Archive for the ‘Coffee and your health’ Category

What is all this talk about Antioxidant Coffee! Have you seen what they put in it?? Take a look at the latest research from the University of British Columbia.

By Randy Shore, Vancouver Sun February 2, 2011

Roasting coffee beans creates abundant stable antioxidants, which are believed to help protect your cells from damage and premature aging, according to a newly released study from the University of British Columbia.

And you might want to go for the medium rather than the dark roast if you want the maximum dose of antioxidants to battle the dark forces merrily destroying your cells. The beneficial compounds created by the roasting process start to break down with excessive roasting at high heat, said lead author Yazheng Lui, a master’s student at UBC’s faculty of land and food systems.

The work of Lui and her co-author professor David Kitts brings some clarity to a murky brew of previous research that had produced conflicting data about the abundance and nature of the antioxidant qualities of coffee, which had been attributed to caffeine and to the presence of naturally occurring antioxidants.

Green unroasted coffee beans do contain natural antioxidants called chlorogenic acids, which are believed to have antiviral and antibacterial properties, but about 90 per cent of those are destroyed by the roasting process, Lui said.

The good news is that roasting creates a whole new class of potent antioxidants called MRPs, Maillard Reaction Products. Maillard reactions are responsible for the changes in colour and flavour that occur when foods are roasted, toasted or fried.

“During the roasting process the [chlorogenic acids] are decreasing while the new antioxidants are increasing,” she said. “We found that the main contributor to antioxidant activity is the product of roasting.”

Because a dark roast at one coffee shop might only be considered medium at another, you can’t always depend on the label to guide your quest to maximize antioxidants in your java. But the darkest roasts will be the lowest in chlorogenic acids and may also be lower in MRPs.

The high heat and longer roasting time that delivers the most flavour and colour also degrades the newly created antioxidants.

Don’t worry if you prefer decaf. Caffeine is not required for the roasting process to create MRPs.

Roasting coffee beans also helps to stabilize the amount of antioxidants in the coffee, because the MRPs created by roasting degrade very slowly over time, while the naturally occurring antioxidants in green coffee beans degrade very quickly.

“In the six months that we were doing tests we found that the antioxidants in the green coffee beans dropped significantly,” Lui said. “But in the roasted beans, it was the same.”

So maybe it’s time for a nice “Cuppa Mokk-a!” Enjoy in good health!



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NEW YORK (Reuters)  – After tasting 37 different blended coffees, Consumer Reports couldn’t find one that measured up to its “excellent” or “very good” ratings, the publication said Tuesday.

The less-than-glowing report follows a year that saw tight supplies of high-quality arabica coffee beans in Colombia, followed by steep premiums that caused some roasters to look for cheaper and more available options for their blends.

Ranking at the top of the list of 14 caffeinated blends — earning a rating of “good” — are the Starbucks House Blend, calculated at 26 cents per cup, and Green Mountain Signature Nantucket Blend Medium Roast, at 23 cents per cup.

Blends are the best-selling type of ground coffee and contain beans from at least two regions or countries, the publication said.

The highest score for the 13 decaffeinated coffees also failed to reach the top two categories. The better scoring varieties included Allegro Organic Decaf, Blend Medium Dark, Peet’s Decaf House Blend, Caribou Daybreak Coffee Morning Blend Decaf and Bucks County Decaf Breakfast blend.

Consumer Reports has a rating criteria in which the tasters look for specific characteristics including the flavor and aroma.

The publication advised coffee drinkers not to count on familiar brand names or expensive price tags, noting that the cost doesn’t accurately reflect the cost per cup due to varying grind densities, and recommended ratios of coffee to water.

Mokk-a’s Cafe Svenska, Cafe France and Cafe Holland

are a blend of five 100% Arabica beans

Our Cafe Italia

is a blend of seven 100% Arabica beans!

Maybe it is time to give Mokk-a a try!





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Puroast Proven to Have Low Acid Content

WOODLAND, Calif., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ — Often at doctor’s advice, 35 million Americans have had to stop or cutback their morning coffee kick start due to heartburn and acid reflux as coffee is a leading cause to aggravate these stomach troubles. These problems haven’t gone unnoticed in the coffee industry by both a leader and an upstart. Industry leader, Folgers, is repositioning its Folgers Simply Smooth brand by calling it “low acid” coffee. The upstart is Puroast® Low Acid Coffee. Unfortunately, only one of these is really lower in acid according to university research.

A leading chemist, Dr. Taka Shibamoto at University of California Davis, has conducted acidity tests of coffee. His research(1) has shown that Puroast® has 50% less acid than traditional coffee and that Folgers Simply Smooth has roughly the same acidity as its regular brands of coffee. A separate clinical survey(2) with coffee drinkers who suffer from acid reflux reported that 90% of the sampled consumers were able to drink Puroast® without the “usual symptoms.”

But don’t coffee lovers want a low acid coffee that tastes good? Newsweek (7/31/06) conducted a taste test of low acid coffees and reported, “Our testers ranked this blend (Puroast) No. 1 for its nutty aroma, robust flavor and taste.” They were less impressed with Folgers Simply Smooth, “Our tasters called it ‘decent’, but with a ‘watered-down’ flavor and surprising bitterness.”

In addition to the scientists and media, Puroast® has consumers on their side as Puroast is the fastest growing brand in the low acid segment and now available in leading retail grocers and the antacid section of select pharmacies. The truth is Puroast® is a gourmet tasting java with 50% less acid.

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The December issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine released a study on the inverse relationship between coffee and tea consumption and diabetes risk, according to Modern Medicine.  It seems that people who drink coffee or tea regularly have a significantly lowered risk. 

