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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More nonsense about coffee

One gripe I would happily bring to the "Grumpy" TV programme is "spurious health research and lazy journalists."

We're constantly given contradictory information about the health benefits, or otherwise, of cofee, tea and chocolate, to name just three.

Quite often the research is based on too small a sample to ever be viable, yet it commands big headlines. If journalists weren't quite so lazy, being constantly spoon fed everything and rarely finding their own stories, they might deign to Google a few stories and weigh up the true worth of what the press releaase is telling them.

Today we're told that a woman who drinks four cups of coffee (or more) a day is a fifth less likely to become depressed . Those who drink two or three reduce their risk by 15%.

The research, by Harvard Umiversity, looked at 51,000 women over 10 years. It's a good solid sample size over a decent research period.

But we're also old that "too much" coffee can raise blood pressure and increase the heart rate. I would never drink four cups or more a day. There was a time when I did, and it made me either nauseous or jittery.  Four cups or more sounds excessive. I'm surprised the researchers didn't look at the trade off between reduced levels of depression and increased blood pressure. I suspect they probably did, but preferred to major on the positive outcome of their research rather than consider 10 years and goodness' knows how much money wasted.

2 comments:

Helen Dummett said...

Agree totally, believe it or not but I knew someone who started eating only white things as she read that everything else has artificial colours in which is full of chemicals and apparently you can't make things white ! Amazing what people believe. I love my coffee but about 5 years ago went Decaf which nearly killed me (or saved me). I was a 10 cup a day person, and was not only jittery but didn't sleep, didn't eat and drove everyone crazy, surely no sleep from more than four cups can easily make you depressed !

Anne @ The Frump Factor said...

This has long been a pet peeve of mine, as well. EVERY health study gets published, and each study is never put in proper perspective. And don't get me started on the fact that virtually ALL of the studies published these days are based on correlation, not causation! As in: People who drink wine and eat brie tend to be healthier. Yeah, they also tend to be more affluent, so there just MIGHT be other factors.

But I might just drink 4 or more cups of coffee, because depending where you buy your coffee, one "cup" might be three!

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