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101researchcoffee(3)-1

101researchcoffee(3)-1 - fl Garawyn McGill May 6 20...

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Unformatted text preview: fl} Garawyn McGill May 6, 20'. Research Paper Final Drafi Kaveh-The Drug Drink Coflee is the way most of the world wakes up and keeps going throughout the day, but should it be? Is coffee the wholesome energy drink that it has recently been touted to be or is it a dangerous toxin? Let us examine the information that historians and medical research have provided us regarding the impact of coffee on health of the individual and the societies that have embraced it over the last millennium to form a conclusion. Caffeine, the active component in cofi'ee, is defined by medical researchers as a drug that Q stimulates the central nervous system that can with persistent use lead to dependency resulting in a resistance requiring higher and higher doses. There is real and substantial physical discomfort upon the discontinued use of this drug with the prevalent withdrawal symptoms being headache, depression, lethargy and sleepiness. That sounds like all the warnings we get for strong often illicit drugs. As a matter of fact, it is a major reason why certain substances are controlled through the medical and pharmaceutical industries or outlawed all together. Cafl'eine and its ever present companion methylxanthine are major components in coffee and let’s admit it, the stimulant efi‘ects of caffeine are really the only reason we drink this bitter stufi‘. But is it harmful? Whether or not this stimulant drug is dangerous to the individual and/or society at large depends on your perspective. Throughout history the effects of coffee on the central nervous system have produced radical violent changes. The Cofiree Book quotes coffee expert and historian William H. Ukers as saying “One of the most interesting facts in the history of the coffee drink is that wherever it has been introduced it has spelled revolution It has been the world’s most radical drink . . ..when people begin to think; they became dangerous to tyrants and to foes of liberty of thought and action.” In fact, it was in a Boston cofi‘eehouse in 1773 that the Boston Tea Party was planned, the result of which was not only a prelude to revolution, but a lingering American preference for cofi‘ee over tea (Digum). Again, the fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, marldng the start of the French Revolution, is repon to have begun in the famed Parisian coffeehouse Café Foy when a young journalist named Camille Desmoulins climbed on to a table top and so excited the cafi‘einated crowd with his speech of liberty and revolution that two days later after a frenzy of violent riots the gates of the prison were opened. Now all this sounds exciting with “give me Liberty or give me death” and all that, but not if you were one of the merchants heavily invested in that tea dumped into Boston Harbor, a Tory, a Native American (the British government had forbidden expansion west of the Appalachian Mountains), King George [[1, a fallen or maimed Colonial, British or Hessian soldier, or their families. Most certainly not if you were Louis and Marie Bourbon, or any of their class, the hero of the first wave of revolution Robespierre, or any of the estimated 3 million soldiers and civilians killed throughout Europe over the course of the following twenty years of the French Revolution, and the resulting Napoleonic Wars. It was the Arabs and Turks that first made coffee an industry afier finding it used in Ethiopia, its region of origin, as an aggression and energy stimulant by warriors. They began brewing the roasted beans into a liquid calling it chaube in about 1100-1300 C.E. It caught on so well, and the coffee house became such a part of everyday life throughout the Middle Eastern culture, that when the mufti in Constantinople tried to have it outlawed citing it’s propensity to encourage too free of discussions on subjects such as religion and governance not even sewing offenders into cofi‘ee bags and throwing them into the river discouraged its use. This fanatical devotion to cofi‘ee is credited, in large part, to Islam’s prohibition on alcohol; they get buzzed on caffeine instead of drunk on liquor. What would the prophet Mohammad think had he been around to see the efi‘ects of this new “intoxicating” drink? Coffee, whether it was called kaveh, chaube or bunchum, was considered an essential nutrient of life. “Strong public protests following any ban on coffee or coffeehouses always eventually won out; cofi‘ee was here to stayimigmn) Coffee is and has long been big business. Starting with those early Arab and Turk growers who kept it under lock and key by penalty of death, until one man taped a few germinated beans to his belly and smuggled it out for the Dutch (Pendergast). Today, it is grown in seventy countries across the Southern Hemisphere employing over 20 million workers (W aridel). Raw cofi‘ee production is over 13.6 billion pounds and growing every day, worldwide, that is more than twice the size of the Eiffel Tower (Digum)! These numbers are in production and do not account for the retail workers and revenue generated fi‘om the incorporation of coffee i.e. Starbuck’s which is a modern phenomenon. Is this why there are not warnings of possible health problems even on the few dangerous effects that everyone agrees on such as the adverse neonatal efi‘ects, heart arrhythmias and elevated excitability? Cigarettes and every other ingestible product that the AMA defines as a drug require label warnings. Could the coffee industry be bigger more powerful than was tobacco? So the efi‘ects of coffee as a mood and energy stimulant are obvious, even historical, and require no scientific studies. However, when it comes to disease-specific medical research on coffee, while there are a vast number of studies, there is no consensus. You can find any medical opinion you want to find. There are as many studies stating that coffee is harmless, even beneficial, as there those that condemn it as a toxin. One report of the Journal of the American Medical Association, cited in US. News & World Report, names coffee “a veritable health dri ” Full of anti-oxidants and purported to lower the incidence of certain neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease it has begun to shake its old stigma. Yet, it can cause rapid heartbeat and there has been research that shows an association with increased risk of heart attacks. However, those studies have been reviewed and other studies show the correlation to be more an efi‘ect of cigarette smoking accompanying coffee drinking (Healy). Healy’s report goes on to contradict itself, expanding to include in the same JAMA study that, “Researchers found that independent of smoking, two to three cups a day coincided with a 30 percent increase in heart attacks in roughly halfof the coffee drinkers who carry a normal variation of a gene that make a protein formidably named CYP1A2.” This single variant of this gene causes the body to metabolize caffeine slowly increasing the chances of a heart attack up to 64 percent for those who are heavy consumers of 4 or more cups of Joe a day. The final result being that the researchers are “suggesting that moderate coffee intake has a protective effect. In short, it all depends on how your body handles the stufl' (Healy).” . What is even more confusing and intriguing is that the years 1975 thru 1990 tell story a completely difi‘erent story. This time period saw the first research done on the subject with researcher after researcher publishing results that condemned coffee as a definite heart attack risk, independent of cigarette smoking, especially for those who drank five or more cups a day. Now you might think that four or five cups a day is of course excessive, but remember researchers are talking about the defined measure of a cup, that is, 8 ounces. The sizes at your favorite cofi‘ee shop start at 12 ounces and go all the way up to 24 ounces with 16 ounces being the most popular size ordered. Add that to a Diet Coke, which is nearly as heavily caffeinated, or two and you have more than the equivalent of 40 ounces of cafi‘einated drink, or 5 cups. Is there an association with Type H Diabetes? Surely, there are definitive results on such a wide spread and growing threat to the American health. Well, not so much. According to Jonathan D. Beck, M.D., “a Dutch study revealed an inverse association between coffee consumption and risk for diabetes mellitus (Skolnik).” However, a conflicting result was reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, finding that “The ingestion of caffeinated cofi‘ee with either a high or low glycemic index meal significantly impairs acute blood glucose management and insulin sensitivity (Moisey).” In laymen’s terms, it is a risk factor for diabetes whether you have it say in the morning with either a pastry or with scrambled eggs and sprouted wheat toast. The reports goes on to state that, “the researchers feel that more study is in order to determine if caffeinated cofi‘ee is a risk factor for insulin resistance (Moisey).” Insulin resistance is diabetes. Cancer is triclder. Since there are so many different types of cancer, coffee has come out looking pretty good. It has a clean bill of health so to speak, until that is, you get to breast cancer. The effects of all the compounds of coffee such as methylxanthine are suspect in this disease and its benign but painful cohort fibrocystic breast disease (so common now that it has been down- graded to a “disorder”). Here the war of research takes it up a notch. F ibrocystic breast disease (F BD) occurs in about 10 percent of the adult female population. It causes pain and tenderness especially when menstruating. Those that develop cysts in the dense fibrous tissue have a relative risk of cancer that is four times the normal risk. In 1990 several