Archive for May, 2014
There’s nothing worse than the feeling of fighting off sleep while trying to focus and be productive during the day.
For most people, coffee and other caffeinated drinks are the go-to solution for fighting fatigue as we look for ways to enjoy more hours of high energy and sharper thinking.
But energizing yourself could be as simple as switching on a light! Let me explain this remarkable new finding. . .
Special Message from Lee Euler
How Linda BEAT Her Joint Pain
with A Weird Remedy
You’ve NEVER Heard About
I’ve got news about an all-natural pain reliever that melts away the pain from sprains, bruises, and even swollen, painful joints. Virtually overnight. And it takes just minutes.
Yet it’s ignored by just about EVERY doctor in the country.
That’s why I’d like to tell you about Linda…
Click here to see how this medical practitioner beat her pain and saved her career. Safely. Inexpensively. And without a single drug.
And – get this – it’s not a supplement either. But you CAN do it at home and it costs NOTHING.
If you’re suffering from back pain, wrist, knee or shoulder pain, or joint or muscle inflammation, this weird but effective, life-changing remedy can get you back in the game. Fast.
But you won’t hear it from your doctor.
So CLICK HERE to see how Linda beat her joint pain with an innovative –- but almost never used –- therapy!
New studies show we might be able to leave caffeine on the shelf for good—without sacrificing alertness and cognitive performance—just by changing the color of our light bulbs.
The power of circadian rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is a cycle of hormones and neurological inputs that determines whether you’re awake or asleep. If this natural rhythm is disrupted it leaves you feeling fatigued and unable to think at your peak level.
Scientists have discovered a new pigment in the eye that is responsible for helping the body adjust to its circadian rhythm, called melanopsin. It’s a photoreceptor responsible for receiving light waves.
By manipulating melanopsin, you could be able to hit the manual “override” button on a groggy mind, allowing you to increase focus, cognitive efficiency and productivity … or even adjust to a new time zone easily.
But the studies are showing it’s not just any light … it takes a very specific dose and color of light to make melanopsin respond.
Light matters—and so does its color
Multiple researchers from around the world are discovering that light on the blue side of the wavelength spectrum may be most effective in activating melanopsin and providing cognitive benefits as powerful as caffeine.
And when I say “blue light,” I don’t necessarily mean a deep blue like Christmas lights. The light you need is still bright and appears to be white, like daylight.
For example, one study compared the effects of two different wavelengths of commercially available light bulbs on participants from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.
The bulbs were different temperatures—6500 Kelvin (K) and 2500K. 6500K is on the blue side of the color spectrum and feels like an overcast sky, while 2500K has a yellow tint that looks more like candlelight.
The researchers found that only the 6500K temperature suppressed melatonin—a hormone responsible for causing sleepiness and lowering body temperature. It also increased alertness, a sense of well-being, and visual comfort. (4)
According to another study from the Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre in Ostersund, blue light outperforms caffeine stimulation in terms of reaction time, accuracy, and decision-making—all byproducts of alertness. (1)
A German study also reported an increase in fluid intelligence (the form of intelligence linked most closely to IQ), showing that blue light exposure increased participants’ IQs by an average of 5 points—or a 3.3% increase of information processing. It also increased alertness from “relaxed and alert” to “fully alert.” (3)
Other proven benefits of light in the blue wavelength include …
- Fighting fatigue during the day …
- Reversing seasonal mood and sleep disorders … (5)
- And reducing sleepiness and errors during nighttime driving. (2)
More research required to determine blue light “dose”
While the results are pretty exciting, there hasn’t been enough research to determine the most effective “dose”—including duration of exposure, the perfect wavelength of the light, and how often the dose should be “taken.”
Some studies indicate that the benefits of changing the light were most effective in “bursts,” or measured doses, of only a few minutes. Varying doses have not yet been tested and confirmed in studies of large groups of people.
Some scientists are also concerned whether the blue light spectrum will have negative effects on the eyes when used long-term.
