Coffee has secret trick to stop sleep
Written by c0ff33
Jan 26, 2016 at 09:15 AM
A cup of coffee in the evening may be keeping you awake for more reasons than you realise, scientists say.
Their study, in Science Translation Medicine, showed caffeine was more than just a stimulant and actually slowed down the body's internal clock.
A double espresso three hours before bedtime delayed the production of the sleep hormone melatonin by about 40 minutes, making it harder to nod off.
Experts said our own actions had a huge influence on sleep and the body clock.
One of the researchers, Dr John O'Neill, from the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, told the BBC News website: "If you're tired and having a coffee at night to stay awake, then that is a bad idea, you'll find it harder to go to sleep and get enough sleep."
In his half of the study, cells grown in a dish were exposed to caffeine to work out how it changed their ability to keep time.
It showed the drug was able to alter the chemical clocks ticking away in every cell of the human body.
Meanwhile, five people at the University of Colorado Boulder, in the US, were locked in a sleep laboratory for 50 days.
And as light exposure is the main way we normally control our body clock, they spent most of their incarceration in very dim light.
In a series of experiments over the month and a half, the scientists showed that an evening dose of caffeine slowed the body clock by 40 minutes.
It had roughly half the impact of three hours of bright light at bedtime.
Dr O'Neill said it would be "complete speculation" to set a cut-off time for drinking caffeine in the evening but he personally never drank coffee after 17:00.
He said the findings may help treat some sleep disorders and people who naturally woke up too early - known as larks - to help keep them in sync with the rest of the world.
"It could be useful with jet lag if you are flying east to west where taking caffeine at the right time of day might speed up the time it takes to overcome jet lag," he added.
Prof Derk-Jan Dijk, from the University of Surrey, told the BBC: "Individuals differ in their sensitivity to caffeine, and if coffee drinkers experience problems with falling asleep, they may try to avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon and evening."
He added that people "too often" thought they were a "slave" to their body clocks and programmed to wake up early or late.
"These and other data clearly indicate that we can to some extent modify these rhythms and that part of the reason why we sleep so late relates to factors such as caffeine intake and the exposure to artificial light in the evening," he said.
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Coffee not associated with lifestyle diseases
Written by c0ff33
Jul 10, 2015 at 04:29 PM
Danish researchers are the first in the world to have used our genes to investigate the impact of coffee on the body. The new study shows that coffee neither increases nor decreases the risk of lifestyle diseases.
We love coffee -- and we drink a lot of it. New research from the University of Copenhagen and Herlev and Gentofte Hospital shows that coffee neither increases nor decreases the risk of developing lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes. The researchers have based their study on genes, as our genes play a role in how much coffee we drink in the course of a day. The study has just been published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and is based on DNA and information about coffee drinking and lifestyle diseases from 93,000 Danes from the Copenhagen General Population Study.
"We are the first in the world to have investigated the relationship with genes associated with a lifelong high consumption of coffee. These genes are completely independent of other lifestyle factors, and we can therefore conclude that drinking coffee in itself is not associated with lifestyle diseases," says medical student Ask Tybjaeg Nordestgaard from the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.
Genes determine our thirst for coffee
The researchers have designed a unique study, where they have looked into a number of genes that affect our desire for coffee. If you have the special coffee genes, you may be drinking more coffee than those not having the genes. This allows the researchers to see whether a higher coffee consumption increases or decreases the risk of developing lifestyle diseases.
"We can now see that the coffee genes are surprisingly not associated with a risk of developing type 2 diabetes or obesity. This suggests that drinking coffee neither causes nor protects against these lifestyle diseases," says Boerge Nordestgaard, clinical professor at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and senior physician at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital.
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What are the health benefits of coffee?
Written by c0ff33
Jul 01, 2015 at 09:30 AM
A cup of coffee in the morning may pack more than just an energy boost.
More and more research is emerging to suggest that there may be several health benefits associated with drinking this dark black beverage, from helping prevent diabetes to lowering the risk of liver disease.
The consumption of coffee goes back centuries.
In 17th century England the popularity of the drink gave rise to a number of coffee houses which were dubbed 'penny universities', because with one penny a person could buy a cup of coffee and have intellectually stimulating conversations with other people.1
Nowadays, with over 400 billion cups consumed every year, coffee is one of the world's most popular drinks. But what makes it special?
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods.
Nutritional breakdown of coffee
Regular black coffee (without milk or cream) has a very low calorie count. A typical cup of black coffee only contains around 2 calories.
However, if you add sugar and milk, the calorie count can shoot up.
