Lemon Balm Essential Oil May Enhance Glucose Uptake

Lemon Balm Essential Oil May Enhance Glucose Uptake

Cultures worldwide have used lemon balm to treat various health conditions and mood problems since ancient times (per Mount Sinai ). Botanically named Melissa officinalis, the sweet-smelling herb is also commonly called Melissa, sweet balm, and bee balm, according to RxList .

Pre-medieval cultures used lemon balm to treat venomous stings and bites and heal wounds. People in the Middle Ages used it to encourage appetite and ease symptoms of indigestion like cramps, gas, and bloating. The Herb Society of America says lemon balm has served many medicinal purposes since ancient Greece, but researchers continue to unlock this multifaceted plant’s health benefits.

Mount Sinai confirms that ancient cultures were right to believe lemon balm can relieve stress, reduce anxiety, promote sleep, and help heal sores. And this flowering herb shows potential as a brain-boosting nootropic that may improve memory and cognition (via Supplements in Review ) But what, exactly, is lemon balm? And can lemon balm essential oil help manage symptoms of diabetes ?

Lemon balm is a sweet, tart, flowering herb in the mint family. According to Supplements in Review , lemon balm has been used in plant medicine since ancient Greece, more than 2,000 years ago. This native European plant can now be found in private and commercial gardens for bee colonies, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, cosmetics, and skincare. The lemon-scented leaves are used in medicine and cooking and may provide calming sedative effects and combat viruses and bacteria (per WebMD ).

Lemon balm’s anti-inflammatory properties make it good for healing cold sores when applied topically. Also, a 2010 study in the British Journal of Nutrition shows low doses of lemon balm essential oil can serve as a hypoglycemic agent for type 2 diabetes , possibly due to enhanced liver metabolism and glucose uptake.

Healthline describes essential oils as compounds extracted from plants via distillation or cold-pressing. Oils obtained from plants using chemical processes or any method other than distillation or cold-pressing are not true essential oils. Essential oil extracts contain the concentrated essence of the plant, including flavor and aroma.

Essential oils are commonly applied to the skin or diffused into the air and inhaled through the nose and mouth. Essential oils are highly absorbable when applied topically and are rapidly metabolized, as shown in a 2015 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. It May Also Help Manage Diabetes Symptoms

Medical News Today cites a 2015 mice study that suggests lemon balm may help balance blood sugar. A 2020 animal study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology backed these findings, showing evidence that lemon balm can reduce visceral body fat and lower insulin resistance in obese female mice.

Human trials have shown lemon balm extract is safe and effective for treating symptoms in patients with type 2 diabetes. A 2018 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology shows lemon balm can balance lipid ratios and lower triglyceride to HDL ratios, reducing the chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

The results of a similar 2020 human trial published in Phytotherapy Research support this conclusion. This study concluded that lemon balm extract improves lipid profiles, helps maintain glycemic control, and reduces inflammation in type 2 diabetes.

According to Medical News Today , these findings suggest that lemon balm essential oil can help manage symptoms of diabetes when applied to the skin or used in a diffuser; and human trials show taking lemon balm extract orally may offer even more significant benefits for those with type 2 diabetes (per Complementary Therapies in Medicine ).

While many publications warn against taking essential oils internally, the FDA has approved lemon balm essential oil as safe for human consumption. Dr. Eric Zielinski advises taking essential oils in a capsule or mixing them with one tablespoon of a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil before swallowing (via Natural Living Family ).

Read this next: Scary Symptoms That Aren’t As Serious As You Think

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Beyond the gut-brain axis

Beyond the gut-brain axis

Hearing about the gut-brain axis—the bidirectional health pathway that sends signals between the central nervous system (CNS) and enteric nervous system (ENS)—is becoming increasingly common. Now, as more people begin listening to their gut, it makes sense that scientists are exploring a slew of gut axes that highlight the connections or pathways between the microbiome of the gut and other major body systems such as the lungs, immune system and skin.

Consumers are beginning to understand a direct line connects the gut not just to the brain, but also to most of the other major organs in the body. And suppliers and manufacturers are in lockstep with solutions to help consumers meet their wellness goals.

Vicky Mak, ChildLife Essentials’ technical writer, hinted at a gut-brain-immune connection, saying the gut plays a pivotal role in supporting the mental and physical health of children. “The gut-brain axis is deeply intertwined with the immune system, which defends and protects the brain and

gut from environmental substances; researchers have identified [this] … as the brain-immune-gut triangle.” 1

For starters, she said the first 12 months of life are the most important period of rapid brain development and dynamic microbial colonization of the gut. 2

“In this regard, the gut acts like an ‘information superhighway.’ The microbiota in the gut regularly comes into contact with sites in the gut called the gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT), which contain many immune cells critical for supporting immune homeostasis, Mak said. 3 “The GALT has important roles in protecting against pathogens and regulating nutrient intake.”

She further noted ongoing research suggests the gut-immune system is important in the development of autoimmune diabetes. “The gut-immune system has a key role in controlling insulin-specific immunity induced by dietary insulin,” she said. 4 “Indications for aberrant function of the gut-immune system have been reported in type 1 diabetes, such as intestinal immune activation and increased intestinal permeability.”

For those new to gut-organ theory, a gut-immune axis may seem far-fetched. Imagine it as “a line connecting two distant entities to each other,” quipped Paul Schulick, a master herbalist and formulator at For the Biome. He maintained that a deeper understanding of the gut-immune relationship reveals the distance is closer than assumed.

“[The] immune system is virtually inseparable from your gut,” he explained. “The organs [have] a symbiotic relationship and communicate through receptors. They support each other’s functioning to support the health of the entire body. Your gut and your immune system need each other!”

Schulick likened the gut-immune dynamic to weeding a garden: “Your immune system supports the gut by helping it to maintain a balance of beneficial microbes (good bacteria), and by discriminating and eliminating harmful bacteria.”

The phrase “healthier-looking skin starts from within” has never been truer. A more recent discovery than some of the other gut-organ relationships, the gut-skin axis links healthy skin to a balanced gut microbiome—the skin has its own microbiome, but it also appears to be influenced by the microbiome in the gut.

“There has been substantial research and data showing the direct relationship between the health of the gut and that of the skin,” reported Stuart Ashman, CEO of SkinBio Therapeutics. 5 “Just think what happens when we eat foods that we’re allergic to and the resultant hives we see on the skin surface.”

According to Ashman, naturally reversing skin damage starts with healthy microbiota benefitted by select strains of “friendly bacteria” communicating through the gut-skin axis to reveal healthy skin. 6

“The health of the gut is more interactive with the rest of the body than just sending information back and forth,” he noted. “I’d say it was more like a conductor in an orchestra in directing the body’s health.”

This excerpt was taken from a longer feature in the “Diverse microbiomes and digestive health ” digital magazine. Click the link to access both.

Brenda Porter-Rockwell has a diverse background writing about nutraceuticals and healthy foods for a variety of trade and consumer publications, both print and online. She lives in North Carolina and can be reached at brenda@writeonporter.com .

References

1 Szabo A and Rajnavolgyi E. “The Brain-Immune-Gut Triangle: Innate Immunity in Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders.” Curr Immunol Rev. 2013;9(4):241-248.

2 Ihekweazu FD and Versalovic J. “Development of the Pediatric Gut Microbiome: Impact on Health and Disease.” Am J Med Sci. 2018;356(5):413-423.

3 Mörbe UM et al. “Human gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT); diversity, structure, and function. ” Mucosal Immunol. 2021;14(4):793-802.

4 Vaarala O. “The Gut Immune System and Type 1 Diabetes.” Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002;958(1):39-46.

5 Sinha S et al. “The skin microbiome and the gut-skin axis.” Clin Dermatol. 2021;39(5):829-839.

6 Salem I et al. “The gut microbiome as a major regulator of the gut-skin axis.” Front Microbiol. 2018;9:1459.

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Study: 150 Minutes of moderate exercise a week can help reduce risk of COVID-19 infections

Study: 150 Minutes of moderate exercise a week can help reduce risk of COVID-19 infections

( Natural News ) Regular exercise is key to your overall well-being because it can help you maintain a healthy weight.

According to a study, exercising for at least 150 minutes or two and a half hours every week can also help reduce your risk of getting infected with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

The study findings were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine . Regular exercise and COVID-19 prevention

According to research, physical activity is important when it comes to reducing the chance of severe illness because it helps boost your immune system.

Experts also believe that staying fit can help protect against COVID-19 after reviewing over a dozen international studies. The data revealed that 150 minutes or more of moderate exercise like brisk walking or dancing every week reduced the risk of a coronavirus infection by 11 percent. (Related: Study: Walking for an extra 10 minutes daily can increase your life expectancy .)

The same protective effect was observed in those who exercised for at least 75 minutes or more of vigorous exercise weekly. Activities include running and swimming or sports like football and rugby.

Those who exercised regularly were also at least 43 percent less likely to die or get severe COVID-19 compared to their peers.

The research team hopes that their findings could help guide “a public health strategy” that would encourage people to exercise regularly. The experts believe that regular physical activity helps the body fight off COVID-19 before it penetrates the body by increasing white blood cell and antibody counts. Exercise as a public health strategy

Data suggests that the pandemic was linked to a significant increase in the number of people exercising in general. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average Briton now spends 25 minutes per day exercising, which is six minutes more than in 2014 and 2015.

The National Health Service (NHS) advised people to engage in moderate activity for 75 minutes. Alternatively, people can exercise vigorously for at least 150 minutes per week to maintain overall health.

In the latest study, researchers analyzed 16 studies carried out in Brazil, Canada, Iran, Palestine, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The studies were conducted between November 2019 and March 2022. Only studies that used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and had exercise data were included in the analysis.

Overall, more than 1.8 million participants were involved in the study. The physical activity levels of the participants were recorded through self-reported questionnaires or data from wearing heart rate monitors and other activity-tracking devices.

Most of the studies controlled for other factors, like obesity and smoking , that could affect coronavirus infection. Overall, the studies suggest that exercising regularly reduced the risk of infection by 11 percent and serious illness, defined as needing intensive care or a ventilator, by as much as 34 percent.

Physical activity also helped reduce the chance of hospitalization from all causes by 36 percent and death by 43 percent.

Yasmin Ezzatvar, a nurse at the University of Valencia who lead the research team, explained that the findings confirm how effective regular physical activity is at protecting against coronavirus. “Regular physical activity seems to be related to a lower likelihood of adverse COVID-19 outcomes,” wrote the study authors.

The results also emphasized the protective effects of regular exercise as “a public health strategy, with potential benefits to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 .”

The research team explained that exercise could help reduce the chance of getting severe coronavirus by reducing the chance of developing diabetes , obesity and high blood pressure. These three conditions have been linked with reacting more strongly to the virus.

Data is scarce on why exercise limits the chances of actually catching COVID-19, but the researchers think physical activity could help increase the body’s immune defense.

Other studies suggest that exercise helps the body produce more antibodies and white blood cells, which are key to the body’s response to infection. Physical activity also reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol that can reduce the number of disease-fighting white blood cells produced in your body. How does regular exercise benefit your immune system?

A healthy immune system helps protect you from different disease-causing bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.

Here are several ways physical activity can help boost your immune system : It can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other diseases

Exercise can help reduce cardiovascular risk factors, prevent or delay the development of Type 2 diabetes , increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol and lower resting heart rate.

Having one or more of these conditions may make it more difficult for your immune system to protect you against infections and viral illnesses like COVID-19. It can reduce stress and other conditions like depression

Working out after a long day can help reduce your stress. Specifically, moderate-intensity exercise can slow down the release of stress hormones while also positively influencing the neurotransmitters in your brain that affect mood and behavior.

Additionally, regular physical activity may offer a protective benefit against stress. This means that if you exercise regularly, you can proactively handle stressors with more resilience and a better mood.Data suggests that stress and depression can significantly affect the regular function of your immune system, which can cause a low chronic inflammation status that favors infections, diseases and other illnesses. It can help you sleep better If you have trouble sleeping at night, exercising regularly can help improve both sleep quantity and quality. This is good because sleep loss can negatively affect certain parts of the immune system.Study findings suggest that a higher risk of infection and development of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders may be linked to a reduction in antibodies and the production of inflammatory cytokines in those with a modest amount of sleep loss.Improve your health condition and protect yourself against COVID-19 by engaging in moderate exercise for at least two hours and 30 minutes every week.Watch the video below for tips on how to become self-disciplined in health fitness . No compatible source was found […]

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Nootropics May Improve Mental Focus And Concentration

Nootropics May Improve Mental Focus And Concentration

“Limitless,” the popular sci-fi thriller featuring Bradley Cooper, tells the story of a struggling writer who achieves success after taking NZT-48, a pill that increases brain capacity. NZT-48 doesn’t exist in real life, but some drugs and supplements can boost brain power, creativity, attention, and memory.

We’re talking about the so-called “smart pills,” or nootropics, such as caffeine, piracetam, L-theanine, and Panax ginseng. Another example is modafinil, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant prescribed for sleep disorders. In one study , healthy volunteers who took either 100 or 200 milligrams of the drug experienced improvements in reaction time, visual memory, decision making, and mental focus, reports the journal Psychopharmacology.

Nootropics are herbs, amino acids, stimulant agents, or medications that support brain function. Caffeine, the most widely used nootropic, may enhance alertness, task performance, processing speed, and other markers of cognitive performance, according to recent evidence published in Cureus. Other smart drugs can boost your energy and stamina or lift your mood . That said, let’s take a closer look at the science behind nootropics and their potential benefits.

Many college students and business professionals turn to nootropics when dealing with mentally demanding tasks. Proponents say that nootropics reduce mental fatigue and improve concentration, making it easier to stay focused. “I would not give them up willingly,” entrepreneur Erin Finnegan told ABC News . “The additional focus that I can have with them, yes, it does sustain the speed I am going at now and the many things, I would have to take a couple [of] things off my plate if I wanted to keep going without them,” she added. Some in Silicon Valley take more than 40 pills daily in an attempt to get a mental edge.

These products contain more or more ingredients that are supposed to boost cognitive performance. For example, L-theanine — a naturally occurring amino acid — may improve attention, reaction time, working memory, and task accuracy, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. As the researchers note, this compound also promotes the formation of new neurons and can slow down cognitive decline .

The same goes for piracetam, a synthetic drug prescribed to those with dementia, dyslexia, and memory problems. This medication is also used as a nootropic due to its ability to improve brain performance, says MedicineNet . Piracetam and other compounds have proven benefits, but they’re often misused or abused, which increases the risk of side effects, reports a 2021 survey featured in Brain Sciences. They Can Also Reduce Anxiety And Stress

There are different types of nootropics on the market, and each has distinct properties. Panax ginseng, ashwagandha, L-theanine, and other smart drugs are classified as adaptogens because of their ability to help the body cope with stress. Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, can reduce stress and anxiety while improving memory, reports a 2019 study published in Cureus. Over time, it may enhance cognition and mental well-being, leading to a better quality of life.

Similarly, ginseng can improve your body’s response to stress and prevent depression. What’s more, it has protective effects on the heart and brain and may benefit people with certain disorders, such as arthritis and diabetes, suggests a 2017 review featured in the Journal of Ginseng Research. In another study appearing in the same journal, this plant was shown to reduce elevated triglyceride levels, a common side effect of chronic stress. Its effects kicked in within six weeks of treatment, according to the report.

Nootropic supplements may also contain Ginkgo biloba, a natural adaptogen that can reduce acute stress. Panax ginseng, by comparison, is more effective against chronic stress, suggests a 2003 study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Lion’s mane has similar benefits, making it easier to manage stress, anxiety, and depression, says WebMD . These mushrooms can also boost immune function, reduce inflammation, and enhance mental function in older adults. But Are Nootropics Safe?

Most drugs and supplements, including nootropics, carry potential side effects and may not be safe for everyone. The risk of adverse reactions is even higher when it comes to pharmaceutical drugs, which are often misused. For example, piracetam may cause a sense of unease or distress, memory loss, indigestion, or dizziness, according to 2015 research published in the journal Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience. Armodafinil, a nootropic that promotes wakefulness, could give you headaches, whereas citicoline — a synthetic form of choline — can lead to fatigue, muscle aches, tremors, or insomnia. In some cases, these drugs may cause psychosis, hypomania, paranoia, movement disorders, and other serious complications.

Natural nootropics are not necessarily safer. Caffeine, for instance, can trigger or exacerbate anxiety and affect your sleep, warns MedlinePlus . Other side effects, such as restlessness, jitters, and headaches, are common as well. Ginseng is generally safe, but it may still cause high blood pressure, digestive distress, vaginal bleeding, or liver inflammation in some people, explains the National Capital Poison Center . Additionally, it can interact with other herbs or medications, including antidepressants, blood thinners, caffeine, and diabetes drugs.

Last but not least, note that dietary supplements are classified as food products and don’t require FDA approval . For this reason, it’s hard to determine their safety and efficacy. Additionally, many consumers use nootropic stacks, which can increase the risk of herb-drug interactions and adverse effects.

Read this next: All The Ways Mental And Physical Health Are Related

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Study: Resveratrol, a compound found in grapes, can protect against cognitive decline

Study: Resveratrol, a compound found in grapes, can protect against cognitive decline

( Natural News ) Several studies have found that resveratrol, a compound found in grapes, berries, peanuts and red wine, can help protect brain cells by stimulating the destruction of specific proteins .

A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation showed that resveratrol supplementation reduced cognitive and functional decline in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease.

Resveratrol is a natural substance produced by several types of plants as a response and defense against stress, fungi, toxins or ultraviolet radiation. Because of its protective nature, resveratrol is classified as a flavonoid antioxidant and has been the subject of much scientific scrutiny for its health-promoting qualities.

One such quality is its ability to support brain and nervous system health. Resveratrol is unique among antioxidants because it can cross the blood-brain barrier – meaning, it can be beneficial to neural health. (Related: A balancing act for Alzheimer’s: Researchers explore resveratrol’s antioxidant effects and the risks of alcohol consumption .)

According to Dr. David Sinclair, Harvard Medical School professor of genetics, resveratrol induces autophagy, which is a type of cellular defense that targets old, damaged proteins for destruction and recycling.

A 2018 study published in Biomedicine supported this claim as researchers found that resveratrol has neuroprotective effects . They reported that the compound promotes the clearance of beta-amyloid peptides, thus reducing beta-amyloid plaques in the brain.

Resveratrol was also found to reduce neuronal apoptosis, where a neuron orchestrates its own destruction. It also provides neuroprotection to healthy individuals and helps protect cognitive function into old age.

Moreover, a 2015 clinical trial on high-dosage resveratrol published in Neurology found that long-term resveratrol treatment of individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s appeared to stop, or at least slow, the progress of the disease.

As per the study, in people who took resveratrol, the Abeta40 (main component of the amyloid plaques) levels remained stable, whereas the placebo group’s levels dropped. However, research team leader Dr. R. Scott Turner warned: “This is a single, small study with findings that call for further research to interpret properly.” Resveratrol offers joint support and helps ease arthritic inflammation

A clinical study conducted in 2018 found that resveratrol also offers a helpful company for people who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Scientists found the compound to have anti-inflammatory properties, so a study was conducted to see if it could suppress arthritic inflammation in humans. The study involved patients with varying degrees of RA.

The controlled study published in Clinical Rheumatology included a group that was provided one gram of supplemental resveratrol with conventional treatment daily for three months, and another group that was given the conventional treatment only.

The investigators found that the resveratrol group experienced less swelling and tenderness in joints and also had lowered levels of pro-inflammatory substances, including the “usual suspects” such as C-reactive protein, matrix metalloproteinase-3, necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6.

It also helps to know how much resveratrol is right for a person and what could be the adverse effects if taken over the dosage prescribed.

Many clinical trials have used resveratrol up to five grams per day and found no toxic side effects. But in some research studies, amounts of over 2.5 grams a day caused side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

There has also been a paradoxical finding concerning resveratrol, with some studies suggesting that resveratrol can sometimes behave more like a pro-oxidant than an antioxidant – even causing DNA damage and oxidative stress.

Researchers speculated that this phenomenon seems related to the amount consumed – and perhaps to the individual’s age – with more research clearly needed. Before supplementing with resveratrol, consult a natural health practitioner to find the safest and most beneficial amount for you.

Learn more about natural treatments for Alzheimer’s at Alzheimers.news .

Watch the below video that talks about the benefits in brain power, health and longevity of resveratrol . No compatible source was found for this media.

This video is from the Health Ranger Report channel on Brighteon.com. More related stories:

Resveratrol and exercise found to attenuate fracture risk in mice with Alzheimer’s disease .

Resveratrol and exercise found to reduce risk of bone fractures in elderly patients with Alzheimer’s .

Cause-and-effect: Resveratrol’s ability to reduce blood pressure could explain why it’s a potent antioxidant .

Compound in red wine can slow down aging . Sources include:

NaturalHealth365.com

PubMed.NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

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Depression-Targeting Stimulation Technique Alters the Brain’s Metabolism

Depression-Targeting Stimulation Technique Alters the Brain's Metabolism

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the superolateral branch of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB), which is linked to reward and motivation, revealed metabolic brain changes over 12 months post-DBS implantation, making it a strong potential therapy for treatment-resistant depression according to researchers at UTHealth Houston .

The results of the study, which included 10 patients, were published today in Molecular Psychiatry .

“This is something that people have been trying to do for a long time, but we have not always been very successful with using DBS for psychiatric illnesses,” said first author Christopher Conner, MD, PhD, a former neurosurgery resident in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. “But this PET study shows that we’re altering how the brain is functioning long term and we are starting to change the way brain starts to organize itself and starts to process information and data.” Conner is currently a fellow with the University of Toronto.

For years, DBS has been used to treat patients suffering from movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, tremor, and dystonia, and studied as a possible treatment for patients with treatment-resistant depression. In DBS, electrodes are implanted into certain brain areas, where they generate electrical impulses to affect brain activity.

However, finding what part of the brain needs to be targeted to treat depression long term has been challenging.

“We targeted a bundle of fibers that leave this small area in the brainstem to travel to other areas throughout the brain,” Conner said. “The PET scans indicated that this small target area has very diffuse downstream effects. It’s not one single effect because there’s not one single area of the brain linked to depression. The whole brain needs to be changed and through this one small target, that’s what we were able to do.”

Researchers performed an initial PET scan before the DBS procedure on the 10 patients in the study for a baseline image. They performed additional PET scans at six and 12 months to assess changes after treatment. Scans of 8 of the 10 patients showed a response.

“A responder to the treatment means that your depression potentially decreases at least 50%; you’re feeling much better,” said co-author João de Quevedo , MD, PhD, professor in the Louis A. Faillace, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at McGovern Medical School. “So, for patients with severe chronic treatment-resistant depression, decreasing our symptoms by half is a lot. It’s the difference between being disabled to being able to do something. Correlating with the PET image changes, our patients reported that their depression lessened after the treatment.” De Quevedo also serves as director of the Translational Psychiatry Program and the Treatment-Resistant Depression Program, part of the Center of Excellence on Mood Disorders.

Reference: Conner CR, Quevedo J, Soares JC, Fenoy AJ. Brain metabolic changes and clinical response to superolateral medial forebrain bundle deep brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression. Mol Psychiatry . 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41380-022-01726-0

This article has been republished from the following materials . Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

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Surprising study: Drinking up to three cups of ground coffee daily may help you live longer

Tags: #nutrition , antioxidants , brewed coffee , caffeine , coffee , food is medicine , functional food , goodfood , goodhealth , ground coffee , healthy drinks , longevity , nutrients , organics , prevention , superfoods , tips

This article may contain statements that reflect the opinion of the author

( Natural News ) Many people start their mornings with breakfast and a cup (or more) of coffee to feel energized. According to a study, coffee lovers may have more to celebrate when it comes to their daily cup of joe.

The findings of the decade-long study suggest that consuming up to three cups of coffee daily may help you live longer . Additionally, people who regularly drank coffee were at least 12 percent less likely to die.

The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology and conducted by researchers from Queen Mary University of London and Semmelweis University in Hungary. Drink coffee brewed from ground coffee, not instant varieties

For the study, the research team examined the link between usual coffee intake and incidents of heart attack, stroke and death .

The study involved data from 468,629 participants of the UK Biobank with no signs of heart disease at the time of recruitment. The average age of the participants was 56.2 years and 55.8 percent were women.

The study found that regular coffee drinkers were at least up to a fifth less likely to get cardiovascular disease or suffer a stroke.

However, the researchers emphasized that the health benefits only come from consuming ground coffee, not instant varieties. They also advised that consuming more than three cups of coffee daily doesn’t have any good effects.

Coffee is one of the most consumed drinks worldwide, but earlier studies were contradictory when it comes to its possible benefits or potential adverse effects.

Coffee contains caffeine along with minerals and antioxidants . Research has linked coffee with reduced risk of cancer, dementia and Type 2 diabetes.

But other studies suggest that consuming coffee is linked to a greater risk of having high blood pressure and dying from heart disease. Coffee offers cardiovascular benefits

The current study suggests that coffee doesn’t increase blood pressure and offers benefits for your heart health .

Dr. Steffen Petersen, one of the study authors, explained that moderate coffee consumption “is not cardiovascularly harmful and may even be beneficial.” He added that the study “is the largest volume of research to date focusing on the cardiovascular effects of coffee consumption.”

The participants were followed for 11 years so the research team could study the differences between groups. Out of all the participants, 22.1 percent were non-coffee drinkers and 58.4 percent drank 0.5 up to three cups of coffee every day.

The rest of the participants (19.5 percent) consumed more than three cups of coffee daily.

The findings revealed that the people who consumed between 0.5 to 3 cups of coffee per day were 12 percent less likely to die compared to the non-coffee drinkers by the end of the study. Additionally, the group was 17 percent less likely to die from heart disease and 21 percent less likely to have a stroke compared to the non-coffee drinkers.

The participants who consumed up to three cups of coffee were less likely to be diabetic than the non-coffee drinkers. While the scientists didn’t examine why, data has found that caffeine can help suppress appetite, which could help lower rates of obesity and its related health conditions.

The participants who consumed more than three cups of coffee a day were not more likely to have high blood pressure, a concern often discussed in previous studies. However, those in this group had similar rates of mortality, heart disease and stroke to non-coffee drinkers. This implies that three cups of coffee a day was the maximum people can drink to gain health benefits.

The research team reported that they did not detect any increase in high blood pressure rates among the participants who consumed coffee daily, addressing concerns that caffeinated drink may cause the condition.

When the researchers studied health benefits based on the type of coffee the participants drank, those who used instant coffee, which was at least one-quarter of the group, did not have any health benefits. This could be because there are differences in how the coffee is made, suggested the researchers.

Instant coffee contains more caffeine and antioxidants. However, it also has twice as much acrylamide, a substance found in some foods that have been linked with a greater risk of cancer and nervous system damage.

The researchers explained that coffee’s “[favorable] effect” could be explained by changes in the heart structure among the participants who drank coffee.

After examining cardiovascular MRI scans, which were available for 30,000 of the participants, the data revealed that those who drank coffee had healthier hearts. The participants who drank a moderate or high amount of coffee had larger ventricles, which meant that they could pump out more blood. Other ways to improve your life expectancy

Aside from drinking ground coffee, here are some tips to improve your overall health and life expectancy . Eat more healthy plant foods

Ensuring that your regular diet is full of different plant foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains can help reduce disease risk and promote longevity.Research has found that there is a connection between a plant-rich diet and a lower risk of premature death, along with a reduced risk of: Brain deterioration Cancer Depression Heart disease Metabolic syndrome These benefits are linked to plant foods’ nutrients and antioxidants, such as carotenoids, folate, polyphenols and vitamin C.Many studies link vegetarian and vegan diets, which are naturally higher in plant foods, with a 12 to 15 percent lower risk of premature death. The same studies also showed that there is a 29 to 52 percent lower risk of dying from cancer or heart, kidney, or hormone-related diseases.Additionally, some data has found that the risk of premature death and certain diseases are greater the more you consume meat. But other studies report either nonexistent or […]

Boosting Neuron Formation Restores Memory in Mice With Alzheimer’s Disease

Boosting Neuron Formation Restores Memory in Mice With Alzheimer’s Disease

Summary: Increasing neurogenesis by deleting the Bax gene in mouse models of Alzheimer’s improved the animals’ performance in tests measuring spatial recognition and contextual memory.

Source: Rockefeller University

Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago have discovered that increasing the production of new neurons in mice with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) rescues the animals’ memory defects.

The study, to be published August 19 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine , shows that new neurons can incorporate into the neural circuits that store memories and restore their normal function, suggesting that boosting neuron production could be a viable strategy to treat AD patients.

New neurons are produced from neural stem cells via a process known as neurogenesis. Previous studies have shown that neurogenesis is impaired in both AD patients and laboratory mice carrying genetic mutations linked to AD, particularly in a region of the brain called the hippocampus that is crucial for memory acquisition and retrieval.

“However, the role of newly formed neurons in memory formation, and whether defects in neurogenesis contribute to the cognitive impairments associated with AD, is unclear,” says Professor Orly Lazarov of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine.

In the new study, Lazarov and colleagues boosted neurogenesis in AD mice by genetically enhancing the survival of neuronal stem cells. The researchers deleted Bax, a gene that plays a major role in neuronal stem cell death, ultimately leading to the maturation of more new neurons.

Increasing the production of new neurons in this way restored the animals’ performance in two different tests measuring spatial recognition and contextual memory. The new study shows that boosting neurogenesis increases the number of newly formed neurons involved in storing and retrieving memories (arrows) in the hippocampus of mice with AD. Credit: Mishra et al. By fluorescently labeling neurons activated during memory acquisition and retrieval, the researchers determined that, in the brains of healthy mice, the neural circuits involved in storing memories include many newly formed neurons alongside older, more mature neurons.

These memory-stowing circuits contain fewer new neurons in AD mice, but the integration of newly formed neurons was restored when neurogenesis was increased.

Further analyses of the neurons forming the memory-storing circuits revealed that boosting neurogenesis also increases the number of dendritic spines, which are structures in synapses known to be critical for memory formation, and restores a normal pattern of neuronal gene expression.

Lazarov and colleagues confirmed the importance of newly formed neurons for memory formation by specifically inactivating them in the brains of AD mice. This reversed the benefits of boosting neurogenesis, preventing any improvement in the animals’ memory.

“Our study is the first to show that impairments in hippocampal neurogenesis play a role in the memory deficits associated with AD by decreasing the availability of immature neurons for memory formation,” Lazarov says.

“Taken together, our results suggest that augmenting neurogenesis may be of therapeutic value in AD patients.” About this neurogenesis and Alzheimer’s disease research news

Author: Press Office
Source: Rockefeller University Press
Contact: Press Office – Rockefeller University Press
Image: The image is credited to Mishra et al

Original Research: The findings will appear in Journal of Experimental Medicine

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Boost your heart, brain and digestive health with rutin, an antioxidant flavonoid

Boost your heart, brain and digestive health with rutin, an antioxidant flavonoid

( Natural News ) Flavonoids like quercetin are well-known due to their health benefits, but other lesser-known flavonoids can also help boost your health and well-being.

Rutin (also known as rutoside) is an antioxidant flavonoid currently used in over 130 registered therapeutic medications. Despite its popularity as an ingredient for various medications, you probably have never heard of rutin.

Scientifically called quercetin-3-O-rutinoside, rutin is technically a quercetin molecule bound to a sugar molecule. Data suggests that rutin is a unique compound that offers many of the same health benefits as quercetin.

An increasing body of research highlights rutin’s impressive therapeutic and health-promoting benefits. Rutin helps support overall health and can also benefit the joints, as well as your circulatory and digestive systems. Rutin boosts cardiovascular health

Natural healers have long used rutin to improve blood circulation. Current data suggests that the flavonoid can help support cardiovascular health.

Experts believe rutin helps strengthen and increase the flexibility of arteries and capillaries. It has been credited with antiplatelet activity, meaning rutin may help protect you against deep vein thrombosis, heart attack and stroke by reducing the tendency of blood to clump together and form dangerous clots.

Data suggests that rutin may help perform a “preemptive strike” on blood clots by blocking disulfide isomerase, an enzyme that can trigger thrombosis.

Rutin also helps promote heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing “bad” LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol while raising levels of “good” HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

Data from a study revealed that those with diabetes and high blood pressure experienced lowered LDL cholesterol levels after taking 500 mg of rutin a day. Rutin promotes intestinal health

Preliminary research suggests that rutin has the potential to promote gastrointestinal health.

In a review published in the journal Polyphenols in Human Health and Disease , data from animal studies revealed that pretreatment with rutin was effective in “ameliorating colitis, promoting colonic healing, boosting levels of glutathione, and cutting oxidative stress while also inhibiting the expression of inflammatory markers such as interleukin, COX and TNF-alpha.”

The benefits of rutin also extend to probiotic support.

In study findings published in the journal New Look to Phytomedicine , researchers reported that rutin helped increase populations of Lactobacillus , a beneficial gut bacteria.

The researchers added that continued study can help experts determine if rutin has potential as a future treatment regimen for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Rutin supports brain health

Data also suggests that rutin may benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease . Experts think that rutin can promote healthy brain function and help protect against neurodegenerative diseases by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing antioxidant enzyme activity.

Data from animal studies has also revealed that the flavonoid helped improve memory deficits and inhibited acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is crucial for memory and learning. Rutin helps relieve joint pain

Rutin seems to be effective at staging “seek and destroy” operations on harmful free radicals. The flavonoid helps scavenge and neutralize these oxidative stress-creating molecules, which are linked to cell damage.

Rutin also boosts the effects of other powerful natural antioxidants already present in your body, like glutathione and superoxide dismutase. This is why natural healers often recommend rutin to relieve the pain and stiffness of inflammatory conditions like arthritis.

In research published in 2019 in the journal Bioactive Foods as Dietary Interventions for Arthritis , scientists reported that rutin was the “best antioxidant” of the natural class of compounds.

According to an older study published in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology , the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of rutin helped reduce oxidative stress in people diagnosed with arthritis. The research team added that rutin was a “useful supporting pharmaceutical agent” that may help treat diseases caused by free radical damage. (Related: Quercetin: A flavonoid that fights COVID like hydroxychloroquine .) Incorporating rutin into your regular diet

Did you know that rutin was formerly called “vitamin P?” The phrase was used as a catch-all term for plant flavonoids.

Experts now know that flavonoids are not technically vitamins, but they are just as beneficial. Many nutritious fruits and vegetables contain rutin.

Buckwheat is one of the richer sources of rutin, but the following superfoods also contain the flavonoid: Apples

Apricots

Cherries

Cranberries Figs Grapefruits Lemons Limes Oranges For maximum benefit, eat apples unpeeled because most of their rutin is in the skin. Asparagus, passionflower tea and elderberry tea also contain rutin.You can also boost your intake of rutin with supplements. Natural healers usually recommend taking 250 mg of rutin two to three times per day. If you are not used to taking rutin supplements, consult a natural health practitioner. While rutin in food is considered safe, concentrated supplementary doses may cause minor side effects like flushing, headache and nausea.Rutin isn’t often in the limelight like quercetin and other more famous flavonoids, but it’s a beneficial compound that deserves more attention . Follow a balanced diet and eat foods rich in rutin like buckwheat and apples to boost your overall well-being.Watch the video below to know more about the health benefits of buckwheat . No compatible source was found for this media.This video is from the Holistic Herbalist channel on Brighteon.com . More related stories: Discovering the anti-obesity potential of quercetin . A flavonoid in fruits and vegetables found to prevent hepatitis B . Buckthorn, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, found to protect against acute lung injury . Sources include: NaturalHealth365.com

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Neuroimaging study finds people who exercise more display an elevated brain response to reward

Neuroimaging study finds people who exercise more display an elevated brain response to reward

(Photo credit: Richard Watts/NIH Image Gallery) New research published in the journal Biological Psychology revealed that people who exercise more show increased brain activity when receiving an unexpected reward, specifically in the right medial orbitofrontal cortex. These findings may suggest that regular exercise alters the reward-circuit function, potentially reinforcing exercise behavior.

The physical and mental health benefits of exercise are widely known, yet finding the motivation to exercise can be a challenge. The authors of the study said that a look inside the brain may shed light on how people can be encouraged to maintain healthy exercise habits. More specifically, the dopamine reward system may play a role in motivating people to exercise, and the study authors proposed that regular exercise might alter the brain reward response.

“My background is in eating disorders research and those individuals frequently engage in very high amount of exercise. Before we explore the effects of exercise in that population, I wanted to study the relationship between exercise and brain reward processing, specifically dopamine-related reward processing,” said study author Guido K.W. Frank of the University of California, San Diego.

The researchers examined brain activity during a reward prediction error (RPE) task. An RPE is when a person receives an outcome of an event that is different than expected, causing dopamine neurons to send out a signal. This unexpected outcome could be positive, like receiving an expected reward, or negative, like having a reward unexpectedly taken away. The RPE is thought to reflect motivational salience — a cognitive process that drives a person’s behavior toward a positive outcome. The researchers speculated that people who exercise more often might show a stronger salience response in the dopamine system.

“The type of reward system response that we focus on responds to unexpected stimulus receipt – one could say excitement over receiving a reward unexpectedly, or unexpected stimulus omission, or disappointment over not receiving a reward that was expected,” Frank told PsyPost. “The stimuli we use are taste stimuli sucrose or water.”

A group of 111 healthy women participated in a task that evoked the dopamine-related RPE response. The task involved a classic sucrose taste-conditioning paradigm where participants learned to expect or not expect a sucrose reward. Throughout the task, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure participants’ brain activity. Additionally, the women reported how much aerobic exercise they engage in on a weekly basis.

The researchers then analyzed the fMRI data, focusing on brain responses when participants either unexpectedly received a sucrose reward, unexpectedly did not receive it, or expectedly received it. For all three conditions, increased exercise was associated with a stronger response in the right medial orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). But after correcting for multiple comparisons, this heightened activity was only significant during the unexpected receipt condition.

“Higher amount of cardio/aerobic exercise was associated with higher brain response (orbitofrontal cortex, an area between the eyes that is important for valuation of rewards) when participants received the sugar stimulus unexpectedly, but did not affect the response to unexpected stimulus omission or disappointment,” Frank explained. “We believe that higher amount of exercise might change your brain that receiving a reward unexpectedly is more enjoyable.”

Notably, the right medial OFC is implicated in goal-directed decision-making and the calculation of reward value. The findings may suggest that exercise strengthens this circuitry, driving higher brain activity in the OFC. Alternatively, it could be that higher activity in the OFC reinforces engagement in exercise.

“It is therefore possible that individuals who engage in more aerobic activity may be intrinsically more responsive to salient stimuli and especially stimulus receipt,” the researchers wrote, “or alternatively, engagement in aerobic exercise has modulated brain activity and dopamine signaling, which may then reflexively reinforce and functionally maintain the exercise behavior.” The authors note that both of these explanations could be true.

Overall, the results suggest a link between aerobic exercise and the brain’s response to unexpected reward. “It is possible that exercise may in particular enhance the ability to value or enjoy stimuli or experiences, which could be important for intervening on psychiatric disorders,” the authors said, adding that an “altered brain salience response is characteristic of many psychiatric Illnesses.” If exercise is found to improve motivational salience, this could reveal potential treatment options for affected individuals.

Among limitations, the study was cross-sectional, and future longitudinal studies will be necessary to draw stronger conclusions from the data. Additionally, participants self-reported their exercise levels, and it is unclear whether the findings reflect the effects of overall activity level or true aerobic exercise.

“We cannot be certain what neurotransmitters are exactly involved and a larger study sample might have indicated that higher cardio exercise is also protective of disappointment,” Frank said. “It is possible that cardio exercise helps to be happier in being able to enjoy things more and be less disappointed when something does not work out the way you thought.”

“It is important that this was a study in healthy controls and their exercise amount was within normal limits,” he added. “Excessive exercise can get in the way of healthy living and will not have a positive effect on your wellbeing because you may lose much weight and/or develop an eating disorder.”

The study, “ Associations between aerobic exercise and dopamine-related reward-processing: Informing a model of human exercise engagement ”, was authored by Sasha Gorrell, Megan E. Shott, and Guido K.W. Frank.

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