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  • “Dignity” and Hope - World Mental Health Day

    October 09, 2015

    Mental illness will affect every single one of us.    As we progress through our life stages from pre-birth, to late adulthood and eventual death (1) every single one of us is vulnerable to mental illness or its effects.   While we may be personally spared the challenges of having a mental disorder, we may still be affected through a family member, a child, parent, grandparent, uncle/aunt/cousin/nephew; or through a member of our extended family.  Alternatively we may be affected by the experience of a traumatic event such as the 911 World Twin Towers disaster or t...

  • Caffeine - An Updated Series (Part II)

    September 02, 2015

    Caffeine - An Updated Series (Part II)  Key Points: 100% bio-availability Water and fat soluble Consumed either intravenously or orally (foods, drinks, capsules) Antagonizes adenosine receptors in the central nervous system Stimulates the central nervous system and neurotransmitter release High variability in response to caffeine  May depend on genetics, exogenous, or endogenous factors  Part II Caffeine Chemistry & Bioavailability   Figure 1. The molecular structure of caffeine and adenosine.   Caffeine chemistry: Chemical formul...

  • Caffeine - An Updated Series

    July 31, 2015

    Part I Key Points: Caffeine:  the most widely used naturally occurring substance in the world found in more than 60 plants Food/Drinks containing caffeine:   coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate/cocoa products Caffeine consumption is common in all parts of the world Coffee originated from Ethiopia (1000-1400 AD) Tea originated from China (750 AD) Cocoa originated from Mexico (1500 BC)   Figure 1. The most common dietary sources of caffeine; coffee, tea and cocoa.  Part I Caffeine Consumption       ...

  • Do I Take My Tea With Milk and Honey?

    April 29, 2014

    Originally introduced from China to Europe in the 16th and 17th Centuries, tea has spread to all corners of the world to become the second most common drink, after water.  The early Chinese communities drank green tea primarily for its medicinal properties, while the British brought black tea to England after being introduced to it by the Royal Family.  In Europe, namely France, Madame de la Sabriere is credited with having been the first person to add milk to black tea (1). However, the addition of milk and other substances, including sugar or honey, to black tea have resu...

  • Benefits of Adding Turmeric to Your Diet

    April 29, 2014

    Turmeric is a dark yellow root of the curcuma longa plant, which is native to south Asia.  Turmeric is a relative of the ginger family.  The root can be used fresh or be boiled, dried and ground into a powder (1).  Turmeric is used to flavor food, very popular in curries.  Turmeric is also used as a food colorant in foods such as mustard and cheese.  Because of its antibacterial properties, turmeric is also used as a food preservative (2).   Turmeric is made up of many vitamins (including several B vitamins and Vitamin C, among others) and minerals (such as calci...


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