October 7th, 2011
The Huffington Post
By: Delia Lloyd
Ever have one of those mornings where you wake up, jump in the shower, turn on the radio and hear the best news you’ve gotten in ages?
No, not world peace, but close.
Apparently, coffee is now good for you. It holds a host of physical — not to mention psychological — benefits which scientists are only now beginning to appreciate.
In a household where our espresso machine holds a hallowed place, this is definitely grounds for rejoicing. I haven’t been this excited since I learned that sugar made a comeback.
So hear ye, hear ye: Five reasons to drink (more!) coffee:
1. It reduces depression in women. This just in. A new study out of Harvard University shows that women who regularly drink coffee — the fully caffeinated kind — have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than nondrinkers. This comes on the heels of previous research showing that the risk of suicide decreases with increased coffee consumption.
2. It lowers the risk of lethal prostate cancer in men. But it’s not just the ladies who will benefit from more java. In another study out of Harvard (what are they drinking there? ahem!), men who drank six or more cups per day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the most lethal type of prostate cancer, and a 20 percent lower risk of forming any type of prostate cancer compared to men who did not drink coffee. Given that prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, that’s nothing to sneeze at.
3. It may protect against head and neck cancers. A study from the University of Utah showed that people who drank more than four cups of coffee a day had a 39 percent decreased risk of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx combined, compared with those who didn’t drink coffee. Regular consumption of coffee has also been linked to a lower risk for brain tumors, reduced rates of colorectal and endometrial cancer, as well as liver cancer and cirrhosis.
4. It may ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies looking at how caffeine affects brain development in mice have confirmed that caffeine significantly decreases abnormal levels of the protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. When aged mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease were given caffeine — the equivalent of five cups of coffee a day — their memory impairment was reversed, according to a report issued by the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre. Should these results be replicated on humans, it might suggest coffee as an effective treatment for this disease, rather than just a protective strategy.
5. It appears to stave off diabetes. Numerous studies have shown that coffee may be protective against Type 2 Diabetes, although the precise mechanism is not well understood. An analysis in the Archives of Internal Medicine, for example, found that people who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are 25 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who drink fewer than two cups. In the U.S. alone, nearly 24 million children and adults — nearly 8 percent of the population — have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and accounts for about 90 to 95 percent of these cases.
Whether these studies will prove robust in coming years — or be cancelled out by some of caffeine’s adverse effects on things like sleep and high blood pressure — remains to be seen.
But I’m going to blithely hedge my bets and carry on enjoying my cuppa (or two).
Latte or Cappucino?
June 1, 2010
By Kate Devlin
Research found that those who brushed less often were 70 per cent more likely to develop the condition than those who were conscientious about cleaning their teeth morning and night.
Previous studies have shown a link between gum disease and heart disease. Although they are unsure of the exact reason, experts believe that it could be to do with inflammation in the mouth and gums, which they believe is connected to the build up of clogged arteries.
The study is the first to assess how often a person has to brush their teeth to reduce the risk.
Professor Richard Watt, from University College London, who led the study, said: “Our results confirmed and further strengthened the suggested association between oral hygiene and the risk of (heart) disease.”
May 25, 2010
By Kate Devlin
Free condoms should also be available to young people in schools and youth clubs, according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which wants all young people to have access to confidential contraceptive advice.
The organisation argues that easier access to contraception will help reduce unwanted pregnancies. But campaigners warned that it risked fuelling promiscuity among young people.
The advice is the first time that Nice has called for young people to have access to emergency contraception to keep at home.
Pharmacies in particular should be targeted as places where the under-25s can get the morning-after pill in advance, it recommends.
It also advises that teenagers get free condoms, in a range of types and sizes, and that they should be shown how to use them.
Youngsters should also be encouraged to carry condoms around with them, and use them every time they have sex, to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
April 13, 2010
An egg in the morning helps reduce calorie consumption throughout the day by up to 18 percent. The protein-rich food makes the stomach feel full for longer, cutting the desire to eat more, the research concluded.
The study, published in the journal Nutrition Research, found that men who consumed an egg-based breakfast ate significantly fewer calories when offered an unlimited lunch buffet compared to when they ate a carbohydrate-rich bagel breakfast of equal calories.
This study supports previous research which revealed that eating eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced-calorie diet helped overweight dieters lose 65 percent more weight and feel more energetic than dieters who ate a bagel breakfast of equal calories and volume.
Nutrition expert Professor Maria Luz Fernandez, who led the research at the University of Connecticut, said: “There is a growing body of evidence that supports the importance of high-quality protein in the diet for overall health and in particular the importance of protein at the breakfast meal.
“We examined two typical breakfasts, and the participants’ self-reported appetite ratings reveal that a protein-rich breakfast helps keep hunger at bay.”
In the study, 21 men ate two different breakfasts on separate days, one an egg-based, protein-rich breakfast including three scrambled eggs and one-and-a-half pieces of white toast.
On the second day they ate a bagel-based, carbohydrate-rich breakfast including one plain bagel, one half tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese and six ounces of low-fat yogurt.
The two breakfasts contained exactly the same number of calories. But when the men ate the egg-based breakfast the researchers observed that the volunteers ate roughly 112 fewer calories at a buffet lunch three hours after, compared to when they had the bagel-based breakfast. In the 24 hours after the egg-rich breakfast, the volunteers ate approximately 400 fewer calories than if they had bagels.
Blood tests showed that levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, was significantly higher after the bagel breakfast.
April 6, 2010
By: Dr. Mercola
Here are five tips that can help you rise and shine earlier, easier:
1. Choose to get up before you go to sleep. You’re not very good at making decisions when you’ve just woken up. This is not the time to be making decisions about whether or not you should stay in bed! If you want to be a consistently early riser, try making your decision to rise at a specific time before you go to sleep the night before.
2. Have a plan for your extra time. Let’s say you’ve actually made it out of bed 2 hours before you normally would. If you don’t have something planned to do with your extra time, you risk falling for the temptation of a “morning nap” that wipes out all the work you put into getting up.
3. Make rising early a social activity. Wouldn’t it be great to join an early breakfast club, running group, or play chess in the park at 5 AM?
4. Don’t use an alarm that makes you angry. If we’re all wired differently, why do we all insist on torturing ourselves with the same sort of alarm each morning? Experiment a bit and see what works best for you. Light, sound, smells, temperature, or even some contraption that dumps water on you might be more pleasant than your old alarm clock.
5. Get your blood flowing right after waking. It doesn’t take much to get your blood flowing and chase the sleep from your head. Just pick something you don’t mind doing and go through the motions until your heart rate is up. Jumping rope, push-ups, crunches, or a few minutes of yoga are typically enough to do the trick.