Dehydration and Mental Performance

It is well evidenced that dehydration is able to cause a serious deterioration in physical performance. As little as 5 % dehydration can negatively affect physical fitness levels, and further declines can cause not only poor performance, but serious risk of death. However, dehydration can also cause serious performance deficits in mental ability. In one study, exercising in heat in combination with water restriction caused mild dehydration in a group of subjects. Subsequently, the subjects were exposed to a number of mental performance tests including arithmetic, short-term memory tests and visuomotor tracking. At just 2 % dehydration, there was a significant reduction in all mental function, suggesting that adequate hydration is a requisite for mental ability. Considering that 2 % dehydration is easily achievable under the conditions of normal living and daily tasks even in temperate climates, this suggests that many individuals may be mentally impaired due to dehydration.

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself

RdB

Gopinathan, P. M., Pichan, G. and Sharma, V. M. 1988. Role of dehydration in heat stress-induced variations in mental performance. Archives of Environmental Health: An International Journal. 43(1): 15-17
Posted in Brain, Water | Leave a comment

Vitamin C Supplements for Weight Loss?

Posted in Vitamin C, Weight Loss | Comments Off on Vitamin C Supplements for Weight Loss?

Fitness Versus Health: Implications For Weight Loss

Many people consider health and fitness to be similar concepts, but they are in reality two different components of physiology. Health is defined as the absence of disease and a positive feeling of well being. In contrast, fitness is the ability to perform a task without undue stress. A person with a stable and positive mental outlook, as well as no physical or mental disease is an individual who is healthy. Someone who can run 5 miles without undue stress, is fit for that task. While health can be a great foundation upon which to build fitness, it is not essential, and it is possible to be unhealthy but fit. In terms of weight loss, individuals often make strategic errors in their weight loss by confusing the two concepts. Someone who is overweight is unhealthy, and improving health through a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle changes, which can include mild exercise is beneficial. However, simply relying on physical activity to return an individual to health is not possible, and this is why so many exercise regimens fail to cause weight loss. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself

RdB

Posted in Weight Loss | Comments Off on Fitness Versus Health: Implications For Weight Loss

What Is Coeliac Disease?

Coeliac disease is a condition by which the individual is not able to tolerate the protein gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and this protein causes the individual to have abnormal immunological responses. The result is inflammation of the gut, and this can lead to damage to the absorptive surface, and a deterioration in the ability to absorb nutrients. The individual may experience pain upon eating gluten, pain following eating gluten, or general malaise and headaches following gluten consumption. The only successful treatment for coeliac disease is the avoidance of gluten. This means that any food containing wheat must be avoided. As wheat is added to most prorocessed foods, these must generally be avoided. Bread, pasta and other wheat based products also must be avoided. Certain grains such as oats do not contain gluten and can be consumed. Rice can also be consumed without problems by most coeliacs. As wheat is removed from the diet the gut heals itself and health is restored. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself

RdB

Posted in Coeliac Disease | Comments Off on What Is Coeliac Disease?

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) as  neuroprotective Agent

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a herbal remedy used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat stress and nervous problems. The herb is an adaptogen, which means it can protect the consumer for changes to normal physiological homeostasis. In this role, ashwagandha can act as a neuroprotective agent and is able to protect the neurones of the brain from detrimental changes that can alter brain function. For example, in one study, rats were deprived of sleep in order to cause them to be in a stressful condition. Under such circumstances, damage to the brain can occur through the generation of inflammation and oxidative stress. However, the ashwagandha was able to protect the rats and reduce the damage caused to neurones in the delicate brain tissue. In particular, the protection occurred in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is through to be involved in the development of mood disorders. Ashwagandha therefore appears to be a potent neuroprotective agent in rats, and may be protective of mood disorders. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself

RdB

Aqueous Leaf Extract of Withania somnifera as a Potential Neuroprotective Agent in Sleep-deprived Rats: a Mechanistic Study. Molecular Neurobiology. DOI 10.1007/s12035-016-9883-5
Posted in Neurodegeneration, Withania (Withania somnifera) | Comments Off on Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) as  neuroprotective Agent

