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Coffee and Health
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New research from Duke University suggests that caffeine may contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. When healthy coffee-drinkers were given 500 mg caffeine (the same caffeine as found in 4 cups of coffee), their blood pressures increased 3-4 mm Hg, the stress hormone epinephrine increased 32% during the day and they reported feeling more stressed out. The effects were undiminished throughout the evening until bedtime.

Women who drank more than 4 cups of coffee a day had twice the risk of urinary incontinence compared with women consuming very little, if any, coffee.

Increased coffee consumption was found to be associated with higher blood levels of homo-cysteine, recently shown to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

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By Winston J. Craig, R.D. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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