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Coffee Maybe Not a Health Drink! 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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Coffee Maybe Not a Health Drink!

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  • Dose (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThenAgain ( 627263 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:40AM (#14874679)
    As with anything related to toxicology, the dose is the poison.
    • Re:Dose (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:14AM (#14874985) Homepage Journal
      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 (Score:4, Informative)

        by gunnk ( 463227 ) <gunnk@mail.f[ ] ['pg.' in gap]> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:36AM (#14875222) Homepage
        ... and even drinking to much water. That's actually been a problem for several years now at marathons, half-marathons and other road races. People tend to drink at every water station. That lowers their electrolytes to the point they require medical help. It's actually much more common now than people dehydrating during races.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        As with all addictive substances, it's best not to become addicted.

        Two cups a day means you are addicted. If you "need" a cup a day, you are addicted.

        • Tip for breaking the vicious cycle: I've stopped drinking coffee twice... once cold turkey, once progressively after getting back into it through the devious paths of coca-cola and green tea (I didn't realise green tea had caffeine).

          I found that breaking off progressively was *much* easier than all-of-a-sudden. You don't get all the psychological trip where your brain tries to convince you that you *must* have a cup otherwise something bad will happen (eg. you won't be sharp enough to do your job, etc). B
        • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @12:45PM (#14876046)
          As with all addictive substances, it's best not to become addicted. Two cups a day means you are addicted. If you "need" a cup a day, you are addicted.

          It's not like it's freakin' heroin or something. First of all, you're probably better off being a "hard-core" coffee addict than a casual user of cocaine or heroin. Second, last time I checked there weren't any twelve-step programs for coffee drinkers, or patches to help them quit. That suggests that either people don't have a problem with being regular coffee drinkers, and/or they don't have much of a problem quitting if it's making them irritable, sleepless or whatever.

          The whole "addiction" thing is just a little out of hand. When I'm working out in the desert I may drink two liters of water a day, and damn sure I feel a "need" for water when its 90 degrees. So I'm a water addict? To be an addiction, I think it has to (a) be seriously detrimental to your well-being, and (b) you have to have serious trouble quitting. Coffee doesn't meet either of those criteria.

          • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @01:06PM (#14876267) Journal
            It's not like it's freakin' heroin or something. First of all, you're probably better off being a "hard-core" coffee addict than a casual user of cocaine or heroin.

            Actually, if you're sure of the purity and dose of your heroin it's very physiologically benign. It's just an opiates, and pain patients use opiates their entire lives. If heroin were legal it would be cheap enough that addicts wouldn't have to steal to get it, and wouldn't be stigmatized by being an addict. Because of tolerance the actual deleterious effects of being opiated go away. They could live entirely normal lives.
      • Re:Dose (Score:4, Funny)

        by 0NoQuarter14 ( 959797 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @12:29PM (#14875862)
        If anyone ever tells you to do a lot of anything, run the other way.

        But don't run too far.
    • Re:Dose (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:16AM (#14875007) Homepage Journal
      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.
    • Re:Dose (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alex P Keaton in da ( 882660 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:26AM (#14875090) Homepage
      Also, as with anything else, direct causation is almost impossible to prove. 4+ cups of coffee leads to heart disease? I would postulate, not from scientific study but from anecdotal evidence gathered over years of stressful jobs, that the people under the most pressure and stress tend to drink the most coffee. So maybe the stress is what is causing the heart disease?
      Also, coffee is so acidic that people who work out everyday are not likely to be able to drink 4+ cups a day (again, non scientific anecdotal evidence). Coffee is currently fashionable, but when I think of a stereotypical coffee addict like myslelf, I dont think of a slim trim health nut...
      • Re:Dose (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ergo98 ( 9391 )
        Coffee is currently fashionable, but when I think of a stereotypical coffee addict like myslelf, I dont think of a slim trim health nut...

        To really appreciate coffee saturation, get to know Canadian culture (particular Vancouver or Southern Ontario). We quaff coffee close to universally, from stressful to calm, and from unhealthy to healthy. Small towns feature half a dozen drive through coffee shops, all hosting endless lineups.
    • by drooling-dog ( 189103 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:29AM (#14875134)
      As with anything related to toxicology, the dose is the poison.

      In this case, it may be the gene that's the poison. It appears that a gene called CYP1A2 determines how fast you metabolize caffeine, depending on which of two variants you have. People with two copies of the variant CYP1A2*1A metabolize caffeine about 4X faster than those with two copies of the other variant, CYP1A2*1F. The study found that more than 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day increases the risk of cardiovascular disease for the slow metabolizers, but may actually reduce it for those carrying CYP1A2*1A.

