Ancient Hook-ups With Neanderthals Left Lasting Effects On Our Health

Around 50,000 years ago, anatomically modern humans shacked up with some Neanderthals—and the genetic consequences are still doing a walk of shame through our generations.

Source: Ancient hook-ups with Neanderthals left lasting effects on our health

“Hook-ups” is rather charitable, no?  The myth of the noble savage is just that – a myth. Intelligent species, especially those with the ability to reason, all murder members of their own race. Dolphins, chimps, apes, etc all plan and kill each other.

So we have some insight to why those like my father have Factor V (still waiting on confirming for myself)…  I admit – before the blood thinner, I didn’t bleed much at all.  But then Life for me turned into Logan’s Run…

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Coffee Reveals Itself as an Unlikely Elixir

For a historically mistrusted drink, coffee is proving to be a healthy addiction. Scientific findings in support of coffee’s nutritional attributes have been arriving at a steady drip since the 1980s, when Norwegian researchers reported that coffee seemed to fend off liver disease. Since then, the dark brown beverage has shown value against liver cancer, too, as well as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Coffee even appears to protect against depression, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Source: Coffee reveals itself as an unlikely elixir

It was only last week that I had news about coffee screwing with your internal clock, along with mentioning the following:

Study: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Increases Longevity In Men

Older men whose low testosterone is restored to normal through gels, patches, or injections have a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from any cause, compared to men who are not treated, scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have found.

Source: Testosterone replacement therapy may help men live longer

It wasn’t that long ago that I posted an article about the experimental treatment of administering testosterone.  The sample size and number of years is impressive – this isn’t a case of 100 or less being sampled.  What I have not been able to find is what the “acceptable level” is…

I, and I’m sure most medical professionals would agree, suggest pursuing natural means of raising testosterone levels before going for medication.

How Long Will It Be Until You Can Get an Anti-Aging Pill?

Last month a team of doctors and scientists made the case to regulators at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to consider approving anti-aging drugs as a new pharmaceutical class. Such a designation would treat aging as disease rather than a natural process, potentially opening the door to government funding for anti-aging drug trials.

Source: How Long Will It Be Until You Can Get an Anti-Aging Pill?

Aging is very expensive for post-industrial society. The reason why pensions, retirement plans and government stipends like social security exist is because many old people are not physically able to work anymore and have a huge range of medical conditions, all stemming from the frailty of aging, that need to be treated or, more likely, merely stanched and bailed out like a sinking ship.

A cure for aging would minimize these expenses, but now you have more people in the workforce who aren’t leaving any time soon.  The age of retirement gets pushed back, and the retirement planning changes.  There’s also the sociological impact of older people who continue living – lots these days have grandparents who are incredibly racist/bigoted.  I don’t advocate the death of simply because, but there is something to be said for a generation passing the torch so we can evolve.  Which also plays into health aspects, as an older generation is likely to be susceptible to something future generations might not.

There are some very serious implications to keeping people alive longer.

“Stroke Ambulances” Could Save Lives Before Ever Reaching the Hospital

The last year or so has seen the arrival of super ambulances, emergency vehicles equipped with life-saving CT scanners that can treat stroke victims without waiting to arrive at the hospital.

Source: “Stroke Ambulances” Could Save Lives Before Ever Reaching the Hospital

There are numerous stories about people expiring in ambulances because traffic won’t allow the ambulance through.  I was shocked to find that our local law that requires traffic to pull over when an ambulance is coming from behind is not universally implemented, even more to encounter people whose culture was not to move in this event.

In light of the traffic and ambulance location issues, cities like New York turned to making more people first aid attendants.  The response time was something like 3 minutes, but there’s no way these people are going to have access to the portable CT scanner, or make the judgement call to employ the clot busting medication TPA.

I appreciate that the team did it, but logistics said it was a useless effort a long time ago.

Study: Living Near Trees is Good for Your Health

The large study builds on a body of prior research showing the cognitive and psychological benefits of nature scenery — but also goes farther in actually beginning to quantify just how much an addition of trees in a neighborhood enhances health outcomes. The researchers, led by psychologist Omid Kardan of the University of Chicago, were able to do so because they were working with a vast dataset of public, urban trees kept by the city of Toronto — some 530,000 of them, categorized by species, location, and tree diameter — supplemented by satellite measurements of non-public green space (for instance, trees in a person’s back yard).

Source: Scientists have discovered that living near trees is good for your health

Trees on public ground would generally be closer to bigger streets. One imaginable way they improve the conditions could be that they filter toxic waste from car exhausts.  We know that exhaust can affect the expression of our DNA.  The study is everything but precise, but it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable conclusion.

The benefits being compared to having more wealth is also interesting.  I wonder if a contributing factor could be that having more plants around indicates to humans on some level that resources are more abundant.  Which in turn makes me think about ultra-dense population centers, like the skyscrapers in Hong Kong…

Most People Have Cholesterol All Wrong

Do you know which foods contain good cholesterol, and which contain bad cholesterol? If you think you do, ha! That’s a trick question! Cholesterol in our food doesn’t come in “good” and “bad” varieties, but cholesterol readings from blood tests do, and the two aren’t as closely connected as we used to think.

Source: Most People Have Cholesterol All Wrong

HDL is the one you want to be high; you want LDL to be low.

My doctor told me that my levels were a tad high, but the ratio mattered more.  The best part?  No cholesterol medication suggestion from the doctor.  It really does pay to eat better and look after yourself.

Related: The Dangerous Power of Health Media: 28,000 Quit Statins After Scare Documentary

The Dangerous Power of Health Media: 28,000 Quit Statins After Scare Documentary

Unbalanced and poorly researched health reporting is often criticised for the effect it can have on people’s health choices. That effect can be very difficult to quantify, but a paper published this week in the Medical Journal of Australia estimates that an extra 28,000 Australians stopped taking cholesterol-lowering statins after an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) documentary.

Statins are widely-prescribed drugs that are used to lower the levels of dangerous LDL cholesterol in the blood. According to the Australian government’s most recent estimate, they were the most commonly prescribed drug in Australia in 2011. Any change in the number of people taking statins therefore has a huge impact, affecting thousands of people.

Source: The dangerous power of health media: 28,000 quit statins after scare documentary

Let us not forget the ever-decreasing threshold that doctor’s use to prescribe statins, despite little evidence that the demands for extremely low LDL are actually beneficial.

And that’s all totally ignoring the fundamental issues with the ‘cholesterol hypothesis’ generally — it is possible that elevated LDL is a byproduct of metabolic syndrome or other inflammatory conditions, not vice-versa, and also that total LDL alone is a poor measure of cardiovascular risk. Doctor’s need to consider HDL and triglyceride levels, as well as certain ratios of these lipid levels, and even that is imperfect.

Just remember, folks: researchers and doctors, all too often, inappropriately draw narrow conclusions that are not adequately supported by their data. For example, for decades we’ve been told that dietary cholesterol is bad for our health, and raises LDL — except that it doesn’t, and the data has never adequately supported this conclusion. It was only this year that the FDA finally admitted “oh yea, turns out cholesterol is tightly regulated by the body [which we’ve known for awhile], and dietary cholesterol doesn’t matter” and they removed restrictions on cholesterol in the diet.

The Heart Attack Risk Factor Millions Deal With Every Night

It’s no secret that sleep is a basic function that plays a vital role in overall health and well-being. However, new research presented at EuroHeartCare 2015 says poor sleep is linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Source: The Heart Attack Risk Factor Millions Deal With Every Night

Onions Work As Blood Thinners (Sometimes To A Dangerous Degree)

If you are older, and are taking blood thinners, if you have a disease or condition that keeps your blood from clotting properly, or if you are soon having surgery, you may find yourself with some unexpected dietary restrictions. Onions and garlic, especially raw onions and garlic, are off the plate.

Source: Onions Work As Blood Thinners (Sometimes To A Dangerous Degree)

Yeah.. NO.

Onions have never been a risk when I looked.  Garlic was not recommended, but my experience to date says that’s rubbish.  I consume a fair bit of garlic, and my dose has not changed in years.  It might be different for others, but generally unlikely.