Liver Disease and Coffee

Drinking Coffee Could Help Those With Liver Disease, Study Shows

Coffee gives more than a morning pick-me-up — about two cups daily could help sufferers of liver disease, according to a new joint study by Mason and Inova Health Systems.

“No one really knows how caffeine works on (fatty liver disease),” says Zobair Younossi, who led the study and is co-director of the George Mason University−Inova Health System Translational Research Institute. Perhaps there is a component in caffeine that reduces inflammation in the liver, he suggests. “Also, caffeine could have an antioxidant effect.”

Dubbed Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), this type of ailment is mainly caused by fat, and not by drinking alcohol. And it’s a growing problem.

“As the rate of obesity is going up in this country, especially among children, the problems of NAFLD will continue to rise,” says Younossi, who is chairman of the Department of Medicine at Inova Fairfax Hospital as well as vice president for research for Inova Health System. “This is becoming a major cause of liver disease.”

About 25 percent of the U.S. population has fatty liver disease, he says. From that number, about 2 to 3 percent could progress to cirrhosis, which is scarring on the liver that can lead to liver cancer.

Fatty liver disease frequently comes with type 2 diabetes, says Younossi, who has researched liver disease for 16 years. Obesity and poor diet are underlying factors.

The Coffee Effect

lisapawloski2Lisa Pawloski, chair of Mason’s Department of Nutrition Studies. Creative Services photo

Younossi, Inova’s Maria Stepanova and Mason’s Lisa Pawloski and Aybike Birerdinc looked at four continuous cycles of the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2001 to 2008. Approximately 19,000 respondents were asked about 62 different dietary habits, including their intake of water, sodium, fiber, cholesterol, calcium and alcohol.

The surveys from 2007-08 revealed that 32.2 percent of American men and 35.5 percent of women are obese. If those rates continue, then 45 to 50 percent of American adults will be obese by 2025, according to the study, meaning that more than 25 million Americans could develop fatty liver disease.

Out of all the survey data about diet, only caffeine appeared to have any protective value, Younossi says.

“I was actually surprised,” says Pawloski of the “coffee effect.”  “But there are other studies that support it. To me, it’s exciting that this study follows what others have done.”

Caffeine is showing some benefit for such diseases as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes, says Pawloski, who is chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies in Mason’s College of Health and Human Services.

“It used to be people would say they’re cutting back on caffeine,” Pawloski continues. “There is a change in the attitudes about coffee and caffeine consumption. I think this study is another piece to show that it’s not necessarily a bad thing to include in your diet.”

How Much to Consume?

How much coffee is enough is debatable, Younossi says. Don’t start drinking coffee tomorrow if you don’t already do so. “In fact, if you drink too much, you could do some harm,” he says.

There is some evidence that high caffeine intake can adversely affect bone density, Pawloski adds. Those with iron deficiency should be careful with caffeine because tannins contained in tea as well as in wine inhibit iron absorption.

Also, don’t take caffeine pills — go for the real thing, Pawloski advises. Coffee and tea contribute fluids as well as antioxidants, she says. And milk added to the drink provides beneficial calcium.

“I would encourage coffee and tea drinking, but I would not make a definite recommendation to start doing it to prevent liver disease,” Pawloski says.

And watch how many calories you pack into your caffeine perk, Pawloski adds. “Some people, like me, like to load it up with cream and sugar.”

Patients with liver disease can reverse the trajectory of the disease through diet and weight loss, Younossi says. They need to keep accurate dietary records and watch what they eat and drink, he says. Even though fatty liver disease isn’t caused by drinking alcohol, libations don’t help because processing alcohol is tough on the liver.

“Even social drinking can be harmful,” Younossi adds.

There’s no current evidence that caffeine could reverse scarring on the liver, but Younossi suspects it could have a beneficial effect. More studies are on the way, he says.

Pawloski currently is working on a study with Inova and Mason’s Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science to track the number and proximity of fast-food outlets in neighborhoods with high levels of obesity and poverty.

“This study, combined with other studies, may impact advice to people with liver disease,” Pawloski says.

From a press release of the George Mason University−Inova Health System Translational Research Institute.

