Lutein Levels Linked To A More Agile And “Youthful” Brain

Lutein and CognitionA new study finds a high intake of Lutein may slow down cognitive decline.

60 healthy adults between the ages of 25 and 45 participated in this study.  Carotenoid levels were assessed by measuring MPOD (Macular Pigment Optical Density), which is considered a trusted indicator of Lutein levels in the brain. Event related brain activity was used as a gauge of cognitive function and was recorded as the participants performed cognitive control testing.  Study results showed MPOD was related to both specific electrical brain activity and age during the decision making process, known as the P3 wave.  Younger adults showed a larger abundance of P3 than the older participants however, the older participants with higher MPOD levels displayed P3 measures equal to the younger participants.  Researchers concluded that Lutein appears to have a protective role in the brain since the study data indicated that participants with more Lutein were able to utilize more cognitive resources to finish their tasks.

Besides being beneficial to brain health, Lutein and Zeaxanthin have been shown to provide support for vision and vision diseases since Lutein appears to accumulate in both the brain and in the eyes.  The ability of Lutein in brain processing, memory, speed and processing is intriguing since Lutein cannot be manufactured on its own in the body.

Further study is warranted.

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Adequate Magnesium Intakes May Boost Bone Health

Magnesium and BonesA new study points to increasing magnesium intakes which may reduce the risk of fractures in older women, but the benefits for older men are not as clear.

Data from over 3,700 individuals with an average age of 60, who participated in the Osteoarthritis Initiative, was used for this study.  During the 8 years of data analyzed 560 people developed new fractures.  Participants with the highest average intake of Magnesium (398 mg/day for men and 373 mg/day for women) had a significant reduction in the risk of developing fractures (53% for men and 62% for women).  When height was taken into account the risk of fracture reduction fell to 25% for men and 53% for women.

Since only 27% of the study participants reached the RDA for Magnesium (420 mg for men and 320 mg for women over 30), it is believed that this may account for the change in the  risk factors for both men and women when height is taken into account.

Further randomize controlled trails are needed to fully understand the role Magnesium plays in delaying and reducing fractures.

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Magnesium May Promote Bone Health and Prevent Fractures

Magnesium and Bone HealthA new study has found a decrease in the risk of bone fractures when the body has healthy blood levels of magnesium.

Data from over 2000 men ages 42 to 61 years of age was analyzed for this study.  A follow up period occurred 25.6 years later.  123 fractures were recorded at the follow up.  78 of the fractures recorded were in the hip area.  At the onset of the study 136 men had low blood levels of magnesium (1.8 mg/dl) and 22 men had an excess of magnesium in their blood (2.3 mg/dl).  There was a 44% reduction in the risk of experiencing a fracture in the men with higher blood levels of magnesium.  The men with the lower blood levels of magnesium had the highest risks of experiencing fractures especially in the hip. None of the 22 men who had excess magnesium in their blood experienced any fractures on follow up.

Researchers are not sure that blood levels of magnesium can be increased by diet alone, especially with the elderly who have bowel and digestive conditions and are prone to fractures.  Low blood levels of magnesium are very common.  Current recommendations for Adequate Intakes (AI) for magnesium are 350 mg daily for men and 300 mg daily for women.  Children should be in taking between 170 and 300 mg depending on their age.

Further well designed magnesium supplementation trials are needed to determine the therapeutic potential of this important mineral.

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