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Drinking coffee is good for you. Therefore drinking GOOD coffee is VERY GOOD for you.


Unfortunately, most women are naturally more acidic, especially as we reach midlife and beyond. This is when our buffer systems, including kidneys, lungs, and pancreas, don’t work as efficiently. Recommended is a diet high in alkaline foods. It’s the best way to bring your body back into a healthy pH balance. BLUE HORSE KONA COFFEE is very low in acids and your tummy will greatly appreciate it.

According to research published in the Journal of Neuroscience, caffeine intake not only appears to protect against Alzheimer's but may actually help those who already have the disease. Research from the Byrd Alzheimer's Institute in Florida now points to caffeine having a role in both the prevention and alleviation of Alzheimer's symptom's.
A study conducted in Portugal and published in the European Journal of Neurology did a comparison between elderly people who had been moderate coffee drinkers since the age of 25 and those who usually had only one cup a day. It was found that those with no signs of Alzheimer's Disease had consumed an average of three to four cups daily while those with the illness had consumed just one cup a day. It was concluded that drinking three cups a day can reduce Alzheimer's risk by as much as 80%.

Caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug. It boosts metabolism and energy levels, making you feel more alert by interfering with the action of drowse-inducing adenosine in the brain. It also manipulates the same channels in the brain as amphetamines, activating the brain’s pleasure centers. A recent study from Brazil finding that people who drink coffee with milk each day are less likely to have depression. Also, studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a lower incidence of suicide than the rest of the population. Caffeine is a stimulant which, in moderate amounts, helps with fatigue associated with depression. Coffee has been shown to contain small quantities of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which are natural antidepressants.

According to recent studies, good coffee has four (4!) times the antioxidant content of green tea. The amount of antioxidants in coffee also surpasses that of cocoa, other herbal teas and red wine, and even fruit and fresh vegetables. There are approximately 1,000 antioxidants in green coffee beans and brewing these beans adds an additional 300. Several compounds in coffee may contribute to its antioxidant capacity, including phenols, volatile aroma compounds and oxazoles that are efficiently absorbed. In another analysis, researchers found that a typical serving of coffee contains more antioxidants than typical servings of grape juice, blueberries, raspberries and oranges. “We were surprised to learn that coffee quantitatively is the major contributor of antioxidants in the diet both in Norway and in the U.S.A.,” said Rune Blomhoff, the senior author of both studies and a professor of nutrition at the University of Oslo. (The New York Times, Coffee as a Health Drink? Studies Find Some Benefits, By Nicholas Bakalar, 8/5/06)

Coffee's connection to beauty is age-old. Antiseptic extracts from the wild coffee plant were used to help heal dry skin, cuts and abrasions, and even snake bites. It is also believed that native women in South America used ground coffee beans as part of their beauty regimen for years, due to its exfoliating properties. In a more contemporary context, some of the world's leading spas today have begun using coffee beans, especially the Indonesian (Javanese) and Hawaiian (Kona) varieties, in their beauty treatments. One renowned spa that uses coffee in its treatment is the Natural Elements Spa at Le Meridien, Dubai. Iwona Pruska, Spa Manager, says, "We use green coffee in our slimming body wrap. Coffee contains 10% chlorogenic acid, 5% caffeic-, 4% phenolic acid and 20% caffeine. These enzymes stimulate the detoxification process. They also activate the hydrolysis of fat and help smoothen puffy looking skin. The micronised green coffee powder we use has been proven to inhibit free radical formation and break down fat deposits." (Beauty and the Bean, By Neesha C. Salian)

People who really need their coffee fix can find it in a variety of ways. Coffee's versatility allows you the advantage of enjoying its aroma and beauty benefits without spending a fortune. For instance, just rub a few roasted beans in your palm and let the emanating woody and warm scent comfort you. Coffee's fragrance also has the ability to neutralise strong smells, so it can kill the odor of fish, onions or garlic that gets on your hands especially while cooking. (Beauty and the Bean, By Neesha C. Salian)

Research shows that caffeinated coffee does not contribute to risk of rheumatoid arthritis, although there are indications that decaffeinated coffee may have a role. Published in the Journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, a massive, eleven-year study of 31,000 women with no prior history of rheumatoid arthritis concluded that those who drank three or more cups of decaffeinated coffee had double the chance of developing the disease compared to non-coffee drinkers. The study also showed that there was no difference in risk between caffeinated coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers.

