What Pheromones Reveal About Your Love Life

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Pheromones are chemical signals that influence the behavior or physiology of other members of the same species

Subtle odors may influence mood, hormone levels, perceptions of attractiveness, timing of a woman’s menstrual cycle, Continue reading

Psychobiotics: Bacteria for Your Brain?

Every functional medicine psychiatrist has case stories of the ‘probiotic cure’ – of a patient with debilitating symptoms, often obsessive compulsive range, whose symptoms remitted completely with dietary change and probiotic supplementation. Is this voodoo or is it based on a growing understanding of Continue reading

Diet Soda May Do More Harm than Good

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Despite being promoted for weight loss, foods and beverages with artificial sweeteners have never been proven to help weight loss. In fact, studies that look at this actually find people gain weight when Continue reading

15 Disturbing Things Your Subconscious Mind Might Say if Given the Chance

Caution: when you read this article, you are likely to experience a smoke screen of defenses designed by your ego to keep you in the dark. Those defenses might be:

Anger, disbelief, mirth, shame, confusion, blame, fear, intellectual scorn, emotional paralysis, self-criticism, other criticism, a numb feeling, Continue reading

Diet Sodas: Changing Your Brain and Your Waistline

Diet sodas may not be helping you lose weight—in fact, these and other artificially sweetened foods may sabotage your diet by confusing and rewiring your brain’s reward centers. This study from the journal Physiology & Behavior is yet another example of how lifestyle choices can alter your brain—negatively or positively. Continue reading

Bee Research Sheds Light on Human Sweet Perception, Metabolic Disorders

A new-born honey bee worker (Apis mellifera) breaks free from her nursery chamber in the colony nest. A few weeks later, she will leave the hive in search for nectar and pollen to feed her siblings and mother queen. The genes vitellogenin and ultraspiracle, which regulate the bees’ behavioral transition to foraging tasks, also coordinate their carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar levels, sweet taste, and several metabolic genes in adipose tissue. When vitellogenin and ultraspiracle are simultaneously suppressed in adipose cells, the bees develop a metabolic syndrome similar to Type 1 diabetes.
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Could the Ways Animals Regenerate Hair and Feathers Lead to Clues to Restore Human Fingers and Toes?

This summer’s action film, “The Amazing Spider-Man™,” is another match-up between the superhero and his nemesis the Lizard. Moviegoers and comic book fans alike will recall that the villain, AKA Dr. Curt Connors, was a surgeon who, after losing an arm, experimented with cell generation and reptilian DNA and was eventually able to grow back his missing limb. The latest issue of the journal Physiology Continue reading

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Show how a Gene Duplication Helped our Brains Become ‘Human’

Extra copy of brain-development gene allowed neurons to migrate farther and develop more connections; findings may offer clue to autism and schizophrenia

What genetic changes account for the vast behavioral differences between humans and other primates? Researchers so far have catalogued Continue reading

It Takes a Village to Keep Teens Substance Free

During high school the parents of teenagers’ friends can have as much effect on the teens’ substance use as their own parents, according to prevention researchers.

“Among friendship groups with ‘good parents’ there’s a synergistic effect — if your parents are consistent Continue reading

New Research Shows Childhood Adversity Causes Changes in Genetics

In a look at how major stressors during childhood can change a person’s biological risk for psychiatric disorders, researchers at Butler Hospital have discovered a genetic alteration at the root of the association. The research, published online in PLoS ONE on January 25, 2012, suggests that childhood adversity may lead to epigenetic changes in the human glucocorticoid receptor gene, an important regulator of the biological stress response that may increase risk for psychiatric disorders. Continue reading

Don’t Sleep On Negative Feelings and Emotions

Difficult decisions can be made easier if you “sleep on it.” In contrast, after unfortunate news, trauma, a big argument or any emotional upset, sleep makes your bad feelings worse. So reduce mental strain after unpleasantness by staying awake for a while even if it’s the middle of the night. Otherwise, giving in to sleep magnifies and promotes your unsettled feelings. Continue reading

Twenty-Seven Years Bring no Deaths from Vitamins but Three Million from Pharmaceuticals

Despite mainstream medical establishments and media outlets portraying multivitamin supplements as worthless and oftentimes toxic, vitamins have led to 0 deaths over the past 27 years. In contrast, pharmaceutical drugs were responsible for 3 million deaths, topping the death toll from traffic-related incidents. In 2009, pharmaceuticals were responsible for the death of 37,485 people nationwide.

The statistics come from the Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS), and the findings go against the claims of most mainstream doctors Continue reading

Among Insects, ‘Chivalry’ Isn’t Dead

Some male crickets will apparently put the lives of their mating partners ahead of their own. When a mated pair is out together, a male will allow a female priority access to the safety of a burrow, even though it means a dramatic increase in his own risk of being eaten. That’s according to infrared video observations of a wild population of field crickets (Gryllus campestris) reported online on October 6 the Cell Press journal Current Biology.

“Many people probably think that ‘chivalrous’ behavior is exclusive of humans or closely related mammals, linking it in some way to education, intelligence, or affection,” said Rolando Rodríguez-Muñoz of the University of Exeter. “We show that even males of small insects, which we would not define as intelligent or affective, can be ‘chivalrous’ or protective with their partners. Perhaps it shines a light Continue reading

Bipolar Disorder – The Roller-Coaster Disease

New research suggests that between 4 and 6 percent of the population have bipolar disorder.

Many people, children and adults alike, love to go to amusement parks and ride on roller-coasters and other fast rides. These rides can scare the living daylights out of some, as they go through their bolting ups and downs, and even sometimes turning the rider upside down as they whip along their way. Riders describe an exhilarating adrenalin rush that is combined with accompanying anxiety, panic, and all-out fear as they go through the experience. Once the ride is over and one’s adrenalin lift comes back to normal, equilibrium sets back in, the highs and lows of this experience subside Continue reading

10 Ways to Understand “Risk” at the Doctor’s Office

A new study has come out filled with health advice on how a patient can make informed, good decisions regarding treatment choices. There are so many questions, so many unknowns and so many medical words thrown around that you can quickly get lost. This article is about better understanding your “risk” of developing a problem. Here are 10 health tips on how to best inform you.

1. Plain language: If you don’t understand something your doctor says, ask him or her to explain it better. Don’t expect doctors to know when you don’t understand them.

2. Absolute risk: The most important statistic is what risk you have that something will happen to you if you take a certain treatment. You might hear: “This drug will cut your risk in half.” Continue reading