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Wed, 27 Jul 2016
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Health

Fracking associated with increased risk of asthma attacks

© Reuters / Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
People with asthma who live near bigger or larger numbers of active unconventional natural gas wells operated by the fracking industry in Pennsylvania are 1.5 to four times likelier to have asthma attacks than those who live farther away, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

The findings, published July 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine, add to a growing body of evidence tying the fracking industry to health concerns. Health officials have been concerned about the effect of this type of drilling on air and water quality, as well as the stress of living near a well where just developing the site of the well can require more than 1,000 truck trips on once-quiet roads. The fracking industry has developed more than 9,000 wells in Pennsylvania in just the past decade.

Comment: See the following articles for more information


Magnify

22 ways that soda can negatively affect your health and shorten your life

Numerous studies have shown the negative health effects of drinking soda on your waistline and your teeth. Drinking soda however, has far more serious health risks than many of us may realize.

According to Euromonitor, the average person in the United States consumes more than 126 grams of sugar per day. That's equal to 25.2 teaspoons, or the equivalent of drinking a little over three 12 ounce colas.

Numerous studies have shown the negative health effects of drinking soda on your waistline and your teeth. Drinking soda however, has far more health risks than many of us may realize. Regular consumption of sugary drinks is linked to numerous health problems including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, COPD and obesity.

So what are the risks and how much soda is too much? Let's take a look:

1. Soda can cause a decline in kidney function. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study, including 3,318 women, researchers found that diet cola is linked with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline.

2. Soda increases diabetes risk. High levels of sugar in soda places a lot of stress on your pancreas, potentially leaving it unable to keep up with the body's need for insulin. Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases your risk for type 2 diabetes by 25%.

Compass

Is full-time work making you stupid?

© Getty Images
Don't do an IQ test after a full week's work if you are 40 years or older. You could be disappointed.

If you're over 40, working more than 25 hours of work a week could be impairing your intelligence, according to a study released in February by researchers for the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research in Australia. The team conducted reading, pattern and memory tests in more than 6,000 workers aged over 40, to see how the number of hours worked each week affects a person's cognitive ability.

Working 25 hours a week (part time or three days a week) was the optimum amount of time spent working a week for cognitive functioning, while working less than that was detrimental to the agility of the brain for both men and women, the study found.

"Work can stimulate brain activity and can help maintain cognitive functions for elderly workers, the 'lose it or use it hypothesis'," said lead researcher Colin McKenzie, a professor of economics at Keio University in Tokyo.

Comment: See also:
Keep the slaves entertained: Workplace flexibility associated with reduced absences and improved job commitment Starting work before 10am is akin to torture, says scientist


Health

All natural cleaners that won't make you toxic

It can seem like an exercise in futility to go to great lengths to seek out organic fruits and vegetables for your family, only to prepare and serve them in a kitchen where everything has been cleaned with harsh, toxin-filled chemicals. While focusing on feeding your family healthy foods is vital, you should also keep in mind that commercial cleaning products contain a host of unsavory ingredients that can cause adverse health reactions.

For example, a European study found that people who use a spray cleaner just once a week had a 50 percent higher chance of developing asthma! Glass and furniture cleaners, as well as air fresheners, were all found to be guilty of upping the risk.

Cleanliness is a valid concern in the home, and in food prep areas in particular. Many people fail to realize, however, that some natural methods are just as effective as those harsh chemicals - without any of the dangers. Here is a look at some top choices for natural cleaning.

Question

Does the gut-brain axis play a part in neuro-developmental disorders?

© starrybrook.com
In recent years, scientists have learned more about the microbes residing in the human gut and how they affect health and wellbeing. We have learned that microbes outnumber human cells in the body - roughly 90% microbes to 10% human cells. We know the microbes in our gut help digest our food and in the process help create vitamins, neurotransmitters, and hormones. We know 80% of our immunity begins in the gut. We are beginning to understand the link between the gut, autoimmune diseases, and neurological syndromes.

Earlier studies confirmed that bacteria in the gut of obese people is different than normal intestinal flora. Thin people have a diverse and plentiful microbial ecosystem in their gut, whereas obese individuals do not. Some particular strains in obese people even differ from those who are lean. Transplanting these microbes can cause obesity in mice studies. Further studies will tell us if the reverse is true, if transplanting healthy microbes can reverse obesity.

Comment: Evidence that our health is dependent on our gut microbiome keeps growing:


Pills

Research links Tylenol use during pregnancy to autism

© Marko Lazarevic/ iStock/360/ Getty Images
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) increased nearly 120 percent from 2000 to 2010—from 1 in 150 children to 1 in 68. It is the fastest-growing developmental disability, with a 10-17 percent increase annually in recent years.

Facing such a dramatic reality, researchers are hard at work trying to understand this brain development disorder. As AutismSpeaks.org points out, there is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism.

Scientific advances over the past decade have shown us that most cases arise from a complex combination of genetics and environmental influences. A small number are associated with a single rare gene mutation, but, in general, there is a genetic predisposition arising from the combinations of thousands of genes, which is acted upon by environmental factors.

Comment: For more on the deleterious effects of Tylenol see:


Beaker

Oil of Cloves - the aromatic, anti-cancer essential oil

© Unknown
Clove, the aromatic and exotic spice, has a long history of medicinal use going back many centuries into early human history. Clove was highly regarded by the German abbess Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) for its medicinal properties. Clove is also well known in the traditional medicine of India and China.

Clove comes from clove trees (Syzygium aromaticum) which grow in tropical regions. Oil of Cloves (also known as clove oil or clove essential oil) is steam distilled from flower buds and stems. Clove has several interesting properties, due mainly to its high content of a phytochemical known as eugenol. Clove oil consists of about 75-85% eugenol.

Eugenol is creating interest in both conventional and alternative medicine because of its ability to effectively stop cancer cells.

Clove Oil's Interesting History

Clove has been used for centuries for numbing pain, repelling internal parasites, arthritis and rheumatism, and for treating throat, sinus, and lung infections.Clove is a natural anti-coagulant (see warning at end of article), with anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-tumoral, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. All the important anti's!

An excellent illustration of clove's anti-viral capabilities occurred in Indonesia in the mid-17th century. The people of Indonesia's islands of Ternate and Tidore (historically called the Spice Islands) used clove extensively throughout their history for wellness. During the mid-1600's the Dutch East India Company controlled the spice trade in the Spice Islands and gained complete control of the clove trees in this area. Any clove trees discovered that didn't belong to the Dutch East India Company were destroyed, thus allowing them to have a complete monopoly of this and other spices.

As a consequence, the islanders who relied on those clove trees died from the epidemics that raged through the region, brought to them courtesy of the same Dutch colonists. Such is the power of clove to protect us.

Hotdog

Food industry corruption: Almost everything we eat is fake


Fraudulence spans from haute cuisine to fast food
Among the many things New Yorkers pride ourselves on is food: making it, selling it and consuming only the best, from single-slice pizza to four-star sushi. We have fish markets, Shake Shacks and, as of this year, 74 Michelin-starred restaurants.

Yet most everything we eat is fraudulent.

In his new book, "Real Food Fake Food," author Larry Olmsted exposes the breadth of counterfeit foods we're unknowingly eating. After reading it, you'll want to be fed intravenously for the rest of your life.

Think you're getting Kobe steak when you order the $350 "Kobe steak" off the menu at Old Homestead? Nope — Japan sells its rare Kobe beef to just three restaurants in the United States, and 212 Steakhouse is the only one in New York. That Kobe is probably Wagyu, a cheaper, passable cut, Olmsted says. (Old Homestead declined The Post's request for comment.)

Fraudulence spans from haute cuisine to fast food: A February 2016 report by Inside Edition found that Red Lobster's lobster bisque contained a non-lobster meat called langostino. In a statement to The Post, Red Lobster maintains that langostino is lobster meat and said that in the wake of the IE report, "We amended the menu description of the lobster bisque to note the multiple kinds of lobster that are contained within."

Moving on: That extra-virgin olive oil you use on salads has probably been cut with soybean or sunflower oil, plus a bunch of chemicals. The 100 percent grass-fed beef you just bought is no such thing — it's very possible that cow was still pumped full of drugs and raised in a cramped feedlot.

Arrow Up

Cinnamon: Could this popular spice make us better learners?

© Unknown
Cinnamon improved learning and memory in mice defined as poor learners.
Cinnamon is a warm, sweet spice that you can sprinkle on top of your latte while consuming a sticky cinnamon roll. In addition to tantalizing your taste buds, cinnamon may improve your ability to learn, new research has found.

The study, published in the journal Neuroimmune Pharmacology, finds that mice that are considered poor learners improve in learning ability after consuming cinnamon.

"This would be one of the safest and the easiest approaches to convert poor learners to good learners," says Kalipada Pahan, Ph.D., lead researcher of the study and the Floyd A. Davis Prof. of Neurology at Rush.

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Cow

How the dairy industry tricked humans into believing they need milk [VIDEO]

Despite the fact that one can get their daily recommendation of calcium, potassium, and protein from fruits and vegetables, the dairy industry has spent billions of dollars to convince consumers otherwise.

© Vox
Got Milk?
We sure hope not. Despite being a somewhat tasty addition to coffee, tea, and delectable treats, the ingredient - when pasteurized - is highly toxic to the human body. In fact, physicians such as Dr. Willet, who has conducted many studies and reviewed the research on the topic, believe milk to be more of a detriment to the human body than an aid.

This is because despite popular belief, the food has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurses' Health Study, dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50%! This concerning finding is supported by the fact that countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.

Considering that approximately 3/4 of the world's population is unable to digest milk and other dairy products, it seems clear the food is not an ideal substance for consumption. However, the average consumer doesn't know this. From celebrity endorsements to advertisements by the dairy industry, most have been taught to believe that dairy is an ideal food for optimum health.


Comment: Further reading: