Betty Kovacs, MS, RD
Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Caffeine facts
- What is caffeine?
- What are the sources of caffeine?
- Is caffeine addictive?
- Is caffeine a diuretic?
- Can you consume too much caffeine?
- Does caffeine cause heart disease?
- Does caffeine cause bone loss?
- Does caffeine help with weight loss?
- Is caffeine safe during pregnancy?
- Should caffeine be consumed by children?
- How much fluid do we need?
- Caffeine FAQs
Does caffeine cause heart disease?
With the high prevalence of heart disease, links between lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity, are undergoing extensive research. The original research into caffeine's role in this epidemic resulted in conflicting answers. Some evidence suggests an elevation in stress hormones from caffeine consumption that could pose a cardiovascular risk, but recent research has shown no relationship between caffeine ingestion and heart disease. In fact, studies have actually shown a protective effect against heart disease with habitual intake of caffeinated beverages in the elderly population. The reason for the discrepancy may be due to the kind of beverage being consumed. Studies have shown that coffee and tea were not associated with increases in blood pressure or arrhythmias, while soft drinks were. Research also showed that decaffeinated coffee and tea did not provide the same benefits as the caffeinated versions. The well-respected Framingham Heart Study examined all potential links between caffeine intake and cardiovascular disease and found no harmful effects from drinking coffee. There can, however, be exceptions to this. People react differently to caffeine, and some may experience elevations in blood pressure or arrhythmias. The blood pressure elevations are said to be short lived, lasting no more than several hours and are comparable to modest elevations experienced climbing a flight of stairs. It's always best to check with your physician if you are experiencing any side effects.
Does caffeine cause bone loss?
Too much of a good thing could be a problem for caffeine consumers. Evidence suggests that high caffeine intake may accelerate bone loss. One study found that elderly postmenopausal women who consumed more than 300 mg per day of caffeine lost more bone in the spine than women who consumed less than 300 mg per day. However, coffee and tea drinkers may be able to counteract this negative effect by adding milk to their beverage. The consumption of cola has also been shown to be associated with lower bone mineral density. While these studies were compelling, more evidence is needed to make a definitive decision about the role of caffeine and osteoporosis.
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