Ingredients: Boiled purple yams with skin and sauteed garlic, onions, turmeric, green leaves of bell peppers and Mahi Mahi, fresh wild caught from Pacific Ocean
Ingredients: Boiled purple yams with skin and sauteed garlic, onions, turmeric, green leaves of bell peppers and Mahi Mahi, fresh wild caught from Pacific Ocean
Results The 19 studies comprised 16 countries, 45 637 unique individuals, and 7973 total CHD, 2781 fatal CHD, and 7157 nonfatal MI events, with ω-3 measures in total plasma, phospholipids, cholesterol esters, and adipose tissue. Median age at baseline was 59 years (range, 18-97 years), and 28 660 (62.8%) were male.
In continuous (per 1-SD increase) multivariable-adjusted analyses, the ω-3 biomarkers ALA, DPA, and DHA were associated with a lower risk of fatal CHD, with relative risks (RRs) of 0.91 (95% CI, 0.84-0.98) for ALA, 0.90 (95% CI, 0.85-0.96) for DPA, and 0.90 (95% CI, 0.84-0.96) for DHA.
Although DPA was associated with a lower risk of total CHD (RR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.90-0.99), ALA (RR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.95-1.05), EPA (RR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.87-1.02), and DHA (RR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.91-1.00) were not.
Significant associations with nonfatal MI were not evident. Associations appeared generally stronger in phospholipids and total plasma. Restricted cubic splines did not identify evidence of nonlinearity in dose responses.
Conclusions and Relevance On the basis of available studies of free-living populations globally, biomarker concentrations of seafood and plant-derived ω-3 fatty acids are associated with a modestly lower incidence of fatal CHD.
In the article “APOE ε4 and the associations of seafood and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids with cognitive decline,” van de Rest and colleagues examined the connection between the amount of seafood eaten per week and cognitive decline over approximately 5 years in older adults living in retirement communities. The researchers were also interested in learning more about how a gene called APOE ε4 might influence the effect that seafood consumption has on cognitive decline.1 The community-based study was designed to better understand changes in thinking and motor abilities and the risk of Alzheimer disease (AD) in older adults. The study was called the Rush Memory and Aging Project or MAP.2
In 2015, 46.8 million people worldwide had dementia, and this number is expected to double every 20 years. AD is the most common type of dementia.3 There is currently no proven therapy that can prevent or cure AD, so it is important to understand and identify factors that might prevent or delay the onset of AD and other dementias. Researchers are interested in the fats contained in fish and seafood. These fats are called omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are of interest to researchers because the brain contains a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also known that these fatty acids are needed for a healthy brain. With aging, these fatty acids may decrease, so keeping healthy levels of them in the brain may prevent or delay cognitive decline. The APOE ε4 gene is involved in moving cholesterol to cells, including brain cells. This gene may also have an effect on how omega-3 fatty acids are moved into brain cells. People who have the APOE ε4 gene have an increased risk of AD. Those over age 65 are at the highest risk for AD.
The participants were older adults without dementia in the MAP study whose information was collected every year for about 4.9 years. The average age of this group was 81.4 years and about 75% were women. The MAP study followed the same group of people who lived in retirement communities in the Chicago area from 2004 to 2013. Every year, they filled out a survey about their diet. Researchers also gave them tests to rate their thinking ability. The diet survey asked about eating things like tuna fish sandwiches, fish sticks or fish cakes, fresh fish, and shellfish like shrimp, crab, or lobster. Complete information from 915 participants on diet, thinking ability, and the APOE ε4 gene was used to produce the study results.
This study showed that older adults without dementia who eat one or more servings of seafood per week have less cognitive decline than those who eat less than one serving of seafood per week. The study showed that seafood consumption was related to 2 specific areas of brain function. One of these areas was the ability to remember facts, like knowing the names of different types of animals. This is important for clear communication. The other area was the ability to learn and process new information. This is important in difficult decision-making during tasks like driving. The researchers did not see an effect on overall cognitive function. A smaller group of participants reported taking fish oil supplements (17.5% of the total participants). They had less decline in overall cognitive function and “episodic memory” than those who did not supplement with fish oil. Episodic memory involves the ability to remember specific events, like where you parked your car or your wedding day. The researchers saw a similar and bigger effect in those participants that had the APOE ε4 gene (19.5% of the total participants). Because this APOE ε4 effect has not been seen in other studies, the researchers noted that more studies need to be done to better understand how this gene influences the protective effect of eating seafood.
