Being fit can turn back your brain’s clock

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Worried about staying mentally sharp as you grow older? According to a recent study, being physically active helps to keep your brain younger longer.
The rate of decline in certain aspects of memory may be explained by a combination of overall physical fitness and the stiffness of the central arteries, researchers from Swinburne’s Centre for Human Psychopharmacology found.
Lead author Greg Kennedy said that from early adulthood, memory and other aspects of cognition slowly decline, with an increasing risk of developing into dementia in later life.
“Exactly why this occurs is unclear, but research indicates that exercise and physical fitness are protective,” Kennedy noted. “A healthier, more elastic aorta is also theorised to protect cognitive function, by reducing the negative effects of excessive blood pressure on the brain.”
The study investigated whether fitness was associated with better cognition through a healthier aorta. Physical fitness and arterial stiffness assessment one hundred and two people (73 females and 29 males), aged between 60 and 90 years, living independently in aged care communities, were recruited in Melbourne, Australia.Bran is often used to enrich breads (notably muffins) and breakfast cereals, especially for the benefit of those wishing to increase their intake of dietary fiber. Bran may also be used for pickling (nukazuke) as in the tsukemono of Japan. Rice bran in particular finds many uses in Japan, where it is known as nuka (?; ??). Besides using it for pickling, Japanese people also add it to the water when boiling bamboo shoots, and use it for dish washing. In Kitakyushu City, it is called jinda and used for stewing fish, such as sardine.
Rice bran is also stuck to the surface of commercial ice blocks to prevent them from melting. Bran oil may be also extracted for use by itself for industrial purposes (such as in the paint industry), or as a cooking oil, such as rice bran oil.Wheat bran is useful as feed for poultry and other livestock, as part of a balanced ration with other inputs. Wheatings, a milling byproduct comprising mostly bran with some pieces of endosperm also left over, are included in this category.Bran was found to be the most successful slug deterrent by BBC’s TV programme, Gardeners’ World. It is a common substrate and food source used for feeder insects, such as mealworms and waxworms. Wheat bran has also been used for tanning leather since at least the 16th century.Their fitness was assessed with the Six-Minute Walk test which involved participants walking back and forth between two markers placed 10 metres apart for six minutes.Only participants who completed the full six minutes were included in the analysis, which assessed the stiffness of their arteries and cognitive performance.
“People generally are less fit and have stiffer arteries as they age, which seems to explain the difference in memory ability that is usually attributed to ‘getting older’,” Kennedy added.Interestingly, physical fitness did not seem to affect central arterial stiffness, however, Kennedy pointed out that only current fitness was assessed.It is common practice to heat-treat bran with the intention of slowing undesirable rancidification. However, a very detailed 2003 study of heat-treatment of oat bran found a complex pattern whereby increasingly intense heat treatment reduced the development of hydrolitic rancidity and bitterness with time, but increased oxidative rancidity.
He concluded that the results indicated that remaining as physically fit as possible, and monitoring central arterial health, might well be an important, cost effective way to maintain memory and other brain functions in older age.The study will be published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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