Caffeine

While Caffeine remains one of the most used drugs on planet earth, the more that is understood of its effects on the health the more thinking people are limiting its use in their diet.  Here are just a few of the known problems caffeine use can causes and aggravate: 

1. Depression
Restricting caffeine and sugar in people with depression has been reported to elevate mood in preliminary research. Caffeine affects our reward centres by influencing the neurotransmitter dopamine. Caffeine increases dopamine levels in the same way as heroin and crack. Its effect is much weaker of course, but the mechanism is the same.  This dopamine connection is what trigers caffeine addiction.

2. Gastritis
Gastritis is a broad term for inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This condition can be caused by many factors and, in some cases, may lead to an ulcer. Caffeine found in coffee, black and green tea, some soft drinks, chocolate, cocoa, and many medications increases stomach acid.

3. Infertility
Caffeine consumption equivalent to more than two cups of coffee per day has been linked to fallopian tubal disease and endometriosis, both of which can cause female infertility. As little as one to one and a half cups of coffee per day appears to delay conception in women trying to get pregnant. Some studies have reported that one cup of coffee per day cut fertility in half, although others report that it takes two or three cups to have detrimental effects.  Most doctors of natural medicine recommend that women trying to get pregnant avoid caffeine.

4. Osteoporosis
People with osteoporosis have brittle bones, which increases the risk of bone fracture, particularly in the hip, spine, and wrist. Caffeine has been linked to hip fractures in a large study following American women for six years. Caffeine is a diuretic, thus increasing the urinary loss of calcium causing the body to leach calcium from the bones to maintain the electrolyte balance in the cells.  Too much protein in the diet has the same affect. Many nutritionally oriented doctors recommend decreasing caffeine intake from caffeinated coffee, black tea, and cola drinks as a way to improve bone mass.

5. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Many pre-menopausal women suffer from symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Among a group of college students in the United States, consumption of caffeine-containing beverages was associated with increases in both the prevalence and severity of PMS. Moreover, the more caffeine women consumed, the more likely they were to suffer from PMS.

 

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