Nootropics: Do ‘Smart Drugs’ Really Work?

Nootropics: Do ‘Smart Drugs’ Really Work?

Nootropics are drugs, supplements and other substances believed to enhance brain power. There are nootropics designed to boost memory, concentration, motivation and even happiness. The term encompasses a number of substances, both natural and synthesised, over the counter and prescription, legal and illegal. The common kitchen spice turmeric can be a nootropic, but so can Ritalin and even LSD. The word nootropics is a portmanteau of the Greek words nous (“mind”) and trepein (“to bend or turn”). It was coined in 1972 by Romanian scientist Corneliu Giurgea, who invented Piracetam, an early cognition-enhancing drug said to improve memory and learning. Giurgea was clear about the radical potential of nootropics: “Man will not wait passively for millions of years before evolution offers him a better brain.” The thought of bypassing natural brain chemistry to suppress unwanted feelings and enhance creativity, memory and other brain functions, has long been the stuff of science fiction, from Brave New World to Flowers for Algernon to the 2011 Bradley Cooper movie Limitless . It’s growing appeal is understandable as regulations around cannabis loosen and options for optimizing our minds and bodies for peak performance grow. A 2017 International Journal of Drug Policy study found that nearly 30 percent of Americans said they had used smart drugs at least once in the last year, up from 20 percent in 2015. The culture of self-improvement dovetails with an unstable jobs market increasingly built on freelance work and zero-hour contracts. In this climate, the imperative to be better version of yourself can seem less like a bonus and more like a necessity. “There has been a lot of interest in improving cognitive capacity as job markets and higher education get more competitive,” Dr. Kimberly R. Urban, who has researched the effects of Ritalin on developing brains, told […]

Knee surgery — bad for the brain? One in five older adults suffer weakening of brain networks after joint replacement

Knee surgery — bad for the brain? One in five older adults suffer weakening of brain networks after joint replacement

( Natural News ) Surgery is a major decision for the patient, his or her family, and the attending physician. It requires prolonged hospital confinement, physical preparation, and much expense. Doctors and patients weigh the dangers non-performance of the operation has on the person against his or her chances of getting rid of, or suffering less from, the illness. The hope is that recovery occurs, not necessarily soon, but after a period of the time when the patient has rested, taken his medications, undergone therapy and fulfilled other tasks his physician expects him to do. Most surgeries have potential side effects, but modern science is supposed to have minimized or eliminated these. A University of Florida study, however, showed that 23 percent of adults aged 60 and up who had knee replacement surgery showed decreased activity in at least one region of the brain responsible for cognitive functions, with 15 percent of the participants having a complete mental decline. Researchers wanted to find out what causes problems in a patient’s cognitive functions after they undergo surgery . They used resting-state functional MRI to look at blood flow patterns in the brain while patients were inactive. They also studied imaging data to understand how changes in blood flow influenced connections in brain networks related to memory and how the patients chose people, places, and events that deserve their attention. Dr. Jared Tanner, the study’s co-lead author explained what happened. “Normally synchronized parts of the brain appeared more out of sync after surgery.” 100% organic essential oil sets now available for your home and personal care, including Rosemary, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Clary Sage and more, all 100% organic and laboratory tested for safety. A multitude of uses, from stress reduction to topical first aid. See the complete listing here , […]

New research documents four important benefits of blueberries

New research documents four important benefits of blueberries

( Natural News ) Although the term “superfood” is so overused these days that it has almost lost its value, one of the original superfoods continues to remind us how it gained its legendary status and why it is so superior over much of the competition. Recent research has provided us with some new insight into the health potential of blueberries when it comes to four important aspects of health. Here’s a look at what we now know. Brain health One of the most talked-about benefits of blueberries is their effect on brain health. Now, research shows that these delicious fruits can lower Alzheimer’s disease risk factors like the accumulation of plaques in the brain, which contributes to the illness. A recent study in mice showed that giving a supplement of blueberries, omega 3s and phosphatidylserine lowered the amount of plaque formation in just seven months while also reducing indicators of oxidative stress. In addition, there was a rise in the neurotransmitters that help send impulses between neurons; a deficiency of these is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Eye health It’s no secret that vision tends to get poorer as you age, and one of the top causes of blindness among elderly people is age-related macular degeneration. This is often caused by light-induced damage. Blueberries can reduce lipid peroxidation, protecting the retina from daily light exposure and lowering the chance of blindness. Heart health In a study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition , blueberry supplementation in mice with high cholesterol reduced their risk factors for atherosclerosis. Those who took the extract noted a 29 percent reduction in total cholesterol, with bad cholesterol dropping by 34 percent and good cholesterol rising by up to 40 percent, despite consuming a high-fat diet. In addition, triglycerides – a […]

“Green New Deal” Democrats call for eliminating the entire air travel industry, grounding all airplanes to “save the planet”

“Green New Deal” Democrats call for eliminating the entire air travel industry, grounding all airplanes to “save the planet”

