The Trendy Diet Linked To Brain Damage

Moving to this diet can put brain health in jeopardy and increase the risk of nutrient deficiency.

Moving to this diet can put brain health in jeopardy and increase the risk of nutrient deficiency.

A vegan diet can increase the risk of brain malnutrition and damage due to lack of essential nutrients, new research finds.

While a plant-based diet is an effective way to combat heart disease and cancer and it supports environmental sustainability, there are dangers.

Choline is mainly found in meat and, like omega-3 fatty acids, is an essential nutrient that has to be obtained from food.

This vitamin-like essential nutrient is also produced by the liver, but the amount is too small to fulfill the body’s requirements.

Choline is part of lecithin which is known for its effect in treating memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Egg yolk, beef, fish, chicken, wheat germ, soy beans, dairy products, peanuts, almonds are good source of this nutrient and smaller amounts are found in broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and baked beans.

For example, 100g of cooked beef liver provides 431mg of choline, one boiled egg provides nearly 150mg of choline, and 100g cod fish provides 84mg of choline.

Whereas, 100g of broccoli contains 40mg of choline, 100g of baked beans contains 31mg, and a 100g of spinach contains 25mg of choline.

Promoting healthy plant-based foods to protect the environment is important, but restricting eggs, animal protein, and dairy can reduce choline and other essential nutrients.

According to the US Institute of Medicine the minimum daily intake of choline for men is 550mg and 425mg for women.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women require at least 450mg and 550mg choline per day respectively, due to the crucial role of this nutrient in infant development.

Despite these daily requirements, national dietary surveys show that choline intake on average is low in the US, Europe and Australia.

Choline is not only essential for brain health but also influences liver function as shortfalls in this nutrient can cause cell damage and irregularities in fat metabolism.

These insights come from a study authored by Dr Emma Derbyshire who said:

“This is….concerning given that current trends appear to be towards meat reduction and plant-based diets.”

Currently, choline is excluded from UK dietary guidelines, food composition databases and dietary surveys.

Dr Derbyshire said:

“Given the important physiological roles of choline and authorisation of certain health claims, it is questionable why choline has been overlooked for so long in the UK.

More needs to be done to educate healthcare professionals and consumers about the importance of a choline-rich diet, and how to achieve this.

If choline is not obtained in the levels needed from dietary sources per se then supplementation strategies will be required, especially in relation to key stages of the life cycle, such as pregnancy, when choline intakes are critical to infant development.”

The study was published in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health (Derbyshire, 2019).

This Supplement May Treat Schizophrenia (M)

The supplement can help glutamate receptors work more effectively.

The supplement can help glutamate receptors work more effectively.

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A Warning Sign Of Zinc Deficiency

This common health condition is linked to lower than normal zinc levels, a study found.

This common health condition is linked to lower than normal zinc levels, a study found.

High blood pressure can be related to zinc deficiency by changing the way that sodium is handled in kidneys, research finds.

People with chronic diseases like kidney failure or type 2 diabetes are deficient in zinc.

Zinc is a mineral vital for the immune system, wound healing, cognitive functions, vision, taste, smell and so on.

Cacao, red meats, cashew nuts, peanuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, shellfish, dairy products, and eggs are good sources of zinc.

Now, a study reveals that people who have lower than normal zinc levels are more likely to develop hypertension.

Sodium is filtered by the kidneys either by sending it back into the bloodstream or passing it into the urine.

A pathway called the sodium chloride co-transporter (NCC) is responsible for filtration of sodium in the kidney.

Normally, less sodium in the urine indicates higher blood pressure and so NCC is important for controlling blood pressure.

Zinc plays an important role here as it helps regulate specific proteins which are causing the NCC activity.

The study compared healthy mice that had normal zinc levels to mice that were zinc deficient.

Sodium excretion in the urine was low in mice with zinc deficiency and they had high blood pressure.

After feeding these mice a zinc-rich diet, their zinc level began to improve.

Once they were no longer zinc deficient, their urinary sodium levels improved and their blood pressure dropped.

The research team wrote:

“These significant findings demonstrate that enhanced renal [sodium] reabsorption plays a critical role in [zinc-deficiency]-induced hypertension.

Understanding the specific mechanisms by which [zinc deficiency] contributes to [blood pressure] dysregulation may have an important effect on the treatment of hypertension in chronic disease settings.”

Sodium is a mineral and an important electrolyte that helps keep the body’s water in balance.

