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The unknown effects of coffee

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Is coffee good for your health? What are its effects? Experts are looking into its role in our metabolism.

Will I be dehydrated if I drink coffee?

This is the biggest myth of coffee, experts agree. When British researchers studied body fluid levels in 50 men, they found that they were the same, whether they drank coffee or water to hydrate themselves. “We tell people to drink 2 L (8 cups) of fluid a day, and we always thought we could not include coffee,” says Halle Saperstein, a registered dietitian at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. Michigan. “But now, studies show the opposite. You can count the coffee in your fluid intake. ”

So why the myth? “Caffeine is a natural diuretic, but the amount it makes you urinate is not as important as we once thought,” says Halle Saperstein. As the absorption of too much coffee can give you nervousness because of caffeine, water is the best form of hydration. Drink a morning coffee and use the H2O as fluid intake for the rest of the day.

Will coffee help me lose weight?

Caffeine, a stimulant, is often used in medications to lose weight, and a cup of coffee can cause a short-term increase in your metabolism. There is no evidence, however, that coffee can help you lose weight, Halle Saperstein says. Plus, people tend to drink their coffee with cream and sugar, which are loaded with calories. Halle Saperstein’s suggestion: use skimmed milk, drink regular coffee instead of a latte (so as to drink more coffee than milk) and limit the amount of sugar.

Is there a link between coffee and cancer?

When cancer patients meet Lindsay Malone, a dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, they often tell her that they’ve eliminated coffee because they think it’s bad for you. However, coffee, because of its high antioxidant content , is on the list of anti-cancer foods, published by the American Institute for Cancer Research. “Cancer starts with DNA damage,” says Lindsay Malone. Antioxidants in coffee protect your cells and keep them healthy. If your DNA is affected by second-hand smoke or environmental pollutants, these antioxidants can help repair cell damage. Several studies have linked coffee to lower risk of liver, breast, prostate and melanoma cancer, among others.

Is coffee bad for my heart?

In most healthy people, caffeine can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure but that is not harmful in the long run. “Those who drink a lot of coffee can develop caffeine tolerance and have no such effects after a cup,” says Leigh Tracy, a dietitian at the Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. People who suffer from high blood pressure, however, should consult a doctor to see if they should limit caffeine. “Hypertensive people should pay close attention to how they feel when they drink coffee,” says Jennifer Powell Weddig, a registered dietitian and professor of nutrition at Denver Metropolitan State University. “They may find that their heart rate gets faster or notice palpitations. ”

Does coffee raise cholesterol levels?

Cafestol, a coffee compound, is a potential stimulator for increasing LDL cholesterol. “The problem is that it’s found in the fat part of coffee,” says Weddig. If you use a paper filter to make your coffee instead of a coffee maker, this compound is eliminated. »The lattice filter of a coffee maker will not eliminate the cafestol. However, if your LDL cholesterol is not high, you probably do not need to worry, according to Weddig.

Does coffee cure a hangover?

If you feel dizzy after a hectic night, some coffee might help. “If you have not slept well, which plays in the hangover, coffee will stimulate your central nervous system and improve your concentration,” says Lindsay Malone. But it does not eliminate alcohol from your system, so do not drink it at the end of the evening, it will not make you sober.

Does coffee cause breast reduction in women?

A study published in the British Journal of Cancer found that women who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had breasts 17% smaller than those who drank less coffee. Each extra cup increases the effect. Researchers say that too much caffeine can affect hormones, which affect breast size. Yet it is a situation of “moderation in all”. “They will become smaller,” said researcher Helena Jernström of Lund University in Sweden at The Telegraph. “But the breasts are not going away. ”

Does coffee delay growth?

That’s what your mother told you when you wanted a sip, but it’s not true that coffee or caffeine stunt growth, says Lindsay Malone. “There is some research indicating that caffeine can leach bone calcium, but older people seem more sensitive to this than younger populations. The amount lost is so small, however, that the loss of calcium can be offset by a slight increase in milk consumption. Two tablespoons of milk compensate for the leaching of calcium from a cup of coffee.

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