Saturday, February 15, 2020

Some Research Supporting The Benefits of Marijuana

There’s research coming out that’s supporting the very positive benefits of marijuana. I want to talk about two studies.

The first one was with people over 65 responding to a questionnaire about the quality of their lives before and after they started using cannabis. The results were compiled from over 2,700 patients who had chronic pain and cancer. More than 90% of the patients noted an improvement in their condition after 6 months of using the drug.

The second study analyzed the data from 1,200 cancer patients who used medical marijuana. They found that an astonishing 95% reported an improvement in their symptoms which included a diverse range of problems, including sleep problems, lack of appetite, weakness, nausea and pain.

The researchers felt that the drug was safe and effective in older populations seeking relief from chronic pain and cancer-related symptoms. So…if you live in a state which allows medical marijuana, and you’re suffering from chronic pain or cancer, puff away or try the gummy bears!
(Reported March/April 2020, Discover Magazine)

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Stopping Illegal Logging in the Rain Forest

The rain forest is crucial to the health of the planet. The trees in the forests store CO2 and also convert it to produce oxygen. Illegal logging is destroying the rain forests around the world. There’s now an ingenious way of using technology to halt deforestation.

In the Indonesian rain forest, they are using a unique surveillance system to make this happen. They are taking recycled cell phones that are charged by solar panels and placing them in the treetops. Next, they have created artificial intelligence software that can detect activity by these loggers and send instant alerts to rangers to stop them.

The approach was created by the nonprofit Rainforest Connection and it’s a great example of using low-cost technology to help save the planet. So…who would have thought old cell phones could have such an important usage.
(Reported Solutions/edf.org/Winter 2020) 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Places Where Conventional Medical Wisdom Is Wrong


This week I want to share with you 2 areas where researchers have debunked conventional wisdom by doing rigorous studies according to an article published in The New York Times by Gina Kolate.

1. The step counters and calorie trackers that are in vogue may not be helping you lose weight. In fact, dieters may be better off without digital equipment. A study followed 470 dieters for two years. They found that those who wore tracking devices for steps taken and calories burned actually lost less weight than those who just followed standard advice.
So…1, 2, 3, 4…forget it!

2. The conventional wisdom is when a pregnant woman’s water breaks that you should deliver the baby immediately because of the OBGYN’s concern that this could lead to bacteria invading the womb and causing infection in the baby. So, deliver the baby immediately. 

Researchers found that the OBGYN can monitor the fetus while waiting for labor to begin naturally and the fetus will not have a greater risk for infection. They also found if the baby went to the end of term that the babies were healthier, had less respiratory distress and a lower risk of death than those that were delivered immediately after the water broke.  So…broken water, no problem, it’s not the disastrous situation we’ve thought it was. 
(Reported New York Times, January 12, 2020)


Saturday, January 25, 2020

How Old You Feel Has a Real Impact on You

If someone asked you the question “How old do you feel?”, how would you answer it? Would you say 40, 50 60 or 70?

It turns out that this subjective age that you are saying has a powerful impact according to Antonio Terracciano, a professor of geriatrics at Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee.

Scientists are finding that people who feel younger than their chronological age are typically healthier and more psychologically resilient than those who fee older.

A study published from South Korea did brain scans on 68 healthy older adults and found that those who felt younger than their age had thicker brain matter and had experienced less age-related deterioration. They also found that people who feel older than their chronological age were more at risk for hospitalization, dementia and death.

So…let me ask it again – “How old do you feel?” Before you answer, keep in mind from all the other research that I’ve done and read that you can change your mind and change your outcome. For me, I’d say mid-40s, so how about you?
(Reported The Virginian Pilot, January 12, 2020)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Fight Alzheimer’s Disease With Niacinamide

There’s a way to fight back against Alzheimer’s disease by using the nutritional supplement niacinamide. In a study done with mice, the researchers gave them niacinamide which is a type of vitamin B3. They found that it did several things. It reduced one marker of Alzheimer’s disease call “tau protein” by 60%.

It also increased microtubules that carry information to the inside of brain cells. The researchers believe this is allowing more information to get into the cells.

Not only did it bring the mice back to the level where they were before the deterioration, it actually improved the behavior in normal mice.  One of the researchers said that the mice were cured!

Since niacinamide has been used extensively and safely for over 60 year, using it on humans should cause minimal problems. While a few people have reported nausea, cutting the dose in half seemed to stop the nausea.  There was even a book about using niacinamide written in 1943 by Dr. William Kaufman called The Common Form of Niacin Amide Deficiency Disease: Aniacinamidosis.

The recommended dose if 1,000 mg of niacinamide three times a day. You should see symptoms starting to improve in three to four weeks and after three to four months most symptoms will have disappeared.
One note of caution, stopping taking niacinamide would lead to a return of all symptoms within 3 to 4 months.  So…niacinamide three times a day or having Alzheimer’s, which direction should I go? I think the answer is obvious!
(Reported Nutrition & Healing, Jonathan Wright, MD)

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Amazing Communication Between Trees

There a fascinating article in Discover Magazine, December 2019, on how trees communicate. Researchers have gone into the redwood forests in California. A redwood starts as a seed that is only 1/8 of an inch across and grows more than 30 stories high and weights around 6000 tons. Under the trees in the soil is a complex network of fungal strands which allow elder trees to communicate with sapling trees.

The older trees will send through this fungal network the carbon that the saplings need to grow. They’ll prompt the young saplings to activate useful genes that, for example, might heighten the saplings resistance to drought.

The trees are actually able to tell which saplings are their relatives. This might trigger the elder tree to scale back their own root structure to give these saplings more room to grow. An elder tree that is sick or dying will even send extra doses of its own carbon to the young relatives and even simulate defense mechanisms in the saplings.

These saplings that are well connected to their relatives will survive at a rate 3 to 4 times that of a less connected sapling. So…when you walk in a forest there may be a lot more going on than you ever thought.

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Saturday, December 14, 2019

A Class of Common Drugs May Cause Dementia

Dementia is a word that sends shivers down older folk’s spines. It’s something we all want to avoid as we get older. Well, there’s a long list of Over The Counter Drugs that many people take that can have a devastating effect on memory. These drugs include popular products that are taken for allergies, colds, flu, motion sickness and insomnia and some of the brand name products include Benadryl, Sominex. Allermax, and PM (nighttime) version of Excedrin, Advil Tylenol and Aleve.

So, what do all these drugs have in common that they can cause memory loss in older people? All these drugs affect a neurotransmitter in the brain called Acetylcholine which is produced in nerve cells throughout the body and brain. Acetylcholine does such things as regulating heartbeat, blood pressure and blood flow. In the brain, it’s involved with memory, learning and alertness.

All the drugs I listed above are know as anticholinergics and they are meant to control cardiac arrhythmias, open airways and sinuses among many other applications by reducing acetylcholine production in the body.

The problem with these drugs is the side effects. In a study by British researchers, they compared these medications in 58,769 patients with dementia with a control group of 225,574 people who had normal cognitive function. They found that if a person has had more than 1,095 doses of these drugs within a 10-year period that their likelihood of getting dementia increased by 50 percent. A person could reach this level if they were taking the minimum effective dose of one of these anticholinergic drugs daily for three years!

So…if you are taking the drugs in the list above, you might want to reduce what you’re taking and explore alternative therapies from acupuncture, meditation, essential oils, nutritional therapies, massage and other healing modalities to help you, at a minimum, to control your level of pain while reducing the possibility of your getting dementia.
(Reported Health and Healing, Vol 29, No. 10)