Kicking The Coffee Habit


     Caffeine!  Is it friend or foe?  Is it really the soother of nerves?  Is it a refresher or a depressor?  Is it harmless or can it cause birth defects?

    Coffee and tea are the two most popular beverages in America.  Less than 9% of the population drink neither coffee or tea.  Coffee is America’s No. 1 drug problem.     These figures mean that over 200 billion doses of the drug caffeine are consumed by people in this country every year.  Sadly, most people have no idea that their morning cup of coffee or glass of tea at lunch is a drug.  Caffeine is addictive, causes withdrawal symptoms when discontinued, and induces both psychological and physical dependence.

Caffeine Withdrawal

     Caffeine withdrawal can occur from just missing one cup of coffee in the morning.  Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal are headaches, irritability, inability to work effectively, nervousness, restlessness and lethargy.  A steady user of caffeine may at times experience tight headaches in the back of the neck area and be quick to anger or irritation.



     Caffeine acts as a stimulant.  Body actions are speeded up.  This is not a natural thing for the body. What it does is speed up the metabolism.

     Executive Fitness News letter, October 13, 1984, issue, said:  It’s important to remember that the caffeine in coffee is a powerful substance.  It can stimulate the

central nervous system, increase heart beat and metabolic rate, increase the secretion of stomach acid and step up kidney and bladder action.  It's also well-known for its annoying ability to affect sleep. ”The article goes on to say that in higher doses it can cause ‘coffee nerves’ with a wide assortment of symptoms “including anxiety, irritability, headaches, high-headedness, nausea, and diarrhea.”

     Coffee can also cause a temporary increase in blood sugar, but it is quickly followed by a decrease, and stimulates the release of adrenalin, which causes body tissue to be broken down into sugar and fat.  Too much insulin is produced and the blood sugar falls to a low level.



     Caffeine the substance in coffee is a powerful poison.  A drop of caffeine injected into the skin of an animal will produce death within a few minutes.  An infinitely small amount injected into the brain will bring convulsions.  The amount

of caffeine in a cup of coffee is quite small.  Yet we drink coffee because of the effect of the caffeine, just as we smoke because of the effect of the nicotine. Both are drugs, both are habit-forming.



     There are two modern disorders that the general public usually associates with coffee drinking—ulcers and heart trouble.  J.A. Roth and A.C. Ivy  whose animal experiments on coffee are famous, states in Gastroenterolgy November 1948, that “Caffeine produces gastro-duodenal ulcers in animals to whom the drug is given in a beeswax container so that their stomachs are absorbing caffeine continually.  Also caffeine produces very definite changes in the blood vessels of animals which are similar to changes produced by prolonged resentment, hostility and anxiety.”





     The Providence Journal wrote in October 1, 1990 that: “People who drink more than two cups of coffee or four cups of tea a day could be increasing their risk of hip fracture in old age, according to a new study.

     “T study, published in the October issue of the American journal of Epidemiology, is the first to link caffeine consumption with the hip fractures that occur in older people whose bones have weakened.  A hip fracture often marks an elderly person’s into dependency or death.

     Dr. Douglas P. Kiel, a professor of medicine at Brown University, and his colleagues looked at how much coffee or tea 3,170 people reported drinking over 14 years.  Then they looked to see which ones fractured their hips, a sign that bones had become brittle.  They found that heavy caffeine drinkers were 53 percent more likely to suffer hip fractures.

    “Caffeine has long been suspected of draining calcium from the bones, because people who consume it have higher levels of calcium in their urine.  Loss of calcium leads to osteoporosis, the brittle bone condition that afflicts many elderly people—most of them women—and results in an estimated 250,000 hip fractures each year.”





       What happens when the heart, sick or well, is constantly stimulated day after day,


while all the time is protesting that it is tired and wants a rest?  Let’s compare coffee to a whip used on a tired horse.  Of course the horse will move faster when he is whipped, but how long can you keep up this form of stimulation before the horse drops from exhaustion?  The main danger in the use of coffee by people who may have heart trouble is that instead of resting as they should when they are tired, they whip themselves to more effort by a cup of coffee and eventually—sooner or later—they are going to have to pay for the rest they are not getting.  This is also true for the person that has a healthy heart. 

     Some people use to say that they  drink coffee only in the morning, so it doesn’t matter if they over-stimulate their bodies.  They are not trying to go to sleep!  Instead they have to prepare themselves to meet the day’s problems, responsibilities and hard work, so they need to be stimulated.  There is a serious fallacy in this kind of reasoning.  If they are indeed so tired and run-down that each morning they cannot face the day without a cup of stimulation, then certainly there is something wrong somewhere.  Over-stimulation even in the morning means that an already tired body is “hopped up” to carry on when it should be resting.  




     Does coffee cause cancer?  Nobody knows that for sure, yet.  But there is mounting evidence suggesting that if you want to avoid certain cancers, you are well-advised to kick the coffee habit.

     One researcher believes that it is the roasting of coffee that produces tars.  Chemical tests such as spectrography and fluorescence, the coffee tars show the same characteristics as the coal tar.

     Cancer of the urinary bladder has long been recognized as a hazard of environmental exposure to certain chemicals,  It is believed that bladder cancer may also be linked to coffee drinking.

     In a Canadian population-based case-control study, 480 pairs of male patients and 152 pairs of female patients were selected and interviewed about their use of certain substances including cigarettes, coffee, nonpublic water supplies, and their exposure to certain industrial chemicals.  The patients had newly diagnosed cases of bladder cancer.

     What the study revealed was that not only was coffee associated with increased risk of bladder cancer, but the drinking of non-diet cola drinks also was linked to this problem.

     The increased risk among men was about 1.5 times for drinking regular coffee and about 1.4 for drinking instant coffee.


 Coffee Addiction must be broken


     The coffee-addict, who has two, or three, or more cups a day has his blood sugar level zigging and zagging all day.

     The caffeine in coffee and the theobromine of tea destroys nerve cells, and in later years it can play havoc with the memory.

     Coffee is anything but “good to the last drop.”

     Giving up the coffee habit is relatively easy to do–once a commitment has been made.  For the majority of coffee drinkers,

The habit can be given up without the sort of difficulties that both alcoholics and drug addicts experience.  As a matter of fact, many coffee addicts are pleasantly surprised that they could do it so easily.  We should eat and rink nothing that does not contribute in some way to nutrition.  Any food aor drink that contains neither vitamins, minerals or enzymes should automatically be crossed of the list.  While breaking “the coffee habit” drink plenty of fresh juices and water.

     Coffee and caffeinated beverages are addictive, destructive drugs just like other narcotics such as alcohol and cigarettes.  Each year millions of Americans are exposed to crippling illnesses and

sometimes fatal diseases from these drugs.


Whether therefore ye eat,

Or drink, or whatsoever ye do,

Do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31


     Katy Chamberlin