Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Women with diabetes AND high estrogen have 14 TIMES more dementia risk!....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 2-25-2014

This was in a Medical News Today study report later last month.

The study was done in women over 65.  But women with type 2 diabetes before menopause have double to four times the risk of heart disease than men do.  The underlying process that can cause Alzheimer’s begins long before people are 65.  And, women before menopause DO have high estrogen.

Worse, more women than men seem to get type 2 diabetes.

(We list the original link to the study summary from Medical News Today at the end of this post.)

This has many implications and uses.

1.  This adds to the already huge amount of research showing that diabetes and even too high blood sugar short of it tends to cause brain damage, mental decline, AND Alzheimer's disease.

2.  It shows why women are more at risk than men from mental decline, AND Alzheimer's disease because before menopause, women have high estrogen.

3.  It shows that it is even more important for women to make very strong efforts at lifestyle upgrades if they begin to show high blood sugar and for them to get tested for their HBA1C at least about every year or 6 months.

4.  Since many chemicals in our food and personal products have estrogenic effects, this means that finding ways to minimize this or remove them from our blood stream is important to do. 

Eating cruciferous vegetables often -- particularly broccoli & kale is one way to do this that also has other health benefits.  Eating them raw or raw in salads with extra virgin olive oil and or nuts and lightly steamed with extra virgin olive oil delivers their anti-cancer protection.  Cooking them more than that stops most of their cancer protection and may turn off their ability to disarm estrogen like chemicals.

Boiling or sautéing them over low moderate heat and serving them with extra virgin olive oil also makes their carotenes more bioavailable.  These have other kinds of cancer protective qualities and health benefits.

Minimizing your use of  most commercial cleaners and cosmetics and heating and storing your foods in glass or ceramic containers instead of plastics also helps minimize this.

And, since the estrogen like chemicals also effects men, this means that men today who have high blood sugar or diabetes are at more risk of mental decline than they once were.

5.  It means that even in low doses and using bio-identical estrogen hormone replacement after menopause should stop at low or low moderate levels unless the woman involved has low blood sugar readings and follows a lifestyle that prevents high blood sugar.

6.  Since it is progesterone that seems to help stop hot flashes and restore libido best, it might make sense for women who have enough estrogen after menopause to only take bioidentical progesterone for HRT to achieve those 2 goals.

7.  It means that it is particularly important for women to eat few sugars and artificial sweeteners and any wheat or other kinds of refined grains or even many whole grains other than wheat. 

It’s more important than once thought for women to do superslow strength training and high intensity cardio most days of every week. 

And, it’s important to eat foods that are mostly in the DASH II or Mediterranean diet except for grains and to add more nonstarchy vegetables.

8.  Lastly women with lower levels of high blood sugar such as 100 to 119 fasting glucose and/or HBA1C of 5.6 to 5.9 and of course any higher numbers to take the supplements that tend to turn down too high blood sugars both in general for chromium polynicotinate and r-lipoic or alpha lipoic acid and turmeric with black pepper -- AND take those like cinnamon or bitter lemon or the new super citri-max that prevent blood sugar surges BEFORE eating a food high in sugars or grains.

9. Other studies have found that taking the sterol stigmasterol which appears with beta sitosterol which may also help along with antioxidant foods or supplements may prevent this effect.  (Natrol’s Cholesterol Balance supplement has both those sterols and is surprisingly inexpensive.)

Here's the link to the original study:

Diabetes and high estrogen levels raise dementia risk for women
Women aged 65 and over who have both diabetes and high estrogen levels are 14

times more likely to develop dementia than women who have neither condition.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Harmful Energy drinks, soft drinks, and diet soft drinks....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 2-18-2014

Many people drink energy drinks. 

Many people drink soft drinks.

And, those who drink diet soft drinks drink more of them thinking they are free of fattening effects.

All three kinds of drinks are quite literally are so harmful, they should pay YOU to drink them to compensate you for the damage!

1.  We’ve already posted that soft drinks with high fructose corn syrup are almost the perfect fattener. 

They add calories that do not make you less hungry.  Then you get rebound hunger later from your insulin slamming back the blood sugar spike drinking the soft drink gave you. 

The goal of good health and permanent fat loss is to eat in a way that you don’t get fat or sick or get excess hunger. 

Soft drinks are totally the reverse, they add calories and make you extra hungry – AND they help cause type 2 diabetes and it’s beginning to look like they cause heart disease and osteoporosis directly.

Even worse, the added sugars from soft drinks have recently been found to cause heart disease and deaths from heart disease even in people who are not yet fattened by them.

2.  It’s complex to unravel why; but somehow the people who drink diet soft drinks tend to be fat and become even fatter and get the same diseases research has found.  

Astonishingly, they do so about as effectively as regular soft drinks on a per drink basis.  But it’s even worse because people who drink diet soft drinks drink more of them per day thinking they are safe and non-fattening to drink.  Oops!

It’s hard to credit being more effective a fattener than regular soft drinks.  But drinking diet soft drinks has been shown to do so.

3.  Energy drinks are like non-carbonated soft drinks with extra caffeine.

Because they contain the same sweeteners or artificial sweeteners as soft drinks they too harm your health.

They may be a bit less fattening because the effects of the caffeine keep down how many energy drinks most people drink a bit.  But per drink they are about as fattening.

(The people who drink too many energy drinks have wound up in the hospital or worse.)

All three of these drinks tend to contain the same ingredients.

It’s already known they fatten you.

And the phosphoric acid in soft drinks and diet soft drinks leaches calcium and structural strength from your bones over time.  In people who hardly get any exercise or walking or strength training and eat badly besides this can easily result over time in osteoporosis when you get older.

The high fructose corn syrup contains mercury which is a nerve toxin because of the way about 30% of it is made

The health oriented Chiropractor, Dr Lew Connor,  I once went to sends periodic health information emails and sent this with other components in these drinks.

Virtually every one is harmful!!

These are in addition to the harms I already listed!

(I’ve added my comments in this form using parentheses.)

“Splenda /Sucralose is a chlorocarbon.

Chlorocarbons (include) tetrachloride, trichloroethylene and methylene chloride, all poisons.

Chlorine is a highly excitable atomic element employed in bleach, disinfectants and insecticides, World War I poison gas and hydrochloric acid.  (Free chlorine in large volume is a poison gas.  And they made phosgene by adding carbon monoxide to chlorine.)

(Sucralose has been found to kill off almost all of your gut bacteria which may have some medical benefit with some intestinal diseases. 

But since the beneficial bacteria it kills help you digest your food and keep your base level of inflammation down ingesting sucralose harms your nutrition and the boost in inflammation helps cause cancer and heart disease.)

Aspartame is a multi-potential carcinogen that increases the incidence of malignant tumors in rats.

 Ace-K (potassium) is a food additive used for sweetening. Ace-K produces tumors in rats in three months.

 Methylene chloride is used to produce Acesulfame K (Ace-K) and appears to be the cause of tumor production.

 Potassium benzoate damages an important area of DNA, the mitochondria, to the point that potassium benzoate inactivates this area of DNA.

(VERY scary stuff! 

Mitochondrial damage speeds aging, reduces your muscle speed, cuts down your overall feeling of energy, causes heart failure -- and, in the brain causes nerve cell damage and mental decline.)

Potassium benzoate is an artificial coloring agent.

Potassium phosphate is used as an additive in hundreds of processed foods. Potassium phosphate is linked to more rapid development of kidney disease.

(Kidney disease harms your heart and can kill if not treated and kills even if treated if it gets bad enough.)

 Also, other phosphate additives have been linked to increased risk of heart disease and the additives disrupt the body’s use of vitamin D.

 High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) causes insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension and weight gain.

Potassium sorbate :

food and toxicology reports have labeled potassium sorbate a carcinogen showing positive mutations in the cells of mammals. Potassium sorbate is a preservative.”  

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Monday, February 17, 2014

My monthly fatloss progress report....

Today's Post:  Monday, 2-17-2014

This report is another mixed review.

Since last month, I was under some extra stress AND had a birthday party and a family dinner out AND some less than OK healthwise Chocolate Birthday cake.

I only gained about a pound and my waist stayed the same.

I ate well  for health otherwise and even at my birthday party and the family dinner, I was able to eat far better healthwise than I once knew to do.  So I gained about one pound instead of six!

 Now I’m at 4 and a half pounds over my goal weight.  And most of the 11 pounds I gained since I was 6 and a half pounds under my goal weight has been fat.  I can tell when I look in the mirror.  

So I do still need to add muscle and reduce fat enough to remove 12 to 20 pounds of fat.

The adding muscle section is next. 

But first, there is one other bit of good news.  While other men my age typically gain a pound or more each year, my efforts HAVE resulting in my weight this year being almost exactly the same as it was last year.

The best news is on the added muscle side.  

More progress on the added muscle side is beginning to happen!  And, I have a plan to make more progress on the eating to lose fat side.

(I'll cover my food upgrade plan after my good news on exercise.)

1.  My exercise program IS finally getting better!  

I used the wrist weights to begin to force progress at home on my dumbbell exercises and it is working so far.  I've been able to work enough harder to make my muscles feel better exercised.  

I’ve been able to do as well at the heavier weights as I did before with the lighter ones and may be able soon to do more repetitions.

(Now I am able to jump from one dumbbell weight to 2 pounds more -- and once I've mastered that, I can then go to 5 pounds heavier and then add the 2 pound wrist weight etc.  I found the 5 pound jump was too big to be able to use to force progress. )

And, I've made enough progress on the chest press machine at my once a week The Perfect workout to do 9 superslow pushups at home up from 6 or 7.

My at home calf raises on one leg at a time with 35 pounds have gradually gone from just barely 5 to close to 10 full reps on each leg.

Tomorrow I’ll add the 2 lb wrist weight and see if I can do five or more.

So, the likely results I’m headed for are more promising!  

After being stuck at 25 pound weights on my key dumbbell exercises for years, I'm now at 32 pounds on arms and about to go to 37 pounds on calves.  

Once I get to 52 pounds for arms and 62 pounds for calves and get that much stronger at my machine exercises at The Perfect Workout, I'll add at least 5 pounds of muscle.  And, I've read that will reduce my fat by 15 pounds.  That would begin to do it as I'd lose 10 pounds on the scale.  And, my waist will be at least an inch or two smaller.

Even adding 1 & a half pounds of muscle will lose 4 & a half pounds of fat and 3 pounds on the scale.  That will cut my waist by half  an inch to an inch I think.

In addition, my shoulder exercises have worked well enough that my left shoulder is beginning to heal and my right shoulder is beginning to heal too.  Plus, I'm now finally beginning to make progress on my jump rope without making my shoulders worse.

RECENT NEWS:  My shoulders have been slowed by the minor injuries from my jump rope sessions.  One of the other trainers other than the one who trains me  at The Perfect Workout noted that I was not keeping my elbows in tight at my sides when I described and modeled my efforts  which helped cause excessive use of my shoulders in starting and doing the jumps. 

So I’ve now used his suggestion twice.  So far I’m not as good at that style in terms of doing my sets without a miss.  BUT I came much closer the second time.  And, my shoulders DO seem less bothered by doing the jump rope.

That may help me make progress on several of my upper body exercises since many of them have been held back a bit by my shoulder discomfort.  And, even before this upgrade I’ve made some progress.

I’ve also working on using a fifty pound dumbbell in my at home superslow full squats since my leg press weight at The Perfect Workout is so much more.  It’s almost working.  My legs can do it easily while at the beginning doing it with 35 pounds was challenging.  But last time, I did begin to have a problem holding the fifty pound dumbbell.

I have an idea that may patch around this problem using a backpack for added dumbbells. But I may need to stop with the fifty pound dumbbell in my at home workouts and find a way to get to a gym once or twice a month.

I've still not had time to add the yoga sessions I'd hoped.  But I did at least make a starting effort last month.  

2.  My food results and upgrade plan:

Last month I again followed Dr Perlmutter's advice and cut out 90 % of one fructose source and half of another.   I was mildly disappointed because I lost no weight.  But I did add a few grams a week of lentil and bean protein and ate well volume wise AND I did NOT gain weight beyond what I expected from my birthday cake, etc.

Just a few days ago, I began taking a cranberry extract with cold water every other day and only drinking cranberry juice every other day.  That will cut my calories from fructose by 280 calories a week.  That will help cut my weight by at least a quarter pound and maybe more.  (I’d already cut my juice calories in half by switching from grape juice at 160 calories a day to cranberry juice at 80 calories a day.)

I had cut my usual wheat intake to once every two weeks as wheat germ with my oatmeal on every other Weds morning.  But I just read that a component of the wheat germ specifically may cause inflammation and fattening.  So, starting this week, I’ll go to zero wheat on a regular basis and toss the remaining wheat germ.

I have simply been too busy to even research the next idea I had last month.

And, I read of a new possible health problem with shrimp.  So it will be a bit before I try it and when I do, I may use mushrooms and bits of grass fed cheese instead of shrimp until I can be sure my shrimp supply is safe.

This is what I wrote last month.:

My next effort will be to replace one of my oatmeal breakfast's a week with Wakame seaweed and shrimp and for 3 weeks a month AND do it the whole week one week a month.  The idea is to eat less milk and the low glycemic grain without cutting protein or fiber too much.  

My hope is that this will remove the 3 pounds I am over my goal weight without losing any muscle or muscle gain.

That one will have to wait for a bit on upgrading my income as it will cost a good bit more a month than what I'm eating now does.

At that time, I will price each of the shrimp and the Wakame to see exactly how much this will cost.

The combination I think will finally begin to do the job!   

Hope I can get to it at some point or do something like it that’s less complex to buy.

Meanwhile not having any birthdays between now and next month and my cut back on juice and my increases in what I can do in my strength training may get better results by next month.  

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Friday, February 14, 2014

The 3 parts of Valentine’s Day....

Today's Post:  Friday, 2-14-2014

Valentine’s Day is the yearly day of the heart and love.

1.  The main one of the 3 parts is the caring, affection, and romantic love part.  This can either be the head over heels bonding  when love starts or the more lasting caring and affection for someone you have cared about a long time and know well. 

2.  As that kind of love is often quite literally felt in your heart especially when you hug your loved person, the day has come to have the red heart icon as its symbol. 

But to stay around to enjoy the caring kind of love and to function well in the physical mating, and pleasure part, having your heart be healthy and strong is very important.

3.  The physical mating and pleasure part can be really, really nice when it goes well and both lovers feel an afterglow of pleasure and relaxation after the intense pleasure that builds and builds in intensity.

* * * * *

1.  The caring, affection, and romantic love part goes best when you focus on why you love and value your partner and want them to be well and have a good life -- and you try to do the best for them you can.

It helps a lot to focus on what they do well and what things they do often that make you feel cared for.

It helps even more to forgive them for sometimes being tired, stressed, and cranky and to focus on being warm and affectionate towards them anyway.

What if things don’t go well?  Do two things. 

Let them know you’d like things to go well and you think they can and radiate warmth and caring and look on them with that in your expression -- even if just for today.

But for long term having things go well if they aren’t always now, there is a new and effective resource you can get now and use so that will be easier next Valentine’s Day. 

It’s a book called “Crucial Conversations” and has practical and effective and tested techniques to make it safe to work together on issues where you disagree or things don’t go well to create win -- win solutions or solutions almost that good you both can live with. 

It has specific ways to do this even when you feel like being angry or shutting down or your lover actually does.

It has saved marriages and it also makes business discussions of important issues and differences go dramatically better.

It may be in a local bookstore now as I got my copy that way just a few weeks ago.  And, for sure it’s available on Amazon.

2.  As that kind of love is often quite literally felt in your heart especially when you hug your loved person, the day has come to have the red heart icon as its symbol. 

But to stay around to enjoy the caring kind of love and to function well in the physical mating, and pleasure part, having your heart be healthy and strong is very important.

The difference in your heart health between the lifestyle that harms it and the one that keeps it well and healthy is huge.  There are now a large list of doable things that you can do to get the lifestyle that keeps your heart healthy.  And, our last most recent post yesterday on Thursday, 2-13-2014, this week is a great resource for how to do that.

3.  If you do the first two things and learn what pleasures your lover and what pleasures you and see to it those things happen, the mating and pleasure part can go well too.

Open yourself to being caring and expressing it and responding well to what your lover responds to really helps.  The more you do those two things, the more satisfying the mating and pleasure part becomes. 

Emphasize fond gazes and caresses and hugs.  Those cause the release of a wonderful feeling of gladness and bonding hormone called oxytocin. 

Be sure you do the second part that keeps your heart and nerves healthy.  And within that set of things be sure you do the more intense if brief kinds of cardio and the superslow strength training.  Those two kinds of exercise have been proven to enhance and improve the mating and physical part of love for BOTH men and women – NOT just men.

Blood goes where it’s supposed to go in the volume it’s supposed to get there with.  Your nerves feel what they are supposed to feel.  And your testosterone that enhances desire and pleasure is greater.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to have more protective HDL....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 2-13-2014

There are two ways to read that title.

1.  How to have more HDL --


2.  How to have the HDL you do have be more protective from heart disease and heart attacks.

We’ll recap the very effective ways to increase HDL that also tend to be protective first –

 AND then we’ll add some new information on how to make the HDL you do have be more protective because some kinds of HDL are not protective.

1.  Here’s the most important fact to know about HDL and heart disease. 

a) Research has found that one of the most important causes of heart disease and then strokes and heart attacks because of it is this:

Some LDL is large particles that can and often do roll along harmlessly in your blood vessels without harming them.  BUT small particle LDL is trouble!  These particles are quite literally so tiny that they stick into the molecular chinks in the walls of your blood vessels.  That causes inflammation and some damage and that causes your body to patch over the areas where that happens.  But if it goes on far too much, these patches build up and begin to close the blood vessels. 

Once that happens, if and when any of those patched areas breaks off and comes to a place that’s too closed up or calcified so the clot blocks blood flow it causes heart attacks and strokes and can also happen in the lungs as a pulmonary embolism which sometimes release the clot to then cause a heart attack or stroke.

So one of the very most protective things you can do is to lower small particle LDL to as low a level as safe.

b)  Here’s where your HDL measurement comes in.  It costs several hundred dollars to test your small particle LDL directly but researchers at Harvard found that the ratio of your HDL and triglycerides is a very close approximation that is almost 100 % the same.

c)  So if you do the things that lower small particle LDL and avoid the things that increase it, you will have less small particle LDL, your HDL will be less, your triglycerides will be more, and you will develop far less heart disease.

Exercise lowers small particle LDL:

If you build up safely to doing vigorous exercise if only for a few minutes a day on most days a week, it directly reduces your small particle LDL and your HDL measure will go up and your triglyceride measure will go down.  Better yet, the more years in a row you get such exercise almost every week, the more effective this becomes!  Then instead of being more likely as you get older to have a heart attack, this part of it makes you LESS likely to have one!

Hydrogenated oils sharply increase the amount of small particle LDL you have if you eat any!:

Even worse, because it takes your body weeks to get rid of half of what you take in even eating a small amount of hydrogenated oils every day, like having nondairy creamer in your coffee each morning does for example, after a few months you have a ton of this heart attack starter in your system.

Next you need to look at things that boost the heck out of your triglyceride levels because that means those things also are almost certainly lowering your HDL and increasing your amount of small particle LDL.


Eating or drinking high fructose corn syrup; eating any refined grains; and eating or drinking  more than just a very small amount of fructose by itself or eating or drinking a lot of sugar; or eating more than just a small occasional amount of even whole grains each boost triglycerides and do so by a lot!  This means regular soft drinks are heart attack starter too!

Worse, eating or drinking artificial sweeteners seems to test out as doing the same thing or even worse.  And of course many of the artificial sweeteners such as sucralose or Splenda cause health problems and the Center for Science in the Public Interest says they each have some risk of causing cancer.  That means that NOT drinking diet soft drinks also tends to be heart protective.


Because niacin both increases HDL AND lowers triglycerides it almost certainly directly lowers small particle LDL.  That lowers inflammation. 

Even better, recent research found that niacin also causes your immune system messengers to lower inflammation a second way.  That means that just taking 300 mg of real niacin after your two largest meals is extremely heart protective. 

(There is even considerable evidence to suggest this is more heart protective than taking statin drugs in any amount AND doing this and NOT taking statins avoids the serious side effects of statins.)

Other things that boost HDL:

If you aren’t allergic to them eating raw nuts that have not been salted or oiled every day increases your HDL levels and has many other proven health benefits.

Eating organic berries or taking berry extract supplements also increases your HDL levels in addition to their other proven health benefits.

Other things that lower triglycerides:

Eating onions, taking deodorized garlic supplements, eating minced fresh garlic, and eating wild caught fish high in omega 3 oils, and/or taking omega 3 and DHA supplements – each lower triglycerides and has other heart and health protective benefits.

2.  Here’s the newer research that show why high HDL is not always enough:

Oxidized HDL particles have been found to help cause heart disease instead of being protective.

This was recently in Medical News Today:

Bad version of 'good' cholesterol causes disease
New study shows how dysfunction in a protein that makes HDL can turn the 
so-called good cholesterol into a bad form that promotes inflammation and 
coronary artery disease.

1.  Two things appear to be going on here.  In the presence of other causes of endothelial harm such as excessive salt or high chronic inflammation or tobacco smoke or high HBA1C the apo(a1) part of HDL stops being protective and becomes harmful instead.

That means that it’s critical to avoid tobacco smoke (which also lowers HDL too!)

And NOT eating the pro-inflammatory foods that are high in omega 6 oils is critical too.

And, it’s yet another reason NOT to eat excessive salt or bad sources of sodium such as MSG.

It’s also another reason to avoid the foods and drinks that boost triglycerides because they also help cause high blood sugar and HBA1C levels.

2.  And, this effect is much worse if your HDL becomes oxidized according to this study.  

THAT means that natural vitamin C in high doses, lots of carotenes in foods, real vitamin A, selenium, and real vitamin E complex all are vitally needed to prevent that part of HDL from being oxidized!

This too is another reason why eating a lot of low glycemic, organic, whole fruit and lots of organic vegetable every day is heart protective.

This also explains why boosting HDL with drugs instead of just booting HDL by reducing small particle LDL is so much less effective!  

If you reduce small particle LDL, inflammation and depositing of patches in the blood vessels is less so this heart disease process is less.  While if you boost HDL without doing that and these other things the heart disease process continues.  

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

More good news on preventing mental decline....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 2-11-2014

Recently Dr David Perlmutter author of the new Grain Brain book and the older Better Brain book listed an article he posted to Facebook.

There are two parts of your brain that are critical to retain your ability to store and retrieve memory that can gradually shrink as you get older.  If that happens you get mental decline and your abilities shrink too!

One is the white matter that we now know acts like telephone wires once did for land lines and connects the hippocampus where memories and the software to input and retrieve them is located.

So if your white matter drops too much, the memories may be there still but your ability to contact them may not be.

The second one is the hippocampus itself which acts as a memory controller and has some storage.

We already knew that exercise that is at least moderately vigorous releases BDNF a growth hormone that grows new brain and nerve cells and that people who do no exercise at all have gradual shrinkage of their white matter.

Clearly to avoid or reverse that doing exercises that robustly release BDNF most days of every week is protective of your white matter and might even restore some.

But the article Dr Perlmutter posted has research with even better news:  Exercise actually causes your hippocampus to grow in addition!

That can not only prevent mental decline, it can help reverse it after it has begun!

Here are the key quotes from his article and after it I’ll comment.

Growth Hormone For Your Brain – Now Available Without a Prescription!

We’ve all come to accept the notion that our brain will continue to shrink as we age. And nowhere is this decline more impactful than in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, one of the primary brain areas that’s first to decline in Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers measuring the size of the hippocampus using MRI scans demonstrate a clear correlation between shrinkage of the hippocampus and declining cognitive function. So, at least as it relates to the hippocampus, size does matter.

Challenging the status quo notion that loss of hippocampal function is inevitable is new and exciting research showing that we have the potential to actually grow new cells in this vitally important area of the brain, expanding the hippocampus in size and enhancing memory function.

The growth of new cells in the brain, neurogenesis, is enhanced under the influence of a specific protein called BDNF. And while there is no pharmaceutical approach to increasing BDNF, animal research has long recognized that aerobic exercise causes a robust increase in BDNF levels and as a consequence increases both the growth of new cells in the hippocampus as well as increase in memory.

But while the animal research has long confirmed the relationship between aerobic exercise and the growth of new brain cells, this relationship has been only recently demonstrated to occur in humans.

Neuroscientist Kirk Erikson and his research team at the University of Pittsburgh publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science studied a group of 120 adults over a one-year span. Half the group was given a stretching program to perform 3 times each week while the other half engaged in 3 days of aerobics.

After one year, the 2 groups were evaluated looking at 3 parameters. First, using MRI scans, the change in size of the hippocampus was calculated. Second, serum measurements before and after the trial were measured. And finally, the study actually measured memory function at the beginning and end of the trial.

The results were breathtaking. While the group doing the stretching program manifested a decline in memory, hippocampal size and BDNF levels, the aerobics group showed not only improvement in memory, but an actually increase in the size of the hippocampus accompanied by an increase in their blood levels of BDNF. The authors concluded:

These results clearly indicate that aerobic exercise is neuroprotective and that starting an exercise regimen later in life is not futile for either enhancing cognition or augmenting brain volume.
What’s more, research just published several weeks ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that blood levels of BDNF almost perfectly predict future risk for developing dementia as long as 10 years in the future.

The results of these studies have huge implications. There is no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and yet, simple aerobic exercise can turn on the genetic machinery to manufacture BDNF, the brain’s “growth hormone,” creating new neurons in the brain’s memory center and actually improving memory. Despite the lack of any pharmaceutical development to enhance this process, you have direct control of your BDNF levels and thus the fate of your brain.

You can increase your BDNF levels and enhance the growth of new brain cells and memory.
Here’s how:

Engage in regular aerobic exercise. I recommend 20 minutes per day, 6 days each week.”

“….The omega-3 DHA, like aerobic exercise, has been shown to activate the genes that turn on BDNF production. So take a supplement that contains DHA. DHA is available in fish oils as well as algae-derived (suitable for vegetarians). While krill oil is popular, the DHA content is typically only 10% of fish or algae-based products.”

My comments:

1.  Other research has shown that regular brisk walks do have this effect and that people who take them most days a week avoid the shrinkage of their white matter.

However, more vigorous exercises can be even better in several ways.

Higher intensity cardio for much briefer periods and superslow strength training each release more growth hormones than brisk walking and likely release more BDNF too. 

Even better, they can be much easier to fit into your schedule. There are days I have time for my 4 to 6 minute cardio that I would not have 20 minutes to walk.  And, I can do those exercises at home in weather too dark and rainy or too hot and sunny to walk in.

But there are even more reasons to use them instead of or in addition to walking that are brain protective!

Dr Perlmutter’s new book shows conclusively as does other similar research that even lower levels of high blood sugar cause Alzheimer’s like harm to your brain and higher levels or type 2 diabetes is very harmful even more than low levels.

But besides mostly eating health OK protein foods and oils and lots of vegetables & very little grain or sugar and some supplements, there is an extremely effective antidote for high blood sugar and insulin resistance.

This antidote is doing the same higher intensity cardio for much briefer periods and superslow strength training that time efficiently produces lots of BDNF!

Lastly, improving the power of your heart and improving your blood flow and the health of your blood vessels and the resulting heart attack risk measures that doing this causes also prevents vascular dementia and other kinds of brain decline caused by low blood circulation.

And THAT agent is doing the same higher intensity cardio for much briefer periods and superslow strength training that time efficiently produces lots of BDNF!

So now we know this kind of exercise prevents mental decline 3 effective ways!

2.  Eating wild caught fish NOT too high in mercury two or more days a week and taking a purified omega 3 supplement and a DHA supplement each day together ensure you get plenty of DHA.

If you do that, taking krill oil in addition may enhance the effect according to one source I saw.  But that only works for this purpose if you add it to the first set of things.  Dr Perlmutter is correct that it is not high in DHA by itself.

3.  Also besides eating very little if any grain, ingesting virtually no oils like corn and soy and canola that are high in omega 6 oil, and very little animal fats from animals fed grains reduces the amount of omega 3 oils needed to lower inflammation enough to have brain protective and heart protective effects.

Extra virgin olive oil and protein foods from wild caught or only naturally fed animals both avoid that problem.  The Mediterranean diet with lots of vegetables and extra virgin olive oil and nuts derives much of its legendary and tested health protection from this source.

Unlike vegetable oils high in omega 6 or butter high in omega 6 from cattle fed almost only grains -- nuts and extra virgin olive oils contain monosaturated omega 9 oils that do NOT interfere with omega 3 oils like DHA or boost inflammation.

That diet has been shown to be both heart and brain protective.   

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Friday, February 07, 2014

New way to stop migraines....

Today's Post:  Friday, 2-7-2014

Recently Medical News Today had the information that there is a totally new way to stop migraines that has been tested to work!

It’s a device and treatment instead of a drug or other method. 

The reason it’s of such great interest is that it both stopped or sharply reduced the pain from migraines AND it reduced how many people got.  It uses magnetic stimulation of the brain.

The story and link are below.

Because this research was done in the UK it may be a while until this is available in the United States.

But there are some things you can do now to stop or sharply reduce migraines and how much pain they cause that ARE available now and effective.  (We list two kinds below.)

Using your cell phone has that effect, so talking on it for 10 minutes or so and holding it on the side where you feel migraine pain most might produce this effect.  But if the device uses much stronger magnetic stimulation it might not.  (It certainly is worth trying!)

Here’s the link to the MNT story:

Portable magnetic stimulation device 'effective' against migraines
The UK's National Institute for Health Care and Excellence have recommended a
new transcranial magnetic stimulation device as a treatment option for patients
who suffer migraines.

There are two kinds of other methods you can use:

1.  One looks likely to reduce the level of pain; but might not reduce their frequency.

2.  The other is a set of things most of which have massive other health benefits that migraine sufferers are proven to need.  So regardless of using the device, we strongly recommend you consider doing all of those.  They are particularly effective for many people for stopping migraines from happening at all!

1.  One that is similar that IS FDA approved and available in the United States is called the Fisher-Wallace stimulator.  It’s been shown to sharply reduce insomnia and to effectively reduce pain.  It might also lower the number of migraines but that’s not yet been tested. They use electrical stimulation instead of magnetic.  But these are similar enough it might also work to cut down on migraines.

2.  Many good health practices effectively stop migraines or make them far less frequent AND having migraines is diagnostic that your health is at risk if you do NOT do most of them!

That’s why we strongly recommend you consider doing all of those.

The health risk is that migraines are caused by pain from your blood vessels in your brain.  This means that to have it, your blood vessels in your brain are inflamed or expanding and contracting in a way that suggests they are being irritated in some way.

