"In hopes to demonstrate the absolute awfulness that is catcalling, one woman recently took to the streets of Manhattan with a hidden camera to show just how humiliating, and downright horrifying, it can be to be just that–a woman."
For what it's worth -- I lasted about ten minutes out there on my own when I went to New York City by myself for a TV show taping.
I might be doing something ... right by my daily doses of unsweetened cocoa!
I have serious memory issues if you did not notice, on account of the epilepsy, and I assume that someday I'm going to be in a home for the memory impaired. So every time I see a study like this -- I go OOOOH! LOOOK! THIS! I don't take them very seriously, but I read them ALL. Firstly, it was sponsored in part by a chocolate candy-maker. And, yeah.
But check it.
The brain area outlined in yellow is the hippocampus; the dentate gyrus is shown in green and the entorhinal cortex in purple. Previous work, including by the laboratory of senior author Scott A. Small, M.D., had shown that changes in a specific part of the brain's hippocampus -- the dentate gyrus -- are associated with normal age-related memory decline in humans and other mammals. The dentate gyrus is distinct from the entorhinal cortex, the hippocampal region affected in early-stage Alzheimer's disease. Credit: Lab of Scott A. Small, M.D.
In a small study in the journal Nature Neuroscience, healthy people, ages 50 to 69, who drank a mixture high in antioxidants called cocoa flavanols for three months performed better on a memory test than people who drank a low-flavanol mixture.
On average, the improvement of high-flavanol drinkers meant they performed like people two to three decades younger on the study’s memory task, said Dr. Scott A. Small, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center and the study’s senior author. They performed about 25 percent better than the low-flavanol group.
“An exciting result,” said Craig Stark, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the research. “It’s an initial study, and I sort of view this as the opening salvo.”
He added, “And look, it’s chocolate. Who’s going to complain about chocolate?”
The findings support recent research linking flavanols, especiallyepicatechin, to improved blood circulation, heart health and memory in mice, snails and humans. But experts said the new study, although involving only 37 participants and partly funded by Mars Inc., the chocolate company, goes further and was a well-controlled, randomized trial led by experienced researchers.
Besides improvements on the memory test — a pattern recognition test involving the kind of skill used in remembering where you parked the car or recalling the face of someone you just met — researchers found increased function in an area of the brain’s hippocampus called the dentate gyrus, which has been linked to this type of memory.
“Boy, this is really interesting to see it in three months,” said Dr. Steven DeKosky, a neurologist and visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh. “They got this really remarkable increase in a place in the brain that we know is related to age-related memory change.”
There was no increased activity in another hippocampal region, theentorhinal cortex, which is impaired early in Alzheimer’s disease. That reinforces the idea that age-related memory decline is different and suggests that flavanols might not help Alzheimer’s, even though they might delay normal memory loss.
But unless you are stocking up for Halloween, do not rush to buy Milky Way or Snickers bars. To consume the high-flavanol group’s daily dose of epicatechin, 138 milligrams, would take eating at least 300 grams of dark chocolate a day — about seven average-sized bars. Or possibly about 100 grams of baking chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder, but concentrations vary widely depending on the processing. Milk chocolate has most epicatechin processed out of it.
“You would have to eat a large amount of chocolate,” along with its fat and calories, said Hagen Schroeter, director of fundamental health and nutrition research for Mars, which funds many flavanol studies and approached Dr. Small for this one. (“I nearly threw them out,” said Dr. Small, who added that he later concluded that the company employed serious scientists who would not bias the research.) Mars financed about half the study; other funders were the National Institutes of Health and two research foundations.
“Candy bars don’t even have a lot of chocolate in them,” Dr. Schroeter said. And “most chocolate uses a process called dutching and alkalization. That’s like poison for flavanol.”
Mars already sells a supplement, CocoaVia, which it says promotes healthy circulation, including for the heart and brain. It contains 20 to 25 milligrams of epicatechin per packet of powder or capsule serving, Dr. Schroeter said; 30 packets cost $34.95. Epicatechin is also in foods like tea and apples, although may be less absorbable.
The Columbia study had important limitations. For example, the only daily dietary requirements were either 900 milligrams of flavanols with 138 milligrams of epicatechin or 10 milligrams of flavanols with less than two milligrams of epicatechin, so participants could have eaten other things that played a role.
And while researchers also had half of the healthy but sedentary participants in each group exercise four days a week, surprisingly, the exercise had no effects on memory or brain effects.
Dr. Small, whose research previously found that exercise helped hippocampal function in younger people, suggested maybe more vigorous exercise is needed to affect older brains.
“It’s a very clever, interesting study, but there are some caveats,” said Dr. Kenneth S. Kosik, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “People are going to say, ‘It looks like I can have a lot of candy bars and not exercise.’ So it needs replication on a much larger scale.”
More extensive research is planned. As for why flavanols would help memory, one theory is that they improve brain blood flow; another, favored by Dr. Small, is that they cause dendrites, message-receiving branches of neurons, to grow.
“Everybody’s cautious about antioxidants, but this is a horse of a different color, a really elegant study,” Dr. DeKosky said.
A recent Yale study has found that while bariatric surgery — a medical procedure to reduce obesity — improves the moods of the majority of obese patients, it could potentially worsen depression for some.
The study, published in September in the journal Obesity Surgery, examined the possible causes and frequency of depression in patients after bariatric surgery. Though the study concluded that most of the patients’ emotional well-being improved in the months following surgery, the researchers also discovered that a subgroup of the 107 study participants experienced a relative increase in depression six months after the procedure.
“The majority of patients with discernible worsening in mood experienced these mood changes between six and 12 months post-surgery,” said Valentina Ivezaj, associate Yale scientist in psychiatry and the study’s lead author. “We suggest that this may be a key period to assess for depression and associated symptoms following gastric bypass surgery.”
The participants suffering from extreme obesity completed emotional evaluations before the surgery. Six months and then a year after, they completed the same evaluations. The self-reported questionnaires assessed depression, eating disorder behavior, self-esteem and social functioning. The study used these data to produce a numerical BDI — Beck Depression Inventory — rating.
Studies suggest there is ubiquitous stigmatization of obesity in society, which can decrease obese individuals’ overall quality of life, said Yale psychiatry professor John Krystal.
The patients evaluated in the study were mildly depressed prior to surgery on average. But after a year post-surgery, 87 percent of the study participants no longer identified themselves as depressed.
According to Ivezaj, while it is generally true that bariatric surgery minimizes depression in obese patients, it is not always that simple.
The data revealed that 13 percent of patients actually experienced an increase in BDI, while another 13 percent experienced a BDI decrease. Seventy-four percent reported no psychological differences six to 12 months post-surgery. Four percent of patients reported increased depression a year after surgery. Increases in symptoms of depression correlated with higher body mass index and increased incidence of emotional difficulties like low self-esteem and poor social functioning.
Obesity does not just affect the body physically, said Gerard Sanacora, professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and director of the Yale Depression Research Program. According to Krystal and Sanacora, obesity has biological underpinnings, which influence an individual’s health, brain function and behavior.
Ivezaj said that she conducted the research in order to dispel the common misconception that bariatric surgery is an easy way out.
“I am inspired by my work with patients who have undergone bariatric surgery,” she said. “In order to be successful following bariatric surgery, patients transform their lives and it takes hard work, determination and dedication to make the required lifestyle changes.”
She said she hoped that the research will help identify individuals with a predilection for depression after bariatric surgery, so that future prevention and intervention implementation might ameliorate the quality of patient life.
Ivezaj said that POWER — the Program for Obesity, Weight and Eating Research — led by Yale School of Medicine professor of psychology and psychiatry and the study’s senior author Carlos Grilo, intends to collaborate with the Yale Bariatric Surgery Program to organize a longitudinal study that will comprehensively assess patients’ eating behaviors, mood, weight and psychological functioning post-bariatric surgery.
When Mood Worsens after Gastric Bypass Surgery: Characterization of Bariatric Patients with Increases in Depressive Symptoms Following Surgery
Depression levels generally decrease substantially following bariatric surgery; however, little is known about bariatric patients who might experience increases in depression following surgery. We examined the frequency of bariatric patients who experienced discernible increases in depression levels following surgery and explored their correlates.
Participants were 107 patients with extreme obesity who underwent gastric bypass surgery and were followed up at 6 and 12 months postsurgery. Participants completed self-report questionnaires about depression (BDI), eating disorder psychopathology (EDE-Q), self-esteem (RSES), and social functioning (SF-36) at baseline and again at 6 and 12 months postsurgery.
Fourteen (13.1 %) participants reported discernible increases (BDI-Increase), 14 (13.1 %) reported discernible decreases (BDI-Decrease), and 79 (73.8 %) did not report discernible changes (no change) in BDI scores from 6 to 12 months postsurgery. Presurgically, there were no differences between the three groups. By 12 months postsurgery, the BDI-Increase group had significantly higher depression scores and significantly lower self-esteem and SF-36 mental component scores than did the other groups. For the BDI-Increase group, BDI Change was significantly associated with body mass index, self-esteem, and SF-36 physical component scores.
Findings highlight that a subgroup of individuals report discernible increases in depressive scores postsurgery and may differ in potentially clinically meaningful ways from those who do not report discernible increases in depressive symptoms. Future research is needed to better understand the long-term trajectory of patients with discernible worsening mood following gastric bypass surgery.
What does a gastric bypass patient do when they feel food stuck - trapped - balled up - in their gastric pouch or stomach, or even further down in the intestine?
Sometimes we walk it out, sometimes change positions rapidly hoping the food shifts, oftentimes we lay on a certain side and get all fetal-curled and try to work the food down... we do countless things to relieve the pressure of a stucked.
However, many times it is just easier to break up a stuck, and many of us know this because we have been doing it for years intuitively because STUCKS!! HURT!!
Before you ask -- "What Does A Stuck Feel Like?" You'll know it when it happens. You will also know it if it has happened to you.
You may have another word to describe it -- too. I often describe it as oncoming death. I may or may not have sent myself to the ER once with a stuck because it felt like a heart attack, panic attack because the squeezing in my chest made me anxious -- bad combination. Too much of the wrong, sticky, fibrous food, trapped in the gut PLUS anxiety over the malcontent = OMG I AM DYING. I am dying right now. Am I really? OMG.
I know better now. I avoid it.
DISCLAIMER -- THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED NOR CONSTRUED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. I AM A 10.6 year post GASTRIC BYPASS PATIENT WITH ZERO PROFESSIONAL CREDS. DO NOT LISTEN TO ME. This is JUST my personal experience, mmmkay? YES I AM YELLING CAUSE Y'ALL DO NOT LISTEN.
Some of us whom grew up as baby bariatric patients not following our rules -- learned something early on.
Carbonated liquids fix stucks, because it forces the food through. This relieves the pain, and clears the gut. You might notice something about those of us willing to tell the truth about our (bad) habits. We tend to drink a LOT of Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, and have for years since our weight-loss surgeries, some of us more than we did before WLS.
"Diet Coke and Coke Zero worked just as well as the sugared versions because they contain the same basic ingredients."
BECAUSE IT FEELS GOOD.
Bubbles fix the stucks.
Stucks are technically called bezoars or phytobezoars which means FOOD BALL - a gastric concretion formed of vegetable fibers, with the seeds and skins of fruits, and sometimes starch granules and fat globules. It's basically a GREASE TRAP of things that we might not have been able to digest due to our WLS arrangement - and the diet soda goes down and acts as Liquid Plumbr.
Hey, it's not my study, but it is my pre-treatment -- and has been for at least ten years -
Drinking Coca-Cola appears to be an effective treatment for gastric phytobezoar in 50% of cases, and combining the soda with additional endoscopic methods may lead to resolution of as many as 91.3% of phytobezoars, according to a newly published review.
Spiros D. Ladas, MD, from the Gastroenterology Division, First Department of Medicine–Propaedeutic, Medical School, Athens University, Laikon Hospital, Greece, and colleagues presented the results of their systematic literature review in an article published online December 17, 2012, and in the January 2013 issue ofAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
The authors searched the literature for the combined keywords "phytobezoars treatment" and "Coca-Cola lysis" and reviewed 24 articles published during a 10-year period between 2002 and 2012. The articles included 46 patients. The authors note that the majority of the articles included in the review did not have patient follow-up, and therefore the review cannot speak to patient relapse.
Although most of the articles were case reports, one was a retrospective study of 17 patients. In their review, Dr. Ladas and colleagues found that only 4 patients (8.7%) who received Coca-Cola treatment went on to develop small bowel obstruction that required surgical treatment. Despite the need for surgery, 3 of the 4 patients still had partial dissolution of their phytobezoars from the Coca-Cola treatment.
The researchers also report that the soda was able to completely dissolve gastric phytobezoars in half of the patients. Although they were unable to state the mechanism of action with certainty, they posit that the soda's pH of 2.6 played an important role in fiber digestion.
Diospyrobezoars (persimmon bezoars) are one of the more difficult types of bezoars to dissolve. They are formed after persimmon ingestion and are characterized by a hard consistency. The authors found that diospyrobezoars were less likely to be completely dissolved by the soda than were phytobezoars (60.6% vs 23%; P = .022).
Physicians seek conservative treatment options, such as dissolution therapies and endoscopic fragmentation techniques, for bezoars, to avoid surgery. The reviewers suggest that Coca-Cola ingestion should be the treatment of choice for gastric phytobezoars because it allows for reduced patient stay in the hospital and may not require endoscopies or equipment. "Moreover," they conclude, "availability, low cost, rapid way of action, simplicity in administration and safety renders Coca-Cola a cost-effective therapy for gastric phytobezoars."
Low-cost effective therapy for stucks. Um, yeah? Considering the alternative, I'll avoid the pain --
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