Best Supplements for People Over 50, Say Nutrition Experts

Best Supplements for People Over 50, Say Nutrition Experts

Once the celebrations for hitting your half-century mark fade and you’ve had a chance to take a good look at yourself in the mirror, maybe, just maybe, you’ll think: “Gee, it’s time to start taking better care of myself !”

You know that the risk for many chronic health problems tends to increase with age. And, after 50, if you’re realistic, you’re playing on the back 9 of life. Not to bum you out, of course. On the contrary, the years after 50 will be some of your best, especially if, as you said, you start taking better care of yourself by eating healthier, exercising, and reducing stress. There’s another proactive step you might consider: Start taking dietary supplements to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients that you may lack now that you’re a little older.

We asked doctors and dietitians for their suggestions for the best dietary supplements for people over 50. Grab a glass of water and read on. And if you’re looking specifically for supplements that may help you lose weight, check out these that dietitians recommend. Shutterstock While most of us get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our food , occasionally dietitians will recommend a multivitamin supplement to plug micronutrient gaps. But not every multivitamin is a good multivitamin. First, if you’re over 50, the multi you take should be free of iron unless your physician tells you otherwise. Iron can mask symptoms of anemia and may inhibit the effectiveness of certain drugs.

A quick way to find the best multivitamin is to be sure it contains B12 and folic acid. “It should be the bioactive, natural forms of B12 (look for methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin on the package) and the natural form of folic acid (L-methylfolate),” says Sheldon Zablow, MD , a psychiatrist and author of Your Vitamins Are Obsolete . “Most supplements contain the artificial forms of these that are hard to metabolize and absorb. These two are critical because all other vitamins are dependent on them to function.”

B12 and folic acid are particularly important for a healthy brain . “These nutrients are required to produce neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that allow communication between brain cells,” says Dr. Zablow. “Low B12 and folic acid can result in depression, anxiety, fatigue, decreased concentration, and poor sleep. Taking optimal amounts will also reduce chronic inflammation, which leads to nine out of 10 leading causes of illness and unhealthy aging.” Shutterstock Collagen is a protein that may improve the elasticity of your skin, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. “As we age, our collagen decreases and should be replenished,” says Anna Reisdorf, RD , a registered dietitian nutritionist for Wellness Verge . “A collagen peptide supplement is simple to add to your routine; you can just add them to any beverage. I also recommend vitamin D for anyone over age 50 because you produce less of it with age. It’s important for immunity and bone health. Take at least 1,000 IU daily.” For more, check out Sure Signs You’re Lacking Vitamin D, Say Experts . Shutterstock This plant compound found in red wine and red grapes has antioxidant properties. “Much of aging is due to damage caused by free radicals,” says Reisdorf. “Getting a hefty boost of antioxidants from resveratrol and green tea extract can help.” Resveratrol also has been shown to lower blood pressure and offer other heart benefits. One placebo-controlled human study found that participants who took a resveratrol-enriched grape extract capsule daily for six months had a 2.6% reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol compared to no reduction in the blood fat in the placebo group. Shutterstock Largely due to the reduction in dairy food consumption in recent decades, calcium is considered a nutrient of concern in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. “After 50, women need more calcium — 1,200 milligrams a day versus 1,000, and men may not get enough calcium to meet their needs,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDN , an expert in nutrition after 50 and author of The Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Managing Hormones, Health, and Happiness . Calcium from a dietary supplement is best absorbed in doses of 500 milligrams or less at a time, says Ward. Calcium carbonate is absorbed best when taken with food, while calcium citrate can be consumed with or without food. Shutterstock Research has suggested a link between low levels of the omega-3 fatty acids mostly found in fish oil and increased risk for age-related cognitive decline, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), omega-3 fats help to keep the heart beating properly and reduce the risk of erratic rhythms that can lead to sudden death from a heart attack or stroke.

“Omega-3 fats are also useful in decreasing elevated triglycerides in the blood, slowing plaque formation in the arteries, and possibly lowering blood pressure, which tends to increase with age,” says Ward. “Fish and seafood are the best food sources of DHA and EPA, but most people don’t eat the suggested 8 ounces of fish weekly to help prevent heart disease and will likely benefit from omega-3 supplements with DHA and EPA.”

The FDA recommends no more than 2,000 milligrams of DHA and EPA daily from dietary supplements, and possibly less if you take certain medications. Shutterstock Most informed vitamin takers swallow a comprehensive multivitamin, vitamin D, and vitamin C. The next supplement on the top four list of nutritionist Marie Ruggles, RD, CDE , for people over 50 is the mineral zinc. “This is an essential nutrient for preventive health and overall immune function,” says the author of Optimize Your Immune System: Create Health and Resilience with a Kitchen Pharmacy . “The only good source of zinc is oysters, which most people don’t eat regularly so taking supplementation is important.” Shutterstock This nutrient has antioxidant properties and is believed to be helpful for conditions such as asthma and arthritis, and some (but not all) clinical evidence suggests it may […]


12 bad habits from swearing to gossip which could have surprise health benefits

12 bad habits from swearing to gossip which could have surprise health benefits

Swearing triggers a well known stress-induced analgesia From swearing, chewing gum to gossiping – these irritating traits actually have a fair few advantages in life. Swearing

Shouting an expletive when you stub your toe can actually help alleviate the pain, according to a study from Keele University.

Participants who swore when putting their hand in a bucket of ice-cold water could endure the pain nearly 50 per cent longer than those who didn’t.

“Swearing triggers a well knownstress-induced analgesia,” explains lead researcher Dr Richard Stephens.

Other studies suggest cursing can increase performance, strength and power linked with exercise. Research by the University of East Anglia also found swearing at work could help employees cope with stress and maintain solidarity. Fidgeting

NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and refers to the calories you burn by simply moving throughout the day – aka when not officially exercising.

Every movement counts with NEAT, no matter how small. So not sitting still, shifting position, keeping your legs and feet moving when sitting at your desk or pacing while on the phone are good for you. Daydreaming

This is often viewed as a sign of apathy and inattentiveness. But brain scans have revealed the “executive network” in our brain – the part that deals with problem solving – is highly active when our mind wanders.

Experts believe that when an individual uses conscious thought they can become too rigid and limited in their thinking. Chewing gum

Chewing gum can trap and remove harmful bacteria (Image: Getty) Chomping gum is called out by many teachers. But scientists have found chewing before a task can increase blood oxygen levels in the brain structures involved in learning and memory.

It’s also extremely effective at trapping and removing harmful bacteria in the mouth as stimulating saliva production helps rinse it away. Just make sure you choose sugar-free varieties to protect your teeth. Being a chocoholic

Chocolate with a high cocoa content has many benefits, including improving memory and protecting the heart.

One study found a daily portion of dark chocolate puts a smile on your face, suggesting it even reduces the risk of depression.

“However, if your penchant is for white chocolate or poor quality milk chocolate that is mainly fat and sugar, you need to train your taste buds,” warns Dr Sally Norton, NHS consultant and weight loss expert ( One study found a portion of dark chocolate could reduce the risk of depression (Image: Getty) “Choose dark chocolate with higher levels of cocoa solids to get maximum benefits. A bar containing 70 per cent cocoa solids has twice the antioxidants per serving as a bar with 35 per cent cocoa solids.” Messiness

An untidy work desk suggests serious disorganisation but US researchers claim it can actually boost creativity.

In experiments, when volunteers were designated a tidy or messy room and asked to think up uses for ping-pong balls, those in the messy room were 28 per cent more creative and five times more likely to produce “highly creative” ideas. Gossiping

Although most of us love a good gossip, it can be perceived as being malicious and untrustworthy.

However, studies have shown it is important in helping create empathic bonds between people, promoting cooperation. Having a laugh with your peers also releases feel-good hormones that help relieve stress and anxiety, say scientists. Drinking every day

Enjoying alcohol in moderation is better for a long life than not drinking it at all (Image: Getty) A review of 74 studies concluded that moderate drinkers had a lower risk of cognitive decline than those who abstainedcompletely.

And scientists at Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands say enjoying alcohol in moderation may be better for a long life than not drinking at all.

They found men and women who enjoyed a daily drink were up to 40per cent more likely to make it to their 90th birthday than those who were teetotal or rarely touched booze.

However, these findings were confined to those who
stuck to one drink a day because binge drinkers still died earlier. Never making your bed

The average mattress could be home to 1.5 million allergen-producing dust mites, say Kingston University researchers.

Leaving the duvet covers thrown back (and opening the window) means there will be less moisture on the sheets and mattress, so the mites will dehydrate and die. Skipping a shower

Daily washing can strip your skin of the natural, protective oils that keep it hydrated and supple, and the good bacteria that can help to prevent disease, warn some dermatologists.
Short, lukewarm showers are kinder to your skin than hot ones, while skipping a couple throughout the week, maybe when you’re not going out to work or exercising, actually helps the skin maintain its barrier function. Drinking coffee Relying on caffeine to get started in the morning is often given a bad rep.But chemicals contained in coffee have actually been shown to fight Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer, as well as improve your memory.“Just remember to steer clear later in the afternoon, as it can take several hours for caffeine to clear our systems, and you don’t want it to affect your sleep,” adds Dr Norton. Nail biting Children who bite their nails or suck their thumbs are about one third less likely to develop certain allergies.Researchers say the findings may be another example of the “hygiene hypothesis” – the idea that being overly clean and avoiding exposure to the microbes in the environment might increase a child’s risk of allergies.“Early exposure to dirt is not a bad thing,” said Canadian researcher Malcolm Sears, of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at McMaster University School of Medicine.“When they suck their thumbs or bite their nails they’re exposing themselves to additional microbes or dirt, which is stimulating the immune system.”


Motiva launches a ‘life changing’ product, the first-ever clinically proven to help improve Alzheimer’s patients

Motiva launches a ‘life changing’ product, the first-ever clinically proven to help improve Alzheimer’s patients

–News Direct–

Motiva Neuro Booster offers higher absorption of six key functional foods

New product is clinically proven to improve brain health

Worldwide, approximately 44 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and approximately 2.5 million suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) today. With the former expected to rise to 115 million cases by 2050 as well as being the leading cause of institutionalization among the elderly, it remains the only disease on the top 10 list of killers that has no cure, preventative measure, or medication to delay progression.

Similarly, MS therapies are noncurative, and except for interferon-based disease-modifying therapies, nearly all are associated with a risk of potentially life-threatening complications. Additionally, MS patients experience a multitude of symptoms and frequent treatment side effects causing significant impairment in all phases of life, including cognition and mood.

However, there is hope. The brain, like every other organ in the body, needs essential nutrients to function properly.

Dr. John E. Lewis, from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, one of the world’s leading experts in nutrition and dietary supplements, has been conducting research on how certain key nutrients can help the brain, with a study on Alzheimer’s patients.

His study was a first great step in demonstrating the power of specific nutrients in the face of a serious brain health challenge.

As part of the study, each subject took an aloe polymannose multinutrient complex (APMC), a unique blend of nutrients, polysaccharides, phytochemicals, molecules, and elements that are typically uncommon or even missing from the modern diet, for 12 months.

The findings at the end of the study were nothing short of remarkable, with the team demonstrating significant and sustained improvements in cognitive function and inflammatory status and a significant increase in the production of stem cells, which may lead to neuro-regeneration, as well as a correlation between cognitive and immune functioning.

Unlike research on Alzheimer’s medications, which demonstrate at best only a slowing of disease progress, this product actually showed IMPROVEMENT of cognitive function of Alzheimer’s patients.

On learning of this research, Fine Hygienic Holding, behind its Motiva brand of science-based supplements, teamed up with Dr. Lewis to develop the MOTIVA Neuro Booster , a new all-natural product based on the formula that has been clinically proven to improve cognitive function in all, including those with Alzheimer’s.

Designed, created, and developed by Dr. Lewis, the MOTIVA Neuro Booster is a powerful combination of six functional foods typically uncommon or even missing from the modern diet, including the very potent acemannan from aloe vera. This unique blend of nutrients, phytochemicals, and polysaccharides, all 100% natural ingredients, gives the product the highest levels of bioavailability and effectiveness.

In layman’s terms, MOTIVA Neuro Booster means higher absorption, less dosage, and hence better value for money, a far better value than many prescription medications. Dr. Lewis firmly believes that this dietary supplement is the real deal for brain health, immune support, and overall wellbeing.

“I am extremely proud to team-up with a world-class wellness company like Fine Hygienic Holding to bring Motiva Neuro Booster to the world. This is a product that enhances life and can change the trajectory of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and MS.”

The MOTIVA Neuro Booster’s unique blend of ingredients, often lacking in the modern diet, is highly concentrated and comes in an easy-to-digest powder form, enabling it to be easily absorbed by our bodies. The supplement assists focus, maintains memory, and supports overall brain well-being in addition to being clinically proven to support the immune system. MOTIVA is produced in a GMP-CERTIFIED FACILITY in the USA and is the only supplement of its kind to be recommended by the prestigious Medical Wellness Association, based in Houston, Texas, USA.

In clinical testing, users of Neuro Booster have reported improved energy, deeper sleep, a happier mood, sharper focus, heightened awareness, and a better sense of overall well-being. What’s not to like about a product that comes from natural ingredients? The Alzheimer’s study’s first published article is on PubMed .

The product’s ability to provide enhanced absorption largely comes from BiAloe®, the most bioavailable source of aloe vera polysaccharides known as acemannan. Found in the inner leaf gel of the aloe plant, it is responsible for most of the health benefits associated with aloe vera.

Added to that, ingredients such as stabilized rice bran contains more than 200 amino acids, minerals, and vitamins with significant health properties; sunflower lecithin is rich in choline necessary for brain and heart health; and tart cherry, dioscorea, and citric acid offer a host of health benefits for immunity, cholesterol regulation, and enhancement of key cellular processes.

Motiva Neuro Booster is being rolled out globally by Fine Hygienic Holding and can be purchased online for global deliveries via our e-commerce website, .

About Fine Hygienic Holding:

Fine Hygienic Holding (FHH), one of the world’s leading wellness groups and the MENA’s leading manufacturer of hygienic products, serves consumers in more than 80 countries around the world. Originally established as a paper manufacturer, FHH has transformed into a wellness company dedicated to enhancing global health and wellbeing. With its commitment to becoming “the shining star of the Arab FMCG business world,” the Group focuses on wellness, sustainability, state-of-the-art production processes, pioneering CSR programs, and award-winning products. The company offers a diverse array of products including sterilized facial tissues, napkins, kitchen towels, toilet paper, baby diapers, adult briefs, jumbo rolls, as well as away-from-home products to accommodate all types of private and public institutions, in addition to innovative personal protective equipment (PPE), long lasting germ protection solutions and natural nutritional supplements.

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Sean Muir

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Reap the benefits of dark chocolate & boost your health with top products

Reap the benefits of dark chocolate & boost your health with top products

IT is World Chocolate Day on Wednesday – and it’s worth remembering the dark type can be good for you, improving heart health, cholesterol levels and even playing a role in cancer prevention.

I try out the latest chocolate products while our Beauty Editor puts tinted moisturisers to the test. Health

with Jane Atkinson BARS

6 The Hullabaloo bars contain less than 5g of sugar per 25g bar and taste amazing Hullabaloo bars, 92cal and 99p per 25g bar, – buy now

Created by mums frustrated with the lack of healthy treats for families, Hullabaloo bars feature chicory root fibre and contain less than 5g of sugar per 25g bar.

Plus they are tooth-friendly, with no artificial flavours, colourings or sweeteners.

I tried the Choco Lumps one – it’s like the rice crispy cakes you had when you were little.

Soft. Squishy. Gooey. Chocolatey. Amazing! BREAKFAST

Lizi’s Belgian Chocolate Granola, £3.70 for 400g, – buy now

Dark, sumptuous Belgian chocolate pieces have been paired with cocoa powder, vanilla, toasted oats and a range of nuts and seeds to provide a decadent breakfast in Lizi’s Belgian Chocolate Granola.

It has 6.5g of fibre, 249cal and 5.3g of protein per serving.

Filling and chocolatey.

A weekend treat. BRAIN

Vite Brain Bars, £2.10 per 45g bar, – buy now

Vite Brain Bars are a nootropic snack, which means they aim to improve memory, creativity and motivation.

Designed to be eaten daily, they are made from plant-based ingredients with caffeine to help you feel sharper, think faster and focus longer.

246cal per 45g bar.

The Dark Choc & Nut is rich – and very bitter – but I did feel more alert. Beauty

with Gabriella Stein BUDGET

Garnier, BB cream £9.99, 50ml, – buy now

Tinted moisturiser with mineral pigments and vitamin C to illuminate and hydrate skin.

Contains SPF15 to protect against UV rays. Better coverage than I expected.

Reduced the appearance of pores and small blemishes and evened out my skin, but I needed to top it up during the day.

Suitable for normal to dry skin types. Anti-ageing and oil-free options, too. Only comes in light and medium shades though. MID

Nars, Pure Radiant tinted moisturiser, £26.35, 50ml, – buy now

An oil-free formula to moisturise and provide a hint of colour while protecting against UV rays with SPF30.Infused with vitamin C and anti-ageing compound Kopara to keep skin smooth and hydrated.The formula is sheer, but I was able to build it up with a few layers.It gives a dewy glow without the greasy shine – and it lasted all day! Available in 16 shades. LUXURY Laura Mercier, tinted moisturiser natural skin perfector, £36, 50ml, – buy now Enriched with a hydrating complex of macadamia and kukui seed oils to help increase skin’s moisture levels for 24 hours of hydration.Also includes tamarind seed extract to retain moisture and antioxidant vitamins C & E to help brighten and protect skin.SPF30 protects against daily UV rays and skin damage.This gave the sheerest coverage, but it totally blurred pores and imperfections to leave the skin with the perfect “no make-up” look. Skin looked naturally perfect and radiant all day. My favourite.


Covid cures literally grow like weeds, yet most people buy lawn poison to kill them off, thereby killing themselves

Covid cures literally grow like weeds, yet most people buy lawn poison to kill them off, thereby killing themselves

( Natural News ) In today’s Situation Update, we discuss the astonishing truth that covid cures literally grow like weeds (such as dandelion weeds), yet most people rush to Home Depot to buy toxic, cancer-causing herbicides so they can poison their own lawns , killing off the dandelions and thereby killing themselves in the long run.

Mother Nature grows anti-covid medicine for free, right in your yard, without any effort required on your part. Anti-covid phytochemicals are synthesized by the dandelion plant, creating a natural medicine that can block spike protein nanoparticles from binding with ACE2 receptors, according to groundbreaking new research .

Dandelion leaves can be easily and quickly transformed into natural medicine through the simple use of an ultrasonic cleaner. In the following video from my series, I reveal how to use an ultrasonic cleaner to extract medicinal components from rosemary herb. The exact same process can be used with dandelion leaves to make your own anti-spike protein herbal extract medicine: No compatible source was found for this media.

Even without an ultrasonic cleaner, you can make dandelion leaf extract tincture using nothing but a mason jar, water and vodka. It takes longer (several days to a few weeks) but is super low-tech and can be achieved even in a grid-down scenario.

