Health and Nutrition Updates

Health and Nutrition Updates
Major Benefit of Sleep Discovered
  A recent study by University of Rochester neuroscientist Maiken Nedergaard discovered an interesting, previously unknown function of sleep: It
cleans metabolic toxins and other damaging substances out of the brain.
  Using mice, researchers compared the clearance of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the brains' microscopic spaces (interstitial spaces) during sleep
compared to when the animals were awake.
  Sophisticated instruments measured these tiny lymph-like channels, showing that during sleep theflow of CSF increased significantly and the channels
opened up.
  When the animals were awake, the channels shrunk and the CSF flow slowed considerably.
  It's when we are awake that most of these metabolic toxins accumulate. This study found that without sleep, these toxic substances stay in the brain in much higher levels. -
  This breakthrough study is another way that we are beginning to understand why we sleep, which has been largely a mystery until now.
  This should be a caution to those who like to stay up late and skip sleep. Over time, there is a price to pay.
  It has been determined that prolonged periods of sleep deprivation can cause a complete disassociation from reality and lead to a state of insanity-like behavior.
  If such sleep deprivation continues, it will eventually kill the person, as we have seen in cases of fatal insomma.
  As we begin to feel sleepy, the brain releases a small dose of melatonin from the pineal gland, which makes us fall a sleep.
  But this substance does a lot more than just put us to sleep - it is also one of the brain's most powerful and versatile antioxidants, and it reduces excitotoxic damage.
  There is some evidence that melatonin not only reduces our risk of neurodegeneration but it also lowers our risk of cancer - not just brain cancer but
all types of cancers.
  Studies of Alzheimer's patients have found very low levels of melatonin in the patients' spinal fluid - a measure of brain levels of melatonin.
  We also see low levels of melatonin in Parkinson's disease and autism spectrum disorders.
  Interestingly, glutamate and aspartate (a component in aspartame) also inhibits melatonin production by the pineal gland.
  Fluoride specifically targets the pineal, and over decades can reach extremely toxic levels by accumulating in the gland.

Flavonoids Prevent Neurodegeneration
  A number of studies have linked exposure to certain pesticides and herbicides - even in small concentrations - to neurodegenerative diseases such
as ALS, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.
  There is also evidence that the destruction of the involved neurons in the brain is caused by prolonged activation of microglia as a result of exposure to these agrichemlcals.
  With the massive and ever-increasing use of such agrichemical agents in the world, we have witnessed a parallel drastic increase in many neurodegenerative diseases.
  Some people store dangerous pesticides/herbicides in their garages, and the fumes can enter the house in significant concentrations.
  In addition, pesticide services regularly saturate homes with many of these agents and many use them for yard and garden pests .
  Even if people don't use them in their own homes, many are exposed at their workplaces. Farmers and those living close to farmlands are exposed to the highest levels.
  One of the most commonly used pesticides is rotenone, which has been proven to cause the changes in the brain we see with Parkinson's disease (severe activation of microglia).
  Studies have shown that some flavonoids, such as curcumin and quercetin, can block toxic processes in the brain.
  A recent study found that resveratrol can protect the brain from microglial activation by pesticides/herbicides and prevent the release od damaging nitric oxide and free radicals by the microglia.                                                                                                                                                     Gastrodin and bacopa also lower brain nitric oxide levels, block excitotoxicity, and stimulate the production of the brain repair compound BDNF.  Blueberries and blueberry extracts prevent microglial damage to the brain.