Thursday, October 25, 2007

Al-Qaida anger at Jazeera on Laden tape - Yahoo! News

Al-Qaida anger at Jazeera on Laden tape - Yahoo! News CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida sympathizers have unleashed a torrent of anger against Al-Jazeera television, accusing it of misrepresenting Osama bin Laden's latest audiotape by airing excerpts in which he criticizes mistakes by insurgents in Iraq.
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Users of a leading Islamic militant Web forum posted thousands of insults against the pan-Arab station for focusing on excerpts in which bin Laden criticizes insurgents, including his followers.

Analysts said the reaction highlighted militants' surprise at bin Laden's words, and their dismay at the deep divisions among al-Qaida and other Iraqi militants that he appeared to be trying to heal.

[...]

"It's not about Al-Jazeera, it's about their shock from bin Laden," said Diaa Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on Islamic militant groups. "For the first time, bin Laden, who used to be the spiritual leader who gives guidance, became a critic of al-Qaida and is confessing mistakes. This is unusual."

The recording aired Monday contained unusually strong criticism of insurgents in Iraq from bin Laden, who urges them to admit mistakes and unify. Bin Laden even aknowledges that he advises himself not to be "fanatical" in his stances.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Insulin levels affect the brain's dopamine systems

Insulin levels affect the brain's dopamine systems

Insulin, long known as an important regulator of blood glucose levels, now has a newly appreciated role in the brain.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers, working with colleagues in Texas, have found that insulin levels affect the brain's dopamine systems, which are involved in drug addiction and many neuropsychiatric conditions.

In addition to suggesting potential new targets for treating drug abuse, the findings raise questions as to whether improper control of insulin levels - as in diabetes - may impact risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or influence the effectiveness of current ADHD medications.

[...]

"This finding is in vivo evidence that, in the intact diabetic rat, loss of insulin has compromised DAT trafficking to the plasma membrane," Avison said. "These experiments show that there is likely a strong interplay between these important dopamine neurotransmitter systems and insulin signaling mechanisms, which we know are altered in diabetes"

The results are some of the first to link insulin status and dopaminergic brain function and hold several implications for human health and disease.

"This is really the first mechanistic connection in vivo between diabetes and amphetamine action," Galli said. "This offers a completely new perspective on the influence of this disease (diabetes) on brain function, as well as diseases with altered dopamine signaling, such as schizophrenia and ADHD."

The findings suggest that ADHD risk may have an insulin-dependent component and that control of insulin levels and response to the hormone may be an important determinant of amphetamine efficacy in patients with ADHD, Galli noted.

"We have described a novel mechanism by which diabetes may affect brain function."

Another piece of evidence to tie insulin problems with ADD

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Can a Lack of Sleep Set Back Your Child's Cognitive Abilities? -- New York Magazine

Can a Lack of Sleep Set Back Your Child's Cognitive Abilities? -- New York Magazine

This is a great article! It shows that lack of sleep is as harmful to a child's brain as ingesting lead. Especially affected are the executive functions

The surprise is how much sleep affects academic performance and emotional stability, as well as phenomena that we assumed to be entirely unrelated, such as the international obesity epidemic and the rise of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A few scientists theorize that sleep problems during formative years can cause permanent changes in a child’s brain structure: damage that one can’t sleep off like a hangover. It’s even possible that many of the hallmark characteristics of being a tweener and teen—moodiness, depression, and even binge eating—are actually symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation.

[…]

“A loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to [the loss of] two years of cognitive maturation and development,” Sadeh explains.

[…]

He also found a seven-point reduction in scores. Seven points, Suratt notes, is significant: “Sleep disorders can impair children’s I.Q.’s as much as lead exposure.”
[…]

With the benefit of functional MRI scans, researchers are now starting to understand exactly how sleep loss impairs a child’s brain. Tired children can’t remember what they just learned, for instance, because neurons lose their plasticity, becoming incapable of forming the synaptic connections necessary to encode a memory.

A different mechanism causes children to be inattentive in class. Sleep loss debilitates our body’s ability to extract glucose from the bloodstream. Without this stream of basic energy, one part of the brain suffers more than the rest: the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for what’s called “executive function.” Among these executive functions are the orchestration of thoughts to fulfill a goal, the prediction of outcomes, and perceiving consequences of actions. So tired people have difficulty with impulse control, and their abstract goals like studying take a back seat to more entertaining diversions. A tired brain perseverates—it gets stuck on a wrong answer and can’t come up with a more creative solution, repeatedly returning to the same answer it already knows is erroneous.

[…]

Dr. Matthew Walker of UC Berkeley explains that during sleep, the brain shifts what it learned that day to more efficient storage regions of the brain. Each stage of sleep plays a unique role in capturing memories. For example, studying a foreign language requires learning vocabulary, auditory memory of new sounds, and motor skills to correctly enunciate new words. The vocabulary is synthesized by the hippocampus early in the night during “slow-wave sleep,” a deep slumber without dreams. The motor skills of enunciation are processed during Stage 2 non-rem sleep, and the auditory memories are encoded across all stages. Memories that are emotionally laden get processed during R.E.M. sleep. The more you learned during the day, the more you need to sleep that night.

To consolidate these memories, certain genes appear to up-regulate during sleep; they literally turn on, or get activated. One of these genes is essential for synaptic plasticity, the strengthening of neural connections. The brain does synthesize some memories during the day, but they’re enhanced and concretized during the night: New inferences and associations are drawn, leading to insights the next day.

Perhaps most fascinating, the emotional context of a memory affects where it gets processed. Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories get processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories yet recall gloomy memories just fine.

[…]

While the neurocognitive sleep discoveries are impressive, there’s equally groundbreaking research on how sleep affects metabolism.

Five years ago, already aware of an association between sleep apnea and diabetes, Dr. Eve Van Cauter at the University of Chicago discovered a “neuroendocrine cascade” that links sleep to obesity.

Sleep loss increases the hormone ghrelin, which signals hunger, and decreases its metabolic opposite, leptin, which suppresses appetite. Sleep loss also elevates the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is lipogenic, meaning it stimulates your body to make fat. Human growth hormone is also disrupted. Normally secreted as a big pulse at the beginning of sleep, growth hormone is essential for the breakdown of fat.

It’s drilled into us that we need to be more active to lose weight. So it spins the mind to hear that a key to staying thin is to spend more time doing the most sedentary inactivity humanly possible. Yet this is exactly what some scientists seem to be finding. In light of Van Cauter’s discoveries, sleep scientists have performed a flurry of analyses on children. All the studies point in the same direction: On average, children who sleep less are fatter than children who sleep more. This isn’t just in the U.S.; scholars around the world are considering it, as they watch sleep data fall and obesity rates rise in their own countries.

[…]

In Houston public schools, according to a University of Texas at Houston study, adolescents’ odds of obesity went up 80 percent for each hour of lost sleep.

[…]

Psych Pundit: Taking on the Depression Epidemic: A Promising New Treatment Approach

Psych Pundit: Taking on the Depression Epidemic: A Promising New Treatment Approach

According to a sweeping epidemiological survey, roughly one in four Americans will now succomb to debilitating depressive illness by the age of 75. Sadly, the risk of depression is even higher among young adults (see chart below); it now looks like over half of all 18-29 year-olds will become clinically depressed at some point!


And we're talking about a disorder that robs people of their energy, their sleep, their memory, their concentration, their ability to love and work and play. It robs over 500,000 people each year of their very lives (via depression-linked suicide).

Bizarrely, the depression epidemic keeps getting worse, despite the fact that antidepressant use has gone up over 400% in the past two decades (150 million antidepressant prescriptions are written each year in the U.S. alone). The rate of depression in the U.S. is now 10 times higher than it was in the 1940s, before the advent of antidepressants. (And, no, this is not merely an artifact of greater public awareness or people's willingness to admit their symptoms; it's a genuine scientific finding.)

What's going on? I believe the answer lies in the fact that we were never designed for the modern sedentary, socially isolated, sleep-deprived, fast food-laden, indoor, frenetic pace of modern life. In fact, because the vast majority of human history was lived out in a hunter-gatherer context, it appears that humans are best adapted to that ancient way of life. There are many features of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle that - according to the best available research - confer powerful protective benefit against the experience of depression: abundant exercise, ample dietary omega-3 fatty acids, extensive social support and connectedness, sunlight exposure, 8+ hours of sleep each night, and engaging activity that prevents against the psychologically toxic process of rumination (i.e., dwelling on negative thoughts).

These antidepressant lifestyle elements not only fight depression, but they are capable of changing the brain as effectively as any medication.

Over the past few years, clinical research group of Dr. Steve Ilardi (aka, Psych Pundit) at the University of Kansas has worked hard to help depressed patients find a lasting cure by reclaiming these protective lifestyle elements from the past. We call the approach Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) for Depression. The preliminary results thus far (to be presented at next month's ABCT Conference in Philadelphia) have been enormously encouraging: 76% of TLC patients have experienced a favorable treatment response, in comparison with only 27% of patients on a waitlist who received 'treatment as usual' (mostly meds or therapy) in the community.

It's almost like the paleo total lifestyle approach! I'm down with this. The biggest problem is the rest of the world, which pushes you to go along with their lifestyle- stay up late, artificial light, high carb diet, no exercise, alcohol.

We changed as a culture over to an agricultural way of life, and haven't looked back. It's hard to go back on your own. Everyone loves complimenting you on losing weight, but they also want you do the things they do and eat the things they eat. It won't work, alas.

I'm interested in other ways agriculture changed us. Did grains change our brains and make us more pliable? Did the addictive nature of grains encourage us to gather and live in groups? Did it inspire religions? Many of the mystery religions, like the Elusinian mysteries, were vegetative cults. How did the hunter gatherers practice religion?

I also don't think paleo is sustainable for the world's population as it is now- too many people. So who gets the paleo diet then? I sure hope it's me! Maybe I shouldn't publicise the low carb life style- just keep it a secret for friends and family?

How powerful placebos could save the NHS millions - AND still cure illnesses | the Daily Mail

How powerful placebos could save the NHS millions - AND still cure illnesses | the Daily Mail

Sticking needles randomly into your body is almost as good as real acupuncture when it comes to back pain, according to a new study published last month.

Random needles are also just as good at improving the quality of life for Crohn's disease patients, another study found.

Why is this so? Sceptics say it's because complementary medicine is nothing more than a placebo.

A placebo is a treatment that has no active ingredient but makes the patient feel better simply because they trust the person administering it and believe the treatment will help.

The placebo effect has long been used by conventional doctors as a label to discredit alternative treatments.

However, in the past few years there has been a revolution in scientists' understanding of placebos - indeed, some experts now believe they could even replace treatments such as anti-depressants.

"The placebo effect tells us that we have a powerful natural ability to control pain and produce other beneficial effects," says Professor Irvine Kirsch, psychologist and expert on placebos at the University of Hull.

"We should be using this to boost the response to drugs and other treatments."

The medical interest in placebos has been stirred partly by brain scanning technology which has meant scientists can see what happens when you take a placebo.

Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that placebos can bring about genuine physiological changes in people suffering from pain, depression and even Parkinson's disease.

But the medical speciality that benefits the most from the placebo effect is pain treatment.

It seems that believing you are getting pain relief when you aren't really can make a big difference to how it feels - researchers have found that a specific region in the brain responds to a placebo by releasing natural morphine-like painkillers.

Besides pain, depression has also long been known to respond well to placebos.

Using brain scans neuroscientists have found that both placebos and antidepressants increased activity in the frontal cortex - the thinking and planning part of the brain - and reduced activity in areas linked with emotions, and therefore reducing depression.

According to Dr George Lewith, head of the Complementary Medicine Research Group at the University of Southampton, the placebo effect counts for about 70per cent of the benefit of therapies for pain and depression.

It's not just pills and needles that provide a placebo effect. In a study of a group of Parkinson's patients, half had stem cells implanted in their brain to boost their low levels of the brain chemical dopamine, the other half had 'sham' surgery, undergoing an operation but having nothing implanted.

A year later those who wrongly believed they had received the stem cells showed as much improvement as those who had received them. Some forms of placebo work better than others.

[...]

And some people respond better than others to placebos.

These are those people who are optimistic, especially when it comes to winning money.

Dr Jon-Kar Zubieta, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan, found that people who expected to win in a gambling game also responded better to a placebo painkiller.

Brain scans revealed in a separate pain study that the area of their brain associated with expecting a reward produced more of a feel-good chemical called dopamine just before they got the fake treatment and that led to a better result.

Low dopamine again being associated with ADD. Low dopamine inhibits the "optimism" effect. Could lead to original, unconventional thinking, because part of the placebo effect is going along with what others believe.They have found that people with low dopamine in their brain are more immune to the placebo affect. Perhaps the benefit to low dopamine is the unconventional behavior that accrues? Because it does seem as if the ADD gene is positively selected.

Allergies and Omega3, other supplements :: The New Straits Times Online........

The New Straits Times Online........

ALLERGIES plague many of us and cause sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion, or asthma. So what do we do? We resort to popping prescription and over-the-counter drugs which suppress the allergy symptoms but don’t actually prevent them.

Some people may take more extreme action: they rip up their carpeting, install expensive air-filtration systems. Some even move to a different climate in a desperate and often futile attempt to “run away” from their allergies.

However, experts say that a simple strategy to alleviate and prevent allergies/asthma is to eat a nutritious diet (along with proper exercise and rest, of course).

They say proper nutrition can alleviate or prevent allergies and asthma in four ways:


Help control underlying inflammation of air passages.

Dilate air passages.

Thin mucus in the lungs.

Prevent food-allergy reactions that trigger asthma attacks.



So include the following foods in your diet to try and get allergy relief the natural way:

Cold-Water Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish, such as salmon, sardines and tuna, may protect against the overproduction of certain antibodies that can trigger allergies. To get the most benefit, either bake or poach the fish. Eat two or three servings per week.

Yogurt

Yogurt — or at least the active cultures it contains — is not only good for your gut, but it can also help skin allergies. But check the container for the words “live active cultures” to be assured of a bacterial boost.

Green Tea

According to Japanese researchers, the green tea compound methylated epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may be anti-allergenic. “Green tea appears to be a promising source for effective anti-allergenic agents,” said the study’s chief investigator. “If you have allergies, you should consider drinking it.”

Canola Oil

Canola oil is a source of allergy-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Other sources include soybean oil, flaxseed oil, walnuts and wheatgerm. Virgin olive oil is another great cooking ingredient as it is monosaturated fat.

Magnesium-Rich Foods

Some studies have demonstrated that people with asthma are magnesium deficient. Magnesium-rich foods include spinach, navy beans, pinto beans, sunflower seeds, tofu, halibut, cashews, artichokes and black-eyed peas.

Fruit and juices

Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine so consume plenty of citrus fruits. Or drink juice to get a powerful boost of antioxidants. Be sure you’re purchasing 100 per cent fruit juice, and not a cocktail that includes a bulk of corn syrup.

Also an apple a day will keep the allergies at bay. A British study of 2,512 middle-aged men showed that those who ate five apples a week had significantly higher lung function than those who ate no apples. Experts believe apples contain healthy compounds, including antioxidants that improve lung health.

Zinc-Rich Foods

Some studies have demonstrated that people with asthma are zinc-deficient. Zinc-rich foods include tofu, lean ground beef, lean ham, oysters, crab, and the dark meat of turkey and chicken.

Omega3 lacking in allergic patients? :: Linkoping University: News and Events

Linkoping University: News and Events

One-year-olds whose mothers had ingested fish oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding had considerably fewer allergic reactions than children whose mothers did not take this supplement.

Omega-3 fats seem to have a protective effect on allergies in children. One-year-olds whose mothers had ingested fish oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding had considerably fewer allergic reactions than children whose mothers did not take this supplement, according to a study from Linköping University.

The study was doubly blind, that is, neither the participants nor the researchers knew who had received what.

It turned out that the "fish-oil children" had fewer than half as many reactions to eggs at the age of one year as the placebo group did. This is an important discovery, since allergic reactions to eggs early in life are strongly correlated with the later development of allergic disorders like eczema and asthma.

All of the children are now two years old and have undergone a clinical examination regarding eczema, been scratch-tested for eggs, milk, and cats, and left blood samples.

The idea that the difference is truly an effect of the omega-3 fats is supported by an immunological study of the mothers' blood. The women who were given fish oil had less prostaglandin E2 in their blood than the others. This is a substance that triggers allergic immune responses, and it is known that it is depressed when the concentration of omega-3 increases.

"We have been able to show that omega-3 influences the mother's immunological profile in a less inflammatory direction. Theoretically this can also affect the child's immune system, which is supported by the results of the scratch-tests," says immune biologist Malin Fagerås Böttcher, who led the study together in collaboration with the child allergist Karel Duchen.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cholesterol and cognitive decline | Health & Nutrition by Michael R. Eades, M.D.

Cholesterol and cognitive decline | Health & Nutrition by Michael R. Eades, M.D.

The majority of the medical data out there shows that a higher cholesterol is correlated with better health and longevity among the retirement set, but few of them know it. And fewer yet know that a lower cholesterol level is associated with cognitive decline.

If there is one thing that elderly people fear more than heart disease and cancer it is probably Alzheimer’s disease or any kind of mental decline. Unfortunately, their fixation on their cholesterol levels are herding more and more of them in that very direction.

The brain represents about 2 percent of a person’s overall weight yet contains about 25 percent of the cholesterol in that person’s body. Just those figures alone ought to tell you that cholesterol is pretty important in cognitive function, but most people aren’t aware of those figures. And won’t learn them from the mainstream press (which get’s its info from the pharmaceutically-driven medical press), but will continue mistakenly to think of cholesterol only in terms of heart disease risk.

A group of researchers in the Netherlands did a study looking at cholesterol levels and cognitive decline and found that the elderly with the highest cholesterol levels were able to think better than their counterparts with low levels of cholesterol. Their paper has been accepted by the journal Neurobiology of Aging, and is awaiting publication.

How the Low-Fat, Low-Fact Cascade Just Keeps Rolling Along - TierneyLab - Science - New York Times Blog

How the Low-Fat, Low-Fact Cascade Just Keeps Rolling Along - TierneyLab - Science - New York Times Blog

Good article about cascade phenomena in decision making as an explanation for the low fat fad diet. Found this in the comments and found it interesting.
This Dr. Phinney is apparently and expert on the paleodiet and paleofitness.


Cascade Candidate: That Nature is linear.

If one can show that 30% fat in the diet is bad, and that 40% is worse, then it is simple to conclude that eating 70% or 80% of one’s dietary energy as fat must be instantly fatal. Assuming 15-20% dietary protein, once a human gets above 70% fat, one goes into nutritional ketosis (as distinguished from keto-acidosis). After 2-3 weeks of keto-adaptation, fats become the prefered human fuel, allowing unimpaired endurance and even high intensity human performance (see Metabolism 32:769-76).

The keto-adapted individual also has lower serum triglycerides and a reduced percentage of saturated fats in the serum triglyceride fraction. This appears to be due to the accelerated use of saturates as fuel in the low insulin, ketoadapted state. Thus dietary intake of saturated fats becomes a non-issue.

Nutritional ketosis is also associated with a reduced level of inflammation (data pending publication). This stands in opposition to the result of a single “high fat” (eg, 40-50% fat) meal. We now know that inflammation causes heart disease as much or more than cholesterol, and a fat-based ketogenic diet results in lower inflammatory biomarkers that a high carb diet.

The bottom line: Nature is not linear, and those who extrapolate beyond published experience do so at their own risk.

{…]

— Posted by Steve Phinney, MD, PhD

Cholesterol and cognitive decline | Health & Nutrition by Michael R. Eades, M.D.

Cholesterol and cognitive decline | Health & Nutrition by Michael R. Eades, M.D.

The majority of the medical data out there shows that a higher cholesterol is correlated with better health and longevity among the retirement set, but few of them know it. And fewer yet know that a lower cholesterol level is associated with cognitive decline.

If there is one thing that elderly people fear more than heart disease and cancer it is probably Alzheimer’s disease or any kind of mental decline. Unfortunately, their fixation on their cholesterol levels are herding more and more of them in that very direction.

The brain represents about 2 percent of a person’s overall weight yet contains about 25 percent of the cholesterol in that person’s body. Just those figures alone ought to tell you that cholesterol is pretty important in cognitive function, but most people aren’t aware of those figures. And won’t learn them from the mainstream press (which get’s its info from the pharmaceutically-driven medical press), but will continue mistakenly to think of cholesterol only in terms of heart disease risk.

A group of researchers in the Netherlands did a study looking at cholesterol levels and cognitive decline and found that the elderly with the highest cholesterol levels were able to think better than their counterparts with low levels of cholesterol. Their paper has been accepted by the journal Neurobiology of Aging, and is awaiting publication.

ADD and ADHD Basics - Tonsil Removal and ADHD: Connected?

ADD and ADHD Basics - Tonsil Removal and ADHD: Connected?

Tonsil Removal and ADHD: Connected?

Author:Karen Barrow

Medically Reviewed On: March 31, 2006

Can a fairly routine problem, enlarged tonsils, be causing attention deficit disorder (ADHD) in your child? Not quite, says a new study, but tonsil problems may be partially to blame for some of your child's behavior problems.

While the cause-and-effect relationship is not entirely understood, researchers from the University of Michigan suspect that there is a relationship between enlarged tonsils and sleep-related breathing problems. Taking the relationship one step further, they also suspect that sleep problems may underlie some cases of behavioral problems in children, including ADHD.

"An undiagnosed sleep disorder is not the solution for all children with ADHD. But it could be something worth looking into for a substantial minority," said Dr. Ronald Chervin, study author and director of the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Bulletin - Philadelphia's Family Newspaper - Council Considers Nutrition Labels On Restaurant Menus

The Bulletin - Philadelphia's Family Newspaper - Council Considers Nutrition Labels On Restaurant Menus

A Different View
In a new book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, author Gary Taubes challenges the medical orthodoxy that fatty foods cause heart disease and other life threatening ailments. He also challenges the idea that calories alone account for weight gain.
He claims medical studies do not support the conclusion.
Mr. Taubes, who writes for Science magazine, notes the diets of previous centuries were as high or higher in fat content than the ration in today's modern American intake.
His research also concludes there is no new epidemic of heart disease. More heart disease is being reported, he agrees, but people are living longer, seeing doctors more often, and physicians are getting more adept at diagnosing symptoms.
In an interview Mr. Taubes did on the PBS program, "Frontline," he asserted, "There were several studies done in the late '80s, where they actually calculated how much longer you would live if you cut back on saturated fat. If everyone in the country cut back on saturated fat to that level recommended by the government, and cut back their total fat consumption, you could then calculate from these studies how much longer you would live. And the answer was a [few] days to a few months."
Taubes' research is compelling. He's an advocate of the Atkins diet and claims carbohydrates do more to cause obesity than fats or sugars.
Approximately 25-30 years ago, obesity rates in the United States climbed from 12 to 14 percent up to 22 to 25 percent. He blames it on the "monolithic dogma" that a high fat diet is bad.
"Diet became a religion," Mr. Taubes told "Frontline." "The whole low-fat idea, as much as anything came out of the counterculture and Berkeley and San Francisco in the '60s, this idea that eating fatty meat, in effect, is the dietary equivalent of conspicuous consumption. There were famines going on around the world, people were starving, and here in America we were eating eggs and bacon for breakfast and huge steaks for dinner. This was just unacceptable politically, sociologically, ideologically. It merged with this idea that fat might cause heart disease, and then blossomed in the '70's."

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Right Brain vs Left Brain TEST | The Daily Telegraph

The Right Brain vs Left Brain | The Daily Telegraph:

"The Right Brain vs Left Brain Article from: AAP * Font size: Decrease Increase * Email article: Email * Print article: Print * Submit comment: Submit comment October 05, 2007 12:00am The Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise? If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa. Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it. LEFT BRAIN FUNCTIONS uses logic detail oriented facts rule words and language present and past math and science can comprehend knowing acknowledges order/pattern perception knows object name reality based forms strategies practical safe RIGHT BRAIN FUNCTIONS uses feeling 'big picture' oriented imagination rules symbols and images present and future philosophy & religion can 'get it' (i.e. meaning) believes appreciates spatial perception knows object function fantasy based presents possibilities impetuous risk taking"

I am right brained

Monday, October 01, 2007

Have Type 2 Diabetes? You're Likely to Have Sleep Apnea Too - Diabetes Health

Have Type 2 Diabetes? You're Likely to Have Sleep Apnea Too - Diabetes Health

In obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the upper airway narrows or collapses during sleep, cutting off breathing. People with OSA may be aroused hundreds of times each night, just enough to start breathing again.

Usually the sleeper doesn't recall the partial waking episodes, but feels tired every day. If you have type 2 diabetes, especially if you're overweight, and you feel sluggish all the time, it may well be the fault of OSA.

Recently our Advisory Board member Daniel Einhorn, MD, tested 279 type 2 patients for OSA at the Whittier Institute for Diabetes. A full 36 percent of his patients had it. Men were twice as likely to have it as women, especially if they were over 62 years old.

If you have type 2 diabetes, Dr. Einhorn advises that you get yourself screened for OSA. Estimates are that up to ninety percent of people who have it remain undiagnosed. It's not something you want to live with, however, because it's associated with insulin resistance, higher A1c's, and a number of other dire long-term effects, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, depression, sexual dysfunction, and even an increased risk of car crashes.

Conversely, treating OSA improves glucose metabolism and diabetes control. And a good night's sleep can have a salutary effect on your ability to stick with a healthy diet or exercise regimen.

Some recent evidence suggests that rather than obesity causing OSA, and OSA causing diabetes, that diabetes, or rather insulin insensitivity, causes OSA directly. OSA hurts your brain, as your brain is deprived of oxygen. OSA is associated with sleepiness, lack of motivation, and executive dysfunction.

Myths & Truths About Nutrition

Myths & Truths About Nutrition

Myths & Truths About NutritionPosted in: health in pejung's Blog


Myth: Heart disease in America is caused by consumption of cholesterol and saturated fat from animal products.

Truth: During the period of rapid increase in heart disease (1920-1960), American consumption of animal fats declined but consumption of hydrogenated and industrially processed vegetable fats increased dramatically.

Myth: Saturated fat clogs arteries.

Truth: The fatty acids found in artery clogs are mostly unsaturated (74%) of which 41% are polyunsaturated.

Myth: Vegetarianism is healthy.

Truth: The annual all-cause death rate of vegetarian men is slightly more than that of non-vegetarian men (.93% vs .89%); the annual death rate of vegetarian women is significantly more than that of non-vegetarian women (.86% vs .54%) (Am J Clin Nutr 1982 36:873)

Myth: Vitamin B12 can be obtained from certain plant sources such as blue-green algae and soy products.

Truth: Vitamin B12 is not absorbed from plant sources. Modern soy products increase the body's need for B12. (Soybeans: Chemistry & Technology Vol 1 1972)

Myth: For good health, serum cholesterol should be less than 180 mg/dl.

Truth: The all-cause death rate is higher in individuals with cholesterol levels lower than 180 mg/dl. (Circulation 1992 86:3:1026-1029)

Myth: Animal fats cause cancer and heart disease.

Truth: Animal fats contain many nutrients that protect against cancer and heart disease; elevated rates of cancer and heart disease are associated with consumption of large amounts of vegetable oils. (Fed Proc July 1978 37:2215)

Myth: Children benefit from a low-fat diet.

Truth: Children on low-fat diets suffer from growth problems, failure to thrive & learning disabilities. (Food Chem News 10/3/94)

Myth: A low-fat diet will make you "feel better . . . and increase your joy of living."

Truth: Low-fat diets are associated with increased rates of depression, psychological problems, fatigue, violence and suicide. (Lancet 3/21/92 v339)

Myth: To avoid heart disease, we should use margarine instead of butter.

Truth: Margarine eaters have twice the rate of heart disease as butter eaters. (Nutrition Week 3/22/91 21:12)

Myth: Americans do not consume enough essential fatty acids.

Truth: Americans consume far too much of one kind of EFA (omega-6 EFAs found in most polyunsaturated vegetable oils) but not enough of another kind of EFA (omega-3 EFAs found in fish, fish oils, eggs from properly fed chickens, dark green vegetables and herbs, and oils from certain seeds such as flax and chia, nuts such as walnuts and in small amounts in all whole grains.) (Am J Clin Nutr 1991 54:438-63)

Myth: A vegetarian diet will protect you against atherosclerosis.

Truth: The International Atherosclerosis Project found that vegetarians had just as much atherosclerosis as meat eaters. (Lab Invest 1968 18:498)

Myth: Low-fat diets prevent breast cancer.

Truth: A recent study found that women on very low-fat diets (less than 20%) had the same rate of breast cancer as women who consumed large amounts of fat. (NEJM 2/8/96)

Myth: The "cave man diet" was low in fat.

Truth: Throughout the world, primitive peoples sought out and consumed fat from fish and shellfish, water fowl, sea mammals, land birds, insects, reptiles, rodents, bears, dogs, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, game, eggs, nuts and milk products. (Abrams, Food & Evolution 1987)

Myth: Coconut oil causes heart disease.

Truth: When coconut oil was fed as 7% of energy to patients recovering from heart attacks, the patients had greater improvement compared to untreated controls, and no difference compared to patents treated with corn or safflower oils. Populations that consume coconut oil have low rates of heart disease. Coconut oil may also be one of the most useful oils to prevent heart disease because of its antiviral and antimicrobial characteristics. (JAMA 1967 202:1119-1123; Am J Clin Nutr 1981 34:1552)

Myth: Saturated fats inhibit production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

Truth: Saturated fats actually improve the production of all prostaglandins by facilitating the conversion of essential fatty acids. (Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Journal 20:3)

Myth: Arachidonic acid in foods like liver, butter and egg yolks causes production of "bad" inflammatory prostaglandins.

Truth: Series 2 prostaglandins that the body makes from arachidonic acid both encourage and inhibit inflammation under appropriate circumstances. Arachidonic acid is vital for the function of the brain and nervous system. (Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Journal 20:3)

Myth: Beef causes colon cancer

Truth: Argentina, with higher beef consumption, has lower rates of colon cancer than the US. Mormons have lower rates of colon cancer than vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists (Cancer Res 35:3513 1975) www.activebryantsystems.com www.golfcheklondon.com

Omega-6, found in almost everything, is killing our kids | www.tucsoncitizen.com �

Omega-6, found in almost everything, is killing our kids | www.tucsoncitizen.com

Omega-6, found in almost everything, is killing our kids
DENNIS D. EMBRY, Ph.D.

