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article imageNorway study shows that coffee reduces physical pain

By Nancy Houser     Sep 24, 2012 in Health
A Norway scientific study, published this month in the journal BMS Research Notes, suggests that drinking a cup of coffee before work can ease physical work pain, especially computer-related neck pain and shoulder pain.
According to the Globe and Mail, knowing that an early morning cup of coffee is good for you and is a pain reliever makes it taste even better ... especially if you are an avid coffee drinker! Black coffee or tea, or with some milk, is considered acceptable but not with regular sugar.
Researchers from Norway’s National Institute of Occupational Health and Oslo University Hospital noticed that 40% of the people who drank coffee reported a lower intensity of pain than those who did not. On a 100-point scale, the neck and shoulders showed a pain intensity of 41 for coffee drinkers, compared to 55 for coffee abstainers. "Pain intensity in the shoulders and neck and forearms and wrists was rated on a visual analogue scale every 15 min throughout the work task."
According to the LA Times, previous research has found that coffee in moderation or the beans its brewed from can do many good things for the body:
(1) Helps with weight loss.
(2) Reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
(3) Boosts muscle growth.
(4) Protects against certain types of cancers.
(5) Reduces the risk of premature death.
(6) Coffee consumption is linked to a reduced risk of symptomatic gallstones (or gallbladder disease).
(7) The chemical structure of caffeine resembles that of theophylline, a common asthma medication that relaxes the airway muscles and relieves asthma.
(8) Caffeine in tea, about 5 cups of tea per day, reduces the likelihood of strokes in men by 69 percent. Meanwhile, women who drink a cup or more of coffee each day may be less likely to have a stroke than their counterparts who drink less.
(9) A new study by scientists in Europe concluded that drinking black coffee is linked to a reduced risk of primary liver cancer.
(10.) Four cups of coffee a day can help tame the tremors caused by Parkinson's disease.
(11.) Coffee may reduce the risk of heart failure, according to ABC.
Coffee  Voisin  Lyon France
Coffee, Voisin, Lyon France
Michael Cosgrove
The purpose of the study was not to evaluate coffee, but to compare how people with and without chronic pain tolerated a computer task --- known to cause discomfort in the neck, shoulder, forearm and wrist. The reason coffee has pain-killing properties is because of caffeine's effect on adenosine, a brain chemical involved in pain processing. Caffeine in coffee, or even tea, blocks adenosine from working, which reduces pain.
The scientists warn that the study was small and has not been run in a randomized controlled trial, the gold standard of scientific evidence. However, previous research has reported that drinking a caffeine drink prior to doing exercise will diminish muscle pain during aerobic and strength exercise.
People who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and drink four to six cups of coffee a day show the most promising evidence, as it lowers the odds of developing the disease. Coffee also contains magnesium, which is a mineral linked to blood-sugar regulation.
According to the Globe and Mail, "Coffee’s antioxidants are thought to dampen inflammation in the body, protect the liver from carcinogens and improve how the body uses insulin, the hormone that clears sugar from the bloodstream."
Mat Elmore
EXCEPTIONS: Those who have heartburn or reflux disease (GERD) may not be able to drink regular coffee or tea. In these cases, decaf may be necessary.
Pregnant women may also be advised to drink decaf tea or coffee, as they are usually limited to under 300 milligrams of caffeine per day --- equal to two eight-ounce cups of coffee.
Additionally, individuals who have been diagnosed with low bone density or osteoporosis should drink under 450 milligrams of caffeine a day, as the excess caffeine can reduce calcium in the body's bones, especially if the body is lacking in mineral.
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