Wednesday, October 12, 2016

DHA supplementation improves cognition in older adults with mild cognitive impairment

DHA supplementation improves cognition in older adults with mild cognitive impairment


Results from a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease support the cognitive benefits of DHA, which have been consistently demonstrated with doses of 900 mg/day or greater. The study, which took place in Tianjin, China, was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 240 (219 completed) Chinese individuals aged 65 and older with mild cognitive impairment. The participants received either 2g/day of DHA or a corn oil placebo for 12 months and specific measures of cognitive function were measured at baseline, six months and 12 months.

The study results showed that there was a significant difference in the Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient (IQ) in the DHA group versus placebo, with IQ in the DHA group measuring 10% higher than the placebo group. Additionally, there were statistically significant increases in two IQ sub-tests (Information and Digit Span). The Information and Digit Span Subdomains are considered indicators of long-term and short-term memory, respectively. The findings suggest that DHA supplementation of 2g/day for 12 months in MCI subjects can significantly improve cognitive function.

While additional larger longer-term studies are needed to confirm the results, this paper adds to the body of science supporting DHA omega-3s and their role in supporting cognitive function.

Wrist-worn heart rate monitors not as accurate as chest straps; JAMA

Wrist-worn heart rate monitors not as accurate as chest straps; JAMA


In a study published online by JAMA Cardiology, Marc Gillinov, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues assessed the accuracy of 4 popular wrist-worn heart rate monitors under conditions of varying physical exertion.
Wrist-worn fitness and heart rate (HR) monitors are popular. While the accuracy of chest strap, electrode-based HR monitors has been confirmed, the accuracy of wrist-worn, optically based HR monitors is uncertain. Assessment of the monitors’ accuracy is important for individuals who use them to guide their physical activity and for physicians to whom these individuals report HR readings.
This study included 50 healthy adults; average age, 37 years; 28 participants were women. Participants wore standard electrocardiographic limb leads and a Polar H7 chest strap monitor. Each participant was randomly assigned to wear 2 different wrist-worn HR monitors. Four wrist-worn monitors were assessed: Fitbit Charge HR (Fitbit), Apple Watch (Apple), Mio Alpha (Mio Global), and Basis Peak (Basis). Heart rate was assessed with the participant on a treadmill at rest and at 2,3,4,5 and 6 mph. Participants exercised at each setting for 3 minutes to achieve a steady state; HR was recorded instantaneously at the 3-minute point. After completion of the treadmill protocol, HR was recorded at 30, 60, and 90 seconds’ recovery.
Across all devices, 1,773 HR values were recorded. When compared with electrocardiogram, the HR monitors had variable accuracy. While the Basis Peak overestimated HR during moderate exercise, the Fitbit Charge HR underestimated HR during more vigorous exercise. Analysis showed that variability occurred across the spectrum of midrange HRs during exercise. The Apple Watch and Mio Fuse had 95 percent of differences fall within -27 beats per minute (bpm) and +29 bpm of the electrocardiogram, while Fitbit Charge HR had 95 percent of values within -34 bpm and +39 bpm and the corresponding values for the Basis Peak were within -39 bpm and +33 bpm.

“We found variable accuracy among wrist-worn HR monitors; none achieved the accuracy of a chest strap-based monitor. In general, accuracy of wrist-worn monitors was best at rest and diminished with exercise,” the authors write.
“Electrode-containing chest monitors should be used when accurate HR measurement is imperative. While wrist-worn HR monitors are often used recreationally to track fitness, their accuracy varies; 2 of 4 monitors had suboptimal accuracy during moderate exercise. Because cardiac patients increasingly rely on these monitors to stay within physician-recommended, safe HR thresholds during rehabilitation and exercise, appropriate validation of these devices in this group is imperative.”
(JAMA Cardiology. Published online October 12, 2016; doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.3340. Available pre-embargo to the media at
Editor’s Note: The research was supported by The Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Fund at the Cleveland Clinic. All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Stem cell therapy for arthritis and cartilage damage

The science is still out on this fairly new revolutionary procedure.
By all accounts this should be God send for people suffering from
Arthritis and cartilage damage.
It is presently not covered by insurance.
The out of pocket can be anywhere between $3000-8000 per injection.
Hopefully with more studies down the road and refinement of the procedure,
it will be shown to be an effective non-invasive therapy for those currently suffering from pain.
Feel free to click on the link and read more for yourself.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Meal frequency and timing: impact on metabolic disease risk


Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2016 Oct;23(5):379-83. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000280.
Meal frequency and timing: impact on metabolic disease risk.
Varady KA1.
Author information
1Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the most recent human intervention trials that have examined the impact of meal frequency or meal timing on metabolic disease risk factors.
Findings from intervention studies published over the past 12 months indicate that weight loss may be more pronounced with decreased meal frequency (two meals per day) versus increased meal frequency (six meals per day) under hypocaloric conditions. However, under isocaloric conditions, no effect on body weight was noted. Plasma lipid concentrations and glucoregulatory factors (fasting glucose, insulin, and insulin sensitivity) were not affected by alterations in meal frequency. As for meal timing, delaying the lunchtime meal by 3.5 h (from 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.) has no impact on body weight, but may impair glucose tolerance in young healthy adults.
In sum, altering meal frequency has little impact on body weight, plasma lipids, or glucoregulatory factors, whereas eating the majority of calories later in the day may be detrimental for glycemic control. These preliminary findings, however, still require confirmation by longer term, larger scale controlled trials.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Eating Your Greens Could Enhance Sport Performance


Newswise — Nitrate supplementation in conjunction with Sprint Interval Training in low oxygen conditions could enhance sport performance a study has found.

Researchers from the University of Leuven in Belgium carried out a study with twenty-seven moderately trained participants. These were given nitrate supplements ahead of Sprint Interval Training (SIT), which took the form of short but intense cycling sessions three times a week.

Nitrate is commonly found in diets rich in leafy green foods, like spinach and is important for the functioning of the human body, especially during exercising.

To assess differences in performance in different conditions, the study included workouts in normal oxygen conditions and in hypoxia conditions, which are low oxygen levels such as those found in high altitudes.
The observations published in Frontiers in Physiology were unexpected: after only five weeks, the muscle fiber composition changed with the enhanced nitrate intake when training in low oxygen conditions.

“This is probably the first study to demonstrate that a simple nutritional supplementation strategy, i.e. oral nitrate intake, can impact on training-induced changes in muscle fiber composition;” stated Professor Peter Hespel from the Athletic Performance Center at the University of Leuven.

For athletes participating in sports competitions which require energy production in conditions with limited amounts of oxygen, this study is particularly interesting. In fact, exercising at high altitudes has become a training strategy for many athletes, albeit the uncertainties about such methods.

In these conditions, performing intense workouts requires high input of fast-oxidative muscle fibers to sustain the power. Enhancing these muscle fiber types through nutritional intake could very well boost the performance in this type of events.

However, this remains a question mark for the time being. “Whether this increase in fast-oxidative muscle fibers eventually can also enhance exercise performance remains to be established;” said Professor Hespel.

He cautioned: “consistent nitrate intake in conjunction with training must not be recommended until the safety of chronic high-dose nitrate intake in humans has been clearly demonstrated”.

In times where athletes push the limits of their bodies and thrive for ever greater performances, this is clearly only the beginning of the research into how athletes can improve their competitive edge through dietary supplements. Looking to the future, Professor Hespel suggested: “it would now be interesting to investigate whether addition of nitrate-rich vegetables to the normal daily sports diet of athletes could facilitate training-induced muscle fiber type transitions and maybe in the long term also exercise performance”.

Healthy diet boosts children’s reading skills


A heathy diet is linked to better reading skills in the first three school years, shows a recent study from Finland. Published in the European Journal of Nutrition, the study constitutes part of the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland and the First Steps Study conducted at the University of Jyväskylä.

The study involved 161 children aged 6-8 years old, and followed up on them from the first grade to the third grade in school. The quality of their diet was analysed using food diaries, and their academic skills with the help of standardised tests. The closer the diet followed the Baltic Sea Diet and Finnish nutrition recommendations – i.e. high in vegetables, fruit and berries, fish, whole grain, and unsaturated fats and low in red meat, sugary products, and saturated fat – the healthier it was considered.

Nutrition & Diet Learning Charts

The study showed that children whose diet was rich in vegetables, fruit, berries, whole grain, fish and unsaturated fats, and low in sugary products, did better in tests measuring reading skills than their peers with a poorer diet quality.

The study also found that the positive associations of diet quality with reading skills in Grades 2 and 3 were independent of reading skills in Grade 1. These results indicate that children with healthier diets improved more in their reading skills from Grade 1 to Grades 2-3 than children with poorer diet quality.

“Another significant observation is that the associations of diet quality with reading skills were also independent of many confounding factors, such as socio-economic status, physical activity, body adiposity, and physical fitness,” says Researcher Eero Haapala, PhD, from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväskylä.

Parents, schools, governments and companies can improve the availability of healthy foods
A healthy diet seems to be an important factor in supporting learning and academic performance in children. By making healthy choices every meal, it is possible to promote a healthy diet and enhance diet quality. Parents and schools have an important role in making healthy foods available to children. Furthermore, governments and companies play a key role in promoting the availability and production of healthy foods.
The study was funded by the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation and the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation.

Monday, September 12, 2016

New Clues Into How Meditation May Boost The Immune System



Most people are aware of the fact that meditation, in its many forms, can tweak the brain and body in a number of beneficial ways. It’s been shown to increase volume in certain brain regions, to reduce anxiety and depression, and even to improve immunity. Of course, exactly how meditation is doing all these things isn’t totally understood. But a new study, in the journal Translational Psychiatry, helps suss out the molecular mechanisms behind meditation’s effects on the immune system. And it turns out that the effects are more than from just the relaxation element – there seems to be something intrinsic about meditation itself that can shift gene expression and even boost mood over time.

In the new study, the team of researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, University of California at San Francisco, and Harvard Medical School had 94 women come to the Chopra Center for Well Being in California. Half of the women went in for a six-day vacation retreat, the half for a six-day meditation retreat. Neither of these groups of women had any experience with meditation – but a third group, made up of 30 experienced meditators also visiting the Center, were also studied. The team took blood samples from the participants, so they could analyze what genes were expressed, before the retreat, directly after it, one month, and 10 months later.