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SUBJECT: Reading notes, Oct, 2015 from Roc Nutrition Investigator

Here are answers to reader' questions and notes from other readings related to nutrition, aging, and brains.

World Health Organization validates the No Fours Diet - Oct 26 on NPR I heard that the WHO has announced that processed meat like salami and hot dogs definitely cause cancer, and that red meats like pork and beef are likely to cause cancer.

A user of metformin stated that it can cause kidney and liver damage and users should do blood tests every 6 mos.  Checking on line, the list of side effects is long enough that I prefer my vitamin C.  My inquiries to experts leave me awaiting further research before considering using it as a healthy mature adut.

The newest study in The BMJ finds a link between regular consumption of spicy foods and a lower risk of death. based on dietary data of nearly 500,000 people from China. Those who ate spicy foods 1-2 times a week had a 10 percent lower risk of death than those who rarely or never ate them, and those who ate them 3-7 times a week had a 14 percent lower risk of death.  The link was similar for both men and women. Frequent consumption of spicy foods was also linked to a lower risk of death from specific conditions: cancer, ischaemic heart and respiratory system diseases.

AARP tips for brain health-exercise, olive oil, green tea, (leafy greens - broccoli, spinach, kale), beets, tomatoes, avocadoes, nuts, curcumin, pomegranates, fish, blueberries, grapes, coffee, and dark chocolate!  October nutrition for brain health - Exercise slows and may reverse changes that cause dementia-45 min aerobic or stretching 4 times a week; Loneliness caused a 20% faster decline in mental ability; The MIND diet emphasizes fish, veggies, nuts, whole grains, beans, and a glass of wine; Those eating 1-2 servings leafy greens daily had 11 yrs younger minds; Eat olive oil, green tea, (leafy greens - broccoli, spinach, kale), beets, tomatoes, avocadoes, nuts, curcumin, pomegranates, fish, blueberries, grapes, coffee, and dark chocolate!

Scientific American Mind Nov/Dec 2015
            Sex and seniors (pg 17) - Half of men twice a month and 1/3rd of women once a month in their 70s have sex.
            The Positivity Effects (pg 64) Researchers have discovered that senior are happier than their juniors. Among 32,000 in US surveys, 38% of people age 68 to 77 report being very happy. In Denmark, those over age 45 were less healthy, but at least as happy as younger folk.  In 72 nations studied, “our emotional well-being follows a predictable pattern: starting high, hitting a trough in midlife, then climbing upward in later years.” Elders who concentrate on joy have strong activity in emotional and decision-making regions of the brain. When individuals of any age are reminded of life’s fragility, their priorities shoift toward emotional goals like feeling happy and seeking meaningful acitivities.  To be positive, you need good cognitive resources.  So eat well, exercise, and challenge your intellect.
            Book reviews (pg 70) Upside - Trauma may be the driving force behind the accomplishments of many influential, passionate people.  More people benefit from trauma than are harmed by it.  It strengthens relationships, spurs creativity, adds meaning and deep purpose to people’s lives.
            Brain Electric - The brain has 100 billion neurons. Someday, people will communicate using their thoughts alone - no more keyboards, mice, or telephones.
            Anxious - Anxiety becomes a disorder when the mental and physical effects regularly influence your decisions. Like when fear of heights makes you afraid to use an elevator.

Frailty in the elderly was characterized by a BC profile/phenotype with lower muscle mass and lower bone mass and with a higher fat %. The BMI was not effective in evaluating the relationship between BC and frailty. 
READER’S QUESTION: What do you know about the daisy supplement feverfew? It was recommended by a local neurologist for headaches. I had a concussion in a car accident last month.

For migraine headaches: Studies have used 50 to 100 mg daily, standardized to contain 0.2 to 0.35% parthenolides. Feverfew may be used to prevent or stop a migraine headache. Feverfew supplements may also be carbon dioxide extracted. For these, one study used 6.25 mg, 3 times daily, for up to 16 weeks.

What I have read looks quite good for its use.  But vit C 500mg twice a day for concussion also is justified by the literature.  Also very promising is tocotrienols.  Dr. Sen explained that alpha-tocotrienol [A3T], which is available as a supplement, provides neuroprotection. After a stroke, it provides 70-80% improvement.  First 24 hrs after a stroke is when most damage occurs from neuroinflammation, so one must deliver A3T ASAP!  Experts are taking 200 to 400 mg daily even when healthy.  It is made by HOVID.

READER QUESTION: I order from vitacost now and then.  the latest ad suggests we need both probiotics and enzymes.  they list scads of each.  How does one know whether or if so what to get?
Acid in the stomach digests enzymes, so they are not useful to take in supplement form.  Probiotics are worthwhile, and just a sip of yogurt daily is likely to be very beneficial. -Reader response - My doctor also said enzymes were a waste of money.

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values. Ayn Rand

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