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In This Issue

Surprising Ways to Fight Fatigue, Boost Mood & Prevent Stroke

Growth And Bone Health In Kids With IBD

The Perks of Coffee

Did You Know?

Special Offers


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Surprising Ways to Fight Fatigue, Boost Mood & Prevent Stroke

Pierce J. Howard, PhD, a leading cognitive science researcher and cofounder and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Studies in Charlotte, North Carolina offers some tips to fight fatigue, boost mood, prevent stroke, and more. He says recent brain research has revealed ways to significantly improve memory and mental ability along with practical ways to prevent stroke and other brain diseases, including Alzheimer's.


    New finding: People learn more efficiently when they maintain an optimal level of stress. A principle called the Yerkes-Dodson Law has shown that a certain amount of stress (arousal) motivates people to try harder.

    Balance is the key. People who experience very little stress-when taking a test or writing a paper, for example-tend to make errors of omission, such as forgetting to complete all the answers. People who experience too much stress make errors of commission, such as hitting the wrong computer keys.


    People who consume moderate amounts of chocolate have better brain circulation and can reduce their risk of stroke. Cocoa beans-the main ingredient in chocolate-contain natural antioxidants called cocoa flavonoids. The flavonoids in chocolate are more powerful than vitamin C at limiting fatty deposits (plaque) in arteries in the brain and heart. Buildups of plaque can impair mental performance and are the main cause of strokes.

    Have a cup of cocoa or two small squares of a bar of chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the better. According to the ORAC scale - a measure of the antioxidant levels in foods - dark chocolate has double the amount of antioxidants of milk chocolate.


    Nearly everyone gets sleepy after lunch. You can prevent this afternoon slump by eating protein first during lunch, then carbohydrates. The protein triggers an energy-promoting amino acid in the brain.

    Start your meal with a bite or two of protein. This allows the L-tyrosine to reach the brain before the L-tryptophan. But don't just eat protein - carbohydrates are your body's main source of fuel.


    The incidence of depression and suicide is much lower in countries like Norway and Japan, where people eat the most fish - the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s can help prevent and treat variety of disorders, including bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Eat 3 to 4 fish servings weekly to get more omega-3s. Or you can eat nuts if you prefer. Ten to 15 walnut halves or 15 to 20 pecan halves provide the recommended daily amount of omega-3s.


    Scientists have found that when the brain goes into an "alpha state" - characterized by brain waves that are slower than the beta waves of wakefulness - people often develop insights, along with more focus and energy.

    Shut your eyes and let your mind relax for 5 to 10 minutes. Resting in this fashion is not sleeping. People who slip into true sleep are groggy and less alert when they wake up.


    You'll learn most efficiently when you focus on one thing at a time, then take a break before moving on to new material. Otherwise, the new information will crowd out the previous learning.

    If you're in school, studying for a professional exam or just trying to learn a new skill, save the beginning of each day for major new learning. Use the rest of the day for practice and repetition.

    Suppose you're learning a new language, such as Spanish. You might spend the morning memorizing verbs with "-ir" endings. Practice this during the day or practice material learned on previous days, but don't introduce verbs with "--er" endings until the next day.

Growth And Bone Health In Kids With IBD

Francisco Sylvester, MD., Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Connecticut Children Medical Center says some children with Crohn's disease experience slowed growth and delayed pubertal development. This is because both nutritional stress and inflammation affect the hormonal system that governs growth and sexual maturation," explains Dr. Sylvester.

He says that during periods of active Crohn's disease, vital nutrients are shunted away from their usual work of building bones and tissues, and are redirected toward fighting and disease. Further, children with Crohn's may not take in enough calories to begin with, and their inflamed intestines may be incapable of absorbing sufficient nutrients.

He continues to explain that some children with Crohn's may not accrue as much lean muscle tissue. Reduced muscle mass, in turn, may fail to bring the required amount of mechanical stress on a growing skeleton. That lack of desirable stress can weaken a child's bones, possibly raising the lifetime risk of osteoporosis and fracture.

The Perks of Coffee

According to R.J.Ignelzi of the Union Tribune, San Diego here's a sampling of the good news about coffee and why you no longer need to feel guilt over enjoying this simple pleasure:

  • REDUCES RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES. Experts suspect that coffee's phytochemicals and antioxidants deserve the credit. Coffee may stimulate the muscles to burn carbohydrates more efficiently and help promote the delivery of insulin to the tissues, so insulin resistance is less likely.

  • REDUCE RISK OF LIVER DISEASE. According to researchers at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, drinking between one and four cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of cirrhosis and is especially good at repairing the damage done by heavy drinking sessions.

  • NO CARDIOVASCULAR RISK. As long as you don't have high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia or anxiety, drinking coffee is no problem, reports the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, if you already have a preexisting cardiovascular condition, avoid excessive intake, since coffee may exacerbate it.

  • INCREASES ALERTNESS AND COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS. In your brain, caffeine intercepts adenosine, the chemical that slows down our nerves and brain and signal the need to sleep. It also increases dopamine levels, stimulating pleasure centers. So, coffee can make you feel both alert and relaxed.

  • IMPROVES PHYSICAL STAMINA. Coffee can stimulate you to exercise 10 % to 15 % longer because it keeps you from getting tired, according to a study at Ontario's University of Guelph.

  • HELP HEADACHES. The caffeine in coffee constricts blood vessels, which is one reason it's used in some headache medications, including Excedrin and Anacin. It also increases the speed with which headache-reducing analgesics are absorbed into the body by as much as 40 %.

  • MINIMIZES TOOTH DECAY. Coffee's antibacterial properties may slow the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the culprit in tooth decay. Coffee also contains compounds that keep bacteria from sticking to tooth enamel.

  • REDUCES RISK OF KIDNEY STONES. It's no secret that coffee makes your bladder more active. While that can be annoying, it can also help reduce the risk of kidney stones, according to the Nurses Health Study. Those in the study who drank the most coffee had the lowest risks. Caffeine increases the flow of more diluted urine, which lowers the chance of a kidney stone forming.

Did You Know?


  • Worldwide, more than 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year.
  • About 1/2 the adult population in the United Stated drinks coffee every day.
  • Coffee drinkers consume an average of 3.3 cups a day; 9oz is the average cup size
  • A little more than 1/3 of coffee drinkers in the U.S. take theirs black.
  • More than 80% of American coffee drinkers have a cup at breakfast.
  • 10% of Americans drink gourmet coffee beverages (espresso drinks and specialty coffees) every day.
  • Finland drinks the most coffee, averaging about 740 coffee servings per person a year.
  • Coffee ranks second to petroleum in dollars traded around the world.
SOURCE: National Coffee Association

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In Good Health.
Pamela Nathan

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