Rehmannia has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, but modern research on its potential benefits is relatively scarce. It has shown promise for anemia and kidney function; what other benefits might it have? Read on to find out. What is Rehmannia?
Rehmannia glutinosa is a flowering plant found in central China . It’s sometimes called Chinese foxglove because it looks somewhat like a foxglove flower, though the two aren’t actually related [ 1 ].
The roots of this plant have been used in Traditional Chinese and Korean Medicine for over 2,000 years [ 2 , 3 ].
According to the traditional outlook, the harmony of opposite, but complementary, forces – yin and yang – underlies good health. Rehmannia is thought to help with yin energy imbalances. It is traditionally used to fight bacterial infections, as a tonic, and for a variety of conditions associated with inflammation, like asthma and arthritis [ 4 , 5 , 1 ].
Rehmannia is also often combined with other herbs to remedy “yin deficiency”. For example, it’s one of the six ingredients in a popular Chinese herbal product called Rehmannia Six Formula and one of the seven ingredients in the traditional kidney-nourishing herbal formulation Yukmi-jihang-tang. It is also included in widely-used formulations, such as Liuwei Dihuang Pills [ 6 , 3 , 7 ]. Snapshot
May improve anemia by supporting blood cell production
May support kidney function
Early evidence of mood, blood sugar, and bone support
Unclear which active components are responsible for the benefits
Researched and often used in multi-herb formulations
Weak or low-quality evidence for many benefits
Side effects largely unknown
Although the above-ground parts are sometimes used, herbal remedies are much more often prepared from the orange roots of this plant [ 8 , 9 ].
Depending on how the roots are prepared, they are called [ 10 ]: Xian-Di-Huang (for the fresh root)
Sheng-Di-Huang (for baked roots)
Shu-Di-Huang (for steamed roots) in Chinese
Over 70 active compounds have been found in Rehmannia , including amino acids , simple and complex sugars , vitamins , and plant-specific compounds. Their composition in extracts mostly varies according to the plant species and the root preparation method [ 5 , 9 ].
One of the most well-known plant-specific compounds in Rehmannia is called catalpol , which accounts for 0.3-0.5% of the dried root. Catalpol is an iridoid glycoside, a group of molecules plants create to defend against predators. They also have a range of health effects in humans [ 1 , 11, 12 ].
Catalpol is likely responsible for the plant’s sugar-lowering, inflammation-fighting, and immune-balancing effects in cells and animals. Rehmannia also contains rehmapicrogenin, a strong anti-inflammatory. This compound that helps deactivate one of the most important inflammation-triggering factors in cells ( NF-κB ) [ 13 , 14 ]. Mechanism of Effect
According to some researchers, Rehmannia may improve stress resilience and mood by enhancing the body’s antioxidant defense [ 15 ].
Certain complex sugars in Rehmannia may target the hippocampus, a part of the brain that plays an important role in memory and mood. Catalpol might also help brain cells resist damage. As a result, the plant’s compounds are currently being investigated for their effect on dementia and anxiety [ 16 , 17 , 11 ].
Rehmannia also affects energy use and is under investigation in people with diabetes and insulin resistance . Sugar extracts of this plant increased insulin production in mice and catalpol lowered glucose levels in diabetic rats. Catalpol also increases the secretion of endorphins from the adrenal gland, which helps transport glucose from the blood into the muscles [ 18 , 19 , 20 , 21 ].Traditional practitioners claim that Rehmannia can reverse anemia, and some evidence suggests that it may protect the parts of the bone marrow that make red blood cells . Nourishing the blood is one of its main traditional indications, while anemia is considered to be a sign of yin deficiency. As such, early sickle-cell anemia clinical trials are in progress with a compound isolated from the steamed roots, but the results aren’t in yet [ 22 , 23 ].In cell studies, Rehmannia helped alleviate inflammation by sponging up free radicals – highly reactive compounds that can damage cells – as well as by causing immune cells to secrete fewer inflammatory signaling molecules. Importantly, it also blocked the expression of inflammatory genes in these cell studies. Reducing inflammation is beneficial in many conditions, but researchers are currently looking at its application in bone and kidney health [ 14 , 24 , 25 , 26 , 27 , 28 ].What’s more, this herb caused kidney cells to express fewer receptors that drive high blood pressure. According to some researchers, if this effect translates to the human body, it could make it useful for protecting the kidneys that are already strained due to other diseases, like diabetes. Dried and steamed roots reduce renin in animals, thereby lowering blood pressure and reducing kidney damage [ 28 , 29 ]. Potential Benefits Rehmannia supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use and generally lack solid clinical research. Regulations set manufacturing standards for them but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before supplementing. 1) Anemia Aplastic anemia is a rare disease in which the body stops making enough blood cells due to bone marrow damage. In a clinical study of 34 people with this disease, Rehmannia extract added to standard treatment sped up symptom remission better than standard treatment alone [ 30 ].A combination of traditional medicines, including Rehmannia , had promising effects in another trial of 64 people with the same type of anemia. An integrative medicine approach could protect the bone marrow and red blood cells and reduce inflammation. As a result, 12 participants had blood markers comparable to healthy people [ 23 ]. Rehmannia and its extracts, alone and in combination with other supplements, also improved anemia in […]
Depression is one of the most common mood disorders out there. While a number of effective, safe, and medically-approved treatments for it currently exist, many of these involve the use of pharmaceutical drugs that can sometimes have unwanted side-effects. Because of this, some people are reluctant to use a medication-based approach, and instead choose to look for other, non-drug-based forms of treatment. In this post, we’ll review some of these “complementary” approaches, and what the science currently says about them. Do any of these actually work? Read on to learn more!
Disclaimer: This post is not a recommendation or endorsement for any particular type of mental health treatment. The only way to be sure you get effective treatment is to discuss your options with your personal doctor — and none of the complementary approaches described below should ever be used to replace what your doctor has prescribed or recommended. We have written this post for informational purposes only, and its goal is simply to inform our readers about the science behind some complementary treatment strategies, and what we know about how they might work. Introduction To Depression And How It Is Treat ed
Many of the most common treatments for a person diagnosed with clinical depression ( major depressive disorder , or MDD) involve the use of prescription medications (such as SSRIs) to alleviate or manage the symptoms.
While these medications can be highly effective in many cases, it is also unfortunately the case that many of these pharmaceutical drugs can potentially cause a number of unwanted side-effects in people who take them.
For this reason, some people are reluctant to rely on pharmaceutical treatments, and prefer to try non-chemical treatments instead.
In this post, we’ll review some of the many “non-pharmaceutical” approaches to mental health treatment — such as psychotherapy — as well as discuss what the science currently says about a number of lifestyle and dietary factors that may also have effects on a person’s mood.
We’ll also review a number of supplements and other compounds with at least some suggestive evidence of having effects on mood, although these findings are still early and are generally not yet strong enough to draw solid conclusions from.
However, before we begin we want to stress that this post is not an endorsement for- or against any particular mode of treatment! Nor are the strategies outlined in this post intended to be used as a replacement for conventional medical care in any way.
If you are ever diagnosed with a mental health condition of any kind, the only way to decide what the best treatment for your specific case might be is to discuss it with your doctor. Only a fully-qualified medical professional fully understands all the different advantages and drawbacks associated with the many different possible modes of treatment — and they will work with you to come up with the safest and most effective approach for your individual needs.
With that in mind, in the rest of this post we’ll discuss some of the many non-drug-based treatments for depression and other mood disorders, and what science currently says about them. Although most of these only have weak or insufficient evidence to support them, many of them have early studies that suggest that they could have some potential when used to complement other, more conventional forms of treatment. Nonetheless, all of these preliminary findings will still have to be extensively followed up on by future research to confirm their efficacy, safety, and underlying mechanisms.
Before we get into some of the “alternative” or “complementary” strategies for potentially improving mood, it’s important to be aware of what some of the more typical treatment approaches for clinical depression are, and how they work.
The approaches below are some of the ones that you might be likely to encounter if you were to book an appointment with a traditional qualified psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional.
Many of these treatment modalities have been used for a long time, and have been extremely well-studied. Therefore, these approaches are widely-used by doctors due to their having a lot of evidence to support them. 1) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
One of the most common forms of therapy used by mental health professionals is cognitive-behavioral therapy — also known as “CBT”. This highly “evidence-based” approach to therapy is one of the most widely-used for preventing and reducing depression (as well as many other mental health conditions) [ 1 ].
The main idea behind the use of CBT in depression is to help patients change their patterns of thinking and make behavioral changes to improve coping and reduce distress [ 2 ].
CBT has been reported to be effective for both acute depressive episodes, as well as long-term prevention [ 1 ].
According to various studies (RCTs), CBT reportedly reduced depression symptoms in 177 seasonal affective disorder patients, as well as 87 patients with postpartum depression [ 3 , 4 ].
One specific type of CBT, called “acceptance and commitment therapy” (“ACT”), has been reported to decrease symptoms in cases of mild-to-moderate depression. It has also been claimed to help reduce overall severity of depression cases, as well as the occurrence of suicidal thoughts (“suicidal ideation”) [ 5 , 6 ].
According to some reports, CBT may help reduce the negative perceptions of emotions [ 7 ].
Some early neurobiological evidence suggests that CBT may work by reducing the activity in parts of the brain that are involved in emotional processing (such as the amygdala and hippocampus) as well as cognitive processing (such as the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex) [ 8 ].
CBT is traditionally delivered face-to-face by therapists, but is also sometimes delivered “digitally” over the internet, such as through a mobile phone or personal computer [ 9 , 10 ]. 2) Psychodynamic Therapy
“Psychodynamic” therapy is probably the therapy you most associate with mental health treatment. It focuses on conscious and subconscious feelings from past experiences, and how they affect the patient.
The effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy for depression treatment is generally well-supported. In some cases, […]
Red light therapy uses certain wavelengths of light through the skin, with the goal of improving skin quality, inflammation, and even mental health with very few side effects. Does it work? Read on to learn more. What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy shines red light wavelengths (620-750 nm) through human skin to elicit certain effects in the underlying tissue. It usually uses a whole panel of red light or an LED panel.
Treatment sessions tend to be short, lasting only seconds to minutes in duration, and are usually conducted every other day for weeks to months.
Surprisingly, unlike many other treatments used to address similar conditions, there are virtually no reported side effects. Mechanisms
Most of red light’s effects are through the cells’ mitochondria absorbing light. In cell studies, the cytochrome c oxidase in the mitochondria absorbs red light, which causes it to release nitric oxide, increase ATP, and decrease oxidative stress [ 1 ].
According to some researchers, this can then cause a chain reaction in the cells and affect responses such as cell formation, movement, death, and inflammation. However, its effects depend on the type of cell and its status [ 1 ].
This increased ATP (energy) production is a possible cause of light therapy’s positive effects on muscle recovery and physical performance [ 2 ]. Potential Health Benefits
While there are FDA-approved red light devices, these are broadly classified as class 2 devices; that is, while there is evidence to support their use in some health conditions (which we’ll discuss in this section), they are currently not sufficiently regulated to guarantee the effectiveness or safety of any particular device.
If you are interested in using red light therapy, we recommend talking to your doctor to choose the right device and determine whether this strategy is right for you. 1) Skin Quality
In a study of 31 subjects, a combination of red and infrared LED light therapy helped improve skin conditions. They had less sun -induced aging and wrinkles [ 3 ].
In a DB-RCT of 52 female patients, 12 weeks of daily treatment with red light therapy significantly improved eye wrinkles [ 4 ].
A similar study showed that LED therapy is effective against sunspots in middle-aged participants [ 5 ].
In a single-blinded RCT, red light was superior to infrared light in treating acne [ 6 ].
The addition of red light to blue light also improved acne symptoms significantly compared to blue light alone and benzoyl peroxide in an RCT of 107 acne patients [ 7 ].
Red light therapy also significantly improved skin complexion, roughness, and collagen density in an RCT of 136 participants [ 8 ].
However, in human cells, several characteristics associated with skin scarring increased with red light like reactive oxygen species and collagen formation inhibition [ 9 ]. 2) Oral Mucositis
A common side effect of chemotherapy is oral mucositis, which is when inflammation breaks down the lining of the mouth. In a systematic review of 11 RCTs, both red and infrared light therapy significantly reduced the incidence and severity of oral mucositis [ 10 ]. 3) Bipolar Disorder
A review of multiple types of light therapy found red light therapy improved depressive symptoms and prevented relapse after sleep deprivation in patients with bipolar disorder [ 11 ]. 4) Physical Performance
In a study of 39 heart disease patients, red light therapy improved performance and decreased chest pain during exercise tests [ 12 ].
In a DB-RCT, 40 healthy untrained men underwent an intensive exercise session. The participants that underwent red light therapy had significantly improved performance, decreased soreness, and reduced indicators of muscle damage compared to ones that did not have light therapy [ 13 ].
In female athletes, 2 weeks of red light therapy improved sleep quality and endurance [ 14 ].
Red light therapy also significantly improved recovery after high-intensity exercise in a DB-RCT of 40 volunteers [ 15 ].
Interestingly, these results have caused researchers to question whether it should be permitted in athletic competitions due to its effectiveness in enhancing athletic performance and improving recovery [ 16 ].
The following purported benefits are only supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of red light therapy for any of the below-listed uses. Remember to speak with a doctor before using red light therapy, and it should never be used to replace something your doctor has recommended or prescribed. 5) Wound Healing
In a triple-blind RCT of 12 dental patients, red light therapy improved the healing rate after oral surgery . However, it did not reduce pain [ 17 ].
In an RCT of 16 diabetic patients, red light therapy significantly decreased diabetic foot ulcer size and reduced pain [ 18 ].Another RCT of 30 diabetic patients showed similar results; red light therapy combined with conventional therapy reduced ulcer size more than conventional therapy alone [ 19 ].In diabetic rat models of skin wound and burn injury, red light significantly improved healing and was superior to infrared therapy for burn wounds [ 20 , 21 ].Red light also enhanced the healing rate of incision wounds in diabetic rats and reduced the risk of infection [ 22 ].In rabbits with skin wounds, red light therapy decreased healing time significantly more than blue light or no light treatment. It promoted tissue and cell growth [ 23 ]. 6) Inflammation One of the main uses of red light therapy is to treat inflammation [ 24 ].Red light therapy limits the inflammatory response and reduces oxidative damage by reducing inflammatory cytokines ( TNF-a , IL-1A, and IL-6 ) [ 25 ].A review on muscle repair (in animal models) concluded that red light therapy has the capacity to reduce inflammation, positively impact growth factors, and increase blood vessel formation [ 25 ]. 7) Pain In a study (DB-RCT) of 80 chemotherapy patients, red light significantly reduced self-reported pain [ 26 ].Red light therapy might treat tennis elbow for a short period of time, but these findings were only shown by one study (RCT) [ 27 ].With […]
Most people have pulled an all-nighter at least once in their lives, whether it was to meet a school or work deadline or to keep the party going until the morning.
The experience of going at least 24 hours without sleep, otherwise known as total sleep deprivation, obviously does not make you feel good the next day. The physical and mental repercussions are notable.
HuffPost spoke to sleep experts to find out what exactly happens to your body and mind when you pull an all-nighter. You fight your body’s natural drive to sleep.
Pulling an all-nighter requires you to fight your body’s natural drive to sleep by making use of “wake-promoting factors” and avoiding “sleep-permissive factors,” said Roy Raymann, the vice president of sleep science and scientific affairs at Carlsbad, California-based SleepScore Labs .
“Wake-promoting factors include using caffeine, being in a colder environment, being in a well-lit room with plenty of blue-enriched light, and standing,” he said, adding that sleep-permissive factors include darkness, a warm comfortable temperature, reclining and closing your eyes. Your body skips its recovery period.
When you skip a full night of sleep, your body has missed out on a much-needed opportunity to relax, recharge and recover.
“During the night, all kinds of restorative processes happen to bring you back to shape for the next day,” Raymann said. “Cells and tissues are repaired, toxins are removed from your brain, memories and emotions are dealt with and stored and the fatigue that you have been building up during daytime is reduced.”