Regular coffee drinkers have about 1/3 less asthma symptoms than those of non-coffee drinkers according to a Harvard researcher who studied 20,000 people. The risk of asthma symptoms fell by 28% when patients drank three or more cups of coffee every day. Physicians have known about the beneficial effect of coffee for treating asthma since at least 1859 (Edinburgh Medical Journal). Research has shown that caffeine can open airways and improve asthma symptoms. (New England Journal of Medicine, March 22, 1984)

Go ahead, ladies, ask for that extra shot of espresso in your morning latte. The caffeine jolt might spike your blood pressure for a short time—until lunch, perhaps—but it won't have a lasting effect, according to a study out this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study followed more than 155,000 women for 12 years, asking them every couple of years about their consumption of caffeinated beverages and whether they had been diagnosed with high blood pressure by a doctor. Researchers found no association between total caffeine intake and high blood pressure. However, other ingredients in caffeinated beverages might have an effect on heart health. When the researchers looked at the types of drinks women chose that contained caffeine, they found that one or more cans of soda a day boosted the chances of developing high blood pressure, while more than three cups of coffee a day actually reduced it. It's not clear why soda acts differently from coffee, says lead author Wolfgang Winkelmayer, an internist and nephrologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. But he points out that coffee contains antioxidants that might protect women's hearts. (Coffee does not increase risk of high blood pressure; By Betsy Querna 11/9/05, US News And World Report)

While there is a lingering negative perception regarding the effect of coffee and caffeine on blood pressure, significant and respected studies have conclusively disproved this. In 1988, one of Canada's leading cardiologists, Dr. Martin Myers, published a groundbreaking, internationally recognized study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, concluding that caffeine does not cause a long term increase in blood pressure. Myers' work showed that individuals who are not regular coffee drinkers may experience a slight increase when first exposed to caffeine. However, blood pressure levels quickly return to baseline as tolerance develops very quickly, within two to three days. More recently, a massive landmark study of 155,000 American women showed similar results to Myers' work. Conducted by a research team at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that habitual coffee consumption is not associated with increased risk of hypertension, finding also that there is a connection between cola consumption and high blood pressure. It is noteworthy that research has also indicated that when individuals stop consuming coffee there is no effect on blood pressure, according to a study published 1991 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

It is widely accepted that coffee affects brain function in various ways, including mental performance, alertness and impact on sleep patterns. In an extensive research review published as the Handbook of Human Performance on this subject, authors conclude the following: "When caffeine is consumed in the range of doses found in many foods, it improves the ability of individuals to perform tasks requiring sustained attention, including automobile driving. In addition, when administered in the same dose range, caffeine increases self-reported alertness and decreases sleepiness." The same review noted that the research indicates that negative effects on mental capacity can occur with excessive consumption or by those who are particularly sensitive. A 2002 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at elderly subjects and measured cognitive function against whether subjects were lifetime coffee drinkers. It found that women with higher lifetime coffee consumption showed higher mental performance on tests. The effect of coffee on increasing alertness is well documented, with demonstrated effects on boosting alertness where it is low as well as where alertness is already at normal levels. In a related area, research supports the notion that coffee both makes it difficult to get to sleep and difficult to stay asleep, but there appears to be vast differences between individuals on the extent of this effect. Interestingly, a study published in the journal SLEEP concluded that family situations and age have more effect on sleep patterns than coffee consumption.

A Canadian-lead study of 1,700 women with BRCA gene mutations looked at the effect of coffee consumption and breast cancer on this group who are already at high risk. For women with the BRCA1 gene who were also heavy coffee drinkers, averaging six or more cups a day, results were dramatic with about a 75% reduction in risk of breast cancer. At moderate coffee consumption levels, results were also promising with a 10% reduction for one to three cups per day and 25% for four to five cups. (International Journal of Cancer, Jan. 2002)

Daily consumption can protect against high risk gene mutations. Women with BRCA1 gene mutations, which confer a high risk of developing breast cancer, might decrease their risk by drinking a lot of coffee, according to a multicenter team of investigators. Dr. Steven A. Narod , of the University of Toronto, Ontario, and colleagues examined the association between coffee consumption and the risk of breast cancer among 1690 high-risk women withBRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. The study included women from 40 clinical centers in four countries. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the average lifetime coffee consumption. The likelihood of developing breast cancer among BRCA mutation carriers who drank 1 to 3 cups of coffee daily, 4 to 5 cups, or 6 or more cups was reduced by 10%, 25% and 69%, respectively, compared to those who drank no coffee, according to the report in the International Journal of Cancer. When the investigators classified the women by mutation status, they found significant protection from coffee for women with a BRCA1 mutation, but not for carriers of a BRCA2 mutation. The investigators note that coffee is an important source of phyto-estrogens, which may have protective effects. “The mechanism by which phyto-estrogens may beneficially influence the risk of breast cancer has predominantly been attributed to their structural similarity to endogenousestrogens and their ability to bind to estrogen receptors,” Dr. Narod and colleagues explain. (Coffee May Fight Breast Cancer For Some Women--MSNBC, 1/4/06)

Coffee may actually help to prevent cavities, as reported by the American Chemical Society in 2002. Due to both antibacterial and anti-adhesive characteristics in roasted coffee, Streptococcus mutans bacteria (a primary source of tooth decay), can't easily attach itself to tooth enamel or settle between the teeth and below the gum line. Also, trigonelline, a compound that gives coffee its bitter taste, may prevent dental cavities.

    While coffee is the buzzword where cellulite control is concerned, extracts such as coffee butter and oil are being used increasingly in cosmetics including sunscreens, lip balms and moisturisers. Coffee butter (produced by hydrogenating the cold-pressed oil released by roasted coffee beans) has good oxidative stability, which gives it a higher shelf life. It is also smooth and silky in texture, which makes it an ideal ingredient for soaps, lotions and creams.
Another coffee-based extract used in cosmetics is coffee oil. It's rich in phytosterols that penetrate the skin easily and have the ability to retain moisture. Coffee is also a balancing astringent as it has the same 4.5pH balance as human skin, which is why it helps protect against acne and blemishes. It also has good cleansing properties.

   A great coffee's rich aroma also makes it a popular ingredient in the fragrance industry. Perfumers describe coffee's scent as being fresh and evocative as well as warm and sensuous. Quality beans that yield a higher amount of essential oils are used to make fragrances. According to fragrance experts, coffee can be used as a top heart or base note. As a top note in a fragrance it adds warmth and body; as the heart note it harmonizes and smooths the other notes, and as a base note it adds a powdery element to its companions. Coffee-tinted notes can often be found in several men's fragrances including 'Angel for Men' by Thierry Mugler, Lancome's 'Miracle' and DKNY's 'Be Delicious'. (Beauty and the Bean, By Neesha C. Salian)

In the case of cholesterol, some key research has actually shown that coffee, specifically filtered coffee, can have a positive role in controlling cholesterol. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a major study using filtered coffee concluded that consumption can lead to a small increase in levels of high density lipoprotein or "good" cholesterol which is seen to lower the risk for coronary heart disease. Some research, including a study published in the British Medical Journal in 1996, indicates that boiled coffee (which is not filtered) may raise blood cholesterol levels because it contains cafestol and kahweol, which are fat-soluable substances. However, it is generally agreed that negative effects are only seen with large amounts (more than five cups daily) of quite strong coffee.

Drinking three or more cups of coffee a day may cut the risk of colon cancer in women by half, according to a study by Japanese scientists. Researchers from Tokyo's National Cancer Center studied data from more than 96,000 men and women aged between 40-69 over a period of up to 12 years from 1990, a member of the team said on Wednesday. They found no significant benefit in men. Even after adjusting for other factors including diet and exercise, they found that women who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had half the risk of developing colon cancer, compared with those who drank no coffee at all. The researchers, whose findings have been published in the International Journal of Cancer, did not find any link between consumption of green tea and colon cancer. (Reuters: Japan study finds coffee may prevent colon cancer, Wed Aug 1, 2007)
. An Italian study, published in the International Journal of Cancer in 1997, included controls for smoking, family history, BMI and diet to effectively isolate coffee's effect. I concluded too that coffee may help protect against colon cancer, showing that three to four cup a day coffee drinkers cut their risk by 27% versus non drinkers. Yet another major study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 1998 showed similar results with a 28% risk reduction.

Several major research study projects have examined the connection between coffee consumption and CHD with all essentially concluding that coffee is entirely safe and not a risk factor. For example, a landmark Harvard University team study published in the New England Journal of Medicine followed 45,000 men and looked at various cardiovascular risk factors. It concluded that coffee consumption does not cause an increased risk of CHD.
Similar conclusions have been shown with women as well. The Nurses Health Study, which with 85,000 subjects is the largest study ever conducted on women, also concluded that there is not evidence that coffee drinkers have a greater risk of developing CHD. In fact the Scottish Heart Health Study of 10,000 men and women, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health in 1993 found that coffee drinkers have a lower rate of heart disease.

The Journal of the American Medical Association, which concluded that habitual coffee consumption was consistently associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. (The New York Times, Coffee as a Health Drink? Studies Find Some Benefits, By Nicholas Bakalar, Aug 15, 2006). The current body of evidence indicates that coffee consumption plays a role in preventing the onset of diabetes, although diabetes prevention is complicated and involves a range of lifestyle factors. The majority of major studies in recent years have shown that coffee can cut diabetes risk quite significantly - by up to 30%. What is less understood is how this works. Some experts explain that the antioxidants in coffee, specifically caffeic and chlorogenic acids, have a protective effect. It has also been theorized that coffee works to cut insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes, by helping to ease the delivery of insulin to the body's tissues. While there is an extensive body of research supporting the role of coffee in diabetes prevention, in recent years two major studies have emerged as most definitely confirming this positive connection. In one of the largest coffee and diabetes studies ever conducted, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health followed men and women in the Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals' Follow up Study for more than ten years. Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2004, the research was designed to isolate the effect of coffee, with results adjusted to offset other risk factors such as age, weight and exercise. Significantly, men's risk of developing diabetes was cut by half and women by 30%. The most dramatic results were shown at high consumption levels of six cups, but positive results were seen even with moderate consumption.

Another major research study conducted in Finland and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2004, showed similar results. Women who drank three to four cups daily cut their risk by 29% while men cut risk by 27%. At high rates of coffee consumption of 10 cups or more, the rates increased to 80% for men and 55% for women.

Coffee could be the ideal pre-exercise beverage. Research indicates coffee has a positive role in endurance exercises such as running and swimming, helping people work longer and harder. A widely respected study published in 1978 in the Journal of Medical Science & Sports, showed that following coffee consumption subjects were able to perform longer and reported that exercise felt easier than without coffee. More recently, a research review in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition, Exercise & Metabolism summarized a full roster of published studies in this area and concluded that caffeine improved athletic performance by 12%.
For athletes, adequate hydration is key and it is often assumed that coffee consumption can lead to dehydration and therefore limit performance. However, research does not bear this theory out. In another comprehensive research review on this subject published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition, Exercise & Metabolism in ’02, authors concluded that athletes or those exercising recreationally are not at risk of fluid imbalances as a result of moderate coffee consumption. In fact, coffee can be consumed as part of daily recommended fluid intakes.

