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A science-based reason to avoid caffeine habituation


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I ran across this article about the effects of caffeine on the human body.  It gives good, science-based rationale for my hearty support of the prohibition in the Word of Wisdom against coffee and tea consumption (including green tea). 
 

Furthermore, it gives rationale for my continued abstinence from colas and other caffeine-laden beverages, notwithstanding they seem to have found unprecedented acceptance among our people and present-day Church leaders no longer discourage their use. 
 

https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2015/05/the_proper_way_to_drink_caffeine.html

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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I remember once when I had to do an all night drive from Utah to California I took a Stay Awake pill which was 200mg of caffeine. My heart started racing so badly I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Never used those again. 😬

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50 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I ran across this article about the effects of caffeine on the human body.  It gives good, science-based rationale for my hearty support of the prohibition in the Word of Wisdom against coffee and tea consumption (including green tea). 
 

Furthermore, it gives rationale for my continued abstinence from colas and other caffeine-laden beverages, notwithstanding they seem to have found unprecedented acceptance among our people and present-day Church leaders no longer discourage their use. 
 

https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2015/05/the_proper_way_to_drink_caffeine.html

Are you suggesting that the "rationale" for the prohibition of coffee and tea is the caffeine?  

The article is hardly rationale to avoid drinking coffee/caffeine for health reasons.  It in no way discourages drinking caffeine, in fact it simply recommends drinking coffee in a better way "to take full advantage of caffeine's stimulating effects."

Quote

Habitual caffeine consumption is generally recognized as safe, however a growing amount of research is demonstrating that it may be pointless.

 

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I don’t know who these guys are that wrote this article, but Johns Hopkins strongly disagree with their conclusions

What are the top health benefits of drinking coffee?
  • You could live longer. ... 
  • Your body may process glucose (or sugar) better. ... 
  • You're less likely to develop heart failure. ... 
  • You are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease. ... 
  • Your liver will thank you. ... 
  • Your DNA will be stronger.
 
Both coffee and tea have significant health benefits.  If the reason you aren’t drinking coffee or tea is for health reasons you are seriously misguided 

 

Edited by california boy
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A very interesting article. I wonder if it really supports the absolute abstinence stance in our current practice of the WoW, or if it is better suited to a caffeine in moderation stance. It's obviously a short article that is no where near complete, so I'm not sure what conclusions to draw.

The author mentions that 100 mg of caffeine per day (Mayo Clinic says coffee has about 100 mg per 8 oz and green tea has about 30 mg per 8 oz) over 3 weeks increases the adenosine receptors. Do you know if that 100 mg per day is an absolute threshold, or is 30 mg per day over 9 weeks equivalent? How does dosage change the effect?

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7 minutes ago, california boy said:

I don’t know who these guys are that wrote this article, but Johns Hopkins strongly disagree with their conclusions

What are the top health benefits of drinking coffee?
  • You could live longer. ... 
  • Your body may process glucose (or sugar) better. ... 
  • You're less likely to develop heart failure. ... 
  • You are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease. ... 
  • Your liver will thank you. ... 
  • Your DNA will be stronger.
 
Both coffee and tea have significant health benefits.  If the reason you aren’t drinking coffee or tea is for health reasons you are seriously misguided 

 

I agree, but one must be careful to get organic products because of the harmful pesticides from growing the coffee bean. Not sure about the tea. I have yet to start drinking either, but wish I could drink green tea for it's healthy properties, but the taste throws me for a loop.

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5 minutes ago, california boy said:

I don’t know who these guys are that wrote this article, but Johns Hopkins strongly disagree with their conclusions

What are the top health benefits of drinking coffee?
  • You could live longer. ... 
  • Your body may process glucose (or sugar) better. ... 
  • You're less likely to develop heart failure. ... 
  • You are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease. ... 
  • Your liver will thank you. ... 
  • Your DNA will be stronger.

 

I think one of the main reasons to avoid caffeine is how dependent a person can get with it to the point of having withdrawal symptoms if they don't get it. We are supposed to be able to maintain control of our bodies and the need to have caffeine to get ourselves going in the morning seems to indicate a lack of control. 

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26 minutes ago, california boy said:

I don’t know who these guys are that wrote this article, but Johns Hopkins strongly disagree with their conclusions

What are the top health benefits of drinking coffee?
  • You could live longer. ... 
  • Your body may process glucose (or sugar) better. ... 
  • You're less likely to develop heart failure. ... 
  • You are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease. ... 
  • Your liver will thank you. ... 
  • Your DNA will be stronger.
 
Both coffee and tea have significant health benefits.  If the reason you aren’t drinking coffee or tea is for health reasons you are seriously misguided 

 

  The point of the article that Scott posted is that drinking coffee habitually is pointless for the purpose of staving off fatigue and may actually cause us to be more tired.  I don't think Johns Hopkins would disagree with that conclusions to be honest.   The potential benefits you post are unrelated to the article, but absolutely should be taken into account if we are going to consider rationale for coffee prohibition based on science alone. 

