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Best Supplement To Improve IQ By 10%

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — an omega-3 fatty acid — can improve IQ by 10%, new research finds.

People in the study, who were aged over 65, were given 2g/day of DHA for a year.

A control group was given a placebo of corn oil.

The high quality study involved 240 Chinese individuals.

Their IQ and other measures of cognitive function were tested after 6 and 12 months.

The study’s authors explain the results:

“…oral DHA supplementation (2 g/d) for 12 months beneficially affected global cognitive function, specifically participants’ performance on the Information and Digit Span tasks.”

Brain scans also revealed changes in the hippocampus, an area of the brain critical for memory.

The study’s authors write:

“The hippocampus is a critical brain region for memory formation and plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory and spatial navigation.
[…]
Our results suggest that 12-month DHA supplementation significantly increased hippocampus volume.
Notably, we observed a 6.13% volume increase in the left hippocampus, a 1.89% increase in the right hippocampus, and a 0.29% increase in total hippocampus.”

omega3
Best supplement for older adults
with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Best supplement combination?

The use of omega-3 to prevent dementia has provided some mixed results.

B vitamins also seem to be important in warding off cognitive decline.

A recent study found that B vitamins combined with omega-3 can help slow mental decline in older people with memory problems.

The study’s first author, Dr Abderrahim Oulhaj explained the results:

‘We found that for people with low levels of Omega-3, the vitamin supplements had little to no effect.
But for those with high baseline Omega-3 levels, the B vitamins were very effective in preventing cognitive decline compared to the placebo.’

Other studies, though, have been less positive about the benefits of omega-3 for cognitive decline.

It is likely that the combination of nutrients — including both B vitamins and omega-3 will turn out to be the crucial factor.

The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (Zhang et al., 2016).
OCTOBER 14, 2016
 
source: PsyBlog
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Reduce The Damaging Effects Of Sugar On Your Brain

9TH MAY 2016    MINA DEAN

In 2014 North Americans consumed an average of about 27 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup each.

Fructose consumption can damage hundreds of genes.

But the good news is that DHA — an omega 3 fatty acid — can reverse this damage, scientists have discovered.

Fructose is a sugar commonly found in the Western diet.

Most of the fructose in the American diet comes from high-fructose corn syrup or is consumed in sweetened drinks, syrups, honey and desserts.

According to the Department of Agriculture, in 2014 each American consumed about 27 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup.

In addition, most baby food and fruit contains fructose.

However, the absorption of the fruit sugar is mostly slowed down by the fibre in fruit.

On top of that there are other healthy components found in fruit which are important for the body and the brain.

Our brain cell membranes naturally contain DHA but this amount is not enough to fight diseases.

A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids can help to reverse the damage to the genes caused by fructose.

Dr Xia Yang a senior author of the study at UCLA University explained:

“DHA changes not just one or two genes; it seems to push the entire gene pattern back to normal, which is remarkable.
And we can see why it has such a powerful effect.”

Professor Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, the co-senior author of the paper, pointed out that the only way to get DHA is from our diet:

“The brain and the body are deficient in the machinery to make DHA; it has to come through our diet.
DHA strengthens synapses in the brain and enhances learning and memory.
It is abundant in wild salmon and, to a lesser extent, in other fish and fish oil, as well as walnuts and flaxseed.”

drinking a glass of sugar

The study was carried out on rats.

They were divided into three groups for six weeks.

During this period one group only drank water with no fructose and no DHA.

The second group consumed fructose water and a DHA rich diet.

The other group received water with fructose equivalent to a litre of soda per day.

The tests run on the rats showed that a high-fructose diet impaired the rats’ memory.

However, the fructose and DHA group showed similar results to those that drank only water.

This strongly suggested that the harmful effects of fructose were eliminated  by DHA.

The study showed that fructose had altered more than 700 genes in the hypothalamus (the metabolic control centre in the brain) and more than 200 genes in the hippocampus (a brain region for regulating memory and learning).

The alteration in human genes could lead to conditions such as bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, depression and other brain diseases.

More tests on the rats also showed that those on a high-fructose diet had higher triglycerides, glucose and insulin levels.

These are similar indicators associated with obesity and diabetes in humans.

The study was published in EBioMedicine (Meng et al., 2016).


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6 Things That Improve Your Memory

Posted by Casie Terry

What’s worse than not being able to remember something when it’s right on the tip of your tongue? It’s infuriating. And worse, it only happens more frequently as the years pass. But, luckily, there are certain foods, supplements and tricks that can help you sharpen your memory and keep it way. Here are six easy ways to start improving your memory now!

