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Bacopa Monnieri Offers Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of the elderly. The rapid increase in its incidence has necessitated development of newer drugs. Ayurvedic herbal medications are increasingly researched due to their biosafety profile and usefulness in cognitive impairment. In this article, we critically reviewed one such Medhya Rasayana (nootropic drug) Brahmi-derived from extract of Bacopa monnieri (EBm).

Studies have shown that EBm promotes free radical scavenger mechanisms and protects cells in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum against cytotoxicity and DNA damage implicated in AD. It also reduces lipoxygenase activity reducing lipid peroxidation, increases glutathione peroxidase and chelates iron. Administration of EBm was seen to protect the cholinergic neurons and reduce anticholinesterase activity comparable to donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine. It also reduces hippocampal β-amyloid deposition and stress-induced hippocampal damage. The neuroprotective effect of EBm is also due to nitric oxide-mediated cerebral vasodilation. EBm improved the total memory score and maximum improvement was seen in logical memory and paired associate learning in humans and reversed phenytoin-induced memory impairment in experimental model. EBm has not shown any serious clinical, neurological, hematological complications, or vital organs damage in experimental studies.

Amnesia and cognitive defects are cardinal symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) []. In many studies conducted on humans and animals, Brahmi has shown to improve memory performance and cognitive function. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted in Lucknow in India, 35 subjects aged above 55 years were subjected to Wechsler Memory Scale for comparison between placebo and EBm treatment groups. Subjects were tested on various sub-tests like general information, orientation, mental control, logical memory, digit forward, digit backward, visual reproduction, and paired associated learning. Scores were given to each sub-test and total memory score was calculated by adding the score of all subtests. The test results showed that there was significant improvement in total memory score of EBm-treated patients vs. placebo-treated patients. At 8 and 12 weeks after initiation of trial, maximum increment was seen after 8th week with maximum improvement seen in logical memory and paired associate learning sub-tests []. This study suggests that EBm can be useful agent in treatment of age-associated memory impairment.

In another study double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study efficacy of Brahmi as a memory enhancer on chronic dosing in 76 adults who were given Brahmi 300 mg/day and placebo. Subjects were tested for tasks of attention, memory, and psychological state at baseline. The results observed at 6 and 12 weeks after the trial demonstrated an increase in information retaining capacity over time. This was due to decreased forgetfulness as opposed to increased procurement because Brahmi did not show any beneficial effect on learning trials []. In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial of 36 children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, improvement in logical memory was demonstrated []. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted in Australia on 81 subjects aged above 55 years who were given EBm in the dose of 300 mg/day for 12 weeks, remarkable improvement was demonstrated in verbal learning, memory acquisition, and delayed recall [].

Kumar et al. [] investigated the effect of EBm on cold stress induced neurodegeneration in hippocampus of rats. Histologically, rat brains were divided into 4 groups: group 1 consisted of rats which were kept in ideal laboratory conditions, group 2 rats were given EBm in the dose 40 mg/kg, group 3 rats were forced to swim in the cold water (temperature: 18 ± 2°C) for 1 month which generated cold water swim stress in their body, and group 4 were given cold water swim stress for 1 month which was followed by treatment by EBm for about 1 month in the dose of 40 mg/kg. Histophotometric study of hippocampus was done in which diameter of cells, total number of cells in the square, and packing density of cells were taken into consideration. Group 3 cells showed decreased diameter of cells, number of cells per square, and packing density of cells which was indicative of stress-induced damage while group 4 cells showed increased cell diameter, number of cells per square, and cell packing density. Group 4 rats showed the above parameters comparable to that of group 1 rats. This study demonstrated that EBm has got important therapeutic effect in abolishing stress-induced hippocampal damage.

In an experimental model by Saini et al. [], an intracerebroventricular injection of the drug colchicine was given to cause oxidative stress and increased lipid peroxidation, which resulted in significant memory loss. This was demonstrated by significant reduction in retention in elevated plus maze test. However, on treatment with EBm colchicine, administered animals showed a significant increase in retention time suggestive of cognitive improvement.

Antiepileptic drug phenytoin causes cognitive impairment on regular use in many patients. Using this principle, phenytoin was given to experimental rats in a dose of 25 mg/kg for 7 days resulting in significant cognitive impairment in the rats. Administration of EBm caused significant reversal of phenytoin-induced memory impairment [].

Benzodiazepines are known to cause dementia by their GABAergic action and by interfering with long-term potentiation. Diazepam was administered in a dose of 1.75 mg/kg to induce amnesia studied using the Morris Water Maze Test in mice. This was reversed by EBm given orally in a dose of 120 mg/kg [].

In a study conducted by Kishore and Singh [], it was found that Brahmi attenuated scopolamine, sodium nitrite and BN52021 (platelet activating factor antagonist) induced amnesia. The possible mechanism was by improving acetylcholine levels in mice in the above setting and was observed by improved performance on the Morris Water Maze Test. In this study, bacoside treatment decreased escape latency time which indicates that bacosides have predominant action on attenuating anterograde amnesia.

#increasedattention #betterrecall #healthycoffee #dollarcoffeeclub

Great News for Coffee Lovers


Coffee contains caffeine… which is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

Caffeine has made its way to most commercial fat burning supplements, for good reason.

It is one of the few substances that is known to help mobilize fats from the fat tissues and increase metabolism.


Coffee Contains Stimulants

Coffee isn’t just warm black water.

Substances in the coffee beans do make it into the final drink.

In fact, coffee contains several biologically active substances that can affect metabolism:

  • Caffeine — a central nervous system stimulant.
  • Theobromine and Theophylline — substances related to caffeine that can also have a stimulant effect.
  • Chlorogenic Acid — one of the biologically active compounds in coffee, may help slow absorption of carbohydrates (1).

The most important of these is caffeine, which is very potent and has been studied thoroughly.

What caffeine does in the brain, is to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine (23).

By blocking Adenosine, caffeine increases the firing of neurons and the release of neurotransmitters like Dopamine and Norepinephrine.


Coffee Can Help Mobilize Fat From Fat Tissue

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which sends direct signals to the fat cells to tell them to break down fat (45).

Another thing that caffeine does is to increase our blood levels of the hormone Epinephrine, which is also known as Adrenaline (67).

Epinephrine travels through the blood, to the fat tissues and send signals to break down fats and release them into the blood.

This is how caffeine helps to mobilize fat from the fat tissues, making it available for use as free fatty acids in the blood.


Coffee Can Increase the Metabolic Rate

How many calories we burn at rest is called the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).

The higher our metabolic rate, the easier it is for us to lose weight and the more we can allow ourselves to eat without gaining.

Studies show that caffeine can increase the metabolic rate by 3-11%, with larger doses having an even bigger effect (89).

Interestingly, most of the increase in metabolism is caused by an increase in the burning of fat (10).

Unfortunately, the effect is less pronounced in those who are obese.

In one study, the increase in fat burning in lean people is as high as 29%, while in obese individuals the increase is about 10% (11). The effect also appears to diminish with age and is more pronounced in younger individuals (12).

Caffeine can improve athletic performance via several mechanisms, one of those being increased mobilization of fatty acids from the fat tissues. Studies show that caffeine can improve exercise performance by 11-12%, on average (1314).


Coffee and Weight Loss in the Long Term

There is one major caveat here, and that is the fact that people become tolerant to the effects of caffeine (1516).

In the short term, caffeine can boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning, but after a while people become tolerant to the effects and it stops working.

But even if coffee doesn’t make you expend more calories in the long term, there is still a possibility that it blunts appetite and helps you eat less.

In one study, caffeine had an appetite reducing effect in men, but not in women – making them eat less at a meal following caffeine consumption. However, another study showed no effect for men (1718).

Whether coffee or caffeine can help you lose weight in the long term may depend on the individual. At this point, there is no evidence that it can help with weight loss in the long term.

<<Click here to link to original article.>>

#burnandcontrol #drinkanddrop #burnfat #burncalories #loseweight #dropinches #keepyourweightlossontrack #dollarcoffeeclub

Drink Fiber Daily to Reduce Painful Osteoarthritis

Findings from two long term studies in line with other associated health benefits of fibre

A fibre-rich diet is linked to a lowered risk of painful knee osteoarthritis, finds the first study of its kind, published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

The findings, which draw on two different long term studies, are broadly in line with the other reported health benefits of a fibre-rich diet. These include reductions in blood pressure, weight, and systemic inflammation, and improved blood glucose control.

The researchers mined data from two US studies in a bid to find out if dietary fibre might have any bearing on the risks of x-ray evidence of knee osteoarthritis, symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (x-ray evidence and symptoms, such as pain and stiffness), and worsening knee pain.

The first of these studies was the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI). This has been tracking the health of nearly 5000 US men and women with, or at risk of, osteoarthritis since 2004-6 (average age 61), to pinpoint potential risk factors for the condition.

The second was part of the Framingham Offspring cohort study, which has been tracking the health of more than 1200 adult children of the original Framingham Heart Study and their partners since 1971.  For the current study, results are based on data first taken between 1993-4, when participants were 54, on average, up to 2002-5.

For both studies, dietary fibre intake was measured using Food Frequency Questionnaire responses. It averaged out at around 15 g daily in the OAI, and 19 g daily in the Framingham Offspring, study.

Information on symptoms and x-ray evidence were collected every year for four years in the OAI and assessed after 9 years in the Framingham Offspring study. Data were also gathered on potentially influential factors, such as knee injury/surgery, medication, and lifestyle, including tobacco and alcohol use and physical exercise.

At the end of 4 years, among the 4051 participants in the OAI with complete data on dietary fibre intake, 869 knees were symptomatic; 152 displayed x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis; and pain had worsened in 1964.

After an average of 9 years, among 971 participants in the Framingham Offspring study with complete dietary fibre data, 143 knees were symptomatic and 175 displayed x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis.

Analysis of the data showed that eating more fibre was associated with a lower risk of painful knee osteoarthritis. Compared with the lowest intake (bottom 25 per cent of participants), the highest intake (top 25 per cent) was associated with a 30 per cent lower risk in the OAI and a 61 per cent lower risk in the Framingham study. But it was not associated with x-ray evidence of knee osteoarthritis.

Additionally, among the OAI participants, eating more fibre in general, and a high cereal fibre intake, were associated with a significantly lower risk of worsening knee pain.

These findings held true, regardless of other potentially influential factors.

This is an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. Nevertheless, the researchers say: “These data demonstrate a consistent protective association between total fibre intake and symptom-related knee [osteoarthritis] in two study populations with careful adjustment for potential confounders.”

And they point to other evidence suggesting that a  fibre-rich diet is associated with several health benefits, many of which are relevant to osteoarthritis.

<<Click here to link to the original article.>>

#breakingnews #helpforosteoarthritis #activeblendzfiberplus#superiorfibermatrix #unparalleledformula #includesplantsterols#incrediblehealthbenefits #provenscienceandclincialtrials

Statins Help Lower Cholesterol

Updated cholesterol guidelines released yesterday by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology aim to prevent more heart attacks and strokes than ever. How? By increasing  the number of Americans who take a cholesterol-lowering statin.

The previous guidelines, published in 2002, focused mainly on “the numbers”—starting cholesterol levels and post-treatment levels. The new guidelines focus instead on an individual’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The higher the risk, the greater the potential benefit from a statin.

Statins are a family of medications that lower cholesterol. Even more important, they lower the chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Statins include atorvastatin (generic, Lipitor), fluvastatin (generic, Lescol), lovastatin (generic, Mevacor), pitavastatin (Livalo), pravastatin (generic, Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), and simvastatin (generic, Zocor). The new guidelines recommend a statin for:

  • anyone who has cardiovascular disease, including angina (chest pain with exercise or stress), a previous heart attack or stroke, or other related conditions
  • anyone with a very high level of harmful LDL cholesterol (generally an LDL above greater than 190 milligrams per deciliter of blood [mg/dL])
  • anyone with diabetes between the ages of 40 and 75 years
  • anyone with a greater than 7.5% chance of having a heart attack or stroke or developing other form of cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years.

How is this different from the previous guidelines? They recommended specific cholesterol targets for treatment. For example, people with heart disease were urged to get their LDL cholesterol down to 70 mg/dL. The new guidelines essentially remove the targets and recommend basing treatment decisions on a person’s heart risk profile.

In other words, anyone at high enough risk who stands to benefit from a statin should be taking one. It doesn’t matter so much what his or her actual cholesterol level is to begin with. And there’s no proof that an LDL cholesterol of 70 mg/dL is better than 80 or 90 mg/dL. What’s important is taking the right dose based on heart attack and stroke risk.

There are a few reasons for these new “risk-focused” guidelines:

  • Statins are the best drugs to lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Statins also have benefits above and beyond cholesterol lowering. We have long known that statins lower the risk of premature death, heart attack, and stroke, even among individuals with relatively normal cholesterol levels—who are not exempt from having heart attacks or stroke.
  •  A statin dose tailored to the individual appears to be more important than reaching a particular target number.

<<Click here for the original article.>>

#activeblendzfiberplus #includesplantsterols #noprescriptionrequired#noexpensivecopay

Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes with ActiveBlendz Fiber+

Diabetes is a growing global public health epidemic. The number of people suffering from diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014 worldwide. Sadly, this figure is expected to rise to about 642 million by 2040. Type 2 diabetes is, by far, the most prevalent form of diabetes.

