The Dangers of Drinking Coffee
Caffeine is clearly the most prevalently used stimulant in the world. Americans are the largest coffee drinkers in the world – with a dazzling record of 420 million cups drunk every single day. Nine out of 10 Americans consume some type of caffeine regularly, making it the most popular behavior-altering drug. Coffee, tee, chocolate, cocoa, many soft drinks, and aspirin contain caffeine or very closely related substances.
Coffee is a Drug
Coffee is a narcotic beverage. The caffeine in the coffee belongs to the same alkaloid group of chemicals as morphine, cocaine and strychnine. Alkaloids are bitter organic compounds, which are derived from plants bearing seeds. Aspirin, caffeine, cannabinoids, cocaine, morphine, nicotine, etc. are all alkaloids.
When the alkaloids are introduced into a body with an acidic biochemistry, they neutralize the acid and eliminate acid-induced pain. Alkaloids create a temporary high as acids are neutralized and the blood is alkalized. It is because of the effects of alkaloids on the body, that drugs, coffee, and the smoking of marijuana and tobacco are so popular. The typical body, acidified by a cooked animal-food diet, is actually alkalized or balanced by the alkaloids in these substances and achieves glimpses of resonant states of consciousness. It is no surprise then why people have such a difficult time letting go of coffee.
Although it is not as deadly as tobacco, coffee has been officially added to the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Institute of Health’s list of addictive substances.
Effects of Coffee on Our Heath
Through the ages, the stimulant quality of coffee has been used to wake people up after sleep as well as from alcohol intoxication and narcotic overdoes. When a rich, greasy, heavy diet is eaten, coffee helps stimulate the user through periods of sluggishness from toxic overload (remember alkaloids?). Coffee also purges the bowels in individuals who are commonly constipated from such a diet. But this is where the benefits of drinking coffee end.
Coffee drinkers are at risk of developing certain diseases. Coffee drinkers increase their likelihood of developing urinary tract ad bladder cancers by twenty percent. Coffee intake has been shown to be directly related to pancreatic cancer and heat attack – the more coffee consumed, the greater the likelihood of these conditions. Even moderate coffee drinking of two daily cups or more raises cholesterol. Coffee consumption during pregnancy increases the rate of miscarriages and birth defects.
The acid in coffee eats away the villi of the small intestine, reducing their effectiveness in supporting nutrient assimilation. Drinking coffee and other caffeinated substances leads to a loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and trace minerals. Heavy coffee drinkers create B-1 insufficiency. Symptoms of B1 insufficiency range form fatigue, nervousness, general malaise, general aches and pains to headache. To make matters worse, such mineral loss appears to be accelerated when caffeine is mixed with sugar. Most recently, zinc was added to the list of nutrients depleted by caffeine. Here are other facts about caffeine concerning women: caffeine causes iron deficiency; increases calcium loss and risk of osteoporosis; caffeine produces short-term mood elevation, but contributes to rebound depression.
Caffeine limits the secretion of Vasopressin, a pituitary hormone responsible for hydrating the body. Chronic dehydration is typical for coffee drinkers.
Caffeine may also wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels, causing it to dip and rise which can masks true hunger and cause you to overeat (if your blood sugar is low) or undereat (if your blood sugar is high).
Coffee also contains tannin which is the same thing used to make leather soft and shiny. Tannin blocks the orifices of tiny cells in the body and aids in indigestion and constipation, adding stress to and diversely affecting the liver. Caffeine teamed with tannin increases the risk of neuro-genetic disorders.
Coffee overworks the adrenals and slows sports performance. Coffee has an acid-based oil, which is an irritant to gastric mucosa. It simulates the secretion of gastric acidity and this results in secretion of adrenalin. Adrenalin is the source of “fight-or-flight” response. By stimulating your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin, caffeine puts your body in this state, which is useless while you are still sitting at your desk. When this adrenal high wares off later, you feel the drop in terms of fatigue, irritability, headache or confusion. At this point you may reach for another “hit” of caffeine, followed by another, and another. If you constantly keep your body on a caffeine high, you are constantly keeping your body in “flight-or-fight” mode. The secretion of adrenalin stimulates insulin secretion with consequent secondary hypoglycemia. The end results are tension, mild rise in blood pressure, 2-3 hours later a craving for sweets, low energy and mood levels, and over working of the adrenal glands.
45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches. 17 million are migraine sufferers. In his ground-breaking book “Coffee Blues” Stephen Cherniske writes: “The person with a headache doesn’t know that it was caused or triggered by caffeine, so he or she looks for a painkiller (analgesic). Studies show that in 95 percent of cases, the analgesic drug contains caffeine. Such painkillers work, especially if the headache was caused by caffeine withdrawal, but the caffeine ultimately triggers another headache. Ultimately, the hapless sufferer becomes dependent on the painkiller for even a modicum of relief, but the headaches increase in frequency and intensity. This may go on for many years, creating a cycle of pain and depression that destroys the quality of life.” (Caffeine Blues, page 185).
