Monday, July 28, 2008

Fishy diet may protect against clogged arteries

Fishy diet may protect against clogged arteries - Yahoo! News
"A diet rich in oily fish, which contains omega 3 fatty acids, may be why middle-aged men in Japan have fewer problems with clogged arteries than white men and men of Japanese descent in the United States...Japanese men living in Japan had twice the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and lower levels of atherosclerosis ... "The death rate from coronary heart disease in Japan has always been puzzlingly low," said Akira Sekikawa... Japanese eat about 3 ounces (85 grams) of fish a day on average, while Americans eat fish perhaps twice a week. Nutritional studies show that intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish averages 1.3 grams per day in Japan, compared to 0.2 grams per day in the United States..."

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Exercise boon for obesity, diabetes

Studies show exercise boon for obesity, diabetes - Yahoo! News:
"Walking a bit more each day can help people control their Type 2 diabetes but obese people trying to keep weight off may need to exercise harder than they had thought... Simply walking 45 minutes more each day helped people with diabetes use blood sugar better...Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scans showed that people who walked 45 minutes more each day burned about 20 percent more fat -- increasing the ability of the muscles to store sugar and help control diabetes... But current exercise guidelines calling for people to get 150 minutes -- 2.5 hours -- each week may not be enough to help the obese keep weight off...people who want to lose weight and keep it off get at least 4-1/2 hours of exercise a week..."

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hoping Two Sirtris Drugs Carry a Side Effect - Longer Life

Hoping Two Drugs Carry a Side Effect - Longer Life -
"...The new drugs are called sirtuin activators, meaning that they activate an enzyme called sirtuin. The basic theory is that all or most species have an ancient strategy for riding out famines: switch resources from reproduction to tissue maintenance. A healthy diet but with 30 percent fewer calories than usual triggers this reaction in mice and is the one intervention that reliably increases their life span. The mice seem to live longer because they are somehow protected from the usual diseases that kill them...The Sirtris drug being tested in diabetic patients is a special formulation of resveratrol that delivers a bloodstream dose five times as high as the chemical alone. This drug, called SRT501, has passed safety tests and, at least in small-scale trials, has reduced the patients’ glucose levels...The other drug is a small synthetic chemical that is a thousand times as potent as resveratrol in activating sirtuin and can be given at a much smaller dose. Safety tests in people have just started, with no adverse effects so far...The hope is that activating sirtuins in people would, like a calorically restricted diet in mice, avert degenerative diseases of aging like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. There is no Food and Drug Administration category for longevity drugs, so if the company is to submit a drug for approval, it needs to be for a specific disease...Dr. Christoph Westphal, the chief executive of Sirtris, said of the potential of the drugs, “I think that if we are right, this could extend life span by 5 or 10 percent.”...Resveratrol seems to exert many influences on the body, some of which are not exerted through sirtuin. “None of us should be naïve enough to think resveratrol won’t have multiple effects, including some you don’t want,” Dr. Vallance said...According to a study published on July 3 in the journal Cell Metabolism by Dr. Sinclair and Dr. Rafael de Cabo of the National Institute on Aging, resveratrol given to aging mice reduced their cataracts, strengthened their bones, improved coordination and enhanced their health in several other ways. Yet despite their better health, the mice lived no longer than usual..."

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Stomach Bug Appears To Protect Kids From Asthma

Stomach Bug Appears To Protect Kids From Asthma, Says New Study: "ScienceDaily (July 20, 2008) — A long-time microbial inhabitant of the human stomach may protect children from developing asthma, according to a new study among more than 7,000 subjects led by NYU Langone Medical Center researchers. Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that has co-existed with humans for at least 50,000 years, may lead to peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. Yet, kids between the ages of 3 and 13 are nearly 59 percent less likely to have asthma if they carry the bug, the researchers report...Asthma has been rising steadily for the past half-century. Meanwhile H. pylori, once nearly universal in humans, has been slowly disappearing from developed countries over the past century due to increased antibiotic use, which kills off the bacteria, and cleaner water and homes...The rise in asthma over the past decades, Dr. Blaser says, could stem from the fact that a stomach harboring H. pylori has a different immunological status from one lacking the bug. When H. pylori is present, the stomach is lined with immune cells called regulatory T cells that control the body's response to invaders. Without these cells, a child can be more sensitive to allergens..."Our hypothesis is that if you have Helicobacter you have a greater population of regulatory T-cells that are setting a higher threshold for sensitization," Dr. Blaser explains. "For example, if a child doesn't have Helicobacter and has contact with two or three cockroaches, he may get sensitized to them. But if Helicobacter is directing the immune response, then even if a child comes into contact with many cockroaches he may not get sensitized because his immune system is more tolerant."...In other words, the presence of the bacteria in the stomach may influence how a child's immune system develops: if a child does not encounter Helicobacter early on, the immune system may not learn how to regulate a response to allergens. Therefore, the child may be more likely to mount the kinds of inflammatory responses that trigger asthma..."

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Regular Walking Protects The Masai -- Who Eat High Fat Diet -- From Cardiovascular Disease

Regular Walking Protects The Masai -- Who Eat High Fat Diet -- From Cardiovascular Disease: "ScienceDaily (July 20, 2008) — Scientists have long been puzzled by how the Masai can avoid cardiovascular disease despite having a diet rich in animal fats. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet believe that their secret is in their regular walking...their results show that the Masai not only have a diet richer in animal fat than that of the other subjects, but also run the lowest cardiovascular risk, which is to say that they have the lowest body weights, waist-measurements and blood pressure, combined with a healthy blood lipid profile...What sets the Masai lifestyle apart is also a very high degree of physical activity. The Masai studied expended 2,500 kilocalories a day more than the basic requirement, compared with 1,500 kilocalories a day for the farmers and 891 kilocalories a day for the urbanites. According to the team, most Westerners would have to walk roughly 20 km a day to achieve the Masai level of energy expenditure...The scientists believe that the Masai are protected by their high physical activity rather than by some unknown genetic factor..."

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Study: Low-carb diet best for weight, cholesterol

Study: Low-carb diet best for weight, cholesterol on Yahoo! Health:
"ATLANTA - The Atkins diet may have proved itself after all: A low-carb diet and a Mediterranean-style regimen helped people lose more weight than a traditional low-fat diet in one of the longest and largest studies to compare the dueling weight-loss techniques...A bigger surprise: The low-carb diet improved cholesterol more than the other two. Some critics had predicted the opposite...all three approaches — the low-carb diet, a low-fat diet and a so-called Mediterranean diet — achieved weight loss and improved cholesterol...The study is remarkable not only because it lasted two years, much longer than most, but also because of the huge proportion of people who stuck with the diets — 85 percent...Average weight loss for those in the low-carb group was 10.3 pounds after two years. Those in the Mediterranean diet lost 10 pounds, and those on the low-fat regimen dropped 6.5...But the low-carb approach seemed to trigger the most improvement in several cholesterol measures, including the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL, the "good" cholesterol...The ratio declined by 20 percent in people on the low-carb diet, compared to 16 percent in those on the Mediterranean and 12 percent in low-fat dieters...The new study's results favored the Atkins-like approach less when subgroups such as diabetics and women were examined...Among the 36 diabetics, only those on the Mediterranean diet lowered blood sugar levels. Among the 45 women, those on the Mediterranean diet lost the most weight... "I think these data suggest that men may be much more responsive to a diet in which there are clear limits on what foods can be consumed," such as an Atkins-like diet, said Dr. William Dietz, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..."

Full article here - at NEJM.

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Dark Chocolate, Cocoa May Cut Blood Pressure in Overweight Adults

Study: Dark Chocolate, Cocoa May Cut Blood Pressure in Overweight Adults: WebMD
"July 11, 2008 -- Cocoa, either in a dark chocolate bar or as a hot drink, may reduce blood pressure in overweight adults...The researchers -- who included David L. Katz, MD, MPH, of the Yale Prevention Research Center -- gave some of the participants a dark chocolate bar containing 22 grams of cocoa. Other participants got a bar containing no cocoa...Before-and-after blood pressure and ultrasound tests showed better blood pressure and better blood vessel function after participants ate the dark chocolate bar, compared to the cocoa-free bar...Likewise, blood pressure and blood vessel function improved after participants drank two cups of cocoa, compared with drinking a beverage containing no cocoa...How the cocoa drink was sweetened mattered. When it contained sugar, blood pressure and blood vessel function didn't improve as much as when the cocoa was sugar-free..."

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

8 Burning Questions About Sunscreens

8 Burning Questions About Sunscreens: WebMD
"Two ingredients favored by EWG scientists are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, for two reasons, Sutton says. 'They protect us over this broad range of ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB.' And these ingredients don't tend to break down as easily as other sunscreen ingredients, according to the EWG...

Sutton thinks some ingredients are definitely hazardous, including oxybenzone. "We have animal studies that indicate we should be concerned about hormone disruption," she says. "Oxybenzone is found to have weak estrogenic effects in fish."

What some experts suspect happens is that the body interprets the presence of the chemical as some sort of hormone. "It could be turning on or off certain functions," she says. "The hormonal balance is becoming disrupted."

In laboratory studies, some sunscreen ingredients, including Padimate-O and Ensulizole, have been linked to cell mutations that can be linked to cancer, Sutton says."


Sunscreens Can Damage Skin, Researchers Find:ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2006)
"three UV filters (octylmethoxycinnamate, benzophenone-3 and octocrylene), which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and widely used in sunscreens, generate ROS in skin themselves when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, thus augmenting the ROS that is naturally produced. The researchers note that the additional ROS are generated only when the UV filters have penetrated into the skin and, at the same time, sunscreen has not been reapplied to prevent ultraviolet radiation from reaching these filters."

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Postponing cow's milk may not prevent allergy - might make things worse

Postponing cow's milk may not prevent allergy - Yahoo! News:
"Tests showed that delaying the introduction of cow's milk products beyond 9 months significantly increased the risk of eczema, a chronic skin condition characterized by dry patches of very itchy skin...Delayed introduction of other food products for more than 7 months also markedly increased the risk of eczema as well as the risk of atopic dermatitis and recurrent wheeze."

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Cancer Preventive Properties Identified In Resveratrol

Cancer Preventive Properties Identified In Resveratrol, Found In Red Wine, Red Grapes:
"ScienceDaily (July 7, 2008)
Early laboratory research has shown that resveratrol, a common dietary supplement, suppresses the abnormal cell formation that leads to most types of breast cancer, suggesting a potential role for the agent in breast cancer prevention..."This is dramatic because it was able to be done with fairly low concentrations of resveratrol to stop the formation of these DNA adducts in the cells we studied," said Rogan. Although researchers experimented with up to 100 µmol/L of resveratrol, the suppression of DNA adducts was seen with 10 µmol/L. A glass of red wine contains between 9 and 28 µmol/L of resveratrol...The researchers also found that resveratrol suppressed the expression of CYP1B1 and the formation of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, two known risk factors for breast cancer..."

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Red Wine Reduces Harm From Red Meat

Tummy's Taste For Red Wine With Red Meat:
"ScienceDaily (July 3, 2008)
What happens when red wine meets red meat? If the rendezvous happens in the stomach, scientists in Israel are reporting, wine's bounty of healthful chemical compounds may thwart formation of harmful substances released during digestion of fat in the meat...Joseph Kanner and colleagues point out that scientists attribute wine's health benefits, including protection against cancer and heart disease, to its high levels of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables...The researchers found an explanation in experiments with laboratory rats fed either red meat or meat combined with red wine concentrate. Wine concentrate substantially reduced formation of two byproducts of fat digestion, malondialdehyde and hydroperoxide, which are toxic to cells. The researchers say the stomach acts as a "bioreactor" that facilitates the beneficial effects of polyphenols. The polyphenols work not only to prevent generation of cytotoxic compounds, but also as compounds which prevent the absorption of cytotoxic compounds from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood stream."

