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Showing posts from January, 2018

Just When You Thought It Was Safe

Recently there have been medical research reports indicating that all the warnings about consuming too much salt were exaggerated. Perhaps you remember when we were told that consuming eggs would clog our arteries with cholesterol, and anyone eating butter had a death wish. Now, eggs are an ideal source of lean protein and butter not only isn’t bad, it is superior to margarine. In that vein, having seen the newer reports, I was largely ignoring salt warnings (particularly since I can eat my weight in restaurant chips and salsa). Then this report popped-up.


Quoting from the study: “…excess dietary salt suppresses resting cerebral blood flow and endothelial function, leading to cognitive decline.”  Cognitive decline, of course, isn’t good. It causes little brains.
Research Details Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College fed mice a high salt diet. Admittedly, it was a very high salt diet. The result was reduced blood flow to the hippocampus and cortex. Our old friend the hippocamp…
We’ve found some simply delicious research reports. Chocolate Lovers- Take Heart! Denmark has created a large health study, with over 55,000 participants who have been tracked for over 13 years. Originally designed to identify cancer risk factors, it captured sufficiently rich and detailed information that it can be used to assess heart health benefits as well. Research teams from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, and Aalborg University Hospital in Aalborg Denmark teamed up. Kim Overvad, PhD in Epidemiology at Aalborg University Hospital took the lead; Murray A. Mittleman, MD of Beth Israel and Elizabeth Mostofsky, ScD and a post-doc at Beth Israel also worked on it. The researchers were trying to determine if consumption of chocolate reduced the risk of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is commonly called “afib” here in the U.S. It’s likely you’ve seen advertisements for medications to treat it. Afib is associated with a higher risk of stroke, dementia, heart failure, …

Cool News On Exercise and Brain Health

We’ve pounded the drum on exercise being the best single thing one can do for brain health. There is much cool new news for both adults and kids on this topic. But first let’s recap: ·The landmark study on exercise and brain health was done in 2002 by Professor of Neurology at University of California-Irvine Carl Cotman, PhD and Nicole Berchtold, PhD, also of UCI. They found that exercise directly improves brain function. Previously, the assumption was that the benefit was indirect through improved heart function causing better blood circulation in the brain. Research here. ·Dr. Yorgi Mavros of the University of Sydney and Dr. Nicola Gates of the University of New South Wales research showed that Progressive Resistance Training (PRT) improved brain function and cognition. Research here. ·Mount Sinai School of Medicine Post-Doctoral Fellows Dominik Moser and Gaille Doucet performed research that concluded that a higher level of physical endurance is associated with better working memory.…

Just How Fast Can This Brain Go?

We’ve noticed a recurring theme in recent brain health scientific studies called “speed of processing”. Adults with faster information processing capability seem less susceptible to various forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease.  We’ve previously discussed some of these studies; most were focused on selected groups of individuals such as older adults. Further, those studies typically concentrated on brain parts known to play a critical role in memory formation and fast response, usually the fornix and the hippocampus, parts of the limbic system.

Does White Matter Matter? Researchers at Tohoku University in Sendai Japan have taken a different approach with their analysis. They performed a large study of healthy young adults to understand if the overall amount of white matter in the brain was associated with faster processing speed. White matter is bundles of axons which connect various gray matter areas to each other and to the spinal cord. In our “Vegetables and Video Games” …