New Risk Identified With Sugar Substitutes


According to new data from a presentation at the Endocrine Society in Chicago, low-calorie sweeteners may be causing a higher risk of metabolic disorder.

To collect this data, researchers from George Washington University in Washington D.C began analyzing the effects of the low-calorie sweetener sucralose on human stem cells. These stem cells come from fat tissue.

First, the researchers were able to mimic the normal concentration of sucralose found in the blood of people that drink large amounts of low-calorie sweeteners.

Then, while administering this sucralose concentration to the stem cells, the researchers began to notice an increase in the expression of genes that had links to inflammation and fat production.

In addition, in a separate study the researchers took biopsy samples of abdominal fat from people who were regularly consuming low-calorie sweeteners.

After analyzing the samples, the researchers did not find a significant increase in gene expression of participants of a healthy weight.

However, in participants who were either overweight or obese, the researchers found an overexpression of fat-producing and inflammation-inducing genes.

According to the researchers, these patterns in gene expression create conditions that may lead to metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome can then, in turn, lead to conditions such as prediabetes and diabetes.

As the study’s co-author Sabyasachi Sen states:

“Our stem cell-based studies indicate that low-calorie sweeteners promote additional fat accumulation within cells compared with cells not exposed to these substances, in a dose-dependent fashion — meaning that as the dose of sucralose is increased more cells showed increased fat droplet accumulation.”

4 Benefits of “Jesus Oil”


Frankincense was one of the first gifts given to Jesus at birth. And one of the reasons why is due to its miraculous healing properties.

Health experts love frankincense so much that they now recommend Frankincense essential oil (or “Jesus Oil”) for a host of ailments.

These include:

Preventing Signs Of Aging

There are very few among us who wouldn’t want to look younger than we are. Luckily frankincense oil has the ability to help remove signs of aging for good. That’s because it lifts and strengthens skin and improves its tone and elasticity. It even fights blemishes, reduces scarring and acne, and heals wounds. It’s so powerful it’s even effective at fading stretch marks and surgery scars, and at healing dry/cracking skin.

Helping you sleep

One of the most helpful uses of frankincense is for helping you sleep. That’s because this essential oil lowers anxiety and stress that can make it difficult to drift off. It’s calming scent soothes nerves, and allows your body to heat to an ideal sleeping temperature.

preventing illness

Frankincense has the ability to boost and enhance the immune system. Better yet, studies have shown it may destroy viruses, bacteria, and even certain cancers. Not to mention, this essential oil can help prevent germs from forming on your skin and mouth, as well as in your home. Many people even use it to relieve their oral health pain. That’s because frankincense can help prevent bad breath, toothaches, cavities, mouth sores, gingivitis, and infections from happening.

decreasing inflammation and pain

Frankincense essential oil can help restrict the production of inflammatory molecules that are associated with a wide range of conditions. These include IBS, asthma, arthritis, and more. It can also help prevent cartilage tissue from breaking down, and can significantly reduce inflammation. This makes using frankincense oil a no-brainer for treating painful conditions affecting the tendons, muscles, and joints.

Apparently the Sun May Prevent Cancer?


According to a large study of Japanese adult participants, there may be a correlation between high amounts of vitamin D and a reduction in the risk of developing cancer.

Previously, similar studies have been done on Caucasians in America and Europe. However, as vitamin D concentrations differ based on ethnicity, the researchers sought to discover vitamin D’s effects on non-Caucasian populations.

The researchers’ goal was to determine if there was an association between vitamin D and either the risk of total cancer, or site-specific cancer.

First, the researchers began evaluating data from the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective (JPHC) Study. The study involves data from over 33,000 Japanese participants, ages 40 – 69 years.

The study’s data also includes each participants’ medical history, blood samples, and information about their lifestyle and diet. The season was also taken into account, seeing as as vitamin D levels tend to be higher in summer and autumn than in winter and spring.

The samples were split into four groups, ranging from the lowest levels of vitamin C to the highest. Then, the participants went under close monitoring for an average of 16 years – during which the development over 3,000 new cases of cancer occurred.

