Caffeine IS harmless: Myth-busting review reveals powerful stimulant is safe to take and even boosts mental performance

  • The stimulant has long ridiculed by those who believe caffeine to be harmful
  • New study found sticking to the recommended daily amount of 400mg is safe
  • Some 44 trials were reviewed to dispell the widespread beliefs about the drug 

 

It’s blamed for sleeplessness, anxiety, frequent toilet trips and worse – but caffeine is harmless, a new study shows.

The stimulant, long ridiculed by those who believe it to be harmful, is safe – even for pregnant women and young children.

A review of 44 trials dispelled the widespread myth that caffeine, found in tea, coffee and fizzy drinks, is bad for the body.

It found that sticking to the recommended daily amount of 400mg – the equivalent four cups of coffee or eight cups of tea – has no lasting damage on the body.

Conducted by a leading British dietitian, the paper also shows the substance boosts both mental and physical performance.

The stimulant, long ridiculed by those who believe it to be harmful, is safe - even for pregnant women and young children, a new review concludes

The stimulant, long ridiculed by those who believe it to be harmful, is safe – even for pregnant women and young children, a new review concludes

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Understanding the Constant Dialogue That Goes on Between Our Gut and Our Brain

UCLA’s Dr. Emeran Mayer has spent four decades studying how the two interact

Dr. Emeran Mayer has built a scientific case for the inextricable link between the brain and the gut, and their influence on our emotional and physical states. Ann Johansson/UCLA

 

 

 

 

Just past midnight on Sept. 26, 1983, Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov, a member of the Soviet Air Defense Forces serving as the command-center duty officer for a nuclear early-warning system, faced a decision with unimaginable consequences.

Cold War tensions were running hot. The Soviet Union had recently shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, killing all 269 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 747. The Soviets claimed the plane was on a spy mission and represented a deliberate provocation by the United States.

Now, in a bunker outside of Moscow where Petrov was stationed, alarm bells blared as Soviet satellites detected five U.S. ballistic missiles heading toward the USSR. Was this a real nuclear attack warranting retaliation? Or was it a false alarm? Gazing at a screen that flashed “launch” “launch” “launch,” Petrov had only minutes to decide.

Thirty years later, Petrov reflected on his fateful decision to ignore the signal coming from the satellite detection system — which, of course, had turned out to be erroneous. But at the time, when he couldn’t know that for sure, Petrov said he ultimately made the decision based on “a funny feeling in my gut.”

In his book “The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health” (Harper Collins, 2016), Dr. Emeran Mayer retells Petrov’s story, and he notes how many historic and present-day decision-makers have cited unspecified feelings in their gut as tipping the balance on a difficult call.

To many of us, these “gut feelings” leading to “gut decisions” represent instincts with no basis in reasoned thought. But Dr. Mayer, professor of medicine, physiology and psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and director of the UCLA Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, has other ideas. Acting on his own inclinations developed as a medical student, he has spent the last 40 years building a scientific case for the inextricable link between the brain and the gut, often calling into question the conventional medical wisdom.

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Eating Too Much Sugar Is Linked to Depression in Men, Poor Things

 

Good news for women: While added sugar is arguably unhealthy for everyone, and puts your physical health at risk, it turns out women can at least consume it without getting depressed. Tiny victories! But unfortunately for men, that’s not the case; a new study found that ingesting high quantities of added sugar makes men more likely to become depressed.

As the Guardian reports, researchers from University College London evaluated the diet and mental health of 5,000 men and 2,000 women recruited for the Whitehall II study in the 1980s. Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the study found no association between sugar intake and mood disorders in women — but researchers did find a strong link between high levels of sugar and depression in men.

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How to Grow and Enjoy Arugula

Story at-a-glance

  • Arugula is a relative of the cruciferous family, which includes radishes, cauliflower and broccoli. Like other members of this family, it contains a number of medicinal nutrients, including cancer-fighting compounds
  • Arugula contains the highest amounts of nitrates of any vegetable. Your body uses the nitrates in food as raw material to make nitric oxide, which supports healthy blood vessel function, blood pressure and mitochondrial health
  • Easy to grow, arugula can be grown in your garden to maturity in about 40 days, or harvested after just a week or two of growth, when nutrients are at their peak

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Cracking the Case of Coconut Oil: To Toss It or Not?

Just like fashion and music trends, health fads wax and wane, and the latest word from the American Heart Association is that coconut oil isn’t as health-conscious as it has been made out to be.

In the recent Presidential Advisory from the AHA, which has caused a firestorm in the health community, a case is built around the adverse effects of saturated fat, how coconut oil is primarily composed of saturated fat, and thus, it’s concluded that we should cut coconut oil from our diets.

So, what’s a coconut oil lover to do?

Well, before you go raiding your pantry, let’s take a look at more of the underlying facts because there’s a lot more than meets the eye in this proclaimed health debacle.

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