Whole Life Magazine

August/September 2019

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August/September 2019 11 A re you a night owl? How do you usually feel the next day? Turns out you don't have to be a slave to your late night/late morning sleep habits. With simple changes, you can shift your inner timeclock (aka circadian rhythm) and reap a host of positive benefits. Later-than-usual sleep/waking has been linked to a number of health issues including lower cognitive and physical performance, daytime drowsiness, depression, and stress as well as higher morbidity and mortality rates. In a study out of the Universities of Birmingham and Surrey in the UK, and Monash University in Australia, researchers enlisted 22 healthy subjects over a three-week period. Participants were instructed to: u Wake up 2-3 hours before regular wake-up time and maximize outdoor light during the mornings. u Go to bed 2-3 hours before habitual bedtime and limit light exposure in the evening. u Keep sleep/wake times fixed on both work days and free days. u Have breakfast as soon as possible after waking up, eat lunch at the same time each day, and refrain from eating dinner after 7 pm. As a result, subjects were able to adjust their body clocks by two hours. In doing so they had increased cognitive (reaction time) and physical (grip strength) performance in the morning. Subjects also saw a shift in peak performance times from evening to afternoon. In addition, they ate breakfast more often which improved their mental well-being. "Establishing simple routines could help 'night owls' adjust their body clocks and improve their overall physical and mental health. Insufficient levels of sleep and circadian misalignment can disrupt many bodily processes putting us at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes," Professor Debra Skene from the University of Surrey said. healthy living By Laura G. Owens Rock Body YOUR R egular oral hygiene isn't only about saving your teeth and gums, it also lowers your risk of developing Alzheimer's and slows the progression in people who already have the disease. It's long been known that the bacteria that causes gingivitis can travel from the mouth to the brain. The protein produced by the bacteria destroys nerve cells which leads to memory loss and Alzheimer's. But for the first time, researchers have DNA-evidence for this process by studying human brains. Even more exciting are the treatment implications. "We have managed to develop a drug that blocks the harmful enzymes from the bacteria, postponing the development of Alzheimer´s. We are planning to test this drug later this year," says researcher Piotr Mydel. He recommends people maintain good oral hygiene and regularly see their dentist, especially if they have gingivitis and have also been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. L ooking for a natural remedy proven to combat the flu? Try black elderberry. This fruit rich in antioxidants has been found to have potent anti-viral effects against influenza. While researchers have long known about elderberry's anti-viral properties, a 2019 study conducted for the Australian Food Processing Industry discovered exactly how compounds in elderberries inhibit the flu virus's entry and replication in human cells, which in turn boosts immune response. "It inhibits the early stages of an infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells," said Dr. Golnoosh Torabian, one of the researchers on the study. It turns out phytochemicals from elderberry juice not only stopped the virus from infecting cells early on, but they were even more effective at inhibiting viral propagation at late stages of the influenza cycle after the cells had already been infected. Elderberry's anti-viral activity is also related to its anthocyanidin compounds, phytonutrients responsible for giving the fruit its vivid purple coloring. GOOD DENTAL HYGIENE LOWERS ALZHEIMER'S RISK ELDERBERRY IMPROVES FLU SYMPTOMS NIGHT OWLS CAN SHIFT THEIR BODY CLOCK TO IMPROVE WELL-BEING AND PERFORMANCE

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