Monday, November 21, 2005

I'm gonna drink a cup of coffee, pray and drive down the shore—for health reasons of course

One double decaf mocha frappuccino with soy milk and to hell with it—Possibly no consumable beverage or food is the cause of more confusion in medicine than coffee.It is either very bad for you or not bad at all. If you have to drink coffee drink it decaffeinated. Or maybe not. Turns out, maybe not is ahead at the moment. A study at the American Heart Association’s Scientfic Sessions indicates that decaffeinated coffee—a substance I drink reluctantly—is bad for you. According to the Coffee and Lioprotein Metabolism (CALM) study, the hairless stuff can increase the harmful LDL cholesterol in your blood and that’s not good for your heart. Not to mention that it does no good starting the engines in the morning. Coffee with caffeine has no such effect. Atlanta researchers studied 187 people and randomized their Java doses. One group drank 3-6 cups of regular coffee; another drank 3-6 cups of decaf, and the third group staggered through their mornings unaided by any beverage. The decaf cohort had a rise in ApoB and LDL while the others did not. ApoB is the protein attached to LDL and is a good predictor of heart disease. Keep in mind that within a year someone will come up with a study showing exactly opposite results, but for the time being, we can be smug Meanwhile, might I recommend Peets Sulawesi-Kalosi blend.

Go ahead. Get Sprinsteen and Lucy the Elephant pissed—Those of us who are concerned with global warming have some things to keep from total despair. If the seas do rise and flood the coast, we get to watch Miami sink. We figure New York and Boston can take care of themselves, and LA, Seattle and San Francisco have lots of hills. But a new study out of Princeton puts a chill in my bones. Rising sea levels in the next hundred years would shrink New Jersey by 3%, taking most of the Shore with it. The coastal counties include about 60% of the state’s 8.6 million people but more important when you go “down the shore,” the Jersey slang for going to the beach, you will end up in New Brunswick or someplace. Asbury Park, Long Beach Island, Bradley Beach. Harvey Cedars. Shipbottom. Margate and it's giant wooden elephant. Gone. All of them Now that’s serious. What will Springsteen sing about? What will parents tell their children about their summers down the shore?

Praying over your crossword puzzle is good for your healthMany researchers think that one way to stave off the onslaught of Alzheimer’s comes under the heading of use it or loose it. If you put your brain to sleep watching television or golfing, you are more susceptible to senile dementia and other forms of serious senior moments. Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Case Western Reserve have found that gardening, reading, writing and praying can delay Alzheimer’s. The study was done with 600 Israeli Arabs and found that incurable dementia was delayed by certain leisure mental activities. Genetic factors, of course, also played a role as did inadequate physical activity and smoking. Inbreeding showed up the genetic components. OK, I made that up about golf. Surely you must have something better to do with your time. Do don’t marry your cousin, be active, garden, pray, and don’t smoke. I forget the rest. [Registration required for Jerusalem Post]

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