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This Is Your Body And Brain On Coffee

Drinking more caffeine lately? Here’s how it can affect you over time and advice on making it better for you.

An industry survey estimated that 64% of Americans drank a cup of coffee every day. And with good reason: There are tons of health benefits.

For example, studies have linked coffee to a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes and some cancers. But, as with most good things, too much of it may have negative consequences.

Coffee ― and we don’t mean decaf ― can be a treatment or a trigger for health concerns, depending on a number of variables, including how much you consume, how frequently you consume it, how it’s prepared and your health history. Here are some of the potential benefits and drawbacks of drinking coffee.

Coffee is often touted for its disease-fighting properties. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatories in coffee are likely responsible for the association between coffee drinking and the reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer (including oral cancers).

Those antioxidants, however, won’t necessarily offset the negative effects of the sugars, syrups and creamers you add.

“If you now load your coffee with sugars and other things that increase inflammation or you have coffee with that big muffin, then the anti-inflammatory or antioxidants in the coffee will not be able to counteract that at all,” said Zhaoping Li, a professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Black coffee may help reduce body fat.
One study found that drinking four cups of coffee daily was associated with a reduction in body fat of roughly 4%. (But, again, that was without cream and sugar.)

The caffeine in coffee may raise metabolism, potentially burning more calories and leading to reduced body fat, said Derrick Johnston Alperet, the study’s co-author and a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“Our study results and evidence from previous studies suggest that regular coffee intake may aid in weight loss and in achieving better overall health if it is incorporated into a healthful diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, but less of sugar and artificially sweetened beverages and processed and red meat,” Alperet said.

Coffee could help extend your life.
Regular coffee drinkers tend to live longer. Coffee drinkers are less likely to die of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

Caffeine puts your brain on alert.
We can’t talk about coffee without addressing the thing people think of first: caffeine. Caffeine — which occurs naturally in coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa beans — is a dietary component, not a nutrient. It stimulates the central nervous system, causing you to feel more alert.

“Obviously, when you’re alert, you’re able to concentrate and perform mentally,” UCLA’s Li said. That’s why so many of us turn to coffee to start our day or as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Of course, you’ll also find caffeine in other beverages, including brewed black tea, brewed green tea and caffeinated soda. In terms of natural beverages, though, coffee has the highest concentration of caffeine, Li said.

Different types of coffee can have different amounts of caffeine. A single fluid ounce of brewed coffee will have roughly 12 milligrams of caffeine; a similar amount of instant coffee will have only 8 milligrams, while an ounce of espresso will have a whopping 64 milligrams, according to the U.S. government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.

Low to moderate amounts of caffeine (50 to 300 milligrams) can increase alertness, energy and the ability to concentrate, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Higher doses, however, can lead to negative effects.

“Sometimes people aren’t aware that the side effects they’re having are due to coffee or something else,” such as stress or diet, said Donald Hensrud, director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program and editor of the Mayo Clinic Diet.

For example, several things can contribute to heartburn, including eating too late, gaining weight or consuming certain types of food or beverages — including coffee.

People who experience anxiety should also take a look at their coffee habits and if coffee could be affecting their symptoms. Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions in the country, affecting 40 million adults 18 and older. Research suggests that more than 250 milligrams of caffeine — the amount in about 2½ cups of coffee — may trigger anxiety in some people.

Pregnant women are often advised to limit caffeine, but recommendations on how much can vary.

Coffee makes you pee more.
Caffeine is thought to be a diuretic. Coffee can increase urination and act as a bladder irritant. For people who experience bladder control problems, this can worsen their symptoms, Hensrud said.

Coffee can either help or heal headaches, depending on a few unique factors.
The caffeine in coffee can be either a treatment or a trigger for headaches. On the one hand, caffeine blocks brain receptors associated with pain and relieves headache pain, said Elizabeth Mostofsky, an epidemiology instructor at the Chan School and research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

It can also make other pain medications as much as 40% more effective, Mostofsky added.

But drinking more than three caffeinated beverages a day may actually trigger a headache in people prone to migraines.

Have you ever had a cup of coffee late in the afternoon and then wound up starring at your bedroom ceiling until 2 a.m.? Or can you enjoy a cappuccino after dinner and then sleep soundly that night?

