New This Week — CFS/Fibromyalgia News: May 8, 2009
If I Only Had a Brain: Optimizing Brain Health — New Research
Whether you have brain fog from CFS or fibromyalgia, day to day memory loss, or even a loved one with Alzheimer's, optimizing brain function can be done in many ways. Begin with the foundations — making sure that your brain has optimal nutrition, hormonal support and sleep, and that you are not carrying hidden infections that are leaving you fuzzy. In this issue, we will discuss a number of new studies related to brain health. In addition, if you have a loved one with Alzheimer's, or simply want an "advanced course" on optimizing brain function, I invite you to read our review article on Treating Alzheimer's Naturally.
In this issue we will discuss several new studies showing that mental clarity can be improved with nutritional and herbal support. I recommend a product called Remember by Enzymatic Therapy. This is an excellent mix of ginkgo, Bacopa, lipoic acid, and other nutrients. Take 2 a day along with the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder also by Enzymatic Therapy. Give this regimen 6 weeks to work. Your brain will thank you!
CFS "State of the Union" Podcast by Dr. T on National CFIDS Awareness Day
May 12th is National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day. In recognition of this important event, Dr. T is preparing a podcast to bring everyone up to date on the latest news and medical developments for CFS — in short, a "State of the Union Address" on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
IN THE NEWS
CNN — Fast Food Restaurants & Stroke Risk
Just living near a fast food restaurant is associated with an increased risk of stroke. Risk of stroke in a neighborhood was shown to be increased by 1% for every fast food restaurant nearby. This CNN report seemed to give the PR firms working for fast food restaurants a stroke! ;-)
Though it certainly does not conclude that the two are related, it does offer food for thought. Read more »
USA Today — Mediterranean Cuisine Helps Mental Health
On the other hand, another study reported on in USA Today suggests that a diet high in fish, olive oil, veggies and other foods common in Mediterranean style cuisine may decrease the risk of mild dementia, while slowing the progression from mild cognitive decline to Alzheimer's disease. Read more »
Neurology — Vitamin B12 May Prevent Brain Shrinkage
Vitamin B12 may keep your brain from shrinking. People with higher blood levels of vitamin B12 were six times less likely to experience brain shrinkage compared to people with lower levels, according to results published in the journal Neurology. Read more »
BBC News — Vitamin D is a Mental Health Aid
Vitamin D, produced by sun exposure, can also help stave off the mental decline that can affect people in old age, a study has suggested. U.K. and U.S. researchers looked at 2,000 people aged 65 and over. They found that compared to those with the highest vitamin D levels, those with the lowest were more than twice as likely to have impaired understanding. When I was on the BBC a few months ago (their equivalent of Good Morning America), I raised the suggestion that people needed more sunshine. The show host laughingly told me afterward that the show's producer was panicking while I said this, saying that getting sunshine could not be recommended on the air! Looks like maybe they're coming around ;-) Read more »
Here are more studies suggesting that both nutritional and herbal support can be helpful in preventing and treating Alzheimer's disease and dementia, as well as protecting and enhancing brain function in general.
Nutritional Support for Alzheimer's
Nutritional support slowed Alzheimer's by 30%. Read more »
Ginkgo Biloba and Dementia
Ginkgo biloba improved dementia and quality of life for both the patients and caregivers in these 2 placebo-controlled studies. Read more »
Vitamin B12 and Brain Health
Here is another study showing that higher levels of vitamin B12 (even within the normal range for B12 levels) are associated with better brain health. Read more »
Low Vitamin D Found in Parkinson's & Alzheimer's Patients
Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's patients were found to have lower levels of vitamin D. Read more »
Low Magnesium Levels and Stroke Risk
Low magnesium levels may increase stroke risk by 25%. Read more »
Is Laughter the Best Medicine?
A new study using laughter therapy with diabetics found that the good HDL cholesterol increased by 26% in a group shown funny movies, and only 3% in the control group. Harmful C-reactive proteins decreased 66% in the laughter group vs. 26% for the control group. This suggests that watching the comedy Channel is likely much healthier than either watching the news networks or taking cholesterol-lowering medications. As an aside, remember to smile. Smiling has been shown to stimulate hypothalamic function and increases levels of a brain chemical called oxytocin — which helps to keep people younger, mentally clearer, and healthier feeling! Read more »
FEATURED QUESTIONS FROM READERS
Q: Treating "Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)," which causes severe over-focusing on what is perceived to be a physical defect. Could this be associated with OCD? Read more »
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Jim died. His will provided $40,000 for an elaborate funeral.
As the last guests departed the affair, his wife Molly turned to her oldest and dearest friend. "Well, I'm sure Jim would be pleased," she said.
"I'm sure you're right," replied Jody, who lowered her voice and leaned in close. "How much did this really cost?"
"All of it," said Molly. "Forty thousand."
"No!" Jody exclaimed. "I mean, it was very nice, but $40,000?"
Molly answered, "The funeral was $6,500. I donated $500 to the church. Whiskey, wine and snacks were another $500. The rest went for the memorial stone."
Jody computed quickly. "$32,500 for a memorial stone? My gosh, how big is it?"
"Four and a half carats."
Brain Fog Moments Worth Remembering
Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time —
I think I've forgotten this before.
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