Tea and its power on brain connectivity

Here in good old Blighty it would be hard to find someone who didn’t enjoy a cuppa. For many an old fashioned cup of tea is a perfect start to the day and a much needed “pick me up” all day long. Now recent studies have shown that the feel good factor might be because of improved brain connectivity and cognitive function. Scientists have discovered that drinking tea may even protect the brain from age associated decline due to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. And before you start thinking that your favorite cup of Tetleys couldn’t possibly be as good for you as green tea or oolong tea, well black tea drinkers too were found to have superior cognitive funtion and memory than non tea drinkers. However, green tea drinkers in large quantities enjoyed much better performance in memory tests and brain connectivity. Currently, much of the research carried out to date has explored preventative effects of tea on cognitive decline, but there are also some exciting developments that may point to tea as a treatment for dementia. There’s nothing like a cup of black tea in the morning and I then move on to green tea throughout the day. Nowadays it comes in so many varieties (and Tetleys make green tea blended with black tea too) that you will always find one to tantilise your...

Does Drinking Water Lower The Risk Of Developing Diabetes?

Developing diabetes is a fear that many of us have, but there is some good news! Recently, scientists have reported that a hormone known as vasopressin regulates blood sugar and water retention. Dehydration leads to the production of blood sugar in the liver, which may over time inhibit our body’s ability to produce or react to insulin. A 2011 Study in the Diabetes Care journal examined the effect of water consumption on the blood sugar levels of 3,000 French adults over the course of a decade. Those who consumed over 17 ounces of water a day (that’s 500ml) were at a 30% lower risk of developing Type-II diabetes. The researchers controlled for other aspects of the volunteers’ routines that might have influenced hydration such as the consumption of other liquids and their exercise habits. All of this evidence points toward the value of proper hydration- and makes drinking bottled or filtered water seem like a wise practice. We are all told that we must drink at least 2L water per day, this is another reason to follow the guidelines....

Can Exercise Stave Off Alzheimer’s?

The loss of identity and self that goes hand in hand with Alzheimer’s is a spectre that scares most people, especially as we lack the craft to cure the condition at present. In the absence of pharmacological remedies, are there any aspects of our lifestyles that might influence our risk of contracting the disease, or even slow its progress? Scientists published a study this month in The Archives of Neurology that tackled this question by investigating the role of exercise in Alzheimer’s pathology. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis recruited 201 adults with a family history of the disease but no clinical symptoms. The participants performed well on mental tests indicating that they were cognitively normal. They also filled out questionnaires about their exercise habits during the past decade. Recently, many studies have looked at whether being active can lessen someone’s risk for Alzheimer’s, but with inconsistent results. The new study was more sophisticated as it also genetically typed the volunteers to see who was at the greatest risk of developing the condition. For these individuals, exercising for at least 30 minutes five times a week reduced the plaque deposits found in the brain which are associated with Alzheimer’s. In fact the brain scans of these individuals resembled those of people who were not genetically predisposed to the condition. Indeed, the study authors wrote that “activity levels, which are potentially modifiable, could have an impact on plaque accumulation — and presumably on the course of Alzheimer’s — in people with a genetic predisposition to the condition”. At present, we don’t know whether beginning to exercise after plaques have started to build up might alter the progress of the disease. Dr Denise Head, who led the study said that experiments in mice bred to develop memory loss “have shown that elderly animals that began a running program benefited.” They...

Health Care For Men: Simple Checks Can Be Life Saving

Since men are notorious for avoiding the doctor when they feel ill, health care for men and simple health checks may just be life saving.  You might think that these little niggles are part of life, but read on: Diabetes Many men suffer from type 2 diabetes without knowing they have it.  But there are some indicators that one should watch for, such as having a large midriff or pot belly, if there is a close relative with diabetes and also age is a factor with men over 40 years of age being more at risk than those below 40. Diabetes is dangerous if not controlled effectively, with conditions like blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and stroke being some of the complication of this disease. Watch for high thirst levels, tiredness and passing water frequently, though often there are no symptoms at all.  A simple blood test can determine whether or not there are unusually high levels of glucose that can indicate diabetes. High cholesterol High cholesterol is one of the largest risk factors for heart disease and heart attacks.  Cholesterol can build up over time within the arteries, leading to hardening and narrowing that inhibits the flow of blood.  If not enough oxygen is circulated to the heart, chest pains are the first warning sign, if the supply cannot reach a section of the heart, a heart attack ensues. Being overweight and inactive can put one at a higher risk.  A blood test can reveal if there is high cholesterol and certain lifestyle changes in exercise and diet must be observed to keep healthy. Blood Pressure High blood pressure can be a real threat to health, with around one in four people of middle age reported to suffer from it.  It can be threatening as it can lead to heart and kidney disease and strokes.  Men with high...

What is Diabetes?

What is Diabetes exactly? It is a condition of the body where the the amount of glucose in the blood becomes too high, as insulin levels are not sufficient to control blood sugar.   Insulin is a vital hormone produced by the pancreas and keeps glucose levels in check by allowing it to be used as fuel for the body.  Sometimes this mechanism does not work properly.  The information in this article has been gathered mainly from the British Dietetic Association, as its angle is towards food recommendations, but there are some added tips based on other research. The two main types of Diabetes: Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce any insulin at all, this is essential for the body so it has to be obtained through insulin injections. Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body has some ability to produce insulin, but not enough for it to function properly or if the insulin produced does not work in the correct way – this is called “insulin resistance”. To avoid future health complications, it is advised to reach and maintain optimum balance of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose.  The control of these elements is vital to health and wellbeing and the inclusion and exclusion of certain foods needs to be tightly monitored alongside exercise.  However, the more control you have over these factors, the better you can cope from the effects from an occasional lapse. It is recommended to visit a dietitian at the point of diagnosis, you can visit one through your GP on a one to one basis or as part of a group.  Diabetes UK is a good starting point for comprehensive information: it is the UK’s national diabetes charity and for more in healthy eating you can visit the Food Standards Agency website. Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 Diabetes needs...