The Gary Null Show Notes – 03.24.23


2.You Won’t Believe What JUST HAPPENED in Netherlands… (11:00)
3.Consistency over war crimes? – TD Richard Boyd Barrett (6:21) part 2

A higher dose of magnesium each day keeps dementia at bay

Australian National University, March 23, 2023

More magnesium in our daily diet leads to better brain health as we age, according to scientists from the Neuroimaging and Brain Lab at The Australian National University (ANU).

The researchers say increased intake of magnesium-rich foods such as spinach and nuts could also help reduce the risk of dementia, which is the second leading cause of death in Australia and the seventh biggest killer globally.

The study of more than 6,000 cognitively healthy participants in the United Kingdom aged 40 to 73 found people who consume more than 550 milligrams of magnesium each day have a brain age that is approximately one year younger by the time they reach 55 compared with someone with a normal magnesium intake of about 350 milligrams a day.

“Our study shows a 41 percent increase in magnesium intake could lead to less age-related brain shrinkage, which is associated with better cognitive function and lower risk or delayed onset of dementia in later life,” lead author and Ph.D. researcher Khawlah Alateeq, from the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, said.

“This research highlights the potential benefits of a diet high in magnesium and the role it plays in promoting good brain health.”

The researchers say a higher intake of magnesium in our diets from a younger age may safeguard against neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline by the time we reach our 40s.

“The study shows higher dietary magnesium intake may contribute to neuroprotection earlier in the aging process and preventative effects may begin in our 40s or even earlier,” Ms Alateeq said.

“We also found the neuroprotective effects of more dietary magnesium appears to benefit women more than men and more so in post-menopausal than pre-menopausal women, although this may be due to the anti-inflammatory effect of magnesium.”

Resveratrol preserves neuromuscular synapses, muscle fibers in aging mice

Virginia Tech University, March 7, 2023 

Scientists have discovered that resveratrol, a compound in the skin of red grapes and red wine, have many of the neuroprotective benefits of a low-calorie diet and exercise.

In a study published in The Journals of Gerontologys, scientists from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and colleagues show resveratrol preserves muscle fibers as we age and helps protect connections between neurons called synapses from the negative effects of aging.

“We all slow down as we get older,” said Gregorio Valdez, an assistant professor. “Gait, balance issues, and impaired motor coordination contribute to health problems, accidents, lack of mobility, and a lower quality of life. We work on identifying molecular changes that slow down motor deficits that occur with aging. I believe that we are getting closer to tapping into mechanisms to slow age-induced degeneration of neuronal circuits.”

Scientists studied two-year-old mice—generally considered to be “old”—that were treated with resveratrol for one year, paying particular attention to synapses called neuromuscular junctions. These synapses are essential for voluntary movement because they relay motor commands that flow from neurons in the spinal cord to muscles.

Valdez said people would not get the massive neuroprotective benefits seen in mice by drinking wine because of the relatively low resveratrol content.

Artificial sweetener found to dampen immune response to disease in mice

Francis Crick Institute, March 18, 2023

Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute have found that high consumption of a common artificial sweetener, sucralose, lowers activation of T-cells, an important component of the immune system, in mice.

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener, about 600 times sweeter than sugar, that is commonly used in drinks and food. Like many other artificial sweeteners, the effects of sucralose on the body are not yet fully understood, although recent studies have shown that sucralose can impact human health by affecting the microbiome.

In the new study, published in Nature, the researchers tested the impact of sucralose on the immune system in mice.

Mice were fed sucralose at levels equivalent to the acceptable daily intake recommended by the European and American food safety authorities. Importantly, while these doses are achievable, they would not normally be reached by people simply consuming food or drinks containing sweeteners as part of a normal diet.

The mice fed diets containing high doses of sucralose were less able to activate T cells in response to cancer or infection. No effect was seen on other types of immune cells.

By studying T cells in more detail, the researchers found that a high-dose of sucralose impacted intracellular calcium release in response to stimulation, and therefore dampened T -cell function.

Karen Vousden, senior author and principal group leader at the Crick, says, “We’re hoping to piece together a bigger picture of the effects of diet on health and disease, so that one day we can advise on diets that are best suited to individual patients, or find elements of our diet that doctors can exploit for treatment.

Julianna Blagih, co-first author and former postdoctoral training fellow at the Crick (now Assistant Professor at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center, University of Montreal), explains, “We’ve shown that a commonly used sweetener, sucralose, is not a completely inert molecule and we have uncovered an unexpected effect on the immune system. We are keen to explore whether there are other cell types or processes that are similarly affected by this sweetener.”

