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Coffee is a "Health Drink" 540

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the bring-my-64-ozs-of-java dept.
WoodenRobot writes "Not that it would stop an Italian or a techie from drinking the stuff, but Chiara Trombetti, of the Humanitas Gavazzeni institute of Bergamo has reported that coffee, especially espresso, is good for you and provides numerous health benefits. All the more reason to tuck into a cup o' Joe - but no more than 3 or 4 cups a day."
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Coffee is a "Health Drink"

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  • Cheers (Score:3, Funny)

    by Shivaji Maharaj (692442) <shivajimaharaj@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:10AM (#8498083) Homepage
    For Good health - there's my first dose - nothing like a rich black brazilian coffee
  • by loserbert (697119) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:11AM (#8498100) Homepage
    It's just as good as getting a hi-colonic (sp?) so keep on drinking those 4 cups a day and keep your colon clean as a whistle!

    I'm shooting for 10 cups a day, maybe I can be the first self propelled man into space.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:12AM (#8498107)
    Daily use prevents caffeine withdraw.

    Just had my first double. Thanks, Krups!
  • ...does this mean I should start? ;) I've never liked the stuff, and I manage to live without caffeine for the most part. (I don't drink soda, either.)

    Personally, I find that tea is the way to go, so I hope they have a study that shows it's healthy too.
    • by prgrmr (568806) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:16AM (#8498169) Journal
      Some Tea's are higher in caffeine than coffee, so you may not be as caffeine-free as you thought.
      • by twilight30 (84644) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:23AM (#8498246) Homepage
        I thought teas had theobromine, which was a stronger caffeine relative, not caffeine itself.

        In reply to the parent, don't start. Caffeine addiction is one of the most widespread going, and like most habits, most people don't notice their addiction until they can't stop.

        My cousin stopped drinking it years ago. Within a month, the bags under his eyes disappeared, probably from the corollary effect of actually going to bed on time.

        Unfortunately, I do really like the stuff, so call me a hypocrite...
        • by Frymaster (171343) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:42AM (#8498470) Homepage Journal
          probably from the corollary effect of actually going to bed on time

          which proves my point that coffee extends your life... not by adding more years to the end of it, when you're old and frail, but by giving you more of it now. time that would normally be wasted in sleep is yours to live with coffee!

          witness: if you drink enough coffee to get by on 6.5 hours of sleep rather than 8 then, after 35 years of continuous use you will have extended your life by a full two years ((35*365*1.5)/24/365 = 798)

          it's true.

          • by sydb (176695) <michael@wd 2 1 .co.uk> on Monday March 08, 2004 @03:12PM (#8500951)
            if you drink enough coffee to get by on 6.5 hours of sleep rather than 8 then, after 35 years of continuous use you will have extended your life by a full two years ((35*365*1.5)/24/365 = 798)

            It's better than that. We spend on average one third of our lives asleep. Therefore the two years of waking life you get by drinking coffee, is worth three years of normal life.

            Hold on, it get's even better.

            We spend another third of our normal lives at work. Of the remaining eight hours a day, I would estimate we waste four of them. Cleaning up. Washing clothes. Shopping for food. Eating food. Preparing food. Preparing drinks. Watching TV. Cleaning ourselves.

            So each hour of coffee time is worth two of mundane time, thus doubling our original life extension figure.

            Coffee extends your life by six years.

            Correcting my maths (sydb is Scottish, not American) is left as an exercise to the reader.
        • nope, sorry (Score:5, Informative)

          by sbma44 (694130) on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:51PM (#8499264)
          Theobromine occurs in cocoa products, primarily. It's chemically similar to caffeine but is generally considered to produce a "mellower" feeling. It does occur in tea, but in miniscule amounts. Theophylline does occur in tea at larger amounts -- it's also related to caffeine, but again, produces fewer jitters. Its main claim to fame is being used for treatment of asthma. While it does show up in tea, it does so in tiny amounts -- 1 mg vs 50 mg of caffeine (source [spurious.biz]).

          The "tea is different!" confusion generally comes up because caffeine can also be called theine -- it's the same chemical, though. Tea's got a lot of healthy stuff in it, but its stimulant properties work exactly the same way as coffee's -- via caffeine. The only significant difference is the average dosage.

