Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Segue From Coffee to Sex Hormones

Posted Oct 24 2012 3:00am
Since I spent yesterday & Monday looking at coffee & caffeine, it only seems fair to segue from coffee to another topic, say sex hormones!  But first, let's consider the strength of the science that I've pondered recently.  One person losing weight probably isn't the best nor strongest evidence upon which to base your own health habits & lifestyle.  Likewise, I'm not about to let the current number of deaths associated with energy drinks dissuade me from consuming one if I developed a hankering (which I haven't yet) because we really don't have hard science to support a link, much less a cause & effect relationship.  On the other hand, we have quite a bit of evidence, albeit observation & epidemiologic, that coffee just might be beneficial.  Notice the grammatical hesitation, as we don't have randomized controlled trial data yet on coffee.

So with that in mind, let me point your direction to a study just published in Nutrition Journal in which the authors concluded that we don't have a good understanding of the link between coffee and sex hormone binding globulin and sex hormones.  Why is this a big deal?  Well, the authors randomized 42 regular coffee drinking overweight adults who didn't smoke  to five 6 ounce cups of caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee or plain water each day for 8 weeks.  The drinks were consumed with each meal as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  What should jump out at you is the small number of participants and the short duration of the trial.  Once you understand that, then the authors' conclusions make sense.  Even if the relationship were positive, I wouldn't deem this single study strong enough to change your beverage habits.

Now with that said, I wanted to compare this study to another one that was highlighted in a daily newsletter as "Acai shows memory benefit".  Sounds exciting right?  After all, who doesn't want to catch the wave of the newest super fruit and drink the latest high anti-oxidant juice and improve his/her memory?  I'm sure you receive all kinds of email similar to this, right?  They extoll the virtues of this or that dietary supplement and often are catchy enough that our patients bring them in to us to review.  
So call me a sucker but I bit on the hook, line & sinker and clicked on the heading " Acai reverses age-related cognitive decline in rat study ".  This may be exciting news for the basic scientists, but as for you & me, there's a wide chasm between what works in rats and what works in humans.  And if you ever check out the product pipeline for Big Pharma, you'll see it littered with many interesting animal models that don't make it to the pharmacist's shelf.  And if you want to follow the money, check out who provided funding support for the research to be performed . . .
Follow @alvinblin

Top Blogs

Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches