Poll to keep Nature Knows Going

Does Nature Knows website provide value to you?
© Kama

Study: Walnuts boost gut and heart health by promoting healthy gut microbiota

Study: Walnuts boost gut and heart health by promoting healthy gut microbiota

( Natural News ) Walnuts certainly top the list of superfoods that are good for the heart. As shown by multiple studies, eating walnuts regularly can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, thanks to the ability of walnuts to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. A recent study by American researchers also reveals that the heart benefits offered by walnuts may be attributed to their positive effects on your gut microbiota . The key players in walnuts’ heart benefits

Walnuts are known for their incredible nutrient profile, which is why experts recommend snacking on walnuts for a healthy heart. Walnuts are rich in dietary fiber that can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and support healthy blood pressure . Walnuts also contain high amounts of arginine , an amino acid required for the formation of nitric oxide (NO). NO is a chemical that helps relax blood vessels , thus easing blood flow to and from the heart.

Walnuts are a great source of healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids , particularly the omega-6, linolenic acid , and the omega- 3, a -linoleic acid . In fact, their high essential fatty acid content is what makes walnuts unique compared to other nuts. Like fiber, omega fatty acids can help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol levels and increasing good cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL), levels.

Walnuts contain plenty of other heart-healthy nutrients , such as copper , folate , potassium and vitamin E . Both copper and potassium are important minerals for maintaining healthy blood pressure, while vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to reduce heart attack risk by protecting against oxidative stress . Folate has also been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, thanks to its ability to lower blood homocysteine levels .

Aside from these nutrients, walnuts also contain an abundance of phytonutrients that are good for your heart. One example of these phytonutrients is ellagic acid , an antioxidant polyphenol that can protect against cardiac arrhythmia , or irregular heartbeat. Ellagic acid has also been reported to support healthy cardiovascular functions by helping regulate heart rate and blood pressure .

Ellagitannins are another example of walnut polyphenols that benefit the heart. Ellagitannins are also antioxidants and are uniquely high in walnuts. According to a study published in Molecular Aspects of Medicine , ellagitannins can help reduce the formation of blood clots and protect against inflammation as well as atherosclerotic plaque formation. Walnuts increase gut microbes that support gut and heart health

Aside from heart benefits, walnuts are also known for their positive effects on gut health , particularly the beneficial changes they bring to the human gut microbiota. To explore the link between the gut and heart benefits of walnuts, researchers from the Pennsylvania State University and Juniata College recruited 42 individuals at increased risk of cardiovascular disease and analyzed their gut microbial differences following changes to their diet.

The participants first followed the standard Western diet for two weeks before implementing certain changes. For six weeks following the two-week Western diet, the first group replaced the saturated fats in their diet with walnuts. The second group also switched to a healthier diet with a similar fatty acid profile as the first group’s, albeit devoid of walnuts. The third group also did not incorporate walnuts into their diet, but consumed oleic acid instead of a -linolenic acid.

The researchers reported that all three diets had a different effect on the participants’ gut microbial composition . After switching from the Western diet, the first and second groups saw a significant increase in the populations of Roseburia , Eubacterium eligens and Butyricicoccus bacteria in their gut. The researchers noted that the increase in Roseburia is beneficial for gut health, as these bacteria suppress the conversion of bile salts into secondary bile acids, which can damage your intestinal lining.

Walnut consumption also increased the populations of Leuconostocaceae and Ruminococcaceae bacteria — microbes that help maintain your gut lining. Leuconostocaceae , as well as Roseburia and Eubacterium , are known to produce butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that serves as the main energy source of cells that line the inner surface of your small and large intestines. The researchers believe that enrichment of these gut bacteria can help decrease intestinal permeability and protect against “leaky gut.”

Participants on the walnut diet also experienced an increase in Gordonibacter bacteria, which are known to metabolize ellagitannins to urolithins like urolithin A. According to a study published in Trends in Molecular Medicine , only 40 percent of people can naturally convert this beneficial compound at meaningful levels from dietary precursors. Aside from supporting muscle and brain functions and exerting anti-aging effects, urolithin A has been found to improve heart health and protect against heart attack and atherosclerosis.

Other gut bacteria enriched by walnut consumption that benefit the heart are Eubacterium eligens and Lachnospiraceae bacteria. Research suggests that Eubacterium eligens is inversely associated with changes in different measures of blood pressure, so having greater numbers of this bacterium may positively influence blood pressure control. An increase in Lachnospiraceae gut bacteria, on the other hand, is associated with lower blood pressure and lower total blood cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol levels, clearly showing that the heart benefits of walnuts are linked to their positive effects on gut microbiota.

Watch the video below to learn more about how eating walnuts can boost your overall health . No compatible source was found for this media. More related stories :

Eating walnuts and following a low-saturated fat diet can decrease overall heart disease risk: Study .

Exploring the ”gut-heart” connection: Can heart failure be treated by boosting gut microbiota health?

A healthy gut means a healthy body – but how does it work?

Sources include:








Read more at www.naturalnews.com

6 Health benefits of grounding for autoimmune disease

6 Health benefits of grounding for autoimmune disease

( Natural News ) Earthing, or grounding, is a therapeutic technique that offers many benefits. According to some, it can also help protect against harmful free radicals and autoimmune diseases . What is grounding?

Throughout the majority of evolutionary history, humans have slept on the ground, gone shoeless or worn footwear made from animal hides that allowed equilibration with the electrical potential of the earth.

However, these practices have been discarded as times advanced and many modern inventions made life easier. But some of these changes can be viewed as detrimental because people lost the pivotal energy transfer from the ground to the body.

Thankfully, the practice of grounding can help you enjoy certain health benefits.

Grounding or earthing is a therapeutic technique that involves different activities that help “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth. This practice relies on earthing science and grounding physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can offer certain benefits.

There are different types of grounding, but all of them focus on helping you reconnect to the earth.

You can do this through either direct or indirect contact like: Lying on the ground, like in the grass at a park or on the sand at the beach

Walking barefoot in the grass on your lawn or on a sandy beach

Wading in water in a clear lake or swimming in the ocean

Using grounding equipment like grounding socks, grounding bands and patches, grounding sheets or blankets and grounding mats

While direct contact with the earth is optimal, using grounding equipment can help if you live in an area with inclement weather conditions or if you want to practice grounding in clinical settings . (Related: Don’t like to meditate? Try joyful grounding .) Dangers of free radicals

The ground represents a reservoir of free and mobile electrons or negative charges. These charges can help neutralize the positively charged free radicals, or reactive oxygen species (ROS), that can cause cell damage and result in disease and degeneration.

Free radicals like hydrogen peroxide are inherently unstable compounds that are both byproducts of aerobic metabolism and synthesized through different physiochemical and pathological states.

While free radicals can be beneficial, in excess they cause oxidative stress, which is linked to autoimmune disease and other chronic conditions like cancer , diabetes mellitus, ischemic diseases (like coronary artery disease) and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Benefits of grounding

Grounding is a technique that doesn’t require expensive equipment and that offers benefits such as:

Blood sugar regulation

People with autoimmune diseases such as Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis , psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis or ulcerative colitis are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes because of common mechanistic pathways.

Blood sugar dysregulation and insulin resistance are also common predisposing factors in the onset of autoimmune disease. Research has found that practicing grounding over a three-day period can help decrease fasting glucose among people with diabetes who have poor glycemic control.

Endocrine balance

The over-production of inflammation-inciting cellular messengers called pro-inflammatory cytokines are a hallmark of autoimmune rheumatic diseases. They can activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which oversees your body’s stress response.

This can result in pro-inflammatory, autoimmune-exacerbating hormones overtaking anti-inflammatory hormones such as glucocorticoids, which can then cause an inflammatory cascade and tissue destruction.

Practicing grounding can help influence this often dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-thyroid axis.

Blood viscosity

Studies suggest that the majority of autoimmune disorders like Behcet’s syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are all accompanied by a greater risk of experiencing venous thromboembolism (VTE), which are blood clots that form in deep veins.

Experts think that this is due to disturbances in the immune system and the fact that systemic inflammation “modulates thrombotic responses by suppressing fibrinolysis, upregulating procoagulant and downregulating anticoagulant.” These processes favor clot formation and prevent the degradation of blood clots.

But study findings suggest that healthy volunteers who tried grounding for two hours had significantly less aggregation of red blood cells, indicating a substantial reduction in blood clotting potential. The grounded volunteers also possessed greater zeta potential, which is a marker for the ability of red blood cells to repel each other. Decreased immune reactivity Grounding has also been proven to produce measurable changes in immune hyper-responsiveness, including changes in white blood cell counts, concentrations of inflammation-mediating cytokines and other molecules linked to mounting inflammatory responses .Grounding may help mitigate signs of inflammation like pain and swelling. Medical infrared imaging studies have also found that grounding may cause the rapid resolution of inflammation. Autonomic balance Data has also shown that grounding can shift the autonomic nervous system from the sympathetic fight-or-flight to parasympathetic rest-and-digest or breed-and-feed. In one study, volunteers in an earthing condition exhibited immediate deactivation of the former and concomitant activation of the latter.The researchers observed that the participants who were grounded exhibited various parameters, like increased respiratory rate and stabilization of blood oxygenation. These suggested a metabolic healing response that requires enhanced oxygen supply. Enhancing sleep quality and providing pain relief When subjects are grounded during sleep with a conductive mattress pad, researchers recorded significant improvements in diurnal cortisol rhythm, trending toward normalization. This means cortisol, the stress and awakening hormone, reverted to the normal pattern of being high in the morning and low at night.This normalizing effect on the circadian rhythm is important because prolonged stress, a common triggering factor in autoimmune disease, can trigger glucocorticoid receptor resistance. This results in an ongoing inflammatory response.During the experiment, the research team discovered that grounding resulted in better sleep onset latency, or the time it takes to fall asleep at night. The practice also helped reduce sleep disruption and night-time pain.Other studies suggest that grounded subjects exhibit less sleep dysfunction and significant relief from chronic joint and muscle pain compared to others in sham grounding conditions.This is worth noting because people with sleep disturbances are at increased risk for developing an autoimmune disease, and impaired sleep may cause other adverse effects like pain.Chronic pain is common among people with autoimmune diseases and grounding helped alter biomarkers of pain and […]

Read more at www.naturalnews.com

Crossword puzzles beat computer video games in slowing memory loss

A new study by researchers from Columbia University and Duke University published in the journal NEJM Evidence shows that doing crossword puzzles has an advantage over computer video games for memory functioning inolder adults with mild cognitive impairment.

In a randomized, controlled trial, led by D.P. Devanand, MD, professor of psychiatry and neurology at Columbia, with Murali Doraiswamy, MD, professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke, researchers determined that participants (average age 71) trained in doing web-based crossword puzzles demonstrated greater cognitive improvement than those who were trained on cognitive video games.

“This is the first study to document both short-term and longer-term benefits for home-based crossword puzzles training compared to another intervention,” said Dr. Devanand, who oversees brain aging and mental health research at Columbia. “The results are important in light of difficulty in showing improvement with interventions in mild cognitive impairment.”

Crossword puzzles are widely used but have not been studied systematically in mild cognitive impairment, which is associated with high risk for dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

To conduct their study, researchers at Columbia and Duke randomly assigned 107 participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at the two different sites to either crossword puzzles training or cognitive games training with intensive training for 12 weeks followed by booster sessions up to 78 weeks. Both interventions were delivered via a computerized platform with weekly compliance monitoring.

The most striking findings of the trial were: Crossword puzzles were superior to cognitive games on the primary cognitive outcome measure, ADAS-Cog, at both 12 weeks and 78 weeks. Crossword puzzles were superior on FAQ, a measure of daily functioning, at 78 weeks.

Crossword puzzles were superior for participants at a later disease stage but both forms of training were equally effective in an earlier stage.

Brain shrinkage (measured with MRI) was less for crossword puzzles at 78 weeks.

“The benefits were seen not only in cognition but also in daily activities with indications of brain shrinkage on MRI that suggests that the effects are clinically meaningful,” Dr. Devanand said.

The study also highlights the importance of engagement. Based on remote electronic monitoring of computer use, participants at a later stage of impairment may have better engaged with the more familiar crossword puzzles than with computerized cognitive games.

Two strengths of the trial are the 28% participation rate of individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups and the low drop-out rate (15%) for such a lengthy home-based trial. A study limitation was the absence of a control group that did not receive cognitive training.

While these results are highly encouraging, the authors stress the need for replication in a larger controlled trial with an inactive control group.

“The trifecta of improving cognition, function and neuroprotection is the Holy Grail for the field,” said Dr. Doraiswamy. “Further research to scale brain training as a home-based digital therapeutic for delaying Alzheimer’s should be a priority for the field.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by Columbia University Irving Medical Center . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference :

> D. P. Devanand, Terry E. Goldberg, Min Qian, Sara N. Rushia, Joel R. Sneed, Howard F. Andrews, Izael Nino, Julia Phillips, Sierra T. Pence, Alexandra R. Linares, Caroline A. Hellegers, Andrew M. Michael, Nancy A. Kerner, Jeffrey R. Petrella, P. Murali Doraiswamy. Computerized Games versus Crosswords Training in Mild Cognitive Impairment . NEJM Evidence , 2022; DOI: 10.1056/EVIDoa2200121

Cite This Page : MLA



Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “Crossword puzzles beat computer video games in slowing memory loss: Study finds adults with mild cognitive decline assigned puzzles showed less brain shrinkage, better daily functioning.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2022. .

Read more at www.sciencedaily.com

Improve memory as you age by eating more flavonols, study says

Eating more flavonols, antioxidants found in many vegetables, fruits, tea and wine, may slow your rate of memory loss, a new study finds.

The cognitive score of people in the study who ate the most flavonols declined 0.4 units per decade more slowly than those who ate the fewest flavonols. The results held even after adjusting for other factors that can affect memory, such as age, sex and smoking, according to the study recently published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“It’s exciting that our study shows making specific diet choices may lead to a slower rate of cognitive decline,” said study author Dr. Thomas Holland, an instructor in the department of internal medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, in a statement.

“Something as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more tea is an easy way for people to take an active role in maintaining their brain health.”

Flavonols are cytoprotective, meaning they protect cells, including neurons, so it’s plausible there could be a direct impact on cognition, said Dr. David Katz, a specialist in preventive and lifestyle medicine and nutrition who was not involved in the study.

“But they are also a marker of higher intake of fruits and vegetables — which is good for the brain because it is good for every vital organ, and the organism as a whole,” Katz said in an email.

“They may also be a marker of better overall diet quality, or even greater health consciousness. People who are more health conscious may do things to preserve their cognition, or maybe being more health conscious is a by-product of better cognition.”

Plants contain over 5,000 flavonoid compounds, which play roles in producing cell growth, fighting environmental stress and attracting insects for pollination.

Flavonols, a type of flavonoid, have been shown in animal and some human studies to reduce inflammation, a major trigger for chronic disease, and are rich sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals, “highly unstable molecules that are naturally formed when you exercise and when your body converts food into energy,” according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, part of the National Institutes of Health .

One of the most common flavonols, quercetin, has shown promise in reducing the onset of colorectal cancer and other cancers, according to studies . Onions contain the highest levels — lower levels can be found in broccoli, blueberries, cauliflower, curly kale, leeks, spinach and strawberries.

Another common flavonol, kaempferol, appears to inhibit the growth of cancer cells while preserving and protecting normal cells. Good sources of kaempferol are onions, asparagus and berries, but the richest plant sources are spinach, kale and other green leafy vegetables, as well as herbs such as chives, dill and tarragon.

A third major player is myricetin, which has been studied in rodents for blood sugar control and the reduction of tau, a protein that causes the hallmark tangles of Alzheimer’s and other dementia . Spinach and strawberries contain high levels of myricetin, but honey, black currants, grapes and other fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts and tea are also good sources.

The last group of flavonols, isorhamnetin, may protect against cardiovascular and neurovascular disease in addition to anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory benefits. Good sources of isorhamnetin are pears, olive oil, wine and tomato sauce.

You can find a full list of the flavonoid content of various fruits and vegetables here. An older, dementia-free population

The new study asked 961 people with an average age of 81 and no signs of dementia to fill out a food questionnaire each year for seven years. In addition, the participants underwent annual cognitive and memory tests and were quizzed on their time spent being physically and mentally active.

People were divided into groups based on their daily intake of flavonols. The lowest intake was about 5 milligrams a day; the highest 15 milligrams a day — equal to about a cup of dark leafy greens, the study noted. (For comparison, the average flavonol intake in US adults is about 16 to 20 milligrams per day, according to the study.)

The study looked at the impact of the four major flavonols — kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin and isorhamnetin — on the rate of cognitive decline over the seven years.

The greatest impact was found with kaempferol: People who ate the highest amounts of foods with kaempferol showed a 0.4 units per decade slower rate of cognitive decline compared with those who ate the fewest, according to the study.

Myricetin was next: People who ate the most foods with myricetin had a 0.3 units per decade slower rate of cognitive decline compared with the lowest consuming group. People who ate the most foods with quercetin showed a 0.2 units per decade slower rate of cognitive decline.

Dietary isorhamnetin had no impact, the study found.

Despite the apparent positives, studies on the impact of flavonols on human health have been inconclusive -— mainly because many are observational and cannot show a direct cause and effect. That applies to the Neurology study as well, according to its authors.

A few randomized controlled trials — the scientific gold standard — have shown benefits associated with flavonols for controlling blood sugar in type 2 diabetes and improving cardiovascular health, according to the Linus Pauling Institute , home to the Micronutrient Information Center , an online database for nutrition information.

It’s not known whether these benefits are long term, the institute said, and no clear impact has been shown for cancer prevention or cognitive protection.

“There are other bioactives that may contribute to the observed outcomes,” Katz said. “Supplemental studies are required to isolate flavonoid effects fully.”

There’s also a downside to assuming a health impact without the necessary studies to back it up, said Dr. Christopher Gardner, a research professor of medicine and director of the Nutrition Studies Research Group at Stanford University.

“You can count on Americans wanting the benefits of plants but not wanting to eat them,” he said in an email.”(What) if people read the headline and rush out and buy bottled (extracted) flavonols instead of eating whole plant foods, and […]

Read more at www.henryherald.com

Mind Lab PRO Reviews 2023 Update: Is Mind Lab Pro Nootropic Brain Booster Safe

Mind Lab PRO Reviews 2023 Update: Is Mind Lab Pro Nootropic Brain Booster Safe

Mind Lab PRO

India is at a crossroads in terms of energy consumption and renewable forms of energy. India’s priorities should be climate change adaptation measures, not mitigation.

Sanjay Nirupam reminisces about the week he was part of Rahul Gandhi’s ambitious yatra, while giving us blow-by-blow account of the journey he took on foot with hundreds of party members and supporters

Though the new Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge is a veteran organisation man, whether the Gandhis will give him a carte blanche or not is a moot question

It takes more than making a rape survivor’s mother, an anganwadi worker, a Muslim women’s rights activist and a Dalit beauty pageant winner party candidates to make a strong statement vis a vis women representation, writes Rakhi Bose

A non-Gandhi as its chief has already induced a new sense of collective functioning in the Congress and for the first time in two decades, candidates’ names are being finalised without Sonia Gandhi being the last court of appeal

Mind Lab Pro is a nootropic pill containing relatively high concentrations of eleven distinct nootropic substances. It promises to help the following: Focus


Mood’s Calmness







To clarify, these possible advantages do not originate from a single component. Some are the outcome of the interaction of components, while others are secondary effects of fundamental factors. Components such as L-theanine lower to lower stress, which may increase motivation, mood, and focus, among other things.

Mind Lab Pro may be just as significant in the nootropic business for what it does not include as for what it does. It does not include: Gluten



Synthetic additives


It is non-irradiated and vegan-friendly. Additionally, the firm uses capsules produced from prebiotic fiber rather than cellulose or gelatin. Ingredients

To understand how the Mind Lab Pro components function, we will examine the study on each one. Vitamins B: Several types of research indicate that B vitamins may prevent mental deterioration. Other research, however, disputes this. Vitamins B are proven to benefit the body in a variety of ways, including improving energy levels. Mind Lab Pro contains B6 (2.5mg), B9 (100mcg), and B12 vitamins (7.5mcg).

Citicoline (250mg): Citicoline is a precursor for acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter for neuroplasticity (the brain’s rewiring capacity). A higher level of acetylcholine facilitates the acquisition of new skills and knowledge.

Bacopa (150mg): This herb is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory. More research is required to validate bacopa’s nootropic potential. However, a single study demonstrates cognitive enhancements compared to placebo.

Lion’s mane (500mg): Some health professionals swear by lion’s mane, but others disregard it. A single research succinctly summarises the rather disputed nature of lion’s mane by demonstrating that it may boost the pace of neuronal development and expansion in the brain but lacks the neuroprotective characteristics that others believe it has. The chemical compound phosphatidylserine (100mg) Some data suggest that phosphatidylserine may prevent or delay the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease. In one research of Alzheimer’s patients, cognitive gains were seen across the board, although they were most pronounced in the group with the least severe symptoms. NALT (175mg): NALT is abbreviated as N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine. L-tyrosine, as a precursor for dopamine and norepinephrine, seems to reduce the deleterious effects of stress on cognition and mood. Its presence in the brain directly affects the amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine by supplying the brain with materials to produce more. This provides it the ability to enhance users’ mood and lucidity. L-Theanine (100mg): Suntheanine is a brand of theanine used by Mind Lab Pro. Typically, theanine is obtained from tea leaves. This medication creates a more pure form of theanine at a dosage linked with alpha wave activation, resulting in a relaxed yet alert brain state. Theanine’s calming benefits are often used to counteract the jittery effects of coffee, but Mind Lab Pro’s lack of stimulants results in a more deep sense of calm. Rhodiola Rosea (50mg): Rhodiola Rosea is supported by an abundance of clinical studies. Most studies suggest that it can battle weariness, but at least 36 studies demonstrate that it can also increase memory and learning. Pine bark extract from the maritime region (75mg): The precise mechanism of action of maritime bark extract is unclear. However, research has shown that it enhances cognitive performance. More study is required to determine its precise mechanism of action, but based on its low side effect profile, it looks to be a safe and effective addition. How do nootropics work? Nootropics are technically any chemical that improves brain function. Initially, the phrase referred mostly to prescription medications for ADHD and other cognitive issues. Recently, the wellness sector has appropriated the phrase to refer to any dietary supplement whose contents may increase cognitive function, improve memory, and even manage mood and sleep. Commonly, corporations depend on well-tested, effective and natural vitamins, minerals, and botanicals to accomplish these objectives. Enough of these tend to have a good effect on the majority of users. Why Should Individuals Take Nootropics? There is a growing interest in “smart medications” or nootropics, which are natural or manufactured chemicals that increase brain function. Mind Lab Pro is a nootropic and nutritional supplement composed of natural components, herbs, and amino acids designed to eliminate lethargy, enhance alertness, and enhance memory, concentration, and creativity.They are considered dietary supplements. Nootropics are popular among students, athletes, business owners, and anybody else seeking a competitive advantage.Mind Lab Pro is a desirable product due to a growing worry about the onset of degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and the availability of prophylactic measures to halt cognitive loss. Numerous nootropics include chemicals that may prevent brain cell degeneration and restore cognitive decline caused by age, sleep deprivation, chronic stress, and other factors. Benefits Mind Lab Pro is a nootropic that employs a variety of chemicals to improve mood, eliminate brain fog, enhance memory and focus, and enhance cognitive functioning. Mind Lab Pro is exclusively available […]

Read more at www.outlookindia.com

Brain Imaging Shows How Young Kids Learn Quicker Than Grownups

Brain Imaging Shows How Young Kids Learn Quicker Than Grownups

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Ever wonder why kids seem to pick up new knowledge and skills faster than adults?

A new study attributes the kids’ mental prowess to differences in a brain messenger called GABA.

“Our results show that children of elementary school age can learn more items within a given period of time than adults, making learning more efficient in children,” said Takeo Watanabe , a researcher and professor at Brown University.

Children have a rapid boost of GABA, an amino acid, during visual training, according to study results reported Nov. 15 in the journal Current Biology . That GABA boost lasts after training ends.

In adults, concentrations of GABA stayed constant.

“It is often assumed that children learn more efficiently than adults, although the scientific support for this assumption has, at best, been weak, and, if it is true, the neuronal mechanisms responsible for more efficient learning in children are unclear,” Watanabe said in a journal news release.

To study this issue, researchers used behavioral and state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques on 13 elementary school-age kids and 14 adults. They found that visual learning triggered an increase of GABA in children’s visual cortex. This is an area of the brain that processes visual information.

This finding predicts that training on new items rapidly increases the concentration of GABA in children, allowing the learning to be rapidly stabilized.

Researchers did additional experiments to back this up.

“In subsequent behavioral experiments, we found that children indeed stabilized new learning much more rapidly than adults, which agrees with the common belief that children outperform adults in their learning abilities,” said researcher Sebastian Frank , now at the University of Regensburg, Germany. “Our results therefore point to GABA as a key player in making learning efficient in children.”

These findings should encourage teachers and parents to give children many opportunities to acquire new skills, whether that’s mastering math facts or learning to swim, researchers said.

The results imply that even if kids lack cognitive control or attention, they have highly efficient processing in this domain.

“Although children’s brains are not yet fully matured and many of their behavioral and cognitive functions are not as efficient as in adults, children are not, in general, outperformed in their abilities by adults,” Watanabe said. “On the contrary, children are, at least in some domains such as visual learning, superior in their abilities to adults.”

Future research should examine differences in maturation rates between brain regions and functions, the authors said. More research could also include studying GABA responses in other types of learning, such as reading and writing.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on GABA .

SOURCE: Current Biology , news release, Nov. 15, 2022

Read more at www.channel3000.com

How vitamin D promotes oxidative balance, boosts gut health and fights inflammation

How vitamin D promotes oxidative balance, boosts gut health and fights inflammation

( Natural News ) The beneficial biological actions of vitamin D support just about every physiological system in your body – brain health, cognitive function and nervous system health, gut health and immunity, healthy digestive system, heart health and cardiovascular function, hair and skin health, skeletal health, bone metabolism and others.

But some people are at risk of vitamin D deficiency .

These include dark-skinned people who have reduced ability to absorb ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun; people who lack sun exposure (people who live in areas of high pollution, work night shifts or are homebound); infants who have not been breastfed; older adults whose skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D decreases with age; those with health conditions that limit fat absorption; people with high levels of body fat; or people who are vegan and avoid foods that are rich in vitamin D.

Fortunately, they can use vitamin D supplements to help address that issue. Vitamin D supplements are available in capsules, sprays, chewables and drops.

Studies have identified key areas where vitamin D supplements can be of help . They are: Oxidative balance

A study in Pharmacological Research highlighted the positive effect of vitamin D supplementation on reducing oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation .

Lipid peroxidation is generally described as a process under which oxidants, such as free radicals, attack lipids, especially “good fats” or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that regulate hormones, transmit nerve impulses, cushion organs and store energy in the form of body fat.

In a new umbrella meta-analysis of Pharmacological Research , scientists specifically outline supplementation with vitamin D as a valid and effective solution for both combating oxidative stress and supporting pro-inflammatory actions .

A study published in Cureus demonstrated vitamin D’s ability to promote oxidative balance , also known as homeostasis. Thiol/disulfide (T/DS) homeostasis represents a promising new approach to evaluate oxidative stress. Gut microbiota

Science says immunity begins in your gut and is influenced by the thousands of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes (collectively known as your gut microbiome) that live in it.

Some bacteria are associated with better health outcomes, others with poorer consequences.

In the gut microbiome, the “good bacteria” do more than just promote healthy digestion . They help keep your “bad bacteria” in check and they multiply so often that the unhealthy kind doesn’t have space to grow.

Equilibrium is what you call having a healthy balance in your gut.

A study published in Scientific Reports highlighted the positive impact of vitamin D supplementation on the richness and diversity of gut microbiota .

A separate study has also found that vitamin D supplementation increased the abundance of health-promoting bacteroidetes that provide protection from pathogens and metabolize or break down polysaccharides (starch, cellulose and glycogen) and oligosaccharides (sucrose, lactose and maltose), supplying nutrients to the host and other microbial residents of the gut.

It also decreased the abundance of bad gut microbes called firmicutes. Inflammatory response

Experts have consistently linked low levels of vitamin D to an increased risk of inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis and sepsis.

A study published in Biomolecules reported that recent epidemiological evidence has indicated a significant association between “vitamin D deficiency and an increased incidence or aggravation of infectious diseases and inflammatory autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis.” (Related: Vitamin D supplementation helps sufferers of chronic hives .)

Vitamin D supplementation has been used to protect against or treat some inflammatory diseases, but its effectiveness remains unclear .

Researchers recommend further studies to “determine the mechanisms of vitamin D in each disease to establish proper treatment strategies for the future.” Important things you should know before taking vitamin D supplements

A study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism has found that “Australians are spending massive amounts of money on vitamin D supplements, a portion of which may potentially be unnecessary .”

If you have a vitamin D deficiency, consult a natural health practitioner to learn the appropriate dose of vitamin D you need to take daily to address your specific health needs. (Related: Vitamin D supplementation—how will it help me improve my health? )

If you are not vitamin D deficient and consume more than you need, it is possible to reach toxic levels .

High levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia) can lead to calcium deposits in soft tissues, such as your heart and lungs; confusion and disorientation; harm to your kidneys (create kidney stones); or nausea, vomiting, constipation, poor appetite, weakness and weight loss.

Visit SupplementsReport.com for more stories like this.

Watch this video about vitamin D supplements and immunity . No compatible source was found for this media. More related stories: Here’s the strongest proof yet that vitamin D stops COVID in its tracks . Sources: MedicalNewsToday.com ScienceDirect.com 1 VeryWellHealth.com MindBodyGreen.com ScienceDirect.com 2 NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 1 NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 2 NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 3

Read more at www.naturalnews.com

These are the 4 best foods for your brain, and 4 you should avoid

These are the 4 best foods for your brain, and 4 you should avoid

Getty Images That large latte with an extra shot that’s supposed to power up your morning along with the midday sugar rush that you depend on to beat the afternoon slump could actually hinder learning and memory and impair cognitive function .

The brain is a complicated organ and different foods have different impacts, explains Mary Ann Lila, director of the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. Some foods—hello, colorful vegetables, healthy fats and proteins —can actually build brain tissue and reduce inflammation while others have the opposite effect. 4 best foods for brain health

1. Blueberries
Add a few handfuls of berries to a salad or your morning smoothie for a big brain boost. Recent research found that as little as 2.5 cups of the flavonoid-rich berries per day for six months tamped down inflammation and significantly improved the speed that the brain could process information. It’s essential to eat blueberries daily to get the benefits.

“[Flavonoids] improve brain tissue by depressing inflammation and not allowing oxidative stress to impair brain functioning,” It has to be a regular input of flavonoids, says Lila. “You have to eat a serving a day; you can’t just load up on weekends.”

2. Salmon
Wild caught salmon and other fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which a 2022 study linked to greater brain volumes, improved abstract reasoning and logical thinking; omega-3s also slow cognitive decline and decrease the risk of developing dementia.

Three pieces of sushi contains around three ounces of salmon—a sufficient amount to get those essential fatty acids and boost brain health, according to Nyree Dardarian, director of the Center for Nutrition and Performance and professor at Drexel University.

3. Eggs
Whether you prefer them scrambled, poached, or fried, eggs are chock-full of nutrients like choline and lutein that support brain function. Eating one egg per week is associated with slower rates of cognitive decline.

A morning caffeine jolt can actually provide a brain boost, too.“[Coffee] isn’t building brain cells or providing the fuel for the brain neurotransmission but it does seem to help people with neurological diseases,” Lila explains. “Coffee is helping you to be more alert and helping you concentrate.” show that the popular beverage could help slow cognitive decline and improved planning and decision-making abilities. But drinking too much coffee could have the opposite effect. Drinking more than six cups of coffee per day was to a 53% increase in the risk of dementia.

Items on the drive-thru menu tend to be high in fat, salt and sugar and lacking in other important nutrients.“Limit your drive thru visits to once a week or less,” says Dardarian. “Eating fast food too often has long-term repercussions on cognitive health.” presented at the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference showed that adults who got at least 20% of their calories from highly processed foods experienced 25% faster decline in their abilities to plan and execute tasks. In those under 30, eating fast food more than three times a week was to higher rates of mental distress.

Cookies, cakes, pies and other oh-so-delicious baked goods are high in trans fats (which can also appear on food labels as partially hydrogenated oils). In addition to increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, trans fats also take a toll on the brain.Adults over age 60 with the highest levels of in their blood were 50% more likely to develop any form of dementia and 39% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Ditch the diet soda. Aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in countless foods and beverages, inhibits essential brain functions, including the release of dopamine and serotonin, and it’s been with an increased risk of learning problems, irritability, and other neurobehavioral health issues.

Chronic can reduce brain volumes and lead to persistent issues with learning and memory. The latest research found that even moderate alcohol consumption takes a toll on the brain: In a of 36,000 adults, increasing intake from half a beer a day to a full pint of beer had the same impact on the brain as aging two years. You don’t have to give up happy hour but Lila advocates for moderation.

Read more at news.yahoo.com

A dietitian shares 6 snacks that’ll help you keep your brain sharp

A dietitian shares 6 snacks that’ll help you keep your brain sharp

What is a brain-healthy lifestyle? How to protect, improve cognition


You may already know that your eating habits can help or hinder your risk of developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes, but you may not know about the ways that nutrition can impact brain health . In fact, numerous studies point to the fact that antioxidant-and-nutrient-rich whole foods play important roles in protecting your cognitive functions — abilities to think, learn, and remember .

Meanwhile, an unhealthy diet filled with heavily processed foods — foods with refined grains and excess added sugar or sodium — may speed up brain aging. Unfortunately, many common snacks — from pretzels to chips to bars — fall in this camp, so swapping your snack for healthier fare is one way to stay sharp as you age. Here are some of the top scientifically backed snack foods to add to your menu. Whole Grain Crackers

Assorted crackers and Triscuits.Getty Images Scientists are studying how diet and nutrition can improve brain health, and the MIND Die t has delivered impressive results. The MIND Diet is a mash-up of the Mediterranean Diet and DASH diets, and there’s evidence that it may reduce dementia risk and preserve cognitive function as you age. The MIND diet includes three or more servings of whole grains daily because they play a role in protecting your brain. That’s what makes whole grain crackers are a great snack option.

When choosing whole grain crackers, look at the ingredient list to make sure that a whole grain (such as whole wheat or brown rice) is the first ingredient. You can tell that a packaged food — like crackers — is less processed if the other ingredients are foods you could shop for. For instance, Triscuits have just three ingredients: whole grain wheat, canola oil, and salt. Mary’s Gone Crackers is another solid option; the first two ingredients are brown rice and quinoa.

On the MIND Diet, cheese is limited to one serving per week, so pair your crackers with brain-healthy alternatives, such as hummus or guac. Popcorn

A movie at home pairs great with a bowl of popcorn.Vesna Andjic / Getty Images Yup, popcorn is a whole grain and, therefore, a top snack for keeping your brain sharp. In one study that followed nearly 140,000 adults for six years, those above 80 who ate the fewest whole grains had the highest risk of memory loss.

Additionally, another study involving adults 50 and older found that those eating the most whole grains (about seven servings per day) were more likely to score higher on a measure of successful aging — including preservation of cognitive function — when compared to those eating the least whole grains. Whole grains were also associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. This reduction in disease risk is also likely to be a boon for brain health.

While popcorn itself is a nutritious snack, what you add to it can deter from its healthfulness, so lay low on butter and sweeteners. I love this lightly sweetened Maple Kettle Corn from Quinn, which satisfies salty-sweet cravings with a mere 2 grams of added sugar per serving. Another favorite is Skinny Pop , which comes in both microwavable and ready-to-munch options. If you’d rather make your own microwavable popcorn, try silicon popper. Pomegranate juice

Pure pomegranate juice.Liudmyla Yaremenko / Getty Images Most people need from 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit per day, yet few people meet these recommendations. To help on that front, consider including pomegranate juice in your snack pack. Pomegranate juice can count toward one fruit serving — the others should come from another form of fruit, such as fresh fruit — and it may have a powerful payoff.

This ruby red drink contains phytonutrients that lower inflammation and protect your cells from damage that can promote brain aging. One small study among people with mild memory complaints found that drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily for a month was associated with improved memory and increased neuronal activity in the brain. A year-long follow-up study demonstrated that pomegranate juice drinkers retained the ability to learn visual information. In contrast, those drinking a pomegranate juice concoction stripped of polyphenol nutrients experienced a significant decline in that aspect of learning.

To make pomegranate juice a balanced snack, drink it with some nuts or use it as the liquid base in a fruit and veggie protein smoothie made with Greek yogurt, silken tofu, or another protein you love. When shopping, choose pomegranate juice with no added sugar, such as this one from POM Wonderful . Walnuts

Walnuts are both great for brain health and look like it too.Getty Images Among the nuts, walnuts may be the best for brain performance. In a review involving 22 studies and more than 47,000 people, researchers noted that nuts were beneficial among people at a higher risk for cognitive decline. However, among all nuts studied, walnuts were most consistently linked with better cognitive health. Another study found that women who consumed at least two servings of walnuts per week during their late 50s and early 60s were more likely to age healthfully — defined as having no reported memory impairment, among other things — compared to those who skipped this practice.

Some of the ways that diet can improve brain functioning involve improving blood flow, lowering inflammation, and protecting against oxidative stress — the phenomenon that occurs when you have more free radicals than antioxidants. This imbalance can result in cellular damage that raises your risk of cognitive impairment and other chronic health issues. That’s why walnuts may be so beneficial. Walnuts are the nut with the highest omega-3 ALA, which protects against inflammation, and they’re also rich in the antioxidants that defend against oxidative stress.

Plain walnuts make a delicious snack, but you can also season them at home or buy them in fun flavors, such as these Maple-flavored Crazy Go Nuts , which have a modest 5 grams of […]

Read more at www.today.com

Scientists get clearer picture of developing teen brain

In a paper published in Progress in Neurobiology , University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine neuroscientists described compelling new evidence of a critical neuroplasticity period in the frontal brain region during adolescence, a time when major mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia emerge and risk-taking behavior peaks.

Using more than double the resolution of typical magnetic resonance imaging, researchers found age-related changes in the relative balance of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters in the prefrontal cortex—an area of the brain responsible for cognition, decision making, short-term memory and moderating social behavior. The study extends scientists’ understanding of the critical neuroplasticity during infancy by providing first-ever evidence of plasticity in the frontal cortex in adolescence.

“The prefrontal cortex is typically described as the ‘conductor of the brain,’” said senior author Beatriz Luna, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at Pitt. “Instead of playing one specific instrument, it coordinates among multiple instruments and regions of the brain to determine complex function such as cognition or controlling emotions.”

“This paper provides biological evidence for what we have all suspected regarding adolescent behavior,” Luna added. “Adolescence is the time when cognition becomes specialized in supporting the transition to adulthood and determining lifetime brain development trajectories, which can be derailed such as in mental illness.”

Adolescence is a unique part of development that has puzzled researchers and parents alike for generations. This period of growth and development, characterized by heightened sensation-seeking, which is adaptive to gain new experiences needed to specialize the brain in adulthood, starts with the onset of puberty and generally levels out by the time individuals reach 18 years of age or slightly older.

Critical period brain plasticity is triggered by greater excitatory function in relation to inhibitory function, which signals that neural systems must reorganize to regain balance.

As part of the study, scientists looked at the levels of two brain chemicals—glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA—in the frontal cortex. Glutamate and GABA are both abundant in the brain. Neurons use glutamate to send activation, or excitatory, signals across their sprouts, while GABA is used to dampen them and inhibit brain activation. This balance between excitation and inhibition is crucial for the brain and what brain development aims to reach.

Unlike previous studies that used less sensitive brain-imaging techniques and looked only at the levels of either glutamate or GABA, the study by Luna and her group investigates the balance between these two neurotransmitters by measuring their levels with a higher degree of precision.

Using high-resolution live brain imaging on 144 adolescent and adult participants, researchers found that the balance between excitatory glutamate and inhibitory GABA increased into adulthood. That increase was primarily due to significant decreases in glutamate that approximated GABA levels with age.

Together, the findings illuminate critical period plasticity in the frontal cortex of the brain and underscore that, during adolescence, dynamic sculpting of the brain region that supports cognition and cognitive control has important implications for how we understand biological mechanisms of heightened sensation seeking and other adaptive behaviors that support adult brain trajectories. Expanding the understanding of chemical changes in the brain and defining normative biological mechanisms of brain plasticity is key to informing the development of therapies targeting mental health disorders.

“It’s important to study foundational changes in the brain that drive the transition from adolescence to adulthood,” said lead author Maria Perica, a research trainee in clinical psychology at Pitt. “Incomplete knowledge about normative brain development limits our understanding of what drives some of the changes we see clinically.”

Additional authors of this study are Finnegan Calabro, Ph.D., Bart Larsen, Ph.D., Will Foran, Ph.D., Victor Yushmanov, Ph.D., and Chan-Hong Moon, Ph.D., all from Pitt; Hoby Hetherington, Ph.D., of the University of Missouri; and Brenden Tervo-Clemmens, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant MH067924) and the Staunton Farm Foundation.

Development of frontal GABA and glutamate supports excitation/inhibition balance from adolescence into adulthood

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Read more at www.eurekalert.org