But I have to confess, I’m tempted to seek out the appropriate type of light bulb and have a go at it! I’m not encouraging anyone to experiment on himself, but it seems to me that moderate use might boost alertness and IQ without side effects.
I’ll keep you updated as new research is released.
Lee Euler, Publisher
(1) A comparison of blue light and caffeine effects on cognitive function and alertness in humans. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24282477
(2) In-Car Nocturnal Blue Light Exposure Improves Motorway Driving. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0046750#abstract0
(3) Blue light improves cognitive performance. http://www.psio.com/pdf/blue-light-improves-cognitive-performance.pdf
(4) Non-visual effects of light on melatonin, alertness and cognitive performance. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0016429
(5) Jefferson and Brigham and Women’s researchers find blue light important for setting biological clock http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-09/tju-jab091003.php
It started around 5000 years ago and is practiced by 15.8 million Americans. The traditional practice was mainly spiritual, concerned with personal enlightenment. But today, scientists are increasingly interested in yoga for its therapeutic potential both physically and mentally.
This may be a good way to save your brain. . .
3 Toxic Snack Foods That You Must Stay Away From
In a world where you’re always on the go, it can be difficult to prepare a snack that is wholesome from home and you end up turning to convenience snacks along the way – ones that you can quickly grab and put in your purse or desk at work.
Snacking can be a part of healthy diet plan and can help you achieve optimal energy levels throughout the day while keeping your blood sugar levels more stabilized, but, if you’re not careful with the snack choices you’re choosing, you could be doing far more harm than good.
Here are three toxic snack foods that you should do away with immediately.
- Processed Cheese
- Chips and Crackers
- Energy Bars
Click here to find out why you need to eliminate them from your diet immediately!!!
Yoga has been shown to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and decrease other cardiovascular risk factors. It improves respiration, decreases chronic pain and lowers stress.
Now, scientists have been looking at its effects on the brain. Here, too, there is evidence that it can be highly effective if you want to keep your mind sharp and improve memory and concentration.
Yoga has become more popular over the years because it isn’t too strenuous and yet it improves physical strength, stamina and flexibility. People also feel calmer and more relaxed. It reduces anxiety, combats depression, improves symptoms associated with epilepsy and promotes emotional stability. These mental health advantages occur not just during practice but all the time. It has long-lasting benefits.
Typically around 70% of a yoga routine is devoted to postures, 20% to meditation and 10% focuses on breath work. Does it involve taking up a religion? I’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s look at the real and measurable brain effects.
Yoga for a Bigger Brain
Using brain scans it was found that those who practice yoga regularly had more grey matter. This is involved with memory, emotions and decision making. The more hours practiced each week the more enlarged these areas were. Another study found the more grey matter elderly people have, the better their general and short-term memories.
Scans also showed the hippocampus area of the brain is enlarged among yoga practitioners. This area is likewise critical for both short and long term memory. In Alzheimer’s disease, the hippocampus is one of the first areas of the brain to suffer damage.
Yoga also increases gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). This is one of the most important neurotransmitters. It’s the major inhibitory brain chemical. When GABA is at a low level it causes nervous overstimulation, rendering a person more prone to panic attacks, anxiety and mood disorders. Drugs for these conditions aim to raise GABA and relieve symptoms. Why not do it naturally and avoid the drug side effects?
This is news. Yoga’s effect on GABA was discovered for the first time in 2007. After one hour of yoga, this important neurotransmitter increased by a whopping 27%. I think that’s remarkable.
More Effective than Aerobic Exercise
A follow-up study in 2010 confirmed these findings and also demonstrated improved mood and decreased anxiety among the yoga group when compared to a group of people who exercised by walking. The study revealed that yoga and exercise do not have the same effects.
This was verified in another study, published in 2013. This time yoga was compared to aerobics in a group of undergraduate women. After 20 minutes of both, cognitive benefits were only seen in the yoga group. According to lead researcher Neha Gothe:
“…the participants were better able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly, more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively.”
