Billionaire Elon Musk unveils futuristic “Hyperloop” transport.


 California billionaire Elon Musk took the wraps off his vision of a futuristic “Hyperloop” transport system on Monday, proposing to build a solar-powered network of crash-proof capsules that would whisk people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in half an hour.

In a blog post, Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc described in detail a system that, if successful, would do nothing short of revolutionizing intercity transportation. But first the plan would have to overcome questions about its safety and financing.

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The Hyperloop, which Musk previously described as a cross between a Concorde, rail gun and air-hockey table, would cost an estimated $6 billion to build and construction would take 7 to 10 years. Eventually, according to the plan, it would jettison more than 7 million people a year along one of the U.S. West Coast‘s busiest traffic corridors.

As many as 28 passengers could ride in each pod and the system could even transport vehicles through a low-pressure steel tube at up to 800 miles (1,287 km) per hour, according to the 57-page design plan.

Musk, who in the past has hinted at the hopes of building such a system, proposed the Hyperloop as an alternative to a $68 billion high-speed rail project that’s a major priority of California Governor Jerry Brown. It would be safer, faster, less expensive and more convenient, Musk said in the blog post.

But not everyone is convinced the project is a good idea.

Jim Powell, a co-inventor of the bullet train and director of Maglev 2000, which develops high-speed transport systems using magnetic levitation, said the system would be highly vulnerable to a terrorist attack or accident.

“The biggest overall problem is the idea of the low pressure tube from a terrorist standpoint,” he told Reuters after taking an initial look at Musk’s specifications. “All a terrorist driving along the highway has to do is pull over, toss a net of explosives at it, and then everyone in the tube dies,” he said.

Musk said that since the tube will be low- but not zero-pressure, standard air pumps could easily overcome an air leak. He also said the transport pods could handle variable air densities.

Musk may also have neglected to factor in a few costs. Powell said that since an extensive monitoring system would be needed to keep track of the tube’s pressure, the cost of the project could double Musk’s estimate, coming closer to $12 billion.

Hyperloop, detailed: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/hyperloop

QUESTIONS STILL

Musk, who made his name as a PayPal founding member before going on to start SpaceX and Tesla, envisions capsules departing every 30 seconds at peak times and traversing the roughly 400 miles between Los Angeles and San Francisco along an elevated tube erected along the I-5 interstate highway.

The capsules ride an air cushion blasted from “skis” beneath, propelled via a magnetic linear accelerator.

The expected half-hour travel time for Hyperloop passengers compares with current travel times of an hour and 15 minutes by jet, about 5 and a half hours by car, as well as about 2 hours and 40 minutes via California’s planned high-speed rail.

Other major questions remain, notably whether the California state government will ever approve the massive project, and whether any private companies are willing to step in and build it. The design remains theoretical and has yet to be tested in the field.

Musk has said he is too busy running electric car company Tesla and rocket manufacturer SpaceX to build the Hyperloop himself. He said the design plans were open-source, meaning others can build on them.

On Monday, however, he told reporters on a conference call he could kick off the project.

“I’ve come around a little bit on my thinking here,” he said. “Maybe I could do the beginning bit… and then hand it over to somebody else.”

He said he would be willing to put some of his personal fortune toward the project but stressed that building the Hyperloop was a low priority for him as he continues to focus primarily on SpaceX and Tesla.

He also asked the public for help to improve the design. Corporations have resorted in the past to public assistance on their products. In 2009, Netflix Inc awarded a cash prize to a team that succeeded in improving by 10 percent the accuracy of its system for movie recommendations.

 

Source: Yahoo news

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Testosterone Decline: How to Address This Challenge to ‘Manhood’.


Story at-a-glance

  • Testosterone is an androgenic sex hormone produced by the testicles (and in smaller amounts in the ovaries of women), and is often associated with “manhood.” Testosterone levels in men naturally decline with age – beginning at age 30 – and continue to do so as men advance in years. Unfortunately, widespread chemical exposure is causing this decline to occur in men as early as childhood.
  • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) such as phthalates, BPA, PFOA, and metalloestrogens lurk inside your house, leaching from human products such as personal hygiene products, chemical cleansers, or contraceptive drugs. They may also end up in your food and drinking water.
  • To reduce your exposure to EDCs, replace chemical sources such as pots and pans, commercial cleansers, and processed foods with natural products and organic foods.
  • There are numerous options to deal with age-related testosterone decline. Hormone replacement therapy, saw palmetto and other supplements, weight management through diet, exercise, and stress management are some recommended strategies.

testosterone

Testosterone is an androgenic sex hormone produced by the testicles (and in smaller amounts in women’s ovaries), and is often associated with “manhood.” Primarily, this hormone plays a great role in men’s sexual and reproductive function. It also contributes to their muscle mass, hair growth, maintaining bone density, red blood cell production, and emotional health.

Although testosterone is considered a male sex hormone, women, while having it at relatively low levels, are more sensitive to its effects.

While conventional medical thought stresses that testosterone is a catalyst for prostate cancer,1 even employing castration (orchiectomy) as a form of treatment, recent findings have shown otherwise.

The prostate gland requires testosterone for it to remain at optimal condition

Testosterone levels in men naturally decline with age – beginning at age 30 – and continue to do so as men advance in years.

Aging-induced testosterone decline is associated with the overactivity of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This process simultaneously decreases the amount of testosterone in men, putting them at risk for prostate enlargement, androgenic alopecia (hair loss) and cancer.

Unfortunately, widespread chemical exposure is also causing this decline to occur in men as early as childhood, and is completely impacting their biology. Recently, for instance, both statin drugs and the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide were found to interfere with the testicle’s ability to produce testosterone.2

prostate-gland

How Do Environmental Toxins Affect Your Testosterone Production?

The escalating amount of chemicals being released into the environment can no longer be ignored, as these toxins are disrupting animal and human endocrine systems.

What’s even more alarming is that many of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have “gender-bending” qualities.

EDCs are everywhere. They lurk inside your house, leaching from human products such as personal hygiene products, chemical cleansers, or contraceptive drugs. They also end up in your food and drinking water, causing you to unknowingly ingest them.

EDCs pose a threat to men’s health as they interfere with testosterone production, causing men to take on more feminine characteristics.

Here’s one proof: in a number of British rivers, 50 percent of male fish were found to produce eggs in their testes. According to EurekAlert,3 EDCs have been entering rivers and other waterways through sewage systems for years, altering the biology of male fish. It was also found that fish species affected by EDCs had 76 percent reduction in their reproductive function.

EDCs Can Affect Men’s Health as Early as Infancy

Sexual development in both girls and boys are occurring earlier than expected. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics,4boys are experiencing sexual development six months to two years earlier than the medically-accepted norm, due to exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Some boys even develop enlarged testicles and penis, armpit or pubic hair, as well as facial hair as early as age nine! Early puberty is not something to be taken lightly because it can significantly influence physical and psychological health, including an increased risk of hormone-related cancers. Precocious sexual development may also lead to emotional and behavioral issues, such as:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Earlier loss of virginity and multiple sexual partners
  • Increased risk of sexually-transmitted diseases

Pregnant or nursing women who are exposed to EDCs can transfer these chemicals to their child. Exposure to EDCs during pregnancy affects the development of male fetuses. Fewer boys have been born in the United States and Japan in the last three decades. The more women are exposed to these hormone-disrupting substances, the greater the chance that their sons will have smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent, leading to poor reproductive health in the long term. EDCs are also a threat to male fertility, as they contribute to testicular cancer and lower sperm count. All of these birth defects and abnormalities, collectively referred to as Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome (TDS), are linked to the impaired production of testosterone.5

Phthalates and Other EDCs: A Pernicious Mix

Phthalates are another class of gender-bending chemicals that can “feminize” men. A chemical often added to plastics, these endocrine-disrupting chemicals have a disastrous effect on male hormones and reproductive health. They are linked to birth defects in male infants and appear to alter the genital tracts of boys to be more femalelike.

Phthalates are found to cause poor testosterone synthesis by disrupting an enzyme required to create the male hormone. Women with high levels of DEHP and DBP (two types of phthalates) in their system during pregnancy were found to have sons that had feminine characteristics Phthalates are found in vinyl flooring, detergents, automotive plastics, soaps and shampoos, deodorants, perfumes, hair sprays, plastic bags and food packaging, among a long list of common products. Aside from phthalates, other chemicals that possess gender-bending traits are:

  1. Bisphenol-A (BPA) – Common in plastic products such as reusable water bottles, food cans, and dental sealants. BPA can alter fetal development and heighten breast cancer risk in women.
  2. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – A potential carcinogen commonly used in water- and grease-resistant food coatings.
  3. Methoxychlor (insecticide) and Vinclozin (fungicide) – Shown in studies to induce changes in four subsequent generations of male mice after initial exposure.
  4. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) – Potent endocrine-disruptors that can interfere with your gene expression and glandular system. They are also referred to as estrogen-mimicking chemicals that have been implicated in unnatural sex changes in male marine species.
  5. Bovine growth hormones – Estrogen-mimicking and growth-promoting chemicals that are added to commercial dairy products.
  6. Unfermented soy products – Contain antinutrients and hormone-like substances, and are NOT health foods (contrary to popular belief). Visit this page to learn more about the dangers of soy.
  7. MSG – A food additive that can impact reproductive health and fertility.
  8. Fluoride – A potent neurotoxin found in certain US water supplies and is linked to endocrine disruption, decreased fertility rates, and lower sperm counts.
  9. Pharmaceuticals that provide synthetic hormones – Pharmaceuticals like contraceptives and provide you with synthetic hormones that your body isn’t designed to respond to and detoxify properly. Chronic illnesses may result from long-term use of these drugs.
  10. Metalloestrogens – A class of cancer-causing estrogen-mimicking compounds that can be found in thousands of consumer products. Included in the list of potent metalloestrogens are aluminum, antimony, copper, lead, mercury, cadmium, and tin.

How to Limit Your Exposure to Gender-Bending Chemicals

It may be unlikely to completely eliminate products with EDCs, but there are a number of practical strategies that you can try to limit your exposure to these gender-bending substances. The first step would be to stop using Teflon cookware, as EDCs can leach out from contaminated cookware. Replace them with ceramic ones. Stop eating out of cans, as the sealant used for the can liner is almost always made from powerful endocrine-disrupting petrochemicals known as bisphenols, e.g. Bisphenol A,
Bisphenol S.

You should also get rid of cleaning products loaded with chemicals, artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, vinyl shower curtains, chemical-laden shampoos, and personal hygiene products. Replace them all with natural, toxin-free alternatives. Adjusting your diet can also help, since many processed foods contain gender-bending toxins. Switch to organic foods, which are cultivated without chemical interventions.

How to Address Aging-Related Testosterone Decline

As mentioned above, your testosterone stores also decline naturally as you age. However, there are methods that can help boost your levels. Below are some options you can consider:

The Hormone Replacement Method

If you suspect that you have insufficient testosterone stores, you should have your levels tested. Issues linked to testosterone decline include:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depressed mood
  • Memory problems
  • Impaired concentration

A blood test may not be enough to determine your levels, because testosterone levels can fluctuate during the day. Once you determine that you do have low levels, there are a number of options to take. There are synthetic and bioidentical testosterone products out on the market, but I advise using bioidentical hormones like DHEA. DHEA is a hormone secreted by your adrenal glands in your brain. This substance is the most abundant precursor hormone in the human body. It is crucial for the creation of vital hormones, including testosterone and other sex hormones.

The natural production of DHEA is also age-dependent. Prior to puberty, the body produces very little DHEA. Production of this prohormone peaks during your late 20’s or early 30’s. With age, DHEA production begins to decline. The adrenal glands also manufacture the stress hormone cortisol, which is in direct competition with DHEA for production because they use the same hormonal substrate known as pregnenolone. Chronic stress basically causes excessive cortisol levels and impairs DHEA production, which is why stress is another factor for low testosterone levels.

It is important not to use any DHEA product without the supervision of a professional. Find a qualified health care provider who will monitor your hormone levels and determine if you require supplementation. Rather than using an oral hormone supplementation, I recommend trans-mucosal (vagina or rectum) application. Skin application may not be wise, as it makes it difficult to measure the dosage you receive. This may cause you to end up receiving more than what your body requires.

I recommend using a trans-mucosal DHEA cream. Applying it to the rectum or if you are a a woman, your vagina, will allow the mucous epithelial membranes that line your mucosa to perform effective absorption. These membranes regulate absorption and inhibit the production of unwanted metabolites of DHEA. I personally apply 50 milligrams of trans-rectal DHEA cream twice a day – this has improved my own testosterone levels significantly. However, please note that I do NOT recommend prolonged supplementation of hormones. Doing so can trick your body into halting its own DHEA production and may cause your adrenals to become seriously impaired down.

Saw Palmetto and the Testosterone-Prostate Cancer Myth

Prostate hyperplasia (BPH), or simply an enlarged prostate, is a serious problem among men, especially those over age 60. As I’ve pointed out, high testosterone levels are not a precursor to an enlarged prostate or cancer; rather, excessive DHT and estrogen levels formed as metabolites of testosterone are. Conventional medicine uses two classes of drugs to treat BPH, each having a number of serious side effects. These are:

  1. Alpha-blockers, such as Flomax, Hytrin, Cardura, and Rapaflo – These relax smooth muscles, including your bladder and prostate. They work to improve urine flow, but do NOT do anything to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate.
  2. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, like Avodart and Proscar – The enzyme 5-alpha reductase converts testosterone to DHT, which stimulates the prostate. Although this class of drugs does limit the production of DHT and shrinks an enlarged prostate, it comes with a number of significant risks, including a higher chance of developing prostate cancer.

According to Dr. Rudi Moerck, an expert in chemistry and drug industry insider, men who have low levels of testosterone may experience the following problems:

  • Weight gain
  • Breast enlargement
  • Problems with urinating

Instead of turning to some drug that can only ameliorate symptoms and cause additional complications, I recommend using a natural saw palmetto supplement. Dr. Moerck says that there are about 100 clinical studies on the benefits of saw palmetto, one of them being a contributed to decreased prostate cancer risk. When choosing a saw palmetto supplement, you should be wary of the brand, as there are those that use an inactive form of the plant.

Saw palmetto is a very potent supplement, but only if a high-quality source is used. Dr. Moerck recommends using an organic supercritical CO2 extract of saw palmetto oil, which is dark green in color. Since saw palmetto is a fat-soluble supplement, taking it with eggs will enhance the absorption of its nutrients.

 

There is also solid research indicating that if you take astaxanthin in combination with saw palmetto, you may experience significant synergistic benefits. A 2009 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that an optimal dose of saw palmetto and astaxanthin decreased both DHT and estrogen while simultaneously increasingtestosterone.6 Also, in order to block the synthesis of excess estrogen (estradiol) from testosterone there are excellent foods and plant extracts that may help to block the enzyme known as aromatase which is responsible producing estrogen. Some of these include white button mushrooms, grape seed extract and nettles.7

Nutrients That Can Help Boost Testosterone Levels

In addition to using bioidentical hormones or saw palmetto, there are two nutrients that have been found to be beneficial to testicular health and testosterone production.

Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral in testosterone production.8 Yet, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that about 45 percent of adults over 60 have low zinc levels due to insufficient intake. Regardless of supplementation, 20 to 25 percent of older adults still had inadequate levels.9

It was found that supplementing with zinc for as little as six weeks has been shown to improve testosterone in men with low levels. On the other hand, restricting zinc dietary sources yielded to a drop in the production of the male hormone.10 Excellent sources of zinc include:

  • Oysters
  • Protein-rich foods like meats and fish
  • Raw milk and raw cheese
  • Beans
  • Fermented foods, like yogurt and kefir

You may also take a zinc supplement to raise your levels. Just stick to a dosage of less than 40 milligrams a day. Overdosing on zinc may cause nausea or inhibit the absorption of essential minerals in your body, like copper.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is a growing epidemic in the US, and is profoundly affecting men’s health. The cholesterol-derived steroid hormone vitamin D is crucial for men’s health. It plays a role in the development of the sperm cell nucleus, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. Vitamin D can also increase your testosterone level, helping improve your libido. Have your vitamin D levels tested using a 25(OH)D or a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. The optimal level of vitamin D is around 50 to 70 ng/ml for adults. There are three effective sources of vitamin D:

  • Healthy sun exposure
  • Safe-tanning beds
  • Vitamin D3 supplementation

Learn more about how to optimize your vitamin D levels by watching my 1-hour lecture on vitamin D.

The Connection Between Weight and Low Testosterone Levels

Research presented at the Endocrine Society’s 2012 conference discussed the link between weight and testosterone levels. Overweight men were more prone to having low testosterone levels, and shedding excess pounds may alleviate this problem. Managing your weight means you have to manage your diet. Below are some ways to jumpstart a healthy diet:

  • Limit processed sugar in your diet, as excessive sugar consumption (mainly fructose) is the driving force of obesity. But this isn’t a license to useartificial sweeteners, because these also have their share of negative effects.

It is ideal to keep your total fructose consumption, including fructose from fruits, below 25 grams a day. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, it is wise to keep it below 15 grams per day.

  • Eliminate refined carbohydrates from processed foods, like cereals and soda, because they contribute to insulin resistance.
  • Consume vegetable carbohydrates and healthy fats. Your body requires the carbohydrates from fresh vegetables rather than grains and sugars. In addition to mono- or polyunsaturated fats found in avocados and raw nuts, saturated fats are also essential to building your testosterone production. According to research, there was a decrease in testosterone stores in people who consumed a diet low in animal-based fat.11 Aside from avocados and raw nuts, ideal sources of healthy fat that can boost your testosterone levels include:
Olives and olive oil Coconuts and coconut oil Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Raw nuts, such as almonds or pecans Organic pastured egg yolks Avocados
Grass-fed meats Palm oil Unheated organic nut oils
  • Consume organic dairy products, like high-quality cheeses and whey protein, to boost your branch chain amino acids (BCAA). According to research, BCAAs were found to raise testosterone levels, particularly when taken with strength training.12 While there are supplements that provide BCAAs, I believe that leucine, found in dairy products, carries the highest concentrations of this beneficial amino acid.

For a more comprehensive look at what you should or shouldn’t eat, refer to my nutrition plan.

Exercise as a Testosterone Booster

Unlike aerobics or prolonged moderate exercise, short, intense exercise was found to be beneficial in increasing testosterone levels. The results are enhanced with the help of intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting helps boost testosterone by improving the expression of satiety hormones, like insulin, leptin, adiponectin, glucacgon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), cholecystokinin (CKK), and melanocortins, which are linked to healthy testosterone function, increased libido, and the prevention of age-induced testosterone decline. When it comes to an exercise plan that will complement testosterone function and production (along with overall health), I recommend including not just aerobics in your routine, but also:

  • High-intensity interval training – Work out all your muscle fibers in under 20 to 30 minutes. Learn more about my Peak Fitness regimen.
  • Strength training – When you use strength training to raise your testosterone, you’ll want to increase the weight and lower your number of reps. Focus on doing exercises that work a wider number of muscles, such as squats or dead lifts. Take your workout to the next level by learning the principles of Super-Slow Weight Training.

For more information on how exercise can be used as a natural testosterone booster, read my article “Testosterone Surge After Exercise May Help Remodel the Mind.”

Address Your Chronic Stress, Too

The production of the stress hormone cortisol blocks the production and effects of testosterone. From a biological perspective, cortisol increases your “fight or flight” response, thereby lowering testosterone-associated functions such as mating, competing, and aggression. Chronic stress can take a toll on testosterone production, as well as your overall health. Therefore, stress management is equally important to a healthy diet and regular exercise. Tools you can use to stay stress-free include prayer, meditation, laughter, and yoga. Relaxation skills, such as deep breathing and visualization, can also promote your emotional health.

Among my favorite stress management tools is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a method similar to acupuncture but without the use of needles. EFT is known to eliminate negative behavior and instill a positive mentality. Always bear in mind that your emotional health is strongly linked to your physical health, and you have to pay attention to your negative feelings as much as you do to the foods you eat.

 

References:

 

Source: mercola.com

 

Tips for Resetting Your Internal Clock and Sleeping Better.


Story at-a-glance

  • Factors contributing to poor sleep include vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Magnesium deficiency can cause insomnia; lack of potassium can lead to difficulty staying asleep; and vitamin D deficiency has been linked to excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Melatonin is one of the most important nutrients to help you optimize your sleep, as it plays a crucial role in your circadian rhythm or internal clock
  • Camping could help you reset an internal clock gone haywire from modern living, as the sun adjusts your clock to its natural state, undoing the influence of light bulbs
  • To promote good sleep, make sure you’re exposed to full natural light during the day, and avoid artificial lighting once the sun goes down, especially as bedtime draws near.
  • vitamins-sleep

Good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health, without which optimal health will remain elusive. Impaired sleep can increase your risk of a wide variety of diseases and disorders, including:

Numerous factors can contribute to poor sleep, including vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The featured article by LiveScience1 highlights three nutrients tied to three common sleep problems. To this, I would add melatonin, which is both a hormone and an antioxidant:

  • Magnesium deficiency can cause insomnia
  • Lack of potassium can lead to difficulty staying asleep throughout the night
  • Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to excessive daytime sleepiness

The Importance of Melatonin

I personally believe that melatonin is one of the most important nutrients to help you optimize your sleep, as it plays a crucial role in your circadian rhythm or internal clock.

Melatonin is produced by a pea-sized gland in the middle of your brain called the pineal gland. When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, your body produces less melatonin, which reduces your ability to fight cancer.

Melatonin actually helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. (This is why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly.) It also produces a number of health benefits related to your immune system.

For most people, the pineal gland is totally inactive during the day. But, at night, when  you are exposed to darkness, your pineal gland   begins producing melatonin to be released into your blood.

Melatonin makes you feel sleepy, and in a normal night’s sleep, your melatonin levels stay elevated for about 12 hours (usually between 9 pm and 9 am). Then, as the sun rises and your day begins, your pineal gland reduces your production of melatonin.

The levels in your blood decrease until they’re hardly measurable at all. This rise and fall of your melatonin levels are part and parcel of your internal clock that dictates when you’re sleepy and when you feel fully awake.

How to Optimize Your Melatonin and Reset Your Circadian Rhythm

In related news, research2 suggests camping could help you reset an internal clock gone haywire from modern living. As reported by the Christian Science Monitor3:

“Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder found that if you live by the sun’s schedule, you are more likely to go to bed at least an hour earlier, wake up an hour earlier, and be less groggy, because your internal clock and external reality are more in sync. The sun adjusts your clock to what may be its natural state, undoing the influence of light bulbs. “

Since humans evolved in the glow of firelight, the yellow, orange and red wavelengths don’t suppress melatonin production the way white and blue wavelengths do. If you want to protect your melatonin cycle, when the sun goes down you would shift to a low wattage bulb with yellow, orange, or red light.

One good option is using a salt lamp illuminated by a 5-watt bulb. It’s important to realize that turning on a light in the middle of the night, even for a short moment, such as when you get up to go to the bathroom, will disrupt yourmelatonin production and interfere with your sleep.

Ideally it is best to increase melatonin levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night. If that isn’t possible, you may want to consider a melatonin supplement.

In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep, experience less restlessness, and prevent daytime fatigue. Keep in mind that only a very small dose is required — typically 0.25mg or 0.5mg to start with, and you can adjust it up from there.

Taking higher doses, such as 3 mg, can sometimes make you more wakeful instead of sleepier, so adjust your dose carefully. While melatonin is most commonly used in tablet or spray form, certain foods also contain it. Cherries, for instance, are a natural source of melatonin, and drinking tart cherry juice has been found to be beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality4.

Up to 80 Percent of Americans are Magnesium-Deficient

Lack of magnesium may play a role in insomnia, and dietary surveys suggest that the majority of Americans are simply not getting enough magnesium from their diet alone5. Other factors that can make you more prone to magnesium deficiency include:

An unhealthy digestive system, which impairs your body’s ability to absorb magnesium (Crohn’s disease, leaky gut, etc.) Diabetes, especially if it’s poorly controlled, leading to increased magnesium loss in urine Age — older adults are more likely to be magnesium deficient because absorption decreases with age and the elderly are more likely to take medications that can interfere with absorption
Unhealthy kidneys, which contribute to excessive loss of magnesium in urine Alcoholism — up to 60 percent of alcoholics have low blood levels of magnesium6 Certain medications — diuretics, antibiotics and medications used to treat cancer can all result in magnesium deficiency

 

To avoid magnesium deficiency, make sure you’re eating a varied, whole-food diet like the one described in my nutrition plan. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard are excellent sources of magnesium, as are some beans, nuts and seeds, like almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower- and sesame seeds. Avocados are also a good source. Juicing your greens is an excellent way to optimize your nutrition. This is my personal strategy. I typically drink one pint to one quart of fresh green vegetable juice every day, and it is one of my primary sources of magnesium.

If you decide to use a supplement, magnesium threonate is likely one of the best sources of magnesium as it seems to penetrate cell membranes, including the mitochondria, which results in higher energy levels. Additionally it also penetrates the blood-brain barrier and seems to do wonders to treat and prevent dementia and improve memory.

Balance Your Magnesium with Calcium, Vitamin K2 and D

One of the major benefits of getting your nutrients from a varied whole food diet is that you’re far less likely to end up with too much of one nutrient at the expense of others. Foods in general contain all the cofactors and needed co-nutrients in the proper amounts for optimal health, which takes out the guess work. When you’re using supplements, you need to become a bit more savvy about how nutrients influence and synergistically affect each other.

For example, it’s important to maintain the proper balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin K2, and vitamin D. These all work together synergistically, and lack of balance between these nutrients is why calcium supplements have become associated with increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, and why some people experience vitamin D toxicity. To learn more about this, please see this previous article that delves into this at some depth.

Do You Need More Potassium in Your Diet?

Potassium is an essential mineral “salt” that is sometimes referred to as the “good salt.” It’s most commonly known for its role in blood pressure regulation, and it works synergistically with magnesium to improve sleep, among other things. This combination may be of particular benefit if muscle cramps are keeping you awake.

As an electrolyte, potassium is a positive charged ion that must maintain a certain concentration7 in order to carry out its functions, which includes interacting with sodium to help control nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction and heart function. In fact, maintaining the proper ratio of potassium to sodium is an important factor for optimal health. It’s generally recommended that you take in five times more potassium than sodium8, but because most Americans’ diets are so rich in high-sodium processed foods, most people get double the amount of sodium compared to potassium from their diet.

If you have high blood pressure, it could be a sign that you’re lacking in this vital mineral or that your ratio of potassium to sodium is upside-down from an improper diet. Signs of severe potassium deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, abdominal pain and cramps, and in severe cases abnormal heart rhythms and muscular paralysis. The ideal way to increase your potassium is to obtain it from vegetables, such as:

Swiss chard (960 mg of potassium per 1 cup) Spinach (838 mg per cup) Broccoli (505 mg per cup) Celery (344 mg per cup)
Avocado (874 mg per cup) Crimini mushrooms (635 mg in 5 ounces) Brussels sprouts (494 mg per cup) Romaine lettuce (324 mg per 2 cups)

Vitamin D Deficiency May Be the Cause of Excessive Sleepiness

A growing body of research clearly shows the absolute necessity of vitamin D for good health and disease prevention, and it may even play an important role in sleep. According to research presented at last year’s Associated Professional Sleep Societies meeting, people with daytime sleepiness and musculoskeletal pain, which can easily sabotage sleep, are likely to have vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. According to a writeup by Mother Nature Network9:

“[T]he team decided to test the vitamin D levels of patients who had complained of chronic pain as part of the workup that was done for other sleep disturbances. McCarty and colleagues performed research and reviews of 153 patients at a sleep clinic. Eighty-four percent of patients had either vitamin D insufficiency (30 percent) or deficiency (54 percent).

They discovered that some patients who exhibited low levels of vitamin D experienced complete resolution of daytime sleepiness symptoms after treatment for vitamin D deficiency. McCarty and colleagues concluded that it is biologically plausible that low vitamin D could contribute to sleepiness because of its role in systemic inflammation.”

Vitamin D3 is an oil-soluble steroid hormone (the term “vitamin” is a misnomer) that forms when your skin is exposed to UVB radiation from the sun or a safe tanning bed. When UVB strikes the surface of your skin, your skin converts a cholesterol derivative into vitamin D3, and this is, by far, the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels.

If you opt for a vitamin D supplement, you also need to boost your intake of vitamin K2 through food and/or a supplement. How do you know if your vitamin D level is in the right range? The most important factor is having your vitamin D serum leveltested every six months, as people vary widely in their response to ultraviolet exposure or oral D3 supplementation. Your goal is to reach a clinically relevant serum level of 50-70 ng/ml. As a general guideline, research by GrassrootsHealth suggests that adults need about 8,000 IU’s per day to achieve a serum level of 40 ng/ml.

Tips to Help You Sleep Better

Besides nutritional deficiencies, there are many other variables that can impact how well you sleep. I suggest you read through my full set of 33 healthy sleep guidelines for all of the details, but to start, making some adjustments to your sleeping area can go a long way to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep.

  1. Cover your windows with blackout shades or drapes to ensure complete darkness. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and the melatonin precursor serotonin, thereby disrupting your sleep cycle.

So close your bedroom door, get rid of night-lights, and refrain from turning on any light during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. If you have to use a light, install so-called “low blue” light bulbs in your bedroom and bathroom. These emit amber light that will not suppress melatonin production.

  1. Keep the temperature in your bedroom at or below 70 degrees F (21 degrees Celsius). Many people keep their homes and particularly their upstairs bedrooms too warm. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees F (15.5 to 20 C). Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep.
  2. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). These can also disrupt your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects as well. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, starting around $50 to $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house.
  3. Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your head. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least three feet.
  4. Reduce use of light-emitting technology, such as your TV, iPad, and computer, before going to bed. These emit the type of light that will suppress melatonin production, which in turn will hamper your ability to fall asleep, as well as increase your cancer risk (melatonin helps to suppress harmful free radicals in your body and slows the production of estrogen, which can contribute to cancer). Ideally, you’ll want to turn all such light-emitting gadgets off at least one hour prior to bedtime.

As previously discussed by Dr. Rubin Naiman, a leader in integrative medicine approaches to sleep and dreams, sleep is the outcome of an interaction between two variables, namely sleepiness and what he refers to as “noise.” This is any kind of stimulation that inhibits or disrupts sleep. In order to get a good night’s sleep, you want your sleepiness level to be high, and the “noise” level to be low. Under normal conditions, your sleepiness should gradually increase throughout the day and evening, peaking just before you go to bed at night. However, if noise is conceptually greater than your level of sleepiness, you will not be able to fall asleep.

Improving Your Nutrition May Help You Sleep Better

If you aren’t sleeping well, it is just a matter of time before it will adversely affect your health, even if you’re doing everything else right. Fortunately, there are many simple solutions to address poor sleep, starting with your diet and lifestyle. Certain nutrients, such as melatonin, magnesium, potassium and vitamin D can play an important role. It’s also crucial to pay attention to your use of artificial lighting. To promote good sleep, make sure you’re exposed to full natural light during the day, and avoid artificial lighting once the sun goes down, especially as bedtime draws near.

To make your bedroom into a suitable sleep sanctuary, begin by making sure it’s pitch-black, cool, and quiet. Remember, even the tiniest bit of light can disrupt your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. For this reason, I highly recommend adding room-darkening blinds or drapes to your bedroom, or if this is not possible wearing an eye mask to block out any stray light.

For even more helpful guidance on how to improve your sleep, please review my 33 Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep. If you’re even slightly sleep deprived I encourage you to implement some of these tips tonight, as high-quality sleep is one of the most important factors in your health and quality of life.

Source: mercola.com

 

5 Tips for Recovering from Emotional Pain

  1. If you allow yourself to feel helpless after a failure, or blame it on your lack of ability or bad luck, it’s likely to lower your self-esteem. Blaming a failure on specific factors within your control, such as planning and execution, is likely to be less damaging, but even better is focusing on ways you can improve and be better informed so you can succeed next time.
    1. Emotional pain often exacts a greater toll on your quality of life than physical pain. The stress and negative emotions associated with any trying event can even lead to physical pain and disease.
    2. In fact, emotional stress is linked to health problems including chronic inflammation, lowered immune function, increased blood pressure, altered brain chemistry, increased tumor growth and more.
    3. Of course, emotional pain can be so severe that it interferes with your ability to enjoy life and, in extreme cases, may even make you question whether your life is worth living.
    4. As the featured article reported, Guy Winch, author of Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries, recently shared five tips for healing your emotional pain.
    5. 1. Let Go of Rejection
    6. Rejection actually activates the same pathways in your brain as physical pain, which is one reason why it hurts so much. The feeling of rejection toys with your innate need to belong, and is so distressing that it interferes with your ability to think, recall memories and make decisions. The sooner you let go of painful rejections, the better off your mental health will be.
    7. 2. Avoid Ruminating
    8. When you ruminate, or brood, over a past hurt, the memories you replay in your mind only become increasingly distressing and cause more anger – without providing any new insights. In other words, while reflecting on a painful event can help you to reach an understanding or closure about it, ruminating simply increases your stress levels, and can actually be addictive.
    9. Ruminating on a stressful incident can also increase your levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in your body linked to cardiovascular disease.1
    10. 3. Turn Failure Into Something Positive
    11. If you allow yourself to feel helpless after a failure, or blame it on your lack of ability or bad luck, it’s likely to lower your self-esteem. Blaming a failure on specific factors within your control, such as planning and execution, is likely to be less damaging, but even better is focusing on ways you can improve and be better informed or prepared so you can succeed next time (and try again, so there is a next time).
    12. 4. Make Sure Guilt Remains a Useful Emotion
    13. Guilt can be beneficial in that it can stop you from doing something that may harm another person (making it a strong ‘relationship protector). But guilt that lingers or is excessive can impair your ability to focus and enjoy life.
    14. If you still feel guilty after apologizing for a wrongdoing, be sure you have expressed empathy toward them and conveyed that you understand how your actions impacted them. This will likely lead to authentic forgiveness and relief of your guilty feelings.
    15. 5. Use Self-Affirmations if You Have Low Self-Esteem
    16. While positive affirmations are excellent tools for emotional health, if they fall outside the boundaries of your beliefs they may be ineffective. This may be the case for people with low self-esteem, for whom self-affirmations may be more useful. Self-affirmations, such as “I have a great work ethic” can help to reinforce positive qualities you believe you have, as can making a list of your best qualities.
    17. Many, if not most, people carry emotional scars — traumas that can adversely affect your health and quality of life. Using techniques like energy psychology, you can correct the emotional short-circuiting that contributes to your chronic emotional pain. My favorite technique for this is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which is the most comprehensive and most popular version of energy psychology. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over 5,000 years, but without the invasiveness of needles.
    18. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to transfer kinetic energy onto specific meridians on your head and chest while you think about your specific problem — whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, anxiety, etc. — and voice positive affirmations.
    19. This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the “short-circuit”—the emotional block—from your body’s bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body’s balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease. The beauty about EFT is that it can reprogram your body’s reactions to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life, thereby providing a more lasting effect.
    20. More than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, EFT has the most potential to literally work magic. Clinical trials have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress. Once the distress is reduced or removed, your body can often rebalance itself, and accelerate healing.
    21. For a demonstration of how to perform EFT, please see the video below featuring EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman. The first video is a general demonstration, which can be tailored to just about any problem, and the second demonstrates how to tap for depression. While this technique is particularly effective for relieving emotional or mental stress and anxiety, it can be used for all manner of physical pain relief as well.

5.    5 Tips for Healing Emotional Pain

19.  My Most Highly Recommended Tool for Emotional Healing

Emotional Health Takes Ongoing Care: 9 More Tips for Well-Being

Just as eating healthy, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep are habits that must be held to in the long run to be effective, your emotional health requires ongoing care as well. And, just like your physical body, your mind can only take so much stress before it breaks down. Yet many neglect to tend to their emotional health with the same devotion they give to their physical well-being. This is a mistake, but one that’s easily remedied with the following tips for emotional nurturing.2

1. Be an Optimist

Looking on the bright side increases your ability to experience happiness in your day-to-day life while helping you cope more effectively with stress.

2. Have Hope

Having hope allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel, helping you push through even dark, challenging times. Accomplishing goals, even small ones, can help you to build your level of hope.

3. Accept Yourself

Self-deprecating remarks and thoughts will shroud your mind with negativity and foster increased levels of stress. Seek out and embrace the positive traits of yourself and your life, and avoid measuring your own worth by comparing yourself to those around you.

4. Stay Connected

Having loving and supportive relationships helps you feel connected and accepted, and promote a more positive mood. Intimate relationships help meet your emotional needs, so make it a point to reach out to others to develop and nurture these relationships in your life.

5. Express Gratitude

People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. The best way to harness the positive power of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal or list, where you actively write down exactly what you’re grateful for each day. Doing so has been linked to happier moods, greater optimism and even better physical health.

6. Find Your Purpose and Meaning

When you have a purpose or goal that you’re striving for, your life will take on a new meaning that supports your mental well-being. If you’re not sure what your purpose is, explore your natural talents and interests to help find it, and also consider your role in intimate relationships and ability to grow spiritually.

7. Master Your Environment

When you have mastery over your environment, you’ve learned how to best modify your unique circumstances for the most emotional balance, which leads to feelings of pride and success. Mastery entails using skills such as time management and prioritization along with believing in your ability to handle whatever life throws your way.

8. Exercise Regularly

Exercise boosts levels of health-promoting neurochemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression. Rather than viewing exercise as a medical tool to lose weight, prevent disease, and live longer – all benefits that occur in the future – try viewing exercise as a daily tool to immediately enhance your frame of mind, reduce stress and feel happier.

9. Practice Mindfulness

Practicing “mindfulness” means that you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. Rather than letting your mind wander, when you’re mindful you’re living in the moment and letting distracting or negative thoughts pass through your mind without getting caught up in their emotional implications. Mindfulness can help you reduce stress for increased well-being as well as achieve undistracted focus.

Physical Health Also Supports Emotional Health and Healing

It’s a mistake to view your emotional health as a separate entity from your physical health, as the two are intricately connected. You’ll have an easier time bouncing back from emotional setbacks when you’re physically well, and healthy habits will also help keep your mood elevated naturally in the midst of stress. Happy people tend to be healthy people, and vice versa, so in addition to the tips above, the following lifestyle strategies can also help to support emotional wellness and healing:

  • Eat well: What you eat directly impacts your mood and energy levels in both the short and long term. Whereas eating right can prime your body and brain to be in a focused, happy state, eating processed junk foods will leave you sluggish and prone to chronic disease. My free nutrition plan is an excellent tool to help you choose the best foods for both physical and emotional wellness.
  • Proper sleep: Sleep deprivation is linked to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and bipolar depression, while getting the right amount of sleep has been linked to positive personality characteristics such as optimism and greater self-esteem, as well as a greater ability to solve difficult problems.3
  • Animal-based omega-3 fats: Low concentrations of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA are known to increase your risk for mood swings and mood disorders. Those suffering from depression have been found to have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood, compared to non-depressed individuals. Krill oil is my preferred source of omega-3 fats.
  • Regular sun exposure: This is essential for vitamin D production, low levels of which are linked to depression. But even beyond vitamin D, regular safe sun exposure is known to enhance mood and energy through the release of endorphins.

Source: mercola.com

 

Dolutegravir Approved to Treat HIV.


The FDA has approved dolutegravir (Tivicay), an integrase strand transfer inhibitor, to treat HIV in both treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients, the agency announced.

The once-daily pill is approved for use in adults, including those who’ve taken other integrase strand transfer inhibitors, and children ages 12 and over who’ve never taken another integrase strand transfer inhibitor.

Roughly 2500 adults with HIV participated in four clinical trials of dolutegravir. Regimens containing dolutegravir reduced viral loads as well as, or better than, regimens containing raltegravir (Isentress) or efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir (Atripla).

In his HIV and ID Observations blog, Paul Sax called the new drug an “extraordinarily promising antiviral agent.” He added that “it’s the end of a remarkable stretch of HIV drug development,” with six other drugs approved since 2006. The availability of all of these agents, he writes, “means that pretty much anyone who takes their medications will achieve virologic suppression.”

Source: FDA news

For Some, Another Costly Delay in Implementing Part of the Affordable Care Act.


The Obama administration has deferred for a year putting into place a provision of the Affordable Care Act that limits an individual’s annual out-of-pocket expenditures to $6350.

Some patients will have to pay up to $6350 for physician and hospital services, plus another $6350 for prescription drugs — and possibly more, according to the New York Times.

Why the delay? The Times explains that separate computer billing systems for drugs and services within some organizations cannot communicate. One unnamed administration source told the newspaper: “We had to balance the interests of consumers with the concerns of health plan sponsors and carriers, which told us that their computer systems were not set up to aggregate all of a person’s out-of-pocket costs. They asked for more time to comply.”

In addition, last month the administration announced a delay in the requirement that large employers offer health insurance to full-time employees.

Source: New York Times

Mediterranean Diet Reduces Stroke Risk Even in Those with High Genetic Risk.


High risks for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications conferred by variants in the TCF7L2 gene can be partially offset by strict adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet, according to a Diabetes Care study.

PREDIMED investigators followed some 7000 participants at very high risk for cardiovascular disease. Their genetic risks were determined by ascertaining the variant of the TCF7L2 gene they carried, with “TT” variants known to confer higher risk than “CT” or “CC” variants.

The subjects were randomized to Mediterranean or low-fat diets and followed for roughly 5 years. TT carriers who did not generally observe Mediterranean-style diets at baseline showed higher risks for cardiovascular events, although not significantly so. Furthermore, TT carriers randomized to and adhering to a Mediterranean diet had stroke rates similar to CT and CC carriers.

The authors conclude that their findings support the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, “especially for genetically susceptible individuals.”

Source: Diabetes Care

The dual effects of delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol on cholangiocarcinoma cells: anti-invasion activity at low concentration and apoptosis induction at high concentration..


Abstract

Currently, only gemcitabine plus platinum demonstrates the considerable activity for cholangiocarcinoma. The anticancer effect of Delta (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal active component of cannabinoids has been demonstrated in various kinds of cancers. We therefore evaluate the antitumor effects of THC on cholangiocarcinoma cells. Both cholangiocarcinoma cell lines and surgical specimens from cholangiocarcinoma patients expressed cannabinoid receptors. THC inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and induced cell apoptosis. THC also decreased actin polymerization and reduced tumor cell survival in anoikis assay. pMEK1/2 and pAkt demonstrated the lower extent than untreated cells. Consequently, THC is potentially used to retard cholangiocarcinoma cell growth and metastasis.

Source: Pubmed

NEOS Bio’s New Bio Technology Process Creates Fuel And Electricity From Waste.


A bioenergy producer said on Wednesday that it produced mass quantities of ethanol from waste and nonfood matter, a development that could have a significant impact on the fuel industry and the environment.

Ineos Bio said it is now producing cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale and will be in position to sell its products to its local market beginning as soon as August. The Switzerland based company projects that its new plant will produce 8 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year, all from vegetative waste and garbage.

ineos-35

The company, which has offices in North America, said that its use of gasification and fermentation technology to convert bio waste into bioethanol and renewable electricity is a breakthrough and that it is the first company to do so on a commercially viable scale. The company said that the new process takes minutes compared to the days that earlier technologies required.

“We are producing commercial quantities of bioethanol from vegetative and wood waste, and at the same time exporting power to the local community — a world first,” said Ineos Bio CEO Peter Williams.

Williams said the company wants the system to help solve waste disposal issues and provide sustainable value to communities that implement the technology. A company spokesperson said residents will be able to take their yard waste directly to its Vero Beach, Fla., facility.

“The ability to divert waste materials from communities by converting them into competitively priced renewable fuel and power offers an excellent value proposition,” Williams said.

THE POLITICS BEHIND POWER

This advancement will prove crucial to the energy industry because if ethanol fuel can be produced at reasonable cost from abundant nonfood sources, it could displace fuel made from crude oil, in which case more of the world’s oil and carbons could remain in the ground and reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The company developed the technology at its Indian River County BioEnergy Center near Vero Beach, with the help of a $50 million U.S. Department of Energy cost-matching grant awarded in 2009. The $130 million plant is a joint venture between parent company, chemical giant Ineos Group Ltd., and the Florida operation of California’s New Planet Energy. The project sourced more than 90 percent of its equipment from U.S. manufacturers in 10 states. Once fully built and running, the plant will provide at least 60 full-time jobs and have a $4 million payroll.

The new plant, built at the site where Ocean Spray Cranberries once produced grapefruit juice, will be permitted to utilize municipal garbage for bioethanol production beginning in 2014 under the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standard.

“Current efforts to destabilize the program are short-sighted and motivated solely by the oil refining industry’s desire to block competition and consumer choice at the pump,” Brent Erickson, executive vice president of the Industrial & Environmental division of Biotechnology Industry Organization, said. “If Congress does what the oil refining industry is asking and repeals or revises the RFS at this critical juncture, it will strangle the advanced biofuels baby in the cradle.”

The group’s website said that it represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and state biotechnology centers across the U.S. and abroad. It praised Ineos Bio’s announcement and said that the bioenergy industry has already invested more than $5 billion over the past six years to commercialize this type of technology, and investors are ready to commit more.

“If there was ever a time when Congress needed to keep the RFS in place it is now, when the advanced biofuels industry is reaching these milestones,” Erickson said. “When oil refiners attack the RFS, they are attacking American ingenuity and innovation in order to keep their stranglehold on American fuel consumers.”

Source: http://www.ibtimes.com

 

 

 

 

Decriminalisation of psilocybin could help millions.


Previous studies have shown that low doses of psilocybin produce no consciousness state altering effects. Administered in the correct amount, psilocybin could therefore be assumed to safely treat PTSD with minimal risk of adverse side effects. Magic mushrooms could help millions recover from the debilitating cycles of fight and flight and other conditioned biological responses caused by extreme trauma, if only they weren’t listed as a dangerous Schedule 1 drug with no medical benefits.
Meanwhile, doctors are authorised to dispense powerful, side-effect laden pharmaceutical drugs to army vets and others suffering from the symptoms of PTSD without any evidence that these treatments actually work, according to a major review by the committee of the Institute of Medicine on the topic.

The situation is so bad that an average of 18 American veterans commits suicide every day (http://www.naturalnews.com), linked to the sharp rise in prescription drugs, depression, and other psychological conditions. Safe, natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals such as homeopathic and herbal remedies have been found to alleviate symptoms (http://www.naturalnews.com). Meditation has also been shown to reduce high activity levels in the amygdala (the brain’s emotional centre) experienced in PTSD sufferers as anxiety, stress and phobias.

Sources used in this article:

http://www.ptsdalliance.org

http://intellihub.com

http://digitaljournal.com

http://www.thedoctorwillseeyounow.com

Magic Mushrooms Repair Brain Damage From Extreme Trauma.


A new study by The University of South Florida has found that low doses of the active ingredient in magic mushrooms repairs brain damage caused by extreme trauma, offering renewed hope to millions of sufferers of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

The study confirms previous research by Imperial College London, that psilocybin, a naturally occurring compound present in “shrooms”, stimulates new brain cell growth and erases frightening memories. Mice conditioned to fear electric shock when hearing a noise associated with the shock “simply lost their fear”, says Dr. Juan Sanchez-Ramos, who co-authored the study. A low dose of psilocybin led them to overcome “fear conditioning” and the freeze response associated with it faster than the group of mice on Ketanserin (a drug that counteracts the receptor that binds psilocybin in the brain) and a control group on saline.

shroomery
An estimated 5 percent of Americans – more than 13 million people – have PTSD at any given time, according to the PTSD Alliance. The condition more often associated with combat veterans, is twice as likely to develop in women because they tend to experience interpersonal violence (such as domestic violence, rape and abuse) more often than men.

PTSD is not just psychological

Common symptoms, such as hyper-vigilance, memory fragmentation, flashbacks, dissociation, nightmares and fight or flight responses to ‘triggers’, are generally thought to be psychological and therefore treatable by learning to change thought processes. But new research suggests that they may in fact be the result of long term physiological mutations to the brain.

In the South Florida University study, the mice treated with low doses of psilocybin grew healthy new brain cells and their overactive medial prefrontal cortex regions (common in PTSD sufferers) were restored to normal functionality.

Further independent studies (http://www.thedoctorwillseeyounow.com ) have shown that the hippocampus part of the brain is damaged by extreme stress and that this is specific to PTSD and not associated with anxiety or panic disorders.

Dr. Sanchez-Ramos acknowledged that there was no way of knowing whether the mice in the experiment experienced altered states of consciousness or hallucinations – commonly experienced with magic mushrooms, but he believed the doses were too low to cause psychoactive effects.