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Can coffee really save your eyesight?

22nd June 2007

Cracking bit of good news on Tuesday... don't know if you saw it...

But a new study, reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, suggests that drinking coffee can protect your eyesight.

Italian researchers looked at the coffee drinking and smoking habits of 166 people with a condition called 'blepharospasm'. This is where you get an uncontrollable spasm in your eyelid.

It's not just annoying... it can lead to blindness.

Now it's claimed that one or two cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of this condition. Worth knowing, I think.

And there was some more coffee news recently.

And it made me chuckle too...

Shock revelation from the Journal of Pain!

Did you know there was a Journal of Pain?

Well, there is. Possibly not a relaxing Sunday morning read, or a beforebedtime thing... but anyway...

In January, this journal suggested that drinking coffee could help reduce the pain you get after exercise.

Now, as you know, I'm not a big exercise man. I'm a big man, yes... EXERCISE, no.

My belief is that we can prevent many diseases, ailments and weight gain by making tiny additions, deletions and tweaks to our daily diet.

To help this along, we need to walk more. Move about more often. Take some fresh air.

In my view, we all need to keep mentally and physically alert. But this doesn't mean we all have to lock ourselves in a gymn and turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I mean, do YOU want to govern California?

But I do notice a lot of aches right after I've got back from a bike ride, or a long country walk with the kids. Or shopping with Lara (the worst pain of all!)

And perhaps you're the kind of person put off moderate exercise by these aches pains that follow.

If so, it's useful to know that the study found that two cups of coffee can cut muscle pain by up to 48%.

But researchers at warned this may not be applicable to regular caffeine users. This is because they are less sensitive to its effects.
And finally, today, there's a lot of confusion about the relation between coffee and kidney stones...

Is coffee good or bad for kidney stones?

According to a study in the Journal of Urology in 2004, if you are prone to kidney stones you should cut down on the number of cups of coffee you have each day.

The scientists gave a group of people who had a history of kidney stones some caffeine. They tested their urine and found larger levels of calcium, which could raise your chances of getting kidney.

In an interview with Reuters, the study's leader, Dr. Linda Massey of Washington State University, said 'those prone to kidney stones should have no more than two cups of coffee a day.'


But other research also suggests that coffee, alcohol and milk are actually GOOD for kidney stones.

According to a study reported in Kidney International in 2005, coffee, among other things, could be protective against stone disease.

This is because coffee is a diuretic, which means that they dilute urine and increase the amount of times you need to go to the lavatory).

Confusion! Confusion!

Just shows you that science never really has conclusive answers, as the establishment would have you believe. If this was alternative medicine they're been pointing at it, laughing 'I TOLD YOU IT WAS NONSENSE'.

Personally, I drink coffee, but limit it to no more than two small cups, or one large mug every day. Seems the best way to go.

If you think you have kidney stones, go and your doctor. And if you simply want to prevent them in the future, here's some good information for you...

Natural ways to prevent stones

Robert A. Hiatt M.D. has written about kidney stones in the 'American Journal of Epidemiology'. His best advice is as follows:

'Doctors have long urged kidney stone patients to adopt a low-protein, high-fibre, high fluid diet. But a study suggests that the most important thing to do is drink lots of water - 6 to 10 eight-ounce glasses a day.'
You can also try these natural protective remedies...
  • Drink cranberry juice. Many experts believe it helps lubricate your urinary tract and aid in the passage of stones. Others believe that cranberry juice reduces the amount of calcium in your urine.

    Try drinking two eight-ounce glasses daily as a preventive.

  • Also try magnesium rich foods like pumpkin seeds, tofu, wheat germ, seafood and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach.

  • Julian Whitaker, M.D., president of the Whitaker Wellness Center in California suggests that you supplement your diet with 800 milligrams of magnesium and 100 milligrams of vitamin B6 each day.

  • AVOID grapefruit juice. Two major studies have found that drinking grapefruit juice more than once a week increased the risk of forming a kidney stone.

It's not that grapefruit juice CAUSED the stones, but researchers believe it must have a relationship with other culprits.

I hope that helps!

Yours, as ever,

Ray Collins
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