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Thu, 20 Oct 2016
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


Rise in girls asking GPs about genital labiaplasty cosmetic surgery is blamed on online porn

A study has found there has been a threefold rise in girls asking for genital cosmetic surgery in the last decade
An increasing number of girls as young as 15 are asking their GPs for advice about genital cosmetic surgery, a study has found.

Teenage girls who are increasingly concerned that their genitals don't look "normal" have been inquiring about the possibility of getting a labiaplasty - a surgical procedure that removes tissue from the labia.

Author of the study Dr. Magdalena Simonis from the University of Melbourne, said she felt compelled to conduct the survey after her own patients began asking about the procedure.

She said: "I felt underprepared to respond to those requests. When I spoke to colleagues who were also working in areas of women's health, they also expressed the same sort of experiences with women questioning whether their genitals looked normal.

"Many of them volunteered that that 20 or 25 years ago, this was never an issue."

Comment: What's going on with young women and their lady bits?


Irisin: The fat-blasting hormone produced by exercise

© Tyler Olson/fotolia.com
If a workout feels like more pain than gain, here's some motivation: Exercise releases a hormone that helps the body shed fat and keeps it from forming.

A group led by a University of Florida Health researcher has learned more about how the hormone irisin helps convert calorie-storing white fat cells into brown fat cells that burn energy. Irisin, which surges when the heart and other muscles are exerted, also inhibits the formation of fatty tissue, according to the researchers.

The findings, published recently in the American Journal of Physiology -- Endocrinology and Metabolism, show that irisin may be an attractive target for fighting obesity and diabetes, said Li-Jun Yang, M.D., a professor of hematopathology in the UF College of Medicine's department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine. The study is believed to be the first of its kind to examine the mechanisms of irisin's effect on human fat tissue and fat cells, researchers said.

Christmas Tree

Science says that hiking actually changes your brain and lowers oxidative stress

It is no secret that hiking — the long, vigorous walk on the countryside, through a forest or up a mountain — is good for your health. But just how good is hiking? It burns calories? Yes. It improves cardio-respiratory fitness? Yes. It improves muscular fitness? Yes. It helps prevent and control diabetes? Yes. The list seems endless. But do you know that hiking cleanses you mind, body and soul?

Here're just 5 of the most powerful ways hiking actually changes your brain — supported by scientific evidence...

Hiking Lowers Rumination

A 2015 Stanford University study found that people who went on a 90-minute walk through a natural environment, reported lower levels of rumination and reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness, compared with those who walked through an urban environment.

"This finding is exciting because it demonstrates the impact of nature experience on an aspect of emotion regulation — something that may help explain how nature makes us feel better," said Gregory Bratman, lead author of the study.

Ruminative thoughts are focused on negative aspects of the self. Examples of rumination include spending a lot of time thinking back over embarrassing or disappointing moments, or obsessing over recent things you've said or done.

Comment: Hiking in nature is cleansing to the mind, body and soul

Evil Rays

The health effects of microwave radiation spelled out

One of the most definitive, expansive and inclusive peer-reviewed papers I've ever read on any subject was published July 25, 2016 online at Electronic Physician as an "open access article" that I sincerely hope everyone in the media and healthcare industries will take extremely seriously, especially those who are promoting more and more 'smart' appliances and devices that transmit electromagnetic frequencies and radiofrequencies—microwaves, which damage human health more than we are being told by government health agencies at all levels (local, state and national), manufacturers, employers and school districts that even mandate their uses as "new technologies" to learn and to implement.

New technologies are fine IF and WHEN they take into consideration and implement safeguards for human health, which is not the case with microwave technology, but has been the "dream warfare" technology for the United States military and other governments, so anything goes, including our being bombarded with so much microwaves, we now are experiencing more adverse health effects attributed to what's scientifically termed "Non-thermal Adverse Health Effects."

The U.S. military has had a GREAT interest in keeping microwave safety standards higher than they should be and not as applicable as the science demands. Dr Magda Havas, PhD, Environmental & Resource Studies, 1600 West Bank Drive, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, Canada, K9J 7B8 on her website published the following incriminating unclassified U.S. Army documents information as to why microwaves are not safe, nor made safer, due to U.S. military involvement with its electronic warfare techniques, which harm everything.

Comment: See the following series of Sott articles for more information:


Smart drugs come with stupid side effects

As increasing numbers of young people turn to so-called "smart drugs" to boost academic performance, the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning to students about the dangers of this practice, which include not only dependency, but also heart problems and even psychosis.

