How to prevent calcium loss when drinking a lot of coffee? has shown up and while its certainly coffee related I am unsure if A) any and all health related queries would really be on topic and B) if we as a community could truly be said to possess enough expertise on biochemistry and health practices to adequately answer said questions even if the first condition is true.
Coffee is not simply a food, but a beverage with phisiological and neurological effects, that are the main reason many (most?) people drink it.
So it's quite natural that the way the coffee works on human body should be on topic there. At least in my opinion.
I think personal health advice should be off-topic, but requests for references to research on the physiology and genetics of caffeine response should be on-topic. See for example this "twin" study on caffeine intolerance and genetics.
That raises the question of how "good" (authoritative) sources should be. I doubt there is a bright line test that can be applied, as for example the question yesterday about safety of drinking Kopi Luwak coffee. It can be, as far as I'm concerned, left to the voting up/down of Answers to police the use of reliable sources.
Health advice should be left to a doctor. We can never know enough about a person to answer such a question on calcium deficiency.
On the other hand something like, which coffee will hurt my stomach less? May fall into our field. The line is blurred right now, and I can tell you the first question should not be answered by us, but this second one could be.
I would vote no. But to be fair I assume there's doctors out there who drink coffee that may actually know about this. That and there must be scientific articles somewhere.
That's a good question. I, as a user of this site, would be interested in health questions but you made a good point - is the community able to appropriately answer the question?
Good answers will have to link to their sources.
I would vote that we should allow such questions but the community will have to be vigilant regarding duplicate questions.
An excellent question; I don't see any reason to make health related questions off-topic, but I do suggest we make it clear that people should stick to actual verifiable research (lest we become bombarded with questions about ridiculous psudo-scientific claims).
I'm having a hard time describing the sort of thing I mean without potentially insulting someone, but you probably know the type and can imagine why that would possibly be bad for the sites image.