Author Archives: Derek William Drotman

Sleep Apnea: How Dangerous is it?

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I think we can all agree that sometimes there is truly nothing more satisfying than a good nights sleep. When we are asleep, we feel safe and impregnable as we are snuggled under a soft blanket, lost in a dream as our brain and body are given a chance to relax and rejuvenate. Sleep is vital for an individuals health but when your sleep cycle is constantly disrupted there can be many dangerous consequences. Sleep apnea, a chronic disorder, interrupts sleep as ones breathing motions are paused up to 20 seconds. This causes them to snore, constantly wake up feeling short of breath, as well as choking or grasping for air in the middle of the night.

Sleep apnea happens when the airways in the lungs are either blocked or the soft tissue in the upper airway of the throat collapses, which restricts oxygen from flowing throughout the body. A persons diaphragm and chest are coerced to work harder in order for the lungs to receive oxygen. The brain and lungs don’t receive enough oxygen and it becomes difficult to breath because the brain doesn’t trigger when it is necessary to breath. The majority of the people with sleep apnea are overweight, middle aged men who have encountered a history with excessive drinking and smoking. Other risk factors that could potentially lead to sleep apnea is sleeping on your back, as well as enlarged tonsils. Sleep apnea isn’t just associated with men; nine percent of women and five percent of children are diagnosed with sleep apnea. Something so minuscule like snoring is perceived to be a minor problem but sleep apnea is an extremely dangerous disorder. Since airways are blocked blood vessels have a difficult time providing for the heart. This increased the risk of high blood pressure which leads to heart diseases as well as strokes. Those with obstructive sleep apnea also become over-tired because they aren’t getting effective sleeps so they have poor concentration, weaker immune systems, and a greater difficulty to learn.

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A study was conducted by Daniel J Gotllieb to discover if sleep apnea is linked with heart failure. This longitudinal observational study is definitely reliable considering the high sample size of 1927 men and 2495 women who are over 40 years old and tests were for run for nine years. The null hypothesis states that there is no relationship between coronary heart disease and obstructive sleep apnea. The alternative hypothesis is individuals with obstructive sleep apnea have a greater risk of having heart failure.  In this study, the null hypothesis was rejected because men who have sleep apnea were 58 percent more likely to have heart failure. The cause of this was due to the nocturnal blood pressure elevation during ones sleep apnea. The study revealed middle aged men with sleep apnea had a greater risk of cardiovascular problems and heart failures opposed to women.

Another study revealed how sleep apnea negatively effects a child’s cognitive potential. They sampled 19 kids with obstructive sleep apnea and 12 kids who were healthy sleepers in order to see if there was evidence that kids with sleep apnea have problems learning, focusing and decision making. After the kids were given neuropsychological tests, researches concluded that brain cells were damaged, as there was severe changes in metabolites inside the brain of kids with with obstructive sleep apnea. This caused those kids to perform weaker on IQ test as well as decision making tests. The effects of an interrupted sleep cycle has negative effects on the learning of children and ultimately their future success. Obstructive sleep apnea alters their decision making and has led to an increased chance of ADHD as well as behavior problems. This will cause them to get easily distracted and make it hard to focus which impacts them tremendously in school. The control group in this study had no patients with ADHD because which could be a factor that could have helped determining a stronger correlation between sleep apnea and ADHD.

Sleep apnea may be overlooked and under diagnosed but is a very dangerous disease that people must be aware of. Snoring, daytime fatigue,quick wake-ups, and restlessness during sleep may seem insignificant as well as un-harmful but is extremely dangerous. Since there is a correlation between sleep apnea and body weight as-well as health, to an extent this disease can be preventable if a person makes life-style changes like eating healthier and reducing the use of alcohol and drugs which will lower the chance of obtaining obstructive sleep apnea.


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Coffee: Can it Prevent Diabetes?


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Before I entered college I wasn’t a coffee drinker. As refreshing as an ice coffee looks it never satisfied my tastebuds. Frankly, I never understood the huge craze for coffee and why people would wait on an extensive line and pay the price for that inconsequential cup of coffee each and everyday . After a few long, rough weeks in college I realized it provides my body with many beneficial nutrients like antioxidants and the hormone adiponectin which actually benefit my health in the long run and can prevent me from diseases like diabetes.

So what even is diabetes? Type 2 Diabetes is a widespread disease that over 29 million people are diagnosed with. Diabetes influences the production of glucose within the body because the cells don’t allow glucose to enter into the body. These people with diabetes have an insulin deficiency and their bodies don’t produce and absorb the correct amount of sugar for their body. Insulin, is a hormone which regulates how much sugar can be absorbed  by the body are affected. If there isnt enough sugar or too much inside the body, the central nervous system is weakened because the brain and muscles don’t have enough energy to properly function. Diabetes is extremely dangerous because it can lead to future problems like kidney failure, heart failure and strokes.                                                                                                                        

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A longitudinal observational study  produced by the American Diabetes Association completed a study testing whether increasing the amount of coffee drank by women will reduce the risk of developing diabetes. 88,259 women who didn’t have diabetes, whose ages ranged from 24 to 46 were tested in order to see if the intake of coffee would actually lead to less of a chance of getting diabetes. This observational study included a large sample size, and a high follow up rate on the patients for 10 years. The factors make this study extremely accurate and cancel out a great deal of bias that could have been associated with this type of study.  The null hypothesis was there is no relationship between coffee and chances of getting diabetes. The alternative hypothesis which was there is a correlation between coffee and diabetes and when coffee is consumed the chances would be lowered. The study did have third confounding variables that could have potentially caused a relationship between coffee and diabetes. For example, body mass index, genetics, and smoking and the consumption of alcohol. After the data was analyzed, the results illustrated that the more cups of black coffee a women drinks, they will have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The risk (exposure x hazard) when a women drinks one coffee is .87, then reduces to .58 after 2-3 cups and then drops to .53 when 4 cups of coffee are drank opposed to non-coffee drinkers. The explantation for these statistics is the more coffee consumed, the better glucose tolerance a person has. These people have a blood glucose level usually under 140mg/dL opposed around 200mg/dL for people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