In the United States, type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all cases of diabetes. People with diabetes are at increased risk of suffering from serious health complications, such as stroke, kidney failure, heart disease, vision loss, premature death, and amputation of toes, feet, and legs.

Numerous findings from several scientific studies have established that diet, exercise, and body weight play a significant role in the causation of type 2 diabetes. Since diet plays a key role in the development of type 2 diabetes, making the right dietary choices can go a long way towards helping protect individuals from type 2 diabetes. In fact, the results of a study published in Diabetologia indicate that a 10 gram/day increase in dietary fiber intake is associated with a 9% reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

How Fiber Protects Against Type 2 Diabetes

Excess levels of dietary fat encourages insulin resistance which is chiefly responsible for the build up of high blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. Studies show that increased dietary fat leads to excess body weight which in turn increases type 2 diabetes risk. This is especially true when combined with the addition of sweetened foods. Eating whole plant foods high in fiber and water content can help. Fiber helps to lower blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy body weight.

Soluble fiber, a type of fiber that dissolves in water to form gel, helps to control the amount of sugar floating in the blood by slowing the absorption of sugar from the digestive tract to the blood. Foods high in soluble fiber include beans, apples, oats, peas, barley, carrots, and citrus fruits. Since fiber quickly gives us the feeling of satiety (yet adds no calories), eating high-fiber foods helps us to maintain a lean body weight and lose excess fat. By assisting us to keep our blood sugar levels and body weight within the healthy range, high-fiber foods help to prevent type 2 diabetes.

More Fiber Equals Less Type 2 Diabetes

About 1 in every 10 individuals in the United States above the age of 20 has diabetes. As we have seen, the number of type 2 diabetic patients is expected to increase in the coming years. The good news is that you can lower your chances of developing this metabolic disorder by eating low-fat oil-free, whole, unprocessed plant foods. Including more high-fiber foods, such as beans, greens, squash, yams, barley, and apples on your plate will help to reward you with a significant reduction of type 2 diabetes risk.

<<Click here to read the original article.>>

#activeblendzfiberplus #superiorfibermatrix #unparalleledformula#includesplantsterols #incrediblehealthbenefits #provenscienceandclincialtrials

Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer with ActiveBlendz Fiber+

Boston, MA – Women who eat more high-fiber foods during adolescence and young adulthood—especially lots of fruits and vegetables—may have significantly lower breast cancer risk than those who eat less dietary fiber when young, according to a new large-scale study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study was published online February 1, 2016 in Pediatrics.

“Previous studies of fiber intake and breast cancer have almost all been non-significant, and none of them examined diet during adolescence or early adulthood, a period when breast cancer risk factors appear to be particularly important,” said Maryam Farvid, visiting scientist at Harvard Chan School and lead author of the study. “This work on the role of nutrition in early life and breast cancer incidence suggests one of the very few potentially modifiable risk factors for premenopausal breast cancer.”

The researchers looked at a group of 90,534 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study II, a large long-running investigation of factors that influence women’s health. In 1991, the women—ages 27-44 at the time—filled out questionnaires about their food intake, and did so every four years after that. They also completed a questionnaire in 1998 about their diet during high school. The researchers analyzed the women’s fiber intake while adjusting for a number of other factors, such as race, family history of breast cancer, body mass index, weight change over time, menstruation history, alcohol use, and other dietary factors.

Breast cancer risk was 12%-19% lower among women who ate more dietary fiber in early adulthood, depending on how much more they ate. High intake of fiber during adolescence was also associated with 16% lower risk of overall breast cancer and 24% lower risk of breast cancer before menopause. Among all the women, there was a strong inverse association between fiber intake and breast cancer incidence. For each additional 10 grams of fiber intake daily—for example, about one apple and two slices of whole wheat bread, or about half a cup each of cooked kidney beans and cooked cauliflower or squash—during early adulthood, breast cancer risk dropped by 13%. The greatest apparent benefit came from fruit and vegetable fiber.

The authors speculated that eating more fiber-rich foods may lessen breast cancer risk partly by helping to reduce high estrogen levels in the blood, which are strongly linked with breast cancer development.

“From many other studies we know that breast tissue is particularly influenced by carcinogens and anticarcinogens during childhood and adolescence,” said Walter Willett, Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study. “We now have evidence that what we feed our children during this period of life is also an important factor in future cancer risk.”

<<Click here to link to the original article.>>

#activeblendzfiberplus #superiorfibermatrix #unparalleledformula#includesplantsterols #incrediblehealthbenefits#provenscienceandclincialtrials

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