Too much copper linked to Alzheimer's
Copper is an essential part of our diet, and can be found in tap water running through copper pipes, red meat, shellfish and fruits and vegetables. Previous research has even shown that copper may protect the brain from dementia. But, a new study in mice found that copper disrupted the blood-brain barrier, which acts as the brain’s shield.
For the study, some of the mice were fed more copper in their water, which caused a build-up of copper in their blood vessels and brain. Researchers found that this build-up interfered with the way the barrier functioned and made it more difficult for the brain to get rid of amyloid beta. (The formation of amyloid beta plaques are a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease.) In addition, researchers found that copper led to more amyloid beta being produced. The scientists acknowledge that copper is key to a healthy body, but said people might want to think twice before taking copper supplements.
Previous studies have shown mixed results. One study done on human brains, in fact, suggested the opposite was true. That study looked at copper levels and amyloid beta in human brains, and found that lower copper levels correlated with aging and Alzheimer’s, and that lower copper levels were linked to more amyloid beta in the brain tissue.
Researchers agree that more research is necessary. In the meantime, they say, people should not try to eliminate copper from their diets.
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Sourced from: BBC, Copper linked to Alzheimer’s disease
Junk food in pregnancy tied to kids' mental disorders
Eating junk food while pregnant seems like pretty typical behavior. However, researchers from Deakin University in Australia say that unhealthy eating during pregnancy can be bad for your offspring. The study found that women who eat junk food while they’re pregnant are more likely to have children with mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, conduct disorders and ADHD.
In this study, 23,000 mothers were evaluated. The diets of both mother and children were recorded during pregnancy and running through when the child was three years of age. At 18 months, three years old and five years old, moms were asked to complete questionnaires about symptoms of mental health conditions. After analyzing the data, the results suggested that women who eat more unhealthy foods have children with increased behavioral problems, such as aggression and tantrums. And it was more than just McDonald’s that defined “junk food” - this study included among unhealthy foods, sweet drinks, refined cereals and salty foods.
Children who ate more unhealthy foods in their first year of life or those who lacked nutrient-rich foods (such as vegetables) also showed increased aggression and behavior problems, as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Junk food in pregnancy linked to childhood mental disorders
Singing exercise reduces snoring
Joining a choir of taking singing lessons could help alleviate snoring problems, suggests a study from Exeter University in Great Britain. By performing vocal exercises, people can strengthen their throat muscles, and that can relieve symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes people to snore and to stop breathing in their sleep.
For this study, researchers recruited 60 chronic snorers and 60 people with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. The participants were assigned to either a group which was to perform the vocal exercises for a period of three months or to one that didn’t receive any training. The exercises were guided by a box set of three audio CDs, which took about 20 minutes a day.
At the end of the test, daily singing exercises reduced the severity, frequency and loudness of snoring and improved quality of sleep. The exercises were not thought to be difficult, and two-thirds of participants managed to finish them most days over the study period.
While some cases of snoring can be relieved with this routine, doctors still recommend that the exercises should be accompanied with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight. Being overweight is the single biggest contributor to snoring.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Singing exercises reduce snoring