I've heard that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day can greatly increase your chances of getting rheumatoid arthritis. Is this true?
I believe you're referring to a Finnish study that found among the 4,641 individuals who drank three or less cups of coffee a day, only 0.4 percent developed rheumatoid arthritis compared to 0.8 percent of 14,340 individuals who drank four or more cups a day.
All in all, I don't think that there’s too much to worry about because it’s possible that other lifestyle or diet factors played as significant a role as coffee. Still, drinking more than four cups of coffee a day is probably more than you should be doing anyway.
Overuse of coffee tends to stimulate and weaken the adrenal glands. What’s more, caffeine is both an addictive compound and a nervous system stimulant.
Studies have shown that after consuming three cups of coffee, adrenaline from the adrenal glands increased by 80 percent—that’s roughly the same amount shown to be released when a person is in a stressful office or industrial situation, or the amount released during an emotionally charged movie.
Continued stimulation by the regular consumption of caffeine will eventually deplete the adrenal glands, interfering with blood sugar regulation and leading to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, tremors, heart palpitations, and dizziness. Adding caffeine to sugar-laden or artificially sweetened colas only makes matters worse.
When it comes to coffee and caffeine-laced products, like most things in life, moderation is the key.