Caffeine Essay, Research Paper
Caffeine, is it a helpful drug or a hazardous toxin? Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance. It is found in seeds, leaves or fruits in about 60 plants. Beverages with caffeine in them have been consumed since 2700B.C.. People all over the world consume caffeine every day. Many people have various ideas on the way caffeine affects the human body. Some experts say it prevents cancer while others say caffeine makes people more prone to cancer. You decide.
In the article What You Should know About Caffeine, printed in the Information Food Council Foundation, states that caffeine has no relevance to many forms of cancer and other problems. These diseases include cardiovascular disease, fibrocystic breast diseases, reproductive function, behavior in children, birth defects and cancer.
Studies at Vanderbuilt University show that the effects of caffeine on sleep varies greatly between individuals. Some people feel no effects while others reported reduced or poorer quality sleep.
The article also states that caffeine has very little effect on blood pressure. Only people that are highly sensitive to caffeine, experience a short period of higher blood pressure then they normally have. In an experiment done by the Harvard Medical School in 1990 say that Caffeine has no direct link to infertility either. Nor does it have an effect on a pregnant woman and/or her unborn child. In addition all of the talk that says caffeine will
stunt a child’s growth is just rumors. Caffeine is said not to affect children any differently then it does adults.
In another article entitled Coffee may not be so bad in Science News, November 25, 1995, the author thinks that caffeine is an energy booster for athletes. At Oregon Health Sciences University a research team studied six healthy young men. The men rode exercise bicycles while the scientists recorded blood pressure. The participants then drank a double espresso, waited thirty minutes and rode the bike again. The experiment proved that the men’s hearts used less oxygen while pumping more blood after they drank the coffee.(Travis, 360)
In The Buzz About Caffeine, published in Better Homes and Gardens, May 1995, the author believes that caffeine has both good and bad effects one one’s health. The article says that caffeine stimulates the brain, this makes you less tired, increases alertness, reaction time and improves motor coordination as well. Also, caffeine speeds up heart rate, movement of food
in the digestive system, an increase of stomach acid and it makes certain muscles relax.
The author says that caffeine may irritate an already existing ulcer. Caffeine can contribute to heart burn after a large meal because it relaxes the
esophagus and stomach. Also, having three cups of coffee can almost double your chances of having a miscarriage. (Blonz, 50)
Caffeine : The (Mostly) Good News , from Ms. September/October 1995 also discusses the risks and benefits of caffeine. An experiment done on 34,000 women in Iowa proves that caffeine does not contribute to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. For the most part caffeine does not make the odds greater for getting Osteoporosis in your later life. But, women at age seventy that were drinking two cups of coffee a day did experience a significant amount of bone loss especially in the femur.
On getting pregnant caffeine has no effect. But, when miscarriages are mentioned, that is when red flags go up. Research indicates that drinking three hundred milligrams or just three small cups of coffee a day can be harmful to the tiny fetus. It takes a long time for the fetus to break down the caffeine and could cause problems such as low birth weight, fetal abnormalities or even a miscarriage. The research also concludes that drinking less than three milligrams of coffee a day will probably not cause any problems for the unborn child.(Ingall, 26)
Coffee Controversy Brews talks about the antioxidants in coffee. Takayuki Shibamoto, a professor of toxicology at UC Davis found that there were as many anti-oxidants in one cup of fresh brewed coffee as there are in several oranges. But, this is just a Shibatamoto’s hypothesis on his own research. Many people feel that Caffeine is very beneficial to a person’s health. Others feel a simple cup of coffee can cause serious health risks and problems. Some of these questions about caffeine and coffee may be answered in the near future, while others will remain unanswered for many years to come. The one thing that is evidently clear is that a lot more research has to be done to come to a conclusion about this topic. When you pick up your mug of coffee every morning, ask yourself: Is coffee a helpful drug or hazardous toxin?