Tag Archives: coffee

Soda Studies

I have set a few Google Alerts of topics that I am interested in or researching. They show up in my inbox on a regular basis.

Soda

A recent slew of articles captured my attention. They were all on the subject of sodas and sugary drinks. It turns out that there does seem to be a correlation between soda consumption and memory loss. Somehow, I have a sneaking suspicion that even die-hard soda drinkers might have suspected these beverages were not a health food. But, us humans like what we like and at times it takes something like a study to give us the little extra push to make changes.

There were two studies, done at Boston University came up with a “very strong suggestion” that not only do sugary soft drinks shrink the human brain and reduce memory capacity but sugar-free versions lead to higher chances of stroke and dementia.

Our findings indicate an association between higher sugary beverage intake and brain atrophy, including lower brain volume and poorer memory,” explained corresponding author Matthew Pase, PhD, fellow in the department of neurology at BUSM and investigator at the FHS.

Energy drinks

The Framingham Heart Study has been going on for a long time. They looked at the offspring of the original volunteers who enrolled in 1948—those who consumed more than two sugary drinks a day of any type—soda, fruit juice, and other soft drinks—or more than three per week of soda alone.

Sudha Seshadri, a professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and a faculty member at BU’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center, who is senior author on both papers says, “It looks like there is not very much of an upside to having sugary drinks, and substituting the sugar with artificial sweeteners doesn’t seem to help.

On the other hand, according to a recent study led by Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the Department of Psychological Medicine at National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, a cup of tea a day can keep dementia away, and this is especially so for those who are genetically predisposed to the debilitating disease.

Coffee too seems to offer some protection. Recent studies seem to indicate that it may actually improve your health – from boosting brain power, to delaying Alzheimer’s disease and improving memory as you age.

On a side note: Do you enjoy coffee but not like the side effects of caffeine? You can still enjoy coffee’s benefits. Studies have shown that even decaffeinated coffee can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (Read my post Drink Up….Habits Worth Brewing )

Thirst quenching is a serious issue. Dehydration can also  cause confusion as well as a vast variety of medical problems. Perhaps plain old water would be the best candidate for our drink de jour.

Drink up…habits worth brewing

My drinking habits have finally been vindicated! Coffee in the morning (it used to be all day, until I began to experience ‘wakefulness’ at night), and tea in the evening. My favorite blend is decaf Earl Grey and Chamomile with vanilla.

I just finished reading an article  about the health benefits of both coffee and chamomile tea. Yea!

Evefinishing-well-in-life-tean in the warm summer season, my husband and I enjoy our coffee and tea habit. There’s something relaxing about sharing the events of the day while sipping tasty tea from pretty cups with saucers.

When my Mama was just in the early stages of dementia, we used to have coffee in the afternoon as a treat. It became a regular habitl we would sip our coffee and sing songs. I always snuck some chocolate syrup in Daddy’s coffee because he needed to gain some weight and I added a bit of sugar-free creamer to Mama’s coffee since she didn’t.

I rejoiced to read the article, but thought that  a bit of Googling might be in order to see if there were any other studies available that would confirm what I had just read. It turns out that there is finishing-well-in-life-coffeequite a bit of information regarding these beverages.

More welcome news is that the coffee benefits come from both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.

NPR reported on a study, published in the journal Circulation,

“The findings, published in the journal Circulation, build on a body of evidence linking a coffee habit to potential health benefits. As we’ve reported, previous research has pointed to a decreased risk of stroke. And, there’s some evidence that a coffee habit cuts the risk of Type 2 diabetes, too.”

As for Chamomile tea, a study published in The Gerontologist  finds that drinking the tea can help older women live longer.

Another Chamomile tea study in ScienceDaily reports that New Evidence Supports Health Benefits
It states that drinking chamomile tea is associated with increased antibacterial activity. This could help explain why the tea appears to boost the immune system and fight infections associated with colds, according to the researchers.

It summarizes the study by stating:
“For centuries, people who’ve felt sick or stressed have tried drinking chamomile tea as a medicinal cure-all. Now, researchers in England have found new evidence that the popular herbal tea may actually help relieve a wide range of health ailments, including colds and menstrual cramps.”

This is supported by yet another study by WebMd that says:

“German chamomile is used and studied the most. A German governmental organization (Commission E) has approved its use on the skin to reduce swelling and fight bacteria and as a tea or dietary supplement for stomach cramps. “finishing-well-in-life-tea2

So, the bottom line here is: If you, or those in your care enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea, it’s fine to include it as part of your daily habit. And, as the studies suggest, it can be part of a healthy lifestyle.