Four cups of coffee is the perfect amount

A new study, which appeared recently in PLOS Biology, shows that a physiologically-relevant dose of caffeine protects cardiovascular cells from damage. That dosage amount? Approximately four cups.


Caffeine has long been associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. However, the link to these diseases was yet to be discovered. According to researchers Judith Haendeler and Joachim Altschmied, a mitochondrial protein, p27, may be the culprit. The protein is known to protect heart muscles from cell death, helping to repair the muscles after a heart attack. This research overturns the assumption that the elderly should avoid caffeine. This and over 100 studies have shown the beneficial aspects of coffee consumption in decreasing the risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers.


Another recent study, this time conducted by NIH, showed that coffee consumption is related to a lower risk of all-cause mortality. The sample group included over 400,000 Americans aged 50 to 71. Another multinational study of over 500,000 Europeans confirmed the finding.


Coffee, however, should not be seen as a cure-all. Drinking four cups of coffee every day—the magical number—is not enough to give an individual’s sedentary lifestyle a pass. Regular exercise and a good diet still matter and may indeed be intervening variables in some of these studies. However, the shown statistical significance proves coffee’s ability to improve overall health. If you find yourself needing that fourth cup of coffee to make it to the end of your work day, go ahead and reach for it.


Read the original article at BigThink.

According to former Starbucks CEO, climate change threatens your cup of coffee

In an interview with Time magazine, form Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz warned that climate change ranks among the company’s biggest challenges. Rising temperatures and lengthy droughts have made it tougher and more expensive to grow the coffee beans the chain needs to remain active. He said that climate change is going to play a bigger role in affecting the quality and integrity of coffee worldwide—not just at Starbucks locations.


At the time of the interview, Schultz was visiting a Starbucks farm in Costa Rica. This particular farm grows and roasts Arabica coffee, but it also serves as an essential research center for the company. It allows Starbucks to study the impact of climate change on growing coffee. Though the research center was built specifically for Starbucks, Schultz wants to share the implications of their data with the world. He says that if the information is not widely spread, there will be “tremendous adverse pressure on the coffee industry.”


The risks climate change poses to coffee are not new. In 2016, a report from Australia-based Climate Institute said the total growing area for coffee worldwide would be cut in half by 2050. A 2017 study published by “Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences” said the decline in areas could drop even further. It found that certain regions in Latin America could decline by as much as 88 percent by 2050.


Schultz himself, though no longer the CEO of Starbucks, holds the honorary title of chairman emeritus. This designation adds more weight to his statements; no longer the chairman or CEO, he has no responsibility to the company. His words should not be taken lightly by coffee companies and consumers.


Read the original article at USA Today.

This Dallas coffee shop aims to change the world

Australian native Russell Hayward’s love for coffee began when he was just 15 years old. As an adult, Hayward worked in advertising and in the music industry, which took him to the United States in 1991; he produced and promoted concerts, curating one of the biggest gatherings of guitarists in history for Guitar Player Magazine. He moved to Dallas in 2001 and, after noticing the nonexistent coffee scene, opened his own shop.


Ascension, Hayward’s shop, is the type of place you might visit for great conversation. There are no televisions and no tech distractions. “People want this community—this coffee shop occasion, as I call it,” Hayward explained, “but they want it to deliver something else.” To fill the gap in what coffee customers want and coffee shops deliver, he introduced a valid breakfast, a valid lunch, and a light dinner to his shop’s menu. After acquiring a liquor license, Ascension reached the status of “coffee shop occasion”—a place for customers to visit all day, every day, from 7am to 10pm.


This shop has a humanitarian purpose. Always interested in philanthropy, Hayward spent 1993 digging water wells in South Sudan. His primary charity work is through Water is Basic, a nonprofit that fights for clean water around the world. Shortly after making his own shop, he founded a project called the Ascension Foundation, which seeks to help farmers at every level, worldwide, achieve their goals.


Read the complete, original article at WFAA ABC News.

Why coffee could be the opposite of cannabis

Coffee News noticed this recent post from Live Science that looked at the ways in which the use of coffee and cannabis affected the biological effects of each drug. The analysis included expected results in the ways in which coffee activated xanthine and benzoate metabolism. Less expected where the coffee’s impact on the endocannabinoid, steroid metabolites (phytosterols), and fatty acids (acylcholines). This profile of biological interactions would indicate the possible for far more interactions between coffee and cannabis than previously considered.


Of course, this comes as little surprise to people who experience caffeine as a focus-inducing stimulant and who experience their cannabis as a soothing sedative. Still, the title is, if not misleading, at least an oversimplification. It’s not like these complex biological systems can be accurately viewed as simple “opposites,” although unquestionably they have both interacting effects that seem to be at odds with one another.


On the other hand, there is very little current evidence of the potential effects of the chronic use of both cannabis and coffee. To what extent is there a protective factor? To what extent, do these interacting drug effects lead to systemic risk and damage to essential body systems (cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory)? Does the combination help people function on a day-to-day basis by moderating the acute effects of each drug while still creating long-term health risks?


Read the full, original article at Live Science.

Wash reusable coffee cups after every drink, Public Health England warns

As the world becomes increasingly aware of environmental impact, individuals and communities have sought to reduce waste. From reusable water bottles and bags to brewing coffee at home, finding environmentally-friendly alternatives to standard one-time-use items is easier now than ever before. In fact, reusable coffee cup popularity has exploded in the past month; the English government plants to impose a 25p “latte tax” on disposable cups, and a number of major coffee chains have begun to offer special discounts for those who bring in their own travel mugs. These reusable coffee alternatives, however, may pose a separate risk—this time, to the individual’s health.

Public Health England has released a statement explaining that reusable travel cups must be cleaned after every use; failure to do so may result in the growth of potential harmful bacteria. The warning is directed at the rising number of office workers using reusable cups continuously throughout the day, often without washing them. Nick Phin, the deputy director for national infection service at PHE, said in the statement: “As with regular cups and glasses, wash and clean reusable cups thoroughly after every use.”

PHE explains that bacteria can grow when food or liquid builds up in the cup or around the mouthpiece—a particularly tricky section to clean. To hinder this buildup, the deputy director recommends filling the cup with soapy water, attaching the lid, and shaking for several seconds. This is especially important for coffee products containing dairy and sugar, as these add to the likelihood of growing potentially dangerous bacteria.


Read the complete, original article at The Telegraph.