Tag Archives: drugs

Do You Know What You Just Put in Your Mouth? Author Patrick Di Justo Tells Reddit the Truth about Processed Junk Food

chemical-foods

Patrick Di Justo, author of “This is What You Just Put in Your Mouth” took to reddit last week to answer readers’ questions about the very same topic.

Di Justo wrote a column in everyone’s favorite science publication, Wired magazine, where he broke down the ingredients in common household products, explaining just what those unpronounceable ingredients really are, why they are used, and just where they come from.

“All my research is dedicated to pointing out what is in the food you eat and the products you use. I almost never make value judgments about these ingredients — the idea is that you now have all this information, you make your own decisions,” explained Di Justo to one reader. “I think the only thing I’ve ever told people to stay away from was heroin, because heroin is pure evil in powdered form. And high fructose corn syrup, which is not as immediately evil as heroin, but still bad for you.”

When Wired magazine got its own show on PBS, called Wired Science, host Chris Hardwick presented Di Justo’s articles as a special segment of the show. The very first food he broke down? Cool Whip.

Cool Whip

Before you dollop this unassuming, fluffy, sweet treat on your fruit salad, let’s find out exactly what’s in it:

First off, it’s bleeding you dry: water is Cool Whip’s main ingredient, since air can’t really be put on an ingredient list. Water and air make up forty-one cents per ounce, just over twice what it would cost to whip real cream yourself. (more…)

Saturday, September 27 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

RX

In efforts to prevent prescription drug abuse and promote proper eco-friendly disposal of expired and unused medications lying around your house, the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and participating local law enforcement are coordinating a nationwide drug “take-back” day.

Medicines in the house are the highest cause of poisonings, flushed or trashed meds can pollute our waters, and prescription drug abuse is alarmingly high. While it’s inspiring to note that millennials use natural wellness modalities more than any other generation, teenagers who are building their prescription drug abuse problems often obtain the drugs from friends’ houses or their own homes without anybody knowing. Protect your families and environment by safely disposing of your unwanted and expired medicines by bringing them in to a DEA event collection site. (more…)

Lance Armstrong Stripped of Titles and Banned from Cycling, Fans Lament

Lance Armstrong is banned from cycling for life. If you see him on a bike, please knock him off and then shout, ‘NO!’ right in his face.”   

This is just one sentiment shared by Twitter user @johnmoe and sure to be echoed by many, in response to the news that Lance Armstrong has surrendered his seven Tour de France titles by opting not to fight allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his decorated cycling career.

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Chief Executive Travis Tygart announced Thursday that he was still waiting to hear Armstrong’s formal response to the charges, but that his decision not to proceed would leave Armstrong to face a lifetime competition ban and be stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles won between 1999 and 2005, as well as his 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

Armstrong, 40, announced that he was giving up his years-long fight against the USADA in an official statement emailed to various news sources, though he never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during his career.

“Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt,” he said. “…If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting…I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair.”

Armstrong continued, arguing the charges were backed by “zero physical evidence” and were completely “outlandish and heinous” in nature. But despite his will to continue fighting the USADA, he’s finally given up. (more…)

The Big Business of the Heart Disease Industry: How to Unmedicate Ourselves

By Karen Sherwood for Nutritious America

The scenario is all too familiar.

1. Walk into the doctor’s office with an ailment.

2. Medication is prescribed within 10 minutes.

3. Six months later return to the doctor to receive yet another medication to help relieve the symptoms/side effects of the first medication.

The sequence repeats itself until the medicine cabinet is filled with a confusing myriad of prescription cocktails that oftentimes only provide short-term relief, yet somehow manages to deplete the body of vital nutrition.

Yep, it’s “business as usual” in the world of Western medicine because the truth is, poly-pharmacy makes money. Unfortunately, the dangerous effects of these aggressively-prescribed drugs are creeping up on us. (more…)

The Culprit for Food Addiction is Dopamine, Says Dr. Nora Volkow

Last year we found, and republished, an interesting graphic that pondered a curious question – which is worse, soda or marijuana? A side-by-side comparison of the two pits the processed against the natural, the legal versus the illegal. While we could debate the pros and cons of each all day long, to the pleasure center of the brain, they are one in the same.

A fascinating piece aired on CBS’ 60 Minutes tonight with the foremost researcher on addiction, Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2007, she was named by Time Magazine as one “of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.” Tonight’s Hooked: Why Bad Habits are Hard to Break explained the chemistry behind addiction and showed that whether it’s a hamburger or heroine, soda or marijuana, our brain sees them exactly the same – as triggers for a rush of dopamine.

