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To have a coffee or not?

Last Updated: 17 January 2019








To have a coffee or not?

Coffee in the morning or the in the afternoon, with milk and sugar or without, some of us just simply love it! It tastes good and it gives us a nice warm sensation. But is just about the good flavour?


No. Coffee is considered one of the most commonly consumed psychoactive drugs in the world and of the behavioural effects of caffeine resemble those of cocaine, amphetamines and other stimulants.


Caffeine gets absorbed in the stomach and the small intestine and it is then distributed through the rest of the body and to the brain. Usually the coffee circulates in the body for 30 to 90 minutes after being taken in, and stays in the body for 8-10 hours.


Once it gets to the brain, it sets off a chain of events that affect the activity of dopamine – an essential neurotransmitter that controls mood. Caffeine also affects parts of the brain that regulate sleep, arousal, pleasure and thinking. Coffee perks people up! And that is because it increases the energy levels, as well as vigilance and arousal, and prevents sleepiness.


On the positive side, regular coffee consumption has been found to lower the risk of diabetes, liver damage, Parkinson’s disease and  colon cancer.


However, if in excess, coffee may make us jittery and more anxious than usual, and it can also lead to other complications: high blood pressure, increased or irregular heart beat, less elastic arteries, a higher level of cholesterol and insulin. So if you are a coffee lover best avoid heavy consumption and you shall be fine!



Written by Dr. Noel Duncan


General health
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