Thursday, February 28, 2013

Coffee and Blood Pressure

Caffeine has long been accused of increasing blood pressure and possibly causing hypertension, but the comprehensive analysis of 16 control trials discussed in the article "Coffee and Cardiovascular Diseases" in Coffee: Emerging Health Effects and Disease Prevention found that while caffeine definitely elevates blood pressure, the caffeine in brewed coffee has a less pronounced effect.

"The increase in blood  pressure produced by caffeine tablet ingestion was two to three times higher than that produced by regular coffee consumption despite equal mean doses of caffeine," the article reads.

Researchers suspect that something in coffee or the way it is prepared lessens the pressor effect of caffeine in its pure form.

"Taken together, these results show that coffee raises blood pressure acutely, but there is insufficient evidence to show that long-term coffee consumption causes hypertension," the authors conclude.

Wiley-Blackwell, 2012

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Coffee and Alzheimer's

"Coffee is only one component of the diet that may be preventative. Other studies support a role for the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, nuts, legumes, cereals, and fish, and indicate the importance of physical activity in preventing or delaying cognitive decline with aging.

"Alzheimer's disease is not curable but is preventable... Given the high coffee consumption worldwide and the aging population in many countries, coffee's apparent ability to protect cognition could have important implications. It is too soon to make specific recommendations regarding the optimum amount of coffee to prevent cognitive loss, but moderate consumption appears best."

Wiley-Blackwell, 2012

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Coffee is Life-Extending

Drinking coffee can not only boost your energy but also your longevity, as long as you don't smoke.

A National Institutes of Health study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicated that caffeinated and decaf coffee drinkers who did not smoke were less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections.

"In this large prospective study, coffee consumption was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality," reported Neal Freedman and fellow researchers at the NIH National Cancer Institute.

"During 5,148,760 person-years of follow-up between 1995 and 2008, a total of 33,731 men and 18,784 women died. In age-adjusted models, the risk of death was increased among coffee drinkers. However, coffee drinkers were also more likely to smoke, and, after adjustment for tobacco-smoking status and other potential confounders, there was a significant inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality."

Not only did the results show a clear association between coffee and longevity, but they also indicated people who drank the most coffee tended to have greatest health benefits.