HEADLINES / TRENDS l STATS l RESEARCH l MEDIA l PEOPLE

April 2015

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Drinking Coffee May Help Your Heart

Something to ponder as you reach for that first steaming cup of morning joe: Coffee may actually reduce levels of an important heart disease indicator.

A team of researchers from several institutions led by Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in South Korea, noting “earlier concerns about a potential increase in cardiovascular disease risk associated with coffee consumption,” decided to compare coffee intake with coronary artery calcium scores. CAC measures the amount of calcium within the walls of arteries supplying blood to the heart; the higher one’s CAC score, the more atherosclerosis one has, which indicates a greater risk of heart disease.

The team analyzed data from 24,138 people with no signs of cardiac woes who took part in a health screening, including a CAC assessment, and completed a validated food intake questionnaire. “Moderate coffee consumption”—between three and five cups a day—was linked to “a lower prevalence of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis.”

Results were published online in the journal Heart.

In trying to account for their results the study team noted a link between regular coffee drinking and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, a major heart risk factor.

Atherosclerosis causes arteries to become narrow and hardened. This increases the risk of heart attack, which happens when a clot blocks the narrowed artery and cuts off blood supply to the heart muscle. According to the Centers for Disease Control, coronary artery disease kills more than 370,000 Americans annually.


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RESOURCE

 

The Seafood Watch App

Concerned about where your seafood comes from? Download the free Seafood Watch app (seafoodwatch.org). Available for iPhones and Androids, this app lets you search by common market name for seafood taken from sustainable fisheries. Don’t you feel more socially responsible already?

 

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QUOTE

 

By far the most common

craving of

pregnant women

is not to be pregnant.

—Phyllis Diller

 

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Joint Supplements Show

Anti-Inflammatory Potential

Glucosamine and chondroitin, long used to ease the symptoms of arthritis, may reduce levels of a general inflammation marker called C-reactive protein. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of disorders, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

A study team from three institutions gave either a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin or a lookalike placebo substance to 18 overweight but otherwise healthy volunteers for 28 days. Neither the volunteers nor the researchers knew who was getting the supplement and who was not.

According to results published in PLOS ONE, the supplement reduced CRP levels by 23% compared with the placebo.

Earlier research at one of the institutions, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, had found an association between glucosamine/chondroitin use and reduced risk of lung and colorectal cancer.

 

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NUMBERS


Our Aching Backs

 

10%

Number of people worldwide who

suffer from lower back pain

1/3

Approximate amount of work-related

disability caused by back pain

 

Source: Annals of Rheumatic Diseases

 

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