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August 15, 2006

Comments

If it's a new finding, it's not necessarily a good idea to act on it right away. It may only work on white men between 35 and 55 and be a bad idea for black women over 80, it may be because coffee drinkers tend to be more affluent, or any number of things.

While this doesn't apply to coffee, there's also the effects of recommending something to the public. Doctors don't want to recommend alcohol drinking even though it lowers heart disease because they're afraid they'll kill more people through drunk driving by all the people who take up drinking than they'll save from heart attacks.

If it's a new finding, it's not necessarily a good idea to act on it right away. It may only work on white men between 35 and 55 and be a bad idea for black women over 80, it may be because coffee drinkers tend to be more affluent, or any number of things.

While this doesn't apply to coffee, there's also the effects of recommending something to the public. Doctors don't want to recommend alcohol drinking even though it lowers heart disease because they're afraid they'll kill more people through drunk driving by all the people who take up drinking than they'll save from heart attacks.

Imho, the "don't try this at home" advice only shows up for things people like. You don't get that sort of caveat about trying a low-fat diet.

Food industry always sponsor such research which would produce result favoring their product. Take this with grain of salt. Tobaco industry also find that nicotine can prevent or slow down alzheimer disease. The harmful effect from coffee drink will not be published for sure. Any burned or baked brown color materials are actually carcinogen. So FDA or NIH should study carcinogenic effect of coffee.

Whatever good there is in coffee, it's also been implicated in a number of stomach ailments including IBS, GERD and Barrett's esophagus. If someone suffers from these there may be better sources of vitamins.

Nancy Lebovitz,
I think you're too harsh on the scientists. Their advice is based on theory, not evidence. It may be lousy, but it's better than the individual studies.

Also, the particular point of fat is a long story. Fifty years ago, the department of agriculture stressed it as one of the five food groups.

Nothing has ever beaten a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

Excessive coffee consumption can contribute to cardiovascular diseases, auto immune disorders, arthritis, rheumatism, kidney stones, gout, urinary problems, osteoporosis, anemia, and most importantly of all, nasty yellowed teeth.

I'm sure we've all noticed how the food intustry yanks us back and forth. First butter is bad, so eat margarine; now margarine is bad, so go back to butter. One time liver was soooooo good for you; now it's too high in cholesterol. On and on and on.

Coffee, like all foods, probably has some good things going for it, and some bad. Some of the bad have been mentioned, including arhythmia of the heart and cystic breast disease.

Moderation in all things is the answer; not this sort of faldera study that proves nothing at all.

'a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.'...

'Balanced'? Around what? 'Healthy lifestyle'- that would be a circular definition... also unuseful. And yes, coffee can do also sorts of nasty things, but the mentioned study does show a decrease of death from all sources, so there are obviously benefits as well. I recall a study showing dramatic decreases in heart disease deaths for individuals with moderate consumption and a particular metabolism-related allele.
Personally I think that people discount the importance of individual variations in metabolism. My wife with her norwegian-german bloodline can drink a gallon of whole milk a day; 90% of the rest of humanity would probably do poorly with that choice. For coffee there's important variation too as mentioned.

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