Saturday, March 31, 2007

Coffee 'no boost in the morning'

That morning latte or espresso may not be the pick-me-up people think it is, a study has revealed.

University of Bristol researchers say the caffeine eases withdrawal symptoms which build up overnight, but does not make people more alert than normal.

The work, presented to the British Nutrition Foundation conference, showed only people who have avoided coffee for a while will get a buzz from caffeine.

But the British Coffee Association said regular drinkers did feel more alert.

Source - BBC News

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lose Weight With Green Tea

Now the same soothing beverage that warms your heart can also
help burn off excess calories.

If you enjoy starting your day with a cup of green tea, you'll
be happy to know that it can help to remove some of the extra
pounds that have accumulated over the years. According to the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea extract can
increase your metabolism rate by 4%. So while you're sipping
your tea, you're also burning fat.

The study attributes this fat-burning quality of green tea to
high concentrations of catechin polyphenols. These chemicals
intensify fat oxidation and thermogenesis, the rate at which
your body burns calories.

The catechins in green tea also help to decrease fat absorption
and regulate glucose by inhibiting the movement of glucose into
fat cells. The tea also helps to slow the increase in blood
sugar after meals, preventing high insulin spikes and
subsequent fat storage.

Green tea can affect your appetite, thus further assisting in
your weight loss regime. Studies conducted at the University
of Chicago showed that test rats consumed up to 60 percent less
food after seven days of daily green tea injections. This
decreased appetite may be due to green tea's effect on blood
sugar regulation.

Green tea can be a beneficial option to coffee. By switching
to green tea, you will lower your calorie intake while keeping
your daily caffeine pick-me-up. People with high blood
pressure, heart trouble or stimulant sensitivities should use
caution when drinking green tea. In these cases, a better
alternative might be to take green tea extract, usually made
from decaffeinated green tea. Green tea extract offers the
weight loss benefits without the high caffeine. Women who are
pregnant or nursing should also consult their doctors before
switching to green tea.

Green tea works best as a weight loss aid when it is consumed
in the right amounts. It is suggested that the optimal intake
is three to five cups of green tea per day. This amount will
help you burn an extra 70 calories per day, amounting to 7
pounds per year. If three to five cups are too much for you,
consider green tea extract, green tea pills or a green tea

Remember, there is no magical formula for weight loss. While
green tea can be an effective part of your diet plan, remember
that healthy, low fat meals, and an active lifestyle are still
your best options for losing weight.


About The Author: Linda Davis contributes to several web sites,
including http://tocip. com and http://yetra. com

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Friday, February 09, 2007

How three cups of coffee can cut Alzheimer's risk

DRINKING three cups of coffee a day can significantly reduce the chance of developing Alzheimer's disease, say researchers.
A ten-year study of 600 elderly men found those getting a regular caffeine fix experienced a much smaller decline in their mental abilities than non coffee-drinkers. Researchers believe caffeine may trigger a chain reaction in the brain that prevents the damage of Alzheimer's.
In a report on their findings, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, they raised the possibility that doctors may one day recommend coffee to the elderly.
"Drinking three cups a day was associated with the smallest cognitive decline," they said."
Alzheimer's affects an estimated 750,000 people in the UK.
Most die within ten years of being diagnosed, and the cost of caring for victims is more than for stroke, heart disease and cancer put together.

Source - Scotsman

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Coffee may help relieve gym pain

Drinking coffee could help reduce the post-workout pain that puts many people off exercise, a small study suggests.

The study found moderate doses of caffeine, roughly equivalent to two cups of coffee, can cut muscle pain by up to 48%.

But researchers at the University of Georgia warned their findings may not be applicable to regular caffeine users who are less sensitive to its effects.

The report was published in The Journal of Pain.

Source - BBC News


Sunday, December 31, 2006

Nutrition the key to beating the bottle

Ever more doctors believe that a diet of fish, high-cholesterol food and vitamins is the best cure for alcoholism

The news earlier this year that Britons are the heaviest drinkers and the most obese in Europe is no coincidence to Dr James Braly, the author of Nutrition Revolution and Dangerous Grains. Braly, though still a lonely voice, belongs to a growing band of alternative practitioners who believe that nutrition and alcoholism are intrinsically linked. In Braly’s addiction recovery centre, Bridging the Gaps, based in Winchester, Virginia, the emphasis is placed squarely on diet rather than drugs.
“Patients are first hooked up to an IV [intravenous drip] for ten days and fed high levels of fish oils (3 and 6), vitamins B and C, calcium, magnesium and zinc because their gastrointestinal systems have been grossly compromised by their habit,” he says. “This is followed with a wholefood diet (including four to six servings of fish a day, as well as high-cholesterol foods such as eggs), exercise and therapy. The combination has meant that 85 per cent of my patients do not succumb to a relapse. Coffee is also forbidden because it raises cortisol levels, reduces dopamine and leads to cravings of carbohydrates and sugar.”

