Thursday, September 05, 2013

Coffee boosts mental performance AND protection....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 9-5-2013

An email I get is from Medical News Today.

They list the key information from reports of recent health and medical research.

We already know that studies found  that coffee boosts mental performance and everyone knows who has ever had coffee knows it can help you wake up and be alert for a while soon after you drink it.  One writer said it takes effect in about 18 minutes.

And, previous studies have found that drinking 3 or more cups of coffee a day – either regular OR decaf helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease!

Last week Medical News Today had a story that the protective effects of coffee drunk 3 or more times a day include preventing prostate cancer.  (That likely means it helps prevent other cancers and cancers in women too.)  This protection has been credited to the high levels of antioxidants in coffee in the sources I’ve seen before.

This new study says drinking a LOT of coffee is protective but then has two cautions not to do it.

1.  There IS a drawback to drinking that much coffee; but both cautions they list are incorrect for most people. And they don't list the valid one!

2.  You CAN get the protection without drinking that much coffee.  

(See my comments below.)

High coffee intake may help against prostate cancer
Consuming four or more cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of prostate 
cancer recurrence and disease progression, according to a study published in the 
journal Cancer Causes and Control.

My comments:

Four cups a day of coffee can cause anxiety type symptoms and sleep disruption.  So, one or two or sometimes three cups a day is better for you. 

I personally think that two and sometimes three cups of coffee is best and if more wake up is needed than that:   taking a brief nap, or a few seconds or a couple minutes of brisk exercise, or several cups of tea or green tea plus the green coffee bean extract two times a day will do the job.  And, it will do it without then disrupting your sleep to make you start groggier than you otherwise would have.

Note that the green coffee bean extract now available and decaf coffee each have two of the 3 ingredients they say in this article that might be creating the protective effects.

With my reflux, even the two or three cups of coffee a WEEK I drink, I pay for with extra symptoms.

So, I'm glad I've been taking the green coffee bean extract twice a day for some time now.

I also get caffeine from tea, green tea, dark chocolate, and unsweetened cocoa!

(Coffee with those ingredients and other antioxidants is also tested as reducing the odds coffee drinkers will get Alzheimer's!)

2 points:

1.  Percolated coffee for sure and possibly espresso boost cholesterol.  Drip coffee which is easier to make and in far more common use does not! So this caution is not completely accurate.

2.  Stress boosts blood pressure reliably.  If that's happening already -- particularly if combined with no exercise, that much coffee can add to the effect a bit. Stress also may make feeling a bit anxious worse on 4 or more cups of regular coffee.

Otherwise, drinking this much coffee is rarely a problem with boosting blood pressure. So that caution is not accurate as stated either!

Also, the few potential health problems with coffee:  a compound called acrylamide, the chemicals used in growing coffee, and the solvents used in processing it may well be considerably less in the coffee and decaf from a company called Mt Hagen organic coffee and decaf. 

It’s organic and heated less so it has less acrylamide and has far less of a taste of processing chemicals than standard instant regular or decaf coffee. 

I found Mt Hagen decaf and regular instant coffee at Whole Foods when I was looking for a better tasting instant decaf for my wife and me.  It’s remarkably more mild and smooth and tastes less of processing chemicals than the kind we were using.  Then we found that their instant regular coffee was similarly better than the regular instant coffee my wife was drinking.

(Acrylamide is also produced by heating grains and potatoes & it’s thought to be mildly carcinogenic and harmful to the nerves.)  

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