Entries in Coffee (17)


Coffee Lovers Drink over Two Cups a Day, Survey Finds

Gerald Zanetti/FoodPix(NEW YORK) -- Americans love their coffee as Zagat found out in its first coffee survey of 1,700 java junkies.

The survey found that people who drink coffee daily enjoy 2.2 cups of brew on average.

The Zagat survey also delved into how often people drink coffee, how much they would paid for it, when they started the habit and so much more. 

Here are some of Zagat's findings:

How often do you consume coffee drinks?

  • Every day: 83%
  • A few times a week: 12%
  • A few times a month: 2%
  • A few times a year: 1%

How much is too much for a regular coffee?

  • Average: $3.52

How much is too much for a barista-prepared coffee drink?

  • Average: $4.86

How did the economic downturn affect your coffee-drinking habits?

  • Coffee habits were not affected by the downturn: 65%
  • Switched to making coffee at home: 23%
  • Ordered less expensive coffee drinks: 8%
  • Drank less coffee overall: 6%
  • Ordered smaller coffee drinks: 3%
  • Changed where I buy my drinks: 3%

Could you eliminate coffee from your diet if you wanted to?

  • Yes: 58%
  • No: 42%

What age did you start drinking coffee?

  • 10-14: 20%
  • 15-19: 44%
  • 20-24: 22%
  • 25-29: 7%
  • 30 or older: 5%
  • Don't remember: 2%

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Florida Couple Addicted to Coffee Enemas, Up to Four Times a Day

TLC(NEW YORK) -- Mike and Trina swear by their coffee. He enjoys a "saturated" blend, which is "on the cold side"; she prefers a fine espresso grind that is "warm and thicker."

The St. Petersburg, Fla., couple refuses to drink the caffeinated beverage, which they say is bad for their health.  Instead, they use it as an enema.  They each have at least 100 coffee enemas a month, 6,000 in all since their addiction began two years ago.

"I started the whole debacle," Trina, who did not want to reveal her last name, told ABC News.  "Then it took on a life of its own.  I twice tried to stop and felt worse, so I do this every day and as much as I can.  But it's very time-consuming."

"I love the way it makes me feel," she said.  "It gives me a sense of euphoria."

The couple admits they perform their caffeinated enema at least four times a day. Once, Trina said she did "nine or 10" in a 24-hour period.

Her husband Mike, 45, said he initially thought, "Oh my god, how disgusting," but then he tried it, "and now I am addicted."

TLC may have outdone itself in the fourth season of My Strange Addiction, which always carries the warning "do not attempt" this at home.  The couple heats up the coffee on the stove and injects the liquid into their colons to clean out their lower intestines.

In its premiere of the first of eight new episodes on Feb. 13 at 10 p.m. ET, the show will also highlight Lisa, a middle-aged woman from Detroit who eats cat fur, grooming her pet with her own tongue.  In subsequent episodes, a woman is addicted to bee stings and another one inhales more than 30 jars of vapor rub every week.  In the season finale, a woman is addicted to drinking blood.

As for Mike and Trina, for the past two years they have been "unable to function" without their coffee enema, a ritual that takes five hours of planning and executing each day.

The habit began after Trina had a series of issues with her health.

"I had a lot of stomach problems, digestive problems with my kidney and my liver," she said.  "I started research and it led into coffee enemas and I really started to feel the benefit.  I felt like I was living for the first time in years."

When she stopped the coffee enemas recently, Trina said she ended up the emergency room with kidney stones.  Neither Trina nor her husband had, up until then, visited a doctor in years.  

Caffeine can cause problems with dehydration and high blood pressure.  Her family worries they will have a heart attack.

But will they quit?  "Not a chance," said Mike.

Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, assistant professor of medicine and a gastroenterologist at NYU Medical Center, said she would never recommend coffee enemas.

"There's a down side and really no up side to it," she said.

