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Helping Java junkies get their fix

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If you?re a fan of coffees and cafés, and need a little help knowing where to get your daily jolt of java, Richard and Arthur Wolak have published a new guide called CAFES Vancouver: The Insider?s Guide to Neighbourhood Cafes. The guide covers more than 200 cafés in the greater Vancouver area from North Vancouver to White Rock, plus Mission, Sidney, Saltspring Island, Nanaimo, Victoria and Whistler.

It doesn?t rate the cafés, but lets you know where they are, what they?re like, and what kind of coffee they serve. It lists them by region, then again by theme, such as Internet café, or cafés that offer things like books, art and poetry readings.

It?s far from comprehensive, however. In Whistler, the guide lists just six establishments: Two are in the Upper Village (both of which are actually restaurants that serve gourmet coffee), two are Starbucks outlets, one is a breakfast and lunch place, and one has already closed down. None of the cafes featured are in the yellow pages under Coffee Specialty Bars either.

The ersatz cafes that did make the list are Auntie Em?s (which closes after lunch), Chef Bernard?s Café (which makes great coffee, but is far more renowned for its food), Death By Chocolate (gone), Portobello (which falls in the same category as Chef Bernard?s), and both Starbucks.

The Second Cup wasn?t mentioned in Whistler, or anywhere in the guide, which leads one to believe that the authors either don?t like the coffee or own stock in Starbucks ? which gets no fewer than 31 mentions.

It does do a fairly good job, in Vancouver at least, of picking out the eclectic little spots that offer something a little different. It?s a good guide in some ways, just not a definitive one.

Food ingredient battles colds

Either way people stay away from you, but if it came down to a choice between eating garlic and staying healthy, or not eating garlic and coming down with a cold, most people would probably choose garlic.

According to a new study by Peter Josling, director of the Garlic Centre in England, a garlic supplement containing allicin, the active ingredient in garlic, can reduce your chance of catching a cold by up to 50 per cent. The study, which followed 146 volunteers over a 90 day period, also found that allicin supplements were useful in treating infections caused by the hospital superbug, MRSA.

Garlic has been a folk remedy for some time, going back to the ancient Egyptians who used it for wounds, infections, tumours and intestinal parasites.

It?s been suggested that garlic stimulates white blood cells and boosts one?s immune system.

The 146 volunteers were divided into two groups, one taking allicin and the other taking a placebo. Twenty-four people taking the capsules caught a cold, compared to 65 in the placebo group.

It was also found that those who were taking the allicin had significantly faster recovery times.

The average person suffers between two and five colds each year.

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