Coffee and Women

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

Coffee can upset women's estrogen levels It is evident today that many of our cancer are related to a dominance of estrogen. In a world flooded with estrogen and estrogen like compound, it is important for our body to have as low an estrogen load as possible.

Studies have shown that drinking more than two cups of coffee a day may increase estrogen levels in women. It could also lead to problems such as endometriosis and breast pain.

Having high levels of estrogen for women in such cases can be detrimental as it can lead to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Those who have a family history of cancer also have a higher risk.

Clinical Trial of Caffeine Intake

In a clinical trial conducted, about 500 women between the ages of 36 to 45 were studied. These women were not pregnant, not breast-feeding or having hormonal treatment. They were interviewed regarding their diets, smoking habits, height and weight. Their hormone levels during the first five days of their menstrual cycle was also measured.

The results showed that women who consumed more than one cup of coffee a day had significantly higher levels of estrogen during the early follicular phase of their menstrual cycle. Those who consumed at least 500 mg of caffeine daily, the equivalent of four or five cups of coffee had nearly 70% more estrogen than women who consumed less than 100 mg of caffeine daily.

Caffeine intake from all sources was associated with higher estrogen levels regardless of the women's age, body mass index (BMI), caloric intake, smoking habits, alcohol and cholesterol intake. Coffee consumption increases estradiol levels. There are three different forms of estrogen in the body - estrone, estradiol, and estriol.  Estradiol is the form that is pro-cancerous. Women should  limit their intake of coffee to not more than one to two cups daily to decrease their risk of having more serious health problems.

Chronic high caffeine intake can also leads to adrenal gland exhaustion and the reduction if production of progesterone. The proper progesterone to estrogen ratio is therefore not maintained, resulting in further estrogen dominance.

Sugar exacerbates coffee's negative effectsCoffee (especially when accompanied with sugar) also creates an acidic internal environment. The body will try to neutralize the acid by withdrawing valuable minerals such as magnesium and calcium from the bone. This leads to mineral depletion if chronic and ultimately osteoporosis.

In summary, coffee consumption can lead to increased estrogen, adrenal gland exhaustion, and osteoporosis.


© 2004  Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

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