Tag Archives: research

Kopi Luwak Coffee Can Now Be Authenticated!

Kopi Luwak is the worlds most expensive coffee, averaging at about $200 per pound. Why you might ask? Because civets, cat like creatures, eats coffee berries and poop them out. The freshly expelled beans from the center of the berry are then collected and become the famous Kopi Luwak coffee bean.

Because of its high price tag, there are bound to be imitators. How is one to prove or disprove that their coffee was previously digested by a civet? We now have the answer to that question! Imposters beware!!!

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry’s summer issue explores the unique fingerprint that civets leave on coffee beans. Researchers at Osaka University in Japan analyzed 21 different types of coffee beans and found distinct fingerprints of citric and malic acid on Kopi Luwak beans that distinguished them from other beans. They were even able to tell if a roast had been mixed with 50% Kopi Luwak.

Coffee, Your Liver’s New Best Friend

Coffee consumption has been linked to many health benefits in recent years and the good news keeps coming. Researchers, lead by Paul Yen, M.D, at the Duke University School of Medicine, have come out with just one more reason to consume caffeinated coffee and tea!! Apparently it my help those suffering from Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

The research showed that drinking four or more cups of the caffeinated beverages a day may be “preventing and protecting against the progression of NAFLD in humans”, Paul Yen, M.D said. Fatty Liver Disease is prominent in people with diabetes and obesity. It is also seen in alcoholics. It is currently treated through diet and exercise. However, there is now hope for “caffeine-like drugs that do not have the usual side effects related to caffeine, but retain its therapeutic effects on the liver”, Paul Yen, M.D. said.

The School of Medicine has been studying caffeine’s effect on liver disease through the use of mice and cell cultures.

The new study results will be discussed in the September issue of “Hepatology”.

Study Finds Coffee May Cause Happiness

Lars Kuchinke, a German researcher at Ruhr University, and his team have discovered that coffee is a likely source of happiness. They really didn’t have to spend the money on this research project, I could have told them for free that coffee makes people happy.

The researchers asked 66 people, half of which were given 200 mg of caffeine 30 minutes prior, to quickly look at a computer and determine whether or not they saw any words in the string of letters presented on the screen. The half that were given caffeine, as opposed to those that received a placebo, were 7% more accurate in picking out positive words.

Lars Kuchinke believes that this is because caffeine stimulates the part of the brain that is responsible for positive thoughts. “Although caffeine improves some mental functions, our study shows this may be specific for certain types of stimuli, like only positive words,’ he said.

Caffeine consumption leads to more accuracy and faster response times in simple tasks. It is believed that caffeine increases a brain chemical known as dopamine, which is linked with rewards, creativity, impulsive and addiction.

Coffee May Protect People From Bowel and RectalCancer

Researchers at the US National Cancer Research Institute in Rockville, Maryland conducted a study on 490,000 people which concluded that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day may cut the chances of developing bowel cancer by 15%.

The study monitored the group over a span of 10 years. They began in the mid 1990′s by questioning the group about their exercise and dietary habits. For the group that reported drinking four or more cups of coffee each day, the risk of being diagnosed with bowel or rectal cancer over the decade was 15 percent lower than non-drinkers of coffee.

The research was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Coffee May Lower the Risk of Stroke in Women

According to a new study in the Journal Stroke, women who drink at least one cup of coffee a day reduce their risk of stroke by as much as 25%.

Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm conducted the study.  She followed more than 34,000 Swedish women aged 49 to 83 who were free of heart disease for 10 years. After the post-decade follow-up, there were 1,680  women who had had strokes.  The study found that the women who drank at least one cup of coffee each day had a 22 to 25 percent lowered risk of stroke as compared to the women who drank less. The study also suggested that coffee can help prevent cognitive decline and can boost vision and heart health. It is also related to a reduced risk of liver cancer.

I feel healthier already!!!  Drink to your health!

5 Health Reasons To Drink Your Coffee

We love our coffee!  That goes without saying, it tastes great, perks us up and makes everyone else bearable on a Monday morning.  But the immediate benefits of coffee are not the only reasons to love it. 

Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D., Associate Nutrition Editor at EatingWell Magazine has given us five health reasons that we should not stop drinking coffee.  Here they are:

1. It protects your heart:Moderate coffee drinkers (1 to 3 cups/day) have lower rates of stroke than noncoffee drinkers, an effect linked to coffee’s antioxidants. Coffee has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries, making it the biggest source of antioxidants in American diets. All those antioxidants may help suppress the damaging effect of inflammation on arteries. Immediately after drinking it, coffee raises your blood pressure and heart rate, but over the long term, it actually may lower blood pressure as coffee’s antioxidants activate nitric acid, widening blood vessels.

2. It diverts diabetes: Those antioxidants (chlorogenic acid and quinides, specifically) play another role: boosting your cells’ sensitivity to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar. In fact, people who drink 4 or more cups of coffee each day may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to some studies. Other studies have shown that caffeine can blunt the insulin-sensitivity boost, so if you do drink several cups a day, try mixing in decaf occasionally.

3. Your liver loves it: OK, so the research here is limited, but it looks like the more coffee people drink, the lower their incidence of cirrhosis and other liver diseases. One analysis of nine studies found that every 2-cup increase in daily coffee intake reduced liver cancer risk by 43 percent. Again, it’s those antioxidants—chlorogenic and caffeic acids—and caffeine that might prevent liver inflammation and inhibit cancer cells.

