Inadequate Vitamin E Can Cause Brain Damage

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered how vitamin E deficiency may cause neurological damage by interrupting a supply line of specific nutrients and robbing the brain of the “building blocks” it needs to maintain neuronal health.

The findings — in work done with zebrafish — were just published in the Journal of Lipid Research. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The research showed that zebrafish fed a diet deficient in vitamin E throughout their life had about 30 percent lower levels of DHA-PC, which is a part of the cellular membrane in every brain cell, or neuron. Other recent studies have also concluded that low levels of DHA-PC in the blood plasma of humans is a biomarker than can predict a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Inadequate vitamin E can cause brain damage

Curious about good sources for vitamin E?

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Spinach (not good for blood thinner)
  • Swiss Chard (also not good for blood thinner)
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Peanuts

Vitamin E is fat soluble – consuming fat soluble vitamins with fat increases their uptake.

Fat or Stupid? Study Say You Must Choose

A surprising study contradicting all previous research found that being fat in middle age appears to cut the risk of developing dementia rather than increase it, the Lancet scientific journal has reported.

A study of two million people found that the underweight were far more likely to develop dementia, a growing problem among the elderly in the Western world.

Underweight people had a 34 percent higher risk of developing dementia than those of a normal weight, the study found, while the very obese had a 29 percent lower risk of becoming forgetful and confused and showing other signs of senility.

Source: Being fat in middle age reduces risk of developing dementia, researchers say

Obesity or dementia? Superficial outward beauty accompanied by the brain of a mouse, or a healthy mind that shall not know happiness due to the cruel world’s shallow condemnation of your size? Total satisfaction is as impossible as squeezing a slippery water balloon—whichever side you get a solid grasp on will only cause the opposite side to swell in grotesque proportion.

There is some belief that dementia may be caused by a lack of myelin (fatty substance) covering the meninges in the brain/CNS. I think it’s also true that children with a certain degenerative brain disease (can’t remember what it’s called) are told to eat a ketogenic diet (fatty foods, specifically olive oil) to slow the destruction of the myelin and therefore the meninges.

Drinking Beer Could ‘Help Fight Dementia’

A new study has found that beer could help prevent degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Chinese researchers discovered that a chemical in hops – the plant used to make beer – could protect brain cells from oxidative stress that causes dementia.

Source: Fancy A Pint? Drinking Beer Could ‘Help Fight Dementia’

The testing was only on rats to date, and researchers stress that a pint a day will not stave off the condition.  You need at least three… 😉

Reminder: Alcohol is addictive, laden with empty calories, and socially complex. Be careful™.

Coffee: Debunking the Hot Buttered Hype

People are putting butter in their coffee. And hey, if you’re just craving a new flavor experience, more power to you. The problem is that Bulletproof Coffee, the company behind the trend, is claiming that drinking a mug of fatty joe every morning instead of eating breakfast is a secret shortcut to weight loss and mental superpowers, and now the butter coffee has developed a cult of highly caffeinated, shiny-lipped adherents. So now we have to talk about it.

Source: Bulletproof Coffee: Debunking the Hot Buttered Hype

Butter in my coffee?  I guess it’s dairy like cream or milk… but the gag reflex is kicking in.  The article is pretty good about debunking the health aspects, so if you enjoy it for the sake of enjoyment.

I haven’t drank much if any coffee in a while now, but I’m thankful for co-workers who grind their coffee.  I love the smell more than I think I ever did of any coffee I can remember.  It’s like leather in a [horse] tack shop…

Hibernating Hints at Dementia Therapy

Bears, hedgehogs and mice destroy brain connections as they enter hibernation, and repair them as they wake up.

A UK team discovered “cold-shock chemicals” that trigger the process. They used these to prevent brain cells dying in animals, and say that restoring lost memories may eventually be possible.

Source: Hibernating hints at dementia therapy

We know that RBM3 protects, regardless of whether it was produced by hibernation or artificial elevation of just the protein RBM3.  So you don’t need to go out trying to freeze yourself 😉

Study: Creatine From Meat Seems to Help Us Think

Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? Besides vitamin B12, depending upon what you eat and the supplements you take, you can find your diet somewhat low in zinc, long chain omega 3 fatty acids, and even some amino acids. One of these amino acids is called creatine, and the best source is meat.

Researchers who study cognition and athletic performance simply love giving vegetarians creatine supplements. This practice might seem curious until you look at the following facts…

Source: Your Brain on Creatine

Most people don’t understand about non-essential amino acids is that you don’t need them – your body can synthesize them.  Just not efficiently.  Unless you’re getting your non-essential aminos from your food or supplements – you’re probably non-essential amino acid deficient.

Study: Alcohol May Preserve your Memory

Good news for cocktail lovers: Despite alcohol’s reputation as a brain-cell assassin, new research suggests that drinking daily in moderation after age 60 may actually help preserve your memory.

In the study, published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, the researchers tracked the alcohol intake of 664 people, assessed their cognitive functioning with a handful of tests, and performed scans of their brains. During the first phase of the study, participants’ average age was 42; by the end of the study, it was 75.

Source: Seniors, Rejoice: Drinking Alcohol May Preserve Your Memory

One aspect of the study that I’d like to know is how they’re correlating alcohol consumption with the improvement.  We’ve had other studies prove that mental exercise is good for us, and drinking is a social activity… So I wonder if the results are really being reaped from being gregarious.  With work and life, we’d be more socially active than after retirement – which’d explain why the study only saw improvements for people who were 60+ years old.

I tried taking gingko to improve my memory, but I kept forgetting to take it…

Breakthrough: Brain Barrier Opened to Treat Cancer

For the first time, doctors have opened and closed the brain’s protector – the blood-brain barrier – on demand. The breakthrough will allow drugs to reach diseased areas of the brain that are otherwise out of bounds. Ultimately, it could make it easier to treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.

Source: Brain barrier opened for first time to treat cancer

The news is a bit preliminary:

An MRI scan showed that a marker chemical, injected along with the microbubbles, was crossing the BBB. “We hope this means the chemotherapy drug is doing the same thing,” says Canney, who presented his observations last week at the Focused Ultrasound symposium in North Bethesda, Maryland.