Surprising Link Between Constipation and Cognitive Decline

New research indicates that constipation may play a significant role in cognitive decline. This groundbreaking study highlights the interconnectedness of the body’s systems and the potential consequences when one system malfunctions. Although the study has not yet been published, the results were recently presented at a prestigious conference on Alzheimer’s disease. These findings shed light on the complex relationship between gut health and brain function.

Constipation, a common gastrointestinal problem, leads to 2.5 million doctor visits annually. Chronic constipation is characterized by bowel movements occurring every three days or less. This condition has been linked to several long-term health concerns, which can include inflammation, hormonal problems, and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. A survey conducted in 2012 revealed that constipation affects one-third of individuals over 60 years old and approximately 16 percent of the overall population.

A comprehensive analysis of three large studies involving more than 110,000 indiviuduals was conducted to explore the potential impact of constipation on cognitive health. Data on bowel movement frequency were collected between 2012 and 2013, and cognitive function assessments were carried out from 2014 to 2018 on nearly 13,000 participants. The results unveiled a significant association between infrequent bowel movements and poorer cognitive function, encompassing vital mental processes like information reception, processing, storage, and action.

The impact of constipation on cognitive function is significant, with constipated individuals experiencing cognitive decline comparable to aging 3 or more years beyond their actual age. Additionally, constipation is linked to a 73% increased risk of subjective cognitive issues. However, it is not only infrequent bowel movements that contribute to cognitive decline; even those who have more than two bowel movements a day face a slightly higher risk. These findings emphasize the importance of addressing bowel health in maintaining optimal cognitive function.

A possible explanation suggests that the bacteria present in our gut might be involved in the link between constipation and brain health. Individuals with lower levels of microbes, which support the gut barrier and assist in fiber digestion, were found to have more constipation and poorer cognitive abilities. Although these findings indicate a connection between chronic constipation and cognitive decline, it is important to note that correlation does not imply causation.

Changes in Brain Activity and Oxygenation in Older Adults

In a recent study, scientists have discovered that the coordination between neuronal activity and the brain’s oxygenation is disrupted in older people. This finding sheds light on the crucial relationship between the brain and the cardiovascular system, as the brain relies on a significant portion of the body’s energy used – up to 20%. To meet the brain’s energy needs, specialized “neurovascular units” play a vital role in delivering enough energy supply to the neurons. This research provides new insights into the complex workings of the aging brain.

The activity of neurovascular units in humans has been recorded non-invasively for the first time, due to innovative measurement techniques and analysis processes performed at Lancaster Univ., UK. Infrared light was used to measure blood oxygenation in the brain, penetrating the skull effortlessly. At the same time, the scalp surface measured the brain’s electrical activity, which is related to neuronal activity.

The human body operates on various rhythms – the heartbeat being the most recognized one. These rhythms also include brain waves, respiration and the control of blood flow and blood pressure through the adjustment of blood vessel diameter. By measuring oxygenation, respiration, and electrical brain activity, and heart electric activity simultaneously, researchers are able to study these rhythms and their timing. By computing their “phase coherence,” researchers can study the strength and timing of these rhythms.

The findings demonstrate that both brain vasculature oscillations and brain waves are significantly changed in older individuals. However, the most notable difference lies in the coherence between these two factors, indicating that the communication and synchronization between energy supply and demand in the aging brain are considerably impaired.

This approach is potentially valuable for assessing the deterioration of neurovascular function in typical aging and for tracking the effectiveness of treatment or lifestyle adjustments in various neurodegenerative diseases. The findings offer a straightforward and non-intrusive way to evaluate the brain’s condition in healthy aging and in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Aging affects the phase coherence between spontaneous oscillations in brain oxygenation and neural activity

Living in a Cold Weather Climate Can Increase Longevity

Warm weather and beautiful beaches may attract retirees to Florida, but scientists say it might not be the best place to live a long life. Recent research suggests that moderate cold temperatures can increase longevity and decrease the risk of age-related illnesses. This is due to the prevention of harmful protein clumping, which can lead to diseases like ALS and Huntington’s.

These findings were discovered through the use of both human cells and a non-vertebrate organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, providing valuable insight into the effects of temperature on aging.

Through their research, German scientists discovered an intriguing way to combat protein build-up in cells by simply dropping the temperature. By exposing two different models to cold temperatures, the researchers found that the activity of proteasomes was significantly impacted. These cellular mechanisms are responsible for removing damaged proteins from cells, and with a moderate decrease in temperature, proteasome activity was actually stimulated.

