Browse By Tag

Archive

Tag:

#weeklyscholar

Empathy

July 03, 2018

Mirror neurons are neurons that fire when an animal acts and when an animal observes the same action. It’s crazy to me that these weren’t discovered until the 1990s. I’ve taken the Myers Briggs test and my result was that I’m an INFJ. According to that, I am basically a big ball of empathic energy. I naturally feel the energy of someone else, and they don’t have to move or talk. That is why I say it’s crazy to me that these mirror neurons weren’t discovered until the 1990s, seems like that’s a really long time to figure it out. Even the word ‘Empathy’ didn’t appear in English until 1909.

This study is centered around how children in the Toraja, an indigenous Indonesian group, learn how to empathize and express emotions. This is a fascinating thing for me to read on, as I feel like children in America in the current generation are having some trouble empathizing with each other and expressing their emotions to each other IRL. One particularly interesting quote the author mentions is referring to a Guinean tribe. “The culture fosters a certain style of personal expression, one that allows considerable leeway for individual foibles and eccentric behaviour.” I personally think we could use some more room for eccentricities and imperfections in our culture as well. Also FYI, the Samoan translate ‘empathy’ to their native term - alofa - meaning love, affection, compassion, pity or kindness. Children learn alofa by being of service to others and learn to receive it by taking part in hosting parties for other villages. These parties teach children the social ideal of shared feelings in action.

For the Toraja children, cooperation is a cultural value and moral requirement. One boy from the study, age 13, is quoted, “If there is work to be done, it must be done cooperatively.” Another girl, age 14, after attending a funeral reacts by saying, “By taking part I’ve learned that we must help each other in every task.”

It’s pretty fascinating to read another culture’s norms for developing empathy and kinship in their youth. This article didn’t go much into how children are educated in a formal setting, but I sometimes wish American schools put a bigger emphasis on things like this. It would be nice to have more interaction with each other as regular kids in school. More activities that foster learning about each other and how we think. More activities that help us develop the compassion to support one another. More activities based on cooperation and learning how to work together to accomplish goals.

Reference to the article:

Empathy

Behavioral Fitness and Resilience

July 16, 2018

I recently have been interested in sleep and how to best optimize the time I am sleeping. In my curiosity, I found an article titled, “Behavioral Fitness and Resilience” by Sean Robson and Nicholas Salcedo. It’s an interesting read, centered around the Air Force and their behaviors that either help contribute to their health or are harmful to their health. I was interested in the article for its facts on sleep and health hygiene.

One concept I found fascinating was TFF. Total Force Fitness, a concept defined by Admiral Michael Mullen: “A total force that has achieved total fitness is healthy, ready, and resilient; capable of meeting challenges and surviving threats.” The eight domains of TFF: medical, nutritional, environmental, physical, social, spiritual, behavioral, and psychological. This framework expands on the traditional conceptualization of resilience by looking beyond the psychological realm to also emphasize the mind-body connection and the interdependence of each of the eight domains.

The study talks a lot about US Military Personnel and how they are at a high risk for many deleterious outcomes. The idea is that there are certain routines and habits that can help the military become more resilient and have stronger behavioral fitness. Behavioral fitness refers to the relationship between one’s behaviors and their positive or negative health outcomes. The concept emphasizes individual responsibility to engage in behaviors and activities that facilitate the maintenance of health or prevent disease or dysfunction. Resilience refers to the ability to withstand, recover from, and grow in the face of stressors. Fitness, which is related, is meant as a “state of adaptation in balance with the conditions at hand.” The study focuses on sleep, smoking, and drug and alcohol abuse and shows that failure to properly manage one’s habits in regards to these three domains can lead one to be more susceptible to the negative effects of stress.

In regards to sleep, here are some facts from the article. Sleep is absolutely necessary and decrements in sleep are strongly linked to a wide range of negative outcomes including reduced physical health outcomes and obesity, poor mental health, and decreased job-related performance. Sleep is particularly important in cognition and promotes brain plasticity, which supports learning and memory by forming new and lasting connections in the brain. Sleep loss can reduce cytokine production, which is a biological function that may lead to decreased immune system functioning. Excessive sleep loss can contribute to chronic health conditions, including coronary heart disease and diabetes. Getting too much sleep can be just as harmful as excessive sleep loss. Sleep promotes the consolidation and generalization of emotional experiences, whereas sleep loss may increase reactivity and irritability to events. Sleep loss can result in slower reaction times and decrease hand-eye coordination and accuracy, mimicking being drunk.

Lastly, if you are as interested as I am in getting good sleep, here are some ways the article suggests do so. According to the National Sleep Foundation, individuals struggling with sleep will engage in a number of maladaptive strategies to restore normal sleep patterns. Two of these being: 1) staying in bed longer by either going to bed earlier or staying in bed later, and 2) staying in bed while awake. These maladaptive strategies may be mutually reinforcing, ultimately leading to conditioned arousal in bed rather than restful sleep. According to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, inadequate sleep hygiene is affected by “various habits and activities of daily living that may promote a sleep difficulty.” These habits generally fall into two categories. The first category represents behaviors and habits that increase arousal such as drinking caffeine late in the day and staying out late at night. Studies regularly find that exercise is associated with better sleep. The second category are behaviors that disrupt the development of consistent sleep patterns. Examples include spending too much time in bed, going to bed at different times, getting up at different times, and taking long or multiple naps during the day. Alcohol in high doses has been excessively linked to sleep disturbances. The following are ways to increase sleep hygiene: 1) Go to bed at the same time each night, and rise at the same time each morning. 2) Sleep in a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold. 3) Make your bed comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. 4) Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom. 5) Avoid physical activity within a few hours of bedtime. 6) Avoid large meals before bedtime.

Badlands of The American West

July 25, 2018

I read a short but potent article this week for weekly scholar. Written by Dan Flores, expert on the American West, the article makes the case for why the badlands are just as beautiful as any other part of nature. In my experience, I underestimated the beauty of badlands until I got a chance to see some in real life at Big Bend National Park in Texas. They truly are a wondrous experience. Flores describes them in such beauty in this article, that there's no way you wouldn't want to visit some after reading it.

"I have walked among the Spanish Skirts in the slanting, reddish light of morning and the high yellow of sunset, and I can tell you that the experience is to be fairly dazzled by earth art. Eroded into overlapping, earthen hemispheres, the Spanish Skirts in full expression reveal at least seven different hues. The bottommost tint is the pale tangerine of Palo Duro Canyon’s floor. Atop it rests a layer of dark burnt orange, often separated from the crenulated, tangerine base by thin, horizontal stripes of white gypsum. More of these slender bands, finely drawn as if with white ink, surmount the burnt orange belt. Then come fireworks: a broad swipe of deep lavender and another of rich saffron, finished off by an unexpected, quite wonderful stripe of coffee-bean chocolate. Where the Spanish Skirts exist as free-standing mounds, the final flourish is often a cap of creamy white atop the chocolate, like frothed milk floating on the surface of a latte."

It's interesting to note that "the name for these stark, multihued mounds came from eighteenth-century French explorers on the Northern Plains, who called them mauvaises terres, because they presented so few possibilities for settlement." It fascinates me to think about the badlands being made up of shoreline sediments that precipitated to the bottoms of rivers, lakes, and oceans 10,000 to 240 million years ago. There's such a powerful feel to the badlands when you're walking over them. It's not the same as hiking a trail with a stream nearby. It's a different kind of joy.

Flores goes on to describe the great American artist and badlands advocate, Georgia O'Keeffe, and how her paintings captured the spirit of the badlands. In a poignant moment in the article, Flores describes a time when he and Anthony Bourdain went horseback riding no less than a 100 yards from O'Keeffe's New Mexico home where she painted many of her masterpieces. It adds quite a romantic feel to the article, and leaves me with a desire to take a trip and hike out into the badlands.

Purple Hills Ghost Ranch-2 / Purple Hills No II, 1934 Georgia O’Keeffe Oil on canvas affixed to masonite 16 1/4 x 30 1/4 (41.3 x 76.8) | Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Gift of The Burnett Foundation (1997.06.020) © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Purplehills

A photograph I took exploring the badlands of Big Bend National Park.

