Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Coffee, Vindicated

For years my clients have been told by well-intentioned health providers that coffee is a no no. But that advice is a no no. Consider the latest report, published June 17, 2008, in Annals of Internal Medicine, which gives coffee the OK. A high source of potassium, which is beneficial for blood pressure, coffee may may impart reduced risk for diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. This study revealed an association that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from heart disease than non-drinkers.

Some points to balance the equation:
1. Caffeine from a cup of coffee elevates blood pressure temporarily in some people. The elevation in pressure equals climbing a flight of stairs. But pressure returns to normal.
2. Caffeine may worsen anxiety. If you're anxious or have some other mental illness, you may wish to avoid caffeinated beverages.
3. Caffeine may cause insomnia.
4. "Association," which I mentioned above, is not synonymous with causation.
5. Don't overdo accoutrements, like cream and flavored syrups.

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