Tag Archives | Health

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.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

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.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

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.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

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).

Read the rest

Continue Reading

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.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Should Lithium Be Added To Drinking Water To Prevent Suicides?

lithiumMother Nature Network has the latest news on the previously discussed sort-of-logical-yet-profoundly-horrifying concept:

A study carried out in June of 2011 demonstrated that drinking water contaminated with lithium could actually lower suicide rates. So should lithium be added as a supplement to the water supply, as is done with fluoride?

In the study, 6,460 samples of drinking water were tested across 99 districts in Austria. Districts with higher levels of lithium tended to report lower suicide rates. In some areas lithium occurs naturally in the water supply, likely leached out of rocks and stones.

The results weren’t terribly shocking, as lithium has been used for decades to treat depression. This was the first time its effect was measured based on trace amounts within drinking water, however.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

World Heath Organization Says Air Pollution Is Leading Cause Of Cancer

LandscapeDon’t breathe, it will kill you. Via the South China Morning Post:

The World Health Organization has classified outdoor air pollution as a leading cause of cancer.

“The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances. We consider this to be the most important environmental carcinogen, more so than passive smoking,” said Kurt Straif, head of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The agency evaluates cancer-causing substances. This is the first time it has classified air pollution in its entirety as causing cancer.

The most recent data, from 2010, showed that 223,000 lung cancer deaths worldwide were the result of air pollution. The expert panel’s classification was made after scientists analysed more than 1,000 studies worldwide and concluded there was enough evidence that exposure to outdoor air pollution causes lung cancer.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Case Against Microwaves

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADid the Russians ban microwave ovens following extensive research into their health hazards? Read about that and a host of other reasons why you might want to stop nuking your food at Live Free Live Natural (challenge to disinfonauts: can you find corroborative sources? According to The International Microwave Power Institute it ain’t so.):

The Nazis are credited with inventing the first microwave-cooking device to provide mobile food support to their troops during their invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II. These first microwave ovens were experimental. After the war, the US War Department was assigned the task of researching the safety of microwave ovens.

But it was the Russians who really took the bull by the horns.

After the war, the Russians had retrieved some of these microwave ovens and conducted thorough research on their biological effects. Alarmed by what they learned, the Russians banned microwave ovens in 1976, later lifting the ban during Perestroika.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Health Dangers of Plastics: BPA, Phthalate Exposure May Cause Fertility Problems

PlasticBottlesAnyone who saw the documentary Tapped knows that ingesting BPAs and phtalates is hazardous to your health. CNN reports on yet another study highlighting the risks, this one suggesting fertility problems:

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant or have suffered a miscarriage, some common household products may be partly to blame, new research suggests.

This week, scientists at the annual conference of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in Boston are presenting research linking chemical compounds in our environment to fertility issues. In several different studies, researchers met with healthy couples who were trying to have a baby and tested them for BPA and phthalates.

BPA stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical used to make certain plastics and resins that are used in containers. BPA is also used in the coating of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Read the rest
Continue Reading