Senile Dementia Linked to Common Nutrient
This Week In HealthBeat
- Senile Dementia Linked
to Common Nutrient Deficiency
- Valentine's Day: Why
Flowers are Still The Perfect gift
- The Surprisingly High
Risk of Belly Fat
- We Get Letters (Boy,
Do We Get Letters!)
- New Column: Laughter
is Good Medicine
Senile Dementia Linked to Common Nutrient
Here's something Big Pharma hopes you
never learn: simple nutrient deficiencies are at the root of most diseases.
Did you know that a single nutrient deficiency can cause everything from
miscarriage and birth defects to cancer, heart disease, depression, hearing
loss, osteoporosis and senile dementia? In the case of the above-mentioned
maladies, the missing nutrient is folic acid, a B complex vitamin. You'll
probably be reading in the news about a recently completed study that links
folic acid deficiency to senile dementia, but this certainly
not the first
study to make this connection.
Folic acid, a water-soluble B vitamin, gets its name from the Latin "folium,"
meaning foliage, because dark green leafy vegetables are a rich source of the
nutrient. Folic acid is needed for nucleic acid (RNA and DNA) and red blood cell
production. It is also required for energy production, especially in the brain
and nervous system. Pregnant women have been advised to take folic acid because
it is necessary for normal development of the spinal cord and
central nervous system of the human embryo. This connection is
so well-known that the U.S. government has mandated that foods be "fortified"
with folic acid. In spite of this fortification, studies show that as many as
61% of the population may still be folic-acid deficient.
It's not just pregnant women and their developing babies that need folic acid.
Folic acid, along with vitamin B6 and B12, keep homocysteine levels normal.
homocysteine is an "intermediate" metabolic product that increases the risk of
heart disease and premature brain aging when it occurs in high concentrations.
Premature brain aging was
the subject of this recent study, which continues to show a connection between
folic acid deficiency and senile (age-related) dementia.
Researchers in the Netherlands evaluated the speed of thinking and memory, two
functions known to decline with age. Over 800 subjects, ages 50 to 70, took 800
micrograms of folic acid daily for three years. At the end of the study,
re-testing showed that the subjects who took folic acid had "significantly
improved domains of cognitive function that tend to decline with age." In other
words, mental function of the folic acid group didn't just remain the same, it
actually got better over the course of the three year study. This is not
the first study to connect folic acid with preserved mental function, but it is
one of the largest and longest studies.
Folic acid deficiency is widespread in our culture due to the
processing of grain
and vegetables. Although it is found in green leafy veggies, cooking destroys folic
acid. It is also present in organically-raised (grass-fed) beef liver, brewer's
yeast and asparagus. (And how much of these foods do YOU eat?) Many experts feel
that it is nearly impossible to get a recommended daily dose of folic acid from
food alone, and several population studies have confirmed this. Big Government
obviously agrees with this assessment since they have required fortification of
our food supply with folic acid.
Supplementation is an easy an inexpensive "insurance policy" against the
dangerous effects of folic acid deficiency, but most "one per day" vitamins
contain too small a dose to do any good. The recommended optimal daily dose (NOT
the "RDA" minimal daily dose), is 400-800mcg per day. Remember that folic acid
is a B complex vitamin, and when one B vitamin is low, the rest of the B complex
is also usually low and should be supplemented.
Is it any wonder that Big Drug Companies support the "push" to outlaw vitamin
supplements, given how many drug-treated diseases are actually caused by
nutrient deficiencies? You've been warned while vitamin supplements are still
legal: Don't let a simple nutrient deficiency like low folic acid sneak up on
you in the form of failing memory or heart disease.
Supplement now, or face the prospects of declining years filled with
prescriptions for (dementia Rx du jour / cardiac Rx du
jour) as answers to the effects of folic acid
deficiency, brought to you by Big Pharma. Face it: there's a
real reason they hope you'll never learn about this
P.S. My Maxi Multi Optimal Dose daily multi vitamin/mineral/trace
mineral/antioxidant formula has always contained 800mcg of folic acid,
because the importance of higher levels of this vitamin is not "new news" in
spite of yet another study.
