If the Java Jive authors Oakland and Drake added one more cup to their lyrics, they’d be right in step with the current media jubilation of coffee, coffee, coffee; if a little is good, more is better. Two, four, six or more cups of coffee supply a bounty of antioxidants to reduce the risk for a host of diseases. Coffee: American’s number one source for antioxidants with caffeine, the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance.
Now if you are a coffee drinker, all aglow about this wonderful news, I would pose the following question. What happens if you stop drinking coffee? If your answer is something like, “Oh, ouch, without my coffee I’m a bitch”, then maybe something is wrong with this picture. My medical opinion is this; for some people a little coffee on occasion for enjoyment or to stay awake driving, that is reasonable. Much more is of medical, economic and societal concern.
Here, in brief, is why:
What the media is overlooking are the side effects of this drug. “Dr. Dunn”, said one of my patients recently, “it took more than two months without coffee to see how badly it was affecting my mood, my work and my energy”. Amidst all the hoopla of how good coffee is, you gotta wonder why this substance has withdrawal effects. Cessation of coffee, for most people, results in symptoms of headache/migraine, irritability, inability to work, nervousness, restlessness, fatigue, and in extreme cases, nausea and vomiting.
Potential side effects that I have commonly observed from indiscriminate consumption of coffee (which is what the media is suggesting) include anxiety, panic attack, aggression, depression, cognitive compromise, hypertension, hemorrhoids, insomnia, halitosis, addiction, gastritis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
So why would the media be telling us to drink lots of coffee? I believe that it is because the majority of medical research today is funded by pharmaceutical dollars to promote the sale of pharmaceutical medicines. The top selling pharmaceuticals are those that address ailments of anxiety, depression, insomnia, gastritis (acid stomach) and GERD. What a coincidence: indiscriminate coffee consumption predisposes to all of these ailments.
And about coffee being America’s number one source of antioxidants: that doesn’t say much if you consider that the Standard American Diet is essentially devoid of antioxidants. And about the benefits of enhanced cognition or physical prowess after coffee consumption: that is only in the short term, the opposite occurring with long term consumption. And all that roasting of the beans: it destroys most of the antioxidant values (see Age’s Newsletter).
“I love coffee, I love tea…..”
A Few Healthy Alternative Beverage Suggestions
Water: um good and has been good for us since the dawn of time
Water with a twist of lime or lemon
Green tea (unless anxiety, insomnia or acid reflux)
Non-caffeinated teas: licorice (good for adrenal glands), raspberry,
Kefir (make your own: see next month’s newsletter)
Carob powder tea
Dr. Dunn’s Adapt to Stress tincture (see Adaptogens newsletter) plus hot water, cinnamon and hemp milk. Um good!
I hope you have enjoyed this month’s newsletter; a brief review from my side of the coffee fence. Comments and feedback are always welcome.
Jon Dunn, ND