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Take Folic Acid to Reduce Stroke Risk

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Researchers from Beijing Geriatric Hospital, in a meta-analysis of 12 studies involving 47,523 patients with cardiovascular disease, found that those that supplemented with folic acid (vitamin B9) reduced their risk of stroke by 15 percent. Folic acid, which the study authors called a “safe and inexpensive therapy,” lowers levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to heart disease; research indicates that 0.5 to 5 milligrams daily can reduce homocysteine levels by approximately 25 percent.
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Global Brief: Natural Thinking Spending Time in Nature Increases Cognitive Performance
More of our time is spent indoors than ever before. One of the ways by which nature may improve cognitive function (i.e. the acquisition of and goal-oriented use of knowledge) is by improving memory formation and recall, specifically that of short-term or working memory, and goal-oriented or directed attention; the kind that requires focused effort. By comparing and contrasting 13 studies, a team of researchers has shed light on this complex interaction in research published in Frontiers in Psychology. The studies used the backwards digit span task, which requires participants to invert a series of numbers and repeat them back. All demonstrated significantly improved cognition in nature as compared to urban environments. The benefits of studies like this are two-fold: not only are we learning more about how the brain interacts with its environment, but also how to leverage this interaction to lead healthier, more productive and happier lives.
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