Is coffee really good for you?
I often tell patients with palpitations and even blackouts that coffee and tea may be the cause. Stopping it may avoid more investigations and invasive treatments.
Where did coffee come from?
This site takes you through the origins of coffee. It appears that dancing goats in Ethiopia lead the goat gerder to look for the cause- coffee beans that they had eaten. Now it is one of the largest commodities traded in the world. And it tastes good!
Although originating in the Muslim world, initially declared “Haraam” or sinful, and then declared “Hala” or permissible by the Ottomans, Pope Clement VIII sampled coffee for himself and decreed that it was indeed a Christian as well as a Muslim drink.
Inside the red fruit of coffea lie two green coffee “beans”. The rich brown hue to appear only after roasting. In fact, they are fruit, and the seed is the coffee bean you need!
Evidence of benefit
Here is a tale from a very worthy journal suggesting that high coffee intake may be linked to reduced mortality. It was a randomised trial. This is the gold standard of evidence. BUT still it is by no means certain that these high coffee drinkers were not different from the non coffee drinkers in some other way, although the study did try to control for smoking habits, social class, body mass index etc.
It will make you pass water. It can give you palpitations. It can make you anxious and irritable. It might increase your heartburn. And the Buzz can wear off. Evidence suggests there can be a reliance on the drink, and tolerance builds over time.
Finally, it can be addictive. So beware. Going cold turkey now and again will keep the addictive tendancies at bay. Withdrawal symptoms include a headache, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and depressed mood.
If you like coffee and are not getting side effects, then keep on going. There seems no need to cut back on this ubiquitous and legal “high”.