E-cigs Shut Down Lots of Immune System Genes—Regular Cigs Don’t

It’s widely assumed that swapping cigarette puffing for vapor huffing is better for health—after all, electronic cigarettes that heat up and atomize a liquid concoction can skip all the hazards of combustion and smoke. But researchers are still scrambling to understand the health effects of e-cig use (aka vaping) and to track down the variable and undisclosed components of those vaporized mixtures. The most recent data hints at unexpected health effects unique to e-cig use.

Source: E-cigs shut down hundreds of immune system genes—regular cigs don’t

It seems the flavoring and other additives are the biggest issue. Most non-tobacco vape substances I’ve seen have been pure extracts without any additives. Now its possible things left over from the extraction process might be an issue but there’s not much research on that yet probably due to the legalities of it.  Cinnamaldehyde has very strong irritant properties (it directly activates one of the main sensors of nasty chemicals)…

If it suppresses the immune system, I wonder if vaping would actually be beneficial for those with autoimmune diseases? We automatically think of a weak immune system as “bad”, but some people’s immune system is so strong that it’s hurting/killing them.

Guide to Decoding Your Blood Test Results

Spoiler alert: They don’t mention INR.

Apart from the puzzling jargon, the design of bloodwork lab reports is dismal. Wonderful makeovers have been envisioned, but until they’re in use, we’re stuck deciphering highly technical and administrative-looking documents that make tax forms look like an ecard from mom.

But have no fear. You can become literate in your blood test results. Our guide isn’t a comprehensive glossary of technical terms, but it provides basic definitions and a better overall visual sense of how the information on a typical blood test report is presented and organized so you can interpret your blood work with confidence.

Source: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Your Blood Test Results

Hypochonriacs: Just because something is outside the normal range, does not mean its something to worry about. A lot of times things will be transient and things are often technically abnormal when they aren’t actually clinically significant. For example some people have very low blood pressure, but unless you’re having symptoms of low blood pressure most doctors would not give it a second though.

The article mentions hangry, which has been covered before.