A calm mind slows the aging process

A calm mind reduces anxiety, boosts the immune system, gives you a good sleep, fights infection and inflammation and may slow the aging process.

Brain supplements to calm the mind are omega 3, Vitamin B complex, melatonin, magnesium with calcium, potassium, Vitamin D and boron.

Connie Dello Buono

Calm worries and increase cognitive flexibility with exercise and nutrition

By Dr Amen

The Anterior Cingulate Gyrus (ACG)  affects you when it works too hard and you are over 50 years old with chronic stress and poor nutrition. Nutrition, sunshine, volunteering, whole foods, massage, caregivers and physical exercise can help calm worries and cognitive flexibility. It increases your energy and can distract you from thoughts that loop around your mind.


An overactive ACG can be calmed down with certain foods that increase serotonin levels. Search this site: serotonin, dopamine, Parkinsons, Alzheimer, whole foods, inflammation, detox

  • Sweet potatoes and garbanzo beans (complex carbs)
  • Foods rich in L-tryptophan such as chicken, turkey, wild salmon, beeft, nut butter, eggs and green peas


  • 5HTP
  • Inositol
  • Saffron
  • Vitamin B complex: B6 and others
  • L-tryptophan
  • St John’s Wort
  • Omega 3x higher in DHA
  • Anti-oxidants

Email Connie at motherhealth@gmail.com as your personal health coach.




World Chocolate day

choco 00Happy Chocolates day! Chocolates are number one gift sought after by lovers and women. Men who eats chocolates are calmer than those who do not (this one is my opinion).

Here are some nutrients and benefits of chocolates (may be attributed to the magnesium content):

  • Protection from Disease-Causing Free Radicals.
  • Potential Cancer Prevention.
  • Improved Heart Health.
  • Good for Overall Cholesterol Profile.
  • Better Cognitive Function.
  • Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Aid.
  • Antioxidant-Rich Superfood

World Chocolate Day – Wikipedia

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9 hours ago – Either way, it’s just one day dedicated to honoring the sweet stuff. In the United States, we observe International Chocolate Day on Sept.

Aphrodisiac herbs in Adevi Aphrodisiac Chocolates – ADEVI …

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Point to one person who hasn’t bought a box of chocolates in desperation for their boyfriend or girlfriend, and we’ll show you a liar. Why is this go-to gift for …

The Claim: Chocolate Is an Aphrodisiac – The New York Times

Jul 18, 2006 – Nowadays, scientists ascribe the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate, if any, to two chemicals it contains. One, tryptophan, is a building block of …

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Fairtrade organic love chocolate fused with wildcrafted herbs that works as a libido … The best naturalaphrodisiac for both men and women by BEDSPICE!

Brain Scans of Service Dog Trainees Help Sort Weaker Recruits From the Pack

Summary: Brain scans can help predict which dogs will make it through rigorous training to become service dogs for people with disabilities.

Source: Emory Health Science.

Brain scans of canine candidates to assist people with disabilities can help predict which dogs will fail a rigorous service training program, a study by Emory University finds.

Brain scans of canine candidates to assist people with disabilities can help predict which dogs will fail a rigorous service training program, a study by Emory University finds.

The journal Scientific Reports published the results of the study, involving 43 dogs who underwent service training at Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) in Santa Rosa, California.

“Data from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provided a modest, but significant, improvement in the ability to identify dogs that were poor candidates,” says Emory neuroscientist Gregory Berns, who led the research. “What the brain imaging tells us is not just which dogs are more likely to fail, but why.”

All of the dogs in the study underwent a battery of behavioral tests showing that they had a calm temperament before being selected for training. Despite calm exteriors, however, some of the dogs showed higher activity in the amygdala – an area of the brain associated with excitability. These dogs were more likely to fail the training program.

“The brain scans may be like taking a dog’s mental temperature,” Berns says. “You could think of it as a medical test with a normal range for a service dog. And the heightened neural activity that we see in the amygdala of some dogs may be outside of that range, indicating an abnormal value for a successful service dog.”

The findings are important, he adds, since the cost of training a service dog ranges from $20,000 to $50,000. As many as 70 percent of the animals that start a six-to-nine-month training program have to be released for behavioral reasons.

“There are long waiting lists for service dogs, and the training is lengthy and expensive,” Berns says. “So the goal is to find more accurate ways to eliminate unsuitable dogs earlier in the process.

The study found that fMRI boosted the ability to identify dogs that would ultimately fail to 67 percent, up from about 47 percent without the use of fMRI.

“This type of approach is not going to be feasible for individual trainers and their dogs because of the expense of fMRI,” Berns says. “It would only be practical for organizations that train large numbers of dogs every year.”

CCI is a non-profit that breeds, raises and trains dogs to assist human partners. Its service dog program, designed for disabled people, provides dogs to do tasks such as turn on lights, pick up dropped keys, open a door and pull a manual wheelchair.

