Thursday, October 31, 2019

Microbiome


Microbiome: The human microbiome includes all bacteria, fungi, and protozoa that live in and on the human body. The term reportedly was coined by Joshua Lederberg, who pointed out the  importance of microorganisms inhabiting the human body in both health and disease. Estimates are that the human body contains more microbial cells than human cells—say 30 trillion cells and 40 trillion microorganisms.  Living microorganisms, they are far too tiny to be seen without the aid of powerful electron microscopy equipment. There are differing types including the microbiome in the GI or gastrointestinal system; the skin microbiome, the vaginal microbiome, and so on. Each are structurally distinct and play a different role within their local environment. (Some want to include viruses in this category but others consider them to be separate, part of the virome.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Epigenome


Next is your epigenome (epi meaning above the genome). It includes everything that is not genetics, such as the sum total of what happens to you in life beginning with gestation. It accounts for about 70 percent of your level of wellness and lifespan—or more. It is so powerful it can even impact your genome. It includes what happens to you, the choices you make, the habits you develop, the behaviors you exhibit, the stressors you are exposed to and how you respond, your job or career, and your relationships, both personal and professional. Epigenetics includes your lifestyle: what you eat and drink, where you go, what you do, whom you hang out with, what you listen to, what you read, what you watch, the sports you play, and the music you like, to name a few—and every choice you make for or against taking the best possible care of your brain and body.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Genome


I am so confused about all the brain “omes,” and hope you can clarify them for me!

Good question! First of all, let me begin by naming four of them.

First is your genome. It includes your chromosomes and genes inherited from biological parents—in the old fashioned way or via artificial insemination, for that matter. Your genome is believed responsible for about 30 percent of who you are. Chromosomes are single-coiled strands of deoxyribonucleic acid [DNA], nucleic acids [RNA], and proteins, made of amino acids. A 1962 Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of the elegant molecular structure of DNA, known as the double helix. Estimates are that 99 percent of your DNA is located in your chromosomes. The remaining one percent is found in the mitochondria, tiny energy factories inside cells that have a clearly defined nucleus. The mitochondria create adenosine triphosphate [ATP], the energy source needed to power almost all cellular activity. Genes are tiny bits of DNA that contain “blueprints” (architectural plans) for creating three-dimensional building blocks from proteins. About 25,000 genes, contained in your chromosomes, determine your inherited traits such as body build and height, male or female, the color of your hair, eyes, and skin, the potential talents that you can hone, and so on. Many factors, however, influence how blueprints are “read” and interpreted and implemented.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Olive Oil Selection

What do you look for when purchasing olive oil? There are soooo many brands and options!

I look for:

Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil – this is the first press as I understand it and no heat is used for extraction

Where the olives were grown – if multiple countries are listed on the label, there may be a mix of different types of olives (black olives may have lower levels of the polyphenol)

Where the olives were harvested – some suggest it is preferred if the olives are harvested from one source only. For example, olives grown and harvested in Morocco are said by some to be higher in Hydroxytyrosol because of the growing conditions

When the olives harvested – the “best by date” should be no more than three years beyond the harvest date

Organic to minimize pesticide ingestion

(Humans do need some healthy fat every day. Therefore, I have been known to put a  teaspoon full of this type of olive oil in my morning smoothie.)




Friday, October 25, 2019

Olive Oil and the Brain


I understand you prefer a plant-based menu. So are olives and olive oil part of that?

Olives and olive oil are part of my plant-based menus, and that is partly because they are said to be a good source of the protective polyphenol Hydroxytyrosol, which can cross the Blood Brain Barrier. Thus the brain can be nurtured as well as the body. I grew up liking only black olives. However, I am now learning to like green ripe olives as they are said to contain higher levels of polyphenol. Having said that, olives are also relatively high in fats, as are avocados. So my bottom line is “everything in moderation.” Just because something has been linked with better health for brain and body, more is not likely better—it’s just more. And if it is a high-calorie food, less is typically more.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Avocado Oil and the Brain, 2


Do you use avocado oil or other vegetable oils for frying?

