– Narrator, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
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– Nelson Mandela, who became the first black president of South Africa in 1994
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New research from Karolinska Institutet shows that omega-3 fatty acids in dietary supplements can cross the blood brain barrier in people with Alzheimer’s disease, affecting known markers for both the disease itself and inflammation. The findings are presented in the Journal of Internal Medicine, and strengthen the evidence that omega-3 may benefit certain forms of this seriously debilitating disease.
"Earlier population studies indicate that omega-3 can protect against Alzheimer’s disease, which makes it interesting to study the effects of dietary supplements containing this group of fatty acids in patients who have already developed the disease," says the study’s lead author Dr Yvonne Freund-Levi.
Omega-3 and other essential polyunsaturated fatty acids accumulate in the central nervous system (CNS) during gestation. It has been assumed that these acids are continually replaced throughout life, but little is known about how this occurs and whether changes in diet can affect the transport of important fatty acids across the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier serves to protect the brain from harmful chemicals existing naturally in the blood, but also blocks the delivery of drug substances to the brain.
Several diseases can affect the fatty acid profile of the CNS; in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, for example, previous research has observed lower than normal brain concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid.
In the present study, part of the larger OmegAD project, scientists examined whether omega-3 dietary supplements change the fatty acid profile of the CNS in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease. Thirty-three patients participated in the study, 18 of whom received a daily omega-3 supplement and 15 a placebo for six months. The results show that the first group had higher levels of both DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, another omega-3 fatty acid) in their cerebrospinal fluid (which surrounds the CNS) and blood. No such change was seen in the placebo group.
Moreover, they also found that levels of DHA correlated directly with the degree of change in Alzheimer’s disease and inflammatory markers in the cerebrospinal fluid. Researchers in the field have long been interested in this link between Alzheimer’s disease and inflammation, but attempts to treat the disease using traditional anti-inflammatory drugs have failed to produce any improvements in memory function.
"In animals, DHA dietary supplements can lead to an increase in DHA concentrations in the CNS," says Professor Jan Palmblad, who initiated the study. "Here we show that the same applies to humans, which suggests that omega-3 fatty acids in dietary supplements cross the blood-brain barrier. However, much work remains to be done before we know how these fatty acids can be used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease to halt memory loss."
– Nelson Mandela, whose push for peace and equality earned him the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, in his book Long Walk to Freedom
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PUT DOWN THE FUCKING CAN OPENER. Trust me on this shit. Just look at the sugar content in that canned cranberry crap THEN check the serving size. GODDAMN RIGHT?! You and your loved ones deserve better than that red ribbed corn syrup.
HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE
12 ounces of fresh or frozen whole cranberries (a little over 3 cups)
½ cup water
¼ cup orange juice (use the juice of one orange or straight outta the carton, your call I don’t give a fuck)
3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional but I already know how you celebrate holidays)
Take a sharp ass knife and cut a sliver of the skin off the lemon about the size and length of your pointer finger. Just try not to get too much of the white part underneath the yellow skin because that shit can be pretty fucking bitter. Add the lemon zest slice and the rest of the ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring them to a gentle simmer over a medium heat. If you like your sauce a little sweeter, add the extra tablespoon of sugar but this bitch will be nice and tart either way. You will hear the cranberries start to burst which might be fucking confusing but it’s fine. Calm your shit. Maybe sip some of that bourbon. Stir every now and then but you want to keep that motherfucker bubbling until most of berries have burst and the sauce is starting to thicken up, about 10-12 minutes. Pull out the piece of lemon zest and let the sauce cool before serving. It will get thicker as it cools. You can cut some more lemon zest and garnish that motherfucker. Make it look all fancy and shit. Your guests will be like “Damn. You see that zest?”
Serves 4-6 as a sauce. Put it on whateverthefuck you want.