“There is a strong association between cigarette smoking and accelerated hypertension. In mild hypertension smoking cigarettes has a distinct pressor effect and caffeine a small but more prolonged pressor action. Coffee and cigarette smoking together have an additive effect on blood pressure. We have examined the interaction of cigarette smoking and drinking coffee on the BP of six patients who presented with accelerated hypertension and were heavy smokers and caffeine users. After initial control of the blood pressure, the effects of smoking alone, coffee plus smoking, and placebo were examined in a balanced cross-over study. Baseline blood pressure averaged 154/91 mm Hg and remained stable for 90 min after abstention from smoking and caffeine (placebo). Cigarette smoking without caffeine caused a modest rise in blood pressure, but the combination of coffee plus cigarette smoking caused a progressive increase in blood pressure to an average 21/17 mm Hg (P < 0.05/P < 0.002) higher than placebo values. The effect of coffee was significantly additive to that of smoking alone. Smoking plus coffee ingestion shifted the blood pressure from acceptable (155/94 mm Hg) to poor control (175/107 mm Hg). This pressor effect was observed despite treatment, and with amounts of caffeine and cigarettes which were in no way unusual for these patients. It is proposed that the association of cigarette smoking with accelerated hypertension may reflect an extreme pressor effect of combined smoking and caffeine use in some patients.”
Although, caffeine consumption can do negative things to the human body such as cause high blood pressure and increase the need to smoke, it also does some good for the body.
“It’s hard to know for sure whether coffee is really causing good effects — lifestyles or behaviors associated with coffee consumption may also influence health. Also, different people have different tolerances for coffee it can have short-term side effects that make people steer clear of morning brews.
So, doctors aren’t quite convinced enough to prescribe coffee, but they probably don’t need to, because so many people indulge in it anyway. The point is: In general, regular coffee drinkers won’t be discouraged from continuing the habit, although there are exceptions. More is known about the overall association between coffee and positive health effects than about the mechanism behind it, said Dr. Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Antioxidants are one potential reason that good outcomes are seen from coffee. Our bodies produce oxygen radicals, which are damaging to DNA. Antioxidants prevent them from doing damage, Ascherio said.
Although antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables, research has shown that coffee is the top source of antioxidants for Americans.
Caffeine itself may also contribute to coffee’s positive effects on brain health. That may be because caffeine is an antagonist to adenosine receptors. These receptors normally slow down neural activity when the chemical adenosine binds to them, producing a sleepy feeling. But if caffeine binds to the receptors, the activity of neurons speeds up.
Coffee also appears to lower levels of insulin and estrogen, which is perhaps why a study last year found a lower risk of endometrial cancer in coffee-drinking women. Insulin also plays a role in prostate cancer, another disease coffee may help stave off. The evidence is fairly strong for coffee preventing type II diabetes and Parkinson’s, and reasonably good for antidepressant effects, too, doctors say. Just in the last few months, several new studies have been published highlighting other possible benefits of coffee. Again, none of them prove that coffee causes any effects at all; they are just associations.
People who drink two 8-ounce cups of coffee daily appear to have an 11% lower risk of developing heart failure, compared to noncoffee drinkers. That’s according to a meta-analysis published in June in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Heart Failure, based on pooling the results of five studies. The researchers did not take into account the strength of coffee, what time of day it was drunk, or whether it was caffeinated — factors that could be related.
Coffee drinkers may also be protecting themselves against basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, according to a July report in the journal Cancer Research. Other caffeinated beverages also seemed to reduce the risk of this slow-growing cancer. But scientists don’t yet know why this effect was observed.
Increased coffee consumption also is associated with longer life, according to Research in the New England Journal of Medicine. Again, no one knows what about coffee would make people live longer, but Ascherio theorizes it could be the protection against type II diabetes, Parkinson’s, depression and suicidal tendencies.
Some of the strongest evidence comes from studies on type II diabetes. According to a 2009 meta-analysis, the risk of type II diabetes goes down with each cup of coffee consumed daily. Additionally, a 2007 meta-analysis found a correlation between increased coffee consumption and lower risk of liver cancer. But it’s not enough to tell anyone who doesn’t already drink coffee to start.”
“Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7752180>.
“Science Confirms: The More Coffee You Drink, The Longer You Will Live.” Authority Nutrition. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. <http://authoritynutrition.com/how-coffee-makes-you-live-longer/>.
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