~ Overeating May Damage the Brain
Overeating may not just increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes or cancer -- it may also be damaging your brain.
A United States neuroscientist has found evidence that the risk of developing brain disorders such as Parkinson's Disease could be reduced by simply eating less.
Mounting evidence shows that restricting how much we eat may slow down the ageing process and allow us to live longer.
Dr Mark Mattson, who leads a research team at the US National Institute on Ageing, decided to look at whether the brain could also benefit from a low-calorie diet.
The prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Science this month published Mattson's study comparing monkeys fed a diet with 30 per cent fewer calories, with monkeys on a normal diet.
After six months the monkeys from both groups were treated with a toxin which induces a Parkinson's- type brain disorder. The monkeys who had been on a reduced-calorie diet showed "significantly" better control over their movement than those who ate normally. They also had higher levels of dopamine, the key hormone whose loss leads to the symptoms of Parkinson's.
The diet monkeys also had higher levels of a growth factor (GDNF) which has previously been linked to reducing the symptoms of Parkinson's.
Mattson told the BBC his study showed that restricting calories could protect the brain.
This could be because the monkeys on a restricted diet responded to the stress by increasing the production of proteins that helped the body cope with stress and resist disease.
Mattson's latest research follows other animal studies showing strenuous exercise may ward off the effects of Parkinson's.
Parkinson's New Zealand already advises sufferers to get 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day.
There are about 8000 New Zealanders with the disease.
Nutrition Foundation honorary medical and scientific director professor Cliff Tasman-Jones said there was some "soft" evidence that Alzheimer's "may be increased to a certain extent" in people who were obese or had obesity-related conditions.
"There is (also) some reasonably good evidence that if you have a diet which has a reasonably good amount of omega 3 fat, this seems to have some protective effect against Alzheimer's.
"So there is some evidence that diet can have an effect (on the brain)."
However, he cautioned against applying an animal study to humans.
Auckland University anatomy professor Richard Faull said he had not heard of Mattson's research but it was already known that diet had an impact on the brain.
"A balanced diet with certain vitamins and fatty acids are very critical to the brain."
While Mattson's work would have to be substantiated by further studies Faull said it was "an interesting suggestion".
Free Shipping in the Continental U.S. on Orders over $50
The statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. The foregoing statements are based upon sound and reliable studies, and are meant for informational purposes. Consult with your medical practitioner to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. Please always check your purchase for possible allergins and correct dosage on the bottle before use.
While we work to ensure that product information is correct, on occasion manufacturers may alter their ingredient lists. Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and/or different information than that shown on our Web site. We recommend that you do not solely rely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product. For additional information about a product, please contact the manufacturer. Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Life Ex Online assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements about products.