4. It boosts your brain power: Drinking between 1 and 5 cups a day (admittedly a big range) may help reduce risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease, studies suggest. Those antioxidants may ward off brain cell damage and help the neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function to work better.

5. It helps your headaches: And not just the withdrawal headaches caused by skipping your daily dose of caffeine! Studies show that 200 milligrams of caffeine—about the amount in 16 ounces of brewed coffee—provides relief from headaches, including migraines. Exactly how caffeine relieves headaches isn’t clear. But scientists do know that caffeine boosts the activity of brain cells, causing surrounding blood vessels to constrict. One theory is that this constriction helps to relieve the pressure that causes the pain, says Robert Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology and director of the Headache Clinic at the University of Vermont Medical School.

So go ahead, drink up and live long!

Studies Show Coffee Use Can Help Reduce Disease Risk

The Harvard School of Public Health has released an observational study showing that moderate coffee consumption can help reduce the risk of developing certain diseases including diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, liver cancer and cirrhosis. 

The study was based on researchers drawing conclusion based on differences between the number of disease cases in coffee drinkers versus non-drinkers.

The Harvard University School of Health has an 
infographic which includes Health Benefits, Health Risks, Caffeine Comparisons, and a Facts & Statistics a page addressing each disease the study indicated was affected by coffee consumption.

New York Women Attracted To The Smell of Coffee

A study has shown that New York women are attracted to the smell of coffee, according to a report by NBC New York
.

The study was conducted by the  Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation and sponsored by Ax Men’s Grooming Products.

The study also noted that women around the US prefer different smells.  In Philadelphia they like the smell of clean laundry, in Los Angeles the prefer lavender and the ladies of Dallas like campfire smoke.

Coffee Lowers Risk of Gout in Older Women

Coffee is good for a lot of health conditions, that is a fact.  Now Reuter’s Health is reporting that Boston Researchers have found that it is also helpful in reducing the risk of gout in older women. 

“The risk of gout was 22 percent lower with coffee intake of 1-3 cups a day and 57% lower with a coffee intake of more than 4 cups a day” compared to those with no coffee consumption, the authors wrote in the August 25 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Coffee, consumed over a course of years, can reduce the risk of gout in post-menapausal women by up to 50%.  Gout occurs in about 1 in 20 post-menapausal women.  It is a painful condition caused from the buildup of uric acid in the blood which crystallizes and deposits itself in the body, usually the feet.

“The pain is described as one of the most severe pains a human being experiences, like a breaking bone. You can’t walk and even the weight of a bed sheet is not bearable,” lead author, Dr. Hyon Choi of Boston University’s School of Medicine, told Reuters Health.  He had previously done studies on the effects of coffee on gout in men.  Those studies showed that coffee was beneficial  in the reduction of gout in men.

Coffee May Decrease Risk of Neck and Head Cancers

A new study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has shown that coffee drinkers have another reason to celebrate!  Coffee may decrease the risk of neck and head cancers.

In this study, scientists looked at the results of nine previous cancer/caffeine studies (using coffee and tea) to come up with their findings.  Results show that those who drink a lot of joe have a lower rate of head and neck cancer.  In each of the pooled studies the participants with cancer were compared to healthy persons in the general populations and hospitalized persons who did not have cancer.  Overall the rate of cancer was 12% lower in people who drank coffee as compared to their no-joe counterparts.  This number comes after taking into account certain other factors such as cigarette smoking.

The more you drink, the better!  The study found that those who consumed more than four cups a day had their risk of cancer reduced by more than a third.

For cancer of the voice box, or larynx, coffee didn’t seem to play a role; nor did tea or decaffeinated coffee for any type of head and neck cancer.

The data does not conclusively prove that coffee itself protects against cancer. There could be other factors associated with coffee drinking that explain the lower cancer risk, or cancer sufferers might have decreased their coffee intake for some reason.  “Besides caffeine, coffee contains more than a thousand chemicals,” the researchers reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, adding that the compounds cafestol and kahweol may be protective against carcinogens that would normally damage our genes.

The odds of getting this type of cancer are slim.   In the U.S., only about 1 in 10,000 develops the disease every year.

SOURCE: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/ Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, June 22, 2010

Study Finds Frequent Coffee Users My Not Get a Morning Wakeup

We all need our coffee to get going in the morning.  We look forward to our little cup of caffeinated heaven and so does everyone else who has to be around us!  But a new study suggests that we may not be getting a pick me up from our morning cup of joe, but rather we are feeling better from coming out of caffeine withdrawal.

A study was performed at Bristol University in the UK comparing coffee drinkers to non-coffee drinkers when it comes to alertness.  Those of us addicted to caffeine are no more alert than non-coffee drinkers, according to the study.Researchers said that the energy boost that habitual coffee drinkers feel after their morning cup of joe comes from the body’s return to a normal state after a night of caffeine withdrawal. Those who consume very little caffeine or none at all will reach the same level of alertness without any extra help.

One scientist said “Someone who consumes caffeine regularly when they’re at work but not at weekends runs the risk of feeling a bit rubbish by Sunday. It’s better to stick with it or keep off it altogether.”  I’m all for that!  I shall stick with my morning cup of joe as per the scientist’s suggestion!

In the study, researchers had 379 people restrain from caffeine for 16 hours. Half were classified as moderate to heavy caffeine consumers, and the other half had little or none. Later on, each was given either a dose of caffeine or a placebo and were asked to rate their alertness and whether they had a headache.

Caffeine drinkers who received the placebo reported headaches and sluggishness. Caffeine drinkers given coffee reported levels of alertness equal to non-coffee drinkers given the placebo.