Monday, December 29, 2008
If you really think about it, how many deaths were caused because of Marijuana? NONE! But with Alcohol and Tobacco: millions of deaths reported. I think it should be legalized. And that we should ban Alcohol and Tobacco. I mean Weed isn't all bad. I have never tried it, but I don't do all three that's for sure. haha But read it up on the internet, that Weed is harmless! Their research suggests that the development of a legal drug that contains certain properties similar to those in marijuana might help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Though the exact cause of Alzheimer’s remains unknown, chronic inflammation in the brain is believed to contribute to memory impairment.
Any new drug’s properties would resemble those of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, but would not share its high-producing effects. THC joins nicotine, alcohol and caffeine as agents that, in moderation, have shown some protection against inflammation in the brain that might translate to better memory late in life.
“It’s not that everything immoral is good for the brain. It’s just that there are some substances that millions of people for thousands of years have used in billions of doses, and we’re noticing there’s a little signal above all the noise,” said Gary Wenk, professor of psychology at Ohio State and principal investigator on the research.
Wenk’s work has already shown that a THC-like synthetic drug can improve memory in animals. Now his team is trying to find out exactly how it works in the brain.
The most recent research on rats indicates that at least three receptors in the brain are activated by the synthetic drug, which is similar to marijuana. These receptors are proteins within the brain’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in memory as well as physiological processes associated with appetite, mood and pain response.
This research is also showing that receptors in this system can influence brain inflammation and the production of new neurons, or brain cells.
“When we’re young, we reproduce neurons and our memory works fine. When we age, the process slows down, so we have a decrease in new cell formation in normal aging. You need those cells to come back and help form new memories, and we found that this THC-like agent can influence creation of those cells,” said Yannick Marchalant, a study coauthor and research assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State.
Marchalant described the research in a poster presentation November 19 at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C.
Category: Health Concern
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Thursday, December 18, 2008
I've been taking birth control for regulating my period and I also learned that it helps you out with preventing ovarian cancer as well. Which is also an upside. But a lot of women always have a hard time figuring out which birth control methods work out for them.
“Basically, all of these methods were similar in preventing pregnancy,” said lead investigator Laureen Lopez, Ph.D., research associate at Family Health International in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added warning data to the drug label for the contraceptive skin patch, advising users that the women using the patch have a greater risk of blood clots than pill users. The study prompting the FDA action was not part of the review.
For the review, the researchers looked at 11 randomized controlled trials — three comparing the patch to the pill, and eight comparing the ring to the pill — comprising more than 6,000 women.
Women using the patch were more likely to use the medication as prescribed than those on the pill were. However, patch users experienced more side effects and were more likely to abandon their method eventually than pill users were.
Ring users generally had fewer serious side effects than pill users, but had more vaginal irritation and discharge. Despite this, vaginal ring users tended to stick with their approach longer than the pill group.
The patch is a small adhesive square that dispenses hormones and which a woman must replace every week for three weeks, and then leave off for a week. The Ortho Evra contraceptive patch is the only patch approved for use to date.
The NuvaRing, which Organon manufactures, releases hormones into the vaginal cavity. A woman inserts the ring, a flexible piece of plastic tubing, where it remains for three weeks; she then removes it for one week. Many consider the ring and patch easier to use than birth control pills because women do not have to attend to them every day.
Compared with pill users, patch users had more bleeding breakthroughs, breast discomfort, painful periods, and nausea and vomiting. Rings users, on the other hand, had more vaginal irritation and discharge. Of the two, patch users tended to discontinue the method more readily.
The contraceptive review updates one done in the past, for which only two studies of the patch versus the pill were available. The ring data are new. For all methods, several studies had women drop out, which can limit the value of the results according to the researchers.
“Women who used the ring had fewer bleeding problems than those on the pill, but they did have irritation,” Lopez said. “But discontinuation was similar for the ring and the pill in most of the studies.”
Clinicians have seen the ring increase in popularity, Lopez added.
Mitchell Creinin, M.D., professor and director of gynecological specialties at the University of Pittsburgh, is familiar with all of the review studies. “It all comes back to compliance.” Creinin said. “Once a week versus once a day, twice as much hormone entering the body (with the patch), or half as much (with the ring).”
Creinin, who was not involved with the review, said it is important to understand the people who would enter these studies: “These studies were done primarily when only the pill was available. Women who were unhappy with their present method of birth control were the ones likely to enter them.” He noted that the results differ among studies between European and American women. “North American women tend to have more complaints and are less compliant,” he said.
Overall, Creinin said, women are happy with their birth control because they are not getting pregnant.
Lopez said that women have to consider many issues when choosing a method of birth control. Ease of use, side effects and life situation are each important. For a contraceptive to be effective, the woman must be willing and able to follow the prescribed regimen.
“Women are finally beginning to understand that taking a pill every day is difficult.” Creinin said. He is working on an upcoming study comparing the ring to the patch.
