Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sugar, Artificial Sweetener Addiction Treatment

Neuroscientists said in a study in PLOS ONE, drugs used to treat nicotine addiction could be used to treat sugar addiction in animals. The study coincides with another paper by the same neuroscientists in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Once and for all, we can admit that long chronic sugar intake can cause eating disorders and impact on behavior.

Excess sugar consumption elevate dopamine levels which control the brain's reward and pleasure centers in a way that is similar to many drugs of abuse including tobacco, cocaine and morphine. After long-term consumption, this leads to the opposite, a reduction in dopamine levels. This leads to higher consumption of sugar to get the same level of reward.

The found that FDA approved drugs like varenicline, a prescription medication trading as Champix which treats nicotine addiction, can work the same way when it comes to sugar cravings.

To the researcher's surprise, the study also found that artificial sweeteners could produce effects similar to those obtained with table sugar.

Vitamin C Lowers Cataract Risk

A diet rich in vitamin C could cut risk of cataract progression by a third, suggests a study published in a recent issue of Ophthalmology. The research is also the first to show that diet and lifestyle may play a greater role than genetics in cataract development and severity.

From more than 1,000 pairs of female twins analyzed, diets rich in vitamin C were associated with a 20 percent risk reduction for cataract. After 10 years, there was a 33 percent risk reduction of cataract progression.

Genetic factors accounted for 35 percent of the difference in cataract progression. Environmental factors, such as diet, accounted for 65 percent.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Extra safety for female joggers

Due to the recent tragic slayings of two NY joggers, it is more important than ever that runners take the necessary safety precautions when running/walking/hiking outdoors or on campus. These horrific events have people asking themselves "are we really safe when we run?"

SABRE, the world's number one pepper spray has released an athletic line of safety products to help deter danger. They have a Runner Personal Alarm with Adjustable Wrist Strap and their Runner Pepper Gel

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Poison control centers are getting a surge of calls about ‘natural’ painkiller kratom

The herbal supplement seemed like a miracle. Trying to kick an opioid addiction, the middle-aged man found he could soothe his cravings with a tea made from an Asian plant called kratom. It relieved his pain and made him more alert.

But when he combined it with a stimulant, it also gave him a seizure that landed him in a Boston-area emergency room.

Those kinds of stories are on the rise, according to a study published Thursday in a weekly report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of calls to poison centers about problems stemming from kratom ingestion have increased tenfold over five years, from 26 in 2010 to 263 in 2015.

In many cases called into the poison control centers, the side effects of kratom were relatively mild: nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and agitation. But there was one death, of a patient who took other drugs along with kratom. Other patients who took multiple substances suffered serious side effects — like the middle-aged Massachusetts man whose story was reported as a case study in the journal Addiction.

Kratom comes from the glossy leaves of a tree grown in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Traditionally, in countries like Thailand, the leaves have been crushed or brewed into tea and used as a painkiller or a replacement for opioids. That’s because a few of the chemicals in the leaf stimulate the same brain receptors as drugs like oxycodone and morphine.

Kratom is marketed as a natural herbal supplement, but it can be highly addictive. And clinicians and researchers worry about opioid users who try to wean themselves off drugs using kratom rather than seeking professional help.

“They want to turn their lives around, they want to get back on track, they turn to kratom,” said Oliver Grundmann, a pharmacologist at the University of Florida who was not involved in the report on poison control calls. “They take more and more and more, but it doesn’t do the job, and then they turn to heroin.”

Little is known about the exact workings of kratom on the brain, but it seems to function as a stimulant at low doses and a depressant at high doses, said Royal Law, an epidemiologist at the CDC and a coauthor of the study in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The new tally of poison center calls comes as kratom has emerged as a significant public health concern.

Six states have banned kratom, and others are considering restrictions, according to the website of the American Kratom Association. The Food and Drug Administration has banned its importation. But it is still widely available online, in tea or capsule form. Some researchers have even found packets of it sold in gas stations.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has classified kratom as a drug of concern, but that does not prevent its sale or use.

Detection of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in U.S. Drinking Water Linked to Industrial Sites, Military Fire Training Areas, and Wastewater Treatment Plants

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Carrageenan not toxic to intestinal cells: study

Carrageenan is a common food additive used for its gelling and thickening properties. It has become a controversial ingredient over the last five years.

A study in the upcoming October issue of Food and Chemical Toxicity examined the effects of carrageenan on cell permeability, cytotoxicity, and cytokine gene expression in human intestinal and hepatic cell lines.

Three common forms of the food additive carrageenan were tested in vitro.

The carrageenan tested were subjected to advanced identity and purity testing.

Carrageenan was evaluated in three human intestinal cell lines.

Endpoints included permeability, cytotoxicity, and induction of cytokines.

Carrageenan was negative in all endpoints evaluated.

In conclusion, carrageenan was not absorbed, and was not cytotoxic. It did not induce oxidative stress, and did not induce proinflammatory proteins.