I noticed that when I exercise a lot my knees tend to hurt. This always confuses me because exercising is supposed to be good for you, but yet when I finish exercising my body tends to feel worse. It is known that exercising is good for people, but is it possible for it to have the opposite affect?
It isn’t until after you go away to college that you really can appreciate a home-cooked meal. This past weekend, I couldn’t wait to head back to my hometown to can for THON, and I certainly couldn’t have been more excited for my mom’s cooking. Despite the lack of sleep over the past two days, I found myself in an overall excellent mood. Interestingly enough, science claims that my consistent happiness could have been due to the delicious food I was eating non-stop all weekend.
Thanks to the work of neurobiologist Norman Salem, Jr., Ph.D., we know today that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a particular type of omega-3 fat, is prevalent in the brain. Miraculously, our brains do not produce DHA – we get it entirely from the foods we eat. Joe Hibbeln was shocked by this discovery and suggested that too much or too little intake of these fats can affect the way our brain operates – and he was right.
Low omega-3 levels can lead to a reduced amount of dopamine, therefore making it impossible for dopamine to fulfill the “”reward” chemical that the brain releases in response to pleasurable experiences.” Basically, straying away from foods that make us happy can lead to negative emotions, such as depression. Scientifically speaking, “serotonin is the neurotransmitter most linked to happiness, since you need it to regulate sleep and pain. It’s also a powerhouse at counteracting excitatory neurotransmitters.” These excitatory neurotransmitters stimulate our body and mind; the more neurotransmitters a food’s compounds can produce, the “happier” it makes us.
It seems too good to be true that a gourmet meal or dessert can turn a bad day around, and to be honest, it is. Food does make us happy, and a lot of the reasoning is behind comfort eating, which “work[s] at a molecular level to lift our mood” when we are feeling down. Comfort eating can also lead to serious problems like obesity; people become addicted the “high” feeling food gives them the same way that drug addicts are addicted to the “high” due to drug abuse.
I don’t think I’m addicted to food, but I do love to eat. I’ll admit it; being at home this past weekend may have lead to me comfort eat a little bit too much… However, I’ve never felt like I was eating in a way that was out of my control. To avoid the dangers of excessive comfort eating, everyone must understand the basic fact that food can be addictive. All in all, a good meal never fails to put me in a good mood, and I’m just glad to know that I’m not the only one – it’s scientifically proven!
Waking up with a sore throat is just about the worst thing ever. The only thing that soothes my sore throat is tea with a ton of honey. Honey always seemed to do the trick for me. I was once told honey was good for us, and if so then why is honey good for us?
With this being said, then is honey good for you or bad for you? The answer would be honey in small moderations is not bad for you. Honey is a good substitute for sugar because it is healthier, but too much of it is never a good thing especially for diabetic and over weight people. As far as using honey to substitute for certain medicines, I say why not. Research proves that it can help your skin, help with wounds, and burns. Are you willing to try using honey?
I’m sure all of you have learned about the use of agent orange in the Vietnam War. To remind you, agent orange was an herbicide used by the U.S. military from 1962-1975 in an attempt to destroy the forests in Vietnam and Cambodia, which were used as cover for the Viet Cong, as well as the crops grown for the peasants in these countries. This forced the peasants to flee to cities that were being controlled by the U.S. military and as a result, the Viet Cong had a significantly decreased amount of food supply.
My father was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army in Vietnam between 1967-1969, which means he had high exposure to agent orange. I have an older sister who was born with Spina Bifida, which is a birth defect known to be caused by dioxin/agent orange. Veterans who were exposed to this herbicide have an increased chance of getting these diseases: Al Amyloidosis, chronic B-cell Leukemia, Chloracne, Diabetes Type II, Hodgkin’s Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Parkinson’s Disease, Peripheral Neuropathy (early onset), Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, prostate cancer, respiratory cancers, and soft tissue sarcomas, and many more. There is also a long list of birth defects associated with children and grandchildren of Vietnam Veterans. This list includes, but is not limited to Spina Bifida, Achondroplasia, cleft lip, cleft palate, congenital heart disease, congenital talipses equinovarus (clubfoot), esophageal and intestinal atresia, Hallerman-Streiff Syndrome, hip dysplasia, Hischprung’s Disease, hydrocephalus due to aqueductal stenosis, hypospadias, imperforate anus, neural tube defects, Poland Syndrome (webbed fingers), Pyloric Stenosis, Syndactyly, Tracheosophageal Fistula, undescended testicles, and Williams Syndrome (thyroid defects).