Brain decline comes later than thought? Scientists now say it starts in our thirties

University Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands), March 22, 2023

Some people report a decline in their memory before any drop in cognition is large enough to show up on tests. This and other factors have prompted scientists to think brain decline starts really early. But new research from University Medical Center Utrecht shows the opposite. Instead of it happening after turning 25, it turns out that it does between the ages of 30 and 40.

The finding is welcome news for those who fear all those brain farts and forgetful moments are a sign they’re doomed to early onset of dementia.

“Our brain continues to develop a lot longer than we thought,” says clinical technologist Dorien van Blooijs from UMC Utrecht, in a university release.

The Dutch team discovered that our brain connections actually become faster with time. In 4-year-olds, connections move two meters per second while between 30 and 40, they move four meters per second. In other words, they doubled with age, and it’s only until sometime between 30 and 40 that things start to slow down.

The researchers also noted differences between brain regions. For example, the frontal lobe, the largest part of the brain important for thinking and task performance, takes a longer time to develop than an area responsible for movement. “We already knew this thanks to previous research, but now we have concrete data,” says Van Blooijs.

Scientists findings offer noteworthy information on the central nervous system and concrete numbers representing the speed of our brain connections. These are things scientists have been trying to map and understand for years. Now, field experts can look ahead to making more advanced and realistic computer models of the brain.

Use of melatonin linked to decreased self-harm in young people

Karolinska Institutet (Sweden)

Medical sleep treatment may reduce self-harm in young people with anxiety and depression, an observational study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden suggests. The risk of self-harm increased in the months preceding melatonin prescription and decreased thereafter, especially in girls. The study is published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Melatonin is a hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle and is the most commonly prescribed drug for sleep disturbances in children and adolescents in Sweden. Melatonin use has dramatically increased in recent years, and it is available over the counter in Sweden since 2020.

“Given the established link between sleep problems, depression, and self-harm, we wanted to explore whether medical sleep treatment is associated with a lower rate of intentional self-harm in young people,” says Dr. Sarah Bergen, docent at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, who led the study.

The study identified over 25,500 children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 18 who were prescribed melatonin in Sweden. Over 87 percent had at least one psychiatric disorder, mainly attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders, depression, or autism spectrum disorder. Self-harm was about five times more common in girls than in boys.

The risk of self-harm increased shortly before melatonin was prescribed and decreased by about half in the months following the initiation of treatment. Risk reduction was particularly evident among adolescent girls with depression and/or anxiety disorders.

As it was an observational study, it cannot establish a causal relationship between melatonin and reduced self-harm rates. To check whether the use of other medications might have affected the findings, analyses were also carried out which excluded antidepressant users. The results were similar.

“This suggests that melatonin might be responsible for the reduced self-harm rates, but we cannot rule out that the use of other psychiatric medications or psychotherapy may have influenced the findings,” says Dr. Marica Leone, first author of the study and former Ph.D. student in Sarah Bergen’s research group.

Vitamin C 10 Times More Effective Killing Cancer Stem Cells Than Pharmaceuticals

University of Manchester (UK),  March 17, 2023 

A study by UK scientists openly claims that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is more potent than some pharma drugs at killing cancer stem cells – the pervasive cells that “seed” new cancer cells, feed fatal tumors and often evade treatment.

The study, published in Oncotarget, is the first evidence that supports that vitamin C be used to target and kill cancer stem cells (CSCs).

In order to find out which substances might target stem cells, researchers needed to find a way to disrupt cancer cell metabolism.

Focusing on energy-transfer, they measured the impact on cell lines in a laboratory of seven substances:

•    The clinically approved cancer drug, stiripentol

•    Three experimental pharmaceuticals: actinonin, FK866 and 2-DG.

•    Three natural substances: caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE), silibinin and ascorbic acid

While they found that natural antibiotic actinonin and the compound FK866 were the most potent, the natural products also inhibited cancer stem cell (CSC) formation, with vitamin C, outperforming 2-DG by tenfold in terms of potency.

Dr Michael P. Lisanti, Professor of Translational Medicine at the University of Salford, said: We have been looking at how to target cancer stem cells with a range of natural substances including silibinin (milk thistle) and CAPE, a honey-bee derivative, but by far the most exciting are the results with Vitamin C.

This is further evidence that Vitamin C and other non-toxic compounds may have a role to play in the fight against cancer.