I will acknowledge that if this is the best scientific evidence/rationale we have for a prohibition on coffee and tea, it feels pretty weak to me.  

Edited by pogi
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2 minutes ago, JAHS said:

I think one of the main reasons to avoid caffeine is how dependent a person can get with it to the point of having withdrawal symptoms if they don't get it. We are supposed to be able to maintain control of our bodies and the need to have caffeine to get ourselves going in the morning seems to indicate a lack of control. 

Given all the things people can get addicted to including not just drugs, but over eating and dependence on electronics, etc. coffee and tea seem to be a pretty benign issue and is actually healthy to take

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18 minutes ago, pogi said:

Are you suggesting that the "rationale" for the prohibition of coffee and tea is the caffeine?  

The article is hardly rationale to avoid drinking coffee/caffeine for health reasons.  It in no way discourages drinking caffeine, in fact it simply recommends drinking coffee in a better way "to take full advantage of caffeine's stimulating effects."

 

 

4 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

A very interesting article. I wonder if it really supports the absolute abstinence stance in our current practice of the WoW, or if it is better suited to a caffeine in moderation stance. It's obviously a short article that is no where near complete, so I'm not sure what conclusions to draw.

The author mentions that 100 mg of caffeine per day (Mayo Clinic says coffee has about 100 mg per 8 oz and green tea has about 30 mg per 8 oz) over 3 weeks increases the adenosine receptors. Do you know if that 100 mg per day is an absolute threshold, or is 30 mg per day over 9 weeks equivalent? How does dosage change the effect?

I’m not claiming the article itself enjoins absolute abstinence. I’m saying content therein bolsters my personal reasons for abstaining. Since I’m not presently habituated to it, and since “a growing amount of research” indicates its use “may be pointless” (I believe it IS pointless, by the way), I see no reason to alter my present behavior or to use caffeine even occasionally, thereby incurring the risk, however minimal, of ever forming a habit. I’ll choose to do other things suggested in the article, such as getting adequate rest. 

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4 minutes ago, pogi said:

  The point of the article that Scott posted is that drinking coffee habitually is pointless for the purpose of staving off fatigue and may actually cause us to be more tired.  I don't think Johns Hopkins would disagree with that conclusions to be honest.   The potential benefits you post are unrelated to the article, but absolutely should be taken into account if we are going to consider rationale for coffee prohibition based on science alone. 

I will acknowledge that if this is the best scientific evidence/rationale we have for a prohibition on coffee and tea, it feels pretty weak to me.  

Well without looking at things holistically, it is pointless to bring in a tiny reason to make a health claim against coffee or tea.  These are two things the WoW got wrong from strictly a health perspective The benefits far outweigh the downside. 

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11 minutes ago, JAHS said:

I think one of the main reasons to avoid caffeine is how dependent a person can get with it to the point of having withdrawal symptoms if they don't get it. We are supposed to be able to maintain control of our bodies and the need to have caffeine to get ourselves going in the morning seems to indicate a lack of control. 

Yes. 
 

The article makes clear that caffeine use over time actually makes a person more tired, not less, because of chemical changes it makes to the body. This leads to a dependence, as more caffeine is needed to counteract the effects of prior caffeine consumption. 
 

I’ve long had a theory that this motivated manufacturers to lace beverages with caffeine that traditionally haven’t had it, such as root beer and orange soda. Creating a dependence in consumers helps them sell more product. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, california boy said:

Well without looking at things holistically, it is pointless to bring in a tiny reason to make a health claim against coffee or tea.  These are two things the WoW got wrong from strictly a health perspective The benefits far outweigh the downside. 

Briefly stated, I think that’s nonsense. There are no indispensable benefits to either. 
 

Your arguments remind me of the rationalization that wine drinking is healthy because wine is an antioxidant. Grape juice is also an an antioxidant, with none of the ill effects from wine drinking. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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6 minutes ago, california boy said:

Given all the things people can get addicted to including not just drugs, but over eating and dependence on electronics, etc. coffee and tea seem to be a pretty benign issue and is actually healthy to take

It isn't healthy for me;  I get heart palpitations. People can have some pretty serious withdrawal symptoms if they have developed a dependence on it and are not able to get it. I just don't like that kind of a lack of control over my body.

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23 minutes ago, pogi said:

I will acknowledge that if this is the best scientific evidence/rationale we have for a prohibition on coffee and tea, it feels pretty weak to me.  

Please point out where I said it is the best we have. 

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25 minutes ago, california boy said:

The benefits far outweigh the downside. 

What if you could get all the benefits without the downside?  Well, you actually can.  There is not a single beneficial element to coffee or tea that is not available from other sources in a healthy diet, with no downside.

I could drink diluted rat poison supplemented with lots of vitamins or I could just take the vitamins.:)

Edited by T-Shirt
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36 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

 

I’m not claiming the article itself enjoins absolute abstinence. I’m saying content therein bolsters my personal reasons for abstaining. Since I’m not presently habituated to it, and since “a growing amount of research” indicates its use “may be pointless” (I believe it IS pointless, by the way), I see no reason to alter my present behavior or to use caffeine even occasionally, thereby incurring the risk, however minimal, of ever forming a habit. I’ll choose to do other things suggested in the article, such as getting adequate rest. 

It only suggests that it is pointless in terms of using it habitually to stave off fatigue.  It is not suggesting that there are no other potential health benefits from it as cali-boy has pointed out. 

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1 hour ago, california boy said:

I don’t know who these guys are that wrote this article, but Johns Hopkins strongly disagree with their conclusions

What are the top health benefits of drinking coffee?
  • You could live longer. ... 
  • Your body may process glucose (or sugar) better. ... 
  • You're less likely to develop heart failure. ... 
  • You are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease. ... 
  • Your liver will thank you. ... 
  • Your DNA will be stronger.
 
Both coffee and tea have significant health benefits.  If the reason you aren’t drinking coffee or tea is for health reasons you are seriously misguided 

 

I've read the same thing in the article cited by the OP before.  As with many things there seems to be both benefits and drawbacks to certain substances.

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

I think the whole caffeine thing is putting the cart before the horse.

There has NEVER been a religious reason to not drink caffeinated drinks other than Church policy.  The entire prohibition against caffeine was an effort to find a scientific reason to justify the ban on tea and coffee.

Scripturally tea and coffee were banned under the "hot drinks" clause of the WoW.  For some reason we never bothered to extend that to hot cocoa, postum, pero/caro, horlicks etc.
So then we needed a difference between tea/coffee and the other hot drinks.  Caffeine became the reason.

The problem was then what about other caffeinated drinks.  So soda was added.  But then what about chocolate or foods with caffeine?
It was a silly downward spiral with no religious justification whatsoever.  The church finally walked back the caffeine prohibition and went back to just tea and coffee under the hot drinks clause.
They have yet to provide a new medical backing for those items being prohibited.  Maybe the new whipping boy will be tannins, flavinoids or something else?

We seem to have a hard time admitting that the revelation was "hot drinks", the 19th century interpretation was coffee/tea (all that really existed at the time in the absence of the other options above) and that's what stuck.
The only prohibition relates to temperature.

Agreed.

The question remains that if the revelation was in regard to temporal/physical well-being and health, there must be something about the temperature of hot beverages that may not be good for you.  There certainly is some evidence of correlation between "burning hot" beverages and esophageal cancer: 

https://www.iarc.who.int/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pr244_E.pdf

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.32220

There is no evidence that hot beverages are dangerous when they are not scolding hot, however.

 

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7 minutes ago, pogi said:

Agreed.

The question remains that if the revelation was in regard to temporal/physical well-being and health, there must be something about the temperature of hot beverages that may not be good for you.  There certainly is some evidence of correlation between "burning hot" beverages and esophageal cancer: 

https://www.iarc.who.int/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pr244_E.pdf

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.32220

There is no evidence that hot beverages are dangerous when they are not scolding hot, however.

 

Agreed.  There is something disingenuous about limiting it to tea and coffee.  And something plain wrong about making caffeine the reason.

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3 hours ago, JAHS said:

I think one of the main reasons to avoid caffeine is how dependent a person can get with it to the point of having withdrawal symptoms if they don't get it. We are supposed to be able to maintain control of our bodies and the need to have caffeine to get ourselves going in the morning seems to indicate a lack of control. 

The world with its artificial lighting and nonstop entertainment is setting us up for sleep disruption.  Caffeine can help with that at times, but if it becomes a substitute for good habits and an excuse to push ourselves in ways we really shouldn’t because it is easy and cheap (thus employers agreeing to actual coffee breaks so their workers can work longer hours and still be productive), I see it as overall detrimental as deep sleep is needed to release certain healing biochemicals. Thus, people with poor sleep are much, much more likely to get sick and injured and it is harder to heal and put things right.  It is not just overeating and a sedentary lifestyle imo that is causing the obesity epidemic.***

Use caffeine with wisdom, if dependent and experiencing withdrawal…likely there are more costs to your body than benefits. Once a new normal is established (having caffeine is needed for your body to feel normal), your body likely isn’t working in as effective ways (there are some who start off with biology that needs stimulation, so I can’t paint this black and white…one has to weigh costs and benefits).
 

***https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sleep/

Quote

Epidemiological studies show that insufficient sleep is independently associated with a higher risk of obesity. Clinical studies of of sleep-restricted adults show an increased hunger and calorie intake when participants are allowed free access to food. [7] A preference for late evening or nighttime food intake and increased snacking has been observed. [9] There also appears to be a food preference for higher carbohydrate and fat foods, which could partly explain the overall higher calorie intake.

Changes in hormone levels that signal either hunger or satiety have also been observed in clinical sleep restriction studies…

 

Edited by Calm
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