Researchers have made a shocking finding about vessels that connect the brain to the immune system. Previously thought not to exist, the discovery of these vessels may be related to diseases including autism, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Until now, there has never been a lymphatic system for the central nervous system, which will alter the way that the central nervous system relates to the immune system. The discovery of the lymphatic vessels begs numerous questions regarding brain functioning and diseases that affect it, such as Alzheimer’s disease where scientists may be able to look at the role these vessels play in aging as another area to explore and find answers. Aside from that, there are a multitude of neurological diseases, from autism to multiple sclerosis, that need take into consideration the new discovery as something that scientists previously did not know were present.
Often used as an alternative to sugar, the similarly named sugar alcohols are types of sweet carbohydrates. Sugar alcohols are lower in calories and have less negative health impacts although they look and taste like sugar. Despite the word “alcohol” in the name, they do not contain any ethanol – the compound that gets you drunk, and studies show that they may even promote health benefits. There are many common types that differ in taste and health value. Xylitol, with its minty flavor, is most common and can be found in chewing gum, mints and toothpaste. With 70% sweetness and only 5% of the calories as sugar, erythritol is the main ingredient in sweeteners like Truvia and Stevia. Sorbitol is often found in sugar-free foods and drinks and although it has little impact on blood sugar, it may cause digestive issues. Maltitol has half the calories of sugar, yet it does cause spikes in blood sugar. When consumed in large amounts, many sugar alcohols can lead to digestive distress but this depends on the person and type of sugar alcohol. However, of all the sugar alcohols, erythritol seems to be the best option, as it contains almost no calories and is also good for your teeth.
Everyone enjoys a good night’s rest – however, studies show that it may be necessary to combat disease. Research suggests that restful sleep is required for storing and saving memories and that lack of sleep may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well as other chronic diseases. A recent study found evidence that sleep deficit is connected to the buildup of the beta-amyloid protein, a toxic protein linked to Alzheimer’s that attacks the brain’s long-term memory. Results show that the more beta-amyloid a person contains in certain parts of the brain, the worse their memory. Likewise, the less deep sleep a person gets, the less effective they are at clearing out beta-amyloid protein build-up. This is a significant finding, since we are able to treat poor sleep and can take steps to improve sleep habits. Experts suggest going to sleep around the same time every night because even a slight shift in the length of sleep time will be less restorative. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid watching television or using the computer before going to bed as this can cause stimulating effects and detract from a restful sleep.