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We’ve all read in the mass media about studies done on the benefits of coffee. However, this issue is not black or white. The answer is not just a simple “good” or “bad”.
Coffee does have antioxidants that are good for you. However, if you add lots of creamer and sugar (as many people do), the bad outweighs the good. Also, customized coffee drinks like mochas and cappuccinos may contain as much calories as 1/3 of a day’s recommended caloric intake.
Also, it’s definitely not good if you develop an addiction to caffeine.
However, it’s probably good for you if you drink about half a cup caffeinated coffee per day without adding all the unhealthy stuff. (This is what I do.) Without the unhealthy added condiments, coffee has antioxidants that are good for you. Another option is drinking a black cup of decaf or half- caf (half decaf + half caffeinated).
Even so, a recent study in published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that caffeinated coffee may have harmful cardiovascular effects and effects in increasing blood pressure in healthy subjects (Buscemi, et al.) However, more studies need be done on this. Although one study is not conclusive, I recommend easing up on caffeinated coffee especially if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or a history cardiovascular disease.
Also, talk to your doctor before taking certain medications along with drinking coffee. Even over the counter medicines like acetaminophen (common pain killers such as Tylenol) and pseudephedrine (common cold and allergy medicine) when combined with drinking caffeine may lead to dangerous cardiovascular conditions if you have a cardiovascular or heart condition.
S Buscemi, S Verga, J A Batsis, M Donatelli, M R Tranchina, S Belmonte, A Mattina, A Re and G Cerasola. Acute effects of coffee on endothelial function in healthy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. May 2010. 64, 483-489.
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Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU