• Boost your immunity, longevity through fasting

    05/Apr/2016 // 205 Viewers

     

    Good news for those that love fasting. There is now scientific proof that starving yourself each day, or a few days of the week is a good thing. Evidence already abounds that timed periods of fasting are beneficial and can boost immunity and control intestinal inflammation.

    Fasting for health reasons for upwards of six to 24 hours at a time has become increasingly popular  especially in the fitness world. But it’s not a new trend—fasting has been around for centuries, even Hippocrates used fasting as a means of promoting weight loss.

    Fasting alters body mechanisms for the better, says Dr. Courtney Peterson, an Assistant Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Centre. “Fasting lowers levels of inflammation and puts the body into repair mode. Production of antioxidant enzymes increases, and that helps repair and recycle cells.”

    Traditional medicine

    Researchers from Emory University Atlanta, USA, say that “Caloric Restriction” in the form of fasting has been used in traditional medicinal practices such as homoeopathy, naturopathy, ayurveda for treating various ailments.

    The research team found a mechanism of body’s ability to adapt to nutrient scarcity. They noted that limiting nutrients could be a great booster of vaccine-induced immunity and protective of intestinal inflammation.

    They identified a gene, whose activation in key immune cells was found to be a sign of a robust, protective immune response.

    The gene, GCN2, General Controlled Non-repressedkinase, which is a known metabolic sensor involved in sensing amino acid starvation and found to regulate the process of autophagy, a response to starvation or stress within cells. The results were published in the journal ‘Science’ earlier.

    Fasting has become increasingly popular over the years, and many people are becoming more aware that eating less does have incredible benefits when used sensibly.

    Longevity

    For instance, it is fact that  the less you eat  the longer you will live. Studies show how the lifespan of people in certain cultures increased due to their diets. A primary effect of ageing is a slower metabolism, a younger body metabolises  faster and more efficiently, so the less less older persons eat,  the less toll on their  digestive system.

    Weight loss:

    Intermittent fasting can be a safe way to lose weight because it allows the body to burn through fat cells more effectively than just regular dieting.

    Intermittent fasting allows the body to use fat as it’s primary source of energy instead of sugar. Many athletes now use fasting as means to hitting low body fat percentages for competitions.

    Insulin sensitivity:

    Fasting has shown to have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, allowing tolerance of carbohydrates (sugar) better than if you didn’t fast.  

    Speeds up metabolism

    Intermittent fasting gives the  digestive system a rest, and  energises the metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently. It regulates digestion and promotes healthy bowel function, thus improving  metabolic function.

    Improves hunger

    Fasting helps to regulate hormones in the body so that you experience what true hunger is. Nutritionists say obese individuals do not receive the correct signals to know they are full.

    The longer you fast, the more your body can regulate itself to release the correct hormones, so that you can experience what real hunger is. And when your hormones are working correctly, you get full quicker.

    Detoxification

    Fasting can help clear the skin because the body is temporarily freed from digestion and able to focus its regenerative energies on other systems. Not eating for just one day helps the body clean up toxins and regulate the functioning of the liver, kidneys and other parts. - Vanguard


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  • 4 ways to prevent pregnancy without using condom

    05/Apr/2016 // 2281 Viewers

     

     

    1. The Safe Week: The safe period is the best way to prevent pregnancy without a condom. This means you can make love between the 8th day to the 20th day of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Here the first day of the period signifies 

    2. Pull & Pray Method: The pull and pray method or withdrawal method is also followed by a lot of couples. However, it is not completely safe. But, according to experts, this pull and pray method is about 83 percent effective, just equivalent to a condom which is said to be 84 percent safe to prevent pregnancy.


    3.The Effective Copper T:The device is implanted by a trained doctor and can be removed when the couple is ready for conception. There are a lot of women who opt for this method to delay the chances of getting pregnant.

    4. Stay On The Pill:No matter what, stick to the everyday pill. If you are not on the pill, visit a gynecologist and he/she would suggest what you should do. This is one of the best ways to prevent a pregnancy without a condom. The pill is your answer.


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  • : Drama as Buhari's Minister goes against FG, shocks the world with alarm over deaths in Nigeria

    05/Dec/2016 // 3858 Viewers

    Prof. Issac Adewole, Nigeria's Health Minister

    Minister of Health Prof Isaac Adewole, has said that too many Nigerians are dying of unhealthy diet even as he  cautioned that  the economic loss from Non Communicable Diseases, NCDs, such as stroke, High Blood Pressure (hypertension), heart attack, and diabetes among others, could rise to a projected US$8 billion over the next 10 years in the country,

    Adewole who said hypertension is the leading cardiovascular disease in Nigeria and can result in stroke if untreated, remarked that 1 in 5 Nigerians is hypertensive and at risk of premature death.

    Presenting the keynote address in Lagos, during the First Annual Black Tie Gala event organised by the Tristate Heart Foundation (THF), to raise N500 million in support of cardiovascular care in Nigeria,  he observed that unhealthy diets contribute significantly to the development of NCDs in Nigeria.


    “Sadly, there is widespread low consumption of proteins, fruits and vegetables and increasing patronage of fast food outlets by the population. There is also large promotion of sweetened products such as carbonated drinks, pastries, candies and other refined sugars, while excessive intake of salt is promoted by food additives such as monosodium glutamate common in delicacies such as suya, kilisi, isi-ewu, ngwo-ngwo, among others.


    Further, he remarked that current estimates, show that death rate from stroke is 40-50 per cent within the first three months of diagnoses, while 39 per cent of those who survived stroke after three months died within a year, with 12 per cent developing severe disability.“I can say without fear of contradiction that at least five out of 10 adults seated here tonight have elevated blood pressure and more than half of these are not aware of their situation.

    “This is frightening because the dire consequence of neglected hypertension is stroke without warning. Unless we take drastic and sustained actions, we will keep counting losses,” he said.


    He said THF’s sister organisation, the Tristate Cardiovascular Association (TCA), which operates the Tristate Heart and Vascular Centre, has done over 100 open heart surgeries and numerous cardiac interventions, with 60 per cent of the patients unable to pay their bills.

    Als speaking, former Osun State Governor/ National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, said the Foundation was set up to tackle the incidents of deaths from heart deceases, which he said account for premature death of about 17.3 million people every year.

    He said the funds would help the world-class Tristate Heart and Vascular Centre, under the leadership of Prof Kamar Adeleke, to treat those of little means.


    “I, Bisi Akande, currently a 78-year-old man, have decided to do my part by dedicating myself completely to an initiative that will improve the health of Nigerian citizens and prevent us from needless death.” The Foundation, he said, plans to sponsor a minimum of 150 open heart surgeries in the next one year.


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  • WARNING!! Suya, Isi- ewu, Kilisi, cause premature death–Health Minister

    05/Dec/2016 // 617 Viewers

     

    (DAILY TRUST) -  The Minister of health, Prof Isaac Adewole has said Suya, Isi- ewu, Kilisi and others are contributing to the cause of premature deaths in the country.

    He disclosed this while delivering a keynote address at the First Annual Black Tie Gala event organised by the Tristate Heart Foundation (THF) noting that the unhealthy diet of Nigerians often lead to hypertension, which is the leading cardiovascular disease in Nigeria, resulting to stroke if untreated.

    Adewole, noted that 1 in every 5 Nigerians is hypertensive and at risk of premature death. He said, “Sadly, there is widespread low consumption of proteins, fruits and vegetables and increasing patronage of fast food outlets by the population,”

    “There is also large promotion of sweetened products such as carbonated drinks, pastries, candies and other refined sugars, while excessive intake of salt is promoted by food additives such as monosodium glutamate common in delicacies such as suya, kilisi, isi-ewu, ngwo-ngwo, among others.”

    He advised Nigerians to give up eating some of their favorite traditional meat-based meals for the sake of their health with emphasis on Suya, Isi ewu, Ngwo Ngwo, Kilisi and others.


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  • Breaking: Customs intercepts container of Jollof Rice, others from India

    05/Dec/2016 // 404 Viewers

     

    The Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted a 20ft container of “READY TO EAT FOODS” like Egusi Soup, Jollof Rice, Ogbono, Yam Porridge imported from India.

    The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf, spoke with stakeholders at the SDV/SCOA Terminal while handing over the container of imported prepared foods to officials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Contro.

    The controller described the scenario as an “aberration”, considering the fact that government granted zero duty for the importation of machinery for the packaging of agricultural products.

    Yusuf in a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Command, Mr. Uche Ejesieme, said “Why should indigenous menu be imported into the country at a time when investors are much sought after to boost local industries.”
     
    The controller said the command generated N25.7bn in November, up from N25.3bn recorded in October.

    Yusuf said that the higher revenue was recorded in spite of the recession and low imports.

    He said that the command would continue to explore all avenues for maximum revenue collection.

    According to him, this is in view of the exigencies of the moment, which placed more responsibilities on the service.

    Yusuf urged potential investors to take advantage of the numerous export potential in the country for their socio-economic benefits.

