After reading that meat, fish, milk, eggs, sex and wine are “healthy,” now it was coffee’s turn to have two new pieces of propaganda, which is really nothing new. These charades are hard to unravel for the lay person, but with my shallow medical training even, I find it no problem.
People who drank two to four cups a day had an 18% lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink coffee
The time has gone that the doctor was seen as G-d’s right hand – no, G-d Himself. As if it were the doctors of medicine who decided about Life and Death. Nowadays, modern people dare to ask their GPs questions, and many physicians themselves try not to decide for their patients, but rather inform them to help them and let them makes their own choices about their own lives.
However, the power of the medical word (or better: the pseudo-medical word) is still great. The powerful pharmaceutical industry still tries to sell their potions (or: poisons) to the public with wild claims (and lengthy disclaimers) as if they could hand out health itself.
Other profiteers are paramedical and medical academics. They need money (and esteem) for their laboratories and research. This is best acquired by publishing questionable but hopeful “results” that should justify a further influx into their profitable (to themselves) work. Medical journalists, who don’t know the first thing (especially not the first thing) about medical science, healthcare or health, faithfully and excitedly report the propaganda, making the public fooled on a regular basis.
If one would want to investigate the effect of drinking and not drinking coffee on life expectancy, it should be done by having two comparable groups of people drink something that looks, tastes, smells and feels like coffee, but one group gets the real stuff and the other a placebo. Anything less rigorous is doomed to give ridiculous results worth nothing.
These new studies are cases in point. They investigated really large groups of people. But if the setup is biased, one can make the two groups each one billion people and the results are still worthless. Further, the two groups from these reports are not similar at all. Why did one group decide to drink coffee and the other not? Last but not least, many doctors drink coffee themselves, so they just are inclined to prove that its harmless – no, better: beneficial.
In the kind of semi-statistical surveys as this new one, the following is one mechanism that could explain a positive health effect of something like coffee (speculation just to show a major sticking point!). Say: Many people eat junk food (white bread included). This clogs their arteries. Coffee could stops some of that deterioration. Then, in a large sample coffee comes out “healthy.” (There is nothing healthy about Aspirin, just because it could be of benefit to some sick people.) However, the real solution in this hypothetical health problem is to help people eat well (fibers). To them coffee will show its true face: destructive to health and lifespan.
And now the simple truth. Some reality doesn’t need large statistical examinations to uncover.
- Most people find coffee disgusting. It’s water that streamed over completely charred beans that contain caffeine. The taste is so revolting that most can only drink it with lots of sugar and milk added. To get used to the smell, taste and energy boost from a young age may help conquer the revulsion. Also addiction to the drug may help. And long-term associating it with taking a break and having a chat may also endear it to drinkers.
- Just like many alcoholics cannot get out of bed without alcohol (that doesn’t make it healthy!), many coffee drinkers are dysfunctional in the morning until at least one cup of joe. Withdrawal symptom number one: difficulty to wake up, followed by: moodiness – to put it mildly. The reason is known. Coffee disturbs our deepest sleep. Even one cup in the morning will the next night rob one of the total profit of a good night of sleep. Remedy (but not really): yet another cup. This is the ideal business concept, if you ask me: to sell something that has a negative health effect that needs it to be taken again to overcome it.
- Stopping with coffee altogether gives as withdrawal effect also splitting headaches. However, after a few weeks, this all disappears. Then again, it’s great to wake up refreshed. It’s not so good for capitalism, that needs workers to not stop when tired. But no one can fool me to believe that it would be beneficial to drink drugs that make us deny our physical needs for rest and sleep, and on top of that rob us of part of our natural rest. One systematic mistake made by many medical scientists is that if something doesn’t kill you it’s good. Common sense is enough to say: I want to live well without drugs and listen to my emotional and physical needs. Doctors who then come tell us that if you do that you’ll die earlier will need to come up with pretty good proofs. We’re not going to join the drugged majority on basis of shoddy “research.”
Coffee is great when you are addicted. I saw a heroin addict claim the same about heroin. And it’s almost a must after a bad night of shallow sleep – caused by coffee. Yet, throw out the rubbish and you will feel better and fitter in a few weeks. And more real. What’s wrong with a good yawn and going to bed in time?