Braly’s theory is that most alcoholics are depressed, and that depression and low cholestoral are linked. Ergo, by attacking depression with high-cholesterol foods such as eggs and foods high in mood-boosting amino acids, such as fish, patients are more open to the therapy needed to beat their addiction. The severity of “abstinence symptoms” (cravings, anxiety, fuzzy thinking, restlessness) are radically reduced within the first few days of his treatment, he says, allowing patients to be receptive to counselling and exercise programmes.

Source - Times

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A very painful chapter - The novelist Michael Arditti turned to cranial osteopathy for back ache. It nearly killed him

In my late twenties, I gave up dairy products.
I also gave up meat, wheat, alcohol, tea, coffee, processed food and as many E-numbers as I could without becoming a hermit, but it’s the dairy products that are pertinent here.

I had suffered from depressive illness for years and had failed to respond to a plethora of drugs. An open-minded doctor encouraged me to visit a dietary therapist, who turned out to be inspirational. Refreshingly free of any “Your body is a temple” cant, she explained how the toxins in food generated toxins in the brain, an insight which, though lost to the Tesco generation, stretched back to Hippocrates, who said: “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”

So it proved for me. The change of diet combined with psychotherapy set me well on the road to recovery and I happily threw away my pills. Over the next decade, I worked as a theatre critic and wrote three novels, bolstered by a weekly regimen of yoga, aromatherapy and reflexology. I stuck religiously to my diet, issuing indulgent friends and hostesses with lengthy lists of requirements. At home I enjoyed regular goat and sheep cheeses brought by a friend from France.

Although the use of unpasteurised milk made them more flavoursome than their English counterparts, it also made them potentially lethal. Indeed, one contained a bug, which changed — and almost destroyed — my life.

My earliest intimation that something was wrong came with a series of stabbing pains at the base of my spine. At first I attributed them to posture and the hours spent hunched over a computer but after a couple of days the pains grew so intense that I could barely move, let alone leave the house. I rang and spoke to my doctor for the first time in a decade. She said simply: “You’re very tall, Michael. Tall people get sciatica. You’ve got sciatica,” before prescribing a week in bed.

Meanwhile, a friend urged me to call a husband-and-wife team of cranial osteopaths. Their willingness to visit me contrasted with my doctor’s phone diagnosis and confirmed my faith in holistic medicine. The couple appeared to be affable, down-to-earth and, above all, effective. On the first visit, as on all later ones, it was the man who took the lead, applying gentle pressure to various points of my body and rebalancing my energies. His wife, who was heavily pregnant, lent advice and the occasional hand. At the end of the initial treatment the pain had dwindled and I felt full of hope.

Source - Times

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Sleepy in the car?

I always keep a bottle of Litsea Essential Oil (£4.35 for 10ml) in the car, as I find it more effective than coffee in helping me stay alert behind the wheel. I put about four drops on a hankie and inhale from time to time. It can also be used in a burner, diluted in a massage oil or added to a warm bath.

Litsea essential oil is steam-distilled from the small, pepper-like fruits of a plant commonly called may chang, which grows wild from north-east India to south Vietnam. It is a non-toxic and non-irritant oil that is soothing and uplifting. It is used to treat stress-related tension, which may cause conditions such as headaches, high blood pressure, travel sickness, indigestion, flatulence and muscular aches. It has similarly been used to ease arrhythmias.

Source - Scotsman

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How coffee keeps you young

Drinking coffee can keep the brain healthy, according to new research.

A ten-year study found that men who drank three cups of coffee a day had the smallest mental decline as they got older.

Researchers at the National Institute For Public Health And The Environment in the Netherlands analysed cognitive decline in elderly men over ten years.

A total of 676 men from a number of countries in Europe took tests that measured the effect of coffee on their cognitive performance.

The mental decline in non-drinkers was more than four times greater than in those who drank three cups.

One theory for this is that caffeine might boost memory by having an effect on brain receptors.

Patients with high blood pressure are being prescribed cocoa.

A study by the U.S. National Institute Of Health is examining whether drinking two cups of cocoa a day lowers blood pressure.

Doctors say the cocoa will affect the way patients with hypertension respond to insulin, the hormone secreted by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels.

How cocoa works is not clear, but laboratory studies suggest that flavanols, naturally occurring antioxidants found in cocoa, have beneficial effects on the vascular system, and improve insulin sensitivity.

Source - Daily Mail

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Friday, June 30, 2006

Coffee may reduce liver disease

Drinking coffee could reduce the risk of alcohol-related liver disease.

A US study of 125,580 men and women over 20 years found a 22% reduced risk of developing alcoholic cirrhosis for each cup of coffee drank per day.

But tea was not associated with a reduced risk, indicating caffeine may not be the link, the study in Archives of Internal Medicine concluded.

