NEW CASTLE —
I drink plenty of coffee.
The reasons are mainly two-fold. First, I like it. Second, it’s something of an occupational hazard. Traditionally, coffee and the news business go hand in hand.
So do journalism and alcohol, but that’s a different story.
Because of my heavy coffee consumption (usually reaching as much as eight cups a day), I tend to pay attention to medical research on the beverage and how it impacts human health.
Coffee is noted for the jolt of caffeine it provides, a fairly powerful and addictive stimulant. It’s probably reasonable to say that of all the products humans typically consume, coffee is near the top of the list of those examined for their effects on health.
The reasons for such extensive studies probably stem from the fact coffee is a popular beverage, as well as the understandable assumption that anything addictive has to be bad for you.
But as it turns out, all the studies about the health impacts of coffee appear to show that it’s something of a wash.
According to a website maintained by the Harvard School of Public Health, there are some concerns about coffee contributing to high blood pressure. But if so, the link is minimal. On the other hand, recent evidence suggests coffee consumption helps to protect against the effects of Type 2 diabetes.
Overall, there appear to be no increased risks of heart disease or cancer from drinking coffee. As for overdosing on caffeine, you would have to drink about 75 cups of java before reaching deadly levels.
There is one key caveat about the best way to drink coffee: It’s recommended you do so by dripping it through a paper filter. The filter blocks a substance in coffee that can raise the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Of course, if you are a regular reader of health news, you may have come across some reports suggesting the harmful effects of caffeine. But the Harvard website indicates these studies may have been flawed, because of the complexities associated with coffee in our culture.
For instance, many coffee drinkers also smoke. It’s believed some studies may have failed to properly separate the two.
And lots of folks who drink lots of coffee tend to sit around while they do so. Statistically, sedentary people have health and fitness issues that really aren’t caused by the coffee they are drinking.
One of the interesting aspects of medical research into coffee is the discovery that it’s far more than a caffeine delivery system. Coffee, it turns out, is chock full of a variety of chemicals whose full effects have yet to be mapped out.
This presents the opportunity for even more research into coffee. You can practically hear all those university printers churning out grant applications.
In the meantime, I have no real reason to refrain from my morning pot of coffee — even if it takes me into the afternoon.
NEW CASTLE —
I drink plenty of coffee.
- Mitchel Olszak
Mitchel Olszak: Playing impeachment politics
This may be the first time in U.S. history that an administration has welcomed talk of impeachment.
Mitchel Olszak: IRS email fight clouds the issue
A scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service is now focused on missing emails. The absent data could represent the smoking gun Republicans have been seeking in their endless efforts to discredit the Obama administration.
Mitchel Olszak: Iraq is good argument for fracking
A friend of mine is a big advocate of shale gas drilling. It’s not because he owns land and is looking forward to royalties. He owns no property.
Mitchel Olszak: Government officials can’t dismiss Sunshine Law rights
There’s a fundamental problem I frequently see with government. It has to do with the people who hold positions of authority. Too often, they seem to overlook the real reason they are there.
Mitchel Olszak: Forced pooling and a clash of rights
There’s an old saying: The right of your fist ends where my nose begins. It’s a reference to the fact that in a free society, there are still boundaries that must be respected.
Mitchel Olszak: The consequence of cowardice
The anonymous letter came with a question. The writer claimed to be concerned about a decision made by a municipal governing body. Supposedly, this action was suspicious, devious and possibly illegal.
Mitchel Olszak: Jitters about the health effects of coffee remain unfounded
I drink plenty of coffee. The reasons are mainly two-fold. First, I like it. Second, it’s something of an occupational hazard. Traditionally, coffee and the news business go hand in hand.
Heartbleed raises the stakes on Internet security
My column last week dealt with Internet and related scams, along with steps people can take to protect themselves. Today’s column could be termed Part 2 of that topic, albeit from a different angle.
Mitchel Olszak: There’s no reason to be surprised by modern scams
P.T. Barnum once observed that there is a sucker born every minute. Judging from the people who complain about being caught up in computer scams, I think he was too conservative in his count.
Mitchel Olszak: Doubting the basic intelligence of ravens nevermore
Every now and then, I find myself watching the ravens around my house. That’s because their behavior is fascinating, and at times more than a little disturbing.
- More Mitchel Olszak Headlines
- Mitchel Olszak: Playing impeachment politics