It is key to maintaining normal blood pressure levels as well as being necessary for muscle and nerve function.

However, consuming salt or foods high in salt will increase the sodium level in the bloodstream and damage the balance and so the kidneys cannot remove the sodium.

Higher blood pressure is the result and, if this abnormality is left uncontrolled, it will harm the delicate blood vessels around the kidneys.

Injured kidney arteries cannot filter blood well enough and deliver blood to the kidney tissue, resulting in chronic kidney disease.

The study was published in American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology (Williams et al., 2019).

3 Foods That Are Linked To ‘Successful Aging’

This plant-based nutrient can keep us avoid disability and disease into old age.

This plant-based nutrient can keep us avoid disability and disease into old age.

Dietary fibre consumed from fruits, cereals and breads are linked to aging successfully over many years.

The surprising benefits of fibre-rich foods has been underestimated, but Australian researchers reveal that fibre makes a big difference in order to age successfully.

They studied 1,609 adults who were 49 years and older for 10 years to find out the relationship between healthy aging and carbohydrate nutrition.

Total carbohydrate intake, total fiber intake, sugar intake, glycemic load and glycemic index factors were examined.

Fibre had the largest impact on what the researchers called ‘successful aging.’

Successful aging was defined as the absence of:

  • cognitive impairment,
  • disability,
  • depressive symptoms,
  • respiratory symptoms,
  • and chronic diseases including coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

Professor Bamini Gopinath, the study’s lead author, said:

“Out of all the variables that we looked at, fiber intake — which is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest — had the strongest influence.

Essentially, we found that those who had the highest intake of fiber or total fiber actually had an almost 80 percent greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life over a 10-year follow-up.

That is, they were less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression, and functional disability.”

We might expect that sugar intake would have a big impact on healthy aging, but in this study it was not linked to successful aging.

Professor Gopinath pointed out that the older adults who participated in this study had a low intake of carbonated and sugary drinks in their diet.

The study was published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A (Gopinath et al., 2016).

The Everyday Remedy For Depression Symptoms

The remedy reduces symptoms in people experiencing the symptoms of depression.

The remedy reduces symptoms in people experiencing the symptoms of depression.

Eating better reduces depression symptoms, new research finds.

Three common diets have similar positive effects, whether people are trying to lose weight, reduce fat or just improve the nutrients in their diet.

There is no need for a special depression-busting diet: simply eating more fruit and veg and avoiding junk food will help.

Dietary changes are particularly beneficial for women, the scientists found.

Dr Joseph Firth, the study’s first author, said:

“The overall evidence for the effects of diet on mood and mental well-being had up to now yet to be assessed.

But our recent meta-analysis has done just that; showing that adopting a healthier diet can boost people’s mood.

However, it has no clear effects on anxiety.”

The conclusions come from almost 46,000 people who were involved in every existing clinical trial looking at diet and mental health problems.

The results showed that all three types of diet — a nutrient boosting, weight loss and fat reduction diet — ease depression symptoms.

Dr Firth said:

“This is actually good news.

The similar effects from any type of dietary improvement suggests that highly-specific or specialised diets are unnecessary for the average individual.

Instead, just making simple changes is equally beneficial for mental health.

In particular, eating more nutrient-dense meals which are high in fibre and vegetables, while cutting back on fast-foods and refined sugars appears to be sufficient for avoiding the potentially negative psychological effects of a ‘junk food’ diet.”

Exercise will boost the positive effects of diet changes, said Dr Brendon Stubbs, study co-author:

“…when dietary interventions were combined with exercise, a greater improvement in depressive symptoms was experienced by people.”

It is not yet clear how diet improves mental health, said Dr Firth:

“It could be through reducing obesity, inflammation, or fatigue—all of which are linked to diet and impact upon mental health.

And further research is still required to examine the effects of dietary interventions in people with clinically-diagnosed psychiatric conditions.”

The study was published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (Firth et al., 2019).

The Vitamin That Helps Prevent Depression

Increased intake of this vitamin is particularly important for reducing depression risk.

Increased intake of this vitamin is particularly important for reducing depression risk.

A healthy diet including plenty of folates is linked to lower depression risk, research finds.

Folates include vitamin B9, folacin and folic acid.

Some of the best dietary sources of folates include:

  • vegetables,
  • fruits,
  • liver,
  • and whole-grains.

Folate levels are particularly high in chickpeas, yeast extract, lentils and broad beans.

Losing weight is also linked to a lower risk of depression.

In contrast, eating junk food, sugar and processed foods was linked to increased depression risk by the study.

People who ate more foods like sausages, sugary snacks and drinks, manufactured foods and processed potatoes had higher depression risk.

The conclusion comes from a Finnish study of over 2,000 middle-aged men.

They were tracked for up to 20 years while their diet and mental health was monitored.

In another related study, 140 men and women were assigned to one of two groups.

One group ate a healthy diet while the other continued as normal.

The results again showed that a healthy diet including higher intake of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains and fish was linked to lower depression risk.

Increased intake of folates is particularly important.

Dr Anu Ruusunen, the study’s author, said:

“The study reinforces the hypothesis that a healthy diet has potential not only in the warding off of depression, but also in its prevention.”

The studies were published by the University of Eastern Finland (Ruusunen et al., 2013).

The Sleep Pattern Linked To Better Health

The sleep pattern is linked to eating more healthy foods and having steadier eating patterns.

The sleep pattern is linked to eating more healthy foods and having steadier eating patterns.

Early risers tend to be more healthy in comparison to night owls, new research finds.

People who prefer to rise early and go to bed early eat more healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, and they have steadier eating patterns.

Night owls, though, tend to consume more sugar, alcohol and fast food.

Night owls are more likely to suffer from both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Dr Suzana Almoosawi, the study’s first author, said:

“We have found that your genes, ethnicity and gender determine the likelihood of you being a morning or evening type.

In adulthood, being an evening chronotype is associated with greater risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and this may be potentially due to the poorer eating behaviour and diet of people with evening chronotype.

Our review also found that people who have a poorer control of their diabetes are more likely to be evening types.”

One way of shifting towards being a morning person is to get outside more.

Daylight exposure is linked to earlier sleep and waking.

Dr Almoosawi said:

“In teenagers, we also find that evening chronotype is related to more erratic eating behaviour and poorer diet.

This could have important implications to health in adulthood as most dietary habits are established in adolescence.”

The conclusions come from a review of many different studies on nutrition and sleep.

Dr Leonidas G Karagounis, study co-author, said:

“…studies suggest that an evening chronotype is associated with lower intake of fruits and vegetables, and higher intake of energy drinks, alcoholic, sugary and caffeinated beverages, as well as higher energy intake from fat.

Further research on the best methods to assess an individual’s chronotype and how this may affect their long-term cardiometabolic health can potentially guide the development of health promotion strategies aimed at preventing and treating chronic diseases based on an individual’s chronotype.”

The study was published in the journal Advances in Nutrition (Almoosawi et al., 2018).

The Worst Weight Loss Technique Is Used By 50% Of People

Large decade-long study reveals what works best long-term in weight management.

Large decade-long study reveals what works best long-term in weight management.

Dieting is not the answer to effective weight management, new research concludes.

Indeed, people who carefully control what they eat put on more weight in the long-term, the large 10-year study found.

It is far better to avoid dieting and simple eat regular healthy meals.

Taking care of one’s psychological well-being is also important, as is finding a sense of meaning in life.

These are the conclusions of a Finnish study that followed over 4,900 people for a decade.

The results showed that almost everyone gained weight between the ages of 24 and 34 — around 1kg per year.

Men and women who dieted and had irregular eating habits put on more weight over the decade.

It is thought around 50% of adults are dieting at any one time.

Ms Ulla Kärkkäinen, the study’s first author, said:

“Often, people try to prevent and manage excess weight and obesity by dieting and skipping meals.

In the long term, such approaches seem to actually accelerate getting fatter, rather than prevent it.”

In addition, women who were unhappy with their life and who drank more sugary drinks also put on more weight.

For men, smoking was a risk factor for putting on more weight.

Ms Ulla Kärkkäinen, the study’s first author, said:

“Generally speaking, weight management guidance often boils down to eating less and exercising more.

In practice, people are encouraged to lose weight, whereas the results of our extensive population study indicate that losing weight is not an effective weight management method in the long run.

Prior research has shown that approximately every other adult is constantly dieting.

According to the National Institute for Health and Welfare, nearly a million Finns diet every year.

Even though dieting may seem a logical solution to weight management problems, it can actually increase weight gain and eating problems in the long run.”

The study was published in the journal Eating Behaviors (Kärkkäinen et al., 2018).