Good to the last drop

FRIDAY 4-25-08…Over the past few decades, coffee has gotten a bad rap (off and on) from food cops, nutrition “experts” and others who seem to be hell-bent on making everyone conform to what they feel is best for you.

I remember when decaffeinated coffee was first introduced. It was touted as the panacea for all the ills off regular coffee because caffeine was drug and drugs are “bad”. Soon thereafter came word that decaffeinated coffee was more likely to cause cancer, depending on how the caffeine was extracted.

But now comes word from three different sources showing coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the body. Coffee has already been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Without getting too technical, there is a barrier between the brain and the main blood supply. The blood-brain barrier is a filter that protects the central nervous system from harmful chemicals carried around in the rest of the bloodstream. Studies show that high levels of cholesterol in the blood can make this barrier leak.

However, in tests, the blood brain barrier was protected in those given a caffeine supplement. Dr. Jonathan Geiger at the University of North Dakota says “Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilize the blood brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders.”

Then, in the Sacramento BEE, an article by Dr. Kay and Dr. Max pointed out two to four cups of regular coffee per day has been shown to reduce the incidence of gallbladder disease by up to 45 percent. Decaf coffee did not provide the same benefit.

For the coffee industry, I would say the defense rests.

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