Thursday, December 13, 2012

Drinking coffee HALVES the risk of mouth cancer - even in smokers and drinkers (?)

But MOST Americans drink coffee.  So what is going on here?  Where is the comparison group?  Tea-drinkers?  Maybe they have shown only that tea drinkers in America have poor health.  It's just correlational stuff with purely speculative conclusions

Drinking four cups of coffee a day almost halves the risk of deadly mouth cancer, according to new research.  The latest study shows downing the beverage every day has a powerful protective effect against tumours that form in the mouth and throat.

The association held true regardless of how often the person drank alcohol or smoked.

Scientists found decaffeinated coffee also reduced the risk, although to a lesser extent, while drinking tea did nothing to prevent the disease.

The latest findings, by a team of researchers from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, Georgia, suggest it may not be caffeine that protects against the formation of malignant growths in and around the mouth.  Instead, they said, it's likely to be due to some of the hundreds of other naturally-occurring antioxidant chemicals found in coffee.

The results back up a similar study published two years ago by a different team of researchers, who found four cups a day slashed cancer risk by 39 per cent.

British consumers guzzle their way through an estimated 70 million cups of coffee a day.

The popular drink has already been linked with reducing the chances of getting bowel cancer, stroke and Alzheimer's disease.

However, drinking too much may increase heart rate and blood pressure and pregnant women are advised to limit their intake because of concerns that excess coffee may increase their chances of having small babies.

To see if coffee offered any protection, researchers studied nearly one million men and women who signed up to the Cancer Prevention Study II, which started in the US back in 1982.

They identified 868 volunteers who had died from cancer of the mouth or pharynx - the cavity between the nose and mouth - over a 30 year period.

When they studied patients' dietary habits and compared them with others who stayed cancer free during the same period, they found drinking caffeinated coffee in reasonably large quantities appeared to have a potent effect.

Those downing more than four cups a day were 49 per cent less likely to suffer tumours than others who drank little or no coffee.

Decaffeinated coffee also showed some protection, but the numbers involved were insufficient to draw firm conclusions, the researchers said.

Tea lovers, on the other hand, got no protection against mouth cancers from their favourite beverage.

In a report on the findings, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the researchers said it was likely that coffee's multitude of health-boosting ingredients shielded the body against the formation of tumours.

'Coffee contains multiple biologically active compounds that may help to lower the risk of developing and dying from cancer,' they said.

'In animal and cell cultures, no single anti-cancer mechanism has been identified but rather many pathways appear to be involved, depending upon the specific compound and anatomic site.'


Jogging outside in Belgium seems to make you stupid - and more likely to suffer mental health problems

There may be something in this but it is a very short-term study which overlooks the possibility of adaptation.  There is also no doubt that the findings would have conformed to experimenter expectations, which is always a warning bell.

It has long been hailed as beneficial to both body and mind - and if nothing else, a form of stress release after a hard day at the office. 

But new research suggests exercising outside could do more harm than good when it comes to your brain.  For jogging in busy, traffic-filled areas could actually cause mental decline.

Belgian researchers have found that people who live in a city and exercise outdoors have higher levels of inflammation and lower scores on cognitive tests than those who exercise outside in the suburbs.

In a study, they separated exercisers into two groups who exercised three times a week for 12 weeks, between midday and 1pm. One group alternated and walking in a busy, urban area - the other in a rural location.

The researchers, from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, then gave the subjects a test to measure their response time and attention span.

They found that high levels of air pollution in the city prevented participants from getting some of the brain-boosting benefits of exercise, such as the ability to absorb new information and a reduced chance of mental health problems.

The city joggers also had significantly higher blood levels of some inflammation markers, Men's Health magazine reported.

This is important because inflammation in the brain is associated with mental illness.

Last month, U.S. research found that higher level of air pollution in towns and cities is ageing the brains of over-50s by up to three years.

Scientists have found that exposure to higher levels of air pollution can lead to decreased brain power in over-50s.

In a study of almost 15,000 older adults, researchers at the US-based National Institute on Aging found fine air particulate matter may be an important environmental risk factor for reduced thought power.


No comments: