Daily consumption of tea may protect the elderly from cognitive decline

The importance of this finding leds me to publish it as it comes.

Daily consumption of tea may protect the elderly from cognitive decline, study suggests
March 16, 2017
National University of Singapore
Tea drinking reduces the risk of cognitive impairment in older persons by 50 per cent and as much as 86 per cent for those who are genetically at risk of Alzheimer's, new research suggests.

NUS researchers found that regular consumption of tea brewed from tea leaves reduces elderly persons' risk of cognitive decline.
Credit: © Serhiy Shullye / Fotolia
A cup of tea a day can keep dementia away, and this is especially so for those who are genetically predisposed to the debilitating disease, according to a recent study led by Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the Department of Psychological Medicine at National University of Singapore's (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

The longitudinal study involving 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older has found that regular consumption of tea lowers the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly by 50 per cent, while APOE e4 gene carriers who are genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease may experience a reduction in cognitive impairment risk by as much as 86 per cent.

The research team also discovered that the neuroprotective role of tea consumption on cognitive function is not limited to a particular type of tea -- so long as the tea is brewed from tea leaves, such as green, black or oolong tea.

"While the study was conducted on Chinese elderly, the results could apply to other races as well. Our findings have important implications for dementia prevention. Despite high quality drug trials, effective pharmacological therapy for neurocognitive disorders such as dementia remains elusive and current prevention strategies are far from satisfactory. Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. The data from our study suggests that a simple and inexpensive lifestyle measure such as daily tea drinking can reduce a person's risk of developing neurocognitive disorders in late life," explained Asst Prof Feng.

He added, "Based on current knowledge, this long term benefit of tea consumption is due to the bioactive compounds in tea leaves, such as catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins and L-theanine. These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential and other bioactive properties that may protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration. Our understanding of the detailed biological mechanisms is still very limited so we do need more research to find out definitive answers."

In this study, tea consumption information were collected from the participants, who are community-living elderly, from 2003 to 2005. At regular intervals of two years, these seniors were assessed on their cognitive function using standardised tools until 2010. Information on lifestyles, medical conditions, physical and social activities were also collected. Those potential confounding factors were carefully controlled in statistical models to ensure the robustness of the findings.

The research team published their findings in scientific journal The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging in December 2016.

Future Research

Asst Prof Feng and his team are planning to embark on further studies to better understand the impact of Asian diet on cognitive health in aging. They are also keen to investigate the effects of the bioactive compounds in tea and test them more rigorously through the assessment of their biological markers and by conducting randomised controlled trials or studies that assign participants into experimental groups or control groups randomly to eliminate biased results.

Story Source:

Materials provided by National University of Singapore. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

L. Feng, M. -S. Chong, W. -S. Lim, Q. Gao, M. S. Z. Nyunt, T. -S. Lee, S. L. Collinson, T. Tsoi, E. -H. Kua, T. -P. Ng. Tea consumption reduces the incidence of neurocognitive disorders: Findings from the Singapore longitudinal aging study. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 2016; 20 (10): 1002 DOI: 10.1007/s12603-016-0687-0
Cite This Page:

National University of Singapore. "Daily consumption of tea may protect the elderly from cognitive decline, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170316093412.htm>.

