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These reflections are not about decaf coffee.

Though caffeine can help you become alert, it doesn't replace sleep. Caffeine increases the release of catecholamines which can make your heart beat faster, send more blood to your muscles and tell your liver to release sugar into the bloodstream for energy. The effects of caffeine, including how long it lasts and how much it boosts your energy, vary from person to person, depending on individual tolerance, genetics, and other physiological factors. But generally, caffeine lasts about five to six hours in the body before wearing off. Women taking birth control pills and/or are between ovulation and the beginning of menstruation take about twice as long to process the caffeine, while regular smokers' bodies process caffeine in half the time.

The following comments are substantiated, but not proven; and many other factors may be involved.

There are benefits to drinking coffee.

In 2014, researchers gathered data on over 48,000 people and found that those who drank three to four cups a day for four years had an 11 percent lower risk of type II diabetes than those who drank two cups or less daily.

Italian researchers found that people who drink three cups per day might have a 50 percent lower risk of liver cancer.

A moderate intake of coffee may enhance weight loss, and increase cognitive function and alertness. A moderate intake of coffee can enhance long-term memory, and slow the mental decline that comes with age.

Various studies show that men who drink over four cups of coffee daily might have a five-fold lower risk of Parkinson's than those who do not.

The findings of a 2017 study suggested that lifelong coffee consumption may reduce the risk of developing depression and cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer's.

A 2012 study concluded that drinking at least two 8-ounce doses daily may reduce heart failure.

Compared with drinking less than one cup a day, other studies have linked the consumption of three cups of coffee a day with a 21 percent percent lower risk of developing basal cell carcinoma in women, and a 10 percent lower risk in men.

A study of 217,883 participants determined that drinking more coffee lowered the risk of developing kidney-stones.

In a study of 968,432 men and women, participants who drank four cups of coffee a day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from oral cancer, compared with those who drank no coffee at all or only an occasional cup. Drinking coffee also lowers the risk of various other cancers.

Data for 34,670 women without a history of cardiovascular disease in Sweden indicated that women who drank more than one cup of coffee per day had a 22 percent to 25 percent lower risk of stroke compared with women who drank less.

There are detriments to drinking coffee.

Whether people drink one cup of mild coffee or four cups of strong brew daily, when they stop getting their daily boosts the effects of caffeine withdrawal develop between 12 to 24 hours after the last dose. The most common symptom is a headache; but symptoms can include depression, fatigue, lethargy, irritability, nausea, and vomiting. Those symptoms can last three to 10 days.

Anxiety, irritability, and depression sometimes occur in conjunction with drinking coffee.

Caffeine may have a negative impact on pregnancy, fertility, glucose control, and other aspects of health. There is some evidence that caffeine may impair insulin action, leading to a detectable rise in blood sugar levels.

Some research suggests that caffeine hinders activity in the fallopian tubes. This could mean caffeine reduces a woman's chances of becoming pregnant, so pregnant women should limit their daily coffee intake to one cup.

Drinking six or more caffeinated beverages in 24 hours has been associated with an almost four-fold increase in the risk of recurrent gout attacks.

A study involving 1,356 women suggest those who drink three or more cups of coffee daily have a 70 percent higher chance of bladder problems.

Consuming coffee within six hours before bedtime can disrupt sleep in some people.

Caffeine increases the release of acid in the stomach, sometimes leading to an upset stomach or heartburn. Caffeine may also interact with diuretics, estrogens, valproate, and other medications.

Anyone wishing to give up coffee should reduce it gradually over a few weeks.

End Notes: Individuals may react differently to any stimulus. I drink 2-3 cups of mild coffee daily -- often sipping the last drop just before bed-time. It doesn't disrupt my sleep.

-- Gene Linzey is a speaker, author and mentor. Send comments and questions to [email protected] Visit his website at The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 09/18/2019

Print Headline: Coffee is in the news (part 2)

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