Friday, March 24, 2017

Aphorisms, 2

·         Nothing risks changing one’s definition of a ‘friend’ so 
     surely as great success—yours or theirs.
·         The buck stops here—well, at least it stops at the top.
·         If you can't stand the heat avoid starting a fire.
·         Control your mind or someone else will.
·         Your eyes are but two holes in the mask of life.
·         The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
·         The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the 
     strong, but that's the way to bet.
·         To err is human, to forgive takes hard work.
·         While there's life, there's hope.

·         Who pays the piper calls the tune.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Daily Fruits or Veggies, 2

The researchers stated that it’s important to eat whole plant foods to get the benefits (antioxidant or vitamin supplements have not been shown to reduce disease risk). What does ten 80-gram portions of fruits or veggies look like? For example: An 80-gram portion of fruit would be a small banana, apple, pear, or large mandarin orange. An 80-gram portion of veggies would be three heaping tablespoons of cooked vegetables such as spinach, peas, cauliflower, or broccoli. According to the study, foods to prevent heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and early death, include: apples, pears, citrus fruits, salads, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and chicory, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Foods to reduce cancer risk include: green vegetables, such as spinach or green beans, yellow vegetables such as peppers and carrots, and cruciferous vegetables. (For cancer, no further reductions in risk were observed above 600grams per day.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Daily Fruits or Veggies

Researchers from Imperial College London, led by Dagfinn Aune PhD, reported on studies that indicated eating 800 grams of fruit or vegetables each day could reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack, cancer, and early death. They estimated that potentially 7.8 million premature deaths annually worldwide could be prevented if this recommended protocol were followed. That figures out to ten 80-gram portions. Previous guidelines in the United Kingdom have suggested eating at least five portions or 400 grams per day. In the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern at the 2,000-calorie level, the U.S. Health and Human Services/USDA guidelines has recommended 2½ cups of vegetables per day and 2 cups of fruit per day. How many 80-gram portions do you typically eat on a daily basis? More tomorrow.

Aune, D., et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality – a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. International Journal of Epidemiology. ISSN 0300-5771

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Blood Pressure-Cognition Link

The brain is dependent on blood flow for everything from oxygen and glucose to micronutrients and the removal of waste products. It has been believed for some time that elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor for vascular cognitive impairment, defined as a range of changes in brain function, from mild to severe, caused by the impaired flow of blood to the brain. After a review of multiple studies, it appears that high blood pressure is a major risk factor for vascular cognitive impairment and is emerging as a potential risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. This is likely to provide impetus for more specific studies in this area. It also may be a wake-up call for those with high blood pressure to work with their healthcare providers to do everything possible to keep their blood pressure within desirable limits for their age. Prevention runs circles around treatment.

Source: American Heart Association Scientific Statement, American Heart Association journal Hypertension

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cognitive Impairment

Dementia (a decrease in cognitive ability, also known as cognitive impairment), is one of the most common neurological disorders. It is estimated to impact 30 to 40 million people worldwide. By the year 2050 this number is expected to triple worldwide by 2050 due to aging of the population, shifts in demography, and lack of treatment. The estimated costs associated with dementia may exceed $1.1 trillion. Two leading causes of cognitive impairment are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular cognitive impairment. They may account for as many as 80 percent of cases. Individuals suffering from dementia often have a mixture of the two conditions. Wikipedia describes cognition as a term for a set of mental abilities and processes related to knowledge, attention, memory and working memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning and computation, problem solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language, etc.. These crucial abilities tend to slowly slip away in a brain with dementia or cognitive impairment.  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sugar-Alzheimer’s Link, 2

Sugar is included in many highly processed prepared foods—not just in deserts and beverages. It is relatively easy for the brain reward system to become attached to sugar and crave it regularly. For that reason many advocate purchasing products that assure ‘no sugar added’ (as long as those same products are not filled with artificial sweeteners, which are believed in many cases to also act as brain toxins.) So what to eat? Food in as natural state as possible free of additives. For example, applesauce comes packaged with or without sugar. Eating an orange as opposed to orange juice is likely a better option, as well, because the sugar content is lower and the pulp of the orange is present. Read the ingredients on highly processed packages of prepared foods and you may cringe when you see how much sugar the product admits to containing. For brain function, you might want to make a healthier choice. And, by the way, Happy St. Patrick's day!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sugar-Alzheimer’s Link

Although it must be fairly well known by now that refined sugar is a brain toxin, I still hear comments such as:  “It can’t be that bad.” Or “Sugar is in everything so I can’t avoid it.” Or "I like the taste of sugar and so does my brain." Well, yes, your brain's reward system can easily become habituated if not addicted to refined sugar. One of the down sides is the high blood-sugar spike that refined sugar can trigger in the brain. Recent studies are showing that there is likely a sugar-Alzheimer’s link; one in which too much sugar in your food intake may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. Studies led by Dr. Omar Kassaar compared brain-tissue samples from individuals who had Alzheimer’s with brain-tissue samples from those who did not have that diagnosis. The researchers discovered that an enzyme known as MIF or macrophage migration inhibitory factor appears to fight the accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain. Sugar damages MIF. It reduces some MIF functions and completely inhibits others. Some are calling sugar the ‘tipping point’ that allows Alzheimer’s to develop. More tomorrow.