Brain/Mood Health

Chronic heavy drinking major risk factor for dementia: The Lancet

21 Feb 2018 --- Excessive alcohol use is a major risk factor for onset of all types of dementia, especially early-onset dementia, according to a French nationwide observational study, published in The Lancet Public Health journal. Previous research has shown mixed results regarding the effect of alcohol on cognitive health, with some studies showing a possible benefit of light to moderate drinking, while others have found detrimental effects of heavy drinking on dementia risk.

Saturated fat and sugar can cause depression and anxiety: study

14 Feb 2018 --- A diet rich in saturated fat, such as palm oil, and sugar not only leads to obesity, but it also creates inflammation in the nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain that controls mood and the feeling of reward. This inflammation can lead to depressive, anxious and compulsive behavior and disrupt metabolism, according to a study from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM). The discovery illustrates the vicious circle experienced by people with obesity caused by a diet rich in sugar and saturated fat, with their diet leading to negative emotions, which can stimulate the quest for more comfort through food.

Rest assured: Som Sleep launches RTD sleep supplements

06 Feb 2018 --- Som Sleep has launched its first two products, NSF Certified for Sport RTD sleep supplements Som Sleep Original and Som Sleep Zero Sugar. Both original and sugar-free options are available in a 4-pack, 12-pack and 24-pack for one-time purchase or recurring delivery through the company’s website. According to the company, Som Sleep is low-calorie, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and preservative free.

Common food preservative enhances schizophrenia treatment, study finds

02 Feb 2018 --- The common food preservative sodium benzoate improves symptoms in clozapine-resistant schizophrenia patients, according to a new study published in Biological Psychiatry. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial led by Hsien-Yuan Lane, M.D., Ph.D., of China Medical University, Taiwan, showed that adding on sodium benzoate to the antipsychotic clozapine improved symptoms in patients who did not see results with any other medications, providing a new option for the hardest-to-treat patients.

Review offers new perspectives on effect of SAMe on neuropsychiatric conditions

31 Jan 2018 --- A recent review of S-Adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) has provided a broad perspective on the role, efficacy and safety of SAMe in the treatment of depression, neuropsychiatric disorders and co-morbid medical conditions. The authors conclude that SAMe supplementation holds promise for several neuropsychiatric conditions, which is significant because evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of SAMe in both psychiatric and medical illnesses could impact clinical decision making. 

Brain health: MIND diet may slow cognitive decline in stroke survivors

29 Jan 2018 --- The so-called MIND diet – short for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay – may help substantially slow cognitive decline in stroke survivors, according to preliminary research presented last week at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2018 in Los Angeles. The findings are significant because stroke survivors are twice as likely to develop dementia compared to the general population.

Brain boost: Curcumin improves memory and mood, UCLA study says

24 Jan 2018 --- Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin has been found to improve memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss, according to the results of a study conducted by UCLA researchers. Twice-daily supplements boosted cognitive power by up to 28 percent over 18 months, their study found.

Cognitive health: High-salt diet linked to dementia, finds mouse study

17 Jan 2018 --- Excessive consumption of salt is known to affect heart health and blood pressure, but research by scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine has now underlined its negative effect on cognitive health. According to their study, a high-salt diet reduces resting blood flow to the brain and causes dementia in mice. The study, published on Monday in Nature Neuroscience, is the first to unveil a gut-brain connection linking high dietary salt intake to neurovascular and cognitive impairment. The findings illuminate a potential future target for countering harmful effects to the brain caused by excess salt consumption.

Mood food: Diet differentially affects mental health in young and mature adults

12 Dec 2017 --- Diet and dietary practices have a differential effect on mental health in young adults versus older adults, according to research from Binghamton University, State University of New York. The researchers involved have found that young adults appear to be dependent on food that increases availability of neurotransmitter precursors and concentrations in the brain (meat), while the mood in mature adults (over 30 years) may be more reliant on food that increases availability of antioxidants (fruits) and abstinence of food that inappropriately activates the sympathetic nervous system (coffee, high glycemic index and skipping breakfast).

Nuts strengthen brainwave function, study finds

16 Nov 2017 --- Eating nuts on a regular basis strengthens brainwave frequencies associated with cognition, healing, learning, memory and other key brain functions, researchers at Loma Linda University Health have found. In a study titled "Nuts and brain: Effects of eating nuts on changing electroencephalograph brainwaves," published in the FASEB Journal, researchers found that some nuts stimulated some brain frequencies more than others. 

Gut microbiome connected to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, research suggests

15 Nov 2017 --- New research released has revealed the links between the gut microbiome – the population of microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract – and brain diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, including potential new ways to track and treat these diseases. The studies were presented at Neuroscience 2017, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

Childhood brain tumor’s “addiction” to common amino acid glutamine could be its weakness

03 Nov 2017 --- Starving a childhood brain tumor of the amino acid glutamine could improve the effect of chemotherapy, according to an early study led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and funded by Children with Cancer UK and the Medical Research Council. The study suggests that a proportion of medulloblastoma are “addicted” to glutamine.

Drinking cherry juice every day may help to keep insomnia at bay

31 Oct 2017 --- Montmorency tart cherry juice was found to help extend sleep time by 84 minutes among eight study participants, ages 50 and older, who suffer from insomnia, according to a new pilot study. Montmorency tart cherries are the most common variety of tart cherries grown in the US, and are available year-round in dried, frozen, canned, juice and concentrated forms.

Glucosamine supplement could help to treat brain hyperexcitability in epilepsy

16 Oct 2017 --- Seizure disorders – including epilepsy – are associated with pathological hyperexcitability in brain neurons. There are currently limited available treatments that can prevent this hyperexcitability. However, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers have found that inducing a biochemical alteration in brain proteins via the dietary supplement glucosamine was able to rapidly dampen that pathological hyperexcitability in rat and mouse models.

Diet plays pivotal role in staying sharp as Alzheimer’s disease linked to nutritional problems

18 Sep 2017 --- Decreased glucose metabolism in medial prefrontal areas of the brain is associated with nutritional status in patients with prodromal and early Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to results from a Multimodal Neuroimaging for AD Diagnosis (MULNIAD) study. Nutritional problems, especially weight loss, are commonly seen in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease; however, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood.
 

The seven steps to cognitive health, according to US advisory

13 Sep 2017 --- Cognitive health is a hot topic in the world of nutrition, and a leading US nonprofit heart health organization has given seven steps of advice focusing on the connection between heart and brain health. A new advisory from the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association has made it clear that a healthy lifestyle benefits the brain as much as the rest of the body and it may lessen the risk of cognitive decline with age.

Using seaweed to heal brain injuries: Researchers pioneer new technique

13 Sep 2017 --- Australian researchers have developed a new technique that can heal damaged brain tissue using the curative properties of seaweed. Working with Tasmanian biopharmaceutical company Marinova, the researchers combined a natural anti-inflammatory polysaccharide found in seaweed with short peptides to create the hydrogel scaffold that matches the structure of healthy brain tissue.

Omega 3: A rich source of health benefits and NPD opportunities

11 Sep 2017 --- Omega 3’s benefits keep making the news in the world of nutrition, with the fatty acids’ tight connection to the healthy aging trend just one of the reasons why omega 3 continues to be on the tips of everyone’s tongues.

Studies suggest hair and brain health benefits of ExcelVite’s tocotrienol complex

06 Sep 2017 --- ExcelVite’s palm vitamin E tocotrienol complex known as EVNol SupraBio has been given a surprising potential new use, as an Ohio State University study has suggested that it can induce hair follicle growth. Vitamin E occurs naturally in eight different forms. The form of vitamin E used in the study, tocotrienol or TCT, is not abundant in the American diet but is available as a nutritional supplement. It is a common component of a typical Southeast Asian diet.

Mediterranean-style diets linked to memory benefits

26 Jul 2017 --- Eating foods that are included in either the Mediterranean or MIND diets has been linked to a lower risk for memory difficulties in older adults, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.