Experts warned that even if coffee was protective, reducing alcohol intake was the only way to avoid liver damage.

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Friday, March 31, 2006

Gene spells danger for coffee addicts

A gene that controls how fast your body breaks down caffeine might explain why some people can get away with drinking lots of coffee and others can't, new research suggests.

People with a genetic variation linked with slow caffeine metabolism are more likely to have a nonfatal heart attack, the researchers write today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers looked at 4024 people who lived in coffee-rich Costa Rica between 1994 and 2004. Half had had a nonfatal heart attack, and half had not.

They found that slightly more than half had the slow version of the gene while the others had the fast form.

"We found in individuals who had the slow version of this gene, as little as two cups of coffee a day is associated with an increased risk of heart disease," says study author Dr Ahmed El-Sohemy of the University of Toronto.


Thursday, March 31, 2005

Cancer hope for green tea extract

My second favourite beverage (after coffee) is proving its worth once again as reported by the BBC:-

A chemical extracted from green tea could help scientists to develop new drugs to fight cancer.
Tests by UK and Spanish researchers showed polyphenol EGCG taken from green tea leaves inhibits cancer cell growth.

The effect was seen even at low concentrations, equivalent to drinking two or three cups of green tea a day.

However, the study, published in Cancer Research, also found high concentrations of the chemical may increase the risk of birth defects.

Previous research has suggested that drinking green tea helps to cut the risk of certain forms of cancer.

The latest study found that EGCG binds to a key enzyme - dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) - that is targeted by established anti-cancer drugs.

This stops the enzyme from triggering the manufacture of new DNA in tumour cells.

It appears to work in the same way as the cancer drug methotrexate - but in practice would probably have fewer side effects.

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Monday, March 31, 2003

Tea 'increases incontinence risk'

Drinking tea and smoking heavily has been linked to urinary incontinence in women, research suggests.

A study found smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day was linked to the complaint.

The common myth about urinary incontinence is that it only affects the elderly, but the condition affects one in 10 people.

Up to 25% of women and 5% of men aged 15 to 64 are affected.

Norwegian researchers surveyed almost 28,000 women aged over 20 in the Nord-Trøndelag area of the country between 1995 and 1997.

They wanted to see if smoking, obesity, physical activity and the drinking alcohol, coffee or tea were associated with urinary incontinence in women.

Source BBC News

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Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Caffeine 'can ease headaches'

A cup of tea or coffee might be able to tackle certain types of headache, say researchers.

The caffeine it contains could help a higher number of people gain complete relief from "tension headaches".

Caffeine is already routinely added to many painkilling medications, including some which can be bought over the counter at chemists, and the latest research confirms that it has therapeutic value against conventional headache symptoms.

But researchers at the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago also found that giving caffeine in isolation appeared to be as useful as giving standard pain relief.

In all, 58% of headache sufferers said that taking caffeine capsules was completely successful, the same proportion as in those taking ibruprofen only - and many said they felt better more swiftly.

Tension headaches involve constant, dull pain, although not generally as excrutiating as a migraine.

Source BBC News

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Thursday, September 30, 1999

The uppa in the cuppa

Caffeine-filled cups of tea and coffee do not really provide the boost to mood and alertness that people think - they just beat withdrawal symptoms.

New research by Dr Peter Rogers, a psychologist from the University of Bristol, shows that caffeinated drinks have a "pick-me-up" effect only because they counter the tiredness, headaches, and slowing of reactions caused by withdrawal from caffeine in the first place.

Dr Rogers and his team found that caffeine gave the biggest lift when people were suffering from overnight caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

They conducted studies in which they gave people fruit juices with caffeine, and compared this with what happened when people were given a drink with no caffeine.

Not surprisingly, when they felt the caffeine-induced lift, people preferred the drink.

Source BBC News

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Monday, May 31, 1999

Drinking fluids cuts bladder cancer risk

Drinking more fluid can lower the risk of bladder cancer, scientists have claimed.

A study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine found that men who drank at least 11 eight-ounce glasses of fluids such as water, fruit juice, milk or coffee cut their risk of two common types of bladder cancer - papillary and flat transitional cell carcinomas - in half.
Men who drank at least six glasses of water a day cut their risk of bladder cancer in half compared with men who had less than one glass, regardless of how much they drank in total liquids.

Bladder cancer strikes an estimated 310,000 people worldwide each year.

Researchers believe the bladder lining suffers less exposure to cancer-causing substances in urine when the urine is diluted and urination is more frequent.

Source - BBC News

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Thursday, October 01, 1998

A curing cup of tea

The great British cuppa is being hailed by US scientists as a medical miracle with the potential to save thousands of lives.

Experts from the world's biggest coffee-drinking nation are now urging citizens to turn to tea in an attempt to help prevent cancer and heart disease.

New research shows that tea, the second most consumed beverage worldwide after water, has amazing disease-fighting capabilities.

Source BBC News

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