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  1. I took a look at Paul's CR Way stuff -- and saw a post that I find hard to believe. The study that Paul is quoting is very small; I thought I'd publish it here, hopefully to get the comments of some of our top scholars, such as Michael Rae and Al Pater: High intakes of fat have been linked to greater cognitive decline in old age, but such associations may already occur in younger adults. We tested memory and learning in 38 women (25 to 45 years old), recruited for a larger observational study in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. These women varied in health status, though not significantly between cases (n = 23) and controls (n = 15). Performance on tests sensitive to medial temporal lobe function (CANTABeclipse, Cambridge Cognition Ltd, Cambridge, UK), i.e., verbal memory, visuo-spatial learning, and delayed pattern matching (DMS), were compared with intakes of macronutrients from 7-day diet diaries and physiological indices of metabolic syndrome. Partial correlations were adjusted for age, activity, and verbal IQ (National Adult Reading Test). Greater intakes of saturated and trans fats, and higher saturated to unsaturated fat ratio (Sat:UFA), were associated with more errors on the visuo-spatial task and with poorer word recall and recognition. Unexpectedly, higher UFA intake predicted poorer performance on the word recall and recognition measures. Fasting insulin was positively correlated with poorer word recognition only, whereas higher blood total cholesterol was associated only with visuo-spatial learning errors. None of these variables predicted performance on a DMS test. The significant nutrient-cognition relationships were tested for mediation by total energy intake: saturated and trans fat intakes, and Sat:UFA, remained significant predictors specifically of visuo-spatial learning errors, whereas total fat and UFA intakes now predicted only poorer word recall. Examination of associations separately for monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats suggested that only MUFA intake was predictive of poorer word recall. Saturated and trans fats, and fasting insulin, may already be associated with cognitive deficits in younger women. The findings need extending but may have important implications for public health. PMID: 24376410 -- Saul
  2. Dear ALL, I returned home from a five day stay at Kripalu (the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, a Yoga resort in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts). As usual, it was a delightful experience: Yoga every morning and evening, Kripalu Yoga dance every day at noon, and the CR friendly foods available at every buffet meal. One of the talks that I went to was VERY interesting. It was given by the head nutritionist at Kripalu. To my surprise and delight, for the first time, the value of Calorie Restriction was strongly noted and praised. (Alternate day fasting was extolled as well.) Also, it was noted that the SAD diet includes much too much protein. And that the (old) idea of being on a low fat (but high carb) diet was utterly wrong -- it was noted that the obesity epidemic sprouted as this incorrect notion was promoted. The fact that Americans eat far too much protein was also noted -- so a low calorie, low protein, very low carb, high fat diet was identified as being highly desirable . The speaker noted that it was highly desirable for your muscles to be using ketones for fuel rather than glucose -- i.e., to be on a ketotic diet. Also noted: The importance of the gut microbiota -- and, to a lesser extent, of the skin microbiota. The speaker noted, in response to questions, that she didn't use soap when she showered -- wanting to maintain the healthy microbes on her skin. All of this was delightful to hear. The negative (although not very important): As usual, the speaker -- and probably all attendees (except I) -- were strongly opposed to the use of artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame sweetened soda) as well as sugary drinks. Interestingly, the same nonsense was presented by the first speaker at the last CR Conference. The argument against sucralose: It was correctly noted that, although humans cannot metabolize sucralose, undesirable gut microbes that thrive on sugar can, and do, metabolize sucralose -- encouraging their undesirable increase. This is, of course, true. However, of course, it's virtually irrelevant -- since sucralose is (something like) 200 times as sweet as sugar -- so you consume so little sucralose, that the effect on your microbiota is insignificant. The argument presented against aspartame: It is an artificial sweetener, and therefore must not be consumed, since it is not natural. Similarly for neotame. (Of course, this is a religious belief; no argument except concensus of the audience.) Wierdly, even steviosides (the sweet molecule in stevia leaves) was deprocated -- since it is a "refined" substance. I should note that, the nonsense deprocating artificial sweeteners and stevia was not emphasized; it was a response to a question. Aslo, I should note that I personally have simply gone off all sweeteners -- although I sometimes drink diet soda. For example, my morning carefully brewed Chinese white tea is dleiciosly consumed, with no sweetener -- it tastes best without. The only sweet things that I consume is perhaps an apple. Anyway, I'm delighted by the new emphases of the Kripalu nutritionists. -- Saul