In 1909 the government brought charges against the Coca-Cola company, one of the most well-known soft drink manufacturers. The company was charged with false advertising and for quietly adding a dangerous stimulant to its beverages.
The trial began in 1911 in Chattanooga.
In the 19th century, cocaine was found to be one of the ingredients within the beverage, so naturally, everyone expected this to be the substance in question. However, that drug was removed as a Coca-Cola ingredient approximately a decade earlier.
To the surprise of everyone, the component that was the subject of trial was caffeine.
Coffee Is A Drug: Everyone Gets Addicted
At that time, the U.S. Agriculture’s chief chemist, Dr. Harvey Eashington Wiley, was responsible for all American food and drink safety. He and an associate focused on the “medicated” soft drinks sold to the public.
Back then, Coca-Cola contained a jolting level of caffeine (a glass then is comparable to a can of Red Bull today).
During the trial, the government presented over twenty witnesses who testified that the drink caused different symptoms from “reflex irritability” to addictive behavior. Consumers were saying that they were hooked on the new drink and scientists warned that it was addictive.
Coca-Cola disputed these claims. They made it clear that were no cases of caffeine in any quantity causing death. The company had a star witness, a psychologist, who ran a 40 days trial on their product. He testified that rapidly and temporarily uplifting, and its predominant effects seemed to be quicker mental reactions and finer motor coordination.
The case was dismissed by the judge; on a technicality. A new argument emerged from the company that caffeine was a naturally occurring ingredient rather than an additive. Shortly after, the case was settled, and Coca-Cola cut caffeine in its soft-drink by half.
The trial of 1911 surrounding Coca-Cola was instrumental in establishing caffeine as the country’s pick-me-up of choice.
Coffee Raises Blood Pressure
Studies show that after coffee ingestion, blood pressure (BP) rises within a range of 3-15 mm Hg systolic and 4-13 mm Hg diastolic.
Its effects last for more than three hours. Researchers have found that coffee affects blood pressure by interacting with various chemicals within the body that are responsible for the regulation of BP.
Those persons with cardiovascular conditions, especially hypertension, are more susceptible to blood pressure changes. Researchers have recommended that healthcare professionals provide education regarding caffeine’s effects on their patients.
Interestingly, the use of blood pressure medicine cannot lower the rise in blood pressure caused by coffee.
There was a study conducted with twelve participants who were not hypertensive. They were given caffeine, which caused a rise in systolic and diastolic BP. The study results determined that even with the pretreatment of antihypertensives, the effects of coffee on blood pressure were sustained.
Coffee Depletes Potassium
Potassium is a vital electrolyte to the body as it assists with the proper functioning of the cardiovascular and muscular systems.
Low potassium levels (hypokalaemia) can lead to heart arrhythmia. Consuming an excess amount of coffee or caffeine can sometimes result in lowered potassium levels.
Coffee causes an increase in the production of urine, which medical professionals believe is one of the reasons for the enhanced loss of potassium via urination.
In a case study, a 50-year-old female patient rapidly developed severe generalized muscle weakness and fatigue. The doctors found that she was a heavy coffee drinker and had repeatedly experienced massive urine production and output.
She got oral antibiotics, potassium replacement, stopped coffee ingestion, and her symptoms quickly resolved.
This time, another case study was carried out, on a 25-year-old woman with no known allergies or relevant medical history and no toxic habits.
She drinks 500–750ml of beverages containing 1l of caffeinated soda per day. She was admitted to the hospital for headache and tachycardia after she did some sports and increased her consumption of the beverages.
After a series of tests and observations, changes in the urine components were noted. This suggested the presence of a substance causing increased urine production. She was diagnosed with low potassium levels due to excess caffeinated substance ingestion.
Coffee Increases Arterial Stiffness
What is arterial stiffness, and why it matters for heart health?
Arterial stiffness is defined as the rigidity of the arterial wall (an artery is the type of blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to cells within the body).
Arteries are an essential part of the cardiovascular system. Arterial stiffness has been confirmed as a predictor of cardiovascular events (the cardiovascular system primarily includes the heart, blood, and blood vessels).
It can also highlight mortality independent of traditional risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes mellitus, smoking, age, and sex.
