Nearly all major brands of bottled water were found to be contaminated with microplastics including polypropylene, nylon & more.
Approximately 1 million plastic bottles are bought every minute and less than 50% of those are recycled.
People that have even just a little bit of light while they sleep (5 lux of light) at night had a 65% increased chance of developing depression after two years.
This is an observational study which means this is only a correlation. The study did account for weight, smoking or drinking habits, income level and medication use, histories of high blood pressure, diabetes, physical activity, and sleep/wake patterns.
Additionally, people with light at night also tended to go to sleep earlier, wake up later and spend more time in bed overall than counterparts who slept in darker rooms.
Another study, which was a controlled trial, found that people that slept under a very dim light (10 lux) for just one night had decreased working memory and brain function.
Randomized controlled trial finds that type 2 diabetics given a diet high in fiber improved the secretion of hormones involved in insulin production (GLP-1) and lowered blood glucose levels (HbA1c) via changes in the gut microbiome.
Certain species of gut bacteria produced short-chain fatty acids such as acetate and butyrate which have been shown to improve glucose homeostasis by inducing gut production of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) which in turn stimulate insulin secretion.
Exercise in old age prevents the immune system from declining.
Older endurance cyclists in their 50s to 70s maintained muscle mass, had healthy cholesterol levels, low body fat, and their immune systems looked 30 or more years younger.
The study suggests that lack of exercise, and not simply just aging may lead to immune function decline.
Premature babies that were given omega-3 and omega-6 supplements were less likely to develop symptoms of autism spectrum disorder compared to preterm babies given a placebo.
High-intensity exercise may slow the progression of Parkinson's disease without medication.
People that did high-intensity exercise 3x per week had no change in symptoms compared to the no-exercise group which experienced a 15% worsening of symptoms over 6 months.
This study was a randomized controlled clinical trial that consisted of patients with Parkinson's disease that were not taking any medication and were randomized into three groups. High-intensity exercise at 80-85% maximum heart rate, high-intensity exercise at 60-65% maximum heart rate, and no exercise.
The more intense the exercise the better the results. Those that exercised at 85% maximum heart rate had no change in disease progression. Those that exercised at 65% maximum heart rate had a 7.5% worsening of symptoms. Those in the no-exercise group which experienced a 15% worsening of symptoms.
The countdown has begun. Next Sunday (March 11th, 2018) I'm hosting a question & answer session that is open to all podcast supporters! This is a really cool event where participants can submit questions in advance and vote on other's questions and also participate in a live chat during the webinar.
Learn more at...
Get the access code with a token pledge at...
See you there!
1 in 7 boys will be diagnosed with ADHD by the time they make it to high school.
To-date, only one significant study has looked at ADHD misdiagnosis and found 20-25% of boys were misdiagnosed and this was before ADHD was as common as it is now.
The most common treatment for ADHD is a prescription stimulant such as Adderall or Ritalin.
I have been trying to take my 6-month old son outside for 30 minutes a day to play in the sun and dirt. Early exposure to microorganisms in the dirt before the first year of life has been shown to significantly lower the risk of allergies, wheezing, and asthma in children. Early exposure to bacteria and certain allergens such as pet dander may have a protective effect by shaping children's immune responses in such a way that prevents allergies and asthma. This becomes very important in infants that have a genetic predisposition to allergies, eczema, or asthma particularly if a parent or sibling has one or more of these diseases. One study specifically found that wheezing was 3x as common among children who grew up without exposure to such allergens compared with children who were exposed before their first year of life. Intesteringly, exposure to allergens after the first year of life did not decrease the child's risk of developing allergies or asthma.
In addition to exposing my son to microorganisms in the dirt, playing outside for 30 minutes has the benefit of light exposure which has been shown to prevent nearsightedness in children. Plus, vitamin D synthesis occurs if UVB rays are present. There are so many benefits from just a 30-minute playtime in the dirt outside. I'm really trying to make a habit of doing it every single day.
Watercress supplementation reduced DNA damage by up to 24% and increased glutathione enzyme activity and other antioxidant enzymes in healthy volunteers.
Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable that contains a precursor to sulforaphane and other isothiocyanates such as allyl isothiocyanate.
I talk about this watercress study and so much more in a comprehensive video on broccoli sprouts and sulforaphane and their effects on cancer, mortality, aging, the brain, heart disease and more!
Skin cells re-programmed into brain stem cells reduced inflammation and repaired some damage caused by multiple sclerosis when transplanted into the cerebrospinal fluid in mice.
The goal here is to be able to make brain stem cells by taking a person's skin cells and reprogramming them back into neural stem cells. They would be much less likely to induce an immune response since they would be the patient's own cells.
Running helps counteract the negative effects of stress on the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
This study was done in mice and found that mice that were exposed to stress had a decrease in long-term potentiation in the hippocampus. Long-term potentiation is the process that helps solidify the connections between neurons during memory formation. When animals were stressed but were also forced to run on a wheel, they did not experience a decrease in long-term potentiation.
Brief bursts of norepinephrine are released during exercise have been shown to increase long-term potentiation which has long-term benefits on cognition and is very relevant for brain aging.
Scientists have generated biodegradable DNA nanorobots that travel in the bloodstream, find tumors, and distribute a specific protein that induces the death of cancer cells.
This preliminary study was done in mice and showed that the DNA-based bionanorobots could latch onto vascular cells at the tumor site and release a protein (called thrombin) that causes extensive blood clots in the blood vessels of tumors but does not cause clotting elsewhere in the animals. The clots in the tumor vessels induce cell death of the cancer cells.
Much more work is needed to be done before translation to clinical trials and it's not clear that thrombin will work but the platform of the biodegradable DNA nanorobots seems to work and is the most important finding in this study.
A new blood test may be able to detect autism. Higher levels of an oxidation biomarker and certain sugar-modified compounds called advanced glycation end products were found in the plasma from children with autism spectrum disorder.
The biomarkers may also shed some light on some contributing factors for autism including oxidative stress. The findings of this study still need to be replicated in larger trials before any conclusions can be made.
Omega-3 supplementation in healthy humans increases several species of beneficial gut bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids (double-blinded, randomized controlled trial).
Supplementation with omega-3 PUFAs was associated with increased abundance of butyrate-producing ‘beneficial’, bacterial genera such as Bifidobacterium, Lachnospira, Roseburia, and Lactobacillus.
An increase in short-chain fatty acid-producing bacteria such as Bifidobacterium has been shown to reduce mucosal inflammatory tone in the gut.
10 million cross-platform downloads and counting and over 127,000 YouTube subscribers. In many ways, it's a milestone I'm reluctant to celebrate! We've been lucky the entire way.
Lucky to have friends that help set my channel up for success. Lucky to have people sending us constant encouragement, being patient with us while we try to create content that meets a somewhat self-imposed standard that seems to grow with time, paying us a salary to do what we love via mechanisms like patreon.
If you're reading this… thank you for your support, even if that's just by following this feed.
Just in case any of you were wondering… we have a new interview episode coming out very soon! I know it's been a little while, but this next one will be very good (and comprehensive at nearly 2 hours). Can't wait to get it out to all of you soon.
If you're following and have NOT subscribed to the youtube you can do that here:
foundmyfitness.com/youtube <-- totally a subscribe link
#passion #love #community #appreciation
More evidence that exercise is good for the brain.
Poor physical fitness as measured by VO2 max linked to deterioration of vital nerve fibers in the brain and memory decline.
The study found that lower fitness levels were associated with weaker white matter, which in turn correlated with lower brain function.
This was an observational study which means causation cannot be established; however, randomized controlled trials have also found that exercise increases brain volume and improves cognitive function.
Continuous low doses of far ultraviolet C (far-UVC) light can kill airborne flu viruses without harming human tissues.
The data from this study suggests that use of overhead far-UVC light in hospitals, doctors’ offices, schools, airports, airplanes, and other public spaces could help dampen seasonal influenza epidemics.
Just 3 months in prison leads to reduced self-control and reduced attentional performance suggesting that released prisoners may be less able to sustain focus on higher-level goals and more prone to impulsive risk-taking behavior.
While this was a pilot study...the preliminary findings are societally relevant and also hint at the likelihood of criminal recidivism. Hopefully, more research will be done regarding the impact of the prison environment on brain function and self-control, as well as the influence of the prison environment on reoffending. Ultimately, this may lead to the recommendation that prisons be transformed into enriched environments to increase, or at least preserve, prisoners’ self-control.
A new study by researchers at Human Longevity, Inc. suggests that acetaminophen (Tylenol) may reduce the placenta’s ability to regulate hormone levels. The study found an association with acetaminophen use and lower levels of neurosteroids (hormones found in the brain).
"A 2017 study found that exposure is associated with male urogenital malformation and altered male brain masculinization, which controls gender-linked behavior in mice, such as the frequency of intercourse and aggression toward rival males."
"A 2015 study found evidence that prenatal exposure to acetaminophen may reduce the ability of the male fetus to produce testosterone. Testosterone production was reduced in human fetal testicular tissue that had been transplanted into castrated mice given acetaminophen for a week."
New gene-editing CRISPR technique successfully corrected mutations in the gene that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy in heart muscle cells from patients with the disease.
The researchers found that correcting less than half of the heart muscle cells was enough to rescue cardiac function to near-normal levels in the heart tissue.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy leads to degeneration of skeletal and heart muscles. This results in patients being wheelchair-bound and on respirators to breathe. Most people with the disease die by age 30. No cure has been developed.
Clinical trials expected to start this year.
Two types of gut bacteria found to fuel the growth of colon cancer. The bacteria penetrate through the gut barrier and release compounds that damage DNA and inflame colon cells. This can both induce colon cancer and/or allow precancerous cells to grow into cancer.
The strains of bacteria are Bacteroides fragilis and a strain of E. coli. Not everyone has these two types of bacteria but those that do are thought to have gotten them during childhood.
This study analyzed 25 tumor samples taken from people with familial adenomatous polyposis and found the two bacterial species present in large quantities.
Animals were then given a cancer-causing agent to cause mutations in DNA of colon cells. There were few or no tumors until the animals were transplanted with both strains of the gut bacteria...this caused tumor growth.
It is unclear how people acquire these two strains of bacteria early in life or how to get rid of them. But this is the first step in understanding a complex interaction between certain species of gut bacteria and colon cancer.
Coffee consumption may lower the risk of certain cancers up to 20% and type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease up to 30%, according to a meta-analysis of 127 studies including observational and randomized controlled trials.
The one group of people that did not benefit from coffee consumption were pregnant women because it increased the risk of miscarriage.
Many of the polyphenols found in coffee have been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. They have also been shown to activate DNA repair and autophagy, the clearing away of damaged components inside of cells.
Many of the studies included in this meta-analysis were observational studies (which means the data is weaker) with only a few randomized placebo-controlled controlled clinical trials.
Injecting small amounts of two immune-stimulating agents directly into solid tumors in mice can eliminate all traces of cancer, including distant, untreated metastases in the animals. 87 of 90 mice were cured of cancer.
The method works to reactivate the cancer-specific T cells by injecting microgram amounts of two agents directly into the tumor site. Some of these tumor-specific activated T cells then leave the original tumor to find and destroy other identical tumors throughout the body.
A pilot clinical trial is underway and is expected to recruit about 15 patients with low-grade lymphoma.
New evidence that human muscles have a ‘memory’ of earlier growth at the DNA level. Skeletal muscle growth early in life is ‘remembered’ by the genes in the muscle, helping them to grow larger later in life.
The study found that genes in skeletal muscle have less DNA epigenetic modifications in response to exercise and throughout periods of inactivity (ie. injury). This allows the muscle to grow even bigger following exercise again later.
This study has many implications but one interesting implication is that if you lose muscle you’re epigenetically primed to get it back.
Are we more likely to be friends with people who see the world in a similar way?
A new study demonstrated that mental responses to the environment (in this case, neural processes evoked during viewing of videos) are very similar among friends and can predict who an individual will be friends with.
