Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The case for a cuppa coffee

Oct 27. 2019
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By The Nation

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Contrary to popular belief, coffee has many health benefits and is even suitable for elderly people, says Dr Kritsada Siripuch, director of the Centre for Anti-Ageing Medicine.

“Coffee is a regular beverage for many people. But there is much concern if drinking too much will affect the body,” says Kritsada. “Too much caffeine can cause headache, dizziness, palpitations, insomnia, restlessness and diarrhoea. And if one experiences chest pain, one must see a doctor as muscle twitching or twitching may be caused by caffeine poisoning.

Kritsada said a number of patients who come to consult about ageing want to continue drinking coffee. “Actually it is not a taboo at all because coffee is a part of the anti-ageing programme,” he said.

Enumerating the benefits of coffee, Kritsada said: "The caffeine in coffee stimulates the body and wakes up the brain, because there are other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine, which stimulate the brain.”

He said caffeine helps burn fat because this black drink helps to increase the metabolic rate of our body by 3 to 11 per cent, according to research by Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands. A study published in the American Journal Clinical Nutrition states that coffee can increase fat burning by 10 per cent in obese people, while in general people who have lean bodies it can burn up to 29 per cent. However, long-term use of coffee may reduce the results of the burning.

Among the other benefits Kritsada outlined were:

➤ It increases exercise potential. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system to signal to the lump of fat cells to break down fat. In addition, it also increases the adrenaline levels circulating in the blood, making the body ready to go into muscle-ready mode, causing caffeine to increase exercise power by 11-12 per cent on average, according to a study in the journal International Journal Sport Nutrition Exercise Metabolism.

➤ Coffee has vitamins and minerals. One cup of coffee reportedly contains vitamins B2, B3, B5 and the minerals manganese and potassium.

➤ Caffeine may help reduce diabetes risk, especially Type 2 diabetes. Many studies show that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of diabetes by 23-50 per cent. Researchers from the Faculty of Public Health of the University of Oklahoma concluded that three glasses of coffee per day can reduce the risk by 67 per cent.

➤ Caffeine protects us from Alzheimer’s disease that is common in humans aged 65 years and above, although it also depends on eating and exercising. According to a study by the University of Lisbon Neurology, caffeine consumption is associated with a significantly reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. Another important work from Portugal, published in the journal Alzheimer’s disease, also studied “Caffeine intake and dementia: systemic review and meta-analysis”.

➤ It is reported that people who drink four cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of cirrhosis from alcohol. A study by the Medical Research Department Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Programme revealed that this property is derived from substances in coffee. A study by the Department of Statistics and Epidemiology, University of Milan-Bicocca, found that coffee may suspend the occurrence of cirrhosis from alcohol and not from alcohol which does not include other caffeine beverages.

Dr Kritsada said drinking coffee has some health benefits that should be known, whether it affects the brain, fat, metabolism, diabetes or weight loss. But not everyone needs to drink coffee on a regular basis to reap its benefits as they can be obtained by eating other foods, too.

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