Coffee With Blue Dream: How Cannabis & Caffeine Interact

Coffee With Blue Dream: How Cannabis & Caffeine Interact

For many, the jolt of caffeine and the mellowing effects of cannabis make a perfect combination. When the two meet in the body and mind, they can amplify one another, but research is limited as to how they interact on a chemical level.

Scientific studies on what happens when your morning joe meets your morning joint are scattershot and inconclusive, but they provide a rough map of what to expect of this mental terrain. But culturally, caffeine and cannabis seem like natural bedfellows, with everyone’s favorite (legal) upper most likely to be paired with cannabis from a retail perspective. Murky Conclusions

For starters, we know caffeine operates in the endocannabinoid system – the same brain region that makes weed do its thing. Both substances have been shown to cause an uptick in dopamine activity, and some report that the kick from caffeine creates a brighter, more euphoric cannabis high.

In many ways, however, the two seem to be awkward dance partners, canceling out certain effects and amplifying others. Caffeine can have an anxiety-producing effect, while THC can make one mellower in low doses and freaked out at high doses ( CBD seems to generally have a calming effect at any dosage). It’s possible for coffee jitters to add to cannabis shakes, paranoia or couchlock for an unpleasant cocktail. But it’s also easy to find individual reports of just the opposite effect, with the two mixing for a relaxed yet upbeat feeling. As always, it is advisable to take it slow when trying new combinations and pay attention to one’s own body.

Though coffee has been shown to enhance one’s cognitive powers, combined with weed, the overall effect may actually be the reverse from coffee alone: Some studies suggest that coffee and cannabis combine to inhibit memory . Others have shown that caffeine can partially protect against the forgetfulness associated with high doses of CBD.

This research, while certainly better than nothing, is hard to synthesize into solid conclusions. The studies tend to be one-offs, with little in the way of confirmation or corroboration, are often conducted on animals and may use chemical compounds that replicate caffeine rather than the real deal. One hopes that looser cannabis laws will bring more research on this topic. Coffee Shops and “Coffeeshops”

Culturally, coffee and cannabis have been siloed into separate realms by their opposite legal statuses. But as legalization takes shape across North America, the café provides one model for the cannabis lounge, with their proclivity for comfy seating, art on the walls and maybe the occasional open mic or music performance.

For many a Netherlands resident and cannabis tourist, their first experience with social cannabis consumption came at a “ coffeeshop ,” the go-to euphemism for a place to smoke pot in Amsterdam. While some are more like bars or dispensaries, others capture the cozy ambience one associates with a café. Many do in fact serve coffee.

Though states have been slow to legalize and permit cannabis sales and cities have been slow to allow lounges, this new sort of cultural space is gradually making its way into North America. This expansion has been further helped along by coffee shops savvy enough to exploit CBD’s gray area legality and offer a little boost to your morning brew — for a few extra bucks, of course.

Despite the issues noted above, the combination of the substances is less discombobulating (more… combobulating?) than alcohol and cannabis . Furthermore, some states, such as California, don’t allow alcohol and cannabis to be sold by the same establishment — but there are no similar restrictions on caffeinated drinks. Inevitably, cannabis consumption will chart its own course, but as legal, public consumption becomes more prevalent in the U.S., our spaces built around coffee and tea provide the most obvious jumping off point.

Though the research on caffeine and cannabis provides some warning signs, the gaps in our understanding of their interaction are larger than the parts of the picture that are filled in. For instance, we have no research comparing how cannabis interacts with different caffeinated beverages: coffee, tea, energy drinks, etc.

Zooming out, coffee and tea houses provide the clearest model for what social consumption might look like in the U.S. Given how popular coffee and cannabis are, their meeting is inevitable. What remains to be seen is to what degree coffee and tea mores slip into the cannabis culture bloodstream.

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SANE Vitaae Reviews: Negative Side Effects or Real Benefits?

SANE Vitaae Reviews: Negative Side Effects or Real Benefits?

Vitaee anti-aging clinical research formulation by SANE Laboratories is an eight ingredient brain boosting blend that make this therapeutic-grade nutraceutical nootropic one of the best options for clear, focused, mental energy you can feel by alleviating brain fog naturally, but is the SANE Vitaee supplement worth it or are there negative side effects to know about before buying today?

Chicago, IL, April 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vitaae is an advanced anti-aging nootropic product meant to improve mental cognition through its’ potent blend of clinically studied ingredients. Manufactured by SANE Labs, Vitaae is one of the safest and most effective nootropic compounds for enhancing memory, focus, learning, and overall cognition.

If you’re a student, an entrepreneur, or just someone who feels like they lost your mental edge, then Vitaae may be the perfect anti-aging clinical research nootropic formulation for you .

The opening review for the Vitaae product page is relatively simple. Chris P. asks if readers have ever gone into a room and forgotten why. If they have, he says that Vitaae might be for them. After all, the supplement may have improved Chris’ memory issues. The Vitaae supplement specially formulated to help people improve brain utilization, as well as “membrane turnover.” The creators of Vitaae say that their formula can help to maximize “mental clarity, deeper concentration, and better moods.” Perhaps most importantly, the supplement is purportedly capable of protecting “your most precious memories.”

