Don’t laugh, this seeming contradiction is exactly what they’re telling us nowadays. In recent months we’ve seen an alarming rise in attacks (ok, “evaluations”) against foods and supplements that other more comprehensive studies have shown to be the healthiest that you can consume. Whats up with all that?? I’m not a “conspiracy” type, but there does seem to be some particular agenda showing itself.
I’m referring to the recent media blitz against omega 3s, L-carnitine, eggs, and now once again, coffee. These foods have been healthy, reliable staples for centuries and yet when any inconclusive, highly uncontrolled and very general review shows up the media and other groups ballyhoo it as a shocking revelation. Of course once all the panic and adrenaline settles down, a little critical analysis often uncovers a slew of inconsistencies. I guess the sky is not falling.
If you enjoy any of these foods, relax and by all means continue your good habits. The aforementioned staples have a preponderance of evidence supporting their usage, and it would be very foolish to jump to some alternative that would be far less healthy. (remember the switch to margarine after the butter scare?)
Here’s a recent observation on the criticism of fish oil. The latest attack was against our favorite drug of choice – the evil java. I’ve been drinking about 6-8 cups (or more) of this poison since 1974 so I guess I must be just about ready to keel over! 🙂
Logic and science tell us that coffee is one of the healthiest substances you can imbibe. It rates the highest on the scale of dietary antioxidants. It contains chlorogenic acid, which can control dangerous postprandial (aftermeal) blood glucose spikes and their drastic consequences. In its green bean state it has recently shown great promise in excess weight control, and it has a clear thermogenic effect. But wait – didn’t this study just show it was harmful to you??
The study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings looked at 43,727 people from 1971 to 2002. It showed an elevated death rate of up to 53% for those drinking 28 or more cups per week. One of the studies authors Xuemei Sui concluded that “drinking more than 4 cups per day may endanger health.” But the results only pertained to those under the age of 55, which raises a little uncertainty. If it presents a negative health influence, why wouldn’t it show up in older subjects, when immunity and other factors begin to decline? There are clearly other factors at play in younger folks, most likely behavioral ones that skew the results. At least in my opinion. Again consider that other studies support coffee as a health booster.
For a sample, this larger study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. analyzed over 400,000 subjects age 50 -71 and after adjusting for smoking and other health influences concluded that men and women who drank from 2 – 6 or more cups per day had a 10%(men) to 15%(women) lower risk of dying from all the major causes: stroke, diabetes, heart disease, infections, etc. You can easily find other reviews that clearly show the benefits of coffee. I’ve reviewed many, and found that the ones supporting its usage usually are more target and variable-controlled. It pays to do your research with a critical eye!
I would like to think that coffee, eggs, fish and amino-like substances like carnitine have passed the test of time. Recent scientific evidence is coming in against highly processed foods, contaminants and sedentary lifestyles as the true sources of our health angst. So stay tuned to my website if you want the straight goods on these findings – and tip another hot one for me!