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Tue, 28 Feb 2017
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Health & Wellness


How blackbirds help us beat the blues: Spotting birds in your garden 'can cut the risk of suffering stress and depression'

Blackbird (Europe)
In our increasingly busy lives, a glimpse of a wren or a blackbird can offer a moment's respite from everyday worries.

Now researchers have found that living close to bird life can cut the risk of suffering from stress and depression.

People in neighbourhoods with more birds in them have better mental health, a study by Exeter University shows, regardless of whether they live in a leafy suburb or busy city.

It followed more than 274 people, whose stress levels fell based on the number of birds they saw in a typical afternoon.

It appears not to matter if these birds are pretty robins or big black crows, with just the number of birds spotted making the difference. It follows research which shows bird song can help people recover from the mental fatigue of a day's focused concentration at work.

Lead author Dr Daniel Cox, a research fellow at the University of Exeter, said: 'This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental wellbeing.

Shopping Bag

Shop with your doc: Physicians are taking their patients grocery shopping

Pharmaceuticals may not be the best medicine for patients. Some doctors are now changing the way they treat patients - by taking them grocery shopping.

Physicians, such as Dr. Daniel Nadeau, are prescribing food rather than pills to fix the body.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all Americans routinely take prescription drugs, and 75 percent of all doctor visits involve drugs.

To counter the dependency on drugs, Loma Linda University School of Medicine incorporated a special emphasis on lifestyle medicine in which physicians learn how to prescribe food instead of narcotics.

In fact, there is rising interest from doctors at the annual Food as Medicine Symposium on Feb. 11-12.

"We go to our doctors. We live an unhealthy lifestyle, and we just say: 'Give me a pill for that,' and 'I want to be healthy'," Nadeau said. "You might get your numbers down a bit, but you're not going to feel the best that you could feel."

Comment: Will these doctors load their patients up with GMO and pesticide-free veggies and grass-fed meats? Probably not. But this is a step in the right direction. Food is medicine after all.


Wi-Fi devices increase mercury release from dental amalgams

Recent research indicates that our increasingly Wi-Fi saturated environment could be greatly amplifying the dangers of mercury exposure from dental amalgams.

A new study published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology entitled, "Effect of radiofrequency radiation from Wi-Fi devices on mercury release from amalgam restorations," reveals that our now ubiquitous exposure to Wi-Fi radiation may be amplifying the toxicity of dental amalgams and other forms of mercury exposure to the human body.

Amalgam fillings release mercury vapor into your body continuously

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The Health & Wellness Show: Cell phones, vaccines and Fukushima -- Oh, my!

On this episode of The Health and Wellness show we'll discuss new developments in old topics. Many people are well aware that, despite the convenience and seeming necessity, the use of cell phones can be hazardous to your health. Well a new generation of cell phone tech is coming down the pike and promises to blanket the earth with even higher levels of microwave radiation than ever before. Is it too late to turn back the clock or has humanity's love affair with wireless technology doomed it forever?

With a new vaccine commission in the works, RFK Jr. is shaking up the health world with his call for more investigations into vaccine safety. The consensus among the medical community is that the debate is settled: Vaccines are safe and effective. However, with new information on contaminated vaccine batches and research on various neurological disorders linked to vaccines how can this possibly be the case?

Not only is Fukushima wreaking havoc on the health and well-being of humans and animals around the planet it's also killing robots! This ongoing disaster has surpassed Chernobyl in severity and the news (not reported in the mainstream, of course) seemingly gets worse by the day.

Join us for a lively discussion and stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment where the topic will be vaccine titer tests for pets.

Running Time: 01:29:52

Download: OGG, MP3

Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!


Link between Glyphosate and Autism

After the World Health Organization declared Monsanto's Roundup active ingredient glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic," Monsanto have actively chased lawsuits for defamation. Now, a new study has demonstrated damming correlations between the increased use of the herbicide and the increase of autism in the same decades.

Whether from vaccines laced with mercury or from diet or pesticide use, autism today is vastly on the rise in children. Disturbing figures attributed one in 68 children as having an autism spectrum disorder, according to the CDC in 2014. In 2008 it was 1 in 88, and in 2000, the figure was 1 in 150 for those born in 1992.

The CDC still maintains a 2014 figure as current statistics, placing one percent of the population as having autism spectrum disorder, however, publications suggest the figure is now 1 in 50.

Comment: More information on autism and glyphosate:


Social media use, high stress levels, and its threat to Americans' sanity

Almost half say they are "constant checkers."

If you pull out your phone to check Twitter while waiting for the light to change, or read e-mails while brushing your teeth, you might be what the American Psychological Association calls a "constant checker." And chances are, it's hurting your mental health.

Last week, the APA released a study finding that Americans were experiencing the first statistically significant stress increase in the survey's 10-year history. In January, 57 percent of respondents of all political stripes said the U.S. political climate was a very or somewhat significant source of stress, up from 52 percent who said the same thing in August. On Thursday, the APA released the second part of its 1 findings, "Stress In America: Coping With Change," examining the role technology and social media play in American stress levels.

Social media use has skyrocketed from 7 percent of American adults in 2005 to 65 percent in 2015. For those in the 18-29 age range, the increase is larger, from 12 percent to a remarkable 90 percent. But while an increase in social media usage is hardly surprising, the number of people who just can't tear themselves away is stark: Nowadays, 43 percent of Americans say they are checking their e-mails, texts, or social media accounts constantly. And their stress levels are paying for it: On a 10-point scale, constant checkers reported an average stress level of 5.3. For the rest of Americans, the average level is a 4.4.

Comment: While social media is an important and useful tool for communicating ideas and sharing awareness on important issues among other things, we should, as much as possible, be clear on why we're using it. Some more on this:


Long fasts are a new hot trend - but are they worth the risk?

Intermittent fasting, schmittermittent schmasting. The hot new trend is the extended fast—eating nothing and drinking only non-caloric beverages for no less than three days and often as many as 30-40 days. A mere compressed eating window this isn't.

If fasting for more than three days sounds riskier than just skipping breakfast, you're right. Long fasts can get you into trouble. They're a big commitment. You shouldn't just stumble into one because it sounds interesting or some guy on your Twitter feed wrote about it.

Skipping a meal or even an entire day of food makes evolutionary sense. We weren't always successful on the hunt or with foraging. We couldn't head down to the Trader Joe's for shrink-wrapped steak, sacks of apples, and jars of honey. Reaching the fed state wasn't a sure thing. Intermittent fasting—going out of your way to not eat, even though food is available—is a modern contrivance meant to replicate the ancestral metabolic environment.

But long fasts seem more evolutionarily aberrant. The evidence from extant hunter-gatherers, many of whom live on land far more impoverished and limited than our hunter-gatherer ancestors, indicates that outright famine is rare. The Hadza may not eat honey and wildebeest every day, but there's usually plenty of something to eat.

Are there benefits to the longer fast, though? What's the purported reasoning behind not eating for days on end?

Comment: More information on the benefits of fasting:

Microscope 2

Air pollution's affect on DNA and the increased risk of neurodegenerative disease

Not only is air pollution a major environmental concern, but it poses major health issues. New research suggests that inhaling extremely small particles known as fine particulate matter could add epigenetic marks to DNA. This may potentially lead to stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cognitive impairments and neurodevelopmental disorders.

We're certainly learning more about how our exposure to environmental toxins, especially pollution, affects the chemical tags that attach to our DNA and our health. Previous studies have linked traffic-related air pollution to an increase in histone acetylation, an epigenetic mark found on histone proteins. Similar research uncovered an association between inhaling diesel exhaust fumes and epigenetic changes that affected around 400 genes.

In a new study published in Toxicology, a team of researchers set out to investigate the role of oxidative stress and DNA hydroxymethylation caused by particulate matter from air pollution, in the development of neurodegenerative disease. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) is an interesting epigenetic modification and its potential function continues to be explored.

Comment: So we have yet another reason for working to prevent - or helping to mitigate - the effects of oxidative stress that comes from pollution. Especially if one lives in an area with heavy industry.



How eating less slows the aging process

© unknown
There's a multi-billion-dollar industry devoted to products that fight signs of aging, but moisturizers only go skin deep. Aging occurs deeper — at a cellular level — and scientists have found that eating less can slow this cellular process.

Recent research published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics offers one glimpse into how cutting calories impacts aging inside a cell. The researchers found that when ribosomes — the cell's protein makers — slow down, the aging process slows too. The decreased speed lowers production but gives ribosomes extra time to repair themselves.

"The ribosome is a very complex machine, sort of like your car, and it periodically needs maintenance to replace the parts that wear out the fastest," said Brigham Young University biochemistry professor and senior author John Price. "When tires wear out, you don't throw the whole car away and buy new ones. It's cheaper to replace the tires."

So what causes ribosome production to slow down in the first place? At least for mice: reduced calorie consumption.

Comment: See also:


Sunlight: A key factor the breast cancer awareness movement ignores

The breast cancer awareness movement continues to miss out on what may be the single most important factor for preventing breast cancer: sunshine.

Sunshine is not even included in the list of factors currently under study, according to the Susan B. Komen Foundation.

Nevertheless, the potential role of sunshine for reducing the incidence of breast cancer has been known for decades. That's not all. Sunshine plays an important role in reducing other kinds of cancer as well.


In 1990, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, showed that the risk of fatal breast cancer in the U.S. followed a north-south gradient. Northern areas (New York, Chicago) were associated with up to a 1.8-fold higher rate of mortality in comparison with southern areas (Phoenix, Honolulu).

Lower mortality corresponded to higher levels of sunlight.

The same research group immediately followed up with a similar study of breast cancer incidence in the former Soviet Union. Results showed the same trend as in the U.S.

The survey expanded worldwide in 2005 to compare the incidence of breast cancer in 175 countries relative to their distance from the equator. In the northern hemisphere, the highest cancer rates were found in Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Canada. These countries are all located above 60º North latitude.

Comment: Further reading: