Author Archives: Nicole Rene Gelb

Is kissing beneficial to your health?

For sometime I have heard a lot of people say that kissing can be good for your health. I didn’t understand if that meant physically or emotionally. I’m sure now after my research that it is not just healthy emotionally but also has benefits for your overall physical health as well. I know kissing can be goof for your health emotionally because it can easily make you happier than you were previously, and kissing is said to release hormones which in turn increases ones mood positively. In my research I had learned many ways kissing is beneficial to the human body in a more physical sense. Kissing aids in reducing blood pressure, it increases heartbeat lowering blood pressure overall. At first it was hard for me to understand why kissing could help in fighting cavities but it makes sense because kissing develops more saliva in the mouth therefore ridding of excess plaque, which causes the cavity. Kissing isn’t a replacement for physical activity like exercise however it can burn a couple of calories. According to CNN “a vigorous make out session can burn 8 to 16 calories per smooch.” Kissing can help tighten the muscles in your face such as the neck and jawline, which can make one appear younger than they are. To address more of the emotional advantages of kissing it can easily increase hormones that make you happier, the chemicals that cause this happiness to occurs are chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. Kissing provides a natural form of pain relief. Kissing releases natural chemicals in the body known as endorphins, which in some cases can be more effective than morphine and will ease pain without the negative side effects of using a narcotic. Kissing is able to aid in decreasing the stress hormone cortisol, it has also been measured to lower anxiety. Kissing has very similar benefits that meditation has, it is a way to relax and rewind. It promotes togetherness in couples, and has been known to keep relationships together for a longer duration of time than couples that don’t kiss regularly.

Reiss, Valerie. “8 Health Benefits of Kissing.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

Feature, Jeanie Lerche DavisWebMD. “What’s So Great About Kissing?” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.


Why do gall stones form?

I wanted to do a blog post on why gall stones form because in ninth grade I had a gall stone attack. I was waking up from a nap and all of a sudden I began to feel intense stomach pains. The pain began rushing down my back and up and down my stomach into what felt like my heart. The pain would not subside and I started to panic, losing my breath and my patience. I had my mom drive me to the emergency room, it turned out I was experiencing a severe gall stone attack and the gallstones would have to be removed through surgery as soon as possible. I had to have laparoscopic surgery and three incisions were made in my stomach. This was the absolute worst experience of my life in terms of pain. Due to this excruciating experience I wanted to write this blog post on why gallstones form. According to google “Gallstones may form if bile contains too much cholesterol, too much bilirubin, or not enough bile salts.” Scientists unfortunately do not entirely comprehend why such imbalances occur within the human body. Gallstones also may form if the gallbladder does not empty completely or often enough. Your chances of forming gallstones that cause symptoms are higher if you are female. Females are actually twice as likely as males to have gallstones. You are more at risk if you are older than age 55, if you are Native American or Mexican American, and if you have a history of gallstones in among your family. You may also be increasing your risk for gallstones if you are overweight, lose weight quickly or from dieting than gain it back, if you are pregnant or taking estrogen such a high-dose birth control pills, and if you get very little to no exercise. Although it is not absolutely certain why people develop gallstones most doctors believe that they form if the bile has too much cholesterol, if the liver creates more cholesterol than the bile is able to dissolve the addition cholesterol can develop into gallstones. Another reason is that your bile can contain an excess amount of bilirubin which is a chemical made when the body breaks down red blood cells. There are specific conditions, which lead to the liver making too much bilirubin. This year after spring break I had experienced problems with my liver and was hospitalized for the pain I was experiencing. My liver enzymes were off the charts, I had blood taken twice a week for many weeks and was rushed to the emergency room the night before prom and had to sleep there. They though that this may have something to do with a stone still being stuck in the bile duct but it turns out my liver was inflamed and everything is back to normal again.

“Gallstones-What Increases Your Risk.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

“Gallstones.” Tests and Diagnosis. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.Gallstones

Reasons behind dreadful breakouts?