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Herbal Remedy Pau d'Arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa) may reduce Obesity

Herbal Remedy Reduces Obesity And Heart Disease?:
"ScienceDaily (July 8, 2008)
With unprecedented levels of obesity across the Western world, and incidence of associated heart disease, cancer and diabetes rising, there is a major drive to find new treatments. Scientists from Germany have recently discovered that extracts of a traditional herbal remedy derived from Tabebuia impetiginosa can act to delay the absorption of dietary fat in animal models...Dr Roos and his team have shown that Tabebuia extract can reduce levels of triglycerides, a breakdown product of fat, in rats after they have been fed a fatty meal. "This result shows the extract may have a potential use in treating obesity,"...Although it is clear that Tabebuia extract can act to inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, the scientists have not yet identified the exact compounds within the extract that are responsible for the effects."

If you buy
Pau d'Arco make sure you are buying it from a sustainable source. The tree is in danger and the rampant logging of the tree has also aided in rainforest destruction... so choose carefully. Nature's Way claims to be good on these counts. I have no connection with them.

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Yogurt - probiotics significantly boost HDL

New Hope Natural Media Online:
"12/5/02 - Healthnotes Newswire
Women who eat yogurt every day may experience an increase in the level of “good” cholesterol...Over the 21-week trial, a small increase in the total cholesterol level was observed that was not statistically significant. A larger, and statistically significant, 38% increase was observed in HDL, or “good” cholesterol levels after eating the yogurt. No change was observed in LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Despite the small increase in total cholesterol levels, the increase in HDL cholesterol would presumably decrease the risk of developing heart disease, as past research has shown this type of cholesterol to be protective...Animal and human studies have found many other benefits from yogurt ingestion, including prevention of diarrhea, stimulation of the immune system and prevention of vaginal yeast infections..."

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Eating Broccoli May Keep Prostate Cancer Away

Eating Broccoli May Keep Prostate Cancer Away, Study Suggests :
"ScienceDaily (July 2, 2008)
Eating one or more portions of broccoli every week can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and the risk of localised cancer becoming more aggressive...t was found that there were more changes in gene expression in men who were on the broccoli-rich diet than on the pea diet, and these changes may be associated with the reduction in the risk of developing cancer...Previous studies have suggested that the fifty percent of the population who have a GSTM1 gene gain more benefit from eating broccoli than those who lack this gene. The study showed that the presence of the GSTM1 gene had a profound effect on the changes in gene expression caused by eating broccoli...The results of the study suggested that relatively low amounts of cruciferous vegetables in the diet -- a few portions per week -- can have large effects on gene expression by changing cell signalling pathways. These signalling pathways are the routes by which information is transmitted through a molecular cascade which amplifies the signal to the nucleus of the cell where gene expression occurs...Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, rocket, watercress, garden cress, kale, bok choy, radish, horseradish and wasabi.The broccoli used in this study is a high glucosinolate variety."

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Looking For The Founatain Of Youth? Cut Your Calories,

Looking For The Founatain Of Youth? Cut Your Calories, Research Suggests:
"ScienceDaily (July 6, 2008)
Want to slow the signs of aging and live longer? New Saint Louis University research suggests cutting back on calories could be a promising strategy...Calorie restriction has long been shown to slow the aging process in rats and mice. While scientists do not know how calorie restriction affects the aging process in rodents, one popular hypothesis is that it slows aging by decreasing a thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine (T3), which then slows metabolism and tissue aging... - cutting approximately 300 to 500 calories per day - had a similar biological effect in humans and, therefore, may slow the aging process...Volunteers in both the calorie-restriction and exercise groups experienced similar changes of body fat mass. However, only volunteers in the calorie restriction group also experienced lower levels of the thyroid is imperative to maintain a healthy diet by eating nutrient-rich foods..."Anorexia nervosa is a condition that is associated with calorie restriction that is far too severe and is accompanied by inadequate intakes of many nutrients. Consequently, it results in premature disease and even death..."

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Resveratrol, Found In Red Wine, Wards Off Effects Of Age On Heart, Bones, Eyes And Muscle

Resveratrol, Found In Red Wine, Wards Off Effects Of Age On Heart, Bones, Eyes And Muscle: "ScienceDaily (July 3, 2008)
Scientists have found that the compound resveratrol -- found in red wine and grape skin -- slows age-related deterioration and functional decline of mice on a standard diet, but does not increase longevity when started at middle age...The report confirms previous results suggesting the compound, found naturally in foods like grapes and nuts, may mimic, in mice, some of the effects of dietary or calorie restriction, the most effective and reproducible way found to date to alleviate age-associated disease in mammals...

A major finding of the study reported today is that resveratrol prevented age-related and obesity-related cardiovascular functional decline in the mice as determined by several parameters. Total cholesterol was significantly reduced in 22-month-old non-obese mice after 10 months of resveratrol treatment, although triglyceride levels had only a slight, non-significant trend toward a decrease. Further, the aortas of 18-month-old obese and non-obese mice treated with resveratrol functioned significantly better than untreated mice. Resveratrol also moderated inflammation in the heart.

In addition to cardiovascular function, the scientists found resveratrol to have a variety of positive effects on other age-related problems in mice:

  • Treated mice tended to have better bone health, as measured by thickness, volume, mineral content and density, and bending stiffness compared to the non-treated control group.
  • At 30 months of age, resveratrol-treated mice were found to have reduced cataract formation, a condition found to increase with age in control-group mice.
  • Resveratrol enhanced balance and motor coordination in aged animals. Scientists found significant improvement in performance at 21 and 24 months versus 15 months in the resveratrol-treated mice but not in the untreated mice.
  • Resveratrol partially mimicked the effects of dietary restriction on the gene expression profiles of liver, skeletal muscle and adipose (fatty) tissue in mice.
  • Along with determining the effect of resveratrol on the health of mice, scientists also studied the effect of resveratrol on longevity..."
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Prenatal vitamin D linked to kids' dental health

Prenatal vitamin D linked to kids' dental health - Yahoo! News:
"By maintaining adequate vitamin D levels during pregnancy, mothers may be protecting their babies against early tooth decay in childhood... "However, this is the first known study that has attempted to link blood levels of vitamin D and infant oral health, particularly caries (tooth decay) and suggesting a significant association,""

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Probiotics help babies fight off respiratory ills

Probiotics help babies fight off respiratory ills - Yahoo! News:
"Dosing expectant mothers and their new babies with a probiotic mix of 'good bacteria' may help the infants fight off respiratory infections, new research suggests... "Our results support the idea that probiotics and prebiotics may enhance immune maturation and protect infants against respiratory pathogens," Dr. Kaarina Kukkonen of Helsinki University...The researchers followed the infants up to age 2....During their first six months of life, 28 percent of the infants on placebo were prescribed antibiotics, compared to 23 percent of the infants given synbiotic treatment, the researchers found. The infants in the treatment group averaged 3.7 respiratory infections by two years of age, compared to 4.2 for the placebo group...There was no difference in growth, colic or serious adverse events between the two groups...The researchers conclude that synbiotic treatment "carries no risks," and may help babies to fight off infection."

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Early nutrition pays off years later

Nutritious porridge pays off years later - Yahoo! News:
"For eight years beginning in 1969, a trial was conducted in four villages located in Guatemala's northeast Highlands where hundreds of villagers were provided a protein-rich, sweetened porridge while others received a sugary flavored beverage with no nutritional value... "The impact of being exposed to the better nutrition in the first two years of life had an impact on performance on these tests roughly equivalent to the impact that an additional year of schooling would have had,"...The porridge-eaters were also taller by an average of 0.8 inches (2 cms)... A similar study published in February found the nutritious porridge given to Guatemalan boys aged 3 and younger paid dividends later, with their hourly earnings as adults 46 percent higher than those who did not get the protein diet... It was also possible that the added nutrition boosted physical development of their brains, but the researchers had no evidence of that..."

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Get Smart About What You Eat And You Might Actually Improve Your Intelligence

Get Smart About What You Eat And You Might Actually Improve Your Intelligence: ScienceDaily (July 3, 2008) —
" New research findings published online in The FASEB Journal provide more evidence that if we get smart about what we eat, our intelligence can improve. According to MIT scientists, dietary nutrients found in a wide range of foods from infant formula to eggs increase brain synapses and improve cognitive abilities...In the study, gerbils were given various combinations of three compounds needed for healthy brain membranes: choline, found in eggs; uridine monophosphate (UMP) found in beets; and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in fish oils. Other gerbils were given none of these to serve as a baseline. Then they were checked for cognitive changes four weeks later...The scientists found that the gerbils given choline with UMP and/or DHA showed cognitive improvements in tasks thought to be relevant to gerbils, such as navigating mazes. After these tests were concluded, the researchers dissected the mouse brains for a biological cause for the improvement. They found biochemical evidence that there was more than the usual amount of brain synapse activity, which was consistent with behaviors indicating higher intelligence."

Why a science release is so incredibly light on science, such as this one, is a bit of a mystery. But when you're releasing an article talking about increasing intelligence and the article isn't very intelligent...

If the research holds and is legit, this could be exciting. Next press release lets hope they trust the public with specifics.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Life-extending Sirtuin Protein Can Also Have Damaging Effects On Brain Cells

Life-extending Protein Can Also Have Damaging Effects On Brain Cells:
"ScienceDaily (July 2, 2008)
"Proteins widely believed to protect against aging can actually cause oxidative damage in mammalian brain cells, according to a new report in the July Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press. The findings suggest that the proteins can have both proaging and protective functions, depending on the circumstances, the researchers said."

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Omega 3 fatty acids improves girls intelligence

Smart Girls Eat Fish -- Gibbons 2008 (620): 3 -- ScienceNOW:
"Girls who eat more omega-3 fatty acids outsmart those who eat higher amounts of omega-6 fatty acids...girls who ate more omega-3 scored significantly better on four cognitive tests, including an IQ test...the effect is "twice as great in girls as in boys," says Lassek. That disparity suggests that evolution has favored girls who stow omega-3 fats on their lower bodies. The team, which presented its findings earlier this month at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society meeting in Kyoto, Japan, also found that omega-6 fatty acids interfere with cognition, because girls who ate more of these oils didn't perform as well...Deficiency in omega-3 intake in modern diets is associated with an increased risk of violence, major depression, suicide, and bipolar disorder," says Hibbeln, so seeing a connection to another aspect of brain function makes sense, particularly because neurons use fatty acids to build axons. Most important, he says, is the omega-6 finding. "The big change in the Western diet of the past 100 years is a massive increase in the dietary intake of omega-6 fatty acids,"..."

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Post-exercise Caffeine Helps Muscles Refuel

Post-exercise Caffeine Helps Muscles Refuel:
"It is already established that consuming carbohydrate and caffeine prior to and during exercise improves a variety of athletic performances. This is the first study to show that caffeine combined with carbohydrates following exercise can help refuel the muscle faster...Glycogen, the muscle's primary fuel source during exercise, is replenished more rapidly when athletes ingest both carbohydrate and caffeine following exhaustive exercise, new research shows. Athletes who ingested caffeine with carbohydrate had 66% more glycogen in their muscles four hours after finishing intense, glycogen-depleting exercise, compared to when they consumed carbohydrate alone...caffeine may increase the activity of several signaling enzymes, including the calcium-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase B (also called Akt), which have roles in muscle glucose uptake during and after exercise...In this study, the researchers used a high dose of caffeine ((8 mg per kilogram of body weight, the equivalent of drinking 5-6 cups of strong coffee)) to establish that it could help the muscles convert ingested carbohydrates to glycogen more rapidly. However, because caffeine can have potentially negative effects, such as disturbing sleep or causing jitteriness, the next step is to determine whether smaller doses could accomplish the same goal..."

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