    NAN


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  • Things you must do to have long life - Experts

    05/Jan/2017 // 471 Viewers

     

    More research is showing that the key to longevity is what experts call “lifestyle medicine” which simply means simple changes in diet, exercise, and stress management. To help people turn that knowledge into results, experts have assembled a manageable list of health and wellness suggestions.

    Three experts , a naturopathic physician, Dr James Rouse, a dietitian, Christina Reiter and a Physical therapist, Rick Olderman, spoke on the simple but significant lifestyle-medicine changes they recommend.

    Besides giving different takes on how to pick health battles, this list gives the choices one can make without buying a second freezer for preserving meals.

    Think positive and focus on gratitude

    Research shows a healthy positive attitude helps build a healthier immune system and boosts overall health. Your body believes what you think, so focus on the positive.

     Eat vegetables

    Shoot for five servings of vegetables a day , raw, steamed, or stir-fried. A diet high in vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of developing cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, oesophagus, stomach, bladder, pancreas, and ovaries. And many of the most powerful phytonutrients are the ones with the boldest colours, such as broccoli, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, grapes, and leafy greens.

     Set a “5-meal ideal”

    What, when, and how much you eat can keep both your metabolism and your energy levels steadily elevated, so you’ll have more all-day energy. A “5 meal ideal” will help manage weight, keep cool, maintain focus, and avoid cravings.

    Exercise daily

    Did you know that daily exercise can reduce all of the biomarkers of ageing? This includes improving eyesight, normalising blood pressure, improving lean muscle, lowering cholesterol, and improving bone density. If you want to live well and live longer, you must exercise! Studies show that even 10 minutes of exercise makes a difference — so, do something! Crank the stereo and dance in your living room. Sign up for swing dancing or ballroom dancing lessons. Walk to the park with your kids or a neighbour you’d like to catch up with. Jump rope or play hopscotch. Spin a hula hoop. Play water volleyball. Bike to work. Jump on a trampoline. Go for a hike.

     Get  good night’s sleep

    If you have trouble sleeping, try relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. Or eat a small bedtime snack of foods shown to help shift the body and mind into sleep mode: whole grain cereal with milk, oatmeal, cherries, or chamomile tea. Darken the room more and turn the clock away from you. Write down worries or stressful thoughts to get them out of the head and onto the page. This will help put them into perspective, so one can quit worrying about them.

    Food attitude

    What we eat and how we feel are linked in very complex ways. A healthy approach to eating is centered on savouring flavour, eating to satisfaction, and increasing energy, rather than focusing on weight. Check the balance of low-calorie foods, nutrient-dense foods (providing many nutrients per calorie), and foods that are calorie dense but nutrient poor. Most people need to eat more fresh whole foods in contrast to processed, highly refined foods. Try to add more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes into your meals. Pair these carbohydrate-rich foods with a healthy fat or lean protein to extend satisfaction.

     Eat like a kid

    If adding more fruits and vegetables sounds ominous, look to “finger food” versions that pre-school kids love – carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, grapes, berries, and dried fruits. All are nutritional powerhouses packed with antioxidants.

     Be a picky eater

    Limit saturated fats and trans fats, and aim to eat more foods rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids to cut your risk of cardiovascular disease and maybe even improve depressed moods. The equivalent of just one gram of EPA/DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid) daily is recommended. Eating cold-water oily fish (wild salmon, herring, sardines, trout) two to three times per week will provide both EPA and DHA. Adding up to two tablespoons of ground flaxseed and eating meat, milk, and cheese from grass-fed animals will provide a healthy dose of omega-3s.

    Take foods instead of supplements

    Supplements are not a substitute for a good diet. Although many health experts recommend taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement that provides 100 to 200 per cent of your recommended daily value, each and every supplement should be carefully evaluated for purity and safety. Specific supplements have been associated with toxicity, reactions with medications, competition with other nutrients, and even increased risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

    Get satisfaction

    Both eating and physical activity are fun, sensory experiences! In both, aim for pleasure – not pain. Pay attention to the nutritional value of the foods to eat, as well as the sense of satisfaction, relaxation, tension, exhilaration, and fatigue when eating. Check, while eating, rekindling the recognition of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction when considering when and how much to eat.

    Give yourself a break

    “I spend countless hours doing cardio and never seem to lose that last 10 pounds!” is a common complaint I hear from clients. Give yourself permission to shorten your workout. Believe it or not, overtraining could be the problem. Your body can plateau if not given adequate rest to restore itself, ultimately leading to a decline in performance. Fatigue, moodiness, lack of enthusiasm, depression, and increased cortisol (the “stress” hormone) are some hallmarks of overtraining syndrome. Creating a periodisation program – breaking up your routine into various training modes – can help prevent overtraining by building rest phases into your regimen. For example, you might weight train on Monday and Wednesday, cycle on Tuesday and Thursday, run on Friday and rest on Saturday and Sunday. You can also help balance your program by simply incorporating more variety.