But that means that to have migraines you likely have those vascular problems.  The bad news is that this is indicative of future strokes, heart attacks, and vascular dementia. (Women who have migraines are at higher risk for future strokes for example.)

The good news is that there is a large set of things that are effective to lower high chronic inflammation, reduce harm to the inner surface of your blood vessels, and prevent plaque from forming inside them.  

No surprise, many of them have been effective at cutting down or even eliminating migraines.

a)  The most effective is to do vigorous exercise most days of every week.  This has been shown to cut the number of migraines in half or more before you do or add anything else.

Other studies have shown that the more consecutive years you do this the better it works for heart protection.  So that may well also be true for stopping migraines. That may very well mean that the first year you do it, you have half as many.  The second year you have a fourth as many, and after that you no longer get them at all.

Even sessions of as little as 10 to 20 minutes of short bursts of high or higher paced cardio with rests or slowdowns in between and/or superslow repetition strength training in sets of 60 to 120 seconds works well.  And, it helps with fat loss, slows aging, and is strongly heart and brain protective.

(The bad news is that taking statins has been found by research to prevent or sharply lessen  these effects for people who exercise. 

Worse, the people who do the exercises most effectively can get permanent muscle damage or even die from the interaction with statins.

The worst news is that doctors have gotten a huge publicity barrage that statins are so protective of your heart, not true, that almost everyone should take them. Few yet know they have those effects or that only some people have the heredity to get much protection from them or that this is testable for about $150.

The much better news is that you can stop ingesting heart attack starters like hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrup and refined grains and too much sugar.  You can do the regular vigorous  exercise most days of every week.  Just those alone are MUCH more protective than taking statin drugs because they remove the causes of heart disease.)

And the best news is that you can take modest amounts of niacin with meals if you have high LDL cholesterol or high triglycerides or high chronic inflammation and ALL of them are improved.

The really nice thing about that is that this proven reduction in inflammation from taking niacin is quite likely to help stop migraines and make them hurt less if you still get them.

b)  It’s extremely common for people who get migraines to be deficient in magnesium and B complex vitamins.  So when people who have migraines begin to eat foods high in them AND task supplements containing them, they often stop having migraines.

Raw, un-oiled and unsalted nuts, for those not allergic, and leafy greens are high in magnesium and those eating them regularly get many other health benefits.

And it also helps to supplement with 400 to 800 mg a day of magnesium though more than that plus taking Milk of Magnesia is a bit idea.  (This is essential for people taking acid reducing drugs to avoid being deficient by the way.)

The best 3 sources that are not grains for B Complex vitamins are egg yolks from pasture fed chickens, calves liver from those fed only grass and organic sprouts, and brewer’s yeast.

Solgar also makes a balanced B complex with C that is called their Stress Formula.  That has all the main B complex vitamins except niacin.  The niacinamide it does have has its own health benefits but does not have the heart health and inflammation protection in niacin.

Many people also need extra B12 and they can take sublingual methylcobalamin, the more expensive and effective natural version of B12.  People who are old enough to have low stomach acid or take acid reducing drugs or Metformin must take it to avoid deficiency.

c)  Dr David Perlmutter in his Grain Brain book has good studies that minimizing sugars and almost totally eliminating grains often stop or prevent migraines. 

This goes with and helps do the heart protection and inflammation reduction that other methods will also help such as not eating fats from animals fed grains or eating oils made from grains such as soy, corn, safflower, or canola – which are all high in pro-inflammatory omega 6 oils.

This is new information to me.  But it is consistent with improving your heart protection and reducing inflammation as ways to prevent migraines that also cuts your risk of heart disease.

d)  Also note that the combination of these methods, NOT ingesting heart attack starters; NOT eating grains and too much sugars; and DOING vigorous exercise most days of every week, ALSO helps prevent or even force remission in insulin resistance, high blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes.  Since high blood sugars harm the inner surface of your blood vessels and trigger inflammation.  That too means that doing this will both cut down on how many migraines you get and how much they hurt AND be strongly health protective.

e)  According to chiropractors, their work can stop migraines in some people.  Many have had this experience with their patients. 

Although, the placebo effect may cause this sometimes, if these other methods haven’t stopped all your migraines, there might actually be a nerve or blood vessel compression in your neck that chiropractic treatment can turn off. 

It’s an experimental question and worth trying if you can afford it.  And, chiropractic treatment does fix those issues.

f)  Are there other supplements that help turn off migraines?  Yes.  Butterbur seems to work.  (Feverfew might work; but when I tried it for my occasional stress headaches, they got worse.  So my suggestion is to try the butterbur and stop there.)

The good news is that taking butterbur has cut the number of migraines in half for many people.

So, there are two devices that can relieve migraine pain and the new one has tested as reducing how many you get.

And there are a large list of things that have massive health benefits of other kinds in addition to making migraines far less common.  Since having migraines means you likely need the stroke and heart attack protection they give you, we suggest strongly that you use them all if you have many migraines now!  

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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Cut your risk of Alzheimer’s and mental decline 4 MORE ways....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 2-6-2014

Recently I got information on 4 more ways to lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s and mental decline.

One source which tested 3 of these ways was in Medical News Today and that link to their original article is here.

It sounds like an upgraded way of using all 3 plus the other methods known to work would be unusually effective.

The second one I think I also saw in Medical News Today.  But it was in an email from Newsmax that I saw it and read it.

