by Angelo Druda
(NaturalNews) Ancient Roman and Indian doctors used sugar topically to treat infections and internally to sweeten less palatable medicines. It was, however, fairly unknown in the common marketplace. The tropical conditions required to grow sugar and the labor intensive difficulty of harvesting the plant ensured the rarity of it’s sweetness. But slavery ended all of that.
Sugar finally made its way into Europe in the sixteen hundreds, and it set off a demand that rivals in madness the modern cravings for cocaine and heroin. The dramatic expansion and institutionalization of the African slave trade was in direct response to the demand for sugar and was ignored and tolerated by the ever growing numbers of European sugar addicts. Today sugar is everywhere in our lives, even though it is not a true nutrient or necessary for human life.
The sweetness of sugar directly affects the stomach, spleen and pancreas. Sugar burns hot in the gut which is exactly what we like about it. It sets off a fire in the belly and lifts our energy for a time. The digestive system is naturally nourished and boosted by sweetness. It is however, the natural and grounded sweetness found in fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs that regenerates the stomach, spleen and pancreas and not the concentrated and fiery excess that sucrose provides. So there is a price to be paid for the sugary treat.
We learn as infants that the simplest way to make ourselves feel better is by putting something consoling in our mouths. This early response becomes something we can all resort to over the course of our lives. In the modern world the food choices are endless and the corporate purveyors of junk food stand ready to sell us their remedies for the boredom, doubt and discomfort that we feel in the midst of our lives.
Excess sugar in the blood stream causes the pancreas to excrete excess insulin. Regular ingestion of sugar causes the body to become resistant to insulin’s sugar clearing effects. Since insulin promotes the storage of fats, weight gain quickly ensues. With little more than a teaspoon of sugar a day, inflammation levels begin to significantly increase. Elevated levels of inflammation dramatically accelerate degeneration in the body and can lead to a host of cell damaging diseases, that greatly reduces longevity.
In 2008 it was determined that over one third of American children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Those numbers have only increased. Modern research demonstrates that even short term obesity dramatically effects the present and future health of the person. In addition to this insulin resistant weight gain we see increasing blood pressure and circulatory degeneration, elevated levels of cell damaging inflammation, and a probable increase in risk for cancer. All this for our children today.
The overpriced American health care system is now buckling from the weight of treating ever growing numbers of people, a high percentage of whom are suffering conditions caused by chronic inflammation, and insulin resistance. We begin creating these so called “diabesity” diseases early in life, by putting sugar in children’s breakfast cereals and then surrounding them with sucrose filled candies and cakes.
Everyone can take a giant step towards health, well being and longevity by simply eliminating sugar from their diets.
One of the best kept secrets of herbal medicine is just how effective berberine rich herbs are in lowering blood sugar levels, clearing inflammation and healing mucous membranes. In oriental medicine the right combinations of berberine herbs, such as gardenia, scute, coptis, and phellodendron, have been used for centuries to cure a broad range of inflammatory disorders. Recent research indicates that these individual herbs are extremely effective at reducing and even eliminating the modern effects of sugar driven insulin resistance. Used correctly, herbal medicine, in addition to right diet and exercise, can be an effective treatment for a broad range of “diabesity” issues.
About the author:
Angelo Druda practices oriental medicine in Cobb, California. He is the founder of Traditional Botanical Medicine and the Author of The Tao of Rejuvenation.
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A recent study published in the journal Cancer Research claims that coffee drinkers may be at a reduced risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, one of the most common types of skin cancer. According to the research, individuals that drink at least three cups of coffee a day have a 20 percent decreased risk of developing this mild form of skin cancer which, while not necessarily deadly, can cause significant disfigurement of skin.
Jiali Han, author of the study and associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at both Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and theHarvard School of Public Health, evaluated data on 113,000 men and women, all of who drank three or more cups of coffee a day. She discovered that rates of basal cell carcinoma were 20 percent less among this group compared to those who drank no coffee at all, and that the active substance in question appears to be caffeine.
“Caffeine may help the body kill off damaged skin cells,” claimed Dr. Josh Zeichner, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, in response to the study’s findings. “If you get rid of these cells that are damaged, then they don’t have the opportunity to grow and form cancers.”
The findings seem to correlate with a 2011 study out of Rutgers University that identified a link between caffeine and skin cancer prevention. According to that research, caffeine appears to be an effective topical treatment for protecting skin against damage caused by excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. (http://www.tgdaily.com)
“Although it is known that coffee drinking is associated with a decreased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer, there now needs to be studies to determine whether topical caffeine inhibits sunlight-induced skin cancer,” said Allan Conney, Director of the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research about the Rutgers study.
Drinking coffee can exhaust your adrenal glands, lead to substance addiction
As promising as the new research on coffee drinking may initially appear for preventing skin cancer, it is important to remember that coffee consumption can be dangerous and damaging to health. There are many other ways to prevent skin cancer, including regular exposure to natural sunlight without burning and vitamin D supplementation, that do not cause other health problems.
Coffee consumption stimulates the production of adrenaline in the body, which can overspend the adrenal glands, leading to chronic fatigue, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), allergies, chronic infections, and other problems. (http://www.naturalnews.com/024985_cortisol_blood_fatigue.html)
Drinking coffee is also highly addictive, as many who regularly consume it suffer withdrawal symptoms such as headaches when they try to stop. While it may give its drinkers a buzz that helps them through their busy days, coffee ends up exhausting the body’s energy reserves, which can lead to irritability, confusion, severe mood swings, and other problems. (http://www.naturalnews.com/012352.html)
Instead of coffee, why not try naturally exposing your skin to between 15 and 30 minutes a day of unfiltered sunlight, or supplementing with between 2,000 and 10,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 every day? This simple, inexpensive, and proven health regimen will not only help protect you against skin cancer, but will also improve your health in many other areas while preventing a myriad of chronic illnesses. (http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/)
Sources for this article include:
by Dani Veracity
Most a.m. coffee drinkers don’t realize it, but their morning cups of coffee set their bodies up for a rollercoaster day of highs and lows, only to bottom out at the point of exhaustion. Just a few hours after consumption, when the artificial high dies down, many people may reach for more coffee or something sugary to get another lift, leading to daily fluctuations in energy and alertness, and possibly to eventual chronic adrenal exhaustion.
Now, you don’t have to explain your coffee addiction to me. I worked as an espresso barista for four years, so I know what it’s like to drink coffeeand espresso constantly. Throughout college, I drank about four espresso drinks a day, most of them doubles, and that’s a conservative estimate. I only slept two or three hours most nights, but once a week or so, I would completely crash and sleep for twelve or thirteen hours straight. Since I graduated from college, I’ve also graduated to only drinking one cup of coffee a day and sometimes none at all. I feel much better and now I even have a somewhat normal sleeping schedule.
You probably don’t drink as much coffee as I drank, but just one caffeinated drink – whether it’s a soft drink, caffeinated tea or coffee – will put your body on the caffeine rollercoaster. When you consume caffeine, the drug begins its effects by initiating uncontrolled neuron firing in your brain, according to Stephen Cherniske in his book, Caffeine Blues. This excess neuron activity triggers your pituitary gland to secrete a hormone that tells your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin.
Adrenalin is what gives athletes that winning burst of energy and Good Samaritans the ability to rescue people by lifting cars. Adrenalin is also the source of our “fight-or-flight” response, which enabled our prehistoric ancestors to escape from saber-toothed tigers and other predators. By stimulating your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin, caffeine puts your body in this “fight-or-flight” state, which is useless while you’re just sittingat your desk. When this adrenal high wears 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 and maybe even one more. If you constantly keep your body on a caffeine high, you’re constantly keeping your body in “flight-or-flight” mode.
Cherniske explains your body’s “perspective” of this constant state: “Imagine you lived in a country that was always under threat of attack. No matter where you went, there was a perpetual state of alert. Not only that, but your defenses were constantly being depleted and weakened. Does that sound stressful? Caffeine produces the same effect on your body, like fighting a war on multiple fronts at the same time.” Cherniske calls your body’s constant state of alert “caffeinism,” which is characterized by fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, sleep disturbance, irritability and depression.
After prolonged “caffeinism,” your body enters a state of adrenal exhaustion. Your caffeine consumption has simply pushed your adrenal glands so much that they’ve burned out. Ralph T. Golan, ND, describes this unfortunate state in his book, Herbal Defense: “Caffeine forces your glands to secrete when they don’t have much left to give, and they have to keep digging deeper and deeper, making you more and more tired over time. And over the years, it takes more and more coffee to get the same result. Some people reach the point of drinking half a dozen or more cups of coffee to get the same result and it’s barely keeping them awake. That’s severe adrenal depletion.”
