Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is responsible for inhibiting the excitability of brain cells and balancing the neuronal activity required for healthy brain function. A new study finds that individuals who regularly consume vitamin B-12-rich foods may have elevated levels of GABA in their brains. Since previous studies have linked low levels of GABA with a greater risk for numerous neurological and mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, autism, and epilepsy, it’s suspected that consuming a diet with plenty of vitamin B-12 may protect brain function. Journal of Psychopharmacology, April 2017
Low Pesticide Fruits and Veggies
After analyzing 36,000 samples of various conventionally grown foods, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that foods such as sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papaya, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and grapefruit were the least likely to test positive for high levels of pesticide exposure. Environmental Working Group, March 2017
Regular Yoga May Ease Depression Symptoms
Researchers randomly assigned 30 people with major depressive disorder to partake in either a “high-dose” or “low-dose” yoga program. The high-dose group participated in three 90-minute yoga classes each week along with home practice, while the low-dose group engaged in two 90-minute yoga sessions each week in addition to home practice. The researchers found that those who took three weekly yoga classes had fewer depressive symptoms than those in the “low-dose” group, but they added that even two classes a week provided positive mental health benefits. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, March 2017
Soft Tissue Manipulation Benefits COPD Sufferers
A new study measured the immediate effect of soft tissue manual therapy on the lung function of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The researchers measured residual volume, inspiratory capacity, and oxygen saturation (SpO2) of twelve severe COPD participants immediately before and after administration of a soft tissue manual therapy protocol (STMTP) designed to address changes in the accessory respiratory muscles and their associated structures. The results showed a decrease in residual volume and an increase in inspiratory capacity and SpO2. The study reveals that a single application of an STMTP can produce immediate improvements in lung function in patients with severe and very severe COPD. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, February 2017
Make an Emergency Plan for Allergic Reactions
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that needs to be treated right away. Creating an emergency plan is key to protecting a child from a deadly allergic reaction, especially when they’re at school. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a plan should include: a simple explanation of symptoms that indicate a serious allergic reaction; guidance on when to use epinephrine; a customized plan for your child’s allergies, as well to any school regulations and local laws that may apply; keep the plan easy to understand for caregivers; and keep copies of the plan at your child’s school, daycare, and after-school care facility. American Academy of Pediatrics, March 2017
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