Importantly, when making natural medicine from herbs, you pay nothing to a pharmacy, need no permission from an insurance company, need no authorization from a doctor and you don’t even need the FDA. It goes straight from God to Mother Nature to YOU. How Western civilization became a chemical death cult

What’s astonishing to me in all this is how Western civilization has been so brainwashed into believing that medicine can only come from a pharmacy or a pill, that people literally poison the real medicine growing right in their own back yards. And they do it using cancer-causing chemicals (like weedkiller) that further harm themselves, soil microbes and the environment. It’s almost as if typical Americans have joined a kind of chemical death cult that ends in suffering and collapse rather than enjoy the healthful, boundless world that Mother Nature provides for free.

Most people have such a twisted, irrational belief in pharmaceuticals, chemotherapy and vaccines that they will quite literally commit suicide with Western medicine rather than touch a “dirty dandelion” that might offer a simple, low-cost, readily available solution.

It just goes to show you how suicidal and irrational society has become, under the destructive influence of Big Pharma and the criminal vaccine industry. Cures and remedies are banned or outlawed, while deadly spike protein bioweapon injections are mandated, even as perhaps 100,000 Americans have already been killed by covid vaccines.

It almost goes without saying, but this society will self-destruct because it has lost touch with reality and now worships death. With new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealing how 82% of early pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions after covid vaccines are injected into pregnant mothers, we have clearly arrived at the “final solution” of the Big Pharma death cult anti-human agenda.

Listen to my full Situation Update podcast for additional mind-blowing details about all this: No compatible source was found for this media.

Hear a new podcast each day at:


Early experiences have larger effect on mood than more recent ones, study suggests

New insight on how our experiences during a task or interaction shape our current mood has been published today in the open-access eLife journal.

The study suggests that early experiences may have a larger effect on our mood than more recent events. These findings hold implications for the timing of events in experimental or clinical settings, and suggest new directions for mood interventions tailored to individual patients.

People routinely report on their moods during everyday activities and when they interact with clinicians providing mental health care. It is commonly believed that the most recent experiences during a task or interaction with someone else may have the strongest effect on how an individual feels at a given time. But in a series of experiments, researchers show that early experiences can have a more significant impact on someone’s mood. The research team included first author and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Hanna Keren and colleagues at the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, US.

To address the question of how the timing of an event can impact our current mood, Keren and colleagues began with a computational modelling approach. They developed a novel Primacy model, based on the concept that experiences occurring early in an interaction or game prevail over more recent ones in affecting our mood. They then pitted this model against a Recency model, based on the idea that more recent experiences have a stronger effect on mood. They showed that the Primacy model accounts more for self-reported mood when compared to the Recency and other computational models.

They also examined their models in relation to the moods of people of different ages, as well as healthy and depressed participants. To do this, they recruited a group of adult volunteers to participate in an online gambling game with small monetary rewards based on their success in the game. They invited the volunteers to report their moods using a sliding scale at several points during the game. In a second set of experiments, they recruited a group of adolescent volunteers to play a similar game in the laboratory while measuring these participants’ brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging. They also collected data on whether the participants had depression, as this can also impact an individual’s current mood.

The researchers found that early events during the game had the greatest impact on mood in both the adolescent and adult groups. This was also true for individuals with and without depression. Their imaging data also suggested that earlier experiences in the game ‘switched on’ parts of the frontal brain associated with moods, rather than later events. These results provided evidence for the neural encoding of the team’s Primacy, but not Recency model.

Altogether, the findings raise some important questions, such as why adverse experiences early in a task or interaction may have lasting effects on an individual’s mood. Future studies assessing the impact of events on mood over longer time periods might help answer these questions.

In the meantime, Keren and the team suggest their current work may have implications for the way clinicians providing mental health care interact with patients or assess the effectiveness of their treatment, as the timing of good and bad experiences may affect how patients feel about their treatment.

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Study Identifies Cytokines That Predict Cognitive Trajectories in Older Adults

Study Identifies Cytokines That Predict Cognitive Trajectories in Older Adults

Decades before patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) exhibit symptoms of cognitive decline and loss of memory, their brains begin to harbor deposits of amyloid plaques and tau tangles. These deposits increase neuroinflammation in the brain that leads to neuronal cell death.

“There has always been the question whether inflammation outside the brain could contribute to the neuroinflammation in the brain that is killing nerve cells,” says Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, vice chair of neurology, co-director of the Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS).

In a counterintuitive finding, scientists now show elevated levels of two chemical mediators (cytokines) that enhance inflammation are associated with slower cognitive decline in normal older adults.

“These are totally unexpected results,” says Tanzi, co-senior author on the study.

The findings published in the featured article, “ Plasma IL-12/IFN-γ axis predicts cognitive trajectories in cognitively unimpaired older adults ” in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, could one day be used to identify healthy people who are at risk for the devastating neurological condition before they show any symptoms.

In 2008, Tanzi’s team identified CD33, the first AD gene associated with the immune system. Yet, the role of the immune system in the earliest stage of AD when amyloid plaques and tau tangles silently begin to be deposited in the brain without any measurable cognitive symptoms, has remained unclear.

In the new study, Tanzi and his team collaborated with Harvard Aging Brain Study (HABS) investigators to find out if measuring cytokines in the blood could help predict which healthy individuals would experience cognitive decline later.

“We were studying normal elderly who were being tracked for 6 years. They were having their cognition clinically assessed and their brains imaged to determine whether they were developing the plaques and tangles that cause AD,” says Tanzi. Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, is vice chair of neurology, co-director of the Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School [HMS] “We wanted to know why some people have amyloid in their brain and don’t seem to be affected, while other people experience cognitive decline,” says co-senior author Jasmeer Chhatwal, MD, PhD, a neurologist at MGH, a HABS co-investigator and an assistant professor of Neurology at HMS. The partnership between the McCance Center and HABS, which is co-led by Reisa Sperling, MD, and Keith Johnson, MD, “was a natural fit,” says Chhatwal, since both groups seek to understand the secrets of healthy aging and identify biomarkers of brain health.

The study included 298 men and women from HABS, between ages 50 and 90 who had normal cognitive abilities when they volunteered and underwent retesting annually. All participants had blood drawn for cytokine assays and underwent positron emission tomography (PET) brain-imaging. Each participant’s blood was tested for nine cytokines to see if any were associated with the rate of cognitive decline and changes in the brain. The researchers use computational algorithms to correlate the cytokine data with neuropsychological and neuroimaging results.

“We expected that those who have elevated proinflammatory cytokines outside the brain, in the blood, will have more inflammation in the brain and worse cognitive decline over the 6-year period that we were tracking these normal elderly. Instead, the results were opposite. Over the six years people with amyloid in their brains go downhill more than people without amyloid in the brain–this is expected,” says Tanzi. “People who had high cytokine IL12 in the blood, even though they had the same amount of amyloid to begin with, hardly went downhill at all! That was surprising. And likewise, people who had high IFNγ, even though that is a proinflammatory cytokine, were also associated with slower cognitive decline. And that was the case whether you had amyloid in the brain or not.”

Hyun-Sik Yang, MD, neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, HABS co-investigator, assistant professor of Neurology at HMS and first author on the paper says, “Men and women with elevated levels of amyloid declined more if they had a lower value of IL-12.” High levels of IL-12 were also associated with fewer tau tangles, the study shows.

“It is counterintuitive that having higher levels of these two proinflammatory cytokines led to a better cognitive trajectory in normal elderly over 6 years, including those who had the beginnings of Alzheimer’s pathology with plaques and tangles in the brain,” says Tanzi. However, Tanzi and his team have a hypothesis that could explain these counterintuitive results.

“Over the last 10 years or so my lab has championed the antimicrobial protection hypothesis of Alzheimer’s,” says Tanzi. “My colleague Rob Moir–who passed away tragically about a year ago with glioblastoma—and I came up with this hypothesis that the amyloid in the brain can actually protect the brain against infection. If a bacteria or virus gets into the brain, amyloid quickly forms around it to trap it and protect the cells. It works as an antimicrobial peptide. This was very surprising for the field because the amyloid beta protein was always thought to be toxic junk. We thought it actually plays a role in the brain–that it is protecting the brain against infection.” Robert Moir, PhD, was a neurobiologist at MGH and Harvard University heading a research lab at the Genetics and Aging Research Unit.

This would indicate that with age, as the immune system starts to go downhill and the blood brain barrier becomes more permeable, more microbes could get into the brain, triggering amyloid, tangles and neuroinflammation—the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s pathology.

IL-12 and IFNγ are cytokines that regulate immune defense against infection via T-cells and pathogen engulfing macrophages.

“If you have an infection, T cells have to activate the macrophages to fight that infection. The two cytokines that are used for the T cells to activate the macrophages to fight infection are exactly the two cytokines that are increased,” says Tanzi.

Tanzi and his colleagues therefore hypothesize that even though the heightened cytokines are […]


An atlas of the bumblebee brain

The buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris is one of the most common bumblebee species in Europe. It is not only active in nature as a pollinator — humans also use it in greenhouses and foil tunnels to get good harvests of tomatoes or strawberries.

The buff-tailed bumblebee is also used in science: “Basic research is increasingly using it as a model organism to analyse learning and memory, the visual system, flight control and navigation abilities,” says Dr. Keram Pfeiffer, Professor of neurobiology at the Biocenter of Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany.

Pfeiffer investigates the neuronal basis of spatial orientation in insects. Together with his doctoral student Lisa Rother and an international team, he is now presenting the first atlas of a buff-tailed bumblebee brain based on computed tomographic (CT) data in the journal Cell and Tissue Research.

Nadine Kraft and Emmy Noether group leader Dr. Basil el Jundi (both JMU) as well as Dr. Richard J. Gill and Dr. Dylan Smith from Imperial College in London were also involved in the work.

Data averaged from ten bumblebee brains

To create the atlas, the research team took micro-CT images of ten heads of buff-tailed bumblebees. From these, they first extracted the image data showing the brains. In each of these data stacks, 30 brain regions of the bumblebee were manually reconstructed in three dimensions. On JMU’s high-performance computing cluster Julia, a standard brain was then calculated from the ten data sets, based on their mean values.