The creators behind Vitaae blame many brain problems on something known as “leaky brain.” According to the official product website, a leaky brain contributes to a slower metabolism, brain fog, and lower energy. People struggling with leaky brains might even experience anxiety, depression, and mood swings. These are serious issues. We’d like to emphasize that people who have serious symptoms like depression, memory loss, and anxiety should consult their physician immediately. Supplementation is often a wise strategy to deal with these problems, but there is truly no substitute for a genuine evaluation by medical professionals.

Read more at finance.yahoo.com

Use antioxidant-rich neem oil to address skin conditions like acne and eczema

Use antioxidant-rich neem oil to address skin conditions like acne and eczema

( Natural News ) Neem oil is a versatile substance used in traditional medicine. This incredible natural remedy has many uses, including the ability to relieve common skin conditions like acne and eczema . Neem oil, an antioxidant-rich natural cure

Neem oil is a natural product that comes from the neem tree. In Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicines, neem oil is used to treat different conditions like fungal infections and ulcers.

Neem oil is full of fatty acids like palmitic acid, linoleic acid and oleic acid, all of which help boost skin health. Because of these benefits, the oil is often used as an ingredient in various skincare products.

Neem leaves also offer health benefits because they contain flavonoids and polyphenols that have amazing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Surprisingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that neem oil contains azadirachtin, a natural pesticide. Using neem oil to boost skin health

According to some studies, neem oil can be used in general skincare or as a treatment for many skin conditions. A review of existing literature on neem suggests that its extracts can treat skin conditions like acne , eczema, psoriasis, ringworm and warts.

Here are some of the health benefits associated with neem oil.

It has a nti-aging effects

A study published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology investigated whether neem oil can prevent skin aging. For the study, researchers exposed hairless mice to skin-damaging ultraviolet B radiation. They then treated the animals with neem oil.

The researchers reported that neem oil was effective at reducing the following symptoms of skin aging: Skin redness

Skin thickening

Water loss

Wrinkles

They also found that the oil boosted levels of procollagen , a collagen-producing enzyme, and the protein elastin . (Related: More than a natural pest repellent: Use neem oil to boost your hair and dental health .)

It promotes wound healing

In a 2014 study published in the journal BMC , researchers set out to determine if a gel with neem oil and St. John’s wort could help reduce skin toxicity caused by radiation therapy. The team worked with 28 participants who were receiving radiation therapy at the time for head and neck cancer. All of the volunteers reported some reduction in skin toxicity after using the gel with neem oil. Considerations when using neem oil

Neem oil is generally considered safe for use, but the EPA classifies the oil as a “low toxicity” substance, which means using it may cause allergic reactions, such as contact dermatitis .

Ingesting trace amounts of neem oil isn’t linked to serious side effects, but consuming large quantities can cause negative side effects, particularly in children. These may include: Encephalopathy (brain disease, disorder, or damage)

Liver damage

Metabolic acidosis

Vomiting

Tips for buying and using neem oil

When buying the oil, choose organic, cold-pressed neem oil. The oil should have a cloudy, yellow-brown color and a strong odor, like a mix between garlic and sulfur. Neem oil is generally safe to apply to your skin, but if you haven’t used it before, do a patch test first.

To perform a patch test , mix a couple of drops of neem oil with water or liquid soap. Apply the mixture to a small area of skin on your arm or on the back of your hand. Observe your skin for possible reactions. If your skin becomes red, inflamed or itchy, dilute the neem oil immediately by adding more water or liquid soap.

If you’re allergic to neem oil, you may develop hives or a rash after a patch test. Don’t use the oil or other products that contain it if this is the case. Using neem oil for skincare

You can try using neem oil to address skin conditions like infections and acne. To mask neem oil’s strong scent , combine it with a fragrant carrier oil like almond, coconut or jojoba oil. Carrier oils also help the skin absorb neem oil.You can also use essential oils like lavender or sandalwood . Use tea tree oil to make a blend with a more medicinal smell. The ratio should be two to five milliliters (mL) of neem oil for every 100 ml of oil mixture or one-half to one teaspoon to four ounces.To use the mixture as a spot treatment, apply a small amount of diluted neem oil to the affected area. Let the mixture soak into your skin, then rinse it off with warm water.Once you have confirmed that you can safely use neem oil without any side effects, combine it with a fragrant carrier oil like coconut oil to treat mild skin conditions like acne . Sources include: MedicalNewsToday.com

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Understanding fruit fly behaviour may help self-driving cars avoid obstacles

Understanding fruit fly behaviour may help self-driving cars avoid obstacles

Representative image | Shutterstock American Automobile Association’s (AAA) annual survey on autonomous driving reported over 70 per cent of respondents would fear being in a fully self-driving car. That could make companies like Tesla think more about safety before rolling out fully autonomous self-driving systems.

Now research from Northwestern University shows us we may be better off putting fruit flies behind the wheel instead of robots.

Research published in the journal Nature Communications demonstrates that drosophila or fruit flies use decision-making, learning and memory to perform simple functions like escaping heat. And researchers are using this understanding to challenge the way we think about self-driving cars.

“The discovery that flexible decision-making, learning and memory are used by flies during such a simple navigational task is both novel and surprising,” said Marco Gallio, the corresponding author of the study. “It may make us rethink what we need to do to program safe and flexible self-driving vehicles.”

According to Gallio, an associate professor of neurobiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the questions behind this study are similar to those vexing engineers building cars that move on their own. How does a fruit fly (or a car) cope with novelty? How can we build a car that is flexibly able to adapt to new conditions?

This discovery reveals brain functions in the household pest that are typically associated with more complex brains like those of mice and humans.

“Animal behaviour, especially that of insects, is often considered largely fixed and hard-wired—like machines,” Gallio said. “Most people have a hard time imagining that animals as different from us as a fruit fly may possess complex brain functions, such as the ability to learn, remember or make decisions.”

To study how fruit flies tend to escape the heat, the Gallio lab built a tiny plastic chamber with four-floor tiles whose temperatures could be independently controlled and confined flies inside. They then used high-resolution video recordings to map how a fly reacted when it encountered a boundary between a warm tile and a cool tile. They found flies were remarkably good at treating heat boundaries as invisible barriers to avoid pain or harm.

Using real measurements, the team created a 3D model to estimate the exact temperature of each part of the fly’s tiny body throughout the experiment. During other trials, they opened a window in the fly’s head and recorded brain activity in neurons that process external temperature signals.

Miguel Simões, a postdoctoral fellow in the Gallio lab and co-first author of the study, said flies can determine with remarkable accuracy if the best path to thermal safety is to the left or right. Mapping the direction of escape, Simões said flies “nearly always” escape left when they approach from the right, “like a tennis ball bouncing off a wall.”

“When flies encounter heat, they have to make a rapid decision,” Simões said. “Is it safe to continue, or should it turn back? This decision is highly dependent on how dangerous the temperature is on the other side.”

Observing the simple response reminded the scientists of one of the classic concepts in early robotics.

“In his famous book, the cyberneticist Valentino Braitenberg imagined simple models made of sensors and motors that could come close to reproducing animal behaviour,” said Josh Levy, an applied math graduate student and a member of the labs of Gallio and applied math professor William Kath. “The vehicles are a combination of simple wires, but the resulting behaviour appears complex and even intelligent.”

Braitenberg argued that much of animal behaviour could be explained by the same principles. But does that mean fly behaviour is as predictable as that of one of Braitenberg’s imagined robots?

The Northwestern team built a vehicle using a computer simulation of fly behaviour with the same wiring and algorithm as a Braitenberg vehicle to see how closely they could replicate animal behaviour. After running model race simulations, the team ran a natural selection process of sorts, choosing the cars that did best and mutating them slightly before recombining them with other high-performing vehicles. Levy ran 500 generations of evolution in the powerful NU computing cluster, building cars they ultimately hoped would do as well as flies at escaping the virtual heat.

This simulation demonstrated that “hard-wired” vehicles eventually evolved to perform nearly as well as flies. But while real flies continued to improve performance over time and learn to adopt better strategies to become more efficient, the vehicles remain “dumb” and inflexible.

The researchers also discovered that even as flies performed the simple task of escaping the heat, fly behaviour remains somewhat unpredictable, leaving space for individual decisions.

Finally, the scientists observed that while flies missing an antenna adapt and figure out new strategies to escape the heat, vehicles “damaged” in the same way are unable to cope with the new situation and turn in the direction of the missing part, eventually getting trapped in a spin like a dog chasing its tail.

Gallio said the idea that simple navigation contains such complexity provides fodder for future work in this area.

Read more at www.theweek.in

Prenatal stress may have lifelong effects, study shows

Prenatal stress may have lifelong effects, study shows

Stress in the womb could have a lasting impact, according to a new study.
Deby Suchaeri/Getty Images Research has revealed an association between common psychiatric conditions and events occurring during fetal development.

A new study now suggests that negative stress experienced in the womb may impact an individual’s response to stressful situations well into their 40s.

The results also indicate that exposure to prenatal stress affects males and females differently — and that these effects may last a lifetime.

Stress occurs when demands or challenges cause the brain and the rest of the body to react with emotional or physical tension. Stressors can be perceived as positive or negative.

Positive stress may result from situations that a person feels they can cope with, such as daily challenges and responsibilities related to work or school. There is even evidence that rising to the challenge has some health benefits.

However, day-to-day and moderate stressors can be perceived as negative if the person feels that they lack control .

Negative stress may be more likely to occur during life-altering events such as a divorce, a job loss, or the death of a loved one, and receiving extra social support can help ease the impact.

Health events, including serious complications of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia and infections, can result in major stress.

Scientists recognize the effects that stress can have on physical and mental health . If stress is prolonged, it can affect the immune system, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, and reproductive system.

The impact of stress on the reproductive system is an area of study gaining momentum in the scientific community. Recent research has shown that maternal stress can affect pregnancy and fetal metabolic functioning and emotional and cognitive development.

A recent article in the International Review of Neurobiology suggests that maternal stress from life events, natural disasters, anxiety, and depression increases the risk of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems for the child later in life.

However, scientists have been unsure whether these effects are short-lived or more lasting.

In a study that spanned more than 4 decades, scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School followed 40 men and 40 women from before birth to mid-life to reveal whether prenatal stress caused differences in stress regulation into adulthood.

Half of the participants had a history of major depression or psychosis that was in remission. The authors report that their sample was enriched by people whose mothers had obstetric complications, such as fevers and preeclampsia associated with high maternal cytokine levels.

The study appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

The team used data retrieved from the New England Family Study , long-term research that investigates medical risk factors that may originate from pregnancy and in-utero exposures.

The team tested the correlation between the participants’ neurological responses and their prenatal exposure to pro-inflammatory cytokines. The researchers did this by showing the participants negative and neutral images designed to induce a stress response while they were undergoing functional MRI scans .

Pro-inflammatory cytokines , including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6, are immune system regulators that initiate a fever or inflammation in response to an infection or trauma. They can also activate in response to stress. “Given that the stress circuitry consists of regions that develop differently in the male and female brain during particular periods of gestation, and they function differently across our lifespans, we hypothesized that dysregulation of this circuitry in prenatal development would have [a] lasting differential impact on the male and female brain in people with these disorders. We were particularly interested in the role of the immune system, in which some abnormalities are shared across these disorders.”

– Dr. Jill M. Goldstein, first study author and founder and executive director of the Innovation Center on Sex Differences in Medicine, at Massachusetts General Hospital The results of the MRI scans showed differences, on average, in how prenatal exposure to maternal stress-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines affected males and females 45 years later.

Among all the participants, lower prenatal levels of TNF-alpha were associated with more activity in a brain region called the hypothalamus. This is responsible for coordinating brain activity and the regulation of cortisol, a stress hormone.

However, in males only, lower levels of TNF-alpha caused more active communication between the hypothalamus and the area of the brain responsible for controlling impulses and emotions, the anterior cingulate.

In female participants, higher prenatal exposure to interleukin-6 correlated with increased activity in the hippocampus, a brain region that helps control memory and arousal related to stressful stimuli.

The researchers also found that the ratio of TNF-alpha and interleukin-10 , an anti-inflammatory cytokine, affected how the hippocampus and hypothalamus communicated.

This effect on communication was also contingent on whether the participant was male or female.

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According to its authors, the new study demonstrates that high levels of maternal stress may affect the brain development of male and female embryos and fetuses differently — and that these effects then influence the person’s ability to regulate stress, possibly throughout life.Dr. Goldstein observes, “Given that these psychiatric disorders are developing differently in the male and female brain, we should be thinking about sex-dependent targets for early therapeutic intervention and prevention.”

Read more at www.medicalnewstoday.com

4 easy ways to improve your brain health according to a neurologist

4 easy ways to improve your brain health according to a neurologist

Author and brain expert Professor James Goodwin tells Liz Connor about a few simple lifestyle changes to help slow and even reverse cognitive decline.

Spinach and flaxseed are two brain-benefiting foods packed full of Omega 3s that we need for our diet Brain health expert Professor James Goodwin THE brain is arguably the most important organ in our body. Not only does it control and coordinate our actions, it’s at the very centre of our human experience – it allows us to think, feel and form memories, and shapes our personalities too.

Yet many of us know nothing about how our brains actually work, let alone how to care for them.

“There has been a dramatic switch in the science over the last couple of decades and we’ve completely lifted the lid on what we know about how to look after our brains,” says Professor James Goodwin, neurologist and author of new book Supercharge Your Brain: How To Maintain A Healthy Brain Throughout Your Life.

Goodwin is special advisor to the Global Council on Brain Health, holds a chair at Exeter University Medical School and is a visiting professor of physiology at Loughborough University.

“If you were to ask people at a dinner party how to look after your heart, most people would be able talk about watching their cholesterol or doing exercise. But if you ask them about the brain? You’ll often be met with a blank stare,” Goodwin adds.

However, as cognitive decline continues to be a major long-term health concern, and the number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to 1,000,000 by 2025, perhaps we do need to know more about how to look after our brain health. Goodwin shares four easy ways to help keep your brain fighting fit at any age…

1. Make movement a part of your day

If your good intentions to complete a fitness plan in lockdown are flagging, here’s a good reason to set your alarm earlier and make sure you show up on the mat.

“In the past few years, researchers have found that exercise rejuvenates the brain,” says Goodwin. “It produces a chemical that stimulates new cells, and 30 minutes per day is all you need to reap the benefits – for five days a week at a moderate intensity.”

