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Coffee Controversy and Potential Benefits of by-productsThere are two main arguments to be considered when drinking #coffee, firstly its high #antioxidant status and secondly the potential risk factors associated with the #stimulant #caffeine. There have been various studies and articles written about coffee including how it can lengthen your lifespan by lowering the risk of death from several conditions including heart disease, its ability to improve memory, mood, energy and cognitive function, or how it may help the breakdown of body fat. On the other side of the argument there are reports of people suffering from dizziness, tremors and insomnia. High doses of caffeine can be linked with anxiety, digestive issues, high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate.  A new study from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has caused headlines this week claiming that the occasional coffee can cause miscarriage for #pregnant women.

Ask any Nutritional Therapist about coffee consumption and I expect that 9 times out of ten they will seek to reduce someone’s intake – as someone who does not drink coffee the idea of giving something up that I do not consume is easy. But, for many the challenge is not simply exclusion but appropriate utilisation – because as with all foods and beverages there is a bell shaped curve between benefit and loss.

Over the last few years a number of studies exploring the potential benefits of caffeine intake have been appearing in the literature. I am of the opinion that whilst each client or patient must be looked at in terms of their overall food and fluid intake, as well as their health goals, that the knee jerk exclusion of caffeine from someone’s daily intake may need to be rethought.

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