This time of year is the absolute worst for my skin. Unless I moisturize constantly my skin can become ashy, dry, and flakey. Besides being completely dried out from head to toe my breakouts tend to get worse in this weather and because of the overwhelming stress of schoolwork and finals. Most of the time my breakouts have to do with hormones or because of stress. Since I have been experiencing some horrendous breakouts recently I decided to do some research on the matter, so I googled it of course like I google everything. I came up with many reasons I may be an experiencing breakout besides just stress and hormones. I don’t ever wash my makeup brushes, which was the first reason I came across in my research. I learned that if you do not wash your makeup brushed bacteria will grow on them and transfer to your skin. Of course genetics is one of the main reasons behind acne, I wouldn’t call my breakouts acne but I do have a couple blemishes pop up here and there and so does my father. Like I previously suggested hormones is a huge part of breaking out, especially if it is “that time of month”. According to pop sugar beauty “Hormones called androgens over stimulate the skin’s oil glands, which frequently leads to a breakout around menstruation. (If you break out along your jawline, this is the likely culprit.)” I found this to be extremely true because during this time I find my breakouts to prominently be located around my chin area. Another reason I found to be true is picking at the flaws on your face. This is something I actively participate in whether I want to or not. Most of the time I don’t even realize I am attacking my face, however I always regret doing so after because of the inflammation and scarring that occurs after doing so. The cold whether really does a number on my skin, not only my face but also my entire body dries out. When I am away on vacation I never seem to have breakouts because the sun usually clears them and the lack of stress relieves my skin. Lack of sleep could also be increasing your breakouts. “Not sleeping enough inflicts stress on the body, which raises levels of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone.” Therefore cortisol is another reason behind breakouts. Sometimes when I stay out late I don’t end up washing my makeup off when I get home and go to sleep with it on which can easily clog my pores and result in a pimple forming. It is not always easy to take care of tour skin in college, because your diet is poor, there are not many healthy options, you have little time to do laundry so your sheets can end up dirty a lot of the time, and you are extremely stressed because of your workload. All of these reasons are causes of breakouts, and although they cannot all be solved you can be more aware of how to better take care of your skin. Recently I myself have been trying to apply these solutions into my life and for the most part they seem to be working, however stress really is a major reason for breakouts and due to the amounts of stress in my life currently my breakouts have been more prominent than usual.

“7 Ways to Get the Best-Looking Thighs of Your Life.” RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

“What’s Causing Your Breakout?” N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.dermnet_rf_photo_of_moderate_acne_on_womans_cheek

Why do we forget?

For as long as I can remember I have had the worst memory of all time. It sometimes really bothers me when my friends and I are discussing things that have happened during our childhood or in the past and most of my childhood is a blur I honestly cannot remember. Due to my inability to remember a lot from the past I decided to write this blog post on why we forget things. Our brains are overcrowded with massive amounts of memories that we have formed over a lifetime of experiences. A lot of my unclear memories are from my early childhood, which is most likely linked to childhood amnesia. Childhood amnesia is a term coined from Sigmund Freud the definition as defined on Google is, “The general inability of people to remember specific events from the early years of their lives. Typically from before the first three and sometimes four years of life. In studies, the average age of the earliest memory reported is about three-and-a-half years-old.” Infantile or childhood amnesia is characterized by the relative absence of memory before 3 or 4 years of age. However years after that are hard for my memory to recall as well. There are a couple of theories on why children develop amnesia for example, parts of the brain are somewhat undeveloped in children of such young ages, therefore the memories they make at these ages are not fervent enough to remain in the area of the brain that holds memories. You are more likely to remember something in your life if it had much importance, if not the brain will have a more difficult time remembering. Another reason for difficulty recalling memories from your earliest years has to do with if you are a focused individual and are able to organize your thoughts or if you are a rather stressed out anxious individual and have more trouble being efficient with detail. The level of stress you have is a huge restriction with your ability to remember things. In order to intensify your memories are by looking at old pictures and home videos, going back to old places you visited when you were a child, as well as reviewing old music you once listened to. Although it is not out of the ordinary for one not to recall their earlier memories in life it could also have to do with a past trauma experienced. Often traumas that occurred as a child limit memory, a reason for this is because of the unconscious mind trying to block out such incidences. The reason for your blain trying to forget these memories is because the person who has dealt with such occurrences may not be ready to handle what has previously happened to them. The more prepared the individual becomes to deal with the previous traumas may slowly begin to remember the experiences. I completely agree with this study because when I am informed of events that have occurred in my past they slowly reappear into my memory, vaguely yet surely, I believe this study is pretty accurate.

“Bustle.” Bustle. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

“I Can’t Remember My Childhood.” Ask the Psychologist Online Licensed Psychologist RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

“Unable To Fully Remember Childhood.” Psych N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.forgot-something

Why do we yawn?

