Category Archives: Uncategorized

Marijuana detected in homicide victims nearly doubles – Study

For the record, I have been in favor of legalization of marijuana since the 1960’s when I was an occasional user. I lived on Rush St. in Chicago and had a lot of jazz musician friends who smoked. There seemed nothing criminal about it. Cut to the present day when it is de facto legal in most areas, there are new developments as a result of more widespread use.

person holding green canabis

Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem on Pexels.com

Researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health assessed the time trends in alcohol and marijuana detected in homicide victims and found that the prevalence of marijuana almost doubled, increasing from 22 percent in 2004 to 42 percent in 2016. Alternately, the prevalence of alcohol declined slightly from 40 percent in 2004 to 35 percent in 2016. The findings are published in Injury Epidemiology.

“Despite the growing body of evidence linking alcohol and marijuana to homicide victimization, until now there was little information about the contemporary trends in the prevalence of alcohol and marijuana among homicide victims in the United States,” said Guohua Li, MD, DrPH, professor of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under drinking alcohol, homicides, marijuana, Uncategorized, weed

JUUL delivers substantially more nicotine than previous generation e-cigs and cigarettes – Study

selective focus photography of man doing vape trick

Photo by Nathan Salt on Pexels.com

The study, which appears online Jan. 4, 2020, in Tobacco Regulatory Science, found that nicotine concentrations were five to eight times higher in rodents that were exposed to JUUL versus other tobacco products. The work also supports an earlier finding by the same researchers of harm to blood vessels from brief exposures to both direct and secondhand smoke from cigarettes, little cigars and combustible marijuana, and to aerosol from IQOS “heat-not-burn” tobacco products.

JUUL and earlier generation e-cigs are promoted as being less hazardous than cigarettes. Since 2016, there has been a dramatic increase in youth e-cig use, with JUUL devices particularly effective at recruiting teenagers to begin nicotine usage. A recent study found 27.5 percent of high school students and 10.5 percent of eighth graders currently use e-cigs, with more than half of both groups using JUUL as their preferred choice.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under e-cigarettes, JUUL, nicotine, Uncategorized, vaping

What comes first, beta-amyloid plaques or cognition problems?

Because of the dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in my family, I have an appetite for information on impaired cognition. Following comes from a study by the VA San Diego Healthcare System. Subtle changes in thinking and memory may appear before, or in conjunction with, the development of amyloid plaques.

The scientific community has long believed that beta-amyloid, a protein that can clump together and form sticky plaques in the brain, is the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Beta-amyloid then leads to other brain changes including neurodegeneration and eventually to thinking and memory problems. But a new study challenges that theory. The study suggests that subtle thinking and memory differences may come before, or happen alongside, the development of amyloid plaques that can be detected in the brain. The study is published in the December 30, 2019, online issue of Neurology.

amyloid-beta-memory-neuroscienenews-public.jpg

Participants had brain scans at the start of the study to determine levels of amyloid plaques in the brain, and then yearly scans for four years. Image is in the public domain.

“Our research was able to detect subtle thinking and memory differences in study participants and these participants had faster amyloid accumulation on brain scans over time, suggesting that amyloid may not necessarily come first in the Alzheimer’s disease process,” said study author Kelsey R. Thomas, PhD, of the VA San Diego Healthcare System in San Diego. “Much of the research exploring possible treatments for Alzheimer’s disease has focused on targeting amyloid. But based on our findings, perhaps that focus needs to shift to other possible targets.” Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under aging brain, Alzheimer's disease, brain, brain function, brain research, dementia, Uncategorized

Your DNA is not your destiny, nor a good predictor of your health – Study

A new study reports diseases such as cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes may have a genetic contribution of 5-10% at most. Source: University of Alberta

I can’t tell you how happy I was to learn this. I have had friends who threw up their hands when it came to living a healthy life. They said they failed because of their ‘bad genes.’ I always felt this was a cop out and total denial of responsibility and now it seems I was correct. Take responsibility.

In most cases, your genes have less than five percent to do with your risk of developing a particular disease, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists.

genetics-health-prediction-neurosciennews-publiuc.jpg

The study also highlights some notable exceptions, including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and macular degeneration, which have a genetic contribution of approximately 40 to 50 per cent. The image is in the public domain.

