Author Archives: Ademilola Esther Badejo

Can marijuana combat alcoholism?


Being that the substance marijuana is being increasingly legalized, I can’t help but think of all the good it could bring. I searched up the benefits of using the plant and the most intriguing one was combatting alcoholism. I researched a bit more and found a few things.

Being as though all of the students in SC200 are scholars and are likely unaware of the substance “marijuana” and its effects, I’ll briefly explain the science.

The chemical THC is the effective ingredient in marijuana. When you smoke marijuana THC goes from the lungs into the blood stream, from their it goes to the brain. THC works by messing with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Most of the cannabinoid receptors are located in parts of the brain that control pleasure, memory, concentration, and sensory experiences.

Because alcohol is clearly also unbeknownst to you I’ll briefly explain the science as well.

Alcohol affects the brain by changing the levels of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers that transmit signals throughout the body) in your brain. Alcohol increases the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA which causes the sluggish movements and slurred speech when you drink heavily. Alcohol increases “pleasure” chemical dopamine in the brain. Because of this pleasurable feeling dopamine brings, it is easy to get addicted. According to the –NIH alcohol impairs memory and judgement.

How can this substance “marijuana” that SC200 is obviously unaware of combat alcoholism?

Well, because it has been used as a substitute for opiates and delirium tremens (rapid onset of confusion associated with alcohol withdrawal).

The research that was done was meeting with patients with chronic alcoholism, and having followup visits to see if cannabis helped improve the patients life. Nine patients in this study reported that they did not drink alcohol for more than a year and said it was due to using marijuana as a substitute.

Delirium tremens are usually treated with Valium, Ativan, Librium. These drugs do way more bad then good. Patients complain about side effects, and patients can become addicted to those drugs soon after. The use of marijuana as a substitute for alcohol to help addicts combat withdrawal symptoms and live sober lives is still under heavy review.

Other then through observations there’s no scientific evidence that marijuana physically alters the brains of alcoholics to help them. However absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Thanks for reading. Feel free to express your thoughts.

Does being vegetarian lower your chances of cancer?


Scientist have found that people who were vegetarian, were less likely to get cancer. The question is if those findings are due to chance, and if it’s worth removing meat from your diet. The World Health Organization has determined that dietary factors account for at least 30 percent of all cancers in Western countries.

There is substantial evidence of hormones in processed meats that could cause cancer. According to Kathy Chapman a nutritionist, a vegetarian diet has been shown to be protective against some cancers, however there isn’t evidence that being vegetarian reduces your overall risk of getting cancer.

Scientist have been studying if it is the chemicals involved in the processing increasing the risk of cancer; or the meat itself. Processed meats are strongly correlated with an increased risk of bowel cancer. It’s said if you consume 50g of processed meat a day the likely-hood of you getting cancer went up by 18% Studies have shown that exposure to the HCAs and PAHs (chemicals in processed meats) can cause cancer in mice, according to many experiments. One experiment included feeding the mice a diet supplemented with the HCA chemical. In turn, the mice developed tumors of the breast, liver and other organs. Mice fed the PAH chemical also developed tumors and cancers. However, I questioned the validity of this experiment because the doses of the HCAs and PAHs chemicals used in these studies were thousands of times the dosage a person would consume in a regular diet.

There is evidence that it is more than chance of vegetarians being less likely to get cancer. However they’re quite a few third variables that could be the possible reason it appears meats cause cancer. You could argue that vegetarians are more conscious about their health. Or are more economically —and therefore have more access to quality food.

There’s evidence that countries with a higher intake of fat, especially fat from animal products, have a higher incidence of breast cancer. In Japan, for example, the traditional diet is much lower in fat, especially animal fat, and breast cancer rates are low.

All in all, would it be rational to cut meat out your diet?

Does skin discrimination cause depression?


I remember as a young child I would look at characters I saw on TV and wished I looked like them. I wished I had long straight hair and fair skin. Majority of the characters I saw in media that did look like me weren’t positive. I remember it made me feel that maybe if I was lighter I would get the positive attention my white counterpart got. I was in my women studies class and we were reviewing a topic of race relations when this blog idea came to me. Enjoy.

