Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
POPULARITY OF CAFFEINE
Coffee is a very popular beverage, the second most frequently consumed after water. Likewise, black and green tea (also high in caffeine) are fundamental parts of the diet of Asian countries and the U.K. and are becoming progressively more popular in Western countries. Coffee is a £1 billion market in the UK alone, with 55 million cups consumed each day in the UK, and, that’s why there is so much talking about it.
SOURCES OF CAFFEINE
Caffeine is a strong alkaloid occurring naturally in many plant species. The most commonly known are coffee beans, kola nuts, tea leaves, cocoa beans, guarana berries, and yerba maté.
Caffeine is added to many popular beveriges and foods, and it is also included as a component of various prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter medicines including cold/flu remedies, analgesics, or diet-aids or nutritional supplements.
EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE
The pleasure derived from the consumption of coffee, tea, caffeinated beverages, and chocolate is accompanied by a whole range of effects on the brain, which may explain their attractiveness and side effects. Once caffeine floods the bloodstream, it goes to the liver where some of it is metabolised into by-products, theobromine and paraxatine. Caffeine also passes the blood-brain barrier and blocks the action of adenosine which is to dampen down the brain activity, thus encouraging us to rest or sleep. But since caffeine doesn’t allow adenosine to do its job the result is increased wakefulness and alertness. This stimulating effect is the result of ingesting a single 100mg cup of coffee and may last for 3-5 hours.
In addition, like stress, caffeine also increases adrenaline (stress hormone), thus increasing heartbit as well as muscular and metabolic performance. Paraxantine (previously mentioned by-product) breaks down fats for energy thus sparing sugar stored in muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. This is why caffeine was and still is popular among athletes and individuals involved in endurance exercise.
HOW CAFFEINE PREVENTS DROWSINESS
Caffeine does not stimulate your brain and increase alertness by itself. In your brain, caffeine mimics a neurochemical called adenosine which regulates our cycles of sleeping and waking. Adenosine causes drowsiness by attaching to cells in the brain inhibiting their activity telling us it is time to rest, and it activates the responses necessary to engage our brains in sleep. However, in our brains, caffeine binds to adenosine receptors in brain cells, thus preventing them from detecting adenosine. As a result the nerve activity does not slow down making you less sensitive to your body’s natural need to rest or sleep.
Like all drugs, you get a boost of if you have a decent dose caffeine while not being used to it. If you are used to it, then you need it to keep on doing your daily stuff, while not having the benefits of the boost a non-caffeine consuming person does. Let’s be honest about our addiction and stop trying to justify it by claiming that it’s healthy. It’s not. The real reason we started drinking coffee was because of the kick it gave us. Now that we’re addicted to it, we no longer get that same kick, if any at all, we just drink it because we’re hooked on it and can’t function otherwise. I think it’s quite rediculous to ascribe coffee an energizing effect, when in fact it causes a fatigue.
CAN WE TRUST ALL THE SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON CAFFEINE?
Unfortunately, many studies today are sponsored by coffee, chocolate, dairy and other wealthy industries and as a result there is a lot of bypass and dishonesty among scientists who do their best to satisfy their sponsors. As Prof Collin Campbell once suggested that it is not difficult to arrange a study generating evidence that something which in reality is harmful may appear as safe or even beneficial. The best examples are studies on dairy and eggs that gave fake evidence according to which those products don’t raise blood cholesterol (>). Also the most famous studies on cocoa (the key ingredient in chocolate) were sponsored by the world’s biggest chocolate manufacturer – Mars (>). In 2011 Huff Post published an article titled 7 Health Benefits Of Coffee which is a review of the “so-called” scientific studies according to which coffee can prevent diabetes, cancer, depression, or lower cholesterol, although in fact previous independent research provided enough evidence to prove that the opposite is true. So, let’s for example look at the study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which says that drinking 8 cups of coffee per day can even raise beneficial HDL cholesterol, thus allowing every coffee lover to feel happy and free from any remorse. First of all, the HDL was raised by only 7%, which is really insignificant difference, and could be influenced by other factors such as diet or reduced amount of stress. Second, we would have to drink 8 cups of coffee per day to achieve that small positive difference, overdosing caffeine at the same time, developing addiction and creating all kinds of dangerous negative effects listed (listed below). In addition, previous trials gave evidence that caffeine may raise levels of bad cholesterol LDL and deplete magnesium stores in our body, thus increasing blood pressure, risk of heart attack and contributing to other health problems. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn started encouraging people to avoid coffee as several studies indicate caffeine raises homocysteine and may damage the lining of the artery. In this way, even if there is any short term gain created by drinking 8 cups of coffee a day, it is soon lost and harmful effect is the final result. Unfortunately, the study results nor inspired by coffee industry mass-media, in their foolishness or dishonesty, never mentioned anything about those side effects, deceiving people and encouraging them to increase consumption of a harmful substance believing it’s safe or even healthy.
Every plant has so many active ingredients that we can always find something beneficial. Some of them, however, including coffee, roasted and green tea, cocoa, etc. contain also toxins such as methylxantines and for this reason shouldn’t be promoted as healthy or safe even in small amounts. All the more since all of them are highly addictive and not too many of us, especially children, posses strong enough will power to resist temptation of consuming them often and in large quantities.It is true that green tea contain antioxidants but why not promote something which is high in antioxidants but free from toxic caffeine or theophylline such as rooibos tea or olive leaf?
IS IT HEALTHY DO USE CAFFEINE IN MODERATION?
Since higher concentration caffeine not only increase risk of various health problems but may even kill as it is a poison, I myself avoid anything with caffeine and never tell anyone that caffeine is harmless in moderation because it is not true as over time even moderate regular consumption of caffeine will impose negative impact on our health. But if you don’t want or can’t abstain from this stimulant at least try to not ingest more than 200mg of caffeine per day and no more than 100mg in a single dose remembering that one instant cup of coffee contains approximately 100mg of caffeine and that there are other high sources of caffeine such as black and green tea, cola drinks, caffeinated beverages, and some also is present in chocolate (although cocoa is much higher in theobromine – another harmful strong alkaloid and methylxantine). Also, please keep in mind that the only way to know the content of caffeine is by reading labels and researching.
Like most psychoactive substances, caffeine has unwelcome symptoms listed below and the more caffeine is ingested the more pronounced and dangerous these effects are.
Magnesium deficiency is caused by the diuretic effect of coffee. Almost all people are already deficient in magnesium due to soil depletion, refined diet and stress and caffeine causes that our body loses even more of this extremely important mineral thus contributing to blood pressure, muscle dysfunction, uterine cramps, stomach cramps, heart problems, IBS, spastic colon, anxiety, depression, sleeping problems, constipation, increased levels of cholesterol and blood sugar and many other problems.
The image below shows how certain drugs and toxins may degrade spider’s ability to build a spiderweb. On caffeine it seems unable to do more than string a few threads together at random. The more toxic the chemical, the more deformed the web.
METHYLXANTINES AND CANCER
Substances, such as caffeine, that can damage chromosomes can also increase the risk of cancer. Bladder cancer in women is over two times more likely to occur if a woman drinks only one cup of coffee per day.
Coffee, tea, and chocolate all contain methylxanthines and a large part of their effects on the brain are the result of the presence of these substances. Dr. McDoughal doesn’t hesitate to express his negative opinion about methylxanthines in his book “The McDougall Plan”: “Some of the most popular drugs consumed by people of affluent western nations are found in coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa beans (chocolate) all of which contain methylxanthines (caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine). In 90% of women with fibrocystic disease, these breast tumours disappear in two to six months when methylxanthines are eliminated from the diet. Cancer of the bladder also has been related to methylxanthines. All three of the methylxanthines can stimulate growth of breast cells, causing painful enlargement of breast tissue and lumps. This condition is known as fibrocystic disease.”
