What Goes Into Your Mouth Could Affect What Comes Out of Your Brain

by DavalosMcCormack on February 5, 2008

Not having enough folic acid in your diet could triple your risk of ending up with dementia. That’s the finding in a new study in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

The researchers tracked the health of 518 people, all of them over 65, over two years. Those who were folic acid deficient to begin with, were almost 3.5 times more likely to develop dementia than people who were not.

What’s particularly sad about this is that folic acid, a B vitamin, is found in many foods, from broccoli and oranges to spinach, okra, black, pinto and many other kinds of beans. It’s also added to orange juice, cereals and bread. A balanced diet could easily have protected them against dementia. And if you can’t get enough in food (around 400mcg a day) you can get it in a daily multi-vitamin.

Thinking about what you eat, could help you retain the capacity to keep thinking about everything else.

Want to Get Some Sleep, Put Out that Cigarette

Smokers are four times more likely to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep, compared to non-smokers. That’s according to a new study in the journal CHEST, which is not some soft porn magazine but is in fact the journal put out by the American College of Chest Physicians.

The study found that smokers not only felt less rested, they also spent less time in deep sleep and more time in light sleep than non-smokers.

Why is that important? Because there’s a lot of evidence that our bodies need deep sleep to repair the damage done during daily life. That our immune systems suffer if we don’t get enough deep sleep. That our memory is not as sharp. That our breath smells. Ok, I made that last one up. But do you really need another reason to quit!

Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll

And you thought it was just a song title! Turns out it’s the basis for a scientific study too. Apparently one third of all popular songs include references to drug, tobacco or alcohol use. I guess that’s why those songs are popular!

Dr. Brian Primack and his chums at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Рwho clearly have nothing better to do Рlooked at Billboard magazine’s 279 most popular songs of 2005, noting every mention of substance use in pop, rock, R&B/hip-hop, country and rap songs.

They found that more than 41 percent of songs referred to substance use or abuse. There were a few references to tobacco (2.9%), a lot more for marijuana (13.6%) and most for alcohol (23.7%).

And what does all of that mean? Well, the researchers say they’re not sure, but because young people listen to so much music it might be influencing them to try these substances. Then again, it might not, they’re not sure. So guess what. That’s right, more study is needed.

Rock on boys.

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