        • Are there others out there who aren't kept up by caffeine? I can drink a cup of coffee in the middle of the day and take a nap half-an-hour later. But then, I've fallen asleep during rock concerts.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Some Tea's are higher in caffeine than coffee

        Please name a type of tea that is higher in caffeine than coffee (per serving or cup, or however you want to define it).

        Unless you're suggesting to "brew the Earl Grey a little stronger". In which case, I'll respond, "brew my coffee a little stronger".
        • I stand corrected [stashtea.com]
      • by fnj (64210) on Monday March 08, 2004 @01:41PM (#8499863)
        "Some Tea's are higher in caffeine than coffee, so you may not be as caffeine-free as you thought."

        While it's certainly possible to create a cup of tea and a cup of coffee, with the cup of tea having more caffeine than the cup of coffee, that's not how it works in actual daily life.

        Check the Caffeine FAQ [coffeefaq.com]

        From one list, for 7 oz servings:
        Drip coffee = 115-175 mg of caffeine
        Espresso = 100
        Brewed coffee = 85-135
        Instant coffee = 64-100
        Brewed tea = 40-60
        Instant tea = 30
        Iced tea = 41 (i.e., 70 for 12 oz)

        Other lists from other sources are there, and they are similar.

        Green tea is even lower than black tea. From Stash Tea [stashtea.com], we have:

        5 oz cup of coffee = 80 mg
        One bag of black tea = 40
        One bag of green tea = 20

        Health wise, green tea r00lz! But black tea is good for variety, and gives benefits as well.

        Of course, the amount you actually get depends on how long you brew the tea. I tend to prefer tea brewed for a much briefer time than many people: I like around 2 minutes, and shudder a bit when 5 bits is recommended, let alone when I see people leave the bag in the cup for 10 minutes or more. Yech. When you brew too long, you are adding mostly acid and yucky taste.
    • by Otter (3800) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:23AM (#8498248) Journal
      Coffee drinking is like gambling or smoking -- if you don't develop a taste for it, you'll be better off and the only thing you'll miss out on is satisfying cravings you don't have in the first place.

      Not that I take any of this to seriously but there's far more evidence for the health value of tea (especially green tea) and the downside is much less.

      • Coffee drinking is like gambling or smoking -- if you don't develop a taste for it, you'll be better off and the only thing you'll miss out on is satisfying cravings you don't have in the first place.

        As a gambling, smoking caffeine addict, I take offense to your (twitch) characterization of me as (tic) slave to my (cough) bad habits.
      • by dipipanone (570849) on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:22PM (#8498922)
        Coffee drinking is like gambling or smoking -- if you don't develop a taste for it, you'll be better off and the only thing you'll miss out on is satisfying cravings you don't have in the first place.

        Sorry, but that *isn't* the only thing that you'll miss out on. You'll also miss out on the experience of a wonderful food/drink that has been hugely valued by man since its discovery in Ethiopia around a thousand years ago.

        You could say exactly the same thing about fine wine, and if you say it loud enough and often enough, you might eventually convince yourself that you're right.

        Meanwhile, the rest of us will go on enjoying the complex delights of a fine, single estate arabica, or a good espresso blend, with beans roasted in the Northern Italian style -- and our lives will go on being all the richer for it.
    • by Gumshoe (191490) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:24AM (#8498267) Journal
      ...does this mean I should start? ;) I've never liked the stuff, and I manage to live without caffeine for the most part. (I don't drink soda, either.)


      Personally, I find that tea is the way to go, so I hope they have a study that shows it's healthy too.


      Tea contains caffeine too [holymtn.com], although not as much as coffee does [stashtea.com]. This is only partly relevent though as the reported health benefits of coffee isn't entirely due to the caffeine.
  • Alzheimer's disease (Score:5, Interesting)

    by derphilipp (745164) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:12AM (#8498112) Homepage
    Yes i read about it in a news magazine, that regular coffee drinkers are not so often in the group of persons who will suffer of the Alzheimer's disease when they are old.
  • Headache cure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by michael path (94586) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:13AM (#8498124) Homepage Journal
    I had been using coffee, as well as water, as my preferred headache cure for quite a while.

    However, caffiene withdrawl also creates headaches, and the article is a little on the vague side to suggest otherwise.

    Most of the other news (antioxidants, tannin, good for the liver, and asthma relief) are pretty awesome, though. Again, I'd rather see this in more details - and I can't find any English links referring to dietician Chiara Trombetti.

    Definitely good news for nerds and latte addicts everywhere.

    -m.
    • Re:Headache cure (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hamsterboy (218246)
      However, caffiene withdrawl also creates headaches, and the article is a little on the vague side to suggest otherwise.
      Actually, this is a myth. Caffiene relieves headaches, and so when you stop ingesting it, you're just feeling the headaches that were there all along.

      Don't believe me? Look at Excedrin; it's just a mixture of aspirin and caffiene.

      -- Hamster

  • Coffee is boring (Score:3, Interesting)

    by superpulpsicle (533373) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:13AM (#8498125)
    Is it me or is coffee becoming more and more boring? Even starbucks can't turn me into a coffee drinker again.

    • by mrscorpio (265337) <twoheadedboy@sto ... m minus caffeine> on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:23AM (#8498258)
      That's because Starbucks is the McDonald's of coffee, and you don't go to McDonald's for its fine cuisine! Go to your nearest independant place near a college campus for better coffee.

      Chris
      • by Rostin (691447) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:48AM (#8498545)
        It's a silly thing to argue about, but I have a lot of esteem for Starbucks. The quality of the espresso and coffee you get at a locally-owned place depends pretty heavily on things like how rigorously the baristas are trained, the quality and freshness of the beans, and so on. All these factors depend ultimately on a combination of how good a manager the owner is and how much he knows/cares about coffee (which is, btw, a far more subtle art than most people realize). Starbucks is in the business of coffee and has been for years and years. They know what they're doing. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are doing it well, because they could be doing a crappy job intentionally for business reasons, but my experience has been that Starbucks is consistently decent. It's certainly possible to get better coffee at a locally owned joint (When I was still in a college town, I always went to the locally owned places over the Starbucks, partially out of principle, but mostly because they were just as good), but it isn't absolutely going to happen. In fact, the worst "latte" I've ever had was at a locally owned place, probably because the lady running the machine had no freaking idea what she was doing.
        • Re:Coffee is boring (Score:3, Informative)

          by ipxodi (156633)
          Starbucks deserves accliam for their marketing methods and their ability to take over the marketplace. (much like our favorite whipping boy, Bill Gates.)
          However, the reason most people think Starbucks is great coffee is because A) it's consistant (like McDonalds), B) it's expensive, and C) it is a reasonable quality. (though not top quality.)
          Also they have "converted" most of the country into "west coast roast" (heavily roasted) afficionados, and very few people appreciate the "east coast" (lighter roast)
      • Re:Coffee is boring (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JordanH (75307)
        I find that ironic because, here in Ohio, USA, the real McDonald's of coffee would habe to be Tim Horton's, which is owned by the Wendy's Hamburger chain.

        Funny thing though. I like their coffee a LOT better than Starbucks and it's a lot more reasonably priced.

    • Re:Coffee is boring (Score:5, Interesting)

      by UpLateDrinkingCoffee (605179) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:31AM (#8498332)
      Boring? Sure if you are stuck on a black and decker coffee maker and basket filters. You've gotta mix up your brew methods and experience the alchemy of making a good cup of coffee. Try a french press, that can be pretty exciting but hard to clean. One of my favorite methods is the Chorreador de cafe [zurqui.co.cr]. It's the traditional method in Costa Rica where, as far as I'm concerned, the best tasting coffee beans come from.

      Oh, it should go without saying that grinding the beans just before you use them is the only way to get exiting coffee. Pre-ground might be convenient, but it loses flavor fast. Also, Starbucks is great for convenience, but I think the quality of their coffee beans has slipped. It's still way better than McDonalds, but you can get a way better cup at home with a little effort.

      Hope that helps everyone on the road to exciting coffee!