More on oils and health: Omega-3 can fight depression in moms, kids
Something is happening to our kids, and it's killing them slowly.
It's increasing health-care costs and mental illness, it's hurting kids' IQ, it's contributing to the rise in childhood asthma and diabetes. It's made homicide rates five times higher than in other countries, and much more.
But you and your kids think this killer food is good because of advertising on TV in children's bedrooms.
Twenty percent of all calories each day now come from one food consumed by Americans, and 9 percent of the daily diet of Americans is food that inflames every cell in the body.
This mystery ingredient is in almost everything your child eats at school, at home, at fast-food and even "good" restaurants, at the neighbor's house, at grandmother's house, even at church socials.
It is not sugar, additives or wheat. What is this ingredient? It's called omega-6. No other children in the world consume so much of it. This item is relatively new even in the U.S., becoming a large part of our daily diet only since the mid-1970s.
Before World War II, it wasn't even in our diet.
But today, kids' food contains large quantities of omega-6, which damages brain and body.
Omega-6 competes against omega-3, the good fat needed in our brains and body.
What contains all this omega-6? Soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and corn oil.
Your child consumes about 500 calories a day containing omega-6, coming from just one source: soybean oil.
Omega-6 is in almost all food your child eats: snacks, school food, salad dressings, frozen food, baked goods and all fast food.
It is even embedded in meat and poultry because of feed lots, unless you feed your child wild or grass-fed meats.
Omega-6 has replaced and competes against some key food your child needs to make brain cells and to create most essential brain chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine.
This food causes stress chemicals in your child to skyrocket and increases the inflammatory response all through the brain and body.
These chemical changes affect your child's mood, behavior and health.

[...]

Dr. Joe and others have figured out why our population has seen increases in heart disease, asthma, developmental disabilities, depression, bipolar disorder and even suicide: too much omega-6 (soybean oil) and not enough omega-3 (fish oil).

[...]

What families can do
If you want your child to live longer, be happier, smarter, healthier and better behaved, to do better in school, to have fewer problems such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease and a lower risk of mental health disorders, then you have some clear-cut choices:
• Cut back everything that contains soybean, cottonseed, corn, canola, sunflower and safflower oils containing omega-6. (Olive oil is not one of these oils.)
If the food is manufactured or purchased, chances are it contains omega-6 in soybean oil.
• Switch to range- or grass-fed meats. Presently, most chicken and beef are fed grain, which increases the omega-6. Take off the chicken skin, as it contains most of the omega-6.
• Increase your child's consumption of fresh fish. Fresh trout, salmon, tuna and similar fish are high in omega-3, the healthful ingredient.
• Consider giving fish-oil supplements: 1 to 2 grams a day of fish oil benefits health and behavior among adults and kids.
Consumer Reports has rated such supplements, which cost as little as $10 per year per child.
The less omega-6 your child consumes, the less omega-3 he or she needs. Flavored and highly distilled omega-3 (fish oil) are available for fussy children. Flaxseed oil is not a substitute.

Nin Andrews: The Male Brain

Nin Andrews: The Male Brain

I had to laugh at Friday's entry from daily@delanceyplace.com. So I guess it's true what they say about the male brain being a sex organ, and the female brain being just a blabber box. And I thought those were just urban myths and/or stereo types.

"Under a microscope or an fMRI scan, the differences between male and female brains are revealed to be complex and widespread. In the brain centers for language and hearing, for example, women have 11% more neurons than men. The principal hub of emotion and memory formation--the hippocampus--is also larger in the female brain, as is the brain circuitry for language and observing emotions in others. This means that women are, on average, better at expressing emotions and remembering the details of emotional events. Men, by contrast, have two and a half times the brain space devoted to sexual drive as well as larger brain centers for action and aggression. Sexual thoughts floats through a man's brain many times each day on average, and through a woman's only once a day. Perhaps three to four times a day on her hottest days. ...

"The numbers vary, but on average girls speak two to three times more words per day than boys. ... Girls speak faster on average, especially when they are in a social setting. Men haven't always appreciated that verbal edge. In Colonial America, women were put in the town stocks with wooden clips on their tongues or tortured by the 'dunking stool,' held underwater and almost drowned--punishments that were never imposed on men--for the crime of 'talking too much.' ...

"There is a biological reason for [this female talking] behavior. Connecting through talking activates the pleasure centers in a girl's brain. Sharing secrets that have romantic and sexual implications activates those centers even more. We're not talking about a small amount of pleasure. This is huge. It's a major dopamine and oxytocin rush, which is the biggest, fattest neurological reward you can get outside of an orgasm. Dopamine is a neurochemical that stimulates the motivation and pleasure circuits in the brain. Estrogen at puberty increases dopamine and oxytocin production in girls. Oxytocin is a neurohormone that triggers and is triggered by intimacy. ...

"Why do ... boys become so taciturn and monosyllabic that they verge on autistic when they hit their teens? The testicular surges of testosterone marinate the boys' brains. Testosterone has been shown to decrease talking as well as interest in socializing--except when it involves sports or sexual pursuits. In fact, sexual pursuit and body parts become pretty much obsessions."