Show of the Week June 4-2012

Cinnamon extract promotes type I collagen biosynthesis via activation of IGF-I signaling in human dermal fibroblasts


Hazelnuts- New Source of Key Fat for Infant Formula That’s More Like Mother’s Milk


Selenium and CoEnzyme Q 10


Commonly Used Pesticide Turns Honey Bees Into ‘Picky Eaters’


Persistent Sensory Experience Is Good for Aging Brain


Cinnamon extract promotes type I collagen biosynthesis via activation of IGF-I signaling in human dermal fibroblasts.

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Feb 8;60(5):1193-200–Authors: Takasao N, Tsuji-Naito K, Ishikura S, Tamura A, Akagawa M

The breakdown of collagenous networks with aging results in hypoactive changes in the skin. Accordingly, reviving stagnant collagen synthesis can help protect dermal homeostasis against aging. We searched for type I collagen biosynthesis-inducing substances in various foods using human dermal fibroblasts and found that cinnamon extract facilitates collagen biosynthesis. Cinnamon extract potently up-regulated both mRNA and protein expression levels of type I collagen without cytotoxicity. We identified cinnamaldehyde as a major active component promoting the expression of collagen by HPLC and NMR analysis. Since insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is the most potent stimulator of collagen biosynthesis in fibroblasts, we examined the effect of cinnamaldehyde on IGF-I signaling. Treatment with cinnamaldehyde significantly increased the phosphorylation levels of the IGF-I receptor and its downstream signaling molecules such as insulin receptor substrate-1 and Erk1/2 in an IGF-I-independent manner. These results suggested that cinnamon extract is useful in antiaging treatment of skin.–PMID: 22233457 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


Hazelnuts- New Source of Key Fat for Infant Formula That’s More Like Mother’s Milk


ScienceDaily (May 23, 2012) — Scientists are reporting development of a healthy “designer fat” that, when added to infant formula, provides a key nutrient that premature babies need in high quantities, but isn’t available in large enough amounts in their mothers’ milk. The new nutrient, based on hazelnut oil, also could boost nutrition for babies who are bottle-fed for other reasons. The report appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.—Casimir Akoh and colleagues explain that human milk is the “gold standard” for designing infant formulas. Mothers naturally provide the healthful omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and omega-6 fatty acid ARA (arachidonic acid) — important for brain development and the development of other organs — to infants during the last three months of pregnancy. These fatty acids (components of fats) are also in human milk. But premature infants don’t get full exposure to DHA and ARA in the uterus because they are born too soon. And their mothers’ milk doesn’t yet contain high enough levels when the infants are born. Some mothers, of course, do not nurse. That’s why infant formulas include proteins, sugars and fats to bring them closer to the standard of human milk.—Currently, DHA and ARA (in the form of triacylglycerols) from algae are added to many formulas, but concerns exist about the digestibility of these algae-derived fatty acids, which are not exactly identical to those in human milk. So, Akoh’s team set out to build a new designer fat from hazelnut oil that more closely mimics the DHA and ARA in human milk. The report describes development of fats from hazelnut oil that contain DHA and ARA at the same positions found on fats in human milk. The scientists extensively analyzed these human milk fat mimics and conclude that the new DHA and ARA source is suitable for the supplementation of infant formulas.—Story Source-The above story is reprinted from materials provided by American Chemical Society, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS. —Journal Reference–Dilek Turan, Neşe Şahin Yeşilçubuk, Casimir C. Akoh. Production of Human Milk Fat Analogue Containing Docosahexaenoic and Arachidonic Acids. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012; 60 (17): 4402 DOI: 10.1021/jf3012272


Selenium and CoEnzyme Q 10-Cardiovascular mortality and N-terminal-proBNP reduced after combined selenium and coenzyme Q10 supplementation-


A 5-year prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial among elderly Swedish citizens


Selenium and coenzyme Q10 are essential for the cell. Low cardiac contents of selenium and coenzyme Q10 have been shown in patients with cardiomyopathy, but inconsistent results are published on the effect of supplementation of the two components separately. A vital relationship exists between the two substances to obtain optimal function of the cell. However, reports on combined supplements are lacking.—Methods–A 5-year prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial among Swedish citizens aged 70 to 88 was performed in 443 participants given combined supplementation of selenium and coenzyme Q10 or a placebo. Clinical examinations, echocardiography and biomarker measurements were performed. Participants were monitored every 6th month throughout the intervention.—The cardiac biomarker N-terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) and echocardiographic changes were monitored and mortalities were registered. End-points of mortality were evaluated by Kaplan–Meier plots and Cox proportional hazard ratios were adjusted for potential confounding factors. Intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses were applied.–Results—During a follow up time of 5.2 years a significant reduction of cardiovascular mortality was found in the active treatment group vs. the placebo group (5.9% vs. 12.6%; P = 0.015). NT-proBNP levels were significantly lower in the active group compared with the placebo group (mean values: 214 ng/L vs. 302 ng/L at 48 months; P = 0.014). In echocardiography a significant better cardiac function score was found in the active supplementation compared to the placebo group (P = 0.03).—Conclusion–Long-term supplementation of selenium/coenzyme Q10 reduces cardiovascular mortality. The positive effects could also be seen in NT-proBNP levels and on echocardiography.


Commonly Used Pesticide Turns Honey Bees Into ‘Picky Eaters’


Using an ascending range of sugar water from 0 to 50 percent, the researchers touched the antennae of each bee to see if it extended its mouthparts.

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2012) — Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered that a small dose of a commonly used crop pesticide turns honey bees into “picky eaters” and affects their ability to recruit their nestmates to otherwise good sources of food.—The results of their experiments, detailed in this week’s issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, have implications for what pesticides should be applied to bee-pollinated crops and shed light on one of the main culprits suspected to be behind the recent declines in honey bee colonies.—Since 2006, beekeepers in North America and Europe have lost about one-third of their managed bee colonies each year due to “colony collapse disorder.” While the exact cause is unknown, researchers believe pesticides have contributed to this decline. One group of crop pesticides, called “neonicotinoids,” has received particular attention from beekeepers and researchers.—The UC San Diego biologists focused their study on a specific neonicotinoid known as “imidacloprid,” which has been banned for use in certain crops in some European countries and is being increasingly scrutinized in the United States.—“In 2006, it was the sixth most commonly used pesticide in California and is sold for agricultural and home garden use,” said James Nieh, a professor of biology at UC San Diego who headed the research project with graduate student Daren Eiri, the first author of the study. “It is known to affect bee learning and memory.”—The two biologists found in their experiments that honey bees treated with a small, single dose of imidacloprid, comparable to what they would receive in nectar, became “picky eaters.”—“In other words, the bees preferred to only feed on sweeter nectar and refused nectars of lower sweetness that they would normally feed on and that would have provided important sustenance for the colony,” said Eiri. “In addition, bees typically recruit their nestmates to good food with waggle dances, and we discovered that the treated bees also danced less.”—The two researchers point out that honey bees that prefer only very sweet foods can dramatically reduce the amount of resources brought back to the colony. Further reductions in their food stores can occur when bees no longer communicate to their kin the location of the food source.—“Exposure to amounts of pesticide formerly considered safe may negatively affect the health of honey bee colonies,” said Nieh.—To test how the preference of sugary sources changed due to imidacloprid, the scientists individually harnessed the bees so only their heads could move. By stimulating the bees’ antennae with sugar water, the researchers were able to determine at what concentrations the sugar water was rewarding enough to feed on. Using an ascending range of sugar water from 0 to 50 percent, the researchers touched the antennae of each bee to see if it extended its mouthparts. Bees that were treated with imidacloprid were less willing to feed on low concentrations of sugar water than those that were not treated.–The biologists also observed how the pesticide affected the bees’ communication system. Bees communicate to each other the location of a food source by performing waggle dances. The number of waggle dances performed indicates the attractiveness of the reward and corresponds to the number of nestmates recruited to good food.—Remarkably, bees that fed on the pesticide reduced the number of their waggle dances between fourfold and tenfold,” said Eiri. “And in some cases, the affected bees stopped dancing completely.”—The two scientists said their discoveries not only have implications for how pesticides are applied and used in bee-pollinated crops, but provide an additional chemical tool that can be used by other researchers studying the neural control of honey bee behavior.—The study was funded by the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and the National Science Foundation.–Story Source-The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of California – San Diego. The original article was written by Kim McDonald. —Journal Reference-D. M. Eiri, J. C. Nieh. A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist affects honey bee sucrose responsiveness and decreases waggle dancing. Journal of Experimental Biology, 2012; 215 (12): 2022 DOI: 10.1242/jeb.068718


Persistent Sensory Experience Is Good for Aging Brain


ScienceDaily (May 24, 2012) — Despite a long-held scientific belief that much of the wiring of the brain is fixed by the time of adolescence, a new study shows that changes in sensory experience can cause massive rewiring of the brain, even as one ages. In addition, the study found that this rewiring involves fibers that supply the primary input to the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for sensory perception, motor control and cognition[U1] . These findings promise to open new avenues of research on brain remodeling and aging.—Published in the May 24, 2012 issue of Neuron, the study was conducted by researchers at the Max Planck Florida Institute (MPFI) and at Columbia University in New York.–“This study overturns decades-old beliefs that most of the brain is hard-wired before a critical period that ends when one is a young adult,” said MPFI neuroscientist Marcel Oberlaender, PhD, first author on the paper. “By changing the nature of sensory experience, we were able to demonstrate that the brain can rewire, even at an advanced age. This may suggest that if one stops learning and experiencing new things as one ages, a substantial amount of connections within the brain may be lost.”—The researchers conducted their study by examining the brains of older rats, focusing on an area of the brain known as the thalamus, which processes and delivers information obtained from sensory organs to the cerebral cortex. Connections between the thalamus and the cortex have been thought to stop changing by early adulthood, but this was not found to be the case in the rodents studied.—Being nocturnal animals, rats mainly rely on their whiskers as active sensory organs to explore and navigate their environment. For this reason, the whisker system is an ideal model for studying whether the brain can be remodeled by changing sensory experience. By simply trimming the whiskers, and preventing the rats from receiving this important and frequent form of sensory input, the scientists sought to determine whether extensive rewiring of the connections between the thalamus and cortex would occur.—On examination, they found that the animals with trimmed whiskers had altered axons, nerve fibers along which information is conveyed from one neuron (nerve cell) to many others; those whose whiskers were not trimmed had no axonal changes. Their findings were particularly striking as the rats were considered relatively old — meaning that this rewiring can still take place at an age not previously thought possible. Also notable was that the rewiring happened rapidly — in as little as a few days.—“We’ve shown that the structure of the rodent brain is in constant flux, and that this rewiring is shaped by sensory experience and interaction with the environment,” said Dr. Oberlaender. “These changes seem to be life-long and may pertain to other sensory systems and species, including people. Our findings open the possibility of new avenues of research on development of the aging brain using quantitative anatomical studies combined with noninvasive imaging technologies suitable for humans, such as functional MRI (fMRI).”

The study was possible due to recent advances in high-resolution imaging and reconstruction techniques, developed in part by Dr. Oberlaender at MPFI. These novel methods enable researchers to automatically and reliably trace the fine and complex branching patterns of individual axons, with typical diameters less than a thousandth of a millimeter, throughout the entire brain.–Dr. Oberlaender is part of the Max Planck Florida Institute’s Digital Neuroanatomy group, led by Nobel laureate Dr. Bert Sakmann. The group focuses on the functional anatomy of circuits in the cerebral cortex that form the basis of simple behaviors (e.g. decision making). One of the group’s most significant efforts is a program dedicated to obtaining a three-dimensional map of the rodent brain. This work will provide insight into the functional architecture of entire cortical areas, and will lay the foundation for a mechanistic understanding of sensory perception and behavior.-This study was carried out in collaboration with the group of Dr. Randy M. Bruno in the Neuroscience Department of Columbia University, New York.–Story Source-The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Max Planck Florida Institute. —Journal Reference-Marcel Oberlaender, Alejandro Ramirez, Randy M. Bruno. Sensory Experience Restructures Thalamocortical Axons during Adulthood. Neuron, 2012; 74 (4): 648 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.03.022

Mind Exercises to increase Sensory Experience Restructuring-A good way to do this is to study about certain things and then place your self in the environment or setting and investigate or carry out a perception exercise—an example might be to do a recipe—or go out and take pictures read about the perspective subject you want to photograph and from there go and explore if the subject facts are accurate and write down what you observe—seek out different environments that will cause you to expand this effect so you develop new skills with the brain—further your education in new elements to further enhance te brain keeping it active and viable


[U1]This is Great News—If you are set in your ways and seem to be stuck on negative repetitive behaviour then this is showing there is a ways and  means to change this thinking pattern and or associations in thought—Negative aspect of this also infers the idea that people of all ages can be brain washed as well with new concepts


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