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Wed, 24 Aug 2016
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Health & Wellness


How night shifts can increase cancer risk

© Unknown
Researchers have shed light on how shift work may increase cancer risk.
Working night shifts disrupts the body's circadian rhythm, which a number of studies have found may raise the risk of cancer development. Now, researchers have shed light on the mechanisms behind this association.

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reveal that disruption to the circadian rhythm also leads to the impairment of two tumor suppressor genes, which can spur tumor growth.

Lead author Thales Papagiannakopoulos, of MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and colleagues publish their findings in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Around 15 million people in the United States work night shifts or other irregular schedules, which studies have shown may have negative implications for health.

A study reported by Medical News Today last year, for example, found a link between rotating night shift work and increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and all causes.

Comment: For an in-depth look at the importance of our circadian rhythm, be sure to check out our SOTT radio show on the topic:

The Health & Wellness Show: Sleep, Light and Circadian Rhythms


Do opioids make pain worse?

© A pump for pain control, with highly addictive drug fentanyl
Wikimedia. DiverDave, CC BY-SA
The opium poppy is arguably the oldest painkiller known to man, with its use being described by the ancient civilizations. Opium mimics the body's home-made painkillers — endorphins and the like — and has given rise to the modern class of drugs called opioids that include morphine, fentanyl, methadone, and oxycodone. Opioids are very effective, and they remain the cornerstone of moderate to severe pain management.

Opioid prescriptions have dramatically escalated over the past few decades, a fact that has attracted significant media attention. With evidence-based medicine only becoming mainstream at the close of the 20th century, the science is still catching up on the long-term effects of opioids; older drugs like morphine have largely been grandfathered into modern medicine. Consequently, we're still learning new things about this old class of drugs.

The latest finding is that opioids may actually worsen pain. My colleagues and I have just published a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA showing that morphine can persistently exacerbate pain in rats. The medical community has recognized that opioids can cause abnormal pain sensitivity — termed opioid-induced hyperalgesia — but the sensitivity was only understood to occur while opioids were still present in the body. The surprising new twist is that morphine can increase pain for months after the opioid has left the body.

Comment: See also:

Life Preserver

Transitioning to a fat-based metabolism? How to overcome low-carb 'flu'

The low-carb flu is real and it's terrible. While it doesn't kill as many as the Spanish flu of 1918 did or inspire the amount of panic seen during the 2009 swine flu epidemic, low-carb flu has dissuaded millions of people from pursuing and sticking to a healthy diet. You can laugh now that you're fat-adapted and humming along on stored body fat, but you've forgotten just how terrible the transition from sugar-burning to fat-burning can be. Do any of the following symptoms sound familiar?
  • Crippling headaches.
  • Brain fog so thick you almost welcome the headaches for cutting through it.
  • Malaise, fatigue, listlessness, and other synonyms for "exhaustion."
  • Lightheadness and dizziness.
  • Irritability.
  • A sense of impending doom that you suspect would give way to bliss if only you'd have some ice cream.
At some point, you'll just have to accept the reality of the situation: you're shifting from a sugar-burning metabolism to a fat-burning metabolism. You're building the metabolic machinery necessary to burn fat. You're updating your body's firmware, and it's a big update (coincidentally, this is why I recommend plugging into a power source for the duration). That takes time. If the results of one study are representative, it takes about five days on a low-carb, high-fat diet to increase AMPK and start building new fat-burning mitochondria. And sure enough, most people report that the low-carb flu lasts from 4-7 days—right on target.

But that doesn't mean we have to like it. So, what can you do to speed up the transition and/or reduce the pain and suffering?

Comment: Read more about the many health benefits of being a fat-burner versus a sugar-burner and how to safely adapt:


For your Zika protection: Florida to spray neighborhoods with microcephaly-causing insecticide

© jarun011/fotolia.com
The zika psyop continues...

An aerial insecticide spraying campaign began at dawn this morning in Florida to kill mosquitoes that might be infected with the zika virus. The spray will cover a 10-mile area in Miami. Health officials claim the the chemical to be sprayed, an organophosphate neurotoxin called Naled, is "safe" to breathe and no one really needs to take any special measures while they are being sprayed like bugs (although it has been "recommended" that people with allergies stay inside).

While health officials still have yet to find a mosquito actually carrying the virus in Miami, 15 people have reportedly been diagnosed with zika there, mostly concentrated in the north downtown Miami area, and officials claim to have ruled out transmission via other means such as travel or sexual intercourse.

Comment: More on the Zika craze:

Cupcake Choco

Do touch pad menus increase the likelihood of ordering junk food? Researchers say, 'yes'

When hunger strikes, we often eat with our eyes and it creates a fine line between eating those foods which we consider pleasurable or healthy. This then often forms the connection between the mind and the mouth dictating our health and weight. A series of five studies suggests that when one sees a self-indulgent food on a touch screen, the hedonistic centers of our brain are facilitated.

Order a meal these days and there's a good chance you're using some kind of electronic device--a smartphone, tablet, computer or even a touch screen at the restaurant. As so-called "i-ordering" becomes more common, it raises a question for restaurant owners, researchers and policymakers: Does the kind of interface used by customers affect their food choices?

New research at the University of Michigan shows it can.


Head lice have mutated and are now resistant to treatment

Lice are becoming more difficult to eradicate in young children's hair, according to a study released last week in the Journal of Medical Entomology (JME).

New evidence shows that head lice have developed resistance to two types of common over the counter insecticide treatments for lice infestation. JME studied 48 states and found that, on average, 98 percent of head lice in at least 42 states managed to grow gene mutations that enable them to become resistant to different insecticides other wise known as pyrethrins, pyrethroids, and permathrins.

According to the study, "Lice were collected from 7 July 2013 to 11 May 2015 by 71 volunteers (school nurses and professional lice combers) from 138 collection sites in 48 states. Four of these states (AZ, CA, FL, and TX) had collection sites that had been sampled twice before (1999 - 2006 and 2006 - 2008) and an additional eight states (OH, MA, MI, MN, NY, SC, TN, and WI) had been sampled only once before (2007 - 2009), allowing the determination of kdr-type mutation frequency changes in those locations over time."

Comment: How to Get Rid of Head Lice Naturally


Mumps outbreak sweeps Long Beach; affected residents had already been vaccinated

18 people known to have contracted the disease; health officials say more cases possible

When most people hear about the mumps, they usually think of it as a disease that nobody catches anymore.

But according to Nassau County health officials, 18 people in the Long Beach area have come down with the once common infection, best known for causing swelling along the jawline.

County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein tells us that of the 18 confirmed cases, most patients are between the ages of 19 and 30. A few, however, are in their 50s.

The patients came down with symptoms over the last few days - despite having already been vaccinated.

"Sometimes nature throws a strain at us that might have mutated a little bit, and coverage of the vaccine is not 100 percent," Eisenstein explained.

Aside from its trademark swelling, the mumps also causes a headache, fever and pains.

There's no treatment. The mumps usually clears up on its own.

Comment: Why vaccines spread disease and vaccine science is flawed


SSRI antidepressants: Putting patients at clear risk of suicide

It is now estimated that 1 in 8 Americans are on serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants and a shocking 1 in 4 among women in their 40s and 50s. Yet the U.S. suicide rate of 38,000 a year has never been higher.

Clearly the glut of SSRI prescriptions is not lowering the national suicide rate; rather there is compelling evidence that the popular pills are actually contributing to suicide.

SSRIs and Violence

The first suspicion that SSRIs can cause dangerous and unintended psychiatric effects was a Kentucky shooting in 1989 in which pressman Joseph T. Wesbecker entered his former workplace, Standard Gravure, killed eight people, injured 12 and committed suicide after being prescribed Prozac.

Families of the wounded and killed soon filed a lawsuit against Prozac maker Eli Lilly and Company, claiming the SSRI contributed to the violence. The case went to a jury that sided with Lilly.

Yet three days before the shooting, Wesbecker's psychiatrist had written "Prozac?" in his patient notes as a possible explanation of his bizarre behavior.

Since the Standard Gravure killings, psychiatrists, drug safety advocates and bereaved families have consistently tried to expose links between SSRIs and suicides but are hampered by mainstream safety data that deny a suicide link.


Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: How playing football causes brain damage

"In football, one has to expect that almost every play of every game and practice, they are going to be hitting their heads against each other. Each time that happens, it's around 20 G's or more. That is the equivalent of driving a car at 35 miles into a brick wall. A thousand to 1500 times per year."
—Robert Stern, PhD Neuropsychologist (featured in the frontline documentary Why The NFL Should Be Scared Of Chris Borland)

Can you imagine being hit in the head constantly with an impact similar to that of hitting a brick wall, and how you might feel the more it happened? Each one of those hits could be potentially damaging for you, let alone having them happen again and again, year after year.

If you've ever watched an NFL game, you're likely unsurprised to hear how dangerous this sport can be. If those big shoulder guards and helmets are any indication, this is not a sport for the faint of heart. It's rough, requires enormous strength, speed, and agility, and only a select few can make it to the big time.

Comment: New York Jets hall of famer Joe Namath says human body 'Just not designed' to play football


DARK Act signed, and a warning from the past

© Pixabay
The story of Klebsiella planticola is a cautionary tale of the impact of genetically modified organisms.
On Friday, President Obama signed bill S.764 into law, dealing a major blow to the movement to require GMO labeling. The new law, called the "Deny Americans the Right to Know" (DARK) Act by food safety groups, has at least three key parts in it that undermine Vermont's popular GMO labeling bill and make it nearly impossible for you and me to know what's in our food.

The law claims to set a federal labeling standard by requiring food producers to include either a QR bar code that can be scanned with a phone, or a 1-800 number that consumers can call to find out whether a product contains genetically modified ingredients.

But according to the Institute for Responsible Technology, this bill doesn't require most processed foods to have a label, the bill defines genetic engineering so narrowly that most GMOs on the market don't qualify, and the bill gives the USDA two more years to come up with "additional criteria" -- also known as "more loopholes."

Comment: For more info: