SCIENCE: Is coffee bad for you?


Simple Science | Mar. 7, 2016


Postmenopausal women who do not take in a lot of calcium might start losing spinal bone if they drink more than three cups of coffee a day.

Roughly 83 percent of adults in America drink coffee on a daily basis. More than 90 percent of all adults in the country drink some form of caffeine on a daily basis, according to AARP, Inc.

This drug provides a large number of benefits to the human body, being in part responsible for lowering the risk of some forms of cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. It is also a stimulant, helping people wake up and stay up.

Caffeine binds to human nerve cells, specifically to adenosine receptors. Normally, when adenosine binds to its receptors, the nerve cells slow their activity, but when caffeine binds to it, activity continues as normal.

By binding to the receptors, caffeine prevents adenosine from having an impact, helping people stay awake when they otherwise might fall asleep. This then stimulates the human body to produce adrenaline.

Adrenaline is the chemical in the human body that raises the pulse and instigates the “fight or flight” response.

Too much caffeine leads to a disturbed sleep cycle, insomnia, raises blood pressure and may impact people who have type 2 diabetes. At the same time, drinkers who do not have type 2 diabetes are at a reduced risk for it.

Caffeine may also have an impact on the efficacy of some medicines, mostly thyroid and psychoactive ones. People on these medications should avoid drinking too much coffee.

The drug is also found in soda, chocolate, tea and several other foods and beverages. A large part of coffee’s other benefits are a result of the unique combination of chemicals found in the bean.

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Nikhilesh De is a School of Engineering junior. He is the news editor of The Daily Targum. Follow him on Twitter @nikhileshde for more.


Nikhilesh De

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