Increased arterial stiffness may predict cardiovascular events in individuals without apparent cardiovascular disease symptoms. Therefore, measuring arterial stiffness can help heart health as it may identify patients at risk of cardiovascular disease from an early stage.
“Previous studies show contradictory results related to the vascular effects of coffee; they suggest that caffeine increases arterial stiffness and negatively impacts vascular health. This study focuses to evaluate the acute effects of coffee on vascular stiffness.”Acute effects of caffeine on arterial stiffness
The study was carried out on healthy participants who were given caffeinated coffee containing caffeine-151.2 mg and decaffeinated coffee with a caffeine content of 3.92 mg.
They received these doses two weeks apart in random order. The study results suggest that drinking caffeinated coffee increases arterial stiffness in some areas of the body slightly.
Italian Coffee Might Increase Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) Risk
A large Italian cohort study found that over two cups per day of Italian-style coffee is associated with increased CHD risk.
A study was conducted where 12,800 men and 30,449 women without a history of cardiovascular disease were recruited and studied concerning their coffee consumption and coronary heart disease.
A follow-up with each person after approximately ten years after revealed 804 cases of CHD. 500 acute events, 56 fatal events, and 248 revascularizations (surgery to restore a damaged portion of an organ).
These persons all consumed between one to four cups of Italian coffee daily. At the end of this study, they concluded that the consumption of over two cups per day of Italian-style coffee has a role in the increased CHD risk.
Coffee Reduces Blood Flow To The Heart During Exercise
In 2006, a new study regarding the effect of coffee on the heart during activity was released in the American College of Cardiology Journal.
The study was completed using healthy volunteers. They were given exercises to do before and after consuming caffeine. The caffeine dose from the tablets did not affect blood flow within the heart muscle while the participants were at rest or inactive but it was significantly lower after the exercise.
These tablets were the equivalent of two cups of coffee.
Typically, blood flow increases when we exercise, and the results indicate that caffeine reduces the body’s ability to boost blood flow to the heart’s muscle on demand.
Therefore, researchers concluded that coffee might not necessarily boost athletic performance; it increases the risk of heart damage from reducing needed blood flow to the heart.
A low blood supply to the heart can result in chest pain, irregular heartbeats, and even heart attacks.
Coffee Floods Your Body With Cortisol
Cortisol is a steroid hormone made by the adrenal gland and regulates a wide range of body preocesses, such as metabolism and immune responses.
It also has a very crucial role in helping the body respond to stress. Some studies and medical professionals suggest that increased amounts of cortisol enhances the appetite drastically and causes overeating.
Studies have been completed to look at the relationship between coffee consumption and cortisol release. It was found that persons who intake coffee during periods of stress are likely to experience an increase in cortisol secretion.
Coffee Raises Homocysteine Level
High homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Homocysteine is a type of chemical used by the body to make proteins.
Typically, homocysteine is broken down by substances in our bodies and changed into other materials the body needs. The homocysteine left in the blood should be very low because too much leftover will affect our systems.
Researches have shown that coffee can stimulate a sharp increase in homocysteine concentrations approximately four hours after consuming at least 0.45 L of coffee.
It was also discovered that the effect is still substantial after an overnight fast.
Coffee Increases Heart Rate
Medical professionals often warn against coffee consumption for patients with conditions affecting the cardiovascular system, emphasizing that the product will increase heart rate and blood pressure.
These claims are proven in many scientific studies. A case study was done on a female patient to understand caffeine’s exact effect on her heart.
The patient went several days without consuming any caffeinated beverages. On the day of the MRI, she drank a large amount of coffee.
The results were examined by a cardiologist, who determined that there were significant changes in the patient’s heart rate within a few minutes.
Her heart rate increased to over 70 beats per minute compared to a pre-caffeine reading of 62 beats per minute.
The cardiologist noted that the force of each heartbeat was also greater; he further explained that persons with underlying issues such as irregular heartbeat could have serious side effects than just a mild increase in heart rate.
Coffee Consumption Might Cause GERD
It often is said that long-term overconsumption of coffee will contribute to the development of stomach conditions. One such issue is GERD; Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
Many studies and researches have pointed this theory out as a fact, based on the results of worldwide studies.