Each person’s body processes caffeine a bit differently, based on his or her tolerance and metabolism. The “awake” feeling we get from drinking coffee can last up to six hours or so, depending on the individual, Li said.

If you notice that you’re still feeling the effects of an afternoon coffee at bedtime, Hensrud advised cutting off coffee earlier in the day.

So how much coffee is OK?
The potential health benefits of drinking coffee are clear. But there’s no advice telling you to start drinking coffee if you don’t already.

“I think if you like coffee, coffee is part of your healthy diet,” Li said. “If you’re not a coffee drinker, there is no necessity to drinking coffee. You can drink tea or water.”

Li added that green tea has much less caffeine than coffee and also happens to be a great source of antioxidants. Decaf coffee can also provide some of the benefits of regular coffee without the effects of caffeine.

Regular coffee drinkers might be looking for that magic number of cups they should drink to feel their best. Dietary guidelines say that moderate coffee consumption is three to five cups per day (providing up to 400 milligrams per day of caffeine).

“Studies are showing if you have about three cups — some studies are showing four cups — a day, it’s definitely safe,” Li said.

Like most things with diet, though, it really comes down to moderation and paying attention to your body.

“The end result of a lot of things in nutrition is practicality and enjoyment,” Hensrud said. “Sometimes people get lost in the weeds or the details. For example, there are no guidelines for people to start drinking coffee if they don’t. If you enjoy it, drink it, and if you’re having side effects, cut back. I like to bring it back to a practical level and let people decide for themselves.”

Kristin Lesko                 04/23/2020
coffee

The Healthiest Way To Brew Your Coffee
– And Possibly Lengthen Your Life

For many of us, the day doesn’t start off right until we have that cuppa joe.

Just the aroma of that dark, rich brew can get our senses stirring, ready for the mood boost we know is coming.

And it turns out that coffee’s not just fine for your health, it may even lengthen your life — but only if you prepare it with a filter, according to a new long-term study published Wednesday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

“Unfiltered coffee contains substances which increase blood cholesterol. Using a filter removes these and makes heart attacks and premature death less likely,” said study author Dag Thelle, a senior professor in the public health and community medicine department of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

“Our study provides strong and convincing evidence of a link between coffee brewing methods, heart attacks and longevity,” Thelle said.

That’s bad news for lovers of coffee made with the French press, or cafetière, that is so popular today, or those fond of strong Greek and Turkish brewing methods. Boiling coffee or using a coffee press can actually increase your risk of heart disease.

“Unfiltered coffee, like Greek and Turkish coffee, which is boiled, or coffee made in a French press contain higher amounts of cafestol and kahweol – chemicals found in oil droplets floating in the coffee and also in the sediment,” said registered dietitian Lisa Drayer, a CNN health and nutrition contributor.

“Studies have shown that these substances can raise triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol levels,” Drayer said. “So stick with filtered coffee, such as a paper filter that you would use in a drip-brewed coffee, which can help to trap these chemicals.”

Drinking filtered coffee better for health

The new study followed over half a million healthy Norwegian men and women between the ages of 20 and 79 over a 20-year period.

Results showed drinking boiled or pressed unfiltered coffee raised the risk of death in men aged 60 and above, due to elevated cardiovascular mortality.

But drinking filtered coffee – that through a paper filter, for example, was found to be healthier than drinking no coffee at all.

Filtered coffee was linked to a 15% reduced risk of death from any cause, a 12% decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease in men and a 20% lowered risk of death from heart disease in women when compared to drinking no coffee.

In fact, the study found those who drank one to four cups of filtered coffee per day had the lowest mortality rate.

“The finding that those drinking the filtered beverage did a little better than those not drinking coffee at all could not be explained by any other variable such as age, gender or lifestyle habits. So we think this observation is true,” Thelle said.

Evidence-based recommendations

The findings echo other research highlighting coffee’s health benefits. According to the American Heart Association, filtered coffee can sharpen your mental focus, boost mood and improve performance during exercise.

The British Medical Journal published a huge umbrella study in 2017 that looked at over 200 meta-analyses of the health benefits of coffee and that found drinking three to fours cups of black coffee a day provides the most health benefits overall.

Those included lowering the risk of heart disease; numerous types of cancer; and neurological, metabolic and liver disorders; as well as overall mortality. Other studies have found coffee reduces the risk for melanoma, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, computer-related back pain and more.

Of course, nothing is perfect. There are some reasons you may want to limit or avoid coffee.

Watch your sleep. “If you have trouble falling asleep, it’s best to avoid coffee and all sources of caffeine in the evening or close to bedtime,” Drayer suggested.

Careful if you’re at risk for fractures. The British Medical Journal analysis found high levels of coffee consumption (over four cups a day) was associated with a higher risk of fractures in women who already had a greater likelihood, but not in men.

Pregnant women should also be wary. Higher levels of coffee consumption were found to increase risk for preterm births and stillbirths, as well as low birth weight in babies. This is possibly due to the fact that the half-life of caffeine is known to double during pregnancy, raising the dose of caffeine per cup, according to the study.

Not for those with Parkinson’s. A study published in September 2017 reversed opinion on the benefits for Parkinson’s disease, which was long thought to be helped by caffeine. Researchers who first found that coffee reduced tremors in those with Parkinson’s went back and studied a larger sample of patients for a longer time. This time, they found no difference between those taking caffeine tablets and those taking a placebo. After the initial data came back negative, the study was stopped.

But for the vast majority of us, coffee is just fine, experts said.

“For people who know they have high cholesterol levels and want to do something about it, stay away from unfiltered brew, including coffee made with a cafetière,” Thelle said. “For everyone else, drink your coffee with a clear conscience and go for filtered.”

To keep your coffee consumption even more healthy, Drayer suggested the following tips:

Add low-fat milk and skip the cream. “Cream contributes about 50 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon,” Drayer said, adding that low-fat milk has fewer calories and will help to offset calcium losses (a tablespoon has only 6 calories, but 19 milligrams of calcium).

Avoid sugar in your coffee. “A teaspoon of sugar contains 16 calories. It may not sound like much, but if you add two teaspoons to your brew and drink a few cups per day, the calories add up,” she said.

By Sandee LaMotte, CNN    Wed April 22, 2020

 

 

Instant Coffee: Good or Bad?

Instant coffee is very popular in many areas of the world.

It may even account for more than 50% of all coffee consumption in some countries.

Instant coffee is also faster, cheaper, and easier to make than regular coffee.

You may know that drinking regular coffee is linked to many health benefits but wonder whether the same benefits apply to instant coffee.

This article explains everything you need to know about instant coffee and its health effects.

What is instant coffee?

Instant coffee is a type of coffee made from dried coffee extract.

Similarly to how regular coffee is brewed, the extract is made by brewing ground coffee beans, although it’s more concentrated.

After brewing, the water is removed from the extract to make dry fragments or powder, both of which dissolve when added to water.

There are two main ways to make instant coffee:

  • Spray-drying. Coffee extract is sprayed into hot air, which quickly dries the droplets and turns them into fine powder or small pieces.
  • Freeze-drying. The coffee extract is frozen and cut into small fragments, which are then dried at a low temperature under vacuum conditions.

Both methods preserve the quality, aroma, and flavor of the coffee.

The most common way to prepare instant coffee is to add one teaspoon of powder to a cup of hot water.

The strength of the coffee can easily be adjusted by adding more or less powder to your cup.

SUMMARY
Instant coffee is made from brewed coffee that has had the water removed. To make instant coffee, simply add one teaspoon of powder to a cup of warm water.

Instant coffee contains antioxidants and nutrients

Coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet.

Its high antioxidant content is believed to be responsible for many of its associated health benefits.

Like regular coffee, instant coffee contains many powerful antioxidants.

According to one study, instant coffee may contain even higher amounts of certain antioxidants than other brews, due to the way it is processed.

Furthermore, one standard cup of instant coffee contains only 7 calories and small amounts of potassium, magnesium, and niacin (vitamin B3).

SUMMARY
Instant coffee is full of powerful antioxidants. It may even contain higher amounts of some antioxidants than other types of coffee.

Instant coffee contains slightly less caffeine

Caffeine is the most widely consumed stimulant in the world, and coffee is its biggest dietary source.

However, instant coffee generally contains slightly less caffeine than regular coffee.

One cup of instant coffee containing one teaspoon of powder may contain 30–90 mg of caffeine, while one cup of regular coffee contains 70–140 mg.

Since sensitivity to caffeine varies by individual, instant coffee may be a better choice for those who need to cut back on caffeine.

Instant coffee is also available in decaf, which contains even less caffeine.

Too much caffeine may cause anxiety, disrupted sleep, restlessness, upset stomach, tremors, and a fast heartbeat.

SUMMARY
A cup of instant coffee containing one teaspoon of powder generally contains 30–90 mg of caffeine, while regular coffee contains 70–140 mg per cup.

Instant coffee contains more acrylamide

Acrylamide is a potentially harmful chemical that forms when coffee beans are roasted.

This chemical is also commonly found in a wide range of foods, smoke, household items, and personal care products.

Interestingly, instant coffee may contain up to twice as much acrylamide as fresh, roasted coffee.

Overexposure to acrylamide may damage the nervous system and increase the risk of cancer.

However, the amount of acrylamide you’re exposed to through diet and coffee is much lower than the amount that has been shown to be harmful.

Therefore, drinking instant coffee should not cause concern regarding acrylamide exposure.

SUMMARY
Instant coffee contains up to twice as much acrylamide as regular coffee, but this amount is still lower than the amount considered to be harmful.

Like regular coffee, instant coffee may have several health benefits

Drinking coffee has been linked to many health benefits.

Given that instant coffee contains the same antioxidants and nutrients as regular coffee, it should provide most of the same health effects.

Drinking instant coffee may:

  • Enhance brain function. Its caffeine content can improve brain function.
  • Boost metabolism. Its caffeine may increase metabolism and help you burn more fat.
  • Reduce disease risk. Coffee may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Decrease diabetes risk. Coffee may help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Improve liver health. Coffee and caffeine may reduce the risk of liver diseases like cirrhosis and liver cancer.
  • Improve mental health. Coffee may help lower the risk of depression and suicide.
  • Promote longevity. Drinking coffee may help you live longer.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that many of these studies were observational.

These types of studies can’t prove that coffee causes a reduced risk of disease — only that people who habitually drink coffee are less likely to develop disease.

If you’re wondering how much coffee to drink, consuming 3–5 cups of instant coffee each day may be optimal. Studies have often linked this amount to the highest risk reductions.

SUMMARY
Instant coffee offers most of the same health benefits as regular coffee, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and liver disease.

The bottom line
Instant coffee is quick, easy, and doesn’t require a coffee maker. It also has a very long shelf life and is cheaper than regular coffee.

Therefore, it may be very handy when you’re traveling or on the go.

Instant coffee contains slightly less caffeine and more acrylamide than regular coffee, but it contains most of the same antioxidants.

Overall, instant coffee is a healthy, low-calorie beverage that is linked to the same health benefits as other types of coffee.

Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN (Ice)        October 8, 2019


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Fun Fact Friday

  • Albert Einstein said that if the honey bees were to suddenly disappear from Earth, we would see an apocalypse within 4 years.

  • Coffee is most effective if consumed between 9:30 am and 11:30 am.

 

  • Studies show that bad oral hygiene can lead to dementia, lung infection, and stroke – so brush your teeth.

  • Having a visible tattoo can hurt a job applicant’s chances by 61%.

Happy Friday!
source: @UberFacts


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Drinking Coffee Linked To Lower Risk Of Heart Failure And Stroke

U.S. research has suggested yet another health benefit of drinking coffee, finding that it may decrease the risk of developing heart failure or having a stroke.

Previous research has already suggested that drinking coffee may also reduce the risk of certain cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, and even reduce the risk of mortality.

For the new study, the team of researchers gathered data from the long-running Framingham Heart Study, which includes information about what people eat and their cardiovascular health, to look at a possible link between the popular drink and the risk of heart failure and stroke.

They used machine learning to analyze the data, which works by finding associations within it, similar to the way that online shopping sites can use your shopping history to predict which other products you may also like.

The preliminary research showed that compared with non-coffee drinkers, drinking coffee was associated with a 7 per cent lower risk of developing heart disease and an 8 per cent lower risk of having a stroke with every additional cup of coffee consumed per week.

New research adds to the growing body of evidence that
drinking coffee may have numerous health benefits

The team then checked the validity of the results from the machine learning analysis by using traditional analysis in two studies with similar sets of data, the Cardiovascular Heart Study and the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities Study.

The results backed up what the machine learning analysis had found, with the association between drinking coffee and a decreased risk of heart failure and stroke consistently noted in all three studies.

However, although this type of study design shows an observed association, the researchers did point out that it does not prove cause and effect.

While many of the risk factors for heart failure and stroke are well known, the researchers believe it is likely that there are as-yet unidentified risk factors. One potential risk factor identified by machine-learning analysis was red meat consumption, however further research on how red meat consumption may affect the risk of heart failure or stroke is needed.

The American Heart Association suggests limiting red meat, which is high in saturated fat, and following a healthy diet which emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish.

The findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2017, taking place November 11 to 15.

Relaxnews   Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017


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Should I Be Concerned About Pesticides in My Coffee?

Why you should check your coffee label twice.

For most North Americans, waking up with a fresh cup of coffee is the only way to get out of bed. But next to organic strawberries and organic cereal, you might be forgetting about pesticide-free coffee.

Recently, coffee has appeared on a number of lists for containing pesticides. Some groups and articles suggest agrochemicals used on stems and leaves could affect coffee beans, “in which case coffee beans could be carrying their residues.” Meanwhile other studies find the high roasting temperatures eliminate most pesticide residues, although in one study “green, roasted and instant coffee samples” treated with insecticide directly on the leaves contained residues.

While the health risks on the consumer are likely minimal and still a matter of debate, there’s no question about the impacts of pesticides on the environment and farm workers. Coffee is one of the largest and most important crops in the world, worth roughly $16.5 billion in the United States alone. The International Coffee Organization estimatesthere are nearly 26 million people employed in the coffee business across 52 countries. Next to Brazil and the European Union, the United States is one of the largest consumers of coffee and the largestmarket for organic coffee. Still, you might think organic coffee (farmed without the use of pesticides) would be close to conventional coffee in numbers. But organic coffee only accounts for 6.6 percentof the world’s harvested coffee.

It’s no wonder organic coffee hasn’t taken the coffee world over. In “Organic coffee: Why Latin America’s farmers are abandoning it” Ezra Fieser reports that farmers can get roughly 485 pounds more coffee from one acre, applying 250 pounds of chemical fertilizer per acre. Compare this to 285 pounds on an organic farm. He adds, Latin American farmers had made the switch to organic crops but they couldn’t sell their coffee at the higher price. “From Mexico to Costa Rica, at least 10 percent of growers [defected] in the past three years.”

Growing conventional coffee will also be affected by climate change. According to the International Trade Centre, climate change will mean an increase in pests and diseases. This could mean a greater dependence on pesticides and possibly even more coffee grown under irrigation, which would mean water supplies would also suffer.

 

The use of pesticides continues to add to soil erosion and polluted waters from soil runoff. And there’s still another problem with pesticides. According to the IFC, it’s estimated that in Africa alone, “there could be as much as 50,000 tons of obsolete pesticides” stored in hazardous stockpiles. The problem with disposal of pesticide is difficult because it can cost $3,000 to $5,000 per ton to remove. But, because the materials are not all the same, there’s “no blanket solution.”

Although studies have been conflicted on pesticide residues in drinking coffee, there’s a bigger consensus when it comes to farmer safety. In a recent study, scientists surveyed a random sample of 81 coffee farmers in eastern Jamaica where coffee production employs “more than 50,000 people and contributes 7 percent of the island’s agricultural earnings.”

In the study 78 percent of the farmers experienced symptoms related to pesticide handling, including “dizziness, headaches, difficult breathing and tightness in the chest.” Much of this could be attributed to improper handling and little to no training on pesticide handling — a common problem in countries with no oversight or regulation. In four of the observation sessions, not a single farmer used protection like a facemask or rubber gloves. Battling pests like the coffee cherry borer and coffee rust is much easier if you have a toxic pesticide to kill them. Unfortunately a number of pesticides being used have been linked to animal and wildlife deaths and in some cases human deaths.

For millions of coffee aficionados, the coffee of choice comes from Starbucks. It’s true Starbucks is one of the largest purchasers of coffee. They have made it their mission to provide fairtrade coffee and report that 95.3 percent of their coffee is ethically sourced. Still, organic coffee is harder to come at a Starbucks because only 1.1 percent of Starbucks’ coffee is organic.

