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Cutting Carbs Activates Longevity Genes

We already knew that a Paleo Diet is one of the more optimal diets we’ve come across for humans.  Now, there’s more evidence from a scientist in the UK, showing that cutting carbs actually increases the activity of two genes key to youth and longevity.  See more here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1323758/Can-cutting-Carbohydrates-diet-make-live-longer.html

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How Sound can Affect Health

Really interested article posted on CNN about how we are sound, how we live with sound and how it affects our health.  A couple points:

1.) You are a chord. This is obvious from physics, though it’s admittedly somewhat metaphorical to call the combined rhythms and vibrations within a human being a chord, which we usually understand to be an aesthetically pleasant audible collection of tones. But “the fundamental characteristic of nature is periodic functioning in frequency, or musical pitch,” according to C.T. Eagle. Matter is vibrating energy; therefore, we are a collection of vibrations of many kinds, which can be considered a chord.

2.) One definition of health may be that that chord is in complete harmony. The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” which opens at least three dimensions to the concept. On a philosophical level, Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras and Confucius all wrote at length about the relationship between harmony, music and health (both social and physical). Here’s Socrates: “Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful.”

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/10/10/treasure.sound/index.html?hpt=C1

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Price of Corn Rising, Increase value of Grass Fed Beef?

So if the price of corn rises, which means the price of grain fed beef is going to rise, will this get people to buy more grass fed beef or evaluate it more seriously from a cost perspective?  I’d love to see a microeconomic study on what is the price equilibrium in which a person would switch to grass fed beef.  In other words, you’re asking about the price elasticity of the health benefits of grass fed beef?  If you knew that, you’d be able to determine what price grain fed beef has to be before more consumers would start buying grass fed beef.

However, the interesting thing with that is you would then have an increased demand for grass fed beef, and since I doubt the supply could scale to match quickly enough, you would have a matching, if not greater, rise in the price of grass fed beef until the supply caught up.

So in reality, we really just need to continually increase the supply of grass fed beef to bring down the price and concurrently increase demand, although it’ll be a very long time before that equilibrium matches the current grain fed supply & demand curves…(unless we start getting the grass fed farmers to earn carbon credits for their lower production of methane gas in beef production)

http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/rising-corn-prices-will-soon-mean-fatter-meat-prices/19675916/

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Apple a Day Keeps the Alzheimer’s Away

Some really interesting new benefits to eating apples, but as always, don’t over indulge to the relatively high fructose content and make sure they’re organic!

It’s not as if apples didn’t have enough virtues. Sure, one a day keeps the doctor away. That’s because they’re rich in vitamin C and loaded with fiber, particularly pectin, a soluble fiber that not only promotes digestive health but lowers blood-cholesterol levels.

Increasingly, however, researchers are finding that apples have functional properties well beyond their nutritional value, and many of the goodies are in the juice as well as the flesh. But now comes evidence that apples can keep you mentally sharp as you age. They protect neurons from the cognitive decline that typically accompanies aging; improve nerve-cell communication; and can prevent, halt, and even reverse some signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s not clear which apple components do what, but several antioxidants and flavonoids are likely active in multiple ways. Drinking two cups of apple juice a day may be the easiest way to save your brain.

*Free-Radical Slayer: One of the many ways apples and apple juice help the brain is by reducing the vulnerability of nerve cells to inflammation and oxidative stress during aging, which undermine cognitive performance. Researchers know that apples are effective as antioxidants in the brain because they have been found to reduce free radicals of oxygen in the central nervous system.

*Bad-Gene Killer: There’s more to the neuroprotective effects of apples than taking out free radicals. Animal studies show that apple components suppress the expression of notoriously harmful genes that are active during the aging process. In adult mice, a diet supplemented with eight ounces of apple juice prevented an expected increase in the presenilin-1 gene known to promote early development of Alzheimer’s disease.

*Juicing the Brain: One of the ways apples and apple juice probably impact cognition is by boosting levels of neurotransmitters. Mice fed a vitamin-poor diet known to reduce levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine did not experience a decline in the brain chemical if their drinking water was spiked with apple juice. Acetylcholine influences signals important to movement, sensory perception, and attention. The mice slurped the equivalent of eight ounces of juice a day.

*Vitamin Booster: Apple juice fed to diet-deficient mice both reduces generation of the neurotoxin beta-amyloid thought to cause Alzheimer’s disease and reduces the toxicity of the harmful substance. Researchers found that consumption of apple juice totally reversed the effect of a vitamin-poor diet that is known to foster accumulation of the beta-amyloid toxin in brain tissue.

*The Newest Therapy: Among 21 people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease who each consumed 8 ounces of apple juice a day for a month, the behavioral and psychotic symptoms of the disease fell by 27 percent. Patients experienced reductions in anxiety levels, agitation, and delusional symptoms. The researchers see apple juice as useful adjunct therapy for the mood changes linked to the brain disorder.

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Cinnamon Helps Manage Blood Sugar

In yet another study done by the USDA, cinnamon has been shown to help regulate blood sugar.  In addition, people who consume cinnamon regularly have a higher blood antioxidant level.

The method by which it lowers blood sugar is (as seen in previous studies, not this one) is that it increases the insulin sensitivity of muscle cells.  This means that more of the sugar in your blood gets pushed into the muscle cells, which is beneficial for both your blood sugar levels and your glycogen level (used in high intensity exercise).

Please do not start consuming more than a teaspoon of cinnamon a day since it does have a toxic component to it, which if ingested in large amounts for long periods of time, could have negative health effects.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100824103637.htm

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Low Carbohydrate Diet has Metabolic Advantages

The conclusion is ridiculous!  A study was done to determine if a moderate carb or low carb was better for reducing weight and cardiovascular disease risk.  Here is the study abstract:

Objectives To compare the efficacy of a low-carbohydrate high-fat versus a moderate-carbohydrate low-fat diet for weight loss and cardiovascular risk reduction.

Methods In a prospective clinical trial, 137 participants (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2) were randomly assigned to Control (46 randomized, 44 completed), Low Carbohydrate (45 randomized, 42 completed), or Moderate Carbohydrate (46 randomized, 40 completed) groups. Outcomes included measures of body size and composition and blood chemistries.

Results Both the Low and Moderate Carbohydrate groups lost significantly more weight as well as inches from their waists and thighs than the Control group, while the Low Carbohydrate group lost a greater percentage of body fat. Although the Moderate Carbohydrate group showed significant reductions in serum cholesterol, the Low Carbohydrate group showed the greatest improvements in serum cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, and very-low-density lipoprotein.

Conclusions Moderate approaches to weight loss such as a moderate-carbohydrate low-fat diet may be prudent.

You see the text that I bolded in the results?  The Low Carb diet beat the moderate in all parameters.  Now did you read the conclusion?  It doesn’t sound like they were too happy with the results, and you know what, one of the companies that funded this study is the Kellogg Company!

These might be the most valuable type of study there is, the one where they won’t admit the truth…

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Garlic Oil Helps Prevent Heart Disease

I think most people have heard about how healthy garlic is.  It seems to have a myriad of benefits, and as I like to say, “the worse, and the stronger, something smells in nature, the better it is for you” (assuming not rotten!).

Here is yet another example of how the antioxidants in garlic help reduce the negative effects of high blood sugar on our hearts:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929105646.htm