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Saturday, December 13, 2008
Like many, possibly millions, of other people in the world, I began to recently enjoy and incorporate the fish, Tilapia, into my diet. This usually bland fish was perfect to manipulate and add whatever flavors I wish to have that day. I felt very proud of myself, being able to cut down on my four-legged meats and add more fish into my diet. I felt I was on the right track, maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
However, I recently came upon an article that shook me out of my tilapia eating ways. The article discussed the possible negative effects of eating farm-raised tilapia. I did further research and came upon a very credible source, Andrew Weil, MD. Dr. Weil states that eating fish IS good for you, but the type of fish matters. He recommends eating fish high in levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild Alaskan salmon or black cod. The problem with tilapia? According to a study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, they found that farm raised tilapia contained very low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and very high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 is not necessarily bad for you, but we get much more of these fatty acids than we need. They're found in many of the snack foods we consume search as cookies and crackers. Omega-3 fatty acids are the fatty acids that are constantly promoted and praised about. They're good for your brain as well as being anti-inflammatory. Researchers claim that the combination of fatty acids in tilapia could pose a danger to people with heart problems, arthritis, and asthma.
So should we stop eating tilapia? That's the question I asked myself when I learned of the possible health risks associate with tilapia. Well Dr. Weil states, "I would not characterize farmed tilapia as "dangerous," but there are certainly better choices out there." I guess the bottomline is balance. Don't eat to much tilapia so that you decrease the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Incorporate the necessary nutrients into your life and remember eating fish IS good for you, it's just the type of fish that matters.
Category: Vitamin and Supplement
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Saturday, December 6, 2008
I once tried to be a vegetarian. I cut out all meats and tried to live on vegetables and tofu. I was young and enthusiastic and after a few days, I began to few unwell. I felt fatigued and lost a lot of energy. I decided then that maybe being a vegetarian wasn't for me, and began my life as a meat-eater again.
A few years later I took a nutrition course and learned of what is called Iron Deficiency. My professor then said, "Many people who attempt to become vegetarians are iron deficient because they don't know how to do it correctly. They don't get enough iron in their body." She might have said it differently but it was something like that. I knew then, that I was one of those people who didn't go vegetarian correctly.
In an article found on the Savvy Vegetarian website, they discuss being vegetarian and avoiding iron deficiency. A well-balanced vegetarian diet can provide all the necessary amouont of iron that one needs daily. However, it is not only the amount of iron that is consumbed by the body, it is the amount that is absorbed that is significant. Some research shows that vegetarians may absorb only 10% of what they consume while omnivores absorb about 18%. Some factors may help absorption such as Vitamin C and leavened bread.
The bottomline is, being vegetarian is great. You save the lives of animals as well as live a more healthy and saturated fat free life style. However, it is important to not neglect the body of its nutritional needs such as iron. According to the Savvy Vegetarian, if you are concerned about your iron intake, take a simple blood test at your hospital or local medical center, and speak to your doctor about what you can do to increase your iron intake and absorption.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008
As you all know, HIV/AIDs were and always will be sucha a tragic epidemic. It's sad that they have yet to find a cure that will absolutely take away this problem that has been around for many many years. But this is why I absolutely love Science Daily just because you find out so much! haha Authors of the study also report that the universal voluntary testing followed by immediate ART could have additional public health benefits, including reducing the incidence of tuberculosis and the transmission of HIV from mother to child. Additionally, the model suggests that there could be a significant reduction of HIV-related morbidity and mortality in resource-limited countries with generalized HIV epidemics.
The current WHO policy on treatment involves voluntary testing and clinical and/or immunological evaluation (e.g. CD4 count) to determine eligibility for treatment with antiretrovirals.
The authors emphasize the theoretical nature of the exercise based on data and raise a number of concerns regarding feasibility, including the protection of individual rights, drug resistance, toxicity and financing challenges.
The paper does not signal a change in WHO guidance. WHO-recommended preventive interventions need to be maintained and expanded. This includes male circumcision, partner reduction, correct and consistent use of condoms, and interventions targeting most-at-risk populations, also known as "combination prevention."
WHO will convene a meeting early next year bringing together ethicists, funders, human rights advocates, clinicians, prevention experts and AIDS programme managers to discuss this and other issues related to the wider use of antiretroviral therapy for HIV prevention.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I'm speaking for myself, when I say that I don't regularly drink 8 glasses of water a day. But hey I'm still alive! haha I wonder if I don't drink that then my life expectancy will be shortened. But here I found a great article that goes with the mandatory rule of 8 glasses a day. In an invited review published online by the American Journal of Physiology August 8, Valtin, professor emeritus of physiology at Dartmouth Medical School, reports no supporting evidence to back this popular counsel, commonly known as "8 x 8" (for eight, eight-ounce glasses). The review will also appear in a later issue of the journal.
Valtin, a kidney specialist and author of two widely used textbooks on the kidney and water balance, sought to find the origin of this dictum and to examine the scientific evidence, if any, that might support it. He observes that we see the exhortation everywhere: from health writers, nutritionists, even physicians. Valtin doubts its validity. Indeed, he finds it, "difficult to believe that evolution left us with a chronic water deficit that needs to be compensated by forcing a high fluid intake." The 8 x 8 rule is slavishly followed. Everywhere, people carry bottles of water, constantly sipping from them; it is acceptable to drink water anywhere, anytime. A pamphlet distributed at one southern California university even counsels its students to "carry a water bottle with you. Drink often while sitting in class..."
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Category: Health Concern