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Coffee Maybe Not a Health Drink!

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the zomg-say-it-ain't-so dept.

381

perbert writes "Canadian researchers have published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicating that excess coffee drinking (4+ cups a day) could lead to an increased risk of heart disease if you have the wrong gene. In light of other studies linking antioxidants in coffee to a reduction in heart disease, who is right? Or will they cancel out in a coffee death-match?"

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Dose (5, Insightful)

ThenAgain (627263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874679)

As with anything related to toxicology, the dose is the poison.

Re:Dose (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874985)

In other words, keep it to a cup or two a day and you'll be fine. You may even reap the benefits of Coffee's antioxidants.

If anyone ever tells you to do a lot of anything, run the other way. People have died from everything from eating too much salt to drinking too much carrot juice. Keep your diet balanced and your intakes in moderation, and you'll do far better than chasing around massive doses of things that are "good" for you.

Re:Dose (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875034)

If anyone ever tells you to do a lot of anything, run the other way. People have died from everything from eating too much salt to drinking too much carrot juice. Keep your diet balanced and your intakes in moderation, and you'll do far better than chasing around massive doses of things that are "good" for you.

This particular study deals with genetic differences. Differences that mean that what's "a lot" for one person is "moderation" for another.

Re:Dose (5, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875007)

As with anything related to toxicology, the dose is the poison.

To a point, however that simplifies and misses the point of the article: The researchers are claiming that there are two common variants of the gene responsible for the systems that breaks down coffee, and those with one variant are made healthier by 3 cups of coffee a day, while those with the other variant (CYP1A2*1F) are detrimentally affected by the same.

So it's the dose...and the genes that build the systems that deal with the dose.

Still waking up (2, Funny)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874689)

I think I should wait until the quad venti skim latte kicks in before contemplating the coffee deathmatch.

Re:Still waking up (3, Funny)

masterzora (871343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874986)

I'm sorry, I don't speak Starbucks.

KOFFEE IS KOREA ! (1)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874690)

by the way, coffee is korea, kekeke, as well as sam is pakistan rahrahrah.

Paracelso once said... (4, Insightful)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874692)

"the difference between medication and poison is the dose"

Re:Paracelso once said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14875064)

"the difference between urine and beer is nothing"

The baffled geek cries out (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874694)

"Coffee Maybe Not a Health Drink!" Gasp! :-)

Re:The baffled geek cries out (3, Interesting)

qw(name) (718245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874928)

I see your joke but it really is pathetic how one study tells you this and another tells you something contrary. I remember when eggs were good for you and then they weren't and now they are good again. Apples were good for you ("An apple a day keeps the doctor away") and then they weren't ("The sugar in an apple can rot your teeth", my dentist told me.). Now, they are good for you again. And there are other examples out there.

And the other thing that should not amaze me as much as it does is grammar. How about "Coffee May Not Be a Health Drink". "Coffee Maybe Not a Health Drink!" sounds like Ebonics.

Re:The baffled geek cries out (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874999)

How about "Coffee May Not Be a Health Drink". "Coffee Maybe Not a Health Drink!" sounds like Ebonics.

Coffee health drink mabye not, hmm?

Who Cares (2, Interesting)

soapee01 (698313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874698)

Does anyone really drink coffee because supposed health benefits?

I thought it was just the magic breakfast juice that helps me move, think, ...

Re:Who Cares (5, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874799)


It is by coffee alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the juice of the java bean that thoughts acquire speed.
The teeth acquire stains; the stains become a warning.
It is by coffee alone I set my mind in motion.
Apologies to Frank Herbert.

Re:Who Cares (1)

phlinn (819946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874938)

Heh... there was an online comic a while back that had something very similar to this. I wish there was an archive from badtech.com somewhere I could download. On a different note, since that spiel was only added for the movie, is Frank Herbert really responsible for it?

Re:Who Cares (1)

DanZ23 (901353) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874877)

Actually, I do.

My preferred regimen is 2 cups of coffee in the morning, green or white tea in the afternoon, and a Guinness in the evening.

Cancer is extremely prevalent in my family; I'm hoping to dodge the bullet.

bah ... rubbish study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874699)

I drink 8 cups a day and I ... I ... feeling ... stabbing ... chest pain ... 4y957q048ri ejifj...

here we go again (5, Interesting)

dkode (517172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874708)

More and more often I keep hearing about things like this.

"Doctors say more than 4 cups is bad for you!"

then, 2 months later... "Doctors say more than 4 cups is good for you!"

One month you hear too much fiber is bad for you, then cholesterol is good for you.

I think as long as everyone comsumes food/drinks moderately and not go over board most people have nothing to worry about. Although, with obesity in the United States the way it is today, I would say it's already too late.

You Misunderstand (5, Insightful)

Makarakalax (658810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874769)

What happens is that conflicting summaries get posted around the Internet and everyone thinks scientists are just having them on.

If you look carefully the summary for the research is saying the caffeine is bad for you, and that the study concluded this based on research into coffee consumption. The other studies that claim coffee is good for you were actually referring to other chemicals in coffee, not the caffeine, nor the entirety of the coffee.

Also people seem to think that scientists study everything about a topic before releasing results. But that is a misunderstanding about how science works. Generally scientists focus on very small areas of large topics and then propose more sweeping conclusions. Usually the media then make even more generalised conclusions that result in complete misunderstanding in non-scientists.

Peer review is also important, often these studies are fundamentally flawed and even though the submitted paper offers a conclusion, the scientist writing it is well aware that in science, nothing is proved by one paper. Instead wait ten years for more supporting evidence, rinse, repeat and progress.

Re:You Misunderstand (1)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874946)

It's also the press. They like a good debate, or findings that supposedly overturn conventional wisdom; nothing makes a good story like conflict. The result is that you're more likely to hear a story to the effect of "New study proves all previous research dead wrong" than "New study confirms what we knew all along" and they will tend to exaggerate the extent to which a study departs from previous studies.

Which reminds me, there was a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which said that all these conflicting health reports could stress you out and be bad for your health. But then a report in the Lancet came out proving the opposite.

Re:here we go again (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874798)

Well, I think what is missing is a technology of personal genomics.

Salt is bad for you. Except if you don't have the gene that links salt to hypertension. In which case it isn't bad for you. If you do have that gene, then salt is very bad for you. In aggregate, given ignorance of your genes, it poses a risk.

Experiments to date have been crude, in that they don't effectively control for genetic variation. Thus a slight bias in the genetic make-up can easily push an experiment to one or the other side of statistical significance.

If we ever do get an efficient, fast and affordable way to do a comprehensive genetic screening, it will be of tremendous benefit to humanity. That is, after the fighting and chaos dies down, as insurance companies manage their risk to the point they become irrelevant, and families come to grips with uncomfortable holes in their pedigrees.

Re:here we go again (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874816)

Though, I think your sig script would be worse for your health then any amount of coffee...

Totally offtopic about your signature (5, Funny)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874837)

while ($beer != full) { $beer = new Beer(); chug($beer); }

So here's a small problem with your signature - you run the while loop until the beer is full...but you chug the beer inside the while loop. Which means that once your beer is full...you stop drinking. Of course, this is all dependent upon the fact that chug doesn't empty the glass, which is usually what happens when you chug...so basically I think you need to check the return of chug to make sure it didn't fail. Otherwise you might have problems.

Sorry for wasting your time.

Re:Totally offtopic about your signature (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874968)

Depending on the definition, it can also be argued that:

$beer = new Beer();

Grabs a new glass of beer in a loop which checks if the glass of beer has been filled. If that's the case I think you could better let the while loop check if the beer_drinker_ is already full.. :D

or something like:

beer = beer.Beer()
while(amount != 0):
        amount = beer.chug()

Re:here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874954)

Would you please stop propagating the stupid meme that obesity is somehow exclusively an American problem?

Obesity rate triples in UK [bbc.co.uk]

EU leads US for men with weight problem [guardian.co.uk]

please read more carefully in the future (5, Insightful)

raygundan (16760) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874998)

Blame the media's lousy science reporting or poor reading comprehension skills, but what people see as conflicting results are often nothing of the kind, they just miss the details.

I saw one study that said a single cup of coffee a day was good for athletic training, and another that said that the more coffee you drink, the lower the risk of heart disease.

This study says that more than four cups of coffee a day are bad for you if you have a particular gene.

None of these things are contradictory-- just like how a glass of wine may be beneficial, but 10 glasses may cause liver disease. Or how some types of cholesterol are good, but others are bad.

Re:here we go again (1)

wcedev (849415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875055)

The thing is that a lot of researchers need to write and defend Ph.D. thesis. The thesis should contain some degree of 'novelty'. So how many novel thing you can discover about coffee (except occasional changes in the Starbacks menu)?

Well, (5, Funny)

deletedaccount (835797) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874709)

I've started injecting it, so I'm not sure how this applies to me.

Re:Well, (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874939)

Sure as hell beats the coffee enema I give myself every morning...

To quote a much more sensible man than me ... (4, Funny)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874711)

... namely one Commander Samuel Vimes: "Coffee is merely a way of stealing time that by rights should belong to your slightly older self".

Everything in Moderation (2, Interesting)

Makarakalax (658810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874713)

It shouldn't be too surprising that too much of anything is bad for you. Most food stuffs have complicated chemicals in, and thus too much of any of them can give your body a hard time due to damaging reactions, or difficulty in disposal.

However having said this, I until recently was having something like 6 cups of coffee a day. A few months ago my body started reacting really badly to even the smell of coffee, drinking a cup gives me a terrible reaction with shivering, accelerated heart rate and light-headedness for up to a few hours.

The stuff is nasty.

Currently I'm drinking 6 cups of tea a day instead ;)

Re:Everything in Moderation (1)

zeath (624023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874987)

Currently I'm drinking 6 cups of tea a day instead ;)

Good tea, I hope, such as loose stuff from Adagio [adagio.com] . (I say this while enjoying some black apricot [adagio.com] )

Re:Everything in Moderation (1)

qw(name) (718245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875073)

Currently I'm drinking 6 cups of tea a day instead ;)
That can roughly be converted to 3 cups of coffee a day. Well within the recommended daily allowance of coffee. :)

The coffee dilemma; a management perspective (4, Funny)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874715)

Health hazard or health drink? What to do? The answer is simple. Find studies that support your pre-determined point of view and use those to guide the decision. I like coffee very much. Caffeine addiction is not a problem so long as I can find at least one study that proves how healthy my coffee habit is.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming, "TCO analysis for the enterprise"

How can it be healthy? (1)

johnfatz (868269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874723)

Anything that stimulates you like coffee, quickens your heart beat and keeps you awake can not be healthy!

Re:How can it be healthy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874750)

Awww, shoot, I need to give up jogging, then.

Well according to you then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874840)

Geeks will live a long time due to their complete lack of their ability to get their noodle wet - which will also cause in the same symtoms you descibe.

Hah! (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874728)

Take that, all you sad unhealthy coffee-addicts!

/me tosses back the third black tea of the morning in celebration

Ex Caffeine Junky (5, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874729)

I was basically forced to quit drinking caffeine in Decemeber. This was not something I ever expected to be able to do. The migraine lasted for about a week straight but I have been basically fine since.

Since I was 22 I have had high blood pressure. I've spoken here about it before and complained about the high cost of Rx meds to control it and my belief that my Doctor (undercompensated by my insurance provider) is possibly pushing name-brand drugs instead of their generic counterparts to recoup some of that cost in kick-backs.

Anyway, I was gaining on 200mg daily of various meds to control the BP. I was also gaining in daily consumption of caffeine. After switching to Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper (aka Liquid Crack) I was heading for 5 to 6 20oz bottles a day (at work) plus 5 to 10 12oz cans every two days (at home).

After quitting the caffeine habbit I'm on 10mg of BP meds (about $10 a month) and water.

So, if you're looking to limit your heart disease and the high cost of protecting yourself against it with prescriptions, you might want to first take a look at your caffeine intake. It worked for me.

Re:Ex Caffeine Junky (1)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874815)

"my belief that my Doctor (undercompensated by my insurance provider) is possibly pushing name-brand drugs instead of their generic counterparts to recoup some of that cost in kick-backs."

You know you can request to the Pharmacist to replace a brand name with a generic? Sheesh...

Re:Ex Caffeine Junky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874841)

You know you can request to the Pharmacist to replace a brand name with a generic? Sheesh...

Not without my Doctor's prior and written consent. She was a royal pain in the ass about it making me believe exactly what I wrote -- but that has little to do w/the discussion.

Re:Ex Caffeine Junky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874820)

I'm in Canada, prescriptions are dirt cheap and covered by my work plan. I pay $100/year max for anything my family needs.

I can adopt you...

Aspartame (2, Insightful)

AnonymousPrick (956548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874969)

After switching to Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper (aka Liquid Crack) I was heading for 5 to 6 20oz bottles a day (at work) plus 5 to 10 12oz cans every two days (at home).

Too much Aspartame gives me wicked headaches. Aspartame also breaks down into formaldehyde by your liver - how much or how long - I don't know, but that's what I've been told by a dietician - a real dietician from a hostpital. Not your typical "self educated" one who learned about diet from magazines thay, well, may not be the best source for that kind of information.

Re:Ex Caffeine Junky (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875016)

If the doctor didn't point to your caffiene intake first, switch doctors. Some are very reluctant to prescribe medication, others do it too easily. A happy medium is nice, but hard to find.

Re:Ex Caffeine Junky (2, Insightful)

Epi-man (59145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875024)

After switching to Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper (aka Liquid Crack) I was heading for 5 to 6 20oz bottles a day (at work) plus 5 to 10 12oz cans every two days (at home).

Let's see here, 100 ounces at work, plus another 48 ounces at home, on average, every day. That's over 1 gallon of soda a day! How often did you have to go to the bathroom? They are working hard to get people to drink just over half a gallon of water a day, and here you are more than doubling that in soda, I take it moderation isn't (wasn't) your strong suit? Imagine if that had been the fully leaded version, you would have had over 1800 calories a day in colas alone (Dr. Pepper (my liquid crack) is 150 cal/12 ounce can, I'm fairly sure the Cherry Vanilla has even more, but can't swear to it)! That's most adults' daily allowance (at least, that's what my wife (MD) keeps telling me).

I can relate to the compulsion to always have a drink on hand, after kidney stones at a young age, my doctor told me I basically was constantly dehydrated -> stones. Now I have my water cup at work, and drink over a gallon at work a day. Happily, it has been 4 years since my last stone, my fingers are crossed there won't be another!

Everything in moderation (1)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874730)

Studies about the effects of coffee have gone back and forth countless times. My guess is that so long as you don't drink 10 gallons of it everyday, you'll be fine. I hate these studies because they change every 6 months. I remember when chocolate was supposed to be bad and then they said well its actually good. I'm just waiting for that to change again.

In other news (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874734)

Dr's say drinking four cups of semen a day [fark.com] while on Spring Break due to your being a total whore probably not good for your health either.

Will wonders never cease!

Welcome to nonlinearity and heterogeneity (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874736)

Both studies are "right". Some coffee may be good for you, too much may be bad -- the human body is nonlinear. Some people may react well to coffee, some people react poorly -- the human gene poll is heterogeneous.

the right tool for the right job (1)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874737)

morning wake-up juice = coffee black

evening night-cap = captain morgan 'n' coffee black

In other news... (4, Funny)

BecomingLumberg (949374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874738)

In other news, drinking/eating too much of $SUBSTANCE could lead to $HEALTH.PROBLEM.

other news: (0, Offtopic)

sabernar (245306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874744)

- the sun rises in the east
- Barry Bonds took steroids
- Iraq is a dangerous place

Maybe (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874751)

May not be the word you were looking for

I keep wondering... (1)

1zenerdiode (777004) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874755)

When is the medical profession going to move beyond descriptive statistics to something more? In some respects, the medical profession appears to be at about the same level as the alchemists were prior to the evolution of chemistry. "If I mix this, then mix that, I get something. I don't know why."

The studies may each be meaningful and well-designed, but to an individual trying to make good decisions, the information is basically useless, since it appears contradictory and in many cases is arbitrary and non-intuitive. "You should eat 5, not 4, pieces of celery, but only after consuming 2.5 cups of coffee *UNLESS*, of course, you have gene XYZPDQ319, in which case you should drink only 1.5 cups of coffee before urinating at sundown."

Re:I keep wondering... (1)

Makarakalax (658810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874823)

A topic as complex and difficult to understand as biology leads to advise and information that is complex and difficult to interpret.

Isn't that fucking obvious?

Re:I keep wondering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874976)

A topic as complex and difficult to understand as biology leads to advise and information that is complex and difficult to interpret.

Isn't that fucking obvious?


What IS obvious is that medical profession do not understand adequately the topics (being complex and all), yet they pretend otherwise by not disclosing the lack of knowlege. OK?

What does this mean... (5, Funny)

dantheman82 (765429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874757)

for the future of Java? For now, I'm drinking green tea and coding in C#.

Why does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874764)

Why does the summary give an either or proposition as an outcome. That isn't even implied and I find it curious that the submitters brain imposes such a flawed outcome.

So it's not healthy (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874770)

Next they're gonna tell me my 2 boxes of cigs ain't good for me either...

Let's face it, no matter what you do, your health is not going to enjoy it. The food you eat has pesticides, fungicides, preservatives etc. in it. The air you breath is full of particulate matter and NOx. Your tap water is... no, I don't even want to know what's in there.

Will my coffee intake make any difference is the question. THAT is isn't the healthiest thing to do is a given. The question is rather, does it matter between the other toxins and carcinogenes that you inhale, swallow and absorb with your skin?

Just about anything in excess is bad for you... (1)

marcus frost (674766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874774)

If we started writing off things we consume just because in excessive amounts they can be bad for you, there really would be few things that we could say were good for us. Most people do not drink 4 cups a day. Aside from the health aspect, we cannot deny how big a role coffee has played in our lives and in society since it's creation. It helped fuel the industrial revolution, is one of the world's largest traded commodoties, and is still increasing in popularity. No matter what this study says, coffee will continue to play a singificant role in many of the world's cultures.

Balance (2, Insightful)

ChaoticCoyote (195677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874779)

Anything to excess is likely to be harmful. The key is to find balance — moderation in all things, including moderation!

Oh The Irony!!! (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875042)

The key is to find balance -- moderation in all things, including moderation!

Quite ironic to find those words here on /. You've just made me shoot coffee thru my nose and all over my keyboard. Note to self: Hot Coffee and Slashdot are a near-fatal combination....

Really!? (1)

Sippan (932861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874781)

In other breaking news, smoking may cause cancer!

My research results (2, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874782)

I am proposing that eating a Whoopie Pie a day is part of a healthy diet. Prove me wrong and give me a pie!

Just to point out (1)

AlgebraicRing (472402) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874797)

Even in the summary the finding was qualified by the fact the detriment was related specifically to a single gene. The two studies do not contradict each other because one study applies to a specific gene and the other study is, I assume, more general. Note: I have no idea if either study is correct, I simply want to point out that they do not contradict each other. The story submitter was implying a contradiction where there is none.

Personal record is four 10 cups pots (2, Funny)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874804)

In a 24 hour period. If you are not hallucinating by 11AM, it's time for another cup of coffee.

Studies have shown... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874809)

"Studies have shown that research causes cancer in lab rats."

An example of interpolating narrow research (2, Interesting)

swalker42 (944794) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874811)

I think the problem with stories like this is that broad generalizations on health are made using one narrow area of research. In this case it is discovered that 4+ cups a day may cause heart disease.
Wait! Only if you have a certain gene that expresses itself. Or maybe it's because the gene causes a stressful life and it has nothing to do with coffee.
Perhaps in 20 years 1 cup a day will cause colon cancer. Maybe it will help you live 20 years longer. We are far too willing to jump to holistic health decisions based on a single narrow study.
I would hope that no one would make drastic life decisions (not that drinking/not drinking coffee should be that drastic) based on a single study.
Cut back on fast food, drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables. My mom was trying to tell me that 20 years ago. You feel better and your body can better handle the impurities that you put in it. Then you don't have to focus so much on the small stuff.

Coffee or muddy water? (1)

UncleAlias (157955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874814)

The linked article doesn't help much: which kind of coffee, American or European style? How much in a cup? A bit hard to tell, there.

Re:Coffee or muddy water? (1)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874980)

Come on....everyone knows that 4 cups of coffee = 1x10-8 Libraries of congress.

And the relative risks are? (1)

harmless_mammal (543804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874819)

And how does this increased level of risk compare to, ummm, death by car?

Irish Eyes are Smiling (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874826)

Coffee may not be a health drink, but Irish Coffee [guardian.co.uk] certainly is.

Whew.... (1)

sulphurlad (772436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874830)

I miss read that for a second..... 4+ cups a day. I thought it said 4+ pots I guess I'm still safe.

Not news. (1)

morning (58560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874861)

People have known for decades that coffee is not 'good' for you. Does this even deserve to be listed as news?

In other news. . . (0, Offtopic)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874873)

drinking an excess of dihydrogenmonoxide could lead to a person collapsing or in rare cases, dying. In addition, drinking an excess of flavored, carbonated beverages has been shown to cause significant weight gain in some people which can lead to other medical conditions including heart failure.

Not to sound trite but how is this news? Every person is different and will react differently to external stimulae. In my case I can eat whatever I want in whatever amount I want and not gain a pound. However, the guy in the cube next to me probably can't do the same thing. Why? Because we're all different (in case you missed it the first time).

If the issue revolves around whether one has a certain gene or not then this almost sounds like at birth we should be screened to see if we have this condition so we'll know not to drink so much coffee to prevent or stave off heart disease.

Genes are what determine who we are. As of yet we don't have the means to fully change those genes to correct issues like this. We're all different (just making sure you didn't miss it the first two times) so at best we can use these studies to reinforce the old adage: everything in moderation.

Re:In other news. . . (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875013)

Not to sound trite but how is this news? Every person is different and will react differently to external stimulae. In my case I can eat whatever I want in whatever amount I want and not gain a pound. However, the guy in the cube next to me probably can't do the same thing. Why? Because we're all different (in case you missed it the first time).

The fact is, despite all our medical knowledge, our handle on genes and genetics, and the compendium of scientific information regardign anatomy and physiology, we don't know squat about how the human body works as an integrated system. It's like handing someone a box of parts which make up a computer and saying "...the problem is X."

For every study you can find an opposing study. There are intellectual camps in medical science, staunchly defending their point of view. I used to get frustrated reading psychology and medical journals when I read how poorly designed a lot of these experiments are. You can prove anything you want as long as you stack the deck.

Despite commonalities, no two people are alike. That's genetics expressing itself; we all have the same basic set of information, but mine works differently than yours. Until we have a comprehensive picture of how the whole system works and interacts with its environment, it's like replacing engine parts randomly until you get the car to run.

Size counts (1)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874882)

Buuuut, coffee stunts your growth!

Since I gave up coffee 3 months ago, my penis has enlarged by 2 inches.

If this keeps up, I'll be bucking along with Ron Jeremy in no time!

This is another reminder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874884)

This seems like another example of what we've been told for decades: Everything in moderation.

Except trans fats. :)

Fittingly Canadian Story (4, Interesting)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874892)

I can only laugh as I sip on my Large Double-Double[1] Coffee from Tim Hortons. Coffee can kill me, my Work may kill me, walking across the street is dangerous. On the plus side, the coffee helps me cope at work and keeps me alert as I walk across the street: reducing 2 out of 3 risks isn't too bad.

[1] For those not in the know: double-double -- a coffee with double cream, double sugar (especially, but not exclusively, from Tim Hortons). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_slang [wikipedia.org]

Another slang for overconsumption (off topic) (1)

MrNougat (927651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874994)

When I worked at a particular car dealership, there was a Burger King half a block away. Every morning, we would send one of the parts drivers there to pick up breakfast for me and another guy.

Burger King has the Croissan'wich and Hash Rounds. Let's say I wanted one Croissan'wich and one Hash Rounds. I would request a "One and one." (The default Croissan'wich flavor was sausage. If you wanted a different flavor, you would say "One and one, ham," for example.)

You can do the math from there. One and two. Two and one. On particularly bold days, two and two.

I don't think we ever got into the "threes." Thank god.

Re:Fittingly Canadian Story (1)

coaxeus (911103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875014)

I have no points today but here.. +5 insightful.

Pshaw! (1)

Ranger (1783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874915)

Coffee not a health drink? Balderdash. Next they'll be telling us hard liquor, cigarettes, and lap dancers aren't healthy for us either.

Re:Pshaw! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14874958)

Hey!!!! I am hear to say the lap dances are absolutly 100% healthy!

4 out of 5 gene splicers drink Red Bull (1)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874921)

One cup a day is all the body responds to anyway (less in fact). After that the dependency goes up but the benefits do not. Pretty soon you are knocking back 2+ cups a day just to feel not quite as good as when you weren't drinking. At that point it is time to knock off the stuff for a day or two, then fire up that virtuous cycle again.

Floyd Maxwell,

and yes I drink Maxwell House

What, you mean everybody's not alike? (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874926)

It never ceases to amaze me that in relatively simple systems designed by man, people recognize that different inputs will have different results for different systems. Yet, in a far more complicated system designed by Who Knows What or what knows what (depending on your beliefs) people are foolish enough to think they can reduce the determination of optimal input to a simple equation that applies to all the systems. Bolix! Until we actually understand the variations in "hardware" and "software" running on the human systems, and are able to determine the "versions" and "models" in the biological sense, 99% of all medical recommendations like this are just absolute BS. One fo the articles I read on this very study mentioned this, and I thought "well, it's about time the medical community started waking up to this issue.". To be fair, they've recognized many genetic issues for quite some time, but releasing studies with the implicit assumption that everybody can use the results is still all too common.

100 cups (2, Funny)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874950)

Bender: "You seem a tad wound up, buddy. And your face is greasy. Real greasy. You've been up all night?"

Fry: "Of course I've been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn't stop thinking about coffee. I need a nap." *snores* "Coffee time!"

Thank goodness. (0, Offtopic)

Argentice (946799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874951)

As long as doughnuts remain a health food, I'm not bothered.

It's all about Moderation (1)

thehubbell (928572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874959)

Moderation is best for a person. This mean taking moderation in moderation and having some coffee. Because if you don't deviate from strict moderation once in a while your not taking you moderation in moderation! (I think hear this from a evening radio talk show host I just can't remember which one) www.coffeegeek.com to learn more about coffee's wonderful properties. Warning lurking in the forum could lead to a greater coffee addiction and additional cost. Slashdot regulars should avoid due to their already addictive nature.

What size cup we talkin' bout here? (2, Funny)

mottrytell (956840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874973)

Is that 5oz, 8oz, 16oz, or the venti? I drink a lot....am I gonna die now?

common sense, moderation, enjoyment (1)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874981)

You know, it seems for every time something beneficial is found in a food, someone else discovers something else in it that causes cancer. And vice versa.

So you know what I recommend? Use some common sense. Eat a reasonable, balanced diet. Enjoy your favorite foods, but don't overindulge - everything in moderation.

