Prebiotic intake reduces the waking cortisol response and alters emotional bias in healthy volunteers

Fermentable fiber (prebiotics) reduce waking cortisol and response to negative stimuli in people (compared to placebo).

Vigilance to cues of threat or danger is greater in highly anxious individuals and those with high cortisol levels compared with low-anxious individuals.

Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria and also have been shown to have neurotrophic effects in animals.

The effect of cognitive demand on performance of an executive function task following wild blueberry supplementation in 7 to 10 years old children - Food & Function (RSC Publishing)

Blueberries may improve attention and executive function in children.

This was a small pilot trial that included twenty-one children were recruited to a double-blind cross-over study consuming 30 g freeze-dried blueberry powder or placebo before being tested at 3 hours.

Like it or not: Broccoli may be good for the gut

Broccoli improved digestive issues similar to symptoms of leaky gut and colitis in mice.

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli contain a compound called indole glucosinolate that is converted into indolocarbazole. The indolocarbazole compound binds to a receptor in the intestinal lining which then helps maintain a healthy balance in the gut microbiome, immune surveillance, and enhances host barrier function.

Potential therapeutic impact of omega-3 long chain-polyunsaturated fatty acids on inflammation markers in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: A double-blind, controlled randomized trial

Fish oil supplementation reduced inflammation by 50% and increased anti-inflammatory markers by 100% in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that supplementation with 2.9 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day for 6 months has a significant effect on the immune system by decreasing inflammatory biomarkers by 50% and increasing anti-inflammatory markers by 100%. Inflammation is considered an important factor in disease progression. Although no clinical endpoints were measured in the study, the robust effects on the immune system would almost certainly improve some symptoms of muscular dystrophy.

Healthy people are at risk of developing heart disease

Healthy men given a high refined sugar diet for 12 weeks increased their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

After 12 weeks on the high sugar diet, the men developed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and showed other changes in their fat metabolism that are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

A Flip Flop Revolution

UC San Diego students and researchers have produced the world’s first algae-based, renewable flip-flops. One of the largest pollutants in the ocean is polyurethane from flip-flops that have been washed or thrown into rivers and flow into the ocean. The flip-flops are estimated to cost of $3 a pair.

Q & A with Rhonda - Crowdcast

Special request! If you're joining me tomorrow for the crowdcast, which is Saturday at 11 AM pacific, please make sure to vote on all of the questions! It is necessary to click "LOAD MORE" two or three times before you see all of the questions.

Here's the page you need to go to vote:

If you're wanting to sign up and haven't already, it is open to all supporter levels ($1+) and you can get the access code for the event here:

Tea Aids Weight Loss through Microbiome Alteration | GEN

Polyphenols in tea increased weight loss and improved energy metabolism by changing the composition of gut bacteria in mice.

Both black and green tea changed the ratio of bacteria in the gut which corresponded with lean body mass. Polyphenols specifically in black tea stimulate the growth of a species of gut bacteria called Pseudobutyrivibrio which increased levels of short-chain fatty acids, a type of bacterial metabolites that have been shown to alter the energy metabolism in the liver.

Regular sauna use could slash men's hypertension risk

Using the sauna 4x per week lowered hypertension by 46% in men. Using the sauna 3x per week was associated with a 24% reduction in high blood pressure.

This study included close to 2,000 middle-aged men that were followed for 20 years. The results were adjusted for many possible confounding factors including baseline age, alcohol consumption, BMI, physical exercise, socioeconomic status, systolic blood pressure, smoking status, type 2 diabetes, previous heart attack, resting heart rate and serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Anyone that follows me knows that I talk about saunas A LOT. I interviewed the senior author of this study, Jari Laukkanen, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Laukkanen has been conducting long-term trials looking at the health effects of sauna use in a population of over 2,000 middle-aged men in Finland. The results? Massive reductions in mortality and memory disease in a dose-response fashion at 20-year follow-up. In the podcast, we talk about the details of how long each sauna session was and the average temperature of the saunas. It is a short episode (~25 minutes) that is well worth a listen!

