Wednesday, December 30, 2009
By Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.
Besides water, coffee is the world's most popular beverage. While at least half of Americans drink one cup or more per day, we are still uncertain if drinking coffee is a boon or peril to our health. Since the liver must process everything we eat or drink, those with advanced liver disease from chronic Hepatitis C are especially wary of any type of habitual consumption. However, new research demonstrates that those with chronic Hepatitis C have a lot to gain from a several cup per day coffee habit.
The Bitter Beverage
When a cup of black, relatively strong coffee is consumed, there is no doubt that bitterness dominates its flavor profile. Even though many people don't care for bitterness overwhelming their palate, the chemical compounds responsible for a bitter flavor are often beneficial to the liver. Bitter substances are known to aid a liver with chronic Hepatitis C, because they help keep the gallbladder and liver free from unnecessary obstruction by:
· Stimulating the gallbladder to release bile for fat digestion
· Stimulating detoxification activity in the liver
Thus, many liver supportive foods, medications and herbs are bitter. Chemists in Germany and the U.S. believe they have identified the chemicals that are largely responsible for coffee's bitterness. In their collaborative study, researchers found that two main classes of compounds produced during the roasting process, chlorogenic acid lactones and phenylindanes are responsible for coffee's bitterness. Both compounds are antioxidants and are not present in green, unroasted coffee beans.
Over the past several years, population studies have demonstrated that high levels of coffee consumption are associated with a decreased incidence of liver disease. However, the recipients of coffee's benefits now specifically include those with Hepatitis C.
Research released by Neal Freedman and colleagues from the National Cancer Institute examined the relationship between coffee consumption and liver disease progression in those with Hepatitis C. In 766 individuals who had Hepatitis C-related bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis (as determined by liver biopsy), and who did not respond to antiviral therapy, the following was found:
· Compared with non-coffee drinkers, people who drank more coffee had significantly healthier livers as seen by several standard liver tests.
· Study participants who drank three or more cups of coffee per day had up to a 53 percent reduction in risk for liver disease progression.
· The liver protective effect exerted by daily coffee consumption was reduced as the number of cups per day decreased.
According to Freedman, "Given the large number of people affected by HCV (Hepatitis C), it is important to identify modifiable risk factors associated with the progression of liver disease. Although we cannot rule out a possible role for other factors that go along with drinking coffee, results from our study suggest that patients with high coffee intake had a lower risk of disease progression."
Cause for Coffee Caution
Based on Freedman's research, it might seem logical for those with Hepatitis C to double their coffee intake. However, coffee does have some caveats that are worth reviewing first:
· Caffeine, coffee's main ingredient, is a mildly addictive stimulant with cardiovascular effects such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and occasional irregular heartbeat.
· Coffee is believed to aggravate previously existing gastritis or gastrointestinal ulcers.
· The caffeine in coffee can cause nervousness, rapid heartbeat, palpitations, sleeplessness and irritability.
· While not considered a significant risk factor for osteoporosis, high doses of coffee can impair calcium absorption, which weakens bone strength.
Besides the possible side effects listed above, the greater risk of coffee consumption lies with the ingredients typically added to it. To reduce coffee's bitterness, creating a light and sweet drink carries an entirely separate set of hazards. Because they add calories, fat and/or manmade chemicals, whipped cream, flavored syrups, half-and-half, sugar, sucralose and aspartame all contribute to health conditions that will worsen Hepatitis C.
Individuals with Hepatitis C have become accustomed to learning what they should avoid because it can damage their liver. Thus, it is a welcome change for Hepatitis C sufferers to discover that multiple, daily cups of coffee can actually prevent liver disease progression. Besides the health conditions that could be aggravated by coffee and the additives that reduce its bitterness, a majority of people with Hepatitis C have every reason to indulge in their favorite hot morning beverage.
http://www.ehow.com/about_4572236_how-many-americans-drink-coffee.html, How Many Americans Drink Coffee?, Shelley Moore, Retrieved October 31, 2009, eHow, Inc., 2009.
http://www.haltctrial.org/overview.html, HALT-C Overview, Retrieved October 30, 2009, National Institutes of Health, 2009.
http://www.highlighthealth.com/food-and-nutrition/bitter-coffee-better-health/, Bitter Coffee, Better Health, Walter Jessen, Retrieved October 30, 2009, Highlihght Health, 2009.
http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/hep_c/news/2009/102309_a.html, Coffee Slows Progression of Liver Disease in Hepatitis C Patients with Advanced Fibrosis or Cirrhosis, Retrieved October 30, 2009, hivandhepatitis.com, October 2009.
http://www.liversupport.com/wordpress/2006/06/coffees-liver-benefits/, Coffee's Liver Benefits, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved October 30, 2009, Natural Wellness, 2009.
http://www.prodigalgardens.info/bitter%20herbs.htm, Bitter Herbs, Retrieved October 30, 2009, Prodigal Gardens, 2009.
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122511224/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0, Coffee intake is associated with lower rates of liver disease progression in chronic hepatitis C, Neal D. Freeman, et al, Retrieved October 30, 2009, Hepatology, July 2009.
Posted by Editors at December 22, 2009 11:14 AM
(Courtesy : http://www.hepatitis-central.com/mt/archives/2009/12/is_drinking_cof.html?eml=hepcen97)
Monday, December 14, 2009
By Namaram Kishalaya (Dodo)
In an effort to strengthen the Harm Reduction movement in the North Eastern states of India, the North East India Harm Reduction Network, NEIHRN delegation comprising of the President Mr. W.C.Humtsoe (Nagaland), General Secretary Mr. Namaram Kishalaya- (Dodo of Manipur), Treasurer, Mr.Ronny Waikhom (Manipur), Vice President, Dr.S I Ahmed (Assam) and Joint Secy, Ms. Hasina Kharbhih (Meghalaya) and Jt Secy, Dr Sangliani (Mizoram) is on a regional tour and visiting all the eight North Eastern States of India. The Team is deliberating on the State Specific issues with regards to the Harm Reduction activities and initiatives in the region.
Representatives from Sikkim State- AIDS Control Society (SSACS), CBOs and key stake holders along with officials of NEIHRN and Sikkim Network of People Living with HIV met at Gangtok, Sikkim earlier on December 5, 2009 at the premise of the SSACS conference hall. The team also met the Project Director of the SSACs and discussed on issued that could be conducted in the next few months. The plan includes to organize an event in the month of April with support from various agencies and stake holders. Altogether 26 participants attended the meeting. The meeting was part of the ongoing State Specific Harm Reduction Meet launched with support from UNAIDS.
The team had earlier visited Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on 2 December and had conducted a similar meeting with representatives from various stake holders working in the state in the field of drug use and harm reduction. Politicians and human rights activist also attended the meeting and addressed issues concerning the lives of people suffering in the region particularly due to lack of services and proper equipments- such as the CD4 count machine. Non affordability of treatment centres for people using drugs (including female drug users) and lack of proper care centre and Hep-C treatment was the main focus of the discussion.
A similar meeting for the state of Assam will be held tomorrow on 13 December at the premise of the AIDS Prevention Society, APS, Guwahati. Similar meeting was also held earlier yesterday (11 December) at Agartala, Tripura at the office of the Voluntary Health Association of Tripura, VHAT where the participants from various NGOs and CBOs also expressed the concern over the lack of Rehabilitation centres in the whole state. The meeting resolved to appraise the situation to the higher ups and prevent the community from being led towards a situation and tagged as “high prevalence state”.
The Team had also met the Project Director of the Mizoram State AIDS Control Society, MSACS on 9 December along with Dr Sangliani, who is also the Joint Secretary of NEIHRN. Various stake holders also attended the meeting and resolved to join hands and address issues concerning their lives.
The meeting for the state of Meghalaya was held earlier on 7 December at the premise of the UNODC office at Shillong office. A detailed report of the meeting has also been posted in their e-group, NEIHRNers at yahoogroups.
The series of State specific meeting on Harm Reduction conducted so far includes the state of Nagaland, where the meeting was held at the premise of the Bethesda Youth Centre at Dimapur earlier on 23 October. The meeting for the state of Manipur was held on 3 October at the premise of the Social Awareness Service Organiosation, SASO at Imphal.
It may be recalled, NEIHRN was formed in the year 2002 and have been a driving force in advocacy focusing on Right based approach, addressing on overcoming stigma and discrimination and enhancing a better enabling environment for all stake holder on Drugs and HIV/AIDS related issues in the North East. The network now has 40 members including 26 institution and 14 individuals from across the NE region of India.
NEIHRN is also jointly organizing a National Level Harm Reduction meeting cum workshop with Emmanuel Hospital Association, EHA during 15 to 17 December at Guwahati, Assam. Participants from around the world, working in the field of drug use and Harm Reduction are expected to join the meeting cum workshop.
Friday, December 11, 2009
SHILLONG, NE-India, 7 Dec 2009: The state specific meeting on harm reduction for the state of Meghalaya was organised by North East India Harm Reduction Network, NEIHRN today at the conference hall of the United Nations Office for Drug Control, UNODC office located at Sympli Building, Dhankheti, Shillong.
Altogether 21 participants from various government and non-governmental organisation working in the field of HIV/AIDS and drug use in Meghalaya participated the meeting.
The meeting resolved to initiate a holistic approach with regards to harm reduction activities in the state of Meghalaya and pointed out that the state being a hub for educational institution for the region, harm reduction intervention programmes for young people and students is a must.
The ever changing lifestyles and culture with regards to drug use has necessitated an immediate intevention to prevent them from harmful consequences, the meeting pointed out.
It also resolved to address the issues regarding the discontinuation of certain Targetted Intervention, TI services in the state and identified as a crisis situation. The lack of such intervention had caused a gap and hence created a risk among certain population including female sex workers, FSW.
No study or research on harm reduction has ever been conducted in the state and hence the meeting resolved to conduct a baseline survey and have a strategic planning with consultation with Meghalaya State AIDS Control Society, MSACS.
The meeting also resolved to have Faith Based Organisation, FBOs on board the network and involve in future implementation of programme, and in conducting need assessment and measure its effectiveness.
The Look East Policy in its present form has its premise as a subjugated appendix to economic development. The developmental projects, such as the coal mine industry exploits small children employing them in hazardous condition and abuse them hence violating their rights and increase in human trafficking.