An article in this month's (March 2009) Scientific American gives the
results of animal experiments on brain cells which may be applicable to
It used to be thought that no new neurons were produced in human
adults, but in 1998 that was found to be incorrect.
Thousands of new cells are generated in the adult brain every day,
particularly in the hippocampus, a structure involved in learning and
Within a couple of weeks, most of those newborn neurons will die,
unless the animal is challenged to learn something new.
Learning?especially that involving a great deal of effort?can keep
these new neurons alive.
Boosters of new neuron production:
Blockers of new neuron production:
Big time emphasis on the exercise, yo, esp. aerobic. Also walnuts, omega
Dr. Dan Amen and a cupla others who have been stumping for PBS/fundraising,
have been talking about this at length for a while now. Sci Am was a li'l
slow on this one....
Ultimately, tho, I think it is all damage control as we age. Shit never
gets better, except hindsight (and then only iffin yer lucid, which excludes
But, damage control can be very effective, and the consequences of *not*
employing damage control can be so disastrous that these strategies are not
New Age optional bullshit, but rather essential nitty-gritty survival
Or graceful aging.
This also suggests that while young, and brain cells are naturally accruing,
they might accrue a whole lot better with these same strategies.
Amen sez that exercise is *by far* the leader in this brain effect, which
surprised everyone -- except me, of course, for very simple physiological
reasons. And some complicated ones.
And, iffin exercise can affect something as "removed", fitness-wise, as the
brain, imagine what it does for the rest of you.
Which also creates an upside for dumb people in the thought department:
Iffin yer dumb, you have to think hard about everything, so you should be
growing new neurons like a muhfugguh..... which is good news for jb.
Waddell & Shors work showed that exercise may boost the production of
news neurons, but it's the challenged learning that keeps some of them.
Without the learning aspect they just die in a week or two.
The Sci-Am article was taken from work done by Waddell & Shors
published in the European Journal of Neuroscience June 2008.
Scientific medical research has actually demonstrated that the
moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better cognitive
(thinking and reasoning) skills and memory than is abstaining from
alcohol. Moderate drinking doesn?t kill brain cells but helps the
brain function better into old age. Studies around the world involving
many thousands of people report this finding.
Your good to go KG
I threaten Bottle weekly with calling his boss. :)
In my very large union, the stats for one division would buckle your knees:
An extraordinarily high proportion of retirees -- something on the order of
50%, give or take, iirc -- in that division die within *two years* of
retirement. I mean, spooky, yo, spooky.
And bleeve me, it's not from mourning the job.
Ahm perty safe, tho, as I will likely never ever ever be able to retire.
And, even if I did retire, I believe that whoever is orchestrating my
ongoing misery is enjoying it so much, He/She will prolong it as long as
I was thinking of perhaps retiring in jail, esp. now that ObamaDrama may
stop the privatization of jails.
You cain't really retire comfortably in a privatized jail.
This is actually perty debatable, from statistical/epidemiological/cultural
viewpoints, as well as pure biochemical ones.
If I have surmised correckly, most of these studies are with wine, no?
The active ingredient in the health benefits from wine is resveratrol, from
the grape skin.
iow, it's the grape that's healthy, not the wine per se.
So grapes/grape juice affords the same benefits, or more, due to the lack of
Alcohol is essentially a toxin.
You could arger that so is everything in some quantity (and this is in fact
true, and applies to water and effing air!), and that very small amounts
could still be beneficial. Some make this argument for lead, in the bone
matrix!! But not cadmium. :)
My personal opinion is that this is not likely.
Sure, small enough ingestion proly wouldn't amount to much ito of neg
effects, but I think the positive claims are just contrarian bullshit, and
confused with the grape.
And, you should know that the metabolism of alcohol follows a much
different pathway than either carbs, fat, or protein, which, iirc,
essentially amounts to metabolic/physiologic *stress*.
AND, alcohol has its own caloric value, which happens to be 7 cals per
gram -- visavis 4 for carbs, 9 for fat, and, somewhat irrelevant, 4 for
protein. Most nutritionists don't even count protein cals, unless yer an
effing bodybuilder, as properly ingested protein is not used for energy or
energy storage (ie, fat).
Which is why high protein diets appear to be effective in dieting, but some
believe (as I do) this stategy will eventually neg'ly affect yer
liver/kidneys -- altho bodybuilders hotly contest this. And are unhealthy
for other reasons.
So alcohol is not only effing toxic, it's effing fattening. Not to mention
swelling up yer liver.
The liquor peeple brag about zero sugar, zero fat, zero effing carbs, blah
blah, but they neglect to tell you that the alcohol itself is nearly as
fattening as fat itself!!!
Which is why you gotta love Merka and all of its wonderful special interest
groups (and Congress), who hold our collective well-being so close to their
But I do think smoking while jogging is so effing cool, yo!!! Go, Kurt,
Thats why the more I exercise the more I want to solve machine shop
problems and the more machine shop problems I solve the more I want to
exercise. Hmmm. It all makes sense now. After my daily 1 hour morning
workout I do know everything.