According to Science Daily:

After adjusting for several known cancer risk factors, such as age, weight (BMI), physical activity levels, smoking, alcohol intake and dietary factors, the researchers found that a higher level of vitamin D was associated with a lower (around 20%) relative risk of overall cancer in both men and women.

Higher vitamin D levels were also associated with a lower (30-50%) relative risk of liver cancer, and the association was more evident in men than in women.

No association was found for lung or prostate cancer, and the authors note that none of the cancers examined showed an increased risk associated with higher vitamin D levels.

Further studies are necessary in order to discover what the optimal concentrations of vitamin D are for cancer prevention. However, these results are certainly a step in the right direction.


Eating Fish May Stop This Deadly Disease


Kaiser Permanente has been studying the effects of an omega-3-rich diet on the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Doctor Annette Langer-Gould of Kaiser Permanente took special interest in this study due to the large amounts of fatty acids omega-3s provide.

Not only do these omega-3s provide lots of health benefits, but they also seem to play a role in the onset of certain neurological conditions.

According to Medical News Today:

“Fish or other seafood consumption,” she told us, “is particularly interesting because it is the main determinant of circulating and tissue levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFAs).”

Omega-3 PUFAs have been shown to be neuroprotective during aging and suppress MS-related inflammation through multiple mechanisms in cell cultures and animal models. This provides at least two biologically plausible mechanisms whereby higher omega-3 PUFA intake and biosynthesis could protect against development of MS.”

– Dr. Annette Langer-Gould

In the study, Langer-Gould and her team began working with over 1,100 participants – half of which with a diagnosis of a clinically isolated syndrome of MS.

The team took into account the participants’ diet – particularly their intake of fish and dietary supplements of fish oil.

The participants were then put into one of two groups based on their diets. They were either “high-intake” (having one serving of fish per week plus daily fish oil supplements) or “low-intake” (less than one serving of fish per month with no intake of fish oil supplements).

After analyzing the data from the participants, Langer-Gould and her team made a fascinating discovery. They found there was a link between a consistently high intake of fish and a 45 percent lower risk of MS, in comparison to having a low intake of fish.

Although this is exciting news, the team does take into account that a person’s genetic makeup influences the risk of MS.

Still, Langer-Gould says that these “findings could certainly lead to lifestyle modification interventions that could improve overall health for MS patients and perhaps prevent MS in their offspring.”

How High Cholesterol Might Make You Smarter


According to a study, people ages 85-94 that have higher cholesterol levels than those in midlife may also have a lower risk of cognitive decline.

Shockingly, these results are vastly different than when studying participants just 10 years younger. In fact, those in the 75-84 age range who had higher cholesterol levels than in midlife showed a 50% higher risk of cognitive decline.

The study’s authors are Jeremy Silverman and James Schmeidler, who are both from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, NY. Their findings can be found in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Silverman and Schmeidler began by studying data of 1,897 participants from the Framingham Heart Study, all with healthy cognitive function.

They then began studying the associations between the participants’ total cholesterol levels and their cognitive decline as they went through their middle and later ages of life.

According to Medical News Today:

“The researchers used five “time-dependent” measures of total cholesterol. These were:

  • average at age 40 (midlife)
  • average at age 77 (late life)
  • average since age 40
  • whether the level went up or down (“linear change since midlife”)
  • whether any change in level slowed down or sped up (did the linear change accelerate or decelerate?)”

According to the results, some of these measures had an association with higher risk of cognitive decline. However, others began to diminish as the ages of the participants increased.

Specifically, Silverman and Schmeidler found that participants in the 85-94 year-old range, whose cholesterol was higher than that in midlife, were showing a reduction in the risk of cognitive decline.

However, according to Medical News Today:

Prof. Silverman points out that their findings should not be taken to mean that those aged 85 and older should now seek to raise their cholesterol levels.

“We don’t think high cholesterol is good for cognition at 85,” he adds, “but its presence might help us identify those who are less affected by it.”

