Melatonin at night and morning light help Alzheimer’s patients

March 21, 2008

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 rhythms.
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 melatonin.
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 significantly

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.