Typically, I eat  salads undressed or with a little balsamic sprinkled on them. Since fried and stir-fried foods are not on my menu, I do not use avocado oil (or any other oil, for that matter), although it is touted as one of the healthier oils. I prefer to eat the avocado itself because of the fiber and many nutrients it contains such as potassium, antioxidants, and an anti-inflammatory substance. As far as “vegetable oils,” I read labels carefully and avoid those products (except for extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil). The fallout from the extraction process for many vegetable oils is something I want to avoid.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Avocados and the Brain


I want to know if you eat avocados and if so, how that benefits your brain.

I am certainly willing to share with you what I do, however that does not indicate that I am recommending anything for you specifically. I put about 1/4th of an avocado in my morning smoothie every day that I am at home. (I don’t carry my Nutri Ninja with me when I travel, so in that case I try to eat a couple slices of avocado every day, if I am in a country where they are easily accessible.) Studies at Tufts University suggest that avocado can contribute to brain health as well as brain function. Avocado is said to be high in lutein, a substance that is linked with better memory and cognitive abilities. Avocado is also touted as a replacement option for animal-product cheeses, and can add that texture to sandwiches, burgers, and even some casseroles. More tomorrow.  
  

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Cell Replacement, 3



Cell Replacement, 3

Following are estimated averages for cell replacement in the human body.
Stomach - new every 2-9 days
Lungs - every 2-3 weeks
Colon - every 2-3 days
Skin - in 14 days or less
Red blood cells - every 4 months
Bones – every 10 years
Heart – ongoing
Blood Platelets - every 10 years
Liver - every five months
Joints and cartilage cells - constantly renewing

Because of this, changing to a healthier habit today can have a positive impact on cell replacement in sometimes days.
 advancedbionutritionals@ab.advancedbionutritionals.com

Monday, October 21, 2019

Cell Replacement, 3

This is actually good news because it means that if you create a healthier life style, your cells can becoe healthier, too.

·        Stomach - new every 2-9 days
·        Lungs - every 2-3 weeks.
·        Colon - every 2-3 days.
·        Skin - in as little as 14 days.
·        Red blood cells - every 4 months.
·        Bones – every 10 years
·        Heart - ongoing
·        Blood Platelets - every 10 years
·        Liver - every five  months.
·        Joints and cartilage cells - constantly renewing.

advancedbionutritionals@ab.advancedbionutritionals.com

Cell Replacement, 2


Current wisdom is that neurons are not replaced in the adult human brain with the exception of the hippocampus, the brain’s “search engine,” so to speak. The birth of new neurons has been confirmed in the hippocampus in the adult brain and may continue until the 5th decade of life. The hippocampus is also linked with the creation of new episodic memories.

According to Margaret Reece, PhD, the formation of episodic memory is very complicated and may over-write older memories. Often 
new episodic memories incorporate parts of old memories. For example, if you revisit your old school for a reunion, memory of the reunion will incorporate earlier events from the past when you attended classes at the school.  
https://www.medicalsciencenavigator.com/birth-of-neurons-continues-in-human-brain-into-5th-decade/

Friday, October 18, 2019

Cell Replacement


Is it really true that body organs are replaced regularly?

Most cells in the body are replaced regularly so eventually a body organ, such as the heart, likely has ever cell replaced over time. This is become some die due to age or wear and tear; some reach the end of their life cycle. There are many different estimates, but here are a few:

Taste buds every 10-14 days
New bones every 10 years
New heart every 20 years

Margaret Reese, PhD, estimates that only a few groups of cells in a few body parts last most of your lifetime. They include:
neurons in the cerebral cortex, the inner lens cells of the eye, and muscle cells of the heart. More tomorrow.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Resting Pupil Size & intelligence, 2


After analyzing data related to three studies, researchers consistently found that baseline pupil size is, in fact, related to cognitive ability. They concluded that the relationship could not be explained by differences in mental effort. According to the study abstract, the effect of working memory capacity and fluid intelligence on pupil size persisted even after 23 sessions and after considering the effect of familiarity versus novelty with the environment. They also considered their findings in the context of the underlying neural mechanisms involved. The researchers took into account potential confounding variables such as: age, ethnicity, and drug substances. Bottom line: fluid intelligence, more so than working memory capacity, is related to baseline pupil size. My brain’s opinion? Bravo to your kid for not only listening but also being willing to share what he heard. Hopefully, the response he received does not slam the door on that type of future parent-child communication.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Resting Pupil Sign & Intelligence



Okay, this is ridiculous! My kid just came home and said his teacher said there was a correlation between resting pupil size problem-solving intelligence. I told him that was a bunch of crap and not to believe everything he hears. What are teachers teaching these days?”

Thank you for this question. My guess would be that the teacher was passing along recent researched conclusions. Before you are too hard on your kid for being willing to share new information with you, it might help to remember the comment by Wayne Walter Dyer, EdD: The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about. There are studies related to resting eye pupil size in relation to fluid intelligence or the ability to solve problems, apply logic, and identify patterns. This in contrast with crystallized intelligence that involves using skills, knowledge. and experience. Three researchers, in a series of three studies, systematically investigated whether pupil size during a passive baseline was associated with individual differences in working memory capacity and fluid intelligence. More tomorrow.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sadness and Anthropomorphizing


 When I feel sad about something it is very difficult for me to change that, even after I have grieved and “thought” I let go of it. Any suggestions?

A recently published study suggests that anthropomorphizing the sadness may help. What does that mean? When people anthropomorphize, they tend to attribute human characteristics or behavior to someone other than yourself: an animal, and inanimate object, a god . . .  When you talk about a thing or an animal as if it were human, you're anthropomorphizing it. The Easter Bunny is an anthropomorphized rabbit. For example, humans tend to anthropomorphize their pet dogs. Apparently, this works for sadness, as well. Create a mental image of something on which you can transfer some of the sadness and this can help you detach from it. More tomorrow

Friday, October 11, 2019

Air Pollution


This air pollution business is a bit unsettling. Is it really a problem?

The International Energy Agency  estimated that Indoor and outdoor air pollution contribute to the deaths of around 18,000 people per day, worldwide. Air pollution—derived largely from industrial energy production and use—is linked to 6.5 million premature deaths annually. Clean air is needed for good brain-body health. “Yet despite growing recognition of this imperative,“ the Paris-based intergovernmental organization noted, “the problem of air pollution is far from solved in many countries, and the global health impact risks intensifying in the decades to come.”

https://www.the-scientist.com/the-nutshell/global-air-quality-crisis-continues-33301

B. Maher et al., “Magnetite pollution nanoparticles in the human brain,” PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1605941113, 2016.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Air Pollution and Cognition




If there is a chance that air pollution can negatively impact a fetal brain, what is it doing to children and adults?

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is bad for one’s health. Period. Estimates are that 4.2 million deaths each year are related to air pollution.

There is a great article in The Scientist you might enjoy. Well, “enjoy” might be a step too far, but it is interestingly informative, from my brain’s opinion.

https://www.the-scientist.com/tag/air-pollution

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Air Pollution and Fetal Brains



My mother-in-law suggested that we move to a different city because ours has a high amount of air pollution. What could that possibly have to do with my pregnancy?

She may have read an article written by  Chia-Yi Hou and published this month in The Scientist. It describes studies with rodents in which researchers detected abnormal fetal development due, they believe, to air pollution. He cites data from the World Health Organization stating that 4.2 million deaths each year are related to air pollution. There are, of course, steps one can take if one lives in an area of high pollution including air filtration equipment in the home and wearing masks (e.g., N95) when going outdoors..

https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/pregnant-moms-air-pollution-exposure-may-affect-babies-health-66467

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Brain Parts versus Brain Layers


There are several ways to describe the human brain. Three functional brain layers is one way. Three brain parts is another. 

