A Prescription For Caffeine
It has been rumored for a while now that coffee is considered a wonder drug within the medical community. So when I last visited my doctor, I asked her if using caffeine can help control A1C levels in diabetics. She smiled and asked me if I wanted a prescription for caffeine? She was kidding of course!
Then she told me that she believed that caffeine does help to alleviate inflammation. And as we already know, inflammation is the reason for any disease. She also said that she has had quite a few people ask for a prescription for caffeine pills in the past. She was serious this time when she asked me if I wanted to try a prescription for caffeine.
I know that coffee has an addiction side to it, but I’m not going to claim it as another addiction in my life. I’ve been running from that word for most of my adult life.
There is a lot of research out there now about coffee and the health promoting powers that coffee has. Whether it is the coffee or the caffeine in the coffee berries that has the healing powers, I don’t know and haven’t found an exact answer. But I guess it really shouldn’t matter.
In 2012 there is a large study in the New England Journal of Medicine. They found out that coffee drinkers will live a longer life than those who don’t drink coffee.
However, I haven’t found any information about how much caffeine one must ingest to get the benefit of being a coffee drinker. Just suggestions. I would think that your body and brain could handle whatever amount that you really enjoy. You will know if your body or brain is rejecting a large amount of caffeine.
Between the coffee drinkers and the people who took a prescription for caffeine; there were no differences when they were tested for certain disease outcomes. They both showed the lowered risk of death from heart and respiratory diseases, strokes, diabetes, and infections.
So now we know the health benefit that comes from the caffeine in the coffee berry. The caffeine in a prescription for caffeine is not different than the caffeine in a cup of coffee when it comes to fighting inflammation. I would think though that in a prescription for caffeine, the caffeine mg. would be much larger than the caffeine mg. in a cup of coffee. (I hope that makes sense).
Well I love coffee but I loved it with Hazelnut syrup and breve milk. So my coffee was loaded with carbs which really didn’t help my diabetes. Now it’s sugar free vanilla syrup with extra caffeine, a packet of stevia and breve milk.
There is a long-standing hypothesis that explains that coffee is a source of antioxidants which helps to prevent formation of such free radicals; known as part of the “diseases of the aged.”
There is a better and newer study that has suggested that there is a different reasoning; it’s the caffeine which might be the anti-inflammatory.
If you think about it; take a terrible headache for example. The best killer of any headache is a pain killer with caffeine in it. I’ve never had a better pain killer, especially for a really ragged headache.
In part of this study it was found that a molecule known as adenosine is a responsible piece of the coffee health puzzle.
Adenosine is an organic molecule which helps to regulate blood flow to our various organs. It is also believed to play a role in promoting sleep and suppressing arousal blood flow to various organs. (Wikipedia).
In a published paper called Nature Medicine, it is suggested that caffeine could block the inflammatory molecule activity.
Since inflammation is a necessary response to an injury or infection, we have come to recognize inflammation as a fever possibly accompanied with redness and swelling and feverish to the touch. Inflammation is usually found around a wound which would indicate that the wound is healing.
With a sedentary lifestyle, with high levels of stress and, most of all, our diets that are high in refined or processed carbohydrates, out body’s inflammatory system are revved up to very unhealthy levels.
Not just pre-diabetics, or type II diabetics, and not just Americans, but now worldwide, people are living in a chronically elevated inflammatory lifestyle. These lifestyles have all been shown with increased risks of diabetes, respiratory, cardiovascular, and even neurological system diseases.
These are the same diseases, exactly the same kinds of diseases, where these studies have been seeing lowered risk when there is coffee consumed.
Moving on Up in Seniority? Drink Up
Elderly folk, senior citizens, grandmas and grandpas, or anyone ages 60 – 89; most of these folks fit new research that found high levels of chronic inflammation when being compared to the younger generation.
The 60 – 89 group of people who showed less inflammation also had less disease and had a longer life.
When a survey was taken, they finally determined from the diet portion, a revealing surprise. Us older folk with the low inflammation levels, consumed much larger amounts of caffeine, which included coffee and tea.
The Bottom Line
Many people do not like caffeinated drinks. If you don’t like drinks that have caffeine in them, there are other things that you can do.
Rather than reducing your inflammatory response with the consumption of caffeine, you can set yourself up to reap tons of benefits taking other measures to lower your inflammatory responses.
Other things that have shown to lower inflammation are things like lowering the amount of carbohydrates that you eat. As a pre-diabetic or type II diabetic, you should already be following a low carb meal plan.
Another thing that diabetics and pre-diabetics can do to lower their inflammatory responses is move. Yes, get moving. If you’re not used to exercise, then get some daily, very gentle and slow to start, exercise. You can and should beware of lowering your stress levels by doing some breathing exercises, or through meditation.
But if you are anything like me, I love my coffee. I enjoy it. I savor it. Sometimes I like an iced tea depending on what kind it is and if it’s a hot day. Usually it’s just the good old Lipton Ice Tea.
My son has side effects if he drinks too much coffee; he gets jittery or nervous from it but that’s if he just keeps drinking the coffee and hasn’t had his breakfast. I can’t have my first morning cup of coffee and eat with it. My breakfast comes after my first cup.
So unless there is any specific reason that you should cut back on your caffeine consumption, drink as you wish.
There are some things that I like to put in my coffee, especially if I get it at Starbucks. I dress it up with sugar free vanilla syrup, one sweet n low, and breve (half n half milk).
Because of the fat in the half n half, it is much better for us diabetics than skim or 2 percent milk. If it’s skim milk or even two percent, you’re getting straight carbs whereas when drinking half n half, there is the fat content and it’s not bad for us. Kind of like an avocado.
At home I like to use half n half, stevia, and fresh ground cinnamon on top. Yummy.
Another good thing about coffee and tea, they contain tons of special compounds that probably work in a synergistic way (chlorogenic acid in coffee and epigallocatechin gallate in tea). You will not get the same thing from a caffeine pill. Now, if you want to know what those compounds are, you are going to have to Google them, lol. I have no idea what they do for us. But I am going to have to do some research now.
How much coffee or tea should we drink? My guess is that it is totally up to you. I have seen people drink coffee all day long. I probably have three large cups but I also nurse it along all day because I even love cold coffee. There was a study in 2012 however, that found certain health advantages; coffee peaks at about six cups a day.
Keep in mind, when I say six cups, I mean six, eight ounce cups and not six double tall venti cups; the ones like you see at S.B.
Thanks every one for stopping by today and catching up on our diabetes reading! Please leave your comments in the box below so we know what you have to say! Come back tomorrow for a new post.