– Numerous studies have shown that even small amounts of caffeine significantly improve concentration, mental endurance and reflex speed. Subjects did not know whether they were being given caffeine or a placebo (a beverage that looked and tasted exactly like coffee, but contained no caffeine). Results were conclusive: the performance of subjects who were given a placebo was markedly inferior to that of subjects who had received caffeine. To confirm these findings, Dr. J. Wurtman compared people who were used to drinking coffee with persons who never drank coffee. The results were identical. On the other hand he suggested that coffee’s effect on neurons, as well as the effects of benzopyrene, a carcinogenic substance produced during roasting of coffee beans, should be taken into account when deciding how much coffee an individual should drink.
– In Sweden, researchers found that coffee contains substances which act on the brain to eliminate symptoms of mild depression. They concluded that coffee has a beneficial effect on the way people feel, lasting for about two hours after being consumed.
– Competitive athletes often use coffee as a mild stimulant.
– Coffee contains a substance called theophylline which dilates bronchi and alleviates symptoms of asthma. Although you can’t use coffee to replace medication prescribed to combat asthma attacks, it can be useful as a temporary measure if no medication is available.
– An American researcher also found that coffee has a positive effect on persons suffering from hay fever.
– When you drink a cup of coffee you feel the effects about an hour later. They generally last about 6 hours.
– Coffee is rich in tannin, which helps fight tooth decay.
– Coffee also contains polyphenols which help prevent cancer.
– Smokers who suffer from high blood pressure should not drink coffee. The effects of caffeine combined with tobacco are harmful. Non-smokers who suffer from high blood pressure can continue drinking coffee, but in smaller amounts.
– If you drink more than 4 cups of coffee a day, your risk of developing heart disease is multiplied by 3!
– Coffee stimulates gastric secretions, and is not recommended for persons with stomach or duodenal ulcers.
– Persons who are generally nervous, anxious or highly emotional should stop drinking coffee.
– Also to be avoided by persons suffering from cardiovascular problems or bladder stones.
– Note that brown coffee has fewer negative effects than black coffee.