A great nation brought to it’s knees by supplements, coffee, tea and sodas? There should be profound reasons for the US going very far astray. Shouldn’t the Western tradition stemming from Socrates and Plato be fundamentally flawed? Didn’t it all go wrong with the Enlightenment? Isn’t the problem unbridled materialism? Isn’t the problem too much Christianity or too little Christianity?
Perhaps not. Coffee and tea have been very widely drunk for the last 500 years. Widespread coffee and tea drinking starts with the coming of the modern age. Coffee and tea interact with iron. And even where there are normal blood levels of iron coffee and tea could affect iron metabolism in the gut. Sodas contain polyphenols which can affect iron levels. When minerals are supplemented very frequently chelated minerals are supplemented. When multivitamin multimineral supplements are taken usually the minerals are chelated. Prenatal formulas very frequently contain chelated minerals. And there is no proof that chelated minerals are equivalent in the gut to non-chelated minerals which are the mineral formulations that have been studied in human clinical trials..
Could lead poisoning have been a factor in the fall of ancient Rome? I would say yes. Besides water from aqueducts wine in ancient Rome also contained high levels of lead.
Polyphenols can increase beta-oxidationwhich can lead to serious difficulties if there are difficulties in fat absorption which are likely if there are high homocysteine levels.
Many illnesses for which polyphenols have been postulated to be treatments are associated with high levels of homocysteine, however, where there are high homocysteine levels there could be difficulties in fatty acid absorption. Increasing levels of polyphenols, which increase beta-oxidation, would be contradicted where there are difficulties in fatty acid absorption and metabolism.
Polyphenol supplements are frequently suggested as treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, however, both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s diseaseare associated with high homocyteine levels whereby there could be difficulties in fatty acid absoption. Polyphenol supplements could worsen Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. In the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease polyphenols have been full of promise but have failed to deliver effective treatments.
Caffeine pills have nowhere near the same effect as coffee. There must be more to the effects of coffee than caffeine and that something more is the polyphenol contents of coffee and the effect of those polyphenols on beta-oxidation.
Polyphenol extracts are everywhere. Natural flavors are polyphenol extracts. Sodas contain polyphenols from natural flavors. Various plant oils contain concentrated polyphenols. Various supplements are marketed on the very basis that such supplements contain polyphenols, for example quercetin, pycnogenol and resveratrol. Coffee and tea contain polyphenols. Almost all frozen foods will contain natural flavors. Polyphenol extracts are a major difficulty.
This is starting to sound about as bad as ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’ in terms of being able to escape the difficulty. Cases of ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’ could in fact be adverse reactions to polyphenol extracts and concentrated polyphenols.
Adverse reactions to polyphenols are not immune responses. A difficulty with polyphenols is that polyphenols bind to iron. Polyphenols binding to iron in the gut could lead to inactivation of aconitase 1 in the gut which could have systematic effects.
I have been very strongly stressing the effect of polyphenols on iron absorption, however, there are likely other difficulties with polyphenols for individuals. Polyphenols increase beta-oxidation. If the there are difficulties in fatty acid absorption and fatty acid metabolism increases in beta-oxidation due to polyphenols can not be sustained with difficulties then arising. Even with no difficulties in fatty acid absorption and fatty acid metabolism polyphenol laden drinks should not be drunk throughout the day. Limiting coffee to two cups of coffee drunk in the morning away from iron supplements could be a safe way to drink coffee.
Different polyphenols have different binding affinitiesto iron apparently due to different levels of iron-binding galloyl groups in different polyphenols. The polyphenols in foods with high levels of polyphenols would also bind iron at higher levels than polyphenols of foods with low levels of polyphenols. The point is that different foods with different kinds of polyphenols and different levels of polyphenols can have different affects on iron. However, if all iron is basically complexed with polyphenols due to coffee, tea and/or sodas then foods with different polyphenols and different levels of polyphenols might not make a difference. Fruits and vegetables would seem not to be delivering the real thing as well as Coca-Cola.
A direct connection between the gut and brain and mood is widely accepted now. How signals are sent from the gut to brain and how those signals affect mood has not been clearly established. Levels of aconitase 1 in the gut, activity of the TCA cycle in the gut and regulation of iron regulated proteins in the gut could play a large role in that connection.
The Ottoman Empire had a very active coffee culture starting in the mid 16th century. By the end of the nineteenth century, there were nearly 2,500 coffeehouses in Istanbul alone. Things did not turn out well for the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century.
Moka Efti was a supper club in the Berlin of the Wiemar Republic which was a center of decadence. On a good day more than 25,000 cups of coffee were sold at Moka Efti. To say the least things did not turn out well for Berlin and the Wiemar Republic.