      • Re:Coffee is boring (Score:4, Interesting)

        by evilad (87480) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:42AM (#8498454)
        I use a Melita cone which isn't that much different from your Chorreador. The only real difference is that it uses paper filters instead of cloth -- which I prefer, because I grind my own and find that cloth, like metal mesh, lets fine particulate get through.

        But really, if you're into amusing ways to brew coffee, I'm surprised you didn't bring up the amazingly cool-looking Vacuum Percolator [google.com].
    • by Hiro Antagonist (310179) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:36AM (#8498388) Journal
      Identifying Starbucks as the pinnacle of coffee is like identifying Michael Jackson as the model of proper child care.
  • Well.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by hookedup (630460) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:13AM (#8498126)
    The only health benifits I can see at my office would be for my co-workers.

    Since it's their health that's in jeopardy if I dont get my coffee.
  • Oh no! (Score:3, Funny)

    by DaHat (247651) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:13AM (#8498128) Homepage
    So you mean all these years when I thought I was being healthy and avoiding it... I've been hurting myself? Next you're going to tell me the large amounts of caffeine I don't ingest daily in the form of other beverages is also bad for me... if you'll excuse me though, it's 9:15 and I need to wait up before I get to work... while here at work.
  • Ok - then what about caffiene soap [thinkgeek.com]? Will it make my arteries extra squeaky clean?
  • by Stile 65 (722451) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:14AM (#8498135) Homepage Journal
    Dr Trombetti is adamant that a cup of milky coffee could make the ideal start for the next generation of coffee lovers - Italy's drowsy school kids - stimulating their brains ahead of a day that often lasts from 0830 until 1600.

    When I wash their age, I wash in shcool from sheven pm the night before to nine pm every shingle day! And I tell you what, shonny, I liked it and didn't need no shtinkin' coffee, no siree! And we didn't have no shtinkin' 24-hour time neither!
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:14AM (#8498136) Homepage Journal
    "Coffee is a health drink" my ass.
    I eat my coffee with a fork.
  • subjectivity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iezhy (623955) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:14AM (#8498143) Homepage
    it's the matter of pros and cons - like for every thing in our lives. some aspect of coffe are good to healt some are bad. thats just the way things are in life :-)
  • Obviously... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UncleBiggims (526644) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:14AM (#8498146)
    The article says, "It can relieve headaches." Isn't that just plain obvious. Especially considering that the most common headache relieved by coffee is in fact caused by caffeine withdrawl.

    Besides that, this article is obviously lacking in supporting information. What did this "scientific" study involve? Was this simply a look at the components of coffee: antioxidants, tannin, etc? Or was it a double blind study that looked at the long term effects of 4 cups a day?

    Are you Corn Fed? [ebay.com]
    • Re:Obviously... (Score:5, Informative)

      by dangermouse (2242) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:24AM (#8498274) Homepage
      The article says, "It can relieve headaches." Isn't that just plain obvious. Especially considering that the most common headache relieved by coffee is in fact caused by caffeine withdrawl.

      Caffeine can relieve tension headaches, which have nothing to do with caffeine withdrawal. They're caused by overdilation of capillaries in your head, and caffeine (like ibuprofen) is a vasoconstrictor.

    • Caffeine dialates your blood vessels; that will help stop a headache, which is commonly caused by too much blood trying to circulate through the head. Coffee won't help with, say, eye-strain headaches, but it will help with the sort I mentioned. But put that little bit of caffeine in with a pain-killer.....and you have brand-name Alieve. They put it in there for a reason....

      =====--======

  • by still cynical (17020) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:15AM (#8498149) Homepage
    Coffee (preferably espresso) is vital to my health. Of course, I'm thinking more along the lines of preventing a subdural hematoma caused by my forehead slamming onto my desk. Coffee is a great preventative for that.
  • by Boing (111813) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:15AM (#8498158)
    Quick! I haven't had my morning cup of "scientific study that 'proves' what I want to believe". I'm going to be a jittery wreck for the rest of the day if I can't get justification for my ridiculously bad nutritional habits!
    • Pssst... check out my new "bacon and eggs" diet. You can eat as much as you want of steak and chocolate and all that good stuff. Just watch out for bread and pasta...