Imagen de Internet. El té verde lo tomo con el mate


A complex mix of plant compounds derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine works to kill cancer cells.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have shown how a complex mix of plant compounds derived from ancient clinical practice in China -- a Traditional Chinese Medicine -- works to kill cancer cells.
Compound kushen injection (CKI) is approved for use in China to treat various cancer tumours, usually as an adjunct to western chemotherapy -- but how it works has not been known.
This study, published in the journal Oncotarget, is one of the first to characterise the molecular action of a Traditional Chinese Medicine rather than breaking it down to its constituent parts.
"Most Traditional Chinese Medicine are based on hundreds or thousands of years of experience with their use in China," says study leader, Professor David Adelson, Director of the Zhendong Australia -- China Centre for the Molecular Basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
"There is often plenty of evidence that these medicines have a therapeutic benefit, but there isn't the understanding of how or why.
"If we broke down and tested the components of many Traditional Chinese Medicines, we would find that individual compounds don't have much activity on their own. It's the combination of compounds which can be effective, and potentially means few side-effects as well.
"This is one of the first studies to show the molecular mode of action of a complex mixture of plant-based compounds -- in this case extracts from the roots of two medicinal herbs, Kushen and Baituling -- by applying what's known as a systems biology approach. This is a way of analysing complex biological systems that attempts to take into account all measurable aspects of the system rather than focussing on a single variable."
The Zhendong Australia China Centre for Molecular Traditional Chinese Medicine was established at the University of Adelaide in 2012 in a collaboration with the China-based Shanxi College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Zhendong Pharmaceutical Company.
The Centre was established with a donation by the Zhendong Pharmaceutical Company, with the aim of understanding how Traditional Chinese Medicine works, and the long-term aim of possible integration into western medicine.
The researchers used high-throughput next generation sequencing technologies to identify genes and biological pathways targeted by CKI when applied to breast cancer cells grown in the laboratory.
"We showed that the patterns of gene expression triggered by CKI affect the same pathways as western chemotherapy but by acting on different genes in the same pathways," says Professor Adelson.
"These genes regulate the cell cycle of division and death, and it seems that CKI alters the way the cell cycle is regulated to push cancer cells down the cell death pathway, therefore killing the cells."
Professor Adelson says this technique could be used to analyse the molecular mechanisms of other Traditional Chinese Medicines, potentially opening their way for use in western medicine.

University of Adelaide. "How Chinese medicine kills cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160908084319.htm>.


Chronic kidney disease and some anti-acids

According to data released by the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). ("Acid reflux medications kidney disease May Increase Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2015) the over use of anti-acids proton-pump inhibitors type (omeprazole, lansoprazole, etc.), may contribute in some cases , to the emergence or worsening of chronic kidney disease.

This is a warning about the misuse of these drugs, which, although they are useful in controlling the the reflux acidity, should be used under strict medical supervision.

Efforts to limit its use must be continuous, since in many cases, heartburn and reflux can be controlled or reduced by other measures, behavior, diet, exercise, use of other medications, etc.

There is a warning from the medical community, since more than half of patients who use these drugs, do not need them.


Foods and herbs to add another year to my life

Fruits and vegetables with medicinal properties consumption. A rewarding experience.

Having put the emphasis on tomatoes and byproducts, particularly thinking, but not exclusively, in lycopene, has represented an intake of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances of great importance.

Recipes containing broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, that I managed to mask their rather special flavors, allowed me to receive the beneficial contribution of sulforaphane and other active ingredients with protective properties.

The dressing salads and pies with olive oil and apple cider vinegar added benefits of great medical importance.

Either as dessert or as a snack, apples, oranges, strawberries, kiwis, blueberries and other fruits provide a significant amount of vitamins, minerals, polyphenol and anthocyanins, essential substances as antioxidants of first order. Reflected at the eyesight, memory, skin and many other functional areas.

Between meals as entertaining way to keep the stomach busy, eating small amounts of nuts, raisins, almonds, etc, I receive an interesting contribution of omega 3 and other important oils, minerals, vitamins and fiber.

The use of medicinal herbs daily or periodically, provides the benefit of their excellent medicinal properties, now supported by science and the thousands of years of consumption.

Infusions with digestive plants and soothing, like chamomile, lemon balm, passionflower, valerian and so on, in addition to achieving a special enjoyment, a moment of communion with nature, the slowly sipping of warm liquid, confident of receiving their invaluable help.

For this part of the world and in many other (where South Americans live) where we share custom mate, every morning, before or after lunch or in the late afternoon, rest of the workday, the infusion is digestive and adds over several properties. To this, with the addition of carqueja and turmeric powder, an excellent anti-inflammatory product is obtained.

A daily glass of a decoction of oregano, thyme and others, although it might seem exaggerated, an excellent antioxidant supplement very effective.

Result: Another year with fairly good health.

They are still stored in the kit, creams, anti-wrinkle, reducing of varicose veins, for arthritis and rheumatism pains lotions, hair loss, etc. All these for another entry, next year.