The article “Trigonelline Is a Novel Phytoestrogen in Coffee Beans” by Allred et al concludes that trigonelline found in coffee “stimulates the growth of estrogen-dependent breast tumors“.
Caffeine may contribute to many digestive problems. It irritates the stomach and bladder. Peptic ulcer patients should avoid beverages containing caffeine. Many people also find that caffeine drinks cause them to suffer diarrhoea followed by constipation.
ADRENALIN, AGITATION AND GOSSIP
Drinking coffee or anything which contain caffeine (black tea, green tea, etc.) triggers the release of the stress hormone – adrenaline. Adrenaline, however, is released in our body as a result of experiencing stressful or dangerous situations. It increases our abilities to fight or run when faced with a threat. This phenomenon can be very beneficial or even lifesaving when we actually our life is endangered, but it is very harmful when we boost adrenaline through caffeine or other methylxanthines while watching television, working on computer, reading a book or chatting with someone.
Apart from that, since you don’t use this increased adrenaline to improve your physical abilities this powerful stress hormone will molest your brain making you hyper-aroused, agitated. You may even say something that normally you wouldn’t say because by boosting adrenalin caffeine will make your emotions overrun your behaviour.
It reminds me a very interesting statement written over a hundred years ago by Ellen White (1827-1915) who suggested that coffee and tea may increase tendencies to gossip: “When tea and coffee users meet together for social entertainment, the effects of their pernicious habit are manifest. All partake freely of the favorite beverages, and as the stimulating influence is felt, their tongues are loosened, and they begin the wicked work of talking against others. Their words are not few or well chosen. The tidbits of gossip are passed around, too often the poison of scandal as well. These thoughtless gossipers forget that they have a witness. An unseen Watcher is writing their words in the books of heaven. All these unkind criticisms, these exaggerated reports, these envious feelings, expressed under the excitement of the cup of tea, Jesus registers as against Himself” (CD, p. 423, 1938).
FALSE ENERGY BOOSTER
It is true that there is an evidence that caffeine boosts energy for some time and may even improve cognitive functions of the brain (memory, concentration, etc.) in the short-term. Unfortunately, the studies which prove these benefits of caffeine do not take into consideration some very important participants’ caffeine habits. According to a new independent and much smarter research from Johns Hopkins Medical School the temporary improved mental performance stimulated by caffeine intake is just the result of a short-term reversal of caffeine withdrawal experienced by caffeine drinkers! It simply means that caffeine manage to temporarily boost cognitive functions of the brain only because coffee drinkers experience negative caffeine withdrawal symptoms. In other words, when you stop drinking coffee your cognitive performance is decreased causing a negative impact on your mood. So, as soon as you do drink coffee again, you start feeling better. In reality, caffeine is just taking your mental abilities back to normal for a short period of time. In order to increase energy it is therefore much better to use high in chlorophyll super greens such as chlorella as unlike caffeine it does not cause any side effects and boosts energy for much longer.
Physical and mental fatigue is common after drinking caffeinated beverages. Caffeine first stimulates the nerves than causes depression. Yet, many people mistakenly believe that coffee helps them get through a difficult day.
Stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine (in coffee, green tea, cola drinks, caffeinated products, chocolate, etc.), theophylline (in tea) or and theobromine (in cacao and chocolate) although appear to give you a short time energy boost yet it is only a borrowed energy, which means sooner or later you will have to pay for it with the loss of energy. And, as soon as you feel exhausted you it will force you to use stimulants again and again thus causing a vicious circle and addiction.
Dr Lawrence Wilson blames caffeine, for causing fatigue and adrenal exhaustion: “Caffeine and other stimulants can give one a boost, but eventually contribute to adrenal exhaustion.”
While caffeinated drinks cause an immediate increase in the learning ability, the overall result is a decrease in learning. Students are recommended to avoid caffeinated drinks in order to increase learning ability. If caffeine is taken at night, it interferes with the mechanism the brain has of transferring freshly learned material from short-term memory to long-term memory.
According to one study, with acute use, caffeine increased attention and awareness at the expense of anxiety and a “post-use crash.” On the other hand, chronic caffeine use actually decreased attention and energy. With repeated caffeine ingestion, tolerance developed. Acute caffeine use means that a person who normally ingests only minimal amounts of caffeine ingests a moderate to high dose of caffeine on certain occasions. Chronic caffeine use means that a person who normally ingests moderate to high amounts of caffeine continues in the moderate to high use.
SEROTONIN DEFICIENCY & DEPRESSION
In addition to fatigue, mental confusion and depression also result from the use of caffeinated drinks. We know that caffeine enters the brain and initially activates the release of different neurotransmitters that are related to mood, like dopamine and serotonin. That may explain the shorter-term effects on mood. But the long-term use of caffeine leads to the opposite effect and cause deficiency of neurotransmitters such as serotonin or dopamine, thus contributing to depression, anxiety, tiredness, memory problems, reduced concentration, etc.
In the book Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia, Dr. Michael Murray says that serotonin deficiency should also be blamed for causing fatigue: “Bad diet, lack of exercise, use of harmful substances such as caffeine or alcohol can rob your brain of the ability to make enough serotonin. This produces a range of significant complications: depression, obesity, insomnia, migraine headache, chronic fatigue.”
I remember certain extremely obese lady who had an unbelievable habit of drinking 16 bottles of cola drink every day! And it’s hard to believe but she told me I was the first person who explained to her how dangerous effect that amount of cola imposed on her health. As a result she was addicted to both caffeine and sugar. In addition, she was also unable to control her huge appetite as caffeine in cola caused serotonin deficiency while sugar robed her body of chromium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B complex and other nutrients also making her constantly hungry and tired. But as she started to ask God for strength, she managed to make slow progress in implementing the principles found in the Health Recovery Plan > and as a result she finally overcome her addictions and started losing weight.
Any type of addiction, including addiction to caffeine leads to dopamine deficiency, because whenever you experience a pleasure (associated with addiction) your dopamine-producing cells flood your brain with dopamine so that you could experience pleasure. However, addictive behaviours (including drinking coffee) may cause up to 10 times more dopamine release. As a result of repeating the same addictive behaviour every day and forcing brain cells to produce so much dopamine makes them exhausted and unable to make enough of this hormone in between moments of pleasure associated with addictions. In this way regular caffeine intake leads to dopamine deficiency symptoms including depression, lack of motivation, mental fogginess, etc. (read more about dopamine deficiency >). Studies confirmed that brains of addicts release much less dopamine and have fewer dopamine receptors.
CALCIUM DEFICIENCY & OSTEOPOROSIS
“One more undesirable effect of caffeine is that the drug has been shown to cause loss of calcium from the body. Therefore, another dietary maneuver you can use to prevent and possibly correct thin, calcium-deficient bones, or osteoporosis, would be to discontinue use of caffeine.” (Dr. John McDougall, “The McDougall Plan”)
HYPOXIA (LACK OF OXYGEN)
Irritability and anxiety are the most commonly seen emotional effects of caffeine, but caffeine enables all of your emotions to take charge. The negative effects of a caffeine-generated adrenaline surge are not just behavioural. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that large doses of caffeine raise blood pressure, stimulate the heart, and produce rapid shallow breathing, which deprives the brain of the oxygen needed to keep your thinking calm and rational.
Headaches are common among caffeine users and often clear up after short periods of caffeine abstinence (one to two weeks). Headaches may also occur as a symptom of caffeine withdrawal.
It takes a full twenty-four hours to work caffeine way out of your system. Have a cup of joe at eight a.m., and you’ll still have 25% of the caffeine in your body at eight p.m. Anything you drink afternoon will still be at 50% strength at bedtime. Any caffeine in your bloodstream—with the negative effects increasing with the dose—makes it harder to fall asleep. When you do finally fall asleep, the worst is yet to come. Caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates and processes emotions. When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with an emotional handicap. You’re naturally going to be inclined to grab a cup of coffee or an energy drink to try to make yourself feel better. The caffeine produces surges of adrenaline, which makes your emotional handicap even worse. Caffeine and lack of sleep leave you feeling tired in the afternoon, so you drink more caffeine, which leaves even more of it in your bloodstream at bedtime. Caffeine very quickly creates a vicious cycle.
Drinking coffee has been shown to have deleterious effects on the developing fetus. Studies have suggested that seven cups of coffee per day may produce unwanted outcomes of pregnancy. Caffeine can damage the chromosomes of sex cells and the chromosomes of the developing embryo during pregnancy.
“Caffeine has been shown to cause birth defects in animals and is suspected of causing the same defects in humans. It would follow that you should completely avoid coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate in all forms during pregnancy.” (Dr. John McDougall, “The McDougall Plan”)
DRY EYES & SKIN
Caffeine in coffee, black and green tea, caffeinated products dehydrates eyes and skin.
SEIZURES & ABNORMAL HEARTBEATS
“Excessive caffeine has several dangers. With high consumption, one can have a sudden seizure or even abnormal heartbeats. On some occasions the abnormal heartbeats – called arrhythmias – can lead to sudden death, especially if your magnesium is low.” (Dr. Russell Blaylock, Newsmax magazine, November 2005)
OTHER SIDE EFFECTS
One of them is increased urination caused by theobromine (natural diuretic), another by-product of caffeine. Caffeine can also trigger palpitations, muscle tremors, nervousness and irritability, restlessness, stomach upset, elevated blood pressure, agitation, insomnia, increased breathing rate, fast heartbeat and other unwelcome side effects.
Like any stimulant, caffeine is physiologically and psychologically addictive. If you do choose to lower your caffeine intake, you should do so slowly under the guidance of a qualified medical professional. The researchers at Johns Hopkins found that caffeine withdrawal causes headache, fatigue, sleepiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people report feeling flu-like symptoms, depression, and anxiety after reducing intake by as little as one cup a day. Slowly tapering your caffeine dosage each day can greatly reduce these withdrawal symptoms.
Most coffee drinkers I know look unhealthy. Plus, how well does it taste without the milk/cream/sugar — the nasties?
I tried coffee once and got addicted for a year. Then I started getting insomnia, palpitations and other problems. I decided to quit drinking. I felt so much better after about a week and never touched coffee since. I believe the risks outweigh the benefits with coffee.
Coffee can cause hormonal imbalance leading to the formation of ovarian cysts.
Green tea is very high in fluoride and that fluoride causes cognitive decline.
How something so acidic can be healthy?
Caffeine raises cortisol. If you’re already stressed, caffeine just adds fuel to fire.
MOTIVATION & EMPOWERMENT
– If you believe in existence of God don’t forget about daily fervent prayers and reading or listening to a good spiritual literature (such as the Bible, Desire of Ages > and “Ministry of Healing” > by Ellen G White available online free of charge) which presents God as loving, healing, forgiving, carrying and saving from eternal death Person. All this will greatly increase the effectiveness of your improved diet and lifestyle: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV); “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV). Because from my own experience I know and remember how difficult it was, in my case, to change my eating habits and give up on junk food and stimulants using my own pathetic at that time will power, I recommend to you reading or listening to a book “Steps to Christ” > and Great Controversy > by Ellen White. If you carefully study all the information presented there and follow the steps, you will not only become victorious but will actually experience an inward transformation which will enable you to enjoy your new lifestyle (including diet and physical activity).
– Get spiritual and moral empowerment from the chapter Motivation and Empowerment >.
– Find most healthy RECIPES > that will help you overcome sugar cravings.
– One of the best examples of healthy recipes is found in the Hallelujah Diet website >
– Find out more information on health principles in the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >
Greden, John F. M.D. et al. Anxiety and Depression Associated with Caffeinism Among Psychiatric Inpatients. American Journal of Psychiatry 133:8, Aug 1978.
Bellet, Samuel. Effects of Coffee Ingestion on Catecholamine Release.
The Medical Effects of Coffee. Medical World News, January 26, 1976.
Science Digest, October, 1963.
Winstead, Daniel K. M.D. Coffee Consumption Among Psychiatric Inpatients. American Journal of Psychiatry 133:12, December, 1976.
Greden, John F. M.D. Anxiety of Caffeinism: A diagnostic dilemma. American Journal of Psychiatry 131:10, October, 1974.
DR. AGATHA THRASH ON CAFFEINE
Our national drink is a caffeinated beverage: tea, coffee or colas. Caffeine is also present in chocolate. Caffeine has many pharmacologic actions in the body, including excitation of the nerves followed by a sort of paralysis or depression. The stomach and bladder are irritated by caffeine and there is widespread interference in various enzyme systems, damage to the chromosomes of the sex cells and other body cells, and many other unwanted actions.
Just as we have a national drink, we also have a national disease–heart disease–which will account for 53% of the deaths in America this year. Heart disease shows a stronger association with coffee drinking than with obesity according to a study done by Dr. Ogelsby Paul of Western Electric Corporation (1). Caffeinism is much more important and widespread a disorder than is generally understood. The disease related to caffeine intake involves every organ system, from the nervous system to the skin. Caffeine raises stress hormone levels in the blood, inhibits important enzyme systems having to do with house cleaning in the body, sensitizes nerve reception sites, and is associated with a sense of poor health, anxiety, and depression (2,3).
Thousands are in mental institutions today because of no greater matter than that of the use of caffeine. Psychiatrists are now publishing articles indicating that there are numerous cases of depression and anxiety in mental institutions who need no other treatment than to be taken off caffeine (4,5). It would seem that with such a simple remedy available many thousands of people could be returned to their full usefulness promptly.
However, the use of caffeine is so traditional and firmly entrenched that it is almost impossible to remove caffeinated drinks from the dietary of patients in the mental institutions. Soft drink machines, coffee dispensers, and the traditional coffee break are common past times in mental institutions, and with those who are mentally ill at home. The first thing that a physician usually mentions to a peptic ulcer patient is that he must leave off caffeinated drinks. Not only peptic ulcer but several other kinds of digestive problems arise from the use of coffee.
Many people find that caffeine drinks cause them to suffer diarrhea followed by constipation. Headaches are common among caffeine users, and often clear up after only a short period of caffeine abstinence–a week or two. Headaches may occur as a caffeine-withdrawal symptom; some people are so sensitive that they get a headache soon after drinking their last cup.
Damage to chromosomes by caffeine has been recognized for years. When LSD was reported to cause chromosomal damage, authorities did not work up much anxiety, because of the fact that LSD is not as potent in producing damage to chromosomes as is caffeine, the drug to which most of our population is addicted. One might ask, “Is such a common habit a real threat to the population-” It certainly is. A study done in Illinois with 550 couples showed a thirteen out of fourteen chance of having an unwanted outcome of pregnancy if as much as seven cups of coffee per day are taken by the pregnant (6). Long before seven cups had been consumed, coffee was beginning to injure the pregnancy. Those who want good babies and easy pregnancies should use absolutely no caffeine before, during or after pregnancy, since caffeine can damage the chromosomes of the ova and spermatozoa, as well as the chromosomes of the developing embryo during pregnancy.
Any substance that can damage chromosomes can also cause an increase in the rate of cancer. Bladder cancer in women is 2 1/2 times more likely to occur if a woman drinks only one cup of coffee per day (7). There are already several cancers that are known to be more common if one uses caffeine.