Depression, alcoholism take toll on lonely evacuees in Japanese disaster areas

At least once during the daytime, she says she thinks about killing herself.

“Perhaps I had better die,” the woman muttered. “But I want to die in Hirono.”

Cases of depression and alcoholism are rising in number among evacuees of the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear accident.

A team of mental care specialists from Kyoto Prefecture treated 262 people at seven evacuation centers, including one in Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture, until July.

The team said 51 evacuees, or 19.5 percent, were suffering from reactive depression.

Toru Ishikawa, president of the Tohokukai Medical Hospital in Sendai, says the survivors of disasters have become more susceptible to depression and alcoholism since moving into temporary housing from evacuation centers. That’s because many of them now live alone.

Full story at; Depression, alcoholism take toll on lonely evacuees in disaster areas – English.

Teen Survival Guide; Free eBook download

The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating: Real-World Advice on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along

When my daughter became a senior in high school, I knew it wouldn’t be long before she left for college. I felt happy that she was about to start a new chapter in her life and proud of her success in getting to this point. But I also felt sad.Not only was I going to miss having my smart, funny, talkative, wildly creative daughter living at home, but I was also going to miss her wonderful friends. I wouldn’t hear what was going on in their day-to-day lives anymore, and I wouldn’t be able to help them sort things out

This book includes more than one hundred letters from teens who wrote tome for advice. (To protect the teens’ privacy, I decided not to use real names or any specific details that might identify a particular letter writer. Still, the letters and situations are absolutely real.) The letters let you find out what other teens are going through and see how their experiences are similar to your own

Maybe you’re thinking, “What makes her such an expert on relationships?”I don’t claim to be an expert (and neither does Terra!). But, just like you, I’ve had experiences that have taught me about myself and life. As a student, a teacher, a writer, a traveller, an actor, a director, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a mom, and a wife, I’ve spent years becoming comfortable with who I am and learning what it takes to get along with others. My advice is always based on what I know about healthy relationships, which are the only kind worth having.

Download the free copy of the Teen Survival Guide below.

The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating: Real-World Advice on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along


7 Ways to Deal with Difficult People

People in recovery from alcoholism, addiction, ACOA and co-dependency look for new, healthy and acceptable ways to relate to other people.

Life will always present us with awkward, difficult people; and unless you want to live in a Himalayan cave you will have to learn how to deal with these people.

Note: Cross posted from Recovery Is Sexy.com.

Permalink

Helping Teens Cope with Stress

Teenaged boy in blue jacket uid 1181059 Stress is a common problem among teens, and as a parent, you have a role in helping the teen in your life cope with it. So what exactly is stress? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stress is the body’s physical and psychological response to anything perceived as overwhelming. This may be viewed as a result of life’s demands—pleasant or unpleasant—and the body’s lack of resources to meet them.

While stress is a natural part of life, it often creates imbalance in the body, especially a teen’s body, which is already experiencing so many changes. Girls also report feeling "frequently stressed" more than boys. Visit Teens Today: An Inside Look to learn more about how teen girls and boys change from early to middle to late adolescence.

A certain amount of stress can be helpful as a way of keeping your teen motivated. But too much or too little may render them ineffective and interfere with their relationships at home and socially, as well as their physical well-being. According to a recent survey, 43 percent of 13- to 14-year-olds say they feel stressed every single day; by ages 15 to 17, the number rises to 59 percent. The day-to-day pressures teens experience, such as the pressure to fit in and to be successful, can lead to stress. Jobs and family economics can also prove stressful for teens, as nearly two-thirds of them say they are "somewhat" or "very concerned" about their personal finances.³

If stress becomes unmanageable and teens are left to their own devices without guidance from a parent or caregiver, they may find their own ways of coping. Sometimes these coping mechanisms involve unhealthy behaviors such as drinking, smoking marijuana, and engaging in other risky behaviors.⁴ Here’s how you can help the teen in your life with healthy, productive coping strategies.

  1. Recognize when your teen is stressed-out. Is your teen getting adequate rest? Are they eating well-balanced meals? Do they ever get to take breaks to restore their energy? If these needs are unmet, your teen will show it through chronic moodiness, irritability, anxiety and/or long bouts of sadness. If you have a teen daughter, be particularly aware if she is obsessing about looks or weight.
  2. Introduce positive coping strategies to your teen. Let’s face it, stress will be a part of your teen’s life. Help them identify ways in which they can relieve their stress in a healthy way. It can be as simple as having your teen talk to you about their problems or pressures. Other ideas include: exercising, getting enough sleep, listening to music, writing in a journal, keeping a healthy diet, seeing a counselor and reminding them of their accomplishments.
  3. Be a good example. Young people often pick up their coping strategies by watching their parents. If a child sees a parent drink an alcoholic beverage or smoke a cigarette every time they are overwhelmed, they are more likely to imitate the same behavior. So, be mindful of your own reactions to stress and set a good example for your children.

If signs of stress persist, ask for help. Some sources you can consult include: a health care provider, mental health center, social worker, counselor, nurse, therapist or clergy.

Full story at Managing Teen Stress

See also;

Causes and Risks for Binge Drinking by Women

Binge drinking woman Women’s childhood and adult adverse experiences, mental health, and binge drinking: The California Women’s Health Survey.

Researchers surveyed nearly 7,000 women in California during 2003-4 and found that 9.3% were involved in binge drinking.

The reasons given for alcohol abuse in this manner were;

Poor physical health, and poorer mental health, including;

  • symptoms of PTSD,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • feeling overwhelmed by stress

Adverse experiences in adulthood, including;

  • intimate partner violence,
  • having been physically or sexually assaulted, or
  • having experienced the death of someone close

In childhood, including;

  • living with someone abusing substances or mentally ill, or
  • with a mother victimized by violence, or
  • having been physically or sexually assaulted

The study concluded that identifying characteristics of women who engage in binge drinking is a key step in prevention and intervention efforts.

Binge drinking programs should consider comprehensive approaches that address women’s mental health symptoms as well as circumstances in the childhood home.

Women’s childhood and adult adverse experiences, mental health, and binge drinking: The California Women’s Health Survey. Christine Timko, Anne Sutkowi, Joanne Pavao and Rachel Kimerling. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy 2008, 3:1.

See also;

24 Workplace Actions of ACOA’s

 Woman Adult child of alcoholic, addict Adult Children of Alcoholism / Addiction in the Workplace

ACOA’s often transfer behaviour learned in childhood into other adult spheres of life. In true codependency style these often confuse and confound us.

Some of these are;

  1. We confuse our boss or supervisor with our alcoholic parents and have similar relationship patterns, behaviors, and reactions that are carryovers from childhood.
  2. We confuse our co-workers with our siblings or our alcoholic parents and repeat childhood reactions in those working relationships.
  3. We expect lavish praise and acknowledgment from our boss for our efforts on the job.
  4. Authority figures scare us and we feel afraid when we need to talk to them.
  5. We get a negative gut reaction when dealing with someone who has the physical characteristics or mannerisms of our alcoholic parent.
  6. We have felt isolated and different from everyone around us, but we don’t really know why.
  7. We lose our temper when things upset us rather than dealing with problems productively.
  8. We busy ourselves with our co-workers’ jobs, often telling them how to do their work.
  9. We can get hurt feelings when co-workers do things socially together without asking us, even though we have not made an effort to get to know them and join in the social life.
  10. We are afraid to make the first move to get to know a co-worker better, thinking they will not like us or approve of us.
  11. We usually do not know how to ask for what we want or need on the job, even for little things.
  12. We do not know how to speak up for ourselves when someone has said or done something inappropriate. We try desperately to avoid face-to-face confrontations.
  13. We are sensitive and can get extremely upset with any form of criticism of our work.
  14. We want to be in charge of every project or activity, feeling more comfortable when we are in control of every detail, rather than letting others be responsible.
  15. We may be the workplace “clown” to cover up our insecurities or to get attention from others.
  16. We are people-pleasers and may take on extra work, or our co-worker’s tasks, in order to be liked and receive approval from others.
  17. We do not know how to be assertive in getting our needs met or expressing a concern. We may have to repeatedly rehearse our comments before delivering them.
  18. We have felt that we do not deserve a raise, promotion, better workspace, or a better job.
  19. We do not know how to set boundaries, and we let others interrupt us. We can accept more work without knowing how to say ‘no’ appropriately.
  20. We are perfectionists about our own work and expect others to be the same and have the same work ethics and values.
  21. We become workaholics because it gives us a feeling of self-worth we did not get as a child.
  22. We may jump from job to job, looking for the perfect position as the substitute for the secure and nurturing home environment we did not have.
  23. We get upset when people do things that affect us or our work without asking us first.
  24. We have a high tolerance for workplace dysfunction and tend to stick it out in an unhappy job because we lack the self-esteem to leave.

After the ACOA laundry list of characterisation.

See also;

Stress Relief Drinking

Men drink for stress relief Men More Likely to Drink for Stress Relief

Depressed men are more likely than women to crave alcohol and develop alcohol-related disorder, according to researchers at Yale University.

CBC News reported May 12 that the study of 54 healthy adult drinkers studied responses to stressful events such as relationship problems and job loss.

“Men’s tendency to crave alcohol when upset may be a learned behavior or may be related to known gender differences in reward pathways in the brain,” said researcher Tara Chaplin. “And this tendency may contribute to risk for alcohol-use disorders.”

The research study was published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

From Join Together Online

See also;

Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure -Yahoo!

Chocolate trifles Cocoa, but Not Tea, Lowers Blood Pressure

More happy justification for chocolate lovers: blood pressure responds favorably to cocoa, but not tea, a new analysis suggests.

Authors of the study say that while both products are rich in polyphenols, the study findings suggest that phenols in cocoa may be more active than those in tea. The study appears in the April 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

“Products rich in cocoa may be considered part of a blood pressure lowering diet, provided that the total energy intake does not increase,” lead investigator for the study, Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, from the University Hospital of Cologne in Cologne, Germany, told heartwire. “I believe that cocoa is healthier than other sugar confectionary or high-fat dairy products.”

Cocoa Beats Tea for blood pressure

In the cocoa studies, cocoa consumption was typically flavonol-rich chocolate in the range of 100 g per day; in the tea studies, consumption was in the range of 4 to 6 cups daily.

In the cocoa studies, blood pressure dropped; however, in the tea studies, no differences were seen in blood pressure. The authors point out that while the 2 substances contain similar amounts of polyphenols, the components of these polyphenols differ between cocoa and tea: cocoa is particularly rich in procyanidins, whereas black and green tea are rich in flavan-3-ols and gallic acid. It may be that the polyphenol components in cocoa are more bioavailable, Taubert and colleagues propose.

According to Taubert and colleagues, the effects of cocoa on blood pressure were comparable to those achieved with antihypertensive drugs. “The magnitude of the hypotensive effects of cocoa is clinically noteworthy; it is in the range that is usually achieved with single doses of medication,” they write.

“At the population level, this level of reduction of blood pressure would be expected to substantially reduce the risk of;

  • stroke (by about 20%),
  • coronary heart disease (by 10%), and
  • all-cause mortality (by 8%).”

Research article published in the Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:626-634.

See also;

Boiling Point – Anger

Businessman yelling at briefcase in field uid 1172105 Anger is unhealthy – as if you didn’t know

A Boiling Point report says chronic and intense anger has been linked with heart disease, cancer, stroke, colds and flu as well as depression, self-harm and substance misuse.

Higher levels of anger are related to lower levels of social support and higher stress levels. Anger is more likely to have a negative effect on relationships than any other emotion.

Problem anger goes largely untackled unless someone commits an aggressive criminal act, when a court may refer them to anger management training. The charity says we are intervening too late and could save many lives from being damaged if we tackled it earlier.

Check out your boiling point at; Your Boiling Point

Also available is a booklet on cooling down anger

‘Cool down: Anger and how to deal with it’

This booklet outlines how anger works and explains the benefits of keeping your anger level under control or expressing it in a constructive way. It also describes some of the tactics you can use to manage your anger more effectively and minimise the personal costs of times when anger gets the better of you.

Cost Free to download or you can order hard copies pf the booklet at Mental Health of the UK.

See also;