Compounds in leafy green vegetables could help prevent cognitive decline
Rush University Medical Center, December 2, 2021.
Rush University Medical Center analyzed data from 960 participants between the ages of 58 and 99 years in the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Individuals whose intake of leafy green vegetables including spinach, kale/collards/greens, and lettuce, was among the top 20% of subjects at a median of 1.3 servings per day had a rate of cognitive decline over follow-up that was significantly slower than that of subjects’ whose intake was among the lowest 20% at 0.1 servings per day. The authors compared the difference to that of someone 11 years younger. When individual nutrients contained in leafy vegetables were analyzed, having an intake among the top 20% of intake of phylloquinone (vitamin K1), lutein, folate, alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), nitrate and kaempferol were each associated with slower cognitive decline in comparison with an intake that was among the lowest fifth. The authors concluded that “Consumption of approximately 1 serving per day of green leafy vegetables and foods rich in phylloquinone, lutein, nitrate, folate, alpha-tocopherol, and kaempferol may help to slow cognitive decline with aging.”
Keto diet may not work for women
University of California at Riverside, December 8, 2021
Scientists from UC Riverside are studying how the popular keto and intermittent fasting diets work on a molecular level, and whether both sexes benefit from them equally. The idea behind the keto diet is that low levels of carbohydrates and very high levels of fat and protein will force the body to use fat as fuel, resulting in weight loss. Legions of people swear by it, and innumerable companies produce foods designed for those people. Intermittent fasting operates on a similar principle, restricting eating to a small window of time during the day. During the hours without food, the body exhausts its stores of sugar and switches to burning fat. The fat gets converted to ketone bodies that the brain can use as fuel.
Better exercise performance and increased intake of nutrients that support healthy inflammation linked to reduced inflammaging in older adults
Collegium Medicum University of Zielona Gora (Poland), December 1 2021. Research reported in Nutrients revealed an association between decreased indicators of chronic inflammation and greater intake of nutrients that help maintain inflammation at a healthy level combined with better walking performance in an older population. The study included 60 men and women aged 65 and older. Dietary recall responses were evaluated to determine the intake of the anti-inflammatory vitamins A, C, D and E and beta-carotene, as well as fatty acids omega 3 (which has shown anti-inflammatory effects) and omega 6 (associated with inflammation when intake is high). Physical performance was evaluated using six-minute walk tests. Blood samples were analyzed for the inflammation markers serum C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukins 1beta, 6, 8 and 13, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and circulating free DNA, and the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10.
Microplastics found to be harmful to human cells, new study shows
University of York (UK), December 8, 2021 High levels of ingested microplastics in the human body have the potential to have harmful effects, a new study reveals. This is the first-time scientists have attempted to quantify the effects of the levels of microplastics on human cells using a statistical analysis of the available published studies. “What we have found is that in toxicology tests, we are seeing reactions including cell death and allergic reactions as potential effects of ingesting or inhaling high levels of microplastics.” These studies focused on microplastic contamination of drinking water, seafood and table salt and revealed high levels of human exposure to microplastics from consuming these.
A handful of nuts a day reduces major disease risk: Review
Imperial College of London, December 5, 2021 Eating at least 20 grams of nuts a day could cut the chances of dying from respiratory disease by about a half and diabetes by nearly 40%, researchers say. The study, which establishes the benefits of nut consumption on cardiovascular conditions, also found convincing data of the food’s effect on other diseases. “We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases,” said study co-author Dr Dagfinn Aune from Imperial College London's school of public health.
Pandemic worriers shown to have impaired general cognitive abilities
McGill University (Quebec), December 5, 2021 A new study finds the pandemic may have also impaired people's cognitive abilities and altered risk perception, at a time when making the right health choices is critically important. Scientists at McGill University and The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) surveyed more than 1,500 Americans online from April to June, 2020. Participants were asked to rate their level of worry about the COVID-19 pandemic and complete a battery of psychological tests to measure their basic cognitive abilities like processing and maintaining information in mind.