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

    06/Dec/2016 // 223 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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  • 6 Marijuana Facts You May Not Have Known — From Health Benefits to the Truly Bizarre

    06/Mar/2016 // 528 Viewers

    By Andrew Leung


    Viewing marijuana simply as a recreational drug to get you high is reductive. Presuming you're smoking the real thing, marijuana is a versatile drug with many documented health benefits. With that said, marijuana has also been at the center of some more colorful headlines. Here are six marijuana facts you may not have known.

    6 Marijuana Facts You May Not Have Known — From Health Benefits to the Truly Bizarre

    Source: Giphy
    Despite conventional wisdom warding you against inhaling smoke of any kind, particularly from tobacco cigarettes, at least one study has shown that marijuana smoke does not impair your lung functions. Furthermore, a 2012 study showed that short-term exposure to marijuana smoke helped nicotine smokers because it increased lung function.

    2. Marijuana is apparently legal in North Korea.

    6 Marijuana Facts You May Not Have Known — From Health Benefits to the Truly Bizarre

    According to the Huffington Post, North Korea is pretty chill when it comes to marijuana. Darmon Richter, an English blogger, detailed his experience purchasing a bag of marijuana from a supermarket in Rason, North Korea. 

    "No one seemed to have a problem with us buying the stuff, and so we decided to put it to the ultimate test: purchasing papers from another stall before rolling up and lighting comically oversized joints right there in the middle of the crowded market," Richter wrote. "Bizarre as the situation was, it seemed a reasonably safe move ... and with several hundred people already staring at us, we weren't likely to feel any more paranoid than we already were."

    3. Marijuana and beer are ? cousins, [botanical] cousins! ?

    6 Marijuana Facts You May Not Have Known — From Health Benefits to the Truly Bizarre

    Source: Wikimedia Commons
    According to Popular Science, marijuana and hops – the flower commonly used to brew beer – share similar organoleptic properties of taste and smell. This is because Humulus lupulus (hops) and Cannabis sativa (marijuana) belong in the same botanical family called Cannabaceae. That's why your favorite India pale ale might be reminding you of your other favorite indulgence. 

    4. Marijuana helped the trapped Chilean miners pass the time.

    6 Marijuana Facts You May Not Have Known — From Health Benefits to the Truly Bizarre

    Luis Urzúa, the leader of the trapped miners, celebrating with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera
    Source: Gobierno de Chile/Flickr
    In order to keep morale high, 33 Chilean miners trapped in a San Jose mine in 2010 had to get high. On the other hand, the miners' request for blow-up sex dolls was rejected.

    5. Tupac got smoked.

    6 Marijuana Facts You May Not Have Known — From Health Benefits to the Truly Bizarre

    Source: Steve.Granitz/Getty Images
    The New York Daily News reported that Tupac Shakur's cremated ashes were mixed with California kush and then smoked by his former rap group, The Young Outlawz.

    6. It's nearly impossible to overdose on marijuana.

    6 Marijuana Facts You May Not Have Known — From Health Benefits to the Truly Bizarre

    Source: Giphy
    According to a 1988 Drug Enforcement Administration brief by Judge Francis Young, a marijuana smoker would "theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response." But even if you were to somehow smoke that many joints in such a short time, what you're likely succumbing to is asphyxiation.



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  • 16 Deadliest Food You Eat Everyday

    06/Oct/2015 // 1688 Viewers

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    1. Hot dogs
    Hot dogs are so popular that they have become staples in developing countries worldwide. You see them everywhere – hot dog stands, school cafeterias, fast food joints, and groceries. In stadiums, vendors even walk around to sell them. That’s how crazy people are over dogs!

    Normally, they are made up of pork or beef trimmings and fat. But we love them so much that we also use chicken or turkey nowadays. No additional seasoning is needed for these babies since they already contain flavorings like salt, garlic, and paprika. These are not the only ingredients of hot dogs however. Like all processed meats are, hot dogs contain preservatives to extend their shelf life. Sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrate are the two common preservatives added to them. Science has proved time and again that these additives are linked to health problems.


    In a study by the American Institute of Cancer Research, eating about one hot dog every day increases your risk for developing colorectal cancer by 20 percent. Meanwhile, the World Cancer Research Fund found in a review of more than 7,000 studies linking diet and cancer that hot dogs are among the biggest offenders. Together with ham, bacon, and salami, they are more likely to cause cancer than other types of processed meats.

    Hot dogs also pose a choking hazard in children. A U.S. study reveals that in children below 10 years of age, 17 percent of food-related asphyxiations were caused by hot dogs. Their shape, size, and texture make them deadly to young kids. Once trapped along the windpipe, a piece of hotdog is difficult to expel, which then results in choking and possible death.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    2. Soda

    Okay, so maybe this is not something you actually eat. But you do drink them on occasion which is why they made it to this list.

    A soda is a carbonated drink, typically a mix of carbonated water, flavoring, and sweeteners. Sugar, sugar substitutes, fruit juice, corn syrup, or a combination of any of these are used to sweeten this beverage. Caffeine and colorings may also be added into sodas. And then of course there are the dreaded preservatives, though it’s not the only thing you should be afraid of. The combined use of preservatives and sweeteners make soda extra deadly. It poses health concerns which predispose you to a number of deadly diseases.

    Drinking beverages sweetened with sugars in whatever form is associated with weight changes. The daily consumption of soda leads to weight gain, increasing the risk for obesity. The link between soda consumption and weight gain was seen in both children and adults in two separate studies. In the study involving more than 500 schoolchildren for a course of over 19 months, they found that for every soda a child drank, there was an increase of 0.24 kg/m2 in body mass index (BMI). The 8-year study of about 50,000 female nurses showed that those who drank more sodas gained an average of 8 kg during the study compared to the 2.8 kg weight gain in women who reduced their soda consumption.

    Obesity is a health concern that must be taken seriously, as it is related to diseases that claim the lives of millions of people every day. Namely, these are diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    3. Breakfast cereals
    We are made to believe that fortified breakfast cereals are healthy. To a certain degree, they are. Several studies have proved that they help with both weight loss and weight management. What many don’t know is that many of the cereals currently available in the market are overloaded with nutrients. And too much of anything is always a bad thing.

    The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a health research and advocacy organization based in Washington, reported that food manufacturers use obsolete nutritional labeling rules. The report states that children are ingesting “unhealthy amounts” of vitamin A, niacin, and zinc through fortified breakfast cereals. These nutrients are available in amounts that were intended for adults – and that’s not all. Even for adults, these amounts are beyond daily needs.

    EWG analyzed the nutrition facts of 1,556 breakfast cereals and found that 114 of them are fortified with vitamins A, niacin, and zinc with amounts more than 30 percent of an adult’s recommended daily intake. 23 more cereals were discovered to be fortified with one or more of these nutrients in amounts much greater than the levels considered safe for children aged 8 and below based on the standards of the Institute of Medicine. Too much nutrient intake can lead to short and long-term health concerns, and even death as a complication.

    Excessive vitamin A intake has been linked to liver damage, skeletal abnormalities, and hair loss. Having too much zinc in your system impedes the absorption of copper. Copper is a mineral that is necessary for the production of red and white blood cells. Excess zinc levels can therefore impair the immune system, your body’s defense against deadly infectious diseases.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    4. Potato chips
    Who doesn’t love potato chips? They’re crispy, they’re tasty, and they come in different flavors! Just thought you should know every bag of potato chips also has calories, fat, and unhealthy amounts of salt. The combination of all three is so bad for your health that you could die out of it!

    Chips are normally high in fat and calories, two things that make you more likely to gain weight and become obese. One serving, which is about 15 to 20 potato chips, contains 154 calories and 10 grams of fat. Because a whole bag has more than a serving, you can only imagine the damage an entire bag can do to your body in one sitting.

    In a study of The New England Journal of Medicine published in 2011, eating an ounce of potato chips was linked to a weight gain of 1.69 pounds every four years on average. It was also found that the link between weight gain and potato chips was stronger compared to other factors that caused weight gain like high-sugar beverages, processed meats, and diet. Being overweight and obese is like giving diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer a free pass to your body.

    Frequent consumption of potato chips also leads to increased cholesterol levels. Because most of them are deep-fried, they are full of trans fat, the deadliest type known to man. In Britain, a study shows that eating a packet of potato chips every day is equivalent to drinking nearly 5 liters of cooking oil every year. The oils used to fry potato chips are usually saturated fats which will drive your cholesterol to dangerous levels. A 2007 study which appeared in the Circulation journal associated high LDL cholesterol levels with a higher risk for coronary heart disease.

    The sodium content of potato chips is also ridiculously high. Each serving has 120 to 180 milligrams of sodium, and tortilla types can have up to 160 milligrams per serving. Sodium consumption must be limited to 2,300 mg a day for healthy people and a big bag of potato chips have enough to fill your daily needs. Excessive sodium intake can lead to hypertension, which in turn can cause coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and kidney problems.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    5. Packaged cookies
    Oreos, Chip’s Ahoy, Keebler, Girl Scout Cookies, and butter cookies… the list goes on. These sweet store-bought treats are often too delectable to resist. One of their main ingredients is partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. You might think “Vegetable oils?! That’s awesome!” But no – they’re not cool. This is one of those few rare instances where by-products of vegetables are not healthy for human consumption.

    Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils like palm oil and palm kernel oil contain trans fats and saturated fats. Many studies associate trans fat to higher chances of heart disease. Other studies suggest that it also increases the risks for obesity and diabetes, two more deadly health problems. Palm oil is one of the most commonly used ingredients in making these sweet snacks. It is 50 percent unsaturated and 50 percent saturated fat. Palm kernel oil, which is derived from the seeds of palm fruits, is a cause for more worry. It contains 82 percent saturated fat.

    Fats are not the only unhealthy component of supermarket cookies. Sugar and calories are also a normal part of every cookie you pop into your mouth. And like any food with staggering amounts of sugar and calories, they will cause you to pack up on weight with just a few servings.

    A single serving of Double Stuf Oreo has more than 5 teaspoons of sugar, which is beyond the recommended daily sugar intake by the American Heart Association for children (3 teaspoons), and provides more than half of the daily recommended intake for men (9 teaspoons) and women (6 teaspoons).  Just one Oreo Golden Fudge Crème cookie gives you 180 calories and 18 grams of sugar, plus 9 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    hoto by: Bigstockphoto
    6. Pancakes
    Pancakes are a good way to fill your stomach early in the morning when there’s a long day ahead of you. And they do contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals. A singe serving is enough to provide you 18 percent of your daily recommended calcium intake, 20 percent of phosphorus, and 12 percent of riboflavin and iodine. You also get decent quantities of vitamins B6, B12, C, thiamin, and minerals including copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc from them.

    Pancakes are also great sources for carbohydrates and proteins without being too heavy on these macronutrients. It’s a shame they have just the right amount of fat, sugars, and sodium to tip it off a weight watcher’s scale. Because of this, it can be classified as an unhealthy breakfast, especially if you eat more than a single serving.


    One serving of pancakes is equivalent to one or two 4-inch pieces. And a single serving of these fluffy breakfast meal contains 8.8 grams of fat. 44 percent of its fat content, or 3.9 grams, is saturated fat. Having more than 15 grams of saturated fat each day is not advisable. Add butter to flavor, and you will blast the levels of saturated fats in pancakes off the charts. A serving of pancake also has 4.3 grams of sugar. Slathering it with maple syrup will greatly add up to its sugar content. It also has 308 mg of sodium and the daily limit for sodium intake averages at 1,500 to 2,300 mg.

    The deadly combination of saturated fats, sugars, and salt in pancakes raises the risk for heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many more.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    hoto by: Bigstockphoto
    7. Yogurt
    Don’t be deceived by this so-called “diet” food. Yes, it is a great way to incorporate calcium into your nutrition so you can protect yourself against osteoporosis. And yes, it has decent amounts of protein to encourage muscle repair. Yogurt even has “good bacteria” or probiotics which encourage the healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients. To top it off, yogurt is low on calories and does not carry the risks of weight gain and obesity.

    Then again, most yogurts available in the market either have High Fructose Corn Syrup or artificial sweeteners. Both contain high amounts of sugar. Even if you added fresh fruits like blueberries and strawberries into these yogurts, it does not change the fact that they are pre-packed with sugary goodness. Plus, yogurt bars tend to serve large portions of them so you end up getting more than what your body needs in a day.

    High sugar intake increases the possibility of developing diabetes, a disease that causes complications such as heart problems and kidney failure. Even if you don’t gain weight from yogurts and manage to maintain a healthy figure, you are not fully spared from serious health issues. Remember that too much of anything is bad for your body. Eating more than one serving of yogurt every day, which is about half a baseball, will provide excess calcium, vitamin A, and probiotics to your body.

    Excess calcium intake has been linked to kidney stones, prostate cancer, and the buildup of calcium in blood vessels – a danger in itself as it disrupts proper blood circulation and oxygenation of your organs. It also impairs the absorption of iron and zinc. Have too much vitamin A and you will get weak bones. Excessive dairy intake has been associated with increased risks of ovarian cancer. And while an imbalance of digestive organisms should not cause worry, it can still result in unpleasant reactions like stomach upset, gas, and diarrhea.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    8. French fries
    French fries are one of our guiltiest pleasures. It’s one of the quickest ways to make a person overweight in as little time possible, and the fastest road to several health problems namely heart disease and diabetes.

    A small serving of French fries from popular fast food chains like McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King has an average of 200 to 340 calories, but no one eats these anymore. With the growing popularity of supersized fries, people would rather go for a large serving which could have up to 730 calories. Curly fries and cheese-flavored varieties are even bigger offenders on calorie count. And you know what that means – a speedy weight gain.

    The main reason why French fries can be so unhealthy is because they are fried, often in hydrogenated vegetable oils like canola, corn, and soybean oil. The constant reheating of these oils damages their polyunsaturated fats, making them even more unhealthy than they already are. Studies reveal a link between saturated fats and arterial clogging, which can lead to stroke and death.

    As if that’s not enough, the oils used in frying French fries are also high in trans fat. Trans fats increases the body’s cholesterol levels, which raises the risk for heart disease, stroke, liver disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. A study of 80,000 women showed that a 5 percent increase of saturated fat in their diet resulted in a 17 percent likelihood for heart disease. It takes only a 2 percent increase of trans fat in the diet to increase this prevalence to 93 percent.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    9. Deli meats
    Deli meats are popular choices for packed lunch and used as a sandwich filling. They also make easy-to-serve dishes in parties and gatherings. Available in vacuum packs or ready to be sliced at a deli counter, they comes in a variety of choices and meats including bologna, chicken breast, chicken roll, devon sausage, ham, pepperoni, prosciutto, roast beef, salami, turkey breast, and turkey roll just to name a few. No matter the type, these deli meats contain sodium nitrite, a preservative commonly used in processed meats and is associated with cancer.

    Don’t take it the wrong way. Sodium nitrite serves a good purpose. It is added in deli meats to prevent the growth of bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum which is notorious for causing botulism. It also helps to preserve the meat color in cured meats and poultry products. Unfortunately, cooking these cold meats causes the nitrite to bond with amines and create a carcinogenic compound called N-nitroso. These nasty compounds have been linked to cancers of the digestive tract and the brain.

    190,000 people between the ages of 45 and 75 years were monitored for their processed meat intake for 7 years. This was a study by the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and the University of Southern California published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute last 2005. It was discovered that people who ate the most processed meats had a 68 percent greater risk for pancreatic cancer than individuals who ate them at a minimum. In Sweden, research revealed that Swedes who ate an average of 3 oz of meat a day had a 15 percent more likelihood for developing stomach cancer compared to those who ate 2 oz or less each day.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    10. Ice cream
    Anything this good can’t be bad for the body, right? Sadly, this delightful dessert should cause you to worry about your health, especially if you eat them every day.

    Ice cream has a high fat content. It needs to have more than 10 percent milk fat. According to a report by the University of Guelph, some varieties can have up to 16 percent. Milk fat is mostly saturated fats, namely cholesterol. Eating more ice cream than you should in a day – about 1 cup in women and 1.5 cups in men – is going to leave you with high blood cholesterol levels. This will lead to plaque building up in your arteries, which then disrupts your blood flow and increases the probability of heart disease and stroke.

    Ice cream also has high sugar content. It may contain any or a combination of sweeteners such as Aspartame, Dextrose, Glucose, Maltose, Saccharine, and Sucrol. Aspartame and Saccharine are both artificial sweeteners which have been revealed to cause cancer. Even in the absence of these artificial sweeteners, the rest of these sugars can result in health problems including weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and higher levels of blood triglycerides. Blood triglycerides are a type of unhealthy fat.

    This chilly dessert is equally guilty of having too many calories. A single cup can have as much as 267 calories, which is about 13 percent of the daily recommended calorie intake for women and 11 percent of the daily recommended calorie intake in men. A pint of ice cream has about two cups of this treat, doubling the calorie count that quickly.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    11. Cheese
    Surprised? Cheese isn’t supposed to be bad for you. It has plenty of calcium, which strengthens the bones. It is a great source for protein and a few other nutrients like vitamin A, B12, phosphorus, riboflavin, and zinc. Cheese contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fat that is thought to assist in weight reduction and protecting the body against cancer and heart diseases. But the way we tend to eat cheese makes it unhealthy. We pour it all over our nachos, slather our pizza with it, and spread it on crackers and bread like there’s no tomorrow.

    Cheese is a high-calorie food with an average of 100 calories per ounce. Eat too much of it in a day or pair it with other foods rich in calories and you will be closer to weight gain than you will be to weight loss. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average American eats 30 pounds of cheese every year which is three times more than the amount they consume 40 years ago.

    It’s high in fat too with about 6 to 9 grams per ounce. And cheese is mostly made up of saturated fats, the “bad fat” we’re oh-so-afraid about due to its ill effects on the heart. Additionally, cheese typically contains plenty of sodium which predisposes you to high blood pressure and increases your risk for hypertensive heart disease.

    In a study published at the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, cheese and dairy products have been linked to increased incidences in breast cancer. Nutrition and Cancer featured a study with a similar conclusion, associating cheese with higher incidences of lung and lymphoid cancer. It must be considered that many of the cheeses available in the market today undergo heavy processing and include unhealthy additives which likely cause these cancers.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    12. Salty snacks
    Potato chips aren’t the only salty snacks we crave so often. There are salted crackers, salted nuts, salted chips, and many more. Some of these snacks are actually quite healthy if eaten in moderation. Eat more than you’re supposed to, and your sodium levels are going to sky rocket.

    The human body needs salt to help regulate our blood circulation. Taken in larger quantities than we can handle, circulation will be altered. As a result, the blood pressure of a person increases with every heavily salted snack.

    In 2011, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating salt-laden foods prevented blood vessels from dilating even in people with normal blood pressure. It goes to show that you do not need to have hypertension to suffer the negative effects of excessive sodium intake. This study also revealed that the increase in blood pressure occurred 30 minutes after eating a salty snack and doesn’t subside until after two hours. Eat these salty snacks regularly and you are doomed to develop hypertension and possibly suffer from a stroke.

    High salt intake is also associated with weight gain. While it has no caloric value and won’t make you put on pounds because of fat, it does something else that tips off the scale – water retention. Remember that salt affects your circulation. One way it actually does this is by retaining more water in your blood stream which then shifts towards the skin to give you this puffy look. As far as puffy goes, it only looks good on cotton candy, not on humans.

    Even though water retention seems harmless, it is dangerous and contributes to the increased blood pressure, which in turn raises the possibility of incurring a heart attack and stroke.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    13. Pork
    Bacon, pork chops, ham, and ribs are quite enough to send you into food coma. Pork tastes so amazingly good that we’ve come up with thousands of ways to prepare it! We roast it, fry it, bake it, and even serve it rare at times. As much as we love pork meat, it isn’t good for the health if consumed regularly.

    The body digests foods at different rates. Fruits and vegetables are digested faster. Red meats like pork and processed meats in general, take their slow good time. Because these meats stay longer in the digestive tract, the body is given more time to absorb their proteins and fats and convert them to stored fat. Thus, a diet heavy on pork increases your chances of gaining weight.

    Consuming excess amounts of red and processed meats has also been linked to increased risks for colorectal cancer. This is perhaps due to the decreased bowel movement caused by a meat-based diet. Evidence shows that the more people eat these meats, the more likely they will have bowel cancer.

    A dietary survey in United Kingdom reveals than 1 in every 10 women and 4 in every 10 men eat more than 90 grams of red and processed meat every day. The Department of Health recommends people to eat no more than 70 grams of cooked red meat each day to decrease the possibilities of developing colorectal cancer. Aside from pork, you must also be cautious of other red meats such as beef, goat, lamb, veal, and venison since they carry the same risks.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    14. Pasta
    We have to love the Italians for this world-famous staple. That and pizza. But pasta can be harmful to your health. Eat them constantly and consistently for years and you’re going to gain more than just a few pounds.

    Pasta is a carbohydrate-rich food with a high glycemic index. This means that as soon as it’s digested, your blood sugar levels will increase. A healthy diet constitutes of eating half a cup of cooked pasta in a day. Anything more than that will drive your blood sugar levels beyond the limits. Adding cheese and meats cooked in oil only increases the calorie count of any pasta dish and soaks it with unhealthy fats.

    The carbohydrates in pasta alone can cause weight gain and possibly obesity. Both are predisposing factors for heart disease. More than 47,000 Italian men and women were investigated for their carbohydrate intake and its impact on their glycemic levels. It was revealed that a quarter of women who consumed the most carbohydrates were twice as likely to develop heart disease compared to those who consumed the least amount. Also worth noting is that the risk for heart disease was only present in foods that had high glycemic carbohydrates like pasta, but was inexistent in low-glycemic carbs. Pasta may also result in diabetes if the body is unable to produce enough insulin to metabolize the sugars in the blood stream.

    Bread and rice are also high-carbohydrate foods with a high glycemic index. So even if you use them as alternatives to pasta, their consumption must still be limited. Only one slice of bread or half a cup of cooked rice is recommended for daily consumption.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    15. Coffee
    Nothing else can start your day right. Coffee is one of our favorite breakfast drinks. To some, it is more than just a hot cup of caffeine that jumpstarts their mornings. It is an indispensable part of their daily lives.

    Coffee can lend several health benefits. When prepared from good quality ground coffee, it is an ample source for antioxidants that encourage weight loss and prevent aging. Fresh, organic, high-quality ground coffee has been shown to improve mental alertness. Heavy drinkers of the sort experience reduced incidences of diseases such as Parkinson’s.

    That said, long-term consumption of coffee has also been associated with increased risks for osteoporosis, elevated cholesterol levels, and heart disease. Many coffee drinkers have more than just a few small cups in a day, which only makes matters worse. And most of us drink instant coffee anyway, which have plenty of calories and sugars.

    One of the dangers involving coffee is that it contains acrylamide, a potentially cancer-causing agent that is formed from coffee beans roasted in high temperatures. The darker the coffee roast, the higher its acrylamide content is. Studies show that coffee is one of the major sources of this dangerous by-product of coffee bean preparation.

    Drinking coffee more than once a day has also been linked to greater stress levels. The caffeine found in coffee stimulates the release of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine – stress hormones that should only be released when the ‘fight or flight’ response is elicited. Because these are almost always present in regular coffee drinkers, they tend to be jittery and have difficulty relaxing. Caffeine also interferes with the metabolism of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that affects our mood and stress tolerance.

    The stress caused by heavy coffee drinking is unhealthy and dangerous. It increases your risk for heart disease, asthma, and other illnesses that may be aggravated by stressful conditions. A shifty mood will affect the quality of your life and add up to the stress too.

     Photo by: Bigstockphoto

    Photo by: Bigstockphoto
    16. Fried foods
    Fried meat, chips, or fried anything is the deadliest food you eat every day. What makes the process of frying food unhealthy is that it adds to their total fat and calorie count. This is particularly true for breaded types which soak up more oil.

    Fried foods are typically served in restaurants, fast food chains, or even at home. They contain trans fat and saturated fat, and may have too many calories in large servings. Fried foods cause weight gain, obesity, and high cholesterol levels in many individuals. Continue to include them in your diet and you are bound to develop plaques in your arteries that will lead to heart attack and stroke. Fried food also raises cholesterol levels, leaving an individual more likely to have a heart disease.

    In 2013, a study published in the Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases shows that eating fried foods more than four times a week increased the risk for obesity compared to eating them just two times or less each week. A CBS News report released in 2013 says that Southern cuisine, which normally incorporates fried foods, increases the risk for stroke by up to 41 percent. It only takes eating six fried meals a week to develop this risk.

    There is also an increased chance for developing diabetes with the consumption of fried food. A 2011 study which appeared at Diabetes Care shows that regular consumption of fried foods is associated with greater risks for type 2 diabetes. A more recent study in 2013 shows that women who consumed shallow-fried foods each day were more likely to suffer diabetes than those who ate them less often.

    Before you reach out for that fried food, you must also consider its link to cancer. A study published in the Prostate journal in 2013 revealed that eating them even once a week was linked to higher risks for prostate cancer in men.

    Source: Healthy Diet Base


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  • Want to have better sex? Sleep for an hour longer each night, say scientists

    07/Feb/2016 // 887 Viewers


    A new study could have a simple answer to enhancing your sex life – just get a good night’s sleep (if you are a woman at least).
    A study conducted by a team at the University of Michigan Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory found women who get an extra hour of sleep at night reported higher levels of sexual desire and were more likely to have sex with their partners.
    Researchers evaluated 171 female participants selected from a university setting who filled in online surveys for two weeks. They were asked to answer questions about how much sleep they had, sleep quality, levels of arousal and whether they had engaged in sexual activity within the previous 24 hours.
    The team found women in relationships who slept for an hour longer reported higher levels of sexual desire and were 14 per cent more likely to have sex with their partner the next day.
    Women who slept for longer on average also reported greater vaginal lubrication during sex in comparison with women who had less sleep.
    Both of these effects were present even after factors such as tiredness, age and feelings of happiness or sadness in the day were taken into account.
    “Our study showed that good sleep is important for healthy sexual desire and arousal in women, even when women are mentally and medically healthy," lead author David Kalmbach told WebMD.
    "I think these findings suggest that taking a closer look at sleep health in women with sexual complaints is a worthwhile endeavour," Mr Kalmbach added, "as poor sleep may lead to sexual problems."
    "Some previous studies have hypothesized that sleep can affect hormone levels, which may cause changes in desire and arousal. But I think overall, more research is needed in this area to identify the underlying mechanisms more confidently."
    The study, The Impact of Sleep on Female Sexual Response and Behaviour, was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine on 16 March.
    The Independent

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  • Buhari should return home for treatment – CMA

    07/Jun/2016 // 494 Viewers


    The Commonwealth Medical Association on Monday faulted the decision of President Muhammadu Bubari to proceed on foreign medical trip for a persistent ear infection, saying he has lost a golden opportunity to assert his change mantra.

    The CMA in a statement issued by its Vice President and former President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, described the foreign medical trips by politicians and their aides which are financed with tax payers’ resources, as most times unnecessary.

    He said, “Mr. President should act now to remove this tragic blot on our collective professional and national image by returning home to receive medical care in Nigeria. Doing otherwise will send a strong negative signal to majority of toiling Nigerians who either have no means to seek healthcare services or daily indulge in catastrophic health expenditures, talk less of dreaming of traveling abroad for medical treatment.”

    According to him, the President’s foreign medical trip runs contrary to the earlier declaration by the Federal Government to halt the embarrassing phenomenon of outward medical tourism, which as at the end of the year 2013 had led to a humongous capital flight of about US $1billion dollars, particularly from expenses incurred by political and public office holders (and their accompanying aides).

    “If the former Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Capt. Idris Wada, could patronize Nigerian trained medical experts and medical facilities here in Nigeria when he unfortunately suffered a fractured femur following a fatal road traffic accident in 2013, I see no reason why in 2016 Mr. President could not have stayed back in Nigeria to attend to his ear infection”, he stated.

    The association said Buhari had refused to make a clear public pronouncement on his resolve to show leadership by example with respect to the utilization of the medical expertise and facilities that abound in Nigeria by him and other members of the Federal Executive Council, particularly in concrete expression of section 46 of the National Health Act which seeks to address the abuse of tax payers’ resources through frivolous foreign medical travels embarked upon by political and public office holders.

    Enabulele said, “Undoubtedly, this latest move by Mr. President at a time the Federal Government is said to be on a change mission and rebirth of national consciousness and commitment through a backward integration agenda, Mr. President has lost a golden opportunity to assert his change mantra through a clear demonstration of leadership by example, by staying back to receive medical treatment in Nigeria and thereby inspiring confidence in Nigeria’s health sector which currently boasts of medical experts that favourably compare with medical experts anywhere in the world, if not even better.”
    The CMA regretted that most public and political office holders who seek foreign medical care abroad were usually handled by Nigerian trained doctors in foreign lands, particularly in the United Kingdom which has over 3000 Nigerian trained medical doctors, United States of America with over 5000 Nigerian trained medical doctors, amongst other foreign countries.
    The organisation said most of these Doctors left the shores of Nigeria on account of government’s perennial failure to address the various push and pull factors which have consistently driven this yearly brain drain phenomenon in Nigeria.

    Enabulele said, “Available records show that last year (2015) alone, 637 medical doctors emigrated due largely to poor working conditions and health facilities, insecurity, unpredictable and poor funding of Residency Training Programme, uncompetitive wages and job dissatisfaction.

    “Without prejudice to the expert recommendation of Mr. President’s Personal Physician and the ENT specialist said to have examined and treated Mr. President in Abuja, I consider it a national shame of immense proportions that Mr. President had to be recommended for foreign medical care/re-evaluation despite the presence of over 250 ENT specialists (and professors) in Nigeria, as well as a National Ear Centre located in Kaduna state

    “If I were in their shoes I would have advised Mr. President to stay back in Nigeria and explore any of the following options: (1) urgently invite a consortium of Nigerian trained ENT specialists in Nigeria to Abuja to re-evaluate and treat Mr. President; or (2) if it is determined that the medical expertise is not available in Nigeria, any identified Nigerian trained ENT specialist practicing anywhere in the world should be invited to Abuja, Nigeria, for the sole purpose of re-evaluating and treating Mr. President; or (3) if it is a case where the health facilities/equipment are unavailable (and this is a possibility) then Mr. President should have used his current medical situation to commence the government’s plan to re-equip Nigerian hospitals with modern state-of-the art health facilities.

    “On account of the foregoing, I humbly and passionately appeal to Mr. President to show committed leadership by urgently rethinking the planned foreign medical travel and exploring the above suggested options of getting treated here in Nigeria.” - Punch

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  • Eat Me: 10 health benefits of bananas

    08/Dec/2016 // 428 Viewers


    Bananas are highly nutritious and very delicious. 

    Dan Koeppel, author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, in his book traces the banana back to the Garden of Eden, where he believes it was the banana, not the apple, that was the “forbidden fruit” that Eve offered Adam.

    Today, bananas are grown in at least 107 countries and are ranked fourth among the world’s food crops in monetary value.

    Here are some ways bananas can be beneficial to your health.

    Weight Loss and Obesity

    Bananas are useful for weight loss as one banana only has approximately 90 calories. It contains a lot of fiber as well and is easy to digest. Furthermore, it does not contain any fats.

    Therefore, an overweight person does not have to eat too many if their diet contains some bananas, because they are also very filling.

    Stronger Bones

    Bananas are one of the best fruits for guaranteeing strong, healthy bones throughout your life.

    Arthritis and Gout

    Various compounds in bananas are anti-inflammatory in nature, meaning that they can reduce swelling, inflammation, and irritation from various conditions like arthritis and gout.

    These conditions are very common as people age, or if they have poor or unhealthy diets.


    Bananas contain significant amounts of dietary fiber and therefore help in smooth bowel movements.

    Bananas are said to push out stubborn stools and relieve a person from constipation.


    For years, bananas have been used as an antacid food to soothe upset stomachs.

    They also contain protease inhibitors, which eliminate the harmful bacteria that have been linked to the development of stomach ulcers.

    Kidney Disorders

    Bananas have been linked to reducing the danger towards the kidneys from a number of different conditions.

    Potassium helps to regulate the fluid balance in the body, and that can help ease the strain on the kidneys, and also encouraging urination.

    Eye Health

    Bananas, like many other fruits, are packed with antioxidant compounds and carotenoids, as well as a proper mix of minerals that can seriously boost the health of your eyes.

    Macular degeneration, cataracts, night blindness, and glaucoma have all been shown to decrease with normal intake of bananas and other similar fruits.

    Cardiovascular Protection

    Bananas are rich sources of potassium, so they reduce blood pressure since bananas are vasodilators.

    By relaxing the tension of arteries and veins, the blood can flow more smoothly through the body and oxygenate the various organs of the body to increase their function.

    Menstrual problems

    Cooked banana flowers help in providing relief from painful and excessive bleeding during the menstrual cycle as well as other menstrual disorders.


    Bananas contain high iron content and therefore aid in treating anemia because iron is an essential part of red blood cells, which is why anemia occurs; low blood cell count occur due to lack of iron.

    Banana also has a significant content of copper, which is an important element in the creation of red blood cells.

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  • ‘Men suffering poor erection are 70% more likely to die early

    08/Jan/2016 // 675 Viewers

    Those who ejaculate 21 times monthly cut prostate cancer risk by 22%


    ARE you finding it difficult to get it up or keep it standing? Are you having poor erection or rather erectile dysfunction? You may have a short lifespan.

    Recent study has found that men suffering erectile dysfunction are 70 per cent more likely to die early. Erectile dysfunction is an embarrassing condition that can affect a man’s performance in the bedroom.

    The team of researchers from the University of Mississippi, United States (U.S.) has warned erectile dysfunction could have an impact on a man’s lifespan because the disorder is an important marker of cardiovascular risk.

    Read Also: Want to have better sex? Sleep for an hour longer each night, say scientists

    The study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, concluded: “These findings have major public health and clinical implications in that erectile dysfunction is a strong predictor of premature mortality.

    “Further research is needed to see the long-term results over a longer follow-up period.”

    It was already known that erectile dysfunction is linked to cardiovascular disease risk factors – including hyperlipidemia, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and smoking.

    The disorder has also already been recognised as a risk factor for stroke and coronary heart disease – in addition to angina myocardial infarction.

    Erectile dysfunction is often thought of as an issue that primarily affects older men.

    Yet, researchers said, nearly 20 per cent of men under the age of 40 are affected by the disorder.

    Meanwhile, another study has found that men who have regular orgasms – once a day – are less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

    Scientists have discovered that regular ejaculation throughout their lives reduces the risk of the disease.

    The researchers, from Harvard Medical School, U.S., said they could not explain why orgasms could lower prostate cancer risk, adding further research is necessary.

    However, it has previously been suggested that regular orgasms may flush out cancer-causing chemicals in the prostate.

    Another theory is that if sperm is regularly cleaned out to allow new cells to develop, it helps stop the build-up of old cells that might be more likely to turn cancerous.

    The prostate is a small satsuma-sized gland located between a man’s penis and his bladder.

    Its main function is to produce a thick white fluid that is mixed with the sperm produced by the testicles, to create semen.

    The Harvard study is the largest to date to examine the frequency of ejaculation and related prostate cancer risk.

    The researchers found that men in the 40 to 49 age bracket who ejaculate 21 or more times a month reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 22 per cent.

    This was compared to men who ejaculate four to seven times a month.

    Also, another study has found that men who sleep with multiple women reduce their risk of prostate cancer.

    To protect against prostate cancer, take a lover – or 20.

    The research was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology.

    According to a study, men who sleep with multiple women are almost a third less likely to develop the disease.

    Researchers at the University of Montreal, Canada, found men who have more than 20 notches on their bedpost slashed their risk of prostate cancer by 28 per cent.

    And the study also revealed that men who have slept with more than 20 women reduced their chances of getting the most aggressive tumours by 19 per cent.

    Celibacy, on the other hand, doubles the risk of the disease.

    Meanwhile, the scientists said the link between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular risk may arise as a result of endothelial cell dysfunction and impaired production of nitrous oxide.

    To arrive at their conclusions, they examined data from 1,790 men between the ages of 20 to 85 who participated in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

    They linked the survey data with death certificates from the National Death Index through December 21, 2011.

    Erectile dysfunction was measured by asking: “How would you describe your ability to get and keep an erection adequate for satisfactory intercourse?”

    Those who answered ‘sometimes able’ or ‘never able’ were determined to have the disorder.

    The scientists found that 557 of the survey participants had erectile dysfunction.

    After a follow-up of nearly eight years, 244 of the original group had died.

    Meanwhile, while the researchers said they were unclear as to why ejaculation lowers the chances of prostate cancer, they called the results ‘particularly encouraging’.

    The study followed almost 32,000 healthy men for 18 years – 3,839 of whom later were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

    Dr. Jennifer Rider, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said the results are ‘particularly encouraging’ but should be interpreted with caution.

    She said: “While these data are the most compelling to date on the potential benefit of ejaculation on prostate cancer development, they are observational data and should be interpreted somewhat cautiously.

    “At the same time, given the lack of modifiable risk factors for prostate cancer, the results of this study are particularly encouraging.”


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  • WARNING: Stop Using Bleaching Creams - NAFDAC

    08/Oct/2015 // 216 Viewers

    The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, yesterday, expressed concern over the alarming use of bleaching creams and skin whitening agents.

    NAFDAC also warned that such chemicals, aside from causing cancer, could lead to psychiatric and kidney problems.

    It equally warned against the continued use of banned chemicals by unscrupulous cosmetics manufacturers.

    Reading what seemed like a riot act in Lagos during the first NAFDAC’s Good Manufacturing Practice, GMP, training for cosmetics and medical devices manufacturers in Lagos, Director-General of the agency, Dr. Paul Orhii, said the use of glutathione intravenous as a skin whitener was unsafe and might result in serious consequences, including cancer.

    He expressed concern that the urge to satisfy customers’ ever-increasing demands and the bid to make profits had driven some cosmetics manu-facturers into experimenting with raw materials with little or no safety records.

    Orhii vowed that the agency would not hesitate to shut down any company, which failed to comply with good manufacturing practice or caught with the banned chemicals.

    He said: “Skin bleaching is a cosmetic treatment to reduce the prominence of skin discolourations and even out skin colour.

    “Some people apply skin lightener to their entire body to change their complexion, but this can be very risky. The active ingredient in some skin lighteners is mercury and so bleaching can lead to mercury poisoning.”

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  • Aggressive blood pressure control could help millions: study

    09/Nov/2015 // 285 Viewers

    Getty/AFP/File | A nurse checks a patient's blood pressure on July 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California


    MIAMI (AFP) - 

    A more aggressive approach to lowering blood pressure could help millions of people over age 50, according to the results of a major US study published Monday.

    Patients who lowered their systolic number, meaning the higher of the two figures used to express blood pressure, to less than 120 mm Hg saw their risk of heart attack, heart failure or stroke drop by 24 percent, and their risk of death plummeted by 27 percent.

    Current guidelines urge adults to keep their blood pressure below 140 mm Hg.

    In September, the National Institutes of Health-sponsored study was stopped a year early due to the positive results. On Monday, a detailed report on its findings was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    "The positive results of this trial have taken most investigators by surprise, and the strong benefits of treatment seem to outweigh the risks," said co-author Alfred Cheung, chief of nephrology and hypertension at University of Utah Health Care.

    However, more research is needed before health authorities can recommend a change to current guidelines.

    "Before deciding to treat blood pressure aggressively, it may be prudent to wait until additional questions are answered," Cheung added.

    The treatment, which involves using medications to lower blood pressure along with healthy lifestyle choices, also came with an increased risk for some serious side effects, including blood pressure that fell too low, fainting, and kidney problems.

    Researchers are also still investigating how the treatment might affect cognition, dementia and kidney disease.

    The study involved more than 9,300 people who were randomly assigned to a blood pressure target of either 120 mm Hg or 140 mm Hg.

    All the study participants were aged 50 or older and had faced an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, having a systolic blood pressure of at least 130 mmHg.

    They also had no history of diabetes or stroke, a requirement which made the study population majority white, and tended to exclude many African Americans and Hispanics.

    About 16.8 million people in the United States would fit the study and criteria and therefore might benefit from the approach, researchers said.

    "Given that millions of US adults meet SPRINT eligibility criteria, the implementation of SPRINT recommendations could have a profound impact on how blood pressure is treated in this country," said senior author Paul Muntner, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Alabama.

    "Even more important, is its potential for greatly reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease."

    More than one billion people worldwide have hypertension, which is defined as a systolic blood pressure of 140 or more, over a diastolic blood pressure of 90 or higher.

    © 2015 AFP

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  • Okra: Cure for diabetes

    09/Oct/2015 // 668 Viewers

    Many people suffer  from Diabetes.Here is an easy cure for diabetes.Okra or lady finger is a natural vegetable which can be used as a cure for diabetes.

    Useful tips  To Control Diabetes using Okra

    Here is the simple tip to control diabetes from Okra Take two or three lady fingers. Cut them from the centre and put them into the glass full with the water. Leave them for the full night. In the morning remove Okra and drink the water before breakfast. Repeating the same process, every day will help you to reduce your sugar level. This simple tip is better than many other painful treatments. Fresh lady finger is better than cooked one.

    How Raw Okra Can Help in curing Diabetes.

    Low G.I Food:
    the word G.I stands for Glycemic index. The person who is suffering from diabetes should take diet enriched in Glycemic index. Approximately 20 G.I is present in okra. That is very low. Diabetic patients can easily use okra recipes as their meal to fill their stomach and also control their diabetic level.

    Fight Kidney Diseases:
    Okra is also good to prevent your body from different kidney diseases. It is considered that high sugar level effect your both kidneys badly. Daily consumption of okra daily will make your kidneys stay healthy. Have a moderate amount of okra daily if you are a diabetic person.

    Soluble Fibers:
    Soluble fibers are very important to keep your kidneys healthy. They play their role in digestion of carbohydrates. Lady finger or Okra is enriched with soluble fibers. It slow down the digestion process and hence lower the sugar level in blood. These are some of the main reasons for you to select lady finger as a diet to control diabetes.

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