The Health Benefits of Coffee, Tea, Wine & Beer
The Big Q: What is your favorite beverage, Coffee, Tea, Wine or Beer?
They all have health benefits, as long as you do not overdo any of them.
Below is a breakdown on the latest research about beverages beneficial to our health, as follows
Cancer. Drinking caffeinated coffee on a regular basis may prevent a recurrence of colon cancer, and also improve chances of a cure, according to a study from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Patients who had been treated with both surgery and chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer and drank four or more cups of coffee daily (about 460 mg of caffeine) had a 42% lower risk of having their cancer return than patients who did not drink coffee. They were also 34% less likely to die from cancer or any other cause.
Death risk. The more coffee you drink, the less likely you are to die of many causes, including heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and even suicide, says a 10-year study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The study of more than 90,000 Americans found that those who drank 4 to 5 cups of coffee every day had the lowest risk of death, and it found no long-term health risks from up to 5 cups daily.
Weight gain. Drinking 2 to 4 cups of coffee a day can help dieters avoid regaining lost weight. A research team at Germany’s Hannover Medical School studied the coffee habits of men and women who were enrolled in a weight-loss study and found that those who lost the most weight and kept it off drank the most coffee.
Erectile dysfunction. Men who drink 2 or 3 cups of coffee every day are less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) than men who do not. A study published in PLOS ONE found that men who consume 85 to 170 milligrams of caffeine a day, the amount found in 2 to 3 cups of coffee, were 42% less likely to have ED than men who consumed Zero to 7 milligrams a day.
Stops Alzheimer’s. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study at Georgetown University Medical School found that resveratrol, a potent antioxidant in red wine, stops the progression of amyloid-beta40, a biomarker associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Investigators gave study participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s either a highly purified form of resveratrol in varying dosages or a placebo for one year. Those who received increasing dosages of the compound (up to a gram twice daily) showed no change in blood levels of amyloid-beta40, while levels rose in those taking a placebo.
Weight loss. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity researchers fed mice a high fat diet, but, in addition, some of the mice received resveratrol. Those that received resveratrol changed their excess white fat into energy-burning brown or beige fat, and gained 40 percent less weight than control mice.
Improves mobility. Resveratrol helps improve mobility in seniors and prevent life-threatening falls. Researchers at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh fed young and old mice a diet containing resveratrol for eight weeks, and periodically tested their ability to navigate a balance beam. Initially, the older mice had more difficulty, but by week 4, their balance had increased to the point where they were equal to young mice.
Diabetes. Drinking 3 or more cups of black tea a day cuts the risk of Type 2 diabetes and helps manage the disease in those who have it. A study from Framingham State University extracted numerous types of antioxidants from black tea that have been found to block the enzymes that increase blood sugar caused by the digestion of carbohydrates. The report, published in Frontiers of Nutrition, suggests that black tea may reduce blood sugar levels naturally.
Strong bones. Drinking three cups of black tea a day could keep your bones strong in old age, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Tea is rich in dietary flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that is linked to higher bone density.
In a 10-year study, elderly women at high risk of bone fracture who consumed three or more cups of tea daily were 34% less likely to suffer a serious osteoporotic fracture requiring hospitalization, and a 42% lower risk of a hip fracture than women who had the lowest intake of flavonoids.
Vision. A study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that catachins, powerful antioxidants found in green tea, protect eyes from glaucoma, and that the effects of a single cup last for up to 20 hours. In an animal study from the University of Scranton, tea cut the risk of cataracts iby 50%.
Cancer. An Italian study from the University of Parma found that men who took 3 200 mg capsules of green tea daily for a year slashed their risk of developing prostate cancer by 90% when compared to men taking a placebo. Numerous other health studies have found that tea can significantly lower the risk of many types of cancer, and a Chinese study found that drinking green tea every day cut the risk of lung cancer by 67%
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Xanthohumol, a natural flavonoid found in hops used to make beer, may be able to counteract oxidative cell damage that contributes to brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. A study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that xanthohumol protects neurons, and could slow the development of brain disorders.
Heart disease. A study from Oregon State University fed mice a high-fat diet, and some of the mice were also fed varying levels of xanthohumol. Compared to animals given no xanthohumol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol of mice given the highest dosage was cut 80%. Their levels of IL-6, a biomarker of inflammation, were slashed by 78%.
Memory. Another study at Oregon State University found that xanthohumol improves memory in young mice. “Xanthohumol can speed the metabolism, reduce fatty acids in the liver and, at least with young mice, appeared to improve their cognitive flexibility, or higher level thinking,” said study author Kathy Magnusson.
Unfortunately, older animals did not improve. “Part of what this study seems to be suggesting is that it’s important to begin early in life to gain the full benefits of healthy nutrition,” Ms. Magnusson said.
Drink healthy, Be Healthy, Live lively
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