Golden retrievers, Labradors — or crosses between the two — are the usual CCI service dog breeds, due to their generally calm and affable natures. After the puppies are weaned, they are adopted by volunteer puppy raisers for 15 months, before returning to CCI to undergo behavioral tests. Those that pass begin training.

For the Scientific Reports paper, the researchers taught the dogs how to remain still while undergoing an fMRI at the start of the training program.

Image shows service dogs.

The Berns lab was the first to conduct fMRI experiments on awake, unrestrained dogs, as part of an ongoing project to understand canine cognition and inter-species communication. In an early experiment, dogs were trained to respond to hand signals. One signal meant the dog would receive a food treat, and another signal meant that the dog would not receive one. The caudate region of the brain, associated with rewards in humans, showed activation when the dogs saw the signal for the treat, but not for the non-treat signal.

The researchers adapted this experiment for the current study — the largest yet involving dogs undergoing fMRI. The dogs were taught hand signals for “treat” and “no treat,” but sometimes the signals were given by the dog’s trainer and other times by a stranger.

The results found that dogs with stronger activity in the caudate in response to the treat signal – regardless of who gave the signal – were slightly more likely to successfully complete the service dog training program.

However, if a dog had relatively more activity in the amygdala in response to the treat signal – particularly if the signal was given by a stranger – that increased the likelihood that the dog would fail.

“The ideal service dog is one that is highly motivated, but also doesn’t get excessively excited or nervous,” Berns says. “The two neural regions that we focused on – the caudate and the amygdala – seem to distinguish those two traits. Our findings suggest that we may be able to pick up variations in these internal mental states before they get to the level of overt behaviors.”

Berns hopes that the technology may become more refined and have applications for a broader range of working dogs, such as those used to assist the military and police forces.


Co-authors of the study include Andrew Brooks and Mark Spivak from Dog Star Technologies in Sandy Springs, Georgia, and Kerinne Levy from CCI.

Source: Carol Clark – Emory Health Science
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to Gregory Berns, Emory University.
Original Research: Full open access research for “Functional MRI in Awake Dogs Predicts Suitability for Assistance Work” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, Mark Spivak & Kerinne Levy in Scientific Reports. Published online March 7 2017 doi:10.1038/srep43704

Emory Health Science “Caffeine Boost Enzyme That Could Protect Against Dementia.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 4 March 2017.


Functional MRI in Awake Dogs Predicts Suitability for Assistance Work

The overall goal of this work was to measure the efficacy of fMRI for predicting whether a dog would be a successful service dog. The training and imaging were performed in 49 dogs entering service training at 17–21 months of age. 33 dogs completed service training and were matched with a person, while 10 were released for behavioral reasons (4 were selected as breeders and 2 were released for medical reasons.) After 2 months of training, fMRI responses were measured while each dog observed hand signals indicating either reward or no reward and given by both a familiar handler and a stranger. Using anatomically defined ROIs in the caudate, amygdala, and visual cortex, we developed a classifier based on the dogs’ subsequent training outcomes. The classifier had a positive predictive value of 94% and a negative predictive value of 67%. The area under the ROC curve was 0.91 (0.80 with 4-fold cross-validation, P = 0.01), indicating a significant predictive capability. The magnitude of response in the caudate was positively correlated with a successful outcome, while the response in the amygdala depended on the interaction with the visual cortex during the stranger condition and was negatively correlated with outcome (higher being associated with failure). These results suggest that, as indexed by caudate activity, successful service dogs generalize associations to hand signals regardless who gives them but without excessive arousal as measured in the amygdala.

“Functional MRI in Awake Dogs Predicts Suitability for Assistance Work” by Gregory S. Berns, Andrew M. Brooks, Mark Spivak & Kerinne Levy in Scientific Reports. Published online March 7 2017 doi:10.1038/srep43704

Brain food , sources of GABA and for brain cell growth

Doctors often prescribe SSRIs to help put the brakes on the brain for those who are overly amped up.  Essentially, serotonin and GABA are the brakes and Acetylcholine and Dopamine are the gas.  When it comes to anxiety issues, SSRIs are analogous to using the emergency brake on your car to slow down the vehicle as opposed to applying the real brakes.

If you have anxiety and are not responding do SSRIs, you may want to consider increasing your GABA levels.  Of course, you’ll want to consult your doctor before making any changes.

How do you increase GABA levels safely and effectively without medical drugs?  There are several things you can do:

  1.  Eat foods containing higher levels of glutamic acid

The world’s leading brain expert Dr.Eric Braverman has identified a list of foods higher in glutamic acid which can help form GABA in the brain (3).

Glutamic Acid/Glutamate (Forms Glutamine) mgs. per 6-8 OZ. Serving

  • Almonds, tree nuts (10.3 g.)
  • Banana (220 mg.)
  • Beef liver (6.5 g.)
  • Broccoli (740 mg.)
  • Brown Rice (940 mg.)
  • Halibut (7.9 g.)
  • Lentils (2.8 g.)
  • Oats, whole grain (7.4 g)
  • Oranges, citrus fruits (210 mg.)
  • Potato (830 mg.)
  • Rice Bran (3.7 g)
  • Spinach (680 mg.)
  • Walnuts, tree nuts (5.4 g.)
  • Whole Wheat, whole grain (8.6 g.)
  1. Exercise a minimum of 4 times per week

Exercise helps restore levels of all neurotransmitters.  On a relevant side note, the euphoric feeling some people get when exercising (more so with aerobic conditioning) has been attributed to endorphins, but there is no research to prove endorphins are responsible for this.  More than likely, the rush of serotonin is responsible for the uplifting mood during exercise (3).

There has been a couple of small studies indicating that yoga helps increase GABA (4), but I would bet you could get a similar effect anytime you increase exercise levels of any kind.

  1. Boost your Vitamin B-6 intake (or take a B-Complex)

Vitamin B6, if deficient, may impair the production of GABA as it is a cofactor nutrient.  For a better understanding of cofactor nutrients see my prior article.  Since overt vitamin deficiencies are rare, we use urine organic acids testing (UOA) to determine if there are any functional deficiencies.  So far in the UOA testing at our clinic, we have yet to find anyone who is not deficient in the B-complex vitamins.

  • Get a comprehensive urine organic acids test

  • I cannot speak highly enough on how much this test has helped our patients and clients.  If you can determine functional deficiencies via (UOA) and reverse them, you will likely help all of your neurotransmitters and help optimize brain function.
  1. Use calming nutrients to help improve sleep quality

Getting quality sleep can help ensure all neurotransmitters and hormones are balanced and sufficient (6).  My top 2 supplements for increasing sleep quality are:

Magnesium-l- Threonate (As Neuromag):  This is the only form of magnesium that has the ability to raise magnesium levels within the brain.  To read more on the details of magnesium threonate, see my  prior post about it.

Insomnitol is  great for those who need more of a target approach to sleep.  It contains valerian root, lemon balm, passion flower, chamomile, l-theanine, 5HTP and melatonin. To view the spec sheet on this product you may learn more about it here.

  1. Possible GABA benefit from short term Magnolia Bark use (Magnolia officinalis)

Magnolia bark is an herb that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries and has been shown to increase GABA levels in mice (7).  Relora (a proprietary blend of patented extracts from magnolia and phellodendron) has been shown in some small studies to help with relaxation and emotional well-being (8).  I remain hopeful that the relaxation response results from these studies could be a reflection of increases in GABA, but for right now claims cannot be made.  Magnolia bark may be worth a try as a part of an overall anxiety reduction program, but probably should not be used as a first line of defense.

  1. Possible GABA benefit from inositol

Inositol has been used in psychiatry to help treat of anxiety and depression.  Inositol is part of a messenger system that can help improve GABA and serotonin levels (9).

Fear and anxiety is  good for us; it protects us from danger, keeps us sharp and makes us learn how to avoid unpleasant situations.  However, when anxiety levels start to impair our function, it is important to know how to reduce them.  If you think you may be having minor situational anxiety troubles, I suggest trying the strategies 1,2,3,4,6 and 8 listed above.   For strategies 5 and 7 (UOA testing and for herbal formulas) you should contact your doctor.


Connie’s comments: Many seniors in care home settings have anxiety disorders and are prescribed at least 2-3 neuro meds by their doctors. They need love/care, attention and consistency in their daily regimen. If your seniors at home needs a personalized caregiver in the bay area, text 408-854-1883 or email motherhealth@gmail.com and Motherhealth Inc also refers carehomes for seniors with Alzheimers or needing 24/7 care.

Calm and smart baby, healthy pregnancy from childbirth author

Do you want to have smart and healthy babies and a healthy pregnancy, labor and birthing?

Come join us for a two-hour session and learn everything about childbirth, babies and mothers.

Classes on childbirth, breastfeeding, baby care and more will be conducted by Connie Dello Buono, author of Birthing Ways Healing Ways in San Jose between Branham and Meridian.

Call Connie 408-854-1883 motherhealth@gmail.com for details. Limited to 6 couples per session.

Time: 7-9pm Mon-Fri and afternoon of Sat and Sun

Cost: $100 per couple, discount of $20 for inviting another couple

What to bring: yoga mat, blankets, pillows, massage oil, potluck, music, socks, birth ball, rice sock,

Free: ebook on chilbirth and free massage tips for baby and mom

Other classes are on-going at same location or via a webinar:

  1. Starting your own retirement planning agency (webinar)
  2. Tax-free retirement plan, free seminar (one on one)
  3. Marketing your business, using the web and email (writing and closing sales) (webinar)
  4. Zumba and belly dance lessons (group of 8)