The result can be viewed in the publicly accessible insectbraindb database:

“The atlas will be used for research in which neuronal circuits are analysed. The functional principles of such circuits are often generally valid, so they also occur in humans, for example,” explains Pfeiffer.

Micro-CT offers advantages

Similar brain atlases already exist for a number of other insect species. However, none of them are based on micro-CT images, but a combination of immunostaining of synaptic regions and confocal microscopy.

Compared to micro-CT, this technique has two disadvantages: First, the resolution in the z-direction (front to back) is much lower than the lateral resolution. Secondly, a brain must be dissected for immunostaining. In the process, the outer brain regions in particular can be damaged and might shift in position.

Micro-CT allows the brain to be left in the animal. Thus, all parts remain intact and in their natural position. In addition, the resolution of micro-CT images is the same in all directions. This simplifies the later insertion of neuronal data and provides more detail when viewed from the side.

Goal: combine both methods

“We are currently also working on an atlas of the bumblebee brain using the conventional method of confocal microscopy,” says Pfeiffer. This method has the advantage — at least at the moment — that the contrast and resolution of the data are better.

In order to combine the advantages of both methods, the conventionally created atlas will be registered into the micro-CT atlas at the end. The result will be an atlas that offers both high resolution and high contrast as well as a realistic spatial position of the individual brain areas in relation to each other.

At the moment, only standard microscopic methods are available for staining individual nerve cells. The data collected with these methods can only be inserted into the standard brain with restrictions. “We therefore want to develop staining protocols that allow neuronal structures to be recorded directly with micro-CT,” announces the JMU neurobiologist.

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Materials provided by University of Würzburg . Original written by Robert Emmerich. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


10 nutrients to help with brain health

10 nutrients to help with brain health

A controversial drug approved by the FDA for Alzheimer’s could provide an opening to nutritional interventions to support cognitive health.

The controversy over the drug, aducanumab (Aduhelm), is because only one study found that it is able to reduce amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s, but it does not show any actual improvement in the disease, it has not been shown to actually slow cognitive deterioration.

Nevertheless, the FDA granted it a provisional approval, and mandated the company that has produced the drug, Biogen, to conduct post-approval studies to see if the drug could help patients down the line. If it shows no benefit, the FDA said it could withdraw its provisional approval.

“There have been 244 clinicals on Alzheimer’s drugs,” said Vincent Fontanesce, M.D., a neurologist and psychiatrist based in California. “And 243 failed outright. The one that succeeded had a minimal impact.”

The drugs did not delay the onset or improve or maintain mental function.

“Nothing alters

the course of Alzheimer’s,” said Peggy Sarlin, author of Awakening from Alzheimer’s: How America’s Most Innovative Doctors are Reversing Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Memory Loss (Online Publishing & Marketing, 2016). “There have been four pharmaceutical drugs that don’t do much, and if they do, they don’t do anything for very long.”

Emerging science has suggested Alzheimer’s is tantamount to diabetes in the brain, also sometimes called type III diabetes.

A recent online tutorial called Awakening from Alzheimer’s featured all the ranking experts in nutritional interventions for brain health. These included Dale Bredesen, M.D., author of The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline (Penguin, 2017).

Bredesen published a proof-of-concept human clinical trial that used genetics and biomarkers to optimize neuroplasticity via a personalized plan for each patient.

Bredesen and the other researchers looked at markers of everything from inflammation and chronic infection to insulin resistance, nutrient deficiency and toxin exposure associated with cognitive decline. After nine months of treatment, the results were astonishing and led to a 4-point change in cognitive score. This is compared with a 3.5-point decline in cognitive score in a group of non-treated individuals, and a known 3-point decline with the aducanumab drug the FDA just approved.

In sum, 84% of patients improved, 12% declined, and 4% saw no change. Nutrients that support cognitive activity

Bredesen has put his name behind a cognitive health dietary supplement, NeuroQ, produced by LifeSeasons supplement company. It includes the botanicals gotu kola , ginkgo and coffee fruit extract, as well as the healthy fat phosphatidylserine and propolis .

Coffeeberry extract is derived from the outer hull of the coffee fruit from which the valuable coffee beans grow to supply us with all that caffeine. It has the capacity to produce Bbain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a hormone that is both a neuroprotectant and also produces new brain neurons.

Bredesen also mentioned the ingredients alpha-GPC , lion’s mane , Pycnogenol and testosterone for 3 to 6 months.

Another major domo of the brain space is David Perlmutter, M.D., who has authored numerous books on brain health. Integrative physician Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., is author of the acclaimed From Fatigued to Fantastic (Avery, 2021).

Teitelbaum has developed the MIND protocol to reverse age-related cognitive decline. It’s a combination of metabolism, infections, nutrition and drugs. For example, drugs that can increase the chances of Alzheimer’s, according to Teitelbaum, include antihistamines, incontinence drugs and acid blockers. From the nutritional front, vitamin B12 and magnesium help with memory (and with B12 , deficiencies routinely happen with seniors and is difficult to discover, making B complex vitamins important for the geriatric set, and magnesium helps the body absorb B12), and medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil can help with insulin resistance—getting back to the diabetes of the brain concept.

