Coffee Really is Wunderbar!
For anybody who has ever wondered why roughly twice as many women than men are diagnosed with MS every year, taking a look at ways in which the safeguarding effects of sugary coffee may potentially shield from the development of this – and other related conditions – can be illuminating.
Although it is reasonably well accepted that MS is caused in part by an inflammatory process – damaging and interfering with the proper myelination of nerve cells – there are numerous explanations as to why this might occur, and some of them are far more logical than others.
Of course nothing is ever black and white. One thing that does seem quite clear however, is that many of the promoters of inflammation – such as serotonin, nitric oxide, prolactin, cortisol and the polyunsaturated free fatty acids – have a tendency to be raised in cases of MS.
When you add to that a look at the biological interactions between the above substances and the high estrogen, hypothyroid state – associated with the development of MS and far more prevalent in women – you might start to have the beginnings of a meaningful discussion, eventually leading to a coherent and rational treatment approach.
This conversation would seem far less unusual and confusing, without (for starters) the existence of popular medical theories which suggest that it is actually an insufficiency of estrogen making women susceptible to MS – and that estrogen supplementation should be used as treatment.
In order for this belief system to be maintained, many well demonstrated physiological principles must be turned on their head – in an attempt to prevent clarity of understanding from leading to the discrediting of published results – potentially interfering with underlying objectives.
For instance, the theory relies in part on misinterpretations labeling estrogen as the pregnancy hormone (ignoring the relevance of the role of dramatically increased progesterone levels during this period), not to mention much confusion in relation to estrogen’s actions with regards to ‘birth control’, and in the development of breast and other cancers.
Also tied in with this are irrational ideas about serotonin and nitric oxide (as protective rather than neurotoxic) and polyunsaturated fats (as anti-inflammatory rather than immunosuppressive) as a means to explaining away how closely they interact with each other – often rising simultaneously.
This kind of confusion is in part necessary for profit optimization in relation to numerous pharmaceutical products and so called methods of treatment.
Some of the more obvious products which require the continuation of a certain amount of this cognitive dissonance include many of the so called ‘anti-depressants’, estrogen related drugs of all sorts, the cholesterol loweing statins, the polyunsaturated seed and fish oils, even Viagra.
A well functioning thyroid metabolism on the other hand, can be seen (through the light of decades worth of experimental and epidemiological evidence) to be protective against increasing and excessive levels of estrogen – as well as all of the above mentioned inflammatory and potentially neurodegenerative substances.
Concurrently, improvements in metabolic performance assist in the production of the highly protective and genuinely anti-inflammatory hormones (such as progesterone), known to protect against the onset and worsening of MS.
Which is where coffee – especially when it is consumed with sufficient quantities of sugar – enters the story.
There are a great many studies showing the protective effects of coffee generally (as well as caffeine more specifically), and it isn’t simply mere coincidence that many of coffee’s effects seem to work in a direction similar to that of an efficient metabolism, whilst at the same time reducing the risk of developing MS.
Apart from acting in ways resembling progesterone (directly protecting against the damaging effects of estrogen), caffeine also helps to promote the production of thyroid hormone – as well as itself having many thyroid-like qualities.
On top of all of that, regular coffee consumption is known to improve liver function, thereby assisting in the detoxification process, helping to lower systemic levels of estrogen. This then allows for an increase in the conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone (T4) into the active thyroid hormone (T3) – often a central issue behind sub optimal thyroid function in women, and a common problem in MS.
When combining all of this with the fact that caffeine has many anti-serotonin effects, and can protect against the absorption of iron – excessive amounts of both being closely involved in the progression of MS – it looks almost as though not only is coffee a genuinely pro-thyroid food, it might be the perfect addition to any attempt to protect against and treat MS (as well as any other estrogen related issues which promote disease and degeneration).
Existing studies however, demonstrating coffee’s powerfully protective effects in relation to brain degeneration (and in particular MS), have not focused on examining the potential increase in the power of coffee’s beneficial actions, (especially for those whose metabolism is compromised) when consumed with significant amounts of sugar.
It might not seem at first like an important detail, yet many of the benefits which come from the consumption of caffeine – and the subsequent rise in metabolic rate that it can promote – require the availability of sufficient amounts of fuel as cells begin to use glucose at an increasing rate, and glycogen stores are quickly depleted.
This is likely especially significant in the high estrogen, hypothyroid environment of MS, where cortisol is often already high and the ability of the liver to store sufficient amounts of glycogen (for the provision of glucose to the cells), is already compromised.
If coffee is being consumed for its powerful healing benefits – without the provision of enough sugar – it might cause an unintended increase in the release of cortisol and adrenalin (potentially interfering with some of it’s protective effects), eventually resulting in the release of some of the inflammatory substances which it is being used to protect against.
Without going into the ways that sugar consumption is itself (in the context of a backdrop of sufficient nutrition) a necessary part of an optimally functioning thyroid metabolism, the evidence of both the anti-estrogen effects of caffeine – as well as the increasingly well known protection provided by coffee with regards to issues of brain degeneration – make the argument for estrogen supplementation in MS seem even more illogical and irresponsible.
If it weren’t for the fact that coffee is already one of the most important products on the planet, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it was going to be banned. That being said, it’s probably not likely that there will be a huge rush around the globe to fund studies looking into the health benefits of well sugared coffee, and it’s ability to help protect from and reverse symptoms of degeneration and disease.
Regardless of the fact that many of the authorities still seem to be unsure as to whether they think the cause of MS is unknown, or alternatively the miraculous result of not consuming enough fish oil, it seems rational to suggest that a diet attempting to protect against the inflammatory by-products of a chronically stressed and sub-optimal metabolism – avoiding the polyunsaturated fats, and gradually increasing coffee consumption, whilst providing sufficient protein from milk, cheese or gelatin, and plenty of sugar from sweet ripe juicy fruits, fruit juice, honey and white sugar – has the potential to be extremely helpful.
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