Some scientists speak about these three parts as:

     1.   The cerebrum (including two hemispheres and the mammalian or 
         limbic section)
     2.   Two cerebellums
     3.   One brain stem

This model lumps the neocortex with its two hemispheres and the mammalian brain into one part, the two cerebellum portions as one part, and the brain stem as one part.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Brain Layers versus Brain Parts


 I’ve heard you talk about three brain layers but recently I read an article that talked about three brain parts. Which is which?

In the early 20th Century, neuroscientist and physician, Paul D. MacLean, proposed the Triune Brain Model in an attempt to help people understand more about how the brain functions. He believed that the human brain was really three brains in one: the neocortex (consisting of two cerebral hemispheres), the limbic system (often referred to as the mammalian brain and consisting of a collection of small brain organs such as the hippocampus and hypothalamus), and the reptilian brain (consisting of the two cerebellums and the brain stem). Nowadays some refer to this model as three functional brain layers. Brain parts tomorrow.


Friday, October 4, 2019

Cell Regeneration--or not


Is it really true that body organs are replaced regularly?

Most cells in the body are replaced regularly so eventually a body organ, such as the heart, likely has every cell replaced over time. Some cells die due to age or wear and tear; some reach the end of their life cycle. There are many different estimates, but here are a few:

Taste buds every 10-14 days
New bones every 10 years
New heart every 20 years

Margaret Reese, PhD, estimates that only a few groups of cells in a few body parts last most of your lifetime. They include neurons in the cerebral cortex; muscle cells of the heart; and the inner lens cells of the eye. More tomorow. 

Implanting Computers in Human Brains



I heard on the news that Silicon Valley companies are planning to implant computers in human brains! Is that for real?

This topic has been discussed for some time. Interfaces have been created for individuals for several years to help them control their body movements through the brain. That may be quite different, however, than having your brain hooked directly to a computer. If you surf the Internet you will find diverging views.

https://www.businessinsider.com/eric-schmidt-elon-musk-views-on-ai-are-wrong-2018-5?r=UK

https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-ai-could-turn-humans-into-endangered-species-2018-11

https://www.timesnownews.com/technology-science/article/elon-musk-exactly-wrong-on-ai-says-former-google-chief/232509

https://gadgets.ndtv.com/science/news/elon-musk-ai-threat-regulations-1725569

Air pollution and the fetal brain




My mother-in-law suggested that we move to a different city because ours has a high amount of air pollution. What could that possibly have to do with my pregnancy?

She may have read an article written by  Chia-Yi Hou and published in The Scientist. It describes studies with rodents in which researchers detected abnormal fetal development due, they believe, to air pollution. He cites data from the World Health Organization stating that 4.2 million deaths each year are related to air pollution. There are, of course, steps one can take if one lives in an area of high pollution including air filtration equipment in the home and wearing masks (e.g., N95) when going outdoors.


https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/pregnant-moms-air-pollution-exposure-may-affect-babies-health-66467

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Neuropil


Based on your blog yesterday, what in the world is the neuropil?



The neuropil is the name for the dense felt-like mass of interwoven cytoplasmic processes in which the nerve cell bodies are embedded in the central nervous system and some parts of the peripheral nervous system. The neuropil also includes the neuroglial cells (the supporting helper cells that take care of the neurons) As you may recall, neurons each have a cell body (compare this to the palm of your hand); thousands of dendrites (think of them as the fingers on your hand multiplied hundreds of times over; and usually one axon (think of this as your thumb) by which information leaves the neuron. The information is then carried across the synapse (space between the neurons) and picked up by the dendrites on another neuron. The neuropil forms the bulk of the gray matter in the central nervous system or CNS. The CNS encompasses the brain and the spinal cord.