Alternative medicine Coffee


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Alternative medicine Coffee

  1. 1. Press TV Print Page 1 of 3 Alternative medicine: Coffee Thu, 27 Dec 2007 17:25:27 By Patricia Khashayar, MD., Press TV, Tehran Coffee, the widely consumed stimulant brew made from roasted beans reduces the risk of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and liver cirrhosis. Botanical: Coffea arabica (LINN.) Family: N.O. Rubiaceae Synonym: Caffea. Habitat: The two most commonly grown coffee species, Coffea canephora (Coffea robusta) and Coffea arabica are cultivated in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Description: Coffee is a stimulant drink made from roasted coffee beans. The coffee plant has evergreen leaves, and white and very decorative flowers in dense clusters at the base of its leaves. Part Used Medicinally: Seeds, leaves, caffeine Constituents: Depending on coffee type and preparation method, the caffeine content of a single serving varies. A cup of coffee, depending on its strength, may contain some 20-100mg of caffeine. Apart from caffeine, it contains oil, wax, aromatic oil, tannic acid, caffetannic acid, gum, sugar, and protein. The major physiologically active substance in coffee is the alkaloid caffeine (C8 H10 O2 N4·H2O), also called guaranine or methyltheobromine, which acts as a mild stimulant. Some types of coffee may contain significant amounts of the B-vitamin niacin. Green coffee consists of caffeine, trigonline, clorogenic acid, caffee oil, carbohydrate, protein, free amino acids, poly amins, tannin and vitamin B Roasted coffee contains less caffeine than green coffee. Apart from the above mentioned compounds it is a rich source of niacin and vitamin PP. Medicinal Uses: Coffee is a mild stimulant of the central nervous system (CNS), and helps reduce drowsiness and fatigue. However, regular use may lead to addiction. While drinking coffee improves alertness and the ability to focus, it does not improve mental performance. 3/17/2008
  2. 2. Press TV Print Page 2 of 3 Coffee is believed to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and heart diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2, liver cirrhosis, and gout. The high content of antioxidants in coffee prevents free radicals from causing cell damage. Coffee's large amount of antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, quinines and tocopherols and minerals like magnesium improve insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism and reduce the risk of diabetes. Caffeine temporarily increases heartbeat, increases the blood pressure, and stimulates the performance of the lungs. Caffeine increases basal metabolic rate (BMR), promotes urine production and relaxes smooth muscles, notably the bronchial muscle. It reduces the risk of colon cancer and gallstones. The amount of caffeine in two cups of coffee cut exercise-induced muscle pain in half. In the absence of medication coffee can help control asthma attacks, alleviate headaches, improve the mood, fight depression and prevent cavities. Trigonelline which gives coffee its aroma and bitter taste is believed to possess antibacterial and anti-adhesive properties which helps prevent dental cavities. Coffee consumption has been scientifically proven to reduce suicide rate by 13%. There is no evidence that caffeine has any harmful effect on bone status or calcium economy and causes osteoporosis. Caffeine is good for heart disease, ascites and pleuritic effusion and combines well with digitalis. It is also a powerful diuretic, but loses its effect over time. Caution: It is believed that drinking three (236 ml) cups of coffee per day (considered average or moderate consumption) does not have significant health risks for adults. Coffee's negative health effects are mostly due to its caffeine content. Drinking caffeinated coffee can cause a temporary increase in the arterial wall stiffening. It also raises cholesterol levels in some individuals and contributes to artery clogging. Excess coffee doses can increase nervousness, hand trembling, and cause rapid heartbeat. It may lead to a magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesaemia, and may be a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Consuming too much decaffeinated coffee can result in genito-urinary tract cancer and heart attack. Some studies suggest that coffee may have a dual effect on short-term memory by improving memory when the recalled information is related to the current train of thought and making recalling unrelated information difficult. Too much caffeine can produce restlessness, nausea, headache, tense muscles, sleep disturbances, and cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). Because caffeine increases the production of stomach acid it may worsen ulcer symptoms or 3/17/2008
  3. 3. Press TV Print Page 3 of 3 cause acid reflux (heartburn). Drinking coffee at night may disrupt sleep and cause insomnia. Drinking coffee (>/=180 mg caffeine) is not recommended for patients with normotensive glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Repeated daily blood pressure elevations and increases in stress reactivity caused by caffeine consumption could contribute to an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Research show relatively low or nonexistent levels of risk associated with moderate caffeine consumption in pregnant women and chronically ill individuals. However, pregnant mothers should limit their coffee and caffeine intake to 300 mg a day (2-3 cups of coffee) especially during the third trimester of pregnancy. While no studies show coffee in reasonable amounts is in any way harmful to children, caffeine medication should be avoided. PKH/HGH Count of views : 1372 © Press TV 2007. All Rights Reserved. 3/17/2008