Tag Archives: Health

Higher central blood pressure linked to cognitive aging

4 Dec

Central blood pressure refers to the pressure in aorta. The normal pressure measurement you receive at your doctor’s office with a blood pressure cuff (brachial blood pressure), does not measure central blood pressure. Since the aorta delivers blood directly to the brain it may be a better indicator of cognitive well being.

A paper published in Psychological Science finds that high central blood pressure is associated with poorer memory and other kinds of cognitive decline. In the concluding paragraph the authors note the significance of their finding:

“In summary, the present results point to the importance of central BP in the pathophysiology of cognitive aging. Although consistent evidence across studies has suggested that brachial BP is associated with cognitive function, the present results should encourage researchers to think beyond brachial pressures and to consider the role of central BP in the development of cognitive decline and dementia. This is especially pertinent given that central pressures can be reduced with existing pharmacological interventions, possibly lessening the risk for cognitive decline.”

The myth of moderate drinking’s health benefits

29 Nov

Public policy professor Mark Kleiman, at the blog Reality Based Community, alerts us to a recent meta-analysis by Hans Olav Fekjaer on the effects of alcohol. The stark conclusion:

“The evidence for the harmful effects of alcohol is undoubtedly stronger than the evidence for beneficial effects.”

commentary on the paper argues:

” Fekjaer has now provided us with an extensive list of reasons for doctors to think twice before recommending alcohol to anyone again.”


The psychobiology of sugar

21 Nov

From Dr. Greger:

Moscow subway gives free ticket for exercise

19 Nov

A neat way to encourage more exercise:

The Mirkins put the rest of us to shame

14 Nov

Diana and Gabe Mirkin recently reviewed details of their health status:

“Gabe is 78, has an 81 cm. abdominal circumference and a resting heart rate of 48. His estimated VO2max is 50 and fitness age is 35.
Diana is 71, has a 65 cm. abdominal circumference and a resting heart rate of 50. Her estimated VO2max is 50 and fitness age is 23.
Here is our exercise program: we exercise every day for two to three hours. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, we race flat out on a tandem bicycle for 25 miles. On the other four days we do all-out, 30-second intervals with two-minute recoveries until our legs start to stiffen. We cycle an average 150 miles per week and go to the gym every day to use the strength-training machines.”

Their website is a great source of health, diet, and fitness information.

Alcohol disturbs sleep

2 Nov

It is true that alcohol consumption will make it easier to fall asleep, but an excellent post at Gaines, on Brains shows how drinking before bedtime interferes with sleep:

 “despite falling asleep faster, the subjects who consumed more alcohol woke more frequently had experienced lighter sleep during the second half of the night. “


Methionine and dementia

22 Sep

Methionine is an essential amino acid and some level is necessary in the diet. However, there is a growing body of evidence that high levels of dietary Methionine may have negative health consequences, including a possible increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (pdf).

Adopting a vegan may be a reasonable strategy for reducing these risks. Here is a  pdf of a paper forcefully making this pint.

Dr. Greger weighs in on the low methionine diet:

Obesity and dementia

20 Jun

A study published in the March issue of the journal Obesity suggests that current projections may underestimate the prevalence of dementia in the future.

It is well know that the number of cases of dementia will increase as result of the aging of the baby boom generation. However,  these forecasts have not factored in the fact that many people now in middle age are obese and, thus, are at a higher risk for dementia.

The authors of the study project that in the United States the rate of dementia will be 9% higher than current estimates In China they project the rate will be 19% higher. They call for policies that will help reduce midlife obesity.

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