There is substantial evidence, which indicates that the caffeine in coffee increases athletic performance. For example, in 1992 a team of researchers from the Sports Science Department at Christ Church College, Canterbury, showed that coffee given to middle distance athletes decreased the time it took them to run 1500m and increased the speed at which they were able to run a final one minute sprint. In 2006 physiologists from Canada’s research and defense establishment proved that caffeine improves time to exhaustion, increases heart rate and boosts oxygen consumption during exercise.

Eyelid twitch? Drink coffee! An Italian study suggests drinking coffee can protect people from developing convulsions in which an eyelid twitches uncontrollably. People with the condition, known as late-onset blepharospasm suffer from a neurological disorder that involves involuntary muscle contractions. The disease usually strikes people in their 40s and 50s. The well- known writer's cramp and musician's cramp are types of the same disorder. The caffeine, in coffee, acts on receptors in the brain and restricts spreading of the disorder in other body parts. (The Times of India, Health Factor, 8/07)

Various studies have examined whether coffee consumption has a negative effect on a women's ability to conceive, generally concluding that it has no role in delaying conception. A massive 1991 study of 11,000 women published in the Journal of Epidemiology looked at the association between number of months to conception and cigarette smoking and coffee consumption, with findings that are representative. It concluded that there is no association between delayed conception and coffee consumption. In fact, there are some indications that coffee may have a positive effect. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that women who drink more coffee have an increase in fertility.

Soluble dietary fibers is a main but little known ingredient of good coffee. More than double, even triple the amount than in orange juice. (More Fibre In Coffee Than Orange Juice? By Stephen Daniells, 2/23/2007 Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry "Dietary Fiber in Brewed Coffee" Authors: M.E. Díaz-Rubio, F. Saura-Calixto)

Coffee, a well-established source of antioxidants, may indeed be a richer source of soluble dietary fiber than orange juice, researchers in Spain have reported.: "The dietary fiber content in brewed coffee is higher than in other common beverages such as wine (0.14%) or orange juice (0.19%)," stated the researchers. Writing in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, authors Elena Díaz-Rubio and Fulgencio Saura-Calixto from the Department of Metabolism & Nutrition at Madrid's Instituto del Frío, state that, while it is known that coffee beans contain dietary fibre, no study had ever investigated the presence of dietary fiber in coffee beverages. Indeed, food composition tables wrongly list coffee as containing zero dietary fibre. In the new study, the researchers used a special technique for measuring dietary fibre in beverages such as wine and beer, and reports that brewed coffee contains between 0.47 and 0.75 grams of soluable dietary fibre (SDF) per 100 millilitres of beverage, which would equate to between 2.54 and 20% of the powdered coffee bean. This is more dietary fibre than found in other common beverages such as wine or orange juice.

Dietary fiber (DF) is one of the main dietary factors contributing to consumers' well-being. In this work the possibility of using the roasted coffee silverskin (CS), a byproduct of roasted coffee beans, as a DF-rich ingredient has been evaluated. The results of our investigation showed that this material has 60% total DF, with a relevant component (14%) of soluble DF. Although a small amount of free phenol compounds is present in CS, it has a marked antioxidative Maillard reaction products, the melanoidins. Static batch culture fermentation experiments showed that CS induces preferential growth of bifido bacteria rather than clostridia and bacteroides spp. CS can be proposed as a new potential functional ingredient in consideration of the high content of soluble DF, the marked antioxidant activity, and the potential prebiotic activity. (Characterization Of A New Potential Functional Ingredient: Coffee Silverskin; Borrelli RC, Esposito F, Napolitano A, Ritieni A, Fogliano V. J Agric. Food Chem., March 2004)
Note: At BLUE HORSE KONA we always roast the green beans with the so called ‘silver skins’!

The Harvard School of Public Health found in research into gallstone health that female coffee drinkers, taking two to three cups a day, had a 40 per cent lower risk. The same benefit that coffee gives was not noted in drinkers of other caffeine drinks like tea or cola.

Women who drink coffee may be up to a third less likely to have a heart attack, according to research on 32,000 women monitored for six years at Harvard University. In addition to these findings studies show that cardiovascular risk also decreases with coffee consumption. Using data on more than 27,000 women ages 55 to 69 in the Iowa Women’s Health Study who were followed for 15 years, Norwegian researchers found that women who drank one to three cups a day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 24 percent compared with those drinking no coffee at all. (The New York Times, Coffee as a Health Drink? Studies Find Some Benefits, By Nicholas Bakalar 8/15/06)

Scientists from Southwestern University found caffeine increased the female libido in experiments on rats. The Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior Journal study said the effect was caused by it stimulating the part of the brain regulating arousal. (Coffee 'boosts female sex drive', BBC News)

A large scale study followed 90,000 Japanese subjects over ten years and concluded that coffee drinkers have half the risk of developing liver cancer as non coffee drinkers. Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2005, the study showed this effect for those who drank just one to two cups daily with the effect increasing at three to four cups.
Men and women who drink coffee may be reducing their risk of liver cancer, researchers from Italy report. But tea and decaf don't appear to share regular coffee's protective effects, Dr. Maurizio Montella of the Istituto Tumori "Fondazione Pascale" in Naples and colleagues discovered. Hepato cellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer that frequently stems from cirrhosis of the liver or hepatitis infection, is highly fatal, and becoming more common in the developing world, the investigators note in the International Journal of Cancer. At the same time, coffee drinking has been linked to a lower risk of cirrhosis of the liver and chronic liver disease. (Coffee drinking linked to lower liver cancer risk, Friday, March 30, 2007; NEW YORK--Reuters Health)

A number of research studies have examined the role of coffee in preventing liver cirrhosis with consistently positive and sometimes quite dramatic results. For example, a 2001 study published in the Annals of Epidemiology showed an 84% lower risk of developing liver cirrhosis for those drinking more than four cups per day. A 2002 study also published in the same magazine concluded that there is a 71% lower risk for those drinking more than three cups per day. Drinking three or more cups of coffee daily lowers the risk by up to 53% of liver disease progression for patients with chronic hepatitis C, Neal D. Freedman, MD, of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and colleagues reported in the November 2009 issue of HepatologyBlack tea or green tea, however, had no effect on liver disease.


Coffee is good for your memory - Studies have concluded that that coffee can combat the forgetfulness that often accompanies aging. Older women who drank three or more cups of coffee a day, or an equivalent amount of caffeine-rich tea, had sharper memories than women who held off on the java. The researchers, studying more than 7,000 older men and women living in three cities in France, found that women age 65 and older who drank more than three cups of coffee scored better on tests that measure thinking and memory skills than women who drank a cup or less of coffee or tea a day. The results held up even after researchers adjusted for other factors that could affect memory, such as age, education, disability, medications, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. The men in the study, however, did not show the same benefits from drinking coffee as the women. (NEUROLOGY, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology) “Caffeine is a psycho-stimulant which appears to reduce cognitive decline in women,” said study author Dr. Karen Ritchie of INSERM, the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research, in Montpellier, France. “While we have some ideas as to how this works biologically, we need to have a better understanding of how caffeine affects the brain before we can start promoting caffeine intake as a way to reduce cognitive decline.” (More Coffee? It May Keep the Memory Sharp, August 06, 2007-The Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation)