European beauty standards are a societal norm that imply white skin is the most beautiful, and anything deviating away from that is subpar. According to a study done by Bryant in the Columbia Social Work Review, the psychological effects that European beauty standards have on black women are negative. European beauty standards can lead to a negative perception of self as a darker-skinned black women. According to Bryant’s study, because black women (especially dark-skinned black women) do not meet European beauty standards, they are more likely to face depression because of the feeling of inadequacy.

These negative internalized feelings are significant risk factors for depression in black women. In Bryant’s study, her and others evaluated the direct and indirect effects of skin tone and discrimination. This study suggested a link between discrimination and emotional well-being. Dark skin black women were more likely to be depressed if they were discriminated against by their peers due to their darkness.

As we learned in class, correlation does not equal causation and personal anecdotes can be incredibly powerful and moving yet hold no substance. This was my favorite topic writing thus far. There isn’t much scientific research done in regards to this topic. I question the validity of this observation because socio-economic status plays a significant role in risk factoring. Also the time this study was done (media has been increasingly inclusive over the past 20 years). And the fact I only have one credible source means there isn’t any other observations I can compare it to. Still, this is food for thought. Thanks for reading.

Are modified crops causing menstrual cycles to appear early?


I feel that most of the women in SC200 can attest to the debilitating pain a menstrual brings. Being that I will be suffering for the next 40 years or so, I think it is incredibly problematic that young girls are subject to getting their periods earlier due to a diet they cannot help (if my hypotheses is correct). Since I feel so strongly about modified crops causing problems I then had to be skeptical.

A menstrual cycle, according to WebMD is once a month the female uterus grows a thickened lining that holds a fertilized egg. If there isn’t a fertilized egg available the uterus will shed the lining resulting in bleeding from anywhere in between 3-7 days.

On average, in the early 19th century puberty started anywhere between 15-17 years old. Now the average age of the first period is anywhere between 8-12.

So far most researchers agree the age of the onset of puberty is starting earlier; but they haven’t seem to find one solid reason.

Since there’s no ethical way to experiment on human subjects, they did a similar accidental test on cattle. What occurred was cattle were accidentally fed grains that had a chemical similar to estrogen (a female sex hormone) called PBB. Daughters of the pregnant women eating the PBB laced meat began menstruating earlier than most of their peers.

In most of the research done it appeared to be multiple anecdotes which individually could of been caused by multiple third variables. Another problem arising is the effect of the chemical compound BPA which mimics estrogen as well. They act like steroids in the body which can alter the start of puberty. The other side to this argument however is BPA has been around since 1891. And now only 7 percent of Americans don’t have traces of BPA in them. Also BPA’s are currently used in everyday plastics and other products.

I didn’t find sufficient evidence to reject my hypotheses of modified crops causing menstrual cycles to appear early. Right now the answer isn’t known yet. Feel free to cut my blog up. I’m interested in your feedback. Thanks!





Are we going deaf?


Today 1 in every 5 teens in the US has some form of hearing loss. This is 30% higher than it was twenty years ago. This is due to the increased use of headphones and other variables. The latest research shows using headphones that go inside the ear canal is incredibly hazardous to your hearing.

According to otologist Dr. Foy music players make sounds that reach up to 120 decibels. This sound level is the same as the sound level at a rock concert. You can start losing your hearing listening to sounds at that decibal after about an hour and 15 minutes.

The cochlea is the auditory inner ear chamber where hearing occurs. The cochlea is lined with hair cells that vibrate at different sound frequencies. Those vibrations get translated into nerve signals hence; sound. But loud noise can damage them. And unlike the hair on your head, once damaged those hairs don’t grow back.

Researchers at the U.S. CDC The CDC reported that 12.5 percent showed signs of hearing loss. A credible scientist doesn’t support the thesis of earphones increasingly causing hearing loss. William Clark an audiologist, conducted research collected data between 1970 and 1985 that showed no hearing loss has elevated during that period. A similar study looked at young workers with Alcoa between 1985 and 2004. Again, Clark says, there was no evidence of a decline in hearing. He said as quoted “But these findings do not mean that Walkmans or iPods or other personal stereos are not hazardous,”. So we should still be cautious with how loud our music is.

According to hearing experts, you can reduce the risk of hearing loss by listening to music at no more than 60% of the highest volume for no more than an hour a day. Also using headphones instead of earbuds can help prevent damage to your ears. Hearing loss is irreversible so take note! Feel free to comment. Thanks for reading.

Is Vitamin Water good for you?

I would beg my mom to buy me vitamin water for lunch in elementary school when I noticed quite a few of my friends drinking them. One day I was in Walmart and determined to get my hands on one. I had managed to acquire $1.60 over the course of looking for change under the couch, both parents cars and occasionally out the desk of a unsuspecting teacher. I snuck away from my mom, paid for the drink and found her in the canned food isle presenting my recent purchase. She wasn’t happy of course. Nonetheless I brought my very own vitamin water to lunch and casually made conversation with my peers hinting at the new drink I bought. Taking the first sip of that water disappointed me beyond measure. I was sure this vitamin water would immediately enrich me with increased speed, intelligence, and flexibility (why I felt this way I’m not sure). Only for reality to hit me and I get gross flavored water in a bottle.


What is vitamin water? The media markets vitamin water as an even healthier alternative to regular drinking water. It is said to contain vitamins and nutrients that help your body. The truth is, is it does nothing for your body that sugar water can’t do.

What the media doesn’t say is that vitamin water contains nearly as much sugar in it as coke. What a consumer of vitamin water thinks is a burst of energy, is actually a sugar high and can be dangerous to one’s self. When you intake too much sugar, your pancreas has to increase insulin into your blood. Too much sugar in your body makes you more susceptible to diseases.

According to Authority Nutrition there is no scientific evidence that Vitamin Water benefits you health-wise.

The CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) says not only do you likely have the vitamins you need, your body probably is unable to absorb the “vitamins” in the drink. It also doesn’t say whether the “vitamins” are natural or chemically altered (which they are). This fact is important in whether it affects the body or is flushed out when you urinate. The “nutrients” the vitamin water give you aren’t worth the amount of sugar in the drink.

If you want to get the vitamins and nutrients you need, eat a varied balanced diet and you’ll be fine. If you’re missing then taking a oral vitamin may help you. However further research revealed even oral vitamins may not actually be as benefitting to us as we think. Vitamins can store up in your system and could be toxic if you over do it. It is important to to have a a healthy diet. Here is a daily recommendation for vitamins to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need. Not over or under. To my peers that drink vitamin water, how do you feel now?


Can you cure cancer naturally?

Rev. George H. Malkmus, claims that diet can heal cancer. On a natural medicine page he wrote a testimonial claiming that a friend of his helped him become vegetarian; which in turn cured his colon cancer in one year. He exclaimed that the Bible tells us that God created us to be able to “self-heal”. Also he said it is imperative we eat raw vegetables because cooked food lacks nutrition, which increases risk to cancer.

*Sigh* I think it’s best we isolate each problematic statement Rev. Malkums stated and discuss them.

When I read “self-healing” I couldn’t help but think of Wolverine from Marvel.wolf

Yes, the human body has properties to help it heal from injuries, an example are scabs. However to thoughtlessly say that the immune system has a “self-healing” property that combats cancer; reveals a lack of knowledge. Cancer is when body cells abnormally divide and spread throughout the body. This proves that the immune system cannot miraculously “heal” itself.

This idea that a high plant-based diet reduces the risk for cancer/cures cancer is based on prior research about the environment cancer favors.

They claim because cancer cells favor acidic environments, eating acidic foods raise the risk of getting cancer. However scientific research reported otherwise. It is true that diet can affect the pH level in your body; however the human body tries to maintain homeostasis (equilibrium). If the food you ate substantially changed the pH level of your body you can have serious health problems such as  acidosis (too much carbon in your blood, makes it too acidic) or alkalosis (high levels of bicarbonate which means your blood is basic). According to Dr. Yeung, there is no scientific evidence that shows changing your diet affects cancer.

Lastly, Dr. Gabe Mirkin says that cooking food does not take away the nutrients you need. Yes some vitamins may be lost, but as a whole cooked food is does not lack in nutrients.

I am a biased individual. I believe in holistic remedies if it actually helps the well being of a person. A better diet in general is a good idea. But I don’t believe it should be taken over actual science/medicine. I think these “natural remedies” can be very dangerous. According to the Washington Post people who seek holistic alternatives to real medicine run the risk of getting actually worse or even death.

What do you think?

Spiders are our friends

I’ve been looking around for an interesting topic to write on. I figured I would write something that pertains to me and likely the general public. If you’re anything like me you are deathly afraid of spiders (or bugs in general). This past summer I managed to nearly kill my entire family because a spider crawled onto my lap while I was driving. I’m convinced my irrational fear of bugs will somehow bring me to my demise.

spider-memeBeing that I am relatively interested in mental health, I thought I’d share some information on how phobias (more specifically arachnophobia) physically alter the chemical dynamics of the brain. According to Science Daily, the amygdala is an almond shape bundle of neurons deep in the brain. It is linked to understanding emotions (i.e fear and pleasure). Miranda White of Bryn Mawr College stated these neural connections emerge all over the brain, giving us little control over what we fear. There is a possibility that if your amygdala has been damaged, you will have consistent irrational fears; regardless if they are deemed harmless.

Psychologist came to the conclusion that phobia’s come from both experience and conditioning. An example of conditioning is getting a stomach flu from Chipotle and never eating at the restaurant again because it made you sick. According to psychologist Davey’s behavior study on children and arachnophobia, it found most children either stated they had no negative history with spiders or simply couldn’t remember the first time they became fearful of them. Interesting how you can be conditioned to fear something you have no experience with.

Steps to take if you’re having an anxiety attack. I don’t have anxiety attacks due to my fear of insects, however you never know who’s reading this that may need help.

  • Ground yourself. It’s harmless and will be over soon.
  • Try and control your breathing.
  • Distract yourself by thinking of something else or putting your mind in a place where you feel safe.
  • Tell someone about how you feel if you’re with people. If not, see if you can call someone.

Every now and then I stumble upon a meme that is a bathroom full of roaches; the caption asks “Would you stay in this bathroom over night for ten million dollars?”. As for me there’s not enough money available on this planet to make me to sit in a bathroom full of roaches. What about you?


Not a science major but…

Hey everyone!

My name is Demi Badejo

I’m from Maryland and a sophomore majoring in Health Policy & Administration and minoring in Biology. Yes that’s right. I’m minoring in Biology. Before you personally escort me out of this class and into Chem 112, allow me to explain. If I were to major in Biology or any other science course I can kiss graduate/medical school goodbye.

TheIMG_0307re is an incredible amount of competition in regards to medical school and even the best don’t get in. If I was majoring in Biology I would fail at least—all my upper-level math classes and be forced to sell cold corn on the street.

Before I go any further can I rewind a bit? Back in high-school I was in the honors program for STEM students. I find science interesting but it was very difficult. I had to study hard to make the grades. My fear was majoring in Biology at a public university would set me up for failure. I figured I would major in something related to Public Health get a minor in Biology so that I would have all the required courses for medical school and a good GPA.

After talking to advisors and people in professions I was interested in; I found that HPA was the perfect option for me. I would still get hospital experience and have a fighting chance at maintaining a high gpa.

Now you’re probably asking “Why not take another science class that fits both your major and minor?” Great question! I was already at 16 credit hours and another class would likely add 4 more credits and that’s just…no. Right here is a link to a medical forum for anyone out there that’s not majoring in science but just may be interested in medical school. Feel free to comment. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks in advanced.

P.S my 19th birthday is today!

x Demi