Video podcast:

Audio podcast:

Effects of Antioxidant Supplements (BioPQQ™) on Cerebral Blood Flow and Oxygen Metabolism in the Prefrontal Cortex. - PubMed - NCBI

Supplementation with pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) improved cognitive function and blood flow to the brain in humans.

PQQ is present in a variety of foods such as parsley, green tea, and fermented soybeans. PQQ is also abundant in human breast milk. The estimated daily intake of PQQ from typical foods and beverages are 0.01–0.4 mg/day. PQQ is an anti-oxidant and promotes mitochondrial biogenesis. Reduced PQQ exhibits a high anti-oxidant capacity that is 7.5-fold greater than that of ascorbic acid.

Administration of a Multi-Strain Probiotic Product to Women in the Perinatal Period Differentially Affects the Breast Milk Cytokine Profile and May Have Beneficial Effects on Neonatal Gastrointestinal Functional Symptoms. A Randomized Clinical Trial

Mothers who supplemented with a high-dose probiotic during late pregnancy and while nursing lowered inflammatory biomarkers in breastmilk and improved symptoms of colic in their newborns.

This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Mothers were given the probiotic visbiome (900 billion probiotics which equals 2 packets per day) at the start of the third trimester and continued until four weeks after delivery.

Resistance exercise linked to reduced anxiety

Resistance exercise is associated with a reduction in anxiety symptoms comparable to medication and psychotherapy. The effect was found in people regardless of whether or not participants had a mental health disorder.

The study was an analysis of data from 16 previously published studies with a total of 922 participants who were randomly assigned to do resistance training or be inactive.

There are likely multiple mechanisms at play here. It is known that exercise (both aerobic and non-aerobic) causes branched chain amino acids to be taken up into muscle cells. This alleviates competition with tryptophan for transport into the brain thus allowing tryptophan to be converted into serotonin. This is why exercise increases serotonin.

Exercise also decreases inflammation which has been shown to play a causal role in depression and anxiety.

Go get some exercise today!

Pregnant women are not getting enough Omega-3 - Massey University

Only 30% of pregnant women in New Zealand meet the international recommendations for DHA of 200mg per day. The mean intake in Western society is ~135 mg/d::dose per day (~2 servings of fish/mo). The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume 500 mg/d::dose per day of EPA and DHA (~2-3 servings/wk or ~8 oz of fish/wk). However,

Many pregnant women are afraid of eating fish because of mercury...but a 2015 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study showed that eating omega-3 fatty acids from fish actually protects the brain from the toxic effects of mercury even in the developing fetus (which is the most susceptible to mercury effects).

Atlantic salmon, sockeye salmon, sardines, oysters, and tilapia are all low on the mercury scale and have 2 micrograms of mercury per 4 ounces cooked. Whereas albacore tuna has 40 micrograms of mercury per 4 ounces cooked and swordfish has 147 micrograms of mercury per serving.

Q&A Session for Supporters

Hoping to ask me a question or get in a little bit of chat time? I'll be taking questions LIVE via an upcoming crowdcast. Moreover, you can even submit your questions *right now* on crowdcast (not here)... voting has already begun on pre-submissions! Don't worry if you don't get your question in on time, I will take live questions via chat as well.

This opportunity is open to ALL patreon supporters. Learn more and GAIN ACCESS by visiting here:

NOTE: You will need to make a pledge to support FoundMyFitness (of some amount) if you have not done so already.

If you are supporting directly instead of through patreon, I want you to join also! I will be emailing you an access code a few days before the event so that you can also participate.

Here are just a few of the topics I anticipate discussing:
• fasting & time-restricted eating
• mitochondrial health
• cancer
• Alzheimer's disease
• effects of saturated fat
• my pregnancy diet and routine
• broccoli sprouts and sulforaphane

(Basically, probably a broad sampling from the various podcast discussions that have been published.)

If you are unable to make it to the online event, I will also be posting the video to patreon and emailing it to supporters afterward. I look forward to chatting with all of you!!!!!!! Thank you.

I never knew that I would feel as though I was born to mom! From the time that I found out that I was pregnant, I carefully researched as much as I could about diet and potential environmental toxins so that I could help my baby receive the best epigenetics possible. One of the decisions I made was to get a water filter that filters out fluoride. I decided to go with the Berkey water filter since it was easy to use and reasonably priced. The fetal system is much more sensitive to environmental chemicals than a child is. This includes BPA (found in plastic) and fluoride. A new study published this week found a decrease in scores on intelligence tests for every 0.5 milligram-per-liter increase in fluoride exposure in-utero (after 0.8 milligrams per liter levels were found in urine). The study was conducted in Mexico where fluoride is not added to public water but exposure does occur through naturally occurring fluoride in water and fluoridated salt. One thing to keep in mind is that the levels of fluoride found in the urine of pregnant mothers in Mexico (0.90 milligrams per liter) have not been found in pregnant women in the United States. Still, I tend to err on the side of caution and since we do not know whether very low levels of fluoride exposure in-utero has any effect on neurodevelopment...I wanted to minimize my exposure. I've been really happy with the Berkey water filter and the water tastes really good!

PS. I'll be putting out a podcast and article on some of my pregnancy choices sometime in the next couple months. Stay tuned...

Study link:

#imomsohard #brainhealth #inutero #fluoride #berkeyfilter #6weeksold

Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show

Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic. Microplastics found in sea salt from the US, Europe, and China.

Americans that eat 2.3 grams of salt per day could be ingesting upwards of 660 particles of plastic each year. In Spain, 21 different types of table salt and all had plastic in them. The most common type of plastic they found was polyethylene terephthalate, the material used to make plastic bottles.

Other research has found that 1million plastic bottles are purchased per minute, and that recycling efforts are failing to keep pace with production, which is expected to quadruple by 2050.

#reduceplasticwaste #recycle #keepoceansclean

The body's own fat-metabolism protects against the harmful effects of sugar: Researchers from Aarhus University have discovered a metabolite that reveals how the body's fat-metabolism provides protection against the harmful effects of sugar. This...

The production of acetoacetate when we burn fat protects from a damaging metabolite generated from sugar metabolism.

A metabolic byproduct of sugar metabolism called methylglyoxal has been linked to age-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer.

People that were fasted for one night had higher levels of acetoacetate also had higher levels of a compound called 3-HHD which forms through the detoxification process of methylglyoxal.

Later circadian timing of food intake is associated with increased body fat

Young men had increased body fat in response to later meal timing independent of food content and activity level.

The study found that the timing of food intake relative to melatonin onset, a marker of a person's biological night, is associated with higher percent body fat. Individuals with high body fat percentages consumed most of their calories shortly before going to sleep when melatonin levels were high, compared to individuals with lower percentages of body fat.

To learn more about the benefits of time-restricted eating and how to practice it check out my podcasts with Dr. Satchin Panda. To learn more about how late night eating affects cancer risk check out my podcast with Dr. Ruth Patterson. Both podcasts are available on iTunes and YouTube (called foundmyfitness).

Satchin Panda podcast:

Ruth Patterson podcast:

Your stools reveal whether you can lose weight

Type of bacteria in the gut can predict whether a person will lose weight on a diet high in fruit, vegetables, fiber and whole grains.

A high proportion of Prevotella bacteria in relation to Bacteroides bacteria was associated with more weight loss on a diet high in fruit, vegetables, fiber and whole grains. People with a high proportion of Bacteroides in relation to Prevotella bacteria did not seem to have a weight loss benefit when changing to this type of diet.

This study adds to the larger body of evidence that demonstrates that intestinal bacteria play an important role in metabolism and predict metabolic response to various food types.

Adipose tissue may affect cancer development in multiple ways: Review indicates need to further explore relationship between fat, cancer

16 different types of cancer linked to obesity. Some types of fat secrete more substances that promote cancer growth.

There are three different types of fat: white, brown, and beige; and each acts differently and is present in different amounts depending on where the fat is located. For example, white adipose tissue has been associated with inflammation, and in breast cancer patients, has been associated with worse prognosis.

Fat exists both under the skin and deeper inside the body surrounding internal organs (called visceral fat). Healthy diets and exercise that builds lean muscle mass can help fight the development of excess fat.

Depression is a physical illness which could be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, scientists suggest

Depression may be treated by lowering inflammation.

The risk of major depression has been shown to increase by 44% for each standard deviation increase in log c-reactive protein (inflammatory biomarker).

Inflammation is caused by a variety of factors including emotional/social stress, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, poor sleep, and more.

While it’s very possible (likely?) that there may be more going on with depression than just inflammation, I believe it’s an incredibly useful lens through which to look at promising avenues to treat or prevent it. We may find in years to come that measuring inflammation may also be useful as a way to track the therapeutic success of a whole lifestyle intervention intended to treat an important biological root cause.

Inflammation isn’t just an important component (seemingly) of mental health, however… it’s also an important source of DNA damage, which is a fundamental mechanism of aging itself.

This is one reason why it shouldn’t surprise us that lower inflammation is also associated with longer lifespan, prolonged physical function and also cognitive abilities in old age. In fact, it has been suggested that inflammation may be the most important driver of successful longevity that actually increases in its importance with advancing age.

My team put together a short animated video explaining how inflammation plays a causal role in depression. I hope you check it out and perhaps we will also find that it’s also visually interesting enough to reach a wider, interested group of people.

Animated video:

Moderate consumption of fats, carbohydrates best for health, international study shows

People who consumed 3-4 servings of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and a higher fat consumption (35% of energy) was associated with lower mortality.

A diet consisting more than 60% of energy from carbohydrates (including refined) was related to higher mortality, although not with the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The research on dietary fats found that they are not associated with major cardiovascular disease, but higher fat consumption was associated with lower mortality; this was seen for all major types of fats (saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats), with saturated fats being associated with lower stroke risk.

The data are from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study which followed more than 135,000 people from 18 low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries. The study asked people about their diet and followed them for an average of seven and half years.

The data was adjusted for age, sex, energy intake, current smoking status, urban or rural location, physical activity, baseline diabetes, education, and other dietary variables (white meat, red meat, bread, and cereal intake). However, this is a prospective study which means causation cannot be established.

Nutritional status, brain network organization, and general intelligence - ScienceDirect

Better general intelligence is associated with higher levels of the fats (called monounsaturated fat) that are in olive oils, nuts, avocados.

High levels of monounsaturated fatty acids are known to increase metabolism in regions within the dorsal attention network. Functional connectivity within both the frontoparietal cortex and the dorsal attention network underlie general intelligence.

While no associative studies can establish causation...the data was adjusted for age, gender, education, income, BMI, and depression status. This lays the groundwork for future clinical trials.

Anti-inflammatory drugs can inhibit muscle growth

High doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like ibuprofen for 8 weeks inhibit muscle growth by 2-fold in young, healthy individuals.

The high dose of NSAID was 1,200 mg of ibuprofen and one a relatively low dose (75 mg acetylsalicylic acid) every day for eight weeks. During the same period, the participants also engaged in supervised weight-training exercises for the thigh muscles two to three times a week.

The group that took the ibuprofen had two fold less muscle mass than the group that took the aspirin after 8 weeks. Most NSAIDs with the exception of aspirin inhibit the enzyme cox2. Other studies have shown that activation of cox2 is important for muscle growth.

Other anti-inflammatories such as curcumin and fish oil are not strong inhibitors of cox2 and have not been shown to inhibit muscle mass growth like NSAIDs.

Experimental blood test diagnoses Alzheimer's

A new blood test can identify Alzheimer's with 86% accuracy and can differentiate it from other types of dementia with 90% specificty.

It can be difficiult to differentiate between Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia which can delay treatment. This test may allow a much earlier diagnosis and more specific treatment protocol earlier in life.

Too much sugar could increase depression risk in men, study suggests

Men with the highest intake of refined sugar (more than 67g a day) had a 23% increased chance of suffering from depression and anxiety after five years than those who consumed the lowest levels of sugar (less than 39.5g a day).

While this is an interesting association and the study does account for some other lifestyle factors, it still does not establish causation. Other studies have shown that men that drank a refined sugar beverage for 3 weeks had a 100% increase in biomarkers for inflammation.

Inflammation has been shown to play a causal role in depression. Check out my short animated video that explains how inflammation has been shown to play a causal role in depression.


