’s song! My buddy Andy Rudy wrote the music and plays ALL of the instruments. I wrote the lyrics and sing the lead with a good female friend of mine, Kathy Gill. Enjoy!

  5. Carmen Ackermann says:

    I grew up in a caffeinated household in Germany. My Mom still makes her Coffee so strong that I call it reanimation drink. I have a sensitivity to C.despite of my heritage and Mom and I have always been in some muscle pain that I assume comes from high acidity. I also get a raised heartbeat immediately after consumption but never any bad mood or anxiety. Now if I need to run the show I love coffee to bring out that extra alertness and quickness that I refer as roadrunner syndrome.
    I would like to see if coffee crystallizes in muscle tissue to stop me from further being tempted to drink it as I do now ones or twice per week if that. No sugar but a little cream.
    I recently tried roasting okra seeds in my heavy fry pan and t taste just like coffee. I like it since it does not cause the raised heartbeat.
    Carmen

    • Jeanne W. says:

      I handle my coffee induced racing heart by drinking water before and after drinking coffee. Coffee makes me feel optimistic, energetic and just happy. I only have one cup per day but I do look forward to it and I love, love the smell of it most of all.

  6. Ken Ackerman says:

    Frederic,

    Thank you for this very thorough and thoughtful piece. I am a moderate coffee lover – give it to me pure and black. If I feel like a 2nd or 3rd cup for the day, which is quite usual, I make it at 1/2 the strength of my 1st morning cup to avoid being overly caffeinated.

    Ken A.

  7. Mary says:

    In my early twenties I worked in an office environment where the coffee was always available and I quickly became addicted to the “high” feeling that comes with it. I had clear concentration and lots of energy. Of course after some time of drinking several (too many) cups of coffee each day, I became extremely sensitive to the effects and began to have shaking in my hands and jitteriness. I have never been able to return to drinking coffee. It gives me horrible insomnia. I love chocolate and have frequent cravings for it, but because of the caffeine content, I have to be very careful with it. If I indulge in the afternoon, I will not be able to sleep that night. High quality dark chocolate I can handle but only in very small amounts. If I eat a bit too much for me – I will immediately get that high and happy, wonderful feeling from the chocolate, soon to be followed by feeling awful. This tells me I am most likely one of those people with a genetic sensitivity to caffeine.

  8. Andrew J says:

    Well written, well referenced article. I would also add that caffeine impairs the frontal lobe which is where our moral & objective filter is (also know as the seat of spirituality) Reference – the NFL coaches require the quarterbacks to be caffeine free – so they can make better decisions under pressure vs the rest of the team is juiced up on caffeine.

  9. Chris Boyd says:

    I love the taste of strong coffee(sweetened with a bit of maple syrup). So for years I have made my coffee with ground chicory in it. Sometimes I boil up the chicory granules and pour it over fresh ground coffee beans. I only have one cup in the morning. Am I cutting the bad effects of caffeine? And I am not sure how beneficial chicory is but I was doing it to create a version of decaf.
    I would like to hear what you think of the chicory combo for health benefits.
    Thanks! Chris

  10. Dara says:

    You say coffee raises cholesterol levels. Where is the footnote/reference for that?? I’d like to see please.

  11. DOUG says:

    I USUALLY DRINK 1 CUP A DAY, IT IS INTERESTING THAT YOU MENTION CONSTIPATION AS A SIDE EFFECT.
    I FIND THE OPPOSITE, I CAN DRINK A FOURTH OF A CUP AND I’M HEADING TO THE RESTROOM. I’M TRYING
    TO REPLACE THE COFFEE WITH HOT TEA, IS THIS ANY BETTER FOR ME.

    REGARDS,
    DOUG

  12. Leonid says:

    Basically, addiction to coffee is bad to your health…. However, consider the benefits of coffee which are more important in our complicated current life, consuming no more than 2-4 American cups (generally 8-10 oz) might carry some benefits for people who want prevent some health problems. But again, it is strongly individual for every person. And, combined consuming of coffee with exercise and green smoothies and other healthy choices of food will only lead to healthy life style that finally eliminate side effects of coffee addiction completely. I consume only USDA organic coffee 7-8 oz in the morning and filter by permanent filter (not paper bleached filter). During the day I drink a lot of green organic tea to detox. body.
    Thank you for through analysis of benefits and negatives of consuming coffee.

  13. Rob says:

    Thanks for a very fair and balanced article on Coffee and Caffeine. I was a serious coffee drinker adn defender for 30 years. Recently read the book Caffiene Blues and yes was convinced that I was an addict. I could not start my day without a cup and if I missed my daily dose had a splitting headache by evening. I was also a devoted nail biter. I weened myself off of coffee over three weeks and then made sure I did not have any caffeine in my life! I feel great! No headaches and ample energy. My fingernails are in great shape. I was a serous addict and I did not like that a substance had conrto of me. I am only sorry I took 30 years to quit.
    I do try an occassional cup of Joe – Those days turn bad with feelings of being anxious more aggressive and just feeling stressed.

  14. Nadine says:

    My husband has been suffering with very painful knees. Exercise was a no, no because he complained and could hardly walk from pain. Four months ago he had a motor vehicle accident with fracured Sternum and cracked ribs. In the hospital he tried drinking coffee but stopped could not stomach the smell or taste. It is now 4 months ago he has not been drinking coffee and does not enjoy coffee as he used to. BUT no knee pain since he stopped drinking coffee. He does try a cup of coffee maybe once a week but he would rather drink tea.

