Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Friday, August 31, 2012

Gummed-up memory: chewing gum impairs... [Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2012] - PubMed - NCBI

  1

Gummed-up memory: chewing gum impairs short-term recall.

Source

School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK. michail.d.kozlov@gmail.com

Abstract

Several studies have suggested that short-term memory is generally improved by chewing gum. However, we report the first studies to show that chewing gum impairs short-term memory for both item order and item identity. Experiment 1 showed that chewing gum reduces serial recall of letter lists. Experiment 2 indicated that chewing does not simply disrupt vocal-articulatory planning required for order retention: Chewing equally impairs a matched task that required retention of list item identity. Experiment 3 demonstrated that manual tapping produces a similar pattern of impairment to that of chewing gum. These results clearly qualify the assertion that chewing gum improves short-term memory. They also pose a problem for short-term memory theories asserting that forgetting is based on domain-specific interference given that chewing does not interfere with verbal memory any more than tapping. It is suggested that tapping and chewing reduce the general capacity to process sequences.

PMID:
22150606
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources




 LINK:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22150606

Gummed-up memory: chewing gum impairs... [Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2012] - PubMed - NCBI



Thursday, August 30, 2012

This is your brain on sugar: UCLA study shows high-fructose diet sabotages learning, memory / UCLA Newsroom


This is your brain on sugar: UCLA study shows high-fructose diet sabotages learning, memory

Eating more omega-3 fatty acids can offset damage, researchers say

Fernando Gomez-Pinilla
Fernando Gomez-Pinilla
[Correction: Paragraph 5 of this release was changed from an earlier version to reflect that the study focused on fructose generally, not specifically on high-fructose corn syrup; that high-fructose corn syrup is not necessarily "six times sweeter" than cane sugar; and that Americans consume approximately 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per capita annually, not "more than 40 pounds." The researcher's quote in Paragraph 6 has also been changed slightly to avoid the implication that the study focused solely on high-fructose corn syrup.]
Attention, college students cramming between midterms and finals: Binging on soda and sweets for as little as six weeks may make you stupid. 
A new UCLA rat study is the first to show how a diet steadily high in fructose slows the brain, hampering memory and learning — and how omega-3 fatty acids can counteract the disruption. The peer-reviewed Journal of Physiology publishes the findings in its May 15 edition.
"Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think," said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage."
While earlier research has revealed how fructose harms the body through its role in diabetes, obesity and fatty liver, this study is the first to uncover how the sweetener influences the brain. 
Sources of fructose in the Western diet include cane sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive liquid sweetener. The syrup is widely added to processed foods, including soft drinks, condiments, applesauce and baby food. The average American consumes roughly 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"We're less concerned about naturally occurring fructose in fruits, which also contain important antioxidants," explained Gomez-Pinilla, who is also a member of UCLA's Brain Research Institute and Brain Injury Research Center. "We're more concerned about the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup, which is added to manufactured food products as a sweetener and preservative."
Gomez-Pinilla and study co-author Rahul Agrawal, a UCLA visiting postdoctoral fellow from India, studied two groups of rats that each consumed a fructose solution as drinking water for six weeks. The second group also received omega-3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which protects against damage to the synapses — the chemical connections between brain cells that enable memory and learning.
"DHA is essential for synaptic function — brain cells' ability to transmit signals to one another," Gomez-Pinilla said. "This is the mechanism that makes learning and memory possible. Our bodies can't produce enough DHA, so it must be supplemented through our diet."
The animals were fed standard rat chow and trained on a maze twice daily for five days before starting the experimental diet. The UCLA team tested how well the rats were able to navigate the maze, which contained numerous holes but only one exit. The scientists placed visual landmarks in the maze to help the rats learn and remember the way. 
Six weeks later, the researchers tested the rats' ability to recall the route and escape the maze. What they saw surprised them.
"The second group of rats navigated the maze much faster than the rats that did not receive omega-3 fatty acids," Gomez-Pinilla said. "The DHA-deprived animals were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats' ability to think clearly and recall the route they'd learned six weeks earlier."
The DHA-deprived rats also developed signs of resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar and regulates synaptic function in the brain. A closer look at the rats' brain tissue suggested that insulin had lost much of its power to influence the brain cells.
"Because insulin can penetrate the blood–brain barrier, the hormone may signal neurons to trigger reactions that disrupt learning and cause memory loss," Gomez-Pinilla said. 
He suspects that fructose is the culprit behind the DHA-deficient rats' brain dysfunction. Eating too much fructose could block insulin's ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar for the energy required for processing thoughts and emotions. 
"Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning," he said. "Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. This is something new."
Gomez-Pinilla, a native of Chile and an exercise enthusiast who practices what he preaches, advises people to keep fructose intake to a minimum and swap sugary desserts for fresh berries and Greek yogurt, which he keeps within arm's reach in a small refrigerator in his office. An occasional bar of dark chocolate that hasn't been processed with a lot of extra sweetener is fine too, he said.
Still planning to throw caution to the wind and indulge in a hot-fudge sundae? Then also eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds, or take a daily DHA capsule. Gomez-Pinilla recommends one gram of DHA per day.
"Our findings suggest that consuming DHA regularly protects the brain against fructose's harmful effects," said Gomez-Pinilla. "It's like saving money in the bank. You want to build a reserve for your brain to tap when it requires extra fuel to fight off future diseases." 
The UCLA study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Gomez-Pinilla's lab will next examine the role of diet in recovery from brain trauma.
The UCLA Department of Neurosurgery is committed to providing the most comprehensive patient care through innovative clinical programs in minimally invasive brain and spinal surgery; neuroendoscopy; neuro-oncology for both adult and pediatric brain tumors; cerebrovascular surgery; stereotactic radiosurgery for brain and spinal disorders; surgery for movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease; and epilepsy surgery. For 20 consecutive years, the department has been ranked among the top 10 neurosurgery programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. 
For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom and follow us on Twitter.










This is your brain on sugar: UCLA study shows high-fructose diet sabotages learning, memory / UCLA Newsroom

 Link:  http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/this-is-your-brain-on-sugar-ucla-233992.aspx


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Would You Like Pesticides With That?

Written by Robin Shreeves
White necatrine and its cross section isolated...

White necatrine and its cross section isolated on a white background
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every year, the Environmental Working Group releases a Shopper’s Guide. The guide has information on 45 different conventional fruits and vegetables and their pesticide loads. At the top of the list — the produce found to contain the highest amount of pesticides — is the Dirty Dozen. These are the 12 foods that they recommend consumers always purchase in their organic form. Apples are at the top of the 2012 Shopper’s Guide for the second year in a row. The EWG guide is based on the group’s analysis of pesticide residue testing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

At the bottom of the list is the Clean Fifteen, 15 foods that have the lowest pesticide load. If you’re on a limited budget and have to pick and chose your organic produce, EWG recommends that you spend the extra money for the Dirty Dozen in their organic form and buy the Clean Fifteen in their conventional form.

2012 Dirty Dozen
1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Sweet bell peppers
4. Peaches
5. Strawberries
6. Imported nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Spinach
9. Lettuce
10. Cucumbers
11. Domestic blueberries
12. Potatoes

2012 Clean Fifteen
1. Onions
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Cabbage
6. Sweet peas
7. Asparagus
8. Mangoes
9. Eggplant
10. Kiwi
11. Domestic cantaloupe
12. Sweet potatoes
13. Grapefruit
14. Watermelon
15. Mushrooms

Dirty Dozen Plus category
This year EWG has expanded its Dirty Dozen list with a Plus category “to highlight two crops — green beans and leafy greens, meaning, kale and collard greens — that did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but were commonly contaminated with highly toxic organophosphate insecticides. These insecticides are toxic to the nervous system and have been largely removed from agriculture over the past decade. But they are not banned and still show up on some food crops. For this reason, EWG lists these on the new Dirty Dozen Plus as foods to avoid or to buy organic.”

The EWG Shopper’s Guide has become just that — a guide that many people use to help them make decisions at the grocery store. When you’re at the farm stand or the farmers market and you have the opportunity to direct questions to the people who grow your food, you can ask about the growing methods and make choices based on the information. When you don’t have the ability to ask questions, this guide is helpful.