Pulling an all-nighter or just getting a limited amount of sleep means that this recovery process doesn’t happen or isn’t executed to its full extent, leaving you unrefreshed.
“Cognitive performance degrades and mood can suffer,” said Nate Watson, co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center and a SleepScore Labs advisor. “The glymphatic system, which removes the byproducts of a day’s worth of activity from the brain, is not able to perform its function.” Stress hormones spike.
“When you’re not getting sleep, you’re running on stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, so stress levels rise,” said Jon Caulfield, a dentist in Littleton, Colorado, who focuses on airway, sleep and TMJ disorders and a board member and national instructor with the American Sleep and Breathing Academy.
“Sleep loss can cause stress and anxiety,” echoed Terry Cralle, a registered nurse and certified clinical sleep educator in the Washington, D.C. area who serves as a spokesperson for the Better Sleep Council . Cralle cited a recent study from the University of California, Berkeley, found that one sleepless can boost anxiety levels up to 30%.
This can be a vicious cycle: Stress and anxiety often cause people to have trouble sleeping, but then sleep deprivation increases stress and anxiety levels. And around and around you go. Focus and accuracy drop.
“It has been postulated that even during a single night of sleep deprivation, the microstructures in your brain can change,” Raymann said. “Also, there’s now more evidence that during the night you’re getting a brain wash to remove all the debris and toxins that accumulated in your brain during the day. Both these changes ― micro-structure and no brain wash ― lead to impaired communication between your brain cells.”
This impaired communication between brain cells hampers your ability to pay attention or work at an optimal level. A 2007 study from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, found that pulling all-nighters was associated with lower grade point averages.
“Sleep deprivation affects your prefrontal cortex, which affects your cognitive abilities. Think of it as being impaired.” Cralle said.
Many experts have even compared sleep deprivation to drunkenness, which is why drowsy driving is so dangerous.
“In addition to a lack of focus, which many call brain fog, there’s a lack of accuracy. You’re likely to get things wrong on a test or miss a shot if you’re playing sports,” said Raj Dasgupta, assistant professor of pulmonary and sleep medicine at the University of Southern California.
This is why it’s dangerous to drive or operate heavy machinery while sleep deprived. You’re more susceptible to injury or accident.
In the wake of sleep deprivation, “the next day you will be less productive. Everything costs more time and takes more effort, and you are likely to make errors,” Raymann said.
He added, “My first mentor during my PhD taught me the wise lesson, when he saw me still late working at my desk: ‘Whatever you try to do at the end of the day after a busy day will cost you a lot of effort and time, and will even most likely lead to something you will not be happy with the next day. Go home, relax and get some sleep. During the next morning, you will resolve that task in a breeze.’” Memory suffers.
“Sleep deprivation’s effect on working memory is staggering,” David Earnest, a professor with the Texas A&M College of Medicine, said in a 2016 report about the effect of all-nighters on health. “Your brain loses efficiency with each hour of sleep deprivation.”
Research has suggested that sleep plays a major role in memory consolidation , the process of short-term memories moving to long-term storage. When you pull an all-nighter, this process is disrupted, and memory recall suffers. You’re likely to make poor decisions.
The prefrontal cortex is also linked to decision-making, so sleep deprivation can lead to poor judgment.
“Decision-making becomes impulsive,” Watson said. “We become less able to assess the potential negative consequences of our decision-making.” You become irritable.
It’s hardly a surprise that people are cranky after not sleeping for a full night. Indeed, sleep deprivation often leads to a bad mood .
“Your interaction with people will be more blunted, and you might become easily annoyed or irritated,” Raymann said. “You will also likely look more tired.” Your immune system is compromised. Sleep deprivation can affect your body’s production of cytokines, which play a big role in your immune response. That could lead to a serious case of the sniffles down the road.“When you’ve stayed up all night, your immune […]
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Originally Posted On: https://mindzymes.com/racetams/ A class of Nootropics, known as Racetams, have taken the market by storm, and their users have been sharing stories from around the world. They describe how this amazing… A class of Nootropics, known as Racetams, have taken the market by storm, and their users have been sharing stories from around the world. They describe how this amazing group of supplements can increase cognitive abilities, such as; focus, motivation, creativity and memory. Today, we’re going to break down the Racetam family, and introduce you to a few of the most popular ones on the market. First and foremost
Racetams are manufactured Nootropics, and they contain many of the effective properties found in natural ones. Within the family of Nootropics, Racetams are identified by the similarities in their chemical structures, and they all have a wide array of therapeutic effects on the body. Many of them operate by increasing the flow of blood, oxygen, glucose, or other nutrients throughout the body. The more your brain is supplied with these elements, the better your brain will function. This means heightened concentration and focus, increased brain stamina, and a reduction in the degeneration of brain cells.
For the most part, Racetams trigger the glutamate receptors that are contained within the same cells as the cholinergic receptors. Glutamate and acetylcholine, two important neurotransmitters, play a vital role in cognitive function and human action, and are on the receiving end of these receptors.
Glutamate exists in various parts of the body, but its highest concentration is in the nervous system, and the brain. It is responsible for making sure signals between nerve cells send correctly, and it plays an extremely important role in learning and memory.
Acetylcholine, on the other hand, is the most widely used neurotransmitter in the body, and is responsible for activating cholinergic receptors. At the center of the parasympathetic nervous system, Acetylcholine works to restore the feeling of normalcy after a stressful incident, and works to restore calmness. It’s also the neurotransmitter that signals muscles to contract and/or flex, making it incredibly important for athletes. Most importantly though, the brain uses Acetylcholine for cognition, which gives us the ability to learn, retain and connect memories and information.