We hope to identify genes or other protective factors for cognitive decline by focusing on cognitively healthy very old people who are more likely to carry protective factors.”

– Prof. Jeremy Silverman

How to Use Your Phone To Lower Cholesterol


Cholesterol levels are notoriously high in the United States, thanks to the country’s abundance of fatty fare. In fact, 1 in 3 Americans have high cholesterol. This puts them at a greater risk of heart attack and stroke.

Luckily, if you own a smartphone, you can download a variety of apps that can help hold you accountable and keep your cholesterol in check.

Here are a few of them:

Cholesterol Food Reference

This one’s just for iPhone users (sorry Android) and costs just $1.99. This handy app helps you discover the amount of cholesterol hiding in a vast assortment of foods, including 200+ grocery store items and 100+ fast food options.


Free for both Android and iPhone, the MyFitnessPal app allows you to track how much cholesterol you’re taking in, as well as your protein, fats, carbs, sugars, and more. Thanks to its extensive database, it “knows” the nutritional information of over 6 million foods (including those from restaurants). You can even plug in the ingredients of your favorite recipe and calculate it yourself.


Free for iPhone and Android users, MyNetDiary is able to track almost all things health-related for you. These include your current medications, nutrients, meal plans, test results, workout regimes, and more.

These aren’t the only apps out there to help you keep tabs on your health. Here are seven more options that can help you keep your cholesterol, your weight, and your health in check:

  • Foodvisor
  • Fooducate
  • Smart Blood Pressure
  • Vida Health
  • HowUdish
  • Nutrients
  • Shop Well

Never, Ever Do This With Sugary Drinks


Are you sipping on a sugary beverage as you read this? If so, you’ll want to rethink not only the beverage you’re drinking, but also the way in which you consume it.

It’s been common knowledge for a while now that acids in foods and drinks cause tooth erosion. And the biggest culprits of this are fruit juice and soda.

However, according to a new study’s findings (done by researchers at King’s College London), it is not just what we’re consuming, but how we consume it that affects our risk of teeth erosion.

The researchers primarily drew upon data found in a previous study, where 600 participants (300 with tooth erosion and 300 without) gave the frequency, timing, and duration of their usual consumption of acidic beverages.

The participants also gave histories of how they typically drank the beverages (i.e: sipping, drinking through a straw, swishing around in the mouth first, etc.).

According to Medical News Today:

The team found that the risk of moderate or severe tooth erosion was 11 times higher for adults who drank acidic beverages twice daily, particularly when they were consumed between meals, compared with those who consumed such beverages less frequently.

When acidic drinks were consumed with meals, the risk of tooth erosion was slashed by half.

“It was also observed that one or less dietary acid intakes a day was not associated with erosive tooth wear,” the researchers note. “If a patient must go above one dietary acid intake per day, it would be prudent to advise them to consume the acids with meals.”

According to the research, the major culprits of teeth erosion include:

  • Sodas (both sugar-sweetened and sugar-free)
  • Fruit juices
  • Fruit teas
  • Fruit-flavored candies
  • Adding lemon or lime to hot water
  • Vinegars
  • Pickled foods

According to the research, hot drinks cause more erosion than cold drinks.

The American Dental Association (ADA) states that sipping, swishing, holding, or rinsing these acidic beverages in our mouths before spitting or swallowing can cause an incredible amount of erosion to our teeth.

According to Medical News Today:

[the ada] also [explains] that drinking water or milk when eating and rinsing the mouth after consuming acidic drinks may help to reduce tooth erosion.

“With the prevalence of erosive tooth wear increasing,” adds Dr. O’ Toole, “it is vitally important that we address this preventable aspect of erosive tooth wear.”

“Reducing dietary acid intake can be key to delaying progression of tooth erosion,” she continues. “While behavior change can be difficult to achieve, specific, targeted behavioral interventions may prove successful.”

We Can Now Predict Autism Thanks To This


Thanks to researchers at Warwick University in the United Kingdom, we may be able to diagnose Autism with far greater accuracy than ever before.

