DAYP 24: Prevent dementia by dancing

Here’s what’s on the healthspan menu today:

  • Can genetically modified bacteria prevent hangovers?
  • Swallowing a bottle full of antidepressants
  • Prevent dementia by dancing

Can genetically modified bacteria prevent hangovers?

For those of us who like to drink alcohol, we all dread the next day’s hangover. If you look online there are numerous products that claim to either prevent hangovers or cure them. 

Many of these hangover prevention products contain vitamins and electrolytes as one theory of what causes hangovers is dehydration. It’s debatable whether these actually work.

Zbiotics have a very different and novel approach to preventing hangovers by using probiotics. Probiotics are naturally occurring bacteria found in the gut that are generally healthy.

Zbiotics genetically modified B. subtilis, a probiotic found in fermented foods (like kimchi or miso), so it can break down acetaldehyde, a chemical many believe is responsible for hangover symptoms.

Acetaldehyde is broken down to acetate in the liver or the gut. The problem is that the gut is not the best at breaking down Acetaldehyde to acetate which is non-toxic. Drinking Zbiotics DNA-modified probiotic before consuming alcohol it helps break down Acetaldehyde in the gut before it gets a chance to wreak havoc in your bloodstream.

While there haven’t been any peer-reviewed studies on the effectiveness of Zbiotics’ product, Sheldon Dyck did his own anecdotal test and the results showed that it was quite effective!

Swallowing a bottle full of antidepressants

The following is a true story

Harry, a 26-year-old man, arrived at the emergency room barely conscious with his heart racing and his blood pressure dangerously low.

He told the doctors he swallowed 29 of his antidepressant pills after an emotional fight with his girlfriend.

Doctors treated him with saline infusions which slightly improved his heart rate and blood pressure. However, they were still puzzled as none of their tests indicated what was poisoning him.

Doctors learned he was on an experimental new antidepressant. They contacted the physician in charge of the study and were shocked.

He was part of the placebo group and the 29 pills he had swallowed were simply sugar pills!

15 minutes after they told him this, he recovered fully with his heart rate and blood pressure returning to normal.

So what happened to Harry?

Harry had experienced the Nocebo effect.

Nocebo is the opposite of placebo, where you experience negative side effects by believing something bad happened to you, even if it didn’t happen.

By simply expecting negative health outcomes, you can make yourself sick, even when you’re perfectly fine.

Just another example of how mindset can either positively or negatively affect your body.

Prevent dementia by dancing

A 21-year study of senior citizens 75 and older by the New England Journal of Medicine compared physical and cognitive activities.

This ranged from reading, bicycling, swimming, crossword puzzles, and dancing. Surprisingly, bicycling, swimming, and even golf yielded no reduction in the risk of dementia.

Reading showed a 35% reduction in the risk of dementia while doing crossword puzzles at least 4 days a week showed a 47% reduction.

The only physical activity in this study that yielded significant results was dancing frequently. This showed a whopping 76% reduction in the risk of dementia.

The theory is that dancing involves the creation of new neural pathways in the brain. When you dance, you are making split second decisions and integrating multiple brain functions at the same time.

Dancing uses your kinesthetic, musical, emotional and rational sides of your brain while at the same time connecting with others.

This makes dancing a great exercise not only for your body, but for your brain.

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"Healthspan is the period of life spent in good health, free from the chronic diseases and disabilities of aging."

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