Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

New bogus studies confirm: Coffee consumption prolongs life

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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