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2 May 2008

Memory Training Can Turn Up Your Brainpower

New research has found that it may be possible to train people to be more intelligent, increasing the brainpower they had at birth.

Until now, it had been widely assumed that fluid intelligence, the ability to solve new problems without relevant previous experience, is innate and cannot be taught. In a new study, however, researchers described a method for improving this skill, along with experiments to prove it works.

The key was carefully structured training in working memory -- the kind that allows memorization of a telephone number long enough to dial it. This type of memory is closely related to fluid intelligence, and appears to rely on the same brain circuitry.

It is currently unknown how long intelligence gains will last after training stops, and the experiment’s design did not allow the researchers to determine whether more training would continue to produce further gains.


* New York Times April 29, 2008

There's No Such Thing as "Fit But Fat"

New research challenges the notion that you can be both fat and fit. Although simply being active can lower heart risks faced by heavy women, they cannot eliminate them.

A new study involving nearly 39,000 women helped sort out the combined effects of physical activity and body mass. Compared with normal-weight active women, the risk for developing heart disease was 54 percent higher in overweight active women and 87 percent higher in obese active women. By contrast, the risks were 88 percent higher in overweight inactive women, and about 250 percent higher in obese inactive women.

About two in five U.S. women will eventually develop heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems by the age of 50.


* Yahoo News April 29, 2008

29 April 2008

Recipe: Joint and Digestive Health Soup

This is a soup that I recommend to all my scoliosis and anyone with joint problems. The rich gelatin and mineral broth is very nourishing for your digestive system and cartilage. This is only a basic recipe so feel free to be creative with it.

1 medium whole chicken—organic, free range or kosher chicken
3 quarts of filtered water
1/2 ounce filtered water
4-6 tablespoons of moist high mineral salt
4-6 tablespoons of coconut oil
2-4 chicken feet (Optional)
8 organic carrots
6 stalks of organic celery
2-4 organic zucchini
3 medium-sized organic white or yellow onions
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
4 inches of grated ginger
5 cloves of garlic
1 large bunch of parsley (added 30 minutes before the soup is finished)

Take the largest stainless steel pot you can find and fill it with 3 quarts of purified water. Add 1 ounce of structured water concentrate (see below) and 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes. Fill pot with chicken, vegetables, sea salt and other ingredients and bring to a boil. Let boil for 60 seconds and lower heat. Simmer soup for 12-24 hours. Add parsley 30 minutes before soup is finished. Remove chicken from the bones and add chicken meat back to the soup. Remove chicken feet and discard.

For anyone suffering acute situations with high inflammation, it may be best to allow the soup to cool and blend or puree all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor.

Boost Your IQ by Choosing Your Exercise Wisely

Can exercise make you think better? In some cases, yes.

Here's what works best.
Aerobic Training
In 2006, Arthur Kramer of the University of Illinois used MRIs to prove that aerobic exercise builds gray and white matter in the brains of older adults. Later studies found that more aerobically fit grade-schoolers also perform better on cognitive tests.
Impact on intelligence: Strong

Lifting Weights
When weight lifters talk about getting huge, they aren't referring to their hippocampus. Researchers have found only the most tenuous link between heavy resistance training and improved cognitive function.
Impact on intelligence: Negligible

When facing a stressful situation or even a scary email, people often hold their breath. Yoga can break that habit. Under pressure, "most people breathe incorrectly," says Frank Lawlis, a fellow of the American Psychological Association and author of The IQ Answer. The result: more stress and less oxygen to your brain. "So the first thing that goes is your memory."
Impact on intelligence: Possibly strong

Studying on the StairMaster
A spinning class may rev up your mental muscle, but that doesn't mean you should study while huffing and puffing on the StairMaster. Research shows you'll just confuse yourself. "It's like doing something while you're driving," says Charles Hillman, a kinesiology professor at the University of Illinois. In other words, you won't do either task well.
Impact on intelligence: Negligible


* Wired Magazine April 21, 2008

Great Example of How Drug Companies Fool You With "New" Drugs

FDA just approved GlaxoSmithKline’s new drug Treximet for acute treatment of migraines in adults. So does that mean Treximet is a fabulous new breakthrough treatment for migraines?


It is a combination of Imitrex (soon to be available as a generic) and naproxen sodium (commonly known as Aleve, available Over the Counter).

How much would it cost a patient to take these 2 drugs separately?

* Naproxen sodium can be had for about 8 cents a pill. A single Aleve pill has 220 mg of naproxen sodium. There’s 500 mg of naproxen sodium in Treximet, so a patient would have to take about 2 1/4 Aleve pills to get to 500 mg. Since you can’t really take 1/4 of a pill, let’s assume most patients would take 2. 2 pills would give you 440 mg, so that’s pretty close to the 500 mg.
Cost: 16 cents.
* We don’t yet know how much generic Imitrex will cost. But the price of a generic typically drops to about 30 percent of the brand-name’s price within 6 months of the drug’s patent expiring and more generic companies introducing their own versions. So it’s safe to assume that generic Imitrex will cost about $7.50 by middle of 2009. (Even before then, the price of generic Imitrex will begin dropping from the current price of $25 a pill.)
Cost: $7.50

So, by spending $7.50 on generic Imitrex and 16 cents on over-the-counter Aleve, you can get the same thing you’d get in a Treximet — which is very likely to cost $25 or more.


* PAL April 24, 2008