Maybe you find it surprising that you can reduce your blood pressure just by changing the time
you eat. You can however not only reduce your blood pressure by doing that, but quite a few
other things have been shown to improve as well.
This research was based on the results of intermittent fasting.
The study was small, but it was very well controlled (Sutton EF, et.al., 2018).
Prediabetic men were randomized to time-restricted feeding, which in this case meant a 6 hour
feeding period with dinner before 3 p.m., or a control schedule with a 12 hour feeding period.
The participants followed the time-restricted feeding schedule for 5 weeks and were later crossed
over to the other schedule.
The meals they ingested were prepared for them, and the number of daily calories was
calculated according to their energy expenditure so they would not lose any weight. The
researchers also checked that all of the meals were ingested. The schedules were followed for
5 weeks. The participants had breakfast, lunch and dinner, all within 6 hours, and dinner was no later than 3 p.m.
On the time-restricted feeding schedule, the participants improved insulin sensitivity, beta
cell responsiveness, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and they felt less hungry.
Beta cells are the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
All of these changes were seen from only changing the timing of when they were eating.
Try it and see how it works for you.
Sutton EF1, Beyl R1, Early KS2, Cefalu WT3, Ravussin E1, Peterson CM , Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes. Cell Metab. 2018 Jun 5;27(6):1212-1221.e3.
Does reduced circulation in the brain increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease?
Every tissue in the body needs nutrients including the brain and the nervous system.
To deliver an optimal amount of nutrients to the tissue, we need a vascular system that
provide good circulation.
Atherosclerosis and stenosis of the vascular system will decrease blood circulation.
The following research investigated the impact of intracranial arterial stenosis on the
progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease (Zhu J, et.al., 2014).
423 participants with mild cognitive impairment were included in the study, and they were
evaluated with clinical and neuropsychological examinations every year for 4 years.
CT angiography was used to measure the stenosis of major intracranial arteries.
At the last follow up, the researchers found that 116 participants had progressed to
dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.
They also found that the presence of moderate or severe intracranial arterial stenosis
significantly increased the risk of dementia progression and also the risk of developing
It’s important to start early to prevent the buildup of plaque in the vascular system since it can
start at an early age and is a gradual process. As you see it’s not only important for the heart,
but also for the brain.
The reduction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to affect cognitive
function, learning, and memory and also causes behavioral disorders.
There are however several ways to increase BDNF.
The following research reviewed several studies which investigated the effect of curcumin on
BDNF (Sarraf P, et.al., 2019).
The supplemented dose of curcumin the participants took ranged from 200 to 1820 mg per day,
and the studies lasted from 8 to 12 weeks,
The researchers found that curcumin significantly increased BDNF levels.
Curcumin is not well absorbed unless it has been manufactured to improve absorption. In this
research the dose varied quite a bit in the different studies which were included.
If you take a curcumin formula shown to be better absorbed, you don’t have to take a very high
dose. It is for that reason a very easy way to increase BDNF levels.
Reference: Sarraf P, Parohan M, Javanbakht MH, Ranji-Burachaloo S, Djalali M. Short-term curcumin supplementation enhances serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor in adult men and women: a a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Res. 2019 May 9;69:1-8.
Exercise, in general, is beneficial for the brain, but is one type of exercise more beneficial for
memory? That’s what the following research investigated.
Sixty-four sedentary older adults either did high-intensity interval training, moderate continuous
training or stretching as a control (Kovacevic A, et.al., 2019).
The researchers found that high-intensity interval training resulted in the greatest
memory performance in inactive older adults compared to moderate continuous training
They also found that improvement in fitness correlated with improvement in memory
performance since moderate exercise also helped.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is a protein plays an important role in the
survival and growth of the nervous system. This means that BDNF is important for keeping the
This research tested the effectiveness of two high-intensity exercise protocols, both known to
improve cardiovascular health, to determine whether they have similar efficacy in affecting
BDNF levels ( Saucedo Marquez CM , et.al., 2015).
Participants performed a continuous exercise protocol at 70% of maximal work rate and a
high-intensity interval training protocol at 90% of maximal work rate for periods of 1 minute
alternating with 1 min of rest (both protocols lasted 20 min).
Both protocols increased BDNF levels, but the high-intensity interval training improved
BDNF levels the most.
Kovacevic A, Fenesi B, Paolucci E, Heisz JJ. The effects of aerobic exercise intensity on memory in older adults. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2019 Oct 30. Saucedo Marquez CM, Vanaudenaerde B, Troosters T, Wenderoth N. High-intensity interval training evokes larger serum BDNF levels compared with intense continuous exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 Dec 15;119(12):1363-73
Easy way to improve endothelial function which affects cardiovascular risk.
Endothelial function is an independent predictor of cardiovascular risk.
The endothelium is the inner layer of the blood vessels.
One way of evaluating endothelial function is by measuring flow-mediated dilation which relates
to the artery’s ability to open and close. This affects the circulation and blood flow to the tissues.
Better circulation leads to improved nutrient delivery to all tissues including the heart
and the brain.
In this research flow-mediated dilation was measured on three separate occasions where the
participants ingested either 6 g of green tea, 125 mg of caffeine (the amount contained in 6 g of
tea), or hot water (Alexopoulos N, et.al., 2008).
Flow-mediated dilation increased significantly with the green tea but did not change
significantly with caffeine.
This may be one of the reasons that green tea has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk.
By making some simple changes to your daily habits, you may find that several small changes
for the better ads up, and in the long run, it can really make a difference.