Index of Posts through December 31, 2009

Index of Posts through December 31, 2009

 

TO FIND ANY POST, SIMPLY ENTER SOME KEY WORDS IN THE SEARCH BOX

 

1 in 5 U.S. kids found deficient in vitamin D

3-D Structure of Human Genome Deciphered

8 Million Americans Seriously Consider Suicide Annually

A Mind That Touches the Past

Active Elders Live Longer: Study

Acupuncture, herbal medicine become more popular in U.S.

Adding Flaxseed to Juices, Salads, Jellies Fight Prostate Cancer

Alcoholism Affects Sleep During Sober Periods

Aligning Your Chakras

Alternative Supplements Can Now Be Claimed on Your Insurance and Get a Cash Refund

Alzheimers Risk Linked to Level of Appetite Hormone

Ancient Surgeries – Trepanation and Nose Jobs

Animals Using One Side of their Brains are More Successful

Anti-Ageing Creams Could Cause Cancer

Antifungal Effects of Pumpkin Protein

Antioxidant in Melon Relieves Stress          

Ants Can Count

Anxiety, Depression Much More Common Than Thought

Appealing Health Insurance Denials

Are There Toxins in Your Herbs?

Are You Unwittingly Practicing Alternative Medicine?

Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Kidney Decline

Aspirin Is Only for Heart Patients

Aura’ Migraines a Stroke Risk

Aussie Scientists Find HIV Reservoir in Brain

Autopsy Reveals Ancient Egyptian Mummy Died of TB

Bacteria Can Transform Minerals Electrically

Bad Drug Reactions, Side Effects – 500,000 US Kids to Doctor Each Year

Basic Hygiene More Effective Against Swine Flu than Drugs

Being Too Optimistic could Harm Weight Loss Efforts

Best Vitamins for Women

Better Ventilation May Ease some Asthma

Bike Rides for Women Over 50 Can Cut 16 Years off Age

Binge Drinking Weakens Body’s Ability to Fight Infections

Biodynamic the New Organic?

Bionic Eye May Help Blind See: Retinal Prosthesis Shown To Restore Partial Vision

Blueberries Keep Brain Active In the Afternoon

Brain Function of Earthquake Survivors Acutely Affected

Brain Prods You Into Gorging on Good Food

Brain’s Face Processing Ability does Reduce with Age

Brains Can be Trained

Breakdown of Who Lacks Health Insurance by State

Breast Milk Best if Consumed as Soon as it is Expressed

 Breathalyzer Screening may Help Spot Lung Cancer Early

Breathing Technique can Reduce Asthma Severity

Brit Men Having Boob Jobs on the Rise

Broken Heart ‘Ups Heart Attack Risk’

Brown University Study Of Marijuana Use In Head And Neck Cancer

California’s Real Death Panels: Insurers Deny 21% of Claims

Calorie Restriction Reduces Disease and Extends Life

Cancer patients and their experiences of using the Internet  

Cannabis Helps Sleep Apnea

Cannabis in The Old Testament

Celiac Disease and Osteoporosis Link Brings Possible Treatment

Cherry Juice May Help Ease the Pain of Sore Muscles

Childhood Physical Abuse Linked To Arthritis, Study Finds

Chilling Brains Aids in Cardiac Care

Chinese Herbal Medicines For Preventing Diabetes In High Risk People

Chinese herbs may hold back diabetes

Chlorophyll Compounds may Help Treat Cancer

Cholesterol Crucial to Brain Development

Chronic Rhinosinusitis Patients Going for Alternative Medicine

Chyawanprash: Ancient Indian Elixir

Cities, Human Brains Evolved in Similar Ways

Cocktail with real snake venom has bite

Coffee Can Give Kids Sleepless Nights, Breathing Problems

Coffee May Stop Liver Disease

Cola Drinking Linked to Diabetes in Pregnancy

Color Therapy

Combination Heart Device Cut Chances of Heart Failure by 41 Percent

Common Abbreviations Used in Nutrition

Common Attitudes About Personal Pain

Complementary Therapies for Eczema

Comprehensive Eating Disorders Dictionary for Parents

Consciousness is Brains Wi-Fi Network

Controlling Your Breathing Helps Sea Sickness

Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?

Could This Forbidden Medicine Eliminate the Need for Drugs?

Cup of Aloe Nutritious Shake, Herbal Tea make for a Healthy Breakfast

Cup of Mint Tea is an Effective Painkiller

Curry Compound Kills Cancer

Curry Spice ‘Kills Cancer Cells’

Depressed Teens Higher Risk of Mental Health Problems in Later Life

Depression Leads to Protein Linked to Heart Disease

Determining the Quality of your Supplements.

Dietary Fiber Can Keep Diseases at Bay

Different Anxiety Disorders

Dimensions of the Most Attractive Face

Dioxin In Your Daily Life Causes Cancer

Disease-Detecting Device Vibrates with Potential

Do Multivitamins Curb Kids Allergy Risk?

Doctors Unable to Restrain Mentally Ill From Smoking

Does Acupuncture Help Your Back?

Don’t Spank Your Kids if You Want Them to be Intelligent

Don’t Watch Your Wife Give Birth or You May Get Divorced

Drinking Coffee During Midlife May Reduce the Risk of Dementia in Later Life

Dung of the Devil Plant Roots may Offer Swine Flu Cure

Eat the Butter: Study Finds Fatty Foods Help Pilots on Mental, Flying Tests

Eating Walnuts Cuts Cholesterol

Efforts to Promote Breast Feeding Urged

Egyptian Mummies Had Clogged Arteries

Elderly Women Sleep Better Than They Think, Men Nap Worse

EU Grants Nearly $2.25M For Complementary Medicine Research

Exercise can Cut Heart Disease Deaths by 60 per cent

Exercising in the Heat may Help You Eat Less

Experts Map the Body’s Bacteria

External therapy Cannabinoids Effective in Reducing Pain Patients with Herpes Zoster

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil may Help Prevent, Treat Alzheimer’s

Facebook May Boost your Brain’s Working Memory

Face-to-Face Medical Care over the Internet?

Fake Blood-Clotting Products to Heal Wounded Soldiers

Fashion and Beauty Trends in Fall Takes Toll on Health

Fibromyalgia: Treatable With Chiropractic Care and Reimbursable Through GE

Fighting Infection With Manuka Honey

FIRST-OF-ITS KIND HEALTH CARE PLAN REIMBURSES USERS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Flaxseed May Lower Cholesterol

Flickering Bright Colors Likely To Trigger Epileptic Fits

Flower Essence Therapy

For Patients Suffering With Chronic Rhinosinusitis

Forgotten Memories Still Exist in the Brain

Four Major Food Groups for a Healthy Life

Four Things You Didn’t Know About Natural Medicine

Frequent Nasal Irrigation May Increase Infections

Gene Mutation May Cause Pupils’ Low Grades

Gene Therapy May Soon Help Dieters Keep Off Weight Gain

Genetic Link Between Psychosis and Creativity Revealed

Gingko Biloba May Protect From Radiation

Glucosamine Effectiveness

Glucose Could Potentially Power Our Gadgets, Cars

Green Spaces ‘Improve Health’

Green Tea may Help Improve Bone Health

Hand Size–Not Sex–Determines Sense of Touch

Having a Pet Can Help You Stay Healthy

Health Canada Warns of Health Risks Posed by Rating Raw Bean Sprouts

Health insurance Premiums Rose Modestly in 2009

Healthy Foods that Contain Vitamin A

Heartburn Drugs Safe for Fetuses, says Israeli Study

HERBAL MEDICINES IN YOUR BACKYARD

Herbal Supplements: What to Know Before You Buy

Here is Why Evolution is Irreversible

Here’s How Exposure to Diesel Fumes Causes Cancer

Here’s What Causes Arteries To Clog Up

Here’s Why Sugar in Green Tea is a Healthy Idea

 Here’s Why Wine is Good for Health

High Dose Folate And B Vitamin Supplements Increase Uterine Cancer Risk

High-Fat Diet Harms Muscle Health in Pre-Diabetic Teens

High-Fructose Diet Increases Blood Pressure Risk

High-Protein Diets Shrink the Brain

Hippocampus Governs How We Devise Concepts in the Brain

History of Homeopathy

HIV Outwits Yet Another Microbicide

Home Remedies Series – Allergies

Home Remedies Series – Amnesia

Home Remedies Series – Anorexia

 Home Remedies Series – Anxiety

Home Remedies Series – Arthritis

Home Remedies Series – Athletes foot

Home Remedies Series – Belching

Home Remedies Series – Burns

Home Remedies Series – Colitis

Home Remedies Series – Conjunctivitis

Home Remedies Series – Cracked Heels

Home Remedies Series – Dandruff

Home Remedies Series – Dark Circles

Home Remedies Series – Depression

Home Remedies Series – Diarrhea

Home Remedies Series – Dizziness

Home Remedies Series – Edema

Home Remedies Series – Hair

Home Remedies Series – Insomnia

Home Remedies Series – Intestinal Worms

Home Remedies Series – Kidney Stones

Home Remedies Series – Obesity

Home Remedies Series – Razor Burns

Home Remedies Series – Varicose Veins

Home Remedies Series – Vertigo

Honey Sends Virility-Seeking Men to the ER

How Addictive Drugs Influence Learning and Memory

How Color Plays Musical Chairs in the Brain

How Proximity to Convenience Stores Promotes Child Obesity

How Silver is Used in Wellness

How Some People Maintain Weight Loss, Others Don’t

How the Brain Encodes Memories at a Cellular Level

How to Eliminate and Prevent Cancer

How to Get Your Medical Insurer to Cover Alternative Medicine Treatments, If you are Not USTM Patient

How to Make Antibiotics More Effective at Lower Doses

How To Relieve Pain Without Medicine

India Suggests Therapeutic Cloning

India, Nigeria, Congo Account for 40 percent Child Deaths

Individual Reactions to Traumatic Stress

Indoor Plants Can Reduce Toxic Ozone Levels

Innovative, Low-Cost Medical and Diagnostic Tests

Introducing – Aloe Vera

Introducing – Bee Propolis

Introducing – Bilberry

Introducing – CoQ10

Introducing – Devil’s claw

Introducing – DHEA

Introducing – Ephedra

Introducing – Feverfew

Introducing – Ginger

Introducing – Guarana

Introducing – Licorice Root

Introducing – Melatonin

Introducing – Milk Thistle

Introducing – Milk Thistle

Introducing – Multivitamins

Introducing – Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Introducing – Policosanol – The Natural Statin

Introducing – Saw Palmetto

Introducing – St. John’s Wort

Introducing – Tribulus

Introducing – Valerian

Introducing – Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Introducing – Vitamin C

Introducing – Vitamin E

Introducing – Vitamin K

Introducing – White Willow Bark

Introducing – Zinc

Iodine Must for Developing Kids’ Intellect

It’s Not a Tumor, It’s a Brain Worm

Keep the Body Alkaline for Optimum Health

Key Mechanism in Development of Nerve Cells Found

Know the Difference between Cold and Swine Flu Symptoms

Lack of Sunshine Vitamin Linked to High BP in Women

Laptop Save Student From Dropping Dead

Large Thighs May Protect Heart

L-Arginine is wonderful for Blood Pressure, Erectile Dysfunction, Wound Healing

Lesser Known Chinese Herbal Remedies

Light, Photosynthesis Harmful to Fresh Produce

Living Proof – A Man’s Unusual Prescription for Bone Cancer

Long Lasting Weight Loss

Loss of Loved One make Grievers Vulnerable to Heart Attacks

LSD and Cannabis Less Harmful than Alcohol, says UK Drug Expert

Lupus News

Lychee Fruit for Metabolic Syndrome

Male and Female Chromosomes do Communicate with Each Other

Males Experience Loss of Libido During Hepatitis-C Therapy

Man ‘Allergic’ to His Wife

MDs Could Learn From African Healers

Measles Vaccine Inhaler Shows Promise    

Meat Linked to Prostate Cancer

Mechanism Related to Onset of Genetic Diseases Identified

Meddling in Mosquitoes Sex Life Could Cut Malaria

Medical error is a lot more dangerous than homeopathy

Melatonin Improves Mood In Winter Depression

Memory Test Spots Pre-Dementia

Men More Vulnerable to Mental Illness, Say Experts

Mid-Life Obesity Cuts Women Chances of Healthy Survival

Mobile Microscopes Illuminate the Brain

More good news about bad times: the Great Depression increased US life expectancy