  15. Dirk says:

    … but Coffee-Enema is a great things with no doubt, helps me with Migraine for over 15 years now, helps me whenever I´m infected to rejuvenate or detoxing much faster; but adding colloidal minerals or doing the Gerson therapy would be a good advice, I think

    • John says:

      Hi Dirk, I am interested to do a coffee enema but I lack the specific knowledge, are you able to tell me?

      kind regards, John

  16. Wim says:

    I have also researched it, because I like drinking coffee but I am also sensitive to caffeine. I recognise the symptoms you describe, and agree that some people seem to be more sensitive than others. Another negative consequence of caffeine consumption might be that apparently it decreases absorption of vitamin D, calcium and iron, amongst others.

  17. Gary Collier says:

    Frederic, As I find with almost every article I read about this subject, you do not define “coffee”. There are two types of coffee (to make a long story short): 1) off-the shelf, canned, ground coffee, including decaf, grown on “modern” coffee plantations, and 2) organic, shade-grown, “bird-friendly” coffee beans (that you grind yourself) produced in nutrient-rich soils such as the volcanic mountains of Ecuador or Hawaii. When you discuss research done on coffee, it would be important to distinguish which type of coffee was used in the research. And, it is essential to make this distinction particularly when discussing the benefits of coffee, because the coffees of type 1 rarely gives the benefits that you get from type 2. On the other hand, those of type 2 rarely have the detrimental effects of type 1.

    I notice also that you didn’t mention the importance of the water used to brew the coffee, nor did you address the subject of sugar or milk additives. (I note that you mentioned soy milk without comment.) These things can all affect the outcomes of any research done and can make a big difference in the beneficial effects of coffee.

    I use only type-2 coffee, grind the beans myself, brew them in filtered water, drink about 4-5 cups a day sweetened only with pure, organic cane syrup or organic, uncooked honey, and have been for decades. I get NONE of the negative effects described above. I am 77 year old, have normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and no health issues. Take that for what it’s worth.

    Whether coffee would be good for someone or not is an individual matter, and all the above considerations should be muscle-tested by a competent kinesiologist to determine whether it will be beneficial to the individual or not.

    • Laura says:

      Well said. I agree and my experience is similar except that I don’t grow and grind my own beans; I use only organically grown, Swiss water decaffeinated, chemical-free, fair trade coffee, brewed with filtered water—one cup, most mornings—and experience no ill effects. I drink it for the taste—black and unsweetened. I am sensitive to caffeine and can’t consume caffeine after noon—even chocolate—or I don’t sleep at night. I, too, wish the researchers would be more precise about the components of the coffee drinks used in their experiments.

    • Don’t take it personally, but I think those are moot points for the person who’s hyper-sensitive to caffeine. What type of coffee is used or the type of water or the filtering process may make that coffee healthier, but the caffeine content is the same and makes no difference at all to the person who’s sensitive to caffeine. I know because I have tried all of those different coffees, Bulletproof and others, to try to find one I could keep drinking without terrible side-effects. So far I have never found one…

  18. John says:

    I choose not to drink coffee because I don’t like the idea of regularly consuming stimulants, and I don’t want to risk adrenal burnout. However, I have a hard time staying awake when driving for long periods of time, so there are a handful of times each year when I will drink coffee to help stay alert and focused for long car rides. And boy does it work! I feel like I could probably run along side the car the whole way home if I wanted to. It’s usually around 36 hours later when I can tell that the effects have left my system, and I may feel a bit sluggish until getting that second good night sleep.

  19. Rosemary says:

    I have never been a coffee drinker. I only took advantage of it twice, once when heading out on a 4 hour road trip when already tired at the outset. And, a second time after pulling an all-nighter, studying for an exam – I drank coffee that morning to stay alert to be able to write the exam!

    But, I am a little addicted to chocolate, likely for the same stimulatory effects, and find that, especially, raw cacao will leave me stimulated when I’m trying to sleep. This will typically last the next two nights. Non-raw, high cocoa concentration chocolate has less of an effect. And I don’t remember milk chocolate having that effect back when I used to have that. Is raw chocolate really that healthy then? It would be great if you could write about that. Thanks.

  20. Aleta Kazadi says:

    Thanks for this information. My son has lots of trouble with coffee, me on the other hand can have a cup before bed and if I am tired it actually puts me to sleep. For me it manages to heighten whatever I am doing. It opens my sinus, makes me alert and active. I drink it black as am lactose intolerant and the way it speeds the system up makes sugar rush through me like eating a candy on an empty stomach and within an hour I would have a major crash. The crash never happens with black coffee. I recently bought a stove top percolator, and with this information will go back to the old Mr Coffee machine my daughter gave me. I do not drink my coffee with only coffee in it as I lived overseas in a malaria environment and at that time just as a preventative put lemon grass in our coffee. I like the taste and lemon grass has its own benefits, I also add a bit of cinnamon which helps regulate sugar, some basil which is a cousin to the herb I used overseas and if it is in the house some cardamon. These spices make my coffee really delicious and healthy. I will drink other people’s coffee too even Starbucks which I find way too strong, it puts me on overdrive, but I am one of those over 60 folks who drinks coffee all day. For me a bit of a spike in blood pressure is no big deal, as the rest of me is fine. Organic soy for those who do not know is roto-rooter on the internal plumbing of our body, I use a lot of that (make my own soy milk and fake meat which can fool anyone, if I did not know what I did even I could be fooled) but in the interest of safety, I am curious how a paper takes out potential cholesterol causing agents. Apparently I was a bit high on that one at my last (over a year) test, probably still am. I will look into that and as it takes no effort to convert to paper filtered coffee and it is easier to clean, I will use your suggestion. My son on the other hand has many of the signs you stated, but lucky for him he does not much like the taste, needs to put lots of milk and sugar to make it acceptable, and intelligently decided he doesn’t need his brew and decided to quit. I will forward this article to him ans it really fits his needs. Again, thanks, good article. Aleta

