A potent brew

Like red wine, which we biblical literalists are commanded to take now and then, coffee, unanticipated in the scriptures, offers both an enhancement of and a threat to health. A recent issue of Time summarizes coffee’s contradictory potentials. Between 1986 and 2000 scientists warned that coffee may cause—hold on to your cups—phobias, panic attacks, heart attacks, stress, osteoporosis, hypertension, higher cholesterol levels, delayed conception, miscarriages and underweight babies. Between 1988 and 2000 scientists promised that coffee might help prevent—pour another cup—asthma, colon and rectal cancer, impotence, mental sluggishness, fatal car accidents, suicide, gallstones, heart disease and Parkinson’s disease.


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