Tag Archives | Health

How cannabis was used to shrink one of the most aggressive brain cancers

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Wai Liu, St George’s, University of London

Widely proscribed around the world for its recreational uses, cannabis is being used in a number of different therapeutic ways to bring relief for severe medical conditions. Products using cannabinoids, the active components of the cannabis plant, have been licensed for medical use. Sativex, for example, which contains an equal mixture of the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), is already licenced as a mouth spray for multiple sclerosis and in the US, dronabinol and nabilone are commercially available for treating cancer-related side effects.

Now, in a study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, we’ve also shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults.

There are more than 85 cannabinoids, which are known to bind to unique receptors in cells and which receive outside chemical signals.… Read the rest

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The Exponential Benefits of Eating Less

Or, “Eat Less You Pig.” James McWilliams explains why eating less food—whole food and junk food, meat and plants, organic and conventional, GMO and non-GMO—would do a lot more than just better our personal health, at Pacific Standard:

There’s one T-shirt in my drawer that I don’t wear, mainly because I think it’s sort of offensive. It reads: Eat Less You Pig.

A nutritionist gave it to me. She had the shirts made because she was tired of the endless hand wringing over what it meant to eat ethically, eat environmentally, eat to optimize personal health, and so on. Rather than debating the fine points of the carbon sequestration of grass-fed systems or the amount of glyphosate sprayed on GMOs or the yield potential of organic agriculture versus conventional or whether animals suffer on “humane” farms, she simply wanted a few choice words that would cut through the fog and free us from the burden of culinary complexity.

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XMED: Paul Stamets Unravels the Link Between Mushrooms and Cancer Treatment

Arp (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Arp (CC BY-SA 3.0)

via Singularity Hub:

The largest living organism on the planet is a mushroom. You can make a hat out of a boiled mushroom called Amadou, or as our ancestors once did, you can use it as tinder to start a fire. With that fire, you might cook up one of the many delicious edible mushroom varieties. But choose the wrong one and you’ll get sick or die.

Mushrooms may also be powerful medicine.

In a talk yesterday at Exponential Medicine, Paul Stamets held forth on the way of the mushroom, amply demonstrating why he’s one of the world’s top mycologists.

Read More: http://singularityhub.com/2014/11/12/xmed-paul-stamets-unravels-the-link-between-mushrooms-and-cancer-treatment/

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Dr. Oz asked Twitter for health questions

Dr. Oz's Twitter picture.

Dr. Oz’s Twitter picture.

Dr. Oz opened up a can of worms on Twitter yesterday. He asked the Twitter community for health questions and some of the responses are great. Don’t you love it when social media gimmicks backfire?

The Questions:

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A Virus That Makes You Stupid

Major Redneck (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Major Redneck (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via CNet:

Do you have days when you just can’t get anything right?

Are there times when you stare at yourself in the mirror somewhere around midnight and say: “Why the hell did I do that?”

I’d like to offer you hope. It may be that you’re not innately stupid, silly, dumb, brain-dead or even gormless. Indeed, it may well be that you’ve got an algae virus that’s messing with your cognitive systems.

My own brain was moved, you see, by the Independent which muttered that scientists had discovered a virus that “makes you stupid.”

I immediately inserted medical instruments inside my cranium — without anesthetic — to see if I could find this virus, which might be my excuse for a thousand silly actions.

Well, I wanted to.

Instead, I went to look at the study, published by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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Everyday Shrinkage: 5 Ways Your Testicles Are Getting Smaller And How To Prevent It

Adrian Cockle (CC BY 2.0)

Adrian Cockle (CC BY 2.0)

via Medical Daily:

Testicles: they don’t call them a man’s jewels for no reason. After all, they’re the source of all our manliness, producing testosterone daily, which gives us muscle definition, the hair on our faces, and the ability to perform sexually. This should explain, then, why we prize them so much, and why it hits so close to home when people like Tom Green and Lance Armstrong are diagnosed with testicular cancer — both of them got a testicle removed, and Green even had his operation televised.

