Life connected au des while technology evolves by design?

Friday, August 5, 2011

improving a person's global* (general) cognitive fitness with specific (local) enrichment factors

Give a rat a toy and it will solve mazes faster with better deduction of the correct routes to their such mazes' ends. Such enriched environments usually also include more rats than control environments1 and elicit extensive neuromorphological changes2.

While an appetite to learn preserves neurons and increases their network's efficiency, research shows that rich and middle class humans may consume too many calories for their brains' preservation. While too few calories results in not enough hormones, glucose, and neurotransmitters, animal studies consistently show that somewhat restricting the consumption of macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and protein) leads to greater cognitive abilities and fewer harmful metabolic by-products.3

The subclasses of the three categories of macronutrients are very important regarding their consumptions' effects on brain health. Saturated fats, especially trans fats, reduce blood flow to the brain by clogging arteries while fatty E vitamins prevent arterial occlusion; omega-6 E(ssential)F(atty)A(cid)s are inflammatory enough to have a catabolic effect on the brain while the omega-3 EFA's are anti-inflammatory and stimulate the anabolism of myelin and synapses. A normal glycemic load of carbohydrates (the macronutrient that can be converted into glucose with the least metabolic by-products) with a high glycemic index can cause a short spike in glucose that results in brain4&artery5-damaging A(dvanced)G(lycation)E(nd product)'s until the body protects itself from the elevated levels of blood sugar by spiking insulin secretion to rapidly move the refined calories (glucose) out of the blood and into storage; carbohydrates with lower glycemic indexes safely and consistently provide glucose for cellular energy.

Different proteins provide different ratios and amounts of amino acids, but absorbing too many amino acids at once can cause acidemia. The amino acid lysine unhealthily accumulates in cells, and dietary deprivation of that amino acid will cause cells to not only deplete their stores of lysine but also to break down dangerous metabolic by-products to scavenge it from them.

*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15037693

1http://psych.hanover.edu/research/thesis05/UpdikeWalker.pdf
2http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC391140/pdf/pnas00353-0256.pdf
3http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restriction
4http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8336132
5http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_glycation_end-product

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