Yoga, with its unique combination of physical postures, meditation and breathing, is perhaps the most effective of all health activities. And it is particularly suitable for older people. If you’ve never tried yoga, it’s never too late to start – the world’s oldest yoga teacher is 95 years of age!
Is It a Religion?
Some of us may feel ambivalent about whether yoga is a religious practice. I think it’s possible to practice yoga in a purely secular way – and this may depend in part on the teacher you choose. Don’t hesitate to ask a few questions before signing up, and request that the practices be adapted to your religious beliefs.
Some practitioners may teach you to address your meditation to “their” god and may call for belief in a guru who’s said to have supernatural powers. Some, I regret to say, will try to mislead you about whether their form of yoga is religious in nature. I can well understand why you’d want to shop around. I have some experience with this, and there’s no reason you can’t change the practices to fit your own religious tradition.
Your brain depends on an ample blood supply to function at its best. Poor circulation to this organ may be a key reason so many seniors have memory problems.
Americans tend to lead sedentary lifestyles that leave our aging bodies with sluggish circulatory systems — and declining mental powers. Plus, years of eating too many sugary, processed foods contribute to narrowing of the arteries and under-nourished brains. Today, let’s look at a supplement that may help. . .
Alzheimer’s Symptoms Vanish with One Pill?
Here is Mary’s story about her father who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
Symptoms were confusion, aggression, massive behavioral changes and memory loss.
On the advice of a doctor of “alternative” medicine, she gave her father one single tiny
1/16 of an inch tablet, which he dissolved under his tongue.
What happened next took Mary and her father’s doctor by surprise…
When he went for his next checkup with his usual doctor, a conventional MD, the doctor was amazed…he found his former Alzheimer’s patient reading Time magazine and commenting on minivan recalls.
As Mary said, “The treatment was easy and noninvasive with no elaborate regimes to follow. It’s just a few hours of our time and one little tablet taken one time.”
And the entire treatment came to less than $100.
Click here to watch the video that reveals this latest health phenomenon and gives you the details on this “hidden” health breakthrough.
If you’re looking to provide your brain’s neurons with the nutrients and oxygen they need, besides improving your diet and getting some exercise, you have another option: A supplement that can help send more blood to the brain and aid it in carrying out its daily memory tasks.
Vinpocetine, an extract of a natural chemical found in the periwinkle plant, has been shown to be a potent antioxidant that both protects neurons against free radical damage and works to improve blood distribution to the brain.
This plant, also called vinca, is a common garden flower that looks something like a violet. I have some around my house and so do most people who live in my area. It’s a popular ground cover that requires almost no care. But you DON’T want to eat the raw plant, as it’s toxic. Vinpocetine is not made from the whole plant. It’s an extract of a specific chemical from the plant that’s safe to consume.
Your Brain is Saying, “Send Blood!”
At any point in time, between 15 and 20 percent of the body’s blood courses through the brain. As we age, a number of conditions like atherosclerosis (formation of oxidized plaque in the arteries) can compromise the blood supply.
And while we know a lot about what can go wrong with the arteries supplying blood to the brain, research into the complex web of blood vessels that supply the brain reveals there’s much we still don’t know. Scientists don’t fully understand how the blood vessel system in the brain changes with age and how the body adjusts to these physiological shifts.
For example, in women of childbearing age, estrogen produced by the ovaries is essential to maintain healthy arteries and veins. Then, when estrogen production drops during menopause, the body has to resort to other mechanisms for controlling blood vessel growth and behavior.
How does the body cope with this change in hormonal levels? Nobody really knows.
“Before menopause, women are much more protected from certain conditions such as heart disease and stroke, but these vascular changes might explain why women lose this protection after menopause,” says researcher Olga Glinskii with the University of Missouri.
“Eventually, however, the body starts to recognize that it needs blood vessels and starts to adapt through natural responses,” adds researcher Vladislav Glinskii.
The Glinskiis believe that when menopausal women use hormone replacement therapy (HRT), they can disrupt this adaptive process.i
“If we start adding estrogen to a system that is learning to adapt without it, we upset this transition process. What happens to the vascular system during menopause is complex on many different levels, and we do not know enough to determine the best way to use hormone therapy.”
