Health & WellnessS


Indigo children - Evolved Narcissists?

There was a huge crash from the living room. A second later, New Hampshire skated through the kitchen on his Heelys screaming "Watch me! Watch me!" as he slammed into our refrigerator. New Hampshire is my cousin's 6-year-old.

He won't eat vegetables, is allergic to gluten, peanuts, latex, penicillin, cats, bees and shellfish. He is, against all odds, overweight. And surly. I can't tell you how I look forward to their visits.

His parents, Hanna and Pat, had their hearts set on naming him after a state, like Indiana Jones, but most of the good state names had been taken by the time he was born. In New Hampshire's prekindergarten class there are two Dakotas, two Nevadas, a Montana, a Georgia, a Florida, a Virginia, a Tennessee and an Arizona.


US obesity tsar punished

It wasn't quite as bad as putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop. Still, the law takes a dim view when the head of the US Food and Drug Administration fails to own up to profiting from soft drinks and food while determining policy on obesity. Lester Crawford this week paid the price for this notable lapse.


'Supersize me' revisited - under lab conditions

If you had bumped into nursing student Adde Karimi last September, he probably wouldn't have had much time to stop and chat. He was too busy stuffing his face with burgers, cola and milkshakes. It takes a lot of planning to get 6600 calories of junk food down you in a day, he explains. If you are not a born glutton, serious overeating also requires a high level of commitment. Karimi's motivation was commendable. "I did it because I wanted to hate this type of food," he says. He also did it for science.


How sunshine triggers skin repair

A blast of sunshine could help fight skin diseases and cancer by attracting immune cells to the skin surface, according to a new study.

Eugene Butcher at Stanford University in California, US, and colleagues discovered an interesting immune process in human skin. Immune cells in the skin, called dendritic cells, convert vitamin D3 (produced in exposed skin in response to sunlight) into its active form.


Marked rise in Neurological Disorders in the US debated by scientists

Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease are becoming more common in the US, a large new analysis suggests.

Deborah Hirtz at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, US, and colleagues reviewed about 500 research articles describing the prevalence of 12 diseases commonly identified and treated by neurologists.


Menstrual mood swings may have a use after all

The monthly mood swings experienced by many women may serve an evolutionary purpose, researchers say, by helping to get them pregnant.

Levels of sex hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone fluctuate throughout a woman's monthly menstrual cycle. During the follicular phase at the start of the cycle, the egg is maturing and the body releases oestrogen, while during the luteal phase, when a fertilised egg might implant, progesterone is secreted.

Comment: And they had to do a study to figure that out?! Astonishing. Most women already know it.


Brace yourself for blues Monday

If you wake up feeling blue Monday, it's no wonder.

Monday is the most depressing day of the year, according to a United Kingdom psychologist.

Dr. Cliff Arnall developed a formula three years ago as a public relations campaign for a travel agency to boost travel during the industry's slowest month of the year. Arnall took factors like weather, debts, monthly salary, time since Christmas, time since failed attempt to quit (for example, to quit smoking), low motivational levels and the need to take action.


Living under Pathocratic Rule: Russian mental health rallies after 1990s turmoil

Russia's turbulent transition to a capitalist society caused a sharp deterioration in the country's mental health, a leading psychiatrist said on Monday.

But psychological disorders have started to level off in the past few years - a period that coincided with greater political and economic stability under President Vladimir Putin.

Russia has the world's second highest suicide rate after ex-Soviet Lithuania, according to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Comment: For a very long time, Russian citizens lived under the rule of pathocratic system, and lost their ability to defend their psyches from its devastating influences. Now, after the existing system was replaced by new "Capitalistic masters", no wonder that Russians suffer from variety of mental disorders or simply jump off the buildings.

This is what Lobaczewski wrote in Political Ponerology:

"Subordinating a normal person to psychologically abnormal
individuals has severe and deforming effects on his or her personality: it engenders trauma and neurosis. This is accomplished in a manner which generally evades conscious controls. Such a situation deprives the person of his natural rights: to practice his own mental hygiene, develop a sufficiently autonomous personality, and utilize his common sense."

"As already adduced, the author has been able to observe the workings of such a process of making someone consciously aware of the essence and properties of the macrosocial phenomenon, on the basis of individual patients rendered neurotic by the influence of pathocratic social conditions. In countries ruled by such governments, almost every normal person carries within him some neurotic response of varying intensity. After all, neurosis is human nature's normal response to being subjugated to a pathological system."


Half Of Americans Metabolize Sugar And Fat Differently Which Can Increase Diabetes Risk

A new US study suggests that about half of the US population has a common gene variant that makes them metabolize sugar and fat differently which could increase their risk of developing diabetes.

The research is published in the January edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"That is not to say that half of US residents are destined to get diabetes," says Edward Weiss, PhD, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Doisy College of Health Sciences at Saint Louis University who led the study. The gene variant appears to contribute to diabetes risk, it does not cause diabetes on its own, he adds. Other factors are also involved.

Bizarro Earth

Study sez: Traffic pollution harms children's lungs

Traffic pollution from freeways may stunt development of the lungs in children aged 10 to 18, according to a study by researchers from the University of Southern California.

Dr. W. James Gauderman and colleagues from the USC and other institutions found that development of the lungs in children who lived within 500 meters or one third of a mile of a freeway were significantly retarded by traffic pollution compared to those who lived three times farther away from a freeway.

Comment: Meanwhile, of course, they are trying to blame all the same problems on smoking...