June 17, 2008

A Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa, Cup ***

Ha! Bow down and grovel before the great God Java, all you anti-caffeine fussy-pants out there:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Long-term coffee drinking does not appear to increase a person's risk of early death and may cut a person's chances of dying from heart disease, according to a study published on Monday.

Previous studies have given a mixed picture of health effects from coffee, finding a variety of benefits and some drawbacks from the popular drink. The new study looked at people who drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.

Researchers led by Esther Lopez-Garcia of Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain followed 84,214 U.S. women from 1980 to 2004 and 41,736 U.S. men from 1986 to 2004.

They found that regular coffee drinking -- up to six cups a day -- was not associated with increased deaths among the study's middle-aged participants. In fact, the coffee drinkers, particularly the women, experienced a small decline in death rates from heart disease.

The study found no association between coffee consumption and cancer deaths.

"Our study indicates that coffee consumption does not have a detrimental effect," Lopez-Garcia, whose research appears in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, said in a telephone interview. "It seems like long-term coffee consumption may have some beneficial effects."

I'll dope-slap the lot of you as soon as my hands stop shaking and I can see straight.

I believe I started drinking coffee just about the same time I started drinking wine with dinner, which is to say when I was about 14 or so. And the coffee at our house was famous for its tar-like properties of strength and thickness. The Mothe always resisted my pleas to start in on the coffee earlier on the grounds that it would stunt my growth.

Recently, the elder Llama-ettes have begun to take an interest in coffee-drinking themselves. I've told them pretty much the same thing Mom told me. Little did I realize way back when that the real reason Mom didn't want me having an after dinner cuppa was that she wanted to make sure I went to bed and stayed there. (Once I was a teenager, of course, I could sleep through anything.) Now, of course, I see things much more from her perspective.

*** I tried to find a youtube of the old Lena Horne Sanka commercial (Mmmm....Lena Horne....mmmmmmm), but it seems to have been yanked. If anybody has a link, please shoot it along.

Posted by Robert at June 17, 2008 10:52 AM | TrackBack

When I was in my 30's and 40's I knew the location of every Starbucks within a 5 mile radius of my home. Iced coffee Americano, grande if you please, was my drug er drink of choice...

When I hit 50, I gained an intolerance to caffeine. My hands would shake, my heart race and I felt terribly anxious.

Hubby and I are now into "half-caf" and only one cup in the morning. In fact, when he is out of town, I don't drink any caffeine beverages and, I don't miss them. What a stark change from my late 20's when I tried to get off caffeine as a New Years resolution and almost had a break down! I was drinking 8-10 servings of either coffee, cola or iced tea/day. Talk about a pounding headache!

Posted by: Babs at June 17, 2008 11:27 AM

We're a mixed tea and coffee family. I have a slight preference for tea and my husband for coffee. The oldest likes tea and started asking for "EarlGreyhottea" when he was 2 -- he detests coffee. The two girls like tea and snarf coffee when we aren't looking (or when we are looking, we make them Postum which is known as kids' coffee around here). Time will only tell how the littlest ones will feel about hot beverages.

Posted by: Jordana at June 17, 2008 11:41 AM

I actually don't drink half as much coffee as I used to. But if I don't get my dose in the morning, I go through the day with a very bad headache.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at June 17, 2008 01:02 PM

My grandfather started us on coffee when I was about eight...he was born in a fairly poor family in Sicily, and for breakfast or a snack would take a bowl, fill it with torn scraps of bread, add hot coffee, cream and sugar and eat it with a spoon.

The kiddy version was a heavily creamed and sugared cup of coffee, and a slice of bread to dunk. Poor man's biscotti? Certainly easier on the teeth.

Posted by: diane at June 17, 2008 01:16 PM

I didn't touch coffee until after college, strictly a tea drinker. But then I got a job working 2 pm to midnight and the rest is history.

Posted by: rbj at June 17, 2008 01:38 PM