In other words, caffeine affects your body just like any drug. You start taking it slowly, but as your body develops a tolerance to it, you need more and more to feel the same effects. Eventually, your body reaches a point where it can’t be without it; otherwise, you will start to experience withdrawal symptoms.
You may think that you don’t drink nearly enough to become addicted to it, but you probably already are. “Careful research conducted by the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that low to moderate caffeine intake (as little as one 14-ounce mug per day) can quickly produce withdrawal symptoms,” writes Cherniske. Yes, caffeine is a drug, even though it’s something that you ingested in your beloved chocolate bars and colas since early childhood.
Instead of reaching for your morning cup of coffee, you can do your body a big favor by eating a healthy breakfast instead. A good breakfast, maintained by a healthy lunch, will keep you energetic all day. You can read News Target’s page on breakfast to learn to distinguish between the good and bad breakfast foods, but whatever you do, don’t wash it down with a cup of coffee.
The experts speak on caffeine, exhaustion and fatigue:
“Caffeine’s immediate effects on your body”
It doesn’t take a genius to see that there might be a downside to all of this neuron activity. In fact, uncontrolled neuron firing creates an emergency situation, which triggers the pituitary gland in the brain to secrete ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone). ACTH tells the adrenal glands to pump out stress hormones—the next major side effect of caffeine.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 56
Within five minutes after you drink your morning coffee, the caffeine begins to stimulate your central nervous system, triggering the release ofstress hormones in your body, causing a stress (“fight or flight” ) response. The stress hormones are useful if you need to prepare yourself to fight or flee a dangerous situation, but if you are simply sitting at your desk you may feel a short charge of alertness, quickly followed by feelings of agitation. Within the next hour or so, after the stress response dissipates, you will probably feel more tired and hungry. At these low-energy times, many people reach for another cup of coffee, or eat a snack that is often high in sugar to “pep up” and stay alert. However, both caffeine and sugar only give you temporary feelings of increased energy, which quickly dissipate. For some people, this cycle of low energy followed by an infusion of caffeine or food continues the entire day — leaving them feeling exhausted and unable to focus by 3:00 p.m. because they are drained from the ups and downs in energy their body endured throughout the day.
Active Wellness By Gayle Reichler MS RD CDN, page 12
Among other things, it stimulates the production of adrenaline, one of the hormones secreted by the adrenal glands to help us in extreme emergency situations. Our adrenals evolved to give our early ancestors the extra strength and alertness needed to escape a saber tooth tiger attack, but we don’t often need that much adrenaline these days. Like sugar, coffee constantly stimulates the production of adrenaline, putting excessive wear and tear on the adrenal glands. And let’s not forget that green tea and black tea contain caffeine, and even decaf still contains some caffeine. If you’re sensitive to caffeine it can keep you awake at night even if you haven’t had any since noon. If you’re suffering frominsomnia, your best bet is to drink nonstimulating herbal teas such as chamomile or mint in the evening. If you need a boost in the afternoon, try a cup of ginseng tea.
Prescription Alternatives by Earl Mindell RPh PhD and Virginia Hopkins MA, page 388
Caffeine triggers a stress response that involves a surge in adrenal hormones and the classic fight-or-flight “emergency,” affecting virtually every cell in the body.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 98
Everybody “knows” that caffeine makes you more alert and clearheaded. Think again. A cup of coffee gives you a wakeup jolt because it triggers a stress response. Your adrenal glands are prompted to kick out the same stress hormones that are released when you perceive an external threat or danger. Your muscles tense, your blood sugar elevates for extra energy, your pulse and respiration rates speed up, and your state of alertness increases so you’re ready to wrestle with or run from environmental dangers. You may be only sitting at your table or desk drinking a cup of coffee, but your body doesn’t know that. It’s preparing for action.
The Memory Solution by Dr Julian Whitaker, page 261
Caffeine increases the stimulating neurohormone, noradrenaline, and reduces the calming neurotransmitter, serotonin.
The Crazy Makers by Carol Simontacchi, page 191
Caffeine also stimulates the production of norepinephrine, another stress hormone that acts directly on the brain and nervous system. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are responsible for increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and that “emergency” feeling. In fact, the emergency is quite real. caffeine can trigger a classic fight-or-flight stress reaction with all of the results listed in Illustration.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 57
I particularly recommend that you avoid caffeine. What caffeine actually does is set off a stress response. It stimulates your adrenal glands to make epinephrine and norepinephrine—the same stress hormones that are produced in response to any stressor. This sets the stress response in motion, causing tense muscles, elevated blood sugar, and increased pulse and respiration. You may feel mentally sharper because your brain is high on adrenaline. It’s ready to rumble. One cup of coffee for most people isn’t damaging. But as you may recall from our discussion of the three stages of the stress response, if stress hormones remain elevated, the body is thrown into a state of chronic stress. By sipping on coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda all day long, you are forcing your adrenal glands to continue to pump out stress hormones.
The Memory Solution by Dr Julian Whitaker, page 165
Caffeine works by mimicking a hormone that tells the adrenal glands to crank out more adrenaline. The adrenal glands think there is a stressful situation and that they are supposed to be making more adrenal hormone.
Herbal Defense by Ralph T Golan ND, page 280
A dosage of 50 to 100 mg caffeine, the amount in one cup of coffee, will produce a temporary increase in mental clarity and energy levels while simultaneously reducing drowsiness. It also improves muscular-coordinated work activity, such as typing. Through its CNS stimulation, caffeine increases brain activity; however, it also stimulates the cardiovascular system, raising blood pressure and heart rate. It generally speeds up our body by increasing our basal metabolic rate (BMR), which burns more calories. Initially, caffeine may lower blood sugar; however, this can lead to increased hunger or cravings for sweets. After adrenal stimulation, blood sugar rises again. Caffeine also increases respiratory rates, and for people with tight airways, it can open breathing passages. Caffeine is also a diuretic and a mild laxative.
The New Detox Diet by Elson M Haas MD, page 30
Caffeine and nicotine overstimulate the adrenal glands. When these substances, other stressors, and a generally poor diet are combined, the adrenals can enter into a state of emergency. They become depleted of important vitamins, such as B-complex vitamins and vitamin C.
Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 233
Although we think of caffeine in coffee as the “wake-me-up” chemical, chronic use of it may cause fatigue, headache, moodiness, and depression in some people. Because caffeine boosts energy through increasing the production of ATP, the basic unit of energy production in your body, one school of thought suggests that chronically stimulating this system may deplete it, sort of like overworking the soil in farmland. Recommendation: If you are a caffeine junkie (more than 3 cups of coffee a day) and can’t get through the day without your coffee fix, you may be promoting your fatigue with caffeine and need a rest period. Go slowly with your reduction to zero caffeine to avoid developing overwhelming sleepiness and a bad headache.
Doctors Complete Guide Vitamins Minerals by Mary D Eades MD, page 324
Caffeine can have a detrimental effect on blood sugar. When caffeine is ingested, the nervous system is stimulated. Adrenaline is released and, in turn, the liver begins to emit stored blood sugar. Insulin is then released, and blood sugar drops below normal—a common seizure trigger for people with epilepsy. Caffeine can also constrict blood vessels in the brain. It is important for people with epilepsy to know that caffeine can be an ingredient in medications, including some antihistamines and decongestants.
Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 739
For an optimal response to our plan, we recommend eliminating or sharply reducing your caffeine intake. Caffeine raises levels of adrenaline, causesoverexcitation, increases stress, and impairs the relaxation response. It’s hard to be at peace when you’re revved up on caffeine.
Ultraprevention by Mark Hyman MD and Mark Liponis MD, page 241
Watch out for coffee. The caffeine in coffee can upset blood-sugar levels, leaving you fatigued and longing for a quick-pick-me-up snack. Limit coffee to two cups a day.
Food & Mood By Elizabeth Somer MA RD, page 57
Caffeine, in fact, is the most widely used cognitive-enhancement product in our society. Numerous tests have proved that, when used in moderate amounts, caffeine boosts concentration and alertness. Because it is a stimulant, it increases output of adrenaline, and can temporarily improvememory and mood.
