The Gary Null Show

The Gary Null Show - 05.20.22

May 20, 2022

Blueberries can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women with high blood pressure

Colorado State University, May 19 2022

Consuming blueberries can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women with high blood pressure, according to new research by Colorado State University faculty member Sarah Ardanuy Johnson.

Consumption of 22 grams of freeze dried blueberry powder (equivalent to about 1 cup of fresh blueberries) mixed with water taken daily for 12 weeks improved the function of the inner lining of blood vessels (called the endothelium), according to preliminary findings of a study.

They performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm clinical trial in 43 estrogen-deficient postmenopausal women aged 45-65 years with elevated blood pressure or stage 1-hypertension. Johnson’s research team used freeze-dried blueberries to retain the polyphenols as much as possible, and to allow for the study to be double-blind, meaning that neither the investigators nor the study participants knew whether they were getting the treatment (blueberry) or placebo. 

Johnson said the team observed increases in blood metabolites that are products of metabolism of anthocyanins (polyphenols found in blueberries that give them their blue color) and metabolism of polyphenols by the gut microbiome. 

Diet plays key role in ADHD symptoms in children

Ohio State University, May 20, 2022

Here’s a good reason for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to eat their fruits and vegetables: It may help reduce inattention issues, a new study suggests.

Results showed that kids who consumed more fruits and vegetables showed less severe symptoms of inattention, said Irene Hatsu, associate professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University.

The study that evaluated the effectiveness of the supplement showed that children who took the micronutrients were three times as likely to show significant improvement in their ADHD and emotional dysregulation symptoms than those who took a placebo. 

Higher dose of melatonin improved sleep in older adults

Harvard University, May 19, 2022

In a small study of healthy adults aged 55 and older, 5 mg of melatonin increased total sleep time compared to a placebo.

Researchers conducted the study in 24 healthy, older adults to evaluate whether a high-doseor a low-dose melatonin supplement could improve sleep. The team found that the higher dose had a significant impact, increasing total sleep time compared to placebo by more than 15 minutes for nighttime sleep and by half an hour for daytime sleep. Results are published in the Journal of Pineal Research

The body naturally produces the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate a person’s sleep-wake cycle with night and day. Melatonin levels peak at night. But among older people, levels of the hormone are often lower.

The team found that the low dose of melatonin did not lead to a statistically significant change in overall sleep time and that the changes that were seen were when sleep was scheduled during the biological day. Participants taking the 5 mg dose had a significant increase in total sleep time and sleep efficiency regardless of whether sleep was scheduled during the day or night.

Sound Waves Boost Older Adult’s Memory, Deep Sleep

Northwestern University, May 14, 2022

Gentle sound stimulation—such as the rush of a waterfall—synchronized to the rhythm of brain waves significantly enhanced deep sleep in older adults and improved their ability to recall words. This is according to a Northwestern Medicine study.

Deep sleep is critical for memory consolidation. But beginning in middle age, deep sleep decreases substantially, which scientists believe contributes to memory loss in aging.

The sound stimulation significantly enhanced deep sleep in participants and their scores on a memory test.

The degree of slow wave sleep enhancement was related to the degree of memory improvement, suggesting slow wave sleep remains important for memory, even in old age.

Mulberry extract may ‘activate’ brown fat, help treat obesity

Chinese Academy of Sciences, May 9, 2022

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences say obesity can be treated by using a natural compound in mulberries that “activates” brown fat.The compound, known as rutin, was found to have weight loss properties in a study published in The FASEB Journal. Researchers say this may not only be able to help treat obesity, but related diseases associated with excessive weight gain.”The beneficial effects of rutin on BAT-mediated metabolic improvement have evoked a substantial interest in the potential treatment for obesity and its related diseases, such as diabetes,” researcher Wan-Zhu Jin said in a press release. During the experiment, supplemental rutin was added to the drinking water of both groups. Researchers observed improved glucose homeostasis in both cohorts. The investigators concluded the rutin improved metabolic functions in the mice. Scientists are confident similar remedies can be used to treat obesity in humans.

Psychedelic drugs promote neural plasticity in rats and flies

University of California Davis, May 12, 2022 

Psychedelic drugs may have mind-altering powers in the physical sense, too. A new study, published in the journal Cell Reports, found psychedelics, specifically DOI, DMT, and LSD, can change brain cells in rats and flies, making neurons more likely to branch out and connect with one another. The work supports the theory that psychedelics could help to fight depression, anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“These are some of the most powerful compounds known to affect brain function, it’s very obvious to me that we should understand how they work,” says senior author David E. Olson, assistant professor at the University of California, Davis.

The idea that depression stems from imbalanced brain chemistry remains popular, but recent studies have revealed evidence that depression manifests as structural changes in brain circuits or atrophy in parts of the brain. This doesn’t mean neurons die off during depression, but that neurites retract. Neurites are the sections—either axons or dendrites—of a neuron that project out to bridge the gap between two neurons at the synapse to facilitate communication.

“One of the hallmarks of depression is that the neurites in the prefrontal cortex—a key brain region that regulates emotion, mood, and anxiety—those neurites tend to shrivel up,” says Olson. These brain changes also appear in cases of anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In their paper, Olson and colleagues tested psychedelics and showed some psychedelics tested, including LSD, proved to be more potent and efficacious in promoting neurite growth.

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