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Coffee is Good for You

Posted by nebula0 on August 24, 2008


Yes, it’s true.  Congratulations coffee drinkers of the world, it turns out that coffee is good for the average person.  It reduces the risk of Parkinson’s, colon cancer, diabetes, cavities, dementia, increase short term memory, increases cardiovascular health and more (check out http://men.webmd.com/features/coffee-new-health-food for an example, one of many articles on the topic).  What does that have to do with Mormonism?  Well I imagine one of the better known things about Mormonism is that Mormons do not drink coffee or tea.  Many Mormons will use this commandment, actually first received by Joseph Smith as a ‘word of wisdom’, hence the Word of Wisdom revelation, as evidence of medical foresight a century ahead of his time.  This is because it has been commonly assumed that coffee must be bad for us.  I figure this is because coffee is good, cultures all over the world like it, and it enhances mood and energy, and you know how some of those medical researchers are such killjoys, if it seems too good to be true, by God, it is!  The result was many studies on coffee all trying to look for coffee’s seriously damaging effects.  They found some for certain people, for instance, pregnant women should really cut back and those with high chloresterol need to be careful.  Also if you are loading up your coffee with sugar and cream all bets are off.  But other than, imagine their disappointment when they found astounding health benefits.

Okay, so what does this mean for Mormonism?  Does it mean that the Word of Wisdom isn’t so wise after all?  Maybe, it all depends on how you want to look at it.  If you are attached to the notion that the Word of Wisdom is an astounding medical document showing a health plan far ahead of Joseph’s time you run into two troubles.  The first is that the Word of Wisdom is not unique for Joseph’s time, at all.  The idea that ‘hot drinks’ or coffee and tea might be bad for the health was popular in 19th C America, as was promoting a vegetarian diet.  After all, look at the Seventh-day Adventists’ health code coming out of the same century.  The second difficulty is that modern science doesn’t agree.  We all know the health benefits of a glass of red wine and green tea by now, well, throw coffee into the mix too.  So if Mormons want the Word of Wisdom to be meaningful, they need to switch focus from the health issue, which opens itself up for the critiques of modern science, to the idea that it is simply a commandment and that is that.

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3 Responses to “Coffee is Good for You”

  1. JLFuller said

    Caffeine also stimulates the appetite and increases blood pressure. If a diabetic is insulin dependant and at all insulin resistant (type II) your increased appetite further stimulates beyond that of normal people and adds poundage which in turn requires more insulin and begins a viscous spiral upward of more weight and then need for more insulin which increases the pounds and the need for even more insulin … well, you get the picture. In diabetics (I am one) it increases the blood glucose level by as much as 10 points per cup.

  2. JLFuller said

    It isn’t uncommon for long term type II diabetics to be 50 or 100 pounds over weight just from the use of insulin.

  3. nebula0 said

    The studies speak for themselves. The benefit that coffee gives in staving away diabetes is incredible, but I’m not sure what it does for those already with it– thanks for your thoughts.

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