Since caffeine first stimulates the nerves than causes depression, presence of fatigue in those who use caffeinated drinks is common. It is a fact that the commonest complaint in physicians’ offices today is that of fatigue. Yet, many people mistakenly believe that coffee helps them get through a difficult day. In addition to fatigue, mental confusion and depression also result from the use of caffeinated drinks. While caffeine drinks cause an immediate increase in the learning ability, the overall result is a decrease in learning; the physical fatigue resulting from pharinacologic depression of the nervous system produces emotional depression, leading to a reduction of interest in and retention of new material.
We recommend that all students leave off caffeinated drinks in order to increase learning ability. If caffeine is taken at night, it interferes with the mechanism the brain has of transferring freshly learned material from the short-term memory to the long-term memory. In summary, we can say that the overall effect of caffeine on learning is deleterious.
1. Science Digest, October, 1963
2. Greden, John F. M.D. et al. Anxiety and Depression Associated with Caffeinism Among Psychiatric Inpatients. American Journal of Psychiatry 133:8, Aug 1978.
3. Bellet, Samuel. Effects of Coffee Ingestion on Catecholamine Release.
4. Winstead, Daniel K. M.D. Coffee Consumption Among Psychiatric Inpatients. American Journal of Psychiatry 133:12, December, 1976.
5. Greden, John F. M.D. Anxiety of Caffeinism: A diagnostic dilemma. American Journal of Psychiatry 131:10, October, 1974.
6. Miscarriage and the Coffee Connection. Science News October 25, 1975 page 267.
7. The Medical Effects of Coffee. Medical World News January 26, 1976 page 63-73.
ELLEN WHITE ON COFFEE AND TEA
Ellen White discussed coffee and tea rather than caffeine. The word “coffee” appears 549 times, and “tea” 586 times; coffee and tea are used together 515 times. She does not talk about chocolate or cola.
Ellen White discussed the effect of caffeine on the mind, saying that it decreases brain activity, although it temporarily excites and increases energy with acute caffeine use. Furthermore, she realized the problem with chronic use. She said this about coffee and tea: “Tea has an influence to excite the nerves, and coffee benumbs the brain; both are highly injurious.”5
On several occasions Ellen White drank green or black tea when she was sick. But other than these rare exceptions she did not drink coffee or caffeinated tea, or keep it in her house.6 She occasionally used catnip, red clover blossom, hop, and beef tea–all noncaffeinated drinks.
Although Ellen White did not have the benefit of the scientific knowledge now available, she concluded that coffee and tea impair functioning of the mind and should be taken only rarely, for medicinal purposes on a short-term basis. She also discussed how harmful caffeine is on our mind and related it to our spiritual lives. Writing in the Review and Herald, she said of coffee and tea, “Those nerve irritants are wearing away the life forces, and the restlessness caused by shattered nerves, the impatience, the mental feebleness, becomes a warning element against spiritual progress.”7 Truly, when the mind is clouded, our spiritual lives will also be impaired.
As some people enjoy the smell and taste of coffee, decaffeinated coffee has become popular. For coffee to be labeled decaffeinated, more than 97 percent of the caffeine must be removed. Many decaffeinated coffees, however, are 99.7 percent free. Some tea labels give a good comparison of the amount of caffeine in various drinks and foods.
1 Eddy M. Elmer, “The use of stimulant substances by college students to enhance academic performance–a subtle form of cheating?” (Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, November 2002).
2 Jack E. James, “Acute and chronic effects of caffeine on performance mood, headache, and sleep,” Neuropsychobiology 38 (1998): 32-41.
3 Goldfrank’s toxicologic emergencies, sixth ed. (Stamford, Conn.: Appleton and Lange, 1998), pp. 555-562.
4 CD Library: The Complete Published Ellen G. White Writings (Ellen G. White Estate, Inc., 1998).
5 Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 4, p. 365.
6 White, Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1958), book 2, pp. 301, 302.
7 Apr. 19, 1887.
COFFEE ADDICTION: HOW TO NATURALLY KICK THE HABIT
By Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.
Coffee is probably the most consumed beverage on the planet and there are many reasons why. It’s both a stimulant and a laxative. So it wakes you up and makes you go… in more ways than one. For marketing purposes, coffee is often cited as a high antioxidant beverage, which may account for a recent flood of media reports that coffee is a health drink!
But, let’s face it, if you analyze any plant for its contents you are bound to find antioxidants. That’s what plants have in abundance. It’s their job to make antioxidants. Non-edible plants like willow bark, spruce needles, pine bark and birch wood are also high in antioxidants. That doesn’t mean we have to eat them!
Whether coffee is good or bad is relative and based on the individual. Let me to help you decide whether you are addicted and what to do about it.
If your blood thins out a bit and circulates better because your heart is stimulated by coffee and you are not as constipated when drinking java — yes, you are the lucky recipient of its benefits. But if you are already stressed to the max, adrenalin pumping nonstop and addicted to other stimulants like alcohol and sugar, it’s not your friend. In your case, coffee is simply adding to your stress load and your toxic load.
An accumulation of stimulants can make your heart jumpy and set your nerves on edge. In a certain group of stressed‐out and toxic folks, even one cup of coffee can be enough to trigger a racing heart and even heart palpitations. Coffee is a natural diuretic and can’t help but eliminate magnesium, potassium and sodium from your body! And you’re none the wiser.
You may even be making trips to your doctor or the emergency room with your heart beating wildly and nobody asks you if you are a coffee addict. I’ve had clients on six cups of coffee a day taking medications for coffee-induced heart arrhythmia! Now that’s scary when you’re taking a calcium-blocking drug to treat the effects of a magnesium deficiency caused by coffee.
How do you know you’re addicted?
Simple, when you try to stop, you get a pounding headache — that can’t be healthy.
The only way out is to cut it out! The good news is that you don’t have to go cold turkey. Here’s my prescription. Start by taking magnesium supplements. You’ve been losing magnesium for as long as you’ve been drinking coffee, so it’s time for payback. Magnesium citrate powder is a good form to begin with. You can also find magnesium glycinate and magnesium dimalate pills in health food stores or online. Unless you are extremely constipated, stay away from magnesium oxide because it’s only 4 percent absorbed so the other 96 percent can act like a strong laxative.
Magnesium is the body’s natural energizer. It balances muscle and nerve tension caused by calcium. It also relaxes the bowel, so it has its own gentle laxative effect. Magnesium is calming because it neutralizes adrenalin surges, which prevents anxiety and treats insomnia. All of which are the opposite of coffee’s effects. Magnesium is responsible for over 325 enzyme systems in the body with body-wide beneficial effects
Plan a time two to three weeks after starting magnesium to wean off coffee; you will be amazed how easy it can be. With magnesium under your belt, switch to black tea for one week only. Then stop black tea and switch to herbal teas or a grain coffee substitute, available in health food stores.
If you need some additional help, here it is:
1. For withdrawal symptoms of irritability, sensitivity and headaches take homeopathic Chamomilla 12X (one dose, 3‐4 times a day). Magnesium is also an effective treatment for headaches.
2. If you experience insomnia, take homeopathic Coffea 12X, one dose 3-4 times a day. You can also increase your magnesium intake by one more dose.
Take both remedies for one week after you’ve stopped all caffeine. Remember to read labels, because some herb teas, especially green tea, can be caffeinated.
Saunas, steam rooms, hot baths with Epsom salts and more magnesium will all help to detoxify coffee and it’s metabolites through your skin. You will be surprised when you start smelling coffee in your sweat! Believe it or not, clay is a great way to detox. Get some natural clay powder and simply blend up 1/2 cup in your blender with lots of water and pour that into a foot bath or tub. Soak for in hot water for 30 min and wash or shower off.
Giving up coffee is often the first step on your pathway to better health. When you have more daytime energy and nighttime sleep, you’ll only want to take the next step — cut back on sugar! Stay tuned.