Given the importance of these two neurotransmitters, it’s easy to see why the Racetam family of Nootropics can be such an important, and often overlooked, way to improve your well-being.
Racetams also boost the communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. By increasing the communication between the two hemispheres, you may enhance the speed of idea formation, which may result in being able to recall memories faster. The strengthened communication between the left and right side of the brain will also lead to a greater level of cognitive function.
There are a variety of Racetam Nootropics available today, and it’s difficult to decide which one might be right for you. Anyone who is considering enhancing their overall mental output must consider the varying experiences Nootropics can offer, in order to create the right plan for their individual biochemistry.
Listed below are a few of the best, and most widely-used Racetams, as well as their recorded benefits, side effects, and stacking recommendations.
Considered to be one of the safest, and mildest Nootropics available, due to its low acute toxicity levels. Piracetam is a good choice to introduce yourself to the use of Racetams, and Nootropics as a whole.
Piracetam is widely considered to improve the blood flow to the brain, and signals essential neurotransmitters to aid in cognitive functions, such as; mental energy, information and memory retention, motivation and increased sensory awareness. Research has shown that taking Piracetam may boost the absorption of neurons in the brain, which makes it more accessible for vital nutrients to enter, and for waste to be easier disposed of. It should be noted, that in order for benefits of Piracetam to show, one must research for the correct usage, and dosage. It may take a couple of weeks of taking the amount needed, in order for a person to begin to notice improvements in memory, creativity and mood. Some benefits of Piracetam include the following:
Research has indicated that taking Piracetam has shown benefits in the treatment of some mental, and physical ailments, such as cognitive decline due to age, alcoholism and schizophrenia.
Binge eating disorder, or BED, is a stress-related disease that has also been studied in regards to Piracetam. BED is described as an intake of large quantities of food during an acute period of time. Because the acetylcholine levels are compromised during an episode of BED, it leads to deficits in cognition and a sharp increase in anxiety. A study performed on animals in 2018 indicated that Piracetam regulates levels of acetylcholine, which decreased BED related cognitive deficiencies, essentially limiting the binge eating behavior and body weight.
Studies of Piracetam have shown that it is also efficient in alleviating symptoms related to stress, anxiety, limited coordination and depression. In fact, in patients who experience drug-resistant depression symptoms, Piracetam may provide an additional therapy that shows compelling, rapid clinical improvement.
Piracetam is primarily known as a cognitive enhancer, and clinical trials indicate that it is extremely effective in boosting brainpower, notably with concentration, and memory. Although the effects of Piracetam in cognition are significant in individuals of all ages, it is most compelling in older adults who are experiencing a decline in cognition due to age.
Piracetam increases synaptic plasticity by improving blood flow in the brain, and raising the function and production of vital brain chemicals, or by creating new connections between neurons, which are important to learning.
Piracetam users have self-reported improved focus, increased energy levels, and a boost in creativity, especially when taken as a stack with choline. Studies have bolstered the self-reports by showing that Piracetam enhances verbal learning in healthy students, in addition to those who have dyslexia.
Piracetam’s benefits are associated with increased blood flow to the brain, and increased cellular membrane fluidity, which when taken with choline, enhances memory in older adults.
In many […]
PeiPei Wishnow in her home office, with her new Interceuticals Memory supplements. [Wicked Local photo/Leigh Blander] Hide caption Locals say new supplement is making a difference
Judith Black, of Marblehead, started noticing recently that her brain isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be.
“It’s that loose-around-the-edges thing,” she laughed. “It comes with age.”
So Black, who is 68, decided to try a new supplement, created by Marblehead scientist PeiPei Wishnow, that claims to slow age-related memory problems and enhance brain function.
“It had an authentic effect,” Black said. “I started remembering people’s names better. I suddenly remembered the lyrics to a song I had written 20 years ago. I’m a science-based person and completely skeptical of supplements, but I recommend this to people all the time.”
Wishnow started her company, Interceuticals Inc., 20 years ago, in her Marblehead home. It is now based in Salem. She creates natural supplements for seniors struggling with age-related challenges, including bladder control. In September, she introduced a new product, Interceuticals Better Memory.
“Memory issues are on everybody’s mind,” said Wishnow. “Everybody is worried about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”
Using a study out of UCLA, Wishnow identified curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, as a powerful tool to fight inflammation, which is often blamed for cognitive decline.
“Our research thus far indicates clear cognitive benefits (of curcumin), which may take the form of stabilization of memory abilities and delay of future decline,” said Dr. Gary Small, author of the UCLA study.
Wishnow added a mix of Chinese herbs which she says improve circulation. “That allows for faster results,” she said. “People can see results within six months.”
Wishnow has personal reasons for her work in memory supplements. Her mother has suffered from worsening dementia for years.
“Her personality has completely changed. She’s verbally abusive. I don’t want to be going there, so when I noticed my memory starting to change over the last couple of years, I started to look at the research,” she said.
Wishnow said she was doing yoga and eating a healthy diet and still noticed her memory was deteriorating and her multi-tasking ability was down.
“I suddenly forgot the entrance code to my office. I needed to do something else, something natural and preventative,” she said.
Mental & Physical Effects
Dr. Nancy DeMuth, 63, is a local physical therapist who works with people suffering from inflammation. She started taking Interceuticals Memory about 10 months ago.
“Not because I’m having particular memory problems, but because I’m interested in not developing memory or cognitive problems,” she said.
DeMuth says she’s seen an impact.
“My memory is better,” she said. “I feel like I have a better ability to remember peoples’ names and sequences of numbers, more like my younger brain.”
DeMuth also saw a physical improvement.
“This hip pain that I’ve been having for about a year got dramatically better. I can do things in yoga and dance that I couldn’t do before. That was the most dramatic thing,” she said.
Mike Elkin, Judith Black’s husband, also noticed a physical benefit when he started taking the supplement.
“I have emphysema and chronic back pain and I’ve seen radical improvements in both. I’m breathing a lot better,” Elkin said.
He says his memory is improving, too.
“I’m 77 years old now,” he said. “I’m just generally more aware, sharper, I can keep track of things better.”Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.“We don’t try to treat dementia or reverse or stop it,” Wishnow emphasized. “We try to help people just like myself do something extra to protect their memory.”Wishnow will be speaking about curcumin at Abbot Library on Sunday, December 1, at 2 p.m.To learn more about Interceuticals, visit https://bebetternow.com /.
Aging is a natural, inevitable part of life that we cannot escape. However, that doesn’t mean that we need to go out of our way to accelerate the process. In fact, a lot of time and energy is spent in preventing any sort of premature aging in our skin. That said, it’s also important to take the same precautionary measures when it comes to the health of your brain.
As brain health does decline with age, it’s important to be conscious of habits that may cause the brain to age faster. This results in weaker neuron communication, loss of blood flow to the brain as well as inflammation – factors that can results in cognitive decline, particularly increasing your risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
Therefore, if you want to ensure the health of your brain, and maintain cognitive function for the years to come, then be sure that you’re not partaking in any of the following habits. 1. You’re not exercising
Exercising is important for your overall health and in addition to its various health benefits, protecting your brain health is one of them. In fact, research has found that a sedentary lifestyle can be quite detrimental to your brain health ( 1 ). It appears that living an inactive lifestyle may cause your medial temporal lobe, which is responsible for memory as well as cognitive function, to thin.
Additionally, a separate study published in the journal Neurology found that women who led active lifestyles faced an 88% reduced risk of developing dementia when compared to women who did not exercise.
If you really want to protect your brain health, it’s important that you prioritize getting more active over sitting in front of a screen, watching Netflix. 2. You’re eating a horrible diet
You are what you eat, and that includes your brain health. If you weren’t already aware, a diet rich in processed foods and refined grains is not the best option for your health as it increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Now imagine what it can do for your brain health.
The wrong foods can trigger inflammation, which can then cause the brain to age faster than normal. However, the right food can help to prevent any form of premature again. In fact, research published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association found that the MIND diet can help to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
The MIND diet refers to the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention diet, which is an eating plan that incorporates both aspects of the Mediterranean and DASH diet. As a result, the diet includes whole grains, berries, leafy green vegetables, olive oil , poultry, and fish. These food groups are each rich in antioxidants, fatty acids and other essential nutrients that will help to protect your brain health. As a result, the study found that following the mind diet would help to reduce the risk of both Alzheimer’s and dementia by 53%. 3. Excessive drinking
Now while a glass of red wine does provide health benefit s, it’s important not to over-consume alcohol.
The hippocampus refers to the area of the brain that helps to regulate both learning and memory. However, according to research published in the journal Neuroscience , excessive drinking can reduce the hippocampus’s functionality by at least 40%. Therefore, if you are looking to enjoy a drink, it’s important to try to stick to a glass a day – preferably of organic red wine. 4. You stop learning
If you really want to prevent your brain from prematurely aging, then it’s important that you keep exercising it so that it doesn’t lose its sharp thinking skills. In fact, research has found that keeping your brain active through brain games like crossword puzzles can help to reduce the risk of dementia ( 2 ).
However, if you are not a fan of crossword puzzles and other brain games, there are other ways in which you can keep your brain active. These can include learning a new language or learning a new skill, such as how to play an instrument . 5. You have a poor social life
Blue Zones are five areas around the world that are inhabited by healthy individuals who go on to live to age 100 and beyond. Additionally, these areas are also virtually free of disease. One of the most notable characteristics of these Blue Zones are the close community bonds that they each have in their respective areas.
According to research, having strong social connections may help to delay your brain from aging. In fact, a study published in the Journal of International Neuropsychology Society found that strong social bonds may help to reduce your risk of cognitive decline by over 50%.
Now while some solitude can provide us with an opportunity to get a better perspective on where we are in life, don’t shy away from calling up a friend for a Saturday lunch. 6. You don’t sleep enough
The body needs at least seven to nine hours of sleep as this gives it ample opportunity to fully recharge and to ensure that it is in proper working order. Unfortunately, a lot of us are guilty of not even getting six hours of sleep, let alone seven. This can then cause the brain to decline faster with age.
In fact, research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that losing even one night of sleep caused an increase of beta-amyloid – a protein in the brain that has been closely linked to cognitive decline as well as Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re battling with getting enough sleep at night, there are methods you can use to help alleviate this problem. Such methods include the use of essential oils , rearranging your bedroom , or even sleeping on the floo r. 7. You smoke
Smoking can literally damage every aspect of your body, which is why it’s important to quit the habit as soon as possible, especially if you want to both improve and protect your health .
People have made many different claims regarding Himalayan salt lamps in the recent past. They are becoming popular day by day due to their properties. Owning a Himalayan salt lamp is believed to have a number of health benefits.
First of all, these lamps are said to have the ability to release negative ions into the atmosphere, and this is a good thing. While there is no particular scientific research to prove these claims, Himalayan salt lamps still could have health benefits.
As the name suggests, their origin is the Himalayan Mountains. It’s Himalayan pink salts that are being used to manufacture these lamps. So what is their proposed mechanism of action?
They are said to ionize the Himalayan pink salts with the heat from the bulb. As a result, these lamps release negatively charged particles into the environment. Now that you know how they work, here are some of the suggested benefits of having a Himalayan salt lamp.
1. They neutralize electromagnetic radiations
You live in an environment that is flooded by an overflow of electromagnetic radiation from your electrical devices, including your appliances, computers, as well as mobile phones.
There are thus many positive ions floating around, and these may subject you to long-term adverse health effects. These effects may include; an increase in stress levels, chronic fatigue as well as a decrease in your body’s response to pathogens.
When you have a Himalayan salt lamp, the released negative ions negate most of the effects of the EM radiation on your health. Although neutralization is more of an overstatement, salt lamps do a great work of reducing the harmful emissions in the atmosphere. 2. Help reduce allergy symptoms and asthma
These salts are said to tremendously decrease bronchitis and asthma, which is another reason for their increased popularity. HPS lamps have been known to filter out any microscopic dust, pet dandler particles, mildew, and mold particles in your indoor air.
Many people argue that adding a lamp in your room will help alleviate your allergy symptoms. Some people who have asthma have also testified to benefitting from these lamps in terms of their respiratory health. 3. Purify the air
Those who appreciate natural living have boasted that the core benefit of having a Himalayan salt lamp is its incredible ability to remove cigarette smoke, pollen and other contaminants from the air.
The hygroscopic nature of the salts in HPS lamps is said to achieve this by trapping the pollutants in the air into their salt crystals. The air in your home may, therefore, become cleaner and healthier for you to breathe . 4. Increase energy levels
Because of the way positive ions sap the energy out of your body, the negative ions from the HPS lamps are said to have the ability to make you more energetic.
The same way being in nature rejuvenates you, is the same way lighting a Himalayan salt lamp benefits your mental health and works to your advantage. This is because both nature and these salts have an abundance of negative ions that invigorate your body. 5. Improve breathing and sleep
A controversial statement claims that negative ions increase the ciliary activity in your lungs, while positive ions affect it negatively. Cilia are the tiny hairs lining the windpipe. In other words, when the air has more negative ions, the air getting into your lungs is cleaner. This makes it easier for you to breathe.
Salt lamps are also believed to help you to enjoy better sleep . It happens because there is more oxygen getting into your blood as a result of the reduction in contaminants. Better oxygen intake means the better circulation of oxygen into your brain, thus more regular sleeping patterns. 6. Improve your mood and reduces stress
If you are a person who suffers from seasonal depression, you might benefit immensely from the salt lamps . Apart from seasonal depression, it could also help with other forms of depression too. This is because of the proposed effect of a high density of negative ions from the Himalayan salt lamps, which is said to result in mood improvement .
According to claims, the salts put your body in a comfortable, relaxed state. Another thing that the lamps are said to do to help improve your mood is reducing the levels of stress that you are experiencing.
In your day to day experiences, you may come across situations that subject you to stress. The situations may be just the nature of the actual work that you do. Or it could also be an extraordinary event that happens while you are doing your job.
Exposure to positive ions from different origins might contribute to stress. The lamp releases negative ions that possibly counteract the effects of stress on your body. 7. Alleviate colds and symptoms of coughing
The negative ions which emanate from the Himalayan salt lamps have a way of protecting you against airborne germs. According to claims, they remove the contaminants from the air but also improve how your body filters air.
The salts in the lamps enable your body to purify the air going into your lungs by blocking foreign particles. This is effective in preventing the worsening of common symptoms of a cold, including coughing and sneezing. 8. Improve concentration
One of the proposed effects of negative ions from an HPS lamp is to reduce your levels and enhance your concentration. An increased blood and oxygen supply to the brain means that you experience an improvement in your concentration span.
When you are able to concentrate more, it means that it also boosts your brain’s capacity to interpret and retain information. Improvement in concentration, therefore, directly translates into a better memory. When you are able to recall events and information, you will be able to carry out your duties and responsibilities more easily.
These are just a few of the suggested benefits of having a Himalayan salt lamp in your home or office. While there is no conclusive scientific evidence to confirm them, it’s undeniable that such a lamp would be a […]
RYAN MCBRIDE/Staff photoDr. Peipei Wishnow in her Marblehead home. She is the founder and president of Interceuticals, a Salem-based company that specializes in herbal supplements that aim to help slow the progression of memory loss and dementia. MARBLEHEAD — Dr. Peipei Wishnow, founder of Interceuticals in Salem, will lead a lecture and discussion on memory at the Abbot Public Library in Marblehead this Sunday.
Titled “Protecting Brain and Memory As We Age,” the talk will focus on the doctor’s research and her product, Better Memory. Wishnow says the natural supplement, made from theracurmin curcumin, aims to slow age-related memory issues.
Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, according to a UCLA study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Researchers reported a 28% increase in memory functions in participants who took theracurmin curcumin twice a day for 18 months.
A native of Hangzhou, China, Wishnow came to the U.S. in 1985 to pursue a doctorate in biology. After conducting post-doctoral studies at MIT and the California Institute of Technology and serving as a research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry, she moved to Marblehead with her husband.
“I grew up in a family that understands the value of traditional Chinese medicine,” she said while describing her grandfather, an herbalist in China.
Drawing on her roots, Wishnow founded Interceuticals in 1997. Since then, she’s worked to combine Eastern and Western medical practices in an attempt to help the aging process for both men and women. Her earlier supplements included BetterMan for bladder control and stamina, followed by BetterWoman.
“We’re doing all of these things, what else can we do?” Wishnow asked. “I want to help myself and help the people I love.”
Since developing Better Memory, Wishnow says she’s given the supplement to her 93-year-old mother, who was displaying dementia-related symptoms. After six months, she says her mother became more engaged and was able to recognize family members and recite a new poem from memory. Wishnow has also started taking the daily supplement to aid her concentration and multitasking abilities.
Patricia J. Rogers, director of the Abbot Public Library, says she’s excited to hear Wishnow discuss her story and her knowledge of Eastern and Western medicines. Wishnow will lead a lecture and short discussion before opening a Q&A session. The library hosts more than 70 public programs each year, the director says, but this is the first time Wishnow is coming to speak.
“She’s a very well-grounded scientist,” said Rogers. “The topic is of great interest, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to share this information.”
Wishnow will speak at the Abbot Public Library, located at 235 Pleasant St. in Marblehead, on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and no registration is required.
Staff writer Alyse Diamantides can be reached at 978-338-2660 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
( Natural News ) While they may look like a cross between blueberries and grapes, acai berries are technically not berries — they’re drupes. Drupes are fruits that have a central pit rather than a bunch of tiny seeds surrounded by fruit flesh. Other fruits under this classification include cherries, apricots, olives, peaches, and plums. Acai berries have grown in popularity globally over the years, with some people hailing them as a superfood. This is due to their high antioxidant content and a number of other health benefits, such as supporting heart health, improving digestion, and preventing skin aging . Acai berries: nutrition and benefits
Acai berries are dark-purple berries that grow on the acai palm ( Euterpe oleracea ), a tree widely found in the Amazonian rainforests of South and Central America. The acai palm can reach 50 to 100 feet tall, with stems that can produce four to eight bunches of berries every year. Unfortunately, acai berries are rarely found fresh in your local grocery stores. This is because they’re not easy to transport and have a short shelf life. Acai berries also start to ferment within 48 hours of harvest, even when chilled in the refrigerator. (Related: Acai berries actually come from palm trees .)
Acai berries have a unique flavor profile, and some people may find them tart, not sweet. Others would say they taste like a combination of blackberries and dark chocolate. Acai berries also have a unique nutritional profile, being high in fat but low in sugar. Here’s what you can get from 100 grams of organic acai berry puree : Discover how to prevent and reverse heart disease (and other cardio related events) with this free ebook : Written by popular Natural News writer Vicki Batt, this book includes everything you need to know about preventing heart disease, reversing hypertension, and nurturing your cardiac health without medication. Learn More. Calories: 70 kilocalories
Fat : 5.26 grams
Sugars : 0
Dietary fiber : 5.3 grams
Carbohydrates : 5.26 grams
Acai berries also contain various trace minerals like zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, and potassium . These minerals, together with various antioxidant compounds, are responsible for acai berries’ many health benefits, some of which are listed below: They have anti-cancer properties
Some foods can prevent cancer cells from developing or spreading. Acai berries contain pigments called anthocyanins that give them their deep purple color. These pigments are also potent antioxidants that can help neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals, preventing the development of diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer .
In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, researchers gave 12 healthy volunteers acai juice, acai pulp, applesauce and a non-antioxidant beverage at four different times. They then analyzed blood samples from the participants. The researchers found that acai pulp and applesauce significantly increased the participants’ blood antioxidant levels, suggesting that the antioxidants found in acai berries can be easily absorbed in the gut. They keep your skin healthy
The antioxidants in acai berries support skin health by fighting off free radicals which could potentially damage your skin. Eating antioxidant-rich foods regularly is important for repairing skin cells as people are constantly exposed to free radical sources like pollution, stress and even poor nutrition. They can support heart health
An animal study suggests that acai pulp could help improve heart health by reducing “bad” LDL and total cholesterol . This is mostly because of plant sterols — cholesterol-like compounds found in plants — that prevent the absorption of dietary cholesterol.
A study published in Nutrition Journal evaluated the effects of acai fruit pulp on overweight participants . The researchers fed 10 overweight adults 100 grams of acai pulp twice a day for one month. They observed that the participants had lower insulin levels and fasting blood sugar levels at the end of the study. They also found that eating acai pulp caused significant reductions in LDL cholesterol. They aid in digestion
Acai berries contain antioxidants and dietary fiber, both of which are useful for promoting gut health. A study published in Food Chemistry examined the effects of acai berries on the human digestive tract . Researchers found that half of the polyphenols in acai berries are able to travel as far as the colon. This suggests that acai berries can confer prebiotic and DNA-protective benefits throughout the gastrointestinal tract. They can protect your brain
Plant compounds like polyphenols have the potential to protect the brain from common brain diseases. Researchers from The University of Adelaide in Australia found that acai berry extract could protect brain cells from the harmful effects of beta-amyloids. The accumulation of these proteins in the brain is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Thanks to the antioxidant content and nutrient profile of acai berries, they can provide a variety of health benefits that could improve your overall health. This makes acai berries worthy of their “superfood” title .