Bigbend

Preventing RRI

August 06, 2018

For weekly scholar this week, I read a short article about preventing RRI or running related injuries. Being a new runner, having just started getting into longer distances this year, I am interested in learning preventive measures to make sure I'll be able to continue running. I always wonder if this is just a phase for me and if eventually I won't run as much, but for now I'm thoroughly enjoying it and plan to run a few races next year. I'm in the midst of a 14-week training program now for the Detroit Half Marathon in October, and I'm treating that as a training run for the Reykjavik Marathon in Iceland in January 2019. Then I've got my sights set on the Banff Marathon in Alberta, Canada in June of 2019. So in order to knock out these races, I feel like I need to be running smart and doing the necessary things while I'm not running to be sure my body will be able to hand all the miles.

Screen shot 2018 08 06 at 4.13.39 pm

A fascinating, and reassuring, find from this study is that injuries tend to occur in runners who are just starting out. Novice and recreational runners have the highest rate of injury. Once you get past that level, if you are injury free and keep up your weekly mileage, there seems to be a good chance that you will be able to run strong at high mileage. That's my current approach to my running after knocking out my first full marathon this past June. I jumped into things to quickly for my first full marathon, and noticed some soreness and sharp pain in my hip joints. After taking some time off before running hard again, I realized that building that base is the most important part of running long distances. I started out my training this time with a 12-mile week and have increased my weekly milage each week by no more than 2%. My legs feel much better so far and my pace is much faster.

According to this article, the best preventive measures one can take when running are to listen to your body, get a proper warmup and use orthotics or running insoles. It's interesting to note that the article states that stretching is not proven to be a factor in preventing injury. Apparently getting a proper warmup in before running is more beneficial than stretching.

Reference: Tonoli, Cajsa & Cumps, Elke & Aerts, Inne & Verhagen, Evert & Meeusen, Romain. (2010). Incidence, risk factors and prevention of running related injuries in long-distance running: a systematic review Injury, location and type. Sport en Geneeskunde. 5. 13-18.

Benefits of Sauna Bathing

August 11, 2018

I never knew sauna bathing has been a tradition in Finland for thousands of years. In the literature I read this week by Finnish cardiologist, Jari Laukkanen, he, along with two other writers, goes into the benefits of using a sauna. It makes total sense for the people of the cold country, Finland, to use saunas. Their primary purpose for using them was for pleasure and relaxation, which also makes total sense. I can only imagine how good a sauna feels during the cold, long winters of Finland. The article, titled 'Cardiovascular and Other Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing: A Review of the Evidence', explains how sauna use may be linked to many more benefits other than pleasure and relaxation. I have a sauna that's about a 5 minute walk from my apartment, so I use it 4-5 days a week. I always feel refreshed, cleaned and relaxed after using it.

According to this article, an interesting fact about what your biology is doing in the sauna is that the heart rate increases up to 120 to 150 beats per minute when sauna bathing. This is what your heart rate gets up to when doing other physical activity, the only difference is that in the sauna there is no active function of skeletal muscles. This allows part of your blood flow to divert from internal organs to body peripheral parts with decreasing venous return. I'm not really positive what that means, but it sounds like this biological process doesn't occur during normal physical exercise and could potentially only be activated by sitting in a sauna. Again, not really positive about that nor whether that would be a good or bad thing but interesting to note.

Regular sauna use has been shown to reduce blood pressure and loosen up your arteries. There are a number of studies conducted recently from 2015-2018, each with a number of participants greater than 1,500 people, that present data proposing a routine of 4-7 sauna sessions a week significantly reduces the risk of a number of acute and chronic disease conditions. Coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, Alzheimer's, dementia and respiratory disease were all at a significantly lower risk for regular sauna users. For cardiovascular disease, there have been suggestions that combining regular physical activity with regular sauna use helps reduce your risk.

Screen shot 2018 08 11 at 7.00.30 pm

Evidence also suggests that sauna use improves lung function by improving capacity, volume and ventilation. It can help improve breathing in those with asthma or chronic bronchitis. Sauna use can also reduce the risk of pneumonia. It has been linked to an improvement in pain and symptoms associated with musculoskeletal disorders - and I do believe this because after going for an intense run and I sit in the sauna, it's a very noticeable improvement in my knee and hip joints after getting out of the sauna. Even on my run today I had a slight pain in my right knee joint after my run that I felt walking up the stairs to get to the sauna at the gym. When I got out of the sauna, that slight knee pain was gone. My favorite quote from the article, "Having regular sauna baths has also been reported to be associated with better health-related quality of life."

In the sauna, there is stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system due to the high temperature, which increases the production of norepinephrine. The levels of norepinephrine induced by the sauna have been shown to compare to the levels induced by maximal physical activity. Interesting to note that the combination of physical exercise with sauna provides the greater benefit. Not sure if skipping exercise and just sitting in the sauna will give you the best result, but no doubt it's better than nothing. Sauna use also helps improve the immune system, reducing susceptibility to common colds and infections. Also, for those with heart failure, heat therapy has been reported to be associated with clinical improvements "such as increased oxygen consumption, increased cardiac output, reduced systolic BP, reduced peripheral resistance, increased left ventricular ejection fraction, improved ventricular arrhythmias, and overall improvement in symptoms."

In conclusion, sauna use is showing good signs of being a low risk, high reward activity for pleasure and health improvement in healthy individuals. People drinking alcohol and people with unstable heart conditions should use caution when using the sauna. There are clinical guidelines for preventing and treating the acute and chronic diseases that this article has proposed the sauna improves. More research, over longer periods of time, is necessary to understand the association of sauna use and health benefits and whether these associations can be translated into clinical benefits.

Here is the literature title and authors.

Screen shot 2018 08 11 at 7.20.06 pm

Flow State

August 19, 2018

Something that I seek to find and achieve in my everyday life is what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi refers to as the flow state. The flow state is described as a state of effortless concentration and enjoyment. I find it in anything creative, which can be everything. Conversations, running, making music, writing, etc. All these activities allow me to become fully immersed in an experience. Csikszentmihalyi says that it is the "full involvement of flow, rather than happiness, that makes for excellence in life." Enjoying a serene relationship or sunrise is a moment of happiness that depends on your external reality being in your favor. By getting into flow state, you access a happiness that comes from your own making. The happiness comes from our internal reality rather than what we are experiencing externally at that moment. This type of happiness leads to increasing complexity and growth in consciousness, meaning you begin to comprehend more about your experience of life and in turn can experience a rich and deep reality.

Csikszentmihalyi offers advice on many ways to achieve flow state. It can occur when somebody is facing a clear set of goals that require appropriate responses. Playing tennis or poker will allow the participant to respond to situations without having to think about their responses. This offers up a space where you must quickly respond and you can learn to trust yourself. Flow also occurs when a person is faced with a challenge that is just about manageable. The challenge becomes the very thing that requires the participant to learn new skills. The research suggests that flow is generally achieved by people while they are doing their favorite activity. Very rarely do people report that they experience flow while doing something easy like watching television. As humans, I think we have a deep need and desire for growth. Flow seems to be most accessible in activities that make growth and learning possible.

A fascinating fact of Csikszentmihalyi's research is that flow is often experienced more by people at work than in their free time. Free time is filled with leisure. Leisure does not lead to flow state. Our nervous system is wired to attend to external signals and has not had time to adapt to long periods without obstacles or dangers. If somebody tends to use leisure time to relax and not challenge them self, they have less of a chance of finding meaning in their time off. Unless they learn how to use this leisure time effectively, then having this time at their disposal does not improve the quality of their life. Using your free time effectively requires you to be willing to overcome the initial obstacle of doing something challenging. The activities that create flow state are challenging by nature. But once you get past the initial hurdle of beginning a challenging activity, you're much more likely to enter flow state and therefore derive more pleasure from your free time than if you had stayed on the couch. Finding flow in social interactions is possible as well. It has been shown that people tend to swim around in depressive thoughts when they are alone with nothing to do. The moods experienced by a chronic depressive are indistinguishable from healthy people's moods as long as they are in company and doing something that requires attention and concentration.

In "Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life" by Csikszentmihalyi, you will learn much more about what the flow state is, how it can improve the quality of your life, and how to achieve the state itself. I view flow as a powerful energy that I have to work to uncover and access. I have to be confronted with a challenging situation that requires me to think creatively on the spot. When I begin to work towards confronting a challenge, I begin to feel a certain excitement and joy. Thoughts become more clear and I become more intuitive. My trust in myself increases and I feel stronger and faster. Lastly, in overcoming the challenge, I then get to experience a lasting and fulfilling happiness.