Morley Safer reported and described Dr. Volkow as the woman who has “revolutionized how science and medicine view addiction: as a disease, not a character defect.” She told him that the “Just Say No” campaign is just “magic of thinking.”

“If it were that easy…there’d be no obesity,” or other physical signs of addiction. In other words, addiction stems from deep within the pleasure center of our brains, and all the willpower, support, and motivation in the world can’t always turn it off.

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Alcohol and Drug Addicts Benefit from Yoga for Recovery

One out of eight Americans are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Of those with a substance abuse problem, at least 40 percent have a contemporaneous mental disorder of some type. While the root of addictive behavior varies from person to person, studies show correlations between an inability to process emotions and cope with stress in a healthy manner, and subsequent misuse of alcohol and drugs.

The estimated cost to our country in direct relation to alcoholics and drug addicts is over 250 billion dollars annually. With 70 percent of illegal drug users that are employed, the expense of substance abuse caused accidents, absenteeism and decreased productivity is on the rise. Health care costs are 300 percent higher for untreated alcoholics versus non-alcoholics.

Addiction treatment centers and agendas such as Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 Step Program aim to minimize a person’s drive to drink alcohol or use drugs by addressing psychological and mental health issues. Using therapy techniques to calm, soothe and diminish anxiety, these programs are deemed helpful for those needing assistance.

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Obesity Vaccine May Be on the Horizon

Has it really come to this? Well, maybe it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise since obesity is often referred to as a disease.

Just as kids get vaccines that have made things like polio and smallpox obsolete, there may come a day when adults who are struggling with their weight can be vaccinated to suppress their appetite.

A new study involving mice successfully got the obese subjects to eat 50 percent less after they were given the vaccine, which was ghrelin (the hormone that stimulates hunger) attached to harmless virus-like particles.

The theory behind injecting ghrelin is that the body develops antibodies against the hormone, which would suppress the hunger-inducing substance. (more…)

Food Triggers Same Brain Response As Cocaine

I’ve long thought that there is a finer line between food and drugs than people may think. Now, studies are starting to prove that food cravings are a little more complicated than just being in a weak moment.

Researchers are now saying that the reaction to those guilty culinary pleasures is basically the same as how a drug addict reacts when they need a fix.

When experts looked at the brain activity in their subjects when presented with a chocolate milkshake, they found that simply seeing the sweet dessert activated the same parts of the brain as a drug addict who sees cocaine.

If this turns out to be accepted dogma in the scientific community, it could be a complete game-changer in the nutrition world.

“If food cues take on enhanced motivational properties in a manner analogous to drug cues, efforts to change the current food environment may be critical to successful weight loss and prevention efforts,” says a written statement by study experts. “Ubiquitous food advertising and the availability of inexpensive palatable foods may make it extremely difficult to adhere to healthier food choices because the omnipresent food cues trigger the reward system.” (more…)

Is Marijuana the Secret to Weight Loss?

The stereotypical image of a person smoking marijuana includes the ever present “munchie” food – certainly those who have tried smoking pot report a craving for salty, sweet and junky foods. But often, users report that they find weight loss to be an unexpected and welcome side effect. Is there any truth to the rumor?

In 1985, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Behavioral Biology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore conducted a study. Nine male volunteers were asked to spend 25 days in a secluded laboratory. During the first part of the day, each subject participated in planned work, and after that work was completed, they were allowed to socialize with the other participants. Cigarettes containing either marijuana or a placebo were provided and smoking was allowed during both the work and social times.

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Bydureon No Better than Currently Available Diabetes Drugs

diabetes drugA new drug being tested to treat diabetes, Bydureon, has failed to show better performance than existing treatments on the market. The new drug was created by Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, but was shown in a study to be no more effective than its competitor, Victoza.

Both Bydureon and Victoza stimulate the body to use insulin to regulate blood sugar using synthetic versions of the peptide known and GLP-1. These drugs are considered better than insulin treatments because they are less likely to cause low blood sugar, and may help some patients lose weight. Bydureon is administered weekly, whereas Victoza is administered daily.

The study founds that hemoglobin A1C, a measure of blood sugar, was reduced by 1.5 percent for patients who took Victoza and 1.3 percent by patients who took Bydureon.

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