Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2018

Eat Chocolate: Prevent Heart Disease?

Regular consumers of chocolate are about 42% less likely to develop cardiovascular heart disease. A research team from The University of Manchester and other institutes set out to determine if there is a relationship between chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. (Chocolate is rich in flavonoid catechin.) The researchers included Dr. Chun Shing Kwok, S. Matthijs Boekholdt, Marleen A. H. Lentjes and others from the Medical Schools at the University of Manchester, University of Aberdeen, University of Cambridge, the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam and other research institutes. They used data from the massive European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) study. (You may recall that we’ve referred to other research reports stemming from EPIC). They isolated a qualifying group of 21,000 adults in the UK who have participated in the study for about 12 years. The data recorded for that group included frequency of consumption of chocolate (or no co…

Is Too Little Sleep As Bad For Your Brain as Crack?

Sleep is essential to brain health. Dr. Nora Volkow just gave a speech titled Probing the Sleep-Deprived Human Brain. Dr. Volkow is the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse-part of the National Institute for Health She gave that speech at Radcliffe College which was reported in the Harvard Gazette.Dr. Volkow is an expert on the effects of addictive drugs on the brain, particularly the effects that cocaine has on the brain. She has found that cocaine disrupts dopamine transmission. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in brain function. In part, it is released by neurons to signal other neurons.Specifically, she found that that using cocaine resulted in brain cells releasing dopamine but being unable to receive it. She has found that lack of sleep can have the same effect on dopamine transmission. Here is a quote from her: “Yet lack of sleep itself produces some of the same effects that drugs do: It disrupts memory, inhibits alertness and can contrib…
The approach that Kan Ding, MD, Takashi Tarumi, PhD, and team used to evaluate brain health in relation to breathing is unique and interesting. They used oxygen uptake as a measure of fitness. You’ve likely seen a tv commercial or video with a professional athlete or perhaps an Olympic hopeful running or biking with a mask and tube strapped to their face. That equipment is measuring “VO2Max” or the use of oxygen by someone exercising. Distance runners, cross country skiers and the like must consume and burn oxygen highly efficiently if they want to be competitive The University of Texas Southwest Medical Center recently opened its new Brain Institute. That’s where Doctors Ding, Tarumi and associates work. They recruited 91 participants diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. Generally, that means they were able to care for themselves but were noticing some memory difficulty. Participants in the study had VO2Max measured, had brain image scans, and various tests of cognition performe…