That’s because these researchers have developed a brand new diagnosis test. And this test has the ability to find Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) protein changes in the patient’s blood and urine samples.

Dr. Rabbani of the Warwick University and her team have been trying out their new test by collecting samples of blood and urine of 38 children, ages 5-12, who have been given an ASD diagnosis.

They also took samples of blood and urine from another group of 31 children in the same age range that did not have ASD.

Through using this test, the researchers found connection between ASD and damage to certain proteins in the samples’ plasma (aka the fluid which carries white and red blood cells throughout the body).

According to Medical News Today:

Of the several blood and urine tests that the scientists developed, the most accurate one found that children with ASD had higher levels of a compound called dityrosine and another class of compounds called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).

“Dityrosine is a marker of oxidation damage, and AGEs are the result of glycation, which is a process wherein sugars combine with amino acids, the “building blocks of proteins.”

Dr. Rabbani and colleagues then fed this information into a computer algorithm, which resulted in a diagnostic test with 92 percent sensitivity. Sensitivity refers to the ability of a medical test to accurately identify people who have a disease.”

Dr. Rabbani is hopeful of these findings, and says they may lead to earlier ASD intervention and diagnosis.

She is also optimistic that this test will help lead to improvements in ASD diagnoses, and that it may even begin to show new causes of ASD that doctors were previously not testing for.

An Interesting Way Cutting Carbs Could Cure This Disease


Potatoes, pasta, and other carb-heavy foods are not only delicious, but are also a staple in the American diet.

However, many Americans nationwide are finding great success in their weight loss by cutting down on their carb intake. And, as a recent study suggests, this could be doing more for their health than just cutting calories.

After watching study participants consume a carb-restriction diet for just two weeks, researchers have already seen a reduction of liver fat in the subjects, as well as other signs of cardiometabolic health.

All 10 participants in the study were obese, and had Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

For 14 straight days, they ate a diet with carb restrictions, but with extra protein. The diet was also isocaloric, meaning the same amounts of fats, proteins, and carbs were eaten every day.

After the 14 days, the researchers saw “dramatic reductions” in the participants’ amount of liver fat.

According to Medical News Today, “The researchers also found that carbohydrate restriction led to a decrease in inflammatory markers, particularly interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha — higher levels of which have been linked to greater NAFLD severity.”

In addition, the researchers saw that this new diet brought beneficial changes to gut microbiota, which brought about in an increase in folate. These factors connect to improvements made in the participants’ liver fat metabolism.

The researchers recognize that a low-carb diet may not benefit all people with NAFLD. However, these results are very promising in helping sufferers of this disease get healthier.

Little Known Vitamin Could Treat Alzheimer’s


For a while now, researchers have been studying the effects of nicotinamide – aka vitamin B-3. They’ve found that this vitamin is extremely powerful – so much so that researchers have given the proposal that it become an alternative treatment for Alzheimer’s.

According to previous studies, large amounts of vitamin B-3 have shown to reverse memory loss in mice due to Alzheimer’s. To learn more about how vitamin B-3 works, a recent study has taken a deeper look into how nicotinamide riboside (NR) – a form of vitamin B-3 – affects the brain’s ability to repair its DNA due to brain damage from Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Medical News Today:

“The team added NR to the drinking water of mice that had been genetically engineered to develop the hallmarks of the neurodegenerative disorder. These included toxic buildups of the proteins tau and amyloid beta, dysfunctional synapses, and neuronal death — all of which resulted in cognitive deficits.

The mice drank the water for 3 months, and their brains and cognitive health were compared with those of control mice. The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Compared with the controls, the NR-treated mice had less of the protein tau in the brain, less DNA damage, and more neuroplasticity — that is, the brain’s ability to “rewire” itself when it learns new things, stores new memories, or becomes damaged.

Additionally — probably as a result of NR’s ability to aid the self-renewal of stem cells, or cells that have the ability to transform into any other type of cell that the body needs — the mice in the intervention group produced more neurons from neuronal stem cells.”

In addition, fewer neurons experienced death or damage in the group of Alzheimer’s mice. However, both groups’ beta-amyloid protein levels were the same.

The researchers also took note of the hippocampi of both groups (aka the part of the brain that stores memory, and that shrinks and experiences damage when Alzheimer’s occurs). Interestingly, the group given the NR treatment had either a decrease or complete removal of existing DNA damage.

Plus, the group of mice that was given the NR treatment later gave a better performance in both object recognition and maze tasks than the control group.

This is very encouraging news, and researchers will continue to look into the benefits NR can potentially help the brain.

8 Signs You’re Deficient In Iodine


Iodine is essential for healthy living. That’s because it is vital for healthy thyroid functioning. And having a healthy thyroid is important, seeing as thyroid hormones aid in brain development, growth, healing, and metabolism.

The body does not produce iodine, which means it’s essential to get it from your diet. According to The American Thyroid Association, iodine exists in foods like:

  • Cheese
  • Cows milk
  • Eggs
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Ice Cream
  • Iodine-containing multivitamins
  • Iodized table salt
  • Saltwater fish
  • Seaweed (including kelp, dulse, nori)
  • Shellfish
  • Soy milk
  • Soy sauce
  • Yogurt

When the body does not get enough iodine, this prevents the body from being able to make enough thyroid hormones. This is known as hypothyroidism.

So how do you know if you’re deficient in iodine?

8 Signs You’re Deficient In Iodine

Neck Swelling

The thyroid gland enlarges in the neck when it’s low in iodine, thus causing swelling. That’s because it’s attempting to soak in more iodine from the blood.

Irregular or Heavy Periods

Low levels of thyroid hormones can mess with the hormones that affect women’s periods. Having heavier periods than normal, or having periods more (or less) often than usual may be a sign of an iodine deficiency.

Slow Heart Beat

An iodine deficiency can cause the heart to beat slower than normal, which can lead to fainting, or feeling sick/dizzy.

Trouble Getting Warm

A lack of thyroid hormones due to a lack of iodine can cause the metabolic rate to slow down. This causes the person to produce less energy (which causes warmth) and makes them feel cold.

Here’s four more signs of an iodine deficiency from Medical News Today:

Putting on weight

One of the most noticeable signs of an iodine deficiency is unexpected weight gain.

When a person has a healthy metabolism, they burn calories to give them their energy. Hypothyroidism, or a lack of thyroid hormones, slows down a person’s metabolism.

When a person’s metabolism slows down, calories are more likely to be stored as fat, leading to weight gain.

It is important to remember that weight gain is not always a sign of an iodine deficiency. It may only be a symptom when weight gain cannot otherwise be explained. A more common explanation for weight gain is eating more calories than needed or not exercising enough.

Feeling tired

A drop in metabolic rate also makes a person feel tired. Therefore, feeling tired is another sign of an iodine deficiency.

As with weight gain, feeling tired does not always mean a person is iodine deficient. If a person is not getting enough rest, it is natural for them to feel tired.

If tiredness is unexplained, it may be a symptom of an iodine deficiency.

Losing hair

Hair loss is another possible sign that a person might have an iodine deficiency.

Thyroid hormones support the hair follicle renewal. When a person has hypothyroidism, a shortage of thyroid hormones means the follicles stop being renewed.

Hair falls out naturally but is replaced by new follicles. Over time, the fact this stops happening means a person has less hair.

Drying skin

Having dry, flaky skin could be a sign of hypothyroidism, as it can be the result of iodine deficiency.

Thyroid hormones help cells renew. A lack of these hormones may cause dead skin cells to build up, sometimes resulting in dry, flaky skin.

New Study Finds Odd Results With Fish Oil Use


Marketers and physicians alike have been boasting the health benefits of fish oil and sunflower oil. However, the findings of a recent study have shown that long-term consumption of these supplements can lead to higher risks of fatty liver disease later in life.

To come to their conclusion, the researchers were testing the effects of various kinds of oils on the liver of each rat. These include sunflower oil, fish oil, and virgin olive oil.

Through their studies of rats, researchers have found that lifelong consumption of either fish or sunflower oil makes the liver more vulnerable to NASH – a serious, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

With this disease comes an increase in liver inflammation and cell damage. In turn, these symptoms can heighten the risk of both liver cancer and cirrhosis (a condition where liver scar tissue slowly replaces the organ’s healthy cells).

The researchers found that virgin olive oil was the only oil of the three to not negatively impact the liver over the course of a lifetime.

So, despite fish oil’s bountiful reports of health benefits, it may be useful to know that virgin olive oil looks like it is the clear winner when it comes to lifelong liver health.

Unexpected Way Alcohol Improves Brain Function


It seems as though all we read nowadays is how alcohol can negatively affect the brain, as well as our behavior and emotions. And, although this is true, this is most often the case when the drinking goes to excess.

However, a new study has surprisingly positive findings about alcohol, and celebrates moderation.

According to researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center, their studies on rats have shown that consuming less than 2.5 alcoholic drinks in a day can reduce inflammation in the brain.

Interestingly, when the mice were given a “low” amount of alcohol (humans’ equivalent of 2.5 drinks), the mice also had an increase in glymphatic function. This is very good, since the body’s glymphatic function essentially helps remove potentially harmful waste products from the brain.

These harmful waste products include tau and beta-amyloid proteins – two waste products that, when accumulated, are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

These findings are incredibly important for society to be aware of. After all, as Dr. Maiken Nedergaard (lead study author) states:

[…] in this study we have shown for the first time that low doses of alcohol are potentially beneficial to brain health, namely it improves the brain’s ability to remove waste.”

– Dr. Maiken NedergaarD

Despite there being significant amounts of research showing the dangers of excessive drinking, more and more studies are showing the positive effects moderate drinking can have on the brain.

For instance, a Medical News Today study just last year found that moderate drinking may lower the risk of diabetes, as well as improve cognitive functioning.

These studies showcase that, like anything else, moderation is often key for health and wellness.

A Surprising Way Kiwis Could Treat a Deadly Disease


One of the most significant predictors of a child’s predisposition to obesity or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the mother’s diet when they were in the womb.

However, there’s hope – thanks to findings from a study researchers have been doing on mice, it appears that compounds found in kiwi, celery, papaya, green peppers, and parsley may help prevent NAFLD in utero.

The compound, known as pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), is an antioxidant and thus helps protect our bodies from free radicals.

And, in a previous study, researchers found that PQQ supplementation in obese, pregnant mice helped their offspring prevent mild fat accumulation in the liver.

During the researchers’ most recent study, they gave a high-fat diet (common to U.S citizens) to pregnant mice. Then, they began monitoring the offsprings’ health.

Astonishingly, the researchers found that the offsprings were 56% heavier in weight than offspring whose mothers were given a control diet.

In addition, offspring whose mothers were given a high-fat diet also exhibited a change in gut bacteria. This change is a common symptom of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – a condition where fat and inflammation build up in the liver.

However, there is some exciting news. As Medical News Today writes:

However, when pregnant mice received PQQ alongside their high-fat diets, the researchers found that the NASH-associated gut bacteria changes in their offspring were reversed, and they also showed less weight gain than offspring born to mothers that did not receive PQQ.

The researchers also said:

Although levels in lean versus obese mothers have not been studied in humans or animals, PQQ is a potentially safe therapeutic to test for prevention of developmental programming of NAFLD/NASH.

How 30 Minutes Of This Can Help Save Your Life


According to researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, participating in light-intensity activity can be far better for you than was previously thought possible.

In fact, all it takes to gain health benefits is participating in just 30 minutes of physical activities like walking, housework, and even standing every day.

The study shows these light-intensity movements can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 24 percent.

This comes as great news, especially to people who previously thought that only moderate or vigorous activity that raises heart rate provides health benefits.

The researchers spent the study relying on motion trackers rather than patient testimony to record their activity levels. This is significant, as it prevents recording errors. After all, it’s easy for subjects to forget exactly how long they were sitting, standing, etc.

These results show that just a little bit of activity – which can be nearly anything but sitting still – can have significant benefits on the body.

However, that’s not all you can do. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people can achieve substantial health benefits by participating in one of the following:

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes per week of brisk walking, tennis, or other exercise with moderate intensity
  • 1 hour and 15 minutes per week of jogging, swimming laps, or other vigorous-intensity exercise
  • A time-equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous intensity exercises

Illegal In Most States, This Plant Is An Amazing Healer


Cannabis use” is one of the hottest topics of debate in our country right now. And, with lots of people on both sides of the line, there are very strong opinions going back and forth regarding if citizens should be legally able to use it recreationally.

States like Oregon and Colorado have already taken the plunge and made it legal for citizens in their state to use the drug recreationally. However, many other states are holding their ground in defiance against the drug.

Regardless of your stance on the topic, research has proven time and time again that cannabis can work as a very effective pain reliever, giving those with chronic pain and chronic illness fast relief. From children, to middle-age

Many parents have even found success in treating their child’s intense epileptic seizures with cannabinoid oil.

This treatment has also been shown to be effective for war veterans (as well as regular citizens) suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This natural, herbal remedy helps provide some very helpful mental and physical relief from the horrific symptoms sufferers often face.

However, many people are incredibly skeptical of cannabis and the benefits it provides. So was Dayna Colvin, writer for Natural News Blogs. Here is her testimony:

“Last year, I suffered a very painful knee injury after I banged it hard in a door jam. I suffered a very painful childhood knee injury that never healed so any injury I suffer today is agony. I couldn’t breathe and was about to go into shock and thankfully, my dear wonderful husband responded quickly by lighting our bong and letting me inhale the cannabis smoke. I was crying and screaming in pain and in less than five minutes, I felt relaxed, I was able to breathe more calmly, and I gently lay down on the floor, feeling pain-free. I cried tears of joy and relief knowing that this wonderful healing plant is helping billions of people throughout the world and now my family is enjoying the healing benefits for our holistic healing self-care. I didn’t watch the 50’s movie, “Reefer Madness,” but I was taught in school that smoking marijuana is wrong and dangerous. I do not think it’s wise or safe to drive under the influence of smoking weed and I do not condone it, but to treat health issues in the privacy of your own home, including helping you sleep and cope better, I say, go for it. I come from peace and love, but I have become a cannabis activist and I will always encourage my friends and clients to treat their pain with cannabis before taking any artificial toxic big pharmaceutical medications that potentially cause harmful side effects. I am very thankful to live in Oregon where weed is legal statewide and I can walk into any dispensary and buy cannabinoid oil (CBD) and cannabis bud in herb form. The bud I smoke has very low THC and doesn’t even affect me, but it does relax me and helps to ease my pain and as a disabled Mother caregiver of a special needs child, this is a gift of gold for me and I’m very grateful. Mother Nature provides humanity and the animals with an abundant healing herbal bounty and we should use these beautiful healing gifts with love and gratitude.”

Unavoidable Act Responsible For Spreading the Flu


Flu season is upon us, and this viral infection is running rampant across the United States. However, researchers are realizing that the flu is far more contagious than anyone previously thought.

According to a research study done by the University of Maryland, simply breathing in and out – even without coughing or wheezing – is enough to spread the virus.

According to senior author and University of Maryland professor Donald K. Milton:

“People with flu generate infectious aerosols (tiny droplets that stay suspended in the air for a long time) even when they are not coughing, and especially during the first days of illness.”

This conclusion provides a sharp contrast to researchers’ previous beliefs that the flu virus only spreads through the coughs and wheezes of those sick with the virus (or through touching surfaces containing flu contamination).

The researchers came to these findings through a study, where they took samples from 142 individuals with influenza during the first three days of symptoms. These samples were of the participants’ breath during exhalation, as well as swabs of the nose and throat.

Out of all the viable samples, half of them were shown to contain viral RNA, as well as a considerable amount of samples with infectious viruses. The researchers came to the conclusion that exhaling is a significant contributor to the sharing of the flu virus.

This information is important, as it may help improve public health initiatives, and lower the rate of yearly epidemics and pandemics.

Anxiety Could Signal The Onset Of This Brain Killer


Anxiety affects more than 40 million people nationwide. However, if this weren’t bad enough, a new study’s findings suggest that older people experiencing its effects may be at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

That’s because, according to researchers, anxiety has a link to beta-amyloid – a protein that has a strong association with Alzheimer’s disease.

This is significant, as beta-amyloid creates “plaques,” which can block communication between cells in the brain.

These “plaques” are one of the most significant symptoms of this disease. And research suggests that an increase in beta-amyloid levels can happen up to 10 years before Alzheimer’s symptoms show up in a person.

According to Medical News Today:

“The research included 270 adults between age 62 and 90, with normal cognitive functioning, all of whom underwent positron emission tomography at study baseline and annually during 5 years of follow-up, in order to determine levels of beta-amyloid in their brains.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression among the adults were assessed using the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale.”

The researchers found that adults showing an increase in anxiety levels over five years of follow-ups also had higher levels of beta-amyloid present in their brains.

According to the researchers, this is an indication that worsening levels of anxiety may have a correlation with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

A Surprising Way Sunlight Changes the Size of Your Body


The holidays may be infamous for causing you to gain weight, but new research is showing us it’s more than sweets that’s causing you to pack on the ponds.

Researchers from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada have been examining the effect that sunlight has on subcutaneous fat cells (white fat cells directly underneath the skin).

And their shocking findings are revealing that a big culprit of that winter weight gain is… lack of sunlight.

According to researchers, this subcutaneous fat is a significant factor that affects the regulation of the entire body’s metabolism

The researchers also indicate that these cells store the “bad” fat, as they store calories that the body would ideally burn as calories.

If dysfunctional, this fat can easily lead to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

In response to these dangers, the researchers were attempting to genetically engineer these fat cells so they would produce insulin when having exposure to light.

While conducting the study, the researchers made an interesting discovery. These cells began to shrink as soon as they were hit with blue light – aka the visible light that boosts attention and energy during the day.

As head researcher Peter Light said in Medical News Today:

“When the sun’s blue light wavelengths — the light we can see with our eye — penetrate our skin and reach the fat cells just beneath, lipid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell. In other words, our cells don’t store as much fat.”

“If you flip our findings around,” Light says, “the insufficient sunlight exposure we get 8 months of the year living in a northern climate may be promoting fat storage and contribute to the typical weight gain some of us have over winter.”

“It’s early days, but it’s not a giant leap to suppose that the light that regulates our circadian rhythm, received through our eyes, may also have the same impact through the fat cells near our skin.”

-Peter Light

Breast Cancer Linked to This Popular Breakfast Food


Processed meats have gotten a bad reputation for quite some time. However, recent research is confirming that it also may link to higher risks of breast cancer.

After studying over 260,000 women, researchers found the subjects’ breast cancer risk went up by over one-fifth (or 21 percent) when they ate more than 9 grams of this meat per day. This adds up to just two sausages per week.

Companies often process certain meats (such as salami, bacon, hot dogs, and sausage) in order to lengthen its shelf-life and/or enhance its flavor.

However, this process is extremely detrimental to our health. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) made a confirmation that these types of meats heighten the risk of colorectal cancer.

However, the researchers found no correlation between the consumption of red meat and a higher risk of breast cancer.

The researchers then began combining their results with those of 10 other studies on the same topic. Doing this gave them the opportunity to assess more than 1.6 million women.

After analyzing this data, the researchers found a nine percent higher risk of postmenopausal breast cancer with processed meat consumption.

These risks are significant, especially considering that the researchers took lifestyle, weight, and sociodemographic factors into consideration.

As the study’s co-author Naveed Sattar states:

“In addition to the previously known effects of processed meat on other kinds of cancer, this adds further evidence that it may have a deleterious effect on breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women.”