Caffeine May Make Other Foods Taste Less Sweet

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robin Dando, PhD Assistant Professor Director, Cornell Sensory Evaluation Facility Department of Food Science Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study arose from a previous paper I authored in the Journal of Neuroscience, where we found Adenosine receptors in taste. We managed to prove that they were there to amplify sweet signals. This led us to wonder, what about the foods we consume, that would come into contact with these receptors in taste buds. It just happens that a lot of us habitually consume a powerful blocker of adenosine receptors every morning. Caffeine. So is our coffee impairing sweet signals? It turns out when we gave people sweetened coffee containing caffeine, they judged it as less sweet than the same coffee without the caffeine, sampled on a different day. Interestingly, this persisted, and sweet solutions they tested afterwards were still a little less sweet. Finally, just for kicks, we asked them to rate how much caffeine they thought was in either coffee, and how much more alert it made them feel. Turns out, there was no difference. They couldn’t tell which was deacf, and either coffee gave them just as much of an alertness boost. MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Response: Readers should consider that they may be altering how their food tastes when consuming coffee. And perhaps also, they could be drinking decaf, and getting just as good a jolt from it (as long as someone else was preparing it for them, so they didn’t know). MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study? Response: We’re interested in how many factors we encounter in our every day lives change our perception, from the foods we’re consuming themselves, to our own bodies. We’re currently looking into how obesity, pregnancy and sleep can change our sense of taste, and the foods we crave. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, you can follow our work on twitter @DandoLab. MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community. 1.Citation: Ezen Choo, Benjamin Picket, Robin Dando. Caffeine May Reduce Perceived Sweet Taste in Humans, Supporting Evidence That Adenosine Receptors Modulate Taste. Journal of Food Science, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.13836 Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

Dr. Dando

Robin Dando, PhD
Assistant Professor
Director, Cornell Sensory Evaluation Facility
Department of Food Science
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The study arose from a previous paper I authored in the Journal of Neuroscience, where we found Adenosine receptors in taste.  We managed to prove that they were there to amplify sweet signals.  This led us to wonder, what about the foods we consume, that would come into contact with these receptors in taste buds.

It just happens that a lot of us habitually consume a powerful blocker of adenosine receptors every morning.  Caffeine.  So is our coffee impairing sweet signals?  It turns out when we gave people sweetened coffee containing caffeine, they judged it as less sweet than the same coffee without the caffeine, sampled on a different day.  Interestingly, this persisted, and sweet solutions they tested afterwards were still a little less sweet.

Finally, just for kicks, we asked them to rate how much caffeine they thought was in either coffee, and how much more alert it made them feel.  Turns out, there was no difference.  They couldn’t tell which was deacf, and either coffee gave them just as much of an alertness boost.

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Moderate Coffee Drinking Linked To Lower Risk of Death

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Marc J. Gunter, PhD 

From International Agency for Research on Cancer
Lyon, France

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: U.S. and Japanese studies have previously found that drinking more coffee was related with a lower risk of death. However, in European populations, where coffee consumption and preparation methods are more varied, the relationship was less certain as relatively small studies had previously been conducted. Our analysis was undertaken in ~500,000 men and women from 10 European countries, the largest study to date investigating the coffee and mortality relationship.

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How Many Calories Do You Add To Your Coffee or Tea?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ruopeng An, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Kinesiology and Community Health College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 61820

Dr. Ruopeng An

Ruopeng An, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
College of Applied Health Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL 61820

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Coffee and tea are among the most widely consumed beverages in U.S. adults.1,2 Unlike other popular beverages including alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages that are typically consumed in isolation, many people prefer drinking coffee and tea with add-ins like sugar or cream. These add-in items are often dense in energy and fat but low in nutritional value. Drinking coffee and tea with add-ins on a regular basis might impact an individual’s daily energy/nutrient intake and diet quality.3 The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that “coffee, tea, and flavored waters also can be selected, but calories from cream, added sugars, and other additions should be accounted for within the eating pattern.”4

To our knowledge, no study has been conducted to assess consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins in relation to daily energy and nutrient intake at the population level. Bouchard et al. examined the association between coffee and tea consumption with add-ins and body weight status rather than energy/nutrient intake, and consumption was measured by a few frequency-related questions instead of a 24-hour dietary recall.5

The purpose of this study was to examine consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins (e.g., sugar, cream) in relation to energy, sugar, and fat intake among U.S. adults 18 years of age and above. Data came from 2001-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), comprising a nationally-representative (biennially) repeated cross-sectional sample of 13,185 and 6,215 adults who reported coffee and tea consumption in in-person 24-hour dietary recalls, respectively.