      That could be why studies on the health effects of coffee have been all over the map. The trick is to know your genotype with regard to CYP1A2, and of course very few of us do (or can)...

      See html []

    • Not just dose. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slughead ( 592713 )
      As with anything related to toxicology, the dose is the poison.

      Not to mention the person's physiology. There's a reason they call the lethal dose of something the "LD50", and that's because that's the dose at which 50% of the animals they injected the substance into died. (they measure it in milligrams of drug per kiligram of animal, in case you're wondering).

      Some people are immune to AIDS, some people are allergic to peanut butter, in some people Ibuprophen works for headaches, in others Asprin or Tylenol
  • by PornMaster ( 749461 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:41AM (#14874689) Homepage
    I think I should wait until the quad venti skim latte kicks in before contemplating the coffee deathmatch.
  • by Zaatxe ( 939368 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:41AM (#14874692)
    "the difference between medication and poison is the dose"
  • Who Cares (Score:2, Interesting)

    by soapee01 ( 698313 )
    Does anyone really drink coffee because supposed health benefits?

    I thought it was just the magic breakfast juice that helps me move, think, ...
  • here we go again (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dkode ( 517172 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:43AM (#14874708) Homepage
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Makarakalax ( 658810 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:50AM (#14874769) Homepage
      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.
      • 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 Associatio

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:52AM (#14874798) Homepage Journal
      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.
    • Though, I think your sig script would be worse for your health then any amount of coffee...

    • by fistfullast33l ( 819270 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:56AM (#14874837) Homepage Journal
      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 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 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.

    • by raygundan ( 16760 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:15AM (#14874998) Homepage
      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.

    • I think as long as everyone comsumes food/drinks moderately and not go over board most people have nothing to worry about.

      That's what my doctor says, too. Indeed, eating things in moderation and getting decent exercise is key to a good, long and healthy life.
  • Well, (Score:5, Funny)

    by deletedaccount ( 835797 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:43AM (#14874709)
    I've started injecting it, so I'm not sure how this applies to me.
  • by SpooForBrains ( 771537 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:43AM (#14874711)
    ... namely one Commander Samuel Vimes: "Coffee is merely a way of stealing time that by rights should belong to your slightly older self".
  • by Makarakalax ( 658810 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:43AM (#14874713) Homepage
    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 ;)
    • Currently I'm drinking 6 cups of tea a day instead ;)

      Good tea, I hope, such as loose stuff from Adagio []. (I say this while enjoying some black apricot [])
    • 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. :)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:57AM (#14875491)
      Your symptoms (rapid pulse, dizziness) could be an adrenergic response to hypoglycemia.

      When this happens, do you experience difficulty concentrating? (Neuroglycopenia) And does it subsequently go away when you ingest food, especially sugar? Do you experience frequent urination during the recovery phase? If it's Hypoglycemia, it is actually very dangerous for your brain.

      Caffeine's kick comes from its ability to expedite the transport of sugar from the blood to the tissues. The occasionally dangerous side effect is that if you have a problem with your diet and/or anrednal glands, since caffeine creates this metabolic illusion of an energy boost, the combination can sometimes result in depleting the blood of sugar faster than this sugar can be replenished. Then you crash dangerously hard, experiencing what insulin-dependent diabetics refer to as a "hypo."

      When your brain detects low blood sugar, it triggers the release of adrenalin and cortisol which are stress hormones, and this causes your body to release emergency sugar from other sources, such as stored glucagon from your liver.

      So most of the unpleasant effects of hypoglycemia are actually your body's defense against it. But you are 100% right to avoid coffee if it does that to you, since this is a warning sign. Coffee does not do this to everybody.

      Whatever the problem is, things can likely be brought back into balance just by eating moderate balanced meals, and having healthy snacks between meals and before bed. If you eat a lot of sugar, take it with some protein and/or fat so that your pancreas never gets habitually braced for dealing with big jolts of sugar... because it'll get itself into a mode where it produces too much insulin at the wrong time... which can be as dangerous as the legendary diabetic insulin overdose. So ironically, too much sugar can cause hypoglycemia.

      Definitely talk to a Dietician.

      Possibly at some point in the future, you might consult an Endocrinologist if you've been bingeing on high-sugar foods, and you think you might be at risk of developing type II diabetes or something like hyperinsulinism or hypoglycemia. (The latter two may actually be somewhat common. It's the diagnosis for them which is exceedingly rare, since they are both very difficult to get clinically diagnosed. Pretty much only the textbook cases that present under ideal circumstances will ever get diagnosed.) You almost have to be pretty sick before an Endocrinologist will be able to help you.

      Good luck...

      I personally had just one episode of "reactive hypoglycemia" involving just one strong coffee, a skipped breakfast and some physical exertion, and it felt exactly like the experiences you describe having with coffee. I did not lose consciousness, but the experience did leave me with some very subtle brain damage... (which I seem to be adapting to finally after 6 weeks.)
    • I'm more than a little concerned, not because coffee makes me jittery (it does), but because I seem to keep caffeine in my system for a long time. If I drink a caffeinated beverage after noon, there's a good chance I may still have enough caffeine in my system to keep me awake after 2:00 a.m.

      I've known for some time that I process caffeine more slowly than many of my friends, but with the results of this new study (and a family history of heart disease), I believe I will have to seriously reduce my coffee i
  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:44AM (#14874715) Homepage
    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"
    • The corporate TCO Analysis goes something like this.

      The peons like coffee. We need more productivity. Coffee is a stimulant. Give them more coffee to increase productivity. Oops, now they spend too much time around the coffee pot! Buy bad coffee, they are addicted anyway. Oh no, now their health is declining and our insurance bills are going up! No problem, just make them pay most of the premiums. They won't be able to afford to quit that way...

  • Take that, all you sad unhealthy coffee-addicts!

    /me tosses back the third black tea of the morning in celebration
  • Ex Caffeine Junky (Score:5, Interesting)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:45AM (#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.
    • "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...

    • Aspartame (Score:2, Insightful)

      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

      • So, instead people should kick the diet habit and just drink copious amounts of high fructose corn syrup?

        I kid, of course.
      • Re:Aspartame (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @12:29PM (#14875859)
        Your dietician needs to go back to med school. Yes, aspartame breaks down to formadehyde as the tail end of the process of your small intestine converting it to methanol. Formaldehyde (from methanol) is a normal chemical to be found in your body as a normal byproduct of normal digestion.

        The amount of methanol produced by Aspartame in the body is 10% of the ingested aspartame. Assuming all the methonal is further converted to formadehyde, a normal 12 oz soft drink causes only 1/6th the amount of methonal production as an equivalent drink of Tomato Juice (which contains no Aspartame, but contains other "natural" chemicals that produce methanol).

        The actual numbers are this:

        A 12 oz diet soda contains 225 mg of Aspartame (approximately 0.05% of the drink is aspartame). That generates 22.5 mg of methanol, or about 0.005% of the drink will become methanol. We will assume all the methanol becomes formaldehyde (worst case). The LD50 of formaldehyde is 100mg/kg. For an average male of 75 kg, that would mean 7500mg. A total of 333 sodas must be drank by this average male to assure death, and they must be drank fast enough to counteract the body's natural ability to rid itself of formaldehyde.

        Of course, hyponatremia will set in, without exercise or dry heat, with drinking about 3 or more litres of fluid per hour, for serveral hours straight. 333 sodas will contain 3996 oz of liquid, or about 118 litres. Anyone attempting death through ingestion of Aspartame by soda comsumption will surely die of hyponatremia far before they have reached even small amount of their goal!

        Feel free to ask your dietician to verify this!
    • 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.

    • by Epi-man ( 59145 )
      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 (wa
    • I'm with you on this one. I used to have trouble sleeping and just generally felt bad a lot of the time. I would drink at least one large cup of coffee and upwards of 4 cans of soda a day (I know, a tiny amount by comparison to some people, but it was enough for me). I managed to stop my caffeine (and most of my sugar) intake for about 3 months almost completely. After that I felt much, much better. That was about a year and a half ago. Now I drink one large cup of coffee and maybe one (diet) soda a day. So
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • morning wake-up juice = coffee black

    evening night-cap = captain morgan 'n' coffee black
  • by BecomingLumberg ( 949374 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:46AM (#14874738)
    In other news, drinking/eating too much of $SUBSTANCE could lead to $HEALTH.PROBLEM.

  • by dantheman82 ( 765429 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:48AM (#14874757) Homepage
    for the future of Java? For now, I'm drinking green tea and coding in C#.
  • 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 othe
  • Balance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ChaoticCoyote ( 195677 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:51AM (#14874779) Homepage

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

    • 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....
  • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:51AM (#14874782) Journal
    I am proposing that eating a Whoopie Pie a day is part of a healthy diet. Prove me wrong and give me a pie!
  • by The Ape With No Name ( 213531 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:53AM (#14874804) Homepage
    In a 24 hour period. If you are not hallucinating by 11AM, it's time for another cup of coffee.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @10:53AM (#14874809)
    "Studies have shown that research causes cancer in lab rats."
  • 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 deci
  • And how does this increased level of risk compare to, ummm, death by car?
  • Coffee may not be a health drink, but Irish Coffee [] certainly is.
  • 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!
  • by slashbob22 ( 918040 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:02AM (#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). []
    • 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
    • The only danger to a double-double is falling asleep in the line-ups at Timmy's, waiting to get served. None the less, I will be having my ExLarge, two cream shortly. (Hopefully before the shakes kick in.)
  • by Ranger ( 1783 )
    Coffee not a health drink? Balderdash. Next they'll be telling us hard liquor, cigarettes, and lap dancers aren't healthy for us either.
  • 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

  • 100 cups (Score:2, Funny)

    by DaFallus ( 805248 )
    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!"
  • Is that 5oz, 8oz, 16oz, or the venti? I drink a I gonna die now?
  • hype (Score:2, Funny)

    by noopy ( 959768 )
    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.
  • by SeanDuggan ( 732224 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:21AM (#14875037) Homepage Journal
    "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 probably really should cut back, but I really drink coffee almost exclusively during the cold months.
  • Coffee (Score:5, Funny)

    by Himring ( 646324 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:22AM (#14875054) Homepage Journal
    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....

    • Oh, and too, sometimes I feel the news articles I submit just don't meet the very high, journalistic criteria of the /. admins, and then I see this coffee blurb....

      And to think, I felt stupid for submitting the piece wherein Russian scientists are finding German tanks sunk deep into the bogs using metal detectors, the tanks having fully-functioning magnetos inside some 60 years later ... ok, well now I feel stupid again I think....
  • "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
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • by Helmholtz ( 2715 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @11:25AM (#14875078) Homepage
    Since it's the number of cups that makes a difference, I guess I just need to switch to a bigger cup .....
  • Haven't the Mormons been saying this for 150 years?
  • A Google fight between 'coffee heart disease' and 'coffee antioxidants' [] makes it clear that this no contest.

    Coffee heart disease: 8,860,000 results
    Coffee antioxidants: 1,500,000 results

    Now should I feel like Fry when they discovered what Slurm really was?

    "Ewww!" (sip)
  • As a graduate assistant in engineering it really is either coffee or cigarettes. They can't seem to decide whether coffee is mostly harmless or slightly helpful, but nobody's gonna argue that cigarettes aren't bad for you.
    I'll take the lesser evil/not-evil.
  • I really don't get geeks' caffeine worship. Some seem to think that it's somehow a good thing to not be able to wake up properly before drinking half a pot of coffee.

    Oh, and all you self-righteous green tea drinking hippies are no better.
    • I can think of a several good reasons to worship caffeine

      1) it doesn't impair your ability to work, which isn't true for most other substances
      2) it's often free at workplaces and available at schools (usually in soda form for the latter)
      3) it's better than being SMITTEN by the CAFFEINE GOD, you self-righteous caffeine-free prick.

      ok, 3 was really to poke fun at you ;)
  • by Creepy ( 93888 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @01:00PM (#14876222) Journal
    I don't mean to discount their identification of a genetic link (which I think is valid), and I have no idea how Costa Ricans drink their coffee, but previous research [] has identified a risk in unfiltered coffee like that through a percolator or French press (or Turkish, Espresso machine, etc) vs filtered coffee. Since terpenes (oils) in unfiltered coffee are suspected raising cholesterol, it is possible that elevated cholesterol levels from drinking unfiltered coffee may also play a role here.

        In any case, having that gene and drinking a lot of unfiltered coffee would put a person most at risk, I would think.
  • by deviantphil ( 543645 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @01:12PM (#14876321)
    A lot of who is right depends on who funded each study and what they set out to prove (or disprove) in their study.
  • by gordguide ( 307383 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @03:23PM (#14877594)
    Q: " ... In light of other studies linking antioxidants in coffee to a reduction in heart disease, who is right? ..."

    A: Since it's the presence of a gene that matters which is right, Check family history:
    Look for heart disease or diabetes (essentially, the same thing as far as your likelihood of heart disease goes). If found, avoid coffee.
    Check family history again, look for average age at death. If less than 60 for males, assume heart attack, avoid coffee.
    For females, ignore childbearing age, look for deaths aged 40~60. If found, assume heart disease, avoid coffee.

    If most of your ancestors and siblings seem to live past 70, assume decent heart, drink coffee.
    If most live past 80, you may safely ignore cause of death, even if from heart attack, because they didn't "really" die of a heart attack, they died because they were healthy and got old, like all healthy people do and everyone dies of something. Drink coffee.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson