The most popular beverage in the world is without a doubt, coffee. An estimated 400 million cups of coffee are consumed in the United States every day, hopefully by not one person! Actually, half the population of the U.S or 107 million people drink coffee every day. The coffee habit is nothing new, either. In the 9th century, people in Ethiopia consumed a drink made from ground coffee beans. Legend has it that the discovery of coffee occurred when shepherds noticed that a few goats were showing unusual displays of energy. The shepherds observed the goats consuming what turned out to be coffee beans. The shepherds then tried eating the beans, too, and also felt a surge of energy. It wasn't long before coffee became a popular beverage throughout Europe. Today, the average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee each day. While the average size of a coffee cup is 9 ounces, my coffee cup is 22 ounces, which means each cup that I drink is nearly 3 average size cups of coffee. I drink two such large cups every day or about 6 cups of coffee. That is more than the recommended maximum amount for health, which is 4 cups a day. Four cups of coffee will provide about 400 milligrams of caffeine, but as we shall see caffeine is only one of the active components in coffee.
Although coffee is a very popular beverage, not everyone can tolerate drinking coffee. When such people drink coffee or ingest caffeine in any form, they show such symptoms as extreme anxiety and jitteriness. For years, these effects were thought to be due to a sensitivity to caffeine, but the true reason was found a few years ago. It turns out that due to what scientists refer to as a "gene polymorphism," some people metabolize caffeine far slower in their livers than others. As a consequence, when they consume anything that contains caffeine, they break it down far slower in the liver, which leads to symptoms. This affects about 25% of the population.
Studies show that coffee provides many health benefits, although one study showed that consuming more than 4 cups of coffee a day increased the risk of mortality by 21 percent. But there were confounding factors in that study, such as the fact that most of the study subjects also had poor health behaviors that included smoking. This was similar to another study that was published years ago that linked drinking coffee to pancreatic cancer, the most fatal type of cancer. That study alarmed many coffee drinkers, who immediately stopped drinking it. However, had they checked the details of the study, they would have found that the study subjects who got pancreatic cancer were also heavy smokers. Subsequent follow-up studies showed that not only didn't coffee cause pancreatic cancer, but it helped to prevent it.
In some people, drinking 2 cups of coffee will increase . . .