One big part of the problem is that many students mistakenly view these drugs as relatively harmless, particularly given the fact that some of them are (controversially) prescribed to children. Even though these students are obtaining the drugs illegally, they do not liken them to cocaine or ecstasy, for example. Moreover, those who do have legitimate prescriptions for these pills are finding selling them to be quite profitable, particularly around exam time.

Another problem is that these drugs appeal to many types of students. It's not just the rebels and risk-takers who are getting on board; some straight-A students who are under pressure to maintain good grades and who wouldn't have dreamed of even smoking a cigarette in high school seem to have no qualms about taking these meds for their perceived competitive edge.


New discovery reveals womens' ovaries can grow new eggs

© Science Picture Co/Getty Images/Science Faction
Discovery challenges notion that women are born with a fixed number of eggs, and raises prospect of treatments which would allow older women to conceive.
Scientists have uncovered the first evidence that the human ovary may be able to grow new eggs in adulthood.

If confirmed, the discovery would overturn the accepted view that women are born with a fixed number of eggs and that the body has no capacity to increase this supply. Until now this has been the main constraint on the female reproductive lifespan. The findings, if replicated, would raise the prospect of new treatments to allow older women to conceive and for infertility problems in younger women.

The small study, involving cancer patients, showed that ovarian biopsies taken from young women who had been given a chemotherapy drug had a far higher density of eggs than healthy women of the same age.

Prof Evelyn Telfer, who led the work at the University of Edinburgh, said: "This was something remarkable and completely unexpected for us. The tissue appeared to have formed new eggs. The dogma is that the human ovary has a fixed population of eggs and that no new eggs form throughout life."


Tick bites that trigger severe meat allergy on rise around the world

'Tick-induced mammalian meat allergy' reported in Europe, Asia, Central America and Africa but most prevalent in parts of Australia and the US

© Erik Karits/Alamy
The link between tick bites and meat allergies was described in 2007 and has since been confirmed around the world.
People living in tick-endemic areas around the world are being warned of an increasingly prevalent, potentially life-threatening side effect to being bitten: developing a severe allergy to meat.

The link between tick bites and meat allergies was first described in 2007, and has since been confirmed around the world.


2 + 2 = 4

The 4 requirements necessary for industry and government to undermine health

I grew up in the 1960s, inundated by commercials for margarines made from hydrogenated vegetable oils that "promised" those margarines would keep my cholesterol levels low and protect me from heart disease. Yet in 2015, nearly 50 years later, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence of the harm they do, especially to the circulatory system and the heart, the Food and Drug Administration announced that artificial trans fats of the very sort that made up a good percentage of those margarines were no longer "generally recognized as safe," and food manufacturers would have three years to remove these substances from their products altogether.

How did this happen? How could we get the science so wrong that it was actually backward, and how did it take us 50 years to figure it out?


Poison by any other name: Artificial sweeteners that are still approved by the FDA

Artificial sweeteners prime the human body to selectively choose high-calorie foods. By disrupting the fine balance of appetite and metabolic hormones, they distort the body's ability to monitor how many calories we consume. These are six unparalleled poisons still approved by governments despite considerable evidence of their harm.

1. Aspartame

Aspartame is by far the most common and still most widely debated artificial sweetener due to extensive studies which have verified its toxic nature in mammals. It is frequently used in diet soda products, yogurt, chewable vitamins, desserts, popsicles, candy, chewing gum as well as many other foods.

It is also marketed as Nutrasweet, Spoonful, Canderel and Equal (sometimes shown as the E number E951).

Per U.S. News & World Report, it is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. The FDA itself calls aspartame "one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved."


6 cognitive biases that may hurt your health care decisions

It's human nature to have cognitive biases. These tendencies to think in certain ways or process information by filtering it through your personal preferences, beliefs and experiences are normal, but they can offer a skewed perspective.

"We all have these biases -- they are the lenses through which we process information and they are a necessary part of the information-selection process," says Mark Reinecke, professor and chief psychologist at Northwestern University and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Even physicians and mental health professionals have cognitive biases when making decisions for their own health and while treating patients.

Meanwhile, certain subtle mental biases can affect the health choices you make on a daily basis -- often without your realizing it. This can include everything from the dietary and physical activity choices you make to the screening tests you choose to the medications you take. Sometimes these biases are harmless while other times they could be problematic.

Here's a look at six common cognitive biases that can affect your health-related lifestyle choices, your behavior and your health-care decisions.