It could be something as gentle as brisk walking or moderate jogging, but the key is to make sure your chosen activity elevates your heart rate enough to get your blood pumping. Goodwin calls it a dose effect. “The more you do, the better the effect – but you can ruin the effects of that exercise completely by sitting down for more than eight hours per day. The longer we sit, the faster we age, so make sure you’re getting up every 20 minutes.”

2. Be a social butterfly

Social distancing rules have made it more difficult to catch up with friends, but being socially connected to others makes us feel safe and cared for, and this has big benefits for our brains.

“Humans would have never survived if we’d have been solitary animals,” stresses Goodwin. “We survived because we were in groups, and over 1.5 million years of social structure has cemented that into the brain. We’re highly dependent for brain health on this social interaction for others.”

Goodwin claims loneliness is as bad for our health as 15 cigarettes per day or a bottle of vodka, and that those who are persistently lonely have a 50% greater chance of dying than those who are not. “Another 12-year study found that those who said they were lonely showed a 20% faster rate of decline in their brain.

“The sensation of loneliness is quite natural. It’s like a hunger or thirst – it’s the brain telling us you need to seek out some company, in the same way hunger tells that you need to eat food,” says Goodwin.

3. Have a healthy sex life

“Frequent sexual intercourse with a close partner is beneficial to the brain too,” says Goodwin. According to the neurologist, it can foster better memory, better verbal fluency, and even better numeracy skills.

“A study on male rats, who had between 14-28 days of daily access to a receptive female, found that the number of new cells in that brain increased massively – and it worked better on the older rats, where it had a reverse ageing effect.”

Essentially, the older rats were reaching younger levels of brain rejuvenation, which Goodwin says is astonishing. But here’s the catch – he reckons it’s sex with familiar intimate partner that really has benefits. “Rats who got dumped in with a strange female were stressed out, and while they still eventually had sex, the brain benefits were much more profound in those regular partner rats.”

4. Eat well

“These days, we’ve got the choice of eating what we want, but that doesn’t mean we always eat what’s best for our brain,” says Goodwin. “Vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and omega three are what I call the ‘big five’. These are the nutrients we know people are short of in Western diet.

“For a start, most of people in the Northern Hemisphere, above 35 latitude, don’t get enough sunshine to get enough vitamin D for six months of the year. B12, meanwhile, is only found in a very few foods which are mostly animal products.”

Aside from eating a varied diet with lots of plants and wholefoods, Goodwin has a couple of standout kitchen staples to keep in mind. “Spinach and flaxseed are two brain-benefiting foods packed full of Omega 3s that we need for our diet. If you’re sprinkling flaxseed on your porridge in the morning, then crack on, as you’re doing good.”

It’s not just what you’re eating that matters, but the amount you’re eating too. “The Japanese island of Okinawa is in a Blue Zone – one of the five lucky areas of the world where people regularly live to over 100 years,” says Goodwin. “They have this Japanese expression called ‘hara hachi bu’, which means ‘leave the table 80% full’.

“The result […]

Read more at www.irishnews.com

Researchers explore the antimalarial properties of a little-known South American plant

Researchers explore the antimalarial properties of a little-known South American plant

( Natural News ) Plasmodium falciparum is a protozoan parasite that’s known to cause malaria in humans. It infects certain species of mosquitoes (only females) from the genus Anopheles , which transmit the parasite through their bite. Among the Plasmodium species associated with the disease, P. falciparum is by far the deadliest . Malaria caused by this particular parasite is common in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is estimated to kill more than 400,000 people every year .

In the U.S., around 2,000 cases of malaria are diagnosed every year , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Malaria parasites multiply rapidly in the livers and red blood cells of infected individuals. In the case of P. falciparum infection, infected red blood cells do not circulate freely in the blood but stick to the walls of blood vessels. When this occurs in the brain, it can lead to blockage in the small blood vessels , causing a severe neurological complication known as cerebral malaria. This type of malaria is associated with high mortality.

Another parasite that uses an insect as a vehicle and is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa is Trypanosoma brucei. This pathogen is transmitted by tsetse flies ( Glossina species) and causes a potentially deadly disease known as the African sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis). Once bitten by an infected fly, a painful red sore (chancre) develops on the site of infection and is followed within one to three weeks by other symptoms, such as fever, severe headaches , extreme fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and aching muscles and joints. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the central nervous system, where it can cause progressive confusion, personality changes and other neurological problems that could eventually result in death.

Today, several drugs are used for the treatment of both malaria and African trypanosomiasis. However, many adverse effects are associated with their use. For instance, antimalarial drugs are said to cause nausea, abdominal pain, insomnia , depression, severe dizziness and hallucinations, while treatments for African trypanosomiasis are associated with certain levels of toxicity , as well as impaired kidney and liver functions . Fortunately, some anti-parasitic agents derived from medicinal plants have shown potent activities against malarial and trypanosomatid parasites. (Related: Researchers confirm the antiplasmodial effects of bellyache bush on malaria-infected mice .) Compound from South American plant shows promise as antimalarial and anti-trypanosomal agent

In a recent study published in the journal Chemical Biology & Drug Design , researchers from Argentina and Belgium evaluated the anti-parasitic properties of the derivatives of a compound isolated from Nardophyllum bryoides . This Patagonian shrub is native to South America and belongs to the sunflower family. Secochiliolide acid (SA), a diterpene present in N. bryoides , has served as a precursor for many compounds that have shown remarkable anti-parasitic activities in many in vitro studies.

To determine if these compounds are effective against P. falciparum and T. brucei , the researchers synthesized a series of new esters from SA and evaluated their cytotoxic effects on the two parasites, as well as on normal mammalian cells. The researchers found that the SA esters displayed moderate anti-trypanosomal activity , with half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values ranging between 2.55 and 18.14 microMolar. However, they showed poor antiplasmodial effects, with IC50 values greater than 29 microMolar.

The only exception to this was the n?hexyl ester of SA, which showed strong and selective antiplasmodial activity (IC50 = 1.99 microMolar). Using the 4-day suppressive test of Peters in mice, the researchers assessed the antimalarial efficacy of the n?hexyl ester of SA in vivo. Intraperitoneal treatment with the compound reduced the amount of parasites in the animals’ blood by 56 percent, which was statistically significant four days post-infection. The compound also improved the mice’s survival.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the n-hexyl ester of SA from N. bryoides can be used as a potent natural antimalarial agent to treat malaria and African sleeping sickness .

Sources include:

WHO.int 1

WHO.int 2

CDC.gov 1

CDC.gov 2

SKH.com.sg

EMedicine.Medscape.com

Read more at www.naturalnews.com

7 Brain Foods to Help Kids Stay Sharp

7 Brain Foods to Help Kids Stay Sharp

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own. Patrick Quinn, a parenting expert at Brainly has some recommendations and tips for foods that promote brain health.

Brain Gains: 7 Foods to Boost Kids’ Academic Performance

Fact is, all the books, tablets, and notepads kids use for studying are useless if their brains are not in top functioning form. There are certain nutrients that are crucial for their brain development, and better brain development means better brain function, memory, and concentration—all of which contribute to better academic performance.

To keep your kids’ performance at optimum levels, we’ve rounded up seven of the best brain foods to help boost their mental power, and also talked to Brainly’s parenting expert, Patrick Quinn, for pro parenting tips on how to incorporate them into your kids’ daily diet.

1. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients that are essential for brain health including essential fatty acids, protein, zinc, and B-vitamins. They’re also natural mood boosters that are portable and versatile, making them an excellent choice for study snacks.
Parent tip: Kids aren’t always going to love these. But mixing them in a trail mix with a few chocolate pieces or yogurt chips is a great way to get them munching on the healthy nuts and seeds. Just be careful not to send this in as a school snack in districts where nut allergies can affect other kids.

2. Greek Yogurt
Full-fat Greek yogurt packs a lot more protein than other yogurts (and much less sugar), and can help keep brain cells in good form for sending and receiving information. It’s also full of protein and B-vitamins—essential for the growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. Greek yogurt is also a great source of Calcium and Vitamin D. Parent tip: Mix in a teaspoon of honey and some cinnamon to turn this healthy option into a delicious one as well. The problem for me at that point is avoiding eating it myself before the kids get it.

3. Berries
Berries are rich in a variety of compounds that may help promote academic performance and protect brain health. Berries (including blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries) are especially high in flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins, believed to improve mental performance by increasing blood flow to the brain. They also protect against inflammation and improve certain signaling pathways that promote nerve cell production and cellular processes involved in learning and memory. Parent tip: Berries make an easy study snack, but they can cause sticky fingers that can lead to messy keyboards and homework papers. Try putting several different types of berries on kid-friendly skewers for a fun, healthy, and mess-free desk snack.

4. Fish
Fish is an excellent source of Vitamin D and the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA— both essential for brain growth and function. Consuming more Omega-3s means kids will have sharper minds and better mental skills. Parent tip: Fish can be a tricky one with kids. If you get them accustomed to eating it when they’re young, they’ll be more likely to be open to new fish dishes when they’re pre-teen and teenagers. You can make fish tasty for kids by serving it simply grilled, like fish sticks, or including it in tacos or in tuna sandwiches. Another option is using canned salmon to make delicious salmon salad sandwiches that can be mixed with reduced-fat mayo or non-fat Greek yogurt, raisins, chopped celery, and carrots.

5. Eggs
The versatile egg is a great source of protein, and egg yolks are packed with choline, which helps memory development. Eggs can be served in a variety of ways and can be enjoyed at breakfast, as a mid-afternoon snack, or even at dinner. Parent tip: Eggs are great for making grab-and-go breakfasts kids can eat on the road. Scramble eggs into a whole grain tortilla to make a grab-and-go breakfast burrito, or make your own version of an Egg McMuffin at home by putting a fried egg on top of a toasted English muffin and topping it with a slice of low-fat cheese. Bonus tip: Eggs aren’t only a great healthy option that will keep them full thanks to the protein, but it’s also a really great gateway to cooking for the budding chef. Teach them how to make scrambled eggs, a fried egg, or a veggie omelet, and you’re fostering a whole new side of creativity. Plus… you might get the occasional breakfast out of that deal!”

