I’ve been asked multiple times recently about my opinion of drinking decaf coffee. I happen to have a very strong opinion about decaf coffee that I want share with you all and especially our female readers! First though a quick refresher on Rheumatoid Arthritis!
Taken from my previous blog, Rheumatoid vs Osteoarthritis, What are the Differences?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is much less common than the previously discussed Osteoarthritis. Statistics show that Rheumatoid Arthritis affects about 1/10th as many people as Osteo. The main difference between these two forms of arthritis is the cause behind the symptoms. Osteo is primarily caused by wear and tear on the joints whereas Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The body’s own immune system attacks the body’s joints, which is what causes the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Unlike Osteo which usually begins later in life, Rheumatoid Arthritis can begin at any age. Many of the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteo are similar, but Rheumatoid Arthritis can produce more swelling of the joints and often more pain in the joints. One of the distinguishing characteristics of Rheumatoid Arthritis would be the lumps that can form underneath the skin called Rheumatoid Arthritis nodules, which can be very painful and affect the movement of the joints. Both forms of arthritis are often treated with the same anti-inflammatory medications mentioned in my previous blogs, however with Rheumatoid Arthritis there are also immuno-suppressant drugs used to try and suppress the immune system from attacking the joints. These drugs can have very dangerous side effects.
If you or someone you know has Rheumatoid Arthritis, I would encourage you to go back and read the entire blog and the rest of the blogs published in our Arthritis Month Series last year!
Back to the matter at hand though.
I was able to find three articles that I believe are helpful in addressing this issue of drinking decaf coffee and it’s connection to Rheumatoid. Check out these headlines and short excerpts:
Decaf May Increases Arthritis Risk – ABC News
“According to a study of more than 31,336 women aged 55-69, women who reported consuming four or more cups of decaffeinated coffee a day were more than twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, compared to women who never drank decaf.”
“Some of our patients stop taking within the first couple of weeks because of the worsening of their skin condition. This is the way this drug works. You just need to have enough patience to overcome this period and reach the desired result. Accutane is very effective, but it’s not a magic pill to clear your skin overnight.”
Coffee Consumption and Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis – PubMed Study
“In this large, prospective study, we find little evidence of an association between coffee, decaffeinated coffee, or tea consumption and the risk of RA among women.”
Effect of Decaffeinated Coffee on Health – 2005 Health Study
“Caffeine is often the primary focus when the negative health effects of coffee are discussed. But there are a number of significant chemical compounds present in coffee, other than caffeine, which also have strong effects on the body. Some of the more common active constituents include chlorogenic acid, caffeol and diterpenes. Many health conditions that are aggravated by coffee are still affected by decaffeinated coffee, despite the lowered level of caffeine, due to these other phytochemicals that remain in decaf coffee after the decaffeination process. Current studies suggest that, for people who are sensitive to coffee’s effects, decaffeinated brews may still exacerbate their health problems. Therefore, the healthiest option may be to eliminate both regular and decaffeinated coffee from the diet.”
As you can see there are some conflicting opinions on the link between decaf coffee and rheumatoid arthritis. There are numerous other studies they have been conducted to show a possible link between the consumption a decaf coffee and rheumatoid. Some say yes and some say no. This is the case with lots of health studies and you have to consider the sources when deciding what actions you want to take. However if you are at risk for rheumatoid arthritis then this information is certainly something to consider. My opinion is that you should try your best to keep any unnatural chemicals out of your body in the first place. The chemicals used in the decaffeination process is what some of these researchers believe to be the underlying problem. So what I have told the people that ask me is that if you’re going to drink decaffeinated coffee or tea then buy one of the brands that have been decaffeinated using the Swiss Water Process. This is a process by which no chemicals are used. There are a variety of brands on the market that use this process but the one that I purchase most often is Kroger’s Simple Truth organic brand.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and if you haven’t listened to The Feeling Good Podcast yet, then there is no better time to start!
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