Improve brain circulation with this flower
We do know, however, that vinpocetine can benefit the flow of blood to the brain and improve the function of its blood vessels. Vinpocetine may also ease some of the neuron damage that occurs during problems like Alzheimer’s disease.
Vinpocetine has been shown to reduce the action of phosphodiesterase type 1 (PDE1), an enzyme that often causes blood vessels to narrow.ii
This natural plant remedy also acts as a sodium channel blockeriii that can limit brain cell injury after a stroke. Researchers believe that as a sodium channel blocker, this natural chemical also helps brain cells retain their plasticity so that they can rebuild themselves. (After a stroke, sodium can swamp neurons and cause extensive damage. Sodium channel blockers like vinpocetine may slow this destructive process.)
In addition, lab studies in Portugaliv show that vinpocetine’s role as an antioxidant may slow down brain cell destruction caused by reactive oxygen species (free radicals) that play a role in Alzheimer’s.
Vinpocetine has been approved in about four dozen countries to treat vascular diseases in the brain. It is available in the U.S. in a wide variety of supplements.
It seems strange, but your sense of smell could determine how likely you are to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
That’s because one of the first areas of the brain to be affected by the disease is the olfactory center. This is the area of the brain that’s responsible for perceiving odors and scents.
Loss of sense of smell is quite common. A quarter of the population over the age of 50 has some impairment, and many factors such as infections, pollution, heavy metal toxicity and head traumas can blunt the ability to smell.
But even though there’s a clear and accepted association between the sense of smell and Alzheimer’s, smell testing isn’t used as a tool to give advance, early warning of the onset of this disease. It’s too unreliable.
But that may be about to change. . .
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The “Sniffin’ Sticks” Odor Test
Medical organizations including the American Academy of Neurology support the use of smell testing to help confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. But the real challenge has been to create a test that can diagnose the disease at a very early stage before any memory or cognitive problems show up.
Researchers from Australia believe they are not far away from this goal.
They tested over 300 people aged from 46 to 86 with Sniffin’ Sticks. These look like pens but are filled with different odors. After three years’ follow-up, those demonstrating cognitive decline were the ones who had the most trouble telling the difference between different types of odors at the start of the study.
This indicator of being able to distinguish one smell from another turned out to be far more reliable than simple loss of smell.
The scientists intend to carry out further research to find out the best odor to use, after which they believe they can bring to market a cheap, reliable, standardized test to predict future cognitive decline.
The Peanut Butter Nostril Test
Another screening tool based on smell is in the works. The left nostril detects smells processed mainly in the left hemisphere of the brain, which is where the degeneration in Alzheimer’s begins.
This fact gave University of Florida researchers an idea for a novel test in 2013.
94 participants took part. They had either probable Alzheimer’s based on other tests, mild cognitive impairment, other forms of dementia, or were in good mental health.
Each participant had to block one nostril while a tablespoon of peanut butter was moved up towards the open nostril until they indicated they could smell it.
Peanut butter was chosen because it’s familiar and has an unmistakable smell most people can identify.
What the researchers discovered was that all the patients most likely to have Alzheimer’s disease had a left nostril impairment. On average they could smell the peanut butter from 20 centimeters away in the right nostril but only 10 centimeters in the left.
This marked difference between nostrils was not seen in the other groups, including the participants who suffered from other forms of dementia. This test was specific for Alzheimer’s disease.
Of the 24 patients with mild cognitive impairment, some will go on to get full blown Alzheimer’s whereas others won’t. In the study, ten of them had this left-right nostril asymmetry, 14 didn’t. If this test turns out to yield an accurate prediction, it will be mean that only those 10 would go on to progress to Alzheimer’s without treatment.
Lead researcher Jennifer Stamps was surprised by the results.
“When we analyzed the data we were blown away.”
It will take further research to see if this initial study is validated. If it is, we will have a very simple, cheap and easy test for early Alzheimer’s.
Meanwhile, I wonder if it would be of any help to informally try it at home. It sounds easy enough to do, and might give us an early indicator of Alzheimer’s onset. Knowing what may lie ahead might motivate some people to start taking better care of their brain health with steps like getting plenty of sleep, exercising, eating healthy food and trying some of the nutrients that support brain health.
Lee Euler, Publisher
Could a simple spice found in most kitchens hold the key to defeating Alzheimer’s disease?
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, believe it might. They have found natural chemicals in a popular spice that appear to slow or completely stop the damaging processes that destroy memory when you get Alzheimer’s disease.
The spice that garnered all this attention is cinnamon. You may be familiar with cinnamon’s ability to reverse high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes – it’s received a lot of publicity. Now it looks like cinnamon may be an answer to dementia, too. Here are the facts. . .
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According to the Santa Barbara studies,i two chemicals in cinnamon called cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin may prevent the formation of the tangled filaments that clog the brains of Alzheimer’s victims.
When you develop Alzheimer’s disease, a protein known as tau, which normally plays a key role in building neurons and enabling them to function normally, becomes dysfunctional and starts accumulating in clumps and tangles.
“The problem with tau in Alzheimer’s is that it starts aggregating,” says researcher Roshni George.
When this protein fails to properly interact with the microtubules that form neuronal structures, it starts to clump together in an unruly mass inside the neurons. As you get older, your brain becomes more vulnerable to developing these sticky masses. And if you develop Alzheimer’s, this clumping, entangling phenomenon overwhelms the brain’s neurons.
But the California scientists have found that cinnamaldehyde — the compound that gives cinnamon its unforgettable sweet, bright smell — can prevent the formation of tau knots. Apparently, cinnamaldehyde’s antioxidant properties stop tau’s aggregation (or, in plain English, clumping).
On a molecular scale, cinnamaldehyde forms bonds with two amino acid residues called cysteines that are found on tau protein. By shielding the cysteines, cinnamaldehyde, an oil, prevents the chemical mayhem that promotes Alzheimer’s.
Benefit from Antioxidant Protection
“Take, for example, sunburn, a form of oxidative damage,” says researcher Donald Graves. “If you wore a hat, you could protect your face and head from the oxidation. In a sense this cinnamaldehyde is like a cap.”
Although cinnamaldehyde can shield the tau protein by linking to its cysteine residues, it can also disengage, Graves says, allowing the correct functions of the protein to proceed.
The natural substance epicatechin, found not only in cinnamon but also in other foods like chocolate, blueberries and red wine, is a powerful antioxidant. Along with preventing cellular damage from those destructive molecules called free radicals, epicatechin is activated by the oxidation process. That enables this chemical to react with the cysteines on the tau protein in a parallel manner to what takes place with cinnamaldehyde.
“Cell membranes that are oxidized also produce reactive derivatives, such as acrolein, that can damage the cysteines,” says George. “Epicatechin also sequesters those byproducts.”
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, you encounter an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It is believed that the high blood sugar associated with diabetes results in a large increase in free radicals which are also known as reactive oxygen species. That causes extra oxidative stress. Fortunately, cinnamon can also help in controlling blood sugar.
“Since tau is vulnerable to oxidative stress, this study then asks whether Alzheimer’s disease could benefit from cinnamon, especially looking at the potential of small compounds,” says George.
The researchers add that there is still a great deal to learn about cinnamon and its effects on the brain. They warn against taking in large amounts of the substance though they say that using it in the normal way in cooking is no problem. Our research indicates that one-fourth to one-half teaspoon of cinnamon per day is safe to consume.
If eating that much cinnamon every day is a challenge, you can also take highly potent cinnamon extracts. If you’d like to know more about the best recommended forms of cinnamon – and all about natural ways to beat diabetes – you might want to check out our 241-page book Defeat High Blood Sugar Naturally!
“Wouldn’t it be interesting if a small molecule from a spice could help?” asks Graves, “perhaps prevent it, or slow down the progression.”
It would be a lot more than interesting. It could be a lifesaver. And a brain saver.