      (I swear, it's a scientific diet! Ignore the giant marketing machine that's profiting from it.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:16AM (#8498161)
    I'm Italian, and I don't drink coffee. And I certainly don't appreciate a story that portrays us (or technies for that matter) as coffee-swillers.

    It's really not good journalism to post material like that guys.
    • by Biotech9 (704202) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:21AM (#8498220) Homepage
      Generalisations are GENERALLY right. There are ALWAYS exceptions.
      I used to work in a cafe, and I learnt quick when an american asks for an espresso he wants a small shot of coffee. When an italian asked for an espresso he wanted the first teaspoon of water out of the machine, which was black as night and as strong as tar.
      My GENERAL experience with Italians and coffee is that they like it strong enough to strip paint. Just like GENERALLY Irish prefer tea, or nerds prefer jolt.
    • I'm Italian, and I don't drink coffee. And I certainly don't appreciate a story that portrays us (or technies for that matter) as coffee-swillers.

      Dude, the fact remains that in the last Euro statistics I have red Italians were #1 household coffe drinkers ("expresso") and Portuguese were #1 out-of-house coffee drinkers (also "expresso").

      Look at it this way: you might not drink coffee, but at least enjoy with the fact that if you did drink it you would be able to drink good one and not some creamed-wa
  • by vijayiyer (728590) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:16AM (#8498168)
    Cool. Coffee is now good for you. Beer (and any other form of alcohol) is good for you. Now I just need to find out bacon is healthy too, and maybe I'll be less likely to get a heart attack!
  • Relieving headaches (Score:5, Interesting)

    by asit+ler (688945) * <<asittler> <at> <brad-x.com>> on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:17AM (#8498178)
    I've found that post-migrane consumption of coffee helps me out a lot. Perhaps this is an excuse to start drinking the stuff like water.
  • by csoto (220540) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:18AM (#8498184)
    Don't forget that the longer coffee beans are roasted, any coffee brewed from them will have less caffeine. Of course, darker roasted coffee tends to be more bitter and possibly more acidic (especially true of steam-brewed coffees, such as espresso). But, the tiny bit of acid and tannins in coffee is probably nothing compared to the damage done by caffeine (hey, I'm an addict - I live with it).

  • by twilight30 (84644) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:19AM (#8498196) Homepage
    Keep in mind that an Italian saying coffee is good for you -- even with the disclaimer that she personally hates it -- only goes so far.

    I like it too, and I consume loads here in Italy -- but she has a vested interest in saying that espresso is the best of all types to drink.

    Why? Because you really have to try hard to find 'long coffee' or caffe' americano here. It's almost impossible. I remember a year ago watching a French girl flip her lid at some poor barista because he couldn't understand that she wanted the 'long coffee' instead of the syrupy stuff. And she was shouting at him in English, which was most amusing. She'd have had more success using French...

    Also, no other nationality fetishises food to the extent the Italians do. I'll leave it there.
  • I RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by chia_monkey (593501) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:19AM (#8498197) Journal
    I read the article and it's just too damn short. "It COULD do this and it COULD do that". "It has anti-oxidants and that's good". Well duh. It also has caffeine which some health nuts say is good for you (raises metabolism, messes with your appetite, gives you energy to work out) and it can be bad for you (making you dependent on it, screwin' with your metabolism, etc). Coffee also supposedly messes with your cortisol levels (which is partly responsible for giving the fat gathering around the waist area).

    My point is, you'll see reports say it's healthy, you'll see reports say it's bad for you. I've seen more detailed reports saying it's bad and just a few "well it could be good for you" reports saying it's good.

    Shall we discuss if wine is good or bad for us now?
  • by adzoox (615327) * on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:19AM (#8498205) Journal
    Ya know, a study comes out every other week that something that has been reported bad is now good. Rest assured a story will come out within a week or two - "lawsuit filed against Maxwell House for cancer causing contaminents in coffee - lawyers say, all cofee might be affected."

    Same thing as the Atkins Diet - Animal Rights groups didn't like The Atkins Diet - protein = meat - so they put out a bogus study that Atkins died because of Atkins.

    Same thing happen with beer/alchohol - one week a study will come out that says beer is bad, next week "binge drinking" is epidemic or drunk driving is on the rise.