Lynne Shinto, ND, MPH
Neurology May 31, 2016 vol. 86 no. 22 e231-e233
Mitochondria, organelles on the right, interact with the cell’s nucleus to ensure a healthy, functioning cell.
Researchers have discovered a cause of aging in mammals that may be reversible.
The essence of this finding is a series of molecular events that enable communication inside cells between the nucleus and mitochondria. As communication breaks down, aging accelerates. By administering a molecule naturally produced by the human body, scientists restored the communication network in older mice. Subsequent tissue samples showed key biological hallmarks that were comparable to those of much younger animals.
“The aging process we discovered is like a married couple—when they are young, they communicate well, but over time, living in close quarters for many years, communication breaks down,” said Harvard Medical School Professor of Genetics David Sinclair, senior author on the study. “And just like with a couple, restoring communication solved the problem.”
This study was a joint project between Harvard Medical School, the National Institute on Aging, and the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, where Sinclair also holds a position.
The findings are published Dec. 19 in Cell.
Mitochondria are often referred to as the cell’s “powerhouse,” generating chemical energy to carry out essential biological functions. These self-contained organelles, which live inside our cells and house their own small genomes, have long been identified as key biological players in aging. As they become increasingly dysfunctional overtime, many age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes gradually set in.
Researchers have generally been skeptical of the idea that aging can be reversed, due mainly to the prevailing theory that age-related ills are the result of mutations in mitochondrial DNA—and mutations cannot be reversed.
Sinclair and his group have been studying the fundamental science of aging—which is broadly defined as the gradual decline in function with time—for many years, primarily focusing on a group of genes called sirtuins. Previous studies from his lab showed that one of these genes, SIRT1, was activated by the compound resveratrol, which is found in grapes, red wine and certain nuts.
Sirt1 protein, red, circles the cell’s chromosomes, blue. Image by Ana Gomes
Ana Gomes, a postdoctoral scientist in the Sinclair lab, had been studying mice in which this SIRT1 gene had been removed. While they accurately predicted that these mice would show signs of aging, including mitochondrial dysfunction, the researchers were surprised to find that most mitochondrial proteins coming from the cell’s nucleus were at normal levels; only those encoded by the mitochondrial genome were reduced.
“This was at odds with what the literature suggested,” said Gomes.
There’s basically three important pieces of this puzzle. NAD+, Nicotinamine Riboside (NR) and Sirtuin Enzymes, all of which relate to the nucleus, mitochondria, and most importantly, the communication between the two in every cell.
It all begins with the mitochondria. Mitochondria have long been known as the “power houses” of our cells, as they are responsible for energy production in each specific cell; and therefore, throughout our entire body.
The nucleus, on the other hand, is the controller of the cell. The nucleus ensures that everything inside of the cell is going well, that all of the “employees” at “Cell Corporation” are doing their jobs effectively.
The problem, as Sinclair and Cantó, et al. discovered, occurs when communication between these two important organelles breaks down. When that happens, the cells begin to suffer the effects of age, producing less energy and not working as efficiently as possible. This failure manifests itself in aging – both in the skin, and in the skeletal and muscle structure.
That is to say, when the nucleus and mitochondria don’t communicate properly, everything falls apart.
This is where the three puzzle pieces fit in. This communication is promoted by an enzyme called Sirutin 1, or SIRT1. This enzyme is responsible, essentially, for ensuring outside molecules don’t interrupt the traffic between the nucleus and the cell wall.
SIRT1, in turn, is activated by a chemical called NAD+. NAD+ is what’s known as a co-substrate, which is basically an activator – a compound that ensures the activation of a certain molecule. NAD+ is the most important part of this whole equation.
Luckily for us, NAD+ is a naturally occurring molecule in our body. Without it, our cells would die quickly.
The sirtuins are a family of highly conserved NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases that act as cellular sensors to detect energy availability and modulate metabolic processes. Two sirtuins that are central to the control of metabolic processes are mammalian sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and sirtuin 3 (SIRT3), which are localized to the nucleus and mitochondria, respectively. Both are activated by high NAD(+) levels, a condition caused by low cellular energy status. By deacetylating a variety of proteins that induce catabolic processes while inhibiting anabolic processes, SIRT1 and SIRT3 coordinately increase cellular energy stores and ultimately maintain cellular energy homeostasis. Defects in the pathways controlled by SIRT1 and SIRT3 are known to result in various metabolic disorders. Consequently, activation of sirtuins by genetic or pharmacological means can elicit multiple metabolic benefits that protect mice from diet-induced obesity, type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Sirtuins are comprised of 7 proteins, and each has different target proteins. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) plays important roles in maintaining metabolic functions and immune responses, and SIRT3 protects cells from oxidative stress-induced cell death. Both SIRT1 and SIRT3 are regulated by metabolic status and aging. Hence, SIRT1 and SIRT3 have been researched in metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), fatty liver, and heart diseases.
