Recently, I’ve gotten a number of e-mail releases from a "Dr. Mike Magee," and in the split-second I spend deciding whether to delete an e-mail or save it to look at later, I had saved these, under the vague impression that they were from someone I actually knew, namely the erstwhile USC athletic director.
But noo-o-o-o-o! These messages are from some busybody stranger who’s asking me nosy questions such as:
The Coffee Fix
How is coffee affecting your life?
By Mike Magee, MD
Is coffee part of your daily routine? If it is, you are like millions of Americans, who start their day with a cup – or two or three – of coffee. But even if it’s part of your daily routine, it makes sense to stop and ask a few questions. How much do you know about your morning pick-me-up? Do you ever think about where it comes from or how it’s affecting your body?
First, he hammers on my conscience:
Most small farmers sell their coffee directly to middlemen exporters
who pay them below market price for their harvests and keep a high
percentage for themselves. This forces these farmers into a cycle of
poverty that keeps working conditions poor, wages low, and often
involves child labor. Coffee workers are usually paid the equivalent to
sweatshop wages and they toil under harsh conditions.
of this in mind, we’re left with two major questions about coffee. One,
is it good or bad for your health? And two, what about the health and
well-being of the coffee farmers and workers around the world?
Then, just as I’m turning away, he lures me in with nice thoughts:
On question one, you might be shocked to find out that coffee is full
of antioxidants that dampen inflammation and are believed to be
positive and preventive when it comes to chronic diseases. Studies by
major journals have confirmed that coffee is a major contributor of
antioxidants in the diet of Americans.
But just as I’m thinking this guy might be OK, he hits me with this:
But there’s the caffeine to consider. Once it’s ingested, it’s rapidly
absorbed into the blood stream in 30 to 45 minutes, and takes 4 to 6
hours for most of it to be eliminated. At low to moderate doses it
increases well being, happiness, energy, alertness, and sociability –
but at higher doses it can cause adverse health effects.
Arrrghhh! Who do you think you are, you imperfect stranger? You can’t even spell McGee, and you’re lecturing to me about my coffee?!?!? Back off! Where’s the pot? I need just one fresh cup to calm me down and clarify my mind…