concurrent studies using biopsies of the efi'ected tissue as a means of diagnoses had shown no substantial evidence that the consumption of coffee was a factor in an increase in symptoms. However, the persistent accounts of patients, nurse practitioners, and physician colleagues attesting to the reduction or even elimination of symptoms upon restriction of any consumable containing methylxanthines, those mainly being cofi‘ee, tea, cocoa, soft drinks and “super” caffeinated drinks like Red Bull, prompted a new study. Instead of biopsies these researchers used the then new technology of mammograms to study the tissue and cysts samples taken from stricken women. The conclusion published in The Nurse Practitioner stated fl'tat, “The severity of the disease and total methylxanthine ingestion was signifith (Bullough).” It is reasonable to conclude that while cafi‘eine increases the amount of urine it may also increase fluid secretion into the cyst increasing pressure and therefore also increasing pain and tenderness. To be balanced in this report, as recently as 2008, the Archives of Internal Medicine presented findings that concluded, “No overall association between caffeine consumption and breast cancer risk (Ishitani).” However, the very next line in the conclusion of that same study states, “The possibility of increased risk in women with benign breast disease or for tumors that are estrogen and progesterone receptor negative or larger than 2 cm warrants further study (Ishitani).” Are you confused yet? It seems that while they found no usual causality between cafi‘eine and FBD or breast cancer, they did suspect, as a good number of other studies have shown, an association with hormone levels. The Journal of Infectious Disease reported findings by researchers Rebecca L. Ferrini and Elizabeth Barrett-Connor stating that. “the positive association of caffeine with estrone and its inverse association with bioavailable testosterone suggests that cafl'eine’s reported association with several chronic conditions may be mediated by an effect on the endogenous sex steroids (Ferrini ” What that means is cafl'eine messes our body’s hormone levels and the absorption of those hormones. It seems reasonable to believe that the proper absorption of healthy levels of hormones and healthy breast are pretty well linked. So there it is, so much scientific study and yet so little real concrete information for the health conscious coffee consumer. One can only guess at what the factors at work that keeps scientists from reaching a solid conclusion. We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t decide if the most widely consumed beverage on the plant helps to facilitate Type H Diabetes or a massive heartache. So, can I have that double cappuccino that my husband has lovingly been making for me nearly every morning for twenty years or and am I risking a radical mastectomy with every sip I take? It seems that the only thing it is probably safe to assume is that there was a lot of Kaveh drinking while Facebooking during the Lotus Revolution these past few months. They have no bread? Let them eat cake and cofi‘ee! Oh wait not coffee, milk. Works Cited Digum, Gregory, and Nina Luttinger. The Coffee Book Anatomy of an Indushyfi'om Crop to the Last Drop. 1st. ed. N.Y., U.S.: The New Press, 1999. Print. Healy, Bernadine. “Reading the Coffee Beans.” US. News & World Report 104.10 (2006): 70. Ivfiddle Search Plus. EBSCO. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. Pendergrast, Mark. Uncommon Grounds: the History of Cofiee and How it Transformed Our World. 1st. ed. N.Y., U.S.: Basic Books, 1999. Print. Skolnik, Neil. "Cofi‘ee drinking and diabetes." Patent Care Mar 2004. 68. Albertsons Library. Web. 19 Mar 2011. <www.patentcareonline.com>. Waridel, Laure. Cofi'ee With Pleasure Just Java and World Trade. lst. ed. Tonawanda, NY: Black Rose Books, 2002. Print. Ishitani, MD, PhD, Ken, Jennifer Lin, PhD, JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, Julie Buring, ScD, and Shumin Zhang, MD, ScD. "Cafieme Consumption and the Risk of Breast Cancer in a Large Prospective Cohort of Women." Archives of Internal Medicine. 168.18 (2008): 2022-2031. Print. Ferrini, Rebecca L., and Elizabeth Barrett-Conner. "Caffeine Intake and Endogenous Sex Steroid Levels in Postmenopausal Women The Rancho Berbardo Study." American Journals of Epidemiology. 144.7 (1996): 642-644. Print. Moisey, Lesley L., Sita Kacker, Andrea C. Bickerton, Lindsay E. Robinson, and Terry E. Graham. "Cafi'einated cofiee consumption impairs blood glucose homeostasis in response to high and low glycemic meals in healthy men. " American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 87.5 (2008): 1254—1261. Print. Bullough, F.N.P., PhD., F.A.A.N., Bonnie, Michele Hindi-Alexander, PhD., and Saleh Fetouh, M.D. "Methylxanthines and Fibrocystic Breast Disease: A Study of Correlation." Nurse Practitioner. 15.3 (1990): 36-37. Print. ...
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