Senility, benefits of plant adaptogens and antioxidants

Adaptogens increase resistance to stress and fatigue, enhance concentration and performance. They do this through a series of mechanisms that are able to normalize the body functions. Promote the adrenal glands functioning. Increases the uptake of glucose by cells, thereby promoting an increased energy production. Enhance processes of removal of metabolic waste. Slow metabolism. Increase specific resistance, by stimulating the immune system. Normalize the regulation of biorhythms.

Stimulation of the expression of proteins associated with heat stress (Hsp 70s) and their release into the blood would be one of the fundamental mechanisms. Proteins that act as repairing the incorrect protein synthesis and as targets for the immune system.

Numerous scientific evidence on a variety of metabolic chemical processes that influence aging and, when fully understood, will give new patterns of action. Such mechanisms for ketone bodies, which slow down with age.

Plants with adaptogenic properties

Angelica (Angelica spp.). Its use goes back many years, especially in Eastern countries. Root aqueous extracts have been shown to reverse chronic stress changes, apparently by interference with hormonal mechanisms.

Guanabana or graviola (Anonna muricata). Its activities are centered mainly on the metabolic effects of chronic stress, achieved by inhibition of lipid oxidation. These effects have been achieved primarily through the use of ethanol extracts of the bark of branches of the plant.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus). Another plant traditionally used in China. It is considered an excellent adaptogen to protect the body from physical, mental or emotional stress. Its antioxidant properties also helps to protect against free radicals and has been shown to boost the immune system. Its activity is due to several active ingredients, amino acids and essential fatty acids, minerals and groups of phytoestrogens such as isoflavones.

Centella (Centella asiatica). The extract of the herb has been used as a tonic, anti-stress and immune stimulant. The alcoholic extract has shown similar effects than diazepam.

Eleutherococcus or Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Repeated administration of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the bark and branches has shown a significant protection against chronic stress. Its chemical composition is very complex, glycosides, glycosides, pigments, etc.

Grouse (Mikania cordata). Alcoholic extracts of some species of grouse showed an interesting anti-stress activity, at least in tests with laboratory animals.

Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum). Laboratory tests have shown that the use of aqueous extracts of the plant have been corrected behavioral and physiological reactions related to chronic stress.

Ginseng (Panax spp.). Ginseng saponins derived from the roots and rhizomes, have shown a suppressive effect of psychological stress and develop coping mechanisms.

Rhodiola or Arctic Root (Rhodiola rosea). Extracts of root and rhizome contains a large number of active substances, alcohols, glycosides, flavonoids, flavolignans, proanthocyanidins, etc.

Brazilian ginseng (Pfaffia paniculata). This creeping ivy root is used. Its popular name "for all" with which it is known in Brazil and indicates its usefulness. It contains saponins, allantoin and some unusual mineral type, the germanium.

Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent oxidative damage that can produce free radicals, byproducts of cellular metabolism. Vitamins like A, C and E are antioxidants frontline as minerals like selenium. Many fruits (blueberries, grapes) and vegetables (especially leafy) are excellent sources of antioxidants, so are many spices, including clove, lemon balm, mint, oregano, sage and thyme. As an example I will mention some of the most common and easy to use plants.

Plants with antioxidant properties

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) and other plants with high content of glutathione, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, purslane, avocado, grapefruit, orange, peach and watermelon. It is a very powerful antioxidant.

Cocoa, chocolate (Theobroma cacao). It has been demonstrated that cocoa polyphenols, for its high antioxidant power, help to prevent cardiovascular disease, the onset of neurological conditions, the growth of tumor tissues, increased blood pressure and problems associated to metabolic stress such as cataracts.

Barley (Hordeum vulgare). Plant grains contain high levels of antioxidants capable of neutralizing substances responsible for the oxidation of lipids, proteins and DNA damaging free radicals.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris). They contain a number of antioxidants, which can be exploited by using the dried plant, as a condiment or extracting the active ingredients by decoction.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea). Another plant with an exceptional amount of antioxidant compounds that should be included in the daily diet.

