I’m often asked about whether or not coffee is good or bad for us so I wanted to give you some more information about this, which will also apply to strong teas. Some of us seem to be able to tolerate caffeine better than others. I recommend that heavy coffee drinkers, that is those who consume more than 2-3 cups of instant coffee a day or who have more than one filter coffee a day (cappuccino, latte’s, espresso, long black, etc) in particular take steps to reduce caffeine intake.
I have been asked is the “buzz” of energy from coffee bad for me? Many people think, “I can’t get up and out in the morning without my coffee.”
Another question is how coffee causes the bowels to move. Some people say, “I am regular as clockwork as long as I drink my coffee.”
It is important to have energy and to regularly detoxify waste from the body; however, for the good coffee appears to be doing, when you understand how coffee does this, you may want to reconsider drinking coffee.
Understanding Why Coffee Affects the Bowels
Most people are aware of the ill affect of drinking coffee because it contains caffeine. Actually, coffee is a narcotic beverage. The caffeine in the coffee belongs to the same chemicals as morphine, cocaine and strychnine. It is no surprise then why people have such a difficult time, at first, letting go of coffee, and replacing it with healthier beverages. Caffeine combines with the stomach acid and forms a potent toxin. As this toxin is absorbed into your portal circulation and hits your liver, bile is released in an attempt to flush the toxin from your system. This accounts for the increase in bowel “regularity” which many coffee drinkers experience.
Coffee Contains Harmful Chemicals
Drinking decaffeinated coffee is no better than drinking regular coffee because of the large concentration of the chemical Trichloroethylene. It is used mainly as a de-greasing agent in the metal industry and as a solvent and dry cleaning agent in the clothing industry. Trichloroethylene is related to plastic chemical vinyl chloride, which has been linked to certain types of liver cancer. Columbian coffee planters have regularly used deadly pesticides on their plants for over 20 years. Some include Aldrin, Dieldrin, Chlordane and Heptachlor. Some speculate that coffee beans are the most significant source of these deadly toxins in U.S.
The extreme temperatures in the roasting process of coffee beans depletes the beans of its natural oils. Though it may enhance their aroma, high heat actually causes the oils to become rancid.
Coffee Overworks the Adrenals
Coffee has an acid-based oil which is an irritant to gastric mucosa. It simulates the secretion of gastric acidity and this results in secretion of adrenalin, which in turn stimulates insulin secretion with consequent secondary hypoglycaemia. The end results are tension, mild rise in blood pressure, 2-3 hours later a craving for sweets, low energy and mood levels, and over working of the adrenal glands. All of which negatively affects health.
Coffee Causes Nutritional Deficiencies
Heavy coffee drinkers create Thiamine (Vitamin B1) insufficiency. Symptoms of Vitamin B1 insufficiency range from fatigue, nervousness, general malaise, general aches and pains to headaches.
Regular use of coffee prevents some of the nutrients in your food from being absorbed effectively in your small intestines, which leads to further vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
The Buzz from Coffee
The “buzz” or stimulation you get from coffee actually contributes to re-bound fatigue when the stimulating effects wear off. Repeated stimulation can contribute to the exhaustion of key organs like the liver, pancreas and adrenal glands.
Long Term Coffee Drinking May Contribute to Toxic Liver
Because of the overload on the liver to detoxify chemical residues, long-term coffee drinkers often have a toxic, congested liver and impure blood. The function of the liver is to filter the blood so the blood can nourish the cells. Just like your car’s oil filter, filters the oil that gets distributed through your automobile. When the liver is congested, it cannot function properly. The blood does not get filtered and it circulates through the body depositing impure blood into the cells. The cells, then, cannot regenerate and grow healthy tissue. The long-term effect, when cells cannot regenerate, is its opposite — degenerative cells which leads to degenerative diseases.
An example of a toxic, congested liver is dark spots on the skin as the person gets older. Some people refer to them as brown or liver spots. In later years, these spots merge to the point that they no longer appear as spots, but discoloration of skin. Other examples include a lack of absorption of minerals resulting in gray hair, a protruded stomach, constipation, spastic colons, irritable bowels, a swollen or enlarged gall bladder, and high cholesterol and triglycerides, even after faithfully following a cholesterol-free or limiting diet. In fact, many new clients come to me frustrated because they have been watching their cholesterol intake for months, even years, and still have high cholesterol. This is a definite sign that the liver is congested and over-producing cholesterol.
Weaning Off Coffee
If you are a heavy coffee drinker and want to reduce your coffee consumption this needs to be done gradually. Coming off coffee “cold turkey” can produce some quite uncomfortable side effects, such as headaches and nausea. If someone is drinking, for example, eight cups of coffee a day they should go to seven cups of coffee for a couple of days, then six for a couple of days, and then five and so on. Reducing the size of your cup and the strength of the coffee is another way you can gradually reduce the amount of caffeine and wean off the coffee. Another useful tip is to say to yourself when you want to have a coffee that if you still want it in 30 minutes time you can have it then, very often people forget and the craving passes. Healthy alternatives include herbal teas, pure water, or hot water with a slice of lemon.
To improve your health, it is important to eliminate toxic substances from your diet, such as coffee and strong teas, and then detoxify the chemical residues in the liver, resulting from long-term ingestion of these substances.
Some health benefits reported from clients during and after this process are: beautiful skin (liver and brown spots disappear – even in the elderly); gray hair turns to natural colours of brown or black, cholesterol and triglycerides become normal without following a cholesterol-free diet, stomachs become flatter that never could before even with exercise, energy and endurance increases, gall bladders improve, bowels eliminate regularly without spasms or irritability, blood pressure becomes normal and many others.
For information about detoxifying the liver and helping reduce coffee consumption please contact me directly. There are natural remedies that can help with craving for coffee also.
On this site, I aim is to provide well-researched information, in order to empower readers to make informed choices about their health and wellbeing. In both alternative and allopathic medicine new discoveries are being made and there are vast choices available to people, something to be mindful of. Nicholas Dale, Naturopath is not seeking to impose his views on readers, but rather encourage them to seek out any professional help they may need (in whatever form that may take) and discover what is best for them.
Information on this site should not be taken as medical guidance or advice. Readers should always consult personally with their healthcare provider. Information published on this site is not intended to act as a substitute for advice of medical professionals, and should not be taken as such.