Wednesday, March 11, 2015

COFFEE AND THE ZERO CARB DIET

I want to make a comment about the “possible risk of coffee addiction”. Does it really exist? If yes, is it really serious? Anyway, it seems to be of a concern for many of us on Zero Carb.

First, and let make this clear, it is not because someone drinks coffee (or tea) that he will automatically get addicted to it. Addiction is much more complicated then that.

To make it simple, according to our actual knowledge, addiction is control by our genes, meaning we carry or not carry the risk in our chromosomes when we are born. Studies from the last decade have demonstrated that this “risk chromosome” can “express itself” from 0 to 100%, which can vary upon several: early experiences with the substance when the brain is not yet all develop, passed experiences, and of course, actual level of use of the said substance.

If “chromosomes” and “exposure” are both important, another serious aspect is the “addiction risk” of specific substances. For example, alcohol has an addiction risk of 27%, while cigarette has one of 18%. A strong drug like heroin is 92% while sugar is 11%. For coffee, sadly, there is yet no study done "on the risk". Interestingly, and a hot subject nowadays, is the addiction risk to cannabis: 3%. But this is another subject…

So what about coffee? Well there is a “big book” called DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and the last edition has NOT yet classified caffeine addiction as a problem. The DSM-5 is THE BIBLE of contemporary psychiatry.

And why this? Well caffeine is consumed daily by billions of people worldwide with very little to no health consequences for the vast majority. It is estimated that less than a tenth of one percent of the world’s population has any adverse reactions to caffeine. There is also little to no evidence that it is harmful to the human body when consumed in moderation or that it interferes with normal mental functioning and productivity.

Anyway, even if caffeine does have “possible” addictive properties, it doesn’t foster deep psychological and physiological dependency, as do controlled addictive substances.

Finally, and not the least, the “high” one may get from exposure to any substance is principally caused by a release of DOPAMINE in the brain. But we do not get this “dopamine rush” only when using ‘controlled substances”. Drinking a glass of water when really thirsty causes a dopamine rush. Having sex does the same thing; just as shopping and gambling may do for some folks. EATING A NICE PIECE OF JUICY MEAT DOES THE SAME. It is a “survival reaction” from our brain.

All this said, there is NO scientific proof the consumption of 2-3 coffees per day has any consequences on health; of course, if someone drinks 15-20 espressos per day, we are talking about another situation.

Clearly, the consequences of eating carbohydrates compare to consuming coffee are much more serious, especially if your have any risk of carb addiction and/or metabolic syndrome.

Anyway, coffee contains zero carbohydrate and this is exactly what we are looking for!!! Make your own conclusion.

Denis








2 comments:

  1. Another GREAT post from our resident scientist Denis! I really enjoyed the information. As some may or may not know I enjoy coffee. Not only that, I enjoy a nice Bulletproof Coffee now and then. Bulletproof Coffee??? It's the one with a Coffee of your choice blended with unsalted Butter in a blender. Yummy for the Tummy!!!

    I learned long ago to drink my Coffee Black. Just another great gift from Zero Carb. I used to use HWC and artificial sweeteners while I was on LC and VLC. Zero Carb made me change my was for good. So a little Butter now and then is a real treat. HWC technically is OK to use especially in small amounts...........but if you are trying to lose weight I suggest to stay away from all dairy. Battle On!!!

    (ZC)er Saved by Zero

    Cheers,

    Dave

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I was in college many years ago, I tried drinking coffee to help me stay awake to finish a paper or study for an exam. It was no more than a cup or two a day, and not every day. The result: Within 2 months, I developed fibrocystic breast disease. It took more than 2 months for the tumors to go away. Coffee is not as benign as many people assume.

    ReplyDelete

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