Brain Longevity by Dharma Singh Khalsa M.D. with Cameron Stauth, page 266
Caffeine acts directly upon the central nervous system. It brings about an almost immediate sense of clearer thought and lessens fatigue. It also stimulates the release of stored sugar from the liver, which accounts for the “lift” coffee, cola, and chocolate give. But these benefits may be far outweighed by the side effects:
Vitamin Bible for the 21st Century by Earl Mindell, page 315
Caffeine doesn’t add energy to your system, it just burns up your reserves at a faster pace. You get a short-term boost at the expense of long-term jitters and fatigue.
The Unofficial Guide to Beating Stress by Pat Goudey, page 136
On the physical level, we need a steady source of energy to accomplish our goals. Nothing is more frustrating than to be motivated, to have a great plan, but no energy to carry it out. When I ask patients about their reasons for drinking coffee, the most common response is: “I need the energy.” The irony is that caffeine is a major cause of fatigue. Depending on caffeine to get you through the day might work for a while, but in the long run it will make your dreams harder and harder to achieve.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 43
Avoid caffeine — it increases the stress hormones and adrenaline, which causes a spike in blood sugar.
Ultraprevention by Mark Hyman MD and Mark Liponis MD, page 306
“Constant ‘fight-or-flight’ mode and the caffeine rollercoaster”
If you continue to drink coffee or other beverages containing caffeine throughout the day, your adrenal glands will be constantly stimulated and you will find yourself in a chronic state of stress. Extra stress, I guarantee, you don’t need—it takes a toll on your body and brain. And even though most people think caffeine makes them mentally sharper, studies demonstrate that, in fact, the opposite is true.
The Memory Solution by Dr Julian Whitaker, page 261
Cut back on sugar and caffeine. These quick-fix solutions to lagging energy and poor mood fuel your fatigue and depression and aggravate food cravings. You can achieve the same neurotransmitter “fix,” but provide your body with a sustained energy boost and mood elevation, by switching to fiber-rich carbohydrates, such as breads, rice, pasta, low-sugar cereals, and starchy vegetables. Coffee is a mixed bag. One to two cups a day boosts energy and mood, but more than that — especially in people who are unknowingly sensitive to caffeine—can fuel the fatigue spiral. Never consume sugar and caffeine together, and include the occasional sweet treat with a meal — don’t eat sweets alone.
Food & Mood By Elizabeth Somer MA RD, page 274
Using sugar as a quick fix for dwindling energy results in a temporary high. In the long run, it could create a vicious cycle. “The person suffering from chronic tiredness and depression who turns to sugary foods may relieve the fatigue and feel better for a short while, but the depression and fatigue return,” says Dr. Chris-tensen. The person then must either reach for another sugar fix or seek help elsewhere. As opposed to the temporary sugar high, eliminating sugar and caffeine from the diet is a permanent solution. “Ninety percent of our patients went cold turkey [eliminated all sugar and caffeine from the diet}. They felt worse at first, but an overwhelming number of them felt better and had more energy within a week,” says Dr. Christensen.
Food & Mood By Elizabeth Somer MA RD, page 110
It is also interesting to note that several studies have found caffeine intake to be extremely high in individuals with psychiatric disorders. Another interesting finding is that the degree of fatigue experienced is often related to the quantity of caffeine ingested. In one survey of hospitalized psychiatric patients, 61% of those ingesting at least 750 mg/day (at least five cups of coffee) complained of fatigue, compared with 54% of those ingesting 250-749 mg/day, and only 24% of those ingesting less than 250 mg/day.
Textbook of Natural Medicine Volumes 1-2 by Joseph E Pizzorno and Michael T Murray, page 433
“Caffeinism and chronic fatigue“
“Caffeinism” is a state of chronic toxicity resulting from excess caffeine consumption. Caffeinism usually combines physical addiction with a wide range of debilitating effects, most notably anxiety, irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbance, depression, and fatigue.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 36
Although caffeine consumption provides temporary stimulation, regular caffeine intake may actually lead to chronic fatigue. While mice fed one dose of caffeine demonstrated significant increases in their swimming capacity, when the dose of caffeine was given for six weeks, a significant decrease in swimming capacity was observed.
Encyclopedia Of Natural Medicine by Michael T Murray MD Joseph L Pizzorno ND, page 368
Caffeine does not provide energy—only chemical stimulation. The perceived “energy” comes from the body’s struggle to adapt to increased blood levels of stress hormones. In most cases, this induced emergency state leads to well-defined side effects collectively known as caffeinism. Ironically, caffeinism is characterized by fatigue.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 10
While coffee, tea and other substances containing caffeine may be used as stimulants to overcome the toxic effects of sedative drug poisoning, they tend to charge the adrenals and thus deplete the body’s reserves.
Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra CA ND, page 241
Let’s face it, remaining healthy and strong throughout life is a battle. Caffeine is the Trojan horse. It looks like a gift but instead delivers adrenal stress, low blood sugar, mood and energy swings, fatigue, depression, malnutrition, and disturbed sleep. By now, you are starting to see the full scope of how caffeine affects the quality of life. Caffeinism is a gradual and at first imperceptible disorder.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 94
The truth about caffeine and energy is finally getting out. Physicians are starting to warn their patients about caffeine “rebound,” and an article in U.S. News & World Report listed caffeine addiction as a major cause of fatigue, including a “crash” that occurs after caffeine “buzz” wears off. People who become aware of this powerful influence on energy and mood and take steps to improve their energy naturally can experience remarkable improvements in their quality of life.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 119
The caffeine connection has been hidden by the fact that treatment for adrenal dysfunction disorders tends to be shortsighted and one-dimensional. As I have explained before, understanding the health effects of caffeine requires a long view, perhaps encompassing most of one’s lifetime. And from that long-term view, a two-phase phenomenon is revealed.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 205
Another concern is that caffeine addiction often occurs along with other substance abuses, nicotine and sugar most commonly. Caffeine, like sugar, over stimulates the adrenals and then weakens them with persistent or chronic use. First, sugar stimulates and weakens the adrenals, which creates fatigue. Then we use caffeine to keep us aware and awake, further depleting our adrenals, to which many respond by drinking more caffeine with sugar. In addition, people who overuse caffeine tend to need more tranquilizers and sleeping pills to help them relax or sleep.
Staying Healthy With Nutrition by Elson M Haas MD, page 937
Reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet. Caffeine puts additional stress on your adrenal glands.
Enhancing Heart Health by Matthew budoff MD FACC, page 61
But caffeine overstimulates the nerves and glands. It drains the adrenal system, damages the thyroid, and can trigger heart arrhythmias. In female and male menopause, caffeine plays a role: Breast cysts and lumps are common in women, while men suffer from caffeine-induced prostate problems.
Food Swings by Barnet Meltzer MD, page 56
In Phase 1 of the caffeine/adrenal relationship, stress hormones are pumped out in excessive amounts. This action suppresses immunity and increases risk for a number of health disorders, especially cardiovascular disease. It also lowers production of DHEA, a hormone critical to the optimum functioning of your immune, cardiovascular, reproductive, and nervous systems.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 208
The active ingredient in kola nut is caffeine. It is used both for its stimulating action as well as its flavor and color in various soft drinks. Its use for depression and fatigue, therefore, is purely symptomatic. A continual reliance on such symptomatic treatments as this and others such as coffee or tea (Camellia sinensis) for tiredness and fatigue is bound to deplete further the body’s reserves, setting one up for more chronic degenerative conditions. Fatigue and tiredness usually have a cause that should be discovered and treated at a deeper level with diet, herbs and appropriate physiotherapy and lifestyle adjustments.
The Way Of Herbs by Michael Tierra, page 150
Although acute caffeine consumption provides stimulation, regular caffeine intake may actually lead to chronic fatigue. While mice fed one dose of caffeine demonstrated significant increases in their swimming capacity, when the dose of caffeine was given for 6 weeks, a significant decrease in swimming capacity was observed.
Textbook of Natural Medicine Volumes 1-2 by Joseph E Pizzorno and Michael T Murray, page 433
Caffeine depletes the body of B vitamins, which you need for proper brain and nervous system functioning and for converting food to energy, says Michael Murray, N.D., a naturopathic physician in Seattle and author of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Getting Well Naturally. To make matters worse, it also prevents iron absorption, says Dr. Murray, which can lead to anemia, a condition in which you have too few oxygen-carrying red blood cells and which is a major contributor to fatigue.