Aerobic exercise (3 days per week, 45 min per session) improved cognitive function in older adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease according to a meta-analysis of 19 randomized controlled trials.
These data suggest that aerobic exercise training may be an effective modality of exercise to maximize cognitive health for older adults.
Scientists use a probiotic and broccoli extract to target colorectal cancer cells.
Probiotic was engineered to make an enzyme able to produce sulforaphane from the precursor in broccoli extract. It reduced tumor size by over 75% (in mice).
This is pretty clever because they modified the e.coli to bind to cancer cells. One issue w/ broccoli extract is that the conversion to sulforaphane in vivo depends on gut bacteria, usually resulting in different bioavailability from person to person.
For a great discussion on sulforaphane, watch these two podcasts.
Sulforaphane and Its Effects on Cancer, Mortality, Aging, Brain and Behavior, Heart Disease & More:
Interview with expert Dr. Jed Fahey:
Multiple studies have found that taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen may reduce muscles’ ability to recover after exercise, blunt adaptations in muscle stem cells, and put excessive stress on the kidneys in people that vigorously exercise.
One mechanism by which NSAIDs blunt some of the positive effects in muscle is through the inhibition of inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins. While it is good to generally keep inflammation at bay, part of the mechanism by which exercise exerts beneficial effects is by acutely generating inflammation which induces a hormetic response and activates many anti-inflammatory pathways that often stay active for a long period after the exercise... ultimately resulting in a net positive anti-inflammatory response. Activation of the body's anti-inflammatory pathways is much more powerful than supplemental anti-inflammatory drugs.
Additionally, prostaglandins are important for vasodilation to increase blood flow to multiple tissues. NSAIDs decrease vasodilation which is one possible explanation for the increase in stroke risk that's been associated with long-term use of NSAIDs.
Reaction time and mood were improved in young individuals that consumed blackcurrant berry drink with 500 mg of polyphenols compared to placebo in a small pilot randomized controlled trial. EEG data also showed the blackcurrant drink changed brainwave activity.
This was a small trial with a crossover study design, which means each person serves as their own control. Both the blackcurrant drink and the placebo drink had 6.98 g of sugar (glucose +fructose). They also both had the same amount of vitamin C...the only difference was that the placebo drink lacked the 500 mg of polyphenols.
Conclusions cannot be made from this trial alone since it was a small pilot trial. However, there is a growing body of clinical trials showing polyphenols positively affect brain function in both young and old individuals.
I understand that it would not be possible to make a placebo drink if the whole fruit was used...but I think it is better to consume the berries with the fiber which changes the way sugar is metabolized and also has benefits for the gut microbiome.
A small randomized controlled trial shows that a bioavailable form of curcumin improves memory in older people with mild memory complaints.
The curcumin group had a 28% improvement in their memory/attention abilities and fewer amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain via PET analysis while the placebo group showed no improvements.
The curcumin was a bioavailable form of curcumin called Theracurmin. Those in the curcumin group took 90 mg of curcumin twice daily for 18 months.
The mechanisms by which curcumin affect memory and plaque accumulation in humans are not known. However, animal studies have shown that curcumin prevents proteins from aggregating and amyloid plaque accumulation. Larger trials with the bioavailable form of curcumin need to be done before conclusions can be made particularly since clinical trials with non-bioavailable curcumin supplements have yielded mixed results.
Small trial found that blood-plasma infusions from young donors improved capacity to perform basic tasks essential to independent daily life in Alzheimer’s patients.
The trial was based on animal studies which showed that factors in the blood of young mice can rejuvenate the brain tissue and improve cognitive performance in old mice.
This was a very small trial, just 18 participants, and larger studies are needed to confirm these results before conclusions about efficacy can be made.
New evidence may explain why the evening is a high-risk time for overeating.
A small clinical trial in overweight adults finds that satiety hormones are lower after a meal in the evening compared to earlier in the day and that stress increased hunger hormones later in the day. This was particularly the case in people that are prone to binge eating.
Nursing mothers that supplemented with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteriis for 3 weeks were twice as likely as a placebo to reduce crying by 50% in colicky babies who are exclusively breastfed.