More On Life Saving L-Arginine – Heart Health

More On the Great L-Arginine – Improves Blood Flow and Exercise Capacity

More People Rely On Alternative Medicine

More Women Opting to Remove Healthy Breast After Cancer Diagnosis

Most Babies Born This Century Will Live to 100

Nanotechnology and Resveratrol

Native American Herbal Remedies No. 1

Native American Herbal Remedies No. 2

Natural Compounds in Vegetables Make Chemotherapy More Effective

Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

Natural Hydrogel May Boost Spinal Cord

New Aircraft Air Filter System Destroy 99.9% of Bugs

New Approach to Wrinkles Could Replace Botox

New Biomarker Can Bring Rapid Relief from Major Depression

New Chip Can Detect Cancer Early  

New Drug Kills Cancer Like a Stealth Slayer

New Evidence That Marijuana is Safe, Effective

New iPhone Apps to Study Human Body in 3-D

New Microchip-Based Device Can Put an End to Painful Biopsies

New Patsari Stove Smproves Women’s Lung Health

New Weight-Loss Fad Uses Tongue Patches Make Eating Painful

No Pain, No Gain Applies to Happiness too

Noisy Roads Ups High Blood Pressure Risk

Non-Invasive Way of Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Normal Ranges for the Two Types of Cholesterol

Not All Expert Advice is the Right Advice – Medical Myths

Novel Cancer Therapy Found by TA Researchers

Novel Minimally Invasive Technique to Treat Snoring

Novel Treatment Helps Paralyzed Rats Walk Again After Spinal-Cord Injury

Obese Kids Aged 12 Early Signs of Heart Disease

Obese Women have Less Chances of Enjoying Old Age

Obesity Spurs a Tide of Cancer in Europe

On-Off Fasting Helps Obese Adults Shed Pounds

ORPHCAM Project first to look at GP-CAM interface in rural areas

Oxidized Form of Vitamin A May Treat Bowel Diseases

Oxygen Therapy Can Help Cluster Headaches

Parkinson’s – A Novel Therapeutic Target

Patients in Vegetative State Can Learn, say Researchers   

Peculiar Pageant Focuses on Surgically Enhanced Beauties

People Having Social Groups Stay Healthy

People Susceptible to Colon Cancer Cut their Risk in Half with Aspirin

Pervasive E-health services using communication technology

Phobias – 540 Common Phobias

Physically Active Boys Are Smarter

Pig bristles latest cure for eye problems

Pituitary Tumor Caused World’s Tallest Man’s Gigantism

Port Wine Birthmarks Now Easy to Remove with Laser Therapy

Preservation of Antibiotics

Preventing Hepatitis

Prevention In Getting H1N1 Flu

Prospects for Brain Regenerative Medicine

PROTECT YOURSELF TOXIC CHEMICALS IN PERSONAL CARE AND SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

Protecting Your Virtual Privacy – Health Information

Qwest’s Connections Power Colorado Telehealth

Radon Gas the Second Leading Cause of Lung Cancer

Reduce the Side Effects of Antibiotics

Regular Exercise Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk

Remains of World’s Oldest Human Brain Found in Armenia

Researchers Find a Way to Block Fat Consumption

Researchers Test Smart Bandage for Wireless Vitals Monitoring

Researchers tout cheap eHealth alternative

Resynchronization Cuts Down Risk of Heart Failures

Retinal Implant Could Help Restore Part of Vision

Right Dose of Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Be Identified

Santa Should Get Off His Sleigh, Give Up Brandy and Walk

Scientists Create World’s Tiniest Laser Squeezing Light

Scientists Develop Tiny Sensor to Sniff Toxins

Scientists Identify Another Step in Memory Formation

Scientists Identify Bacterium That Helps in Formation of Gold

Scientists Map How White Blood Cells Repair Wounds

Scientists Show Blue Light Can Help Reset Sleep Cycle

Scientists Trying to Identify Sanjivani Herb

Secrets of Anti-Aging Adaptogenic Herbs

Sexually Satisfied Women Experience Greater Vitality

Sexually Satisfied Women Experience Greater Vitality

Shame Is Essential, But You Can Get Out Of It

Shockwave Therapy Shows Promise for Erectile Dysfunction

Short-Term Stress Boosts Anti-Tumor Activity

Skinny Friends with Big Appetites Bad for Weight Watching

Sleep Loss may Lead to Alzheimer’s

 Soccer Better Than Running for Womens Fitness

Social Isolation Speeds Up Breast Cancer Growth

Sodium bicarbonate helps to save countless lives every day

Some Colors Offer Better Sun Protection

 Soon, Booster Broccoli to Keep Diseases at Bay, Control Weight

Soon, Chip on the Shoulder to Remind Patients to Take Pills

Soybean Compounds Could Prevent Heart Disease, Cancer

Soybeans May Sub for Fish Omega-3

Statin Use Reduces Heart Attacks, Deaths After Surgery on Blood Vessels

Still Alive and Well – Confirmed Bicarbonate Cancer Cure

Stressed? Dark Chocolate Might Help, Scientists say

Student Study Shows Energy Drinks Don’t Boost Performance

Study Finds Women Happier than Men, While Youth Most Distressed

Study: Alternative medicine use on the rise in U.S.

Sudoku Can Make You Fat

Sunlight May Help Cancer Patients Survive

Sunshine States Really are Happiest

Superhero Comics to Help Kids Understand Diseases, Treatments

Supplement May Offer a Statin Alternative For Some

Surgical Masks Offer No Protection Against a Pandemic

Sweeteners Make Sweet Life But Promise Cancer Instead

Swine Flu Prompts Calls for Kissing Strike in Spain

Tai Chi Relieves Osteoarthritis Knee Pain: Study

Tanning Linked to Moles in very Light-Skinned Children

Teddy Bear-Shaped Nurse Robot Developed

Teen Internet Addicts More Apt to Self Harm

Teen-Age Good at Reasoning but Lack Emotional Maturity

Teenage Hormones – Watch Out

Teens Who Smoke Marijuana But Not Tobacco Are Different From Other Teen Groups

TELE-MEDICINE SERVICE OVER SATELLITE NETWORK.

Testimonies document the medicinal properties of cannabis and its derivatives

Testosterone Spray May Help Post-Menopausal Women Fight Dementia

The Cause and Treatment of Heart Disease

The Connection Between Acne and Gluten

The Dietary Supplements Labels Database

The Emergence of E-Patients

The Immunity Herb – Echinacea Purpurea

The Importance of Potassium

THE LIFE SAVING BUDWIG PROTOCOL

The Origins of Tidiness

The Purpose of Sneezing

The Truth About the Composition of Different Fats – Oils We Eat

The Wireless Revolution in Medical Devices

Thinking of Cryogenics? Here Are Some Sources

Too Many Chocolates- Mental Problems Linked to Acne in Teens

Too Much Liquorice During Pregnancy may Affect Child’s IQ and Behavior

Topical Cream for Erectile Dysfunction could Prove Safer

Touching Toes May Indicate Heart Risk

Traumatic Childhood Might Take Years Off Adult Life

Treating Multiple Sclerosis with Diet

Trouble Thinking? Better See the Dentist

Truth About RGBH Milk Hormone – Again

Two-Thirds of World’s Blind are Women: Study

Types of Holistic Healing Therapies and Treatments

UAE uses SMS to Raise Awareness about Swine Flu

Understanding Amino Acids and Proteins

US Tele-Medicine – Our Philosophy

Vitamin B6 Tied to Better Prostate Cancer Survival

Vitamin C can Help Protect DNA Damage of Skin Cells

Vitamin D Helps Improve Survival From Bowel And Skin Cancer

Vitamin D may save your life from swine flu

Vitamin Supplements Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Vitamin-Like Substance Could Slow Down Parkinson’s Progression

Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Blemish-Free Skin

Want To Boost Your Confidence – Sit Straight!