Details of the study on coffee, tea, and diabetes risk

At the University of Sydney in Austrailia researchers analyzed a total of 18 studies, and almost half a million people who regularly drink coffee, decaf coffee, or tea.  The results showed a 7% reduced risk for diabetes for every cup of coffee, although researchers believe more trials are needed to make the claim that drinking coffee and tea actually protects against diabetes.  Coffee and tea seem to have a postivie impact on blood sugar regulation. 

The inverse relationship betweeen coffee and tea consumption and diabetes risk is promising, and the potential could be great.  At this time the exact phytochemicals in coffee and tea that are responsible for the apparently beneficial result are unidentified.  It could be as simple as the magnesium present in these beverages (as well as fruits, vegetables and many whole foods), which has an impact on diabetes risk, or perhaps it is the result of the synergy of several different phytochemicals.  Regardless, researchers have brought coffee and tea lovers one more reason to enjoy their coffee and tea.

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Six researchers with the Harvard Medical School were found poisoned after they took coffee from the office coffee-maker. Five of them were released from the hospital the same day. One was held overnight, Boston Herald said. The poisoning has been traced to sodium azide that had been mixed with the coffee.

Though the incident took place in August last, reports are coming out only now, apparently after the toxicology experts confirmed poisoning. 

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Sodium azide is “a rapidly acting, potentially deadly chemical that exists as an odorless white solid,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and when mixed with water, it changes rapidly to a toxic gas.

The six workers all drank coffee from the same coffee maker in the New Research Building. One of them, Matteo Iannacone, a postdoctoral fellow, said that when he took a sip of the coffee, he noticed that it tasted weird.  Within seconds, he and the others who had sipped the coffee began to have tachycardia (fast heart rate), an increase in blood pressure, sweating, and one of them even fainted. They were rushed to emergency room.  Mercifully nothing serious happened.

The coffee maker was located on a floor where basic research on immune systems is conducted, some of it on mice, it is reported.

Sodium azide is commonly used as a preservative in biomedical research. Dr. Michael Greenberg, the president of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology states that the chemical’s use as a poison is “atypical’. He says that in his career he has not seen any homicidal use of sodium azide, but he also goes on that he remain very suspicious that the chemical did indeed end up in a coffee pot by accident. Dr. Greenberg tells Newsweek that “it’s probably not something that’s going to naturally turn up in a coffee maker.’

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Posted in the American Heart Journal, a new Swedish study could not find a link between coffee consumption and heart failure, according to Red Orbit news. This contradicts previous assertions that drinking too much coffee could possibly contribute to heart failure.  So, now what?  Does coffee have an adverse affect on heart health?

Past studies on coffee and heart failure

In 2001 Swedish researchers wanted to test the relationship between drinking coffee and heart failure.  Drinking coffee does after all raise your heart rate for a couple hours, or at least a little while, it makes you feel alert and energized, and sometimes a little happier, or a little more stressed out.  Actually, it both opens pathways for air and blood circulation, which is why coffee is recommended as a natural remedy for asthma sufferers.  But, health benefits and side effects aside — is coffee dangerous?

The previous study examined the coffee drinking habits of 7,500 men.  They found that those who regularly drank more than five cups of coffee a day had a higher risk of contracting heart disease, prompting the American Heart Association to put out a statement that coffee drinking could potentially increase the risk of heart failure, although further research was needed.

Recent findings on coffee and heart health

Thus the more recent study.  Swedish researchers looked at the coffee drinking and heart health of 37,315 men, of which only 784 ended up with heart failure.  The researchers concluded that there was no conclusion.  They believe there probably is not a relationship between coffee and heart failure, or at least they could not say there was.

What exactly is heart failure, and what could coffee have to do with it?

Heart failure is a chronic condition that starts when heart tissue becomes damaged.  It leads to a poorer state of overall health as the heart can no longer efficiently pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, leading to fatigue and trouble breathing during exercise.  According to the American Heart Association, heart failure is caused by pre-existing conditions that can affect the heart, such as high blood pressure, a previous heart attack, congenital heart disease, and even diabetes.

Where does coffee fit into all of this? According to the more recent study, it doesn’t fit at all, although who knows what the next study will conclude.  In the meantime, a healthy fruit, vegetable, omega fatty acid, and whole grain rich diet, exercise, and a low-stress life will lead to heart health, and if coffee makes you feel good, it seems to be alright to drink, at least for now.

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According to Reuters Health News there may be another reason for woman to pour that second cup of coffee — the Swedish researchers who are releasing the results of their study in the November International Journal of Cancer, say that drinking coffee may significantly lower the risk of endometrial cancer.  The benefits are strongest for overweight and obese women, who are at a greater risk in the first place.

What is endometrial cancer?

Forming in the tissue that lines the uterus, endometrial cancer is one of the most common types of cancer affecting women in America.  Also known as uterine cancer, this form of cancer can be very deadly.  According to the National Cancer Institute, there are 42,160 predicted new cases this year, and 7,780 expected deaths.  If discovered early on, a complete removal of the uterus can take care of endometrial cancer altogether. 

How does coffee help prevent endometrial cancer?

How exactly coffee helps is unknown, although, in 2008, and possibly earlier, it was proposed that coffee’s impact on insulin and estrogen levels, decreasing the circulation of both, may reduce the risk of uterine cancer.  The Swedish researchers believe that the three factors of blood sugar levels, estrogen, and fat cells have something to do with the benefits of coffee, with all three being impacted by coffee consumption and as well being factors in contracting endometrial cancer. 
In the Swedish study, 60,634 women were monitored for 17 years.  Their coffee habits were recorded, as well as their health.  One percent of the women ended up with uterine cancer.  The study concluded that for women of an average weight, two cups of coffee a day reduced the chances of getting cancer by 10%, for overweight women, 12%, and obese women, 20%.

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