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Coffee Health Benefits

Coffee could help reduce body fat in women, study finds

Reaching for that extra cup of coffee could come with added health benefits

While many consumers worry about their coffee intake, recent studies have found that the popular morning beverage could come with countless health benefits, including fighting obesity.

Now, researchers at Anglia Ruskin University have found that having two to three cups of coffee per day could help women keep off excess body fat. 

“Our research suggests that there may be bioactive compounds in coffee other than caffeine that regulate weight which could potentially be used...

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    New research suggests caffeine may reduce dementia risks

    Caffeine among 26 compounds boosting protective brain enzyme

    Good news if you're a heavy coffee drinker. The caffeine in your favorite beverage may be helping your brain fight off dementia.

    Researchers at Indiana University (IU) are advancing that theory after a study identified 24 compounds, including caffeine, that appear to boost a brain enzyme that keeps dementia from occurring. The enzyme, NMNAT2, was discovered last year and the account of the findings appear this week in the journal Scientific Reports.

    IU professor Hui-Chen Lu, who led the study, said the discovery could lead to development of drugs that boost the enzyme, perhaps creating a preventive treatment against age-related neurological disorders.

    Misfolded proteins

    The Indiana study was the first to reveal what Lu calls the "chaperone function" in the enzyme, that prevents the misfolding of proteins called tau, which can pile up in the brain as plaques as a person ages.

    These misfolded proteins have been linked to brain disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

    Of particular concern to researchers is Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia that affects over 5.4 million Americans, and those numbers are expected to rise as the population ages.

    The Indiana study is not the first to suggest that caffeine plays a beneficial role in brain health. Last August, researchers from three countries reported their findings that caffeine can combat the effects of age-related memory impairment.

    Other research

    In this case, the international research team focused on a certain receptor in the brain, called adenosine A2AR, which is linked to memory impairments related to age. Following up on previous research, the researchers say they were able to manipulate this receptor to induce a sort of “early aging” that led to the release of hormones related to stress and memory loss.

    To prevent this early aging, the researchers tested a caffeine analogue on animal models. They reported that caffeine blocked the receptor from acting properly, which in turn normalized the memory- and stress-related deficits.

    While coffee has had something of a checkered past when it comes to health -- in the 1970s it was thought to cause heart disease -- lately research has emphasized its positive role. Recent health studies have suggested it can reduce risks to colon cancer and multiple sclerosis.

    Good news if you're a heavy coffee drinker. The caffeine in your favorite beverage may be helping your brain fight off dementia.Researchers at Indiana...

    Caffeine helps fight memory loss, study finds

    Researchers confirm that caffeine blocks a brain receptor that affects memory problems

    Having that first cup of coffee in the morning can be a great way to start your day, but could it also help keep your memory sharp as you age? One recent study shows that maybe it can.

    A multinational collaboration -- including researchers from France, Germany, and the United States – has found that caffeine can combat the effects of age-related memory impairment. This could point to another way to slow the decline of memory function in older consumers and those affected by cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s.

    The researchers have confirmed that a certain receptor in the brain, called adenosine A2AR, is linked to memory impairments related to age. Following up on previous research, they were able to manipulate this receptor to induce a sort of “early aging” that led to the release of hormones related to stress and memory loss.

    “This is part of a larger study initiated 4 years ago in which we identified the role of this receptor in stress, but we did not know whether its activation would be sufficient to trigger all the changes. We now found that by altering the amount of this receptor alone in neurons from hippocampus and cortex – memory related areas – is sufficient to induce a profile that we designate as ‘early-aging’ combining the memory loss and an increase in stress hormones in plasma (cortisol),” said Luisa Lopes, coordinator of the study.

    Potential therapeutic target

    In order to prevent the onset of early aging, the researchers tested a caffeine analogue on animal models. They found that caffeine blocked the receptor from acting properly, which in turn normalized the memory- and stress-related deficits that were created beforehand.

    The researchers believe that their work could allow medical professionals a means of treating memory-related problems in older people and those affected cognitive disorders. Additionally, it has opened the door for further research on the causes of memory dysfunction.

    “In elderly people, we know there is an increase of stress hormones that have an impact on memory. Our work supports the view that the precognitive effects of A2AR antagonists, namely caffeine, observed in Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive impairments may rely on this ability to counteract the loss of stress controlling mechanisms that occurs upon aging,” said researcher director David Blum.

    “This is important not only to understand the fundamental changes that occur upon aging, but it also identifies the dysfunctions of the adenosine A2AR receptor as a key player in triggering these changes. And a very appealing therapeutic target,” added Lopes.

    The full study has been published in Scientific Reports.

    Having that first cup of coffee in the morning can be a great way to start your day, but could it also help keep your memory sharp as you age? One recent s...

    How coffee can improve your workout

    Studies show that drinking a cup of coffee can improve your performance and mood at the gym

    Coffee is perhaps best known for its ability to inject a little pep into an otherwise sluggish morning routine. But waking up with a cup of joe may have even more benefits for those who exercise in the morning.

    Research shows that those who drink coffee before a workout experience a boost in performance.

    The energy-imbuing elixir helps your mind and body work harder during a workout, says Heidi Skolnik, M.S., a sports nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Conditioning, Inc.

    "Caffeine is a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system, the heart, and possibly the 'center' that controls blood pressure," Skolnik told the Daily Burn.

    She adds that coffee can also help you enjoy the workout more, since it can increase the release of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine, which affects mood and pain receptors.

    Studies have also found that pre-workout coffee drinkers consume 72 fewer calories later in the day and have an easier time resisting the urge to succumb to food cravings.

    But before you decide to swing by the coffee shop on your way to the gym, be advised that timing can play a role in how coffee impacts your workout performance.

    One hour before

    Skolnik explains that drinking a cup of coffee about an hour before you hit the gym is optimal, as the body wastes no time putting the caffeine to work.

    "Caffeine is quickly absorbed from the stomach within 15 to 45 minutes of consumption, but it hits its peak stimulatory effects between 30 and 75 minutes," Skolnik says.

    But while coffee is a fluid, Skolnik emphasizes that a 250-300 mg cup of coffee isn’t enough fluid to get your body ready for a workout. In addition to drinking coffee, she recommends drinking at least seven to 12 ounces of water during the hour or two before your workout.

    Indeed, staying hydrated is key -- and water is usually best. A recent study found that attempting to rehydrate with soft drinks may actually increase dehydration.

    Coffee is perhaps best known for its ability to inject a little pep into an otherwise sluggish morning routine. But waking up with a cup of joe may have ev...