Nutrition Facts: Alcohol, Antioxidants, Caffeine and Calcium

Too much alcohol can raise the levels of fats in the blood, lead to high blood pressure, heart failure and increased calories. Too many calories lead to obesity and a higher risk of developing diabetes. Excessive and binge drinking can lead to stroke.

The New Zealand Heart Foundation recommends if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Moderation means an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Drinking more than this increases all the health risks as noted above. In addition, it is not possible to predict in which people alcoholism will become a problem.

Pregnant women should not drink alcohol in any form; it can harm the baby seriously.

Antioxidant vitamins

There has been a lot of research recently focused on how antioxidant vitamins may reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

The New Zealand Heart Foundation does not recommend people using antioxidant vitamin supplements until more complete data is available. They recommend people eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods daily from all the basic food groups. Eat a variety of foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol to provide a natural source of these vitamins, minerals and fiber.


The metabolic effects of caffeine include:

• Stimulates the central nervous system
• Releases free fatty acids from adipose (fatty) tissue
• Affects the kidneys by increasing urination, which can lead to dehydration

Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate and some nuts.

The New Zealand Heart Foundation says moderate coffee drinking (1-2 cups per day does not seem to be harmful.

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms may occur 12 to 24 hours after the last dose of caffeine in individuals who are habitual caffeine drinkers. The most prominent symptom is headache. Other withdrawal symptoms may include:

• Anxiety
• Fatigue
• Drowsiness
• Depression

Although many studies show there is a direct link between caffeine, coffee drinking and coronary heart disease, the results are conflicting.


To help reduce the risk of developing the bone disease osteoporosis most physicians encourage women to eat fat-free and low-fat dairy products to get calcium.

The New Zealand Heart Foundation recommends women should aim to consume between 1,000 and 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day. Excellent sources of calcium include:

• Fat-free milk
• Low-fat dairy products

Other sources of calcium include:

• Eating vegetable greens like spinach, kale and broccoli
• Some legumes and soybean products

To date, scientists do not have enough information to know if calcium intake affects the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Adequate daily intake according to data from the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine includes:

• 210 mg for infants from birth to 6 months, 270 mg for age 6 months to 1 year
• 500 mg for children age 1-3; 800 mg for ages 4-8
• 1,300 mg for children and adolescents age 9-18
• 1,000 mg for adults ages 19-50 (for maximal calcium retention)
• 1,200 mg for adults ages 51 and older
• 1300 mg for women who are pregnant and under age 19; 1000 mg for pregnant women ages 19-50

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  • very interesting stuff, but there is a missing part in this, an that would be smoking, its just as bad as alcohol
  • Nos4R2D2 says
    I am having a year off of drinking and after 12 weeks I feel a lot better without having hangovers.
  • New Member says
    Interesting about the low-dairy intake to prevent osteoporosis. I've been vegan for 14 months and feel great. Tips of the day are marmite for vitamin B12, and that LSA Oil for the Omegas. The rest is eat your vegetables 101. The first thing I noticed was my circulation improved.

    I say its also good to go vegan to reduce animal cruelty. Ask any dairy farmer what they do to male baby calves. And the mothers are in a constant cycle of pregnant> Babie stolen, pregnant>baby stolen. That sh*ts just not right.

    Redneck guys will say"Harden up, eat meat" but theres nothing manly about hurting animals. I challenge them that it takes more brains, more heart and more dicipline to be vegan than to gobble bigMacs etc.

    I like animals and I'm not a hypocrite. Therefore I'm a vegan. I urge people to break it down and look at what their dollars really buying.

    • JD says
      It doesn't promote low-dairy intake but low-fat dairy intake; dairy is one of the best sources of calcium, however diary fat is really quite bad for you.
      Eating meat is not hurting animals, ( well not cows or sheep anyway, pig and chicken farming is cruel ) the cows are well-fed, live good lives and are killed humanely.

      I maintaining proper nutrition is a challenge for everyone, eating meat alone is not a complete diet. By not eating meat or animal products you remove alot of protein / iron / fat from your diet. Solution is pretty simple, replace with items rich in protein / iron and fats that meet your dietary restrictions. Remove something - add something = balanced, basic. Gobbling big macs, is not a balanced diet, if thats how you ate before going vegan, no wonder you feel better after

      I respect your decision to not eat animal products, but it doesnt make you better (nor worse) than everyone else, just not make belittling comments because of your beliefs (ie Rednecks). After all you are harming more plants which are also living things.
      • New Member says
        I used to think beef was morally ok, but then I actually checed it out. Its no humane, slaughter by its very nature is violence. Im sorry to be blunt, but you're wrong and your argument is tiresome. You just want to justify your cruelty endorsing lifestyle.

        Re your other comments.
        If people have low vitaminD, dairy actully strips calcium from bones.

        Plant suffering?

        Do plants feel pain and suffering and form family nods? uh maybe.
        Do animals feel pain and suffering and create family bonds? Of course.

        So the ethical decision based on our findings suggests a plant based diet is kinder to those around us.

        Kids see plants slaughtered all the time.
        Do kids see animals slaughtered all the time? really?
        It would mess them up to see that

        When a carnivore sees bloodshed, their mouth waters.
        When you see bloodshed (not on tv-for real) does your mouth water?

        Icould go on and on, but the meat industries brainwashing has also been going on and on and has done its work.

        I hope your donations to animal cruelty prevention exceeed your contributions towards making animals suffer. Money talks.
        • JD says
          Quote from article
          "To help reduce the risk of developing the bone disease osteoporosis most physicians encourage women to eat fat-free and low-fat dairy products to get calcium."

          I'm not promoting the comsumption of dairy, merely that stating the article does. Nowhere does it say the a low dairy diet prevents osteoporosis.
          Also vitamin D, controls flow of calcium in the body, low vit D causes problems not dairy, get your facts straight.

          Also killing can be cruel or humane, not is not either by definition. I do not endorse animal cruelty, Im not advocating eating meat or dairy

          • New Member says
            Interesting. If killing can be humane, why is human euthanasia illegal? Humane killing of animals could possible be defined as vet administered euthanasia. A death in a slaughterhouse is not.
          • paula says
            wow this is very interesting i never knew about these side effects, i am a caffeine drinker i have been drinking v the energy drink every day for years now.

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