Weekend’s Better Brain Health Breakfast # 4

Hoping everyone had a great holiday season and looking forward to an successful 2011.

Many of us traveled during the holiday season and this post points to new research showing the negative affect on brains of continued jet lag in an animal model. A list of a few of the findings below indicate this is exact the opposite of what you want for good brain health:

  • It limits the growth of brain cells and reduces brain activity.
  • It leads to memory and learning problems.
  • Even a month after recovering, subjects were still suffering from its effects.

I have previously written about a couple treatments you can try for alleviating some of the affects of jet lag (viagra for reducing jet lag : and over at Mark’s Daily Apple they discuss fasting to alleviate jet lag (I couldn’t find my own past  article I wrote on this subject)) but even those these treatments might reduce some of the symptoms of jet lag doesn’t mean they are necessarily stopping the more adverse negative affects on your brain (though every-other-day fasting might since it helps prevent many diseases including neurodegenerative diseases).

Curcumin might be the new health food spice of 2011. I enjoyed the practical advice at the end of the article:

Use a curcumin supplement that contains piperine. Piperine is an alkaloid of black pepper that can increase curcumin absorption by 2000% in humans (13).

Take your curcumin with olive oil. Taking curcumin and olive oil together yields increased blood levels of curcumin (4).

I have previously written about curcumin but this additional practical information to increase the bio-availability of this spice is something I will add to my routine.

Learning new words rapidly changes your brain. I wanted to write up a piece on this new research but Deric Bownd beat me to it:

…after just 14 minutes of learning exposure to a new word, presentations of this word cause increased responses in the language cortex, reflecting rapid mapping of new word forms onto neural representations.

To me this is very interesting, but also makes sense. Our experiences, even at the simplest level of exposure to a new word, slightly alters our brain. To hear more about this provocative and philosophical meaningful theme go to my post from early this week that has a great video which I encourage everyone to watch.

Hope all of you are having a great start to 2011. Get out there and enjoy life.