This is where Sinclair and Cantó, et al.’s research comes in. They identified a new vitamin that can stoke the production of NAD+ — without the side effects of other NAD+ precursors like Nicotinic Acid, which causes severe flushing.
In both studies, the mice who were supplemented with NR showed powerful anti-aging effects, metabolic energy increases and improvements in cell repair and upkeep. This suggests that supplementation with this new vitamin is a possible key to halting the effects of aging.
Even more interesting, Cantó, et al. suggest that NR can also be used to “ameliorate metabolic and age-related disorders”. This can be applied to problems that arise from our metabolism and aging problems, like arthritis and type 2 diabetes.
It is important to note that these two studies have only been used on mice. There is a bit of a gap as far humans go. Specifically, the amount of NR necessary to induce a change is, at the current moment, nebulous.
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Leptin is small protein that’s gotten a lot of press in the past few years. Because it’s able to act like a hormone, and is connected with fat metabolism, leptin has become a molecule of interest to many researchers – including drug companies – who see leptin as a possible tool in weight management. Results in the drug development area have not been very promising so far. However, during this period of time, we’ve learned some interesting facts about leptin, diet, and health.
First, exceeding low or high levels of leptin in our bloodstream appear to reflect health problems. High levels are associated with obesity, and also with higher percentages of body fat. High levels may also signify a change in the body’s sensitivity to leptin, where the body may have lost some of its responsiveness to this protein. Low levels appear to be associated with increased appetite, and difficulty reaching puberty during development. Most of the research in the above areas has been conducted on animals.
If possible, we would probably want to avoid both of the extremes described above. In terms of diet, one approach to avoiding these extremes may involve the level of fish we include in our meal plan.
Thanks to a study conducted on two African tribes and published in the July 2002 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, we may have gotten one clue about avoiding extremes in our blood leptin levels. In this study, higher levels of leptin, potentially associated with problems regulating fat metabolism, were found in low-fish diets. Fish-rich diets were associated with lower leptin levels and potentially fewer problems in regulating fat metabolism.
Here are a few quick serving ideas from the World’s Healthiest Foods to help you balance your leptin levels by enjoying fish more often:
For some exceptional recipes featuring these fish, click on the Recipe Assistant, select a fish from the healthy foods list, and click on the Submit button. A list containing links to all the World’s Healthiest Foods’ recipes containing the fish chosen will appear immediately below.
The researchers compared leptin levels in two closely related African tribal populations living in Tanzania. The two groups are essentially the same tribe, but they’re separated geographically. One group lives close to a lake, while the other lives inland. The inland-dwelling tribe eats a diet high in fruits and vegetables, while for the tribe living by the lake, freshwater fish is a main component of the diet.
The researchers studied 279 people on the high fish diet and 329 who ate the vegetarian diet. They compared average daily calorie intake and food consumption, BMI (body mass index, a measure of body fat based on height and weight), body fat content, age and gender. Skin-fold thickness was also used to assess body fat. Leptin, insulin and glucose levels were measured after an overnight fast.
The average BMI among the people in the study, regardless of diet, was 20. A BMI value from 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy; BMI from 25.0 to 29.9 is overweight; and a BMI value of 30 or greater is obese.
Average daily calorie intake was similar for both groups—2196 for the fish-rich diet and 2109 for the vegetarian diet. The fish-rich diet consisted of 300-600 grams (or approximately 10-20 ounces) of fish per day, with 60-120 grams (g) of maize (corn), 40-60g of beans, 20-40g of spinach, 40-60g of potatoes and 30-50g of rice. The vegetarian diet included negligible amounts of fish with 150-350g of maize, 70-140g of beans, 60-100g of spinach, 100-200g of potatoes and 80-120g of rice.
Among those on the fish diet, men had average leptin levels of 2.5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), and women had an average of 5.0 ng/mL. In comparison, among the tribe eating primarily vegetables, men had average leptin levels of 11.2 ng/mL, and women had average levels of 11.8 ng/mL.
