A French winemaker’s £4million nose March 25, 2008Posted by grhomeboy in Drinks & Beverages, Odd World.
Tags: Drinks, Drinks & Beverages
A French wine maker has insured his nose for £3.9 million, the Lloyd’s of London insurance company said.
The bespoke policy was created for Ilja Gort, the Dutch owner of Chateau de la Garde in Bordeaux, France, to cover the loss of his nose and sense of smell.
Mr Gort, who produces Tulipe Wines, said his nose was his most important asset. While the tongue has only five areas of taste, the nose can distinguish millions of different scents, he added.
“This certainly is an insurance policy not to be sniffed at,” said Jonathan Thomas, lead underwriter at Watkins Syndicate who co-insured the policy with Allianz Nederland. “The nose and sense of smell of a winemaker are as important as the fingers of a chef.”
Tea to fight diabetes March 18, 2008Posted by grhomeboy in Drinks & Beverages, Food Drinks News, Health.
Tags: Diabetes, Drinks, Drinks & Beverages, Food, Health, Type 2 Diabetes
Drinking tea could help combat diabetes, scientists claimed today. The potentially therapeutic properties in black tea have been discovered by scientists at the University of Dundee.
Green tea has long been held to possess various health benefits. Dr. Graham Rena, of the University’s Neurosciences Institute, said his team’s research into tea compounds is at a pre-clinical, experimental stage. However, he said, “There is definitely something interesting in the way these naturally occurring components of black tea may have a beneficial effect, both in terms of diabetes and our wider health.”
However, people with diabetes should continue to take their medicines as directed by their doctor, Rena stressed. He added, “This is something that needs further research, and people shouldn’t be rushing to drink masses of black tea, thinking it will cure them of diabetes. We are still some way from this leading to new treatments or dietary advice.”
Rena’s team are interested in identifying agents capable of substituting for insulin in Type 2 diabetes, the form of diabetes where the body stops responding to insulin properly. They have discovered that several black tea constituents, known as theaflavins and thearubigins, mimic insulin action.
“What we have found is that these constituents can mimic insulin action on proteins known as FOXOs,” said Rena. “FOXOs have previously been shown to underlie associations between diet and health in a wide variety of organisms including mice, worms and fruit flies. The task now is to see whether we can translate these findings into something useful for human health. Our study is just the first step. If we can identify substances that restore FOXO regulation in people with Type 2 diabetes, we might be able to use these to reduce the considerable burden of serious health problems associated with this diagnosis.”
The results of the research appear in the current issue of the journal Aging Cell. Rena now hopes to secure additional funding for his research to determine more precisely how the tea components mimic insulin action.
Energy drinks erode teeth March 18, 2008Posted by grhomeboy in Drinks & Beverages, Food Drinks News, Health.
Tags: Drinks, Drinks & Beverages, Food, Health
Energy drinks are fast gaining popularity and may give the consumer that extra zing, but they are bad for the teeth, a new study contends.
More than sodas and colas, whose effect on teeth are well documented, energy drinks play a significant role in the erosion of enamel, reports Sciencedaily, quoting a report in the peer reviewed journal General Dentistry.
Earlier research has warned consumers how the pH levels in sodas and colas lead to tooth erosion, caused by the effect of acid on the teeth that leads to decay. The latest study, however, says the pH level of soft drinks is not the only factor that causes dental erosion. A beverage’s “buffering capacity”, or the ability to neutralize acid, plays a significant role in dental erosion.
The study found that energy and sports drinks had the highest buffering capacity, resulting in the strongest potential for erosion of enamel. According to the study, the popularity of energy drinks, billed to become a $10 billion industry in the U.S. by 2010, is on the rise, especially among adolescents and young adults, exposing their teeth to decay.
The journal suggests three ways to curb teeth decay among those who consume such beverages.
Position the straw at the back of the mouth so the liquid avoids the teeth,
Rinse the mouth with water after drinking acidic beverages,
Llimit the intake of sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks.
Is fluoride damaging brain? March 18, 2008Posted by grhomeboy in Drinks & Beverages, Food Drinks News, Health.
Tags: Drinks & Beverages, Food, Health
“It is not clear that the benefits of adding fluoride to drinking water outweigh risks of neurodevelopment or other effects such as dental fluorosis,” according to an Institute for Children’s Environmental Health report.
