A morning-time dose of bright light coupled with an evening dose of melatonin
may help normalize the sleep-wake cycle in elderly adults with Alzheimer's disease,
according to a new study.
People with Alzheimer's commonly have disrupted sleep at night and nap frequently
during the day, which can keep them from activities and social interactions
that could alleviate some of the effects of the disease.
The neurological damage inflicted by Alzheimer's disease likely contributes
to the problem. At the same time, many patients, especially those in nursing
homes, have limited exposure to daylight, which further throws off natural sleep-wake
In the new study researchers examined whether light therapy -- alone or in combination
with melatonin supplements -- could restore a more natural sleep-wake cycle
to these patients. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain; it rises at
night and falls in the morning helping to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
For the study scientists from the University of California, San Francisco randomly
assigned 50 nursing home patients with Alzheimer's to one of three groups. One
group of patients was given light therapy for one hour, five mornings per week;
the light therapy consisted of natural light alone with additional artificial
light when needed. Patients in the second group received both morning light
therapy as well as a dose of melatonin a few hours before bedtime. Those in
the third group were exposed to only normal indoor light and were not given
Over 10 weeks, the researchers found the combination of light therapy and melatonin
helped curb daytime sleepiness and increased patients' activity during the day.
Light therapy alone, however, was ineffective. The study is published in the
February 2008.issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Green Tea Extract capsules high in EGCG burn 17% more fat in men during
moderate intensity exercise and also improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
Researchers at the Human Performance Laboratory, School of Sport and Exercise
Sciences, the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom note that consuming Green
tea consumption is associated with promoting the burning of fat (fat oxidation)
in humans even if they are sitting and resting, in preventing obesity and in
animal studies also improves insulin sensitivity.
The scientists investigated the effects of green tea extract (GTE) on glucose
tolerance and fat oxidation (fat burning) during moderate-intensity exercise
in human volunteers.
Two studies were performed, both with a counter-balanced crossover design. In
study A, 12 healthy men performed a 30-min cycling exercise at 60% of maximal
oxygen consumption before and after supplementation of GTE. In study B, 11 healthy
men took an oral-glucose-tolerance test before and after supplementation with
GTE. In the 24-h period before the experimental trials, participants ingested
3 capsules containing either GTE supplying a total of 890 mg polyphenols and
366mg EGCG, or they took an inactive placebo for comparisons sake.
The results were fantastic; the men burnt 17% more fat while exercising if they
supplemented with GTE. Moreover, they also derived a greater ratio of energy
from fat and not muscle or glycogen (also by about 17%). Green Tea Extract also
improved insulin sensitivity by 13%. The study is published in the March 2008
issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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