One of particular interest is a population-based study carried out in Nigeria to determine the prevalence and risk factors for gastroesophageal reflux disease in a population of Nigerian medical students.
A specific questionnaire was administered to medical students in the clinical phase of their training at the University of Nigeria.
Upon analysis of this data, they determined that the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease was 26.34%.
There was an association between the use of caffeine-containing substances (coffee and kola nuts) and the prevalence of GERD.
Coffee Causes Insulin Resistance
Coffee consumption decreases insulin sensitivity by 15%, which means the body becomes a bit insulin resistant.
Also, coffee increases the release of catecholamines (hormones made by your adrenal glands, located on top of your kidneys e.g. adrenaline & epinephrine) by five times.
An increase in adrenaline secretion sends the body into a fight or flight response mode where energy is needed immediately, so glucose is released from the liver.
Studies have provided results showing that caffeine can decrease insulin sensitivity in healthy humans, possibly due to elevated levels of epinephrine in the blood.
Insulin resistance is a dangerous and sometimes fatal problem that must be addressed immediately. It can cause your blood pressure and blood sugar to spike rapidly. Persons may even develop diabetes.
Coffee Reduces Iron Absorption
A clinical study performed on human subjects with no history of iron intake deficiency evaluated the effect of coffee on iron absorption from protein sources. At the end of the study, it was noted that a cup of coffee reduced iron absorption from a hamburger meal by 39%.
Malabsorption of iron can result in many complications, such as anemia. Anemia is a condition that arises from a lack of healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues.
It triggers palpitations and irregular heartbeats because the heart tends to compensate for the lack of red blood cells reaching the body’s tissues by pumping faster and harder.
Coffee Contains Acrylamide
Acrylamide is an end product that can form in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes. Coffee is one of the primary dietary sources of acrylamide, specifically, when consumed in large quantities.
It can cause nerve damage and disorders of the nervous system, among other conditions, such as cancer.
A study was carried out to determine the acrylamide level in coffee substitutes and commercial samples of roasted and instant coffee.
The results demonstrated that the roasting process had the highest effect on acrylamide levels in natural coffee.
Researchers have suggested that due to the high acrylamide levels seen in coffee substitutes, recommended amounts should be defined, and manufacturers should be obliged to reduce such levels in these products
Methylglyoxal From Coffee Is Toxic For Cells
Methylglyoxal is a prime cause of proteins and fats binding to sugars. This process is associated with several illnesses, including diabetes, aging, and neurodegenerative diseases (conditions that cause brain damage from the breakdown of nerves).
Five major carbonyl compounds from an extract of ground roasted coffee beans were identified.
Among these compounds, methylglyoxal exhibited considerable mutational activity. More than 50% of the total mutation activity of coffee can be accounted for by methylglyoxal. Due to the effects of methylglyoxal, drinking an excess of any type of coffee poses health risks.
Coffee Cause Fatigue
The caffeine within coffee may lead to fatigue over time after regularly drinking it.
A chemical within the nervous system, called adenosine, is responsible for the sleep-wake cycle that our bodies experience. The chemical levels increase during the day so that we will get tired.
When we fall asleep, the levels get low, so that we will feel rested.
Caffeine in coffee blocks the brain from receiving adenosine, but it does not stop the actual production of it. This means that when caffeine’s effects wear off, there is a buildup of the chemical wanting to bind to interact with the brain. This is what causes persons to “crash” after consuming coffee for several hours.
Coffee Affects Bone Health
Coffee interferes with the absorption of necessary vitamins and nutrients into our bloodstream, which negatively affects our bones’ health.
The specific elements involved are vitamin D and calcium. Caffeine prevents the bone-forming cells from absorbing vitamin D. Just one cup of coffee can decrease the absorption of calcium and increase its loss from the body in urine.
Coffee Reduces Blood Flow To The Brain By 40%
Two MRIs were done on the same person before and after having coffee.
The scans’ results were jaw-dropping, as the specialist explained that what they were seeing on screen was a whopping 40% reduction in blood flow to the brain after ingesting caffeine.
The massive difference occurred because caffeine blocks a chemical that manages blood flow to the brain; it constricts blood vessels diminishing blood circulation in the brain.
A low supply of blood to the brain will damage cells, and may even result in unconsciousness or stroke from limited oxygen