Learn more about Maxi Multi's here >>>
Valentine's Day: Why Flowers are Still The
Ever wonder why people send flowers for just about every occasion you can name,
from births to deaths, weddings to divorces, sickness, love, apologies and yes,
Valentine's Day? After all, flowers seem like such an extravagant gift. You
can't eat them (for the most part), most aren't medicinal, and after a week or
so, they wither and die. Yet for thousands of years, humans have spent
untold amounts of time and money cultivating these
fleeting natural beauties. There has been no explanation for this "wasteful"
behavior until recently, when scientific studies uncovered at least part of the
reason for our fascination with flowers. With their artful palette of colors,
shapes and scents, flowers appear to induce powerful, positive emotions in the
human species. And since most humans
are "positive emotion junkies," well, we just keep
going back for more.
In one study, women always elicited the Duchenne or "true smile" when presented
with flowers. The increased positive mood could be
measured for three days or more after presentation. In another study, a flower
given to men or women in an elevator elicited more positive social behavior than
any other stimuli. A third study showed that flowers given to participants aged
55+ evoked positive moods and improved memory. Researchers conclude that
"Flowers have immediate and long-term effects on emotional reactions, mood,
social behaviors and even memory for both males and females." Author's note:
how do people find jobs like "flower researcher" and where
can I apply?
I'll admit it, I love to send flowers to friends and family for any occasion and
sometimes for no occasion. The delight it always seems to
bring them is unmatched
by other gifts I work a lot harder to find. Aside from
their joy, the next best part of sending flowers is
that I can choose, order and send
people-pleasing bouquets from the convenience of my easy chair by using an
online florist. My favorite online service offers hundreds of arrangements by
occasion, price, color --- you name it. I can add
balloons, chocolates, fruit, cookies, teddy bears,
wine and cheese or even
spa gifts. I love it --- customized flower and
gift-giving nirvana without ever leaving home! My online florist has always
given me excellent service (in the U.S.), and their prices
are better than anything
I've found locally. As an added bonus, most arrangements can be delivered the
very next day (this has saved my bacon more than once, when I suddenly remember
a birthday, anniversary or other important occasion at the last minute)!
Bottom line? I'm willing to wager that flowers will never go out of style as
"the" gift of love and remembrance, and I'll be sending my nearest and dearest a
healthy dose of same for Valentine's day. Have some fun window-shopping at my
favorite online flower shop, because life's too short not to stop and smell the
Valentine's Day Flowers >>>
The Surprisingly High Risk of
by Dr. Dana Myatt
Ever see a man or woman with normal-sized legs and lower body but with a belly
that sticks out like they're nine months pregnant with triplets? I call this a "carbo
belly" (some call it a beer belly), and it is the type
of fat distribution that puts a person at MUCH higher risk for heart disease. It
is even possible to be a normal weight for one's height yet still have a waist
diameter that increases heart-risk. In fact, how much belly fat you carry is
more important than how fat you are overall.
In a study done at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, researchers
measured and followed the abdominal diameter of 101,765 men and women for nearly
12 years. Their study found that men with the biggest bellies had 42 percent
higher rates of heart disease than men with smaller waist diameters. Women with
the biggest bellies were at 44 percent higher risk. This risk was seen even in
normal weight subjects with big bellies.
The take-home message: If you carry excess fat in your
gut, you're at higher risk of heart disease
than if you have, say, a big butt.
(No extra charge for the rhyme). Fortunately, the cure for belly fat is
simple: cut down (WAY down) on simple carbohydrate foods, increase your intake
of protein, Omega-3 fats and non-starchy veggies. A day or two per week of The
Super Fast Diet will jump-start your belly fat weight loss program and get you
out of the heart-disease danger zone fast.
more about The Super Fast Diet >>>
We Get Letters (Boy, Do We Get
Woo Hoo! Last week's lead article,
FDA Outlaws Vitamins: Closer By The Minute,
really struck a nerve (in a good way) among our
readers. From comments of agreement, to one exceptionally well-written article
about the "CAFTA problem" (Central American Free Trade Agreement) and how it is
accelerating degradation of our health freedom, to one sarcastic comment by an
M.D./PhD who just happens to have ties to Big Pharma. Read the
comments and my responses here >>>>
New Column: Laughter is Good
Subject: Montana Cowboy
A Montana cowboy was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture when
suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.
The driver, a young man in an Armani suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and
out the window and asks the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and
calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"
The cowboy looks at the man, obviously
a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd
and calmly answers, "Sure, Why not?"
The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to
RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet where he calls up a
satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location, which he then
another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.
He next opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image
processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. Within seconds he receives an email on
his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He
accesses an MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with
e-mail on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech,
miniaturized HP LaserJet
printer, then turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and
"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says the cowboy.
The cowboy watches in amusement as the young man selects one of the animals and
stuffs it into the trunk of his car.
Then the cowboy says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your
business is, will you give me back my calf?"
The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"
"You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government," says the cowboy.
"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"
"No guessing required," answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even though
nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew to a
question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter you are than me;
and you don't know a thing about cows. This is a herd of sheep. Now give me back
Senile Dementia Linked to
Folic Acid Deficiency
1.) Effect of 3-year folic acid supplementation on cognitive function in
older adults in the FACIT trial: a randomized, double blind, controlled trial.
Lancet. 2007 Jan 20;369(9557):208-16. Su7mmary: Folic acid supplementation for 3
years significantly improved the types of cognitive function that typically
decline with age.
2.) Effects of folic acid supplementation on hearing in older adults: a
randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2007 Jan 2;146(1):1-9. Summary:
Folic acid supplementation slowed the rate of hearing loss (speech frequencies)
in aging population.
3.) Low folate status is associated with impaired cognitive function and
dementia in the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005
Dec;82(6):1346-52. Summary: Low folic acid levels are associated with cognitive
decline and food fortification with this vitamin is not sufficient to correct
4.) High homocysteine and low B vitamins predict cognitive decline in aging men:
the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005
Sep;82(3):627-35. CONCLUSIONS: Low B vitamin and high homocysteine
concentrations predict cognitive decline.
5.) Homocysteine versus the vitamins folate, B6, and B12 as predictors of
cognitive function and decline in older high-functioning adults: MacArthur
Studies of Successful Aging. Am J Med. 2005 Feb;118(2):161-7. CONCLUSION: In
high-functioning older adults, low folate levels appear to be a risk factor for
cognitive decline. The risk of developing cognitive decline might be reduced
through dietary folate intake.
6.) Homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B-12 in mild cognitive impairment,
Alzheimer disease, and vascular dementia. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jul;80(1):114-22.
CONCLUSIONS: Relative folate deficiency may precede Alzheimer's disease and
vascular dementia onset.
7.) Homocysteine and B vitamins in mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Clin
Chem Lab Med. 2005;43(10):1096-100. Summary: Subclinical folate deficiency
appears to precede dementia.
Why Flowers are Still
The Perfect Gift
An Environmental Approach to Positive Emotion: Flowers. Haviland-Jones,
Hale Rosario, R. McGuire, Evolutionary Psychology
3: 104-132, 17 April 2005.
The Surprisingly High Risk of Belly Fat
9.) Value of
the sagittal abdominal diameter in coronary heart disease risk assessment:
cohort study in a large, multiethnic population. Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Dec
15;164(12):1150-9. Epub 2006 Oct 13. Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente of
Northern California, Oakland 94612, and Department of Epidemiology and
Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco General
Hospital, CA, USA.
10.) Carbohydrate restriction alters lipoprotein
metabolism by modifying VLDL, LDL, and HDL subfraction distribution and size in
overweight men. J Nutr. 2006 Feb;136(2):384-9. Summary: weight loss which
resulted from reduced carbohydrate intake decreased
risk for atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.