LONDON, UK – A leading academic who has studied the medical effects of coffee believes an early morning caffeine hit could help keep children alert throughout the day, reports the online edition of the Daily Mail. She is suggesting parents follow the example of Brazilian families, who routinely give young children milky coffee.
“Coffee is a health drink,” says Dr Chiara Trombetti, of the independent Humanitas Gavazzeni institute in Italy. Her research found that a daily coffee can help everything from asthma to arteries as well as ensuring children are at their best in lessons.
“Coffee contains tannin and antioxidants, which are good for the heart and arteries. It can relieve headaches. It is good for the liver and can help prevent cirrhosis and gallstones,” she said.
Analysis of dozens of studies
Dr Trombetti came to her conclusion after analysing dozens of research papers on the drink.
Pablo Dubois, of the International Coffee Organisation, said coffee could have other benefits for the young. “One of the key things is it effectively dulls the addiction centres of the brain. If coffee is given to children, it could lead to them being less susceptible to alcohol and hard drugs in later life.”
However, the idea of serving children coffee was met with disbelief by London nutritionist Audrey Howe.
She said: “This is an absolutely dreadful idea, it’s giving drugs to children. They will be stimulated falsely, and will have a ‘buzz’ from the caffeine. They run the risk of becoming hyperactive, and exhibiting behavioural problems.