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Welcome to another edition of Biohacking Weekly - A curated news roundup that helps you increase your longevity & improve healthspan.

In this edition of Biohacking Weekly:

  1. A multigenerational connection between diet and mental health.
  2. Ketogenic diet as a potential remedy for chronic pain.
  3. Broccoli sprouts are very, very good for you.
  4. Promising anti-aging benefits of rapamycin.
  5. The link between caffeine levels, BMI, and type 2 diabetes risk.

1. There is a Direct Connection Between Diet and Mental Health. And it's Multigenerational.

Dr. Chris Palmer, a Harvard psychiatrist, has introduced the brain energy theory of mental illness, revealing that mental disorders are metabolic disorders of the brain.

People who are overweight or diabetic are more likely to have autistic children. Why? Because obesity and diabetes are not causes, but symptoms of a metabolic derangement somewhere in the body or brain. 

While the overwhelming majority of children born to obese women are not autistic, there's an increased risk of transfering that mitochondrial problem to a child's gametes, putting them at higher risk.

For instance, pregnant women who are obese and have poorly controlled diabetes, have a three to four fold increased risk of having an autistic child. A man with obesity has double the risk of having an autistic child compared to a man who is a healthy weight.

Autism is supposed to be genetic, but statistics suggest that obesity rates are  increasing in our population right now, and so are the rates of diabetes.

Watch the full Dr. Chris Palmer's interview on the Impact Theory

2. Keto Diet May Disrupt Pain Signals in the Body

Ketogenic diet has been touted as one of the best diets for weight loss, improving insulin sensitivity and even controlling seizures. Now we also see a potential in using ketogenic diet to help inflammatory autoimmune conditions and reduce chronic pain.

Dr. Susan A. Masino's research is based on the hypothesis that ketogenic diet can increase the production of adenosine - a powerful anti-convulsant molecule that could be instrumental in the body’s inflammatory response.

Keto diet could be a way to promote the neuroprotective and anti-seizure benefits of this molecule, which could help regulate the nervous system.

“More specifically, if we increase adenosine in the central nervous system, that means the brain and the spinal cord—if the ketogenic diet is able to do that—that helps calm down the nerve cells directly so that they’re not firing and sending that pain signal.”
— Dr. Susan Masino

Read the full article on the Medical News Today

Related: Ketogenic Diets – Weight Loss and Optimal Performance

3. Broccoli Sprouts: an Emerging Tool Against a Range of Diseases

"I discovered that broccoli sprouts were a very potent source of this human protective agent and had way more sulforaphane than market-stage broccoli. The compound actually became diluted as the plant grew."
- Dr Jed Fahey.

It is the sprouts' high concentration of a potent substance called sulforaphane that makes them a superfood, Paul Talalay, a researcher at Johns Hopkins, was the one to find that the sulforaphane in broccoli—the full-grown version of a sprout—significantly increases the body's ability to fend off cancer. The discovery, published in 1992, landed the pharmacologist on the front page of The New York Times as well as on Popular Mechanics' list of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century.

Read the Full Article on Medical Express

4. Rapamycin May be the Closest Thing to a Fountain of Youth

Rapamycin is a natural antifungal found in a clump of dirt on the Easter Island. Due to its immunosuppressive features, rapamycin is typically taken by some cancer patients and people who have had a kidney transplant.

Similar to fasting, rapamycin tells cells to slow down their grows and reproduction which can potentially offer anti-ageing properties, for instance, help turn down troublesome age-related inflammation.

According to the lab studies, rapamycin has delayed age-related issues including tumours, cognitive decline and cardiovascular problems in mice. Human studies suggest that rapamycin can improve immune function in older adults and lower their odds of getting severely ill during cold and flu season.

While scientists aren't yet sure if rapamycin can offer the same anti-ageing results for humans, as it does for animals, many stay hopeful that it will become a powerful weapon in fighting age. 

Read the full article on the South China Morning Post

Related: Intermittent Fasting for a Longer and Healthier Life

5. Higher Caffeine Levels in Your Blood Can Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

The new research adds more details to what we know about the effects of caffeine on the the human body. 

According to the study involved just under 10,000 people, the levels of caffeine in the blood could affect the amount of body fat a person carries. 

"... genetically predicted higher plasma caffeine concentrations were associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Approximately half of the effect of caffeine on type 2 diabetes liability was estimated to be mediated through BMI reduction."

The research team associated these results with the fact that caffeine increases thermogenesis (heat production) and fat oxidation (turning fat into energy) in the body, which both play an important role in overall metabolism.

Read the full article on ScienceAlert

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