Coffee helps protect the liver from alcohol abuse

Drinking strong coffee may be good for the liver, scientists in the US have discovered.

Coffee drinkers were found to have lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes that are a sign of damaged liver cells.


Researchers used information from the US’s National Health and Nutrition Survey to determine their findings.

The team measured the levels of enzymes in blood to determine each participant’s liver function. The enzymes include aminotransferase (ALT), aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gamma glutamyl transaminase (GGT). Lower levels of these enzymes present in blood is a sign of good liver health.

They are usually present when liver cells are damaged or destroyed, or if the flow of the bile produced by the liver becomes blocked.

The new study included 27,793 participants, aged 20 years or older, who recorded how much coffee they drank in a day.

The scientists concluded that coffee may contain a chemical compound other than caffeine that could protect the liver, which is why decafinated coffee also has protective qualities.

The findings back up a number of previous studies which found that coffee consumption may help lower the risk of developing diabetes, stroke, liver disease, and cirrhosis liver damage.

Participants who reported drinking three or more cups of coffee per day had lower levels of ALT, AST, ALP and GGT compared to those not consuming any coffee.

Researchers also found low levels of these liver enzymes in participants drinking only decaffeinated coffee.
Dr Qian Xiao from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland said that previous research had already found that  drinking coffee may have a possible protective effect on the liver.  But it was not clear whether drinking decaffeinated coffee also conferred the same effects.

He said:  “Our findings link total and decaffeinated coffee intake to lower liver enzyme levels. These data suggest that ingredients in coffee, other than caffeine, may promote liver health.”
The findings were published in the journal Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Greek islanders live longer with coffee

Scientists have found that people living on the Greek island of Ikaria enjoy a longer, healthier life span and it may be due to the way they prepare their coffee. Instead of using methods that remove beneficial polyphenols, they boil it in a way that retains its unique compounds.1 Greek islanders who consumed this polyphenol-rich coffee were found to have healthy endothelial function that scientists suggested may play a role in their longevity.1

Among the most beneficial coffee polyphenol is chlorogenic acid, an inhibitor of an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphatase. This enzyme stimulates the excess creation of glucose in the liver, which can result in blood glucoseelevation.

Organic coffee beans are best

These beneficial antioxidants are more bioavailable in organic coffee. One product is the  Rich Rewards® Breakfast Blend Whole Bean Coffee is made using a patented, 100% natural process called HealthyRoast®.2 This process delivers a more complete nutritional profile of the coffee bean, yielding up to 87% more chlorogenic acid than conventional coffees.

Handpicked deep in the rainforests of Central America, Rich Rewards® consists exclusively of 100% USDA certified organic arabica coffee beans, gently roasted in small batches—with the polyphenols then added back in to provide optimal health benefits.


Organic Ground

Ground organic coffee is also available Rich Rewards® Breakfast Blend Ground Coffee—so you can kick-start your day a little faster—in both caffeinated and decaffeinated options. For those who prefer a flavored coffee, Rich Rewards® Breakfast Blend GroundCoffee is available in natural vanilla or mocha flavors. Like our regular Rich Rewards® whole bean and ground coffees, these flavored ground coffees are roasted using the patented HealthyRoast® process—which preserves the special, naturally occurring coffee compounds that soothe (instead of irritate) your stomach.

This unique process also guarantees a higher content of healthy polyphenols.
Life Extension® Rich Rewards® Breakfast Blend Coffee provides it all:
• Whole bean savory taste
• Ground coffee for added convenience—caffeinated or decaffeinated
• Regular ground coffee taste or two natural-flavored options
• Far higher percentage of chlorogenic acid than conventional coffees
• Certified organic
• Special, naturally occurring compounds that soothe your stomach


Myths about hydration

Water We don’t actually need to drink eight glasses of water a day…

Elixir attended the British Nutrition Foundation’s conference on hydration last week and came away with a few very interesting facts about water.

1. The amount of water we need and use is different from person to person

2. We can survive more than a few days without water

3. Most of the water we ingest comes naturally from food

4. Most liquids add to our hydration, including fruit juice, milk, teas and coffee

In general, we are not very clued in about water and hydration – most people in the UK have a very loose understanding about the signs of dehydration.

We look for clues such as darker urine to decide whether or not we are dehydrated – the truth is that darker urine can be caused by a number of things – including vitamin supplements.

Thirst is just nature’s way of telling us our blood water concentration is dropping, not an indication that we are about to become dehydrated.

Serious dehydration is almost impossible to achieve – unless you are stuck in a desert or paralysed with no access to liquids. As mentioned above, it is possible to survive without water for some time; a woman who had been in a coma for years (in the US) survived for 13 days without any liquids after it was decided to turn off her live-saving machine.

The most shocking thing we learned was the truth behind the ‘eight glasses of water’ myth.

Research showed that over 70% of people can quote the recommended amount of water of six to eight glasses.

The truth is, the recommended amount of water is 2.5 litres per day and we ingest most of it in food. The less dense the food, the more water it contains – meaning fruit and vegetables contain the most. 

As we get older we are more susceptible to the marketing ploys of drinks companies – we start to buy into the ‘health’ drink to lower our cholesterol and raise the pro and prebiotic levels of our stomachs.

Beware of drinks advertising an increased level of antioxidants as well – a study found that drinking tea gives you a better level of antioxidants over 24 hours than many health/fruit based drinks. 




Olympic athlete Kelly Sotherton on her healthy coffee addiction!


Athletes have to stay at peak fitnesses and this includes eating wisely and taking the best nutrients, which is why Olympic athlete Kelly Sotherton loves polyphenol-packed NESCAFÉ Green Blend.

Most of us have heard of antioxidants (over nine in 10 if you want to get technical) but far fewer are aware how good they are for us. In fact, around one third of Brits have no idea whether theyÂ’re good for them or not.

Antioxidants can help protect our bodiesÂ’ cells from day to day damage and you might be surprised to hear that coffee is a major source of dietary antioxidants. This is certainly news to the 1 in 5 people who, according to new research, mistakenly believe coffee is bad for them and fantastic news for the half of UK households who collectively drink the beverage at a rate of almost 14,000 cups a minute!

With its beneficial health and taste properties thereÂ’s no question it belongs in the top three most popular drinks in the world, along with water and tea. However, whilst all coffee is naturally high in antioxidants, for the first time in the UK we now have the chance to drink coffee containing naturally occurring Polyphenol antioxidants.

The new NESCAFÉ Green Blend is made of both roasted and unroasted coffee beans, with the latter containing high levels of naturally present Polyphenols, which are also found in green tea and cocoa.

Here to explain more about the health benefits of drinking coffee and give you some top tips on how to choose the right coffee to suit you are, NESCAFÉ Master Taster Dave Roberts and Nutritionist Liz Read. They’re joined by medal winning Olympic athlete and self confessed coffee-lover Kelly Sotherton.

Click here to watch the video:

Kelly Sotherton

For more information visit the coffee cupboard at


Win a jar of NescafĂ©’s new Green Blend coffee – rich in polyphenol antioxidants


A new type of coffee which contains high levels of naturally occurring polyphenol antioxidants has been launched in the UK by NESCAFÉ®, the UK’s most popular coffee brand.

Made from a blend of unroasted green coffee beans and roasted beans, NESCAFÉ® Green Blend has been specially created by coffee experts to deliver great tasting coffee, rich in flavour and aroma, with health benefits.

Often considered a super food, coffee is naturally rich in polyphenol antioxidants which can help maintain the body’s defenses against ageing processes such as free radical damage.

To celebrate the launch of NESCAFÉ® Green Blend, we are offering ten lucky Elixir readers each a complimentary jar of Green Blend (RRP £2.98) so they can enjoy the goodness of the unroasted coffee beans for themselves.

For your chance to win a jar, simply answer the following question:

As well as roasted coffee beans what else is in NESCAFÉ® Green Blend?

a) Green coffee beans
b) Red coffee beans
c) Blue coffee beans

Email your answer with your name and address to Please note that this competition ends on 31 October 2009. No cash equivalent is offered and the EditorÂ’s decision is final.

To find out more about Nescafé Green Blend go to

Terms and Conditions

1.This competition is open to residents of the UK and ROI only, aged 18 and over, with the exception of employees of Nestle UK Ltd and, their immediate families, agents or anyone else associated with the administration of this promotion.
2. Access to this competition is online and entry is available between 8 and 31 October 2009.
3. Closing date for receipt of entries is 31 October 2009
4. There is one prize per person of NESCAFÉ® Green Blend to be awarded.
5. Entries limited to one per person.
6. The winning entries will be selected at random from all correct entries received by the due closing date, and in the presence of an independent person.
7. The winner will be notified in writing within 28 days of the closing date, and will be asked to confirm acceptance of their prize within 21 days of being notified.
8. In the case that the winner fails to confirm acceptance of their prize within the stated 21 day period, the Promoter reserves the right to re-allocate the prize to a reserve entry drawn at the same time as the original winner.
9. Entrants are deemed to have accepted and be bound by these Terms and Conditions. The PromoterÂ’s decision is final and binding in all matters and no correspondence will be entered into.
10. The Promoter reserves the right to substitute the stated prize with an alternative of equal or greater value in the unlikely event that the prize stated were to become unavailable for any reason.
11. No cash will be offered in lieu of the stated prize.
12. The winner agrees to participate in any reasonable publicity required by the Promoter.
13. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for entries that are incomplete, lost, damaged or delayed in the post or arrive after the closing date. Proof of sending docs does not constitute proof of delivery.
14. EntrantsÂ’ personal details will be stored securely, retained only as long as is necessary to complete the administration of this promotion and promptly secured thereafter.

Promoter: Nestle UK Ltd, St. GeorgeÂ’s House, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1NR.


Nescafé launches first anti-ageing coffee


London: A new type of coffee which contains high levels of naturally occuring polyphenol antioxidants has been launched in the UK by Nescafé.

The new coffee, Nescafé Green Blend, has a combination of traditionally roast beans for the traditional flavour and unroasted beans which contain exceptionally high levels of a plant antioxidant called polyphenols.

This antioxidant helps the body fight off degeneration caused by free radicals – damaging molecules which are a by-product of living.

Coffee, once a health paraih, is now credited with all kinds of health benefits including helping to prevent liver and Alzheimer’s disease.

The goodness of NESCAFÉ Green Blend lies within the unroasted green coffee beans. They are naturally rich in polyphenol antioxidants which can help protect the body’s cells from day to day damage. Polyphenol antioxidants are also found in green tea and cocoa.

The makers said that the new blend does not increase the caffiene content.

Gary Williamson, Professor of Functional Food, School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds and a world leading expert in polyphenol science says: “Coffee is included among my top 20 lifespan essential foods list – foods and drinks rich in polyphenol antioxidants. Polyphenols are a complex class of naturally occurring components of fruits, vegetables, and beverages made from plants. Many polyphenols are well absorbed by the body and help maintain the body’s defences against ageing processes such as free radical damage.”

All NESCAFÉ coffee is made from 100% pure and natural coffee beans and all coffee is rich in antioxidants.

Liz Read, Nestlé Nutritionist, explains: “Green coffee beans naturally contain high levels of polyphenol antioxidants. During the roasting process, some of the antioxidants are converted into antioxidants known as melanoidins. “A mixture of both types of antioxidants are present in all coffee and the amount present is dependent on the degree of roasting. NESCAFÉ Green Blend has a high content of the naturally occurring polyphenol antioxidant due to the fact that it contains unroasted green coffee beans”.

Latest research commissioned by NESCAFÉ Green Blend shows that consumers are increasingly aware of antioxidants and interested in the benefits that they can bring to their general health.

64% of those questioned have heard about antioxidants and know that they are good for their general health*
Over 50% of people asked know that antioxidants can make a different to their overall health*

Launched into the UK this month, NESCAFÉ Green Blend has joined the rest of the NESCAFÉ coffee family on supermarket shelves nationwide.


Coffee can help athletes replenish energy, scientists discover


Sydney: Coffee helps athletes replenish vital energy nutrient, new research from Australia has found.

In a study published in the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, scientists proved that glycogen — which is used for muscle energy during exercise — is replenished more quickly when athletes ingest both carbohydrate and caffeine following exhaustive exercise.

The study was done by eight researchers in Australia and John Hawley was the senior author.

“We think it’s working because whatever the caffeine has done, is create an environmental situation external to the muscle that is helping the muscle soak up like a sponge more glucose,” Hawley said in a phone interview.

The study was conducted on seven well-trained endurance cyclists who participated in four sessions. The participants first rode a cycle ergometer until exhaustion, and then consumed a low-carbohydrate dinner before going home. This exercise bout was designed to reduce the athletesÂ’ muscle glycogen stores prior to the experimental trial the next day.

The athletes did not eat again until they returned to the lab the next day for the second session when they again cycled until exhaustion. They then ingested a drink that contained carbohydrate alone or carbohydrate plus caffeine and rested in the laboratory for four hours.

During this post-exercise rest time, the researchers took several muscle biopsies and multiple blood samples to measure the amount of glycogen being replenished in the muscle, along with the concentrations of glucose-regulating metabolites and hormones in the blood, including glucose and insulin.

The entire two-session process was repeated seven to 10 days later, swapping over the study groups.

“One of the things that the caffeine did was increase blood glucose and insulin levels above carbohydrate alone, so it has an additive effect,” said Hawley, who is with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Bundoora, Australia.

“Just think of the muscle looking for substrate to soak up. The muscle is depleted. Its job now is to put back fuel as quickly as it can. The only way that it can do that is to have fuel in the form of glucose in the blood. So the muscle is looking around and not seeing anymore glucose in the blood with caffeine, but it’s seeing more insulin.”

Insulin is the hormone that transports glucose into the muscle.

Hawley said multiple studies have shown the benefits of caffeine for athletes, whether itÂ’s ingested before or during exercise.

“Caffeine is a positive performance enhancer for events as short as 5 minutes and right up to the Iron Man triathlon,” Hawley said. “It is a drug, so I’ll have to call it a drug, but it is legal. It is one of the few drugs that works over a wide range of performances.

“Most of the other drugs or food supplements or nutrients like creatine for example, only work in very short intense sprints or something like that. But caffeine is this mysterious one that appears to have multiple effects, and that’s because it has multiple physiological effects and central-nervous system effects.”

Hawley noted that some Tour de France riders switch to Coca-Cola during the last part of their stages. Frank Shorter, who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, drank de-fizzed Coke during the race.

“He was light-year ahead of the scientists,” Hawley said. “He knew even then that some mixture of caffeine and carbohydrate was very, very good. … That shows that athletes are often a step or two ahead of us.”

Why a daily coffee can keep cancer at bay


London: The UK’s leading mouth cancer campaigners have urged the population to wake up to a pot of coffee and boost chances of keeping clear of cancer.

The British Dental Health Foundation has welcomed news of coffee’s potential after Japanese scientists found a cup of coffee a day made drinkers half as likely to develop oral cancer.

Drinking habits could prove a real boost in the fight to curb deaths from mouth cancer – which kills one person every five hours in the UK.

Cutting down on alcohol is another positive lifestyle choice. Alcohol and tobacco are linked to 80 per cent of cases, while people both drinking and smoking are 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.

Foundation chief executive Dr Nigel Carter said: “Though quitting smoking and alcohol are the two most positive lifestyle resolutions this New Year, research has shown a coffee a day could help against mouth cancer.

“Our Mouth Cancer Action Week campaign each year also points out the need to visit the dentist regularly for oral cancer screenings, and if in doubt, get checked out.”

Around 5,000 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer reach year in the UK.
Regular dental visits are vital as symptoms often occur pain free, so expert check-ups are necessary.

Self-examination for warning signs – including non-healing ulcers, red and white patches in the mouth or unusual lumps or changes in the mouth – is also an effective way of staying safe.

The recent coffee research was carried out by a team at Japan’s Tohoku University School of Medicine, and tracked 40,000 people aged 40-64 over a 13 year period.

Studies showed people drinking at least a coffee a day were 49 per cent less likely to develop cancers of the mouth or oesophagus. In their report, published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, scientists noted an inverse association between drinking coffee and those at most risk of mouth cancer.

For nore information visit the website

Facts and Figures

* In the UK over 4,750 are diagnosed each year
* Around 1,700 people die of mouth cancer every year
* Mouth cancer is more common in men than women, but the gap is closing
* Mouth cancer is more likely to affect people over 40 years of age, though an increasing number of young people are developing the condition
* Tobacco and alcohol are thought to contribute to 80 per cent of mouth cancer cases
* Smoking is the number one cause for mouth cancer. Cigarette smoke converts saliva into a deadly cell-damaging cocktail
* Switching to low-tar cigarettes will not help, as smokers of ‘lights’ tend to inhale more smoke than smokers of ‘regular’ cigarettes
*Although some people believe that chewing tobacco is safer than smoking, the reality is that it is even more dangerous. Chewing tobacco, paan, areca nut and gutkha are habits favoured by some ethnic groups
* Alcohol aids absorption of smoke into the mouth – people who smoke and drink alcohol to excess are 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer
* Poor diet is linked to a third of all cancer cases. Evidence shows an increase in fruit and vegetables lowers the risk, as can fish and eggs
* It is recommended that people enjoy a healthy, balanced diet, including food from each of the major food groups and including fruit and vegetables of all different colours as each colour contains different vitamins
* Research now suggests the human papilloma virus (HPV) – transmitted by oral sex – could soon rival smoking and drinking as a main cause of mouth cancer.
* Early detection and treatment considerably increases survival chances, allows for simpler treatment and results in a better quality of life for sufferers

About The Charity

The British Dental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading oral health charity, with a 30-year track record of providing public information and influencing government policy. It maintains a free consumer advice service, an impartial and objective product accreditation scheme, publishes and distributes a wide range of literature for the profession and consumers.
National Smile Month runs each May, to promote greater awareness of the benefits of better oral health, with Mouth Cancer Action Week each November.

The Dental Helpline, which offers free impartial dental advice to consumers, can be contacted on 0845 063 1188 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday or by e- mailing

Coffee is good for women’s hearts


Coffee may protect women against heart disease, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has revealed.

Researched studied 84,000 women from 1980 until 2004 and 42,000 men between 1986 and 2004 and questioned their coffee consumption every four years.

It found that women who drank two or three cups of full-strength coffee a day were 25 per cent less likely to die of heart disease than those who drank none. Those who drank decaffeinated coffe also had lower death rates.

The scientists were unsure why coffee did not confer any benefits on men. The study was also inconclusive on whether it was coffee or some other factor in the women’s lifestyle that was responsible for the positive effect on their health.

Coffee contains antioxidants and tannins which are good for the heart and arteries. It has also been shown to be good for liver and reduce asthma attacks.

Coffee boosts memory and alertness

London: Coffee is good for the memory and may help ageing brains stay more alert, says researchers from the UK’s University of Birmingham.

Dr Martin Vreugdenhill said that research into drinking cofee, the most widely used psychoactive drug, has shown that it increases alertness and speeds up the mental processing of information.

It works by altering the brain’s electrical activity by boosting gamma rhythms associated with learning and memory. Coffee lessens the levels of a chemical, called adenosine, that blocks gamma rhythms in older brains.

According to Dr Vreugdenhill drinking coffee regularly can triple gamma rhythm activity. At the same time he highlighted that drinking too much coffee could have adverse effects on health.

Coffee not linked to heart disease in most people

Madrid: Filtered coffee does not raise the risk of heart disease, a new study by scientists at the universidad Autonoma de Madrid has found.

The research project, which followed 128,000 men and women for as long as 20 years, showed drinking filtered coffee – not percolated or French-style brews – did not raise the risk of heart disease.

Heavy coffee drinkers did tend to smoke and drink alcohol more often and those two factors clearly do raise heart risk, the researchers report in the journal Circulation.

But another recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston has said that the association between coffee consumption and the risk of heart disease in small groups of people cannot be excluded. The study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that those men and women with a ‘slow’ version of a particular liver enzyme gene had a higher risk of heart disease if they drank more coffee, compared to those with a fast-metabolising version. Liver enzymes metabolise coffee and many other compounds.

Other studies have shown a link with heart disease and copious drinking of French press coffee, made using a mesh filter instead of a paper drip filter, or percolated coffee.

Volunteers in both studies fill out periodic questionnaires about their diet, exercise and other health habits and undergo regular physical exams.

The researchers found more than half the women and 30 percent of men who drank six or more cups of coffee a day were also more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and use aspirin. They were also less likely to drink tea, exercise or take vitamin supplements.

But once these factors were accounted for, there was no difference in heart attack risks between the very light and heavy coffee drinkers.

A study published last November found no link between coffee drinking and high blood pressure, but there was an apparent association with drinking caffeinated fizzy drinks.

Coffee is good for health, say experts

New York: A series of reports from scientists are contradiciting the belief that coffee is bad for health.

The studies around the world now confirm that coffee contains tannin and antioxidants which are good for the heart and arteries. Also caffeine previously blamed for affecting health can help reduce the risk of asthma attacks and help improve circulation in the heart.

Other studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing certain cancers. While yet another study of 60,000 people showed that drinking a cup of coffee a day can almost halve the risk of liver cancer. They also have a reduced risk of colon cancer. And the more coffee you drink, the lower your chance of developing the illness.

Coffee drinkers also have a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes and there are even some tentative findings that caffeine may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease as well as alcohol-related liver damage.

The drink can keep both gall stones and kidney stones at bay and coffee can even reduce the risk of suicide, according to a study by U.S. researcher Professor Walter Willett.

The Coffee Information Science Centre said the research confirmed the health benefits of the drink what it had known for some time.