Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Drinking to Remember: Your Coffee Habit May Protect Against Dementia

Filed under: health care/social issues,science — 01varvara @ 00.00
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01 Woman Drinking Coffee


According to evidence from a new study in the Journals of Gerontology, coffee drinkers, take comfort… your beverage of choice may be helping your brain. Ira Driscoll, the study’s lead author and psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

The mounting evidence of caffeine consumption as a potentially protective factor against cognitive impairment is exciting, given that caffeine is also an easily modifiable dietary factor.

Study results, first published online in late September, found that older women who consumed more caffeine suffered less cognitive impairment in the form of dementia. The study tracked 6,467 women who self-reported their caffeine intake over ten years. Those who drank more than 261 milligrams of caffeine saw their risk of developing dementia or some other form of global cognitive impairment drop by 36 percent. Researchers say that this is a significant relationship, although it stops short of establishing cause and effect. Getting that much caffeine would take three regular eight-ounce cups of coffee, five or six cups of black tea, or more than seven cans of Coke (or, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, one 12-ounce cup of Starbucks brewed coffee). That may sound like a lot, but the FDA and several other major food safety authorities call 300 to 400 mg per day “moderate consumption”, which isn’t associated with adverse health effects in most healthy adults. Studies over the past 20 years have found that American adults consume between 165-300 mg of caffeine a day on average.  Driscoll explained:

While we can’t make a direct link between higher caffeine consumption and lower incidence of cognitive impairment and dementia, with further study, we can better quantify its relationship with cognitive health outcomes. Research on this topic will be beneficial not only from a preventative standpoint but also to better understand the underlying mechanisms and their involvement in dementia and cognitive impairment.

The study used participants from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, who reported some level of caffeine consumption. Driscoll and her colleagues gathered data using questions about how often and how much coffee, tea, and cola beverages the women drank, and combined that with information gathered from yearly assessments of cognitive function over a period of up to ten years. In that period, 388 participants in the study received a diagnosis of probable dementia or some form of cognitive impairment. The study found that participants who consumed more than the median caffeine intake for the group… 261 mg per day… were diagnosed with cognitive impairment less often than those who consumed less caffeine. Researchers adjusted results to take into account factors like hormone therapy, age, race, education, body mass index, sleep quality, depression, hypertension, prior cardiovascular disease, diabetes, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

The new research noted in its conclusion that caffeine and its relationship to dementia has been studied many times. Their findings, suggesting lower odds of cognitive impairment in older women consuming more caffeine than the group’s baseline average, “are consistent with the existing literature showing an inverse association between caffeine intake and age-related cognitive impairment”. The study also noted its demographic limitations, specifically that it was confined to postmenopausal women, many of whom were highly-educated, as well as reporting limitations, in that the researchers didn’t collect data about caffeine sources beyond caffeinated beverages, meaning that they have underestimated consumption. The study said:

We need further research in order to assess or confirm the exposure through more objective biological assays compared to self-reported caffeine intake, and to isolate potential acute effects that caffeine may have on cognitive performance.

4 October 2016

Sputnik International



Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Secret History of the Anthora Coffee Cup… It Ain’t as Greek as You Thought!

00 anthora coffee cup. new york city. 02.10.104


Fifty years ago, in an attempt to sell more paper cups to the plethora of Greek-owned diners in New York City, the marketing director for the startup Sherri Cup Company created the “Anthora” coffee cup. The cup’s creator, Leslie Buck, was born Laszlo Büch to a Ukranian Jewish family. The Nazis killed his parents, and Leslie himself was a survivor of both Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Featuring the blue and white of the Greek flag, with a classic key pattern, a drawing of an amphora (the Greek vase for which the cup, courtesy of Buck’s thick accent, is named), The New York Times called this cup, “a pop-cultural totem” that was “as vivid an emblem of New York City as the Statue of Liberty”. For many New Yorkers, this simple cup can evoke Proustian memories of streets travelled, early work mornings, and Sunday dog walks. For Buck, it was a long journey from “Work Makes You Free” to “We Are Happy to Serve You”. At our Seder, we lift each cup in remembrance of our journey from slavery to freedom. However, it isn’t freedom from work that we desire… we want the freedom to approach each (caffeine-fuelled) day with the discipline, generosity, and patience necessary to immerse ourselves in work that really matters… to our lives, our communities, and our world. As Marge Piercy wrote, in her poem, To Be of Use:

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along…
…The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

10 April 2014

Eric Schulmiller




Who woulda thunk it? That one of the most iconic things in the City doesn’t come from where we think that it did… everybody (including me) thought that the “Greek cup” was just that… say it ain’t so, Joe! However, I did check this out with a Greek friend, and she was just as surprised as I was (she asked an Old School Greek coffee shop owner from Sparta and she got the real deal from him).

Live and learn!


Monday, 29 September 2014

29 September 2014. Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s National Coffee Day!

00 Grey Cat. 23.09.12. Coffee... NOW.


00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. Latte, Iced, or Mocha. What's Inside Trendy Coffees. 2013


00 Do I Gotta Get Up. Where's My Coffee. 31.10.12


01 Woman Drinking Coffee


It’s NATIONAL COFFEE DAY! Hey, I need a cup o’ good industrial-strength joe to get the ol’ brain cells firing and up to speed (contrary to konvertsy rumour, I’m not just running on my brainstem). If you can put in a slug of something nice, well… that just makes a good thing BETTER. Trust me, try a fresh cuppa java with a shot of anisette… a little brown sugar and cream (no, not milk, you moron… cream… the real deal… NOT half n’ half)… now, that’s the ticket on a cold winter’s night.

Coffee… the staff o’ life of the civilised world… along with tea, of course. I split the ticket, having a foot in the Russian World and a foot in the American World. Which do I prefer? I take the Fifth on that one (and a slug off the fifth, if you catch my drift)… I like both equally… it’s like kids… you love ’em all, but each one a little bit differently (but with the same intensity). Don’t leave home without it…


Saturday, 14 September 2013

D’oh! First Russian Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shop Opens near Red Square

00 Homer Simpson. Donuts. 14.09.13


Steps away from Red Square, hundreds of doughnut lovers lined up along a downtown Moscow street as American franchiser Krispy Kreme opened its first café in Russia this week in cooperation with a prominent local restaurateur. Krispy Kreme expects to open 40 locations in the Russian capital under a franchising deal with famed restaurateur Arkady Novikov, whose eponymous holding already runs about 50 restaurants in Russia, including some of Moscow’s highest-end dining spots. Novikov told RIA-Novosti that the initial investment in Krispy Kreme in Russia was 10 million USD (325 million Roubles. 10.8 million AUD. 10.4 million CAD. 7.5 million Euros. 6.3 million UK Pounds), with the cost of opening each café estimated at 500,000 to 700,000 USD (16.25-22.75 million Roubles. 540,000-756,000 AUD. 520,000-728,000 CAD. 380,000-532,000 Euros. 320,000-448,000 UK Pounds). He declined to specify the investors.

The 300-square-metre (3,230 square-feet) flagship café beside the historic GUM shopping mall hopes to attract local shoppers and tourists both with a classic doughnut assortment and with a chocolate-nut version conjured up especially for the Russian palate. One draw is that the doughnuts are baked at the café, right before customers’ eyes, circling around a glistening metallic conveyor in the glassed-off “doughnut theatre”. True to Moscow’s reputation as one of the world’s most-expensive cities, prices at the café are about twice those at the chain’s American shops, with a single doughnut in Moscow going for about 60 Roubles (1.85 USD. 2 AUD. 1.90 CAD. 1.40 Euros. 1.20 UK Pounds) and an assorted dozen for 480 Roubles (14.80 USD. 16 AUD. 15.30 CAD. 11.20 Euros. 9.40 UK Pounds). A large coffee costs 200 Roubles (6.20 USD. 6.70 AUD. 6.40 CAD. 4.70 Euros. 3.90 UK Pounds), 40 Roubles (1.25 USD. 1.40 AUD. 1.30 CAD. 1 Euro. 0.80 UK Pound) more than the smaller option. A large hot chocolate, likely to be in demand as the winter cold sets in, is also 200 Roubles.

North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme, founded in 1937, began its international expansion 10 years ago. On Thursday, global director Jeffrey Welch said at the crowded opening that the chain now has some 550 doughnut cafés abroad, with Russia becoming the 23rd country of presence. The café’s Moscow prices are comparable to those at rival Dunkin’ Donuts, which opened in the Russian capital in 1996, but left three years later due to a recession. The chain returned to Russia in 2010 and already has dozens of cafés in the capital. According to its website, Dunkin’ Donuts has a much bigger global presence, with some 9,000 cafés across more than 30 countries. A spokesman in Moscow said the company was opening about two new cafés each month in Russia, primarily around the capital. He noted that more than 60 percent of all chain businesses in Russia are cafés, and in Moscow, there are more than 500. However, Krispy Kreme’s Welch thinks his company has the advantage in the doughnut business, saying at the opening, “Our doughnuts are the best in the world”.

13 September 2013



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