ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Study Examines How Rheumatoid Arthritis Destroys Bone
CANCER
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Gene Studies Reveal Cancer's Secrets
CAREGIVING
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Add your Article

Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster

By Ed Edelson
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Just sniffing that first hot cup of coffee in the morning may help ease some stresses you might be feeling, a South Korean trial indicates.

When rats inhaled the aroma of roasted coffee beans, a number of genes were activated, including some that produce proteins with healthful antioxidant activity, the researchers reported.

"The meaning of it is not totally clear yet," said Dr. Peter R. Martin, director of the Institute of Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University. "What it does show is that coffee smells do change the brain to some degree, and it behooves us to understand why that is happening."

The findings, from a team led by Han-Seok Seo at Seoul National University in South Korea, were expected to be published in the June 25 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The experiment was done with laboratory rats, some of whom were stressed by being deprived of sleep. The researchers did detailed genetic studies that showed the activity of 11 genes was increased and the activity of two genes was decreased in the rats that smelled the coffee, compared to those who did not. In effect, the aroma of the coffee beans helped ease the stress of the sleep-deprived rodents.

The experiment provides "for the first time, clues to the potential antioxidant or stress-relaxation activities of the coffee bean aroma," the researchers wrote.

And they added, "These results indirectly explain why so many people use coffee for staying up all night, although the volatile compounds of coffee beans are not fully consistent with those of the coffee extracts. In other words, the stress caused by sleep loss via caffeine may be alleviated through smelling the coffee aroma."

"They used the latest in technology to see how brain expression of RNA changed," Martin said. RNA is the molecule that carries out the instructions encoded in genes. "This is just the beginning of a very interesting line of investigation," he added.

The aromatic compounds responsible for coffee's odor may be antioxidants, "but they are not the same as the major antioxidants that are in the drink," said Joe A. Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.

Chemically, the antioxidants in liquid coffee are polyphenols, Vinson said. Those in the aroma are heterocycle compounds containing sulfur or nitrogen atoms.

"There are two ways to get things into your system, and the quickest way is to smell them," Vinson said. "Caffeine gets into the brain via the blood stream. Here, aromatic molecules get into the brain through the olfactory system. The levels in the air are parts per million, so obviously these are minor components in the air. But they are doing something."

Previous studies have shown that coffee consumption can reduce depression and suicide risk, as well as relieve stress, effects generally attributed to the caffeine in coffee, the researchers noted. But while some 900 compounds that float away from the bean have been identified, this is the first study to assay their possible effects, they added.

It's too early to recommend that people feeling stress sniff coffee to ease their way, Martin said. But, he added, "people who don't even drink coffee are fascinated by the odor of it. Ever since my little boy was two years old, he has loved the odor of coffee. I have always thought that coffee has some mystic quality, and there is some deep historical basis for it."

More information

The latest on coffee health research is available from the Coffee Science Information Centre.



SOURCES: Peter R. Martin, M.D., director, Vanderbilt University Institute of Coffee Studies, Nashville, Tenn.; Joe A. Vinson, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, University of Scranton, Pa.; June 25, 2008, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Last Updated: June 13, 2008

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