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The Caffeine Craze

“I’m addicted to caffeine. Without coffee, I get a massive headache that even Advil can’t cure,” admits BHS student Annie Buchholz (’12). Buchholz does not struggle alone in her love-hate relationship with coffee. In fact, the National Coffee Association states that on average, 54 percent of American adults drink coffee daily, importing more than 4 billion dollars of coffee per year… that’s a lot of coffee!

Although a piping hot cup of Joe can be simply delightful in the morning with its rich taste and little jolt to get you going, experts are divided on the effect caffeine has on the human body.

Researchers have been studying the effects of coffee, and it has become increasingly clear that the pros of caffeine consumption outweigh the cons.

Caffeine: “A crystalline compound that is found especially in tea and coffee plants and is a stimulant of the central nervous system,” states Wordnet dictionary.  Many individuals find themselves addicted to the substance. This should not be a surprise because caffeine “is a drug, and actually shares a number of traits with more notorious drugs such as amphetamines, cocaine and heroin”, according to science.howstuffworks.com.

Despite the unsettling relationship between caffeine and cocaine, the act of drinking coffee possesses multiple benefits. For example, WebMD states that the regular consumption of coffee assists in the prevention of type two diabetes. Frank Hu, a MD, MPH, PhD, nutrition and epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health reports on WebMD that “The vast majority of those studies have shown a benefit of coffee on the prevention of diabetes. And now there is also evidence that decaffeinated coffee may have the same benefit as regular coffee.”

In addition, coffee has been proven to reduce an individual’s chances of becoming depressed, a result of coffee modulating the release of mood transmitters in the brain. Caffeine also fights off Alzheimer’s Disease, because it causes stem cells in the bone marrow to enter the brain and remove the beta-amyloid plaques that lead to the disease.

This is reassuring for those who rely on coffee to get the day started and de-zombie them.

Like the majority of edible products, studies have found that there are positives and negatives to its consumption. Coffee is no exception and should continue to be a beloved morning ritual for many individuals.

If drinking a delectable substance that can reduce my chances of getting this disease, I’m on my way to Dunkin’ Donuts faster than you can say “coffee.”