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Three coffees a day keeps dementia away

Drinking three cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study by Florida-based researchers.

Keeping high blood caffeine levels by drinking coffee was found to help at-risk adults over 65 to avoid the onset Alzheimer’s disease.–The study by Chuanhai Cao et al. was published online today ahead of publication in the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease.

Coffee: main caffeine source for study participants

The researchers monitored the cognitive status of 124 people aged between 65 and 88 displaying mild cognitive impairment (MCI), an early sign of the disease. Many participants were expected to develop Alzheimer’s within a few years.—No MCI patients with a blood caffeine level above 1,200 ng/ml developed the disease over a 2-4 year periodThe main or only caffeine source for these individuals was coffee.—Study lead author and neuroscientist Chuanhai Cao, said: “These intriguing results suggest that older adults with mild memory impairment who drink moderate levels of coffee — about 3 cups a day — will not convert to Alzheimer’s disease — or at least will experience a substantial delay before converting to Alzheimer’s,”–“The results from this study, along with our earlier studies in Alzheimer’s mice, are very consistent in indicating that moderate daily caffeine/coffee intake throughout adulthood should appreciably protect against Alzheimer’s disease later in life,” he continued.–Reduced risk, but no complete protection—The researchers claim the study is the first to provide a direct link between caffeine/coffee intake and reduced Alzheimer’s risk or delayed onset.-“We are not saying that moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from Alzheimer’s disease,” Cao continued.—“However, we firmly believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or delay its onset.”—Other coffee perks–In the past year alone, coffee has been linked to a series of health benefits.—In Feburary, NutraIngredients.com reported on a study that found high consumption of coffee could reduce the risk of advanced fibrosis in those with fatty liver disease.—Another recent study found that the caffeine laden drink could reduce the risk of womb (endometrial) cancer, while other research has linked coffee to reduced diabetes risk.—-Citation–Study: ‘High Blood Caffeine Levels in MCI Linked to Lack of Progression to Dementia ,’ Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 30 (2012) 559–572 DOI 10.3233/JAD-2012-111781-By Chuanhai Caoa, David A. Loewensteine, Xiaoyang Linc, Chi Zhangc, Li Wangc, Ranjan Duarae, Yougui Wuh, Alessandra Gianninid, Ge Baii, Jianfeng Caii, Maria Greige,, Elizabeth Schofielde, Raj Ashokc, Brent Smallj, Huntington Potterc,k and Gary W. Arendashd,

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Prebiotics may enhance magnesium uptake from diet

Prebiotic fibers may enhance the absorption and retention in rats, suggests new data from Purdue University with implications for bone health in postmenopausal women.—Supplementation of the diet with commercial ingredients Synergy1 (Beneo), Fruitafit HD (Sensus) or polydextrose (Tate & Lyle) was associated with an increase in magnesium absorption and retention of about 20% and 23%, respectively, according to findings published in the Journal of Food Science.—Explaining the practical implications of their findings, the researchers note: “Steady growth in US middle-aged and elderly populations has led to higher incidences of several chronic diseases including osteoporosis, a bone disease that primarily affects postmenopausal women. Recent research suggests that certain dietary fibers (prebiotics) enhance mineral absorption and may impart bone health benefits. —-“Study findings will aid future investigations in ascertaining the factors related to potential bone health benefits of prebiotic which will aid in developing an effective prebiotics food product/supplement that will address the bone health needs of consumers.”-Prebiotics—This is not the first time that prebiotics have been reported to beneficially influence magnesium uptake. A study by Cargill and TNO Quality of Life from 2009 (Nutrition Research, Vol. 29, pp. 229-237) indicated that fructo-oligosaccharide consumption increased magnesium absorption in 12- to 15-year-old girls by 18% after 36 days.—The potential benefits of prebiotics include improved bone health, colon health, immunity, satiety, and weight management.–The chicory root is the major source of prebiotic ingredients. Inulin and oligofructose are the two major ingredients sourced from the root that is mainly grown in Belgium and Northern France where the world’s ‘big three’ suppliers (Beneo-Orafti, Sensus, Cosucra) are based.—Study details—The Purdue scientists divided female lab rats into six groups. The first group acted as the controls, while the other five groups had their ovaries removed to act as a model of post-menopausal conditions. One of the ovariectomized rat groups was fed the control diet only, one group received daily estradiol (E2) injections, and the other three groups had their daily diet supplemented with Synergy1, Fruitafit HD, or polydextrose at a level of 5%.-The researchers found that the polydextrose-fed rats had higher calcium absorption efficiency and retention than the other groups after a few days, but this difference was no longer observed after four weeks of feeding.–Both inulin-based fibers (Synergy1 and Fruitafit HD) produced positive effects on calcium metabolism related to changes in the gut, they said.–“Although prebiotics increased mineral absorption and utilization, the increase did not translate to improved indicators of bone strength suggesting that a four week dietary prebiotics treatment may not be sufficient to have a substantial impact on bone after stabilization following menopause,” they noted.  “Longer treatment duration as well as administration of treatment during growth or early or perimenopausal phase may produce larger benefits.”—-Source: Journal of Food Science —Volume 77, Issue  4, Pages H88-94, doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02612.x “Prebiotics enhance magnesium absorption and inulin-based fibers exert chronic effects on calcium utilization in a postmenopausal rodent model” Authors: L.L. Legette, W. Lee, B.R. Martin, J.A. Story, J.K. Campbell, C.M. Weaver

Recipe—take the yogurt of choice( plain and with fat) and add a magnesium capsule ( whatever you are using) or a liquid  form of magnesium( 1 tsp of a liquid)  mix it well in the yogurt container or bowl—then allow it to sit out over night allowing the fermentation to take place—next day consume the allotted container—this will increase the uptake—to see the results this may have to be utilized for an extended period of time

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Homemade Citrus Pectin

The white parts of citrus peels are naturally high in pectin

Pectin is a naturally occurring substance in fruit that makes sweet preserves gel. However, some fruits are low in pectin and need added pectin in order to gel. You can buy commercial pectin, or you can make your own from citrus peels. You can also make pectin from apples.

High-pectin citrus peel is what makes marmalade gel without added pectin. Keep in mind that it is the white pith, or inner part of the citrus peel that is rich in pectin. Under-ripe fruits have more of this pith than fully ripe fruits. You can use any citrus for this recipe, but grapefruit works especially well because of its larger pith.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Maceration time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 1 pint

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb white parts of citrus peels
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Preparation:

Remove the colorful zest of the peels with a zester or vegetable peel. Set aside for another use (wonderfully aromatic and flavorful, this zest could overwhelm the flavors of other fruits in your jams and jellies). Cut off white parts, finely chop and weigh.

Combine the chopped citrus peel pith with the lemon juice in a medium sized pot. Let stand for 2 hours. Add the water and let stand for another hour.

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Strain through a jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth. The liquid pectin will keep in the refrigerator for a week, or in the freezer for 6 months.

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Pectin made from citrus fruit

Pectin is concentrated mainly in the peel – in the white, inner part of the skin (pith), in the membranes between the sections and in the seeds. Citrus fruit produces a lot of super jelling pectin, but it has a pronounced flavor which comes from the slightly bitter pith. The membranes and seeds have a neutral flavor. Underripe fruit posseses thick skins and will produce more pectin than a fully matured fruit. The fully ripe fruit left on the tree will have even thinner skin and only a little pectin.—What follows below is the excellent formula for citrus pectin from an old document: Stennis, M.A., “Citrus Conservation” Florida Fruits and Vegetables in the Commercial Menu, State of Florida Department of Agriculture, Tallahassee, 1931.

½ lb white part (pith) of orange peel, about 8 oranges may be needed.
1 pint (2 cups) of water
4 Tbsp. lemon juice

The more pronounced flavor of a lemon pectin base means it’s most suited for a jam or jelly where you want the lemon flavor.

Instructions

Peel the oranges, you should have 4 skin quarters. Cut those quarters into narrower strips and remove the white peel with a knife. Chop the white peel through a food processor or cut with a knife.

Mix grated white peel with lemon juice and allow to stand for 1 hour. Add 1 pint of water and set it aside for another hour.

Boil gently 10 minutes. Switch off the heat, cover and let the pot cool. Perform the pectin alcohol test.

Drain and filter.

Store in refrigerator.

Second extraction

After the pectin stock was drained away, the pulp can be mixed with 3/4 pint of water again and reboiled gently for 10 minutes. Then it should be cooled and drained. If the alcohol test shows that the pectin stock is too thin, it can be simmered for 10 minutes to evaporate some water. Both extractions may be mixed together.

If a pectin stock satisfies the alcohol test, it will gel and the jelly will set. Apple or orange pectin stock can be used for making apple or orange jelly, or it may be added to other fruits and juices that are pectin poor. For example, strawberries, pears, blueberries, and apricots are pectin poor and will benefit if a solid pectin stock is added. People knew nothing about pectin but it was a well known fact that it was easier to make strawberry pectin if some apples were added.

Left glass – apple pectin, Right glass – orange pectin

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Unfounded claims against apple pectin

Lengfelder, Frenzel and Kenigsberg claimed that pectin had no useful properties. According to them, a study had been conducted by Herbstreith and Fox in Germany had proved that pectin was ineffective in decorporation (removing from body) of radionuclides. When a representative from Herbstreith and Fox was later interviewed, he said that only the effect of apple pectin on heavy metals had been studied, not the effect on radionuclide (p.137 of [1]). —But in a letter sent from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation in 2003 to local health authority directors, the pectin product Zosterine-Ultra was recommended as a “mass prophylactic in the atomic industry [with] the capacity to eliminate from the body the toxic components of lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc, manganese and other heavy metals as well as radionuclides including plutonium.” It was “perfectly tolerated by patients and has no contra indications.”  The letter went on to say how important this product has been in the Chernobyl area in “lowering the levels of accumulation and concentration of toxic substances in the body, and reinforcing the body’s own defence mechanisms.” And the product has been “approved as a therapeutic and prophylactic food additive by various medical research institutes, hospitals and clinics, including the State Scientific Centre, Institute of Biophysics, the Institute of Research of the Academy of Medical Science of Russia, the Kirov Academy of Military Medicine, the Institute of Toxicology at the Ministry for Public Health in Russia, the Academy of Ongoing Medical Training (Saint Petersberg).” In short, it was a ringing endorsement from the Russian Ministry of Health.