War Talks Can Boost Older Adults’ Mental Health

Warning Pictures on Cigarettes

What about Cholesterol?

What Are Nutraceuticals?

What Does Anti-Aging Mean?

What Emotions Do

What Holistic Healing Means

What is Bipolar I Disorder?

What is Blood Pressure?

What is Neurogenesis?

What is Shamanic Smudging?

What is Tele-Medicine?

What Men Should Know About Low Testesterone

What You Need to Know to Save on Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs

Which Diet Makes You Happy?

Whisky Hangover Worse Than Vodka, Study suggests

White Wine, Beer Can Ruin Appetite

White Wines ‘Bad for the Teeth’

WHO head backs role of traditional medicine Two Years Ago – So what happened?

Whole Grains May Help Blood Pressure

Why Frequent Blinking is Essential for Healthy Eyes and Optimal Vision

Why Use Bioidentical Hormones

Why We Can Remember 7 Digits In the Brain

WORLD WIDE MEDICAL CANNABIS NEWS

World’s Oldest Surviving “Medicine” System Gets Government’s OK

Yolks May Reduce Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Young Adults Likely to Outgrow Bipolar Disorder in Later Life

Your Weird Body Explained

Scientists Map How White Blood Cells Repair Wounds

WILMINGTON –  Based on more than 50 experiments with mice, scientists have mapped out the basic steps taken by a particular set of white blood cells in setting the pace for recovery after serious lung injury.

The white blood cells are called regulatory T-cells, or Tregs for short, and their best known function is to keep the body’s immune system from attacking its own healthy tissues.

“Our study results are the critical first leads in finding treatments for a clinical condition that until now has had none, despite its high mortality,” says study senior investigator Landon King, Johns Hopkins University.

“When a patient develops acute lung injury, we want the critical care medicine team to be able to do more than just stabilize the patient on a ventilator,” said King.

King says the study opens the door to a new field in research and development of drugs that either speeds up the post-injury activation of Tregs, or supplements levels of Tregs in people who may be relatively lymphocyte deficient from either lung disease or chemotherapy. Lymphocyte is the technical term for a type of white blood cell.

Some 200,000 Americans suffer some form of sudden, acute lung injury (ALI) each year, in which inflammation spreads across both lungs, making breathing difficult and starving the body of much-needed oxygen.

Among them are people with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by infection, the most severe form of ALI. Also included are burn victims, people with chest injuries from car accidents, and cancer patients who have had adverse reactions to donated platelets from blood transfusion.

Almost all people with ALI require breathing assistance from mechanical ventilators, and nearly 75,000 die each year.

The study was published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Flickering Bright Colors Likely To Trigger Epileptic Fits

LONDON – Certain flickering colors, especially red and blue in tandem, seem more likely to cause fits among epileptics, says a new study headed by a researcher of Indian origin.

Joydeep Bhattacharya at the Goldsmiths-University of London (GU-L) headed a team of researchers to probe the brain rhythms of photo-sensitivity.

In 1997, more than 700 children in Japan reportedly suffered an epileptic attack while watching an episode of a popular cartoon.

This was later diagnosed as a case of photosensitive epilepsy (a kind of epilepsy caused by visual stimulus) triggered by a specific segment of the cartoon containing a colourful flickering stimulus.

In 2007, the animated video footage promoting the 2012 London Olympics faced similar complaint from some viewers.

The researchers probed brain rhythms of photo-sensitivity among adult controls, an unmedicated patient suffering from photo-sensitive epilepsy, two age-matched controls, and another medicated patient.

Their results show that when perturbed by potentially epileptic-triggering stimulus, healthy human brain manages to maintain a chaotic state with a high degree of disorder, but an epileptic brain represents a highly ordered state which makes it prone to hyper-excitation.

Their study also found how, for example, red-blue flickering stimulus causes larger excitation than red-green or blue-green stimulus, says a GU-L release.

Long Lasting Weight Loss

BEVERLY HILLS – Weight loss diet tip – it’s hard to have lasting weight loss without taking steps to increase your healthy habits and reduce unhealthy ones. Losing weight is about burning energy – more than what is taken in.

This is how the low-carb/Atkins diets work… a low-carbohydrate diet reduces food intake, since the ketones produced by fat-burning really do curb ones appetite! It’s really not complicated – if you burn up your fat stored in the body – you WILL lose weight!

One of the most important and effective ways for losing weight and getting healthier is to avoid two kinds of foods.

Both of these foods have been linked to deteriorating health, and specifically weight gain and obesity.

The unhealthy ingredients in these foods have quietly and steadily been used in greater amounts over the last two decades in the USA…and most of us don’t know it!

Partially hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids…

One group of the foods to avoid are those that contain “Trans Fatty Acids”. These fats are found in partially hydrogenated oils – manufactured and unhealthy fats. These are oils that have had hydrogen added to them to prolong their shelflife.

They are a quiet killer hidden in food and they have been directly linked to the escalating rates of obesity in both adults and children all over the world.

There is a clear statistical increase in obesity over the last 20 years as these types of hydrogenated oils have become an increasing part of the typical American diet.

The U.S. government states that manufactured hydrogenated oils have no safe level for human consumption! There is no safe level of consumption, but it’s still in most of the products Americans eat every day.

In the USA, most of our food dollars is spent on processed foods. Government reports say that over 40% of foods found in an average grocery store contain these kinds of hydrogenated oils.

Most fast foods contain hydrogenated oils. Snacks, chips, candy bars, cookies, crackers, commercial baked goods, pastries and cakes…almost all of these processed foods contain hydrogenated oil.

How can you avoid hydrogenated oil and its effect on your health? What do you look out for?

