Monday, 8 April 2019

Are you looking for a brain booster in a bottle? Don’t bother

Attention all consumers seeking to protect brain health: You can save hundreds of dollars a year and enhance the health of your brain and body by ignoring the myriad unproven claims for anti-dementia supplements and instead focusing on a lifestyle long linked to better mental and physical well-being.

How many of these purported brain boosters have you already tried – Ginkgo biloba, coenzyme Q10, huperzine A, caprylic acid and coconut oil, coral calcium, among others? The Alzheimer’s Association says that, with the possible exception of omega-3 fatty acids, all that were properly tested thus far have been found wanting.

I admit it is very appealing to think you can maintain your cognitive powers by swallowing a few pills a day instead of adopting a brain-healthy diet, getting regular exercise and adequate sleep, among other health-preserving measures like not smoking. But you would only be fooling yourself and wasting precious dollars that could be better spent on nutritious foods and a good pair of walking shoes.


My 2 cents:

Not all supplements are bad. But for your brain, you have to know that it is like muscles. You have to exercise it to make it strong. Supplement is food to your brain. It will make it healthy, not strong.

Some exercises for your brain include:
  • Let your brain remember more things instead of depending on your mobile phone. Example, remember the things you need to do or  buy for the day, or someone you are meeting for lunch or outing. Of course, counter check your mobile phone in case you miss something or someone.
  • Going somewhere or lost. Try looking on a map manually and remember the directions to go or try recalling all prominent places on the way before you are lost instead.
  • Be neat and tidy. Your brain will visualise how to arrange your things in a proper and orderly manner, where to keep them, etc. When you need something, you will remember where to look.
  • Go for real physical exercises.

Poor diet linked to 1 in 5 deaths globally

Image for illustration only. Processed food normally contains more sugar and sodium

One in five or 11 million deaths globally are linked to poor diet, experts said Thursday (Apr 4), warning that over-consumption of sugar, salt and meat was killing millions of people every year.

The United Nations estimates that nearly a billion people worldwide are malnourished, while nearly two billion are "over-nourished".

The world on average consumes more than ten times the recommended amount of sugar-sweetened beverages, and 86% more sodium per person than is considered safe.

The study, which examined consumption and disease trends between 1990 and 2017, also cautioned that too many people were eating far too few whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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My photo - Exhibit: Big chair

A public domain photo by me

Forum: Parents should refrain from posting their kids' photos online

Parents should avoid posting photos of their children without approval (Kids, too, care about online privacy. Just ask Gwyneth Paltrow, April 4).

There are many parents who love to share their children's personal stories online, some even creating a digital identity for them.

However, the shock of realising that their photos have been shared online without their consent will have an impact on these children.

When the children grow up and discover such photos were shared without their consent, how would they feel?

Though young, children deserve basic respect, and it isn't difficult for them to understand the meaning of consent.

There is no going back when children, having grown up, realise that their lives were made public.

Photos and videos of children shared by parents on social media can sometimes turn up on disturbing websites, accompanied by inappropriate comments.

As with all decisions parents make from the minute their child is born, the decision to post personal photos should also be based on what's right for their family, and parents should ensure that they get those privacy settings right.

If parents do decide to share such photos, they should try asking their children what they're comfortable with and take some precautions.

They should choose the photos carefully and watermark the ones posted publicly.

They should also ask friends and family to refrain from posting photos or videos of their children.

These measures are also useful in reminding children of the dangers of living in a digital age.

Singapore should also mandate that Internet providers give these children the right to be forgotten.

Cheng Choon Fei


Workplace yoga can indeed lower employee stress

People who get to do yoga at work may be less stressed out than their peers who do not, a research review suggests.

At any given time, as many as one in six working people suffer from stress and other symptoms related to mental illness, researchers note in Occupational Medicine. Yoga is one of many approaches a growing number of employers are using to combat stress and improve workers' mental health, but research to date has offered a mixed picture of how well these efforts are working.

Yoga did not appear to influence heart health, but workplace yoga did have a positive effect on mental health and in stress reduction in particular.

"Yoga at work could be one of the chosen programs to reduce stress levels, and usually requires low investment, with minimal equipment," said lead study author Laura Maria Puerto Valencia of the Bavarian Health and Food and Safety Authority in Munich, Germany.

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