1. Coconut Oil: Researchers are growing more and more optimistic about the relationship between coconut oil and memory preservation. One prominent researcher, Dr. Mary Newport, discovered that coconut oil showed exceptional promise with regards to dementia and Alzheimer’s prevention, as the medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut oil fuel certain brain cells that have a difficult time utilizing carbohydrates, the brain’s main energy source. (Read more about coconut oil and it’s benefits for brain health)

2. DHA from Fish and Fish Oil: While the brain’s main energy source is glucose, it’s building blocks are primary comprised of fatty acids, more specifically, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA makes up 70% of myelin, the protective sheath that lines active, communicating neurons. Without an abundance of DHA available, brain cell communication stands to be significantly compromised, inhibiting recall and jeopardizing brain health.

5 Foods to Make You Happy (Hint: Omega-3s)

3. Crossword Puzzles and Brain Teasers: Crossword puzzles and brain teaser exercises keep parts of the brain active that may otherwise fall into a rut. The important thing is to become engaged in different types of puzzles as they each stimulate the brain differently, according to Ed Zimney, MD, Medical Director of HealthTalk Inc. He says, “Crossword puzzles challenge the language and memory areas [of the brain] while jigsaw puzzles provide exercise for the parietal lobes.” He urges, however, to find crossword puzzles from varying sources and editors as your brain is otherwise likely to become use to the style and receive fewer benefits.

4. B-vitamins: B vitamins provide a tremendous benefit to brain health. The B vitamin family is associated with healthy nerve maintenance and and the production of DNA. Studies have also indicated that B12 prevents brain shrinkage, making this vitamin and it’s benefits an area of interest for researchers as reduced brain size is commonly seen among those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. (Read more about brain health and vitamin B12)

5. Curcumin: Among my favorite of the brain and memory protecting substances, the curcumin spice was first discovered for his brain health benefits when epidemiological studies revealed that regions with a high consumption of curry had fewer reported cases of Alzheimer’s disease. It is theorized that the anti-inflammatory spice with powerful antioxidant properties inhibits the formation of amyloid plaque, a major cause of dementia. (Read more about curcumin and it’s potential for brain health)

6. Berries: The antioxidants in berries provide incredible cell protection throughout your entire body, but the antioxidant family known as anthocyanidins, found in fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, cherries and elderberries, have proven to provide powerful protection to brain cells. Unlike several other antioxidants, anthocyanidins have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, providing exceptional protection the brain cells.


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A Surprising Nutrient That Helps Kids Sleep

By Dr. David Perlmutter    March 26, 2014

Sleeplessness among children is common, occurring in as many as 40% of kids. Sleep deprivation can crescendo into a variety of other problems, including fatigue, declining school performance, depression, behavioral issues, weight gain and even poor general health.

An Oxford University study recently published in the Journal of Sleep Research reveals findings that provide valuable insights about causes of sleeplessness in children. More importantly, the study sheds light on a nutrition-oriented approach to improving sleep.

The researchers evaluated the sleep patterns of 395 children aged 7 to 9. In addition, they performed a blood analysis on these children to measure their levels of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid.

As had been reported in earlier studies, the number of children having trouble with sleep is a significant 30 to 40%. When the researchers looked specifically at the measurements of total nightly sleep, they discovered a correlation with blood DHA levels. Specifically, lower levels of DHA correlated with a reduction in sleep duration, while higher blood DHA levels were associated with significantly better, longer sleep.

To test whether or not sleep could be improved by raising DHA levels, the researchers administered DHA (derived from marine algae) or a placebo to a smaller number of children for 16 weeks. These children were then evaluated in terms of their sleep performance using a technique called actigraphy. The technique provides an in-depth analysis of sleep duration, number of night-wakings and even actual quality of sleep.

child-asleep

The study revealed that children who received the DHA showed not only better quality sleep, but significantly fewer and shorter night-wakings. They also experienced an increase in sleep duration by nearly one hour.

How DHA directly relates to sleep in children remains unknown and requires additional research. However, in discussing their findings, the authors speculated that the correlation between DHA and sleep in children may be related to the relationship between DHA levels in the brain and the production of the hormone melatonin, which is known to play an important role in sleep regulation.

Adequate, restorative sleep is a fundamental requirement for healthy brain function. This new report provides some actionable information for health professionals and parents who are exploring options to help children obtain the rest they need. For example, parents can manage their child’s diet and nutrition to ensure the foods they are eating include omega-3 DHA, such as fatty fish like salmon.

If food alone is not providing adequate amounts of DHA, parents can look for high-quality fish and plant-based DHA supplements available in most grocery stores and pharmacies.