I.  Here are the first 3:

3 ways that reversed Alzheimer's effects besides turmeric. exercise; & socializing

None of these included turmeric and black pepper. None removed bad fats that show up in the human diet notably excessive omega 6 oils nor did they include extra virgin olive oil instead.

(Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and helps grow new brain cells enough to prevent or even help reverse brain shrinkage.  People who don’t exercise fail to get this effect and over time their white matter that connects many parts of their brain together including memory centers simply goes away. Regular exercise even if brief on most days of every week, particularly vigorous exercise, prevents this.

Eating turmeric and/or taking curcumin derived from it daily with black pepper has been shown to help prevent or even partially reverse Alzheimer’s disease.  One of these ways is that it’s a strong anti-inflammatory.  It seems to cause less release of the tau protein that may be a cause.  And, it lowers LDL cholesterol which in the case of the sterol stigmasterol lowers beta amyloid deposits.  And it may also help cause your immune system to remove beta amyloid plaque.

Socializing, despite how smooth and easy it seems as we’ve grown up doing it from early childhood, uses massive amounts of your brain and lights up your brain like a Christmas tree on scans.  It’s been shown to maintain function even when beta amyloid is present.  This may be because it maintains a network of healthy nerves, maintains connections, and forces the area where the beta amyloid is located to stay healthy and connected.)

The study in Medical News Today used mice and did not use exercise or turmeric by themselves or in combination with the 3 things they did test even in the mice.

DHA that they did test is an anti-inflammatory and also works with exercise to grow new brain cells.  That’s why it’s too bad they didn’t add changes in diet to minimize inflammation and add exercise when they tested it.

Here’s what they did test.  They used some British spellings for a few words.

Here are some of the key quotes:

" all test diets reversed the memory deficit of the APP/PS1 mice in the odour recognition task:"

(Loss of your sense of smell is a leading indicator that you are beginning to get Alzheimer’s.  So it’s nice to know that all 3 of the things they tested did that!)

The sterols DID cut beta amyloid build up by quite a bit but without the inflammation reduction and antioxidants did NOT improve spatial memory function as much as hoped.  It did restore smell though.

DHA by itself was similar and did NOT improve spatial memory function as much as hoped.  It did restore smell though.

The Fortasyn supplement, which contains uridine-monophosphate, phospholipids (choline and PS), B- vitamins, and antioxidants DID improve spatial memory function to the same level  as unimpaired mice. “
(Uridine, PS, choline, other B complex vitamins, and antioxidants like real vitamin E and vitamin C together might well have worked better if the other two things were added.)

And, it too DID restore smell also.  Clearly if one was given, this would be it.

Since the sterols DID cut beta amyloid, they do here suggest trying the sterols plus the supplement to see if that combination worked better for both spatial memory function AND long term prevention or reversal.

A real shame they did not then try all three together! 

An even worse shame they did not try these 3 AND turmeric and black pepper. AND removed bad fats that show up in the human diet notably excessive omega 6 oils AND included extra virgin olive oil instead AND added exercise in the pool where they tested the spatial memory.

The previous research I saw used the part of the Fortasyn supplement AND DHA and had very good results -- in people!  And, I suspect they are correct in guessing that adding the antioxidants to the sterols would help if the sterols by themselves do tend to cause extra oxidation.

Here’s the link to their research.

Dietary treatment shows potential in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease
New research findings indicate that an early onset of dietary treatment may slow
down the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

The fourth one was in an email from Newsmax:

It seems that a particular flavanol called fisetin prevented memory loss even without reducing beta amyloid deposits similarly to the effects of regular socializing.

It's in strawberries, apples, and red wine.  It's similar to quercetin so quercetin may have this effect too.  That’s good because more foods are high in quercetin and quercetin supplements are easier to find.

Strawberries are particularly high in fisetin.  And, Doctor’s Best does have a Fisetin supplement.

Fisetin also is one of the flavonols that amplifies the effect of resveratrol to help protect telomeres and slow aging.

Here’s a couple of the key quotes:

“A natural compound found in strawberries, cucumbers, and other fruits and vegetables appears to stop memory loss tied to Alzheimer's disease, according to new research by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

In experiments on mice with a rodent form of Alzheimer's, the scientists found a daily dose of the compound — a flavonol called fisetin — prevented the progressive memory and learning impairments that are hallmarks of the disease.

It did not alter the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain, accumulations of proteins which are commonly blamed for Alzheimer's disease. As a result, the Salk researchers said the findings suggests a way to treat Alzheimer's symptoms independently of targeting amyloid plaques, according to a
Medical Xpress report on the study.

"We had already shown that in normal animals, fisetin can improve memory," said lead research Pamela Maher, a senior staff scientist in Salk's Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, who detailed the team's findings in the journal Aging Cell. "What we showed here is that it also can have an effect on animals prone to Alzheimer's."

Next, Maher's team plans to study how fisetin affects memory and cognitive function, with the hope that it may lead to new treatments for the condition.

"It may be that compounds like this that have more than one target are most effective at treating Alzheimer's disease," said Maher, "because it's a complex disease where there are a lot of things going wrong."

This same complexity is one of the reasons that combining proven preventives or improvers is far more effective than single methods.

So if you wish to do that, particularly for prevention, this post has many methods to choose from.  

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