In the Diabetologia, a study published in 2014 by Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, she tested the subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes in both men and women after the consumption of coffee. 48,464 women and 27,759 men were tested over a 4 year period. Patients who increased the amount of coffee they drank per day by one cup reduced their risk by 11 percent but those who decreased coffee intake by a cup a day actually increased their relative risk to develop diabetes by 17 percent.  The recent question “does coffee reduce risk of developing diabetes” has been ongoing and doesn’t  fit under the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy or the File Drawer Problem because no data is being ignored or hidden and there are no false conclusions being taken on this topic because there are over 28 published studies on whether coffee has an effect on diabetes.

If someone is looking to make a lifestyle change in order to try and prevent type 2 diabetes they must live a healthier lifestyle and cut back on unhealthy eating and drinking. Increasing their coffee intake could reduce their risk of having diabetes. It is important to drink black coffee because it is healthier and works more efficiently opposed to coffee with sweetener and sugar. Patients who have type 2 diabetes have a greater amount of serum amyloid which is an inflammatory within the blood. Coffee drinkers have less serum amyloid in their blood which explains how coffee can reduce ones risk of obtaining type 2 diabetes.

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Is a School Uniform Policy Beneficial?

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In high school, I was given the freedom to dress with any style I wanted to. On any given day, I could wear anything that I had in my closet as long as it wasn’t offensive to my teachers and class mates.  The way a person dresses, reveals what kind of person they want to be perceived as and will determine how people respond to you . It also shows what their interests are, what there style is, and their background. Everyday students wear inappropriate, revealing, racist, and embarrassing clothing that may lead to bullying because it causes problems throughout students and the school district.. The way we dress has a big influence on a schools environment and how disciplined a student is.

School is a place of learning where kids and teenagers are taught social skills, behavior skills, proper dress attire, fundamentals, and most importantly education. These lessons are essential when these students grow up and start to enter college and then the workplace. School uniforms in public schools are being adopted across the United States and have dramatically increased at a higher rate than ever before. The percentage of public school uniform policies have increased from 12 percent in 2000 to over 20 percent in 2014. Schools are now implementing uniform based dress codes because of the positive affects in the community as well as among the students. For example, just after two years after enforcing a uniform policy in Long Beach, CA they found students were safer because their was less crime going on.  The percentage of sexual assaults, battery chargers, robberies, drug possession, and vandalism were all cut at a substantial rate. When all of the students are dressed in an appropriate uniform there are less sexual attacks than if students were wearing inappropriate or degrading clothing. Also students are less likely to conceal weapons under big and baggy clothes because they are wearing a uniform. Also it is easy to keep track of the students and make it difficult for intruders to come inside the school. When an environment is safe, student are kept off the dangerous streets and are able to put more focus on school and learning.        Image 2

600-158234739-formal-school-uniformsIn 2009, Elisabetta Gentile from the University of Houston tested how school uniform affect the students behaviors and academic success in school districts around the southwest.  The data of this observational paper was composed from 1993 to 2006 which included test scores, attendance records, and disciplinary records  In only 5 years they saw an upward trend in attendance as rate increased from 93 percent to 96 percent. They found attendance in girls also increased  7 percent when the uniform policy was in place.  Students did have a small increase in language exams which fell between .02 and .04 standard deviations. Disciplinary actions didn’t decrease but the reason for this was most likely because of harsher rules within the building as well as uniform infractions.         Image 3 


A study composed by Virginia Draa of Youngstown State University found a positive correlation between uniform and the improvement in graduation, attendance, and behavior rates among 6 big city Ohio schools.  She saw that when students were forced to wear a uniform to school their graduation rates increased to 11 percent where as non uniform public schools had gradation rates drop 4 percent. Also in 4 of the 6 schools attendance rates up 3.5 percent. Since there was only 6 schools tested and only 2 didn’t have an increase attendance rate we can conclude that could have been due to chance. This means there is no controlled explanation of why 2 of the schools attendance rates didn’t go up.

It’s obvious throwing on khakis,dress shoes, a button down or polo isnt going to magically make students more intelligent and make them preform better in school. But it will be beneficial to the community and other members in their school. Giving students too much freedom in their dress code will cause unnecessary problems, fighting, and stress. When there is less violence,bullying and peer pressure students feel safer attending school. Uniforms are extremely beneficial but most importantly in poorer and dangerous areas where crime is high. In the future implementing uniforms would be beneficial in rural cities around the world because it will greatly impact students.



Live High, Train Low

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In order to be an Olympic athlete you must be willing to put your body through the most challenging and uncomfortable positions. These elite athletes alter their training and living conditions in order to give their body an advantage during competition. The United States Olympic Training Center is located in Colorado with altitude that towers 8,000 feet above sea level. Olympic athletes who want that “edge” or want to improve their performance in their sport, live here in preparation for the Olympic Games.  They follow the training method Live High, Train Low where there body must acclimate to the high altitudes while living and then train at lower altitudes.