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Moderate Caffeine Not Linked to Arrhythmias In Heart Disease Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Luis E. Rohde, MD, ScD Postgraduate Program in Health Science: Cardiology and Cardiovascular Sciences, Medical School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Cardiovascular Division, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre

Dr. Luis E. Rohde

Luis E. Rohde, MD, ScD
Postgraduate Program in Health Science: Cardiology and Cardiovascular Sciences, Medical School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul,
Cardiovascular Division, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Caffeine-rich beverages have been implicated as a common cause of several cardiac-related symptoms, such as palpitations, tachycardia, or irregular heartbeats.

Because of this “intuitive” assumption, counseling to reduce or avoid caffeine consumption is still widely recommended in clinical practice by most physicians for patients with any heart disease.
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Caffeine May Slow Progression of Liver Fibrosis in Chronic Hepatitis C

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sikarin Upala MD, MS, LLB Internal Medicine, Bassett Medical Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Cooperstown, New York Preventive and Social Medicine Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Dr. Sikarin Upala

Sikarin Upala MD, MS, LLB
Internal Medicine, Bassett Medical Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Cooperstown, New York
Preventive and Social Medicine
Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Upala: Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is the most common cause of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis as well as the most common cause of liver transplantation in the United States. As caffeine has been found to be related to decreased liver enzymes, chronic liver disease,cirrhosis, and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in several liver disease pathologies. There is inconclusive findings on the effect of caffeine on hepatitis C infected patients. Thus, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize the effect of caffeine consumption in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

We found that caffeine consumers have a 61% reduced risk of developing advanced hepatic fibrosis, which is one of the consequence of chronic hepatitis C. Our meta-analysis result is in the same way with other studies who found that coffee consumption could prevent the development of hepatic fibrosis in patients with liver disease. However, we cannot conclude about the effect of caffeine on HCV viral load as there is not enough information.

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Miscarriage Risk Reduced by Daily Multivitamins Before and After Conception

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Germaine M. Buck Louis, Ph.D., M.S. Office of the Director, Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Rockville, Maryland 20852.

Dr-Germaine M. Buck-Louis

Germaine M. Buck Louis, Ph.D., M.S.
Office of the Director
Division of Intramural Population Health Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Rockville, Maryland 20852.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: To understand the association between couples’ lifestyles and risk of pregnancy loss.  Couples were recruited upon discontinuing contraception to try for pregnancy and followed daily for up to one year of trying or until pregnancy.  Pregnant women were followed daily for 7 weeks following conception then monthly.

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High Coffee Consumption Linked To Lower Multiple Sclerosis Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Anna Hedström PhD student

Anna Hedström PhD student

Anna Hedström PhD student
Karolinski Institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies on the influence of coffee consumption on multiple sclerosis (MS) risk have yielded inconclusive results, perhaps largely due to statistical power problems since these studies comprised few cases. Caffeine consumption has a protective effect on neuroinflammation and demyelination in animal models of MS. We therefore aimed to investigate whether coffee consumption is associated with MS risk, using two large population-based case-control studies (a Swedish study comprising 1620 cases and 2788 controls, and a United States study comprising 1159 cases and 1172 controls).

The risk of multiple sclerosis was reduced by approximately 30% among those who reported a high coffee consumption, around six cups daily, compared to those who reported no coffee consumption. The risk of multiple sclerosis decreased with increasing coffee consumption. Potentially important influential factors were taken into consideration, such as smoking and adolescent obesity.

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Drinking Tea Linked To Lower Hypertension Risk

Wenji Li, MMed, PhD Postdoc Associate Department of Pharmaceutics Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Dr. Wenji Li

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Wenji Li, MMed, PhD
Postdoc Associate
Department of Pharmaceutics
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Li: Hypertension is a vital risk factor for many serious disorders. Male and age ≥40 years were found to be highly associated with more severe hypertension. In Singapore, the prevalence of hypertension increased markedly from age 40 years onwards. Tea, a popular beverage in Chinese people, has been approved to possess many beneficial pharmacological effects including antihypertension. However, no clinical studies on the correlation between tea drinking and its effect on lowering blood pressure among Singaporeans have been conducted. To find out the potential link, we are the first to investigate the correlation of hypertension and consumption of tea, health supplements, living habits and socio-demographic factors among Singaporean Chinese residents.

By the large scale cross-sectional epidemiology study (N = 1184), we found the prevalence of hypertension among the whole investigated population was 49.73% and the prevalence increased to 66.47% in the sub-population aged ⩾60 years. High risk of hypertension was associated with age ⩾60 years, obesity, family history of hypertension, diabetes history, hyperlipidemia history, male and coffee intake. In contrast, drinking green tea at least 150 ml per week was associated with lower hypertension risk. Drinking combination of green tea and British tea was associated with higher reduction in the risk of hypertension. This study suggests that consumption of tea, especially green tea and British tea, is beneficial for lowering the risk of hypertension while the consumption of coffee may have the opposite effect.  Continue reading

Moderate Coffee During Pregnancy Unlikely To Affect Child’s Development or IQ

Mark A. Klebanoff, MD Center for Perinatal Research The Research Institute Nationwide Children's Hospital

Dr. Klebanoff

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mark A. Klebanoff, MD
Center for Perinatal Research
The Research Institute
Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Klebanoff: Caffeine is among the substances most commonly consumed by pregnant women.  There are numerous sources of caffeine in the diet—regular (non-decaf) coffee, regular tea, many soft drinks, energy drinks, and some power bars. Even chocolate contains some caffeine.  It’s also included in some over the counter pain relievers, and in over the counter ‘keep awake’ pills such as No-Doz.  As a result of its wide availability, most pregnant women consume at least some caffeine.  In spite of over 30 years of research, whether moderate amounts of caffeine (up to 200 milligrams, the amount contained in about 2 normal-sized cups of coffee, per day) during pregnancy are harmful is uncertain.  However almost all previous research has been about events related to pregnancy, such as difficulty becoming pregnant, miscarriage, birth defects, and the size of the newborn.  Whether maternal caffeine use during pregnancy has an impact on things later in childhood, such as obesity and neurologic development, has hardly been studied.

We used a biomarker, measured in the mother’s blood during pregnancy, for caffeine use, and found that more caffeine use was not associated with the child’s body mass index at either 4 or 7 years of age, and that at blood levels of the marker that we saw in the vast majority, caffeine was not associated with the child’s IQ, nor with behavioral abnormalities at those ages.

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2-3 Cups of Coffee Daily Linked To Lower Odds Of Erectile Dysfunction

David S. Lopez, Dr.P.H., M.P.H. Assistant professor University of Texas Health School of Public HealthMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
David S. Lopez, Dr.P.H., M.P.H.

Assistant professor
University of Texas Health School of Public Health

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Lopez: Coffee, and its most studied component, caffeine, have been implicated in potential health benefits due to the rich sources of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds contained in this beverage.

Caffeine intake reduced the odds of prevalent erectile dysfunction, especially an intake equivalent to approximately 2-3 daily cups of coffee (170-375 mg/day). This reduction was also observed among overweight/obese and hypertensive men, but not among diabetic men. These associations are warranted to be investigated in prospective studies.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Lopez: Caffeine intake reduced the odds of prevalent erectile dysfunction, especially an intake equivalent to approximately 2-3 daily cups of coffee (170-375 mg/day). This reduction was also observed among overweight/obese and hypertensive men, but not among diabetic men. These associations are warranted to be investigated in prospective studies.

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