Your Road to Wellness

Wellness

Can your blood glucose regulation affect your memory?

Posted by on 12:45 pm Bloodsugar, Cognition, Dementia, Diabetes, Diet, Eating, General Health, Glucose, Health Risk, Insulin resistance, Memory, Wellness | 0 comments

This study investigated how the ability to control the levels of blood glucose was related to mood and cognition (Young H, Benton D, 2014).

155 adults, aged 45-85 years,  without a diagnosis of diabetes, were given an oral glucose tolerance test and cognitive tests. 

The researchers found that those with poorer glucose tolerance forgot more words and had slower decision times, but only if they were 61 years or older. 

The next study on the same topic included 93 healthy male and female non-diabetic participants who ranged in age from 55 to 88 years (Messier C, 2010). 

The researchers measured cognitive function as well as other things. The participants also had a glucose tolerance test during which glucose and insulin were measured.This was done after drinking a saccharin solution and on another occasion after drinking a glucose solution (50 g).

The results showed that progressively worse glucose regulation predicted poorer performance on measures of working memory and executive function.

The researchers stated that the results suggest that cognitive functions may be impaired before gluco-regulatory impairment reaches levels consistent with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

The change from being insulin sensitive to being insulin resistant is a gradual process. This shows that it is really important to keep your blood glucose at a low and normal level not only after you have fasted, but also after eating. Ideally it should be below 90 two hours after a meal.

The sooner you  implement strategies to stay insulin sensitive the better it is.

You can stay insulin sensitive by making changes to the way you eat and by incorporating exercise into your routine.

References

Messier C, Tsiakas M, Gagnon M, Desrochers A. Effect of age and glucoregulation on cognitive performance. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2010 Oct;32(8):809-21.

Young H, Benton D.The nature of the control of blood glucose in those with poorer glucose tolerance influences mood and cognition. Metab Brain Dis. 2014 Sep;29(3):721-8.

 

 

 

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This is affected by too little quality sleep

Posted by on 8:03 am General Health, Research, Sleep, Wellness | 0 comments

The following was a small study, but it is interesting because the participants were young females and males with an average age of 28.8 years (Montesinos L, et.al., 2018).

Their average body mass index was 23.4 and their resting heart rate was 63.1 which are considered good.  Sleep and balance were assessed over two days, and balance was assessed in a gait lab.

Even in young people like, this decreased sleep quality for only a short time was causing problems.

The participants with a day-to-day deterioration in sleep quantity and quality saw significant changes in balance.  

Sleep quantity and quality were defined by decreased duration and increased fragmentation, increased night time activity and decreased heart rate variability.  As more and more research is done in the area of sleep, we discover how important sleep really is, even balance is affected by sleep. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why some people lose their balance as they get older.

If you have problems relaxing, try meditation, especially in the evening in a room without bright light.

Reduce your exposure to bright light and light from computer screens some time before you go to bed.   Exposure to bright light in the evening can alter your circadian rhythm and affect the release of the hormone melatonin, making it more difficult to get quality sleep.

Reference

Montesinos L, Castaldo R, Cappuccio F, Pecchia L, Day-to-day variations in sleep quality affect standing balance in healthy adults. Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 30;8(1):17504.

 

 

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Why is it important to know the immediate effects of your meals?

Posted by on 12:00 pm Bloodsugar, Calories, Eating, Fat, General Health, HDL, Omega-3, fish oil, Tissue Recovery Blog, Wellness | 0 comments

When you have your yearly medical checkup, your doctor usually runs a blood test to see how your biochemistry is when you are in a fasted state.  You should have the blood drawn in the morning before you eat anything.

While this gives both your doctor and you an idea about your health status and certain health risks, is it the most accurate way to collect information to see how well you are doing?

It is certainly a good to have those data, but think about it: we are not in a fasting state during the day. Most people eat several times during the day and may even snack between their meals.

There are several important factors to take into account when it comes to the more immediate after-effect of the meals we eat. We will look specifically at cholesterol here, which is interesting because a new study related to cholesterol and egg consumption was just published.