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. Medical doctor and naturopathic doctor
CAFFEINE (from Hallelujah Diet)
The last of the killer foods on my hit list is caffeine. Caffeine is found in coffee, soda pop, chocolate, and certain types of tea. People say, “Well, certainly there’s nothing wrong with that!” My friends, caffeine is the Christian drug! I was in a big church in Ohio, making fun of a little church I’d visited the week before because it had coffee pots in all its adult Sunday school classes. I was poking fun, but no one was laughing! I learned later that they had coffee pots in all their adult Sunday school classes too!
But if you don’t think caffeine is addictive, just go off caffeine “cold turkey” tomorrow morning and wait for the withdrawal headaches you’ll experience. Why does caffeine have a stimulating effect upon the body? Why does it keep the truck driver awake on the road? Why does it make you sleepless if you drink it too close to bedtime? First, you should know that when you consume caffeine, your body will make every effort to reject it and repulse it as quickly as possible. Your blood vessels constrict, making your heart beat faster, causing adrenalin to pour into your system to deal with the fake “emergency” that’s been created by the introduction of this foreign stimulant.
The continual presence of unspent adrenaline causes chronic stress, with symptoms like nervousness, irritability, insomnia, and depression. Caffeine is a toxic poison that will damage the lining to your stomach and cause damage to your liver and kidneys. It will constrict arteries and contribute to heart attack and stroke, and it is also suspected of causing various kinds of cancer, as well as birth defects. Caffeine’s acidity causes leeching of calcium from bone mass, which contributes greatly to osteoporosis.
The soft drink industry has grabbed hold of the addictive stimulant effect of caffeine. They’ve already got 11 teaspoons of sugar in every 12-ounce can! Sugar itself is an addictive drug. But now they’ve added caffeine to most of the carbonated drinks as well, so you get a double whammy. And while we’re on the subject—if you think that diet sodas are less harmful than sug- ared, you’d better check it out. They are actually more harmful. When you go into a restaurant you will often find little packets of sweetener at the table, including a pink one. Up until recently, you would have found, in tiny red print against the pink background—“Warning! This product may be harmful to your health! It has been known to cause cancer among laboratory animals.”
But recently, I see the manufacturers have been allowed to remove this warning. Science simply cannot improve on natural foods while working in the laboratory—all they can do is get FDA approval for their science experiments and then sell their toxic chemicals to willing human guinea pigs who believe it to be food.
Remember, anything that is not real food is treated as a toxic poison by the body. Your body will try eliminating it through the lymphatic system. And if it cannot, it will store it somewhere in the body. So if we want to have a healthy body and experience true health the way God designed it, we must also eliminate this suspect among the killer foods in our diet. Now that you’ve made the decision that you want to get well, the first thing you must do is stop putting into your body the things that are creating the problems. Stop putting in the animal products that clog up your system. Stop putting in the sugar products that compromise your immune system. Stop putting in the white flour that gums up your digestive system while providing no fiber or real nutrition. Cut back drastically on your salt; it hardens your arteries and increases your blood pressure. And stop depending on caffeinated beverages for energy, which rattle your nerves while depleting your calcium.
Then, once you’ve made the decision to stop injuring yourself internally, take positive steps to start putting in the things that will rebuild your body. Start putting in the raw fruits, vegetables, and juices. Start eating whole foods, with all the parts God designed them to contain. Learn new ways to prepare and cook your foods—yes, you heard me correctly…cook your foods!
You may be asking, “After all you’ve said about living foods, you now say it’s okay to cook them?” Absolutely—to a degree. The Hallelujah Diet has been designed to allow you to still enjoy a good portion of cooked, whole foods. Remember, the ideal ratio for cooked food in your diet should be about 15 percent. That’s for the soul. It makes it easier for the mind to accept the idea to begin with, and not to grieve the loss of your traditional favorites.
I used to teach all raw, and people were cheating, feeling guilty about it, and then falling away altogether. So we started adding a little cooked food at the end of the evening meal. And we started getting the same, if not better results than the 100-percent raw diet we had previously been teaching. Eventually, you’ll find that these new ratios and food groupings come quite naturally. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how an assortment of salads, raw main dishes, cold soups, and other uncooked dishes quickly fill up the majority of one’s plate and appetite. And you needn’t lose your sense of the good, old home-cooking aromas and delicious flavors that you’ve grown to love. Many followers of The Hallelujah Diet have learned ways of doctoring up some of their old family favorites, by substituting healthier ingredients for the old standards. So, The Hallelujah Diet is not all raw; it’s an 85-percent raw, 15-percent cooked diet, with lots of fresh juices. This is where we’re seeing the most marvelous results—and you will too! The Mayo Clinic found that major life events—unemployment, health problems, divorce—and even the daily grind of life in general, might trigger emotional eating. Their research indicated that some foods might have addictive qualities—foods that have satisfaction-elevating opiates, like chocolate. It appears that some sweet and fatty foods might actually relieve anxiety.
DR.NEIL NEDLEY ON CAFFEINE
Excerpt from Dr. Neil Nedley’s, Proof Positive, in the Chapter: The Frontal Lobe: The Crown of the Brain.
Caffeine impinges on the brain’s communication system in a number of ways. In exploring these relationships, we need to recall that brain cells talk to one another through chemical interchanges. Nerve cells release chemicals called neurotransmitters (or “chemical messengers”) that are picked up by neighboring cells. These neurotransmitters then cause changes to occur in the cell that receives them. Some neurotransmitters cause stimulation of the recipient nerve cell, while others cause depression. Caffeine’s widespread influence focuses primarily on its ability to affect the levels of two transmitters: acetylcholine and adenosine. Caffeine disrupts the brain chemistry by increasing the level of acetylcholine and interfering with the transmission of adenosine. Thus, caffeine upsets the delicate balance of nerve transmission in the brain, which may have devastating consequences. Adenosine tones down (or puts the brakes on) many aspects of brain nerve transmission. But caffeine weakens its power to do its work, thus allowing artificial stimulation of the brain from the caffeine.
To a lay person, adenosine may seem like a “bad guy.” After all, who wants to depress their brain transmission? Perhaps we can see this issue more clearly by looking at an analogy: the importance of good brakes on an automobile. You do not get into your automobile to stop—you get into it to go somewhere. However, you would not feel comfortable driving a car that did not have the capacity to stop. Good brakes are essential—especially on a vehicle designed to go. Similarly, neurotransmitters like adenosine that have a large role in “putting the brakes on” are very important for balance in the brain. There are serious concerns in the psychiatric literature about caffeine’s role in “unbalancing” the mind. Caffeine has been linked with anxiety, anxiety neurosis, psychosis (a state where a person loses touch with reality), and schizophrenia, the so-called “split personality” disorder.46 Other researchers add to this list caffeine-induced delirium and anorexia nervosa.47
A third neurotransmitter called dopamine also rises when you drink a caffeine beverage.48, 49
This is extremely worrisome. Some of the most profound psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia appear to be due in part to excess amounts of dopamine. In fact, standard drug therapy for these serious mental disorders involves the use of dopamine-blocking agents. 50 Consequently, it does not seem surprising that caffeine—an agent that raises dopamine levels—increases the risk of certain mental illnesses, even though it may appear harmless on the surface.
Other psychiatric diseases—with profound frontal lobe effects—may result from the unbalancing of brain communications by caffeine. This is particularly true of depression. Decreased frontal lobe function and blood flow appear to be a characteristic of depression.51, 52 Research indicates that these changes may be partly related to dopamine levels in the frontal lobe.53 Recognizing that caffeine counteracts adenosine’s role in providing good blood flow to the brain and unbalances dopamine physiology, we would naturally wonder if there was a link between caffeine use and depression.
The internationally acclaimed Norwegian research project known as the Tromso heart study has provided at least a partial answer. The Scandinavian researchers assessed 143,000 men and women and found a significant increase in depression in women who were heavy coffee users (but not in men who used similar amounts of coffee). The findings are shown in Figure 15: Coffee Consumption and Mental Problems.54
In addition to the link with depression, women who used more coffee also had more problems coping with stress. The reason why these effects did not show up in the men is not clear. It may indicate that women are more susceptible to caffeine, or it may reflect caffeine’s exploitation of a greater female predisposition to depression.
The Brain’s Adjustment to Caffeine Creates Dependency
If caffeine is so good for us, as some lay people (and even some scientists) would like us to believe, it is interesting to note that the brain puts forth great effort to try to undo the effects of this popular legal drug. Under a situation of chronic exposure to caffeine, the brain tries to compensate in at least two ways. First, it decreases its production of acetylcholine, as previously stated.55 This appears to be a way to lessen the impact of the increased acetylcholine levels brought on by caffeine. Second, the brain increases its number of adenosine receptors.56 This is likely a response to give adenosine more of a voice in brain communication—in spite of caffeine blocking its role to some extent. Unfortunately, these brain changes contribute to caffeine dependency. Thus, brain structure and function have changed and consequently the brain actually comes to expect caffeine in its environment. This is one of the reasons why coffee users are so committed to their morning brew. If they do not get their caffeine, they feel that they are running at less than half-throttle. Even more so, if coffee users stop using the beverage, they are likely to develop withdrawal symptoms such as headache in addition to fatigue.
Many have wondered why headaches occur during caffeine withdrawal. The answer probably resides with either adenosine or acetylcholine or both of these transmitters. One of the important functions of adenosine (that is blocked in part by caffeine) is relaxation or dilation of blood vessels—particularly those in the heart and brain. During periods of habitual caffeine consumption, the brain increases the numbers of adenosine receptors in an attempt to give adenosine a more normal role in light of caffeine’s competition. Once caffeine is removed, however, this increased number of receptors is still there for a short time. The now unopposed action of adenosine causes marked blood vessel relaxation. With relaxed blood vessels to the brain, there is an increase in blood flow, and thus brain congestion. Many attribute the caffeine withdrawal headache to this mechanism. Interestingly, the brain’s attempt to deal with caffeine-induced ACh changes, may also predispose to caffeine withdrawal headaches.
The quick “remedy” for caffeine withdrawal headaches is ingesting coffee, caffeinated soda pop, or one of the many over-the-counter headache pills that contain caffeine. However, none of these options is as good as “toughing out” the withdrawal. Usually, within a day or two, the brain adjusts to a normal internal environment without caffeine; the headaches will be gone; and the brain will be well on its way to better chemical balance. However, I have had a few patients that had severe headaches for up to two weeks after caffeine withdrawal. In these cases, there may have been an underlying tendency to headaches that was triggered by caffeine withdrawal.
In practical terms, caffeine’s brain chemistry disruption sets the stage for more than just caffeine withdrawal problems and the frank psychiatric illnesses that we have already mentioned. It may also weaken physical and mental performance in those who have no psychiatric symptoms and are not undergoing withdrawal. Caffeine’s effects on worsening performance have been documented. Although the drug tends to help people do simple tasks more quickly, there is evidence that it is “disruptive on more complex tasks of motor reaction time and fine motor coordination.”57 The decreased production of acetylcholine that results from regular caffeine use, may also play a role.58 Researchers consistently find that a decrease in brain acetylcholine is associated with impaired mental functioning.59, 60 Furthermore, despite common lore, the authors of an extensive medical review on caffeine found no evidence that this drug helped to improve intellectual capacity.61 A summary of some of the effects of caffeine on the brain is listed in Figure 16: Caffeine Impairs the Brain Eight Ways.
It comes as no surprise that caffeine interferes with sleep. Caffeine consumed within an hour of bedtime makes it harder to fall asleep, decreases the total amount of time slept, and significantly worsens sleep quality.62 Specifically, caffeine decreases the deepest, most restorative stages of sleep (stages 3 and 4). Perhaps more surprising is that excessive amounts of caffeine can cause severe brain problems, including seizures.63 There are also descriptions of human fatalities due to caffeine.64
I would be negligent not to mention that caffeine has a host of effects that may indirectly affect frontal lobe function. By inducing disease and both physical and psychological stress due to those conditions, the frontal lobe can suffer further under caffeine’s woeful rule. Some of the other health consequences of caffeine use are listed in Figure 17: Other Potential Problems with Caffeine.65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72
Although some of these effects are controversial (with some studies finding a caffeine link, but others not), we must ask ourselves if it is worth taking chances with caffeine when we have already discovered so many other problems with it.
Note: This above information is an excerpt from Dr. Neil Nedley’s, Proof Positive, in the Chapter: The Frontal Lobe: The Crown of the Brain.
Another chapter on caffeine by by Dr. Neil Nedley adapted from the book Depression: The Way Out
I continue to marvel that many patients who struggle with stress and anxiety have not yet made a break with caffeine. Due to society’s acceptance of this drug, the issue is worth belabouring. The message needs to be heard—caffeine directly raises stress hormones. The American Psychiatric Association says caffeine-induced disorders [of coffee drinkers] may be characterized by panic attack symptoms that resemble primary mental disorders.i Perhaps the greatest irony is that individuals may actually use caffeine to treat the result of stress-related problems.
A wake-up cup of coffee may seem vital to a person struggling with stress-induced insomnia, yet the caffeine may be part of what is keeping the person up that night. I challenge every one of you who drinks caffeine to enjoy two weeks of caffeine-free living. Many who have tried it are amazed at the increased quality of their lives and become convinced that caffeine was doing much more accentuate their stress problems than to help.
The American Psychiatric Association also warns coffee drinkers of a malady called “Caffeine Intoxication.” This occurs shortly after drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee within a few minutes of each other.
A caffeine addict should expect to experience withdrawal symptoms such as headache, sleepiness, laziness, and decreased alertness. They are usually more severe for only a day or two. In the following five days, they generally taper off and disappear.ii
By Stephanie Relfe (source >)
(Permission is granted to use this article in whole or part if you acknowledge the author and quote and link)
Okay, I know this article won’t be popular. Most of us are so addicted to Caffeine that we don’t want to know about it. I am writing this because when “Caffeine Blues” came out I just knew I had to read it. Several years ago I began to realise that coffee was much worse than we had been told, because I noticed that I got an arthritic pain in my wrist within ten to twenty minutes of a cappucino!
This book didn’t just tell me how bad coffee was – it told me how GOOD I would feel once I was totally caffeine free for two months. Somehow, this book sold me on giving it a try. And it was right! For example, I no longer have the drained feeling that I sometimes used to get in the mornings.
This is one of the best health books I have ever read. It is written by Stephen Cherniske who is a Clinical Nutritionist. “Caffeine Blues” is incredibly easy to read, and convincing. After reading it I realized that caffeine does NOT give us energy. In fact, it is a major CAUSE of LACK of energy.However, he explains that this drug is so powerful that one needs to go for three weeks to two months without any caffeine before one notices the difference. And how many of us have ever done that? Hardly anyone.
Caffeine is also a major cause of heart attacks and cancer.
As Cherniske waded through the tons of information on caffeine, he began to see that consciously or unconsciously nearly every researcher starts from the assumption that caffeine is okay. Why? Probably because they themselves depended on caffeine.
Caffeine is in coffee, black tea, green tea, oolong tea (wu-yi tea), ‘decaffeinated’ coffee and tea, chocolate, colas, chuppa-chups, many sodas, some drugs, most ‘energy’ drinks and guarana.
A 6 oz cup of:
- Percolated coffee has about 120 mg of caffeine
- Black tea has about 70 mg of caffeine
- Green tea about 35 mg of caffeine
- Leading colas 45 mg of caffeine
- Mountain dew 54 mg of caffeine
- Brewed decaf has 5 mg of caffeine
- Milk chocolate has 6 mg per ounce
- Baking chocolate has 35 mg per ounce.