Further research revealed that a specific proteasome activator called PA28y/PSME3 has promising potential for reducing the negative effects of aging in both nematode and human cells. This exciting discovery opens up new possibilities for improving cellular health and may have implications for various fields of medicine.

The study reveals that cold temperatures have an enduring impact on the regulation of proteasomes throughout evolution, which could potentially aid in the treatment of aging-related diseases. It is well-established that aging increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases marked by protein accumulation, such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, ALS, and Alzheimer’s. These findings have promising implications not only for understanding these specific conditions but also for exploring how they develop in other animals and with other age-related ailments.

While warm-blooded mammals maintain a constant body temperature regardless of environmental conditions, recent research shows that even a small drop in temperature can have big benefits. Scientists found that lowering the body temperature of mice by just half a degree increased their lifespan significantly. Similar effects were observed in nematodes when their temperature was lowered by a few degrees. These findings suggest that manipulating body temperature could be a promising strategy for improving human health and longevity.

Scientists have recently discovered a correlation between body temperature and how long humans can live. Typically, a normal human temperature ranges from 97°F to 99°F, but it can drop to as low as 96.8°F during sleep. If it drops below 95 degrees, it can trigger hypothermia. What’s fascinating is that human body temperature has been declining since the Industrial Revolution, which might be one of the reasons why we’re living longer nowadays. It’s mind-boggling to think about how a simple physiological change can impact our health and lifespan over time.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Cold temperature extends longevity and prevents disease-related protein aggregation through PA28-induced proteasomes

Muscle Fat Level Related to Cognitive Decline

New research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggests that the amount of fat present in a person’s muscle tissue could be a valuable predictor of cognitive decline in older adults. The study revealed a noteworthy connection between an accumulation of fat in the thigh muscle over a period of 5 years and an increased likelihood of cognitive decline. This association persisted even after considering important factors such as body weight, other fat deposits, muscle traits, and typical dementia risk factors.

In the study, muscle fat levels were examined in 1,634 individuals between the ages of 69 and 79. Muscle fat was measured at the start of the study, after one year, and again after six years. Additionally, cognitive function was evaluated at the beginning of the study, as well as at years 1, 3, 5, 8, and 10.

The findings indicate that individuals who experienced increases in muscle fat from year one to year six showed a faster decline in cognitive function over time.

The findings of the study indicate that muscle adiposity has a distinct and significant impact on cognitive decline, separate from the effects of other types of fat or muscle traits. This suggests that further investigation is needed to explore the communication between muscle fat and the brain, and whether decreasing muscle adiposity can potentially decrease the risk of dementia.

The search for a cure for dementia continues, but now the focus is on preventative lifestyle interventions. It is predicted that the number of people affected by dementia could triple by 2050, affecting over 150 million people worldwide.

The importance of body composition in preventative healthcare cannot be overstated, as individuals with the same BMI may have varying levels of health risks and associated conditions. It is evident that there is an increasing demand for regular assessments of muscle fatness in medical settings, as these assessments could potentially provide valuable insights into the risk of dementia and improve overall outcomes.

This suggests that monitoring muscle adipose levels could be a useful indicator of cognitive health in older adults.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Increase in skeletal muscular adiposity and cognitive decline in a biracial cohort of older men and women

Discovery of Link Between the Gut and Autism

In a groundbreaking study conducted by 43 dedicated researchers, a significant breakthrough has been made in understanding and unraveling the mysteries of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). By examining the complex world of the gut microbiome, these findings shed light on the role of environmental factors in the exponential increase of this neurological syndrome.

Contrary to prevalent beliefs that attribute autism solely to genetics, this data-driven research challenges the notion and highlights the importance of environmental influences. By identifying a distinct microbial signature associated with ASD, this study paves the way for a deeper understanding of how the gut microbiota impacts this profound condition.

The gut microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These microorganisms play a crucial role in shaping our health. Recent studies have highlighted the link between a higher number and diversity of microbes in the gut and better overall health, as well as lower risk of disease. Additionally, the gut bacteria aid in the breakdown of fiber and produce metabolites that support digestion and brain function, among other important tasks.

In a recent study conducted by the Simons Foundation’s Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), 25 previously published datasets were reanalyzed to identify specific metabolic pathways related to autism. These pathways were found to be linked to certain gut microbes. The study supports the findings of a recent long-term study that focused on microbiome-based treatment for autism. This treatment resulted in improvements in both gut and brain symptoms. The research emphasizes that the microbiome is altered in individuals with autism, and these alterations can impact biochemistry, gastrointestinal functioning, and neurological functioning.

Autism spectrum disorder remains a complex and diverse condition with no identified singular cause. It is characterized by a combination of genetic, physiological, and behavioral factors. It primarily manifests in childhood and now affects a higher number of children than before. The challenges in studying autism include assessing severely affected children and identifying its neurological nature. Additionally, the vastness of the microbiome further complicates the investigation into the role of gastrointestinal issues in autism, leading to differences in opinion.

Researchers made a surprising discovery while analyzing data by using an algorithm. By comparing individuals with autism and those without, they examined various factors such as gene expression, diet and immune system response. The robustness of the findings was highly surprising. The results of the analysis unmistakably stood out from the raw data. This type of evident correlation between gut microbial and human metabolic pathways in autism had never been observed before.

The latest findings provided by researchers open up opportunities for targeted research on manipulating the microbiome. The utilization of stool analysis to monitor patients’ responses to specific interventions over time can greatly influence future studies and improve clinical care.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Multi-level analysis of the gut–brain axis shows autism spectrum disorder-associated molecular and microbial profiles

High Omega 3 Levels Shown to Help Hearing Loss

The decline in hearing is a common occurrence as we get older. In fact, approximately half of adults over the age of 75 in the United States experience hearing loss that affects their daily lives. Unfortunately, we currently do not have a way to prevent age-related hearing loss. However, researchers have made an interesting discovery. They have found a connection between higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the bloodstream and a reduced risk of age-related hearing issues.

In this study, a team of researchers examined the blood DHA levels and hearing status of over 100,000 individuals from the UK Biobank aged 40-69. The analysis revealed that individuals with higher levels of DHA in their blood were 16% less likely to report hearing difficulties compared with those at lower DHA levels. Researchers observed a significant correlation between higher DHA levels in middle-aged and older adults and a reduced likelihood (8-20%) of experiencing age-related hearing problems compared to individuals with lower levels of DHA.

This study investigated the relationship between omega-3 fatty acid levels in the blood and observed hearing complaints. The findings suggest a potential link, indicating that omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in hearing health. However, it is important to note that this study does not provide definitive evidence that omega-3 fatty acids prevent hearing loss.

There may be other factors at play that have not been tested or considered. For example, individuals with high omega-3 fatty acid levels may also exhibit a greater inclination towards maintaining overall health, and it is possible that other variables are directly correlated to hearing health. Further research is needed to fully understand the complexities of this association.

Scientific evidence strongly supports the idea that having high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, in our bodies is beneficial for vision, brain, and cardiovascular health. Conversely, a low intake of omega-3s is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, premature birth, and even death from any cause. To optimize our omega-3 levels, it is crucial to consume foods that are rich in EPA and DHA and/or consider taking omega-3 supplements.

To view the original scientific study click below:
(PTFS07-02-23) Association of Plasma Omega-3 Blood Levels and Prevalent Hearing Loss in the UK Biobank

Risk of Hypertension with Mobile Phone Usage

A large study involving over 200,000 participants found a significant link between mobile phone use and a higher risk of developing hypertension, particularly among frequent users. High blood pressure is a major preventable factor in cardiovascular diseases and premature death worldwide, affecting both men and women. With the widespread use of mobile phones, which had approximately 8.2 billion subscriptions globally in 2020, concerns arise regarding the safety of making or receiving calls, particularly for heavy users.

Several studies indicate that prolonged exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phones may have negative effects on health. This includes increased inflammation, oxidative stress, and DNA damage, all of which are potential factors in the onset of hypertension. However, current findings suggest that as long as the weekly call time remains below 30 minutes, there may not be a significant impact on the risk of developing high blood pressure.

The Biobank in the UK utilized data from 212,046 participants aged 37 to 73 years who had not developed hypertension before. To collect information about mobile phone usage, participants completed a touchscreen questionnaire at the beginning, reporting details of use such as hours every week and years of use, and if they used a hands-free device or speakerphone. Individuals who used their mobile phones for calls at least one time a week were categorized as mobile phone users.

Through a meticulous analysis conducted over a follow-up span that averaged 12 years, it was observed that out of the total participants, 7% eventually developed hypertension. Notably, a correlation was found between the utilization of mobile phones and an elevated chance of hypertension. Additionally, individuals who spent at least 30 minutes and higher on a weekly basis on phone calls showed a 12% greater probability of developing new-onset high blood pressure compared to individuals who had usage time of 30 minutes or less. Importantly, these findings were the same for both women and men.

The researchers investigated how the amount of time spent on mobile phones and genetic risk of acquiring hypertension are related. Data from the UK Biobank was used to access the participants’ genetic risk. The results showed that those with a greater genetic risk and who had usage at least 30 minutes a week talking on a mobile phone were 33% more likely to develop high blood pressure than those with a low genetic risk and had spent less time on the phone. This association was especially strong for making or receiving calls and was more pronounced in those who used their phones for longer periods of time. These findings highlight the potential impact of mobile phone use on hypertension risk in the general population.

Additional studies are needed to fully evaluate the findings and mechanisms discussed. However, if these results are validated, there is evidence to suggest that limiting mobile phone usage for calls could have a significant impact on preventing hypertension in the broader population. While further research is needed to confirm these results, it is advisable to limit mobile phone usage to protect heart health. Use the speaker phone when you can and hold it a distance away from your body.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Mobile phone calls, genetic susceptibility, and new-onset hypertension: results from 212 046 UK Biobank participants

Exercise That Can Rejuvenate Skin

Skin, the body’s largest organ, acts as a protective barrier against various environmental threats. However, as it ages, it becomes thinner and more prone to damage. While exercise is widely known for its health benefits, its impact on skin aging has been largely ignored.

A recent study in Nature Scientific Reports revealed that both aerobic and resistance training can improve certain aspects of skin aging. Interestingly, only resistance training was found to increase skin thickness, which is a crucial factor in maintaining youthful skin. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating resistance exercises into our fitness routines for healthier and more resilient skin.

In this groundbreaking study, researchers conducted a 16-week study on 61 sedentary middle-aged women in Japan. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups: one focused on aerobic training and the other on resistance training. Before and after the program began blood samples were taken.

The results of the study showed that aerobic training led to a significant decrease in body weight and body mass index, as well as an improvement in aerobic capacity. On the other hand, resistance training increased lean mass and muscle strength. In terms of skin aging, both types of training had a positive impact. They improved skin elasticity and the upper dermal structure. However, only resistance training resulted in an increase in dermal thickness.

To understand how the interventions improved skin aging, the effects of aerobic training and resistance training on the expression of genes were analyzed in relation to the extracellular matrix (ECM) in human dermal fibroblasts. The plasma blood samples that were taken before and after the program were then added to the cultured fibroblasts. The results were striking! Both types of training showed improvements in the expression of ECM-related genes, including those involved in collagen production.

However, there were some differences between the two. Aerobic training had a greater impact on collagen-related genes, while resistance training specifically affected the gene responsible for biglycan, a crucial protein that maintains tissue structure by interacting with collagen fibers in the ECM. Out of all the proteins affected solely by this type of exercise, biglycan stood out as a key player. Exercise doesn’t just transform our physique, but it also influences the expression of genes in our skin cells through circulating factors.

With 1480 factors under scrutiny, researchers honed in on three specific ones that showed a negative correlation with the increase in biglycan levels after resistance training. Interestingly, all three of these factors are known to be pro-inflammatory. Nevertheless, the experts acknowledge the need for animal studies to definitively confirm the mechanism behind resistance training’s ability to rejuvenate the skin.

These findings highlight the significance of both aerobic and resistance training in promoting healthy skin aging by enhancing the integrity of the extracellular matrix.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Resistance training rejuvenates aging skin by reducing circulating inflammatory factors and enhancing dermal extracellular matrices

Daily Multivitamin May Slow Down Age-related Memory Decline

As individuals age, cognitive aging becomes a top concern for many. However, a recent study involving over 3,500 older adults has provided promising findings. It suggests that the daily use of multivitamin supplements can potentially slow down age-related memory decline.

By incorporating daily multivitamin use into their routine, older adults may have a powerful tool to help combat memory decline. This groundbreaking research presents an exciting opportunity for individuals seeking ways to promote and preserve their cognitive function as they age.

In this study, a group of over 3,500 adults, primarily non-Hispanic white individuals aged 60 and above, were chosen at random to either consume a daily multivitamin supplement or a placebo for a duration of three years. Centrum Silver was the multivitamin used in the study. Throughout each year, the participants were required to complete a set of memory tests online, specifically designed to evaluate the functioning of the hippocampus, a brain region prone to age-related decline.

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According to the study, individuals who took a daily multivitamin experienced improved memory compared to those who took a placebo. This enhancement in memory persisted throughout the three-year study and was estimated to counteract three years of age-related memory decline. Notably, the impact was even more significant in participants with existing cardiovascular disease.

