Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Are Sleeping Problems a Warning for Alzheimer’s?

sleepingproblems

Are Sleeping Problems a Warning for Alzheimer’s?

 

Trouble getting enough sleep may be linked to a bigger risk of Alzheimer’s disease for some people, new research suggests.

 

The results of the small study hint that people with a higher-than-normal risk of Alzheimer’s disease who had worse sleep quality, more sleep problems and daytime sleepiness had more markers for Alzheimer’s disease in their spinal fluid than those who didn’t have sleep issues.

 

The markers found by researchers included signs of the proteins amyloid and tau, and brain cell damage and inflammation, all linked to potential Alzheimer’s.

 

Amyloid is a protein that folds and forms plaques. Tau is a protein that forms tangles. Plaques and tangles are found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease and are considered a hallmark of the disease.

 

“This study and others in the field suggest that sleep may be a modifiable risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease,” said senior researcher Barbara Bendlin. She’s an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

 

“This will require studies that directly test whether modifying sleep has a beneficial effect on the brain,” Bendlin said.

 

So, if you’re someone who’s always tossing and turning at night, does that mean you’re destined to a future with Alzheimer’s disease?

 

Not necessarily. Bendlin said these findings cannot prove that poor sleep causes Alzheimer’s disease. “We found an association,” she said. “But that does not mean cause and effect.”

 

It’s possible changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s could affect sleep, as opposed to the other way around, Bendlin added.

 

People with markers — signs — of Alzheimer’s in their spinal fluid aren’t necessarily predestined to develop the condition either, she said.

 

“We found relationships between sleep and levels of proteins related to Alzheimer’s disease, but the proteins that we were measuring haven’t yet been shown to predict future dementia when measured in cognitively healthy people,” Bendlin said.

 

 

The study included 101 people and their average age was 63. At the time of testing, all of the study volunteers had normal thinking and memory skills. But they were considered at risk for Alzheimer’s either because they had a parent with the disease or they carried a gene that increases the risk for Alzheimer’s called apolipoprotein E, or APOE.

 

The study volunteers gave a sample of spinal fluid to be tested for markers of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

They also answered questions to judge the quality of their sleep. Examples included: “During the past four weeks, how often did you get the amount of sleep you needed?” Or “Did you get enough sleep to feel rested upon waking in the morning?” Bendlin said.

 

Although a strong association between sleep problems and Alzheimer’s markers was seen in most people, not everyone with sleep difficulty had these markers in their spinal fluid, Bendlin said.

 

For example, there was no association seen between people who had sleep apnea and markers for Alzheimer’s in their spinal fluid.

 

Other factors — such as the use of drugs to aid sleep, education, depression and weight — didn’t change the association between poor sleep and markers for Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers found.

 

One thing that could have thrown the findings off is that the participants reported their own sleep problems. It’s possible that people misreported their sleep issues or didn’t remember them correctly, the researchers said.

 

One specialist said that the association between sleep and amyloid has been seen in mice, but its effect on people isn’t clear.

 

“There is a positive feedback loop involving sleep and amyloid,” said Dr. Sam Gandy, director of the Center for Cognitive Health at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

 

In mice, the worse the sleep, the more amyloid builds up. The more amyloid builds up, the worse the sleep, he said.

 

It’s not known if this occurs in the same way in humans, Gandy said.

 

“Since our ability to slow progression of Alzheimer’s is still quite limited, this is an important area for research so that we might be able to exploit sleep regulation therapeutically,” he said.

 

Bendlin said it’s important to identify modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s because delaying Alzheimer’s disease in people by as little as five years could reduce the number of cases in the next 30 years by nearly 6 million and save $367 billion in health care costs.