When a person breathes, oxygen infiltrates into their lungs and then defuses into the red blood cells but at higher altitudes, the air is thinner which makes it more difficult to breathe because there is less oxygen per volume of air. When the body can’t get enough oxygen into the lungs,  erythropoietin triggers more red blood cells to transport to the muscles.  Athletes want to produce more red blood cells, especially hemoglobin because they want to increase the carrying capacity of oxygen into the muscles which then fuels the body with more energy. When there are more red blood cells in the body more oxygen can pass which increases performance and will maximize training intensity when an athlete moves to a lower altitude. This training method has positive effects to the body, for example a lower heart rate and lactate, increase hematocrit,  and the density of the mitochondria increases as well.

The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine published a study  whose aim was to see how living  in high altitudes and then training at low altitudes effects the blood characteristics and times of  triathlon runners. The study eliminated bias as both men and women followed the same protocol over the course of 17 days and there was also a placebo group. They found a 3.2 percent increase in hemoglobin mass. The results also revealed a positive shift towards the lactate-power so the athletes ran at a faster speed. Runners improved 2.8 percent which does illustrate that following this training method is advantageous for a serious competitor because olympic athletes compete at the highest stage where every second matters.

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In a 1998 literature review by Dr. Baker, she wanted to find out the effects on the athletes who endured in living high and training low. She focused on five studies of athletes who lived at high altitude where the air was thin and then trained close to sea level. She found there to be an improvement in the time of runners who followed this training method in every study. The improvement was only 2-3 percent but for an elite athlete that is the difference between winning and loosing.  In one experiment of 22 runners, 54 percent of them found positively responded to living at a high altitude and then training in a low altitude. From these studies it is easy to conclude that this method provides advantages for runners who want to improve their speed and endurance. When the body finally adapt to the the thin air it can increase its carrying capacity of oxygen which allows them to run at a better pace for a greater amount of time.

The training procedure which requires athletes to live in high altitudes and then train in low altitudes with more red blood cells and oxygen is beneficial at a smaller degree. It must be noted that improvements are recognized at such a small amount that a normal athlete who doesn’t participate at the highest level shouldn’t make a major life change and follow this training method. It is feasible and influential  for the best athletes in the world who are looking for that gold medal. Maximum strength and power sports won’t reap the benefits but this type of procedure can significantly help runners, cyclers, swimmers, skiers and even some other sports.

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Should You Take That Drink?

When a student enters college, finally abandoning their parents after 18 years they instantly begin their journey to become an adult. College reveals a new world that gives kids a chance to make a new name for themselves as they can express their feelings and beliefs. They are associated  with a new group of diverse individuals and must adapt and develop friendships and beneficial relationships.  These freshman are given new responsibilities and challenges that they must deal with in order to finally prove their independence and maturity. One of the hardest adjustments for students is the social aspect of college. Lets be real, in college, kids like to party and at these events they are usually drinking. Because of the fun and excitement, sometimes drinking and partying will take over a students life and they begin to put their priorities and schoolwork aside in order to go out and drink with their new friends. Unlike high school their parents can’t influence their decision making and prevent them from consuming alcohol at such a high rate. So this brings me to my question, is there a correlation between a college students grade point average (GPA) and how much they drink.

Drinking alcohol  is extremely common among college students and has been over the course of history.  For college kids it is easy to get away with drinking whenever they want because they don’t have parental supervision at all times.  The more time these kids are drinking the less they are sober which means they will be studying a lot less. If they are less prepared for their classes and exams, they most likely aren’t going to do as well as they could have. Waking up hungover will cause the student to loose motivation and energy which can negatively effect their work ethic and study habits.  According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, if a student is intoxicated from the night before they are 5 times more likely to miss class the following day than a student is sober the night before. Alcohol also has many negative effects on the body. For example, areas of the brain which are responsible for an individuals learning, memory, verbal skills, vision, and cognition are all affected. The heart is affected as heart rates increase and blood pressure rises. Also cancers can develop at a higher risk in the liver, breast, mouth and throat because of the rapid consumption of beer and vodka.Alcohol also increases the risk of sexual assaults, campus violence, death, dropouts, and spread of sexually transmitted diseases. All these factors illustrate the negative consequences of drinking alcohol and how it could impact not only the GPA of a college student but there overall health.

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After knowing all the dangers of alcohol consumption, it should be perceived that there is an inverse relationship between alcohol intake and GPA( More one drinks, lower the GPA). After reading a study conducted by Jill Coymen, testing to see how alcohol use affects the academic success of students from the University of New Hampshire. In the study her independent variable was alcohol use and the dependent variable was academic performance. She sampled   223 students, (59 percent female) and (41 percent male), (85 percent being white) with 74 survey questions about drinking habits and academic success.  The null hypothesis in this study was there is no difference in GPA for the students who drink alcohol and the students who don’t. The alternative hypothesis is students who abuse alcohol will have lower GPA’s. After analyzing all of the data, Coymen discovered there was no correlation between alcohol abuse and GPA’s of college student, therefor we must accept the null hypothesis. 67 percent of the students drank 2 or more nights a week. A majority of the students had between a 3.0 and a 3.5 which are very satisfying grades in college. Also students with a 3.5 reported drinking 3 days a week.


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In a randomized control  study, aimed to find a correlation between alcohol consumption and GPA. This study received 113 responses from college students and wanted to determine if students GPA’s would be lower because of alcohol intake. There was 78 percent female and 22 percent male which could in fact lead to some bias data but a majority of them drank alcohol atleast 2 nights of the week in college. Overall,  58 percent of the college students had over a 3.0 and 42 percent had over a 2.0. This illustrates that drinking doesn’t actually destroy a students grades.

This blog isn’t suggesting that if you drink more your GPA will rise, because there is no way that statement is true but it does reveal that just because you necessarily consume alcohol your grades won’t drop. I believe that students can spend there free time doing whatever they please as long as they can manage their time, go to class, and study for exams. Consuming alcohol is dangerous and can negatively impact a student like causing their GPA to drop and fail out of school. Going out an enjoying yourself is part of the college experience as long as that student can get it done in the classroom first.


Home Field Advantage In Sports


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There is nothing like taking the first step onto the field or court and looking into the stands and seeing your fan base. Having your friends, family, school, and community all gather around in one location, with one common objective as they cheer for you is one of the most rewarding feeling for any athlete. These fans have spent their time, money and energy into rooting for you  so why not give those fans what they came to see.. a win! I know from personal experience I always loved playing a game at home. Being able to walk from your own locker room onto your field as people are chanting your name and team makes you want to perform better and guarantee a victory not only for yourself but for them. Now as a fan of the Penn State Nittany Lions there is nothing better than screaming until your voice gives out after defeating a team at Beaver Stadium. So far this season we have greatly benefited playing at home as we have an 4-0 home record opposed to an 0-2 road record. So does this means home field advantage works?

Home field advantage in sports gives the hosting team leverage over the team that travels there to compete. Statistics can prove this theory correct because teams who compete at home tend to win 60 percent more of the contests. According to Tobias J. Moskowitz and L.Jon Wertheim  In soccer home teams win at an outrageous 69.1 percentage, NBA teams win at home around 62 percent and home teams in the NFL win at a 58 percent rate. These numbers provide huge data that reveal the importance of playing a sporting event at home. According to John Bois  in all sports home field advantage plays a big role in the outcome of the game. After his research he discovered that playing at home will give teams in the NBA and NFL the biggest advantages. His findings show that if the Utah Jazz played all their games at home they would have won over 22 percent of the games they ended up loosing. He takes into consideration the distance in plane travels and fan base. After he focuses his attention to the NFL where he sees that from 2008 to 2010 the San Fransisco 49ers could have won up to 18 percent of the games they lost if they played on their own turf with their own laud crowd cheering in their favor..

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There are a great deal of factors which display the advantages a home team has during the sporting event. The most influential factor is the crowed. Every player wants the crowed to be energetic as they chant the team and players names. This motivates the players to play better and play with more confidence. In an article posted by the North American Journal of Psychology, it is evident that cheers have a positive effect on competitors where as jeers or “boo’s” have a negative effect on performance. It shows that pitchers in baseball are effected greatly when they are getting booed. The crowed plays a huge part of the game because they count as an extra or “12th” man because they have the power to get into the opponents head. Fans play physiological warfare with other teams players and when it works it freaks the players out. It causes players to act irrational as they may commit stupid penalties, unnecessary fouls, greater risks and sometimes not even hear the play because it is so laud inside the stadium. The  art of distraction is one of the most powerful actions a fan base can display. The more cheers the home team has the more they want so they will do whatever it takes to win and please their home crowed.There is nothing worse than being embaresed at home and losing by an opposing team. Player testosterone actually increases as cheers are lauder and this causes them to play better and harder.                       Image 4


Another factor is the venue the game is played at. The fact that the home team doesn’t have to travel helps out big time. For example going into different time zones throw the body and their sleep schedule off. Also the environment plays a role because some teams are used to play in the hot, cold, wind , or rain while others aren’t. For example playing football in Denver is more difficult because the stadium is over 5,000 feet above sea levels so altitude is higher making it hard to breath and can lead to mile high sickness. This may be why the Broncos have the best home record in the past 32 years. Similarly ,the GreenBay Packers are used to playing and practicing in the cold so when temperatures drop to below freezing it is no shock to them. But compared to the Miami Dolphins who practice in the heat all year round, they wouldn’t be mentally and physically ready to compete in that type of weather.

Playing at home gives the hosting team an advantage as they have the crowed on their side, they are more aware of their environment, and more comfortable when they play on their own field. It is obvious talent does play a bigger role in the outcome of the game, but the more evenly match the two teams are, the home team will have all the factors helping lead to a victory because of home field advantage.


Icy Hot: Does It Actually Work

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In high school after a tough workout, long practice, or physical game my body would always feel sore and broken down. As busy as my schedule was, there was no time to take off and rest for a week or go to the doctor. Icy Hot turned into my best friend, and go-to treatment method because it was fast, easy and I believed  it worked. I started to use Icy Hot almost everyday and put it practically everywhere on my body. For example I used it my back, legs, shoulders and neck and I must admit it actually made me feel better at that moment.


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Icy Hot is a pain reliever in the form of a cream, gel, or spray which is used on arthritis pain, hurting muscles, and aching joints on the body. The chemical composition of Icy Hot is a combination of menthol, methyl salicylate, and capsaicin. This product is one of the most successful and popular muscle relief solutions sold in the world today as they have sold over $275 million just last year. So does this product actually work? The truth is, this product doesn’t actually help heal your bodies soreness. Icy Hot is an anesthetic which means its purpose is to block the nervous system and brain so you can’t feel your previous pain, the only thing you feel is the cream on your body. This is done because the methanol reveals a cooling sensation where as the capsaicin demonstrates a hot, burning feeling on the body. When it turns cold  the pain is dulled and when it is hot the muscles relax. Going from hot to cold actually distracts a person from feeling the pain because all they are so focused on the change in temperatures rather than any other injured body part. This treatment tricks the brain so a person doesn’t end up feeling the soreness in their muscles. Icy Hot seems effective but in reality it only causes short term pain relief. Rubbing the cream on your skin won’t heal your muscles or treat them. It seems Icy Hot has more of a placebo affect because when someone puts it on they seem to feel better automatically.