The Complete Book Of Alternative Nutrition by Selene Y Craig, page 389
“After prolonged ‘caffeinism,’ your body enters a state of adrenal exhaustion”
Habitual caffeine use ultimately leads to Phase 2, what has been called adrenal insufficiency or adrenal exhaustion. This condition bears more than a casual resemblance to the post-traumatic stress syndrome experienced by soldiers returning from combat. In effect, the adrenal glands simply wear out from chronic stimulation.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 206
But with caffeine, we don’t provide the glands anything to make that hormone out of—we just cry “emergency” and force them to figure it out, one way or another. So the body reaches down into its reserves and makes more hormone because it thinks it is the right thing to do. Caffeine forces your glands to secrete when they don’t have much left to give, and they have to keep digging deeper and deeper, making you more and more tired over time. And over the years, it takes more and more coffee to get the same result. Some people reach the point of drinking half a dozen or more cups a day and it’s barely keeping them awake. That’s severe adrenal depletion.
Herbal Defense by Ralph T Golan ND, page 280
Another concern is that caffeine is often consumed along with other substances such as nicotine and sugar. Like sugar, caffeine overstimulates the adrenals and then weakens them with persistent or chronic use. A cycle develops where first sugar stimulates and weakens the adrenals, creating fatigue to which we then respond by drinking caffeine to stay awake. In addition, people who overuse caffeine tend to need more tranquilizers and sleeping pills to help them relax or sleep. Caffeine is a lifetime drug for many. We begin at a young age with hot chocolate or chocolate bars, move into colas or other soft drinks, and then add coffee and tea.
The New Detox Diet by Elson M Haas MD, page 30
Dr. Hibbs describes a male patient suffering from many effects of stress, including fatigue and constipation. The patient relied heavily on coffee to keep him going physically and had developed chronic adrenal fatigue. Dr. Hibbs took him off caffeine and sugar, which are both stimulants and were taxing his system. Appropriate exercise and dietary changes were made and he was put on adrenal supportive supplements containing glandular tissue, herbs, and nutrients. His bowel habits normalized quickly and remained that way when he stopped the adrenal supplements several months later.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 688
The adrenal exhaustion/stress/fatigue/hypoglycemia syndrome is tied to caffeine use as well. Caffeine has an overall effect of increasing blood sugar (especially when it is sweetened), as it stimulates the adrenals. Both stress and sugar use tend to pressure and weaken the adrenal function. Recovery from the resulting fatigue requires rest, stress reduction, and sugar avoidance, but caffeine can override this fatigue and restimulate the adrenals. This process can eventually lead to chronic fatigue, adrenal exhaustion, and subsequent inability to handle stress and sugar intake. Caffeine will then be of little help.
Staying Healthy With Nutrition by Elson M Haas MD, page 942
Research is revealing that cortisol and DHEA, both produced in the adrenal cortex, hold an inverse relationship. As serum cortisol increases, DHEA levels fall. It may be that stress and caffeine create such a high need for cortisol that the exhausted adrenals simply cannot maintain production of DHEA at optimal levels.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 68
Caffeine is undeniably an effective central nervous system stimulant. It stimulates the brain, increases the secretion of adrenaline (epinephrine), and boosts heart rate. Although relatively safe, long-term use in excess of 250 to 300 mg daily may cause numerous health problems. Caffeine has been known to raise blood-cholesterol levels, deplete B vitamins, irritate the stomach and bladder, exhaust the adrenals, and possibly lead to breast and prostate problems.
Off The Shelf Natural Health How To Use Herbs And Nutrients To Stay Well By Mark Mayell, page 112
Far too many people overconsume caffeine, however. This occurs, I think, because people simply do not have enough natural energy. Instead of getting enough sleep, nutrients, and exercise to provide the energy they need, people depend upon caffeine to push them through the day. The short-term price for this dependency is nervousness, irritability, insomnia, and a “rebound effect” of lethargy and mental lassitude. The long-term price is burnout of the adrenal glands, and a body that has been exhausted by artificial stimulation.
Brain Longevity by Dharma Singh Khalsa M.D. with Cameron Stauth, page 266
Fatigue, childbirth, or injury to the kidney-adrenal area, also steroid drugs or excess use of stimulants, including caffeine, to the point of adrenal exhaustion, can all harm sexual strength for men and women alike. Muscles can become weak. Blood circulation and nerve sensitivity can become impaired. These are important factors in sexual strength. Some sexologists think of the vagina as a muscle.
Asian Health Secrets by Letha Hadady DAc, page 423
According to Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O., dizziness when standing after sitting or lying down can be an indication of adrenal exhaustion. The individual should take action to restore adrenal health by stopping the use of stimulants (caffeine, tobacco, alcohol) and via rest and normalization of lifestyle and nutritional balance.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 1014
“In other words, caffeine affects your body just like any drug: Addiction and withdrawal”
Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world. Studies show that abstinence induces a withdrawal syndrome of fatigue, headache and drowsiness within 24 hours and lasts about a week, on giving up the habit.
Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Thomas Bartram, page 83
The second way that caffeine contributes to depression is, of course, the withdrawal reaction, the most prevalent symptoms being headache, depression, and fatigue. Three facts are important to grasp in regard to withdrawal. First of all, each of the symptoms compounds or magnifies the depressive effect. Secondly, withdrawal can occur even in light caffeine users. And third, withdrawal reactions can be evident even when caffeine is withheld for just a few hours. Some people feel depressed or anxious if they’re simply late for their morning or afternoon cup. That’s not only a powerful motivation to consume the beverage, but it also creates an often-unidentified source of background stress.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 112
Almost all of the research that has been done on caffeine agrees that it is definitely physically addictive. It is a mood-altering central nervous system stimulant. Though milder in its effects, caffeine manipulates the same neurochemical channels that amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin do. Overuse of caffeine can result in a variety of symptoms, including irregular heartbeat, sleeplessness, headaches, nervousness, tremors, irritability, and depression. Withdrawing from heavy caffeine use can cause symptoms, too, principally a nagging headache that is unaffected by aspirin or other over-the-counter painkillers, as well as fatigue, muscle pain, lethargy, and feelings of depression. To break a caffeine addiction, therefore, it is best to cut down gradually to avoid an uncomfortable withdrawal period.
Prescription For Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A Balch, page 230
It’s this “more” that is a double-edged sword. The initial high from caffeine is followed by mild withdrawal symptoms, one of which is fatigue. A vicious cycle can result as you drink more coffee to prevent the inevitable letdown. The fatigue, an irritable or depressed mood, and reduced work performance associated with caffeine withdrawal can begin within hours of the last cup and can last up to a week or more. People’s tolerance to caffeine varies widely. Withdrawal symptoms are reported in some people even with small amounts of daily caffeine, such as one to two cups, while other people can tolerate higher doses with no problems.
Food & Mood By Elizabeth Somer MA RD, page 105
Caffeine, which has come to be many Americans’ “drug of choice,” is highly addictive. A number of people suffer severe withdrawal symptoms—headache, fatigue, depression, muscle pains—when they abruptly stop their coffee or indeed their caffeinated tea intake. Caffeine also gives some people headaches and makes others quite anxious. Coffee in particular irritates the stomach and may stimulate the development of cysts in women’s breasts.
Manifesto For A New Medicine By James S Gordon MD, page 155
Caffeine is clearly addictive, completely unregulated, and its presence in our foods and beverages is often hidden! Almost daily I see a patient whose symptoms are made worse by the consumption of caffeine. The drug contributes to palpitations, panic attacks, hypoglycemia, gastritis, fatigue, insomnia, and PMS, to name a few. Some people are so sensitive to caffeine that they don’t realize a fruit drink with hidden caffeine can cause their symptoms.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 10
Many people are addicted to caffeine. While studies attempting to prove that caffeine is implicated in everything from heart disease to high blood pressure have never been conclusive, I believe that the damage excessive caffeine consumption does can’t be ignored. Caffeine wreaks havoc on your metabolism and creates a real stress that could precipitate symptoms including headaches, fatigue, irritability, inability to concentrate, depression, and nervousness.
Natural Prescriptions by Dr Robert M Giller, page 10
Telling whether you are addicted to caffeine is simple, says Dr. Griffiths. Just give up your caffeine sources—coffee, tea, soft drinks —for a couple of days and see if you feel tired, headachy, unmotivated, grumpy and depressed. Headaches and fatigue are the classic signs of caffeine deprivation.
Food Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper, page 277
A significant cause of general fatigue is caffeine withdrawal. Since millions of Americans have caffeine addictions, caffeine-related fatigue is a common problem. When a person accustomed to large quantities of caffeine suddenly limits his or her intake, the result will be fatigue, probably accompanied by a headache. Eliminating dependence upon coffee and other caffeinated products is crucial to maintaining health and avoiding debilitating bouts with fatigue.
Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 104
Anyone with regular caffeine intake should truly consider withdrawing from their habit until they can reach a state of occasional use and enjoyment. For caffeine detoxification, it is important to support ourselves nutritionally while we eliminate or reduce our intake. If we are clearly addicted to caffeine products or if we become pregnant, we should quit totally. Breaking the habit by tapering down or going “cold turkey” will be better handled with a good diet and adrenal support.
Staying Healthy With Nutrition by Elson M Haas MD, page 942
If your body doesn’t get its caffeine quota, it can go through a week or two of withdrawal symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, intense cravings for caffeine, constipation, anxiety, and a dim bulb where you used to have bright ideas.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 137
It is important for people with hypoglycemic-induced fatigue to alter their diets, incorporating high-fiber, protein-containing complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, into their meals, and consuming nutritious snacks during the mid-morning and afternoon. Complex carbohydrates and high-protein (from fish and vegetable sources) diets can also be useful in combating fatigue resulting from caffeine withdrawal.
Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 106
“Although the phenomenon of caffeine withdrawal has been described previously, the present report documents that the incidence of caffeine withdrawal is higher (100 percent of subjects), the daily dose level at which withdrawal occurs is lower (roughly equivalent to the amount of caffeine in a single cup of strong brewed coffee or three cans of caffeinated soft drink), and the range of symptoms experienced is broader (including headache, fatigue and other dysphoric mood changes, muscle pain/stiffness, flu-like feelings, nausea/vomiting and craving for caffeine) than heretofore recognized.”
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 189
Cut off from caffeine or limited to considerably less than they’re accustomed to, caffeine junkies complain of headaches, depression, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.
The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Women, page 99
Some people run their bodies on caffeine and not on their basic life force and the natural energy of their hormones, such as adrenal and thyroid. Caffeine, although it is not seriously addicting, is very habit forming. It is not particularly good for athletes or anyone seriously interested in their health. Although it may improve muscular work and short-term performance in both physical and mental athletes, it creates depletion by its diuretic nutrients, and foods can help balance this.
Staying Healthy With Nutrition by Elson M Haas MD, page 939
Do not consume any caffeine, alcohol, or sugar. Eating sugar in any form—including fructose and honey—promotes fatigue, increases pain, and disturbs sleep. If these substances have been a regular part of your diet, your symptoms may actually get worse for a short period as a result of the “withdrawal” effect, but after that, you should experience a noticeable improvement in your condition.
Prescription For Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A Balch CNC and James F Balch MD, page 377
Fatigue is a common symptom when you’re quitting caffeine. One way to beat it is to “thoroughly rub your ears and earlobes for a couple of minutes when you wake up in the morning,” says Dierauf.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 138
Headache isn’t the only side effect you may experience from quitting caffeine. It’s just the most obvious. Your body, which has become accustomed to drug-induced stimulation, needs to recover its natural abundant energy supply. After all, most people consume caffeine to boost their energy levels, so restoring natural energy production once you’re off the bean is critical. If you find yourself unable to muster the oomph to face the day, or crippled by “brain fog” that won’t clear, you’ll get discouraged quickly. Any program for quitting caffeine must provide a variety of successful methods to deal with fatigue so you don’t go running back to caffeine.
Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 336
Be aware that abrupt cessation of coffee drinking will probably result in symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, including fatigue, headache, and an intense desire for coffee. Fortunately, this withdrawal period doesn’t last more than a few days.
Encyclopedia Of Natural Medicine by Michael T Murray MD Joseph L Pizzorno ND, page 368
Brave Minnesota mother risks going to prison for continuing to facilitate raw milk distribution
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A Minnesota mother has decided that her state’s health department is completely out of line in demanding that she stop distributing raw milk to members of her buying club, and has chosen instead to continue helping these families in her area access this highly medicinal food even if it means going to jail.
Charlene Chan-Muehlbauer of St. Anthony Park near St. Paul, Minn., is one of several mothers involved in a local cooperative that take turns picking up raw milk from a farm 90 miles away, and hauling it back to the Twin Cities for distribution. Since Minnesota law allows for raw milk sales only on the farm (http://farmtoconsumer.org/raw_milk_map.htm), Charlene has offered to have her garage serve as a legal drop point for the milk.
In accordance with state law, members of Charlene’s buying club each pay the farm directly for their milk, and later pick it up from Charlene’s drop point. The setup is a convenient, practical way for raw milk buyers in the Twin Cities area to access their milk without having to each drive separately to the farm to pick it up.
But when officials from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) got wind of what Charlene and the others were doing, they quickly swooped in and tried to shut the whole thing down. MDA claims that the drop point violates state law, even though it clearly does not.
“People are not buying milk from me — they’re buying from the farm,” said Charlene to the Twin Cities Daily Planet (TCDP). “It’s not like this is a hallucinogenic substance. I don’t think [I'm doing] anything wrong or illegal … I’m willing to go to jail. But to be jailed for something like this, it’s just wrong.”
Practicing civil disobedience in the face of government tyranny promotes liberty
Charlene’s decision to stand up for her freedom of food choice is one that could lead to more trouble for her and her family, as authorities in her area have convinced themselves that sharing the burdens associated with storing and transporting multiple families’ purchased milk from the farm violates state law. But it is one that she is bravely willing to take.
When Charlene’s now 22-year-old daughter Amanda tested positive for rheumatoid arthritis several years ago, the young woman ended up quickly becoming bedridden as a result of chronic, debilitating pain. But raw milk would end up being the cure for Amanda’s condition, and the motivating factor for her mother to make it accessible to others.
Charlene has continued to stand her ground in the face of government tyranny, refusing to back down to its unlawful demands. And in the process, she is setting a powerful example for the rest of us to follow, should we, too, be faced with rogue statists hellbent on stealing away our freedoms.
If only we had more Charlenes in the world who were not afraid of government threats, who bravely stood up for what they believed in no matter what the cost. This type of civil disobedience, after all, is how real liberty is both promoted and preserved. Are you willing to follow Charlene’s lead in the face of tyranny?
Sources for this article include:
Did you know that the average American drinks 450 calories
That’s 2 X what American’s consumed 30 years ago and just
an extra 225 calories per day adds up to 23 pounds of fat gain
each and every year!
We are literally drinking ourselves not just fat, but even dumb
in some cases. (more about that in a minute)
Do you remember this commercial back in the day?…
“This is your brain … AND THIS is your brain on drugs!”
…as they cracked an egg and dropped it on a skillet. It might
not hit “close to home,” but it definitely delivered a clear
Here’s something that might hit you right between the eyes…
The photo on the left is a healthy brain … and the photo on
on the right is your brain on too much sugar and caffeine!
Now you may be saying, “Hold on Chad; there’s tons of
research that proves coffee actually decreases the chances
And you would be right. But to be fair, it’s not clear if that is
from caffeine or other properties in coffee.
Did you know that Caffeine:
- Restricts blood flow to the brain – Anything that restricts
blood flow leads to premature aging.
- Dehydrates the brain and body: Your body is 80% water,
so staying hydrated is really important.
- Interferes with sleep: Caffeine blocks a chemical called
adenosine, which signals to the brain when it’s time to sleep.
- Is ADDICTIVE: If you’ve ever tried to kick caffeine, you may
have noticed withdrawl symptoms.
- Accelerates heart rate and raises blood pressure.
- Can cause an upset stomach: gastrointestinal issues are
common with caffeine use.
- Can elevate Inflamation: there have been two studies that
showed just 200mg (two cups of coffee) raised inflamation in
the body, which can lead to gaining weight faster and even
lead to heart disease.
…and EVEN interfere with fertility.
Over time, people can start having impaired judgement,
memory loss, and experience early stages of dementia before
they reach 50.
Is it any wonder that brain-related diseases are on the rise?
MORE BAD NEWS! If you’re trying to lose weight, caffeine has
been shown to reduce insulin sensitivity and raise blood-sugar,
which translates to gaining fat faster.
So, you can imagine the damage those sugary, caffeinated drinks
have on your waistline.
And now it’s a double whammy with the affect is has on memory
We have to be careful with all the processed foods and environmental
toxcities you need to protect your brain and body in general.
So how do you do that…
Protect your brain and your body?