Let’s, however, look at another paper first.

The authors found the following.

Diet is not just about fasting cholesterol; it is mainly about the after-meal effects of cholesterol, saturated fats, oxidative stress and inflammation (Spence JD, et.al., 2010).  Focusing on fasting cholesterol obscures three key issues:

  • Dietary cholesterol increases the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to oxidation
  • increases the after-meal effect of excess fat
  • increases the adverse effects of dietary saturated fat

Oxidized LDL is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

These researchers also said dietary cholesterol, including egg yolks, is harmful to the arteries.

Now, let’s look at the more recent study.

29 615 participants were followed for an average of 17.5 years (Zhong VW, et al., 2019).  This is what the researchers concluded.

Among US adults, higher consumption of dietary cholesterol or eggs was significantly associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in a dose-response manner.

References

Spence JD, Jenkins DJ, Davignon J.Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: not for patients at risk of vascular disease.Can J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;26(9):e336-9.

Zhong VW, Van Horn L, Cornelis MC, Wilkins JT, Ning H, Carnethon MR, Greenland P, Mentz RJ, Tucker KL, Zhao L, Norwood AF, Lloyd-Jones DM, Allen NB.Associations of Dietary Cholesterol or Egg Consumption With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality. JAMA. 2019 Mar 19;321(11):1081-1095.

 

 

Learn to Eat Program

Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
you reduce inflammation and feel great.

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Do you want to react less to anxiety provoking stimuli?

Posted by on 1:55 am Anti-Aging, Blood Pressure, Breathing, Happiness, Meditation, Stay healthy, Stress, Wellness | 0 comments

The world can be a stressful place, and that is most likely not going to change anytime soon.

The solution is to get to a state where we are not affected much by things that cause most people to react with anxiety.

Is that possible or just wishful thinking?

According to the following research it is possible with practice.

In this study, participants who practiced Loving-Kindness Meditation were compared with a group new to meditation (Chen C, et.al., 2018).

Both groups were exposed to anxiety provoking images as well as images to evoke happiness. They had their anxiety scores assessed and their amygdala scanned for a reactivity response.

This is what the researchers found.

The participants that had practiced meditation longer had a weaker amygdala response to fear and also lower anxiety scores.

The same group also had a stronger positive functional connectivity with the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to happiness.

The vagus nerve may be a part of the neurophysiological response to meditation (Gerritsen RJS, Band GPH, 2018).  It is well worth it to take time to regularly practice meditation.

References

Chen C, Chen YC, Chen KL, Cheng Y. Atypical Anxiety-Related Amygdala Reactivity and Functional Connectivity in Sant Mat Meditation. Front Behav Neurosci. 2018 Dec 4;12:298.

Gerritsen RJS, Band GPH, Breath of Life: The Respiratory Vagal Stimulation Model of Contemplative Activity. Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 Oct 9;12:397.

 

Are you feeling stressed?  With the Stressed to Relaxed in 60 Seconds program, you will learn how to literally feel more relaxed and also feel less pain and stiffness in your neck in just 60 seconds

This is not difficult and it does not require expensive equipment. You can, without a doubt, do this. 

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What can blueberries do for you?

Posted by on 1:49 am Anti-aging, Antioxidents, Diet, Eating, General Health, General Health, Stay healthy, The Learn to Eat Plan, Tissue Recovery Blog, Wellness | 0 comments

Blueberries contain flavonoids and it is the flavonoids that provide all the health benefits.

The following study showed that daily 1-month blueberry consumption increased flow-mediated dilation as well as lowered systolic blood pressure (Rodriguez-Mateos A, et.al., 2019).

The more blueberries are researched, the more impressive they look.

Flow-mediated dilation is a measurement of endothelial function (the endothelium is the inner lining of the blood vessels).

When flow-mediated dilation was measured in healthy men after blueberry flavonoid intake, the researchers found a dose-dependent increase up to an intake of 766 mg polyphenols (Rodriguez-Mateos A, et.al., 2013). The increase was seen from 1-6 hours after the intake.

