Tag Archives | Hormones

The Light That Burns: Night-Time Illumination and Melatonin Suppression

File:U.S. Atlantic Seaboard at Night.JPG

NASA Earth Observatory (CC)

Some interesting studies are cited that indicate meditation, yoga, fruit, and darkness all increase our melatonin (a pineal gland metabolite; often referred to as a miracle hormone). We know that artificial lighting and bad diet have left us chronically deficient in this hormone – a fact with vast implications for neurodegenerative diseases -but just how far back does the deficiency go if, at one time, we were eating a high percentage of fruit biochemistry for millions of years in the African tropics?

Via The Nexian:

Darkness is good for us; it is an ally that heals us. It is something to be embraced, not feared. From Palaeolithic times, up until very recently, the only major sources of light we would have experienced once the sun went down would have been starlight, moonlight and firelight. Life on this planet has evolved for three and a half billion years with a regular and dependable day-night schedule.… Read the rest

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Men May Have Natural Aversion to Adultery With Friends’ Wives

Via ScienceDaily:

After outgrowing teenage infatuations with the girl next door, adult males seem to be biologically designed to avoid amorous attractions to the wife next door, according to a University of Missouri study that found adult males’ testosterone levels dropped when they were interacting with the marital partner of a close friend. Understanding the biological mechanisms that keep men from constantly competing for each others’ wives may shed light on how people manage to cooperate on the levels of neighborhoods, cities and even globally.

“Although men have many chances to pursue a friend’s mate, propositions for adultery are relatively rare on a per opportunity basis,” said Mark Flinn, professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Science. “Men’s testosterone levels generally increase when they are interacting with a potential sexual partner or an enemy’s mate. However, our findings suggest that men’s minds have evolved to foster a situation where the stable pair bonds of friends are respected.”

Flinn says that these findings might help solve global problems.

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France To Ban Food Packaging Containing BPA

Luckily here in America we still have the freedom to unknowingly drink from hormone-disrupting soda bottles. AFP reports:

The French parliament voted Thursday to ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical thought to have a toxic effect on the brain and nervous system, in baby food packaging next year and all food containers in 2015.

The chemical is used in “polycarbonate” types of hard plastic bottles and as a protective lining in food and beverage cans. It became a concern following evidence in lab animals of a toxic effect on the brain and nervous system. Some studies have found a link between exposure to BPA and coronary heart disease and reproductive disorders.

Several countries have introduced voluntary measures or laws to stop the manufacture of baby bottles with BPA and published guidelines on safer use of the containers. In June 2010, the French parliament banned BPA-containing baby bottles.

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Death By Side Effect

Picture: DEA (PD)

Carl Pettit writes at the Good Men Project:

I’ve noticed over the years how commercials have become longer and louder, and how the number of ads for prescription drugs have steadily increased. The latter is probably due, at least in part, to the baby boomers hitting retirement age.

The advertisements that have caught my attention this time around are for underarm testosterone treatments. I’d never seen testosterone ads on television before, but these promos seem to be running all the time, although, for obvious reasons, I didn’t catch any when I watched The View (not my normal fodder) this morning, which was a refreshing change.

Men with low or no testosterone should consult their doctors, and take part in testosterone treatment if needed, yet I’m exceedingly distrustful of national ad campaigns plugging the benefits of topical testosterone without educating the public about the specific reasons a man should take testosterone in the first place.

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Is Your Favorite Ice Cream Made with Monsanto’s Artificial Hormones?

Ice Cream dessert 02Monsanto has been in the news again, with a U.S. District Court ruling that the USDA has to at least go through the motions of regulating the company’s genetically engineered sugar beets. Monsanto, you may know, is not likely to win any contests for the most popular company. In fact, it has been called the most hated corporation in the world—which is saying something, given the competition from the likes of BP, Halliburton, and Goldman Sachs.

This has gotten me thinking about, of all things, ice cream, and of how Monsanto’s clammy paws can be found in some of the most widely sold ice cream brands in the country. These brands could break free from Monsanto’s clutches. So far they haven’t, but maybe this is about to change.

Ben & Jerry’s gets all their milk from dairies that have pledged not to inject their cows with genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH).… Read the rest

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Allies Planned To Slip Hitler Female Sex Hormones

hitlerwomanThe British plotted to lace Hitler’s food with estrogen so as to turn him “feminine” or into a mustached transsexual or something. Because that would bring about peace. Lesson being, if it hadn’t ended when it did, World War II would have grown continually stranger and stranger. The Telegraph writes:

Some tried bombs to neutralize the Führer, others tried bullets. Now it has come to light that British spies looked at derailing the man behind the German war machine by giving him female sex hormones.

Agents planned to smuggle doses of oestrogen into his food to make him less aggressive and more like his docile younger sister Paula, who worked as a secretary.

Spies working for the British were close enough to Hitler to have access to his food, said Professor Brian Ford, who discovered the plot. He explained that oestrogen was chosen because it was tasteless and would have a slow and subtle effect, meaning it would pass Hitler’s food testers unnoticed.

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The Love Hormone In Nasal Spray Can Help Overcome Shyness

Oxytocin3dWow, just a little toot of Oxytocin and you’re in… From the Telegraph:

Scientists have discovered that the hormone oxytocin could help wallflowers overcome awkwardness in social situations

The chemical dubbed “the hormone of love” is known to increase empathy and bonding – especially parents and their children. But now researchers have found it improves the social skills of the shy – but has little effect on those who are naturally confident.

The finding could have implications for those with severe social deficiencies, often apparent in conditions like autism. Researchers at Israel’s Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment and Columbia University were examining whether the hormone, which occurs naturally in the body could make us more understanding of others.

They conducted a test of 27 healthy adult men, giving them the hormone or a placebo via a nasal spray and then asking them to perform an ‘empathic accuracy task’ – which measures their powers of reading the thoughts and feelings of others.

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When The ‘Trust Hormone’ Is Out Of Balance

Oxytocin

Spacefilling model of oxytocin

By Alix Spiegel for NPR:

This is a story about a fickle little hormone that plays a large role in our lives.

The name of the hormone is oxytocin, and until recently it was mostly dismissed by scientists. They knew it played a role in inducing labor and facilitating breast-feeding, but otherwise didn’t give it much attention.

But over the past 10 years, oxytocin has come up in the world, and several researchers have begun making big claims about it. Now dubbed “the trust hormone,” oxytocin, researchers say, affects everything from our day-to-day life to how we feel about our government.

The narrative of oxytocin — the trust hormone — is being rewritten.

Trusting Everyone

To understand the role that oxytocin plays in your own life, consider the experience of a small 9-year-old girl named Isabelle. (NPR is not using the full family name in this story for privacy reasons.)

Isabelle lives with her mother, Jessica, in a leafy East Coast suburb.

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