‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Got Milk for Your Aging Brain?

In articles gone by, we've discussed at length kids and milk, kids not drinking milk, parents forcing kids to drink milk, inventive ways for kids to eat dairy other than milk, and the importance of parents setting an example by actually drinking milk. It's about time we get grandma and grandpa on the bandwagon. Milk consumption in oldies is actually important too, and for more than just bones.

A new study finds milk consumption in older adults is linked to higher levels of glutathione in the brain.

What is glutathione, you ask?
Well, it has a couple of functions, but for this here article let it be known as a potent antioxidant produced by our bodies. As such, it helps protect against oxidative stress.
And what precisely is oxidative stress?
Damage to tissues, cells, DNA, etc.. Caused by free radicals (molecules in an "excited" state that bounce around, bump into things, and cause damage). Antioxidants are able to convert these harmful molecules into harmless ones.

Low levels of glutathione and/or high levels of oxidative stress, are associated with many diseases including type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and more.

After age 45, glutathione levels start to recede... Not unlike one's hairline. How food may impact glutathione is a relatively new area of research. Preliminary results show an association in healthy older adults (average age 69) who drank milk, and ate cheese/calcium-rich foods and higher levels of brain glutathione. Who knew milk would be the newest "brain food" poster child?
Things to know:
  • Dairy foods may serve as a good source of building blocks for glutathione in the brain
  • This research used healthy older adults as subjects, results may differ in different age groups or if there are complicating chronic conditions involved
  • Thus far, oral glutathione supplementation in healthy people doesn't appear to reduce oxidative stress - so put down the pill bottle and steer your motorised scooter away from Walgreens...
If you've learned anything here today, it's that dairy appears a powerful component in the production of the potent antioxidant, glutathione, which is important in preventing disease, promoting health and possibly prolonging life. So just because you're old enough to grow a mustache doesn't mean you don't need a milk mustache.
Han Solo.. I mean, Harrison Ford has the right idea.


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