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The conclusion on whether Icy-Hot is a scam or a effective product is very controversial. The null hypothesis  is there is nothing going on when Icy Hot is appropriately used and doesn’t benefit or help heal the body. Many people do accept the null hypothesis because in the long run there is no healing of the body. According to the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis there isn’t enough proof or evidence to prove Icy Hot even works. They believe the only scientific test to provide a link between Icy Hot and muscle, joint healing is a double blind placebo test. This would mean there would be two groups. The injured members of one group would be given a cream or gel that doesn’t contain the chemical composition of Icy Hot and the other group of sore individuals will be given the actual product. If members of the control group which used Icy Hot felt better then we would know it actually works. According to Steve Cagle, the president of a company who produces analgesics conducted a study in 2003 and discovered  the people who use this who have muscle pain are more relieved and feel better after using a muscle relieving gel.

After my research I do think Icy Hot is an effective product to relive pain because it can take your mind of the real injury as you just think about the cold to hot sensations going on. I don’t think the product can heal or prevent injuries because the chemical composition is only made up of anesthetics which trigger your brain into thinking about something else. I still will use Icy Hot because personally it has cleared up my aches and pains and has definitely had a positive effect on my body.





Strength Training: How Young is Too Young?


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When a kid is seen at an adult gym, the perceived judgment by most people is “get this kid out of my gym, he’s going to get injured or hurt someone else” or ” what are they doing here, they haven’t even hit puberty yet.” I must say I was one of those people because I believed it was a waste of time and space for someone to workout at such a young age. I didn’t believe a child could actually get stronger. I have been going to the gym since 7th grade and didn’t really start seeing real results until the end of freshman year high school. During this time period my mom wasn’t exactly “excited” I was started to get bigger because she didn’t think I was ready to develop my body.

Strength training among young children has been a common controversy ever since the 1970’s when Japanese researches studied the height of juvenile children. They concluded that the kids were extremely short due to a substantial amount of physical labor and carrying heavy objects. The anecdote on this issue is people thought working out will stunt their growth because of potential tears to growth plates.  If that was the issue kids and teenagers wouldn’t grown to their maximum potential height and could even develop abnormal development in the specific tendon. Another misconception is that working out wouldn’t even lead to muscle mass and strength because the lack of testosterone flowing through their body. In reality both views are speculation, in reality strength training is one of the most beneficial activities for kids who are athletes or not.                                                                                        Image 2


Kids can workout to, the only difference is there are more guidelines they must follow in order for it to be healthy and safe. If a kid wants to workout they must be supervised, taught proper form, use low weights or even objects like medicine balls or elastic bands, and go for high repetitions. The Institute of Training Science and Sports Informatics studied over 60 years of children and strength training data from boys and girls ages 6-18. The results showed that the kids who worked out 2-3 times a week developed more muscle strength then those who worked out once a week. In a study composed in Clinical Sports Medicine they discovered a wide variety of benefits that go hand in hand with kids who are strength training at such an early age. The first thing is their bone mineral density will actually increase. This is important because it makes your bones stronger which will prevent future injuries especially osteoporosis. Now when that child grows up they won’t be as fragile and can actually absorb a fall or hit because their bones are a lot stronger. Strength training also benefits these children because their neuromuscular activation improves which means their motor skills will increase. When neurons are working simultaneously, their muscles and nervous system will work better which depicts a better athlete. Timing, speed, and reflexes ultimately improve which helps a kids in sports as well as in everyday life. If a kid is strength training they are usually a step ahead of their competition and are better prepared for the sport they want to excel in. This gives them the advantage in sports and will allow them to prosper in the sport they participate in.

There is a huge difference when a kid puts on strength than how an adult does. Since the bodies of adults are far more developed when they are working out and lifting heavy weights for a longer time period they are able to put on muscle mass and size at a fast rate, this process is known as hypertrophy. Exercises displayed by kids are much different, according to Dr. Feigenbaum, and it is more beneficial to use their own body weight by doing exercises like push ups, wall sits, and pull-ups or when they carry and maneuver every day objects. This doesn’t necessarily increase the size of their muscles but actually improves their strength. Being able to maneuver their own body weight is crucial for a young athlete because they become more flexible as well as adroit in any activity they do.

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img_6258-1024x629Not only is it healthy for kids to strength train but it is cruel for the development if their body as well as their nervous system. If they are exercising  the correct way, following the recommended guidelines there is no reason why a kid shouldn’t be allowed to workout. The null hypothesis on this topic is it will destroy chances of growing to maximum height but there is no evidence detecting growth defects if a child is working out and training the right way.


Crying:Its Not So Bad After-All

As a guy it is very rare when your eyes puff up and tears start to swarm down your cheeks. For me it is crazy to think how few times i have cried in my life. Even a painful, gruesome injury as a torn ACL, couldn’t coerce tears to drip down my face. For me, crying wouldn’t make anything the only this was a laud scream. When someone is seen crying they are perceived to be weak or emoionally unstable. It isn’t part of the daily norm to see a guy cry but more of something women do after a breakup, when they have witnessed something tragic, or when they are hurting emotionally and physically. The truth is big boys and girls can cry too, in fact humans are the only animals that can experience crying. This is a gift so you should use it because  it is extremely important to let your feeling out and experience a good cry and let those tears sprint down your face.                                                                                                               Image 1


Lacrimal glands produce tears which are composed of oil, mucus, and water. These tears originate from the outer corner of a persons eyes and as they blink the tear is spread into the inside corner of each eye. As crazy as it sounds there are actually 3 different types of tears that are produced every day whether a person cries or not. The first type of tear is the reflexive tear which protects and clears the eye from bacteria and harmful chemicals. The second tear that can be released is the continuous tear, which keep the eyes wet and moist as it  gets rid of any dust that can dry up the eye. The last tear is the emotional tear which responds with the mood of a person. This tear is triggered by the happiness and sadness of a person. The more these tears are released the more beneficial it is for the person.