• 1 – The first thing to do is to read the labels. Read the labels of foods you buy and look for partially hydrogenated oils. If you see those words, avoid that food. Any food that contains partially hydrogenated oils is unhealthy and will affect your weight loss program in a negative way.

Here are examples of foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils:

• cereals • cookies • cake mixes • candy bars • chips, pretzels • snacks • commercial pastries • processed foods • fast foods

What is known for sure is – you can’t lose weight and regularly eat foods containing partially hydrogenated oils.

• 2 – Ask questions. When eating out, ask if the foods you are ordering contain partially hydrogenated oils.

• 3 – Find alternative foods.The good news is – because of more media exposure about the dangers of hydrogenated oils, companies are starting to replace partially hydrogenated oils with other healthier ingredients and creating healthier versions of some of your favorite products.

McDonalds has had legal actions taken against it by concerned consumers attempting to force McDonalds to reduce or eliminate hydrogenated oils in its products. Restaurants are starting to add more natural oils and are removing partially hydrogenated oils from their kitchens.

Try to get as many organic whole foods included in your daily diet as possible. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and organic meats and dairy products will mean you won’t be filling your body with hydrogenated oils, growth hormones and antibiotics. Try to avoid processed and fast foods as much as possible.

Avoiding these hidden oils in the food you eat every day will make an important impact on your health, and will help you in reaching your weight loss goals. Add some lifestyle changes and imagine where you will be on your trip towards better health in the future!

Refined white flour products.

The other common weight loss ingredient is refined white flour. Refined white flour products stimulate the highest production of insulin.

When we consume these kinds of products, our blood sugar levels spike upward dramatically at first within the hour, then plummet downward an hour or so after…creating mood swings, hunger cravings, and pushing us toward diabetes and obesity.

Did you know that refined white flour converts into glucose in the body FASTER than white sugar? It’s true! Once you understand how the body functions in weight gain and weight loss, you can then understand what to do to have lasting weight loss without dieting.

 

Don’t Spank Your Kids if You Want Them to be Intelligent

SAN DIEGO –  Don’t spank your kids if you want them to be very intelligent. A ground-breaking research has found that children who are spanked have lower IQs.

Corporal punishment is extremely stressful and can become a chronic stressor for young children, says Murray Straus, professor at the University of New Hampshire.

“All parents want smart children. This research shows that avoiding spanking and correcting misbehavior in other ways can help that happen,” says Straus.

“It is time for psychologists to recognize the need to help parents end the use of corporal punishment and incorporate that objective into their teaching and clinical practice,” he says.

Straus found that children in the US who were spanked had lower IQs four years later than those who were not spanked.

Straus and Mallie Paschall, senior research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, studied nationally representative samples of 806 children aged two to four, and 704 kids ages five to nine. Both groups were retested four years later.

IQs of children aged two to four who were not spanked were five points higher four years later than the IQs of those who were spanked.

The IQs of children aged five to nine years old who were not spanked were 2.8 points higher four years later than the IQs of children the same age who were spanked.

Straus and colleagues in 32 nations used data on corporal punishment experienced by 17,404 university students when they were children.

“How often parents spanked made a difference. The more spanking the slower the development of the child’s mental ability. But even small amounts of spanking made a difference,” Straus says.

His analysis indicates the strongest link between corporal punishment and IQ was for those whose parents continued to use corporal punishment even when they were teenagers, says a New Hampshire release.

Straus said corporal punishment can become a chronic stressor for young children who typically experience punishment three or more times a week. For many it continues for years.

These results were presented Friday at the 14th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma in San Diego.

They have also been published in the Journal of Aggression Maltreatment & Trauma.

Obesity Spurs a Tide of Cancer in Europe

MANCHESTER – Obesity caused at least 124,000 new cancers last year in Europe, according to a new study.

The proportion of cases of new cancers were highest among women and in central European countries such as the Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovenia and Bulgaria.

“As more people stop smoking and fewer women take hormone replacement therapy, it is possible that obesity may become the biggest attributable cause of cancer in women within the next decade,” said Andrew Renehan, who led the study.

Renehan, senior lecturer in cancer studies and surgery, University of Manchester, and colleagues in Britain, The Netherlands and Switzerland, created a model to estimate the proportion of cancers that could be attributed to excess body weight in 30 European countries.

Using data from the WHO and International Agency for Research on Cancer, they estimated that in 2002 there had been over 70,000 new cases of cancer attributable to excess body mass index (BMI, height to weight ratio), out of a total of nearly 2.2 million new diagnoses across the 30 European countries.

Researchers found these numbers increased to 124,050 in 2008. “These are very conservative estimates, and it’s quite likely that the numbers are, in fact, higher,” said Renehan.

The number of new cases of obesity-related oesophageal cancer was particularly high in Britain relative to the rest of Europe. “This country accounts for 54 percent of new cases across all 30 countries,” said Renehan.

“This may be due to synergistic interactions between smoking, alcohol, excess body weight and acid reflux – and is currently an area where research is required,” Renehen said, according to a Manchester university release.

Renehen presented these findings at the 15th congress of the European Cancer Organisation and the 34th congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology.

These findings are slated for publication in the International Journal of Cancer.

PLEASE SEE OUR POST ON “BUDWIG PROTOCOL” AND “BICARBONATE” 

How the Brain Encodes Memories at a Cellular Level

SANTA BARBARA – Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory.

The team of scientists is the first to uncover a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other.

“When we learn new things, when we store memories, there are a number of things that have to happen,” said senior author Kenneth S. Kosik, co-director and Harriman Chair in Neuroscience Research, at UCSB’s Neuroscience Research Institute. Kosik is a leading researcher in the area of Alzheimer’s disease.

“One of the most important processes is that the synapses — which cement those memories into place — have to be strengthened,” said Kosik. “In strengthening a synapse you build a connection, and certain synapses are encoding a memory. Those synapses have to be strengthened so that memory is in place and stays there. Strengthening synapses is a very important part of learning. What we have found appears to be one part of how that happens.”

Part of strengthening a synapse involves making new proteins. Those proteins build the synapse and make it stronger. Just like with exercise, when new proteins must build up muscle mass, synapses must also make more protein when recording memories. In this research, the regulation and control of that process was uncovered.

The production of new proteins can only occur when the RNA that will make the required proteins is turned on. Until then, the RNA is “locked up” by a silencing molecule, which is a micro RNA. The RNA and micro RNA are part of a package that includes several other proteins.

“When something comes into your brain — a thought, some sort of stimulus, you see something interesting, you hear some music — synapses get activated,” said Kosik. “What happens next is really interesting, but to follow the pathway our experiments moved to cultured neurons. When synapses got activated, one of the proteins wrapped around that silencing complex gets degraded.”

When the signal comes in, the wrapping protein degrades or gets fragmented. Then the RNA is suddenly free to synthesize a new protein.

“One reason why this is interesting is that scientists have been perplexed for some time as to why, when synapses are strengthened, you need to have proteins degrade and also make new proteins,” said Kosik. “You have the degradation of proteins going on side by side with the synthesis of new proteins. So we have now resolved this paradox. We show that protein degradation and synthesis go hand in hand. The degradation permits the synthesis to occur. That’s the elegant scientific finding that comes out of this.”

The scientists were able to see some of the specific proteins that are involved in synthesis. Two of these — CaM Kinase and Lypla — are identified in the paper.

One of the approaches used by the scientists in the experiment was to take live neuron cells from rats and look at them under a high-resolution microscope. The team was able to see the synapses and the places where proteins are being made.

 

What Men Should Know About Low Testesterone

BEVERLY HILLS – In the male body, testosterone is the most important sex hormone.  Testosterone is responsible for development of male characteristics such as body and facial hair, muscle growth and strength, and a deep voice.  Normal levels of testosterone also influence the production of sperm, promote sexual function and promote sex drive.

We now know that some men’s bodies do not make enough testosterone.  These men may experience uncomfortable and sometimes distressing symptoms.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 4 to 5 million American men may suffer from low testosterone, but only 5 percent are currently treated.

SYMPTOMS OF LOW TESTOSTERONE

As men get older, the ability to produce testosterone declines.  This decrease in testosterone production is sometimes referred to as andropause or “male menopause.”  If testosterone levels fall below the normal range some typical symptoms may include:

·         Low sex drive

·         Erectile dysfunction (ED)

·         Increased irritability or depression

·         Fatigue

·         Reduced muscle mass and strength

·         Inability to concentrate

·         Decreased bone density; osteoporosis

In addition to age-related low testosterone, there are certain medical conditions that can cause low testosterone.  These medical conditions can begin in youth or in adulthood, and can affect testosterone levels throughout a man’s life.  Some of these conditions are associated with the testicles, pituitary gland and/or hypothalamus (a part of the brain that controls many of the body’s glands).  Occasionally, the problem can be genetic.

In younger men, low testosterone production may reduce the development of body and facial hair.  Muscle mass and genitals may not develop normally, and younger men’s voices may fail to deepen.

BE SURE TO GET SCREENED

If you experience symptoms associated with low testosterone, you may want to ask your doctor about getting your testosterone levels checked.  Your primary care physician can check your testosterone levels with a simple blood test and treat you if you have low testosterone.  You might also ask your primary care physician about a referral to an endocrinologist or urologist who specializes in treating conditions such as low testosterone.

Regular checkups and age-appropriate screenings can improve your health and extend your life.  Consider adding regular screening for low testosterone to other screenings as part of your checkup.

IF YOU HAVE LOW TESTOSTERONE

If you do have low testosterone, the good news is that the condition is treatable.  There are several FDA-approved testosterone replacement therapies, including:

    * Injections

    * Patches

    * Clear gel that you rub on your arm every morning

Talk to your doctor about which option may be best for you.

Why Use Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical hormones are hormones that are identical to what the human body makes. Why do drug companies seldom make and sell bioidentical hormones?

The reason is – since the late 1800’s, U.S. laws allowed medicines to be patented ONLY if they were NOT naturally occurring substances. If a drug company discovered a natural substance that could be used medically, anyone else could also use/make/sell that substance.

So what the drug companies do is to create synthetic hormones that are intentionally different. Examples are Premarin, Prempro and Provera – these synthetic drugs are different in their molecular structure from the estrogens and progesterone found in the human body.

And the problem with synthetic drugs is – since they are different from what occurs naturally in the human body, the body treats them differently and the result is often harmful side effects.

Even though bioidentical hormones have been around for a long time, the majority of doctors are not familiar with them. Today’s doctors are ordinarily schooled and trained in synthetic drug therapy, not natural medicine.

Finding bioidentical doctors and bioidentical hormone doctors can be done. For example, holistic doctors and naturopathic doctors are regular medical doctors with additional training and experience in using bioidentical hormones.

A holistic medical doctor uses a combination of conventional Western medicine and alternative medicine. A holistic doctor incorporates one or more types of complementary medicine into their medical practice.

This complementary medicine could be acupuncture, herbal therapy or homeopathy. For instance, while undergoing treatment for cancer using radiation, the patient might receive herbal therapy to strengthen the immune system.

Naturopathic physicians are medical doctors that work to restore and support the body’s systems by using medicines and techniques that are in harmony with natural processes.

A naturopathic physician will prefer treatments which keep the risks of harmful side effects at a minimum. Naturopathic doctors will use bioidentical hormones when appropriate, which are safer and with few or no side effects when used correctly.

They are trained to know which persons they can treat – they also know which patients should be referred to other health care practitioners. Since every illness has an underlying cause, a naturopathic physician is trained to find and remove the underlying causes of a disease.

That may include adjusting the diet or lifestyle of the patient, for example. A naturopathic physician will treat the whole person, taking all the factors into account.

Natural progesterone is necessary for the appropriate and balanced supply of all steroids hormones and the increase of energy production.

Bioidentical hormones like natural progesterone supplementation, high quality vitamins/supplements and good Omega-3 fish oil supplements will provide you great health benefits and are a regular part of their recommendations.

Vitamins are essential to improve men and women’s health. This will give you a increased sense of wellbeing, more energy, increase your sex drive, will give you a healthier heart and can help you with some hormone imbalance symptoms.

Best Vitamins for Women

BEVERLY HILLS – Quality vitamins for women should perform important functions such as slowing the aging process, strengthening the immune system, increasing energy levels and supporting the balancing of the female hormones.

When considering which daily vitamins for women to take, keep in mind that the least costly ingredients are the vitamins and minerals. A woman’s body also needs a variety of anti-aging natural substances that are proven by clinical studies to provide specific health benefits.

Taking a high-quality anti-aging daily supplement helps fill in the dietary gaps that every woman will have. What woman really consumes the recommended 5-9 daily servings of vegetables and fruits each day? It’s difficult for anyone to do…

For example, your body will use nutrients such as amino acids, antioxidants, bioflavanoids, neuronutrients, enzymes and specialized substances such as L-Carnosine, alpha lipoic acid, acetyl L-Carnitine and so on.

And women have the need for certain nutrients that are different than men, nutrients that help support the balancing of the female hormones so necessary for good health.

Every woman in her 30’s and over MUST be providing her body with certain nutrients to be healthy. And taking one-a-day drugstore or supermarket vitamins for women is probably a waste of time and money.

Today’s women have special concerns when looking to find vitamins for women that help provide needed protection from illness.

For example, osteoporosis affects a large percentage of older women, and this condition typically begins in a woman’s 30’s. Daily dietary calcium and magnesium supplementation along with other nutrients that assist in absorption should be considered essential for any woman over 40.

Heart health has to be considered vital for a woman as she ages – and essential fatty acids are needed on a regular basis for a healthy heart. The need for women to have a healthy dietary balance of the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is well-documented in clinical trials.

Breast health and reproductive system health must be considered a high priority for today’s woman. Providing your body with nutrients that support the body’s immune system function and healthy tissue is essential when looking to find vitamins for women. These vitamins for women will provide the nutrients essential for good health.

HIV Outwits Yet Another Microbicide

LONDON – The largest study ever conducted of a microbicide designed to prevent HIV infection has resulted in yet another case of high hopes being dashed about a promising product. Earlier in the year, a smaller study of the same vaginal gel gave a hint that it might offer modest protection, but the new results put the question to rest. “It doesn’t work,” says clinical epidemiologist Sheena McCormack, who ran the four-country study for the Clinical Trials Unit of the U.K.’s Medical Research Council.

McCormack says the data mark the end of the road not just for this vaginal gel but the whole class of microbicides that use nonspecific compounds to prevent HIV-infection. The placebo-controlled trial in nearly 9500 women tested a gel called PRO 2000, a so-called polyanion that prevented the AIDS virus from entering human cells in test-tube and monkey studies. The 4-year, $44 million study at six sites in sub-Saharan Africa found no difference between the equally sized treatment and placebo arms of the study: There were 130 HIV infections in the women who used PRO 2000 and 123 in those who used a dummy gel.

Researchers in the beleaguered HIV-prevention field often see glimmers of hope even in dispiriting results from clinical trials–witness the recently completed AIDS vaccine study in Thailand. But that is not the case with these findings. “When I first looked at the data with the statistician I said, ‘You’re not going to need any more analysis, are you?’ ” said McCormack, who is based in London. “It’s really clear-cut.”

In February, a similar study of PRO 2000 that only involved about one-third as many women found 30% fewer HIV infections in the treated group , but with a p-value of 0.10–a positive trend that did not reach statistical significance. That $90 million study, financed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), startled many in the field who, based on other failures of nonspecific microbicides, had predicted the product would do nothing. But McCormack notes that the new results actually are consistent with the data from the earlier trial, which had a wide confidence interval and included the possibility that the product did not work.

McCormack says there’s one upside of the failure: It informs future clinical trials. Because the findings clearly show that the positive test-tube and monkey studies of PRO 2000 were misleading, researchers now know to use more stringent requirements to deem a product worthy of human trials.

Meddling in Mosquitoes Sex Life Could Cut Malaria

LONDON  — Interfering in mosquitoes’ sex lives could help halt the spread of malaria, British scientists said.

 A study on the species of mosquito mainly responsible for malaria transmission in Africa, Anopheles gambiae, showed that because these mosquitoes mate only once in their lives, meddling with that process could dramatically cut their numbers.

Researchers from Imperial College London found that a “mating plug” used by male mosquitoes to ensure their sperm stays in the right place in the female is essential for her to be able to fertilize eggs during her lifetime.

Without the mating plug, sperm is not stored properly and fertilization is disrupted, they wrote in the study in the journal PLoS Biology.

“The plug plays an important role in allowing the female to successfully store sperm in the correct way inside her, and as such is vital for successful reproduction,” Flaminia Catteruccia of Imperial’s life sciences department wrote.

“Removing or interfering with the mating plug renders copulation ineffective. This discovery could be used to develop new ways of controlling populations of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, to limit the spread of malaria.”

Around 40 percent of the world’s population is at risk of malaria, a potentially deadly disease which is transmitted via mosquito bites.

It kills more than a million people worldwide each year and children account for about 90 percent of the deaths in the worst affected areas of sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia.

Catteruccia’s team analyzed the composition of the male mosquito’s mating plug and found it is formed when an enzyme called transglutaminase interacts with proteins in the male mosquito’s seminal fluid. This interaction causes the fluid to clot into a gelatinous solid mass, known as the mating plug.

When the researchers knocked out the enzyme in male mosquitoes in the lab, the plug could not form, meaning reproduction failed when they mated.

If this process could be developed for use in the field, perhaps in a spray form like an insecticide, it could “effectively induce sterility in female mosquitoes in the wild,” Catteruccia wrote, offering potential as “one more weapon in the arsenal against malaria.”

Health experts want more effort to go in to a multi-pronged approach to fighting malaria, combining prevention measures like insecticides and bed nets with improved access to the best drug treatments in highest risk areas.

The World Health Organization said last week that increased funding was starting to pay off in the battle against the killer disease.

Melatonin Improves Mood In Winter Depression

PORTLAND – Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) have found that melatonin, a naturally occurring brain substance, can relieve the doldrums of winter depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. The study is publishing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The study was led by Alfred Lewy, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally recognized pioneer in the study of circadian (24-hour) rhythm disturbances, such as those found in air travelers and shift workers, as well as in totally blind people.

Lewy and his colleagues in the OHSU Sleep and Mood Disorders Lab set out to test the hypothesis that circadian physiological rhythms become misaligned with the sleep/wake cycle during the short days of winter, causing some people to become depressed. Usually these rhythms track to the later dawn in winter, resulting in a circadian phase delay with respect to sleep similar to what happens flying westward. Some people appear to be tracking to the earlier dusk of winter, causing a similar amount of misalignment but in the phase-advance direction. Symptom severity in SAD patients correlated with the misalignment in either direction.

The treatment of choice for most SAD patients is bright light exposure, which causes phase advances when scheduled in the morning. Because patients know when they are exposed to bright light, however, there is a considerable placebo response associated with it. Melatonin can also cause phase advances, but it has to be taken in the afternoon. The Lewy team used afternoon melatonin to test if it was more antidepressant than melatonin taken in the morning, which causes phase delays.

The researchers randomly assigned 68 SAD patients to one of three treatment groups, taking placebo capsules or melatonin in the morning or afternoon for three weeks. After four years of study, they concluded that, similar to persistent jet lag, circadian misalignment is a major part of SAD.

Most patients, typically phase-delayed types or “night owls,” have misalignment that responded best to taking low-dose melatonin in the afternoon or evening. A longer-than-expected subgroup of SAD patients, phase-advanced types or “morning larks,” responded best to taking low-dose melatonin in the morning. Melatonin did not cause drowsiness, because the doses used were lower than what is usually taken at bedtime.

In addition to bright light exposure, another treatment may be in the offing once low-dose, sustained-release melatonin formulations become available. “However, people in the phase-advanced subgroup should use these treatments at different times of the day than the typically phase-delayed type of patient,” explained Lewy, adding that more research is needed.

Lewy is the Richard H. Phillips Professor of Biological Psychiatry, senior vice chairman of psychiatry, and director of the Sleep and Mood Disorders Lab, OHSU School of Medicine

PLEASE SEE OUR POST ON “INTRODUCING – MELATONIN

Scientists Show Blue Light Can Help Reset Sleep Cycle

TROYTeenagers’ morning drowsiness is often caused by out-of-tune body clocks, in a condition known as “delayed sleep phase syndrome.” Scientists now say that timing exposure to blue light — avoiding it during the first two hours of being wake, then getting a good dose of it — can help restore the sleep cycle, so teens feel sleepy earlier at night and are more awake in the morning.

Teenagers are notorious for staying up late, hitting the snooze button and always running late. Now, however, new research shows they can adjust to a schedule simply by sitting in front of a light.

Erin Chesky knows just how hard it is to get up because she battled getting to sleep. “I would just stare at the ceiling, and then I would have to wake up at 5:30 or 5 o’clock to go to school, and I would be tired,” she says.

The 16-year-old was diagnosed with delayed sleep phase syndrome. That means Erin‘s internal clock didn’t match what was her alarm clock was saying.

Mariana Figueiro, from the Lighting Research Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., says, “When your watch says it’s 7 o’clock in the morning, you want your internal clock to also say it is 7 o’clock in the morning.”

Lighting scientists have found a quick fix to the internal and external alarm clock miscommunication — a blue light. “If you apply the light after your minimum core body temperature, you’re going to advance the clock so you’re going to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier the next cycle,” Figueiro says. The minimum core body temperature is reached about two hours before a person naturally wakes up.

“When you get the teenager up, outdoors, waiting for the school bus at 7 o’clock in the morning, they may be getting light at the wrong phase,” Figueiro says. This exposes teens to natural blue light too early. By wearing the goggles when teens wake up, blue light is blocked out. Then, later in the morning — after their minimum core body temperature is reached — teens can reset their internal clocks by being out in the light.

Blue light exposure worked quickly for Erin. She’s now able to fall asleep by 10:30.

An easy way schools can help is by giving students a quick mid-morning break to go outside or put blue LEDs around computer screens in classrooms. By getting enough blue light at the right time, sleep patterns can not only be changed in teens, but also in the elderly and shift workers.

BACKGROUND: Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are studying how light — especially blue light — affects our body’s daily rhythms. By getting enough blue light at the right time and blocking it out at others, it is possible to correct distorted sleep patters for the elderly (who tend to wake up too early), teenagers (whose internal clock is usually set for late nights and sleep-in mornings), and shift workers.

HOW BODY RYHTHMS WORK: Circadian rhythms are biological cycles in the body that repeat approximately every 24 hours, including the sleep/wake cycle, along with body temperature, hormone levels, heart rate, blood pressure, and pain threshold. The brain has its own internal “pacemaker” that determines when nerve cells fire to set the body’s rhythms, although scientists can’t precisely explain how it does so.

The colors of the light spectrum can affect the body’s rhythm differently, particularly when it comes to sleep patterns. For instance, daylight is dominated by short, visible wavelengths of light that provides a blue visual sensation, like the blue sky. But l how bright the light is, how far away, how long you’re exposed and when you’re exposed to light also have to be considered. Also, we are more likely to sleep soundly in the wee hours of the morning, when our body temperature is lowest, and most likely to awaken when our body temperature starts to rise, usually between 6 AM and 8 AM. As we age, the brain’s “pacemaker” loses cells, changing circadian rhythms, especially sleep patterns. The elderly may nap more frequently, have disrupted sleep, or awaken earlier.

RESETTING THE CLOCK: The RPI researchers developed a method for resetting the internal “master clock” in studies of both teens and the elderly. The scheme removes blue light at certain times (depending on how one wants to “reset the clock”) by wearing orange glasses, followed by exposure to blue light and darkness at nighttime. The key is a distinct, repeated pattern of light and dark.

SLEEP STAGES: Stage 1: drowsiness. Stage 2: light sleep. Stages 3 and 4: deep sleep. Stage 5: Rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. REM is when people dream, perhaps because the brain is more active and the muscles are relaxed. These five stages occur cyclically; a person may complete five cycles in a typical night’s sleep.

A Mind That Touches the Past

EDINBURGH – Imagine planning your schedule for the week and seeing the days on the calendar appear before you as a spiral staircase so real you feel like you could touch it. That’s what it’s like to have spatial-sequence synesthesia, a condition in which people perceive numbered sequences as visual patterns. Now researchers have shown that individuals with the condition have superior memories, recalling dates and historic events much better than can the average person.

Spatial-sequence synesthesia is one of several types of synesthesia, neural conditions in which senses combine in unusual ways. Grapheme-color synesthetes, for example, associate letters and numbers with colors; the number six might always look red to them. In other types of synesthesia, the word “cat” may create the taste of tomato soup, or the sound of a flute may appear as a blue cloud.

Recently, scientists have wondered if synesthesia–especially spatial-sequence synesthesia–might be linked to a superior ability to form memories. So psychologist Julia Simner of the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom tested for unusual mnemonic skills or other mental talents in 10 spatial-sequence synesthetes. Subjects had to quickly recall the dates of 120 public events occurring between 1950 and 2008, such as the year Nelson Mandela was freed from jail in South Africa (1990) or the year My Fair Lady won the Academy Award for best picture (1965). On average, non-synesthetic volunteers were off by about 8 years for each date, but the synesthetes were wrong by only about 4 years. They could also name almost twice as many events from specified years in their own lives than could the controls. “They have this subtle extra gift,” says Simner.

The findings, reported in the November-December issue of Cortex, also suggest a link between spatial-sequence synesthesia and hyperthymestic syndrome–a condition in which individuals can recall events from any point in their life with perfect clarity. And that may mean, says Simner, that anyone who visualizes timelines may remember historical events better than others.

The study jibes with our knowledge of how memory works, says neuroscientist David Eagleman of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. “Putting things in spatial locations to memorize them harks back to the earliest mnemonic techniques that we know,” he says. “These spatial-sequence synesthetes are getting that for free.”