This new study is in line with another recent study that also showed mothers who supplemented with the probiotic Visbiome during late pregnancy and, while nursing, lowered inflammatory biomarkers in the breastmilk and improved symptoms of colic in their newborns as a downstream effect of that.
I am actually taking 1 sachet of Visbiome (no affiliation) a day while I'm breastfeeding. One sachet contains 450 billion live probiotic bacteria (6 different strains). It's important to realize that store-bought probiotics have almost certainly been impacted by the deteriorating effects of the supply chain that it took to get them on the shelf in the store... and even if that weren't the case, usually they have only a VERY small fraction of the dose that clinical strength probiotics like Visbiome and VSL#3.
Visbiome study link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133065/
Mothers who frequently took acetaminophen (Tylenol) while pregnant were ~six times more likely to have a girl with language delays compared to mothers that took none. Frequently was defined as more than 6 times during pregnancy.
Interestingly, there was no effect on language skills on male babies. This study is also consistent with research that has shown a link between mothers who use acetaminophen in pregnancy and children with decreased IQs or increased rates of communication problems, and higher rates of ADHD in children.
The CDC estimates that 65% of pregnant women in the United States use acetaminophen while pregnant. While this study does not establish causality...this association seems to warrant future investigations on the effects of frequent use of acetaminophen during pregnancy.
Abnormalities in the process of breaking down of glucose in the brain were linked with more severe tangles and plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.
In addition, more serious dysfunction in brain glucose utilization was associated with the manifestation of disease symptoms like memory issues during life.
This study also found that glucose transporters in neurons were also low in Alzheimer's patients which could explain why glucose is not being used well in neurons.
This data does seem to suggest that alternative sources of fuel for the brain such as ketone bodies (which can be used as energy by neurons) may play a role in slowing down disease severity (ie. plaques and tangles) and may also slow memory decline...but we need more evidence before this conclusion can definitively be made.
More sleep may lead to better food choices.
A randomized controlled trial found that individuals that slept 1.5 hours longer than usual resulted in a 10-gram reduction in refined sugar intake compared to baseline levels.
The sauna improved people’s vascular compliance which is blood vessels’ ability to expand and contract with changing pressure & decreased hypertension.
New randomized, controlled trial by my friend Dr. Jari Laukkanen featured in TIME!
Check out my podcast with Dr. Laukkanen who discusses this study and his other studies showing frequent sauna use is associated with a 50% lower heart disease incidence, a 40% lower all-cause mortality, and 65% lower Alzheimer's disease risk.
The above statistics were found in men that used a 174F sauna 4-7 times per week for at least 20 min. These benefits were also found in men that used the sauna 2-3 times per week but were a little less pronounced. Check the timeline on the episodes page for more details...
New Nature paper authored by Dr. Satchin Panda and colleagues showed that pharmacological activation of receptors involved in circadian rhythm reduced the growth of glioblastoma in mice as effective as standard chemo but w/o apparent side effects.
Activation of this particular circadian pathway killed cancer cells by inhibiting lipid production and autophagy, which allows for the recycling of nutrients. Inhibition of access to nutrients prevented the cancer cells from dividing and growing because cancer cells need more nutrients and more recycled materials to build new cells.
In healthy cells, fat synthesis and autophagy are allowed to occur for about 12 hours a day...and are part of a normal, healthy metabolism. The rest of the time, these processes are low so that the cells are not flooded with excessive fat synthesis and recycled nutrients.
Not getting a great nights sleep? Maybe high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help... at least when it comes to insulin resistance.
HIIT before 24 h of sleep deprivation attenuated the increase of glucose, insulin, and free fatty acids in healthy males.
Several studies show that HIIT improves glucose metabolism, increases mitochondrial biogenesis (the growth of new mitochondria), mitochondrial function, β-oxidation (the use of fatty acids for energy), and also the levels of glucose transporters in muscle cells all of which improve insulin sensitivity.
What if we could stay cognitively sharp in old age?
A 2-year randomized controlled trial in over 2,500 aging adults improved cognition via a multidomain lifestyle intervention including diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring.
