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Health Benefits

Q & A with Dr. Chuck Slonim

Q:Are there any medical benefits to coffee? If so would you mind naming a few?

A:It all depends on what scientific study you read and what purpose the coffee is being used for. There are probably 2 main reasons for drinking coffee; 1) flavor and 2) caffeine. There are certainly no medical benefits to flavor except the euphoria that someone gets when tasting a flavor they enjoy! You might classify that as a medical anti-depressant!! On the other hand, the caffeine is a well-known central nervous system stimulant. So medically speaking, it reduces physical fatigue and increases mental alertness. Caffeine has been linked to reducing some risks of cancer (I think liver, uterine and colorectal). I think it was claimed to increase the risk of bladder cancer. Remember that all of these studies were small and not really statistically significant for a large population of patients. Caffeine has been used in treating some conditions associated with premature births but I am not exactly sure what they are.

Q:What makes coffee a good part to people's diets?

A:Probably the flavor, possibly the dependency on the caffeine. But probably a “pick-me-up” in the morning and a dessert flavor in the evening.

Q:Does coffee influence the eyes at all? If so, how?

A:In patients who have glaucoma (high pressure in their eyes), caffeine has been claimed to increase the pressure in the eyes and possibly make the glaucoma worse. Caffeine is known to constrict blood vessels which can potentially decrease blood flow to vital areas in the eyes such as the retina and optic nerve. In patients who already have a compromised vasculature system (eg, peripheral vascular disease or high blood pressure), this reduction of blood flow could worsen a pre-existing condition.

Q:Do you ever recommend to your patients to drink coffee?

A:No, unless they are falling asleep in my examination chair!!!

Q:How many cups a day do you recommend people drink?

A:I have read reports that allow 2-3 cups per day is okay for those persons who are not sensitive to the caffeine. Certainly, if one drinks decaffeinated coffee, the number of cups can increase. Remember that even decaffeinated coffee has some caffeine.

Q:Is caffeine the main benefit of coffee?

A:Q:Pharmacologically, I would say yes! Psychologically, it might be the flavor!

What is your favorite kind of coffee?

A:Turkish

Anything else interesting about coffee that you think people should know?

A:The flavor is so popular that it is put in candies, ice creams, sorbets, and liquors!

3 Surprising Health Benefits of Coffee

Clicking the hyperlinks below will bring you to the websites with the studies about coffee.

1. It can improve your proof reading habits.

2. It may reduce the risk for prostate cancer in men.

3.It may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.