Archive for November, 2010

Walking can limit the effects of dementia on Nov 17th 2010 02:50 pm

Many of us have painful memories of being forced to run laps in our school daysthe harsh coach blowing his whistle behind you, the smell of grass assailing your nostrils. For some, those memories are far off, and they’d prefer to keep it that way. However, a new Pittsburgh University study suggests a compromise: if you make it a point to walk, not run, at least six miles a week, you’re likely to keep your brain from shrinking, and lower your chances of contracting dementia.It’s more than a fair trade. Dementia affects over 26 million people and slowly kills off brain cells, limiting cognitive processes and memory. As of yet, there’s no known cure, but there are preventative measures. The new study, published in the Neurology journal, suggests that walking is one of them. While it’s a good practice at any age, the study found that seniors who walked a minimum of 72 blocks had more grey matter in their brains. Analysis done four years after the fact found that the reverse was also true: elderly people who did not make walking a part of their everyday life showed distinct signs of dementia. Continue Reading »

Filed in Exercise | Comments Off

The benefits of beet root on Nov 8th 2010 07:12 pm

Daniel Kim-Shapiro and his team from the Translational Science Center have found that beet juice can improve blood flow to the brain in the elderly. Kim-Shapiro’s study featured 14 participants over the age of 70 who were assigned high- or low-nitrate diets. The high-nitrate diets featured a healthy dose of beet juice. The final MRIs of the subjects discovered the increased blood flow levels. This is helpful for bring oxygen to previously-lacking regions, especially the frontal lobe, which deteriorates with age and is responsible for dementia and similar disorders.This is hardly the first time that beets have been noticed for their health benefits. Parents have been pushing them into their children’s plates for generations, and in ancient times, beets were used as a treatment for fevers and constipation. The root is a source of rare phytonutrients known as betalains, including betanin and vulgaxanthin, which have antioxidant, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory properties. Beets contribute lutein and zeaxanthin to the diettwo carotenids which combat age-related vision problems. More recent studies have found evidence that the beet’s betanin pigments lessen the growth of tumor cells. Beet juice has also been shown to lower blood pressure. Continue Reading »

Filed in Diet | Comments Off