There’s another condition that’s particularly scary for men: testicular atrophy, colloquially known as shrinking balls. Finding out your balls are shrinking is especially scary because you probably won’t feel anything resembling a tumor underneath, however, you’ll sure as hell be wondering what’s causing it and if you’re in danger of anything. If you ever find yourself going from walnuts to grapes down there, it could be because of one of these five reasons.

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752 people have exercised their right to die in Oregon—why you’ve only heard about Brittany Maynard

brittany-maynard-600

via Quartz:

She was a truly beautiful woman: Slender, button-nosed, with a wide and vivacious smile and dancing, sea-green eyes.

That’s the image we’ll remember of Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old who became the face of the “Death With Dignity” movement last month after writing an op-ed for CNN detailing her choice to end her life after being diagnosed with a Stage 4 glioblastoma tumor—a malignant blob with a corona of invasive tentacles digging ever deeper into the healthy parts of her brain. On Saturday, Nov. 1, Maynard followed through with the decision she’d made, leaving behind a grieving husband, her loving family and friends and a slew of headlines and broadcast segments that brought voluntary euthanasia to the forefront of the news for the first time since the 1990s.

The pictures running alongside the features are the ones of Maynard in her prime, not as Maynard was just before her death, her face and body swollen by water retention due to the impact of steroids, her features drawn, her eyes heavy-lidded and her hair dull.

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Dr. Rick Strassman Sheds Light on the Mysterious, Profound Paradox Hiding Within Us- DMT

Join Dr. Rick Strassman (DMT the Spirit MoleculeDMT and the Soul of Prophecy) and I as we discuss the deeply mysterious, alien-filled inter-dimensional chemical portal that is DMT. 

Via Midwest Real

“DMT is a forcible reminder that there’s a lot more about reality, the universe, ourselves, (and) the biosphere than we imagine.” – Dennis McKenna.

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Within your body, there’s a chemical gateway to another world and it’s called DMT (dimethyltryptamine).

IMG_6098As if that weren’t crazy enough, it’s not just in the human body. In fact, it’s quite commonplace throughout nature. DMT is produced within every mammal and found in thousands of plant species (which indigenous cultures have taken advantage in ceremonies for thousands of years). Why is this compound with such extreme psychedelic capabilities so ubiquitous and what is its practical function? There’s no consensus.

Chemically speaking, DMT is not a complicated substance. In fact, it closely resembles neurotransmitters and essential amino acids that your brain is brimming with.… Read the rest

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Ebola News Gives Me a Guilty Thrill. Am I Crazy?

Ebola virus. (Photo: NIAID/Flickr)

Ebola virus. (Photo: NIAID/Flickr)

via Pacific Standard:

Folks speak blithely about their guilty pleasures. But if you get a little thrill when you contemplate the worldwide obliteration of society in a horrific Armageddon, have you crossed a line from “person with a guilty pleasure” to “person who is a dangerous psychopath”?

This was a question that wrecked most of one afternoon following a discussion of Ebola with some co-workers. We were brainstorming ideas for stories about the awful pandemic, and the topic of American preparedness came up. Although Ebola seems decently isolated on our shores, public health officials are girding our infrastructure for worst-case scenarios.

I made the following confession: Although obviously the West African Ebola crisis sickens and saddens me, and although I of course don’t want Ebola to run rampant … whenever I hear about the idea of our nation crumbling in an apocalyptic plague, I get an amoral twinge of excitement.

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Panic over Ebola echoes the 19th-century fear of cholera

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Sally Sheard, University of Liverpool

On October 19 an inspector sent north from London to Sunderland reported a long-awaited arrival: the first British case of cholera. It was 1831 and as part of a second pandemic cholera had again progressed from its Bengal heartland through Europe, before reaching the Baltic ports. It was only a matter of time.

Broadsheet warning in 1831. Wellcome Library, London, CC BY-NC-SA

The British public, informed by newspaper reports, were acquainted with the symptoms: profuse watery diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain and often death within a matter of hours. In advance of its arrival in Russia thousands fled from the cities. In Poland it was killing one in two victims. And unlike today, where oral rehydration solution can prevent dehydration and shock, there was no effective treatment.

Cholera was (and is) caused by vibrio cholerae bacteria and spread by poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water.… Read the rest

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