How diet affects mental health …

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“We have found that there is increasing evidence of a link between a poor diet and the worsening of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. However, many common beliefs about the health effects of certain foods are not supported by solid evidence”.

The researchers found that there are some areas where this link between diet and mental health is firmly established, such as the ability of a high fat and low carbohydrate diet (a ketogenic diet) to help children with epilepsy, and the effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on fatigue, poor memory, and depression.

They also found that there is good evidence that a Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetables and olive oil, shows mental health benefits, such as giving some protection against depression and anxiety. However, for many foods or supplements, the evidence is inconclusive, as for example with the use of vitamin D supplements, or with foods believed to be associated with ADHD or autism.

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Let there be more light …

I don’t know if I suffer from SAD – seasonal affective disorder – or not. If I do, I think it is a mild case. Don’t know what SAD is?

Here’s the Mayo Clinic explaining it, “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.”

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“Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), medications and psychotherapy.” Continue reading

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Lower hand grip strength associated with cognitive impairment

Older adults with a weaker hand grip were more likely to be cognitively impaired than those with a stronger grip, according to an NIA-funded study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The findings suggest that hand grip strength may be a potential low-cost, easy way to help detect cognitive impairment and, in combination with other measures, to identify people who may benefit from early interventions.

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A team led by researchers from North Dakota State University looked at data over an eight-year period from almost 14,000 people, age 50 or older, in the NIA-supported Health and Retirement Study. A handheld instrument called a dynamometer was used to assess hand grip strength, and a modified screening tool from the Mini-Mental State Examination was used to measure cognitive function every two years. Of the 13,828 participants who were assessed, 1,309 had some degree of cognitive impairment. Continue reading

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Weekend funnies …

I feel a little intimidated here. These are the first weekend funnies of the decade.

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Tony

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What comes first, beta-amyloid plaques or cognition problems?

Because of the dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in my family, I have an appetite for information on impaired cognition. Following comes from a study by the VA San Diego Healthcare System. Subtle changes in thinking and memory may appear before, or in conjunction with, the development of amyloid plaques.

The scientific community has long believed that beta-amyloid, a protein that can clump together and form sticky plaques in the brain, is the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Beta-amyloid then leads to other brain changes including neurodegeneration and eventually to thinking and memory problems. But a new study challenges that theory. The study suggests that subtle thinking and memory differences may come before, or happen alongside, the development of amyloid plaques that can be detected in the brain. The study is published in the December 30, 2019, online issue of Neurology.

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Participants had brain scans at the start of the study to determine levels of amyloid plaques in the brain, and then yearly scans for four years. Image is in the public domain.

“Our research was able to detect subtle thinking and memory differences in study participants and these participants had faster amyloid accumulation on brain scans over time, suggesting that amyloid may not necessarily come first in the Alzheimer’s disease process,” said study author Kelsey R. Thomas, PhD, of the VA San Diego Healthcare System in San Diego. “Much of the research exploring possible treatments for Alzheimer’s disease has focused on targeting amyloid. But based on our findings, perhaps that focus needs to shift to other possible targets.” Continue reading

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Filed under aging brain, Alzheimer's disease, brain, brain function, brain research, dementia, Uncategorized

Happy New Year!

Out with the old and in with the new seems to be the routine at this time of year. I hope you have some wonderful ideas to bring in to your life to improve it. Also, I hope you are able to rid yourself of any less than wonderful aspects of your life. 

Herewith, Season’s Greetings from both the old and new Wonder Woman.

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From the 1940’s

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The modern version

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Last, but not least, Lynda Carter’s Wondy from the 1970’s TV show and Gal Gadot’s modern big screen version.

 

Tony

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Deaths in middle-aged adults drive decrease in U.S. life expectancy – Study

Americans in the prime of life, age 25 to 64, are dying at a greater rate than in years past, lowering overall U.S. life expectancy, according to a new study published Nov. 26 in JAMA.

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Life expectancy — the average number of years a newborn can expect to live — increased in the U.S. by almost 10 years between 1959 and 2016, from 69.9 years to 78.9 years. However, it declined for three consecutive years after 2014, driven largely by a higher mortality rate in middle-aged people of all racial groups.

In the NIA-supported study, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University analyzed data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. Mortality Database, and CDC Wonder. They found that from 1999 to 2010, the number of deaths per 100,000 people decreased for all age groups. This decline is attributable to reduced death rates from several specific causes, including heart attacks, motor vehicle injuries, HIV infection and cancer.

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Top brain power foods

I know I talk a lot about exercise and how it benefits the brain as much as the body. But, don’t forget that good nutrition also counts. Consider these as the ‘neuro-nine’ foods that can help you strengthen your neuroplasticity.

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Physical culture in Russia …

If you are busy working out your New Year’s resolutions, it might be helpful to see what our counterparts in Russia are doing for their health.
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In 2011, approximately 20% of both women and men reported doing some form of physical exercise at least once a week. By 2017, that figure had grown only slightly among women — to 25% — but more substantially among men — to 31%.

The trend is positive, researchers noted, but the proportion of physically active working Russians remains below the European average.

The physical activity of Russia’s working population does not meet World Health Organization standards

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Moving More in Old Age May Protect Brain from Dementia

Older adults who move more than average, either in the form of daily exercise or just routine physical activity such as housework, may maintain more of their memory and thinking skills than people who are less active than average, even if they have brain lesions or bio-markers linked to dementia, according to a study by Rush University Medical Center.adult man playing a musial instrument

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The study results were published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Continue reading

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Weekend funnies …

Hope every one of you had your best Christmas ever.

Whether you did or not, please take a moment to enjoy these ….

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I couldn’t stop laughing …😍\

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Tony

 

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A Boxing Day bike ride …

Boxing Day in Chicago was a wonderful high temperature record setter for us residents.

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By the way, are you familiar with the Boxing Day reference? I  first encountered it in 1976 when I had just moved to London working for Reuters News Service. I expected to go out and do some shopping on the day after Christmas and was introduced to Boxing Day as celebrated there – a National Holiday. No stores open! Naturally, I couldn’t figure out any reason for the Brits to be wanting to engage in boxing on the day following Christmas. Really seemed like  a bad match. Continue reading

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Peloton ‘Scandal’ Shows How Mentally Unfit We’ve Become

PA Pundits - International

By Armstrong Williams ~

We are fast approaching the end of 2019, and as we close the book on a turbulent decade, nothing summarizes the state of our culture and our unhealthy relationship with contrived outrage quite like the Peloton ad controversy and the wave of hysteria that has followed in its wake.

Those claiming a Peloton ad is sexist are actually doing their cause more harm than good. Pictured: A Peloton stationary bike is displayed Dec. 4 at one of the fitness company’s studios in New York City. (Photo: Scott Heins/ Stringer/Getty Images)

Imagine if we could channel that outrage instead into addressing our nation’s obesity crisis.

If you are not familiar with the ad or simply cannot believe that America—land of the free, home of the brave—is full of adults who are distressed over an exercise bike, a quick Google search will fill you in on the situation.

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Merry Christmas and Season’s greetings

Early Christmas wishes to all of you out there. I know that you will likely be busy with family doings tomorrow.

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

To all of my faithful readers (as well as any who might have been unfaithful)  have a wonderful Christmas today with your loved ones. I hope you enjoy this beautiful artistic rendering of a tree.

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16+-+1-13.jpgI hope you and your loved ones have a Wonder-ful Christmas!

Tony

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Your DNA is not your destiny, nor a good predictor of your health – Study

A new study reports diseases such as cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes may have a genetic contribution of 5-10% at most. Source: University of Alberta

I can’t tell you how happy I was to learn this. I have had friends who threw up their hands when it came to living a healthy life. They said they failed because of their ‘bad genes.’ I always felt this was a cop out and total denial of responsibility and now it seems I was correct. Take responsibility.

In most cases, your genes have less than five percent to do with your risk of developing a particular disease, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists.

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The study also highlights some notable exceptions, including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and macular degeneration, which have a genetic contribution of approximately 40 to 50 per cent. The image is in the public domain.

In the largest meta-analysis ever conducted, scientists have examined two decades of data from studies that examine the relationships between common gene mutations, also known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and different diseases and conditions. And the results show that the links between most human diseases and genetics are shaky at best.

“Simply put, DNA is not your destiny, and SNPs are duds for disease prediction,” said David Wishart, professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Computing Science and co-author on the study. “The vast majority of diseases, including many cancers, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, have a genetic contribution of 5 to 10 percent at best.” Continue reading

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Overspill of stored fat shown to cause Type 2 Diabetes

The study involved a group of people from Tyneside who previously had Type 2 diabetes but had lost weight and successfully reversed the condition as part of the DiRECT trial, which was funded by Diabetes UK and led by Professors Roy Taylor and Mike Lean (Glasgow University).

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The majority remained non-diabetic for the rest of the two year study, however, a small group went on to re-gain the weight and re-developed Type 2 diabetes.

Professor Roy Taylor, from the Newcastle University Institute of Translational and Clinical Research, explained what the advanced scanning techniques and blood monitoring revealed.

He said: “We saw that when a person accumulates too much fat, which should be stored under the skin, then it has to go elsewhere in the body. The amount that can be stored under the skin varies from person to person, indicating a ‘personal fat threshold’ above which fat can cause mischief.

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