Caffeine is produced by more than eighty species of plants. The reason may well be survival. As it turns out, caffeine is a biological poison used by plants as a pesticide.
Caffeine is considered harmless simply because it is so widely used. Dr William Dement in his book “The Promise of Sleep” said that if caffeine was introduced today, it would not be allowed.
There is a brochure available in hospitals and other medical related areas: “What you should know about caffeine” published by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) in Washington DC. After many phone calls Cherniske finally got a list of ‘supporters’ of the IFIC. The list included Pepsi, Coca-Cola, M&M, Nutrasweet, Nestle and Hershey – all of whom have caffeine in their drinks and foods. ‘Partners’ of the IFIC included groups such as the National Association of Pediatric Nurses and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureau Inc. This brochure says that “Caffeine is normally excreted within several hours after consumption”. In fact, only 1% is excreted. The remaining 99% has to be detoxified by the liver.
It can take up to 12 hours to detoxify a single cup of coffee.
Many studies regarding coffee and hypertension were flawed, because the test studies came off coffee for only one or two weeks. It takes many more weeks than this for stress hormone levels of the body to return to normal.
The ‘half-life’ of a drug is the time it takes the body to remove one half of the dose. Caffeine is a drug. The half-life of a single dose of caffeine ranges from three to TWELVE hours.
Caffeine puts your body into stress. A single 250 milligram dose of caffeine (the equivalent of about 2.5 six ounce cups of coffee) has been shown to increase levels of the stress hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) by over 200%.
Caffeine triggers a classic fight-or-flight reaction. The fight-or-flight response was designed for events that happened only occasionally (such as a lion chasing you). Now, we put our body in fight-or-flight every day with caffeine!!! Since we are in society, we don’t respond in a fight-or-flight way. Instead, other things may happen. For example, sugar and fat get dumped unused in the bloodstream. The sugar creates more stress. The fat clogs the arteries. The digestive system slows or shuts down.
Not only is caffeine addictive, it also encourages other addictions to substances like nicotine.
Caffeine does not give you energy. It stimulates your nervous system and adrenals. That’s not energy, that’s stress. Imagine going to a bank for a loan. The loan officer agrees to your loan. But as you leave the bank you notice the fine print – the loan has to be repaid at 75% interest! The ‘energy’ that you think you get from caffeine is really just a loan from the adrenals and liver, and the interest you have to pay is very high.
Stress is a major factor in disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, headache, hypoglycemia, asthma, herpes, hypertension and heart disease. And yet hospitals provide coffee and tea, which put your body into stress!!!
DHEA is our vitality hormone. Decreased levels of DHEA is a cause of aging. Caffeine consumption leads to DHEA deficiency. Caffeine is an AGING DRUG!
Caffeine lowers the stress threshold in virtually everyone. That is, if you have had caffeine, it will be easier for you to suffer from emotional stress or other stress. (Therefore, when research is done that is designed to show how safe caffeine is, any test subject who is under significant stress is removed from the study).
Caffeine is implicated in ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome: GABA is produced in the intestinal tract, where it calms anxiety and stress. Caffeine disrupts the normal metabolism of GABA.
Caffeine disrupts sleep. Deep sleep is CRITICAL to good health. When there’s caffeine in your bloodstream, you are unlikely to experience deep sleep at all!
Caffeine AT ANY TIME of the day can cause sleep problems, especially if you are under stress.
Malnutrition is one of the most well-defined effects of habitual caffeine intake.
A single cup of coffee can reduce iron absorption from a meal by as much as 75%.
People do not develop a tolerance to the anxiety-producing effects of caffeine. Rather, people simply become accustomed to the feelings of stress, irritability and aggressiveness produced by the drug.
Caffeine contributes to depression in well-defined ways. This is particularly due to the withdrawal effect, which can cause headache, depression and fatigue, even in light users (p. 111). Cherniske reported that 90% of people who came to him who suffered from depression and gave up caffeine completely for 2 months reported that their depression went away!
If you are a coffee (or tea or cola) drinker, you may be thinking, “Well, I drink coffee and I’m not depressed.” It’s necessary to state that everyone is different, and also that depression can be subtle. Throughout the book, Cherniske suggests that you will never know the full effect the drug is having on you until you experience what life is like caffeine free (which takes two months to do). Over the years, Cherniske has heard similar responses from hundreds of clients: “Wow, I never realized that caffeine made me so (select one: anxious, depressed, irritable).”
Students the world over use caffeine not only to stay awake, but also they believe the drug will improve their performance on exams. Solid research, however, illustrates that as little as 100 milligrams of caffeine (one cup of coffee, two cups of cola) can cause a significant DECREASE in recall and reasoning.
When people are relaxed and given caffeine, caffeine does not raise blood pressure significantly. But how many people are relaxed? When people are stressed and given caffeine, blood pressure is raised significantly.
Women who consume more than 24 ounces of coffee (6 moderate cups) per day had almost twice the risk of heart attack compared to non-coffee drinkers. Moderate coffee drinkers with high cholesterol had more than seven times the risk of heart attack, while heavy coffee drinkers had eighteen times the risk of non-coffee drinkers!
Caffeine depletes your supplies of thiamin and other B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc.
Caffeine increases calcium loss and risk of osteoporosis.
In one large study, the risk for hip fracture for those women who consumed the most caffeine was 300% greater than it was for the group that consumed little or no caffeine.
Take the Challenge! Most people have no idea what life would be like without the background of caffeine and stress hormones coursing through their veins. Even if you’re only having a few cups a coffee, chances are your personality is affected in ways that may be too subtle for you to associate with caffeine. I want to encourage you to conduct a trial period without caffeine. You owe it to yourself. And your family. It could save your life.
Don’t’ go ‘cold turkey’. To avoid headaches etc. when giving up caffeine, Cherniske recommends taking up to six weeks to come off it. Drink the same NUMBER of cups, but each week reduce the strength or amount in each cup.
There is lots more information in this very easy-to-read and highly interesting book. 440 pages. Read this book and you won’t need to spend so much on supplements!
See How a Caffeinated Spider Spins a Web!
I have been truly amazed at the high number of ‘scientific studies’ that have come out since the publication of “Caffeine Blues” which supposedly show how chocolate and even coffee is good for us. I guess the chocolate / soda / coffee industry felt threatened enough that they had to pour money in to solve this new ‘problem’ of theirs.
As I read each study, I am reminded of the most memorable day during my Bachelor of Science degree at Sydney Universtiy. Professor Tony Underwood told our 3rd year Zoology class to get out one of our text books, and turn to a page which had a particular scientific study on it. He asked us, what had that study proven?
We gave the standard answers. But then the professor got all fired up and said, “No!”. He explained how every scientific paper is set up to prove a particular point of view. But the truth is usually that you have to look at a particular problem from all angles. There were many, many other possiblities as to the truth of that study.
The same with these new ‘studies’ which appear to support caffeine. When you look closely, they will NOT say that caffeine enhances your health and long-term wellbeing. They will say something like a particular part of chocolate is good for you, but not all of chocolate, or that coffee helps reduce some particular kind of cancer – presumably because the person will be likely to get some other disease first instead. And they will ignore any other symptoms that may appear, especially long-term ones.
Remember, caffeine is an AGING DRUG.
Try Chaga – The Coffee Substitute that is very good for you
‘Caffeine Can Cause Hallucinations’
Editor’s Note: This is more evidence that caffeine is much worse than most people realise.
January 14, 2009
Double-shot lovers take note—the world’s most popular psychoactive drug may have a disturbing hidden effect on some of its habitual users.
Heavy drinkers of coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other caffeinated beverages are more likely to hallucinate, hear imaginary voices, and even sense the presence of deceased people, a new study suggests.
Among the 200 test subjects, those who consumed the equivalent of seven cups of coffee a day were found to be three times more likely to have hallucinatory experiences than those who consumed less than a single cup a day.
Lead author Simon Jones, a psychology Ph.D. student at Durham University in the U.K, is intrigued but cautious about the connection.
“This hasn’t shown that caffeine causes hallucinations, though the data are consistent with that idea,” he said.
“It could also be that people who have hallucinations are more anxious and worried, so that causes them to consume more caffeine.”
The mother of a reader went blind from a stroke. Please remember that caffeine is a major cause of stroke.
REPORTS FROM READERS:
I found you article online about Caffeine Blues through a google search. I was suspecting beforehand that my one addiction – caffeine – was aggravating my depression and lack of concentration and focus. I’d decided that since it was addictive and known to be inind-affecting, it couldn’t be good for me. I’ve also noticed that I tend to feel better after just a week away from it, quitting cold turkey. I cheated on my having quit and found myself a depressed mess again. I got back off of it and I’ve started feeling better again. I’m quite glad you’ve confirmed my hypothesis in this. Now, to get my mom to quit coffee… Best regards, Eric from Minnesota
Professor Walter J. Veith, PhD
The consumption of caffeine begins at an early age for many people. Caffeine is a natural ingredient in tea and coffee, and it is used as an additive in many baked goods, frozen dairy products, sweets, gelatins, puddings, and soft drinks.
Based on these values, the National Institute of Nutrition in Canada estimated that Canadians consume approximately 450 mg of caffeine per day. Children also consume large quantities of caffeine through soft drinks and sweets, and this is a matter of some concern. Adults absorb 99% of the caffeine they consume and reach peak blood levels within 15-45 minutes. Caffeine is found in breast milk and can cross the placenta, thus influencing the unborn child. In newborn infants, the rate of elimination of caffeine is much slower than in adults, and the half-life is 82 hours. In pre-term infants, the half-life ranges from 62-102 hours.ii Some races also experience slower elimination rates than others. For example, Asians have much slower rate of elimination than Europeans. Pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives also substantially increase the clearance rate.
The effects of excessive caffeine intake, which in some individuals may be manifested at levels as low as 500 mg/day, include insomnia, headaches, anxiety, irritability, and depression. When consumed on an empty stomach, caffeine can produce tremors, and at consumption rates of 1g (which is not unusual for some people) can produce symptoms such as fever, agitation, trembling, rapid breathing and heart rate, heart palpitations, diuresis, nausea, and anorexia. Still higher intakes (5-100 g or 50-100 cups of coffee) have caused increased heart rate, convulsions, respiratory and heart failure, and coma and death due to shock.iii People who stop drinking beverages containing caffeine may experience equally unpleasant withdrawal symptoms; the most common of which are muscle tension, nervousness, irritability, and headaches. Caffeine also affects urinary calcium excretion, particularly in postmenopausal women.iv Rats fed instant coffee for three to four weeks also showed increased calcium loss via the urine and feces.v In one study carried out on a group of women (age 50-84), it was found that the consumption of more than two units of caffeinated beverages (one unit equaling one cup of coffee or two cups of tea) increased the risk of hip fracture by 69%.vi Metabolic studies have shown that the kidneys and intestinal system are also directly affected by caffeine.
Of even greater concern than these immediate symptoms are the long-term dangers associated with caffeine, which can occur at lower levels and may be more subtle and difficult to detect. In studies on animals, caffeine was shown to affect the nervous system and influence such behaviours as learning, memory, motor performance, sensory function, and emotional reactivity.vii,viii These findings have prompted the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) to voice their concerns about behavioural effects of caffeine, and effects on the development of the nervous system in children who consume large amounts of cola-type beverages.
Studies where caffeine is administered to pregnant mice indicate that caffeine has toxic effects on the unborn offspring and can possibly produce birth defects. Some of the birth defects noted after the administration of caffeine were cleft palate, digital defects, muscular disorders, facial deformities, absence of eyes, and exencephaly. In rats, the situation is similar, and incomplete ossification in the offspring was also reported.
As these studies suffered from lack of certain controls and low sample numbers, the FDA undertook two new studies to resolve the issue of the teratogenic effects of caffeine. These studies revealed that high doses of caffeine result in death and resorption of embryos, significant reductions in fetal weight, and skeletal abnormalities such as reduced pubis size, reduced dorsal arch, and missing hind digits. In fact irreversible birth defects were noted at levels as low as 80 mg/kg and other defects at levels as low as 6 mg/kg.ix It is still uncertainty whether caffeine increases the risk of birth defects in humans, and it is premature to make such claims. Nevertheless, the studies on animals indicate that there are reasons for concern.
CAFFEINE (SOURCE >)
Although caffeine consumption is a common habit, it may also be at the root of many common health problems. Caffeine is present in coffee, teas, soft drinks, and chocolate. Caffeine consumption affects every organ system, from the nervous system to the skin. Caffeine raises stress hormone levels in the blood, inhibits important enzyme systems having to do with house cleaning in the body, sensitizes nerve reception sites, and is associated with a sense of poor health, anxiety, and depression.1, 2
- Caffeine may contribute to many digestive problems. It irritates the stomach and bladder. Peptic ulcer patients should avoid beverages containing caffeine. Many people also find that caffeine drinks cause them to suffer diarrhea followed by constipation.
- Headaches are common among caffeine users and often clear up after short periods of caffeine abstinence (one to two weeks). Headaches may also occur as a symptom of caffeine withdrawal. Some individuals are so sensitive that headaches develop soon after drinking their last cup of coffee.
- Drinking coffee has been shown to have deleterious effects on the developing fetus. Studies have suggested that seven cups of coffee per day may produce unwanted outcomes of pregnancy. Caffeine can damage the chromosomes of sex cells and the chromosomes of the developing embryo during pregnancy.
- Substances that can damage chromosomes can also cause an increase in the rate of cancer. Bladder cancer in women is 2 1/2 times more likely to occur if a woman drinks only one cup of coffee per day.3
- Physical and mental fatigue is common after drinking caffeinated beverages. Caffeine first stimulates the nerves than causes depression. A common complaint in physicians’ offices today is fatigue. Yet, many people mistakenly believe that coffee helps them get through a difficult day.
In addition to fatigue, mental confusion and depression also result from the use of caffeinated drinks. While caffeinated drinks cause an immediate increase in the learning ability, the overall result is a decrease in learning. The physical fatigue resulting from pharmacologic depression of the nervous system produces emotional depression, leading to a reduction of interest in and retention of new material.
Students are recommended to avoid caffeinated drinks in order to increase learning ability. If caffeine is taken at night, it interferes with the mechanism the brain has of transferring freshly learned material from short-term memory to long-term memory.
- Heart disease may have a stronger association with coffee drinking than with obesity, according to a study by Dr. Ogelsby Paul of Western Electric Corporation.4
- Some studies have suggested a link between caffeine consumption and mental disorders. Cases of depression and anxiety in mental institutions that are treated by eliminating caffeine from the diet have been reported.5, 6
- Greden, John F. M.D. et al. Anxiety and Depression Associated with Caffeinism Among Psychiatric Inpatients. American Journal of Psychiatry 133:8, Aug 1978.
- Bellet, Samuel. Effects of Coffee Ingestion on Catecholamine Release.
- The Medical Effects of Coffee. Medical World News, January 26, 1976.
- Science Digest, October, 1963.
- Winstead, Daniel K. M.D. Coffee Consumption Among Psychiatric Inpatients. American Journal of Psychiatry 133:12, December, 1976.
- Greden, John F. M.D. Anxiety of Caffeinism: A diagnostic dilemma. American Journal of Psychiatry 131:10, October, 1974.