Upping coffee consumption could help you live longer

A new study suggests that higher coffee consumption could reduce the risk of death from all causes

As one of the world’s most popular beverages, it is clear that us humans do love a good cup of coffee. And a new study drawing on data from over half a million Europeans suggests that this penchant for a little pick-me-up could have a range of health benefits, by revealing an association between higher coffee consumption and a reduced risk of death from all causes.

The research was carried out by scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and Imperial College London, who analyzed cancer and nutrition data from more than 500,000 Europeans over the age of 35. These subjects hailed from 10 different European countries, each with their distinctive styles of coffee consumption, such as the espresso sippers of Italy and the cappuccino-lovers of the UK.

This in itself revealed a few interesting insights. The people of Denmark, it was found, boast the highest level of coffee consumption by volume, at 900 mL (30 oz) per person per day, while the Italians consumed the least at around 92 mL (3.04 oz). The more coffee people drank, the more likely they were to be smokers, drinkers, meat-eaters, younger and not huge fans of fruit and vegetables.

Following up with the same participants 16 years later, the study found that 42,000 deaths had occurred from causes including cancer, circulatory diseases, heart failure and stroke. Adjusting for factors such as diet and smoking, the team says that subjects in the highest quartile of coffee consumption had significantly lower mortality rates than those that didn’t drink coffee.

“We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases,” said lead author Dr. Marc Gunter of the IARC. “Importantly, these results were similar across all of the 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs. Our study also offers important insights into the possible mechanisms for the beneficial health effects of coffee.”

Among these insights was evidence that coffee drinkers may have healthier livers and better glucose control, something the researchers uncovered by analyzing metabolic biomarkers in a subset of 14,000 people. While coffee is know to contain compounds that interact with the body such as caffeine, diterpenes and antioxidants, the researchers say further research is needed pin down which ones in particular offer these apparent health benefits, along with how much would actually be a healthy amount to consume.

“Due to the limitations of observational research, we are not at the stage of recommending people to drink more or less coffee,” says Gunter. “That said, our results suggest that moderate coffee drinking – up to around three cups per day – is not detrimental to your health, and that incorporating coffee into your diet could have health benefits.”

The research was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Source: Imperial College London

 

 

The Mayo Clinic Diet: A weight-loss program for life

The Mayo Clinic Diet is a different approach to weight loss. It’s a lifestyle that can help you maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime.

By Mayo Clinic staff

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If you’re overweight, you’ve probably tried many diet and weight-loss plans, yet the weight keeps coming back. You might have even tried what you thought was a Mayo Clinic diet — but it was probably bogus.

If the diets you’ve tried haven’t worked, don’t be surprised or call it quits. Most people who diet find that weight loss is a never-ending roller coaster ride. You may lose some weight at first, but then the weight loss stops or you regain the weight.

The problem may be that you just haven’t found the right approach yet. The Mayo Clinic Diet — the real one, that is — can help. The Mayo Clinic Diet isn’t like most diets. The Mayo Clinic Diet is a lifestyle approach that can improve your health and help you maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime.

The Mayo Clinic Diet: A new approach to healthy weight

The Mayo Clinic Diet is a program that helps you make simple, healthy, pleasurable changes in your lifestyle that result in a weight you can maintain for the rest of your life. Why the emphasis on lifestyle? It turns out that a healthy lifestyle is also a great way to lose weight and keep it off. You get better health and better weight. Not a bad deal.

Perhaps best of all, this program is enjoyable. Eating is one of the great joys in life. What you eat on this diet has to taste good, or you won’t do it. The Mayo Clinic Diet emphasizes foods that not only are healthy but also taste great.

The Mayo Clinic Diet: How does it work?

The Mayo Clinic Diet involves changing habits. With the Mayo Clinic Diet, you work to reshape your lifestyle by breaking unhealthy old habits that sabotage your weight and adopting healthy new habits that will lead you down a path toward better health.

The Mayo Clinic Diet has two phases:

  • Lose It! This two-week phase is designed to help you begin seeing results right away, with weight loss of 6 to 10 pounds (2.7 to 4.5 kilograms, or kg). Unlike fad diets that promise rapid weight loss, the Mayo Clinic Diet approach is safe and healthy while building momentum and enthusiasm. It’s based on changing habits for a lifetime so that the weight you lose doesn’t come back, as it probably has in the past on fad diets.
  • Live It! This second phase builds on Lose It! and is designed to help you continue to lose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kg) a week until you reach your weight goal. This phase also helps you maintain your weight goal permanently by continuing and tweaking lifelong healthy habits.

Within each phase, the diet helps you uncover your inner motivation — what really matters to you — that will help keep you on track in your effort to lose weight.

Click here to go to Page 2 > Mayo Clinic Diet for Life

Weight control: What the research says

Weight Control – Mayo Clinic nutritionists

Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.


Anyone who has begun or is on a weight loss journey knows that weight control — losing weight and keeping it off — can be a daily challenge. Weight control is a complex. It’s about living a healthy lifestyle and making smart choices, despite the many hurdles life throws at you, whether they’re physical, emotional or social.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re looking for advice on weight control. Every week a new diet appears on bookshelves, magazine racks or online. Even when you go to the scientific and medical journals, there’s debate about which diet is best for weight control. Teasing out all the variables can frustrate even the most dedicated researcher. So I thought I’d cut to the chase and offer some practical advice on weight control.

The bottom line really is that you must control calories through portion control, appropriate food choices and physical activity. However, there are few weight control tricks that can be culled from the diet research:

  • Eat some protein. Protein is cited as the most satiating nutrient. No need to overdo it, but include 1 to 3 ounces (28 to 85 grams) of a protein-rich food at meals. Protein, beyond its basic function of building and repair, moderates the rise of blood glucose. This steadies your hunger and energy levels.
  • Go low on the glycemic index. Foods with a low glycemic index — most fruits, veggies and whole grains — are part of any healthy diet. They contain fiber and water that give them bulk without the calories, making them filling foods. These properties also play a positive role in your body’s metabolism and insulin response.
  • Choose the right carbs. Carbs are packed with nutrients that are essential to feeling good each day, and they likely play a strong role in disease prevention. Most of your choices here should be whole foods or as close to it as possible.
  • Be selective about fats. Fat plays a key role in our health. Fat also aids hunger control because it is slowly digested. Moderating the amount you eat will reduce your calories. Choosing healthier fats — nuts, oils and avocado, for instance — instead of saturated fats can improve your heart health and may have a role preserving good mental and physical health.

Abbott Laboratories agrees to withdraw its obesity drug Meridia

Meridia Capsules
Meridia Capsules

Abbott Laboratories has agreed to voluntarily withdraw its obesity drug Meridia (sibutramine) from the U.S. market because of clinical trial data indicating an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today.

“Meridia’s continued availability is not justified when you compare the very modest weight loss that people achieve on this drug to their risk of heart attack or stroke,” said John Jenkins, M.D., director of the Office of New Drugs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “Physicians are advised to stop prescribing Meridia to their patients and patients should stop taking this medication. Patients should talk to their health care provider about alternative weight loss and weight loss maintenance programs.”

Meridia was approved by the FDA in November 1997 for weight loss and maintenance of weight loss in obese people, as well as in certain overweight people with other risks for heart disease. The approval was based on clinical data showing that more people receiving sibutramine lost at least 5 percent of their body weight than people on placebo who relied on diet and exercise alone.

The FDA requested the market withdrawal after reviewing data from the Sibutramine Cardiovascular Outcomes Trial (SCOUT).  SCOUT was initiated as part of a postmarket requirement to look at cardiovascular safety of sibutramine after the European approval of this drug. The trial demonstrated a 16 percent increase in the risk of serious heart events, including non-fatal heart attack, non-fatal stroke, the need to be resuscitated once the heart stopped, and death, in a group of patients given sibutramine and another given placebo. There was a small difference in weight loss between the placebo group and the group that received sibutramine.

Jillian Michaels – How Much to Exercise Each Day

From LOSING IT! With Jillian Michaels
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You may have heard the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation of 30 minutes of physical activity a day. This is intended for people who want to maintain the most basic level of fitness — but not for people who want to lose weight. In a week, 30 minutes a day works out to an expenditure of about 1,000 calories, which is fine if you are looking to maintain your current weight. But if you want to lose, you’re going to have to be prepared for a bit more work.

I much prefer the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 60 minutes at a time as a starting point for my clients — an hour is ideal to get the most out of your workout and see significant results. Your 60-minute workout sessions should always include a 5-minute warm-up, followed by 50 minutes of your primary cardio or strength-training exercises, followed by at least 5 minutes of cooling down and stretching.

Of course, putting in more time will get you more results — but there’s a limit. Excessive intense physical activity releases stress hormones, such as cortisol, into the body. This can actually inhibit weight loss, causing your body to react by storing fat and retaining water out of self-protection. So, to reach your goal, I recommend limiting intense exercise to no more than two hours a session.