  21. Donnalyn says:

    I have been a coffee drinker my entire adult life, until recently. As a former very-sick-person, everything I do has my health in mind but because drinking coffee agreed with my system, it was nòt something I was looking to change. Then in the summer of 2013 I was introduced to the horrible sleep issues of perimenopause! I simply could not sleep! In my search for something to do or something natural to take, I came across Agarwood Tea. I tried it because it had helped people with insomnia, although I didn`t know if could also help with hormone related sleep issues. I was feeling overwhelmed and desperate. I didn`t want a pharmaceutical solution but as a busy mom and business owner, I needed help! I`m thrilled to say it is just what I was looking for. I shudder to think what my life would be like now if I hadn`t found it! I sleep incredibly well again, hooray!, and the energy I get from the tea blows my mind! It is an even, focused energy, not like a caffeine high at all. I can drink it into the evening yet still sleep! I occasionally will make myself one cup of coffee in the mornings, simply because I like the taste, but most days I have absolutely no coffee whatsoever! This is shocking to me while making me very happy at the same time. Most people who try Agarwood Tea do so because it is a 100% natural, 1 ingredient solution to weight loss, not the chemical concoction most weight loss products are, and they get great results. Visit this link that follows to learn all about it. It has been a God send to me and I want the whole world to know about it! http://agarwood.donnalynmurphy.com or http://www.donnalynmurphy.com/agarwoodcanada Thanks! All the best, Donnalyn

  22. Jo says:

    Yeah coffee has always been an extreme source of jitters for me as well, even worse I feel like someone injected my blood with a stimulant that I will need detox treatment for. LOL as that
    is the only way I can describe this feeling. If taken afternoon, I may not sleep well that night.
    I tried the alternatives with rye and barley products, that was about just as bad. I guess I just
    have accepted that I am a sensitive human being, which isn’t all that bad a quality to own.
    I do love the smell of it, and the taste, so if you can drink the stuff, I admire you.

  23. I have never been attracted to drinking coffee, although I love the smell of a fresh brew. Several years ago I used to take an occasional cup of strong black tea, when visiting my Iranian friends, and once I noticed that when I had tea one day, and not the next, I would get a headache. When I drank tea the headache went away. So I thought it was probably a withdrawal symptom from the caffeine (theine?) of the tea. Since then I take only herbal tea and have been headache free. Sometimes a small headache will come on, when I know I’m dehydrated; I simply drink a large glass of water and the ache goes right away. As for drinking coffee for waking up, I’ve never had a problem waking up: as soon as it’s light outside my eyes pop open and I’m ready for the day.

  24. Kathleen says:

    I drink a cup of green tea in the morning and if I have a second, I re-steep the same tea so little additional caffeine is distributed into my tea. If I add any caffeinated tea to my day after about 10 am, I have difficulty sleeping and have increased anxiety, consequently, I rarely do it. I do struggle with some symptoms of depression, mainly in the morning when I wake up. Do you think it could be related to the caffeine? I may try giving it up and see what happens! I never thought depression would be related to caffeine, thanks!

  25. Renee says:

    Caffeine consumption also increases Magnesium depletion – very vital for healthy cell function especially nerve, muscle, and cardio.
    Still, I want my daily cupper in the a.m. so I supplement with Epsom salt bath soaks and magnesium supplements. I was not aware of the filter aspect – glad to hear it as I use unbleached filter papers.
    Thanks.

  26. Sheri says:

    Thanks for the article. What is the gene you’re speaking of? Can I test for it?

  27. CY says:

    I don’t drink coffee since it tends to cause stomachache in me, in addition to increasing my heart beat. So even though I like the aroma of coffee and the rich taste of mocha sometimes, I can’t drink it with an empty stomach. Plus, I just tend not to like to be addicted to any kind of food. So I am fine to live without coffee.

  28. Sandra says:

    For me, I found that I could drink Arabica coffee without experiencing any of the annoying side effects. I’ve learned to stay away from Robusta coffee.

  29. Beth Herrick-Brown says:

    I was a coffee addict for more than thirty years. When I was very young, around nineteen or twenty, I was drinking 8-9 cups every day and found myself getting the jittery hands. I backed way off to a couple cups in the morning. About ten years ago I decided to quit coffee completely, due to high stress in my daily life. I thought it was contributing greatly to anxiety and panic attacks, as well as general nervousness. I am much better since doing that, but still have high anxiety, and am going to seek professional help for that in the immediate future. I do love coffee, but feel I am very sensitive to it.

  30. I stopped drinking coffee about 3 months ago. I was really scared of the withdrawal symptoms. I thought I would get headaches and miss it terribly. The truth is: I feel so much better! I sleep more soundly and have more energy! I never realized the reason I woke up tired and desperate for a cup of coffee actually was caused by me drinking coffee. I drink black tea in the morning. I still love drinking a warm cup of something. I’ve tried a few coffee substitutes, but I prefer to invest my time and energy into making yummy green smoothies. I get such a better energy from those smoothies than I ever got from coffee. I am so happy that I am finally off coffee!

  31. Cindy Yacob says:

    Just finished withdrawal symptoms after quitting coffee for third time in my life and the symptoms are always the same- 3-4 days of achy leg muscles. This last round of my coffee habit only lasted about a month of throwing just a few coffee beans in my green smoothie but when the bag was done I started to suffer shortly after! Too bad, I feel so good on the stuff.

  32. Kim says:

    I, too, can say over the last 15 years I have stayed away from coffee more than I have drank it. I have fallen into a habit of 1 cup most mornings for the last several months. I would like to give it up again, and after reading that rashes/eczema can be a side effect in sensitive individuals I am prepared to quit. For about the last three weeks I have an unexplained rash similar to eczema all over my back which is extremely itchy and inflamed. I have not been able to pinpoint any triggers, but I owe it to myself to find out if coffee is the culprit. This seems like a logical next step before going to my dermatologist to be prescribed a topical steroid.

  33. Rebecca Cody says:

    I, too, am sensitive to caffeine, as was my mother. My grandmother used to say she got drunk on iced tea. I’m sure, as a lifelong tee-totaler, she didn’t really know what being drunk felt like, but that’s how she described it.

    Another thing that runs in my family is the genetic defect, MethylTetraHydroFolateReductase (MTHFR). Since this cuts back on the ability to detoxify through the liver to 30% or less of normal in those of us with two of the genes and to 50% for those with only one gene, and since 70% or more of North Americans have one or two genes for this, it makes sense to me that a lot of caffeine sensitivity comes from this. It only takes a blood test to find out, but insurance may not cover it.

    Also, as a much younger woman, I had breast cysts. At the time I was drinking Sanka (instant decaf coffee). I find that hard to believe, that I would drink such a thing, but there you have it. When I stopped the Sanka the cysts resolved.

    Anybody who is sensitive to caffeine, nitrous oxide from the dentist, or other things that don’t bother your friends, should be tested for MTHFR. If you test positive you need to learn about the protocol which will help you methylate folate and B12 – which will aid in detoxification – at http://www.mthfr.net.

    • Jordan says:

      I love your grandmother’s description of “getting drunk on iced tea”. I feel exactly the same way. I have used that term on many occasions to describe how I am with too much caffeine or sugar, or even worse, both. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in that. I just thought I was crazy.

  34. Elizabeth says:

    Last week, I started using the Bulletproof Coffee recipe (using organic coffee and ghee) and I feel great. I only use 1 teaspoon of the coffee, and mixed with the other ingredients, it gives me better focus and energy for my morning workout. I realize everyone is different, and for me, moderation is key!
    Thanks for your article.

    • Nathalie says:

      Hi Elizabeth
      Are you normally sensitive to coffee ?
      I would be curious to know if drinking decaf Bulletproof would be OK . With normal organic coffee, I tend to be a bit shaky and I feel that my blood sugar levels drops super fast before lunch.

  35. Cynthia says:

    This is a very well written article. I long ago acknowledged that I probably have a sensitivity genetic thing, because my first and second (last) cup of coffee made my heart race. Fortunately, I didn’t like the coffee taste or even the smell (although I do like sniffing the hazelnut blend as it is ground in the coffee aisle of a grocery store). I didn’t make the link to chocolate sensitivity until recently, though, and I’m sixty-something. I think having improved my diet considerably (LFV) sort of brought the underlying sensitivity to the foreground. Chocolate, and the sugar, etc., in it creates energy spikes and crashes, brain fog, headache, irritation and insomnia for me. I’d just like to add (for Kim above) that sugar, coffee, chocolate, etc. can exacerbate any candida overgrowth and that the eczema-type rash on the back spoken about sounds very much like the usual Candida/Yeast rash. Thanks Frederic!

  36. Marnie says:

    Frederic,

    Good news, there is a test for the caffeine mutation. In fact I personally just tested positive for the mutation myself, along with an mthfr mutation.

    Testing can be done at 23andme.com It is a saliva test that includes many genetic screens including BRACA, MTHFR, cafffeine resistance and many others, all for $99.00 Previously this testing was extremely expensive. I hope this is helpful.

    Now I know why I feel so lousy if I do drink coffee. I cannot assimilate it.

  37. Joe Cordova says:

    Coffee is very acidic and contributes to the pH balance in your body, and as we know, a body that is acidic is more prone to illness, the reason for the negative effects of coffee. There is no mystery.

  38. Rhonda says:

    Hello Frederic,

    I found coffee back in college with some sugar and cream to be divine. 2 cups a day as I was sensitive to the caffeine. Years later I experienced a lot of the symptoms in the list above from insomnia, fatigue, bouts of high caffeine energy, pain in breasts 30 days a month, etc. My doctor suggested quitting coffee for 30 days. Ugh! I quit and within 30 days the pain in my breasts had stopped. I did experience the withdraws and I knew it was a drug I was weening myself from. I wanted coffee bad, I loved the smell and the taste of it. But I knew I was sensitive to it and so I have stayed away from it. I switched to tea and have found my bliss with a lower caffeine and I am happy to say I feel more normal in my skin and body.

    Most people around me say that coffee does not affect them. If they were to take a break from it they might be able to see if it affects them or not as caffeine is a stimulant which is a drug found in weight loss products and energy products.

    Thank you for a great article on a topic we can all learn something from.

  39. Logan says:

    I just wrote on this subject myself: http://legendarystrength.com/wrong-coffee/

    Great article with a well balanced outlook. Some other important parts to consider, as you would with any other food, is the quality of it. One of the things that may be causing lots of problems for people, like headaches, is the pesticides as well as myctoxins that Dave Asprey talks so much about. Certainly it doesn’t work for some people. But I would say for most if you get the best quality, and don’t do too much quantity, it can probably work for you.

  40. Jordan says:

    It’s really funny timing that I received this article in my inbox today, as I am on day 7 of no coffee. I haven’t quit caffeine entirely yet, but I only have one large cup of green tea with no sugar every other day.

    I have quit coffee before, but it has been several years since I’ve tried. I quit last week cold turkey because I was experiencing shortness of breath while sitting in a chair talking on the phone after having coffee and black tea with very little food. I didn’t experience any noticeable withdraw symptoms except for a mild headache on day 2. I have known for a long time that I am sensitive to caffeine, and I can connect it directly to increased sensitivity to motion and dizziness. I have also been experiencing fatigue for a long time no matter how much sleep I get, which doesn’t make sense for my body type and activity level. (I’m 27, 100 lbs, skinny as a rail, and very active.) And recently I have been having mild headaches and indigestion regardless of what I eat.

    I know that I have ADD, and low blood sugar, and I’ve been diagnosed with “allergic asthma” although I’ve never had a traditional asthma attack.

    I am hoping that this time without coffee will help me to isolate the cause of some of my health issues.

    I love coffee. I usually had one k-cup pod a day. I brewed it with a lot more water than normal, so it came out to about 3 liquid cups of coffee a day, but it was much weaker than normal. I don’t know how that affects the caffeine level, I just like how it tastes.

    I would love to be able to have a cappuccino occasionally without a problem, and my diet is hardly perfect anyway, but I’m not happy with my current energy levels and the state of my health. Hopefully I will be able to find a balance that works for me without cutting out coffee entirely, but I really don’t know yet. I guess time will tell. The experiment continues…

  41. Gerry says:

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    Disclaimer: The products and the claims made about specific products on or through this email have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

    The information provided in this email is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging.

    You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or as a substitute for medication or other treatment prescribed by your physician or health care provider.

    You should consult with a physician or health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication or nutritional supplement, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

    Each person is different, and the way you react to a particular product may be significantly different from the way other people react to such product.

    You should consult your physician or health care professional regarding any potential adverse interactions between medication you are currently taking and nutritional supplements before taking any such supplements.

    • What do I think about Longevity Coffee? I learned that sometimes when you don’t have anything nice to say about something it’s best to say nothing. So here’s what I think about Longevity Coffee: (LONG SILENCE FOLLOWS)

  42. Carolyn says:

    Thank you for this discussion. In general, as a health coach serving women, I do not recommend coffee due to its effects on cortisol levels, leading to adrenal fatigue and endocrine disruption. However, i do agree with others comments here about consuming organic coffee versus pesticide laden heavily processed coffee, for those who drink it. The green coffee bean has many outstanding health properties and may be used. It all depends on the person and what health conditions they are suffering from. Coffee used to be consumed for centuries without roasting. Sticking as close to nature as possible is always best.

  43. Cindy says:

    I have been an on again off again coffee drinker. I go off to detox and stay off for months, then back on, especially in winter. I always have headaches when I go off, bad for days, so so for about 2 weeks. That’s it, no other bad feelings and no better ones later. I feel no difference in health benefits. But I also felt no difference when I drink coffee as far as energy. I could drink coffee, go to bed a fall asleep no problem. I drank it in the mornings as a waking up comfort drink. I haven’t found anything to replace it. I just like the flavor, made just right with Almond milk and stevia. The last time I quit was 3 months ago. I got a water borne bacteria that was causing stomach problems and coffee set it off. I finally had to get medicine for that but never went back to drinking coffee every morning. I have been content to drink it every now then then, no particular time of day, like once a week. I enjoy it, then move on. So far that has satisfied me and I feel no desire to get back into my daily routine.

  44. Joe Fragele says:

    Dear Frederic You article is very good, however it would be excellent if the numeral-references were include in text.

    In addition we need the references for negative statements for coffee so we can review them?

    Regards Joe

  45. Christine says:

    Thank you for this article and allowing me to tell my story.

    I ended my relationship with caffeine a year ago. By the end I had frequent heart palpitations, paralyzing anxiety, mood swings and disturbing bouts of anger. The heart palpitations convinced me to quit. After I quit, I entered a prolonged depression that no coping skills touched. Finally medicine did, but I didn’t start feeling better for 6 months. Today, my anxiety is very manageable, my mood swings have stopped, the anger is near gone and the heart problems are much better. I worry I will suffer from them for a while yet.

