A Reuter’s news item appeared mid April this year in time for some tax-season levity: Lizard saliva may save your brain! No kidding. Apparently, a New-York-based biotechnology company has decided that ingesting the drool of the scary-looking southwest desert Gila monster may free the mind from the grip of Alzheimer’s disease (proceedings from the 7th International Geneva/Springfield Symposium on Advances in Alzheimer’s Therapy, Switzerland, April 8, 2002). Stay tuned! Meanwhile, other natural nootropic substances, with research behind them, hold promise for keeping mental functions sharp. (For more tips on how to enhance your memory, see the Brain-Booster Checklist below.)

Is it possible to get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our food? There is no easy answer to this question because it depends not only on how well we digest and assimilate the food we eat, but also on the quality of the food. For example, the highest per portion sources of Calcium are kelp (1093 mg per 100 grams edible portion, or roughly 3 1/2 ounces) and Swiss cheese (925 mg/100 gm). A serving of either of these foods would generously cover the USRDA of 800 mg/day for both men and women in midlife. The question is now whether the kelp has been dragged up through toxic waters in the harvesting process; and whether the milk that the Swiss cheese was curdled from is contaminated by a cow fed on antibiotics and pesticide-laden grain…? Here is a place to consider juiced collard greens (about 12 ounces of the raw vegetable would give 800 mg of Calcium), turnip greens (12 oz), parsley (1 lb), dandelion greens (1 lb) or beet greens (1.5 lbs). Brewer’s yeast, as another...

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