Writing in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Greenberg and his co-workers from the State University of New York and the City University of New York report the results of their epidemiological study of 6594 men and women aged between 32 and 86 using data from the 1971–1973 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I) and follow-up until 1992.Intake of caffeinated beverages, including coffee, tea, and caffeinated cola and chocolate, was calculated from food frequency questionnaires, and classified according to average daily intake: less than half a serving, between half and two servings, two to four servings, four or more servings.
Was the protective effect from caffeine or from other compounds in the caffeinated foods? I wonder if the researchers tried excluding caffeinated colas or tried weighting the foods based on amounts of bioflavonoids to see if the effect tracked better with the amount of caffeine or the amount of other compounds..
Note that this effect was found only for those over age 65. Does this beneficial effect require a lifetime of caffeine consumption? Or could one wait till one reaches one's 60s before becoming a regular consumer of tea, coffee, and chocolate? (I err on the safe side and eat the chocolate many years before reaching the elderly stage)
For this age group, the researchers report that increasing intake of caffeinate beverages was associated with decreasing risk of mortality from these conditions. Indeed, drinking four or more servings per day reduced the risk of heart disease mortality by 53 per cent.
Over the next 15 years, men who consumed cocoa regularly had significantly lower blood pressure than those who did not.
Over the course of the study, 314 men died, 152 due to cardiovascular diseases.
Men in the group with the highest cocoa consumption were half as likely as the others to die from cardiovascular disease.
Their risk remained lower even when other factors, such as weight, smoking habits, physical activity levels, calorie intake and alcohol consumption were taken into account.
The men who consumed more cocoa were also less likely to die of any cause.
The Dutch researchers suspect that polyphenol compounds in cocoa are responsible for the protective effects. But the effective dose needed is quite high. You are best off eating dark rather than milk chocolate and better yet cocoa powder. I put cocoa powder on apple sauce for this reason.
Thanks to Lou Pagnucco for the heads up.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2007 February 10 03:21 PM Aging Diet Studies|