All the types of coffee labels could make your head spin more than a quadruple shot espresso. There’s organic, fairtrade, shade-grown (which mean the coffee is grown under shade, signifying its commitment to the rainforest). Utz-certified coffee provides traceability programs and fair labor for farm workers and an “appropriate and modest use of fertilizers, pesticides, water and energy. Almost half of all fairtrade is certified organic as well. But on the issue of pesticides, if you want organic you’ll still want to verify the USDA organic label, as there are strict rules for any imports being labeled organic.

Clarissa A. Leon is AlterNet’s food editor. She formerly served as an investigative research assistant at The Daily Beast and The Nation Institute. 

By Clarissa A. León / AlterNet July 30, 2014


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The Case For Drinking Coffee Is Stronger Than Ever

There are few things more more ritualistic—and to many, more sacred—than a morning cup of joe. 64% of Americans drink at least one cup a day—a statistic that’s barely budged since the ’90s. Despite warnings from doctors over the years that coffee may be hard on the body, people have remained devoted to the drink.

Luckily for them, the latest science is evolving in their favor. Research is showing that coffee may have net positive effects on the body after all.

Is coffee bad for you?

For years, doctors warned people to avoid coffee because it might increase the risk of heart disease and stunt growth. They worried that people could become addicted to the energy that high amounts of caffeine provided, leading them to crave more and more coffee as they became tolerant to higher amounts of caffeine. Experts also worried that coffee had damaging effects on the digestive tract, which could lead to stomach ulcers, heartburn and other ills.

All of this concern emerged from studies done decades ago that compared coffee drinkers to non-drinkers on a number of health measures, including heart problems and mortality. Coffee drinkers, it seemed, were always worse off.

But it turns out that coffee wasn’t really to blame. Those studies didn’t always control for the many other factors that could account for poor health, such as smoking, drinking and a lack of physical activity. If people who drank a lot of coffee also happened to have some other unhealthy habits, then it’s not clear that coffee is responsible for their heart problems or higher mortality.

That understanding has led to a rehabilitated reputation for the drink. Recent research reveals that once the proper adjustments are made for confounding factors, coffee drinkers don’t seem have a higher risk for heart problems or cancer than people who don’t drink coffee. Recent studies also found no significant link between the caffeine in coffee and heart-related issues such as high cholesterol, irregular heartbeats, stroke or heart attack.

Is coffee good for you?

Studies show that people who drink coffee regularly may have an 11% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-drinkers, thanks to ingredients in coffee that can affect levels of hormones involved in metabolism.

In a large study involving tens of thousands of people, researchers found that people who drank several cups a day—anywhere from two to four cups—actually had a lower risk of stroke. Heart experts say the benefits may come from coffee’s effect on the blood vessels; by keeping vessels flexible and healthy, it may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, which can cause heart attacks.

It’s also high in antioxidants, which are known to fight the oxidative damage that can cause cancer. That may explain why some studies have found a lower risk of liver cancer among coffee drinkers.

Coffee may even help you live longer. A recent study involving more than 208,000 men and women found that people who drank coffee regularly were less likely to die prematurely than those who didn’t drink coffee. Researchers believe that some of the chemicals in coffee may help reduce inflammation, which has been found to play a role in a number of aging-related health problems, including dementia and Alzheimer’s. Some evidence also suggests that coffee may slow down some of the metabolic processes that drive aging.

One downside is that people may become dependent on caffeine (no surprise to any regular caffeine-drinker who takes a coffee break). The symptoms—headaches, irritability and fatigue—can mimic those of people coming off of addictive drugs. Yet doctors don’t consider the dependence anywhere close to as worrisome as addictions to habit-forming drugs like opiates. While unpleasant, caffeine “withdrawal” symptoms are tolerable and tend to go away after a day or so.

How much coffee is safe?

Like so many foods and nutrients, too much coffee can cause problems, especially in the digestive tract. But studies have shown that drinking up to four 8-ounce cups of coffee per day is safe. Sticking to those boundaries shouldn’t be hard for coffee drinkers in the U.S., since most drink just a cup of java per day.Moderation is key. But sipping coffee in reasonable amounts just might be one of the healthiest things you can do.

Alice Park   May 05, 2017    TIME 
source: time.com


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Drinking More Coffee Leads To A Longer Life, Two Studies Say

Greater consumption of coffee could lead to a longer life, according to two new studies published Monday.

The findings have resurfaced the centuries-old conversation on coffee’s health effects.
One study surveyed more than 520,000 people in 10 European countries, making it the largest study to date on coffee and mortality, and found that drinking more coffee could significantly lower a person’s risk of mortality.

The second study was more novel, as it focused on non-white populations. After surveying over 185,000 African-Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiians, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and whites, the researchers found that coffee increases longevity across various races.

People who drank two to four cups a day had an 18% lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink coffee, according to the study. These findings are consistent with previous studies that had looked at majority white populations, said Veronica Wendy Setiawan, associate professor of preventative medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, who led the study on nonwhite populations.

“Given these very diverse populations, all these people have different lifestyles. They have very different dietary habits and different susceptibilities – and we still find similar patterns,” Setiawan said.

The new study shows that there is a stronger biological possibility for the relationship between coffee and longevity and found that mortality was inversely related to coffee consumption for heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

The study on European countries revealed an inverse association between coffee and liver disease, suicide in men, cancer in women, digestive diseases and circulatory diseases. Those who drank three or more cups a day had a lower risk for all-cause death than people who did not drink coffee.

Both studies were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“We looked at multiple countries across Europe, where the way the population drinks coffee and prepares coffee is quite different,” said Marc Gunter, reader in cancer epidemiology and prevention at Imperial College’s School of Public Health in the UK, who co-authored the European study.

“The fact that we saw the same relationships in different countries is kind of the implication that its something about coffee rather than its something about the way that coffee is prepared or the way it’s drunk,” he said.

 

The biological benefits – and caveats

Coffee is a complex mixture of compounds, some of which have been revealed in laboratories to have biological effects, Gunter said.

Studies have shown that certain compounds have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce risk for illnesses like Parkinson’s disease.

In the European study, people who were drinking coffee tended to have lower levels of inflammation, healthier lipid profiles and better glucose control compared with those who weren’t. It is still unclear which particular compounds provide health benefits, but Gunter said he would be interested in exploring this further.

Both studies separated smokers from nonsmokers, since smoking is known to reduce lifespan and is linked to various deceases. However, they found that coffee had inverse effects on mortality for smokers too.

“Smoking doesn’t seem to blunt the effects of coffee,” Gunter said. “It didn’t matter whether you smoked or not. There was still a potential beneficial effect of coffee on mortality.”

However, Dr. Alberto Ascherio, professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said people should be wary of this finding.

 

“Even if it was in some way true, it doesn’t make sense to me, because by smoking, you increase your mortality several-fold. Then, if you reduce it by 10% drinking coffee, give me a break,” said Ascherio, who was not involved in the study.

“I think it’s a dangerous proposition because it suggests that a smoker can counteract the effects of smoking by drinking coffee, which is borderline insane.”

The studies complement work that has been done on coffee and mortality, he said, and it has been reasonably documented that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death.

With all observations from previous studies, however, it’s difficult to exclude the possibility that coffee drinkers are just healthier to begin with, Gunter said.

People who avoid coffee, particularly in places like the US and Europe where drinking the beverage is very common, may do so because they have health problems. Their higher mortality rate could be a result of them being less healthy to begin with.

“I think that the solid conclusion is that if you’re a coffee drinker, keep drinking your coffee and be happy,” Ascherio said. And if you’re not? “I think you can go on drinking your tea or water without a problem.”

Meanwhile, Gunter and Setiawan stand a bit more firmly on coffee as a health benefit.
“The takeaway message would be that drinking a couple cups of coffee a day doesn’t do you any harm, and actually, it might be doing you some good,” he said.

“Moderate coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle,” Setiawan said. “This studies and the previous studies suggest that for a majority of people, there’s no long term harm from drinking coffee.”

 

By Daniella Emanuel, CNN         Mon July 10, 2017
source: www.cnn.com


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Fun Fact Friday

  • Broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts all contain a little bit of cyanide. Eating them primes your liver to deal better with other poisons.

  • Only 6 percent of doctors today are happy with their jobs.

  • If everyone in the world washed their hands properly, we could save 1 million lives a year.

 

  • Smelling green apples and bananas can help you lose weight.

  • Sleep makes you more creative and makes your memories stronger.

  • Coffee can lower your risk of tooth decay.

Happy Friday!

 source:   factualfacts.com   https://twitter.com/Fact   @Fact