My friend recently got into green tea. He was reading a self-help book on how to reduce stress, took the hint and is now practically addicted to the stuff. (It makes for neat little gifts to him: green tea and nettle, green tea with orange and lotus flower, green tea with interesting red bits…)
Because green tea is steamed rather than fermented, like the more familiar black tea, that is what holds its antioxidant and anticancer properties. The latest report out this month is that drinking five cups a day would reduce your risk of getting blood and lymph cancers by over 40%. In fact so well documented is the healing effect of green tea that 1000s of studies now exist into its benefits. My friend thinks he’s drinking something to help him de-stress but he could be helping to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, osteoporosis and weight-gain. Not bad for a cup of green stuff.
Incidentally, green tea contains half the caffeine of coffee and slightly less than black tea, so you can drink it before bedtime. Since it aids digestion and cleanses the pallet it is also good to drink after a meal or in the afternoon as a pick me up. It is best made with spring or filtered water and usually brewed for only a short time. Personally, I like to drink it before the evening begins as it really does help clear away the day’s stress. If you’re anything like me (or my friend) you’ll find it will help relax you, giving you composure for the twilight hours.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder first described by James Parkinson in 1817 as ‘paralysis agitans’ (shaking palsy). Dr Nicholas Bazan and colleagues from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center recently presented new research findings to the American Society for Nutrition at the annual meeting for Experimental Biology 2009. These findings demonstrate that omega-3 fatty acids in the diet may help prevent the misfolding of a protein resulting from a gene mutation, which is a characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.
Dr Bazan and colleagues developed a cell model with an Ataxin-1 gene mutation, caused by an abnormally high number of base repeats (cytosine, adenine and guanine), which induces the production of misfolded proteins. Consequently, these proteins acquire toxic gains-of-function and become averse to degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) which serves to dispose of aberrant proteins. One resultant disorder of this Ataxin-1 mutation is Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) characterised by lack of muscle coordination, speech impairment, deformity of the spine, irregularity of movement along with other developing symptoms.
The research led by Dr Bazan, who is the Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence found that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid, protects the cells from the Ataxin-1 mutation defect. DHA is obtained from the diet is derived mainly from marine alage and fish oils. It is known to be the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid found in the membrane phospholipids of neurons. Functionally, free DHA produces neuroprotection D1 (NDP1) which limits oxidative-stress induced cell death. NDP1 is an effective anti-inflammatory signalling molecule with neuroprotective value in several neurodegenerative diseases. DHA is required to maintain membrane integrity and subsequently NDP1 protects cells from apoptosis.
Therapeutically, this research by Dr Bazan and colleagues provides proof of principle that NDP1 can be utilised to target neurodegenerative diseases. Dr Bazan is quoted as saying that the results of his study should provide the basis of new therapeutic approaches to manipulate retinal pigment epithelial cells to be used as a source of NDP1 to treat patients with disorders characterised by this mutation like Parkinson’s, Retinis Pigmentosa and some forms of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Article submitted thanks to Reading Scientific Services Ltd Read More
Telegraph: New research is showing that eating grape seeds may help fight degenerative brain conditions.
Grape seeds contain a compound which when fed to mice for six months, showed “better cognitive function” than those on a normal diet.
“Experts at the Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, found that mice fed with grape seed extract for six months had “better cognitive function” than those on a normal diet.
They believe that the seeds could be used as a cheap treatment for preventing Alzheimer’s.
Professor Xin-Fu Zhou said the extract prevented the formation of deposits of amyloid proteins – a major cause of the disease – in the brain.
So he believed that people should think twice before spitting the seeds out.”
My Gran had Alzheimers for many years. It stripped her of life and dignity.
When I hear people ‘in the know’ put forward possible ways to reduce the development of Alzheimers or even prevent it, I for one want to take such comments extremely seriously.
And yet it seems more likey to be shrugged of by the Ministry of Health and the Dental Industry. Surely for such things we should have a ‘try it and see approach’ rather than a ‘don’t go there unless it has been proven 100x over’ approach? Some suggestions are so simple – like ‘avoid mercury and transfats‘ – so simple, with consequences to our everyday life yes, but so simple. Take a look at this video and then tell me we shouldn’t believe all we hear about amalgam!
Although science has yet to prove the connection between environmental aluminium and Alzheimer’s Disease, there is plenty of independent evidence that would appear to point to a link.
In any case, aluminium, the main ingredient of most anti-perspirants, is toxic to the nervous system and naturopaths strongly advise against the use of antiperspirants containing aluminium. These work chiefly by blocking the pores, thereby physically preventing sweating. In fact, perspiration itself is not the problem; sweat is practically odourless and only begins to smell unpleasant when it reacts with bacteria breeding on the skin. Rather than artificially inhibiting the body’s natural cooling function, you can choose a natural deodorant like Tom’s of Maine that allows perspiration, whilst destroying the pong-producing bacteria.
I have just personally discovered the Pit Rok push up version of this natural mineral application which deals with the skin bacteria problem rather than inhibiting perspiration. It works for me and I feel great about using it.