I have always wondered why we yawn and why yawns are so contagious. I used to believe that we yawned because of boredom or how tired we are, however, after reading a study on the independent; I learned that yawning has nothing to do with being tired or being bored. In fact there is a completely different reason behind why we yawn and why yawning is so contagious. I have already yawned twice since writing this blog post on the subject. On the independant it discusses that yawning is a way our brains cool down. When we yawn we are able to think more clearly because the brain has cooled itself down and provided more room and clearer headspace. When we yawn both our heart rates and blood flow increases, which brings over more air to our heads and cools our blood. Other studies have shown that yawning serves as a respiratory function meaning it will awaken our bodies with more oxygen when fatigues, however studies have proven against this specifically demonstrating that yawning does not in fact increase oxygen levels in our bodies. This is proven in a situation such as working out, activities that call for more oxygen, yet we do not yawn while performing exercise. Therefore yawning does not in fact keep us more awake, it does however force our brains to work at the appropriate temperature. I will now cover why yawning is so contagious, you may have yawned once while reading this because that simple act of reading about the subject can cause the body to want to yawn. I have always been very curious on why yawning is so contagious therefore read a couple of studies on the matter and all showed very similar responses to this question. It has been prove that yawning becomes contagious at age four. As states on, “Yawning when others yawn, the study suggests, is a sign of empathy and a form of social bonding. Kids don’t develop this deeply rooted behavior until around age four, the study found.” The same study showed interestingly enough that kids who have autism are half as likely to be affected by others yawning. Due to autistic children being prone to “catching” yawns, yawning overall may aid in diagnosing developmental disorders in the medical world. It has been proven many times before that contagious yawning is in fact associated with the parts of the brain that deal with empathy. As I have already stated above yawning can be contagious just by hearing about it or reading it. You don’t have to see an actual person yawning for it to be infections. I have yawned a couple of times just by writing this blog post; the word yawn itself makes me want to do the action. Yawning has been linked to empathy the ability to understand and connect with others emotional states. Whether or not you are receptive to contagious yawning may be related to how much empathy you feel for others.

The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

“Why Is Yawning Contagious? : DNews.” DNews. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.Yawning2

Why do we get the hiccups?

I’m sure at some point in your life you have gotten those annoying hiccups that you aren’t quite sure how to get rid of. We try scaring people who have them, standing on our heads, drinking water, and holding our breath. However, none of these strategies seem to work and the hiccups usually just go away on their own. In this blog post I will provide the scientific definition for what hiccups are, and then will go on to explain why they occur. Hiccups as defined on are “an unintentional movement (spasm) of the diaphragm, the muscle at the base of the lungs. The spasm is followed by quick closing of the vocal cords, which produces a distinctive sound.” The quick spasms that occur in our diaphragms are very unpleasant and unwanted. I know that when I have the hiccups I am extremely uncomfortable; sometimes hiccups can even hurt and irritate the chest area. In my research I have read that in most cases hiccups occur after eating or drinking excessively or too quickly. Our stomach is directly under the diaphragm and when we eat or drink too much or too fast the stomach becomes aggravated. When our stomach is irritated the diaphragm will begin contracting like it also does when we breathe. Hiccups can also occur if our nerve pathways from our brains to our muscles are disturbed. This clarifies why scaring someone unexpectedly can rid of the hiccups. Holding your breath is a good way to get rid of hiccups because this increases carbon dioxide in our lungs, which in turn relaxes the diaphragm and gets rid of the spasms that occur within it. I agree with this study because they have at times worked for me, especially holding my breath. Recently I have been getting the hiccups quite often and when I hold my breath or have a drink of water, they typically go away in a shorter period of time than if not doing such actions. Sometimes we hiccup for a very short period of time in a statistic of hiccups it stated, “If they stop before the seventh or so, you’re in luck because that’s the end of them. If they last longer than seven, then the odds are good that you are in it for the duration. On average, you typically will hiccup 65 times or more. The hiccup record is currently at 68 years according to Guinness World Records. Besides the reasons I have already stated for the cause of hiccups it really varies and the actual cause is debatable, and in some cases unknown. There are many ways people have tried curing hiccups however they do not always work. Hiccups are just something that is bound to happen, and although they are extremely annoying they’re apart of life and something we are unable to control.

“Why Do We Get Hiccups?” Zidbits Learn Something New Everyday. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.

Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.hiccups

Truth about energy drinks


Energy drinks promise to make you more alert, focused and invigorated, in some sense they do achieve this because they can reduce fatigue and make you feel more alert and active. However it may be at the cost of your health and overall wellbeing. They can cause major side effects and there is adequate data to demonstrate how unsafe they are. Energy drinks come in all sorts of forms they can be bottled, canned, and is typically premixed and ready to drink. While this is the easiest form, be aware of the serving size because many bottles can be two serving sizes or even more than that. If you drink the entire bottle, you are most likely consuming double the dose of the ingredients on the label. Energy shots come in smaller doses but the full dose hits you hard and quickly and lasts for 5-6 hours. Most energy drinks contain a mixture of caffeine, B vitamins, sugar and herbs. Caffeine is the main ingredient in these energy drinks and provides all of the energy. The biggest concern is the amount of caffeine that is put into these drinks. Energy drinks typically contain anywhere from 80 to 500 mg per serving. A maximum of 200 mg of caffeine per day is considered safe. Not only do these energy drinks have incredibly high caffeine levels, but they are also combined with herbs that consist of caffeine for example, guarana and yerba mate. Higher doses of caffeine can have countless unpleasant responses. Consuming more than the recommended dose of caffeine can cause reactions such as sleeplessness, nervousness, rapid heart rate and elevated blood pressure. It can also lead to dehydration because of its diuretic effect. Some energy drinks contain enormous quantities of B vitamins. B vitamins do not enhance your energy without a deficiency in them. Most B vitamins aren’t necessarily harmful when additionally digested because they are water-soluble and excess is processed through the body and later flushed out through urine. Two B vitamins however can be toxic in excess such as vitamin B3 that can cause an upset stomach, unclear vision and dizziness, or inflammation of the liver. Overindulgence of vitamin B6 can produce damage of nerves, and numbness in limbs. Many herbs that contain caffeine are also in these drinks such as guarana. Only one guarana seed has double the caffeine of a coffee bean. Ginseng another herb used in these drinks has been proven to increase brainpower, but only a maximum of 200 mg would this occur, which most of these drinks don’t contain. In other studies Ginseng has been shown to correlate with blood-thinning drugs, possibly changing their usefulness. A single serving of an energy drink can have as much as 14 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than double the recommended dose. This much sugar increases our blood glucose levels, which is what boosts our energy. This temporary spike of energy is absolutely not worth the weight gain that comes along with the excess sugar consumption.,_tobacco,_&_other_drugs/energy_drinks.php


Chocolate can be healthy


Several studies have found that in small amounts, dark chocolate in particular can help prevent the blood from clumping up, keep the heart healthy and even provide some anti-cancer benefits. Scientist’s caution that chocolate is far from being a cure-all, of course. Chocolate is produced from the seeds of the cacao tree, in South America. The nibs at the hearts of the seeds are ground and liquefied into the pure chocolate form, chocolate liquor. The liquor can be separated into its two components, cocoa solids that are the nonfat components and cocoa butter the fatty parts. Chocolate comes in numerous forms, the form depends on the relative amounts of cocoa solids and butter, as well as how much sugar and milk are added. Unsweetened, or baking chocolate is pure chocolate liquor, dark chocolate has a little fat and sugar added in; milk chocolate, has milk added in on top of the fat and sugar, white chocolate has only the cocoa butter, and sometimes not even that, with vegetable oils added instead, in which case it isn’t exactly chocolate. The less sugar and milk in the chocolate, the more bitter it tastes. With that bitter taste comes with some possible health benefits. Studies have shown that dark chocolate has particular antioxidants called polyphenols that could help fight chronic inflammation of tissues in the circulatory system, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. One study demonstrates that people who ate a moderate amount of dark chocolate daily, about 6.7 grams, or about the same amount of 1.5 Hershey kisses, though these are milk chocolate had lower levels of a protein associated with inflammation. Other studies have shown that chocolate makes blood platelets less likely to clump together into dangerous blood vessel-blocking clots by reducing their stickiness. Recent research has suggested that these antioxidants help reduce the chances of developing cancer because they combat the cell damage that can lead to tumor growth. Dark chocolate is also more filling than milk chocolate, according to new research by scientists at the University of Copenhagen, proposing that it could reduce your cravings for other snacks or sweets. Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, so it can help improve cognitive function. Dark chocolate also helps reduce your risk of stroke. Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. Phenyl ethylamine encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.

