Taken by 70% of the UK population, coffee might be the most popular drink but its increasing consumption is having an unfavourable effect on a number of people who drink it: Intolerance to coffee is on the increase and with it the number of coffee related health problems.

In figures released by food intolerance testing experts, YORKTEST, the percentage of people showing a positive reaction to coffee has jumped dramatically with intolerances in patients more than doubling in the last four years.
In 2003, just 2% of the people who took a YORKTEST 113 FoodSCAN food intolerance test came up positive to coffee whereas today that figure has shot up to over 5% - a rise of more than 250%. With a number of symptoms being linked to food intolerance – such as itchy skin, feeling depressed, migraine headaches, IBS, fatigue, and joint pains – drinking coffee is putting the froth on increased illness among consumers.

Recently, a spate of caffeine related cases have highlighted the dangers of too much coffee but it seems now that the coffee protein itself may be fast becoming a health factor in its own right and the gradual over consumption seems to be taking its toll on people’s health.

In Britain, on average, each person drinks 3.5 cups of coffee a day with over 70 million cups of it being taken daily. 87% of us add milk and 57% add sugar and according to the British Coffee Asso
ciation, the UK coffee market in sales terms has increased from £632 million in 2002 to £680
million in 2005.

Despite claims from some quarters that drinking coffee may be good for the liver and even reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the daily cappuccino or latte does have a down side. Caffeine intake through coffee, tea, cocoa and some popular carbonated soft drinks, is linked with sleep problems, high blood pressure and anxiety. Now the actual protein in coffee is on the health horizon.

A YORKTEST spokesman said:  "We'’re not saying don’t drink coffee but it’'s obvious we are drinking much more than we used to and there appears to be a
tipping of the scales in terms of what the body can take. The high street is full of coffee shops and people have coffee machines at home producing stronger coffee."

Basically, more people are drinking more coffee and more tests are showing a positive result. Other factors may stop your digestive system from working effectively like stress and lack of exercise and that may contribute to why some items we put into our bodies, including coffee, can cause health problems.

What taking a food test like a 113 foodSCAN can help do is identify if, in fact, coffee is the reason or one of the reasons for symptoms. Patient wise, it is only a small percentage compared to say milk, but it appears to be a growing problem and one which may be set to keep on increasing due to our café culture lifestyle.