    I started drinking caffeine very young through soda, then moved to coffee when I was 16, which is, not surprisingly, a year before I started having panic attacks. Life got worse from there (it is better now :) ).

    A week ago, I accidentally drank caffeinated tea and didn’t realize it. After drinking it, my face swelled up and was hot all day, and I couldn’t stop laughingly uncontrollably all day. I actually was almost asked to leave a business meeting! For the next two days I went back into depression (which started before I knew I drank caffeine and was what prompted me to start looking for a cause).

    I’m very vocal about avoiding caffeine. Most people have never heard of caffeine allergy/sensitivity, and even being presented with the facts claim they can’t quit without physical or mental duress or wouldn’t even dare to try, which means, of course, that they’re addicted. It’s very sad that this addiction is so socially enabled and encouraged and mental health so disregarded.

    • Danny says:

      Your reaction sounds like a mercury response. Coffee has a high free thiol content and can mobilize mercury. Your response sounds like typical “mad hatters” profile. I’d check to see if you have hidden mercury toxicity from fillings. I had MCS until I got my fillings removed and had same bipolar type responses to various food additives , esp stimulants. You can read more about it by googling “high thiol foods” snd reading the page on the living networks website.

  46. Anne says:

    Hi Frederic,

    I used to drink coffee when I was at University. Mostly the filtered type served at the Campus coffee shops. I never bought it at home and never really missed it if I didn’t drink it. It was kind of a treat. But later I had some food intolerances and was told to give it up which I did. I love the smell of coffee but I didn’t so much miss it. I just substituted with Green tea. Nowaday I drink Green tea most days (loose leaf and mostly gunpowder green tea which has a stronger flavour to most green teas). I love that tea. It doesn’t give me any jitters and when I occasionally try coffee, it immediately gives me the jitters and makes me quite unable to focus. To my horror I have also noticed that dark chocolate does the same thing to me. I cannot have dairy so if and when I choose to have chocolate (rarely) it would be the best grade of organic dark chocolate with the best ingredients. However whenever I do that I regret it always. I cannot sleep at night and wake up feeling terrible the next day. Each time I swear I will never buy chocolate again but I forget how bad these effects are and do try now and then without any better outcomes.

    I do exercise daily and in intense ways (interval training, weight training, swimming, running). I feel my adrenals are always on the border line to cope with my exercise and so cannot cope with any added stimulants. I’m surprised that green tea (gunpowder) is fine and also delighted that it is as I feel if Caffeine was such a stimulant for me that green tea would have some negative effect but this is not the case.

    Sugar also gives me a buzz. I avoid it but I remember when I used to have it, I would become a bit like you do when you take a glass or two of wine. I have the occasional fruit around my exercise times but that is it.

  47. Dawnell says:

    I drink mostly shade grown, organic coffee and it is noticeably different than non-organic. Also, I have weened myself off caffeine a few times without any withdrawl symptoms. It takes a week or two of cutting back a little each day.

  48. Hi there, I used to absolutely love the ceremony, the aroma and the taste of coffee. Then I realized that my moods, circulation and digestive health was being affected in a less than positive way. So, I found that teas were expanded the blood vessels while coffee contracted them. Hmm, this did not sound healthy. I decided for myself that I would rather be more expansive and less contracted:)
    http://www.ihelpbackpain.com

  49. nathalie says:

    Hello Frédéric and thankx for this article.
    I have read and heard a lot about instant coffee, as the most cross-reactive food with gluten (Dr Tom O Brian’s podcasts) Yes… another negative point. But I hope this piece of info will help those who are sensitive to gluten, or who have celiac disease.

  50. Liew says:

    I rarely drink coffee. Whenever I drink coffee I do not feel comfortable. If I drink it late in the evening, I will have trouble sleeping. People said that they cannot sleep if they do not drink coffee. I think they are addicted to it and their body is immune to it.

  51. Pete De La Rosa III says:

    Yes, I’d like to share my thought on coffee. I love coffee and I want to say that I found the right coffee for me. It is Cafe Sanora organic and roasted to a minimum that actually keeps all the antioxidants in the coffee bean. Just like any other fruit that is healthy, coffee beans not roasted at high temperatures maintain it’s healthy nutrients. I grind the beans for about 7 to 10 seconds and use about 1 and a half to 2 tablespoons for a healthy mug which is equivalent to 2 full cups. First thing in the morning and in the evening. I just love it. In case you are wondering, I use coconut palm sugar and cream with my coffee. Coconut sugar is low glycemic and has plenty of nutrients too.

  52. Indrasen Dhurandhar says:

    I do not take any form of caffeine. I do not find it necessary to take tea. coffee or any other form of cold drink.
    Plain water (room temperature) taken sip by sip throughout the day is the only beverage besides milk.
    Your stomach is always producing acid and once your meals have been digested then the acid that is formed in your stomach has to be neutralized and this can be done by sipping water as the water and saliva neutralize the acid in your stomach when you sip it.
    When you gulp or drink the water fast then you only dilute the acid that has formed in your stomach. You do not neutralize it.
    This is an ancient Ayurvedic Water Therapy.

  53. Steve says:

    I found out that all coffee when roasted goes off within a week, even if it is vacuum packed. To experience some of its ‘super foods’ benefits the beans must be bought green, roast them yourself and drink immediately.