So the question that remains is why did Agent Orange cause so many defects. Agent Orange is made from two herbicides: 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, which was contaminated with a dioxin.
A dioxin is a highly toxic compound. This combination caused multiple gene mutations and chromosomal abberations (found in several experiments). Unfortunately, millions of people in both the United States of America and Vietnam are still dealing with the devastating effects of Agent Orange today. For more information, take a look at some of the links below.
Veteran’s Diseases Associated with Agent Orange:
Information about Agent Orange:
Children of Vietnam Vet’s Exposed to Agent Orange:
Woman all over the country are constantly trying to lose weight or remain skinny. People have this idea or image in their minds that woman need to look a certain way to look “good”. Overweight woman are looked down upon and sometimes men won’t even look at them. I find it interesting that in other countries being overweight is beautiful. According to the World of Psychology “80 percent of women in the U.S. are dissatisfied with their appetence”. In the 1800’s woman’s bodies were supposed to be big and strong but as later generations have come and gone now women see thin as the new in. Women who are overweight are viewed negatively because they may “lack self-control”. In recent years we have all witnessed women go through crazy eating habits and changes. Many women will go to extremes to stay thin or become skinny.
Many women believe they should be skinny because of what society has created for us. Women all over the country watch TV shows, movies, read magazines and are influenced by what the media perceives as “beautiful”. Before women would look up to women who were normal size, now they look up to celebrities who of course have a strict diet and personal trainers all of the time. Lots of young girls are faced with the issue of watching their weight. This way of thinking leads to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. I have had many friends and family members struggle with this. Even when I was in the 7th grade I would only eat Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, and lost 8 pounds. No young girl should be thinking about that. “According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 42 percent of first- to third-grade girls want to lose weight, and 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat.”
Women also worry that men will only find them attractive if they meet the quota for being thin. Honestly, most men prefer average size women. They do not like women to be too thin. It’s just unattractive. I personally always watch the foods I eat because I want to stay fit. However, I do also eat what I want and simply work out. I would give this advice to any girl out there. Eat what you want, work out, and you’ll feel great!
Many people have either seen or heard of the movie, Day After Tomorrow. I guess, in a way, it raised somewhat of a short-lived concern among the general public regarding climate change. I say somewhat short-lived because it was drastically exaggerated. I mean, how realistic is the formation of three ice age-like super-storms in a matter of a couple of days across the globe?
Scientists have been studying super-storms lately, and after the horrors of Hurricane Katrina and Tropical Storm Sandy, I don’t see why they shouldn’t. Concerns about climate change have been growing, and not necessarily because of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, or Hollywood’s Day After Tomorrow. Schools and news stations have talked extensively about global heat rises. I don’t even take that many science classes, but anytime it’s a hot day, I’ll inevitably hear a student talk about how the weather of today is related to the long-term climate of the future.
What I’m more concerned about is the long-term effect. What does this mean for various structures? We know full well that the levees didn’t hold up against Hurricane Katrina down on the Gulf Coast. I’m pretty sure New Orleans still doesn’t know how to rebuild completely. Now THIS ARTICLE doesn’t particularly mention any correlation with past disasters to climate change, or any future connection either. It just states that severe weather is coming and hot air promotes air movement and rainy days.
All in all, I’m growing worried about current infrastructures life-span, as well as coastal dependence on commerce worldwide. After seeing Sandy desecrate parts of New Jersey and New York, I’m a little worried about the economical impact alongside the environmental. I mean, I guess we have until 2040 to see the real effects, according to Dr. Diffenbaugh, at least.
Picture Source: (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/2013/05/08/climate-change-deniers-and-skeptics-whats-the-difference/)
I’m sure many of you have seen people or know of someone with pink, scabby looking stuff on their elbows or legs. So what is this stuff? It’s called Psoriasis.
“Scientists believe that at least 10% of the general population inherits one or more of the genes that create a predisposition to psoriasis [and] only 2%-3% of the population develops the disease [on their own].” Scientists have also found that a person has twenty-five genetic variants that makes them able to develop psoriasis diseases. This means that these people inherited psoriasis from the genes their parent(s) carried. Researcher Anne Bowcock and her colleagues from Washington University School of Medicine of St. Louis found a rare mutation in the gene called CARD14 that triggers due to a negative environmental circumstance to the body that results in plaque psoriasis. -(“Psoriasis”) Environmental circumstances like stress, injury to skin or even medications provoke this disease. Stress causes psoriasis because just like a cut, the immune system sends chemicals that would heal a wound that causes inflammation. The same concept applies when a person is dealing with a lot of stress, the immune system sends chemicals that cause inflammation to the skin (“Stress”). Due to the mutation of CARD14, the protein NF-kappaB develops inflammatory cells faster and sends them to the top layer of the skin. This causes skin cells to quickly mature and create thick, itchy, pink/white patches on the skins surface (“First”).
Psoriasis has five different types that a person can develop. Plaque is the most common form. This is the typical red/white patch of Psoriasis found on the back, legs, elbows and scalp. This picture below represents a person with Plaque Psoriasis.
The second most common form is Guttate Psoriasis that begins during childhood. These are smaller red patches that almost remind one of Chicken Pox. Inverse Psoriasis is found mostly in genitals or body folds like an armpit. It’s red without the white scaly part because of the moist environment and usually it’s sweat that irritates the psoriasis. Pustular Psoriasis is when blisters evolve from the psoriasis, most commonly found on feet and hands but can cover the body as well. The blisters are full of pus that contains white blood cells. The last type of psoriasis is Erythrodermic, which covers the body and is life-threatening by the body losing protein and fluid. -(“Types”)
Other health problems can occur due to psoriasis like Psoriatic Arthritis where people feel pain and swelling in their joints, Depression, and Type 2 Diabetes. Cardiovascular Disease has been linked to lab mice who have a similar disease close to psoriasis where “chronic inflammation over large areas of the body led to inflammation in major arteries” but it is still unsure for humans even though the correlation of many patients who have psoriasis are overweight (“National”). Psoriasis can be treated but for most it doesn’t go away. Treatments like the use of prescription medications that go through the whole body, topical medications are used mainly for those patients who have mild psoriasis, and UVB light has been found to slow the growth of the cells. -(“Topical”)
With all the environmental triggers why aren’t there more people who do have psoriasis? How can we stop the immune system from overreacting and causing inflammation?
“First Gene linked to common form of psoriasis identified.” Washington University in St. Louis. 28 Sept. 2013 <news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/23726.aspx>.
“Health Conditions Associated with Psoriasis.” National Psoriasis Foundation. 28 Sept 2013 <www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/related-conditions>.
“National Psoriasis Foundations-Funded Study Discovers How Psoriasis and Cardiovascular Disease Are Connected Shows Treatment Reduces Risk.” National Psoriasis Foundation. 28 Sept. 2013 <www.psoriasis.org/news/2012/05/14/NPF-funded-study-shows-connection-between-psoriasis-and-cardiovascular-disease>.
“Psoriasis Causes and Known Triggers.” National Psoriasis Foundation. 28 Sept. 2013 <www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/causes>.
“Stress.” National Psoriasis Foundation. 28 Sept. 2013 <http://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis/stress>.
“Topical Treatments.” National Psoriasis Foundation. 28 Sept 2013 <www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/topicals>.
“Types of Psoriasis.” National Psoriasis Foundation. 28 Sept. 2013 <http://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/types>.
Photo of Psoriasis:
There is a new illegal street drug that has recently arrived in the United States. This drug is called crocodile or “krokodil” and it chemically similar to heroin and morphine. The drug got is name from the way it affects addicts. Two things usually happen, which are they get dark, scaly lesions on there skin and the drug starts to eat the addicts alive, like a crocodile.