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Do you want a bigger brain and better memory?

Posted by on 7:33 am Alzheimer’s, Anti-Aging, Cognition, Dementia, Exercise, General Health, Memory, Research, Stay healthy, Wellness | 0 comments

 

Is it really possible to increase the size of the brain later in life?

Data from a randomized controlled study of 155 older women, who participated in 52 weeks of resistance training showed reduced cortical white matter atrophy on MRI scans when compared with the control  group (Best JR, et.al., 2015).

This means that they ended up with a bigger brain than they would have had if they had not done the resistance exercise.

Twice-weekly resistance training also promoted memory and increased peak muscle power when they were followed up after 2 years.

The control group did balance and toning.

If you instead prefer aerobic type of exercise, that may also improve your cognition.

Research showed that an individual’s cardio-respiratory fitness was a better predictor of cognitive gains than the exercise dose (Vidoni ED, et.al., 2015).

To improve cardio-respiratory function you can do regular aerobic exercise, or you can do high intensity short interval training which will save you time.

This study compared the effects of long slow distance training with high-intensity interval training in rowers (Ní Chéilleachair NJ, et.al., 2017).

High intensity short interval training was more effective than long and slow distance training in improving performance and aerobic characteristics.

References

Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T.Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015 Nov;21(10):745-56.

Vidoni ED, Johnson DK, Morris JK, Van Sciver A, Greer CS, Billinger SA, Donnelly JE, Burns JM,Dose-Response of Aerobic Exercise on Cognition: A Community-Based, Pilot Randomized Controlled TrialPLoS One. 2015 Jul 9;10(7):e0131647.

Ní Chéilleachair NJ1,2, Harrison AJ2, Warrington GD,HIIT enhances endurance performance and aerobic characteristics more than high-volume training in trained rowers.J Sports Sci. 2017 Jun;35(11):1052-1058

 

Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

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What factors are playing a role in Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease?

Posted by on 9:58 pm Alzheimer’s, Eating, General Health, Get in shape, Health Risk, Heart disease, Stay healthy, Wellness | 0 comments

Alongside oxidative stress and inflammation, altered cholesterol metabolism and hypercholesterolemia also significantly contribute to neuronal damage and to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (Gamba P, et.al., 2015).

Levels of  oxysterols derived from cholesterol oxidation and inflammatory mediators have been found to be increased in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients (Testa G, et.al., 2016).

Oxysterols, the major component of oxidized LDL is responsible for the increase in endothelial stiffness and is a key step in atherosclerosis development (Shentu TP, et.al., 2012).

When 70 people with mild cognitive impairment were compared with 140 normal individuals, oxysterol levels were significantly higher in the people with mild cognitive impairment (Liu Q, et.al., 2016).

Where do we find oxidized cholesterol?

Oxidized cholesterol are commonly found in foods with high cholesterol content, such as meat, egg yolk and full fatdairy products (Savage GP, et.al., 2002).

Factors known to increase the production of free radicals and therefore oxidized cholesterol in foods are heat, light, radiation, oxygen, moisture and the storage of food at room temperature.

Processes, such as pre-cooking, freeze-drying, dehydration and irradiation, have all been reported to result in increased production of oxidized cholesterol in meats.

What can you do to reduce oxidized cholesterol?

The most obvious way to do it is to avoid the foods that contain the oxidized cholesterol.

The best way to do that is to eat plant based foods, since animal source protein is where you find oxidized cholesterol.

It would also be beneficial to take S-Acetyl Gutathione and Curcumin to reduce free radical damage and inflammation further.

References

Gamba P, Testa G, Gargiulo S, Staurenghi E, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G.Oxidized cholesterol as the driving force behind the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Front Aging Neurosci. 2015 Jun 19;7:119.

Liu Q, An Y, Yu H, Lu Y, Feng L, Wang C, Xiao R.Relationship between oxysterols and mild cognitive impairment in the elderly: a case-control study.Lipids Health Dis. 2016 Oct 10;15(1):177.

Savage GP1, Dutta PC, Rodriguez-Estrada MT, Cholesterol oxides: their occurrence and methods to prevent their generation in foods. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2002;11(1):72-8

Shentu TP, Singh DK, Oh MJ, Sun S, Sadaat L, Makino A, Mazzone T, Subbaiah PV, Cho M, Levitan I.The role of oxysterols in control of endothelial stiffness.J Lipid Res. 2012 Jul;53(7):1348-58.

Testa G, Staurenghi E, Zerbinati C, Gargiulo S, Iuliano L, Giaccone G, Fantò F, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G, Gamba P.Changes in brain oxysterols at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease: Their involvement in neuroinflammation.Redox Biol. 2016 Dec;10:24-33.

 

 

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Can Omega 3 Fatty Acids Affect Your Mood?

Posted by on 11:42 am Body fat, Fish Oil, General Health, Omega-3, fish oil, Stay healthy, Stress, Wellness, Womens health | 0 comments

Omega 3 fatty acids have been demonstrated to significantly influence the nervous system and affect brain structures.

Can omega 3 fat also impact the way you feel emotionally?

This was evaluated in young adults with depressive symptoms by giving them 1.4 g of EPA and DHA, the active ingredients of omega 3 fat, or a placebo (Ginty AT, Conclin SM, 2015).

The participants took the omega 3 fatty acids for 21 days, and the results showed a significant difference between the treatment group and the placebo group.

67% of the participant taking the omega 3 fatty acids no longer met the criteria for being depressed, while only 20% in the placebo group were no longer depressed.

 

When medical students were given either 2085 mg of EPA and 348 mg of DHA or a placebo, the ones who received the omega 3 fatty acids experienced a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms and a 14% reduction in IL-6 and TNF-alpha, both markers of inflammation (Kiecolt-Glaser JK et.al., 2011).

 

The fatty acid composition of the red blood cells in patients with recurrent major depression was found to be significantly lower in the patients compared to the control group without depression ( Assies J, et.al., 2010).

 

According to these studies, just by taking some capsules of a high-quality omega 3 fish oil daily, you should see a positive effect on your mood.

 

References

Assies J, Pouwer F, Lok A, Mocking RJ, Bockting CL, Visser I, Abeling NG, Duran M, Schene AH Plasma and erythrocyte fatty acid patterns in patients with recurrent depression: a matched case-control study. PLoS One. 2010 May 14;5(5):e10635.

Ginty AT, Conklin SM. Short-term supplementation of acute long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may alter depression status and decrease symptomology among young adults with depression: A preliminary randomized and placebo controlled trial.
Psychiatry Res. 2015 Sep 30;229(1-2):485-9.

Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Belury MA, Andridge R, Malarkey WB, Glaser R. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2011 Nov;25(8):1725-34.

 

Better Fish Oil

The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 fatty acids are well known. Most people that eat a western diet can benefit from increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid since their diet usually contains too much Omega 6 from vegetable oils and saturated fat from dairy and other animal sources

Read more.. 

Change The Structure Of Your Brain And Improve Your Memory With This Fat

Posted by on 11:29 am Body fat, Fat, Fish Oil, General Health, Memory, Omega-3, fish oil, Stay healthy | 0 comments

 

You may think it sounds too good to be true to be able to change your brain structure by only eating a certain type of fat.

The following research is however of very high-quality and included structural neuroimaging, cognitive performance testing, vascular markers and additional blood tests (Witte AV, et.al., 2014).

65 healthy participants 50 to 75 years took either fish oil or a placebo for 26 weeks.

 

The results showed a significant increase in executive function after taking the fish oil for 26 weeks when compared to the placebo.

Even more interesting, the fish oil had beneficial effects on white matter microstructural integrity and gray matter volume.

Not only that, it also had beneficial effects on the carotid intima media thickness and diastolic blood pressure.

The carotid intima media is the inner layer of the blood vessel wall.

How much fish oil did they take?

They only took 2.2 g a day to get all those benefits.

 

If you want to add more things which will have a beneficial effect on your brain structure, you can add aerobic exercise and cognitive stimulation.

The participant in this study had mild cognitive impairment.

Compared to the control group, the participants taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement and participating in aerobic exercise and cognitive stimulation increased or preserved gray matter volume (Kobe T, et.al., 2016).

Gray matter volume decreased in the control group.

Sometimes you don’t have to make a lot of changes to get a lot of benefits.

 

 

References

Köbe T, Witte AV, Schnelle A, Lesemann A, Fabian S, Tesky VA, Pantel J, Flöel A. Combined omega-3 fatty acids, aerobic exercise and cognitive stimulation prevents decline in gray matter volume of the frontal, parietal and cingulate cortex in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Neuroimage. 2016 May 1;131:226-38.

Witte AV, Kerti L, Hermannstädter HM, Fiebach JB, Schreiber SJ, Schuchardt JP, Hahn A, Flöel A,

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids improve brain function and structure in older adults.
Cereb Cortex. 2014 Nov;24(11):3059-68.

 

 

Better Fish Oil

The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 fatty acids are well known. Most people that eat a western diet can benefit from increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid since their diet usually contains too much Omega 6 from vegetable oils and saturated fat from dairy and other animal sources.

READ MORE…

 

An enjoyable way to reduce stress and improve immunity.

Posted by on 8:50 am Diseases, General Health, Health, Stay healthy | 0 comments

Attractive Couple Wearing Sweaters Outdoors in the Park.It is well accepted that stress can make us more susceptible to disease.
The participants in the reviewed study were 404 adults who were exposed to a virus that causes a common cold(Cohen S,et al. 2014). They were monitored in quarantine to assess infection and signs of illness.

It was found that perceived support protected against the risk of infection.
What was very interesting was that more frequent hugs also resulted in less severe signs of illness.

 

Maybe we should not worry about getting sick from being touched. We may, instead, run more of a risk of getting sick if we don’t get touched.
 

Hugs sounds like a nice prescription.

 

 

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Improve your odds of not getting sick.

Posted by on 2:14 pm Brain, General Health, Meditation, Stay healthy | 0 comments

For your immune system to keep you healthy, the white blood cells need to effectively engulf and kill bacterias and viruses. This process is called phagocytosis.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could improve the ability of your white blood cells to kill bacterias and viruses, in other words improve phagocytosis. If you could do it without taking any medication, that would be even better.
That was exactly what was investigated in the reviewed research(Fernandes CA, et al. 2012).

Twenty-nine healthy individuals, both men and women, 24 to 67 years old, participated in the study. They received three hours of training, weekly, in meditation during the 10 weeks the study lasted. They also agreed to practice daily for 20 minutes at home. To evaluate the phagocytosis, the production of hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide by the monocytes(a type of white blood cell) was measured. Corticotrophin and cortisol, hormones released under stress, were also measured.

The measurements were done at the beginning of the study, halfway through, and at the end. The participants who meditated for more than 980 minutes showed an increase in phagocytosis. Their monocytes, a type of white blood cell, produced higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The level of corticotrophin hormone also went down.

By just using your mind, you can improve your body’s ability to fight disease.

 

 

Fernandes CA1, Nóbrega YK, Tosta CE. Pranic meditation affects phagocyte functions and hormonal levels of recent practitioners. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):761-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0718. Epub 2012 Jul 9.