Caffeine - We can Drink Coffee Again

~ June 1999 No.74 ~

The debate over coffee has had many twists and turns. It seems that once again we can enjoy our cup of Java without worrying about getting addicted for life. This has been the concern of many health scientists because of the high consumption of coffee by people world wide. Also coffee is the main source of caffeine in the diet and there is still no clear concensus about its effects on health. Coffee, tea and, more recently, caffeinated drinks are all common in our diet - so common that there is a concern.

Coffee cup by Beaulluc

The good news is that, at a recent conference in the United States, a French researcher showed data that supported the claim that caffeine is not addictive. It is perhaps important to note that the researcher, Astrid Nehlig, is quoted as saying that addition is “quite unlikely”. Part of this hesitancy may be due to the fact that her studies were done in rats, and the extrapolation to humans is always questionable. Also, there have been other scientific studies that have cautioned about caffeine’s addictiveness. Whether people suffer from a true chemical dependence on caffeine may be difficult to prove; there is no doubt that many people believe that the jolt they get from coffee is the only way to get them going in the morning.

Women in particular have had questions about the effect of consuming coffee. Everything from the ability to conceive, to the risk of women who consume coffee related to breast cancer, to increased incidence of osteoporosis have been studied over the past few years. At the present time there has been no study that has shown any detrimental effects of moderate consumption (2-3 cups /day) of coffee on women's health. Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption are more important risk factors, but, as the amount of caffeine in the diet increases, detrimental effects may become more of a concern.

Coffee/Caffeine Facts
FoodCaffeine per serving)
Drip coffee7oz cup 115 - 175 mg
Tea – black, green6oz cup 22 - 74 mg
Coca-Cola Classic12oz can 34 mg
Jolt Cola23.5oz can 280 mg

Chemical Structure of Caffeine
3,7-Dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione

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Last modified

May 16 2015