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Kerala’s plantation sector headed for turmoil

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Thiruvananthapuram: Mounting costs of producing tea, rubber, cardamom and coffee and the low prices the yield fetches is severely affecting the plantation sector in Kerala, an official of the planters’ organisation said on Wednesday.

B.K. Ajith, secretary of the Association of Planters Kerala (APK) – an umbrella organization of planters of tea, rubber, cardamom and coffee – said the plantation sector can go haywire in two months.

The group represents about 60 percent of the organised plantation sector in the state.

Kerala today accounts for 82 percent of the country’s rubber production, 71 percent of cardamom, six percent of the tea and 21 percent of the coffee.

The daily wages of more than three lakh plantation workers, who ended their three week-long strike early this month, were increased recently.

But Ajith hinted at other factors which lead to an increase in the production costs.

The production costs of cardamom stands at Rs.700 a kg, while the market price of a kilogram of cardamom is Rs.620, he said.

“Coffee planters in Kerala are going to be seriously affected as production in Brazil has reached much higher levels. There has been a currency devaluation as well. Thus, all cash crops in Kerala will be seriously affected,” added Ajith.

APK officials are also peeved that their long standing demands for reducing the plantation, agricultural and land taxes have fallen on deaf ears.

While Tamil Nadu levies no taxes in the plantation sector, Kerala charges Rs.700 a hectare as plantation tax. The agriculture income tax is 50 percent of the profits, while in other states it is 28 percent. The land tax here is Rs.500 a hectare, Ajith complained.

Similarly, the electricity tariff was increased for the plantation sector last year, he said.

“If something drastic does not happen, things will come to a halt very soon,” said Ajith.

(IANS)

 

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3 Cups of Coffee a day may Prevent you from Premature Death

Compared to Abstainers, people who drink 3-4 cups of coffee a day are more likely to see health benefits than harm, experiencing lower risks of premature death and heart disease .

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3 Cups of Coffee a day may prevent you from premature death
Someone pouring a cup of coffee. Drinking coffee could increase your health benefits, according to a new study,Thursday, Nov 23, 2017. (Photo: Diaa Bekheet)

London:

People who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are more likely to see health benefits than harm, experiencing lower risks of premature death and heart disease than those who abstain, scientists said on Wednesday.

The research, which collated evidence from more than 200 previous studies, also found coffee consumption was linked to lower risks of diabetes, liver disease, dementia and some cancers.

Three or four cups a day confer the greatest benefit, the scientists said, except for women who are pregnant or who have a higher risk of suffering fractures.

Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed drinks worldwide. To better understand its effects on health, Robin Poole, a public health specialist at Britain’s University of Southampton, led a research team in an “umbrella review” of 201 studies based on observational research and 17 studies based on clinical trials across all countries and all settings.

“Umbrella reviews” synthesize previous pooled analyses to give a clearer summary of diverse research on a particular topic.

“Coffee drinking appears safe within usual patterns of consumption,” Pool’s team concluded in their research, published in the BMJ British medical journal late on Wednesday.

Drinking coffee was consistently linked with a lower risk of death from all causes and from heart disease. The largest reduction in relative risk of premature death is seen in people consuming three cups a day, compared with non-coffee drinkers.

Drinking more than three cups a day was not linked to harm, but the beneficial effects were less pronounced.

Coffee was also associated with a lower risk of several cancers, including prostate, endometrial, skin and liver cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes, gallstones and gout, the researchers said. The greatest benefit was seen for liver conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver.

Poole’s team noted that because their review included mainly observational data, no firm conclusions could be drawn about cause and effect. But they said their findings support other recent reviews and studies of coffee intake. (VOA)

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Intake of Coffee can Reduce the risk of Death for Kidney Patients

Drinking Coffee may increase the lifespan of patients with chronic kidney disease.

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Drinking Coffee reduces mortality in Kidney patients
Drinking Coffee reduces mortality in Kidney patients. Pixabay
  • Want to live longer? Charge up on your cup of coffee. According to a study, caffeine consumption may prolong the lifespan of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Drinking coffee can Reduce mortality 

The findings showed a dose-dependent inverse association between caffeine and all-cause mortality.