Grape (Vitis vinifera). In addition to othr several important compounds, grape juice or wine itself contain a compound, resveratrol, that together with its derivatives, have a potent antioxidant effect that may be responsible for the properties related to slowing of aging, bad cholesterol control, low blood sugar levels and growth of some tumors inhibition.

Other plants with significant amounts of resveratrol are bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and strawberry (Fragaria vesca).

Other plants such as artichoke, Boldo, turmeric, ginger, chamomile, marcela, nutmeg, rosemary and various fungi, make up the long list of plants with high antioxidant power.


About pomegranate. Another fantastic scientific work

Creating pomegranate drug to stem Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

August 22, 2014
University of Huddersfield

Research will look to produce compound derivatives of punicalagin for a drug that would treat neuro-inflammation and slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease, scientists report. The onset of Alzheimer's disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate. Also, the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson's disease could be reduced, according to the findings of the two-year project.

The key breakthrough by Dr Olajide and his co-researchers is to demonstrate that punicalagin, which is a polyphenol – a form of chemical compound – found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in specialised brain cells known as micrologia. This inflammation leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells, making the condition of Alzheimer’s sufferers progressively worse.

Dr Olumayokun Olajide's research will look to produce compound derivatives of punicalagin for a drug that would treat neuro-inflammation and slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

The onset of Alzheimer's disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate. Also, the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson's disease could be reduced, according to the findings of a two-year project headed by University of Huddersfield scientist Dr Olumayokun Olajide, who specialises in the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products.

Now, a new phase of research can explore the development of drugs that will stem the development of dementias such as Alzheimer's, which affects some 800,000 people in the UK, with 163,000 new cases a year being diagnosed. 

Globally, there are at least 44.4 million dementia sufferers, with the numbers expected to soar.

The key breakthrough by Dr Olajide and his co-researchers is to demonstrate that punicalagin, which is a polyphenol -- a form of chemical compound -- found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in specialised brain cells known as micrologia. This inflammation leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells, making the condition of Alzheimer's sufferers progressively worse.

There is still no cure for the disease, but the punicalagin in pomegranate could prevent it or slow down its development.

Dr Olajide worked with co-researchers -- including four PhD students -- in the University of Huddersfield's Department of Pharmacy and with scientists at the University of Freiburg in Germany. The team used brain cells isolated from rats in order to test their findings. Now the research is published in the latest edition of the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research and Dr Olajide will start to disseminate his findings at academic conferences.

He is still working on the amounts of pomegranate that are required, in order to be effective.

"But we do know that regular intake and regular consumption of pomegranate has a lot of health benefits -- including prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia," he says, recommending juice products that are 100 per cent pomegranate, meaning that approximately 3.4 per cent will be punicalagin, the compound that slows down the progression of dementia.

Dr Olajide states that most of the anti-oxidant compounds are found in the outer skin of the pomegranate, not in the soft part of the fruit. And he adds that although this has yet to be scientifically evaluated, pomegranate will be useful in any condition for which inflammation -- not just neuro-inflammation -- is a factor, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's and cancer.

The research continues and now Dr Olajide is collaborating with his University of Huddersfield colleague, the organic chemist Dr Karl Hemming. They will attempt to produce compound derivatives of punicalagin that could the basis of new, orally administered drugs that would treat neuro-inflammation.

Dr Olajide has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield for four years. His academic career includes a post as a Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Drug Research at the University of Munich. His PhD was awarded from the University of Ibadan in his native Nigeria, after an investigation of the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products.

He attributes this area of research to his upbringing. "African mothers normally treat sick children with natural substances such as herbs. My mum certainly used a lot of those substances. And then I went on to study pharmacology!"

Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by University of Huddersfield. 

Journal Reference:
Olumayokun A. Olajide, Asit Kumar, Ravikanth Velagapudi, Uchechukwu P. Okorji, Bernd L. Fiebich. Punicalagin inhibits neuroinflammation in LPS-activated rat primary microglia. 

Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201400163

MLA APA Chicago
University of Huddersfield. "Creating pomegranate drug to stem Alzheimer's, Parkinson's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2014.