Tag Archives | Health

‘Japanese Pickle’ Can Prevent The Flu

450px-Japanese_pickle_stall

Pic: Schellack (PD)

DOCTORS HATE THIS PICKLE! LEARN HOW TO PREVENT THE FLU WITH THIS ONE WEIRD OLD TRICK!

Via Eureka Alert:

Scientists have discovered that bacteria found in a traditional Japanese pickle can prevent flu. Could this be the next superfood?

The research, which assesses the immune-boosting powers of Lactobacillus brevis from Suguki – a pickled turnip, popular in Japan – in mice that have been exposed to a flu virus, is published today (06 November) in the SfAM journal, Letters in Applied Microbiology.

Lead researcher, Ms Naoko Waki of KAGOME CO., LTD. in Japan said: “Our results show that when a particular strain of Lactobacillus brevis is eaten by mice, it has protective effects against influenza virus infection.”

Suguki enthusiasts have often cited its protective powers but it is not known yet whether the same effects will be seen in humans. Human clinical trials using a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus brevis KB290 bacteria are underway and scientists are hopeful that, given a suitable quantity of bacteria, foods containing them may turn out to be the next superfood.

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Junk Food Linked To Memory Loss

processed foods

Australia’s ABC News 24 reports that fast food is trying to kill your brain:

A team of researchers from the University of New South Wales has uncovered a link between junk food and memory loss. The team placed rats on a diet high in sugar and fat and compared their performance with rodents on a healthy diet.

Lead researcher Margaret Morris says the rats on the poor diet developed an impaired memory after just six days. “Poor diet was associated with a cognitive decline that happened very quickly,” she told AM.

Professor Morris says the memory issues became apparent well before the animals showed any physical symptoms. “The animals of course weren’t obese after just six days on the diet. So the changes in cognition, the loss of memory, happened well before there was any weight change,” she said.

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WiFi Kills House Plants

Dead plant in potsIf WiFi can kill your plants, what is it doing to you? The Daily Dot has the story:

Are you slowly killing your houseplants? Probably! But there might be a reason (other than neglect) why they’re all yellow and wilty: your Wi-Fi router.

An experiment by a handful of high school students in Denmark has sparked some serious international interest in the scientific community.

Five ninth-grade girls at Hjallerup School in North Jutland, Denmark, noticed they had trouble concentrating after sleeping with their mobile phones at their bedsides. They tried to figure out why. The school obviously doesn’t have the equipment to test human brain waves, so the girls decided to do a more rudimentary experiment.

They placed six trays of garden cress seeds next to Wi-Fi routers that emitted roughly the same microwave radiation as a mobile phone. Then they placed six more trays of seeds in a separate room without routers.

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Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Wyeth Centrum

“We believe that the case is closed — supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful.”

That’s the word from a group of doctors whose study has just been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. As with most academic journals, the study is full of jargon so CBS News has dumbed it down for us laypeople:

The first study, which was released online Nov. 12 in Annals, was a review of 24 studies and two trials on more than 350,000 individuals that looked at vitamin supplementation’s role in preventing chronic disease. The review was conducted to find evidence that can be used to update vitamin treatment guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of medical experts who recommend the government on treatments.

That review found no evidence that vitamin and mineral supplementation would reduce heart disease in pill takers.

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Study Suggests That Meditation Changes The Body’s Gene Expression

buddhaVia ScienceDaily, how changing your mind changes your body:

A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.

The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.

“Interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain.

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Can Smoking Marijuana Cause Enlarged Breasts In Men?

moobsThe next drug-related hysteria? Via CNN, a plastic surgeon claims that his field’s experts link pot smoking with gynecomastia, or, as the professionals term it, man boobs:

For now, if you have moobs, it’s probably best to put out that joint. Gynecomastia, otherwise known as man boobs (or moobs for short), is a condition that affects approximately 33% to 41% of men between the ages of 25 and 45.

Gynecomastia is caused by a hormone imbalance between testosterone and estrogen. Animal studies have shown that exposure to the active ingredient in marijuana can result in a decrease in testosterone levels, a reduction of testicular size, and abnormalities in the form and function of sperm.

So can smoking pot really give you man boobs? Probably. Although the association between marijuana and gynecomastia hasn’t been conclusively proven, it appears very plausible. The majority of plastic surgeons I’ve consulted with routinely inquire with their gynecomastia patients about cannabis use and recommend they stop smoking immediately.

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Why Eating Healthy Food Will Cost Your Family $2,000/Year More Than Processed Junk

Organic FoodThe gap between haves and have nots becomes ever more obvious when the have nots can only afford to eat processed junk that doesn’t deserve the moniker “food.” CBC reports on a study demonstrating the disturbing correlation between healthy eating and high income:

A family on a healthy diet can expect to pay $2,000 more a year for food than one having less nutritious meals, say researchers who recommend that the cost gap be closed.

The research in Thursday’s issue of British Medical Journal Open reviewed 27 studies from 10 high-income countries to evaluate the price differences of foods and diet patterns.

“Our results indicate that lowering the price of healthier diet patterns — on average about $1.50/day more expensive — should be a goal of public health and policy efforts, and some studies suggest that this intervention can indeed reduce consumption of unhealthy foods,” Dariush Mozaffarian, the study’s senior author and a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and his co-authors concluded.

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Five Health Benefits of Cannabichromene

200px-Cannabichromene-skeletal.svgWhile the names THC and CBD may ring some bells, very few are aware of a compound in marijuana called cannabichromene. That’s unfortunate, because cannabichromene is actually the second most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana, which means there is likely more CBC in your cannabis than CBD – even though CBD seems to get all the attention.

Via Leaf Science:

1. Fights Bacteria and Fungi

One of the earliest studies involving cannabichromene was published in 1981 by the University of Mississippi.

In the study, researchers found that CBC exhibited “strong” antibacterial effects on a variety of gram-positive, gram-negative and acid-fast bacteria – including E. coli and staph (S. aureus).

CBC showed “mild to moderate” activity against different types of fungi too, including a common food contaminant known as black mold (Aspergillus niger).

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Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future

Bsubtillis roseoflavinMaryn McKenna says that “After 85 years, antibiotics are growing impotent. So what will medicine, agriculture and everyday life look like if we lose these drugs entirely?”, writing at Food & Environment Reporting Network:

Predictions that we might sacrifice the antibiotic miracle have been around almost as long as the drugs themselves. Battlefield casualties got the first non-experimental doses of penicillin in 1943, quickly saving soldiers who had been close to death. But just two years later, the drug’s discoverer Sir Alexander Fleming warned that its benefit might not last. Accepting the 1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine, he said:

 “It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them… There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.”

As a biologist, Fleming knew that evolution was inevitable: sooner or later, bacteria would develop defenses against the compounds the nascent pharmaceutical industry was aiming at them.

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