Marketers of cognitive health supplements are riding the wave of concern about age-related cognitive decline. The FDA’s controversial approval of an Alzheimer’s drug is supposed to fill people with hope even if the drug has not been shown to exactly work.

Nutritional interventions are in a similar boat. Even those shown to help with memory need to tread carefully. Back in 2017, DSM’s iHealth division conducted a positive trial on a high dose of DHA to then launch a supplement with a health claim around memory. The FTC took the company to task, noting there are seven kinds of memory and they needed to be careful about which exact type of memory was improved.


Brain fog at work? Boost your focus with these 6 foods

Brain fog at work? Boost your focus with these 6 foods

Brain fog getting in the way of your focus at work? These 6 foods could help you break through the afternoon slump and help you get back to work

From meeting to meeting, call to call and email to email – office jobs aren’t easy.

You work hard all morning and then lunchtime rolls around and the dreaded brain fog descends.

After all of that morning exertion, topped with a carby lunchtime meal, it’s only natural for focus to slip and fatigue to set in.

Whether you’re working from home or are back at the the office, it’s not uncommon to lose steam throughout a workday. So, what can you do to help fight off that foggy brain?

There are a number of foods that can help get your brain back on the right track after that midday slump – why not try these six? #1 Coffee

Plenty of employees have the notorious ‘Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee’ mug – and for good reason. This caffeine-packed drink is one seriously quick and easy way to grab an instant brain boost.

The downside, though, is that coffee only produces short-term effects.

To top it off, push your consumption too far and you’re opening the door to a host of health problems, from the notorious jitters to uncomfortable headaches and even anxiety.

So, your best bet is to keep coffee waiting in the wings for when you need it most. When you’re on those last few hours of a tough Monday and need to kick your brain and focus into high gear, opt for coffee.

Not a coffee fan? Then green tea is a solid alternative.

Packed with balanced levels of caffeine and L-Theanine , green tea delivers caffeine at a slower, controlled pace, which means there is less chance of the notorious crash. It also contains antioxidants that are highly beneficial to the brain and body .

Chocolate and certain energy drinks can work well, too. #2 Fish

Plenty of people have heard the benefits of adding fish to their diet.

It’s great for lowering blood pressure, reducing the chance of heart attacks , and decreasing certain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and arthritis .

However, what you might be surprised to find out is that fish packs a punch for brain activity, too.

Fish is loaded with Omega-3s and essential fatty acids that support overall brain health. It’s not only great for short-term bouts of concentration, research shows that fish can help your memory in the long-term , too.

So, grab some fish and pair it with other brain-boosting sides like kale, spinach and broccoli, and you’ve got a recipe for success. Fish salad, anyone? #3 Nuts

Looking to increase concentration and general health? Nuts are another fantastic option and almonds are your best bet.

Almonds are great when they’re alone, but you can always get creative with this food that helps you focus better at work.

Opt for flavoured almonds or a granola bar with other nuts, fruits, and seeds, but avoid overly-sugar options or those with high fructose corn syrup. #4 Berries

If there’s one food that should be added to your office snack list, let it be berries.

They’re proven to be incredibly healthy in all aspects of the body, especially in brain health . So, when 3 o’clock rolls around, grab a handful of this convenient snack and give your focus a well-deserved boost.

As far as brain benefits go, blueberries are the star of the show. However, you can easily mix up a fruit bowl with blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries to enjoy a slew of health benefits.

Are you working from home? Consider creating a berry-packed smoothie with some other ingredients that have improved concentration at work, such as broccoli, oranges, flaxseed, and dark chocolate. Yum! #5 Soy Products

Packed with omega-3 and protein, eggs are the go-to snack for bodybuilders, health enthusiasts and lunchtime snackers alike. However, whilst their benefits are undeniable, soy products are fast catching up.Soy products such as tofu contain high levels of tryptophan and serotonin , neurotransmitters that have been directly related to improved brain function and focus.So, in between your tasty fish and veggie lunch days, consider opting for a soy lunch instead. Your brain will thank you! #6 Turmeric Curcumin – the active ingredient of the spice turmeric – may improve brain function.A growth hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor is responsible for much of your brain’s healthy function and curcumin actually helps increase levels of this hormone.Indeed a deficiency in BDNF has been linked to conditions including depression and Alzheimer’s.That means adding more turmeric to your diet could help ward off everything from everyday brain fog to more serious brain health conditions such as Alzheimer’s.Try these handy and convenient turmeric shots to get your daily dose. If you’re looking to improve your wellbeing, mental health and general lifestyle through the means of functional nutrition, Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu suggests trying an energy-refuelling, brain fog eliminating, health-boosting Raw Turmeric Shot from The Turmeric Co . More Healthista Content: