New Snack: Oreo x Ritz

The cracker cookie combo is a a first of-its-kind product mashup that is essentially one part RITZ Cracker and one part OREO cookie, fused by two delicious layers of smooth peanut butter flavored crème and the original OREO crème.

Mondelēz International is giving it out to U.S customers for free online and supplies are limited. There is a US$3.95 shipping fee.

Source: FoodBeast


Seven Healthy Habits Linked to Lower Risk of Dementia in Those with Genetic Risk

Seven healthy habits and lifestyle factors may play a role in lowering the risk of dementia in people with the highest genetic risk, according to research published in the May 25, 2022, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The seven cardiovascular and brain health factors, known as the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7, are: being active, eating better, losing weight, not smoking, maintaining a healthy blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, and reducing blood sugar.

“These healthy habits in the Life’s Simple 7 have been linked to a lower risk of dementia overall, but it is uncertain whether the same applies to people with a high genetic risk,” said study author Adrienne Tin, PhD, of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. “The good news is that even for people who are at the highest genetic risk, living by this same healthier lifestyle are likely to have a lower risk of dementia.”

The study looked at 8,823 people with European ancestry and 2,738 people with African ancestry who were followed for 30 years. People had an average age of 54 at the beginning of the study.

Study participants reported their levels in all seven health factors. Total scores ranged from 0 to 14, with 0 representing the most unhealthy score and 14 representing the most healthy score. The average score among those with European ancestry was 8.3 and the average score amongst those with African ancestry was 6.6.

Researchers calculated genetic risk scores at the start of the study using genome-wide statistics of Alzheimer’s disease, which have been used to study the genetic risk for dementia.

Participants with European ancestry were divided into five groups and those with African ancestry were divided into three groups based on genetic risk scores. The group with the highest genetic risk included people who had at least one copy of the APOE gene variant associated with Alzheimer’s disease, APOE e4. Of those with European ancestry, 27.9% had the APOE e4 variant, while of those who had African ancestry, 40.4% had the APOE e4 variant. The group with the lowest risk had the APOE e2 variant, which has been associated with a decreased risk of dementia.

By the end of the study, 1,603 people with European ancestry developed dementia and 631 people with African ancestry developed dementia.

For people with European ancestry, researchers found that people with the highest scores in the lifestyle factors had a lower risk of dementia across all five genetic risk groups, including the group with the highest genetic risk of dementia. For each one-point increase in the lifestyle factor score, there was a 9% lower risk of developing dementia. Among those with European ancestry, compared with the low category of the lifestyle factor score, the intermediate and high categories were associated with 30% and 43% lower risk for dementia, respectively. Among those with African ancestry, the intermediate and high categories were associated with 6% and 17% lower risk for dementia, respectively.

Among people with African ancestry, researchers found a similar pattern of declining dementia risk across all three groups among those with higher scores on the lifestyle factors. But researchers said the smaller number of participants in this group limited the findings, so more research is needed.

“Larger sample sizes from diverse populations are needed to get more reliable estimates of the effects of these modifiable health factors on dementia risk within different genetic risk groups and ancestral backgrounds,” Tin said.

A limitation of the study was the smaller sample size among people with African ancestry and that many African American participants were recruited from one location.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

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Type 2 Diabetes Speeds Aging in the Brain

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

Type 2 diabetes is linked to memory and thinking problems, and a new study suggests it’s because the disease makes the brain age faster.

Looking at data from 20,000 middle-aged and older adults, researchers found that — consistent with past studies — people with type 2 diabetes generally did worse on tests of memory and thinking skills than those without diabetes.

Beyond that, MRI scans revealed differences in brain regions related to those skills: People with diabetes had more tissue shrinkage — akin to a 26% acceleration in normal brain aging.

It’s well-known that brain tissue gradually shrinks as we age, with certain areas withering more and faster than others.

The new findings show that people with diabetes have atrophy in the same brain areas as other people their age, said senior researcher Lilianne Mujica-Parodi. But that aging effect happens faster.

“It’s like losing 10 years,” said Mujica-Parodi, a professor at Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York.

The findings — published in the medical journal eLife — add to a body of research on diabetes and brain health. That includes many studies linking diabetes to a faster decline in mental sharpness during older age, and a higher risk of dementia.

In type 2 diabetes, the body cannot properly use the hormone insulin, which allows body cells to consume glucose (sugar) for energy. As a result, blood sugar levels are chronically high — which can damage blood vessels and nerves throughout the body. People with the disease are at risk of such serious complications as heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

But the diabetes-brain connection goes beyond that, according to Mujica-Parodi. The brain is a “huge consumer” of glucose, she said, and if brain cells (neurons) cannot use insulin, they are in trouble.

“If you starve a neuron, it’s going to atrophy,” Mujica-Parodi said. She suspects it’s this neuron starvation, rather than blood vessel damage, that is the main force driving the faster brain aging.

The findings are based on just over 20,000 adults, ages 50 to 80, who were part of an ongoing research project called the U.K. Biobank. They took standard tests of cognitive abilities such as memory, information processing speed, and executive function — skills, such as planning and organization, that we use to accomplish daily tasks.

A smaller group also underwent MRI brain scans.

On average, the study found, people with type 2 diabetes scored lower on the cognitive tests, compared to diabetes-free people of the same age, sex and education level. Their executive function scores were 13% lower, and their processing speed performance was nearly 7% lower.

On MRI, both groups showed age-related tissue thinning in the same brain areas — particularly a region called the ventral striatum, which is critical to executive function. But people with diabetes had a greater degree of atrophy.

The findings do suggest that people with diabetes are showing an “accelerated aging” in the brain, said Michal Beeri, a professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York City.

Beeri, who was not involved in the research, studies the relationship between diabetes and mental performance. She said she thinks cerebrovascular disease — damage to the blood vessels supplying the brain — is the primary reason diabetes drains mental sharpness.

But it is possible, Beeri said, that multiple mechanisms, including neuron starvation, are at work.

Whatever the underlying reasons, both she and Mujica-Parodi stressed the connection between the brain and the rest of the body.

“We tend to think of the body and brain as two separate things,” though that is clearly not the case, Mujica-Parodi said.

“There’s no reason to think that your diabetes stops at your neck,” Beeri agreed. “I’m surprised that when doctors talk to their patients with diabetes, they are often not bringing up brain health.”

If diabetes contributes to cognitive decline, does treating diabetes help?

“In theory, good glucose control should reduce the risk,” Beeri said.

Studies have linked use of diabetes medications, like metformin, to lesser risk of mental decline. But, Beeri said, those studies do not prove the medications, themselves, deserve the credit.

Clinical trials testing metformin and certain other diabetes drugs for brain benefits are underway.

In the current study, metformin use was not linked to any brain protection. But, Mujica-Parodi said, that finding is not conclusive.

Plus, Beeri said, good diabetes control is important for many reasons, and is “something people should be doing anyway.”

Prevention, however, is ideal, Beeri pointed out. Some risk factors for type 2 diabetes — like older age and family history — cannot be changed. But a healthy diet, exercise and losing excess weight can do much to prevent the disease, she said.

Source: HealthDay

Veal Scallops with Mushroom Sauce


1/4 lb fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 veal scallops or cutlets
all-purpose flour
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp grated onion
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
salt to taste


  1. Place the mushrooms in a small saucepan. Add the wine and pepper and simmer until the mushrooms are tender. Set aside.
  2. Pound and divide the veal scallops, then dredge with flour.
  3. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onion and stir well. Add the veal and cook for 1 minute. Turn and cook for 1 minute longer, then reduce heat to low.
  4. Add the stock and simmer for 2 minutes, then turn the veal.
  5. Add the mushrooms mixture and simmer for 2 minutes longer.
  6. Lift the veal and let drain over the skillet. Place in a serving dish and keep warm.
  7. Increase the heat under the skillet and cook the mushroom mixture until slightly thickened.
  8. Season with salt, then pour the sauce around the veal.
  9. Garnish with diced, cooked carrots and potatoes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: The Creative Cooking Course

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