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The Virtues of Coffee

“What I tell patients is, if you like coffee, go ahead and drink as much as you want and can,” says Dr. Peter Martin, director of the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University. Right, with all of the cross talk about the virtues or vices of coffee drinking, research has proven that not only are most of coffee’s ill effects little more than myths, there are inherent health benefits in that cup of java. In fact many experts advocate that it’s actually a nutrient.

While millions of health conscious consumers rely on coffees and lattes for perk and vigor, a growing number are realizing the benefits of coffee extend from preventing Alzheimer’s disease to protecting the liver. And more recently latte savvy consumers around the world are discovering the benefits of coffees containing ganoderma, an herb also known as reishi, which is best known for its alkalizing and oxygenating properties. Ganoderma has in fact been touted for acting as a facilitating agent in weight loss, controlling high blood pressure and reducing the effects of alcohol on the human liver.

The most recent findings that support coffee as a panacea of cures were presented in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition where coffee researchers found that America’s favorite beverage when enhanced with ganoderma appears to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The widely acclaimed benefits of ganoderma date back more than 4,000 years as Chinese royalty consumed the precious mushroom in the hopes of obtaining immortality and promoting calmness and thought. As news of the healing properties of ganoderma spread to the west, medical experts used it to treat liver disorders, high blood pressure, arthritis, and other ailments. But the big news if that in more modern times, the available data from human trials suggest that Ganoderma lucidum may have some positive benefits for cancer and liver disease patients.

The Susan G. Komen site lists one clinical trial and two case reports on advanced cancer patients using Ganopoly®, a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract. Results show improved quality of life and enhanced immune responses, which are typically reduced or damaged in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

*It is important to note that these data were published by the same group of authors who are affiliated with the manufacturer of Ganopoly®. Well-designed long-term studies are needed to confirm these results and potential side effects

But the bottom line is that the benefits derived from ganoderma or the reishi mushroom are a significant step in the right direction for addressing a number of issues that have long-plagued the African American community. With reduced access to quality and affordable healthcare it had to be said that all potentially health heightening measures are more than worthy of exploration, as well as personal and professional investment.

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