Science Confirms: The More Coffee You Drink, The Longer You Will Live

It is more than just dark-colored liquid with caffeine… coffee actually contains hundreds of different compounds, some of which have important health benefits.

Several massive studies have now shown that the people who drink the most coffee live longer and have a reduced risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

Coffee is a Major Source of Antioxidants

Young Brunette Enjoying Cup of Coffee

When hot water runs through the coffee grounds while brewing, the substances in the coffee beans mix with the water and become part of the drink.

Some of these substances are well known, including caffeine, but there are hundreds of other compounds in there as well, many of which science has yet to identify.

Many of these compounds are antioxidants that protect our bodies from oxidation, which involves free radicals that damage molecules in the body.

Without getting into complicated details, oxidation is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind ageing and common diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Coffee, believe it or not, happens to be the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables… combined (1, 2, 3).

When you’re treating yourself with a cup of coffee, you’re not only getting caffeine but a whole bunch of other beneficial compounds, including powerful antioxidants.

Spinach & Herb Omelet

Spinach & Herb Omelet

Get a great start in the morning with this low-fat, low-carb, protein-filled breakfast! Serves 4

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Directions: Tear up the spinach leaves and steam or sauté in a little water until they wilt. Fold into the beaten eggs with the grated ginger, salsa and seasoning. Cook in a nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray, turning as needed until the eggs are set.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 105 Carbohydrate: 4g Protein: 11g Fat: 5g Sodium: 204mg Fiber: 1g

Source: UnitedHealthcare & myOptumHealth

Ingredients:

1 cup spinach leaves (or other greens), torn

1 egg

1 egg white

1 tsp. fresh grated ginger root

1 tsp. Mrs. Dash or other seasoning mix

1 T salsa Non-stick cooking spray

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Provided by Sheri Gilbert of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the February 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Nasal spray shows promise as treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

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 (Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center)

Researchers say they’ve developed a nasal spray that could potentially improve memory and other mental capabilities for the more than 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

In a pilot study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, researchers studied 60 adults between the ages of 55 and 85 diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). Participants were nasally administered doses of man-made insulin called insulin detemir for 21 days.

The insulin detemir is designed to attach to album, a blood protein. Album absorbs the insulin detemir, distributing it throughout the body and allowing it to work. Because the insulin detemir dissolves from the protein slowly, it has a longer period of exposure in the body, lead study author Dr. Suzanne Craft, professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest Baptist told FoxNews.com.

Participants who received 40 international unit (IU) doses of insulin detemir over the course of the trial showed significant improvement in their short-term ability to retain and process verbal and visual information, compared with those who received 20 IU doses or a placebo. According to Craft, performance on tests of mental manipulation and memory improved by as much as 25 percent.

Even recipients who carried the APOE-e4 gene – which is proven to increase Alzheimer’s risk – showed significantly higher memory scores than those who received the lower dosage or placebo.

“Our team was surprised at the level of improvement for the participants with the gene that raises Alzheimer’s risk, as very few types of therapies have been shown to benefit these patients,” Craft said.

Further research is needed to determine the mechanisms behind insulin detemir’s effect on memory.

The insulin detemir doses did not cause any negative side effects, and Craft said the study’s overall results support further investigation of insulin detemir as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Researchers hope to follow up on the pilot study in a larger group of participants who would receive the insulin detemir for a longer period of time. Additionally, Craft said they would also like to directly compare the insulin detemir to other forms of insulin to see which provides the most therapeutic benefit.

“Alzheimer’s is a devastating illness, for which even small therapeutic gains have the potential to improve quality of life and significantly reduce the overall burden for patients, families and society,” she said. “Future studies are warranted to examine the safety and efficacy of this promising treatment.”

Study results are published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

Not Exercising? That’s as Bad as Smoking…

When you see someone smoking, you might question “Why would you do that to yourself when you know it could kill you?” Do you react the same way when you know someone doesn’t exercise? You should.

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When I was at a recent medical conference, one of the presenters reminded the audience that research has shown physical inactivity to be as deadly as smoking. I was shocked at this when I first heard it a couple of years ago, but I think I was just as shocked hearing it the second time. My guess is you are too. It’s hard to imagine being inactive could be comparable to smoking, but it is. You wouldn’t dream of smoking (and if you do smoke, you’re likely trying to quit), so why poison yourself with inactivity? But many of us do.

Nearly 80% of us don’t get the recommended amount of exercise. Many experts agree the inactivity epidemic is more concerning than the obesity epidemic. The benefits of exercise are numerous and irrefutable. It helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, dementia, depression, and more. If you exercise, chances are you’ll live a longer, healthier life. Period.

Exercise

 

What’s so powerful about exercise?

Take heart disease, for example. Heart disease is associated with inflammation in the body. Exercise is a natural inflammation fighter. When you move, your muscles send out anti-inflammatory chemicals. Also, every time you get up and move, your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides improve. When you sit down, they get worse. It’s just about moving more. If you’re not active now, I’m sure it sounds overwhelming to start an exercise program.

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The good news is you can see health benefits with even a small amount of activity. Even taking a daily 5 minute walk around the office will improve your health. Slowly build up from there. Ultimately, you want your goal to be 30 minutes at least 5 days a week of moderate exercise. We’re talking about a brisk walk– hard enough that you can talk comfortably but not able to sing. But take your time getting there. Throw in resistance exercises a couple of days a week, and you’re on track.

If you’ve tried exercise before and didn’t lose weight, don’t be discouraged. You are still getting health benefits even if you’re not shedding weight. If you’re overweight but active and fit, you can expect to live as long and healthy as someone who is normal weight and fit. Even if you’re obese, being active helps you live a longer, healthier life than a normal weight person who isn’t active.

Think you’re too old for it to matter? Hardly. Regardless of your age, getting active has enormous benefits even in your 80s and beyond. We’re not just talking about living longer, but living better with a higher quality of life. As British-American anthropologist Ashley Montagu once said, “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

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Source: WebMD 2014 by Michael Smith, MD, CPT

Provided by Sheri Gilbert of the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) in the January 2015 Wellstyles Monthly Newsletter.

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Flexible spinal cord implants will let paralyzed people walk

Engadget
Jon Fingas1/11/2015

EPFL's spinal cord implant prototype

© EPFL EPFL’s spinal cord implant prototype

Doctors dream of helping the paralzyed walk through implants that stimulate their spinal cords, but current technology makes that impossible; these stiff, unnatural gadgets usually end up damaging or inflaming nervous tissue over time. Swiss researchers may have just solved this problem once and for all, though. Their bendy e-Dura implant combines flexible electrodes (made of platinum and silicon microbeads), cracked gold electronic tracks and fluidic microchannels to deliver both electrical impulses and chemicals while mimicking the spine’s movements and avoiding friction. Paralyzed rats in lab tests could both walk again after a few weeks and keep wearing their implants after two months.

It’ll be a while before e-Dura implants go into human field trials and reach hospitals. With that said, scientists believe the technology’s potential extends well beyond overcoming spinal cord injuries. It could treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, not to mention reduce chronic pain for numerous conditions. This isn’t a cure, strictly speaking, but it would let many people regain mobility (and some semblance of a normal life) without complications or having to resort to external devices like exoskeletons.

EPFL

Coffee may be able to lengthen your life and lower your risk of depression

The Washington Post

A cup of coffee being poured

© Richard Eskite Photography/Getty ImagesA cup of coffee being poured

The headlines about coffee’s impact on your health seem to change as quickly as the time it takes to drink a cup. Should you savor every drop or try to cut down? Here’s what we know right now:

It may lengthen your life.

True, coffee drinkers are more likely than nondrinkers to smoke, eat red meat, skimp on exercise and have other life-shortening habits, according to a large 2012 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

But even after adjusting for such factors, they found that people age 50 to 71 who drank at least one cup of coffee per day had a lower risk than nondrinkers of dying from diabetes, heart disease or other health problems when followed for more than a decade. That may be due to beneficial compounds in coffee such as antioxidants — which might ward off disease — and not caffeine. Decaf drinkers had the same results.

It may make you happier.

Coffee is not just a pick-me-up; it also has been linked to a lower risk of depression. In a study led by the Harvard School of Public Health that tracked 50,000 women for 10 years, those who drank four or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day were 20 percent less likely to develop depression than nondrinkers. Another study found that adults who drank two to four cups of caffeinated coffee were about half as likely to attempt suicide as decaf drinkers or abstainers. The researchers speculated that long-term coffee drinking may boost the production of “feel good” hormones such as dopamine.

It contains many good-for-you chemicals.

For most Americans who drink coffee, it provides more anti­oxidants than any other food, according to Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton. But it’s also a top source of acrylamide, a chemical whose link to cancer is being investigated.

It may cut your risk for Type 2 diabetes.

A recent Harvard-led study of more than 120,000 men and women found that those who increased the amount of caffeinated coffee they drank per day by more than one eight-ounce cup, on average, were 11 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those whose coffee habits stayed the same. And those who decreased their daily intake by at least a cup per day, on average, were 17 percent more likely to develop the disease.

The method matters.

Cafestol, a compound in coffee grounds, has been found to increase levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. Brewing with a paper filter helps remove the substance. Coffee made other ways, including French press and espresso, has higher levels of cafestol.

It’s not for everyone.

More than 500 milligrams (about four to five cups) of brewed coffee per day can cause side effects including insomnia, irritability and restlessness, says registered dietitian Maxine Siegel, manager of product usability and foods at Consumer Reports. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, heart and muscles. So if you have an anxiety disorder, irritable bowel syndrome or heart disease, or if you take certain medications, watch your consumption or opt for decaf. And if you have acid reflux, you might want to skip coffee altogether because the acidity could exacerbate it.

 

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