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  • midlifelove 3:52 am on February 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cancer, Coffee good for you, Coffee health benefits, Harvard Medical School, , longevity, Parkinsons Disease,   

    Coffee Brims With Health 

    Drink up, coffee lovers. Not only is coffee aromatic and delicious, it’s good for you.

    Who says? None other than Harvard Medical School.

    Once considered questionable for your health, it turns out that the beloved beverage is actually healthful in moderation. That means a few cups a day.

    At about 20 cents per 6-ounce cup, coffee is a good deal if you brew it yourself.

    Harvard researchers say drinking coffee may help prevent diseases such as:

    • Cancer: Some studies have found coffee drinkers have lower rates of colon and rectal cancers, better survival rates with prostate cancer, and are 50 percent less likely to get liver cancer than coffee abstainers.
    • Type 2 diabetes: Coffee is thought to contain chemicals that lower blood sugar because heavy coffee drinkers may be half as likely to get diabetes as those who drink little or no coffee. Coffee also may increase your resting metabolism rate, which could help prevent diabetes.
    • Parkinson’s disease: Coffee seems to help protect men from Parkinson’s disease, but not women. The difference might be due to estrogen, researchers say.
    • Heart disease: Coffee is not linked to the development of heart disease. In the past few years, Harvard scientists say, coffee has been shown to be safe even for heart attack survivors. Scientists think antioxidants in coffee may reduce inflammation and protect blood vessel walls.
    • Life span: Recent studies suggest that drinking coffee decreases the risk of premature death, especially in women. Women who drank at least five to seven cups a week had a death rate 26 percent lower than non-consumers, a large investigation by researchers in Spain and at Harvard Medical School found.

    Three Or More Cups Good

    It’s not only Harvard researchers who are touting the brew’s benefits. As the Palm Beach Post reported, in September a study led by Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute showed that people with chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease who drank three or more cups of coffee a day cut their risk of the disease progressing by 53 percent.

    Although caffeine might be considered the “active ingredient” in coffee, coffee is only 2 percent caffeine and 98 percent “other stuff,” including more than 1,000 different compounds such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

    It even contains fiber. Each cup contains from 1.1 to 1.8 grams of soluble dietary fiber, the kind that dissolves in water and helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the intestines, according to researchers at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid.

    But Not If You Are Pregnant

    Do researchers have any words of caution? Yes — although regular coffee drinking isn’t harmful for most people, that might not hold true for pregnant women. Research has linked miscarriage to caffeine consumption of 200 milligrams or more per day. A typical cup of coffee has 100 to 150 milligrams, Harvard reports.

     
  • midlifelove 12:43 am on January 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: incurable optimist, , Parkinsons Disease, successful Hollywood marriage, Tracy Pollan   

    Incurable Optimist: Michael J Fox 

    Family Ties and Spin City star Michael J. Fox is the first to acknowledge his diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 29 could have been the undoing of his life in many ways.

    He’d been married to fellow actor Tracy Pollan for just two years. The first of their four children, Sam, was just a baby.

    “It could have left us undone,” the Back to the Future megastar says in his latest book Always Looking Up – The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.

    And if there was ever evidence needed that he is indeed, an optimist, you only need to look at how he has handled the challenge of living with illness.

    He and Tracy went on to have three more children (twins Schulyer and Aquinnah, and six years later, Esme) and build one of the most enduring marriages in Hollywood.

    An Amazing Life

    Michael was faced with a choice, he says. ”I could concentrate on the loss – or I could just get on with my life and see if maybe those holes started filling in themselves.  Over the last ten years they have, in the most amazing ways.

    “For everything the disease has taken something of greater value has been given. It may be one step forward two steps back but I’ve learned what is important is making that one step count.

    “Parkinson’s Disease has taken physical strength, spontaneity, physical balance, manual dexterity, the freedom to do the work I want to do when I want to do it, and the confidence that I can always be there for my family when they need me.”

    Happy Marriage

    In a chapter on family life titled ‘Why I’m still with Tracy and Shaky When I’m Not’ Michael says “Some people ask me the secret of a long and happy marriage, just as they ask me about the key to raising children. My flip answer in the kid department is “love ‘em, feed ‘em and keep ‘em out of traffic.” As for marriage, I often reply with equal brevity “Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty.”

    “Parkinson’s is always putting me in a box, and Tracy has become expert at folding back the flaps, tipping it over and easing me out.

    “She’d tell you probably with a laugh, that the greatest challenge she faces isn’t having a Parkinson’s patient for a husband, it’s having me for a husband. And by the way, I am a Parkinson’s patient.”

    Gains Greater Than Losses

    “The more complicated our marriage has got, the more it seems to bring out the best in us.

    “I was a big believer in my own PR: a happy-go-lucky lottery winner who had it all, a great career, a beautiful wife, a healthy son. I was struggling, though, with figuring out how to keep it all going. I was working more than I needed to, worrying more than I liked to admit, and drinking more than anyone should. I was, to put it mildly, not well positioned to deal with what was coming.

    “The change that Parkinson’s has forced up me and Tracy and the family, pales in comparison with the changes we have brought upon ourselves. We give more to each other than Parkinson’s could ever take away“.

     
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