Two Cups of Coffee Can Reduce the Risk of Liver Disease, Study Finds

Here’s some good news for those who enjoy a coffee: scientists have managed to link regular consumption of it to a reduced risk of liver cirrhosis. Having two cups of coffee a day appears to reduce the chances of developing the disease by 44 percent, based on data from 430,000 individuals spread over nine studies.

“Cirrhosis is potentially fatal, and there is no cure as such,” lead researcher Oliver Kennedy from the University of Southampton in the UK told The Washington Post. “Therefore, it is significant that the risk of developing cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous, and well-tolerated beverage.”

The researchers analysed five cohort studies and four case-control studies involving 1,990 cases and 432,133 participants, and found that in eight of the nine studies, the risk of cirrhosis continued to decline as the number of cups consumed continued to rise, leading them to conclude that increasing coffee consumption may sub-stantially reduce the risk of cirrhosis. The team wasn’t able to distinguish between different types of coffee or brewing methods.

Cirrhosis is estimated to cause the death of around 1 million people every year, and can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption, hepatitis infections, immune disorders, and fatty liver disease (linked to obesity and diabetes).

Despite containing compounds that offer antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory properties, coffee cannot reverse the “systematic damage” of lifestyle choices that tend to bring on cirrhosis, according to New York University senior clinical nutritionist Samantha Heller, who wasn’t involved in the study.

In other words, if you’re drinking too heavily, don’t expect a couple of cups of coffee to save your body from the punishing effects. However, it does appear that coffee offers some protection against the onset of the cirrhosis of the liver.

“This could be an important finding for patients at risk of cirrhosis to help to improve their health outcomes,” said Oliver Kennedy in a press release. “However, we now need robust clinical trials to investigate the wider benefits and harms of coffee so that doctors can make specific recommendations to patients.”

Few drinks attract as much attention as coffee from scientists. The hot beverage has previously been found to affect our circadian rhythms, lower the risk of skin cancer, and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. If you want to know all of the ways that the caffeine plays around with your body, consult this infographic.

The findings have been published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Largest Coffee Study Ever Finds Coffee Increases Lifespan

British researchers just completed the largest study ever on the health impacts of consuming coffee and found that the drink may decrease humans’ risk of death from all causes, especially digestive and circulatory diseases.

The study — which was performed by a team from Imperial College London and the International Agency for Research on Cancer — involved 521,330 people from ten European countries, all over the age of 35, who were surveyed and interviewed about their coffee habits. Participants who drank coffee also tended to be younger, smoke, and have less healthy diets; but after the scientists adjusted for these factors, they found that the group that consumed the most coffee had a lessened risk for every cause of death than the group that did not consume any coffee.

“We found that drinking more coffee was associated with a more favourable liver function profile and immune response,” explained Dr. Marc Gunter, the study’s lead author. “This, along with the consistency of the results with other studies in the U.S. and Japan, gives us greater confidence that coffee may have beneficial health effects.”

The study is limited by the fact that it surveyed only Europeans, who are not necessarily reflective of the rest of the world. But the research’s huge sample size is a strength. Alongside previous studies — many of which have also suggested that drinking coffee can boost your health, by preventing liver scarring and slowing down the brain’s aging, for example — this research helps build evidence that drinking coffee is good for you.

So, how should you best take advantage of this?

First of all, it doesn’t matter how you like your coffee. The researchers noticed the same effects for all methods of preparation, so you should opt for whichever method is going to increase your likelihood of drinking coffee, whether you can only stand cappuccinos or only afford drip coffee.

It also doesn’t seem to matter whether or not your beverage is caffeinated. The researchers found similar outcomes for both decaf and regular coffee, though they do caution that this result may be misleading, because the participants who drank decaf may have consumed caffeinated coffee in earlier years.

Dr. Gunter is careful not to make specific recommendations about how muchcoffee people should drink, as more research is needed on the topic. However, he suggests that a “moderate” level — which is “up to around three cups per day” — “could have health benefits.”

Because it was the group with the highest level of consumption that experienced the lowered risk of death, the study might indicate that it’s better to drink more than just one cup. But it is definitely possible to have too much coffee if you’re drinking it caffeinated. Consuming more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day can lead to panic attacks, heart problems, and insomnia.

So don’t go overboard, but do help yourself to a “moderate” number of cups — made in the best way, of course.

Your Favorite Coffee Could Be Going Extinct Thanks To Climate Change

Ethiopia, the birthplace of the coffee bean, is poised to lose up to 60% of its suitable farming land by the end of this century thanks in large part to climate change, a new study published in the journal Nature Plants reported.

The coffee bean, specifically Arabica coffee, provides the African nation with nearly one quarter of its export earnings, totaling more than $800 million, according to the study. But soon farmers will have to find new land at either higher altitudes or cooler temperatures to produce the coffee the world over knows and loves.

“There is a pathway to resilience, even under climate change,” Aaron Davis, from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew who conducted research work with Ethiopian scientists, told the Guardian. “But it is a hugely daunting task. Millions of farmers would have to change.”

The pathway Davis describes will ask farmers to move into the mountain regions and bring their crop to a higher altitude where temperatures are more stable and more friendly to the fickle crop. But, the move would be an absolute last-ditch effort. As Davis said, “It literally reaches the ceiling, because you don’t have any higher place to go.”

And while moving the crop into a more habitable climate would save production, it would ultimately change the taste of coffee forever.

As CNN reported, higher temperatures, like those caused by climate change, cause coffee beans to ripen too quickly, creating less flavorful beans.

But, moving the beans to a cooler climate will present its own challenges. By moving the plants farmers will likely have to change the plant varieties, Popular Science noted, and “at a minimum you’ll have different soil quality up there.” So either way, the taste and quality of your favorite coffee will likely be a little off.

And it’s not just Ethiopia’s coffee industry who could feel the effects of climate change sooner rather than later: If Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer, sees temperature rise of 3 degrees Celsius, it would experience a two-thirds drop in sustainable farming area for coffee, the Guardian reported. Additionally, the Guardian pointed out that in 2016 a group of researchers predicted that climate change could soon halve the world’s coffee-growing area.

And caffeine is simply an addiction the world can’t kick. In the United States alone, 54% of adults self-identify as daily coffee drinkers, according to the National Coffee Association. Although the average American already drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day, the World Coffee Research report found that demand for the caffeinated beverage will double by 2050.

As for what consumers can do now to help support farmers, Mike Kapos, Vice President of Marketing and third generation owner of Downeast Coffee Roasters, said to simply learn about where your coffee products come from and use your purchasing power for good.

“Pay attention to what you’re buying and try to support shops that offer sustainably sourced coffee,” Kapos said. “If the farmers are paid a fair price they’ll be in a better position to take the necessary steps in fighting this.”

Drinking Four Cups Of Coffee Before The Gym ‘Helps You Burn MORE Calories’

Scientists have long noted that coffee boosts performance, however it was thought that you’d need to abstain beforehand in order to benefit.

However, the study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology claims sipping coffee everyday will still produce positive results.

Researchers at the University of São Paulo quizzed 40 competitive male cyclists about their regular caffeine intake and split them into groups.

The men were asked to ride as hard as possible until they had burned 450 calories – a task designed to take about 30 minutes.

An hour before they cycled the group were asked to swallow a tablet containing 400mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to about four cups of coffee.

Afterwards they found the riders had completed their ride 3.3 per cent faster on average compared to when they had no pill.

In another trial they were asked to take a placebo and in that instance they performed 2.2 per cent faster.

For athletes these results could shave seconds of a race time that could lead to a world breaking record.

Also, the results found the cyclists who normally consume large amounts of caffeine had the same boost as the light coffee drinkers.

Bruno Gualano, a professor of physiology and nutrition who carried out the research, said: “No matter the habitual caffeine intake in the diet, acute caffeine supplementation can improve performance.”

Dr Gualano noted that the study sample only involved young fit men and women would still need to be tested.

The findings also contradict recommendations by doctors who say that more than one cup a day can increase cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attacks.

However, the general advice is that four or five cups of coffee a day is safe, around 400mg of caffeine and half that for pregnant woman.

The Food Standards Agency says there is no limit set for healthy individuals and recommend a balance of drinks and a sensible, moderate approach to coffee-drinking.

It comes after recent research found that drinking five cups of coffee a day could slash the risk of liver cancer in half.

While the research found coffee will boost your workout, it’s worth noting the nutritional benefits of protein before you ditch the shakes altogether.

Protein helps make up the structure of every cell, tissue and organ in the body and are important for muscle production.

Without an adequate amount muscles don’t heal as quickly and could lead to injury, according to bodybuilding.com.

Scientists Conduct Yet Another Study That Suggests Coffee Can Combat Cancer

Researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh have found that it’s possible that the more coffee you drink, the less likely you are to develop hepatocellular cancer (HCC) — the most prolific form of liver cancer. Analyzing data from 26 studies, which involved more than 2.25 million participants in total, they concluded that people who drink 1 cup of coffee per day have a 20% reduced risk, 2 cups per day reduces risk by 35%, and 3 cups per day decreased risk by 50%. These findings showed that decaffeinated coffee also affects your risk, but the team could not deduce the precise amount.

Lead author Dr. Oliver Kennedy, a member of the Primary Care and Population Sciences Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton, told The Guardian: “Coffee is widely believed to possess a range of health benefits, and these latest findings suggest it could have a significant effect on liver cancer risk.” Coffee has also been said to have painkilling capabilities and the potential to prevent heart attacks.

The main consequence of this study is that doctors may be able to use coffee to help in the prevention of liver cancer.  It’s a step that is both inexpensive and easy for people to incorporate into their daily lives, if they haven’t already. These benefits are also present in decaffeinated coffee, meaning that this means of prevention would also be accessible to those who can’t or do not drink caffeinated coffee.

The study authors wrote “It may be important for developing coffee as a lifestyle intervention in chronic liver disease, as decaffeinated coffee might be more acceptable to those who do not drink coffee or who limit their coffee consumption because of caffeine-related symptoms.”

Now, this development is not necessarily an encouragement to drown yourself in Starbucks. There are dangers in consuming too much caffeine, and much more research still needs to be done before coffee can be used medically with certainty. There is not enough existing research into the possible repercussions of consuming large quantities of caffeine over time, especially as a preventative medical measure. Hopefully in the future, preventing liver cancer will be cheap, easy, and delicious.

The World’s Most Caffeinated Coffee Has Hit the United States

As of this week, Amazon will be selling coffee from the South African company Black Insomnia. Founded in 2016, Black Insomnia’s claim to fame is a flagship coffee, billed as the “world’s strongest coffee”, that is tested at 702 milligrams per 12 oz cup — a can of Coke only has 34 milligrams. Touting the product’s top spot on the caffeine scale, an official press release states: “None have been able to reach the unadulterated caffeine content that defines Black Insomnia, nor should any brand attempt to surpass this content in the interest of public health and safety.” As far as the taste is concerned, the flavor for the Sean Kristafor and Gerald Charles-constructed roast is described as “indulgent, smooth, sweet and nutty.”

For $19.99 USD, you can pick up your own bag of Black Insomnia coffee on Amazon now.

Mix Chocolate and Caffeine To Help You Focus

Sure, you could drink a plain old cup of coffee or a warm cup of cocoa in the morning. Or you could make things much more interesting — and improve your concentration — by adding a healthy dose of chocolate to your morning caffeine fix.

Researchers recently explored the powers of cocoa and caffeine, studying the effects various beverages had on “attention, motivation to perform cognitive work and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue.”

For the double-blind study, volunteers drank brewed cocoa, cocoa with caffeine, caffeine without cocoa, and a placebo (flavored and colored brewed water) with neither caffeine nor cocoa. Before they imbibed and then three times after drinking, participants took a series of tests to evaluate mood, attention and their motivation to perform cognitive tasks. Volunteers repeated the tests with each drink at least 48 hours apart at about the same time of day.

“It was a really fun study,” study author Ali Boolani, Clarkson University assistant professor of physical therapy and physician assistant studies, said in a statement. “Cocoa increases cerebral blood flow, which increases cognition and attention. Caffeine alone can increase anxiety. This particular project found that cocoa lessens caffeine’s anxiety-producing effects — a good reason to drink mocha lattes!”

Working for warm drinks

As part of their tasks, participants watched as letters flashed across a screen and had to respond when an “X” appeared after an “A.” They also had to do mathematical equations (subtraction) and had to watch a screen and point out when odd numbers appeared in a row.

Those who drank cocoa had quicker response rates than those who drank flavored water. Those participants who drank cocoa plus caffeine had even higher accuracy rates than those who drank straight cocoa. The results were published in the journal BMC Nutrition.

After the study, which was sponsored by the Hershey Company, the research team from Clarkson and the University of Georgia, concluded:

Brewed cocoa can acutely reduce errors associated with attention in the absence of changes in either perceived motivation to perform cognitive tasks or feelings of energy and fatigue. Supplemental caffeine in brewed cocoa can enhance aspects of attention while brewed cocoa can attenuate the anxiety-provoking effects found from drinking caffeine alone.

“The results of the tests are definitely promising and show that cocoa and caffeine are good choices for students and anyone else who needs to improve sustained attention,” says Boolani.

Starbucks Now Has Whiskey Barrel Aged Coffee

It’s not a very well kept secret that the best coffee from Starbucks comes from their roastery in Seattle. Their Seattle exclusive offerings are expanding into Willy Wonka territory because Starbucks now has whiskey barrel aged coffee. Each batch of the Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi beans are frequently hand-rotated over the course of a few weeks while they’re living in Woodinville Whiskey barrels that were freshly emptied. This process insures that all of the beans get infused with whiskey flavor because of their contact with the barrel, but it’s worth noting that the roasting process itself cooks off all the alcohol. The barrel aged beans will be available by themselves or in one of two specialty drinks: a vanilla sweetened cold brew and a “con creme” drink with cascara sugar. Unfortunately, all your Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel Aged Sulawesi drinking dreams are crushed unless you live in Seattle or know someone there who can ship you some.

Halo is the World’s First Fully Compostable Coffee Pod

Coffee pods haven’t exactly been the greatest thing for the environment. It would seem everyone prioritizes their morning buzz over environmentally sustainable products. Everyone except Nils Leonard. Leonard, previously chief creative officer of renowned advertising firm Grey London, recently launched Halo, the first completely compostable coffee pod company. Along with Richard Hardwick, a judge for the U.K. Barista Championship, and Andrew Richardson, former Nespresso director, Leonard wants to make Halo an example to prove you can have an environmentally sustainable company without sacrificing product quality. To illustrate the environmental impact of coffee pods, Halo built a digital landfill and produced a short video showcasing the 13,500 coffee pods dumped in landfills every minute. But their main marketing strategy isn’t about guilt. It’s also about the coffee. Halo is currently the only coffee pod company to offer the Kopi Luwak Diamond bean, the rarest coffee on the planet. Clearly, Halo won’t be asking customers to give up a good cup of morning coffee. If anything, they’ll make it better.

Starbucks Will Offer Ice Cream & Coffee Mixes Very Soon

As Business Insider reports, coffeehouse juggernaut Starbucks is about to add even more sugary substances to their menu. In the very near future, the ultra-popular chain will begin serving ice cream products at over 100 locations across the United States. The Starbucks spin on ice cream will come in the form of a new Roastery Affogato menu — for those unfamiliar, Affogato is an Italian-born concoction that mixes espresso shots with ice cream scoops.

By the end of this week, ten high-end Reserve bar Starbucks stores in Washington, DC, Boston and Los Angeles will feature offerings such as the Classic Affogato and chocolate bitters-enhanced Cold Brew Malt — prices will range from $6 to $8.50 USD. At various Orange County, California locations, lower-priced Affogato items built from moderate, less luxurious ingredients will also begin to pop up on menus. While the original Affogato products from Starbucks have been successful at the company’s flagship Seattle Roastery, time will tell if the products will take over the mainstream.