6. Oatmeal
Oats are extremely nutritious and they can provide the energy and fuel for the brain that kids need first thing in the morning. Oatmeal is also a fiber-rich food that keeps heart and brain arteries clear. In one study , kids who ate sweetened oatmeal did better on memory-related school tasks than those who ate sugary cereal. Parent tip: Delicious AND helps with memory at school? Oatmeal should really be considered a bit of a superfood for our kids. It’s another food option that can be endlessly tweaked to suit the tastes of your individual kiddos. You can dress oatmeal up with applesauce, dried fruit, almonds, and banana to make it tastier and more appealing to kids. Due to its natural compounds, adding cinnamon also gives oatmeal an extra ingredient that will help to protect brain cells.

7. Apples and Plums
Kids usually have a craving for sweets. Apples and plums are lunchbox-friendly items that contain quercetin, an antioxidant that helps fight the decline in mental skills. Keep them organic to get the best benefits. Parent tip: These are some of the few snacks that are on the ‘help yourself’ list in my house. It’s great because kids can grab one when they get home from school while doing homework, or anytime they want a quick bite. For a heartier snack, you can also cut apples into chunky slices and spread them with almond or peanut butter, or you can freeze pitted plums and add them to a favorite nutrient-rich fruit smoothie.

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Understanding fruit fly behavior may be next step toward autonomous vehicles

Understanding fruit fly behavior may be next step toward autonomous vehicles

Credit: Northwestern University With over 70% of respondents to a AAA annual survey on autonomous driving reporting they would fear being in a fully self-driving car, makers like Tesla may be back to the drawing board before rolling out fully autonomous self-driving systems. But new research from Northwestern University shows us we may be better off putting fruit flies behind the wheel instead of robots.

Drosophila have been subjects of science as long as humans have been running experiments in labs. But given their size, it’s easy to wonder what can be learned by observing them. Research published today in the journal Nature Communications demonstrates that fruit flies use decision-making, learning and memory to perform simple functions like escaping heat. And researchers are using this understanding to challenge the way we think about self-driving cars.

“The discovery that flexible decision-making, learning and memory are used by flies during such a simple navigational task is both novel and surprising,” said Marco Gallio, the corresponding author on the study. “It may make us rethink what we need to do to program safe and flexible self-driving vehicles.”

According to Gallio, an associate professor of neurobiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the questions behind this study are similar to those vexing engineers building cars that move on their own. How does a fruit fly (or a car) cope with novelty? How can we build a car that is flexibly able to adapt to new conditions?

This discovery reveals brain functions in the household pest that are typically associated with more complex brains like those of mice and humans.

“Animal behavior, especially that of insects, is often considered largely fixed and hard-wired—like machines,” Gallio said. “Most people have a hard time imagining that animals as different from us as a fruit fly may possess complex brain functions, such as the ability to learn, remember or make decisions.”

To study how fruit flies tend to escape heat, the Gallio lab built a tiny plastic chamber with four floor tiles whose temperatures could be independently controlled and confined flies inside. They then used high-resolution video recordings to map how a fly reacted when it encountered a boundary between a warm tile and a cool tile. They found flies were remarkably good at treating heat boundaries as invisible barriers to avoid pain or harm.

Using real measurements, the team created a 3D model to estimate the exact temperature of each part of the fly’s tiny body throughout the experiment. During other trials, they opened a window in the fly’s head and recorded brain activity in neurons that process external temperature signals.

Miguel Simões, a postdoctoral fellow in the Gallio lab and co-first author of the study, said flies are able to determine with remarkable accuracy if the best path to thermal safety is to the left or right. Mapping the direction of escape, Simões said flies “nearly always” escape left when they approach from the right, “like a tennis ball bouncing off a wall.”

“When flies encounter heat, they have to make a rapid decision,” Simões said. “Is it safe to continue, or should it turn back? This decision is highly dependent on how dangerous the temperature is on the other side.”

Observing the simple response reminded the scientists of one of the classic concepts in early robotics.

“In his famous book, the cyberneticist Valentino Braitenberg imagined simple models made of sensors and motors that could come close to reproducing animal behavior,” said Josh Levy, an applied math graduate student and a member of the labs of Gallio and applied math professor William Kath. “The vehicles are a combination of simple wires, but the resulting behavior appears complex and even intelligent.”

Braitenberg argued that much of animal behavior could be explained by the same principles. But does that mean fly behavior is as predictable as that of one of Braitenberg’s imagined robots?

The Northwestern team built a vehicle using a computer simulation of fly behavior with the same wiring and algorithm as a Braitenberg vehicle to see how closely they could replicate animal behavior. After running model race simulations, the team ran a natural selection process of sorts, choosing the cars that did best and mutating them slightly before recombining them with other high-performing vehicles. Levy ran 500 generations of evolution in the powerful NU computing cluster, building cars they ultimately hoped would do as well as flies at escaping the virtual heat.

This simulation demonstrated that “hard-wired” vehicles eventually evolved to perform nearly as well as flies. But while real flies continued to improve performance over time and learn to adopt better strategies to become more efficient, the vehicles remain “dumb” and inflexible. The researchers also discovered that even as flies performed the simple task of escaping the heat, fly behavior remains somewhat unpredictable, leaving space for individual decisions. Finally, the scientists observed that while flies missing an antenna adapt and figure out new strategies to escape heat, vehicles “damaged” in the same way are unable to cope with the new situation and turn in the direction of the missing part, eventually getting trapped in a spin like a dog chasing its tail.

Gallio said the idea that simple navigation contains such complexity provides fodder for future work in this area.

Provided by Northwestern University

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Vista Clear Review: Is VistaClear A Really Best 20/20 Eye Vision Supplement Formula?

Vista Clear Review: Is VistaClear A Really Best 20/20 Eye Vision Supplement Formula?

Vista Clear has been made with 100% natural ingredients whose nutritional benefits are unmatched and is known to work fast in a short period of time. Vista Clear

Vista Clear has been made with 100% natural ingredients whose nutritional benefits are unmatched and is known to work fast in a short period of time. Vista Clear has been made with 100% natural ingredients whose nutritional benefits are unmatched and is known to work fast in a short period of time.

New York City, NY, April 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Poor and blurry vision with red eyes are some of the challenges of weak eyesight. Having to rely on someone else in order to attend to matters is very humiliating. One is left at the mercy of the helper. Age, poor diet, genetics, and poor health are contributing factors to poor vision. Constantly rubbing eyes, squinting, and blinking to get a clear view is a reflex action, which causes even more damage to the eyes. While a visit to the doctor may result in a prescription of spectacles and eye ointments, these are short term measures. However, there is a dietary supplement made of highly potent and nutritious ingredients that deal with eye problems and the entire health of the body.

About Vista Clear

Vista Clear has been made with 100% natural ingredients whose nutritional benefits are unmatched and is known to work fast in a short period of time. The supplement comprises potent antioxidants, herbs, and nutrients specifically targeting the eyes by correcting eyesight conditions for a clear vision. The product is trusted and has been proven to retain healthy cornea, optic nerves, lens, retina, and macula, which are important components of the eyes.

Ingredients

Vista Clear is packed with 26 ingredients consisting of antioxidants, herbs, minerals, and vitamins to help support the vision. The ingredients are: Bacopa monnieri – Bacopa monnieri is a herb that enhances memory and has been shown to improve the visual speed and processing of visual information a few weeks from ingestion.

Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Skullcap & Hawthorn are all herbs – Chamomile is known for its sedative benefits and easing of sore or red eyes, anti-inflammatory properties which reduce irritation to the eyes. Lemon Balm is known for cognitive functions and improving moods leading to more clarity of vision. Skullcap helps to treat anxiety, paralysis, and stroke, which helps contain glaucoma. Hawthorn, on the other hand, helps correct the heart and blood vessels, thus controlling the flow of blood to the eyes.

Ashwagandha – Ashwagandha is a herb known to reduce the levels and effects of stress. The ingredient also supports the eye neurons, whose role is to control vision color, night vision, and focus on distant objects.

Rhodiola – Rhodiola is a rose flower plant whose role is to help the eyes for adoption purposes and ensures that all the neurons are regulated. This takes care of vision support.

Calcium – Calcium is an important mineral that contributes to the health of the bones, heart, muscles, eyes, and teeth. The absence of calcium could lead to dry eyes.

Magnesium – Magnesium is another mineral that helps support eye functioning levels during sleep by controlling the cycles. This mineral also controls blood flow, especially in persons with glaucoma, by protecting the retinal cell against oxidation.

Potassium – Potassium supports the layer of tears in the exposed cornea by giving more tears to the eyes. Lack of potassium is known to dry eyes which results in reduced cover to the cornea.

Lutein – Lutein is a vitamin whose purpose is to support normal functions of the retina and lenses. It also improves and prevents age-related vision issues.

Zinc – Zinc mineral is essential for the body and acts as a support for the immune system. This mineral also helps the eyes respond to any blue light from computer screens or the phone due to the formation of visual pigments in the retina. Deficiency in zinc could result in night blindness.

Vitamin B Complex – Vitamin B complex is a vitamin that assists the optic nerves and maintains the signals that traverse from the eyes to the brain.

Valerian, Passion Flower, Magnolia and L-theanine – These are herbs that are commonly used as sedatives with people experiencing insomnia. The lack of sleep may affect vision and irritation to the eyes.

Biotin – Biotin, also known as vitamin H, helps by supporting the functions of the eye during the fluctuating sugar levels, especially for people who suffer from diabetes and whose eye vision is at risk.

Mucuna Pruriens – Mucuna Pruriens a legume and is known to stimulate sleep and ease anxiety. This ingredient helps control the blood flow in the eyes.

Griffonia Simplicifolia – Griffonia Simplicifolia is a potent shrub that induces sleep and controls anxiety. The plant generally improves the functioning of the eyes.

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