Leptin, which is secreted by fat tissue, may act as a satiety messenger, which in normal-weight people signals “stop eating,” when they have consumed enough food. As people gain weight, however, the body may stop listening to leptin’s message, so more leptin may be produced to get the message across, explains senior author Virend K. Somers, M.D., D. Phil., professor of medicine in the division of cardiovascular disease and hypertension at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Among the African populations in this study, however, higher body fat was not clearly associated with increased leptin levels. “Regardless of body fat or body mass index (BMI), leptin levels were substantially lower among the fish-eaters than among vegetarians,” says Somers. “We speculate that a fish diet may change the relationship between leptin and body fat and somehow help make the body more sensitive to the leptin message.”
Leptin’s effects on health are not limited simply its relation role in satiety and fat metabolism, but higher levels also correlate with insulin resistance and other markers of the metabolic syndrome, popularly dubbed “Syndrome X,” in which the body’s ability to effectively utilize glucose lessens. Syndrome X is thought to be an initial warning sign of increasing risk for type 2 diabetes.
An earlier study of more than 1,000 men in Scotland published in Circulation in 2001 found that high leptin levels could be used to identify men at increased risk for a heart attack. For each standard deviation increase in leptin levels, the men’s relative risk for heart attack increased by 125%.
In this study, leptin levels were found to correlate with levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that is a coronary heart disease risk factor considered even more significant than cholesterol levels. The higher the men’s leptin levels, the higher their C-reactive protein.
In the African tribe study, lead researcher Somers says the low leptin levels among the fish-eating women were particularly noteworthy. Women usually have higher leptin levels than men, but in this study, women who ate the fish-rich diet had lower leptin levels than either the women or the men on the vegetarian diet.
Somers says this finding fits with earlier studies that showed diets high in fish were associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile, and adds “These results add to the increasing body of evidence pointing to the benefits of fish consumption.”
Fish consumption is very low in most American’s diets, although The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings of fish a week.
References: Somers V, Winnicki M, Phillips B, Accurso V, Puato M, Palatini P, Pauletto P. Fish-rich tribal diet linked with low leptin levels. July 2, 2002 Rapid Access Issue, Circulation. Wallace AM, McMahon AD, Packard CJ, Kelly A, Shepherd J, Gaw A, Sattar N. Plasma leptin and the risk of cardiovascular disease in the west of Scotland coronary prevention study (WOSCOPS). Circulation 2001 Dec 18;104(25):3052-6.
Coffee helps in the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline that boost your mood. Researchers said the study is unique in that it identifies caffeine as an antidepressant.
“Unlike previous investigations, we were able to assess association of consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, and we identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee,” said lead study author Michel Lucas, from the Harvard School of Public Health, in a press release. The study was published in Word Journal of Biological Psychiatry.
Here are other antidepressant healing tips:
1. Exercise! : dancing, playing music and any favorite hobby that involves movement: Studies have shown that regular exercise can be as effective or better than antidepressants or psychotherapy, says Dr. Mary Caracoglia.
2. Gardening! is known for its meditative and relaxing effects. Medical News Today reports UK scientists found a helpful bacteria in soil that affects the brain in nearly the same way anti depressants do – by increasing the release of serotonin.
3. Ingesting good fats! like omega 3 have been known to produce a positive affect on brain neurotransmitters and is critical for the functionality of the nervous system.
4. Meditation! BBC News reports that meditation reduces depression by over 50%. –
(we know! … not the best source – but we gather links from all over the web)
5. Natural Vitamins!. Studies show that vitamin B-12, Folic acid, vitamin D3 and Tyrosine are fantastic vitamins that naturally fight depression. You can find them in foods like: Fish, Oysters, Beans, Nuts, Whole Grains, and Leafy Vegetables.
6. Get more sun. Light early in the morning is highly effective on altering your mood positively. Natural sunshine and using light therapy have shown they can have a positive effect as well.
7. Aromatherapy, incense and essential oils. A study (that can be found at The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) has shown that burning resin from the Boswellia plant activates ion channels in the brain that alleviate depression.
8. Watch out what you eat. Carbohydrates, alcohol and dairy have been reported to cause your mood to plummet. List of happy foods: yams, eggs, colored fruits and veggies, soups
9. St. John’s Wort! the wild yellow flower has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. St. John’s Wort is helpful in treating mild to moderate depression. According to two large studies, one sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
10. Get more sleep. Irritability and mood swings can often be due to lack of sleep. You need about eight hours a night but most people get less! Stay healthy naturally!
Note: You are adding acidity to your blood by ingesting caffeine. So limit coffee consumption. Maintain an alkaline blood /system with more whole foods in your diet.
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