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Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America's #1 Drug Paperback – December 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Get ready to give up that morning latte and kiss cola goodbye. Here comes Caffeine Blues, by Stephen Cherniske, M.S., the first book to expose the dark side of America's No. 1 drug: caffeine. If you are one of the nearly 80 percent of Americans hooked on caffeine--a natural component of coffee, tea, and chocolate and a common ingredient in drugs, soda, candy, and other products--this book will be a wake-up call.

In Caffeine Blues, Cherniske, a nutritional biochemist with more than 25 years of academic research and clinical experience and author of the bestseller The DHEA Breakthrough, reveals the truth about caffeine and explains how to kick the habit forever. Cherniske discusses how caffeine affects the body and brain and why it can increase your risk of dozens of health disorders ranging from osteoporosis, diabetes, and PMS to hypertension and heartburn. After spending 300 pages documenting all of caffeine's evils, Cherniske finally offers a decaffeinated life line: "Off the Bean and on to Vitality," a step-by-step, clinically proven program to help readers kick the habit and boost energy levels naturally. --Ellen Albertson

From Library Journal

Nutritional biochemist Cherniske claims that people who consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day are victims of caffeinism: a state of chronic toxicity resulting from excess caffeine consumption and a major contributing factor to heart disease, hypertension, stomach ailments, diabetes, and sleep disorders. Cherniske also warns that most coffee beans are contaminated by pesticides, which harm not only drinkers but also exposed agricultural workers. For conservationists, he highlights the effects of the pesticides on the land and water surrounding the plantations as well as the destruction of the rain forest to make room for coffee plantations. The presence of caffeine in over-the-counter medicines, candy, and soft drinks is stressed, especially in the addiction of children. Cherniske also suggests alternatives to caffeine and ways of quitting the habit. While his book is thought-provoking, its rhetoric is somewhat extreme. Not a necessary purchase.?Janet M. Schneider, James A. Haley Veterans Hosp., Tampa, FL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446673919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446673914
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Truth-Purveyor on February 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
I thought I would add my two bits to the discussion. I am a senior level medical student and weeks away from graduation.

First off, I am not suprised to see some of the asinine, half-witted comments in the "1 star" section as I commonly encounter these same rebuttals both by hospital staff and patients. In fact, during a recent debate with a resident doctor of Internal Medicine in the past week, he made the statements: "you can't trust a dietician" and "caffeine/coffee has NEVER been shown to have any long-term health effects". Wrong, and such a strong statement. While multiple studies do indeed show ambiguity in their results, there are many others which DO unequivocally link caffeine to adverse health outcomes. I have personally done a literature review on caffeine and have discovered many well-built and RECENT studies in the literature to support the author's claims. It is particularly amusing to see people tenaciously defend caffeine and neglect to entertain any discussion with respect to its negative health effects. It's as though you've insulted their mothers!

I embarassingly admit that I have learned more about caffeine from a single chapter in this intriguing text than during my medical training in its entirety. Furthermore, only negative effects were related to me in med-school, never positives. Despite it's ubiquitous presence in society, the physiologic effects of caffeine on the body are not taught in medical school. This may serve to explain why many physicians neglect to broach the discussion on caffeine with their patients.

This brings me to my next thought: The fact that the author is not a doctor/PHD does not preclude the book's credibility. The author is more informed about caffeine than the majority of practicing physicians.
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110 of 117 people found the following review helpful By johnnyqb on June 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have loved coffee for much of my life. I have even been heard to utter, in mock appreciation of Socrates, that "the uncaffeinated life is not worth living." One time I quit coffee, felt really good, but during a flat stage, I got back on, more than ever, with the comment that without caffeine, I had lost the "joy of living." I have read this book by Cherniske. I have read all the reviews here. I have laughed hardest at the ones that recommend "The Caffeine Advantage," which supposedly about how great caffeine can make your life. Perhaps this book is over the top in its indictment of coffee and caffeine. But the fact is, that I will not quit the stuff without a little shouting at me to do it. Those reasonable persons who would suggest to have only a cup a day or so, or who only have coffee in the morning, or who can go weeks without it, with no headaches; well, more power to you. But I am not one of you. I am an ADDICT. I cannot drink coffee in moderation. I can only drink it to excess, and it invariably messes up my life. It messes with my sleep patterns, leading me to get less sleep and to then be tired often during the day. It screws up my diet, causing me to binge on sweets to try to counter the feeling of being too hyped up and hungry from caffeine. It messes with my breathing, as I occasionally experience a shortness of breath sensation that I notice when I am drinking lots of caffeine. And most of all, I know all of this in my heart. I know that caffeine is bad for me, that using it is using a powerful drug, and that the only answer for me is to get of it completely. There is no possibility of moderation. I have tried that most earnestly and failed. This book has provided the only successful incentive I have ever had to make a serious effort to get myself off caffeine.Read more ›
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225 of 253 people found the following review helpful By C Olson on February 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book will scare the coffee right out of you -- at first. Maybe growing up around Mormons made me always a bit suspicious of coffee, and drinking the strong brew served in Tokyo certainly confirmed that you can overdose on it.
But Caffeine Blues laid more crimes to the body at the door of the Bean than there are Kennedy conspirosy theories. Except for regular strident comments about the medical profession ignoring caffeine (I have certainly seen plenty of warnings), he makes a logical case that caffeine induces stress-like reactions in the body, which long term, are bad for the body. Enough said for me to give it a go.
The disappointment sets in with his Off the Bean program which includes good advice about easing off coffee and adding exercise and sleep, but also suggests taking half a dozen supplements that I would need to read a dozen books to feel safe with. Precious little is said about them.
It turns out he is president of a company that makes stuff to make you better. And the FDA did make him sign a consent agreement to stop over-promising about his fountain of youth consummables and tests. (Search Findlaw under his name). So I worry he has overstated some of the research referred to related to caffeine.
But he has raised enough points about caffeine, and done it in a reasonable enough tone, that I will go without for a while.
Interesting read, but maybe to be taken with a grain of salt.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By fredmango on July 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are a lot of good reviews about this book, and a few negative ones. Too often, the negative reviews blow out of proportion a few details while forgetting the bigger picture.

This is pretty much the ONLY book available on the subject of caffeine being bad for you. There are a few books trying to encourage you to drink more coffee, which by now you probably don't need help doing, unless you absolutely need to hear good news about your bad habits.

Now some people are not as sensitive to caffeine as others, therefore Caffeine Blues may seem overly paranoid and even offensive in this day and age.

Let's do a reality check first: The entire human race has gotten by just fine without caffeine for over 100,000 years and although this drug may seem indispensable in your world now, you also can remember how as a child, you were perhaps caffeine-free and perfectly healthy.

Forget that the author may have another life as a health food nut promoting certain supplements, and focus on the facts themselves.

I was a natural health, raw food guy, but somehow the caffeine habit was something I did not manage to get rid of. I realized overtime that caffeine was destroying my life! I had at least 70% of the symptoms mentioned in caffeine blues, and getting off the bean eliminated all of them, although it took over two months to go back to my normal self.

I immediately feel the consequences when I get into caffeine again, so I avoid coffee 100%. However, I may have an occasional tea.

I've met far too many people who feel like hell all the time and don't realize that their coffee habit is a big part of the problem. Like the author, I wondered how many cases of depression are caused by caffeine and are not "in your head.
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