Usually when someone cries it is because something terrible happened to them or someone they care for or when they are  just too stressed to think and just need to let out their emotion. Holding in your tears doesn’t prove anything and isn’t going to help you get better. Crying  is scientifically proven to relieve stress. According to biochemist, William H. Frey II when a person is stressed there hormones and prolactin build up. He discovered that tears contain Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) which is renowned to be involved during high stress levels of the body. So when a person cries and tears come out these harmful chemicals (ACTH) are unleashed out of the body. When these stress hormones are released from tears a person will feel relieved and less stressed out. Releasing stress is so important because it prevent future problems like heart disease and high blood pressure. With less stress there is a decreased rate of a heart attack because blood pressure has gone down. Another reason it is so important to let those tears out and cry is because you will actually get into a better mood. In a Netherlands study  people who cried during a sad movie actually felt better and happier in the long run. See the people who held in their emotions continued to feel sad after watching such a heavyhearted film but the people who cried ended up feeling better as they released all their emotional tears out of their body. Crying is a positive action because it prevents a person from experiencing depression as well as brain problems and heart problems.             Image 2


Not all crying occurs because your emotions get in the way but sometimes it is to protect you eyes! Reflexitive tears have a greater amount of antibodies, which are released in order to wash harmful chemicals out of your eyes. For example have you ever teared up because its been very dusty in a room or if you cut an onion? The reason is because a chemical is transferred from the item into sulphuric acid which can create a burning sensation  or a dry feeling into the eye. Lysozyme which is present in tears contain glucose, antibacterials and antivirals which aid the eyeball and eyelids in order to keep vision as well as the eye healthy. This is important reason to cry because it suspends the eye from drying up and becoming dehydrated with no mucous. If there are no tears there is minimal mucous which can cause loss of vision.

Crying is inevitable and as much as you don’t like to do it you really should. Personally I don’t like to cry and after my research I don’t think it will influence me to cry anymore but it is definitely important. When you’re stressed out or scared take a deep breath weep , scream, and cry because its healthy for your body. Keeping those negative stress hormones compressed inside is poor for your health and can lead to several mental and physical problems.teardrop-falling-from-eye

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Eggs or Egg Whites?


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When you think of breakfast options, eggs are one of the most popular choices out there especially because they are known to be one of the most nutritious food sources out there. Whether they are scrambled, fried, or in an omelet you can’t go wrong with eating eggs because of their eloquent taste. But the toughest decision is which part of the egg do you want, the whole egg or the egg white? Lately egg whites are looked as one of the healthiest possible choices of foods on the market while regular eggs are perceived as the more unhealthy and even dangerous option. These interpretations aren’t necessarily true because they are both extremely healthy and both offer health benefits that the other doesn’t.

Egg whites are a a great quick source of protein, as one egg white is loaded with 4 grams of protein according to PopSugar Fitness. Protein is an essential macronutrient that must be incorporated in your diet because your body needs it in order to stay healthy, increase muscle, and have blood flow successfully throughout the body. Egg whites are beneficial for people who want to loose weight because there are a lot less calories in an egg white. For example their are 17 calories in one egg instead on 72 in a whole egg. Those 17 calories are fully made from the protein because eggs whites don’t contain any carbs or fats.  Another benefit of the egg whites is they have absolutely no cholesterol! The American Heart Association  reveals that a person shouldn’t consume more than 300 of cholesterol per day in order to keep their body a healthy. This demonstrates the importance of egg whites because they don’t contain any cholesterol, while one regular egg has 213 milligrams. The egg white is a healthy option for people who want to cut their calories but they don’t contain all the vitamins and minerals a persons body needs.

By looking at the numbers it seems to be obvious that regular eggs aren’t as healthy as egg whites. Eggs were given a bad reputation because in a 1984 study  by Harvard researches.  17 students were given a jumbo egg for three weeks. In the end this concluded their bad cholesterol levels raised 17 percent which scared people into thinking it would cause heart disease. Again 22 years later another study “The Journal of Nutrition” tested  Brazilian men to see if the bad cholesterol would go up as one group was given 3 egg whites per day opposed to 3 regular eggs. In the end the group given regular eggs had cholesterol levels rise 30 percent compared to egg white eaters and have a greater chance of obtaining a heart disease. These studies definitely have many faults which make them inaccurate especially because their sample size was extremely small. It is now known that regular eggs don’t cause heart disease and a small portion of cholesterol is actually important for a person. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  studied 1,032 healthy men and found men averaged 2,800 milligrams of cholesterol a week. In the end they didn’t find a correlation between heart disease and cholesterol consumption. But it is now known trans fat and saturated fats cause heart disease not dietary cholesterol.                                                                              Image 2

Child's hands breaking an egg for pastry in a glass bowl

Child’s hands breaking an egg for pastry in a glass bowl

The truth is the egg yolk is healthier than the egg white because they contain all of the important vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that your body needs. Whole eggs are a rare food source that contain Vitamin D, they also contain vitamin A, E, and K. The yolk has 90 percent of iron, calcium and even contain omega 3 fatty acids which are actually essential for the body and even prevent heart disease. Egg yolk also contains L-aginine which increase hormones and boost testosterone which increase overall energy. Also, if you are interested in obtaining more protein PopSugar Fitness shows us that is beneficial to eat the whole egg because there is 6 grams of protein opposed to only 4 grams in one egg white.