 

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Dr P Carrothers

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Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Home Brewing Kombucha

Home Brewing Kombucha

Home Brewing Kombucha

 

What is all the hype about this funky tea known as Kombucha? Kombucha most likely started in China and spread to Russian over 100 years ago. It is often called mushroom tea because if the scoby that forms on the top, resembling a mushroom. Scoby is actually an acronym for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

 

Kombucha contains multiple species of yeast and bacteria along with the organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, and vitamin C. According to the American Cancer Society “Kombucha tea has been promoted as a cure-all for a wide range of conditions including baldness, insomnia, intestinal disorders, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and cancer. Supporters say that Kombucha tea can boost the immune system and reverse the aging process.” I will caution you however that there is little scientific evidence to support such strong claims.

 

For us Kombucha is fun to make, and is highly recommended among many of my holistic friends. It is naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, which is helpful for digestive health. I think it smells a little strong, but is actually pleasant tasting.

 

Instructions for Making Kombucha Tea

Ingredients

 

  • 14 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 tea bags
  • 1 cupstarter tea or vinegar
  • kombucha culture

 

Directions

 

  1. Combine hot water (14 cups for 1 gallon) and sugar (1 cup) in the glass jar you intend on using to brew the tea. Stir until the sugar dissolves. The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling.

 

  1. Place the tea or tea bags in the sugar water to steep. Use 8 tea bags for a gallon of tea. I prefer the flavor of green tea, but you can also use black tea. Try to find an organic tea. If you use loose tea leaves use 4 tbsp for a gallon of tea.

 

  1. Cool the mixture to room temperature. The tea may be left in the liquid as it cools. Once cooled remove the tea bags.

 

  1. Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid. If you do not have starter tea, distilled white vinegar may be substituted. If using vinegar use 2 cups for a gallon of tea.

 

  1. Add an active kombucha scoby (culture).

 

  1. Cover the jar with a towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Ants can smell sweet tea a mile away.

 

  1. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 68-85°F, out of direct sunlight, for 7-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.

 

Keep the scoby and about 1 cup of the liquid from the bottom of the jar to use as starter tea for the next batch. You will have the “mother scoby” that you added and a new “baby scoby” that will have formed on the top. You can reuse your mother scoby, and gift your baby.

 

The finished kombucha can be flavored, or enjoyed plain. Keep sealed with an airtight lid at room temp for an additional 7 days with added fruit if you like a fizzy drink like soda.  Otherwise store in the fridge to stop the fermentation process.  These little bottles of “hippy tea” have been popping up all over grocery stores for about $3 a bottle, but you can make it at home for about $1 a gallon. I’m not sure that it’s a cure-all, but at worst you have a delightful and affordable probiotic.

 

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Dr  S. Siewert

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Foods, Uncategorized

Szechuan Bison Stir Fry

Szechuan Bison Stir Fry

 

Szechuan Bison Stir Fry

 

Ingredients:

MEAT & MARINADE

 

  • 1.5 lb. Bison flank or sirloin
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons Mirin, sweet rice wine for cooking
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil

 

VEGETABLES

 

  • 3 celery stalks, julienned into thin, long strips
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 3 inch green onions sliced thinly, on a diagonal, into 1/2 pieces

 

SZECHUAN SAUCE

 

Mix together:

 

  • 1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1” ginger root (fresh), grated or very finely minced
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tablespoons Rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced

 

Instructions:

  1. Slice bison, across the grain, into 1/4 inch thick strips and place in a large plastic bag.

 

  1. Add mirin and soy sauce and massage into the meat. Add cornstarch, seal the bag and toss/massage to coat the meat.

 

  1. Let meat marinate for about 10 minutes.

 

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.

 

  1. Slice vegetables and set aside.

 

  1. Add sesame oil to wok or large sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat.

 

  1. Add bison to hot pan, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan – you’ll probably want to do at least 2 batches – and sauté about 2-3 minutes. Remove bison to a plate and cook remaining batches.

 

  1. Add sliced vegetables to the hot pan and cook about 1-3 minutes (depending on how tender you want them), stirring often.

 

  1. Pour in Szechuan sauce and cook about a minute, until slightly thickened.

 

  1. Add cooked bison and turn to coat in the sauce.

 

  1. Serve over jasmine rice.

 

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Dr Anne K Sullivan

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