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Magnesium for Memory

Posted: April 7, 2010 at 8:23 am

Make It Magnesium for Healthy Brain Function

A newly developed magnesium supplement may help boost memory.

Late last year I predicted that 2010 would be magnesium’s year.  And with the latest study on magnesium, my prediction is bearing fruit.

True, magnesium hasn’t dominated the health headlines this year like, say, vitamin D has in terms of frequency.  But in terms of import, magnesium’s time to shine is now, as a recent study suggests that this magnificent mineral helps buoy one’s memory.

Researchers from Israel’s Tel Aviv University recognized magnesium’s magnificence after supplementing two groups of rats with the same food regimen, but tinkered with one of the rat groupings by adding a new-fangled magnesium supplement that purports to better penetrate the brain than contemporary magnesium supplements.

Through brain scans and cognitive tests, researchers found that, indeed, the magnesium-supplemented group outperformed the other group both in cognitive function and brain development.

In a statement, the researchers said they were “pleased” by the findings, but they couldn’t help but be somewhat disconcerted by the findings at the same time.

Apparently when they used over the counter magnesium supplements, there was no measurable difference in cognition between the two groups.

Translation:  According to the researchers, magnesium supplements on the market today don’t help with brain function.

Now, this study should not suggest that magnesium supplements on the market don’t work period, only that they don’t seem to be effective for brain health and development.  Researchers are confident, however, that when the new and improved magnesium supplement becomes commercially available—magnesium-L-theronate, or MgT— it will help make memories magnificent.

In the meantime, increase your magnesium intake by supplementing with – you guessed it – magnesium-rich foods.

Some of the richest magnesium sources come from seeds (like pumpkin seeds), leafy greens (like spinach) and beans (like black beans).  A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds has 184 milligrams of magnesium, a cup of boiled spinach has 156 milligrams and a cup of black beans has 120 milligrams.

Not to be outdone as a solid source for magnesium is salmon.  A four-ounce serving of salmon has 138 milligrams of magnesium.  Other significant sources for magnesium in the seafaring family include halibut (4 oz.=121 mg), scallops (4 oz.=77 mg), tuna (4 oz.=72 mg) and shrimp (4 oz.=38 mg).

Adult men should be getting at least 420 milligrams of magnesium per day, while women should get about 320 milligrams per day.


Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Vitamin K Delivers Kick to Cancer Risk

Posted: April 7, 2010 at 8:23 am

Vitamin K Sources Have Cancer Preventive Properties

German researchers find link between low consumption of vitamin K2 and cancer (lung cancer, specifically).

All the rage these days in the health world is the importance of getting a daily dose of vitamin D in your diet, whether it’s through the foods you fix or the sun you soak.  As a result, other vitamins have been given short shrift.

Well what better way to reacquaint oneself with other vitamins than with a study that says increasing one’s vitamin K intake can lower cancer risk?

Now, before I get into the guts of the study, this is not to suggest that eating cabbage with every meal will somehow prevent cancer.  But what the study does suggest is that certain sources of vitamin K are more cancer preventive than others.

About a year ago, I wrote about the differences between vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. I wrote about vitamin K2 being a more nutritious form of vitamin K than it’s partner in nutrition, vitamin K1, but at that point vitamin K2 was being hailed for its link to bone and cartilage development.  So, runners and people battling arthritis were encouraged to eat sources of vitamin K2.

This time, however, vitamin K2 is being hailed for its cancer-prevention prowess.

Researchers from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany discovered its cancer-fighting effects after analyzing the results of a 10-year study that involved approximately 24,300 adults.  All of the adults – between the ages of 35 and 64 – were cancer free at the outset.

That fact changed 10 years later.  By the end of the study, approximately 1,800 men and women were diagnosed with cancers of various kinds, with just less than one-fourth of them dying from their disease.

But when researchers looked at the decedents’ dieting patterns, as well as those who remained cancer free throughout the study period, they saw some patterns.

For instance, among those who ate vitamin K2 rich foods, they were 28 percent less likely to be among those who died of cancer.  But when researchers looked at people who had the lowest vitamin K2 intake, they were almost 50 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with lung cancer (the most commonly diagnosed cancer there is, by the way).

Comparatively, those who had the highest vitamin K2 intake, they were less than half a percent more likely to have lung cancer.

Findings were similar among other commonly diagnosed cancers (e.g. prostate):  the more vitamin K2 eaten, the less likely they were to develop cancer.

Coincidence?  Perhaps.  The researchers are loath to suggest definitively that it’s the vitamin K2 that did it because most of the participants who ate lots of vitamin K2 got it from cheese primarily.  Thus, it could another aspect of cheese that makes it so cancer friendly.

The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Now, as most of you know, I’m not an extremist when it comes to nutrition.  Virtually everything high in calories can be enjoyed so long as it’s in moderation.

Thus, while cheese is pretty high in saturated fat and cholesterol, there are enough good things in cheese to make it a healthful food when eaten in moderation.

But there are other healthy sources of vitamin K2 that you don’t have to scrimp on.  One of them is natto, which, like cheese, is a fermented food (vitamin K2 primarily comes from fermented foods).  I’ve never eaten natto, but seeing as how the Japanese have eaten it for well over a thousand years—a culture that is known for its long lifespan and healthy dieting habits—it’s clearly a food worth trying.

And who knows?  One bite may make you nutso for natto!


Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Faulty Circuits (preview)

Posted: April 7, 2010 at 8:23 am

In most areas of medicine, doctors have historically tried to glean something about the underlying cause of a patient’s illness before figuring out a treatment that addresses the source of the problem. When it came to mental or behavioral disorders in the past, however, no physical cause was detectable so the problem was long assumed by doctors to be solely “mental,” and psychological therapies followed suit.

Today scientific approaches based on modern biology, neuroscience and genomics are replacing nearly a century of purely psychological theories, yielding new approaches to the treatment of mental illnesses.


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Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

How To: Getting Smart During Your Daily Commute

Posted: April 7, 2010 at 8:21 am

“The average American spends a good 100 minutes per day commuting to and from work. That amounts to about 433 hours per year! Now imagine using that time to learn something new — to read a great book, to take a class from a top university, to learn a new language.

We highlight our free audio resources that will maximize your drive time. Before getting started, make sure you have a big mp3 player and a way to listen to your mp3 player over your car speakers.”

Getting Smart During Your Daily Commute | Open Culture


Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow on Twitter and Buzz, and connect on Facebook.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

How does clinical evidence work?

Posted: April 7, 2010 at 8:21 am

Ben Goldacre’s Moment of Genius on BBC4 radio:

“Clinical trials in medicine are designed to be free from bias. They test, as objectively as possible, the effectiveness of a particular intervention.
When you bring the results of all these individual trials together, however, how do you weigh up what evidence is relevant and what is not? In 1993, a method of “systematic review” was introduced that enables us to get the clearest possible view of the evidence.”

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow on Twitter and Buzz, and connect on Facebook.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Flat Surgery

Posted: April 7, 2010 at 8:21 am

Mathieu Lehanneur

Mathieu Lehanneur

Flat Surgery is a collection of anatomical rugs by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur commissioned by the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London.

Mapping out domestic space using the organs of the human body: Flat Surgery #1 (Digestive System) for eating space, Flat Surgery #2 (brain) for home office, Flat Surgery #3 (genitalia) for bedroom.

I would’ve gone for a heart in the bedroom, but I suppose genitalia will have to do…

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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