People who had the highest intake of coffee had 24 percent lower risks of dying, while those in the second, third quartile of caffeine consumption had 12 percent and 22 percent lower risk.

“These results suggest that advising patients with CKD to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality. This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial, and inexpensive option,” said Miguel Bigotte Vieira from Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte, in Portugal.

However, “this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomised clinical trial”, Vieira added.

For the study, the team examined the association of caffeine consumption with mortality among 2328 patients with CKD. The results will be presented at the ongoing ASN Kidney Week 2017 in New Orleans.

Moreover, this observational study cannot prove that drinking coffee reduces the risk of death in patients with CKD, but only suggests the possibility of such a protective effect, Vieira stressed.

Drinking coffee can also reduce diabetes risk, revealed a reported in the American Chemical Society Journal of Natural Products.(IANS)

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When Is The Best Time To Drink Coffee?

Coffee is rich in caffeine which is known to wake your body and boost energy levels. But is there a specific time when our body needs caffeine?

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best time to drink coffee
Do you prefer a cup of coffee every morning to wake your body up? Experts say that is an unhealthy practice. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 13, 2017 : Every morning as you are jostled out of sleep by your alarm, do you unconsciously crave for coffee? ‘Caffeine is just what I need to wake my body and begin my day with rising energy levels, so why not?’ you ask yourself.

Coffee is rich in caffeine which is known to wake your body and boost energy levels. But how does this happen?

How Does Caffeine Affect Sleep?

Caffeine is known to block adenosine receptors in the brain.

For easier understanding, adenosine is a nervous system depressant that transmits signals to our mind that the body is tired and needs rest, and has a slowing, calming effect on the brain.

When caffeine obstructs the production of adenosine, the brain interprets it as an ‘active period’ of the body and begins secreting adrenaline. This is characterized by the several effects of caffeine on the body that include increase in body temperature, blood pressure, sugar levels and an increase in heart rate.

ALSO READ Increasing coffee intake bad for your brain : Study

Additionally, the body also begins to produce dopamine in such a situation, the hormone responsible for mood elevation.

All these factors together work to prevent the body from falling asleep.

Coffee is your savior. And you are doing everything right –you are having rich, steaming coffee, completely devoid of sugar, milk or creamer (because that is the best way to have coffee for health; you had read so in the weekly health magazine). But did you ever wonder if you are having coffee when you should be? When is the best time to drink coffee? 

What, the practice is time conscious!?!

Yes, according to experts, there is a defined best time to drink coffee. And turns out we have all been unaware about it, which is why we have not been availing maximum benefits of the caffeine-rich drink.

A common behavior is to have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning in order to wake your body up. However, our body produces the largest amount of a hormone called cortisol immediately after we wake up, which is responsible for making us feel awake and alert.

Cortisol is known to increase the effect of caffeine in the body. While no two people can be the same, cortisol levels typically are the highest when you wake up. Additionally, the body is known to release cortisol between 8-9 am, 12-1 pm and 5:30-6:30 pm. This means, your body might be ‘naturally caffeinated’ at the time when you are usually having your first cup of coffee.

best time to drink coffee
Craving a cuppa every morning? Pixabay

A cuppa in the given hours will not be the best time to drink coffee. Still wondering why?

Consuming coffee in the given hours will dilute the effects of the caffeine, as cortisol will already be working to wake the system up. This will eventually lead to the tolerance to caffeine in your body and you will hence be forced to have more and more quantities of coffee to wake you up, which is in turn an unhealthy practice.

Cortisol, commonly known to many as the stress hormone, is associated with anxiety, fear and fatigue. Thus, doubling the cortisol levels with a cup of coffee will make you anxious and stressed. We are sure that is not how you want to feel like.

When Is The Best Time To Drink Coffee?

Experts suggest that you should have coffee when the body is producing low levels of cortisol – about three to four hours after waking up.

In an interview with CNBC, Certified dietitian and nutritionist Lisa Lisiewski suggested that the best time to drink coffee might be around mid-morning or early afternoon. “That’s when your cortisol levels are at their lowest and you actually benefit from the stimulant itself”, she said.