Zinc as a Cortisol Blocker

Posted in Cortisol, Stress, Zinc | Comments Off on Zinc as a Cortisol Blocker

Tea As An Anti-Stress Drink

Posted in Antioxidant, Cortisol, L-theanine, Stress, Tea | Comments Off on Tea As An Anti-Stress Drink

Milk Thistle Protects The Brain From Oxidative Stress

Milk thistle (Silymarin marianum) is a plant that is best known for its liver protective effects. These effects arise because the milk thistle plant is high in antioxidants that belong to the flavonolignan group. Collectively these phytochemicals are called silymarin. Evidence suggests that milk thistle may also be protective of the brain, and in this regard is used in traditional medicine as a protective agent against degeneration of the brain. One study investigated the effects of a milk thistle extract of silymarin on oxidative stress in the brains of rats. Administration of the silymarin to rats cause significant increases in brain concentrations of glutathione, ascorbic acid and superoxide dismutase, all indicators of increased antioxidant content. In addition, there was a decrease in the levels of malondialdehyde, suggesting that lipid peroxidation levels had fallen. Milk thistle extracts therefore appear to offer protective effects against oxidation in the brain, and this may be why they are protective of brain disorders. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself

RdB

Nencini, C., Giorgi, G. and Micheli, L. 2007. Protective effect of silymarin on oxidative stress in rat brain. Phytomedicine. 14(2-3): 129-135
Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Milk Thistle, Mood, Silibum Marianum (milk thistle), Silymarin | Comments Off on Milk Thistle Protects The Brain From Oxidative Stress

Silymarin as a Neuroprotective Agent

The milk thistle plant (Silymarin marianum) is a plant with a high antioxidant content. The seeds of the plant are particularly high in silymarin, a collective name for a group of flavonolignans. Around 50 to 70 % of silymarin is comprised of the compound silybin (also called silibinin). Milk thistle has been used traditionally for the treatment of a number of degenerative brain conditions including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well as for cerebral ischaemia. Milk thistle may be able to protect the delicate tissues of the brain because the silymarin within the plant acts as an antioxidant, and in this way can prevent oxidation and inflammation. Both oxidation and inflammation are thought to be central to the development of many brain diseases and antioxidants have shown beneficial clinical effects against this process. Milk thistle extracts containing silymarin are available, but the bioavailability of silymarin is low with only 23 to 47 % of the compound reaching the systemic circulation. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself

RdB

Ullah, H. and Khan, H. 2018. Anti-Parkinson Potential of Silymarin: Mechanistic Insight and Therapeutic Standing. Frontiers In Pharmacology. 9.
Posted in Brain, Milk Thistle, Neurodegeneration, Silibum Marianum (milk thistle), Silymarin | Comments Off on Silymarin as a Neuroprotective Agent

Silymarin as an Anti-Stress Agent

Silymarin is a group of phytochemicals present in the milk thistle (Silybum marianum) plant. Studies have investigated the effects of silymarin extracts in animal studies and found them to have mood elevating effects. For example, in one study administration of silymarin to mice caused increases in brain levels of the monoamine neurotransmitters particularly serotonin in the cortex, and dopamine and noradrenaline in the cerebellum. These changes were accompanied by significant decreases in the depressive-like behaviour of the mice. The administration of silymarin to the mice was also shown to significantly reduce experimentally induced mild stress, suggesting that the extract may be acting as an anti-stress agent. The same study also showed that silymarin extract was able to increase brain levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the mice. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a growth factor that is known to provide neuroprotection and allow the regeneration of neurones in the brain. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself

RdB

Thakare, V. N., Patil, R. R., Oswal, R. J., Dhakane, V. D., Aswar, M. K. and Patel, B. M. 2018. Therapeutic potential of silymarin in chronic unpredictable mild stress induced depressive-like behavior in mice. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 32(2): 223
Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Milk Thistle, Mood, Silibum Marianum (milk thistle), Silymarin | Comments Off on Silymarin as an Anti-Stress Agent