Fluoride chemicals are added to 2/3 of U.S. public water supplies ostensibly to reduce tooth decay. Fluoride is found in dental products, supplements and virtually all foods and beverages.
“Excessive fluoride ingestion is known to lower thyroid hormone levels, which is particularly critical for women with subclinical hypothyroidism; decreased maternal thyroid levels adversely affect fetal neurodevelopment,” reports a prestigious committee of scientists and health professionals in a Scientific Consensus Statement on Environmental Agents Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Studies they reviewed and others link fluoride to brain abnormalities and/or IQ deficits.
“The question is what level of exposure results in harmful effects to children. The primary concern is that multiple routes of exposure, from drinking water, food and dental care products, may result in a high enough cumulative exposure to fluoride to cause developmental effects,” they write. “Given the serious consequences of LDDs, learning and developmental disabilities, a precautionary approach is warranted to protect the most vulnerable of our society,” the authors caution.
“It’s time to stop water fluoridation,” says lawyer Paul Beeber, president, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation. “With many neurological diseases, such as autism and ADD, afflicting too many American children, fluoride’s dubious promises of less cavities no longer outweigh fluoride’s serious health risks.”
The National Research Council reviewed fluoride toxicology evidence and reported in March 2006 that studies linking fluoride to lowered IQ are plausible.
One shot of red wine or alcohol benefits the heart February 14, 2008Posted by grhomeboy in Drinks & Beverages, Health.
Tags: Drinks, Drinks & Beverages, Health, Wine
One Shot of red wine or alcohol benefits the heart and blood vessels, but two shots are stressful
One drink of either red wine or alcohol slightly benefits the heart and blood vessels, but the positive effects on specific biological markers disappear with two drinks, say researchers at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre of the Toronto General Hospital.
In a study entitled “Dose-related effects of red wine and alcohol on hemodynamics, sympathetic nerve activity, and arterial diameter”, published in the February edition of the American Journal of Physiology, Heart and Circulatory Physiology, researchers conducted a real-time study of thirteen volunteers to determine whether a red wine with a verified high polyphenol content differs from alcohol in its effects on specific markers associated with a greater risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and heart failure.
A large number of population studies have shown a protective effect of light or moderate alcohol drinking against the risk of death and the development of heart disease. Many studies have also reported specific benefits of red wine.
Population surveys found lower rates of heart disease, despite high-fat diets, in some European countries where red wine was consumed regularly. Widely known at the French paradox, this has created a huge interest in exploring if and how red wine has a protective effect against heart disease.
However, the findings of this study showed virtually identical effects of red wine and alcohol on the specific markers tested. After one drink of either red wine or alcohol, blood vessels were more “relaxed” or dilated, which reduced the amount of work the heart had to do. But, after two drinks, the heart rate, amount of blood pumped out of the heart, and action of the sympathetic nervous system all increased. At the same time, the ability of the blood vessels to expand in response to an increase in blood flow diminished. This counteracted the beneficial effect of one drink of red wine or alcohol.
“We had anticipated that many of the effects of one ethanol drink would be enhanced by red wine. What was most surprising was how similar the effects were of red wine and ethanol. Any benefits that we found were not specific to red wine,” said Dr. John Floras, Director of Cardiology Research at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and at Mount Sinai Hospital, in whose laboratory the study was performed. However, Dr. Floras cautioned this study measured the effects of these drinks on one occasion only. The effects of daily wine or alcohol intake may be quite different.
The laboratory of Dr. Floras, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Integrative Cardiovascular Biology and is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and a Career Investigator of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, is one of the few in the world equipped to measure simultaneously a broad spectrum of factors such as blood pressure, heart rate, sympathetic nerve firing and arterial diameter.
Healthy, non-smoking adults who were not heavy drinkers or total alcohol abstainers were studied. Participants attended three separate morning sessions during which “standard” drinks of red wine, ethanol or water were administered at random, single-blind, two weeks apart. A 4-oz glass of wine (120 ml), and a 1.5-oz (44 ml) shot of spirits is considered to be one standard drink. All blood alcohol levels alcoholic were below .08, the legal limit for drivers.
The Quality Assurance Laboratory of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario selected a moderately priced pinot noir with a verified high t-resveratrol content, a polyphenol compound found in plants, including red grapes, which exhibits antioxidant properties. Alcohol or substances in alcohol such as resveratrol may improve blood vessel function and also prevent platelets in the blood from sticking together, which may reduce clot formation and the risk of heart attack or stroke.