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Is Caffeine Safe to Drink?

Oct 31st, 2012

Is Caffeine Safe to Drink?Many people can’t get by without getting their caffeine fix either from coffee, tea, or sodas. Unfortunately, most of us are not aware of the health risks associated with excessive caffeine consumption. People’s vulnerability to the effects of caffeine varies. In general, consuming moderate amounts have negligible effects on health.

Studies conducted by the American Institute for Cancer Research found no link between coffee consumption and the risk for cancer.

However, a recent study has linked drinking four cups or more to increased risk of heart problems.

A new study has linked the consumption of two 6-oz cups of coffee a day to increased blood test values that indicate inflammation.

We should be concerned about our coffee consumption if these studies are confirmed. However, there’s no need to change our coffee drinking habits just yet as two major American studies show no link between coffee or caffeine consumption and the incidence of heart disease.

Caffeine and Osteoporosis
Studies indicate that caffeine consumption accelerates calcium loss. According to a recent study, 65 to 77 year old women who consume 300 mg or more caffeine a day have greater bone loss over a three-year period than those who drank less. But bone loss was only noted on the minority of the subjects with vitamin D receptor abnormalities.

High caffeine consumption can only cause bone loss in elderly women who do not get enough calcium in the first place. If you consume the recommended 1,200 mg of calcium per day, you can drink 300 mg of caffeine without worrying about bone loss.

Caffeine has shown no adverse effect on pre-menopausal women.

Consumer advisories warn against caffeine consumption because it increases urination which depletes the body’s fluid levels. However, a new research has shown that moderate caffeine consumption has no significant effect on fluid balance.

Caffeine and High Blood Pressure
Studies suggest that drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day regularly increases blood pressure by 10 points. People with high blood pressure are advised to limit caffeine consumption to 200 mg (2 cups of coffee) per day or less. However, regular coffee consumption will increase tolerance and prevent further blood pressure elevation, according to recent studies.

Majority of coffee drinkers consume caffeine to get the energy boost and added alertness; this can be achieved by consuming 100 to 200 mg of caffeine (1 to 2 cups). However, if you consume 250 – 750 mg of caffeine a day you may experience nausea, headaches, sleep difficulties, and anxiety. Most people complain of palpitations when they consume 1000 mg or more of caffeine a day.

The effect of caffeine varies depending on the person. For now, we still don’t have individualized guidelines concerning how much caffeine each of us can safely consume. To be on the safe side, we should not go beyond moderate amounts of caffeine. That means 300 mg or less per day for adults. Those who find that caffeine affects their health should consume even less.

Source: VISTA Health Solutions

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