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Beetroot Juice + Exercise = Much Younger Brain

A small clinical study in 26 older sedentary adults with high blood pressure found that drinking beetroot juice before exercising turned the clock back on brain activity. The U.S. experiment tested the combined effects of exercise and beetroot juice on functional brain networks in the motor cortex, as well as on secondary connections between the motor cortex and the insula, which support mobility. Three times a week for six weeks, they drank either a nitrate-rich or nitrate-poor beetroot juice supplement and walked 50 minutes on a treadmill. The nitrate-rich beetroot juice group had much higher levels of nitrate and nitrite than the placebo group after exercise and had much more oxygen in the brain. In fact, their brain activity resembled ...  More

"Beet Root Juice: An Ergogenic Aid for Exercise and the Aging Brain.", The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, April 22, 2017

Stair-Walking Provides A Quick Pick-Me-Up When Fatigued

Ten minutes of walking up and down stairs can be more energizing than ingesting a can of soda containing 50 mg of caffeine, according to U.S. scientists who compared the metabolic effects of both activities. Several self-described “sleep-deprived” female college students were divided into groups and given various tests to determine how they felt and how they performed on cognitive tasks. They then either ingested capsules containing caffeine or a placebo, or spent 10 minutes walking up and down stairs. Stair walking was associated with a small increase in motivation for work and may be a beneficial aternative to other forms of exercise when time is at a premium. [ Image credit: © Perry Goh  ]

"Stair walking is more energizing than low dose caffeine in sleep deprived young women. ", Physiology & Behavior, April 22, 2017

Protein-Rich Diet Contributes To Fatty Liver Disease In Obese People

About a billion people globally have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition most commonly associated with obesity. U.S. researchers who conducted a large epidemiological study found that an animal protein-rich diet is associated with a high risk of NAFLD, and that consumption of fructose may not be as harmful as previously supposed. NAFLD can lead to permanent scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver, cancer and liver malfunction. Sometimes the only solution is a transplant. The researchers said their findings jibed with other research indicating that a Western-style diet rich in animal proteins and refined foods may damage homeostasis and glucose metabolism. They also said their studydid not find a harmful association of fructose ...  More

"Can NASH lipidome provide insight into the pathogenesis of obesity-related non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?", Journal of Hepatology, April 22, 2017

Whole Grains Once Again Shown Important To A Healthy Diet

Thanks to research, dietary fat is almost back in style. But grains – even whole grains – continue to fight an uphill battle. That might change soon, though, as scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of whole grains continues to accumulate. A recent study by Tufts University scientists found that diet rich in whole grains led to a favorable energy balance compared to one heavy on refined grains. In other words, people eating whole grains burned more calories while absorbing fewer. They also showed better glucose tolerance. The conclusions jibe with U.S. dietary guidelines recommending that carbohydrates – including six ounces of whole grains – should comprise 45 to 65 percent of a healthy diet. [ Image credit: © Wikimedia Commons  ]

"Despite the Anti-Carb Diet Fads, Whole Grains are Still Good for You", The Washington Post, April 20, 2017

MIT Scientists Develop Faster, Cheaper Foodborne Pathogen Detection Method

A new technology developed at MIT may help prevent the 60 deaths and 73,000 illnesses caused each year by the foodborne pathogen E. coli bacteria. The technology is based on a novel type of liquid droplet that binds to bacterial proteins They are then detected by a smartphone much more quickly and less expensively than by existing food safety tests, which often involve placing food samples in a culture dish for two or three days to see if harmful bacterial colonies form. According to one of the scientists who helped develop the process, “The great advantage of our device is you don’t need specialized instruments and technical training to do this.”  [ Image credit: © Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT ]

"New Technology Could Offer Cheaper, Faster Food Testing", News release, MIT News, April 05, 2017

Compound That Checks Cell Aging May Help Prevent A Variety Of Diseases

A naturally-occurring compound – it was discovered in the soil of Easter Island – known as rapamycin may help prevent neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s, by preventing cell aging. The compound has been widely studied because it mimics the effects of dietary restriction, including longer lifespan, at least in mouse studies. Mice taking rapamycin have also shown more fitness, improved cognition, better cardiovascular health, and less cancer. The new U.S. study finds that rapamycin is linked to cellular senescence, when aging cells stop proliferating and secrete toxins that cause inflammation that, in turn, sets the stage for a wide variety of degenerative diseases, including dementia. Rapamycin appears to help stop that process.  ...  More

"Rapamycin inhibits the secretory phenotype of senescent cells by a Nrf2-independent mechanism", Aging Cell, April 05, 2017

Study Shows Multivitamins Do Not Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease, Mortality

A large, long-term clinical trial has found that taking a daily multivitamin supplement does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease any more than a sugar pill does. There was also no conclusive evidence that people whose diet is poor are less likely to experience heart disease (CVD) or early death when they take a daily multivitamin. Lastly, the trial, conducted among 14,000 physicians over age 50 for eleven years, found that taking multivitamins along with eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, dairy products, red meats, processed meats, or key nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, “had no measurable influence on the effectiveness of a multivitamin on CVD risk in middle-aged and older men.” [Image credit ...  More

"Baseline Nutritional Status and Long-term Multivitamin Use on Cardiovascular Disease Risk in the Physicians' Health Study II - A Randomized Clinical Trial", JAMA Cardiology, April 05, 2017

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