Trial raises Parkinson's therapy hope - BBC News

Human stem cells restore nerve function in a monkey model of Parkinson’s disease. The animals showed significant improvement in their symptoms two years after having precursor dopamine neurons derived from human stem cells transplanted into their brains.

The human stem cells are called induced pluripotent stem cells because they are made from skin cells that are reprogrammed into stem cells that can form neurons. This makes them much easier to obtain.

Higher coffee consumption associated with lower risk of early death

People who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never or almost never consumed coffee. There was a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality for each two additional cups of coffee per day.

There was a significant interaction between coffee consumption and age. In those who were at least 45 years old, drinking two additional cups of coffee per day was associated with a 30% lower risk of mortality. The association was not significant among younger participants.

Sugars in human mother’s milk are non-toxic antibacterial agents

Sugars in human breast milk can kill bacteria directly and break down biofilms that bacteria form as protection.

The sugar is known as human milk oligosaccharides (HMO's), which have previously been shown to feed beneficial bacteria in the infant's gut. The HMO's have now been shown to sensitize target bacteria including Strep B (which many pregnant women test positive for) and then they kill them.

Lactobacillus helveticus-fermented milk containing lactononadecapeptide (NIPPLTQTPVVVPPFLQPE) improves cognitive function in healthy middle-aged adults: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Lactobacillus helveticus-fermented milk improves cognitive function in healthy middle-aged adults compared to placebo.

The total score and delayed memory score were significantly improved in the group after an eight-week intake of the L. helveticus-fermented milk drink but not in the placebo group.

The key component in the fermented milk that appears to affect cognitive function is a peptide that is produced in sour milk called lactononadecapeptide. Other studies have shown that The lactononadecapeptide also reduced scopolamine-induced memory impairment. The mechanism by which this peptide protects cognitive function is unknown.

At Last, a Big, Successful Trial of Probiotics

Probiotic given to newborns reduced sepsis by 40%. Sepsis is one of the biggest killers of newborn babies.

Aside from preventing sepsis, it also reduced the risk of infections by two major groups of bacteria: the Gram-positives, by 82%; and the Gram-negatives, which are harder to treat with antibiotics, by 75%.

Breakthrough device heals organs with a single touch: Device instantly delivers new DNA or RNA into living skin cells to change their function

Researchers develop a new technology which injects genetic code into skin cells and turns them into other types of cells required for treating diseased conditions.

This technology (called tissue nanotransfection (TNT)) may be used to repair injured tissue or restore the function of aging tissue, including organs, blood vessels, and nerve cells.

‘Magic mushroom’ enzyme mystery solved | Chemical & Engineering News

The major genes governing the fungal biosynthesis of psilocybin have been elucidated.

Update from the FoundMyFitness Family, August 2017 | Dr. Rhonda Patrick (FoundMyFitness) on Patreon

Hey, guys! I haven't been posting as much. Because... I had a baby! Here's a little update you can read from our family.

Study finds transcranial magnetic stimulation of the brain can reduce methamphetamine cravings

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation reduced cravings in methamphetamine addicts and improved learning, memory, and social cognition (compared to placebo).

Transcranial magnetic stimulation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex region of the brain has been shown to reduce cravings in cocaine, heroin, alcohol, and now methamphetamine users.

Although the mechanism is still unclear, this non-invasive technique continues to show promise as a treatment for substance abuse.

Natural compound coupled with specific gut microbes may prevent severe flu: Mouse study reveals how gut microbes fight influenza

Gut bacteria use flavonoids (found in fruits, teas, etc.) to control the immune response and protect against severe damage from the influenza virus (in mice).

The specific human-associated gut microbe that protected against the influenza virus is called Clostridium orbiscindens. The bacteria metabolize flavonoids and produce a compound called desaminotyrosine (DAT) which helps produce interferon, a signaling molecule that activates the immune system. This helped protect the lungs against damage from the flu virus. The DAT did not prevent the flu but it significantly reduced the severity of it.

Some of the main dietary sources of flavonoids include tea, citrus fruit, berries, red wine, apples, and legumes.