( Natural News ) On Thursday Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a so-called “economic development plan” that will not only bankrupt America if it is ever fully adopted, but it will reverse more than a century of societal and technological progress. According to an overview of the plan , which Ocasio-Cortez is calling the “Green New Deal,” it is decade-long “massive transformation of our society with clear goals and a timeline,” Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) said. Specifically, the Green New Deal — and bear in mind we’re not making any of this up — calls for: — The elimination of all air travel, at least in the United States. Not only does that mean domestic flights, but that also includes foreign travel (not sure if Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow “Democratic Socialists” would allow airliners from foreign countries to fly to the U.S. and land here). — The replacement of air travel with “high-speed rail” travel, essentially turning a four-and-a-half hour flight from Los Angeles to New York City into a 24-hour ordeal or more. “Build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary,” the plan says. — The literal rebuilding of every single building in the United States: “Upgrade or replace every building in U.S. for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.” — The end of all traditional forms of energy currently in use in the U.S., to be replaced by ‘green’ renewable energy sans nuclear power (wind and solar). In fact, ‘if possible,’ the plan calls for the elimination of all nuclear power plants. It’s “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.” Support our mission and protect your health: Organic Seeds of Life […]

Science says that going for a hike is good for your brain

Science says that going for a hike is good for your brain

It’s no surprise that getting out and about in nature is good for our physical health and wellbeing, but recent scientific research has discovered that going for a hike in nature can actually improve out cognitive function, and have a positive effect on our brains. An American study conducted in 2015 looked at the effects of urbanization on mental wellbeing. Urbanisation is associated with increased levels of mental illness, so the researchers investigated whether or not spending time among nature would influence repetitive thought focused on negative aspects of the self, which is a known risk factor for mental illness. The participants who went on a 90-min walk through a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and showed reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness than those who walked through an urban environment. In 2012 researchers from University of Kansas and University of Utah in the USA sent out two groups of backpackers on a four-day hike. One group had all sorts of technology, while the other group had no technology. When faced with problems they had to solve, the group with no technology experienced a 50 per cent increase in creative thinking and problem solving skills, while the technology-clad group experienced lower cognitive function as their technology distracted them from solving the problem at hand. Another study done in 2010 and conducted by researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh in the USA found that going for a walk can increase the size of your hippocampus, which is the part of your brain that deals with memory. The hippocampus reduces in size as we age, resulting in decreased memory function. By going for a 40 minute walk or longer, or participating in regular physical activity, […]

Chocolate That is Good for Our Health

Chocolate That is Good for Our Health

FLASH: Chocolate is not only a delight, but a true friend of our health . It may seem too good to be true, but eating chocolate is beneficial to your health as I have written in this column many times before. There is, however, a Key caveat: It needs to be prepared the right way. That’s a challenge that Raaka Chocolate, New York City company, accepted and conquered, becoming one of the pioneers of a process that preserves all of chocolate’s Key nutrients while keeping the taste. The result is an amazing treat that is good for you and me! The process happens in Brooklyn, NY, where Raaka’s confectionary magic takes place. Raaka is famous for its unroasted dark chocolate, which is made with the highest-quality cacao, a tropical fruit containing high levels of natural, and plant-based antioxidants called flavanols, which boost health . A study published by the International Journal of Medical Sciences found diets rich in flavanols support healthy blood flow by improving the function of blood vessels and helping prevent cardiovascular disease and even some cancers. It is good for our minds too. Cacao has been linked to increased blood flow to the brain, which can boost memory and learning. And a Danish Diet, Cancer , and Health study published in the journal Heart found people who regularly eat chocolate reduce their risk of heart rhythm disorders, with a 17% lower risk of atrial fibrillation for those who had one weekly serving of chocolate, and a 20% lower risk for those who ate 2-6 weekly servings. Not all chocolate is not the same. “We make chocolate in a unique way and we’re committed to having a positive impact on our cocoa bean suppliers by paying above fair trade prices and being transparent about what we pay,” […]

Science is clear: Wi-Fi increases our risk of brain cancer

Science is clear: Wi-Fi increases our risk of brain cancer

( Natural News ) Wi-Fi might be a relatively new invention, but it has quickly become something that most people can’t imagine living without. If you’ve painstakingly ensured every corner of your house has coverage and you never stay at a hotel that doesn’t have Wi-Fi, it’s time to take a look at what all this connectedness could be doing to your health. Studies have shown Wi-Fi increases your risk of brain cancer and a host of other serious illnesses. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF/EMF) as a possible carcinogen, meaning it ranks right up there with lead, chloroform and DDT. The highly respected group, which is part of the World Health Organization, made its classifications after careful assessment of extensive scientific evidence. While all this exposure to cell phones, smart meters, smart devices, and other Wi-Fi technologies is undoubtedly bad for us, it’s even worse for children. An analysis of studies that was printed in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure found that children, teens and infants have a higher cancer risk than adults from such devices, with some estimates placing children’s likelihood of developing brain cancer from exposure to RF/EMF at four times that of adults. Unfortunately, children simply don’t have as much protection from this exposure as adults do as their bodies are smaller and their skulls are thinner. In addition, their brain tissue is more absorbent. Not surprisingly, unborn children are the most vulnerable, so pregnant women need to use extreme caution when it comes to their exposure. The power of the elements : Discover Colloidal Silver Mouthwash with quality, natural ingredients like Sangre de Drago sap, black walnut hulls, menthol crystals and more. Zero artificial sweeteners, colors or alcohol. Learn more at the Health Ranger Store and […]