A splash of coffee
Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S., according to researchers at the University of Scranton.
Joe Vinson, Ph.D., lead author of the study, said that "Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close."2
The authors of the study emphasize moderation, stating that only one or two cups a day appear to be beneficial.
Caffeinated and decaffeinated versions provided nearly the same levels of antioxidants.
Health benefits of coffee
The potential health benefits associated with drinking coffee include: protecting against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, liver disease, liver cancer, and promoting a healthy heart.3
Coffee may protect against type 2 diabetes
Coffee may be protective against type 2 diabetes. Researchers at UCLA identified that drinking coffee increases plasma levels of the protein sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG controls the biological activity of the body's sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) which play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.4
Dr. Simin Liu, one of the authors of the study, said that an "inverse association" exists between coffee consumption and risk for type 2 diabetes.
Increased coffee consumption may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes - the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers gathered data from three studies. In these studies, the diets of the participants were evaluated using questionnaires every 4 years, with participants who reported having type 2 diabetes filling out additional questionnaires. In total, 7,269 study participants had type 2 diabetes.
The researchers found that the participants who increased their coffee intake by more than one cup a day (on average, an increase of 1.69 cups per day) over a 4-year period had an 11% lower type 2 diabetes risk over the subsequent 4 years, compared with people who did not change their intake.
Coffee may help prevent Parkinson's disease
Researchers in the U.S. carried out a study that assessed the link between coffee consumption and Parkinson's disease risk. The authors of the study concluded that "higher coffee and caffeine intake is associated with a significantly lower incidence of Parkinson's disease".5
In addition, caffeine in coffee may help control movement in people suffering from Parkinson's, according to a study conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) that was published in the journal Neurology.6
Coffee may lower the risk of liver cancer
Italian researchers found that coffee consumption lowers the risk of liver cancer by about 40%. In addition, some of the results suggest that if you drink three cups a day, the risks are reduced by more than 50%.7
The lead author of the study, Dr. Carlo La Vecchia, from Milan's Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, said "our research confirms past claims that coffee is good for your health and particularly the liver."
Coffee may help prevent liver disease
Regular consumption of coffee is linked to a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a rare autoimmune disease of the bile ducts in the liver.8
In addition, coffee consumption can lower the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver for alcohol drinkers by 22%, according to a study at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, California, USA.
The authors of the study concluded that the results "support the hypothesis that there is an ingredient in coffee that protects against cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis."9
Research published in the journal Hepatology in April 2014, suggests that drinking coffee is linked to a decreased liver cirrhosis death risk. The researchers suggest that drinking two or more cups of coffee every day can reduce the risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66%.16
A study published in the journal Hepatology indicates that drinking decaf coffee also lowers liver enzyme levels, suggesting the benefits are not linked to caffeine content.
Coffee may be good for the heart
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard School of Public Health, concluded that drinking coffee in moderation protects against heart failure. They defined 'in moderation' as 2 European cups (equivalent to two 8-ounce American servings) per day.10
People who drank four European cups on a daily basis had an 11% lower risk of heart failure, compared to those who did not.
The authors stressed that their results "did show a possible benefit, but like with so many other things we consume, it really depends on how much coffee you drink."
Recent developments on the benefits of coffee from MNT news
Tinnitus less common in women who drink more coffee. A new study in The American Journal of Medicine finds that women who consume more caffeine are less likely to have tinnitus.
Study links coffee intake with reduced risk of endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs in the US, affecting around 1 in 37 women in their lifetime. But in a new study, researchers found that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of endometrial cancer by almost a fifth.
Drinking up to five cups of coffee a day may benefit the arteries. A new study has suggested drinking three to five cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of clogged arteries and heart attacks.
Coffee linked to reduced risk of erectile dysfunction. Drinking two to three cups of coffee every day could lower a man's risk of erectile dysfunction. This is according to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Drinking too much coffee can result in some very unpleasant adverse effects. According to a study by researchers at the University of Oklahoma, "caffeine can cause anxiety symptoms in normal individuals, especially in vulnerable patients, like those with pre-existing anxiety disorders."13
In addition, "caffeine use is also associated with symptoms of depression due to either a self-medication theory, or a theory that caffeine itself causes changes in mood."
Women who plan on becoming pregnant should be cautious. Researchers from the University of Nevada School of Medicine reported in the British Journal of Pharmacology that regular coffee may reduce a woman's chances of becoming pregnant.14
Medical News Today examined the positive and negative effects of drinking coffee in an article in July 2012, Drinking Coffee: More Good Than Harm?.
Read the full article here
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