Think of the health benefits of vitamin D, and you’ll probably think of bone strength. For decades, diseases like osteoporosis, osteopenia, and osteomalacia have been prevented and treated with adequate vitamin D intake, among other interventions. In recent years, the evidence that vitamin D affects more than just bones has mounted; cardiovascular disease, cancers, stroke, depression, and metabolic disorders have all been linked to low vitamin D levels. A new review adds cognitive decline and dementia to that list.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), we will have 700 million obese and 2.3 billion overweight people, worldwide, by the year 2015. Obesity stems from excessive intake of energy and/or storage of excess energy in adipose tissues. Numerous studies on obesity have focused on the role of the digestive, adipose and muscular systems. Emergent research shows how food can exert long-range effects on our brain, by at least four different mechanisms.
It is common sense that practicing good oral hygiene equates to healthier gums and teeth. Not only does it diminish the number of cavities, gingivitis, and promote proper healing and regeneration of the oral tissues, but the general public would be gratefully spared from the pungent smells of bad breath. Recently, Paganini-Hill and colleagues reported that the benefits of good dental habits are not only limited to that of the buccal cavity—it is also associated with a lower risk of dementia in older adults.
In the 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, doctors attempt to cure a violent, murderous psychopath using psychological conditioning -- forcing him to endure disturbing physical reactions while witnessing acts of violence. Today, neuroscientists are studying how we use our brains to make moral decisions, and what we can do for people who do not seem to have a normal sense of morality.
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