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%.
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.
The major genes governing the fungal biosynthesis of psilocybin have been elucidated.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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:
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:
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 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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Salmon roe makes my 38-week pregnant belly very happy! Right now my little boy is spending a lot of energy on growing new brain cells so I want to give him the best precursors I can to fuel that brain growth! The roe from salmon contains approximately 38%-75% of their omega-3 fatty acids in phospholipid form, mostly present in phosphatidylcholine. Compare that to salmon which only contain approximately 1% of its omega-3 in phospholipid form. The developing brain prefers DHA in phospholipid form and it accumulates in the developing brain 10-times more than DHA in free fatty acid form. I'm hoping this little boy comes out doing calculus! :) I'm so excited to see his cute little face soon!
I'm eating salmon roe every day for the next two weeks...it is a really great snack. I usually put it on top of an avocado but I mix it up sometimes. I buy my salmon roe by the bulk (2.2 lbs) from vital choice (no affiliation) and it is shipped to you frozen on dry ice. It comes in quadrants that can be easily broken so I just thaw one quadrant at a time in the fridge. Eating raw fish during pregnancy is dangerous due to health risks from potential parasites. If the salmon roe is frozen at -4°F for at least 7 days it kills any parasites that may be present. I think the commercial freezing of the roe is frozen at a temperature of -35°F and stored at this temperature.
#38weekspregnant #salmonroe #dha #brainhealth #omega3 #phospholipids
Fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin identified as new biomarkers for weight loss.
A new study analyzed data from three clinical trials and found that an individual's fasting blood glucose and insulin levels determined the type of diet they would best lose weight on possibly suggesting that one diet does not fit all, and a personalized dietary approach may be more suitable.
People with normal blood sugar levels lost most weight on a low-fat high/carbohydrate diet, whereas pre-diabetic individuals lost more weight on a diet with more focus on the quality of the carbohydrate content (i.e. lower glycemic index and more fiber). For the overweight and obese diabetics, a low carbohydrate/high fat and protein in the diet was most beneficial for weight control and glycemic status.
Genetically lowering plasma insulin levels by 25% extended median lifespan by 11% in female mice fed a low-calorie/high-carb/low-fat diet and by 3% in female mice fed a high-calorie/high-fat/low-carb diet.
This study looked at the effects of genetically lowering insulin levels in older mice. Unfortunately, the male mice did not have lower plasma levels of insulin despite genetically lowering insulin-genes and so the effect on lifespan could not be determined in male mice.
The female mice were fed two diets: (diet A: moderate-energy diet of 4.68 kcal/g, with 20% of calories from protein, 25% from fat, and 55% from carbohydrate; diet B: high-energy diet of 5.56 kcal/g, with 16% of calories from protein, 58% from fat, and 26% from carbohydrate).
Interestingly, the lowering of circulating insulin through gene manipulation had a more profound effect on median lifespan in female mice fed the low-calorie/high-carb/low-fat diet(11% extension) versus the high-calorie/low-carb/high-fat diet (3% extension). It is important to note that diets A and B were not matched for the type of fat content, protein levels, or micronutrient composition, so there are numerous potential factors that could have impacted diet-dependent outcomes.
People that have their deep sleep cycle (slow-wave cycle) disrupted for one night experience a 10% increase in amyloid plaque levels compared to when their deep sleep cycle is uninterrupted.
Amyloid beta plaques accumulate outside of neurons in the brain and disrupt synapses (the connections between two neurons that form memories) and is just one way that memory loss occurs in Alzheimer's disease.
This study showed that slow-wave sleep, which is the deep sleep that people need to wake up feeling rested, is important for preventing the accumulation of amyloid plaques. While a few nights of disrupted sleep is likely not a problem, it is the chronic disrupted slow-wave sleep (ie. sleep apnea) that may put a person at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease.
A few things that I have found improve my sleep are switching all blue lights off before sunset since blue light stops the production of melatonin. I have red lights that turn on before sunset and this has really helped my sleep pattern. Also, a bright light exposure first thing in the morning to start my circadian clock has really helped. Lastly, following a time-restricted eating pattern where I do not eat 4 hours before bed and a cold/quiet room also make a huge difference.
My podcast with Dr. Satchin Panda discusses the importance of dark/light and food timing in sleep.
Dr. Satchin Panda podcast:
My podcast with Dan Pardi also discusses ways to optimize sleep.
Dan Pardi podcast:
I'm super excited that I got my cord blood and placenta banking kit in today! Most people are familiar with banking cord blood, a source of hematopoietic stem cells which can form any blood cell type but are limited to blood cells. The placenta is not only a better source of hematopoietic stem cells because it contains 5-7 times more than cord blood, it also is a rich source of pluripotent stem cells, which are a variety of stem cells that can form cells of any other tissue type including neurons. My friend and former colleague, Dr. Frans Kuypers discovered that the human placenta was a source of pluripotent stem cells back in 2009... and yet the placenta is usually thrown away after delivery. Taking into consideration the fact that there are around 4 million live births in the United States per year alone, you're talking about a lot of thrown away precious stem cells!
There are only a couple of companies that are currently banking placental stem cells. I decided to go with LifebankUSA (no affiliation) to bank my cord blood and placenta. I hope to see more well-established cord blood companies start banking placental tissue...it is so worth it. If you want to learn more about the placenta as a rich source of pluripotent stem cells you can listen to or watch my interview with Dr. Kuypers on iTunes or YouTube.
#37weekspregnant #placenta #cordblood #stemcell
A recent study suggests ~41% of all cancers in Alberta, Canada in 2012 were due to lifestyle choices and environmental factors including tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, and excess body weight.
A similar study found that 43% of cancer cases in the UK in 2010 were attributable to modifiable lifestyle and environmental risk factors including tobacco smoking, obesity, and insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption.
A randomized controlled trial found that supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin (24 mg daily) significantly improved macular pigment optical density, visual performance, eye strain, eye fatigue, headache frequency, and sleep quality.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that are found in plants and are particularly high in kale. They accumulate in the rods and cones in the eye and play a major role in preventing macular degeneration.
The study was a 6-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled supplementation trial with 48 healthy, young adults with screen time exposure of at least 6 hours daily. Subjects were evaluated at baseline, 3-months, and 6-months.
A common type of chemotherapy cancer treatment may cause breast cancer to spread and trigger more aggressive tumors.
Breast cancer patients had been treated with weekly paclitaxel for up to 12 weeks followed by four cycles of doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide. After treatment, most patients had an increase in markers of metastasis with a few people increasing more than fivefold. More 50% of patients moved from low/intermediate- into a high-risk group for developing distant metastasis.
Mice with breast cancer tumors were also treated with the same chemo drugs and they were found to initially reduce tumor growth but they also increased blood vessel growth and repair mechanisms allowing for more aggressive tumors to grow and metastasize.
Dr. Satchin Panda excitedly showing me data on how sleep patterns are disrupted during pregnancy and after delivery. Special significance to me right now! Up until now, I have been sleeping pretty darn good, but I'm told that will change soon.
Satchin and I filmed a round 2 podcast on time-restricted eating and he answered some of the most frequently asked questions including how coffee affects it. This podcast is even more epic than the first one and I can't wait to share it with everyone!
His eating trial is now opened up to international participants via the mobile app on myCircadianClock.org. This podcast talks a bit about the interesting ways his app has informed his research by allowing him to turn participant anecdote to an established mechanism by follow-up animal research. Amazing stuff!
#circadianrhythm #sleep #podcast #37weekspregnant #TRE #diet #fasting
High refined sugar intake during pregnancy is associated with a 100% increased risk for allergic asthma in offspring independent of the child's sugar intake.
The study included 9,000 mother-child pairs and corrected for numerous potential confounders in their analyses including background maternal characteristics, social factors and other aspects of maternal diet, including foods and nutrients that have been previously linked to childhood asthma and allergy.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can nearly double a person's risk for dementia. Several studies have now shown that TBI can start an inflammatory cascade in the brain that leads to a much higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
People with the apoE4 allele, which is the highest known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease besides age, are twice as likely to get Alzheimer's disease than those without apoE4. When people with the apoE4 allele undergo TBI their Alzheimer's risk climbs to 10-fold!
For those individuals with the apoE4 allele, it may be prudent to avoid playing sports that raise the risk of TBI such at football.
There are many diet and lifestyle factors that can lower a person's risk for Alzheimer's particularly if they have the apoE4 allele including diet high in vegetables, fruit and wild salmon, good sleep, low alcohol intake, and no smoking.
I'll be talking more about Alzheimer's disease and apoE4 soon...I am submitting a paper for publication on this topic and will be sharing my work very soon!
Prolonged exposure to air pollution below the US national safety standards is linked to a 7.3% increase in all-cause mortality.
Most of the studies on air pollution have included populations whose socioeconomic status is higher than the national average and who reside in well-monitored urban areas. This does not tell us what the health effects are of long-term exposure to low levels of air pollution in smaller cities and rural areas or among minorities or persons with low socioeconomic status (sensitive populations).
This study involved 60 million people in the United States who receive Medicare and live in smaller cities or rural areas. This study showed that long-term exposures to particulate matter less than 2.5 μm and ozone were associated with a 7.3% increased risk of death, even at levels below the current annual national safety standards.
In another study, the authors also looked at Medicare recipients and air pollution exposure risks and found that lifestyle factors such as smoking, BMI, and many other potential confounders did not change the data.
With air pollution declining, it is critical to estimate the health effects of low levels of air pollution, below the current National standards, in order to determine whether these levels are adequate to minimize the risk of death.
The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set air quality standards that protect sensitive populations (such as those on Medicare) and studies like this may be important in order to inform regulatory policy going forward.
Species of gut bacteria have been linked to brain structure and emotion in women.
Women with a higher concentration of Bacteroides in their guts had a larger volume of the hippocampus, a region involved in learning and memory, and more gray matter in the frontal cortex and insula, brain regions involved with complex processing of information.
Women with a higher concentration of Prevotella in their guts had lower brain volumes in several brain regions, such as the hippocampus, but had more connections between emotional, attentional and sensory brain regions.
While this research supports the connection between the gut microbiome and the brain, the mechanisms for how different types of gut bacteria affect the brain are still not known. It's an exciting time to be in this field of research!
Cocoa flavanols improve cognition in young adults and protect from cognitive decline in the elderly.
A review of randomized controlled trials found that people generally had enhancements in working memory performance and improved visual information processing after eating cocoa flavanols.
Eating cocoa after a night of total sleep deprivation actually counteracted the cognitive impairment that lack of sleep can cause.
One should be cautious about buying any dark chocolate brand because a recent study found many brands of dark chocolate have lead and cadmium levels that exceed safety standards.
Here is a list of the brands that had high or normal levels of lead and cadmium in their chocolate (scroll to the bottom of page).
Older people that had better upper or lower body muscle strength also had better cognitive function. Interestingly, handgrip strength was not associated with better cognitive function.
The study measured lower body strength (ie. leg extension, leg flexion, and leg press), upper body strength (ie. chest press and seated row), and handgrip strength which is often used as a proxy for upper body strength since it is easy to measure. The fact that both upper and lower body muscle strength but not handgrip strength was linked to better cognitive function suggests that handgrip strength may not be a good proxy to measure upper body strength.
Other studies have also found that lower body muscle strength is associated with improved brain aging. Some of the mechanisms that are thought to play a role in this association have to do with increased blood flow to the brain and also lower inflammatory processes which cause brain atrophy.
People that experienced a greater diversity in day-to-day positive emotions also had lower levels of biomarkers of inflammation.
The study included 175 participants who recorded their daily emotional experiences using a tablet. Six months later, blood samples were taken and tested for markers of inflammation (i.e., IL-6, CRP, fibrinogen). Those people with a greater diversity of positive emotions had the lowest levels of biomarkers of inflammation.
Surprisingly, those individuals that experienced negative emotions did not have higher levels of inflammation. The data were corrected for other lifestyle characteristics including body mass index, personality, medication use and medical conditions.
We know from the "placebo effect" that just having a positive attitude about a situation or circumstance can increase the production of both dopamine and serotonin which also have positive effects on the immune system. Keeping a positive attitude really is good for your health.
First direct evidence found that the immune system attacks the brain in Parkinson's disease. The aggregation of a protein called alpha-synuclein is thought to play a role in the death of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease.
In a new study, T-cells from patients with Parkinson's mounted an immune response against a protein alpha-synuclein whereas immune cells from people without Parkinson's did not. It is thought that the immune system tries to get rid of the toxic alpha-synuclein aggregates in neurons but ends up killing those neurons instead.
The researchers also think that T-cells may first identify alpha-synuclein in the nervous system of gut then enter the brain where they begin attacking dopaminergic neurons.
These findings raise the possibility for an immunotherapy-based treatment.
People that were given an insulin nose spray had improved insulin sensitivity in the body and experienced greater satiation.
The study included lean, overweight and obese people that were administered insulin or placebo intranasally. This allows the insulin to cross the blood-brain barrier. Insulin in the brain improved the functional connectivity between the hippocampus which suppressed the feeling of hunger and improved insulin sensitivity in the body.
This very interesting study shows that insulin in the brain may have an important role for satiety and insulin sensitivity in the body.
Extra-virgin olive oil protects nerve cell structure and function, improves learning and memory, and reduces the amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain in mice genetically engineered to get Alzheimer's disease.
The polyphenols in olive oil activate autophagy, which leads to the clearance of plaques and tangles in the brain.
Last week, I interviewed an expert on autophagy and we discussed how one of the most important functions of it is to clear away protein aggregates. We also discussed some of the mechanisms by which various polyphenols (such as those found in olive oil) can induce autophagy through an epigenetic mechanism. Stay tuned for that podcast (post-production edits are being made to the video now!)
Glycemic responses to bread may depend more on the composition of the gut microbiome than the composition of bread (white vs. whole wheat).
A small trial including 20 people were given either sourdough whole-grain bread or refined white bread to eat for one week. After a two-week break, each participant switched bread types for another week.
The study found very surprising results. Consuming either bread type improved cholesterol levels and improved markers of inflammation. The glycemic response was also dependent on the person's gut microbiome composition and not bread type. This was surprising considering that fiber slows digestion and normally lowers the glycemic response. The bacterial strains that affected the glycemic response were Coprobacter fastidiosus and Lachnospiraceae bacterium, the latter of which has previously been associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.
More research needs to be done before any definitive conclusions can be made but this study just highlights the potential importance of the gut microbiome in the glycemic response to food.
Here is a quick video of me talking about a daily dose of sprouts. These sprouts are exactly 3 days old starting if you start counting from the point they began their soak. On the 2nd night, shortly after the last rinse, the jar is put into the refrigerator… but only after they have dripped enough water out to prevent any possible pooling. We put aluminum foil over the top so that they don’t dry out in the fridge. By using a lot of seeds (9 tbsp in this case!) we ensure we have enough sprouts to make up for the fact that we harvest them while they are a bit younger. Sprouts should never stink while growing and these smell clean and fresh and will remain so while they are used up over the next few days. The jar will be sterilized with hot water from a tea kettle in the sink before re-use.
People who engaged in just 1 hour of resistance training per week had a 30% lower risk of metabolic syndrome. Doing both resistance and aerobic exercises provided the greatest benefits as the best exercise modality for the prevention of metabolic syndrome.
This large cohort study found that resistance exercise, independent of aerobic exercise, significantly decreases the risk of development of metabolic syndrome compared with no resistance exercise in a middle-aged relatively healthy population. The data was adjusted for other factors including aerobic exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, BMI, hypertension, diabetes, and abnormal electrocardiographic findings.
Type 2 diabetics given broccoli sprout extract containing 150 μmol sulforaphane for 12 weeks lowered blood glucose levels by 10% compared to placebo.
Broccoli sprout extract reduced HbA1c by 7.04% in obese patients with dysregulated type 2 diabetes. It has been demonstrated that a 1% decrease of HbA1c corresponds to 37% reduced risk of microvascular complications.
Sulforaphane reduces glucose by suppressing liver enzymes that otherwise stimulate the production of glucose.
In animals, sulforaphane also attenuated exaggerated glucose production and glucose intolerance by a magnitude similar to that of metformin.
For much more detailed information on sulforaphane...I have put together a comprehensive video on sulforaphane and broccoli sprouts and well as interviewed one of the world's leading experts doing sulforaphane research, Dr. Jed Fahey (an author on this study).
Interview with expert Dr. Jed Fahey:
New podcast! This one features a conversation I had when I was in Finland with one of the world's foremost researchers of the sauna Dr. Jari Laukkanen. Jari holds a PH.D. and an M.D. What makes this conversation very interesting is that Jari not only comes to it as an actual researcher of sauna use but also as a cardiologist.
Dr. Laukkanen's lab actually makes the single most convincing case that sauna use has real benefits in humans. It is his research that has shown that long-term sauna use appears to reduce heart-related mortality, but even more surprisingly, also may have a strong effect on what is known as all-cause mortality, which literally means death from all causes.
Since this conversation was recorded, Dr. Laukkanen's lab released yet another publication which showed really strong associations with a reduction of risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease by 66% and 65% respectively at 20-year follow-up, which further strengthens the case that sauna therapy, more than being relaxing, may be a great tool for even improving healthspan.
In both the studies showing reduced memory illness and reduced all-cause mortality the effect follows a dose-response relationship with the group showing the strongest reductions in risk by frequenting a sauna at least 4 times per week for at least 20 minutes at 174 degrees Fahrenheit, or 79 degrees Celsius.
This podcast will also be available on iTunes and Stitcher shortly!
Just a single bout of aerobic exercise improves executive function, enhances mood, and decreases stress levels. It also activates widespread brain areas and brain systems.
A new review of multiple studies primarily focused on aerobic exercise but also included some studies that utilize resistance exercise. A major factor that has been shown to influence the cognitive effects of acute exercise in people is exercise intensity. The higher the intensity the better the effect.
Randomized, controlled trial finds that high dose vitamin D supplementation (4,000 IU/day) for 18 weeks improves visual memory in healthy adults but low-dose vitamin D (400 IU/day) does not.
Serum 25 hydroxy vitamin D levels increased significantly more in the high dose group (from 27 ng/ml to 52 ng/ml) than the low dose group (24 ng/ml to 34 ng/ml). What is interesting is that even though 34 ng/ml is considered sufficient, it still was not enough to improve visual memory.
It has been suggested that visual memory tasks place greater demands on cognitive processing, organization, planning, and overall executive functioning than do verbal memory tasks, and require more fluid cognitive processes.
Consuming more than one low-fat but not high-fat dairy product per day was associated with a 35-40% increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease compared to those that had less than one serving of low-fat dairy.
The overall risk of developing Parkinson's disease was still quite low. Out of the 5,830 trial participants that consumed low-fat dairy only 1% of developed Parkinson's. The 77,864 people who consumed less than one serving of low-fat dairy per day only 0.6% developed Parkinson's disease.
While this is an interesting observation (particularly since the finding was limited to low-fat dairy and not high fat), there is still much more to explore. Since this was not a controlled trial and the study did not control for other confounding factors (since it was looking at baseline characteristics) it is possible that other things associated with low-fat dairy consumption may increase Parkinson's risk. For example, people that eat low-fat dairy products also may be more likely to consume other low-fat products, many which historically have had transfats in them. More research needs to be done before any conclusions can be made.
Children (aged 6-9 months) that were given one egg per day for 6 months increased growth and reduced stunting by 47% compared to those children not given any eggs.
This study was a randomized, controlled trial in Ecuador and also found those the children given eggs were 74% less likely to be underweight. Interestingly, the children that ate the eggs were less likely to eat refined sugars compared to the children in the control group not given eggs. In fact, the prevalence of reported consumption of sugary foods, such as chocolate, sweets, candies, pastries, cakes, or cookies, was 29% lower when compared with the control group, perhaps due to increased satiety hormones.
Growth stunting is a problem for children in developing countries. This study suggests that eggs may be a viable option to reduce the risk of stunting growth in children.
Very high-intensity exercise 3x per week for 6 weeks improves beta-cell and liver function and decreased fat mass in adults with type 2 diabetes.
The high-intesnsity workouts were led by a CrossFit trainer and were only about 10-20 minutes but the participants hit greater than 85% of their maximum target heart rate.
The combination of curcumin and ursolic acid (from apple peels) shrank prostate tumors in mice by inhibiting the tumor from metabolizing glutamine.
The combination of ursolic acid and resveratrol (from grape skin) also shrank the prostate tumors in mice. Many different tumor types rely on glutamine as a carbon source for energy and as a nitrogen source for building more DNA and proteins (macromolecular synthesis). Additionally, these compounds also activated pathways involved in cell death.