Can Broccoli and B Vitamins Prevent Alzheimer’s?
Healthy living has been shown to boost brain power. It may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's.
Healthy living has been shown to boost brainpower and extend our lives. But can eating well and exercising frequently also decrease a person's chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease?
The answer, after much research, is maybe. B vitamins, for example, can help the body's protein metabolism, reducing susceptibility to the kind of vascular disease which has been linked to Alzheimer’s, says Dr. Juan Troncoso, director of the Brain Resource Center at Johns Hopkins.
Exercise, too, has demonstrated brain benefits. Exercise increases grey matter in the brain, strengthening the communication between brain cells, says Dr. Ottavio Arancio of the Taub Institute at Columbia University. This might "build up the brain just like a muscle," giving it a reserve of strength against dementia.
But it is difficult to translate these benefits to a program that doctors can prescribe to patients. "The challenge with all these lifestyle issues is that they have to be evaluated with what are called randomized clinical trials, the way a drug is evaluated," says Dr. Samuel Gandy of Mount Sinai Hospital. "The challenge is turning crossword puzzles and broccoli into drugs."
As well, there is the potential for false hope from products that won't work. “We don’t want people to have false expectations, and at the same time spend tremendous amount of monies in useless treatments,” says Dr. Troncoso.
—University of Minnesota Nun Study
Image courtesy of Flickr user mccheek.
The views expressed here are solely those of the participants, and do not represent the views of Big Think or its sponsors.
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.