Resistance training may slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis: New research shows that resistance training protects the brain in persons with multiple sclerosis, which may delay the development of the disease

Resistance training (twice a week for 6 months) slowed brain shrinkage in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and even led to brain growth in other areas of the brain.

This is the first time that resistance training has been shown to prevent brain atrophy in MS patients. Previously it was shown to help improve their muscle strength and ability to walk.

It is not known how resistance training countered the brain atrophy but other studies have found that it increased cerebral blood volume which could result in the growth of new blood vessels and neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) in the dentate gyrus region of the brain.

Dr. Guido Kroemer on Autophagy, Caloric Restriction Mimetics, Fasting & Protein Acetylation

New podcast! If you ever wanted to know EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT AUTOPHAGY... this is your episode!

Today's guest, Dr. Guido Kroemer, is one of the most highly cited authors in the field of cell biology and also the first to discover that the permeabilization of the mitochondrial membrane plays a critical role in cell death (something he refers to as the "the mitochondrial bomb"). He is a professor at the University of Paris Descartes and an expert in immunology, cancer biology, aging, and autophagy.

This amazing episode is decidedly focused on autophagy, an area of deep expertise of Dr. Kroemer's and an important cellular program that has BROAD implications for aging and cancer and also happens to be inducible through dietary fasting.

Autophagy discussion includes:
• How the 3 main signals that activate autophagy all involve nutrient sensing (00:04:44).
• The role of different types of fasting and nutrient deprivation in autophagy (00:16:30).
• How different types of exercise can induce autophagy (00:24:35).
• How a specific type of autophagy called mitophagy keeps mitochondria healthy (00:32:04).
• How autophagy has been shown to slow cellular aging (00:33:07).
• How autophagy prevents neurodegenerative diseases by clearing away protein aggregates (00:35:13).
• The role of autophagy in cancer as a possible double-edged sword (00:44:04).
• How certain compounds known as caloric restriction mimetics (or fasting mimetics) including resveratrol, spermidine, hydroxycitrate can induce autophagy by tricking the cell through the modulation of one or more of the 3 main autophagy signaling pathways (00:50:27).

You can also listen to the podcast on iTunes:

MP3 file:

Artificial Light From Digital Devices Lessens Sleep Quality

Blue light emitted from digital devices (ie. televisions, computers, iPads, smart phones etc.) could contribute to poor sleep quality by suppressing melatonin.

People who wore blue wavelength-blocking glasses while still using their digital devices had a 58% increase in their night time melatonin levels.

The participants also reported sleeping better, falling asleep faster, and even increased their sleep duration by 24 minutes a night.

To learn more about ways to improve sleep including blue-light blocking glasses and other modalities check out my podcasts with Dan Pardi and Dr. Satchin Panda.

Dan Pardi Podcast:

Satchin Panda Podcast:

Lutein, found in leafy greens, may counter cognitive aging

Middle-aged adults with high levels of lutein (which is high in kale and spinach) had neural responses that were equal to young adults.

This is one of about a dozen studies that have shown that lutein accumulates in the brain and is involved in improved cognitive function and staving off brain aging.

Stem cell brain implants could 'slow ageing and extend life', study shows

Stem cell implants into the brains of old mice increased mental and physical activity and extended lifespan by 10-15%.

The stem cells were implanted into the hypothalamus region of the brain, which normally has a diminished pool of stem cells in old age. The neural stem cells produced tiny pieces of RNA (called micro RNA) that changes how hundreds of genes operate and helped the mice maintain youth.

The next step is to create human neural stem cells in the lab for testing with the hope of moving on to clinical trials soon.

High sugar intake linked with poorer long-term mental health

High refined sugar intake linked to a 23% higher risk of mental disorders independent of health behaviors, socio-demographic and diet-related factors, adiposity and other diseases.

It was found that men and women with mental disorders were not more likely to consume more sugar suggesting the evidence that mental health is adversely affected by a high sugar intake is strengthened.

Reprogrammed skin cells shrink brain tumors in mice

Reprogrammed skin cells shrink brain tumors in mice.

