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Coffee is a beverage used worldwide. It is dark in color and is prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. Coffee contains various chemicals that have both positive and negative effects on the human body. Despite the risks that coffee has, it is still being consumed by a large fraction of the human population (Ganchy, 2009).
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Coffee beans are made of several compounds that end up affecting the human body. It is belived that coffee beans contain mild psychotropics. These chemicals are harmful to the human body when taken in large doses. The most common chemical component in coffee is caffeine (Weinberg and Bealer, 2001).
Coffee has positive effects to the central nervous system. Coffee drinking is associated with reduced incidences of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Other positive effects of caffeine to the central nervous system include the improvement of the cognitive functions of an individual (Weinberg and Bealer, 2001).
Drinking of caffeinated drinks has also been associated with a reduction in the incidences of developing gall stone disease. It is believed that the roasted coffee protected one from having primary neural cells from hydrogen peroxide induced cell death (Weinberg and Bealer, 2001).
Caffeine reduces the incidences of pathologies affecting the liver. Coffee drinkers have reduced incideces of liver cirrhosis or hepatoclellular carcinoma. This is attributed to the potent anti-fibrotic ability that coffee has. Because of this, effects of the Smad pathway become inactivated. This ability enables it to halt the process of fibrosis that is enhanced by the cytokine transforming growth factors (Ganchy, 2009).
Coffee has negative effects to the human body. Coffee increases the incidences of coronary artery disease. The consumption of coffee is associated with the increase in biochemical markers of inflammation and cafestrol. This dramatically increases the levels of circulating low-density lipoproteins that make an individual susceptible to coronary artery diseases (Weinberg and Bealer, 2001).
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The effect of coffee also transcends to pregnancy. Pregnant women who take large volumes of coffee are at risk of having stillbirths. Coffee crosses the placenta from the maternal side into the baby’s blood circulation. The metabolism and excretion of coffee by the fetuses is impaired since the systems are not having gained full function. This means that the caffeine consumed by the mother finds its way to the baby’s circulation system and accumulates (Ganchy, 2009).
Sleep disorders and anxiety result from the consumption of coffee. The consumption of large volumes brings about insomnia and irritability. Coffee brings about the alteration of sleep patterns. This is because the alteration makes one not to achieve the benefits of deep sleep since its half-life is six hours. This means that most of the caffeine will stiill be in the blood stream even after hours of taking coffee (Weinberg and Bealer, 2001).
Coffee is also associated with high blood pressure. Consumption of coffee results in the constriction of blood vessels and this leads to elevation of blood pressures. Caffeine blocks adenosine causing the constricting of blood vessels (Ganchy, 2009).
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In conclusion, coffee has both positive and negative effects. Use of coffee continues despite the negative effects that it has on the body. Many researches are still being conducted on how best coffee can be consumed without necessarily affecting the human body. There are various recommendations put forward to facilitate the taking of coffee with minimal or no negative effects.
Some of the recommendations include:
- The numbers f cups that one takes in a day should be regulated. This is done to prevent the body from having to deal with the excretion and metabolism of large amounts of coffee. Hence, this will reduce the negative effects of coffee such as sleep disorders.
- People should also be encouraged to use decaffeinated coffee. This has shown to have less risks factors to the human body.
- People with gastritis, colitis, and ulcers should not consume coffee since they already have a damaged gastrointestinal lining. This will limit the chances of one having gastrointestinal problems associated with coffee.
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