PRESCOTT, AZ – 2/22/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — A Google News article begins, “There’s nothing more satisfying than taking that first sip of your cup of joe in the morning.” That’s because the writer may be addicted and she will get withdrawal symptoms if she don’t get her fix, says Richard Ruhling, a retired physician who taught Health Science at LLU.
He offers the following insights on the article as it continues,,, “What makes it even better? Besides just being delicious, coffee actually has some pretty major health benefits.” Let’s look at its list of three:
1. “It can help lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Several studies have found that coffee drinkers have a lowered risk.” But the article had only one link to a study reported nearly a decade ago with all foreign-named contributors and it began with this sentence: “Several prospective studies have assessed the association between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease risk, but the results are inconsistent.”
One of the best prospective studies funded by National Institutes of Health, is the Adventist Health Study of Seventh-day Adventists who live about seven years longer than their neighbors, but the use of coffee in SDAs is very low—it’s considered a drug.
2. “It can enhance your memory.” The study involved a small sample of 80 women and the way the study was done wasn’t explained, but we all know that results can improve with effort so that on the first series, subjects do not so well and on the second series with coffee, they got better at it. The article began, “It is currently not known whether caffeine has an enhancing effect on long-term memory in humans.” Still true.
3. “It can lower the risk of certain cancers.” In contrast to this “Bustle” article written for “Lifestyle,” a strong association with coffee consumption was reported by the New England Journal of Medicine in a lead article 35 years ago. Cancer of the bladder was also more common in coffee drinkers in a Harvard report. That journal has one of the best reputations for solid research and medical information.
Media is reporting caffeine benefits. “Suspect corporate benefits behind the research and their report,” says Ruhling. He cites the British Medical Journal that “There is a cancer eating at the core of medical research.” May 6, 2015.
50 years ago the soon-to-be dean of LLU’s School of Public Health said he got offers from companies to fund his research, but usually they wanted to re-direct his research, and the past 50 years has only sharpened their ability to influence the outcome of studies. In contrast to reported benefits from the drug, caffeine, coffee and tea, here are some concerns that Ruhling offers:
1. Nervous disorders with anxiety, tremors and hyperventilation syndrome may be caused by caffeine.
2. Insomnia is common and can be a problem, even for those who only drink it in the morning.
3. Cleft palate and hare lip can be caused by chromosomal damage due to ingestions of caffeine in the first trimester of pregnancy.
4. Caffeine is not allowed in coronary care units because it lowers the threshold for ventricular fibrillation which is often fatal in the setting of a heart attack. Caffeine can also cause Premature Ventricular Contractions that can be a prelude to more serious arrhythmias.
5. Fibrocystic breast lumps can be caused by caffeine, and the condition is also a risk factor for breast cancer and are the most common reason for breast surgery—a biopsy to be sure it’s not cancer.
6. Gastritis, ulcers, esophageal reflux and hyperacidity are common in coffee drinks. Drug companies love caffeine because then consumers need one of the host of antacids or blockers to control those symptoms. He once saw an emergency patient whose stomach was “on fire.” He had many previous tests; no one told him that two pots of coffee a day might be a problem!
7. Lower bone density (osteoporosis) in women is also linked to caffeine consumption.
8. The Russian scientist, Pavlov, called coffee “bad habit glue”–it glues our bad habits together. Many people live unbalanced lives, over-working, overeating, watching TV till late and would never make it up in the morning without their morning fix.
9. Headaches are commonly part of a withdrawal from caffeine addiction and can be severe, which is why so many would rather continue their drug addiction than face the withdrawal which usually peak on the 3rd day and over the hump in five. But this relationship is why drug companies put caffeine in headache meds like Cafergot (for migraine) or Excedrin. If trying to break the caffeine habit, beware and read the ingredients before buying something to get you through the withdrawal period.
When something is good for the body like exercise, it is good many ways. The converse is true, and drinking caffeinated beverages is like Russian roulette. Ruhling wonders how the FDA could classify caffeine as a GRAS drug (Generally Recognized As Safe). He thinks they are influenced by corporate interests and untrustworthy. Which of the above problems do you want, and who needs this addiction? Why not face the music by quitting over a long weekend?
Dr. Richard Ruhling was board-certified in Internal Medicine and taught Health Science at Loma Linda University, 1974-78. He is the author of Why You Shouldn’t Ask Your Doctor, available on Amazon. He offers more information on his website, http://RichardRuhling.com
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Company Name: Total Health
Contact Person: Richard Ruhling, MD
Country: United States