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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Micronutrient Supplementation For Mothers Boosts Infant Cognitive Health

Infant CognitionA major follow up study has determined pregnant women should take more micronutrients besides iron and folic acid to increase the long-term cognitive development of their children.

The Supplementation with Multiple Micronutrients Intervention Trial (SUMMIT) lasted from 2001 – 2004.  Over 31,000 pregnant women participated in this study.  The study goals were to determine if more micronutrients during pregnancy were necessary to increasing long-term cognitive and brain development.  Half the study participants received iron and folic acid supplements (IFA) during their pregnancy and for 3 months after their babies were born.  The other half of the study participants received iron and folic acid in addition to other micronutrients like B6, zinc and iodine (MMN).

Positive effects of the MMN supplement group were seen in 487 children who were assessed for cognitive ability at the ages 3 – 5 years old.  After 10 years of age, researchers tested almost 3,000 children who were now between 9 and 12 years of age.  The MMN Group totaled 1,466 children and the IFA group had 1,413 children.  The goals of this second round of testing were to assess the long term effect of MMN supplementation on socio-emotional, cognitive and motor development in the children and to assess the effect of socio-environmental and biomedical determinants on these results.

Children born from women in the MMN group showed significant proficiency in general intellectual ability and procedural memory when compared with the children of the women in the IFA group. This is equivalent to cognitive development gained from an additional half a year of schooling.   In general the children born to mothers in the MMN group showed improvements in socio-emotional, fine motor and cognitive abilities when compared with the children of the other group.

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Omega-3’s Linked to Better Cognitive Function in Mildly Impaired Older People

Omega-3 and CognitionA new study finds daily supplementation with Omega-3 essential fatty acids may improve measures of cognitive function like perceptual speed and memory.

86 people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were randomly assigned to receive a placebo (olive oil) or an Omega-3 supplement (EPA 720 mg DHA 480 mg) daily for 6 months.  The average mean age of the participants was 71 years of age. Significant improvements in scores on Basic Cognitive Aptitude Tests (BCAT), which measure cognitive function, were seen in the group taking the Omega-3 essential fatty acid supplements.  Additionally significant improvements in working memory, space imagery efficiency and perceptual speed were seen in the Omega-3 group while no improvements were seen in recognition memory or mental arithmetic efficiency.  Men tended to see significant improvements in space imagery efficiency, working memory, and perceptual speed, while women saw significant improvements in space imagery and perceptual speed.  Both men and women saw significant improvements in BCAT scores compared to the placebo group.

Because the study group was small further research is needed.

Make sure your fish oil is molecularly distilled to remove potential toxins.  Also a Fish oil that is manufactured to comply with strict European standards will be free of heavy metals, PCB’s, dioxins, pesticides and other unwanted compounds.  An enteric coating will protect the Fish Oil  from the harsh environment of the stomach, and then  the softgel will better travel to the small intestine where it can be digested and its fatty acids released and absorbed into the body. This prevents a fishy aftertaste and odor, and is helpful to sensitive individuals.  Some products will use lemon oil to help with the digestion of the Fish Oil softgel without any fishy burps.

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Resveratrol Shows Metabolic and Brain Signaling Benefits

ResveratrolA new animal study found that daily supplementation with Resveratrol may increase energy metabolism, cell signaling pathways and neurotransmission.

23 male adult monkeys were randomly assigned to one of three groups: A control group fed a healthy diet, A negative control group fed a diet high in sugar and fat and a group fed a diet high in sugar and fats and supplemental Resveratrol (80 mg per day for the first year and 480 mg per day for the second year).  The study lasted 2 years.  Researchers used proteomics to identify changes in the expression of 12 specific proteins in the brains of these rhesus monkeys.

Improvements in energy metabolism and the efficiency of cell signaling pathways and neurotransmission in the group supplementing with the Resveratrol in addition to the high fat and sugar diet were seen.

This study adds to the existing science on the healthy benefits of Resveratrol, a very powerful polyphenal.  A lot of research has focused on Resveratrol’s cardiovascular benefits due to the nutraceuticals association with the “French Paradox”.  This phrase was used to describe the low incidence of obesity and heart disease in the French people even though they have a diet moderately high in fat.  It is believed to be their consumption of Red wine that neutralizes the damage of their high fat diet.

Further studies are needed.

A good Resveratrol product will be standardized to 200 mg of trans-resveratrol (the phyto-nutrient in the resveratrol that gives the polyphenal its beneficial properties).  Additional Grape Seed Extract may be added to provide additional antioxidant benefits.

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Could Folic Acid Decrease Dementia Risk?

Folic Acid and DementiaResearch suggests daily supplementation with folic acid may reduce the risk of having dementia in populations with low levels of this B vitamin and no program to fortify the diet with this nutraceutical.

Data from over 1,300 participants was analyzed.  Face to face interviews were done at the beginning of this study, the Three-City Study, to identify health related issues, socio demographic information and lifestyle characteristics.  All participants completed a 24 hour dietary recall and were dementia free at the time of the diet assessment.  Participants were followed for approximately 7 and ½ years.

Higher intakes of folate (folic acid) were inversely associated with the risk of dementia with approximately a 50% lower risk for participants with the highest folate levels compared to those with the lowest folate levels.

78 countries currently call for mandatory fortification programs for folic acid.  This was done to reduce and prevent neural tube defects in newborn babies.

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Probiotics Improve Cognitive Function Among Patients With Severe Dementia

Probiotics and Brain Function

A new clinical trial with Alzheimer’s patients shows that probiotics may improve cognitive function in humans.  Prior studies showing probiotics benefits for improvements in memory and learning as well as anxiety and depression reduction have been done with mice.

60 patients with Alzheimer’s disease participated in this double blind, controlled trial.  Patients ranged in age from 60 to 95 years.  The study lasted 12 weeks.  Patients were randomly divided into 2 groups.  The control group received milk and the other group received a 200 ml/day mixture of probiotic milk containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium biffidum and Lactobacillus fermentum.  A small mental state exam (MMSE) score was recorded both before and after treatment for all participants.  Additionally fasting blood samples were taken to determine related markers both before and after the study period.

Average scores on the MMSE questionnaires increased significantly from 8.7 to 10.6 (out of a maximum of 30) in the group receiving the probiotic and decreased in the control group from 8.7 to 8.0.  The probiotic group also showed reduction in triglycerides and insulin resistance indicating that a “change in the metabolic adjustments might be a mechanism by which probiotics affect Alzheimer’s and possibly other neurological disorders” according to the study’s lead author.

Further studies are already planned.

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DHA Supplement Benefits Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Cognitive FunctionDaily supplementation with Omega-3 may improve IQ in older individuals with mild cognitive impairment, according to a new study.

Over 200 individuals age 65 and above, who had mild cognitive impairment, participated in this double-blind placebo controlled study.  Participants received either 2 grams of DHA daily or a corn oil placebo daily.  The study lasted 12 months.  Measures of cognitive function were measured at the onset of the study, at six months and at 12 months.

A significant difference (10%) in the Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient (IQ) was seen in the group supplementing with the DHA in comparison with the placebo.  In addition, significant increases in 2 IQ sub tests (Information and Digit Span) were seen in the group supplementing with the DHA.  These 2 tests are used to determine long term and short term memory.

Additional longer term studies are the next step.

Make sure your fish oil is molecularly distilled to remove potential toxins.  Also a Fish oil that is manufactured to comply with strict European standards will be free of heavy metals, PCB’s, dioxins, pesticides and other unwanted compounds.  An enteric coating will protect the Fish Oil  from the harsh environment of the stomach, and then  the softgel will better travel to the small intestine where it can be digested and its fatty acids released and absorbed into the body. This prevents a fishy aftertaste and odor, and is helpful to sensitive individuals.  Some products will use lemon oil to help with the digestion of the Fish Oil softgel without any fishy burps.

ASK US.  WE KNOW.  NOBODY KNOWS NUTRITION LIKE WE DO.  NOBODY !

http://naturesvitaminsonline.com

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