These highly effective alternatives to toxic medication help beat depression

These highly effective alternatives to toxic medication help beat depression

( Natural News ) Dealing with depression is tough under the best of circumstances, but if you’re someone who wants to avoid the risks of medication, it can be even more challenging. If you’re depressed, the last thing you need is a medication that will raise your risk of suicide and illness, so what can you do to find some relief? Thankfully, some natural alternatives have made a huge difference for many depression sufferers. If you thought that natural remedies could never work as well as prescription meds, the results people have been getting with these solutions may surprise you. Curcumin You’ve probably been hearing quite a lot about how miraculous curcumin, a compound in turmeric, is when it comes to problems like inflammation and dementia, but it’s also showing value in treating depression. One study showed that taking 500 milligrams of a bioavailable curcumin extract two times a day was an effective treatment for major depressive disorder; consuming it alongside healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil or avocado enhances its absorption. It is believed to work by inhibiting the depression enzyme known as monoamine oxidase while boosting depression-slashing neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Needless to say, curcumin does not put you at risk of the side effects seen with medication like Prozac, such as suicidal ideation, anxiety, and sleep problems. A healthy diet When you’re looking for a “fix” for a problem like depression, it’s easy to overlook bigger-picture solutions like diet, but by simply making healthy choices when it comes to food, you can see your depression diminish. The power of the elements : Discover Colloidal Silver Mouthwash with quality, natural ingredients like Sangre de Drago sap, black walnut hulls, menthol crystals and more. Zero artificial sweeteners, colors or alcohol. Learn more at the Health Ranger […]

Eating more citrus fruits is an easy way to prevent dementia

Eating more citrus fruits is an easy way to prevent dementia

( Natural News ) A recent study made by researchers from Tohoku University in Japan revealed that citrus lovers are less likely to develop age-related cognitive impairment and dementia. In the study, which appeared in the Journal of Nutrition , the team found that older people who eat oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes, among others, can reduce their risk of developing dementia by over a quarter. The study, which spanned for up to seven years, looked at data from over 13,000 older adults in Japan, which included their diet and brain health. During this time, the team examined their rate of consumption of citrus fruits and whether or not they have developed some form of cognitive impairment — including dementia . The results were positive: Researchers found a direct link between frequent consumption of citrus fruits and improved memory and brain health. Among the adults who were part of the study, those who ate lemons, limes, and oranges daily had decreased their chances of developing dementia by at least 23 percent, compared to those who just ate it less than twice a week. In addition, those who did not regularly eat citrus fruits were at risk of experiencing age-related cognitive decline. According to the researchers, the neuroprotective effect shown by those who regularly ate oranges and lemons can be traced to nobiletin, a brain-boosting flavonoid mainly found in the peels of various citrus fruits. Based on earlier studies on the compound, nobiletin has been found to slow down and even reverse the signs of age-related cognitive impairment and memory loss, based on animal studies. 100% organic essential oil sets now available for your home and personal care, including Rosemary, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Clary Sage and more, all 100% organic and laboratory tested for safety. A multitude of uses, […]

Mountain ginseng found to have immunostimulating, antioxidant, anticancer and anti-aging properties

Mountain ginseng found to have immunostimulating, antioxidant, anticancer and anti-aging properties

( Natural News ) There are many kinds of ancient Chinese medicine that are known to be effective yet still not commonly understood. One example of this is the root of mountain ginseng ( Panax ginseng Meyer ), which is popular for its enhanced pharmacological-like properties. Although known for its many benefits, most people do not think of it as a readily available item mainly because of its expensive price tag. At the same time, it is also quite scarce, which makes it a bit inaccessible for potential users who could benefit from it. Fortunately, there are known alternatives for it. In particular, cultured roots from mountain ginseng tissue have been identified as viable replacements for larger and cheaper production of the highly sought-after ginseng roots. With this in mind, a team of researchers worked on finding out exactly how effective these alternative materials can be when it came to providing similar benefits. A new study titled, “Novel application of cultured roots of mountain ginseng and ginsenoside Re as safe antimelanogenic cosmeceutical components,” was authored by a team of researchers who worked together to determine the effects of the water extract of cultured roots of mountain ginseng (CRMG) and its major compound ginsenoside Re (Re) on melanin synthesis in ?-MSH-stimulated mouse melanoma B16BL6 cells (B16). That is to say, how it might affect the well-being of individuals who use them in certain amounts. What the researchers found was that both CRMG and Re possess potential melanogenic activities and can both be used as antimelanogenic cosmeceutical agents, just as their hypothesis predicted. To be more specific, the researchers performed a number of tests to determine both the adverse as well as the positive effects of the two, and later found that neither of them have any significant cytotoxic effect at […]