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Mon, 20 Feb 2017
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Can Thinking of a Loved One Reduce Your Pain?

"The very thought of you ... the mere idea of you" - from the song "The Very Thought of You" by Ray Noble

Can the mere thought of your loved one reduce your pain?

Yes, according to a new study by UCLA psychologists that underscores the importance of social relationships and staying socially connected.

The study, which asked whether simply looking at a photograph of your significant other can reduce pain, involved 25 women, mostly UCLA students, who had boyfriends with whom they had been in a good relationship for more than six months.

The women received moderately painful heat stimuli to their forearms while they went through a number of different conditions. In one set of conditions, they viewed photographs of their boyfriend, a stranger and a chair.

Gear

Winnipeg, Canada: People line up for Saturday H1N1 clinics

People not already in line at two special H1N1 immunization clinics were being turned away Saturday afternoon.

The clinics were held at the University of Manitoba and the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba.

A spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said there were enough people queued up at the U of M clinic at 2:30 p.m. to keep staff and volunteers busy until the 4 p.m. closing time or later, so the line was cut off. The same decision was made at the Philippine Canadian Centre at 3 p.m.

Comment: Click here to educate yourself on the truth about recent H1N1 vaccination craze.


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Diet Sodas May Be Hard on the Kidneys

Women who drink 2 or more diet sodas daily double their risk of kidney function decline, study shows

Diet soda may help keep your calories in check, but drinking two or more diet sodas a day may double your risk of declining kidney function, a new study shows.

Women who drank two or more diet sodas a day had a 30% drop in a measure of kidney function during the lengthy study follow-up, according to research presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology in San Diego.

"Thirty percent is considered significant,'' says researcher Julie Lin, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a staff physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. That's especially true, she says, because most study participants had well-preserved kidney function at the start of the study.

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Artificial Sweeteners are Continually Found to be Unsafe and Toxic

A recent study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology in San Diego found that adult women who drink at least two diet sodas a day experience a 30 percent drop in kidney function over the course of a decade.

Findings indicate that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose are the culprits in the rapid degeneration of glomerular filtration rates in the kidneys of those consuming excessive amounts of artificially-sweetened diet sodas.

Dr. Julie Lin of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and her colleague Dr. Gary Curhan conducted the research correlating artificial sweetener intake to kidney degradation, highlighting one of the many dangers of artificial sweeteners.

A 2005 study conducted by Dr. Morando Soffritti of the esteemed European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences and the Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center confirmed once again what independent scientists discovered over thirty years ago; aspartame consumption leads to all sorts of illness and disease including cancerous tumors, lymphomas, leukemias, lesions in various organs, transitional cell carcinomas, nerve damage, seizures, and premature death.

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Love and Envy Linked by Same Hormone, Oxytocin

Image
© iStockphoto
Studies have shown that the oxytocin hormone has a positive effect on positive feelings. The hormone is released in the body naturally during childbirth and when engaging in sexual relations.
A new study carried out at the University of Haifa has found that the hormone oxytocin, the "love hormone," which affects behaviors such as trust, empathy and generosity, also affects opposite behaviors, such as jealousy and gloating. "Subsequent to these findings, we assume that the hormone is an overall trigger for social sentiments: when the person's association is positive, oxytocin bolsters pro-social behaviors; when the association is negative, the hormone increases negative sentiments," explains Simone Shamay-Tsoory who carried out the research.

Previous studies have shown that the oxytocin hormone has a positive effect on positive feelings. The hormone is released in the body naturally during childbirth and when engaging in sexual relations. Participants in an experiment who inhaled the synthetic form of the hormone displayed higher levels of altruistic feelings, and it is supposed that the hormone plays an important role in the formation of relationships between people.

However, in earlier studies carried out by other investigators with rodents, it was found that the hormone is also related to higher levels of aggression. Therefore, it was decided to examine whether the hormone also affects negative social sentiments.

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Human Expectation of Pleasure Enhanced by Dopamine

Enhancing the effects of the brain chemical dopamine influences how people make life choices by affecting expectations of pleasure, according to new research from the UCL Institute of Neurology.

The study, published in Current Biology, confirms an important role for dopamine in how human expectations are formed and how people make complex decisions. It also contributes to an understanding of how pleasure expectation can go awry, for example in drug addiction.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced in several areas of the brain that is found in a wide variety of animals. Its role in reward learning and reward-seeking behaviour is well established by animal studies - however, in humans its role is much less understood.

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Shape Perception in Brain Develops by Itself

Tests with westerners and African nomads suggest that brain has innate sense of geometry; incidental result: baby likely can do without ubiquitous shape sorter

Despite minimal exposure to the regular geometric objects found in developed countries, African tribal people perceive shapes as well as westerners, according to a new study.

The findings, published online this week in Psychological Science, suggested that the brain's ability to understand shapes develops without the influence of immersion in simple, manufactured objects.

"In terms of perceiving the world ... either genetics or the natural world will give you the right type of experiences," said lead author Irving Biederman, an expert on perception who holds a named chair in neuroscience at the University of Southern California's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Blackbox

Are Better Brains Better?

Penn neuroscientists Martha Farah and Anjan Chatterjee believe the answer is more complicated than you think.

It was somehow appropriate that it started with a clock-radio alarm. There were two overarching constants in Chris Miner's life: Every slumber was a product of pure exhaustion and every awakening was rude. It wasn't his private equity job. That merely consumed the daylight and dinner hours. It was the fact that getting home at nine or ten at night marked the beginning of a second shift. Ever since he'd started studying for the GMAT for business school, which meant an additional few hours of intellectual exertion with little more than his commute as a spell of rest, Miner felt like a circuit breaker full of shorts.

So he remembers the morning he first heard about modafinil the way a man lost in the forest remembers the sound of a search party's shotgun blast. A news segment about the drug, marketed under the brand name Provigil as a treatment for narcolepsy and excessive daytime drowsiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea, detailed recent experimental evidence of its effects on healthy subjects. The take-home lesson was enticing. Modafinil not only boosted their mental alertness and stamina, it also appeared to enhance their performance on several learning- and memory-related tasks.

Family

Preschoolers Demand Explanations

Curiosity plays a big part in preschoolers' lives. A new study that explored why young children ask so many "why" questions concludes that children are motivated by a desire for explanation.

The study, by researchers at the University of Michigan, appears in the November/December 2009 issue of the journal Child Development.

The researchers carried out two studies of 2- to 5-year-olds, focusing on their "how" and "why" questions, as well as their requests for explanatory information, and looking carefully at the children's reactions to the answers they received from adults. In the first study, the researchers examined longitudinal transcripts of six children's everyday conversations with parents, siblings, and visitors at home from ages 2 to 4. In the second study, they looked at the laboratory-based conversations of 42 preschoolers, using toys, storybooks, and videos to prompt the children, ages 3 to 5, to ask questions.

By looking at how the children reacted to the answers they received to their questions, the researchers found that children seem to be more satisfied when they receive an explanatory answer than when they do not. In both studies, when preschoolers got an explanation, they seemed satisfied (they agreed or asked a new follow-up question). But when they got answers that weren't explanations, they seemed dissatisfied and were more likely to repeat their original question or provide an alternative explanation.

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Bicarbonate of Soda Used to Cure Stage Four Prostate Cancer?

Bicarbonate of soda or baking soda to cure cancer? The amazing abundance of alternative cancer cures is more than most of us know, close to 400! The more notorious alternative cancer cures are the ones that get attacked viciously by the Medical Monopoly. Those cures are the ones that begin to develop into public practices that threaten their monopoly.

Then there are those inexpensive non-toxic remedies that slip by the Medical Monopoly virtually unnoticed. Some become like folk medicines that can be administered individually. This type of application worked for Vernon Johnston. He used baking soda and molasses as the driving force to recover from aggressive stage 4 prostate cancer, which had even metastasized into his bone matter!

His Brother's Advice

After Vernon was diagnosed, Vernon's brother Larry told him to work on raising his pH because cancer cannot thrive in a high or alkaline pH. Larry recommended cesium chloride to raise Vernon's pH levels into a high alkaline level physiologically. Cesium chloride is another one of those alternative cancer remedies that are not well known.

Cesium treatment protocols used by doctors in conjunction with ozone or DMSO had a 50% cure rate. But this unimpressive cure rate, albeit better than orthodox treatments, included patients who had received some or all of the surgery, radiation and toxic chemotherapy that the AMA could offer.