Nutrition

Diet soft drinks associated with stroke and dementia

Diet soft drink consumption has been found to be associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, all-cause dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease dementia according to new research published in the medical journal Stroke. When compared with those who didn’t drink diet soft drink, those with the highest consumption increased their risk of ischemic stroke by 196% and Alzheimer’s disease by 189%.

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Nutrition

Coconut oil may improve cognitive status in Alzheimer’s disease patients

coconutTaking 40mL daily of extra virgin coconut oil for 21 days resulted in an improvement in cognitive status in Alzheimer’s patients, especially in women, those without diabetes mellitus type II, and severe patients. The researchers concluded ‘this study, although preliminary, demonstrated the positive influence of coconut oil at the cognitive level of patients with Alzheimer’s, this improvement being dependent on sex, presence or absence of diabetes and degree of dementia’.

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Nutrition

Autism symptoms improve with vitamin D supplementation

New research shows that taking 300 IU vitamin D per kilogram daily for 4 months significantly improves autism symptoms in children 3-10 years old.  A total of 109 children with autism with normal vitamin D levels were randomly assigned to receive vitamin D3 or placebo for 4 months. At the end of the treatment period, Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) scores significantly improved for children in the vitamin D group, with average scores decreasing by about 6.5 points in those receiving vitamin D. The CARS scores evaluated many factors, including emotional response, relating to people, body use, listening response, visual response, imitation, adaptation to change, and general autistic impression.

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Nutrition

Fish oil lowers risk of asthma

pregnancy4Researchers have found that taking 2.4 g of fish oil daily during the third trimester of pregnancy reduces the risk of asthma or wheeze in children by 30.7%. The effect was strongest for the children of mothers with the lowest blood levels of eicosapentaeonic acid (EPA) and docosahexaeonic acid (DHA) at the beginning of the study. For these mothers, the risk for asthma in offspring dropped by 54%. Fish oil supplementation also resulted in a 25% reduced risk of lower respiratory tract infections in children when compared to the control group.

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Herbal Medicine

Herbal mouthwash for gingivitis

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Rosemary

A polyherbal mouthwash containing hydroalcoholic extracts of Zingiber officinale, Rosmarinus officinalis and Calendula officinalis (5% v/w) was compared with chlorhexidine and placebo mouthwashes in subjects with gingivitis. Participants were instructed to use the mouthwash twice a day (after breakfast and dinner) for 30 seconds for a period of two weeks. The herbal mouthwash was shown to be effective in the treatment of gingivitis and its efficacy was comparable to that of chlorhexidine mouthwash.

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Nutrition

Higher blood levels of vitamin D reduces metabolic syndrome risk

In a study of 1790 Japanese adults, higher circulating vitamin D levels were associated with a decreased likelihood of having metabolic syndrome. Compared with those with vitamin D levels lower than 20 ng/mL, the risk of metabolic syndrome was reduced by 21% with levels of 20 – 29 ng/mL, and by 48% with levels above 30 ng/mL.

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Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy improves sleep in elderly with dementia

In a recent study researchers investigated the effects of inhalation aromatherapy on sleep disturbance in elderly individuals with dementia. In 19 participants, normal sleep was observed for a 20-day control period, inhalation aromatherapy was then applied for a 20-day intervention period, and the control and intervention periods were compared. During the intervention period, essential oils were placed nightly on towels around the participants’ pillows. The results showed total sleep time was significantly longer in the intervention period than in the control period. The duration of the longest sustained sleep period was significantly longer and early morning awakening was significantly less in the intervention period compared to that in the control period.

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