Eating eggs (a source of choline) during pregnancy may improve cognitive function in children.
Pregnant women that were given twice the RDA for choline (930 mg/day) during their third trimester had children with cognitive benefits including faster information processing speeds compared to women given 480 mg/day, which is the RDA.
Multiple other studies have found that choline plays an important role during brain development. When rat pups received choline supplements (in utero or during the second week of life), their brain function is changed, resulting in lifelong memory enhancement.
Lack of sleep may increase the risk for Alzheimer's disease.
Sleep deprivation for one night boosted levels of amyloid beta (a biomarker linked to Alzheimer's) disease by 25-30% in healthy participants. There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the important role sleep plays in brain health. Many other observational studies have shown an association between poor sleep and an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. There have been a couple small clinical trials (such as this one) that have shown lack of sleep increases amyloid beta protein levels.
Several animal studies and a few human studies have found that sleep is important to activate the glymphatic system which uses cerebral spinal fluid to clear away amyloid plaques and other aggregates in the brain.
Start 2018 off right! A one-time, short burst of exercise can improve focus and problem-solving.
10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise on a stationary bicycle immediately improved executive function by 14% in healthy, young participants.
Other studies have shown that a short burst of exercise )10-20 minutes) improves learning and memory and increases the production of the neurotransmitters glutamate by 5% and GABA by 7%, as well as norepinephrine, a catecholamine involved in attention and focus.
High-intensity intermittent exercise reduces postprandial triglycerides and markers of inflammation and oxidative stress (small clinical trial).
Nine men each completed three 2-day trials and each person served as their own control. Subjects rested (control), walked briskly for 30 min (walking) or performed 5×30 s maximal sprints (high-intensity).
Another study found that the beneficial effects of high-intensity interval training on postprandial triglyceride levels were abolished 2 days after exercise. This suggests that although high-intensity exercise may be a time-efficient tool that is useful for the prevention of heart disease, it may have to be performed 3-4 times a week to be effective.
Will exercise be prescribed to improve memory and thinking?
A new guideline for medical practitioners recommends twice-weekly exercise to people with mild cognitive impairment to improve memory and thinking.
These guidelines were based on a review of all the available evidence regarding the effects exercise has on mild cognitive impairment.
It has been shown that 20-40 minutes of aerobic exercise causes a 30% increase in serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in healthy men. As little as 15 minutes of aerobic exercise can increase BDNF albeit to a lesser extent. BDNF robustly increases the growth of new neurons in the brain and prevents existing neurons from dying.
How does red meat affect heart health?
A meta-analysis of 24 randomized controlled trials finds that eating ≥0.5 servings of red meat per day has no negative effect on blood lipids, lipoproteins, and blood pressure over a short period of time (2–32 wk).
It is important to note that the red meat consumption had no influence, neither positive or negative, on these specific cardiovascular disease biomarkers. In contrast, epidemiologic studies have found a positive association between total red meat consumption and CVD-related mortality that typically require years or decades of follow-up but do not determine causality.
Future high-quality research studies are needed to improve the scientific foundation about the effects of red meat on diet quality and human health.
People who ate one serving of green, leafy vegetables performed better on learning/memory tests and showed an equivalent of being 11 years younger cognitively than people who rarely ate them.
This was an observational study so causation cannot be established. However, this study accounted for other factors that may affect brain health including seafood and alcohol consumption, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, education level and amount of physical and cognitive activities.
Additionally, randomized controlled trials with certain compounds such as lutein, which is enriched in dark leafy greens, have shown that cognition is improved after supplementing with lutein.
For those of you that might be interested: here's a timeline with talking points and links to some of the studies or articles referenced during the discussion I had with Joe Rogan in JRE #1054.
(Make sure to click "timeline" beneath the video on the page below.)
Children who eat fish at least once a week sleep better and have IQ scores that are 4 points higher than those who consume fish less frequently or not at all.
This study does not establish causation. However, confounders such as gender, father’s education, mother’s education, siblings, home location, and breakfast consumption habits were all accounted for. Also, there was a dose-response relationship with more fish consumption associated with greater IQ improvements...which strengthens the data.