Next time you think about ordering that egg white omelet just remember the only true benefit is their are less calories and fat in the egg white. If you want to obtain vitamins, minerals, more protein, and healthy nutrients it would make sense to order a full egg that has the yolk as well as the egg white. Egg yolk do contain more cholesterol and fat which definitely may scare a consumer but those ingredients are important in  persons diet.truthabouteggyolks

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Chocolate: Is it healthy?

When someone asks what your favorite candy is its hard to leave chocolate out of the equation. Whether it’s Kit-Katz, Hershey bars, or M&M’s chocolate is one of the worlds most popular and tasty foods throughout the world. The common perception of chocolate is that it is a junk food and an unhealthy snack. For the most part that statement is correct, except if you choose the correct type of chocolate. If eaten in recommended portions, dark chocolate surprisingly has a great deal of health benefits.  When chocolate contains more natural cocoa beans the healthier it becomes. For example dark chocolate contains 50-75 percent of cocoa beans which makes it a healthy option because there are less condensed milk, fat, sugar, and other unhealthy ingredients.On the other hand, milk chocolate is much worse for you because there are only 10-25 percent cocoa beans which means there are more oils, trans-fat and fatty condensed milk products. Eating milk chocolate will definitely lead to weight gain, especially the freshman 15.            chipped-dark-chocolateChocolate has been an essential part of human diet since the Mayans. Chocolate was used in marriage ceremonies, presented at royal burials, religious rituals,  for consumption and even to drink. One of chocolates most important uses was actually for medicine. It treated illness like stomach aches, fever and fatigue of the body. With all this medicinal value it is obvious there are many health benefits dark chocolate provides. For more information of the origins and medicinal values of chocolate, check out this awesome website!


So what makes dark chocolate so good for you? The first benefit of eating dark chocolate is it is loaded with antioxidants which prevents the oxidation of molecules. This lowers the chance of getting diseases that will harm the body. Next, dark chocolate has more flavonoids than any other food. Dark chocolate lowers cholesterol and improve blood pressure. It was proven that LDL’s which are bad cholesterol were lowered while HDL’s which are good cholesterol were increased when eating dark chocolate. Another positive feature is people who consume chocolate that have a high percentage of cocoa have improved blood flow throughout the body. This happens because polyphenols actually give off nitric oxide which then raise arterial dilation. This is essential for increasing blood flow because when the blood vessels dilate more blood will run through the body eventually improving blood pressure. Lastly dark chocolate can even lower stress levels. When cocoa is consumed, the stress hormones decrease which then leads to less acne breakouts and wrinkles. The skin won’t break down as much because of the flavonoids in cocoa. They even protect skin for UV rays and make a person look clean, clear, and younger.

I hope after reading this blog you have learned that dark chocolate is actually a healthy snack when consumed in a recommended portion.So you can now run down to the nearest vending machine and grab yourself a candy bar. Dark chocolate has such prevalent and repute history, it is proven to have positive health benefits for a person since the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. It’s equipped with many nutrients especially cocoa that makes it a healthy snack. Now humans should’t feel bad as they devour a delicious dark chocolate candy.


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Are Touch Screens Beneficial To Toddlers?

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In today’s day and age, it seems as if every toddler is playing on their parents’ tablets and touchscreen phones or even their own. It seems outrageous watching a toddler swipe, slide, and maneuver their way through an IPhone at such a young age. I got my first flip-phone when I was in fifth grade and then my first touchscreen device in seventh grade. Even at that age it took me a good amount of time to really know how to use it. The more times a toddler touches a screen, they are taken to different apps and pages but the more they do this, the more they are able to understand how a certain device functions. As technology is improving it is becoming an essential part of everyday life and crucial for education and communication. The ability of a toddler to learn how to play on touchscreen devices should be condemned and appreciated but many parents don’t like the fact kids are using high tech devices at such a young age.

Parents believe technology will damage their toddlers social skills because they think they will spend to much time on the device. Parents, perceive toddlers will get addicted to smartphones and think they need to be playing with them at all times or they will cry if they aren’t available to them. Another way their social skills will be disrupted is when they are on the device instead of interacting with other toddlers and communicating with them. Another argument by parents is toddlers aren’t going to get connected with the world we live in because technology is keeping them inside instead of crawling and rolling around the floor. Also it is perceived, technology invites toddlers into thinking they are in a made up, virtual world as they have been exposed to when they play games on their parents smartphones. The last argument by parents why touch screens negatively impacts their infants is they think it will interfere with their sleep and lead to sleep problems.These are natural thoughts by most parents but they aren’t necessarily correct. Just because Kim Kardashians daughter took her phone and sent a tweet doesn’t mean all usage of smartphones need to be restricted. Click here to see what toddler, North West first tweet was.

The truth is that there is no evidence that the correlation between a toddlers usage of a touchscreen are negative. Since touch screens are relatively new, there hasn’t been enough time and evidence to tell if using a touch screen has disrupted social skills, combination skills and sleep problems. The only thing that can be told at this point is the rise in motor skills of toddlers. Motor skills are the ability to preform coordinated movements using small and large muscles. Playing with traditional toys don’t achieve the cognitive experience touch screens do. Figuring out how to unlock a phone or type letters is surprisingly a rewarding experience for a toddler. Toddlers learn by what they see and hear. These educational apps are interactive and fun but at the same time teach letters, numbers, and colors to toddlers. These games have led to better academic achievement especially for kids who live in lower socio-economic backgrounds. Touch screens also improve real life tools like action and reaction times, problem solving, coordination, and creativity. Toddler using touch screens are given a challenge whether it is to unlock a phone, get to an app, or type a word and are given no help by their parents. It may take 100 times but a toddler learns perseverance by trying over and over again in order to finally click or swipe a certain button.


52 percent  of toddltwo-children-holding-a-tablet-for-video-chaters 6-11 months are exposed to touchscreen devices and that jumps to 92 percent as kids grow up to 12-36 months old. It is obvious the new generation of toddlers are going to need to know how to use touchscreen devices. Starting them at a young age is important in order to not only boost their motor skills but get them ready for the future. The more technology savvy a child is the more it will benefit them in the long run. Time should definitely be monitored but there is no reason a toddler shouldn’t be able to swipe and slide through their parents tablets and smartphones for 15 minutes a day.



Can Too Much Protein Actually Be Harmful?



According to Jessie Szalay, proteins are complex molecules made up of amino acids that are essential to the increase in muscle mass and growth among a persons body. Protein is a macronutrient that is needed in order to repair bones, muscles, skin, hair and even nails. It is extremely important because they produce enzymes, antibodies,  and hormones which help our body function to its maximum potential.According to A Calorie Counter, an average male and female that doesn’t exercise should intake about 0.5 grams of protein per pound of their body weight. For example a person weighing about 175 pounds should eat around 87.5 grams of protein. If an athlete trains hard and wants to put on muscle then they are recommended to have 0.8 grams of protein per pound of their body weight. In this case that 175 individual should have 140 grams of protein per day. If you want to find out more about how much protein you should have click here.

Lately protein food products are being publicized as their labels include “Protein” in big letters in order to catch the attention of consumers.People are trying to eat low-carb high protein diets in order to loose fat and gain muscle. For example pasta, cereal, yogurt, granola bars, protein packs, milks and plenty more all are including high protein options. In reality, those products aren’t necessarily  beneficial to a person. Also there are excess of supplements like protein powder that attract athletes who want to maximize their muscle growth. If you walk around a gym, almost every person is taking their protein after their workout, even i do. I know I have also been buying protein powder and protein bars for years in attempt to get bigger and stronger. This reveals most people are taking in way more protein their bodies can handle. A standard protein powder contains 25-28 grams of protein per scoop but our bodies can’t absorb,breakdown and then transport all this protein into the small intestine. In one hour only 8 to 10 grams of protein can actually be absorbed by the body. So when one takes a protein shake usually 15 grams aren’t even absorbed by the body and is turned into fat.

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There are even many dangers when eating too much protein. First, excess proteins are turned into sugars and then fats which will ultimately lead to weight gain and other health problems. After consuming to much protein a person is going to feel bloated. When a person is eating proteins from animals like chicken and beef, they have higher saturated  fats, and in the long rurisks-too-much-protein-fbn this can lead to cancers and increase the chance of heart problems. Also high protein consumption will cause damage to the kidney. It is very possible kidney stones can form because high protein causes stress on a persons kidneys making it hard for the blood to flow through. When the kidneys are  damaged the blood urea nitrogen levels decrease which leads to dehydration. Athletes taking in to much protein will hurt their bodies in the long run because they will be dehydrated when performing.Another reason why too much protein is bad is that it can lead to bad breath. Yes Bad Breath! To much protein causes your body to use fats for fuel instead of carbohydrates in a process called ketosis. Ketones make a persons breath smell atrocious and are stored right on a persons mouth so when they speak the unpleasant ketones are released as well.                                                                      Image 3

Protein is extremely important for the bod because it repairs tissues and give the body energy throughout the day so a person won’t fatigue. Protein also helps the body heal from wounds and increases metabolism. Proteins are a necessity in an individuals diet, but the problem is too many people are consuming way too much protein and their bodies can’t handle all of it. People are trying to consume more in order to be healthier and gain muscle but the negative externalities can cause harm to a persons body. People need to start being cautious on the amount and the specific proteins they are putting into their body.






Surprisingly Not a Science Major

Hi class, my name is Derek Drotman and I’m from Long Island, New York. I’m proud to say I was actually named after the great New York Yankee, Derek Jeter. I am a freshman here at Penn State enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies but I am planning on becoming a finance or an economics major from Smeal Business College.

In pursuit of finding a science class I stumbled upon Science In Our World and immediately caught my interest because I believed this could actually benefit me in the future. Science is involved in every aspect of the world and I believe it was important to take a class that I could learn about current problems and myths going on as we speak. I may not be the biggest fan of science but this class really makes you think outside the “box” and ask yourself questions most people don’t think of. I took this class not only because I needed to take a science general education course but it seemed to stand out from the rest of the courses and I am excited to think and learn about topics I never have before. From only two classes I can already tell Andrew is going to make me think harder than I ever have and I know he will challenge us throughout this course. Click here to find out how skittles actually make Marshawn Lynch a better football player.


My sister is a biology major and my mom is a science teacher so I think most people may have thought i was planning to be a science major.Yeah thats never going to happen. I think I realized I wouldn’t study science after freshman year, then after sophomore year and then again after junior year. My teachers were always boring and the material was dry and to be quite honest I could never see myself sitting in a lab all day or working in a doctors office.Another reason I am not becoming a science major is I actually want to actually enjoy my time here at Penn State and not be trapped in chemistry and biology class because that would be miserable. I am extremely fascinated by economics and business because they both reveal what drives people when making  financial decisions and using resources. Also keeping up with money and the markets in the world is extremely important because they are changing everyday.