Sometimes known as Gerson therapy, coffee enemas and other cleansing rituals purport to improve health and even fight cancer -- claims that are false, according to Rajapaksa.

"They claim it's a way of detoxifying and might even be an alternative to cancer treatment," she said.  "There is definitely no evidence and I would hate for someone to forego [proven medical] treatment."

"The bottom line is there is not any beneficial effect and there is some risk associated with any enema and, in particular, using coffee," said Rajapaksa.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Consumption of Sugary Drinks May Be Linked to Depression, Study Finds

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BETHESDA, Md.) -- Drinking a lot of soda may cost you more than calories and cavities. A new study shows heavy consumption over the long term could be linked to higher depression risk.
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health looked at the beverage consumption of nearly 264,000 people ages 50 to 71 over the course of a year.
Checking back about 10 years later, they found that those who drank more than four cans or cups of soda per day were 30 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with depression than those who drank no soda. Additionally, those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with depression than those who drank no sweetened drinks.
The risk of depression appeared to be greater for those who drank diet versions of the beverages.  
By contrast, those who drank four cups of coffee a day were about 10 percent less likely to have had a diagnosis of depression than those who drank no coffee.

The study's researchers note that more study is needed to confirm their findings.

“While our findings are preliminary, and the underlying biological mechanisms are not known, they are intriguing and consistent with a small but growing body of evidence suggesting that artificially sweetened beverages may be associated with poor health outcomes,” researcher Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health in Research Triangle Park, N.C., says, according to WebMD.

Though the study doesn't necessarily prove causality between sugary drinks and depression, the researchers suggest from these findings that switching your soda out for coffee may cut your risk of depression. Even better, replacing all sweetened beverages with unsweetened would cut your risks more.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Majority of Coffee Drinkers Need Two Cups or More Each Workday

Gerald Zanetti/FoodPix(NEW YORK) -- Coffee day is every day for folks who need a cup of Joe to get started, but the “official” date for National Coffee Day is this Saturday, Sept. 29.

In honor of the occasion, Dunkin Donuts and commissioned a survey that finds 63 percent of workers who drink java need two cups or more each and every workday.  Twenty-eight percent of respondents drink three cups or more.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • 62 percent of workers aged 18 to 24 say they are less productive without coffee, with 58 percent of workers aged 25 to 34 making the same claim.
  • Geographically, 64 percent of workers in the Northeast drink at least one cup per day, compared to the South at 54 percent and the Midwest and West at 51 percent.
  • 43 percent of workers who drink coffee claim they are less productive without their cup of Joe.  Broken down by gender, 47 percent of female workers claim they are less productive without coffee, compared to 40 percent of male workers.

According to the survey results, those who need coffee to get through the workday the most are:

  • Food Preparation/Service Workers
  • Scientists
  • Sales Representatives
  • Marketing/Public Relations Professionals
  • Nurses (Nurse, Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant)
  • Editors/Writers/Media Workers
  • Business Executives
  • Teachers/Instructors (K-12)
  • Engineering Technicians/Support
  • IT Managers/Network Administrators

The Dunkin Donuts/ survey of 4,152 workers nationwide was conducted by Harris Interactive.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Caffeine Linked to Lower Skin Cancer Risk, Study Finds

Gerald Zanetti/FoodPix(BOSTON) -- Coffee fanatics are less likely to develop the most common type of skin cancer, a new study found.

The study of nearly 113,000 men and women found that those who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of basal cell carcinoma than those who said no to Joe.

"I think we're seeing more and more evidence for the beneficial effects of coffee consumption," said study author Jiali Han, associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health, explaining that java has also been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes and Parkinson's disease.  "I wouldn't recommend drinking coffee solely based on this work, but it does add one more thing to the list."

The study, published on Monday in the journal Cancer Research, sheds new light on a skin cancer that affects 2.8 million Americans each year.

"It's not a lethal disease, but the associated health care cost is substantial," said Han, describing how the slow-growing skin cancer can be cured if caught early.  "Even a small decrease in the incidence will have a huge benefit for individuals and society."

Drinking decaffeinated coffee did not have the same benefit, pointing to caffeine as the protective agent. Indeed, caffeine from sources other than coffee like cola and chocolate was also linked to a decreased risk or basal cell carcinoma, according to the study.

"Caffeine may help the body kill off damaged skin cells," said Dr. Josh Zeichner, assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, explaining how exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun can damage skin cells' DNA.  "If you get rid of these cells that are damaged, then they don't have the opportunity to grow and form cancers."

Zeichner described basal cell carcinoma as "pearly papules" on the skin, often resembling a wound that won't heal properly.  Topical creams, surgery, and electrodesiccation curettage -- a procedure that scrapes off the top of the tumor and burns the base -- can cure the cancer.  But Zeichner stressed, "the best treatment is prevention."

"Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen, keep reapplying it, wear sun-protective clothing and avoid the sun during peak hours," Zeichner said.  "Protection is the number one defense against skin cancer, followed by really early detection."

As for coffee's role in skin cancer prevention, Zeichner said the findings are intriguing.

"We're learning more and more about environmental exposures that can contribute to the development of skin cancers, or protection from them, and these include things in our diets.  But this doesn't mean you should go out and start drinking three coffees or a two-liter bottle of cola a day," he said, adding that too much caffeine -- not to mention sugar -- can have harmful health effects.  "We need to learn more."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Heart Failure

Gerald Zanetti/FoodPix(BOSTON) -- Hey java drinkers: that coffee buzz you love so much may also help prevent heart failure, according to a new study published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation Heart Failure.

While many believe coffee drinking may be dangerous to the heart, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston said moderate consumption of your daily joe may be beneficial.

The scientists analyzed five prospective studies, which included more than 140,000 men and women that related to coffee consumption and heart risk. Four of the studies were based in Sweden, and one was conducted in Finland. They found that those who drank a moderate amount of coffee daily, defined as the equivalent of two 8-ounce American cups per day, may experience protective benefits against heart failure by as much as 11 percent.

The scientists didn't account for the strength of the coffee, but the drink tends to be made weaker in the U.S. than in Europe. They also didn't account for caffeinated versus decaffeinated coffee, though most people in Northern Europe consume a caffeinated form of the beverage.

Low levels of coffee consumption were not associated with a positive or negative effect on heart failure risk, but more than four to five cups of regular coffee consumption were associated with a higher risk.

More than half of American adults drink some form of coffee each day, according to the National Coffee Association. Caffeine is also the most frequently consumed stimulant in the world.

The American Heart Association currently recommends that heart failure patients drink no more than one to two cups of coffee or other caffeinated beverages per day.  

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Risk of Some Conditions, Study Shows

Gerald Zanetti/FoodPix(NEW YORK) -- Hey, coffee lovers, here's another reason to defend that java habit you just can't kick. A study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from several common health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, accidents and infections, than non-coffee drinkers are.

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute conducted an observational study from data that included 400,000 adults ages 50 to 71. People who drank three or more cups of coffee per day had a 10-percent lower risk of death from the aforementioned conditions than the non-coffee drinkers.

"Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in America, but the association between coffee consumption and risk of death has been unclear," Neal Freedman, lead author of the study and an investigator in the National Cancer Institute's division of cancer epidemiology and genetics, said in a statement.

"We found coffee consumption to be associated with lower risk of death overall, and of death from a number of different causes,'' he said. "Although we cannot infer a causal relationship between coffee drinking and lower risk of death, we believe these results do provide some reassurance that coffee drinking does not adversely affect health."

And it may not be caffeine that is the protective ingredient. Those who drank caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee had similar health results, which suggests there is some other component in the coffee, not the caffeine, that plays a role in protecting one's health.

Several studies have found that coffee reduces the risk of several other medical conditions, including stroke, depression, dementia and several other cancers.