The obvious is drink more water, to stay hydrated. Next…
Trade your coffee (and energy drinks) in for Green Tea, which will
not only help with oxidizing fat but 2-3 cups per day in research
studies has been shown to reverse the age of your DNA. That’s
right, people who drink the green stuff have younger looking DNA.
You can also eat berries like strawberries, blue berries and black
berries to reverse aging and increase your memory and ability
Also, there is a doctor who has been doing extensive reseach
and spending MILLIONS on a new approach that many are saying
is repairing the years of damage of poor nutrition and various
No one could have guessed the solution was hiding in plain sight!
The research that is revealed at the link above reveals how you can
repair the holes in your brain (like in the image above).
To your mental and physical health,
What would you say if I told you that cow’s milk may not be as good for you as you might think? The idea that the milk that we know and love might actually be bad for us is not exactly an accepted idea in American society.
We see commercials produced by the diary industry plastered with facts about how milk can help us lose weight and lower our cholesterol and prevent osteoporosis. We use sayings that link milk to purity (‘as wholesome as milk’) almost from day one. In fact, if there’s one thing that most of us know for a fact, it’s that milk is good for you.
According to The International Dairy Foods Association (IFDA), milk contains all the essential nutrients that our bodies need to keep us healthy. It contains calcium to prevent osteoporosis, phosphorus to help our bodies absorb the calcium, protein to help our bodies build and repair body tissue, riboflavin to help keep our skin healthy and many, many health benefits. And all we need do is consume three cups a day, every day for good health.
No one I ever knew questioned the benefits of milk consumption until I started doing research on the subject. And while there is some truth in the IFDA’s claims, there’s a great deal that the IDFA leaves out.
Claim # 1 – Milk helps prevent osteoporosis
I’ve worked in health care for a few years and I’ve always found it strange how people just discovering they have osteoporosis have said to me something along the lines of; “But I drink milk! Lots of it!”. If Milk helps prevent osteoporosis, how can you still get it?
According to the Surgeon General’s 2004 report on Bone Health, an estimated 1.5 million people over the age of 50 have bone diseases such as Osteoporosis and Osteopenia. Consider, if most people in the consume dairy products (that includes, milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.) how is it that 1.5 million people are still being diagnosed with bone loss?
Dairy products do contain a great deal of calcium, more than enough for the human body. However, it also contains a great deal of protein and sodium and not nearly enough of potassium and other essential vitamins. The end result is your body losing calcium at the same time as absorbing it. In other words, the more diary you eat, the more calcium you lose.
Claim # 2 – Milk can help you lose weight and prevent heart disease.
Everyone knows that milk contains fat. The IFDA claims that the fat in milk contains “fat soluble vitamins” necessary to a healthy diet.
The fat in diary products makes up about 5 percent of saturated fats, which sounds pretty low until one considers the recommended allowance of saturated fats (according to official U.S. dietary guidelines) is only 10 percent. That means that milk alone provides half of what the recommended allowance is for consumption of saturated fats.
In defense of the IFDA, milk does contain a more than enough B12 – a necessary vitamin that reduces the levels of homocysteine – but considering how much saturated fat is in milk and also considering the fact that you can get just as much (if not more) B12 from certain vegetables without the risk of adding saturated fats to the equation, this negates the argument that ‘milk may prevent heart disease’.
Claim # 3 – Milk is one of the most wholesome foods a person can consume.
In 1993, the FDA approved the use of injecting rBGH, or Bovine Growth Hormone, into cows to make them produce more milk. This hormone has been linked to a good number of diseases, most notably cancer, cystic ovaries, and a host of digestive problems.
Dairy cows already produce a natural form of rBGH, or BST. This hormone increases the Insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) levels in milk and is actually been shown to be beneficial for growth and development in children and babies. However, studies have shown that it also causes cancer cells to develop. When the amount of IGF-1 is increased because of the increased amount of BST in the cow, what happens is the IGF-1 becomes less of a benefit to human cells and more of a risk.
IGF-1 has been found in patients suffering from prostate, breast, and colon cancer and while the American Cancer Society has stated that “Extensive testing and research has shown that rBST is indistinguishable from natural bovine growth hormone and thus entails no health risks for consumers”, they make no mention of the increase of IGF-1 in cow’s milk and its effect on human cells.
Now, I’m not above the argument that cow’s milk still has benefits to good health. Given that it is fortified with vitamins that we all need, it can be suggested that dairy products have their good points. But an informed decision to consume milk is far better than an uninformed one. There are plenty of other foods that can give the human body what it needs and more without the risk factors that milk poses on the human body. A proper diet doesn’t have to consist of cow’s milk or any other diary product derived from it.
Published by Tekedra Strye
Although there is no such category as “national beverage,” coffee would likely win the title hands down. A staggering 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year worldwide, with Americans downing about 130 billion of them. We are so enamored of coffee that the U.S. imports more than 100 different varieties. Roughly half our supplies come from Brazil and Columbia, where millions of people tend to more than three billion coffee plants. Coffee is also grown in the temperate climate zones of Africa, Indonesia, Hawaii, and on the Caribbean islands and Arabian Peninsula. In the global marketplace, the only commodity more popular than coffee is petroleum.
Human consumption of coffee dates back thousands of years, say experts, to Ethiopian warriors who mixed ground coffee beans with fat, creating the first primitive energy bars. Arabians introduced Europeans to coffee – or “Arabian wine,” as it was then known – in the early seventeenth century. And it was in colonial coffeehouses that American revolutionaries plotted to overthrow English rule by staging the Boston Tea Party. The rest, as they say, is history.
Of course, just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for you. In the case of coffee, there are two key health issues: the risks of toxic chemicals involved in growing the beans and the effects of caffeine. But before looking at these issues more closely, it helps to understand the coffee growing process – Lesson #1 in the coffee curriculum.
Two varieties of coffee plants – coffea arabica and coffea robusta – supply the bulk of beans used in the coffee we drink. As its name suggest, coffea robusta is a hardy plant that produces a good supply of beans. On the other hand, coffea arabica is a little more delicate and produces a smaller crop of beans, but they are widely considered more flavorful than robusta’s. Brilliant scarlet berries develop on mature plants of both varieties about six months after blossoms appear. These berries contain one to three coffee beans. Depending on the grower, the berries are either carefully hand picked at peak ripeness or commercially harvested, a process that also dumps older berries and blossoms into the mix.
After picking the beans are either wet (“washed”) or dry (“natural”) processed. Machines are used to separate the pulp from the bean in the more modern wet method, and then the beans are fermented in vats, washed and sun- or machine-dried. In dry processing, the berries are literally left out in the sun for several weeks. After all the moisture is removed, the husk is peeled away and the beans are removed. They are then graded according to quality, either by machine or by hand. Before going to market, each lot is evaluated by a method known as “cupping.” After roasting and brewing a sample of beans, a specialized taste-tester known as a “cupper” appraises the beans’ qualities — flavor, acid content and body.
After the cupper has rated the beans, they are roasted — heated to the bursting point — to produce flavor compounds and oils that give coffee its distinctive aroma and taste. Intense roasting produces darker beans with rich flavor and less acid than the light roasts. So the same beans that are labeled “light,” “institutional” or “cinnamon” roast can also become the deep, rich flavors of espresso, when heated almost to the point of burning.
Obviously, the pesticide health issue originates during the growing stage, when the coffee plants may be treated with as many as a dozen different petrochemical pesticides. According to the Organic Coffee Association (ORCA), the list includes DDT, Thiodan-Endosulphan, Parquat-Gramaxone, 2,4-D, Furadan-Carbofuran, Timet-Forato-Phorate, Terbufos, Diazinon, Malathion, Oxamyl, Zineb, and Acephate. Several of these have been banned in the U.S. or other countries. Others are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as “probable” or “possible” human carcinogens. And all have been shown to have dire effects on health, including everything from blurred vision and nausea to kidney failure and death. High levels of DDT in the body, for example, quadruple a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer.
To make matters worse, pesticide use is frequently unnecessary. “Coffee plants are often sprayed as a preventive measure, a guarantee against pests or disease,” says Adam Teitelbaum, co-founder of ORCA and owner of Adam’s Organic Coffees.
Why spray dangerous petrochemicals on healthy plants? That brings us to Lesson #2. Coffee plants like to grow in the shade, and those that do are generally healthy. But, they also grow more slowly than those exposed to full sun. For coffee growers who want high-volume harvests, shade growing is not productive enough. “But coffee plants grown in the sun are more vulnerable,” notes Teitelbaum, “so growers often spray them to prevent problems from developing.”
Does this mean that non-organic lattes are lethal? Should coffee carry a warning label about potential health risks? Good questions. Unfortunately, no one knows the answers. Some experts argue that pesticides are sprayed on the berries and leaves, not the beans, so the risk is minimal. And a study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that the amount of toxic residues in coffee was negligible after the roasting process. But results of an independent study, reported in “Harvest of Unknown,” were varied. In some cases, roasting did not eliminate the pesticide residues at all.
Complicating matters is the fact that very little is known about the effects of ingesting two or more of these substances at the same time. “There have been minimal studies on the interaction of carcinogens, only about a half dozen,” says Samuel Epstein, Ph.D., professor of environmental and occupational medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health and co-author of The Safe Shopper’s Bible (Macmillan; 1995). “But they do show that combining carcinogens creates a synergistic effect, making the effects more harmful together than they are individually.”
The Consequences of Caffeine
No class on coffee would be complete without a look at caffeine. For thousands of years, humans have been ingesting this naturally occurring substance, produced by some sixty different plants. Today, caffeine is the most popular stimulant in the world. A member of the family of compounds known as methylxanthines, caffeine affects areas of the central nervous system. In the process, it not only revs up the brain cells, but also increases pulse rate, blood pressure, metabolism and production of stomach acid. Habitual caffeine users, however, develop some tolerance to these effects.
Dozens of studies have tried to determine the effects of coffee on health. Most experts feel the results have been inconclusive, especially when it comes to long-term consequences. And for every promising finding – like caffeine’s apparent ability to prevent gallstones – there is a downside, such as a link between caffeine and osteoporosis.
Here are a few of the recent good news/bad news findings:
In the good news column:
· In a test of eight beverages, including red wine, orange juice, and green, oolong and black teas, caffeinated coffee received the best score for free-radical scavenging;
· Coffee was as effective as extracts of black tea, green tea and China tea at slowing growth of diarrhea-causing bacteria, such as salmonella;
· Researchers found coffee provided more protection against colorectal cancer than cooked vegetables (although it was not as effective as whole grains, raw vegetables or fruit);
· Men who drank at least 28 ounces of coffee daily were less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, a neurological condition that affects movement. Furthermore, researchers identified caffeine is the responsible ingredient, not some other substance in coffee.
On the bad news side:
· Starting the morning with four or five cups of coffee raises stress hormone and blood pressure levels for hours afterward, mimicking the effect of having a stressful day. Elevated levels of stress hormones can weaken the immune system.
· Moderate to heavy coffee drinking (more than 100 mg daily) during the first trimester of pregnancy increases the risk of spontaneous abortion;
· After surveying 1,200 adults, Australian scientists concluded that coffee was an aggravating factor in heartburn;
· High coffee consumption was listed as a risk factor for heart failure, along with aging, smoking, alcohol abuse, obesity and high blood pressure.
Coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine, though. While one cup of brewed coffee can contain anywhere from 90 to 150 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, tea’s caffeine content ranges from 30 to 70 mg, a chocolate candy bar can have 30 mg and many sodas provide roughly 35 to 50 mg. Read the fine print on some pain relief and cold medications, too; a number of these products have hefty doses of caffeine.
It may be years before we know whether or not commercially grown coffee has any effect on our health. In the meantime, more and more coffee lovers and conscientious shoppers are opting for organic and politically correct (see sidebar) beans. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, organic coffee sales are small – roughly about 10 percent of the entire market – but this segment is also the most rapidly growing category in the field – for very good reasons.
Getting the Junk Out of the Java
To paraphrase Deuteronomy, coffee is not made by beans alone. If you choose to drink organic coffee, keep your cup “clean” by avoiding other harmful substances. Here’s how:
If your tap water is heavily treated or doesn’t taste good, make your coffee with the freshest, most pure water available.
Decaf your drink? Make sure the caffeine was removed safely, via either a CO2 (carbon dioxide) system or the Swiss water process. By soaking coffee beans in water filled with all the extracts from an earlier soaking except caffeine, the second batch releases only its caffeine. Traditional decaffeinating methods may involve solvents like methylene chloride — an FDA “suspected” carcinogen and banned substance, which can still be used in the decaffeination process if residue measures no more than 10 ppm (parts per million).
The snowy white coffee filters made from bleached paper contain – surprise! – chlorine bleach. It’s not hard to find the unbleached variety or oxygen-whitened filters, but many coffee connoisseurs shudder at the thought of the papery taste they leave behind. That’s why gold filters are a favorite of many coffee lovers.
Adding half-and-half, milk or sugar? Make sure they’re organic. Conventional dairy products can contain rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone), a genetically modified substance that increases milk production substantially. Because there are so many questions regarding long-term health effects of dairy products containing rBGH, Canada does not allow the hormone and many U.S. health experts and consumers believe it could be harmful.
Like organic coffee, the market for organic sugar is growing rapidly, with demand increasing between 20 and 30 percent each year. Non-organic sugar may have been treated with pesticides, herbicides and chemical-based fertilizers – in other words, nothing that belongs in a cup of organic coffee.
How Politically Correct is Your Coffee?
In addition to health concerns, there are other issues involved in the pesticide vs. organic debate. One is the health risk for millions of Third World coffee workers, who often don’t wear protective gear and aren’t aware of proper petrochemical handling methods, appropriate application amounts or even that they are handling dangerous substances. Some activist groups are also concerned about the very low prices Third World growers and coffee workers receive for their labor, and have instituted a “fair trade” approach, designed to provide a living wage to those who provide us with our coffee. Then are there are the serious environmental consequences of pesticides, including poisoning of birds, insects, fish and animals, as well as water and soil contamination.
To help consumers identify how coffee is grown, a labeling system was developed, but the terms can be confusing. Here’s what they mean:
Organic: Grown without the use of pesticides.
Bird-friendly: Technically, the “bird friendly” label is a trademarked certification growers obtain from the Smithsonian Institution’s Migratory Bird Center. “Bird-friendly coffee that meets the Smithsonian’s requirements is organic,” explains David Griswold, president of Sustainable Harvest, Inc., “but it’s used loosely by growers who don’t have the official seal, too.”
Shade-grown: In theory, shade-grown coffee should be organic, but to be sure, look for a brand that specifically states the coffee is free of pesticides.
Fair trade: Certified Fair Trade coffee guarantees small farmers are paid a minimum price of $1.26 per pound. The money goes to farmer-directed co-ops, where it is used to improve communities, as well as the lives of farmers and their families. About 500,000 farmers participate in fair trade agreements.
Sustainable: “Sustainable agriculture means growing a product in a way that doesn’t harm future generation’s ability to do the same,” explains Griswold. “In terms of coffee, sustainable is an umbrella term used to indicate a product that meets the requirements of fair trade, organic, and shade-grown labels, which makes it absolutely bird-friendly,” says Griswold. Be aware, however, that there is no official seal for sustainable produce as yet.
Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee
All right, class, listen and learn, as coffee aficionado and author (Great Coffee: TheCoffee Lover’s Guide; Bridge-Logos, 2001) Kevin Sinnott – the man The ChicagoTribune called “the real Mr. Coffee” – explains how to make a world-class cup of java.
1. First, says Sinnott, don’t be stingy with the coffee. “Two tablespoons of ground coffee per six to eight ounces of water is the right range,” he notes. “Using too little coffee actually makes coffee bitter.”
2. For best flavor, don’t grind the beans too fine. “Grind controls the flow of water through the grounds,” Sinnott explains, “and it determines how much surface area is exposed to the water.” A serious coffee devotee should spend more money on the grinder than on the coffee maker, he adds.
3. Temperature is a factor that can’t be controlled with automatic coffee makers, says Sinnott, but his website – http://www.coffeecompanion.com — offers results of temperature tests on various machines, along with loads of other tips. If you use a manual coffee maker, combine grounds with 200 degree F. water, which usually occurs about one minute after boiling water has been removed from its heat source.
4. After the grounds have been in the hot water for five minutes, the coffee is done. “Most coffee tastes bitter,” Sinnott explains, “because many coffee makers take up to thirteen minutes to make a full pot.”
5. Finally, Sinnott recommends buying only enough whole beans to last one week. Grind only as much as you need for a pot of coffee at one time, and store the rest in an airtight container. Brewed coffee only tastes fresh for about 45 minutes, so making small amounts throughout the day is the only way to keep get real fresh-brewed flavor.
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Shetty M, Subbannayya K, Shivananda PG. “Antibacterial activity of tea (Camellia sinensis) and coffee (Coffee arabica) with special reference to Salmonella typhimurium.” The Journal of Communicative Diseases 1994 Sep; 26(3):147-50.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals who should be consulted before making changes in diet or supplements, for diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and injuries, and for medication advice.
Published by Marie Moneysmith
Powdered coffee ‘creamer’ isn’t food, it’s processed chemicals
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Every day, millions of Americans add powdered coffee “creamer” products to their morning cups of joe because they falsely believe that these substances are somehow healthier than real cream. But little do they know that most coffee creamer products contain no actual cream, or food for that matter, as they are really nothing more than a crafty blend of toxic chemicals.
When powdered coffee creamers first came onto the scene back in the 1950s, they actually contained real dehydrated cream and sugar, which made them a convenient, non-perishable source of cream for coffee. Over time, however, manufacturers began to phase out the cream, and replace it with things like processed vegetables oils, stabilizers, chemical sweeteners, and other additives that were less expensive and that more easily dissolved in coffee.
Today, the average canister of so-called “creamer” substitute contains not a trace of actual food, at least not food in the technical sense of the word. Take the Coffee-Mate brand of coffee creamer, for instance. The original powder flavor contains corn syrup solids, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and a handful of stabilizing, emulsifying, and flavoring chemicals (http://www.coffee-mate.com).
Not only is there no “cream” of any kind in Coffee-Mate’s Original Powder, but there are also no natural food ingredients whatsoever. This is why some countries actually require that powdered coffee additives be called “whiteners” rather than “creamers,” since they do not actually contain any real cream.
Corn syrup solids and hydrogenated oils are highly-toxic ‘non-foods’
Though both are derived from real food, corn syrup solids and hydrogenated oils are not technically foods themselves. To produce corn syrup solids, corn kernels are first transformed into corn starch, which is then chemically treated with hydrochloric acid, a highly-corrosive, industrial chemical solution that is also used to make plastic materials. The resulting liquid goo is then processed again and dried to form dried crystals — delicious, eh?
And hydrogenated oils are produced using a similar chemical process that involves subjecting already heated, pressurized, and highly processed oils to various chemical catalysts and metals such as nickel and platinum that change its density and molecular structure. The final product is the definition of a trans-fat, which are linked to causing heart disease and death (http://www.naturalnews.com/027445_fat_fats_trans.html).
Then, there are ingredients like sodium caseinate, a milk derivative; mono- and diglycerides; sodium aluminosilicate; and artificial flavor, all of which are non-foods as well. Sodium caseinate, for instance, is derived from a milk protein known as casein using a chemical extrusion process. The chemical alteration is so significant that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not even consider the final product to be a dairy product.
And sodium aluminosilicate is an anti-caking, flow agent chemical additive produced specifically for use in processed food items, laundry detergents, and other dry, powdered products. Like its name implies, sodium aluminosilicate contains toxic aluminum, which is linked to organ and tissue damage, bone disorders, gastrointestinal problems, Alzheimer’s disease, cell damage, and other problems (http://www.angelfire.com).
If dairy is problematic for your dietary needs but you still want to add creamer to your coffee, it is important to always read ingredient labels and carefully avoid all powdered creamer products that contain artificial ingredients.
Some great non-dairy alternatives to conventional creamer products include liquid coconut creamers like those made by So Delicious (http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com), for instance. Fresh coconut cream or milk (http://www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com) and homemade almond milk (http://georgiapellegrini.com/2012/03/07/recipes/homemade-almond-milk/), are several other useful options as well.
Sources for this article include:
What They NEVER Want You To Find Out About Real Butter
By Brian St. Pierre, CSCS, CISSN
If you want to talk about much-maligned foods, butter is right up there at the top of the list. Health authorities have been telling us for years that foods like butter, rich in saturated fat, are clogging our arteries and causing heart disease. So they told us to replace them with trans-fat laden margarine, and how did that turn out? Then came polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and new research is linking these omega-6 rich fats to all sorts of health problems, including potentially increased risk of cancer.
The real question is, was there ever a problem with butter in the first place? The answer just might surprise you.
There is actually a good amount of research, in several populations, that shows that full-fat dairy consumption is associated with lower BMI, lower waist circumference, and lower risk of cardiovascular disease (especially stroke). Low-fat or fat-free dairy is actually often associated with increased BMI and waist circumference.
In fact Dr. Ronald Krauss, one the world’s leading lipid researchers, directly showed that while saturated fat from dairy does raise LDL, it is an increase in large, fluffy and benign LDL – not the small, dense and atherogenic LDL. This actually decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease!
Now there is a clear difference between butter and dairy from grain and corn fed cows on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations that are milked nearly year-round, given growth hormones and antiobiotics and live in their own waste compared to cows on small farms that eat grass, get exercise, fresh air and sunshine and are only milked based on their seasonal reproductive cycle. The quality of life, and therefore quality of milk and dairy products is vastly different.
Butter from grass-fed cows contains a boatload of powerful vitamins and healthful fatty acids. These vitamins are fat-soluble, and they are bonded to the fatty acids in the dairy, and are therefore nearly non-existent in fat-free dairy. The fat is where vitamins A, D, E and K2 are, as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), butyric acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and medium chain triglycerides.
CLA is present in human body fat in proportion to dietary intake, and has been shown to be a powerful ally in the fight against cancer. Meat and dairy from grass-fed animals provide the richest source of CLA on the planet, containing three to five times more CLA than feedlot-raised animals. CLA has been found to greatly reduce tumor growth in animals, and possibly in humans as well.
In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet had a 60% lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels. Simply switching from conventionally-raised grain-fed meat and dairy to pasture-raised grass-fed versions would have placed all the women in the lowest risk category. A good grass-fed butter will contain about 110mg of CLA per tbsp.
Vitamin D is pretty much the best thing since sliced bread and any time you can get some from food is always a good thing. Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with lowered immunity, increased risk of 17 cancers and counting, increased risk of heart disease, psychological and neurological disorders including ADD and depression, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, bone loss, loss of muscle mass and strength as we age and more.
Omega-3s are absolutely amazing, as they may improve nerve, brain, eye, heart and cardiovascular function as well as decreasing inflammation, joint pain, arthritis, psychological disorders, and risk of breast cancer and heart disease, all while improving mood and body composition! Unfortunately grain-fed butter contains only about 40mg, but a good grass-fed butter will contain about 120mg per tbsp!
Medium chain triglycerides are unique fatty acids that are more readily utilized as fuel rather than stored as energy. Particular ones like lauric acid contain anti-viral and anti-microbial properties. Vitamins A and E are powerful antioxidants. Butryric acid may help with bodyweight regulation, and is a primary fuel source for our intestinal flora.
Notice that I didn’t mention vitamin K2 yet? That is because I was saving what might be the best for last. Several studies have found that a higher vitamin K2 (mostly from vitamin K2-MK4) intake is associated with a lower risk of heart attack, ischemic stroke, cancer incidence, cancer mortality and overall mortality. Men with the highest vitamin K2 consumption had a 51% lower risk of heart attack mortality and a 26% lower risk of all cause mortality compared to men consuming the lowest amount!
One of the ways vitamin K2 improves cardiovascular health is its ability to decrease arterial calcification by 30-40%. And, this only speaks to vitamin K2’s effects of cardiovascular health; it is also crucially important for proper fetal development and bone health, to name a few additional benefits.
Vitamin K2-MK4 is only found in animal products and the best known sources are grass-fed butter and foie gras (fatty goose liver).
Butter Might Prevent Diabetes?
Yes, it is true. Recently Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian and colleagues at Harvard found that blood content of trans-palmitoleate was associated with a smaller waist circumference, higher HDL cholesterol, lower serum triglycerides, lower C-reactive protein, lower fasting insulin and lower calculated insulin resistance.
In fact people with the highest trans-palmitoleate levels had 1/3 the risk of developing diabetes over the three years of the study!
Want to know what the dietary sources of trans-palmitoleate are? Dairy fat and red meat are virtually the only source of this fatty acid. In this study most of the trans-palmitoleate came specifically from dairy fat.
Well, it seems that consuming butter from grass-fed cows will make your LDL larger, fluffier and less likely to cause heart disease. It will also provide you with cancer-fighting CLA, as well as artery clearing vitamin K2-MK4. To top it all off it might also decrease your risk of diabetes. Sounds like a pretty good food to me!
The Shocking Truth About The FISH OIL You Are Taking Now. Warning: Do NOT Take Any Fish Oil Until You Read This News
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