3.08.2006

Hunter Gatherer Advantage: Fighting Obesity and Dementia
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Take a sufficiently long walk. Regardless of your mental state at the outset,
dopamine receptors in the brain are activated by elevated levels of serotonin
accompanying your exercise.

You feel better and even exultant. The desire to elevate serotonin through carbohydrate consumption drops.

On the other hand, if you don't exercise, you must boost serotonin through food, caffeine, or other substances.

In the brain, sedentary behavior manifests itself through reduced blood flow and less capillary action. Reduction of blood flow can lead, some scientists believe to conditions where amyloid tangles can begin to accumulate, which might otherwise have been removed or slowed through fluid pressure. The result is a greater likelihood of dementia.

Looking at lifestyle of modern society and the rise in Alzheimer's Disease - since it was not formally recognized until the turn of the last century, after the industrial revolution, do you think there could be a connection? Combine a hunter gatherer or agrarian worker lifestyle with consumption of anti-oxidant substances such as berries and curcumin and you have the body and nutritional inputs balanced.

The advantage of modern existence is that it has removed the stresses which caused premature death such as lack of public health/epidemics, injuries from hunting (quite common) and heavy work, exposure to extremes of cold, and famine.

However, it has also brought sedentariness and its risks to longevity in the form of Alzheimer's. The best strategy may be combining the simple wisdom of the prehistoric peoples with advantages of the modern. What the web makes possible with regard to the brain is the ability to measure based on a consistent standard worldwide, an early warning system if you will, and therefore, the plausibility of another revolution in public health and longevity...

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