Is Drinking Coffee the Secret to Longevity?

If you’re a coffee drinker, you might just think that your beverage of choice tastes great and gives you a nice pick-me-up after a good night’s sleep.

But research indicates that drinking coffee on a regular basis might actually help extend your life.

Two studies show that coffee consumption could provide benefits you might not have previously considered possible.

What the Science Says

In one study, researchers found that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death than those who don’t drink the beverage. The authors of the study conducted a survey involving more than 500,000 people in countries throughout Europe.1

According to the results, there is an inverse relationship between drinking coffee and suffering from problems such as circulatory and digestive illnesses, cancer, suicide and liver disease. Even though people in different countries prepare and drink coffee differently, the relationship between the beverage and a lower risk of death due to certain health issues remained consistent.

Coffee Drinker’s Advantage

Coffee drinkers, according to the European study, tend to have a higher level of healthy fats, show better control of glucose levels, and have less inflammation. Certain compounds in coffee, the researchers said, have properties that can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and other illnesses. However, further studies will be needed in order to determine which specific compounds provide specific benefits.

It appears that the benefits of drinking coffee go across racial lines. While the European study involved mainly caucasians, another study involved more than 185,000 coffee drinkers who were primarily African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans. The results were very similar to the European study, providing yet more evidence that coffee consumption can lower a person’s risk of death.

According to the results of this study, people who consume two to four cups a day are 18 percent less likely to die prematurely than those who avoid coffee.

While both of the studies involved smokers as well as nonsmokers, one surprising result was that smokers who drink coffee tend to live longer as those who don’t. But researchers are quick to point out that there is absolutely no evidence that drinking coffee can counteract the health effects of smoking.

Yet another study showed that people who drink 3-5 cups of joe each day are about 15 percent less likely to die prematurely than non-drinkers. This study had even more good news – according to the results, people who prefer decaffeinated coffee can also enjoy substantial health benefits.

Drinking coffee has been associated with other health benefits as well, such as reducing the risk of developing tinnitus, a condition characterized by buzzing or ringing in the ears.²

Coffee might also help improve workouts, increase your safety behind the wheel and lower your risk of developing depression.3

How Much is Too Much?

Of course, it can be pretty easy for a coffee drinker to go overboard with his or her favorite beverage – if you love coffee, you might even be more inclined to overdo it after learning the potential benefits. Over-consumption of coffee can make it hard to sleep and leave you feeling jittery all day long. It can also increase your risk of suffering from heartburn.

Taking most things in moderation is usually the best way to stay healthy. Drinking coffee is no exception. According to one study, about 200 mg of caffeine (about two cups of coffee) is the best amount for helping your cognitive functioning.4 However, not all coffee is created equal, of course. A 16-ounce cup could contain anywhere from 250-500 mg of caffeine. Before you buy anything in the Starbucks drive-thru, find out just how much you’ll be ingesting.

The Bottom Line

While these studies don’t necessarily prove that if you start drinking coffee you’ll live longer, the research does indicate there’s an association. There are a lot of nutrients in coffee beans but researchers haven’t yet determined exactly how they affect a person’s health.

Nevertheless, it seems that drinking coffee on a regular basis not only does no harm, it can actually provide substantial health benefits. Coffee consumption – as long as it is in moderation – can be a major component of not only a healthy lifestyle, but also a healthy diet. If you’re not a coffee drinker and you’re thinking of starting, talk to your doctor first to make sure it will be safe to do so.

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Sources:
1.http://annals.org/aim/article/2643435/coffee-drinking-mortality-10-european-countries-multinational-cohort-study
2.http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(14)00198-3/abstract
3.https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/24/i-dont-drink-coffee-should-i-start/
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12424548

Bottled vs Tap Water: Choosing the Healthiest Water?

It’s 100 degrees in the shade, and you’ve just come in from walking the dogs. Do you grab a bottled water from the fridge or a glass from the cabinet and fill up from the faucet? Is there such a thing as the ‘healthiest water’?

We’ll examine these questions and more…

Regulating Water

Water is regulated in the U.S. by a few different agencies, each with a different mission. While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency keeps a close eye on the water that comes from the tap, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration looks out for safety and truthful labeling of bottled water water.

Both agencies have their work cut out for them. Environmental pollutants are seemingly everywhere, and they may also be lurking in your water. These may include pathogenic microbiota, heavy metals, industrial chemicals, and even known toxins not closely regulated by U.S. governmental agencies.

And don’t think that the water you’re drinking from a bottle is any safer. In many cases, bottled water might be more harmful to your health. You see, in many cities, tap water must be filtered, and tested for bacteria and viruses. But government regulations don’t require the same rigorous testing of bottled water manufacturers.

So … which is safer?

Each state and city has different regulations on tap water; you may want to check reports from your city government to find out what’s in your water. These annual reports can help you to determine whether the drinking water in your area is safe. But what about bottled water? Let’s take a closer look at both tap and bottled waters …

choosing healthiest water | Princeton Nutrients

Bottled Water Basics

Whether it is spring sourced, distilled, mineral, or sparkling, one thing is for certain: Water packaged in plastic bottles is something to avoid – at all costs. In addition to the tremendous environmental impact of discarding millions of non-biodegradable plastic bottles into landfills, bottled water that comes in plastic also poses a slew of potential health risks.

It’s not that the water itself is bad for you. It’s that the plastic that contains it could be more harmful than the water coming out of your tap. A recent study published in the journal Food Chemistry confirmed that drinking or storing water inside plastic bottles can cause toxic chemicals to seep into the water, and ultimately, into your bloodstream. The study reported these chemicals include phthalates, diethylhexyl adipate, alkylphenols, and bisphenol A.1

You may have already heard about toxic industrial chemicals found in some food containers, like canned foods. One of the most common, known as bisphenol A, or BPA, can also be found in plastic bottles. This chemical, used as a hardening agent in the production of plastic, has remained on the shelves since the 1960s. And, since its introduction into the food packaging industry, some studies suggest BPA can be found lurking in our bodies. In the early 2000s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that detectable levels of BPA were found in 93 percent of the over 2500 urine samples of people ages six and older.2

Why is this so alarming? This hormone disrupting chemical has potential links to brain and heart problems, obesity, and diabetes – and it is especially disruptive to young children.3,4

Plastic is photodegradable, meaning it can decompose when exposed to light, particularly sunlight. Because of this, any extra heat or light exposure may cause a water bottle’s constituents to leach into its contents. In addition, It is virtually impossible to know where the bottles have been before they hit the shelves, as well as how much exposure they have had to environmental elements. It is also common for water to be added into the plastic bottle immediately after the bottle is formed – allowing little to no time for the plastic to cure. While this is an efficient manufacturing process, it neglects the fact that at such a hot temperature, the byproducts of plastic may be delivered into the water at its inception.

When shopping for a bottled water, always aim to purchase a BPA-free plastic variety. You can also purchase water in a glass bottle to avoid these potentially harmful health effects.

choosing healthiest water | Princeton Nutrients

Terrible Tap Water

Tap water contamination is a growing concern. In one 2016 study on the quality of tap water, scientists found that supplies for 6 million U.S. residents exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies lifetime health advisory for poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs. If these substances sound scary, it’s because they are. Studies have shown that these industrial chemicals have seeped into water supplies from military fire training areas, industrial sites, and wastewater treatment plants in some cities. The study concluded that tap water PFAS contamination poses risks to the developmental, immune, metabolic, and endocrine health of consumers.5

Chlorine is also commonly used in city water systems to improve the odor and color of the end product that comes out of your tap. Unfortunately, this chemical is a major acid producer in the body – one which has the potential to damage our cells on contact and harm balanced pH. Chlorine is also known to interact with organic compounds in the body, leading to the development of trihalomethanes – environmental pollutants which can destroy healthy cell tissue.6

Fluoride: Is it Good or Bad?

Fluoride is another chemical commonly added into tap water to improve water quality, but it too may pose health risks when consumed over time. Studies have shown that fluoride toxicity is linked to a variety of different health problems, including brittle teeth, cognitive impairment, hypothyroidism, dental and skeletal fluorosis, and enzyme and electrolyte imbalances.7

The steam distillation process kills bacteria by boiling water, allowing the steam to collect in a glass container. It is a water filtration method known to remove all fluoride and chlorine from water. Other processes, such as reverse osmosis, are also effective in cleaning tap water from your household water supply for drinking and bathing.

Steamed distillation is one of the best ways to clean up the water in your home, making it suitable for drinking. The goal of this process is to reduce the number of total dissolved solids (TDS) in the water as much as possible. Total dissolved solids include all inorganic and organic substances contained in a liquid. Although bottled water tends to be lower on the TDS scale, it is still possible to reduce potential pollutants in tap water even lower than bottled water by using a distiller with an activated charcoal filter.

choosing healthiest water | Princeton Nutrients

A Final Note on Choosing the Healthiest Water

No matter what type of water you choose, having a high-quality water filter is always a good idea. There are many options, including tap filters you can put right on your faucet, steam distillers, water bottle drop-in filters, and even activated charcoal sticks you can drop into any glass (even at restaurants) that also remove heavy metals and other contaminants.

This all may sound pretty scary, but not to worry. There are a few steps to ensure you and your family have the healthiest water:

1. Pick up a pitcher with a quality water filter from your local grocery store.
OR
2. Install a water filter in your house.
OR
3. Subscribe to a monthly water delivery service — just make sure the water comes from a natural source, such as spring. Otherwise, you’ll be spending a lot of money on filtered water…something you can do at home by following suggestion #1.

After all, it’s worth the effort to choose the healthiest water possible—it is one of the most vital nutrients your body needs for good health, and longevity. Drink up!

Sources

1. Albert Guart, Francisco Bono-Blay. Effect of bottling and storage on the migration of plastic constituents in Spanish bottled waters. Food Chemistry 2014 August 1, 156: 73-80.
2. Bisphenol A (BPA). National Institute of Environmental Health Services. National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
3. Rubin BS. Bisphenol A: an endocrine disruptor with widespread exposure and multiple effects. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2011 Oct;127(1-2):27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2011.05.002. Epub 2011 May 13.
4. Fanny Rancière, Jasmine G. Lyons. Bisphenol A and the risk of cardiometabolic disorders: a systematic review with meta-analysis of the epidemiological evidence. Environ Health. 2015; 14: 46. 2015 May 31.
5. Detection of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in U.S. Drinking Water Linked to Industrial Sites, Military Fire Training Areas, and Wastewater Treatment Plants.
6. Xindi C. Hu, David Q. Andrews. Chlorine in Drinking Water. Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., 2016, 3 (10), pp 344–350.
7. Stephen Peckham, Niyi Awofeso. Water Fluoridation: A Critical Review of the Physiological Effects of Ingested Fluoride as a Public Health Intervention. The Scientific World Journal. Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 293019, 10 pages.

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Could A Printer Save Your Life?

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