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11 June 2012

This Is Your Brain On Sugar: Study Shows High-Fructose Diet Sabotages Learning, Memory

ScienceDaily (May 15, 2012) — A new UCLA rat study is the first to show how a diet steadily high in fructose slows the brain, hampering memory and learning -- and how omega-3 fatty acids can counteract the disruption. The peer-reviewed Journal of Physiology publishes the findings in its May 15 edition.

"Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think," said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage."

While earlier research has revealed how fructose harms the body through its role in diabetes, obesity and fatty liver, this study is the first to uncover how the sweetener influences the brain.

Sources of fructose in the Western diet include cane sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive liquid sweetener. The syrup is widely added to processed foods, including soft drinks, condiments, applesauce and baby food. The average American consumes roughly 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Curcumin as effective as drug for RA sufferers, study shows

by Nora Simmons in New Hope 360 Blog

As more research shows the connection between inflammation and many diseases—from cancer to cognitive decline—it’s increasingly important that researchers continue to explore ingredients that promote a healthy inflammatory response.

A recent human clinical trial published in the March 2012 edition of Phytotherapy Research, demonstrated that BCM-95, a highly bioavailable form of curcumin, was as effective in alleviating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as diclofenac sodium (branded Voltaren, a leading pharmaceutical NSAID treatment).

The single-blinded pilot study was designed to determine whether twice daily supplementation with 500mg capsule of curcumin separately and in combination with diclofenac sodium (50mg) for eight weeks would improve Disease Activity Scores in patients diagnosed with active RA.

Forty-five participants were randomized to three groups (curcumin only, curcumin in combination with diclofenac sodium and diclofenac sodium only) and after eight weeks of therapy their DAS scores were reassessed along with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for reduction in tenderness and swelling of joints.

The BCM-95 curcumin group experienced the most improvement, though the score change wasn’t sufficiently higher than the combination and drug-only scores to call it an out-and-out winner, explained Cheryl Myers, chief of scientific affairs and education at EuroPharma, makers of CuraMed which uses BCM-95 to promote a healthy inflammation response.

Nonetheless, “the findings of this study are significant, as these demonstrate that curcumin was not only safe and effective, but was surprisingly more effective in alleviating pain compared with diclofenac,” wrote the study authors Binu Chandran and Ajay Goel.