Caffeine also disturbs the most important phase of sleep, the deep-sleep phase. It’s a vicious circle: caffeine intake leads to decreased sleep quantity, which leads to increased caffeine intake, which leads to decreased sleep quality, which leads to disease and fatigue, which leads to increased caffeine intake, and so on.
When consumed regularly, as little as two cups of coffee can initiate these symptoms. Children who exhibit hyperactivity are often victims of diets rich in chocolates and cola drinks.
Let’s not forget the adverse affect caffeine has with medication.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some medications and herbal supplements (such as Cipro, Noroxin, Theo-24, and Ephedra) can negatively interact with caffeine causing such side effects as nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, and raise the risk of heart attack, stroke, seizure, and even death!
“Remember that coffee contains a host of chemicals, not just caffeine, among them a group of extremely toxic compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). You might remember them as the cancer-causing agents isolated from barbecued meat.” (Caffeine Blues, page 53)
According to http://www.coffeeresearch.org, there are 21 compounds contained in coffee, including, chlorogenic, caffeic, cytric, malic, and lactic acids which contribute to indigestion and buildup of toxic waste, cardiovascular diseases, auto immune disorders, arthritis, and rheumatism. Additionally, when caffeine is broken down, it produces uric acid which can lead to kidney stones, gout, and other prostate conditions. The extreme temperatures in the roasting process of coffee beans deplete the beans of its natural oils. Though it may enhance their aroma, high heat actually causes the oils to become rancid.
The only means of detoxifying the body from caffeine is to release it through the liver to eliminate the stored blood sugar releasing insulin. For people suffering with epilepsy, it can be even more dangerous, since it drops the blood sugar below normal and can trigger a seizure. It can cause hypoglycemia and increase the appetite not to mention aggravate or further complicate pre-existing conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, acid reflux, Crohn’s, or migraines (just to name a few.)
Coffee and Environment
Dangerous chemicals are used in the production of coffee: poisonous herbicide and pesticide sprays in its cultivation, petroleum-based solvents in its decaffeination, and other chemicals in making it instant. Coffee also happens to be one of the most heavily sprayed agricultural crops. Columbian coffee planters have regularly used deadly pesticides on their plants for over 20 years. Some include Aldrin, Dieldrin, Chlordane, and Heptachlor. Some speculate that coffee beans are the most significant source of these deadly toxins in U.S. diet.
“Coffee plantations use huge amounts of pesticides that pollute the land, rivers, and destroy plant and animal life around them. The beans go off to market, but what happens to coffee pulp and the processing water? This water, now laden with pesticides, fungicides, and nitrogenous waste, goes directly into local streams, rivers, and lakes. With no filtration or reconditioning, the water pollution harms aquatic life as well as the health of people who live alongside those same bodies of water. And the coffee pulp? It sits in huge, rotting piles, leaching out its high nitrogen discharge into the groundwater and eventually into the same polluted waterways.” (Caffeine Blues, page 276)
70 million acres devoted to the culture of coffee. 70 million!!! Millions of acres of the most fertile land in the world exclusively devoted to the culture of non-foods and beverages that contribute to the suffering of humanity. I think it’s hypocritical to talk about solving the world hunger problem and not address the issue of how we waste natural resources.
Follow The Money
So why do we never hear about this on TV, radio or in newspapers?
“I had been told only that caffeine was a mild stimulant and its association with health disorders was unproven. I was also told that caffeine is not addictive. Since I knew from my own painful experience that the opposite was true, I reasoned that perhaps I had been snowed on the whole topic.
“What I quickly learned was that everyone has been snowed — researchers, doctors, journalists, and especially the public. The deception has been well coordinated by an industry whose goal is quite simple: to get as much caffeine into our bodies as possible. The caffeine industry knows caffeine saps your natural sense of vitality, leaving you dependent on their products to get through the day. They know that you actually crave their products and, more importantly, that you suffer when you don’t consume them… It’s a marketing dream, and it’s legal. No wonder more and more companies are jumping on the caffeine bandwagon, churning out products from specialized coffees and teas to ‘herbal’ caffeinated energy pills, caffeine laced fruit beverages, ‘supercharged’ soft drinks, caffeinated beer, and even caffeinated bottled water.” (Caffeine Blues, page 4)
Don’t forget that those “studies” on benefits of coffee consumptions are usually sponsored by the coffee corporations (just as medical studies are sponsored by pharmaceutical corporations). Bottom line is, if people were aware of all the harm coffee causes and decided to stop drinking coffee today, Starbucks would go out of business – and corporations just don’t like doing that!
Overcoming Your Coffee Addiction
One can overcome coffee addictions by drinking fresh green vegetable juices in the morning instead of coffee. This will stimulate an excellent bowel movement and give the body the alkaloid stimulation it desires. By eating significantly more green leafy vegetables and wild herbs one will alkalize the body chemistry and be able to overcome the desire for harmful stimulants. Raw green leaves have the same effect as alkaloid substances, however, their high last much longer and you never experience a “crash” or any of the side effects. An abundance of greens in the diet strengthens the heart. Green leaves soothe the nerves and calm the body. Bringing more raw foods into your diet will dramatically change your heath and assist you in leaving a cleaner, healthier lifestyle free of addictions and harmful habits.