Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Coffee v diabetes.

Previously, studies have shown that consumption of coffee cuts the risk of developing diabetes. Dr Simin Liu and team published why this happens in the current issue of the journal Diabetes.

About 360 post-menopausal women who developed diabetes over a 10 year time period were carefully matched with the same number who did not, and then checks were conducted on a number of possible causes.

Those drinking 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day were found to have cut the risk of developing diabetes by just over 50%, compared to non-drinkers. This simply confirmed the already known fact that coffee consumption helps to prevent diabetes. Further, there was no cut in risk for those drinking decaf, or for those drinking tea, so the active agent appears to be caffeine.

Dr Liu was able to tie the benefit to levels of a protein called SHGB in the blood, with higher SHGB tied to lower risk of diabetes.

SHGB is sex hormone-binding globulin. It helps to regulate the actions of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. When the team adjusted to take SHGB out, there was little impact left of coffee on diabetes, showing that the main mechanism is SHGB.

SHGB blood level was linked to coffee consumtion, but not to decaf or tea, showing these don’t affect SHGB levels.

Also, there is an SHGB gene, and Dr Liu showed this split the women into responders and non-responders. Women with certain variants of the SHGB gene got the protection at lower levels of coffee consumption.

From a couple of decent sources, here is the approximate amount of caffeine in common drinks, per ounce.

Caffeinated coffee – 10 to 35.

Tea – 5 to 20.

Coca-Cola – 4.  Remember that soft drink portion sizes tend to be larger than tea or coffee.

The explanation for the range in coffee is that instant coffee tends to be lower in caffeine while fresh brew is higher.

From this, it looks like the best approach is fresh-brew caffeinated coffee!


January 15, 2011 Posted by | Coffee, Diabetes, Diet, Success, Tea | Leave a comment

Antioxidants v stroke.

The Italian segment of EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) has reported on how consumption of antioxidants relates to stroke risk.

Dr Nicoletta Pellegrini of the University of Parma analysed data on roughly 42,000 men and women who were free from stroke and heart attacks at the start of the study, and who were followed for an average of 8 years.

Those with a diet high in antioxidants had a 60% lower chance of suffering an ischemic stroke (blocked blood vessel). Most of this effect may be due to high vitamin C intake.

The researchers speculated that the protective mechanism might be a combination of anti-inflammatory action, plus generation of nitric oxide to cause dilation of blood vessels and so lower blood pressure.

However, highest intake of vitamin E appeared to be linked to a large increase in risk for hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding), but due to the small number of such events, the team suggested further research would be required to investigate this.

More than half the antioxidants consumed came from coffee, red wine and fruit, with other sources including chocolate, vegetables, whole grain cereals and nuts.

While the team checked results after adjusting for a number of risk factors, one notable item they did not account for was sodium (salt) consumption.

January 3, 2011 Posted by | Alcohol, Chocolate, Coffee, Diet, Fruit, Health, High blood pressure, Stroke, Success, Vegetables, Vitamin C - ascorbic acid, Vitamin E | Leave a comment

Coffee/tea v oral cancer.

Prof Mia Hashibe and team evaluated 9 different studies of cancer of the mouth and throat with tea and coffee drinking.

This covered 5,000 cancer cases and 9,000 controls.

The findings were that any amount of caffeinated coffee cut the risk of upper mouth/throat cancer.

Four cups of coffee per day cut the risk of this type of cancer by nearly 40% compared to non-drinkers.

Caffeinated coffee worked at the upper levels, but by the time it reached the pharynx, the voice box, it made no difference.

There were too few drinkers of decaf coffee to decide about its impact.

Drinking tea was neutral. It didn’t help, it didn’t harm.

The main risk factors for oral cancer are smoking and drinking alcohol.

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Cancer, Coffee, Health, Mia Hashibe, Success, Tea | Leave a comment

Heart disease, stroke, tea, coffee.

Prof Yvonne T van der Schouw followed nearly 38,000 people in The Netherlands over 13 years, looking at tea and coffee consumption, and the impact on heart disease and strokes.

Neither tea nor coffee drinking reduced (or increased) the risk of stroke.

Coffee at the level of 2-4 cups/day cut the risk of heart disease by 20%, compared to drinking less or drinking more.

Drinking 3-6 cups of tea per day cut the risk of death from heart disease by 45%, compared to those drinking less than one cup/day.

Black tea (no milk) accounts for 78% of tea consumption in The Netherlands. This may be important as other studies suggest milk in tea may reduce the benefits.

People known to have heart disease at the start of the study were not included, so it is not clear if tea or coffee would be beneficial for existing sufferers.

The researchers suggest the findings for coffee may be influenced by a less healthy lifestyle, including a higher tendency to smoke, compared to tea drinkers.

June 19, 2010 Posted by | Coffee, CVD - cardiovascular disease, Health, Smoking, Stroke, Success, Tea, The Netherlands, Yvonne T van der Schouw | Leave a comment

Rheumatoid arthritis from tea?

Prof Christohper Collins reported on a study of over 75,000 US women aged 50-79 at the annual congress of EULAR (European League Against Rheumatoid Arthritis). The team found tea drinking was linked to an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), whereas coffee drinking was not.

Women who drank tea had a 40% higher risk of RA compared to those who drank none. Women who drank 4 or more cups of tea per day had a nearly 80% higher risk than non-drinkers.

The team also checked on all kinds of coffee consumption (filtered/unfiltered, caffeinated/decaf) and did not find any significant link between any of these and RA.

The researchers were not able to determine whether there is any cause and effect mechanism in action between tea and RA.

June 18, 2010 Posted by | Arthritis, Christopher Collins, Coffee, Health, Success, Tea | Leave a comment

Caffeine and the Brain.

Caffeine and the Brain was a meeting held in Lisbon on 12-13 June 2009 joining several leading researchers dedicated to the effects of caffeine in the brain.

The meeting summarised research on caffeine in degenerative brain diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and others) and in normal aging and cognitive decline.

A considerable adavance was made in establishing the mechanisms by which caffeine protects the brain.

It aslo established key areas to be investigated before definitive clinical trials of the protective benefits of caffeine should begin.

The scientists attending the meeting persuaded the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease to publish a special edition covering their work.

This is an important summary of where science currently stands in these areas, but it is not short. It consists of an editorial giving an executive summary, and 21 further articles on detailed research studies.

This is far too big for one of our standard posts. So you will find (soon) the work is covered under a single page, with tab headed Caffeine and the Brain.

Also, there is far too much good stuff to do this in one hit, so it will be built up piece by piece. You will know when the final piece has been added, because it will be followed by the timeless ending THE END.

June 12, 2010 Posted by | Aging, Alzheimer's, Brain, Coffee, Health, Parkinson's | Leave a comment

Sugar raises blood pressure.

Prof Liwei Chen studied the blood pressure of 810 adults, with mild to moderately elevated blood pressure, over a period of 18 months. After stripping out other factors, she found that cutting sugar-sweetened drinks lowered blood pressure.

One drink per day equated to 1.8mm systolic and 1.1mm diastolic. Part of this effect was due to weight loss, but when that was factored out, the results remained significant. This level represents a 5% change in risk of death by stroke and a 3% change in risk of death by heart attack.

One drink is 12oz US, pretty close to a 330ml can size in the UK.

According to Chen – “We found no association for diet beverage consumption or caffeine intake and blood pressure, suggesting that sugar may actually be the nutrient that is associated with blood pressure and not caffeine which many people would suspect.”

Sugar-sweetened drinks were defined as those sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup including regular soft drinks, fruit drinks, lemonade and fruit punch.

May 25, 2010 Posted by | Coffee, CVD - cardiovascular disease, Diet, Health, HFCS - high-fructose corn syrup, High blood pressure, Liwei Chen, Soft drinks, Stroke, Success, Sugar | Leave a comment

Drinks v colon cancer.

Dr Xuehong Zhang of the Harvard School of Public Health analysed 13 studies in Europe and North America covering 730,000 people.

There was no link between drinking large amounts of coffee (six 8oz cups a day) or large amounts of sugar-sweetened fizzy drink (18oz a day) and the risk of colon cancer.

In an editorial on the study, two doctors from the Arizona Cancer Center noted that sweetened soft drinks are drunk much more frequently when younger than when older, so a further study would be required to assess this aspect properly.

In Feb 2010, Prof Mark Periera reported that 2 plus soft drinks a week was associated with a near doubling of the risk of pancreatic cancer.

May 8, 2010 Posted by | Cancer, Coffee, Health, Soft drinks, Xuehong Zhang | Leave a comment

Coffee helps heartbeat?

Tomorrow afternoon, (Fri 5th March), Dr Arthur Klatsky is to present findings to the American Heart Association that people who drink more coffee turn up at hospital less often with heart rhythm problems.

130,000 people were studied long term, of all ages, all ethnicities.

1 to 3 cups of coffee decreased risk by 7%. 4 or more cups per day decreased risk by 18%.

The 18 percent reduction in risk was consistent among men and women, different ethnic groups, smokers and nonsmokers.

“This study does not mean that people should drink coffee to prevent rhythm problems,” Klatsky said. “It supports the idea that people who are at risk for rhythm problems or who have rhythm problems do not need to abstain from coffee.”

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Arthur Klatsky, Atrial fibrillation, Coffee | Leave a comment

Tea and coffee may prevent diabetes

Dr Rachel Huxley, University of Sydney, looked at 18 studies involving nearly 500,000 participants to conclude that people drinking 3 or 4 cups of tea or coffee a day cut the risk of type 2 diabetes by over 20%.

The link is unlikely to be due to caffeine alone as drinking decaf had an even bigger effect, cutting risk by a third.

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Coffee, Diabetes, Diet, Health, Rachel Huxley, Success, Tea | 2 Comments