     Think small

    Often the biggest deterrent to improving health is feeling overwhelmed by all the available advice and research. Try to focus first on one small, seemingly inconsequential, unhealthy habit and turn it into a healthy, positive habit. If you’re in the habit of eating as soon as you get home at night, instead, keep walking shoes in the garage or entryway and take a quick spin around the block before going inside. If you have a can of soda at lunchtime every day, have a glass of water two days a week instead. Starting with small, painless changes helps establish the mentality that healthy change is not necessarily painful change. It’s easy to build from here by adding more healthy substitutions.

     Keep good company

    You can do all the right things – but if you have personal relationships with people who have unhealthy habits, it is often an uphill battle. The healthiest people are those who have relationships with other healthy people. Get your family or friends involved with you when you walk or plan healthier meals. Making healthy changes with a loved one can bring you closer together as well as motivate you.

     Make a list…and check it twice

    Take a few minutes and write down all the reasons you can’t begin an exercise program. Then look at the basis of each reason. For instance, if you wrote, “No time” as one of your reasons, then perhaps that’s based on a belief that an exercise program takes a lot of time. Starting with even five minutes a day will have a positive effect because you will have created a healthy habit where one didn’t exist before, and that’s a powerful mental adjustment. A closer look at your list will expose those false beliefs hiding behind each excuse.

     Sign up for an event

    Let’s face it, exercising just for the sake of exercising or losing weight can get boring. Spice things up by signing up for an event like a run/walk race or a cycling ride where one can be part of a team. Doing so gives workouts a new purpose, and it’s fun to be around others who are exercising just like you – not to mention that most events benefit nonprofit organisations, which doubles your feel-good high.

     

    Foods that quicken ageing (2)

    Your own lifestyle can affect how your body ages to a great extent; from your diet and fitness regime to product-usage and general health levels, everything can affect how fast or slow signs of ageing begin to appear. It is thus recommended that anyone looking to preserve their youth and live a healthier, balanced life should avoid anything that quickens the ageing process. There are some particular foods that speed up ageing which you could easily avoid. Here’s what you can keep off of your diet if you want to be youthful and fit for as long as possible.

    Chips and salty food

    Not just sugar, you should also cut down on the salt intake as it is equally bad for your health. You might not add salt to your food, but you still can’t be sure about not consuming salt as most of the canned foods already come with preserved salt.
    Excess of salt causes the skin to dehydrate completely, thereby drying out the skin and making it appear puffy. It is best to check the labels when buying canned food, to make
    sure you aren’t getting too much salt in your diet.

    Burgers and fries

    While junk food won’t age you overnight, continuous indulgence in such diet can surely speed it up. Though some fat is required per day i.e. about 75 grams, but excess can result in clogged blood vessels.
    Burgers and fries can cause sticky artery walls and this stops the oxygenated blood from reaching all the important body organs. No oxygen means damaged skin cells, and they won’t repair on their own. Also, junk food can cause bodily inflammation and release of free radicals.

    Soda

    All those addicted to sugar rush of soda and other sugary beverages are not just putting their health at risk (condition like Type 2 diabetes), but also causing their skin to dry out and become flaky. Again, soda contains excessive sugar content that can result in glycation (as discussed in point 1, above). This, in turn, causes inflammation in the body and many chronic diseases like diabetes and dementia. Even diet pop is bad for your skin. Artificial sweeteners must be avoided as they contain chemicals and artificial colours; they can make your skin appear thinner.

    Spicy food

    Spicy food and peppers are extremely good for metabolism, but they can also aggravate acne-prone skin, particularly during menopause. As the blood vessels in your body are most active during that phase, spicy food dilutes them and that is why your skin appears less youthful at that time. However, you should not worry that much about indulging in spicy curry once in a while as only over- indulgence is going to result in permanent redness and puffy skin.

    White breads and pastas

    Simple carbs such as pastas and white breads are known to have high- glycemic index – which is associated with premature aging. These compounds inflame the skin and raise insulin production. These carbs break down speedily and result in premature aging of skin. They put you at the risk of Type 2 diabetes, acne, and even skin inflammation.
    Alternatively, brown breads and brown rice do not break down easily, and that is why one can skin the aging process.

    *Original post appeared first on Daily Sun


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  • Seven unknown health hazards caused by mobile phones!

