How coffee helps protect the heart

Coffee’s health benefits are nothing new (a topic I cover occasionally at Coffeeopolis.com).  There’s a steady stream of scientific studies that generally support that conclusion…which I guess is not surprising, I mean, considering coffee’s popularity, I imagine there’s no shortage of scientists eager to study the topic more!  But I digress.  A team in Germany has made progress in understanding exactly how coffee helps your heart.  More specifically, it’s the caffeine that in this case is responsible…it triggers the action of a protein called p27, which basically helps cell repair processes in the heart.  However, the data comes from studies done with mice…whether it works the same in humans is less certain.  Read more at this link if you’re curious (or the published paper in the journal PLOS)

Do you want to know the best news?  The optimal caffeine intake to achieve these benefits is about for or five cups of coffee a day!  So, drink up!

EverlyWell – hack your heath

I’m not happy if I don’t feel like my body is operating at peak efficiency…yet sometimes it’s hard to figure out why things seem off.  If you have the time and patience, scheduling a trip to the doctor is always the best option.  For a quick peek into the systems of your body, there are at-home tests you can do to test an amazing number of things.  The company I’ve been trying out is EverlyWell, and they offer a really large variety of tests, depending on what conditions you’re trying to debug:

  • Food sensitivity test
  • Food sensitivity+
  • Postmenopause test
  • Women’s fertility test
  • Perimenopause test
  • Metabolism test
  • Metabolism+
  • Thyroid test
  • Testosterone test
  • Breast Milk DHA test
  • DHA+
  • Men’s health test
  • Women’s health test
  • Vitamin D and Inflammation test
  • Vitamin D test
  • Cholesterol and lipids test
  • Heavy metals test
  • Sleep and stress test
  • HbA1c test
  • STD test
  • Ovarian reserve test

You get the idea!  These tests aren’t covered by most insurance companies, but depending on what you want to test and why, that may be the case anyway (or if you’re on a high deductible plan, it’s all out of pocket anyway, and you can at least use an HSA or FSA to pay for these).  It’s cheap, quick, and easy…well sort of easy…some tests DO require some drops of blood so you need to be able to handle that!  Just remember…whatever your results, don’t play internet doctor and go crazy over this…but DO use the results to determine if you need to schedule an appointment with a doctor to investigate further!

Get 10% off if you use this link.

The health benefits of a plant-based diet

In 2017, I switched to a vegetarian diet…I admit I tried full vegan but found the occasional eggs and real cheese to be hard to give up.  I’ll work my way towards 100% plant-based eventually…especially as I keep reading about the various health benefits of such a diet!  If you’re curious, check out this link at Forks Over Knives, it’s a great, brief summary of the health reasons for choosing a plant-based diet.  It’s really pretty crazy when so many ailments in our lives can be addressed with a simple change in diet…and yes, giving up meat really *is* simple!  Well except for eggs and cheese. 😉  But if those can at least be minimized, your health will still benefit!

Possible link between sugar consumption and Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientists in England have a found a possible link between excessive sugar consumption, and Alzheimer’s disease.  It’s not that sugar is suspected to cause Alzheimer’s, but rather that excess sugar in the body interferes with the body’s normal immune response to a build-up of abnormal proteins in the brian that clump and lead to Alzheimer’s.  Not that we really need any more reasons to avoid sugar, right?!  But this is yet another…

As I teach my daughter, ‘sugar is poison’.  Our bodies can handle it to some degree…life is too short to avoid Girl Scout cookies entirely…but it’s not good to subject our bodies to too much.

You can read more about the study in the journal Nature.

Big GMO study about to start

What is being called the ‘world’s first ever comprehensive and independent study on the safety of GMOs and their associated pesticides’ is expected to launch in 2015.  At a cost of around $25 million, this international effort will be an approximately three year study of rats with the goal of answering these questions:

  1. Are GMOs (or their associated pesticides) toxic to organ systems over the long-term?
  2. Do GMOs (or their associated pesticides) cause cancer?
  3. Do GMOs (or their associated pesticides) reduce fertility or cause birth defects?
  4. Is the mixture of chemicals present in Roundup herbicide more or less toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate?

This is a BIG deal.  Monsanto had used a 90 day study which showed no ill effects, while a two year study by others showed tumors in the rats (only detected after around 18 months) – source.  A three year study will help address the concerns raised by that two year study, and may also lead to regulators requiring long term studies for future GM products (currently, long term studies are not required in any country).

So, great news…but we’ll have to wait three or four years to hear the results.  Read more about it here.

Study looks at the effect of cannabis extract on brain cancer

I’ve seen plenty of stories about people using cannabis to treat brain cancer and other medical problems, but there hasn’t been a lot of hard science looking at this treatment.  That’s where this new study is particular interesting, for it does just that – looks at the effects of using two cannabis extracts, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), both by themselves, and also in conjunction with irradiation.  The result showed a clear benefit of the cannabis extracts, and the best results were when the treatment included both those extracts and the irradation – where the tumors virtually disappeared.  Pretty promising stuff…read more here.

Bulletproof coffee

1405442711002_coffeebrain16.1200wI’m such a coffee geek, I’m surprised I don’t write about coffee here more!  I’ve maintained a separate blog called Coffeeopolis where I used to direct that attention…but in the interest of simplifying life I’ll be favoring this one instead.  Today’s coffee fascination is with a new coffee drink called Bulletproof coffee.  When I first read about this, I wasn’t sure what to make of it, and I quickly moved on to other, more pressing matters (like, you know, work!).  It seems to be popping up more and more though.

So, what is Bulletproof coffee?  It’s designed by Bulletproof Exec, one piece of the puzzle to upgrading ‘your performance in every aspect of life.’  Noble ambitions.  Why mess with coffee though?  This coffee drink is part of a larger diet that gets pretty complicated…so click that link if you want to know more, but for now, just know that it’s designed to be more of a breakfast replacement.  So, how do you make it?  You start with one cup of coffee, brewed with 2 1/2 heaping teaspoons of low-toxin coffee (I hear that any wet-process coffee meets this criteria, though you can of course buy special Bulletproof Coffee Beans…).  Add 1-2 tablespoons of a medium-chain triglyceride oil, 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted grass-fed butter, and mix it all in a blender for 20 seconds (you can buy a starter kit of ingredients for $50).  Click here for a printable instruction card.

So what’s it like?  I wish I could tell you.  Or not.  I haven’t decided if this is something I want to try…I love coffee…and this sounds…weird.  What’s gotten me thinking more about it, though, is this article at Fast Company.  The author drank Bulletproof Coffee every morning for two weeks, trying it as a true breakfast substitute.  The results were interesting and the article is worth checking out.  Or check out the video below for instructions for how to make Bulletproof Coffee yourself.

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