    When stories are reported like this it should be a requirement for the journalist to cite the sources and the backgrounds of those sources should be published in the footnotes so "true thinkers" can easily pick up on propoganda.

    • Well, no study came out this week on coffee. This is just a single dietician saying it might be good for you because it contains some potentially beneificial stuff. No studys. No reasearch. Just one person's opinion based on nothing more than, "Well, it has some stuff in it that might be good for you."
  • by Otter (3800) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:20AM (#8498207) Journal
    Perhaps I missed it, but was there any actual finding being reported here? Surely the BBC has more important news to cover than "Italian dietician thinks coffee is healthy in moderation!"?

    If not, they can feel free to give me a call and I'll be glad to hold forth on my semi-informed views on all sorts of things.

  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:21AM (#8498222)
    Oh good, I'm in the clear! Wheh!
    I usually stop at 3 pots a day myself.

    Wait a minute, what's this? CUPS! CUPS!!
    Shit! I thought they said POTS!

    Damn rtfa stuff again...

  • by burgburgburg (574866) <(moc.liame) (ta) (60neksilps)> on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:22AM (#8498235)
    tannin and antioxidants and many health benefits, is it so wrong of me to mix the two and drink my espresso/wine drink approximately every fifteen minutes from the time I wake up to the time I ...try to go to sleep? Why won't my wife/ex-boss/judge understand I'm doing this for my health?!?
  • by l0wland (463243) <l0wland@y a h o o . c om> on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:23AM (#8498250) Journal
    And coffee, dear American /.-readers, is NOT the hot water in which a sole coffeebean did some skinny dipping, like the stuff you regularly tend to find in the US. Order a triple espresso at Starbuck's, and then you might know what coffee should taste like. ;)

    So if you want to have the same results in the US, you can easily drink 3 times the amount mentioned in the Italian report.

    • by greygent (523713)
      Bitch please! Starbucks is coffee for candy asses. If you want "real" coffee, I suggest you go to a locally-based cafe with baristas who abhor the flavor "double mint caramel candy crunch".
  • by geekpuppySEA (724733) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:23AM (#8498253) Journal
    Who's submitting THIS one, reps from Seattle's Best? (which I despise even worse than starbucks or tully's, BTW.) [newscientist.com]

    (Initial text of the article:)

    Coffee-breaks sabotage employees' abilities

    18:41 13 February 04 NewScientist.com news service Taking a coffee break at work may actually sabotage employees' ability to do their jobs and undermine teamwork instead of boosting it, suggests new research. Dosing up on caffeine is particularly unhelpful to men, disrupting their emotions and hampering their ability to do certain tasks, suggests a report by psychologists Lindsay St Claire and Peter Rogers at Bristol University in the UK. Many people take coffee breaks at work believing this will reduce their feelings of stress. But theories about the effects of caffeine are conflicting. Some studies suggest caffeine can worsen anxiety and trigger stress, while others show it boosts confidence, alertness and sociability, making certain tasks easier. But this latest report, released by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council on Friday, backs the view that coffee exacerbates stress, especially in men, and makes people less co-operative when working in teams. "Our research findings suggest that the commonplace tea or coffee break might backfire in business situations, particularly where men are concerned," says St Claire. "Far from reducing stress, it might actually make things worse."

  • by Zog The Undeniable (632031) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:25AM (#8498283)
    Red face, palpitations, slight paranoia and bizarrely, extreme short-sightedness (I normally have 20-20 vision). Wore off after 3-4 hours but it was scary as hell.
    • by PCM2 (4486) on Monday March 08, 2004 @02:45PM (#8500681) Homepage
      Red face, palpitations, slight paranoia and bizarrely, extreme short-sightedness (I normally have 20-20 vision). Wore off after 3-4 hours but it was scary as hell.
      Hell, yes. You guys can brag all you want about the amount of coffee you drink -- and I myself used to down mugs so black the liquid would stain your finger the color of chocolate -- but until you've overdosed on caffeine you don't know what you're talking about when you say "caffeine buzz."