Why do we emotionally eat


Stress, is very commonly linked to increased emotional overeating, emotional eating has many causes. Stress can bring on increased levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone, cortisol has a beneficial function in the body, but excessive levels of cortisol brought on by increased stress can lead to many problems in the human body. High levels of cortisol have been proven to create cravings for salty and sweet foods. In our culture, we learn from a young age to avoid things that feel bad.  Unfortunately, the ways we have found to distract ourselves from difficult feelings are not always in our best interest. Without the ability to tolerate experiencing life’s inevitable yucky feelings, you’re susceptible to emotional eating. Emotionally eating can make you feel better in the short term, but you may regret later. Letting you get too hungry or too tired is the best way to leave yourself vulnerable to emotional eating. When your body is hungry or tired, it not only sends strong messages to your brain that signal it to eat, but when we’re hungry and tired we’re not on our A game. This leaves us less equipped to fight off cravings or urges. When stressed or anxious, many people become orally fidgety. Sometimes this leads to nail biting or teeth grinding, and often it leads to eating when not hungry. Many people, out of nervousness or boredom, just munch on snacks to give their mouths something to do. Many of us have comforting childhood memories that revolve around food. Whether your parents used to reward you with sweets, fix your injuries with an ice cream cone, or make your favorite meal to celebrate your successes, you’d probably be in the vast minority if you didn’t develop some emotional attachments to food while growing up. When in times of stress, few things can be as comforting as your favorite food is. Food can take the focus off of anger, resentment, fear, anxiety, and a host of other emotions we’d sometimes rather not feel, and is often used for this purpose. If you’re an emotional eater, it’s important for you to be aware that this is not healthy, this can be serious and you may become out of control without being aware of it. I myself am guilty of emotionally eating but it is something I need to work on everyday for the betterment of my health and I urge you all to try and stop as well, it is incredibly difficult but necessary for our overall wellbeing.

The truth about caffeine and your health

is caffeine addictive

90 percent of people today drink or eat the equivalent of two to three cups of caffeinated coffee. Four out of five Americans have two to four cups every day, while 25 percent qualify as true addicts of caffeine by drinking more than five cups of coffee in a 24-hour period. Caffeine has been added to more than 1,000 non-prescription medications including diet pills, stay-awake pills, cold tablets, and headache and allergy remedies. Chemically, it is in a group of compounds called xanthenes, a mild central nervous stimulant. In addition to coffee and tea it’s in cola beverages, chocolate, and many prescription and nonprescription medicines. It also provides a delicious taste to baked goods and other yummy treats. The slightly bitter flavor is often used to balance the sweetness of the sugar in these products. Your personal reaction to caffeine will be influenced by several factors including the amount you consume in relation to your body weight, your age, your emotional or nervous state, and how often you consume it. Once caffeine enters your blood it increases your heart rate, promotes secretion of stomach acid, speeds up urine production, dilates some blood vessels and constricts others. If you’ve ever experienced jitteriness from caffeine you know how it can easily cause trembling, depression, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nervousness, and chronic muscle tension. Many individuals drink caffeinated drinks because, within a small period of time, they can provide a state of alertness that can last up to at least two hours. Caffeine has also been proven to increase alertness, decrease fatigue, and suppress appetite. Many medical researchers report it aggravates fluid retention and pain in fibrocystic conditions. One study showed stated “eliminating caffeine from the diet brought extraordinary relief from fibrocystic disease.” Women who drink large amounts of caffeinated beverages are seven times more likely to report moderate to severe pre-menstrual symptoms than those who have a caffeine-free diet. The most common symptom triggered by caffeine is sleeplessness. Although it hasn’t been shown to be as physiologically addictive as hard drugs, caffeine withdrawal can trigger severe headaches, jitters, irritability, sleepiness, and reduced alertness. Because the human body becomes so incredibly used to the drug, people who use caffeine for its stimulant quantities need more and more over the course of their life.

Vegetables essential to the human body


Eating vegetables regularly offers countless health advantages, people who incorporate more vegetables and fruits within their overall diet are much more likely to have a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Vegetables provide essential nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body. A growing body of research proves that fruits and vegetables are critical to promoting good health. In fact, fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of a healthy diet. Most people need to double the amount the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat every day. “Eat your vegetables!” is something your parents nagged you about your entire childhood, now, it’s the medical experts who encourage you to add more veggies to your diet, with the American Cancer Society advising at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day for good health. The Harvard School of Public Health goes even further, recommending nine servings of vegetables and fruits each day. I was curious why exactly vegetables are so important to human health. I learned that one of the main benefits of vegetables is their high nutrient content. Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that contribute to growth and the maintenance of good health. Most vegetables are high in potassium, which is important for healthy blood pressure. Various vitamins, such as C and A, help keep eyes, skin, teeth and gums healthy, fight infection and promote wound healing. Vegetables are loaded with a particular group of nutrients called antioxidants, which fight cellular damage and help prevent heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, atherosclerosis, heart attack and Alzheimer’s disease, says the Linus Pauling Institute. Another substantial benefit of vegetables is dietary fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient found only in plant foods. As part of a healthy diet, fiber helps diminish bad cholesterol out of your arteries, which in turn lowers your risk of heart disease. Fiber also keeps your digestive system running smoothly, helps control your blood sugar levels and may help prevent cancer. Vegetables are also a huge benefit to dieters, because they are generally low in fat and calories, and you can eat plenty of them without gaining weight. Fiber in vegetables also helps you manage your weight, it makes you feel fuller for a longer period, helping you eat less overall and aiding with weight loss or maintain your current weight. Some vegetables are healthier than others, Harvard School of Public Health states that potatoes, don’t actually count toward your daily-recommended servings of vegetables. Potatoes, and corn as well, are starchy foods more similar to a serving of grain than a serving of vegetables. When choosing which vegetables to eat, keep in mind that, in general, brightly colored vegetables are higher in nutrients than less vivid choices.



Medical Marijuana Kids

Scientific and medical texts dating back thousands of years argue the medicinal properties of marijuana. More recent studies, including six supported by U.S. states in the 1970s and 1980s, validate that smoking marijuana decreases nausea and lessens pain and discomfort for countless patients, particularly the patients facing cancer chemotherapy and glaucoma. Thousands of patients and their families and doctors have experienced and witnessed the medical benefits of marijuana. Those who argue against the positive evidence of this drug clearly miss the point. There is simply no reason at all to subject medical patients who use marijuana for legitimate health purposes to the risk of arrest, fines, and public exposure. Scientists without a doubt should be permitted to further pursue conclusive data on the properties of marijuana. There is an extremely unblemished consensus of science that the drug marijuana is much less damaging to our wellbeing and human health overall than most of the other illegal substances and far less harmful than the exceedingly addictive but legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana has not been proven to ever cause a lethal overdose. Very little evidence demonstrates that the drug causes cancer. The addictive properties within marijuana are very minimal and the falsehood that the drug leads users to hard drugs has been disproven long ago. The downsides of marijuana simply aren’t reasons to impose felonious consequences on its possession, especially not in a society that authorizes the use of nicotine and celebrates drinking which in fact have been proven to many fatalities. The negative health effects in marijuana are so slight that they do not make a good enough argument to impose criminal charges among its users. The government has obligatory underage alcohol consumption laws and effective advertising campaigns have succeeded in reducing underage drinking to 24.8 percent in the year 2011 compared with 33.4 percent in 1991. Cigarette smoking amongst high school students is at the lowest points it’s ever been, thanks to the taxes on tobacco and rising public smoking limits. There is already some early evidence that regulating marijuana similarly to tobacco would aid in combating youths who are active users of marijuana, which was learned after the state of Colorado started regulating medical marijuana in 2010. Along with some additional recreational elements, the health risks of marijuana depend on the regularity of use, the strength and quantity ingested, and how old the consumer of the drug is. Irregular, or casual use by adults poses diminutive to no risk at all for generally healthy individuals. The effects of marijuana are normally euphoric and gentle, whereas alcohol causes many drinkers to become enraged and lead to threatening situations such as abusers of this substance behind the wheel of a car. A study on WebMD presented the minimal risk of the drug by stating, “most of the risks of marijuana use are small to moderate in size, and they are unlikely to produce public health problems comparable in scale to those currently produced by alcohol and tobacco.” While tobacco leads to cancer, and the abuse of alcohol causes cirrhosis, no strong connection between marijuana and a terminal disease has been concluded.


Why do people develop eating disorders?

Unfortunately a couple years ago my cousin was hospitalized because of a very serious eating disorder. My mom was the first to notice It I think because I remember her coming home from a wedding shower and talking with me about how my cousin was eating the skin off of her grapes and nothing else, even though there was a beautiful spread of food. A month or two later I found out that she had been taken to the hospital after fainting in one of her classes. She had lost a significant amount of weight; anorexia nervosa had taken over her life. Fortunately today she is doing great and is completely healthy again she got help and no longer is affected by this serious disease. Eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia, are caused by a combination of factors, including genetic, psychological, cultural and environmental. There are numerous misunderstanding about what exactly is the source of eating disorders. Rarely are eating disorders only about food and the need to be skinny. The victims of these disorders use food and harmful behaviors like starving, bingeing and purging in order to help them handle devastating feelings and traumatic conditions that occur in the lives of these sufferers. In the short term these actions help release stress and unease. The long term however shows that these behaviors increase anxiety and stress as well as create other harmful affects. Some individuals actually believe that eating disorders are a choice, this is absolutely untrue, and an eating disorder is an illness that the person has no control over. An individual can not chose to have an eating disorder, it is simply not possible. Many also think that you can tell if someone has an eating disorder simply by their appearance, which is not the case. People with eating disorders can look very different they can be normal weight, underweight, and even overweight. It is not possible to diagnose an eating disorder just by looking at and evaluating the individual’s physical form. While no one thing produces an eating disorder, here are specific influences that could possibly contribute to the problem at hand: Genetics has a substantial role in eating disorder, and may predispose individuals to these unfortunate illnesses. Scientists have discovered that many eating disorders to in fact run in families. Eating disorders has a higher risk of occurring in identical twins, than fraternal twins, or other siblings. Furthermore, particular chromosomes have been connected to both bulimia as well as anorexia. Innumerable psychological aspects can contribute to and cause eating disorders. In reality, eating disorders are common in people who suffer from clinical depression, and anxiety disorders.Eating-disorders-dismissed-as-not-too-serious-by-NHS1-e1393138338183

Why do we get emotional when we drink?

I’m sure some of you, or someone you know (twenty-one or over), has experienced the effects of having one too many alcoholic beverages, and instead of being social with all of your friends, you end up bawling irrepressibly and revealing all of the problems in your life to a complete stranger a whether its your relationship failing, or your parents being so overbearing. Alcohol makes all of us more emotional, whether guys become more aggressive and angry or women become sad and extremely sensitive. I I’m sure many of you wonder why people become so emotional when they have had to much to drink, and I am able to explicate a scientific step-by-step analysis of what is occurring when a night out on the town with your friends becomes a public sobbing fest. Your stomach lining absorbs some of the alcohol that you initially consume, but the rest of it passes through your small intestine and flows directly into your bloodstream. The water in your bloodstream carries the alcohol across the blood-brain barrier and straight into your cerebral cortex, where it disturbs the flow of neurotransmitters across the cortex’s synaptic connections. First, the alcohol merging into your brain works to decline your inhibitions. After this, the alcohol then begins to soak into your limbic system, also referred to as the six structures that form the emotional center of your brain. Once your limbic system is affected, you are completely intoxicated. When you’re sober, your limbic system controls your behaviors and emotions. After consuming a few drinks however, your limbic system increases the intensity of your emotions. This means it is easy for you to go from extremely content to ferocious and angry to inconsolable in only a few short seconds. Since all of our emotional responses have been so tremendously disrupted, we end up exaggerating or misunderstanding our other peoples feelings and even our own. This undoubtedly clarifies the reason break ups and fights in bars.08-The-Highly-Emotional-Drunk

Why do pets make us so happy?

Since I was a small child I always begged my parents to buy me a dog. They never wanted the responsibility of one but I pleaded up until sixth grade when they finally gave in. Owning a dog has been the best thing in my life. Caring for something so special is truly amazing and makes me so genuinely happy. Coming home everyday from school and seeing my dog’s excitement would always fill me with joy. Transitioning into college without my dog has been a struggle and I have found myself to be more stressed out than ever and at times very homesick. Whenever I was upset at home playing with my dog or just petting him would always make me happier no matter the how bad the situation was. Though many owners of pets are clear about the instant pleasures that come along with sharing their lives with loving pets, several individuals are oblivious to both the mental and physical advantages that come along with owning a loving companion. Only recently have studies began to scientifically delve into the benefits of the bond between animals and humans. Studies show that people who own pets are less likely to suffer from depression because playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax. One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that most pets fulfill the basic human need to touch. Even criminals have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with pets, many of them experience mutual affection for the first time with these animals. Stroking, holding, or cuddling a loving animal can completely calm us down when we’re stressed. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and some pets are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can alter and boost ones mood. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and in turn can take the focus away from your problems.6a00d83452a3b369e2016302bd43fe970d

Why can’t we remember being babies?

Throughout my life it has continuously occurred to me that I have always had vague memories of my childhood. The earlier stages of my life are completely unclear to me and seem to just be a complete blackout in my mind. In the past I would consistently ask my parents why I was unable to remember being a baby, let alone the years of being a toddler and even past then. They would always answer that it is normal to not remember being a baby, yet I have always struggled with remembering a lot from my childhood. However chances are most of you are unable to remember your first couple of birthday parties or countless other events that have occurred in your early childhood. I think it is safe to say you are not alone and most people if not all experience this. It is normal to not recall your initial life experiences, despite their vital and influential nature. This is a phenomenon that scientists call childhood amnesia. Childhood amnesia, also known as infantile amnesia, is the incapability of adults to recover memories before the age of two-four. Research has demonstrated that children can remember events from before the age of three-four, but these memories decline, as children get older. While some of you may have been able to remember and describe your first trip to the park in tremendous detail for months after it occurred, a year later those memories most likely faded and, eventually, are lost altogether. Up until age three, children in a scientific study could recall significant events that happened to them within the last year. The high rate of remembrance continued until the age of seven, with the study’s participants remembering up to seventy-two percent of the same events they’d recalled as three year-olds. By age eight or nine, however, most could recollect only thirty-five percent of the life experiences they had so thoroughly depicted at age three. We are unable to remember everything that happens in our lives because our ability to store memories in our brain is limited.blue_eyes_cute_baby

Why do we dream?

Over the course of my life I have become curious on what makes us dream and why. Sometimes I am able to remember my dreams and when I do I never understand them. Most of what I dream is strange and inexplicable, and really makes me think about why it is that we have dreams. Therefore in this blog I want to address why we dream. A couple of online sources I have researched have helped me further comprehend the subject. The dreams we have can incorporate every image, idea and sentiment that occurs throughout the day. Dreams can be astonishingly vivid and intense or extremely unclear. Scientists all over the world have been performing sleep studies for many years to further understand dreams, however we still aren’t completely positive about how and why we dream. It’s understood by the entire scientific community that everyone dreams, however, the amount of dreams we remember usually depends on the person. There are numerous theories on the matter of dreaming and why they occur. One of these theories is that dreams occur to aid the brain in the process of sorting through everything it has experienced over the course of the day. A person typically experiences hundreds of thousands of thoughts each day, and while we sleep the brain goes through all of this information to see what it needs to remember and what it is able to forget and get rid of in order to make room for new memories. Another theory that has been developed is that dreams usually depict our emotions. If you are pondering something heavily on your mind during the day, odds are you may dream about it either specifically, or through comprehensible imagery. As long as many features of the human brain remain a mystery, we probably won’t be able to determine with complete certainty precisely why it is that we have dreams.sleeping_naturally_slide1

Nicole Gelb about me

Hi everyone, my name is Nicole Gelb but typically am addressed as Nikki by my friends. I am from Bala Cynwyd Pennsylvania located fifteen minutes directly outside of Philadelphia. I am currently majoring in communications print journalism because writing has always been a passion of mine. In high school I found my science classes such as chemistry and physics to be incredibly challenging courses, and was a bit apprehensive about taking a science class, however, after realizing one was necessary for my major I found Science 200 to be the most appealing. My last year of high school I did end up taking AP environmental science which I thoroughly enjoyed, and ended up receiving an A in the class. This course in contrast to the previous science classes I took in high school seems to fit me better because of the amount of writing in which we will be doing on this blog. One of my main interests is traveling which I hope to do more of in the future, here is a link to the next place I would like to visit, Nikki beach in St Tropez . Here is a picture of a precious dog between two hamburger buns to brighten everyones day.Cute-Puppy-puppies-13379771-1280-800