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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Natural Ingredient From Coffee Boosts Protection Against Alzheimer's

New research suggests four to five cups of caffeinated coffee a day could help fight off Alzheimer's disease, due to a naturally-occurring coffee ingredient that interacts with its caffeine content.

The controlled laboratory study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease provides the first evidence that caffeinated coffee offers the protective benefits, say the University of South Florida (USF) researchers.

According to the USF research team, the ingredient can boost blood levels of a "critical growth factor" GCSF (granulocyte colony stimulating factor), a substance greatly decreased in patients with
Alzheimer's disease and demonstrated to improve memory in Alzheimer's laboratory subjects.

Other drinks containing caffeine or decaffeinated coffee do not offer this protection, according to the researchers. They will conduct further extensive research to pinpoint the unidentified component so that other beverages can be enriched with the ingredient.

The researchers said "Hopefully, the coffee industry will soon become an active partner with Alzheimer's researchers to find
the protective ingredient in coffee and concentrate it in dietary sources,"

Methodology, Results and Analysis

In the study, the effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee were compared to those of caffeine alone on both Alzheimer's and normal subjects.

For both groups, treatment with caffeinated coffee greatly increased blood levels of GCSF; neither caffeine alone or decaffeinated coffee provided this effect, reported the researchers.The researchers used only "drip" coffee in their studies and do not know whether "instant" caffeinated coffee would provide the same GCSF response.

The researchers said they have also now collected clinical evidence of caffeine/coffee's ability to protect humans against Alzheimer's and will soon publish those findings.

GCSF can improve memory performance in the Alzheimer's mice in a various ways, say the scientists. First, GCSF recruits stem cells from bone marrow to enter the brain and remove the harmful beta-amyloid protein that initiates the disease.The substance also creates new connections between brain cells and increases the birth of new neurons in the brain.

"Caffeinated coffee provides a natural increase in blood GCSF levels," said the USF neuroscience researchers.

"The exact way that this occurs is not understood. There is a synergistic interaction between caffeine and some unique component of coffee that provides this beneficial increase in blood GCSF levels."

The USF researchers said they previously reported that four to five cups per day of coffee/caffeine is required to counteract the brain pathology and memory impairment in Alzheimer's subjects.

No Other Therapy Is Known

According to the researchers, no other Alzheimer's therapy being developed comes close to meeting all the criteria that coffee offers.

"No synthetic drugs have yet been developed to treat the underlying Alzheimer's disease process" they said.

"We see no reason why an inherently natural product such as coffee cannot be more beneficial and safer than medications, especially to protect against a disease that takes decades to become apparent after it starts in the brain."

Source: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

Caffeine Synergizes with Another Coffee Component to Increase Plasma GCSF: Linkage to Cognitive Benefits in Alzheimer's
(Published online)

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Healthy Fat-Burning Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Try This Absolutely Delicious (and Healthy) Fat-Burning Chocolate Pudding Recipe

...A pudding recipe that's high fiber, high protein, full of healthy fats, and low in sugar!!

by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author of best-seller: The Truth About Six Pack Abs

healthy chocolate pudding recipeWell, I've totally outdone myself with today's healthy chocolate pudding recipe... this is damn good!!

As you know, I always look for ways to make seemingly unhealthy foods into healthy fat-burning versions. Some popular recipes of mine in the past were when I made a truly healthy chocolate fudge (super popular), as well as my recipe for the worlds healthiest cheese steak.

But today, I want to show you my recipe for an amazingly healthy fat-burning chocolate pudding that's high in fiber, healthy fats, protein, and low in sugar, with ZERO artificial sweeteners and NO added sugars!

I know... I'm a freakin mad scientist with this stuff. But I actually got the idea for this recipe from Mens Fitness magazine... however, I changed it all around because I didn't like some of their ingredients, plus their recipe was too high in sugar in my opinion...and I added more protein.

Some of the ingredients may sound weird for a "pudding", but trust me, everybody I know that's tried this has loved it!

Here's the Geary version of Healthy Fat-Burning Chocolate Pudding:

(This recipe will make about 2-4 servings and is a great healthy dessert or late night snack)

1/2 of a ripe avocado (soft to touch)
approx 3 tablespoons of almond butter (preferably raw if possible)
approx 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk (preferably organic)
2 heaping tablespoons of organic cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 packet of stevia (or enough to your desired sweetness level)
1/2 to 3/4 of a scoop of chocolate protein powder (my new favorite is an awesome GRASS-FED raw whey protein Or Our Chocolate Protein shake from drinkact)
just a small pinch of sea salt

Put the avocado and almond butter into a bowl and mash together with a fork until smooth. Then add all of the other ingredients into the bowl and mix together vigorously until all is mixed and smooth. If you're good with a food processor, you can use that too, but I just mash everything together by hand.

If everything went right, the consistency will be similar to pudding... except normal pudding makes you FAT with loads of sugar! My healthy pudding recipe will actually HELP you to burn fat, control cravings, and satisfy your body's need for micro-nutrients, protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

If the pudding ends up too thick, simply add a bit more almond milk or coconut milk for more moisture until the consistency seems right.

If you want to get a little wild and add some more nutrient-rich additions, feel free to add some chopped pecans, chia seeds, rice bran, or walnuts at the end. And it tastes great to top this dish with some sliced strawberries!

Feel free to share this delicious healthy pudding recipe with your friends and family. You can copy/paste and email this link to them, or easy sharing options are below for Facebook, twitter, etc:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Coffee May Reduce Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer in Men

Coffee May Reduce Risk of
Lethal Prostate Cancer in Men

Men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk
of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to
a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers.

The study was published May 17, 2011, in an online edition
of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"Few studies have specifically studied the association of coffee intake and the risk of lethal prostate cancer, the form of the disease that is the most critical to prevent. Our study is the
largest to date to examine whether coffee could lower the risk
of lethal prostate cancer," said the researchers.

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed form of
cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among U.S. men, affecting one in six men during their lifetime. More
than 2 million men in the U.S. and 16 million men worldwide
are prostate cancer survivors. Lethal prostate cancer causes death or spreads to the bones.

"At present we lack an understanding of risk factors that can be changed or controlled to lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer.
If our findings are validated, coffee could represent one modifiable factor that may lower the risk of developing the
most harmful form of prostate cancer," they also explained.

The researchers chose to study coffee because it contains many beneficial compounds that act as antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and regulate insulin, all of which may influence prostate cancer. Coffee has been associated in prior studies with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, gallstone
disease, and liver cancer or cirrhosis.

The study examined the association between coffee consumption and the risk of prostate cancer, particularly the risk for aggressive prostate cancer among 47,911 U.S. men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who reported their coffee consumption every four years from 1986 to 2008. During the study period, 5,035 cases of prostate cancer were reported, including 642 fatal or metastatic cases.

These Are The Major Findings:

Men who consumed the most coffee (six or more cups daily)
had nearly a 20% lower risk of developing any form of prostate cancer.

The inverse association with coffee was even stronger for aggressive prostate cancer. Men who drank the most coffee
had a 60% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.

The reduction in risk was seen whether the men drank decaffeinated or regular coffee, and does not appear to be
due to caffeine.

Even drinking one to three cups of coffee per day was associated with a 30% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer.

Coffee drinkers were more likely to smoke and less likely to exercise, behaviors that may increase advanced prostate cancer risk. The other lifestyle factors were controlled for in the study and coffee still was associated with a lower risk.

The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, the American Institute for Cancer Research, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Story Source: Harvard School of Public Health

Journal Reference:
Coffee Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk and Progression in the Health Follow-up Study.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute May 17, 2011

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Study Proves Cutting Down On Carbs Reduces Body Fat!

New Study Proves
Cutting Down On Carbs
Reduces Body Fat!

A modest reduction in consumption of carbohydrate foods
may promote loss of deep belly fat, even with little or no
change in weight, an important new study reports.

Results of the study are being presented at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.

When paired with weight loss, consumption of a moderately reduced carbohydrate diet can help achieve a reduction of
total body fat, according to researchers from the department
of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at

"These changes could help reduce the risk of developing
Type 2 diabetes, stroke and coronary artery disease,"
they said, noting that excess visceral, or intra-abdominal,
fat raises the risk of these diseases.

The researchers conducted the study, with funding from the National Institutes of Health, in 69 overweight but healthy men and women. Subjects received food for two consecutive eight-week periods: first a weight maintenance intervention,
and then a weight loss intervention, which cut the number of calories that each person ate by 1,000 each day.

Subjects received either a standard lower-fat diet or a diet
with a modest reduction in carbohydrates, or "carbs," but slightly higher in fat than the standard diet. The moderately carb-restricted diet contained foods that had a relatively low glycemic index, a measure of the extent to which the food
raises blood glucose levels. This diet consisted of 43 percent calories from carbohydrates and 39 percent calories from fat, whereas the standard diet contained 55 percent of calories from carbohydrates and 27 percent from fat. Protein made
up the other 18 percent of each diet.

At the beginning and end of each study phase, the researchers measured the subjects' fat deep inside the abdomen and their total body fat using computed tomography (CT) and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans.

After the weight maintenance phase, subjects who consumed the moderately carb-restricted diet had 11 percent less deep abdominal fat than those who ate the standard diet.

During the weight loss phase, subjects on both diets lost
weight. However, the moderately carb-restricted diet promoted a 4 percent greater loss of total body fat, the researchers said. "For individuals willing to go on a diet, a modest reduction in carbohydrate-containing foods may help them preferentially lose fat, rather than lean tissue; The moderately reduced carbohydrate diet allows a variety of foods to meet personal preferences."

Story Source:

The Endocrine Society (2011, June 24) "Cut down on 'carbs' to reduce body fat"

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