The skin cells were reprogrammed to form neural stem cells that deliver common cancer treatments to glioblastomas in mice. Mouse tumors injected directly with the reprogrammed stem cells shrank 20- to 50-fold in 24–28 days compared with nontreated mice. In addition, the survival times of treated rodents nearly doubled.

This GIF is a video recording that was stored and retrieved using DNA as a medium!

Here's how it works...
The team designed its system so that snippets of DNA corresponded to pixels in an image. The researchers encoded the shading of each pixel along with a barcode that indicated its position in the image into 33 DNA letters. Each frame of the movie consisted of 104 of these DNA fragments.

The DNA was introduced into E. coli bacteria at a rate of one frame per day for five days. The researchers then sequenced the CRISPR regions in a population of bacteria to recover the image. Because the CRISPR system adds DNA snippets sequentially, the position of each snippet in the array could be used to determine the original frame to which the snippet belonged.

Being able to store information (other than genetic) in DNA is kinda crazy!

How physical exercise prevents dementia

30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (64.9% of VO2 max) three times a week stabilized choline concentrations in the brain.

As we age, choline levels increase in the brain as a result of increased membrane turnover (choline is part of neuronal cell membranes) due to degeneration and a marker of cholinergic dysfunction. Aerobic exercise appears to normalize this and boosts brain power by increasing markers of neuronal energy reserve.

Sugar-sweetened drinks and your metabolism - BMC Series blog

Adding a sugar-sweetened beverage to a protein-rich meal decreased fat use and diet-induced thermogenesis by more than 40% in people.

The study involved participants that spent 24 hours in a metabolic chamber on two separate occasions. The metabolic chamber allows for the quantification of metabolism including oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and urinary nitrogen excretion.

The participants ate the exact same meals and either had a sugar-sweetened drink or an artificially sweetened drink with the meal. In addition to the 40% decrease in metabolism, the sugary beverage also caused a 40-kcal surplus independent of how much protein was in the meal.

This study suggests that reduced metabolic efficiency after drinking a sugar-sweetened beverage can lead to a greater tendency to make and store fat.

A healthy lifestyle increases life expectancy by up to seven years: Maintaining a normal weight, not smoking, and drinking alcohol at moderate levels are factors that add healthy years to life

In the US, people who are not obese, do not smoke and do not consume excessive alcohol live 7 years longer than the general US population. They also experienced a delay in the onset of disability of up to six years...meaning they lived healthier!

The study also found men who were not overweight, never smoked and only drank in moderation lived an average of 11 years longer than men who smoked, were overweight and drank excessively. The lifespan extension was even greater (12 years) for women.

This study shows that people with multiple behavioral risk factors (ie. obesity, smoking, excess alcohol consumption) not only live shorter lives than those without these factors but also experience an extended time disabled.

Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids

Cannabinoids (like those found in marijuana) are also are produced naturally by the body from omega-3 fatty acids where they fight inflammation.

A new study in animal tissue finds a series of metabolic reactions that convert omega-3 fatty acids into cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory benefits but without the psychotropic high.

This is just one other mechanism by which omega-3 fatty acids produce anti-inflammatory benefits.

Children who sleep less may age faster at a cellular level

Children who do not get adequate sleep have 1.5% shorter telomeres for each hour less that they sleep per night. Telomeres are caps at the end of chromosomes that protect DNA from damage but they get shorter every year and thus are a biomarker for aging.

Many environmental factors have been shown to either accelerate or slow telomere shortening. Lack of sleep has been shown to accelerate telomere shortening in several studies in adults but this is the first study looking at telomere length in children.

According to the author of this study, the current recommendation is for such children to get between 9 and 11 hours of sleep.

The VO2max of recreational athletes before and after pregnancy. - PubMed - NCBI

Pregnant women who maintain a moderate to high level of exercise performance during and after pregnancy experience a 7.3% increase in VO2max postpartum suggesting that pregnancy may improve exercise performance.

The increase in VO2 max was maintained at least 44 weeks postpartum and possibly further. VO2max is a measurement of your body's ability to consume oxygen. It is particularly relevant during aerobic exercise because it means that your body can take in more oxygen and deliver it to your muscles, enabling you to run/walk/bike/swim faster for a given effort.