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Health & Science
With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.Every Thursday at 5:42 a.m., 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.Local support for To Your Health comes from Fresh Healthy Cafe in Cape Girardeau -- located inside St. Francis Medical Center. Online ordering is at freshsaintfrancis.com

To Your Health: The Debate Over Caffeine

flickr user anokarina (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Artist Flash Rosenberg once commented, “I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.”

There is still a lot of debate over the positives and negatives of coffee and other sources of caffeine, but research is showing that in moderation, caffeine consumption can be a good thing.

Research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience found that caffeine, whether consumed through coffee, tea, soda, or chocolate has a positive effect on our long-term memory. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 90 percent of people worldwide consume caffeine in one form or another. In the United States, 80 percent of adults consume caffeine every day. The average adult has an intake of about 200 milligrams—the same amount used in the study—or roughly one cup of strong coffee per day.

Coffee, specifically, has been the focus of several studies which linked it to reductions in Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and infections.

However, the Mayo Clinic warns there can always be too much of a good thing. Consuming more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day can make you jittery, cause sleep problems and interfere with some medications. They also advise that children should not consume as much caffeine as adults, as its side effects are heightened in their bodies. The FDA also warns of physical dependence on caffeine and the development of a “tolerance” that can lead people to consuming more and more caffeine to get the good effects and reduce the symptoms of withdrawal.

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