Blueberries can be used to help protect the blood vessels from damage as the following study shows.

Human aortic endothelial cells showed a reduced expression of inflammatory markers after being exposed to substances found from blueberry consumption (Cutler BR, et.al., 2018).

100 g of blueberries twice daily would give you protection the whole day. While fresh blueberries are expensive, frozen blueberries are better priced.  Adding blueberries to your diet daily would give you these benefits.

References

Cutler BR, Gholami S, Chua JS, Kuberan B, Anandh Babu PV.Blueberry metabolites restore cell surface glycosaminoglycans and attenuate endothelial inflammation in diabetic human aortic endothelial cells. Int J Cardiol. 2018 Jun 15;261:155-158.

Rodriguez-Mateos A, Istas G, Boschek L, Feliciano RP, Mills CE, Boby C, Gomez-Alonso S, Milenkovic D, Heiss C,Circulating anthocyanin metabolites mediate vascular benefits of blueberries: insights from randomized controlled trials, metabolomics, and nutrigenomics. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Feb 16. pii: glz047.

Rodriguez-Mateos A, Rendeiro C, Bergillos-Meca T, Tabatabaee S, George TW, Heiss C, Spencer JP.Intake and time dependence of blueberry flavonoid-induced improvements in vascular function: a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover intervention study with mechanistic insights into biological activity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov;98(5):1179-91.

 

 

Learn to Eat Program

Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
you reduce inflammation and feel great.

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A lesser-known benefit of a plant based diet

Posted by on 4:37 am Diet, Diseases, Eating, General Health, Health, Health Risk, Insulin resistance, Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, Stay healthy, The Learn to Eat Plan, Vegetables, Wellness | 0 comments

You may not have heard about Trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), but this metabolite is created by the bacterial flora in the gut in response to certain food components.  This is the process.

TMAO originates from a precursor, trimethylamine (TMA) that is a metabolite of mainly choline and carnitine from ingested foods and may be involved in insulin resistance (Oellgaard J, et.al., 2017).  Why is TMAO important?

TMAO may not only increase the risk for insulin resistance, but also TMAO appears to be of particular importance as a risk factor and potentially a causative agent of various pathologies, mostly cardiovascular disease and other associated conditions (Al-Rubaye H, et.al., 2018).

Dietary l-carnitine is converted into the atherosclerosis- and thrombosis-promoting metabolite TMAO via gut microbiota-dependent transformations.
TMAO transformation is induced by omnivorous dietary patterns and chronic l-carnitine exposure (Koeth RA, et.al., 2019 ).


A big difference in the TMAO levels can seen when comparing people eating animal-based protein to vegans (who eat plant-based protein). Eating a plant-based diet results in a different gut bacterial flora and will not produce much TMAO.

References

Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) as a New Potential Therapeutic Target for Insulin Resistance and Cancer.
Oellgaard J, Winther SA, Hansen TS, Rossing P, von Scholten BJ.
Curr Pharm Des. 2017;23(25):3699-3712. doi: 10.2174/1381612823666170622095324. Review.
PMID:28641532

The Role of Microbiota in Cardiovascular Risk: Focus on Trimethylamine Oxide.
Al-Rubaye H, Perfetti G, Kaski JC.
Curr Probl Cardiol. 2018 Jul 7. pii: S0146-2806(18)30079-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cpcardiol.2018.06.005. [Epub ahead of print] Review.
PMID:30482503

l-Carnitine in omnivorous diets induces an atherogenic gut microbial pathway in humans.
Koeth RA, Lam-Galvez BR, Kirsop J, Wang Z, Levison BS, Gu X, Copeland MF, Bartlett D, Cody DB, Dai HJ, Culley MK, Li XS, Fu X, Wu Y, Li L, DiDonato JA, Tang WHW, Garcia-Garcia JC, Hazen SL. J Clin Invest. 2019 Jan 2;129(1):373-387. doi: 10.1172/JCI94601. Epub 2018 Dec 10.  PMID:30530985

 

 

Learn to Eat Program

Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
you reduce inflammation and feel great.

Read more…