Thanks to Student’s Hunch, Seniors With Dementia Are ‘Coming Alive’ Again With the ‘Magic’ of Virtual Reality – Good News Network

The technology was shown to greatly decrease symptoms of depression and isolation in seniors suffering from dementia in more than 100 nursing communities.

Alive’ Again With the ‘Magic’ of Virtual Reality

Startup uses virtual reality to help seniors re-engage with the world

Rendever’s VR platform brings new experiences and fond memories to aging adults in nursing homes.
Written by Zach Winn
MIT News

As Reed Hayes stood inside an assisted living facility in front of an elderly man struggling with dementia, he wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

The man sat slouched in his wheelchair, unmoving, his eyes barely open. Hayes had enrolled in MIT’s Sloan School of Management with the idea of helping older adults overcome depression and isolation through the immersive world of virtual reality. Now he needed to test his idea. Hayes turned on a virtual reality experience featuring a three-dimensional painting by Vincent Van Gogh and a classical piano playing in the background. Nervously, he placed the headset on the man. What happened next stunned everyone in the room.

“He just came alive,” Hayes remembers. “He started moving around, tapping his feet, laughing. He was all of a sudden much more engaged in the world, and this from someone who was slouched over, to now kind of bouncing around. [My classmate] Dennis and I looked at each other like, ‘Holy cow, we might be onto something.’ It was remarkable.”

Continue reading here: Thanks to Student’s Hunch, Seniors With Dementia Are ‘Coming Alive’ Again With the ‘Magic’ of Virtual Reality

Power Foods for the Brain | Dr. Neal Barnard | TEDxBismarck 

Dr. Barnard has led numerous research studies investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, and chronic pain, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Barnard has authored over 70 scientific publications as well as 17 books. As president of the Physicians Committee, Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research. He has hosted three PBS television programs on nutrition and health and is frequently called on by news programs to discuss issues related to nutrition and research. Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Dr. Barnard received his M.D. degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the same institution. He practiced at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York before returning to Washington to found the Physicians Committee.

How much pus is there in milk? | | Dr. Michael Greger

In the new video-of-the-day, I note that the antiseptics used to disinfect cow teats can provide a source of iodine, but have been found to boost the level of pus in the milk of cows with staph-infected udders. Today’s dairy cows endure annual cycles of artificial insemination, pregnancy and birth, and mechanized milking for 10 out of 12 months (including 7 months of their 9-month pregnancies). This excessive metabolic drain overburdens the cows, who are considered “productive” for only two years and are slaughtered for hamburger when their profitability drops, typically around their fourth birthday, a small fraction of their natural lifespan.

Turning dairy cows into milk machines has led to epidemics of so-called “production-related diseases,” such as lameness and mastitis (udder infections), the two leading causes of dairy cow mortality in the United States. We all remember the Humane Society of the United States investigation showing sick and crippled dairy cows being beaten and dragged into the California dairy cow slaughter plant en route to the national school lunch program, triggering the largest meat recall in history. That loss of body condition is a result of the extreme genetic manipulation for unnaturally high milk yields.

Because of the mastitis epidemic in the U.S. dairy herd, the dairy industry continues to demand that American milk retain the highest allowable “somatic cell” concentration in the world. Somatic cell count, according to the industry’s own National Mastitis Council, “reflects the levels of infection and resultant inflammation in the mammary gland of dairy cows,” but somatic cells are not synonymous with pus cells, as has sometimes been misleadingly suggested. Somatic just means “body.” Just as normal human breast milk has somatic cells—mostly non-inflammatory white blood cells and epithelial cells sloughed off from the mammary gland ducts—so does milk from healthy cows. The problem is that many of our cows are not healthy.

According to the USDA, 1 in 6 dairy cows in the United States suffers from clinical mastitis, which is responsible for 1 in 6 dairy cow deaths on U.S. dairy farms. This level of disease is reflected in the concentration of somatic cells in the American milk supply. Somatic cell counts greater than a million per teaspoon are abnormal and “almost always” caused by mastitis. When a cow is infected, greater than 90% of the somatic cells in her milk are neutrophils, the inflammatory immune cells that form pus. The average somatic cell count in U.S. milk per spoonful is 1,120,000.

So how much pus is there in a glass of milk? Not much. A million cells per spoonful sounds like a lot, but pus is really concentrated. According to my calculations* based on USDA data released last month, the average cup of milk in the United States would not be expected to contain more than a single drop of pus.

As the dairy industry points out, the accumulation of pus is a natural part of an animal’s defense system. So pus itself isn’t a bad thing, we just may not want to have it in our mouth.

And you can taste the difference. A study published in the Journal of Dairy Science found that cheese made from high somatic cell count milk had both texture and flavor defects as well as increased clotting time compared to milk conforming to the much more stringent European standards. The U.S. dairy industry, however, insists that there is no food safety risk. If the udders of our factory-farmed dairy cows are inflamed and infected, industry folks say, it doesn’t matter, because we pasteurize—the pus gets cooked. But just as parents may not want to feed their children fecal matter in meat even if it’s irradiated fecal matter, they might not want to feed their children pasteurized pus.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

* According to the new USDA data, the American milk supply averages 224,000 somatic cells/ml (based on bulk tank samples taken from whole herds). Subtracting the 200,000 that could be present in nonmastitic milk and subtracting the non-inflammatory fraction (10%) leaves us with 21,600 neutrophils per ml, and multiplying that by the volume of milk in a cup (237ml) comes out to be about 5 million neutrophils per cup. Then it depends on the cellular concentration of pus. Pus usually has more than 10,000 cells/microliter, but “In purulent fluids, leukocyte count is commonly much lower than expected because dead cells or other debris account for much of the turbidity,” and so apparent “pure pus” may have <10,000 cells/microliter. Conservatively using what was described in the medical literature as frank pus (80,000 cells/microliter) and converting from microliters to drop (50 microliter/drop) would mean 4 million cells per drop. Assuming the excess neutrophils drawn to the infected udder are pus-forming, 5 million divided by 4 million equals little more than a single pus-drop per cup (though I guess that could mean as much as 2 or 3 per tall frosty glass). 

Source: How much pus is there in milk? |

Star McDougaller John: Keeps Up with His Love for Adventure by Following The McDougall Program


I want to express my gratitude to everyone at the McDougall Program – from Dr. John himself to Doug Lisle, Jeff Novick, and many others.  I am just so very thankful to have been helped by this adroit team in a simple yet powerful manner.

I have always been motivated by good health, and when I was young, this meant engaging in and enjoying vigorous sports.  As a teen, I ran high school track, played freshmen football, and varsity six-man volleyball,which,in the summers,morphed into competitive two-man beach games.  In college, I rowed crew, competed in triathlons in my thirties, and throughout it all, reveled in a good endorphin buzz from a daily run of four or five miles.  I even surfed regularly until my earlier forties.

Experiencing life through physical activity was integral to my happiness.

Yet, by my forties and fifties, I had lost a step, was struggling with sore knees, bad ankles, and needed to shed many excess pounds.  I also was on a glide path to cardiovascular disease as my cholesterol was quite elevated.  I often had a sense of vague, whole-body pain likely due to chronic inflammation.

Remembering what is was like to be lean and fit, I yearned for the sense of physical well-being I knew without thought or effort as a boy and young man.

Yet, was it even possible to feel good again now that I was in my mid-fifties?

I am happy to report that it is, and while getting well again initially required focus and discipline, it is a very achievable and certainly worthwhile goal.  Now, years into the program, eating like this is second nature requiring little effort or thought.

Looking back on it, I would break my transition down into three steps:

  1. The Dos and Don’ts of the Food,
  2. The Concept of Caloric Density, and
  3. The Brain/Body/Mind connection captured and described by The Pleasure Trap

At first, I thought all I needed to do was know the details of the diet.  However, while obviously critical, you really can’t navigate food choices without understanding Caloric Density; bluntly stated, somebody somewhere deserves a Nobel Prize for this key piece of work.  And understanding the Pleasure Trap (i.e., the brain-body pain/reward system which guides human response to hunger and food) is absolutely vital.

The McDougall Program puts all of this stuff together in a comprehensive way that I found I could implement with long-term success.

Along the way, I made plenty of mistakes but I kept at it.  I also got regular blood tests which allowed me to monitor what worked and what didn’t by quantifying the impact on my blood work.  For example, being a “vegan” in and of itself turns out to mean very little if one is trying to control weight and cholesterol as there were times when I was eating a high-fat plant-based diet that neither improved my lipid panel nor my weight.  Only when I ate a low-fat, starched-based diet did I see dramatic improvement.  From peak to current trough, I lost fifty pounds and moved from clinical obesity to trim weight of 148 and BMI of 22.0.  (Did I mention how good this feels?)

And as I reset my taste buds to a simpler, minimally processed diet, the volume of food consumed daily actually increased because strawberries, blueberries, bananas, oats, rice, corn, potatoes, beans, and vegetables have bulk from high fiber and water content, but they are low in calories.  So, paradoxically, as I ate “more” I actually lost weight.

It is important to realize too that while I emphasize sport and exercise as a personal preference, my weight loss and improved health came from my diet, and not because I was always working out.  In fact, in the beginning, before I felt great again, I lost tons of weight without working out at all.  Exercise is its own reward effecting mood and health, but it is not necessary to lose weight or improve your blood profile.

So, am I now as fleet of foot as I was when I was twenty-five?  Of course not.  Nonetheless, I feel great as I hike every day up steep hills by my home.  I can once again put in six-plus hours of rigorous Alpine skiing.  And I’ve lost so much weight, and keep it off, that I now weigh less than I did in my twenties despite turning 61 this July.

My cholesterol dropped 39% from 224 to 135 without statins.  In fact, I take no medicine at all.  Generally speaking, I feel extremely good.  Moreover, I am not afraid of aging – which is saying something in a culture that worships youth.  The sense of malaise I once felt is long gone, and in its place is a wondrous sense of contentment with my body and health as I move into my sixties and beyond.

All of which is quite a gift – one I wish the whole world could share with me.

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9 Nutrition Studies Every Ketogenic Dieter NEEDS To Read

In this video, several plant-based health experts talk through 9 nutrition studies that would be of interest to low carb keto diet proponents. Let us know what you think of these studies in the comments below this video! Get exclusive access to PBN Insiders: Links to studies can be found here:… Thanks to forks over knives for providing inspiration for this video:… Thanks to Dr. Neal Barnard and everyone at PCRM for getting involved in this video.

Flashback Friday: Paleopoo – What We Can Learn from Fossilized Feces – Dr. Michael Greger


Isn’t that a really fascinating mechanism? All along I was thinking of fiber more from just an energy density perspective (as in my video Eating More to Weigh Less), but the appetite-suppressing hormones are a whole new frontier. That underscores the urgency of the fact that 96% of Americans don’t even reach the recommended minimum intake of fiber (see my video Do Vegetarians Get Enough Protein?)

Other paleo videos include:

For bowel function in the modern age, see, for example, How Many Bowel Movements Should You Have Every Day? and Should You Sit, Squat, or Lean During a Bowel Movement?

My latest on fiber:

And my latest on what your gut bacteria can do for you:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.