  54. Patricia says:

    Coffee was recommended by my doctor to stop cluster headaches with none of the side effects of regular
    medication. It is also known as an anti-oxident, reducing the risk of several serious diseases.

  55. Sherry says:

    I love an occasional decaf coffee but suffer terribly afterwards. I drink a lot of raw cacao. Should I limit this? What is your opinion of Dr Vogel’s coffee substitute?

  56. Renee says:

    What is the gene mutation? MTHFR? ApoE 4/4?

  57. Wanda says:

    I was raised to avoid drinking coffee or tea because of the caffien in it. I did not drink any coffee until I went to work in an office where it was readily available(brewed daily). I started drinking it to boost my enery in the afternoon but only had 1 cup per day and felt no side effects. I still drink 2-3 cups per day which we brew each morning through a paper filter and enjoy it very much. I do not notice any negative side effects if I limit myself to 2-3 cups but if I drink more than 4 cups per day I do suffer from withdrawal headaches in the morning. I have no headaches if I limit myself to 2-3 cups per day. I believe I could easily stop drinking it but do not feel that it is doing me any harm so I continue to drink it in moderation. I consider myself to be very health minded and am always looking for ways to improve my health. I suffer from celiacs and MS so I do a lot of research on health subjects and I found this article very informative.

  58. mary R says:

    Is there a difference between conventional and organic coffee?

  59. Idapie says:

    I reckon the coffee discussion will go on for eons!
    Theres pros and cons to so many things and one thing is not a perfect match for everyone.
    Have not tried coffee in a therapeutic way yet (i.e coffee enemas), but I’ve been meaning to for years.
    Myself I started drinking coffee (that is, mixed with 80% oatmilk) last year when I started cranking out my Masters thesis – only cause I fall asleep alot (don’t think I’ve been to more than a handful of lectures throughout my 6yr university education where I’ve actually been able to stay AWAKE through the whole class …).
    But now its just a habit, a little treat in the morning or afternoon – still drink it with oatmilk cause can’t stand the real deal.

    Besides that my coffee do need to be organic & fairtrade – whats best for me AND the whole environment.

    Have anyone tried the Longevity Coffee ™ from David Wolfe yet?
    It sounds so weird, esp that it is alkalizing – something that I think is one of coffees biggest pitfalls; how acidic it makes the body.

    Anyway,
    intr and engaging topic!
    Peace out from Norway.

  60. maree says:

    Yes i have recently discovered that why i was tired all the time, itchy, my eyes were always gluggy tired & sensitive, terrible insomnia, dull headaches, achng mucsles,depression & poor concentration. I was drinking brewed coffee & coca cola with my alcohol regularly anyway once i read that all these symptoms i was havingwas associated with caffine i gave it up & i can tell you i feel so much better i drink decaf now & dont drink cola at all. next am going to try & give up alcohol.

  61. Tropical Ted says:

    Good balanced article Fred. Thanks.
    I’ve been a heavy drinker at times and found it very difficult to give away. I was certainly dependent on it, particularly when I got up in the morning and after the occasional afternoon nap. I was even finding that I needed one before exercise and looked forward to it afterwards. And all this was on a mainly raw low carb diet. Heaven knows what it was doing to me! Certainly it is a drug, definitely not a harmless one. I began to experience gut problems and made the decision to give it away. Mind you, I’d done this several times before but after a while, sometimes months, I’d have that one cup of Expresso & feel fantastic. To give it away finally I did a 3 day water fast, followed by several days of juices, then mono fruit for a few days. This was several years ago now and I no longer seem to have any urge. In fact I find the thought of a hot drink quite repulsive.
    I now follow the old NH principle of ‘if you can’t make a complete meal of it, don’t put it in your mouth’.

  62. Joelle says:

    I am caffeine sensitive. I mix decaf with caff, and I have it set just about perfect, cuz if I exceed my limit, I pay for it. I like iced mochas because I can drink it with rice milk or almond milk, and I can use honey and cocoa. And when I am feeling adventurous, I make a coffee smoothie with a nut butter and banana. Hot coffee does not taste good with alternative milks, and the reason I started drinking coffee in the first place was those darn specialty creamers…which I no longer drink so I decided to come up with something in place of it.

  63. Danny says:

    The Parkinson’s connection is because of coffee’s free thiol content. The free thiols attract mercury. Check out the work of Andrew Cutler.

  64. Tauy Zimer says:

    Hi,Roj. Ta for your research. Similar dilema… Tauy

  65. Donna says:

    Sometimes I get so sick and tired of hearing about coffee, the good and the bad but this article came to me at the perfect time. I have had a love/hate relationship with coffee for years and even quit many times but went back to it after I got emails from alternative doctors and websites telling you the good side of drinking coffee. I hate to admit it but I have read the “Caffeine Blues” more times than the Bible and every time I am ready to quit drinking coffee, I start to read it again to motivate me. I only drink 1 large cup of organic coffee in the morning most times and sometimes I might have another one in the afternoon. This is when I run into trouble and now my stomach is bothering me. I have more of the negative effects than positive benefits and I do drink unfiltered coffee because I don’t have a coffee pot or french press. I also can’t stomach it black and have to load it with half and half and sugar and I know they are bad for me and my pre-diabetes so here I go again trying to quit it. I did quit for about 3 months until I started listening to Pastor Paul Begley on youtube who talked about coffee constantly so I started drinking it again. I was doing good and he was a bad influence on me so I guess I will have to avoid him until I get through not craving it when someone talks about it.

    I have Fibromyalgia and I know it has got worse from drinking coffee and according to Steven Cherniske, you need to avoid caffeine to be healed of this painful illness. I also find myself sensitive to caffeine and become very angry after 1 cup of coffee which isn’t good for my high blood pressure. I read that if you are blood type “O” which I am “O – negative” then you should avoid caffeine accept green tea which is beneficial for this blood type if you believe in this way of eating. I know Steven Cherniske says to avoid “Mate” too but it helped me get through the withdrawals that last time I tried to quit so what is your view on this product? I have been on a gluten free diet for 10 years now so I can’t use Teeccino. I will not go cold turkey. I have had tinnitus for about 3 years now and even when I quit drinking coffee and black tea for almost 3 months, I still had it but not as loud so maybe it will take longer than 3 months. I get impatient when I don’t see things improving fast enough so I go back to drinking it again. I must be patient and give my body this time 6 months to see if things improve a great deal.

    I have attended Kevin’s webinar on the adrenal glands and bought some Organic India Tulsi teas but not the one he recommends. I love their teas. I also started taking an excellent nutritional supplement “Intramax” and with this you don’t need caffeine to give you energy. It is best you don’t drink it with this too. This product is expensive and with the price of organic coffee going up all the time, I am now ready to quit it again for too many times I can remember. I don’t have a coffee pot to give or throw away so it should be easier for me. This is why I decided not to buy another coffee pot because I got rid of too many when I tried to quit…..lol.

  66. alma says:

    Coffee gives me a positive high I enjoy a cup of coffee at least 3 4 times a week evening starts in our minds and everything ibn moderation. Many great grandparents drank coffee everyday and lived healthy into their 90s

  67. Sandi says:

    I found it depends on the type & quality of coffee I drink, as to how my body handles it. I drink the Fair Trade Organic coffee & very much enjoy it 1st thing in the morning, followed a bit later by a yummy fruit smoothy that I make.
    I found that I had the shakes quite badly when I drank coffee from the regular donut shops. I haven’t drunk that coffee for a long time. When I go out for coffee, I prefer to have my coffee from specialty coffee shops.

  68. Suzy says:

    I am very sensitive to coffee. My blood pressure and blood sugar goes up. Unfortunately since I am making my husband coffee daily I will try it again and yes I can get away with it but 2 days in a row and I get the same feelings. I have many other symptoms from caffeine and as soon as I don’t drink any they go away. So why do I keep going back to it???????? Addiction yuk Thanks

  69. Penny says:

    I am sensitive to coffee — one cup agitates my stomach and makes me shaky. I never found it very appealing, unless it was gourmet or flavored; so I figured it wasn’t worthwhile to pursue. I don’t find the same negative effect from tea, although I limit myself to one cup in the morning, rarely a second cup. And I can’t drink it on an empty stomach. If I have tea after 6pm, I know I’ll be up until at least 2am wide awake. Occasionally, I’ll stop black/green tea drinking for a week or two just to give my body a break.

  70. cathy Jeffries says:

    Greetings – Many raw foodists believe coffee is carcinogenic because the beans are roasted. Your thoughts?

  71. Pauline HAmilton-Black says:

    Thank you for the information on coffee drinking.
    I have drinking instant coffee ( a good brand) for over 40 years. I must have it every morning after I brush my teeth. It must be strong with 2 large spoons sweetened with sweet condensed milk ie 3 tea spoons full.
    I dont notice any side effects and I miss it when I am away from home.

    However that it for the day no more until next day. Do you thank I am having too much.

  72. Mariam Mohamed Nor says:

    Previously, when I was young I like the smell of hot brewing coffee. But, I was allergic to coffee. I have all the symptoms: anxiety, jitters, stomach cramps,. Now, at 58 years old, I still like the smell of hot coffee. I can drink coffee (White coffee with hazelnut) with no bad effects. It has now become habitual for me to drink coffee every morning. One cup per day. In fact it helps me to go to the toilet, after a cup of hot coffee.

  73. brooke says:

    When discussing the effects of coffee on any individual you must consider their blood type. Nobody writes about this element but it is SO important. In the US people don’t understand that knowing your blood type is essential when considering what is good for you. Coffee for A blood types is highly beneficial while for AB’s it is not. I could go on but hopefully you will do your own research. If you put it out there perhaps people will start to become more informed and cognizant of what is beneficial and not.

  74. Cindy says:

    Your absolutely correct when you say that you’ll feel BETTER after getting off coffee! It’s true. Took me 3 was. The first two were horrible, but mostly because it was a change in my routine. DRIVING TO WORK WITH COFFEE!
    Thanks so much for your article.

  75. nur says:

    hello there , I am from Malaysia. In Malaysia, there has been this crazy trend selling health products containing coffee mixed with nutritious thing such as bird nest, collagen , ginger, black cumin seed which has been a favourite among people in Malaysia . I am planning to sell one product also containing coffeee because the one who makes the product is a trusted health product producer and he told me that his product contains coffee without caffeine. is that possible. but when I drink his coffee, I did get normal uncomfortable feeling as I got when I drank other coffee . cn u help me on this?

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