The findings of the latest study align with a previous study involving over 2,200 older individuals. The previous study demonstrated that daily intake of a multivitamin enhanced cognitive abilities, memory retrieval, and attentiveness. These effects were particularly noticeable in individuals with underlying cardiovascular disease. It is suggested that individuals with cardiovascular disease may have insufficient levels of micronutrients, which multivitamins may help address. However, the exact reason behind the heightened effect in this specific group remains unknown.

The study’s findings suggest that nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining brain health as we age. Although the researchers did not identify a specific component of the multivitamin supplement that influenced memory improvement, it is clear that the aging brain can greatly benefit from proper nutrition. The study highlights the significance of nutrition in slowing down age-related cognitive decline, regardless of the specific nutrients involved.

This discovery paves the way for a simple and affordable solution to help older adults maintain their cognitive health. By highlighting the benefits of multivitamin supplementation, this study offers hope for those looking to combat memory decline as they age.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Multivitamin Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults: A Randomized Clinical Trial

The Many Benefits of Taking Cold Showers

It’s uncommon for most of us to regularly take cold showers, especially those residing in colder climates. Cold water immersion, also known as hydrotherapy, has a rich history in many cultures, dating back to Vincenz Priessnitz’s creation and promotion of his cold water treatment technology in the 1920s. Priessnitz’s medical treatment proved highly successful. Despite the decline of hydrotherapy’s popularity in the 20th century due to an increasing reliance on pharmaceuticals and the prevalence of hot showers, the therapeutic value of hydrotherapy has persisted. The benefits of taking a cold shower are immense and are discussed further.

Regular cold showers may serve as a preventative tonic for colds, flu, and infections due to their potential to activate the immune system and increase white blood cell release. Researchers attribute this to the body’s heightened metabolic rate as it tries to warm itself up in the cold shower.

Cardiovascular health relies heavily on proper blood circulation. An effortless method to enhance circulation is integrating alternating hot and cold water while showering.

The distinct type of fat known as brown fat plays a crucial role in energy expenditure rather than storage, unlike its white fat counterpart. The act of being exposed to colder temperatures leads to the generation of brown fat cells that are capable of incinerating glucose to produce heat energy and a greater magnitude of weight loss.

The brain’s “blue spot” is the primary source of noradrenaline, which can potentially be utilized to mitigate depression. Studies suggest that cold water stimulates this area, making cold showers an additional tool to aid in the prevention and management of depression.

The lymphatic system depends on muscular contraction to propel lymph towards the thoracic duct, where it merges with the blood and is processed by organs. Cold showers cause widespread muscular contraction, which effectively pushes the lymphatic fluid throughout the body

Upon submerging oneself in cold water, there is a noticeable increase in deep inhalation as the body attempts to cope with the shock, vasoconstriction, and the demand for oxygen needed to regulate body temperature. This breathing process is similar to the effects of intense physical activity and provides a surge in oxygen intake. This pronounced oxygenation leads to manifold benefits, including heightened daytime alertness and improved performance in athletic pursuits.

Facts reveal that warm water can result in skin and hair dehydration. In contrast, cold water demonstrates remarkable effects on hair and skin appearance by fortifying cuticles and pores to prevent clogging, reducing the prevalence of unsightly blemishes like acne. The use of cold water also flushes out toxins and waste products, facilitating detoxification.

A cold shower is guaranteed to boost your energy level and awaken your senses. Cool water circulating through veins, provides an incredible rush of blood, helping you overcome the remains of fatigue from previous night’s sleep. Furthermore, regardless of the lack of extensive studies, clinical research suggests that exposing yourself to cold water can significantly lower your stress levels.

Scientific studies report that cold water showers can enhance hormone production and activity by stimulating the bodys glands. This is particularly beneficial for the reproductive system, aiding couples who are looking to conceive. Additionally, cold water therapy is believed to regulate the endocrine system, encompassing the adrenals and thyroid glands. Cold showers may be an effective natural remedy to promote optimal hormonal balance in the body.

It is highly recommended to gradually adapt to cold showers. Sudden temperature shifts can pose undue physical stress on certain individuals. Significantly increase your threshold by pushing beyond your personal comfort zone, yet being mindful of your body’s tolerance levels. Implementing cold showers seamlessly into your daily routine can be done by simply lowering the water temperature for the final 30 seconds to a minute.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Cold water immersions, which increased metabolic rate due to shivering the elevated blood concentrations of catecholamines, activated the immune system to a slight extent