Coffee, Cancer, Arteriosclerosis, Dehydration
A new study published in the June 2005 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined whether high coffee consumption (>2 cups a day) contributed to arteriosclerosis - the thickening and stiffening of the blood vessels that transport oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body. Following 228 healthy subjects over the course of a year, researchers found that those who drank the most coffee experienced greater hardening of the arteries - and particularly the aorta (the major artery that feeds blood to the rest of the arteries) - than their non-coffee drinking peers.
This is bad news for java junkies as arteriosclerosis can increase blood pressure as well as the risk of heart attack and stroke. Combine this with coffee's effect on homocysteine - raising levels of an amino acid associated with cardiovascular disease - and you've got a brewing health threat, particularly for those with a family history of heart disease.
Finally, as reported in a previous issue of the DNN, men who drink four or more cups of coffee a day dramatically increase their risk of bladder cancer. A Dutch oncologist who examined the link predicted that up to a third of bladder cancers could be prevented by the elimination of coffee consumption.
Substitute tea for coffee and you'll be exchanging health risks for benefits - while still getting your caffeine fix. Tea drinkers enjoy lower body-fat, lower blood pressure and a host of other health advantages enumerated in previous issues of the DNN.
ELIMINATE CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL: Caffeine and alcohol are strong diuretics. For every cup of coffee or glass of beer, the body gives up three glasses of water—which means the body is perpetually dehydrated.