You gotta go sometime, so you might as well eat what you enjoy eating. It appears the "experts" disagree and can't really tells us for sure one way or the other what's really good or bad for us, anyway. By the time you get done going through your tally sheet of what you can and can't have, what you should and shouldn't consume, you've probably added enough stress to your day that you'll keel over from a heart attack or develop an ulcer!

hype (2, Funny)

noopy (959768) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874984)

The hype-meter on my toolbar is pegged to the right. One questionaire, not even a clinical trial, about a substance with many, many compounds and they've got the results pegged to one allele that metabolises just one compound, caffiene, slowly. Let's put a "why do you loose sleep" on the slashdot poll. May as well conclude that slashdotters who loose sleep staying up all night do so because of cowboy neal. Well, so long as they have some odd genotype.

When will people learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14875003)

Well, when will you people learn that we are being lied to by the American government? The sheep are bleating.

How come is it news ? (1)

dom1234 (695331) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875017)

I would never have expected this to surprise anyone in 2006. For those who never go out or read anything, maybe we should do some basic education :
- MacDonald's food is bad for your health (even salads because of the dressing)
- Coke is not healthy neither
- Cars pollute

Seriously, has anyone ever been taught coffee was healthy ??

Two Apropos Quotes (3, Funny)

SeanDuggan (732224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875037)

"You know you're old when you remember when bacon, eggs, and sunshine were good for you."
"Studies show that research causes cancer in lab rats."

Quite honestly, all that these studies keep showing is that we still really don't understand how it all works and that, for now, you should just go ahead and eat what makes you feel healthy and good.

I'm ok, I drink 8+ cups a day. (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875050)

I probably really should cut back, but I really drink coffee almost exclusively during the cold months.

Coffee (4, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875054)

I quit all other drugs in my life. The only thing I have left is coffee. They can take it when they pry it from my cold (well, warmed), dead fingers. I started drinking it in college and fell in love. It's the right way to start a morning. It doesn't offend with its smell like tobacco. It doesn't impair driving like alcohol. It is the primordial source of gathering in the break room. It is the basis for the original Terry Tate, Office Linebacker skit. It gives cops something to hold along with a donut. It provided cease fires during the Civil War as the south traded tobacco for coffee with the north. It is the foundation of eclectic, bohemian establishments wherein college kids make it, and other college kids drink it (coffee shops) and also birthed some of the first public access to the Internet outside of libraries. It is a primary staple product in many South American countries. It's something that (according to my systematics professor) the English don't make very well. It revs you up before anything you need revving up for. I use it before my workout too. It is best when freshly ground and french-pressed. It has created many wonderful cups that say things on them. It gives dentists something to clean during checkups. Wtf beat it up? Study says this/study says that.

Next: water -- a study shows too much of it can make your lungs stop producing needful oxygen....

Good Reading Comprehension (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14875060)

Congratulations on everyone's excellent reading comprehension. The article isn't merely stating caffeine is bad, but they actually offer an explaination as to why, and why different studies show different results.

If you read the article, the research found that certain individuals with one of two variants of a certain gene process caffeine differently. The one group is able to better metabolize it, while the other group isn't. So people in the first group could quite easily drink 4+ cups of coffee per day with less negative effect then the second group.

This explains why some studies show health benefits, while others don't, due to individuals processing caffeine differently.

Slow poison (1)

sita (71217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875063)

"Coffe is a slow poison; it has to be, I have drunk eight cups a day for fifty years, and I'm still not dead." -- Voltaire

The study I am waiting for. (1)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875066)

It's been my understanding (perhaps wrong) that the buzz you get from coffee (and tea) is supplied by your adrenal glands, and so caffeine drinking taxes your adrenals, perhaps leading to future pernicious effects. Any researches out there? Has there been a study on this, if not, would you do one?

In other news.. (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875069)

American researchers have published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicating that reading studies about the health benifits of anything is useless since two months later another study will contradict the findings. The researchers came to the conclusion that people should just do whatever they think is right and let darwinism work out the rest.
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