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January 9, 2012 | By Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times
If losing weight was one of your New Year's resolutions, you might already be growing weary of counting calories and working out. Wouldn't it be great if you could slim down without so much effort? Anyone looking for a shortcut to weight loss might be tempted to try one of many supplements that claim to burn fat and boost metabolism. These products often contain a not-especially-exotic ingredient that's already a staple of the American lifestyle: caffeine. The morning coffee drinkers at Dunkin' Donuts notwithstanding, caffeine has a strong reputation as a weight-loss aid. The stimulant is one of the key ingredients of Zantrex-3, the popular weight-loss supplement from Zoller Laboratories, based in Salt Lake City.
September 26, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots Blog
Compared with uncaffeinated women, those who drank the equivalent of four or more cups of coffee a day are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes and less likely to volunteer their time in church or community groups. But a new study finds that well-caffeinated women have a key health advantage over their more abstemious sisters: they're less likely to become depressed. In the back-and-forth world of research on caffeine's effects, the latest study suggests that women who get several jolts of java a day may do more than get a quick boost: their mental health may see sustained improvement even as the physical stresses of aging accumulate.
August 20, 2011 | Chris Erskine
I live with people who salt their pancakes and water down the fabric softener and fill daily life with their own peculiar ways, every one of them. We have the sorts of kids who fall down abandoned wells and post YouTube videos about it. It makes for some very interesting weekends. The dog, whom I legally married the other day for tax purposes, is the only sane one among them, though you will occasionally catch him licking something off the couch. What sort of person does that, licks unknown splotches from a couch?
July 31, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Caffeine--some people can't live with it, and others can't live without it. Join a live Web chat on Monday, Aug. 1, at 11 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. CT, 2 p.m. EST) and learn how this substance can affect your body, your health and your athletic performance. Chatting with readers will be registered dietitian Ruth Frechman, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Assn. and author of the upcoming book "The Food Is My Friend Diet. " Frechman is also the founder of "On the Weigh," a nutrition consulting business, as well as an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer.
July 29, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Some people can't start the day without a cup of coffee, knowing that the caffeine will see them through at least a few hours. Learn about the pros and cons of this popular stimulant in a live Web chat with registered dietitian Ruth Frechman Monday, Aug. 1 at 11 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. CT, 2 p.m. ET). Frechman is a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Assn. and the founder of "On the Weigh," a nutrition consulting business in Burbank. Considering the number of people we see chugging coffee at the gym, we wondered whether it was OK to have a caffeinated beverage just before a workout.
July 11, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Hey, boys and girls, it's free Slurpee day at 7-Eleven stores! To celebrate the company's sort-of birthday (check the date - it's 7/11. Get it?) the company is giving away 7.11-ounce Slurpees at participating stores. But because this is a blog about health we couldn't let this auspicious occasion pass without letting you know what you'll be sucking down if you give in to the Slurpee. Most 8-ounce Slurpees weigh at in about 70 calories, which isn't too bad in the grand scheme of things, provided you don't pair it with a couple of Twinkies, a bag of Doritos and some Skittles.
June 8, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
You can’t believe everything you hear, especially if you’re polishing off the third refill of your venti coffee. Australian researchers at La Trobe University have just published a study suggesting that people on a serious caffeine buzz are prone to hear things that aren’t there. The study might raise new concerns about the safety of caffeine. But for the average person who’s weary of conflicting reports about coffee and health , the new findings may not amount to much more than background noise.
May 18, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Drinking coffee is a fine way to start the day, many men would agree. For those worried about prostate cancer, it appears to be a great way to start the day. The latest of many studies on whether a daily cup, or many cups, of java might lower a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, especially lethal prostate cancer, falls on the side of coffee enthusiasts. A Harvard School of Public Health study of nearly 48,000 men found that those who drank more than six cups of coffee per day had a 60% reduced risk of developing lethal prostate cancer compared with nondrinkers.
May 8, 2011 | By April Orcutt, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Do you get your buzz from a big mug of java or a shot of espresso? Maybe a soy hazelnut latte with honey or an icy frappé dripping with whipped cream and cinnamon? Or just a cuppa joe? How about your tea — black, white, green, yellow, red bush, oolong, pekoe, chai, herbal or obscure? No matter how you dress them up, naked coffees and teas from around the world are the first and most important step to creating beverages savored daily by nearly 70% of Americans. In fact, one-third of the world's population now drinks coffee.
April 19, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey
If mixing Red Bull and vodka seems like a way to imbibe while avoiding late-night drowsiness — well, it is, according to the headlines this week, but at a cost. College students who drank a cocktail of alcohol and energy drinks reported feeling twice as stimulated as those who drank alcohol alone, according to a new study from Northern Kentucky University. The caffeine overrides the drowsiness that kicks in after drinking alcohol. The danger here, says lead author Cecile Marczinksi, is that you don’t realize how drunk you’re getting.
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