Why It Might Be Time To Eat More Mushrooms

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Some people love them, others would rather pass on them, but mushrooms are garnering a fair amount of attention in the health world at the moment. A recent study by the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS) found that eating more than two portions of mushrooms a week can seriously improve your brain functions. The study focused on a group of 600 Chinese seniors (over the age of 60) and concluded that those who ate more mushrooms were 50% more likely to fend off mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Read More…

Raise The BBQ Smoke Alarm

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If you are barbecuing this summer, remember to use a barbie, Primus stove or gas heater in the open air only, never in a confined space such as a tent or canopy. You risk chronic illness, brain damage or death. If you are going away, take a portable CO alarm, such as Fire Angel Carbon Monoxide Alarm, £24.99. For more information about CO poisoning, visit co-bealarmed.co.uk.
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Time for Plan Vitamin B

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B vitamins have been in the news for over a decade in connection with helping to prevent memory loss and possibly dementia. A friend asked me if they really work – the answer is ‘maybe’. The latest of several studies looked at 271 elderly people with mild memory problems, but not dementia, who took a daily high-dose vitamin B complex (with folic acid, B6 and B12) over 24 months. Those taking the supplement had on average 30 per cent slower brain shrinkage in areas associated with Alzheimer’s disease (one type of dementia) than those taking a placebo, probably because B vitamins are thought to lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid also linked to heart disease. According to NHS UK’s Behind the Headlines report, there is no positive proof but the results are promising.

I take a vitamin B complex daily, as well as omega-3 fatty acid, and vitamin D, in common with many health professionals I know. Try Betrinac by Cobalz, £16.95 for 28 tablets, Power of Krill by LifeFlo, £24.95 for 60 softgels, or D Lux 1000 Spray by Better You, £7.15 for 1000iu (15ml). Read More…

Bye-Bye Dry Eyes

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The Eye Doctor microwaveable eye mask, filled with natural grains, soothes our dry, red, irritated eyes after a day at the screen. It is an approved medical device for the symptoms of inflammation, styes, cysts and blepharitis. With washable cover, adjustable strap and storage pouch.

IS ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE THE SAME AS DEMENTIA?

Q: My grandma has been diagnosed with dementia but it is not Alzheimer’s disease. I am confused as I thought they were the same?

A: There are several types of dementia (much on our minds because of Mrs Thatcher), including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), vascular dementia, frontal lobe dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. Not everyone has all the symptoms of one particular type – some people are diagnosed as having mixed dementia – and they affect individuals to different degrees and progress at different rates. I suggest you ask your grandma’s doctor if there is a specific diagnosis in her case. Read More…

How to boost your brain power

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Q: I’m 50-something, and want to keep my brain sharp, stop my memory fading, and prevent Alzheimer’s if possible. Can anything help?

A: Although there are no guarantees, there is increasing evidence that simple lifestyle shifts can help cut the risk of a fading memory, brain slowdown and even dementia, say nutritionist and mental health expert Patrick Holford and co-author Jerome Burne in their latest book The 10 Secrets of Healthy Ageing (Piatkus, £14.99*). It is‘a brilliant guide to making the right choices about ageing well’, according to Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance.

Take a vitamin B supplement. Research at Oxford University showed that reducing high levels of homocysteine, a protein in the brain linked to cognitive decline, dementia and heart disease, with high-dose B vitamins helped prevent mild age-related memory loss. Try Viridian High Twelve B Complex, £14.70.
Also take vitamin D. Low levels of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ are linked to cognitive decline in the elderly; deficiency is common. Try D Lux 1000 Spray by Better You, £7.15. Read More…

Aspirin: the research behind the headlines

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Q: Should I take aspirin every day? It seems to have a lot of benefits but I gather there are risks.

A: Research suggests that a daily low dose (75mg, or a quarter of the usual dose) of aspirin may help prevent or mitigate heart disease, clot-related strokes and, most recently, cancer. But this data is not conclusive overall – in fact, some studies do not show benefits – and there are potentially serious side effects, such as internal bleeding, gastric ulcers and an increased risk of haemorrhagic stroke.

Do not take – or discontinue taking – aspirin without specific advice from your doctor. Because the benefits and risks vary so much in individuals, it is vital that your doctor assesses the balance in your situation.

Aspirin may prevent heart attacks in people who have already had one, and be appropriate for patients with a history of heart disease and after bypass surgery. This is because it reduces the risk of clots forming in blood vessels. But the British Heart Foundation (bhf.org.uk) advises that while ‘this group should continue to take aspirin as prescribed, people who don’t have heart disease shouldn’t take aspirin because the risks may outweigh the benefits’. Read More…