Fish, walnuts, molasses and sugar beets are feel-good food.
Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital found rats injected with substances from those foods are happier than your average rat. "The things we put into our bodies really do matter,'' said McLean researcher William Carlezon and lead author of the study published in Biological Psychiatry.
Lab rats were subjected to stress. Those who had been injected with uridine or fed a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids were slower to show signs of despair than those that had not.
Carlezon said he believes the substances target the brain's mitochondria, a key to producing energy in cells. Brain mitochondria are believed to play a role in mood and certain psychiatric conditions.
The findings could eventually lead to therapies that might replace antidepressant drugs in some cases, or boost their effectiveness, allowing patients to reduce the dosage, Carlezon said.
Scientists Find Clue to Brain Development
Abundant but poorly understood brain cells called glia turn out to be essential in the development of synapses-critical connections that form between neurons in the brain during its development, according a new a Stanford University study.
While scientists have long known that glia supported neurons in adults, this is the first time that researchers have identified the role of glia in forming the connections between neurons, say researchers of the Stanford University Study. They announced their finding in the Feb. 11 issue of Cell.
The Stanford study also pinpointed two proteins called thrombospondins, made by glial cells that signal synapse formation. Mice genetically engineered to lack thrombospondins produced 40 percent fewer synapses on average, compared with normal mice.
The findings may help lead to a better understanding of conditions such as epilepsy and addiction, where the brain forms too many synapses. The research could also lead to new ways to treat people with brain damage, the researchers said.
"We knew glia had a close relationship with neurons. We never thought that synapses would entirely fail to form without the glia," research leader Dr. Ben Barres, a professor of neurobiology, said in a prepared statement.
A Diet Dairy Myth
"Drink milk...Lose weight?" say the ads. The dairy industry has created an entire "Healthy Weight with Milk" campaign to boost sales. What's the evidence? Most of it came from a researcher who has a patent on the claim that dairy foods aid weight loss.
In a new study – the largest so far – a high-dairy diet did not help people lose weight. Twenty–three obese patients on 1,500–calorie diets who were randomly assigned to consume four servings of dairy a day lost no more weight or body fat after six months than 22 others who consumed one serving a day.
What are the options?...Choose low–fat (or non–fat) milk, yogurt, and cheese can help lower blood pressure and boost calcium intake, but don't expect them to keep you slim. Obesity Research
12: A23, 2004
The Benefits of Walking for your Brain
According to HealthDay News, staying active can help keep your brain in good shape, say two new studies that tracked exercise and mental decline over time.
In the first, which followed more than 2,200 Hawaiian men aged 71 to 93, those who walked the least (less than a quarter mile a day) were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those who walked the most (more than two miles a day) over the next seven years. Men who walked between a quarter and one mile a day had a 70 percent increased risk.
In a second study, which tracked nearly 19,000 women aged 70 to 81 for at least nine years, those who exercised the most had a 20 percent lower risk of cognitive impairment than those who exercised the least. Women who walked for at least 1 1/2 hours a week scored better on memory, attention, and other tests than women who walked less than 40 minutes a week .
Dr. Kevin Passero, N.D. Joins the Village Green Apothecary Team
We would like to take this opportunity to introduce one of our newest staff members at Village Green Apothecary , Dr. Kevin Passero, N.D. who will be a great resource for our customers in nutrition, homeopathy, and botanical medicine.
Dr. Passero received his training at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM)
, the first naturopathic school in the country and one of the world's pre-eminent educational centers for natural healing. Prior to receiving his doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. Passero completed his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Biology at the University of Colorado . His prior work includes experience with vitamins and supplements, as well as work in the field of dentistry. Dr. Passero has presented over 20 public lectures on Naturopathic Medicine related to common health conditions. He has also completed advanced study on endocrinology and on menopause treatment from the naturopathic perspective. We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Passero to the Village Green staff, and we invite you to explore this new resource in your pursuit of healthy living.