Creation of Mini-Organs Follows Mini-Brains; Teeny Frankensteins Unlikely

To go along with mini thinking brain balls grown in lab, researchers have built functional, tiny organs as well—inching closer to the possibility of stitching together teeny-weeny Frankenstein monsters.

Source: Creation of mini-organs follows mini-brains; teeny Frankensteins unlikely

Some day in the future, we may have little nanobots in our blood that can regenerate our damaged organs and tissue.

Study Suggests Drinking Coffee Might Reduce Liver Damage From Alcohol

There is a growing body of evidence that coffee may be good for your long-term health, reducing the risk of type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. According to one recent meta-study, it may also lower your risk of liver damage from boozing.

Source: Study Suggests Drinking Coffee Might Reduce Liver Damage From Alcohol

I’m always curious if these studies include cream, sugar… decaf. Do the benefits persist in spite of them, are the cons of the two in those quantities negligible, or do these controlled studies usually go for plain black coffee?

Nuff said.

Sandalwood Odor Could Be a Treatment for Leukemia

Olfactory receptors are not limited to your nose. You have them all over your body, including your blood. Now, synthetic sandalwood has been shown to promote cell death in cancer cells for patients with a certain kind of leukemia. This could open the door for a whole new kind of treatment.

Source: Sandalwood Odor Could Be a Treatment for Leukemia

It’s been known to cause cell death in my nose, too 😉

It’s extremely specific to that one type of cancer, which is understandable – cancer really is just a catch-all for unregulated cell growth.  Different locations have different responses to therapy.

Temporarily Quitting Alcohol Brings Health Benefits

“DRY January”, for many a welcome period of abstinence after the excesses of the holiday season, could be more than a rest for body and soul. New Scientist staff have generated the first evidence that giving up alcohol for a month might actually be good for you, at least in the short term.

Many people who drink alcohol choose to give up for short periods, but there is no scientific evidence that this has any health benefits. So we teamed up with Rajiv Jalan at the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health at University College London Medical School (UCLMS) to investigate.

Source: Our Liver Vacation: Is a Dry January Really Worth It?

The study is small and informal, but it fits with what we know about how alcohol works on our bodies. Rather than quitting for a month and then going back on your usual schedule, it’s probably better to use this as a lesson in how easy it is to reverse some of the effects of alcohol.

Liver hormone may be the off-switch for sweet-tooth, cocktail cravings

Gimmicky diets, flavor fakery, and sham sweets all try to bamboozle the brain out of wanting sugary treats and calorie-packed happy hour drinks. But scientists may have found an all-natural way to simply switch off those corrupting cravings.

Source: Liver hormone may be the off-switch for sweet-tooth, cocktail cravings

I am always nervous about hormone treatments, as we usually do not know all the side effects of the hormone treatments, as the body is a series of complex chemical interactions driven in part by hormones.  I am even more nervous about chemical treatments than hormone treatments, as they are not usually natural to the body and can throw things out of whack leaving the body no natural way to overcome the chemical imbalance.  So I am cautiously optimistic that this is a better treatment path than existing medicines, as the hormone occurs naturally in the body, appears to be directly involved in doing what they want it to do already, and hopefully the body has some built in methods to handle additional amounts of the hormone with fewer serious side effects.

The FDA Just Approved Transgenic Chickens That Make Medicine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the thumbs up to a genetically modified chicken that produces a drug in its eggs. It’s the latest addition to a growing area in medicine known as “farmaceuticals.”

Source: The FDA Just Approved Transgenic Chickens That Make Medicine

Neither the chicken or the egg will be allowed to enter into the food supply.  Too bad, might’ve made an interesting omelette 😉

This isn’t the first so-called “animal drug”.  The FDA has already approved GM goats that produce an anticoagulant in their milk, and a drug for treating hereditary angioedema that’s produced by transgenic rabbits.

Yellow Poop is Hereditary. Who Knew?

If in doubt, check with the people in the stalls next to you 😉

If your poop is much lighter colored than nearly everyone else’s, it could be a sign that you have an absolutely harmless medical condition. And your parents are to blame.

Source: Yellow Poop is Hereditary.  Who Knew?

As the joke goes: that’s nice… for me to poop on!

There is one additional symptom/side-effect of having Gilbert’s that is largely ignored by the medical community, but is common amongst around 70% of patient: We get fatigued/tired easily. such that some of us have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Also, it’s common practice to self-medicate with red wine or tea.  More specifically, the tannin apparently help break down the bilirubin in your liver.  I dislike tannin personally – you know it as it makes your mouth feel weird and dry.

Sunlight and Body Heat Make Vitamin D Inside Your Skin

Many people don’t get enough vitamin D in their food. They still get enough vitamin D, because ultraviolet radiation creates it—usually.

Source: Sunlight and Body Heat Make Vitamin D Inside Your Skin

If you’re as fair-skinned as the average northern European, you only need about 20 minutes per day.  All you have to show is an area of skin about the size of your face.

Without vitamin D from sunlight exposure, lactose assists with the use of calcium. So, cultures with easy access to leafy greens plus sunlight or fish, calcium is taken care of and milk has no advantage. Cultures without access to leafy greens, sunlight or seafood need dairy either as a source of calcium, lactose, or both.  You can read more about it in a previous post.

Six Myths About Digestion That Just Won’t Die

Most of us have a vague idea of how digestion works: we eat food, break it down (that’s the scientific term, right?) and, somehow, profit. But without a better understanding of what goes on in there, we’re liable to believe a few bizarre myths that have become commonplace.

In reality, our digestive tract is a complex system with many parts that communicate with each other and the rest of our body. It’s also very adaptable to what we put in it, and doesn’t need specific food combinations or “cleanses” to keep working at its best. Here are some of the top myths about digestion, and the truths behind them.

Source: Six Myths About Digestion That Just Won’t Die

This stuff hasn’t been covered in a previous post.

Four Myths About Hydration That Refuse To Die

As Derek Zoolander wisely put it, wetness is the essence of life. Whether you like drinking water or not, it accounts for about 60% of your body weight, and plays a pretty darn important role in making sure your body functions normally. But statistics aside, there are a couple of myths about hydration that refuse to die.

Source: Four Myths About Hydration That Refuse To Die

You can read about my experience looking into myth #1.  I have never attempted to drink that much water since.

The blurb about myth #3 does not mention skim milk or chocolate milk as a recovery drink.   Providing you’re not lactose intolerant or have ideological issues with drinking cows milk, it’s hydrating, provides carbs and protein, and a good source of calcium and vitamin D (necessary for processing calcium).

There is also an argument that diuretics (coffee, pop/soda) can be beneficial because they will encourage you to drink more when most aren’t motivated to drink more water.  They can be more enjoyable than water – certainly understandable in places where filtration can’t do enough for water.  Hard water tastes horrible…