      An ex-girlfriend of mine once gave me a couple No-Doz type caffeine pills, because I needed to stay up all night to get some work done. I downed both, not realizing she'd meant me to take one at a time -- or, in her case, a half of one at a time. She said nothing, though gave me a funny look. I, still under the delusion that these things really didn't affect me all that much, proceeded to go home, make myself a pot of black coffee, and down it.

      Big mistake.

      By four in the morning, I was tweaking like the worst speed come-down you can imagine. My head was spinning. I couldn't see straight. My pulse was racing. Hot flashes. Cold sweats. My hands were shaking like a newborn's. I was shaking, scratching, and wiping at my face like a junkie. And worst of all: the nausea. Extreme nausea, coupled with the inability to vomit (I stuck my finger down my throat repeatedly to make it stop -- nothing doing), that lasted for the next fourteen hours, give or take. As soon as the nausea went away for a time, I'd do something like ... oh, I dunno ... drink a glass of water ... and here it all came again.

      Add to this the fact that I had to fly to an all-day business meeting at the home office of a Fortune 500 company that morning, and you can imagine how bad my day sucked.

      The whole experience made me gun-shy of caffeine for a long time; as soon as I started feeling those telltale effects that you normally don't even think about, I would freak out and have to start drinking water or something.

      The moral: Coffee is good. I still luvs me a good Italian espresso. But remember -- it ain't a contest, fellas.

  • Body and mind (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pubjames (468013) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:26AM (#8498290)

    Some things are healthy for the body, some things are healthy for the mind, and what's good for the body is not necessarily good for the mind and vice-versa.

    For instance, during my finals at university getting blindingly drunk at the weekends was probably very bad for my body, but it really helped my mind. It got rid of the stress and I felt fresh again going back to my study. I'm not joking, I think it really helped.

    It's like some people can't function properly unless they've had a coffee or a ciggie. May not be healthy for their body, but it helps their mind function.

  • by coldtone (98189) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:30AM (#8498330)
    Is VERY VERY Healthy for everyONE IN MY OFFICE THAT I GET TO HAVE MY GODDAMN COFFEE, AND DON'T BUG ME TILL (sip) I'm done. Because I'm a much calmer reasonable person after I've had my little cup of happiness.
  • by azaris (699901) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:35AM (#8498374) Journal

    In an unprecedented move today, an international body of scientists declared in a press conference the findings of their latest array of studies. The scientists surprisingly came to a conclusion that they had finally managed to not find anything that is in any way detrimental to your health and stated that people should just live the way they like and not care about potential consequences to their health.

    The results of the study have raised some rare disagreements amongst the community of scientists, but the consensus seems to be that all our health and nutrition related problems are over. The board of directors at the tobacco-giant Philip Morris, as well as CEOs of multinational food and beverage corporations such as Pepsi and McDonalds heralded the results as groundbreaking.

    When interviewed after the press conference, one of the scientists involved in the study revealed that he had some misgivings about drawing such near-sighted and overtly optimistic conclusions, but also stressed that the benefits of letting people finally do what the fuck they want and slowly kill themselves in the process were much preferred to the endless bickering and whining about whether something is good for you or not. The scientists concluded his statement by saying that: "Every one of us has to leave this world at some point or other", but that "the fat pig over there munching Cheetos is gonna be one of the first ones to go".

    Several other scientists were quoted as not giving a fuck about it either.

    • You say that jokingly, but the Bush administration said almost this exact same thing to the United Nations:

      "The (U.S. government) favors dietary guidance that focuses on the total diet, promotes the view that all foods can be part of a healthy and balanced diet"


      You can read the full article here. [usatoday.com]
  • Quoth the article: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by p4ul13 (560810) on Monday March 08, 2004 @11:43AM (#8498474) Homepage
    "It can relieve headaches."

    What is left out is the sentence stating that those same headaches were caused by caffine withdrawal.

    Off to Dunkin Donuts for my medicine. Anybody want me to pick something up?

  • by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:12PM (#8498826) Homepage Journal
    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion,
    It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed,
    The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning,
    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
  • Drinker beware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pedrito (94783) on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:32PM (#8499046) Homepage
    I'm glad they point out that caffeine isn't for everyone. Some of us suffer from anxiety disorders and caffeine is definitely not helpful. I'm fortunate that I don't have an issue with it anymore, but I could some day.

    Frankly, tea (black and green) are much better for you than coffee in terms of the anti-oxidants. Tea is loaded with them, with or without caffeine. Tea also has flavonoids which on top of being an anti-oxidant, is also acts as a vasodilator, making the arteries more flexible and less likely to rupture, something important for people with high blood pressure.

    And the benefits don't end with cancer and the heart. Tea also makes the bones (and teeth) stronger. In fact, it's been shown to reduce the damage caused by osteoperosis.

    So, while I enjoy my occasional cup of coffee, I'll continue to drink my 6-8 cups of tea a day.
  • Excellent (Score:3, Funny)

    by supun (613105) on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:41PM (#8499155)
    I'll enjoy a healthy pot of java while I enjoy my healthy bucket of KFC!
  • Immortality (Score:3, Funny)

    by chronus22 (645600) on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:52PM (#8499273)
    I think that this study, coupled with some other recent research [bbc.co.uk], pretty much conclusively proves that I will live forever.
  • by marcello_dl (667940) on Monday March 08, 2004 @12:53PM (#8499283) Homepage Journal
    ... i found Caffeine FAQ [coffeefaq.com] which discusses some of the myths typical of any discussion about coffee.

  • puff piece (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sacrilicious (316896) on Monday March 08, 2004 @01:01PM (#8499372) Homepage
    There's been a steady stream of research lasting well over a decade that conclusively indicates that coffee is (a) bad for you, and (b) does not have silver linings that begin to compensate for its detriments. The only mitigating factor is one's subjective assessment of the experience of drinking coffee... which is valid, i.e. I think should be taken into account by any given person, but which crosses the line from "medical fact" to "psychosomatic rumor".

    Dr Trombetti says she hates the stuff herself - but points to a welter of scientific evidence to back her case.

    Hmmm... a "welter" is a "chaotic, jumbled mess" according to webster. Personally I've always preferred my scientific evidence presented in an orderly fashion. Even more, I like double-blind random scientific studies, but they're not even hinted at in this article.

    Coffee contains tannin and antioxidants, which are good for the heart and arteries, she says. It can relieve headaches. It is good for the liver - and can help prevent cirrhosis and gallstones. And the caffeine in coffee can reduce the risk of asthma attacks - and help improve circulation within the heart.

    I'm sorry to break it to "doctor" Trombetti but these are claims, not evidence. See above comment regarding the absence of scientific studies.

    There is no denying that coffee is not for everyone. If you drink too much it can increase nervousness, and cause rapid heartbeat and trembling hands.

    Ah, here's the interjected token fact to try to induce readers into a feeling that facts are being recited throughout. Sorry, no sale.

    Fact: Coffee may be good for you, it may be bad for you. Fact: Scientifically speaking, this article does nothing to change the preponderance of evidence supporting the latter.

  • by UNOStudent (667969) on Monday March 08, 2004 @01:05PM (#8499421)
    An interesting side note which encourages my growing disdain with my native state. Nebraska's Gov. Johanns recently declared March as "Caffeine Awareness Month" in an effort to promote "awareness, detection and prevention of caffeine addiction in Nebraska....to educate businesses and consumers about the threat of caffeine addiction and to raise awareness about the impact it has on society." Hmm....like PRODUCTIVITY?

    www.theindependent.com [theindependent.com]

    I hope someone else finds this as funny as I do.

  • A Better Article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rossome (29293) on Monday March 08, 2004 @01:12PM (#8499508)
    "So what's wrong with your coffee habit? How about low energy, extra stress, mineral depletion, exhausted adrenal glands, indigestion, anxiety and mood swings":
    Caffeine, Grounds for Concern? [isma.org.uk]

  • by FePe (720693) on Monday March 08, 2004 @01:17PM (#8499576)

    I have tried some of them. They are another good reason for drinking lots of coffee.

  • by ILL Clinton (734169) on Monday March 08, 2004 @01:24PM (#8499659) Homepage Journal
    A report by Italian Scientists saying that espresso is good for you reminds me of the report by Italian Scientists saying that pizza is good for you. [pizzamarketplace.com]

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