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How To Mind Your Mind

Posted Sep 07 2008 2:02am

If you want to keep your memory sharp all you have to do is keep moving. In fact, if you devote just 20 minutes a day to physical activity you are much more likely to prevent your memory from deteriorating. That’s the cool news from a new study from down under.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was done by researchers at the Western Australia Institute for Medical Research.

The researchers took a group of 170 people aged 50 years and older. Half were put in a group that engaged in 150 minutes of activity every week. That’s just two and a half hours spread out over seven days. The activities could be anything from walking to ballroom dancing or swimming. The other half did nothing.

Both groups were given regular tests of their memory and cognition. Those who were more active consistently outscored those who did nothing. In fact, that latter slacker group saw their cognition scores decline over an 18 month period.

So if you want to stay sharp, stay active

Juices May Limit Drug Absorption

A lot of people like to wash down their medications with a glass of fruit juice. It makes it altogether more pleasant. But a new study says it may also make it less effective.

The study, from the University of Western Ontario in Canada, found that grapefruit, orange and apple juices may limit the body’s ability to absorb certain medications. That means those drugs are less effective and you get less benefit than expected.

For instance, they found that volunteers who took the anti-histamine fexofenadine with fruit juice absorbed only half the drug, compared with those who took the drug with water.

The researchers say they also found evidence that fruit juice limits the effectiveness of drugs to treat high blood pressure, some antibiotics, even some drugs used to treat cancer or prevent transplant patients from rejecting their new organs.

So, if you take medicine every day, take it with a glass of water.

Spice Up That Joint
If you are a fan of spicy foods here’s some news that will whet your appetite. Marinating meat in some spice blends can help reduce the formation of certain anti-cancer compounds in the meat when it’s grilled or cooked.

The study, published in the Journal of Food Sciences, took a bunch of steaks and marinated half of them for one hour in some commercial spice blends (Caribbean, Southwest and Herb), the other half were not marinated. Then they were all cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes on each side.

The marinated steaks had much lower levels of a compound called HCA, which is a suspected cancer-causing agent. In some cases the marinated steaks had up to 88 percent lower levels of HCA.

Maybe spicing up your life could help you enjoy it longer.

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