Running-Related Injury Awareness in Novice Runners

August 26, 2018

In continuing my research on running and running-related injuries, I found that the novices are most at risk. I read an article by the Dutch human movement scientist and epidemiologist, Evert Verhagen. He talks about the current level of awareness in regards to what we know about preventing running-related injuries in novice runners. It turns out, we don't know much of what is causing injuries in novice runners, or who is more susceptible to which type of injury. Most studies have had poor sample sizes and have all called for more research on the subject. With an estimated 1.4 million runners in the Netherlands, of which the total population is 17 million, you would think that we would have more research done on the subject and be better at preventing injuries for new runners. Those numbers are just the Netherlands, imagine what percentage of people across the world are out running. It's great to see running gain popularity due in part to its low entry level and quick health effects, but it's also not great to see that the number of running-related injuries per year accounts for about 9% of all sports injuries. As I get more into running, I'm even noticing some signs that I need to slow down. My hips are very tight, so I can't do speed work as often as I'd like to. I get some inflammation in my hips if I push myself too hard.

It seems that the novice runner and the experienced runner are two different breeds of athlete. Risk and type of injury differ greatly between groups. It's a complex problem to tackle since we are all built differently. The data shows that reducing the load or increasing loading capacity might reduce risk of injury. This research is still all speculative, which I find interesting. However, this particular article was published 6 years ago. At the time, it was still speculative but it was believed to be likely that every runner has an individual set of weak links that are predisposed to injury. If the runner is handling the load consistently throughout their body, then this might lead to one injury occurring much more frequently than others (where load is maximal). This might explain my hip issue. The tightness in my hips could be my weak link. Another speculation is that running injuries are caused by the overloading of specific soft-tissue structures. There is current evidence supporting the weak spot theory, and the soft-tissue theory. Again, surprises me how little we still know about this.

Kinematics is mentioned in this article and it's stated that running-induced fatigue often causes less stability in their core. This leads to runners altering their trunk flexion and extension. I don't pay enough attention to my running mechanics, and should probably consult a professional. The next run I go on, I will focus on keeping my core stable and back strong and see if I notice a difference. Like I mentioned in my previous running-related injury post, there seems to be some things that might help but no one knows for sure. I don't push myself as hard as I did when I first started running since I am aware of the learning curve. I hope to get past the novice stage injury free. Making sure I have proper kinematics and that I don't increase my mileage too quickly seems to be the best path forward.

Verhagen, E. “Prevention of Running-Related Injuries in Novice Runners: Are We Running on Empty?” British Journal of Sports Medicine 46.12 (2012): 836–837. Web.

Everything In Moderation - Even Chocolate

September 02, 2018

It has been surprising to learn that chocolate actually has healing qualities that might far outweigh the negatives of its consumption. In most studies, participants who eat chocolate around 3-4 times per month or 1-2 times per week are the ones who reap the benefits of cocoa. Any more or less than that, and the healing efforts of cocoa may not be able to produce the desired effects. A study conducted in Stockholm in 2009 that lasted roughly 8.6 years showed that those who reported eating chocolate twice or more per week were 66% less likely to suffer a cardiac death compared to those that did not eat chocolate at all. In a Japanese study, risk of diabetes among men was reduced by 35% in those that ate chocolate once or more per week. Another 2009 study suggested that elderly men preferring chocolate over other types of candy reported less instances of depression and loneliness. A study of 2,217 participants conducted by the NHLBI Family Heart Study identified an inverse relationship between chocolate consumption and plaque in the coronary arteries. Those who reported eating chocolate two times or more per week were 32% less likely to have significant coronary artery calcification compared with participants who never ate chocolate.

There are so many studies referenced in the article I read this week that show a positive correlation between chocolate consumption and overall health. Dark chocolate seems to be the best option for its high antioxidant content, but any type of chocolate in moderation will probably suffice. Cocoa comes from the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of the fruit of the cocoa tree. Cocoa liquor is the paste made from the ground cocoa beans. When you look at the packaging of chocolates, the higher the "percent cacao" is, the darker the chocolate will be. If you are looking for the healthiest, most pure chocolate, get the one with the highest cocoa percentage.

Chocolate provides more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. Chocolate increases the production of nitric oxide in your blood, which in turn helps your vascular health and blood flow. Anti-inflammatory effects of chocolate may directly influence insulin resistance and, in turn, reduce risk for diabetes. Cocoa helps protect against neurodegradation, increases perfusion or blood flow, decreases neuroinflammation, and modulates neuronal function through interaction with a number of signaling pathways. It can even help protect against UV rays when used in topical preparations. Potential detrimental effects exist which include weight gain. However, the benefits of moderate cocoa or dark chocolate consumption are shown to far outweigh the risks. It is good for you, it tastes amazing and it makes you happier.

Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease David L. Katz, Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 2011 15:10, 2779-2811

De Morgan's Laws

September 16, 2018

This week at work I came across an opportunity to have some old code reviewed by our new senior engineer. The line I had written awhile back was an unless statement inside of an if statement. We ended up not using De Morgan's Laws in the code we deployed, but it was a chance for me to learn about the logic rules that Mr. De Morgan presented.

Augustus de morgan

Augustus De Morgan was a 19th-century British mathematician. He introduced a pair of transformation rules that are both valid rules of inference. In my understanding, they allow you to perform logic using negations of conjunctions or disjunctions. A conjunction, in terms of computer science, is when code gets executed only if something is true AND something else is true. A disjunction would then be when code gets executed when something is true OR something else is true. In our situation at work this week, we had a disjunction that consisted of a conjunction on one side and a negated disjunction on the other.

By De Morgan's Laws, if you negate a disjunction, then that becomes the conjunction of the negations of your original OR statement. Likewise, if you negate a conjunction, then that becomes the disjunction of the negations in your original AND statement. It's fun to poke around with these laws when writing your logic in your applications. I often in the past have resorted to writing logic in weird ways, such as unless statements or if/else statements inside of other if/else statements. Thinking about De Morgan's Laws when writing logic allows you to potentially write shorter, more precise conditionals.

Check out the wikipedia page on De Morgan's Laws below as well as a walk-through refactoring using De Morgan's Laws on a coding blog.

https://robots.thoughtbot.com/clearer-conditionals-using-de-morgans-laws

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Morgan%27s_laws

Coffee, Caffeine, and Longer Life

September 20, 2018

It's kind of surprising that something a lot of us drink, and enjoy drinking, is actually good for us and can provide lots of great benefits for us. Usually, the things we all enjoy consuming - sugary drinks and snacks, alcohol, carbs, etc. - should probably be consumed with caution. However, coffee has been shown to have some great anti-agings side effects so to speak. One study published in Nature Medicine in Jan. 2017 revealed an inflammatory mechanism that is associated with aging and the diseases that come along with it. "Metabolites, or breakdown products, of nucleic acids — the molecules that serve as building blocks for our genes — circulating in the blood can trigger this inflammatory process, the study found." The study found that caffeine and its own metabolites may counter the action of the circulating nucleic-acid metabolites. It also stated that more than 90 percent of noncommunicable diseases of aging - many cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and even depression - are associated with inflammation. This particular study found an inflammatory mechanism and then did an analysis of blood samples, survey data and medical and family histories obtained from more than 100 human participants in a multiyear study. Their study revealed that the inflammatory mechanism was directly countered by caffeine and its associated compounds.

News Center. (2018). Caffeine may counter age-related inflammation. [online] Available at: https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2017/01/caffeine-may-counter-age-related-inflammation-study-finds.html [Accessed 20 Sep. 2018].

Another study "performed a large comprehensive study on how coffee consumption is associated with telomere length, a biomarker of aging whose shortening can be accelerated by oxidative stress." The sample size of the study was almost 5,000 women. Coffee consumption information was obtained from food frequency questionnaires and telomere length was measured in peripheral blood leukocytes. The study concluded that higher total coffee consumption was significantly associated with longer telomeres. "Shorter telomeres have been associated with lower life expectancy and higher risks of age-related chronic diseases. Because coffee consumption can reduce oxidative stress and affect DNA integrity, it is plausible that coffee consumption may be associated with telomere length." DNA integrity! Decent name for a coffee shop?

Not only does coffee potentially help you live longer, it also contains many antioxidants - caffeine, chlorogenic acid, diterpenes, melanoidins, and polyphenols. I just recently started getting more into drinking one cup a day. I find that it helps me focus on my work, and feel good and energized doing so. I definitely will continue to stay up to date on what the scientists are saying, but for now I will keep drinking my daily cup.

Liu, J., Crous-Bou, M., Giovannucci, E. and De Vivo, I. (2018). Coffee Consumption Is Positively Associated with Longer Leukocyte Telomere Length in the Nurses' Health Study.