Health News:

Cat ladies' behaviour explained?

The Economist magazine has a fascinating article summarizing research on a real parasite that may actually impact human behavior:  "If an alien bug invaded the brains of half the population, hijacked their neurochemistry, altered the way they acted and drove some of them crazy, then you might expect a few excitable headlines to appear in the press. Yet something disturbingly like this may actually be happening without the world noticing."  It may even explain why both the French and Cat Ladies are so neurotic.

 
DHA and senior moments

The Omega 3 fatty acid DHA is a required ingredient in baby formulas and is being studied as a possible additional treatment for senior dementia and Alzheimer's.  The 2009 Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD 2009) had a number of reports on DHA studies.  A conference press release started with the fairly underwhelming results from one study, but buried on page two was a shocking statement from another trial. MIDAS study author Karin Yurko-Mauro (admittedly employed by a large DHA manufacturer) reported: "The benefit [after six months of DHA supplementation] is roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger."

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A real mechanism for acupuncture?

A team from University of Rochester Medical Center has just published a hard science study in Nature Neuroscience of the effects of acupuncture on pain relief. The study shows that acupuncture increases adenosine levels near the site of the needle 24x.  Adenosine is "a natural painkiller, becoming active in the skin after an injury to inhibit nerve signals and ease pain in a way similar to lidocaine."  The addition of another drug, deoxycoformycin, which prolongs the effects of adenosine increases the effect 3x.  But sadly, the pain relief has only been proven in mice, so far...

 
Plaque and plaque

Everyone knows brushing reduces plaque on your teeth.  A new study reported in the British Medical Journal concludes: "Participants who reported less frequent tooth-brushing had a 70% increased risk of a cardiovascular disease event in fully adjusted models compared with participants who brushed their teeth twice a day."

 
Aspirin reduces colon cancer risks

Researchers, reporting in JAMA (subs reqd) found evidence that aspirin can prevent the occurence and re-occurence of colon cancer. This time, the mechanism of action is known and may impact other cancers.

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Butter better than bread?

As we kick off a new series of articles about revolutionary new research into diet's effect on health, let's preview some key findings regarding the relative impact of fats, carbohydrates, and a food's Glycemic Index on weight loss, diabetes and cardiovascular health.  A provocative summary of nutritional research appeared in a recent edition of Scientific American.

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Your July 4th burgers GUILT FREE!

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported a very large meta-study a few months ago an the effect of saturated fats on cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke..  Dr. Andrew Weill brought it to our attention here

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Modern Recovery Front Page
Worldwide Thanksgiving for the sweet potato
Nutrition - Science

Sweet PotatoNicholas D. Kristof makes the point that: "...researchers are finding that the biggest reason people die of malnutrition is simply lack of micronutrients".  In his NY Times Opinion piece he cites progress being made in fortifying sweet potatoes, rice and other foods in alleviating malnutrition in poorer countries, particularly in Africa.

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Happier even if they forget you
Care Giving - Love and Family

Care givers and visitors of loved ones with dementia often feel they no longer make a difference because they are not recognized or remembered.  A new University of Iowa study demonstrates that, at a deeper level, familiar faces still trigger happy feelings.

 
Turmeric each day keeps Alzheimer's away?
Nutrition - Science

Turmeric and eggsTurmeric's wonderful spiciness belies the hard science showing what a powerful drug it may be.  An article from UCLA Neurology Department researchers, first published in Current Alzheimer's Research, examines the demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-amyloid (Alzheimer's plaque) activity in test tubes, mice and people.

The first epidemiological clue was the low rate of Alzheimer's-like disease in India.  Some attributed this, in part, to turmeric's place in traditional Indian curry dishes.  You can test this theory with a breakfast of "Green eggs and ham".

 
Fiber hunting and gathering
Nutrition - Science

Contrast what an ancient hunter-gatherer ate and what you forage from fast food restaurants and your microwave.  They ate bulky meals much bigger than your fat and carbohydrate concentrated little belly bombs, and were healthier for it.  Dr. Mark Hyman MD has a good survey on fiber in the diet.

 
Kellen's Health Tips
Recovery Strategies - General Health

Kellen says:

  1. Don't take drugs!
  2. Don't eat fast food!
  3. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables!
  4. Drink a lot of water!
  5. Exercise!

Sound advice, transcribed verbatim from the words of a wise 8 year old from the Pacific Northwest...

 

 
Supplement Review: Co-Enzyme Q10
Nutrition - Supplements

This best selling nutraceutical can be expensive.  Is it worth it? A CoQ10 advocate Dr. Peter Langsjoen MD, FACC has written a good opening overview of CoQ10 research.   A University of Maryland Medical Center web resource has a broad summary of possible benefits.  Some key points...

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Vitamin D deficiency in children and adults widespread
Nutrition - Supplements

New research from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine shows many children have low to very low levels of Vitamin D.  A  Canadian study, available from the NIH's Pubmed, of healthy young adults also reported widespread wintertime deficiency or insufficiency.

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