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Posts tagged ‘Diet (nutrition)’

Keep Your Brain Sharp with Flavonoids From Fruits & Vegetables

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Fresh vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Optimizing dietary intake

with naturally-derived flavonoids

is good for your brain health…

Eating a healthy, nutritious diet especially rich in flavonoids (nutrients found in abundance in certain fruits and vegetables, as well as in coffee, tea and dark chocolate) could help keep your brain sharp as you get older.
Researchers from Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)  France and the Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2 report that people who ate foods naturally high in flavonoids performed significantly better on cognitive tests than those who reported low intakes of the nutrients.
Known as the PAQUID (Personnes Agées Quid) study, 1,640 subjects, (average age 77) and free of dementia at the start, were given food-frequency questionnaires that analyzed their dietary intakes of flavonoids. A range of
assessment tools also were administered to measure the subjects’ cognitive function. Subjects were then tested four times over the next 10 years.
Reporting in American Journal of Epidemiology, the researchers reported that subjects with the highest flavonoid intakes (between 13.6 and 36.9 milligrams per day) were found to have better cognitive function than those with the
lowest intakes. And those who consumed the most flavonoids maintained their cognitive superiority after 10 years of follow-up; Subjects with the lowest intakes lost an average of 2.1 points on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) while subjects with the highest intakes lost only 1.2 points.
Cognitive performance declines naturally with age, but the results of the study suggest that this decline could be slowed by increased intake of key flavonoids in the diet.
Not surprisingly, flavonoids have been receiving interest in recent years; A mounting body of scientific evidence: both epidemiological and laboratory-based studies linking a number of key flavonoids with lower risk for some cancers.
A regular diet high in fruits and vegetables is worth following for other health benefits, as well…
“We know that a diet high in flavonoids is also a diet high in fruits and vegetables. In these foods you also find antioxidant vitamins, fiber and other nutrients that may be beneficial to keep in good health,” the team of scientists explained. “This kind of diet is also associated with less morbidity resulting from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes. Therefore, to keep in good health, rather than focusing on a specific nutrient, it would more beneficial to adopt a diet with more fruits and vegetables, more fish; Less saturated fat, less salt, less processed foods.
“Only randomized trials would give a confirmation, ” they continued, “but it would be long and expensive, whereas we already know that ‘healthy’ dietary patterns are more likely to be beneficial for health.”
Journal Reference: American Journal of Epidemiology

This article is for informational and educational

purposes only;  It is not intended to provide
medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Maintainin​g Normal Weight and Other Key Health Factors Affect Brain Function

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence in rats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nutritious dietary intake and maintaining

healthy weight is good for your brain…

Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a normal weight helps protect your brain, according to a 10-year study of 6,401 British civil servants.

Participants in the study (initially ages 39-63) were less likely to have impaired cognitive function if they were not overweight or obese.

Those with multiple markers of “metabolic abnormality” were more likely to suffer impaired cognitive function; these markers included high cholesterol or triglycerides, high blood pressure, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high glucose levels or diabetes.

In followup mental testing at the 5 and 10-year points, those who were both obese and “metabolically abnormal” were significantly more likely to show a faster rate of cognitive decline.

Researchers speculated that vascular problems associated with unhealthy weight might affect brain function, along with specific fat-related secretions that impact the aging brain.

Journal Reference: Neurology
This article is for informational and educational purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

Eating Green Vegetables Improves Your Immune Defenses

New Research Conducted By Immunologists Demonstrates How Eating Green green veggiesVegetables Improves Immune Function.

Be Sure To Include Cruciferous Vegetable-Derived Phyto-Nutrients As Part Of Your Healthy Diet

FACT: Eating Green Vegetables Boosts Your Immune Defenses.

Nutrition researchers have found another good reason to eat green vegetables (from bok choy to broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.); they are the source of a chemical signal that is important to a fully functioning immune system.  The vegetables ensure that immune cells in the gut and the skin known as intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs) function properly.

“It is still surprising ” said researchers from The Babraham Institute in Cambridge. “we expected cells at the surface would play some role in the interaction with the outside world, but such a clear cut interaction with the diet was unexpected. After feeding otherwise healthy lab subjects a vegetable-poor diet for two to three weeks, we were amazed to see 70 to 80 percent of these protective cells disappeared.”

Those protective IELs exist as a network beneath the barrier of epithelial cells covering inner and outer body surfaces, where they are important as a first line of defense and in wound repair. The research team now finds that the numbers of IELs depend on levels of a cell-surface protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), which can be regulated by dietary ingredients found primarily in cruciferous vegetables.

Subjects lacking this receptor lose control over the microbes living on the intestinal surface, both in terms of their numbers and composition.

Earlier studies suggested that breakdown of cruciferous vegetables can yield a compound that can be converted into a molecule that triggers AhRs. The new study finds that subjects fed a synthetic diet lacking this key compound experience a significant reduction in AhR activity and lose IELs. With reduced numbers of these key immune cells, they showed lower levels of antimicrobial proteins, heightened immune activation and greater susceptibility to injury. When the researchers intentionally damaged the intestinal surface in subjects that didn’t have normal AhR activity, the subjects were not as quick to repair that damage.

The immunologists involved in the research hope the findings will generate more interest in the medical community, noting that some of the basic characteristics observed in the subjects are consistent with those seen in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

They conclude  “it’s already a good idea to eat your greens.” Still, the results offer a molecular basis for the importance of cruciferous vegetable-derived phyto-nutrients as part of a healthy diet.

Story Source: Cell Press

Journal Reference: Exogenous Stimuli Maintain Intraepithelial Lymphocytes via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor

Activation. Cell, 13 October 2011 Cell Press (2011, October 13). “Eating green veggies improves immune defenses”

 

This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.

 

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