    05/Jul/2016 // 573 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JULY 5, 2016:(DGW) Heart Problems: RADIATION from cell phones is not only associated with cancer but also with chronic diseases like heart problems. According to a study published in the European Journal of Oncology, radiations emitted by cordless phones, including mobiles, contribute to abnormalities in heart function. Results reported that radiation causes the red blood cells to seep haemoglobin and lead to heart complications.

    Infertility

    Beware men! Your phone can even make you infertile. As of now, there’s enough evidence to show that mobile phone radiation decreases sperm count in male rats. To identify whether the same holds true in humans, Wdowiak and colleagues carried out a research, which revealed that the group of men who used mobile phones had a decreased sperm cell count in their semen, leading to infertility.

    Hearing impairment

    Today, every alternate person on the street has earphones plugged in. But that’s not the only reason why hearing loss is increasing in youths and adults. Your mobile radiation is an additional factor that’s making you deaf. Studies report that long-term exposure to electromagnetic field from cell phones contributes to reducing hearing function. A study by Oktay and Dasdag showed that people who spent approximately two hours on phone calls every day were at a higher risk of impaired hearing compared to moderate users who spent 10 to 20 minutes.

    Eye problems

    A lot of people use their mobiles to read e-books; do web surfing, etc. apart from texting. When you do so, the glaring screen and small font size put a lot of strain on your eyes, especially if you’re reading in the dark. Mobile devices have smaller screens so you tend to squint or open up your eyes wide and blink lesser number of times. This can cause dry eyes, irritation and reddening.

    Skin allergies

    Most mobile phones have a typical metallic sheen to make them look more attractive. Such phones contain potential skin allergens like nickel, chromium and cobalt, which cause cell phone dermatitis. A study by Marcella Aquino and colleagues tested 72 cell phones for the presence of nickel and cobalt. According to the results, about 29.4 per cent of Blackberry models were tested positive for nickel, 90.5 per cent of flip phones were positive for nickel and about 52 per cent of flip phones had cobalt.

    Infections

    Avoid using your cell phones in the toilet. Cell phones not only serve as a home for your valuable data but also carry millions of infectious organisms. A study found that mobile devices are highly contaminated with organisms from faecal origin. They are a niche for several germs like E.coli (known to cause vomiting and diarrhoea) and Staphylococcus aureus (known to cause skin infections).
    Stress

    The general desperate nature of people to be available 24/7 on their mobiles is responsible for their increasing stress levels.

    Note: Keep the cell phone out of your bedroom and relaxing areas. Turn it off when sleeping.

    Symptoms of being made unwell by the use of your cell phone can include dizziness, slight confusion, feeling dazed, and a sensation running down your face from your ear to your neck.

    Listen to your body; if you suspect a connection between feeling out of balance or even unwell after using a cell phone, take control by implementing a number of the suggestions above to limit your RF exposure.

    Avoid living near cell phone transmitter towers because they cause a lot of harm to health.


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  • Steer clear of alcohol or risk death, consumption causes cancer, infertility! - expert warns

    05/May/2016 // 664 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 5, 2016: (DGW) - THIS may not be a good news to those who consume alcohol as an expert, an Abuja-based medical practitioner has warned after an extensive research that alcoholic consumption could cause many severe disorders such as infertility among couples and worst of all could lead to cancer.

    The expert, Dr. Charles Anoti made the disclosure while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Thursday, May 5 in Abuja, Nigeria's capital. Among the bodily damage, it could also cause are liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, high blood pressure, kidney disease and many others, these as a matter of fact are killer diseases.

    Said Dr. Anoti, “Prolonged use of alcohol can cause inflammation of the pancreas and stomach which increases the risk of cancer. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease as well as colon cancer.

    “Alcohol can damage parts of the brain, affect behaviour and the ability to learn and remember. It also weakens heart muscles, which can affect the lungs, liver and could also cause heart failure.

    Warning  further against alcoholic consumption, Dr. Anoti said “It can damage the development of the unborn baby in pregnant woman and interferes with the ability of the body to absorb calcium and as a result the bones become weak and thin (osteoporosis).

    “Alcohol dehydrates your body and your skin and also widens blood vessels, causing the skin to look red or blotchy,’’ he said. The physician further warned that the consumption of alcohol could also lead to infertility in couples.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The cure for cancer  is still miles away and has not been found in spite of extensive medical research across the world. 

     


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  • 7 Ways Smoking MARIJUANA May Affect the Brain

    05/Nov/2016 // 572 Viewers

     

    Marijuana has a reputation as a relatively harmless drug, but researchers are learning more and more about the effects it may have on the brain.

    An increased risk of psychosis, changes in the brain's reward system and the scrambled neuron signals that may underlie "the munchies" are just some of the many potential effects of marijuana use on the brain.

    "The biggest risk related to the use of marijuana is the increased risk of psychosis," said Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York. Another significant risk, for those who use marijuana during their teenage years, is an increased likelihood of an IQ drop.

    "It is safe enough to say that people who smoke marijuana," especially when they are young, are more likely have a reduction in their IQ later in life, Krakower told Live Science. 

    Here's a look at the recent research on marijuana's possible effects on the brain.

    Marijuana and the teenage brain

    Marijuana may affect teenage brains differently than it affects adult brains. However, these effects may not be the same for every user, and they may depend on individual factors, such as genetics, according to two studies published in August 2015 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. In one of the studies, researchers found that marijuana did not lead to small brain size in teens, in contrast with previous findings that had suggested that the drug does have this effect on the teenage brain. [10 Facts Every Parent Should Know About Their Teen's Brain]

    However, the other study found that, in teenage boys who are genetically susceptible to schizophrenia, pot might alter their brain development in potentially negative ways over time. In that study, the researchers looked at the brains of teenage boys when they were 15, and again when they were almost 19. They found that the boys who smoked pot and carried genes linked to an increased risk of schizophrenia experienced thinning in their brain's cortex —the outer part of the brain —over the four-year study.

    Marijuana and psychosis

    Multiple studies have linked marijuana use with a higher risk of psychosis, which is a medical term that applies to symptoms that involve losing touch with the real world, such as hallucinations or paranoia. For example, in an analysis published in 2016 in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin, researchers looked at previous studies of about 67,000 people.

    They found that people in the study who used the most marijuana were more likely to be diagnosed with a psychotic mental-health condition, such as schizophrenia, than people who had never used marijuana.

    A review published in April 2016 in the journal Biological Psychiatry also found a link between cannabis use and an increased risk of psychosis. "Overall, evidence from epidemiologic studies provides strong enough evidence to warrant a public health message that cannabis use can increase the risk of psychotic disorders," the authors wrote in the review.

    Pot and IQ

    Teens who smoke pot may be more likely to experience an IQ drop when they are older, research has suggested. In a study of more than 1,000 people in New Zealand, researchers administered IQ tests to the participants twice: when they were 13, and then again when they were 38. The researchers also asked the participants about their drug use throughout the study period.

    About 5 percent of the teens in the study had started using pot when they were teens. And it turned out that those who smoked pot at least four times a week and continued to use pot throughout their lives experienced an IQ drop of 8 points by the end of the study, on average. [6 Foods That Are Good For Your Brain]

    It's not clear why pot may have negative effects on people's IQ, but it could be that teens are more vulnerable to pot's effects on brain chemistry, Susan Tapert, a neuropsychologist at the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved in the study, told Live Science in a 2012 interview.

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    Brain size, connectivityCredit: agsandrew | Shutterstock.com
    Brain size, connectivity

    Using marijuana for many years may be linked to changes in brain size, research has suggested. In a study published in November 2014 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers looked at 48 adults who used the drug at least three times a day, for an average of eight or nine years, and 62 people who didn't use marijuana. It turned out that the people who had been smoking pot daily for at least four years had a smaller volume of gray matter in a brain region called the orbitofrontal cortex, which previous research had linked to addiction. [3D Images: Exploring the Human Brain]

    But the researchers also found that the brains of the chronic marijuana users showed greater connectivity, which is generally a measure of how well information travels between different parts of the brain.

    The researchers said they don't know for sure why chronic marijuana use is linked to these brain changes, but they think it may have something to do with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), marijuana's main psychoactive ingredient. This is because THC has been shown to affect cannabinoid receptors, which are involved in appetite, memory and mood, and are present in large numbers in the orbitofrontal cortex.

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    The brain's reward systemCredit: Stanimir G.Stoev | Shutterstock.com
    The brain's reward system

    The brains of people who have smoked pot for many years may respond differently to certain rewards, compared with the brains of people who don't use the drug, according to a recent study. In the study, researchers wanted to see whether the brains of 59 chronic marijuana users would respond differently to the photos of objects used for smoking marijuana than they did to the photos of objects that are considered "natural rewards," such as their favorite fruits.

    The scientists found that study participants who had smoked marijuana for 12 years, on average, exhibited greater activity in the brain's reward system when they looked at photos of objects that they used for smoking marijuana (such as a pipe or a joint) than when they looked at photos of their favorite fruits. In comparison, the people in the control group who did not smoke marijuana did not show greater activity in this brain region when they were shown marijuana-related objects, according to the findings, published in May 2016 in the journal Human Brain Mapping.

    "This study shows that marijuana disrupts the natural reward circuitry of the brain, making marijuana highly [important] to those who use it heavily," study author Dr. Francesca Filbey, an associate professor of behavioral and brain science at the University of Texas at Dallas, said in a statement. 

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    Noisy neuronsCredit: Human brain image via Shutterstock
    Noisy neurons

    THC —marijuana's main psychoactive compound —may increase the level of "neural noise,"or random neural activity in the brain, research suggests. In a 2015 study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers measured the levels of this random neural activity in 24 people under two conditions: after they had been given pure THC, and after they had been given a placebo.

    They found that the people showed greater levels of neural noise after they received the THC, compared with their levels after they took the placebo. [11 Surprising Facts About Placebos]

    "At doses roughly equivalent to half or a single joint, [THC] produced psychosis-like effects and increased neural noise in humans," senior study author Dr. Deepak Cyril D'Souza, a professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, said in a statement. The findings suggest that psychosis-like symptoms that people may experience after smoking weed may be related to this neural noise, the researchers said.

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    Munchies and the brainCredit: Angela Aladro mella
    Munchies and the brain

    Marijuana may affect certain neurons in the brain that are normally responsible for suppressing appetite, and this effect may explain why people often get very hungry after smoking pot, according to a 2015 study in mice. In the study, researchers stimulated the mice's appetites by manipulating the same cellular pathway as the one that mediates pot's effects on the brain, and then observed what was going on in the mice's brains during the experiment.

    The scientists expected that the neurons that typically suppress appetite would be turned off by their efforts to stimulate the rodents' appetites. But, contrary to their expectations, it turned out that those neurons were actually activated, because they had switched to releasing chemicals that promote hunger, study author Dr. Tamas Horvath, a professor of neurobiology at Yale University, told Live Science in a 2015 interview.

    It's not clear whether it would work the same way in people, the researchers noted. But it has been suggested that using marijuana makes people hungry, they said. [The Science of Hunger: How to Control It and Fight Cravings]

    The finding could point to a way to treat the loss of both appetite and weight that some cancer patients experience while undergoing treatments, the researchers said.

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    Marijuana and the teenage brainCredit: auremar | Shutterstock.com
    Marijuana and the teenage brain

    Marijuana may affect teenage brains differently than it affects adult brains. However, these effects may not be the same for every user, and they may depend on individual factors, such as genetics, according to two studies published in August 2015 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. In one of the studies, researchers found that marijuana did not lead to small brain size in teens, in contrast with previous findings that had suggested that the drug does have this effect on the teenage brain. [10 Facts Every Parent Should Know About Their Teen's Brain]

    However, the other study found that, in teenage boys who are genetically susceptible to schizophrenia, pot might alter their brain development in potentially negative ways over time. In that study, the researchers looked at the brains of teenage boys when they were 15, and again when they were almost 19. They found that the boys who smoked pot and carried genes linked to an increased risk of schizophrenia experienced thinning in their brain's cortex —the outer part of the brain —over the four-year study.

    Brain size, connectivity

    Using marijuana for many years may be linked to changes in brain size, research has suggested. In a study published in November 2014 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers looked at 48 adults who used the drug at least three times a day, for an average of eight or nine years, and 62 people who didn't use marijuana. It turned out that the people who had been smoking pot daily for at least four years had a smaller volume of gray matter in a brain region called the orbitofrontal cortex, which previous research had linked to addiction. [3D Images: Exploring the Human Brain]

    But the researchers also found that the brains of the chronic marijuana users showed greater connectivity, which is generally a measure of how well information travels between different parts of the brain.

    The researchers said they don't know for sure why chronic marijuana use is linked to these brain changes, but they think it may have something to do with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), marijuana's main psychoactive ingredient. This is because THC has been shown to affect cannabinoid receptors, which are involved in appetite, memory and mood, and are present in large numbers in the orbitofrontal cortex.


    The brain's reward system

    The brains of people who have smoked pot for many years may respond differently to certain rewards, compared with the brains of people who don't use the drug, according to a recent study. In the study, researchers wanted to see whether the brains of 59 chronic marijuana users would respond differently to the photos of objects used for smoking marijuana than they did to the photos of objects that are considered "natural rewards," such as their favorite fruits.

    The scientists found that study participants who had smoked marijuana for 12 years, on average, exhibited greater activity in the brain's reward system when they looked at photos of objects that they used for smoking marijuana (such as a pipe or a joint) than when they looked at photos of their favorite fruits. In comparison, the people in the control group who did not smoke marijuana did not show greater activity in this brain region when they were shown marijuana-related objects, according to the findings, published in May 2016 in the journal Human Brain Mapping.

    "This study shows that marijuana disrupts the natural reward circuitry of the brain, making marijuana highly [important] to those who use it heavily," study author Dr. Francesca Filbey, an associate professor of behavioral and brain science at the University of Texas at Dallas, said in a statement.

    Noisy neurons

    THC —marijuana's main psychoactive compound —may increase the level of "neural noise,"or random neural activity in the brain, research suggests. In a 2015 study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers measured the levels of this random neural activity in 24 people under two conditions: after they had been given pure THC, and after they had been given a placebo.

    They found that the people showed greater levels of neural noise after they received the THC, compared with their levels after they took the placebo. [11 Surprising Facts About Placebos]

    "At doses roughly equivalent to half or a single joint, [THC] produced psychosis-like effects and increased neural noise in humans," senior study author Dr. Deepak Cyril D'Souza, a professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, said in a statement. The findings suggest that psychosis-like symptoms that people may experience after smoking weed may be related to this neural noise, the researchers said.

    Munchies and the brain

    Marijuana may affect certain neurons in the brain that are normally responsible for suppressing appetite, and this effect may explain why people often get very hungry after smoking pot, according to a 2015 study in mice. In the study, researchers stimulated the mice's appetites by manipulating the same cellular pathway as the one that mediates pot's effects on the brain, and then observed what was going on in the mice's brains during the experiment.

    The scientists expected that the neurons that typically suppress appetite would be turned off by their efforts to stimulate the rodents' appetites. But, contrary to their expectations, it turned out that those neurons were actually activated, because they had switched to releasing chemicals that promote hunger, study author Dr. Tamas Horvath, a professor of neurobiology at Yale University, told Live Science in a 2015 interview.

    It's not clear whether it would work the same way in people, the researchers noted. But it has been suggested that using marijuana makes people hungry, they said. [The Science of Hunger: How to Control It and Fight Cravings]

    The finding could point to a way to treat the loss of both appetite and weight that some cancer patients experience while undergoing treatments, the researchers said.


    Link to original source: http://www.livescience.com/55258-how-marijuana-affects-the-brain.html?utm_source=notification


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  • How Humans Lost Their Tail, Twice By Jen Viegas, Seeker

    06/Dec/2016 // 209 Viewers

     

     

    Humans can't seem to keep a tail, suggests new research that finds our early ancestors lost tails not just once, but twice.
     
    The findings, published in the journal Current Biology, not only help explain why people don't wag dog-like tails, but they also shed light on why we all have a tailbone and begin life with an actual tail that gradually disappears.
     
    "Fleshy tails go all the way back to the earliest vertebrate ancestors and are found in very young embryos, so it would be very difficult to get rid of them entirely without causing other problems," author Lauren Sallan told Seeker. "As a result, both fishes and humans have had to stunt growth instead, leaving a buried, vestigial tail much like the legs of whales."
     
    The origins of this mysterious vestigial tail go back to fish. For the study, Sallan, an assistant professor in the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Earth and Environmental Science, analyzed 350-million-year-old hatchlings of the fossil fish Aetheretmon. This jawed fish distant ancestor of terrestrial animals today had both a scaly, fleshy tail and a flexible tail fin, sitting one atop the other.
     
    Sallan found these structures were entirely separate. By comparing the Aetheretmonhatchlings with those of living fish, she found that the two "tails" started out one atop the other and then grew on their own. This discovery overturns at least two centuries of scientific belief that the modern adult fish tail fin was simply added to the end of an ancestral tail shared with land animals.
     
    The disconnect means that the two tails went on their own evolutionary paths. Fish lost the fleshy tail and kept the flexible one to improve their swimming. Having just the back fin, she explained, "allows for more refined movements, which a muscular tail (originally present for power swimming) would disrupt."
     
    Fish that evolved to become semi-aquatic and then land-dwelling animals lost the flexible back fin, but kept the fleshier one that over time became the familiar appendage we now see on dogs, cats, cows and many other animals. As dogs show, tails are useful for visual communication, slapping away flying insects and other functions.
     
    Adult apes, including human ancestors, took the tail loss process a step further, Sallan said, "losing the remaining bony tail for better upright movement. Like fish, the remnants of an embryonic bony tail are buried in our lower backs—the coccyx or tailbone—stunted by a loss of molecular signals that would otherwise cause it to grow out like an arm or leg. Thus, humans and fish embryos share mechanisms for controlling tail form."
     
    The fossil record for early apes is not great, but since apes lack tails, she thinks our primate ancestors lost them when they first started to walk on two legs. Monkeys that often walk this way have stunted tails, further proving that tails can get in the way of moving around while upright.
     
    Original article on Seeker.


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