Coffee has also been known to thwart migraine headaches. Some headache sufferers are surprised to learn that a simple cup of coffee is used daily around the world to control minor vascular headaches that are not quite migraines. Minor vascular headaches are frequently associated with the hormonal fluctuations of menstrual periods, irregular eating, and unusually hard work. For migraineurs, a well-timed cup of coffee can prevent outright migraine under the same conditions. Many migraine sufferers have discovered that drinking a caffeinated drink at the onset of a migraine may help prevent the attack. How would this work? Migraine pain is a result of enlarged blood vessels putting pressure on the surrounding nerves. Caffeine constricts our blood vessels helping to relieve, or even prevent the migraine pain caused by enlarged blood vessels. It will usually take about 30 minutes for the benefits of caffeine to take affect. These benefits will last approximately 3 - 5 hours. Caffeine is so effective that many traditional migraine medications have large doses of caffeine as one of their main components.

Coffee is also mood enhancing! Study by Johns Hopkins University in Boston found that caffeine made subjects more energetic, confident and ready to work. Caffeine is stimulating to the senses overall and highly ergogenic, meaning it also increases your reactive speed during sporting activities.

Forgo the after-workout massage for a cup o' joe? Moderate doses of caffeine — the equivalent of two cups of coffee — can cut post-gym muscle pain, suggests a new but small study. The findings have particular relevance for people new to exercise, since they tend to experience the most soreness. “If you can use caffeine to reduce the pain, it may make it easier to transition from that first week into a much longer exercise program,” said lead researcher Victor Maridakis of the University of Georgia (Two cups of coffee may douse workout pain, by Jeanna Bryner, MSNBC, Jan 2007). With all the remedies now on the market for aches and pains, a new study says all you need may be a cup of coffee. CBS 4's Dr. Dave Hnida said since a lot of people are taking up new exercise programs, more and more are experiencing soreness in muscles they didn't even know they had. When that happens, doctors usually recommend stretching, icing and popping some ibuprofen. A study in the medical journal, PAIN, found people who have a cup of coffee every couple of hours before a workout were able to cut their muscle soreness by half. People who didn't drink a lot of caffeine to begin with were mostly healed but even regular coffee drinkers got a little benefit. In fact, for almost everyone, the coffee worked better than the stretching or ibuprofen. Doctors aren't sure how the coffee helps but think its because caffeine causes pain fibers to be less sensitive, as well as, neutralizing chemicals that cause inflammation and soreness. (Coffee May Remedy Those Aches, Pains, CBS 4 DENVER, 1/12/07)

Parkinson's disease has been the topic of numerous significant studies in an ongoing effort to gain further understanding about all aspects of the disease, including the role of coffee and caffeine. A 2001 study published in the Annals of Neurology by a team of researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health was conducted as an arm of the extensive Health Professionals' Follow Up Study and the Nurses' Health Study. It concluded a possible protective effect of 1-3 cups of coffee/day on risk of Parkinson's disease in women. The mode of action whereby coffee may have a role in Parkinson's is not clearly understood. It is believed that it may prevent the loss of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which is depleted with Parkinson's disease. A study published in the Journal of Neurology in 2002 worked with an animal model of Parkinson's to explore this theory.

Coffee was long considered taboo during pregnancy, but most doctors now say that it's not so bad if consumed in reasonable quantities. Up to 300 milligrams of caffeine a day is OK, and it's not even clear that more than that is dangerous, says Michael Greene, a Harvard professor and spokesperson for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. A 16oz latte from Starbucks contains 150mg of caffeine, and a can of Coca-Cola has 23mg. (U.S. NEWS, For Pregnant Women, Some 'Hazards' Are Part Myth, By Katherine Leitzell, Posted 8/10/07)

Exercise and moderate caffeine consumption together could help ward off sun-induced skin cancer, researchers said. Experiments on mice showed that caffeine and exercise together somehow made them better able to destroy precancerous cells whose DNA had been damaged by ultraviolet-B radiation, according to scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Cancer researcher Allan Conney said, "We think that it will be important in terms of prevention, and possibly not only for skin cancer but possibly for other cancers as well." (Reuters: Caffeine, exercise may help ward off skin cancer, Mon Jul 30, 2007, By Will Dunham)

Women are more prone to indigestion, upset stomach or heartburn than men. Many cheap commercial coffees contain irritants which can cause damage to the stomach lining and/or lead to acid reflux. Stomach-friendly coffee is a specially shade grown, hand-picked, sun-dried and lightly roasted coffee bean in which known irritants are markedly reduced, yet the coffee retains its naturally delicious taste, aroma and caffeine. Handpicking only the reddest, ripest coffee cherries and sun drying reduces eliminates the accompanying heartburn and/or indigestion often associated with coffee consumption. Machines that harvest coffee cannot decipher between coffee that is cherry ripe (red and perfect for picking), green (unripe), or brown (cherry that has rotted on the tree). These inferior beans are what oftentimes causes the bitterness and 'acid-burn' of oftentimes associated with coffee drinking. During the 10-12 hour soaking process to cleanse the beans from the fruit pulp, the traditional fermentation in clear rainwater removes bitter tasting, acidic tannins.  Something a cheaper and faster mechanical brushing process can't do.

Commercial grades of coffee also utilize a mechanical drying method, which forces hot air over the beans to speed up the drying process. This method proves less labor intensive, therefore lowering the price. However, one can actually taste the difference between sun and kiln-dried beans. Sun-dried coffee maintains more of a delicate, mellow flavor--whereas kiln-dried coffee will oftentimes lose some of the unique aromas that Kona coffee is famous for. Sun-drying removes chlorophyll, which makes coffee beans less acidic and more digestible.

Uterine cancer, the fourth most common cancer in women according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, may be lowered with regular coffee consumption, is the conclusion of a major survey by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. The study reported that women who drink just one to three cups of coffee per day are 40% less likely to develop uterine cancer than those who drink only a few cups per week or none at all. The survey also indicated that the more coffee women drank, the lower the rate of contracting the cancer (60%). The study monitored nearly 54,000 women ages 40 to 69 in nine prefectures across the country of Japan for 15 years, from 1990 to 2005. The women were divided into four groups by the amount of coffee they drank. During the study, only 117 women developed cancer in the uterus, little more than two percent of the study population.

The reasons for coffee's efficacy in deflecting uterine cancer? "Coffee may have effects in lowering insulin levels, possibly curbing the risks…", the study's report posits. Taichi Shimazu, a staff scientist with the National Cancer Center's Epidemiology and Prevention Division, said there was a possibility that coffee could affect the cancer rate. "It is known that drinking coffee results in low concentrations of estrogen and insulin. There is a possibility that this affects the rate of cancer," he said. (Cervical cancer, which occurs at the entrance of the womb, is thought to be caused by virus infections.) Uterine cancer, (aka endometrial cancer), occurs in the rear inner membrane of the uterus, and has been linked to the female hormone estrogen, and insulin, which alters blood-sugar levels. Coffee has been shown to decrease both insulin and estrogen levels. This is considered important because insulin or estrogen-activated cancers can develop not only from the endometrium itself but also can cause cervical cancer, sarcoma of the myometrium, and trophoblastic disease. (Women Coffee Drinkers May Have Lower Risk of Uterine Cancer, New York Times, September 15, 2008)

Coffee increases the basic metabolic rate, which helps burn more calories. It increases mental clarity, as well as muscular coordination, can help to increase respiration rates and gives also a boost to low blood pressure.
Indeed, several studies have concluded that metabolic rate or energy expenditure is positively affected by coffee consumption. For example, a study in the American Journal of Physiology in 1995 showed that energy expenditure increases by about 10% in response to caffeine ingestion. Less clear is whether that increase is then translated into actual weight loss and whether the increase is sustained over time.

Medical Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or to treat a health condition or disease without first consulting with a qualified health care provider. A consultation with a health care professional is the proper method to address your health concerns. You are encouraged to consult one with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.


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