What Is Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor?

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF, is a protein that, in humans, is encoded by the BDNF gene. BDNF is a member of the neurotrophin family of growth factors, which are related to the canonical nerve growth factor. Neurotrophic factors are found in the brain and the periphery. BDNF acts on certain neurons of…

Vitamin B3 Cholesterol Remedy Resurfaces

Niacin, known also as vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid, has long been seen as one of the best weapons in cholesterol management. It is cheap and effective. It is able to lower levels of fatty acids, triglycerides, and to a lesser extent, LDL- the “bad” cholesterol. At the same time it can impressively raise HDL…

Asian Flush and Esophageal Cancer Linked

About 36% of East Asians (Japanese, Koreans and Chinese) have an enzyme deficiency that causes their skin to redden, or flush, when they drink alcohol. Heavy alcohol consumption significantly raises the risk for esophageal cancer among such individuals, say scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and Japan’s Kurihama Alcohol Center.…

Interesting Nutrition Facts about Strawberries

Strawberries are one of my favourite fruits, whether in an ice-cold smoothie or warm strawberry shortcake. Packed with phytochemicals, the strawberry plant (scientific name Fragaria ananassa) belongs to the family Rosaceae, which includes roses, apple trees and plum trees. Botanically speaking, Fragaria ananassa is not a berry, and not even a fruit. A fruit is…

Macular Degeneration and Brain Plasticity

A new study from MIT in the March 4 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience explains some of the neural mechanism involved in the brain remapping seen in macular degeneration. Macular degeneration affects just 1.75 million people in the United States. Macular degeneration is the most prevalent form of adult blindness. Patients lose vision progressively…

Why is Alternative Medicine so Popular?

Alternative medicine has become more and more popular over the last few decades. Why do you suppose that is? What is the attraction of alternative medicine to consumers? Do you suppose it is because they have encountered failure on the part of conventional medicine to heal what ails them? Is it because alternative medicine methods…

How is Alcoholism a Disease?

The American Medical Association declared alcoholism a disease in 1956. The American Bar Association declares that the principle of dependence on alcohol or other drugs is a disease. Although it is generally accepted by the scientific and medical communities that alcoholism is a disease, there is still some debate on the topic. It is a…

What Is Glutamate

Glutamate is an amino acid, one of the twenty amino acids used to construct proteins, and as a consequence is found in high concentration in every part of the body. In the nervous system it plays a special additional role as a neurotransmitter: a chemical that nerve cells use to send signals to other cells.…