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Caffeine really is an amazing drug.

One possible reason for me not to kick the coffee habit entirely:


This coffee and asthma treatment can help a patient who is suffering from an onset of asthma symptoms and finds himself without an inhaler breathe more easily until the inhaler can be obtained. This emergency treatment has proven extremely effective due to the similarities between caffeine and a tried-and-true asthma medication known as theophylline.

The similarities between these two chemicals lead doctors to routinely advise patients who are about to undergo tests for lung function to avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages for one to two days prior to the time of the test.

Several large coffee and asthma studies conducted in the past few years have examined the relationship between drinking coffee and the prevalence of asthma. A study of over seventy thousand Italians showed that there was a significant reduction in the appearance of asthma amongst patients who would regularly drink coffee.

The risk of asthma symptoms fell by 28% when patients drank three or more cups of coffee every day.

In 1992, the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II) examined over twenty thousand Americans. The study found that the risk of symptoms from patients with asthma going into the study fell dramatically (over 29%) when patients who regularly drank coffee were compared with patients who did not drink coffee on a regular basis.

In addition, the risk of patients suffering from wheeze fell almost 13%. A relationship was also found between the amount of coffee consumed and the effects gained by the asthma patients. Those who drank more coffee had fewer symptoms; those who drank less coffee had more symptoms.

And I was browsing through old issues of Runner's World at my club's home the other day, and it mentioned that filtered coffee also works as a cholesterol reducer. Unfortunately, I've become rather fond of cafetiere coffee since Adam's last visit...

Update: I would like to note that the site that article I quoted from was on looked more than a bit sploggy to me, and that a Google search for "Coffee asthma" turned up a number of borderline quacky sites. It would seem that caffeine's bronchodilatory effect is fairly well-known. A summary of one of the studies mentioned (though not properly cited) in the article can be found at Chestjournal.org.

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