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Dr. Michael F. Roizen Health Update on Coffee, Tea, & Caffeine

Posted Aug 05 2010 12:00am

Dr. Michael Roizen

            What's the Truth about Coffee, Tea, and Caffeine?

 Let's break down the top pros and cons of each:



  • Lowers cancer and stroke risk.  The inflammation-fighting polyphenols in just one cup a day can lower your risks of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, and esophagus by 50%, and stroke by 30%.
  • Drops risk of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's  A 40% reduction in risk in men who drink as little as one cup per day.
  • Helps dodge type II diabetes. Risk for diabetes dropped about 7 percent with each daily cup. Decaf coffee also appeared to have diabetes-thwarting benefits. The lignans, chlorogenic acids, and magnesium in coffee and tea may improve the body's regulation of blood sugar and its release of insulin.
  • Improves digestion. A 12oz cup of instant coffee contains up to 3g of fiber that helps your body absorb those polyphenols, and keeps that food passing right on though.
  • Helps you live longer. 2 to 3 cups of polypheol rich coffee cuts the risk of all deaths by 18% in women and 3% in men.


  • Raises blood fats. Unfiltered coffee can raise blood fats, so use paper filters and ditch the French press.
  • Stains teeth.
  • Weight gain. (IF you pack it with creamers and sweeteners.) A recent study found blended beverages (anything other than straight coffee or tea) often pack 200 calories or more. Drinking one daily could add 20 pounds to your frame.
  • Bad breath. Sometimes the bacteria in your stomach have trouble breaking coffee down causing them to release odors into and out of your mouth.
  • Increases migraines, abnormal heart beats, gastric upset and anxiety in some.


·         It reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. Flavonoids in tea decrease lousy LDL cholesterol and improve the elasticity of your blood vessels. Downing 3 cups a day (8 ounces each) may cut your risk of heart attack and stroke by 11% and 21%, respectively.                                                                                           

·         Fights cancer. Made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, tea is loaded with flavonoids, compounds that help you stomp out disease-causing free radicals. In the lab, green tea has shaped up to be a nemesis to colon, liver, breast and prostate cancers.

·         Strengthens your teeth. Tea is rich in fluoride, needed for strong bones and teeth. Drinking tea has also been shown to decrease plaque.

·         Helps you slim down. The green tea compound epicatechin gallate (a.k.a. EGCG) helps keep you from packing on fat and helps fire up your metabolism. Prefer Chinese oolong? It can up your calorie burn by 3 to 4 percent for up to 2 hours.

·         Fights bad gut bacteria. L-theanine also boosts immune responses to bacteria, including the ones that cause gut-churning food poisoning. Black, green, or oolong tea all provide a nice dose of the bacteria-thwarting compound.


·         Tooth stains


·         Blocks muscle pain. Why it’s a good choice before and after a hard workout.

·         Fights diabetes. Studies have found the caffeine in coffee seems to guard against diabetes because of its positive effects on the way your body processes sugar -- Flaws in sugar processing (glucose metabolism) are the core problem with diabetes.

·         Increases female libido.

·         Prevents Alzheimer’s. Research confirms that 6 or more cups a day decreases the risk of memory loss or Alzheimer’s by more than 40%.


  • Anxiety. People who are caffeine sensitive may begin to feel very uncomfortable
  • Spikes blood pressure. For those with  elevated blood pressure or those at risk for elevated blood pressure or heart disease (overweight, sedentary, or diabetic) it’s best to go decaf. Caffeine consumption of 300 milligrams per day causes increases in blood pressure for up to  several hours, particularly in people who don't normally consume it or who do but never developed a tolerance for it.

·         Possible dehydration. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it makes you pee more frequently. Therefore, it is not recommended for people with overactive bladders.

  • Insomnia. For those who haven’t developed a tolerance, drinking caffeinated beverages before bed can keep you tossing and turning until it wears off.
  • Increases heart rate. (Not necessarily a bad thing, unless you have an arrhythmia or irregular heart beat.)
  • It’s acidic. If you frequently suffer from heartburn, your stomach might start to act up.
  • Withdrawals. If you don’t get your regular fix you may experience fatigue, irritability, and headaches.



About the author:


Michael F. Roizen, M.D., is a professor of anesthesiology and internal medicine, and is is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. The Wellness institute also features Lifestyle 180 and the integrative medical clinics (with features of medical acupuncture, rekki, obesity management and more) of the Cleveland Clinic, both located at 1950 Richmond Road in Lyndhurst.  He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including : YOU Staying Young and YOU: The Owner’s Manual. He airs on WKH/1420 in Cleveland and 30 stations nationwide and streams on  Saturdays from 5-7 p.m . E-mail him questions at  He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including : YOU Staying Young and YOU: The Owner’s Manual.


He is Chief Medical Consultant to the new Dr Oz show-- The Dr. Oz Show" is number two in daytime TV now---see what’s so much fun, and what he, the Enforcer is up to.  Check your local listings or go to for time and station —And for more health info, log onto anytime.

Altadonna Communications ©

NOTE: You should NOT take this as medical advice.

This article is of the opinion of its author.  Before you do anything, please consult with your doctor.

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