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Why Caffeine Is Making Headlines

Caffeine is one of the most consumed substances in the world due to its perceived benefits in the body. Research findings have revealed that caffeine has substances that improve wakefulness, enhance the mood and makes you more attentive. Separate studies have also shown that caffeine has the potential of increasing apoptosis which is the scientific term for programmed cell death process that has been seen to help in the protection against carcinogenesis. This article discusses two main studies that have been done on caffeine and helps to answer the question of whether caffeine consumption makes you smarter and thinner as well as protects your body against cancer.

The Three-City Study

Also known as the 3C study, this is a population-based longitudinal study (Ritchie) that sought to analyze the relationship between dementia and vascular diseases in people aged 65 years and above. The location of the study was in France and a total of 4,197 women and 2,820 men were recruited from Dijon, Montpellier and Bordeaux, 3 French cities located in the North East, South East and South West respectively.

The participants underwent extensive examination on a regular basis to analyze their cognitive performance, caffeine consumption and clinical diagnosis of dementia at baseline and thereafter at a 2 and 4-year follow-up interval.

Generally, caffeine consumption is associated with a wide range of variables including lifestyle, sociodemographic and clinical factors which also to some extent affect cognitive decline. According to the findings from the multivariate-adjusted logistic regression and multivariate mixed models, women who consumed over 3 cups a day showed less decline in their verbal retrieval and visuospatial memory over the 4 years examination compared to those who consumed a cup or less.

According to this study, the protective effect of caffeine increases with age while no relationship was observed between cognitive decline in men and the consumption of caffeine. Caffeine intake didn’t reduce the risk levels of dementia over the 4 years of study.

Caffeine has psychostimulant properties which reduce cognitive decline in women who are not suffering from dementia, particularly at higher ages. It was concluded that other studies need to be undertaken so as to ascertain the potential use of caffeine in prolonging the mild cognitive impairment period in women before a diagnosis of dementia.

Voluntary Exercise Combined with Oral Caffeine Intake on Tissue Fat and Ultraviolet B Light-Induced Apoptosis in SKH-1 Mice

This study (Lu) that was carried out by Lu YP1, Lou YR, Wagner GC, Peng QY, Nolan B, and Conney AH involved placing hairless mice in cages with running exercise wheels that made them cover an average of two miles per day. The combination of exercise and caffeine intake through drinking water decreased the dermal fat of the rats in a span of 2 weeks, decreased the dermal fat layer parametrial fat pads thickness and stimulated the formation of ultraviolet B light-induced apoptotic cells in the epidermis.

The caffeine plasma levels were the same as those in people who took one to four cups of coffee daily. The summary of this study indicated that a great than addictive stimulatory effect of caffeine exists on UV B –induced apoptosis when a low dose of caffeine is orally administered together with voluntary exercise.

Therefore, inasmuch as caffeine has been portrayed to cause blood pressure and an increase in anxiety, there are potential benefits that exist such as weight loss and anti-tumor action. As a matter of fact, caffeine has an edge over other drugs when it comes to weight loss because it does not cause cognitive impairment.

References
  1. "Nutrition and Healthy Eating." Coffee and Health: What Does the Research Say? 8 Jan. 2016.
  2. Ritchie, K., I. Carriere, A. De Mendonca, F. Portet, J. F. Dartigues, O. Rouaud, P. Barberger-Gateau, and M. L. Ancelin. “The Neuroprotective Effects of Caffeine: A Prospective Population Study (the Three-City Study).” Neurology (2007): 536-45. Print.
  3. “Guidelines on Caffeine Intake – Coffee and Health.” Guidelines on Caffeine Intake – Coffee and Health. Web. 8 Jan. 2016.
  4. Lu, Y.-P., B. Nolan, Y.-R. Lou, Q.-Y. Peng, G. C. Wagner, and A. H. Conney. “Voluntary Exercise Together with Oral Caffeine Markedly Stimulates UVB Light-induced Apoptosis and Decreases Tissue Fat in SKH-1 Mice.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2007): 12936-2941. Print.

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