In the largest meta-analysis ever conducted, scientists have examined two decades of data from studies that examine the relationships between common gene mutations, also known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and different diseases and conditions. And the results show that the links between most human diseases and genetics are shaky at best.

“Simply put, DNA is not your destiny, and SNPs are duds for disease prediction,” said David Wishart, professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Computing Science and co-author on the study. “The vast majority of diseases, including many cancers, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, have a genetic contribution of 5 to 10 percent at best.” Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, genes, DNA, bad genes

Overspill of stored fat shown to cause Type 2 Diabetes

The study involved a group of people from Tyneside who previously had Type 2 diabetes but had lost weight and successfully reversed the condition as part of the DiRECT trial, which was funded by Diabetes UK and led by Professors Roy Taylor and Mike Lean (Glasgow University).

WeightLoss_web_1024.jpg

The majority remained non-diabetic for the rest of the two year study, however, a small group went on to re-gain the weight and re-developed Type 2 diabetes.

Professor Roy Taylor, from the Newcastle University Institute of Translational and Clinical Research, explained what the advanced scanning techniques and blood monitoring revealed.

He said: “We saw that when a person accumulates too much fat, which should be stored under the skin, then it has to go elsewhere in the body. The amount that can be stored under the skin varies from person to person, indicating a ‘personal fat threshold’ above which fat can cause mischief.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under body fat, diabetes, percent of body fat, Type 2 diabetes, Uncategorized

My mid-December trip to Las Vegas

I have just returned from our annual Christmas season trip to Las Vegas. Thought I would share a few aspects of it. Clearly, what happens in Las Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Las Vegas.

IMG_8662.jpeg

Above is my girlfriend arriving at the airport. She is not handicapped, but does have a bad knee which is worsened by airport treks. I like this shot because it looks like the queen coming to visit.

This was the view out our window on the 44th floor after we checked in to Caesars Palace at dusk. Isn’t that a lovely light?

IMG_8666.jpeg

IMG_8711.jpeg

Above is me at Caesars Palace Food Court in my Christmas sweater. They have a wonderful variety of offerings and I love breakfasting there on a freshly made crepe.

IMG_8708.jpeg

Speaking of freshly made crepes, this strawberry one was my breakfast on more than one of our four mornings at Caesars.

I have mentioned more than once how much I enjoy playing video poker. Here is a Royal Flush I caught early in the trip. If you would like to know more about the game of video poker check out my post from last year – The agony and ecstasy of video poker.

IMG_8725.jpeg

Taking a break from gambling we always see a movie while we are there. A friend of mine once said that we are probably saving several hundred dollars going to a movie in Las Vegas, so we always catch one. This time we chose Ford vs Ferrari with Matt Damon and Christian Bale. Great fun! I recommend it. Nice ’60’s soundtrack, too.

CC919C4B-50EC-4883-B370-3DAE18AEBE0F.jpeg

For us, no trip to Caesars would be complete without dinner at Nobu. The absolute pinnacle of the dining on sushi experience. You’re looking at tuna tartar with a dollop of caviar on top. Tastes even better than it looks.

IMG_8747.jpeg

Here are some cute little figurines for sale in one of the Caesars shops. As a dog lover I was enchanted, although not to the point of actually purchasing one.

IMG_8844.jpeg

And finally, here is our pre-flight snack that we always get at the McCarran airport before we leave. They do a wonderful job on the very healthy hummus.

IMG_8849.jpeg

Tony

3 Comments

Filed under Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Uncategorized, video poker

Popular gyms undermine health with tanning beds, UConn Study

As a person who has suffered from three skin cancers, I have become very sensitive to sun exposure. I carry a sunblock stick to use on my face for winter bike rides. So, I was surprised to learn that many ‘health’ clubs offer tanning beds. You can read about my cancers on my Page – Skin cancer facts in general and my three skin cancers in particular.beach blur clouds dawn

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The end of 2019 brings with it holiday gatherings, school vacations, and the annual tradition of New Year’s resolutions – with some of the most common resolutions being to exercise more and lose weight. Popular gym chains across the country capitalize on the broad desire to get healthy in the New Year with persuasive post-holiday marketing campaigns, but they’re also undermining public health warnings about the dangers of indoor tanning, according to a new study from UConn researchers published today by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under health clubs, melanoma, skin cancer, skin care, tanning booths, Uncategorized

Weekend funnies …

Finished all your Christmas shopping? Sure … Here are some items that tickled my funnybone this holiday season.

9cbe63f3842c7b62bc5f00b50c25d40e.jpg

5cef0141c33daaaadc25cd67455fc00f.jpg

fc651ef6b4e905002511d4aa11038631.jpg

7a574c782a87a48c2284775f4c7e8ad3.jpg

1d167670fe23b0b3f049c5c6dfe827a1.jpg

Have a great weekend!

Tony

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Vaping may have similar effects to smoking on harmful lung bacteria

I have written repeatedly about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Now, it appears that what was once considered a ‘less unhealthy’ practice has some negative impacts on our lungs.

E-cigarette vapor may have similar effects to cigarette smoke on bacteria associated with smoking-related illness such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, according to a study published in Respiratory Research.

man beside cat near window

Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

Although e-cigarettes are perceived as a safer alternative to cigarettes, recent research has suggested that acute lung disease may be associated with the use of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, as well as conventional cigarettes. A team of researchers at the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast, UK compared the effects of cigarette smoke and e-cigarette vapor on bacteria known to be associated with smoking-related chronic lung disease. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, smoking, Smoking dangers, vaping, COPD

Link seen between cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease and stroke

The most comprehensive analysis of its kind suggests that there is a strong link between non-HDL cholesterol levels and long-term risk for cardiovascular disease in people aged under 45 years, not just at older ages., according to The Lancet.

cholesterol.jpg

  • Study is the most comprehensive analysis of long-term risk for cardiovascular disease related to non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol – including almost 400,000 people from 19 countries who were followed for up to 43.5 years (median 13.5 years follow-up) between 1970 to 2013.
  • This longer-term evidence may be particularly important in people aged under 45 years.
  • Depending on cholesterol level and number of cardiovascular risk factors, men and women aged under 45 years have a 12-43% or 6-24% risk (respectively) of having fatal or non-fatal heart disease or stroke by the age of 75 years.
  • If non-HDL cholesterol levels were halved, women and men younger than 45 years with starting levels of non-HDL cholesterol between 3.7-4.8 mmol/liter and who had two additional cardiovascular risk factors could reduce their risk from around 16% to 4%, and from around 29% to 6%, respectively.

The observational and modelling study which used individual-level data from almost 400,000 people, published in The Lancet, extends existing research because it suggests that increasing levels of non-HDL cholesterol may predict long-term cardiovascular risk by the age of 75 years. Past risk estimates of this kind are based on 10-year follow-up data.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, heart, heart disease, LDL Cholesterol, stroke, Uncategorized

Intermittent fasting yields broad range of health benefits – Study

As a guy who likes to eat and snack, I had a weight problem for most of my life, so the idea of fasting – prolonged and intermittently – isn’t so appealing. Nonetheless, this study from Texas State University shows positive effects.

blur bokeh candle christmas decoration

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Intermittent fasting may provide significant health benefits, including improved cardiometabolic health, improved blood chemistry and reduced risk for diabetes, new research conducted in part at Texas State University indicates. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under blood pressure, ideal weight, intermittent fasting, overweight, Uncategorized, Weight, weight control

Suffering from Triskaidekaphobia?

Feeling blue on Friday the 13th? Perhaps you are triskaidecaphobic, which is to say, fearful of Friday the 13th.

Wikipedia says, “Triskaidekaphobia (from Greek tris meaning “3”, kai meaning “and”, deka meaning “10” and phobos meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”) is fear of the number 13 and avoidance to use it; it is a superstition and related to the specific fear of the 13th person at the Last Supper being Judas, who was said to have stabbed Jesus Christ in the back (metaphorically). It is also a reason for the fear of Friday the 13th.”

The publication Environmental Nutrition offers the following 5 foods that are super nutritious and might bring you good luck at least in terms of your general health.

Amazing avocados, is their first offering. “Ounce for ounce, they contain more blood-pressure lowering potassium than bananas. Avocados are rich in good-for-you monounsaturated fats, and cholesterole-lowering beta-sitosterol and cancer-protective glutathione, along with Vitamin E, folate, vitamin B6 and fiber.”

Brain-boosting blueberries come in second. “These little blue marvels are the antioxidant leaders, plump and nearly 4 grams of fiber per cup and a good dose of vitamin C. They also have cancer-protective ellagic acid, and may boost your brain health and vision.”

Anti-cancer Brazil nuts come in third. “This hearty tree nut is a ‘trigger food’ that may cause cancer cells to self-destruct. It’s a super source of selenium, a promising anti-cancer trace mineral that also promotes DNA repair and boosts immunity. Just two medium nuts contain enough selenium to perhaps reduce the incidence of prostate, colon and lung cancers.”

Good old Broccoli is number four. “Here’s an easy way to get two cancer-blockers that modify natural estrogens into less damaging forms and increase the activity of enzymes that fight carcinogens. Aim for three servings a week of broccoli or its cruciferous cousins.”

Number five is Butternut Squash. “This tasty fruit (yes, fruit) is an exceptional source of beta-carotene, the antiooxidant tyour body converts to vitamin A. But it’s also an overlooked source of bone-building calcium.”

So, look on the bright side and focus on the great nutritional benefits you can derive from these five super foods and forget about the fact that today is Friday the 13th. Just don’t walk under any ladders.

Tony

2 Comments

Filed under Friday the 13th, luck, Triskaidekaphobia, Uncategorized

Happy Birthday, Gabi!

I am reblogging my dog’s happy birthday post from last year. I have updated her age. She turned 14 today.

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Gabi, my miniature poodle and canine companion, turned 14 years old this week. She has lived with me for the past 13-1/2 years. In that period I can’t remember a day in which she didn’t bring a smile to my face or make me laugh out loud.

gabi

Also, in the course of our three daily walks, I have met hundreds of people that I never would have encountered otherwise. Some came in and out of my life like raindrops, but many have remained and become a part of my life.

Celebrating her birthday is personal for me and isn’t going to help anyone to lose any pounds or inches. However, a pet can play an important part in one’s happiness. Check out the post – Owning a pet can benefit your mental and physical health.

gabi bday

Although she is a part of my life now, I didn’t have a dog for…

View original post 67 more words

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sexting isn’t just about sex …

Let’s talk about sext.

photo of person holding iphone

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Sexting is extremely common among adults – but maybe not for the reasons you think.

New research from the Sexuality, Sexual Health & Sexual Behavior Lab in the Texas Tech University Department of Psychological Sciences shows that two-thirds of people who sext do so for non-sexual reasons.

In an analysis of the reasons people engage in sexting with their relationship partner, assistant professor Joseph M. Currin and doctoral student Kassidy Cox confirmed three main motivations found in previous research:

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under cell phones, mobile devices, sexting, Uncategorized

5 Ways To Manage Holiday Stress

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Or is it?

Yes, the holiday season can be magical — with all of its dazzling displays of lights, parades, festive parties and fun family gatherings. But it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year, when Christmas shopping is unfinished, budgets get blown and out-of-town guests overstay their welcome.

Furman University Associate Professor of Psychology Cinnamon Stetler says it’s unrealistic to think you can eliminate all holiday stress.

close up of christmas decoration hanging on tree

Photo by Gary Spears on Pexels.com

“If you don’t have any stress, you’re not really engaging with life,” she says. “You should try to keep stress to a minimum, but it will not be something you can eliminate entirely.”

The key to managing stress is to recognize it and work to minimize it so it doesn’t overwhelm, according to Stetler.

Here are five ways to cope with holiday stress. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under dealing with stress, holiday season, stress, stress reduction, Uncategorized

Walking improves vision – Study

As a big fan of walking I was thrilled to learn of this further benefit to the Cinderella of the exercise world. Walking leads to an increase of peripheral visual input, according to a study from the University of Wurzburg.

How do we perceive our environment? What is the influence of sensory stimuli on the peripheral nervous system and what on the brain? Science has an interest in this question for many reasons. In the long term, insights from this research could contribute to a better understanding of diseases such as ADHD and Parkinson’s disease.

walking-vision-nuerosciencews

The topography of the EEG response (l) and its localization in the brain (r) show visual sensory processing during the walking conditions slow and normal – green and red, and standing – black. The image is credited to Barbara Händel.

Perception and the underlying neuronal activities are usually measured while subjects are sitting or lying, for example while doing magnetic resonance imaging. As a rule, the head is fixed and people are encouraged not to blink. The measurements therefore take place under well-controlled but rather unnatural conditions. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, Uncategorized, vision, walking