More than half of American adults drink some form of coffee each day, according to the National Coffee Association, and caffeine is the most frequently consumed stimulant in the world.

Despite the promising benefits, Dr. Cheryl Williams, a registered dietician with the Emory Heart & Vascular Center in Atlanta, said she would advise patients that coffee does indeed contain properties that may promote health, but it also has properties that can negatively affect health. Caffeine can raise blood pressure, she said, and boiled coffee lipids may increase already-high blood cholesterol.

"Overall, more research needs to be done to truly understand the compounds in coffee and their biological activity and effect on health," said Williams.

Drinking coffee is "fine," said Keith Ayoob, associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

"It can be part of a healthy diet and lifestyle and may even contribute to such a lifestyle," said Ayoob. "I wouldn't want it to push out nutritious foods, but in and of itself, there is no reason to suggest that drinking coffee is negative, and it may be beneficial."

The study authors did note that coffee drinking was also associated with smoking, poor diets and alcohol consumption, but Ayoob noted that this doesn't necessarily mean coffee is bad for your health like some of the others.

"You're picking up on a long-term lifestyle, for better or worse," said Ayoob. "[But] just because coffee drinking accompanies smoking, inactivity, etc. doesn't mean it's bad, it means coffee is hanging around some bad company."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Why Coffee Is Good for You, and Other Food Myths

Gerald Zanetti/FoodPix(NEW YORK) -- With all of the food fads out there, how can the average person sort out the truth?

In his latest book, Coffee is Good for You, health journalist Robert Davis demystifies the food research we read on a daily basis.  Should we take multivitamins?  Is red wine really good for you?  Will gluten-free make you feel better?

The answers are yes, no, and sometimes half-true.

“Animal research suggests that garlic may work by inhibiting the body’s production of cholesterol or decreasing its absorption in the intestines,” Davis writes. “But human studies have produced inconsistent findings.”

Other points Davis makes in his book include:

  • Coffee is high in antioxidants and there’s hardly any evidence that it’s harmful.
  • High fructose corn syrup isn’t worse than sugar.
  • Local food isn’t healthier than food from the supermarket.
  • The studies on farmed versus wild caught salmon are inconclusive.

Davis is also the author of The Healthy Skeptic. He teaches at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Celebrity Health Remedies Revealed

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Celebrities are known for their wild and wacky remedies for all things health.  From cellulite to inner qi, acne to beauty secrets, the stars are often the first to try the most novel therapies and treatments available.

As cold and flu season settles upon us, here are some ways celebs claim to keep healthy and fit:

B12: In March 2008, Madonna introduced Justin Timberlake to the wonders of a B12 vitamin injection, a health fad that has become popular because of its energy boosting properties.  The shot helps red blood cells carry more oxygen efficiently.  Other celebs, including Charlize Theron and Hugh Jackman, also swear by the energy booster.

Leeches: The medicinal leech has been used since medieval times as a way to remedy a host of illnesses, including fever and inflammation.  Demi Moore told David Letterman in a 2008 interview that she was kicking it back old school when she said she used leeches to detoxify her blood and optimize health.

"I've always been somebody looking for the cutting edge of things that are for optimizing your health and healing, so just a week ago I was in Austria doing a cleanse and part of the treatment was leech therapy," Moore told Letterman.  "It detoxifies your blood.  And they have a little enzyme that when they're biting down on you, gets released into your blood and generally you bleed for quite a bit.  And your health is optimized.  It detoxified the blood and I'm feeling detoxified right now."

Mistletoe Injections: Suzanne Somers is known as a star from 80s and 90s sitcoms, along with her fitness regimens and natural health advocacy.  Many weren't buying some of her homeopathic drugs, when she told Larry King in a 2001 interview that she used a therapy known as Iscador -- an extract of mistletoe -- rather than the standard chemotherapy treatment.  While some mistletoe products are used in other countries for breast cancer treatment, there is no evidence that such injections can cure breast cancer, Barrie Cassileth, chief of integrative medicine service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, told ABC News.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Pop star Fergie swears that a couple shots of apple cider vinegar keeps her weight down.

In 2008, she told Glamour magazine, "For some reason I've noticed a difference on my stomach.  I just trusted [my trainer] on this one. I'm sharing. I'm all about sharing secrets."

The vinegar, which is made by crushing fresh apples that ferment in barrel, is recommended to take in shot form or combined with olive oil.  It has a laundry list of supposed health remedy properties, including cures for allergies, acne, chronic fatigue, sore throats, arthritis and gout.

Gem Therapy: Gem therapy is meant to heal and energize through the art and science of therapeutic-quality gemstones, and Uma Thurman claims to benefit from the Buddhist practice. The specific gems supposedly affect mood and well-being, and according to a 2004 article in Redbook magazine, the award-winning actress wears a gem necklace meant to symbolize mood and well-being.

Coffee Grinds to Beat Cellulite: Halle Berry allegedly uses coffee beans to fight off cellulite on her butt and thighs. The justification? Caffeine is found in many cellulite creams. The energy booster supposedly enhances fat metabolism, reduces swelling and smoothes skin, although it is tough to find hard evidence that these creams actually fight off cellulite for good.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coffee Acts as Pick-Me-Up in Older Female Smokers

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- From dementia to stroke, suicide to lethal forms of cancer, coffee has been touted as reducing risk of all such medical conditions. Now, coffee drinkers, here's another reason to refill that cup of joe: a new prospective study found that risk of depression decreases as java consumption increases.

The catch? The findings apply only to post-menopausal women who smoke.

The research, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, studied more than 50,000 women who participated in the Nurses' Health Study, a long-term Harvard study of some of the biggest issues affecting women's health. None of the women, who had an average age of 63, suffered from depression at the start of the study in 1996. By June 2006, researchers followed up and found that, for women who smoked, the more coffee they drank, the less they were at risk of depression.

Compared with women who drank 100 milligrams of coffee or less per day, women who drank four or more cups per day had 20-percent less risk of depression.

The association was not seen in non-smoking women, and researchers could not analyze women who drank very high amounts of coffee -- more than six cups per day -- due to an insignificant number of people who consumed such quantities.

"Regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing depression than non-drinkers," said Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and co-author of the study. But he warned, "These are preliminary results that need to be confirmed."

In the study, the caffeinated coffee was associated with a decline in depression risk among older female smokers, but decaf coffee saw no such association. Oddly, when looking at other caffeinated resources (tea, soda, chocolate), researchers did not see an associated decrease of depression either. Study authors wrote that this could be because an insignificant portion of people made up the group after excluding those who drank one or more cups of coffee per day.

This type of depression is also not the typical kind that may develop in the younger years, researchers noted. Post-menopausal women are at higher risk of depression due to hormone and chemical changes in the brain. Because of this, the association of decreased depression risk cannot be directly linked to younger women.

More than half of American adults drink some form of coffee each day, according to the National Coffee Association, and caffeine is the most frequently consumed stimulant in the world.

While several antidepressants contain stimulants, Harold Koenig, professor of social psychology at Tulane University School of Medicine, said he is "concerned" if people read about the study and decide to use coffee as self-medication. Antidepressants likely have different chemical compositions than coffee, and would likely have a different effect on the brain.

"No doubt, caffeine can temporarily increase mood and energy, but the problem is that the effect does not last, and the dose has to be continually increased to maintain the same effect," said Koenig. "Many people experience a caffeine withdrawal when they cut down on their caffeine intake, and this can cause dysphoria and fatigue.

"Think about how you feel after you drink a high-caffeinated drink and think about how you feel after about two to three hours," Koenig continued. "Common sense says that the caffeine effect doesn't last, and that people have to pay for whatever improved mood they experience in terms of withdrawal."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio