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Reboot Your Brain? Science Says It's Possible -A Galaxy Insight

Human_brain_receptors_2_2 Contrary to popular belief, recent studies have found that there are probably ways to regenerate brain matter.

Animal studies conducted at the National Institute on Aging Gerontology Research Center and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, for example, have shown that both calorie restriction and intermittent fasting along with vitamin and mineral intake, increase resistance to disease, extend lifespan, and stimulate production of neurons from stem cells.

In addition, fasting has been shown to enhance synaptic elasticity, possibly increasing the ability for successful re-wiring following brain injury. These benefits appear to result from a cellular stress response, similar in concept to the greater muscular regeneration that results from the stress of regular exercise.

Additional research suggests that increasing time intervals between meals might be a better choice than chronic calorie restriction, because the resultant decline in sex hormones may adversely affect both sexual and brain performance. Sex steroid hormones testosterone and estrogen are positively impacted by an abundant food supply. In other words, you might get smarter that way, but it might adversely affect your fun in the bedroom, among other drawbacks.

But if your not keen on starving yourself, there are other options. Another recent finding, stemming from the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and Iwate University in Japan, reports that the herb rosemary contains an ingredient that fights off free radical damage in the brain. The active ingredient, known as carnosic acid (CA), can protect the brain from stroke and neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer’s and from the effects of normal aging.

Although researchers are patenting more potent forms of isolated compounds in this herb, unlike most new drugs, simply using the rosemary in its natural state may be the most safe and clinically tolerated because it is known to get into the brain and has been consumed by people for over a thousand years. The herb was used in European folk medicine to help the nervous system.

Another brain booster that Bruce N. Ames, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, swears by his daily 800 mg of alpha-lipoic acid and 2,000 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine, chemicals which boost the energy output of mitochondria that power our cells. Mitochondrial decay is a major factor in aging and diseases such as Alzheimer's and diabetes. Elderly rats on these supplements had more energy and ran mazes better.

Omega-3s fatty acids DHA and EPA found in walnuts and fatty fish (such as salmon, sardines, and lake trout) are thought to help ward off Alzheimer's disease. (In addition, they likely help prevent depression and have been shown to help prevent sudden death from heart attack).

Turmeric, typically found in curry, contains curcumin, a chemical with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In India, it is even used as a salve to help heal wounds. East Asians also eat it, which might explain their lower rates (compared to the United States) of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, in addition to various cancers. If curry isn’t part of your favorite cuisines, you might try a daily curcumin supplement of 500 to 1,000 mg.

Physical exercise may also have beneficial effects on neuron regeneration by stimulating regeneration of brain and muscle cells via activation of stress proteins and the production of growth factors. But again, additional research suggests that not all exercise is equal. Interestingly, some researchers found that exercise considered drudgery was not beneficial in neuronal regeneration, but physical activity that was engaged in purely for fun, even if equal time was spent and equal calories were burned, resulted in neuronal regeneration.

Exercise can also help reduce stress, but any stress-reducing activity, such as meditation and lifestyle changes, can help the brain. There is some evidence that chronic stress shrinks the parts of the brain involved in learning, memory, and mood. (It also delays wound healing, promotes atherosclerosis, and increases blood pressure.)

It should go without saying that short-term cognitive and physical performance is not boosted by fasting, due to metabolic changes including decrease in body temperature, decreased heart rate and blood pressure and decreased glucose and insulin levels, so you’re better off not planning a marathon or a demanding work session during a fasting period.

As part of a healthy lifestyle the prescription of moderating food intake, exercising, and eating anti-oxidant rich foods is what we’ve long known will boost longevity, but it’s good to know that we can bring our brains along with us as we make it into those golden years without being the 1 in 7 who suffers from dementia. Keep your fingers crossed and eat some rosemary chicken.

Posted by Rebecca Sato

Related Galaxy post:

Does the Human Brain Possess Latent “Super Powers”?
The Importance of Being Forgetful
"Power Shift" -How to Enhance Your Memory
The Big Brain & the Pursuit of Happiness
The "Organic" Brain -How Smart You Are May Depend On When You’re Conceived
Food for Thought! -Boost Your Memory & Brain Function

Anson, R. M., Guo, Z, de Cabo, R., Iyun, T., Rios, M., Hagepanos, A., Ingram, D. K., Lane, M. A.  & Mattson, M. P. (2003, April 30). Intermittent fasting dissociates beneficial effects of dietary restriction on glucose metabolism and neuronal resistance to injury from calorie intake. National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition.
Duan, W., Guo, Z., Jaing, H., Ware, M., Li, X-J., & Mattson, M. P. (2003). Dietary Restriction Normalizes Glucose Metabolism and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Levels, Slows Disease Progression and Increases Survival in Huntington Mutant Mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition.

Jaret, P., & Martin, A. (2003). Miss a meal, add years to your life. Health, 17(9), 41-44.

Von Bubnoff, A., & Lloyd, J. (2006). Prevention's anti-aging guide: How to take off 10 years or more. Prevention, 58(9), 166-213.


Nice article.

nice article! keep it up!

Who wrote this? More importantly, who edits content on this site? Do you guys need help? Actually, let me answer that for you: you need help. This article contains interesting info that is terribly presented. I lost count of the grammatical and structural errors. Call me.

Great post, this is the first time I know that fasting can enhance our brain. Interesting.

Fine news, I like renegate brains, usually I have doing that by playing different kind of brain games.
They feel somehow soft, soften than normally games.

Visit My Website

Sounds like Scientology stupidity to me.

Starving yourself to regrow brain matter?
Vitamins and exercise?

Related posts: Does the Human Brain Possess Latent “Super Powers”?

I call FAIL.

Needs more cowbell.

I have heard of this formula for brain
health in the past, and I am faithfully
following it.

thanks from tony

I have heard of this formula for brain
health in the past, and I am faithfully
following it.

thanks from tony

Uh... do you think Lassie was trying to tell us something?

Hamlet, Act IV, scene 5, line 3053
Ophelia: "There's rosemary. That's for remembrance."

A Winter's Tale, Act IV, Scene 4, line 1937
Perdita: ... Reverend sirs, for you there's rosemary and rue, these keep seeming and savor all the winter long. Grace and remembrance to you both..

Scientology stupidity? Your post was the stupid one, John Duignan. Calorie restriction (NOT the same thing as "starvation) has been linked to longer life spans, etc.

Exercise, too, IS GOOD FOR THE BRAIN!

This isn't Scientology, this is from Scientology's scientific enemy PSYCHOLOGY. This is stuff you learn in undergrad classes. Maybe John Duignan is just angry that he is a lardass that sits around all day. Would explain his reliance on "common sense" instead of the actual science being done in neuroscience. Why take things on faith, John?

The only FAIL (no surprise you are a 4channer) here is your post.

Paul, your writer can be found here
"My rates are very competitive and tend to be less than average, even though my work is far better than average." Rebecca, quit the act. No one wants her writing to be affordable. People are paid based on ability. You don't get paid because you don't know how to write. I honestly can't believe that Reuters picks this garbage up. I wonder what their editors think. I couldn't finish the article because I couldn't respect the writing. I'm sorry for being harsh, but this is complete rubbish. Luckily for you, it seems that your target audience is teenage boys who probably don't pick up on your lack of ability because they make the same mistakes.

Fasting has been the premise for do-it-yourself health maintenance from biblical times to now. Thanks for the great info!

One could assume here those low-carb diets are dangerous for the reasons illustrated in this article, caused by a sort of glucose deficiency. Thank you for the great info.

FYI, this story is based on a 2003 report.

With a little dash of Vedanta and some yogic knowledge mixed in it also makes a good curry side dish. Have you tried the new squishees?

Thought you would be interested in this short omega-3 video:

Lessening nutritional amounts is DETRIMENTAL tothe brain. So are a lot of chemicals taken in volume. So is passing several hundred volts through living brain tissue.

Stem cell treatments may not be a " MAGIC BULLET ", they're thought to be a better way to renew / regenerate brain & nervous system tissues. We need to pursue that route.

For all of you who are reading this for the first time, you should look to the Jain dharma lifestyle. Jains advocate a restricted calorie intake, occasional fasting, and often incorporate turmeric, rosemary, and other herbs in their diets. It is interesting to see how science confirms a lifestyle that has been advocated for over 2,000 years by the Jain philosophy.

Paul, language is constantly changing, untwist your knickers!

Wow, that is truly amazing. What a breakthrough!


Rebooting your brain is what happens after ego death.
There is a rational description of it, and it is truly possible.

Holy smokes. You lose major credibility in a SCIENCE blog that is full of grammatical errors.

Get an editor! Or learn the rules! Your/you're? That's elementary school stuff!

Well, not minding the grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors, and that they reused some old information, this isn't so bad a post.

What's funnier is the comments. The nemesis of scientology, PSYCHOLOGY! Ahahaha!

It's extra funny for me because I am a psychologist.

What's funnier, some uneducated people will probably accuse me of being a scientologist with all the aforementioned cranks floating around.

More snake oil ways of resetting your brain. It is impossible to do. Starving yourself will actually make your brain suffer and it will have to use more energy therefore, exhaust your body further and you will not get any benefit from that at all.
By the way, when Scientists use the word "can" that is how you know it won't work. "Will" means it WILL work.
These kind of health articles are a dime a dozen and most if not all are the same information. When will Scientists and Researchers be definite with their findings?

Oakley defined sport performance sunglasses. Today, along with athletes like Lance Armstrong and Brian Lopes, we continue to redefine it.

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