DEAR READERS: New research shows that a combination of B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids can act as a dynamic duo against dementia.
Per a summary on FoodfortheBrain.org: "The research has found that giving older people with the first signs of cognitive impairment supplemental B vitamins (B6, B12 and folic acid), at higher levels than can be achieved through diet, ... produced 73% less brain shrinkage in a year, compared to placebo. This reduction brought brain shrinkage down to the level found in those elderly with no cognitive impairment."
It should be noted that this effect was only seen in participants who already had sufficient levels of omega-3 fats.
These documented findings could help with canine age-related cognitive decline and brain changes in aging cats that are analogous to Alzheimer's disease.
I would also consider taurine as a supplement for aging pets. In a study published in June, researchers examined 250 mice who were roughly 45 years old in human terms. Each day, the mice were either given taurine or a control solution. The mice that were given taurine had an increased lifespan of 12% in females and 10% in males.
In addition, organic coconut oil, given orally, has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, and is also beneficial for slowing cognitive decline. Coconut oil also helps reduce seizures in epileptic dogs.
For references, citations and other details, go to drfoxonehealth.com/post/low-cost-supplements-help-prevent-alzheimers-disease-and-cognitive-decline-in-cats-and-dogs.
BOOK REVIEW: UPDATED EDITION OF 'UNNATURAL ORDER'
"An Unnatural Order: The Roots of Our Destruction of Nature" by Jim Mason. This fully revised and updated edition of the 1993 original outstrips all other books I have read with its documentation and compassionate conviction that advance the recognition of animal rights.
It is unique in its extensive examination of our inhumanity toward animals, toward our own kind and toward nature over the millennia of recorded history. Mason has coined the term "misothery" -- derived from the Greek "misein" (to hate) and "therion" (beast or animal) -- literally meaning "hatred and contempt for animals." Since animals are so representative of nature in general, misothery can mean "hatred and contempt for nature, especially its animal-like aspects."
For all who want to explore the origins of the current climate and extinction crises and pandemics, and what can and should be done, "An Unnatural Order" is an excellent resource. Read more about the author's philosophy at jimmason.website/why-animals-matter.
Mason makes it eminently clear that our disconnectedness from animals, the land and nature comes from the belief in human superiority -- dominion -- over the rest of Earth's creation, palpably evident in the global industrial system, and agriculture in particular. This is a state of mind most of us were raised with and taught to accept, even Christians and Jews, whose holy texts do not give religious sanction to dominate destructively and harmfully. On the contrary, they instruct believers to assume planetary care -- to "dress and to keep the Garden of Eden."
Under the equalitarian banner of justice for all, Mason links violations of women's rights, notably reproductive rights in the U.S., with the continuing denial of rights for all animals, wild and domesticated. Sexism, racism and speciesism are coins of the same currency.
When we lose our ancient, co-evolved connectivity and no longer feel awe and wonder at the symmetries of plants and insects, and the living communities they help sustain, we destroy more and more and feel less and less. This is because there is less and less to feel for, to empathize with, as biodiversity-impoverished norms are set for the next generation.
This vicious cycle of anthropocentric nihilism is evident in the daily news, from mass shootings to deaths from drug overdoses. Reading "An Unnatural Order" is a good beginning -- first to bear witness, and then to work on establishing a more natural order. This is evident in the countless symbiotic relationships discovered in sustainable ecosystems and provides an ethical basis for humankind to live in accord with the Golden Rule, treating others, human and nonhuman, as we would have them treat us.
GENETICALLY ALTERING PIGLETS TO HELP HUMAN BABIES
MIT's Technology Review reports that a company called eGenesis hopes to transplant gene-edited pig hearts into human babies with severe heart defects as early as next year, once a trial on 12 baboons is complete. The goal is to buy time for these infants while they wait for a rare human donor organ of the right size to become available.
Using the CRISPR gene-editing tool, eGenesis made about 70 changes to the pigs' genome. This involved removing genes for retroviruses and proteins, and inserting seven human genes. The company says that the changes reduce the risk that the recipient's immune system will reject the organ. So far, two infant baboons have received the transplants; neither survived more than a few days. (Full story: TechnologyReview.com, July 17)
How far will we humans go in exploiting other sentient species to help save our own kind, potential profits notwithstanding? The question raises ethical issues that cannot be ignored.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
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