November 02, 2007
Really, Really, Random Friday
What's that thing flying around up there? No idea! Crabby just liked it, so what the hell.
And in that "what the hell" spirit, lets get going with another Random Friday!
Pain Relief--But Hide The Ben & Jerry's
So marijuana is apparently an effective pain reliever, but dosage is important. A little doesn't do much, but a moderate amount worked to ease pain after about 45 minutes. But whoa, dude, not too much! 'High' dosages of the drug actually increased the amount of pain felt by stoned volunteers. (And Crabby was pleased to discover that the pot/pain study took place at the Center for Medical Cannabis Research at her very own Alma Mater, UCSD).
Stop Messing With Us: To D or Not to D?
There have been several recent studies suggesting that vitamin D levels can influence one's risk of getting cancer. As a result, experts have been suggesting we get more of the vitamin whether from a little bit of sunshine, eating the right foods, or taking a supplement. So it's something of a disappointment to read that in a large cancer study (following 17,000 volunteers for a decade) there didn't seem to be any relationship between vitamin D blood levels and cancer occurrence at all--except for colon cancer. Is this the last word? Well, perhaps not, as Vitamin D levels were only taken once for each person, and are known to fluctuate a great deal.
Phytochemical Supplements: What's the Deal?
And file this next pair of studies, too, in the "C'mon Scientists, Make Up Your Freakin' Minds Already" folder: the two following articles were sitting right next to each other over at Science Daily. The first one, entitled "High Doses Of Phytochemicals, Including Flavanoids, In Teas And Supplements Could Be Unhealthy" warns about the dangers of supplementing with phytochemicals. Apparently high doses can be toxic. The second article, "Chemical In Red Wine, Fruits And Vegetables May Stop Cancer, Heart Disease, Depending On The Dose," suggests that the best way to prevent cancer might be to supplement with high doses of phytochemicals, since the amounts naturally found in foods are okay but More would be Way Better. (To be fair, they were talking about Future Not-Yet Invented Supplements, which would of course be safe).
Of course Crabby realizes that (1) these two conclusions are not mutually exclusive and (2) nutrition and disease prevention are complicated matters, and it takes a long time and a lot of studies to sort it out.
But darn it, all these apparent inconsistencies make it hard for lazy bloggers like Crabby! How can she sum up her nutritional recommendations into Simple Snappy Headlines if the data just doesn't play along? She hates to mess around with detail and nuance and uncertainty. Perhaps she will just say Screw it and recommend Cupcake Supplementation instead.
Good News for Nappers!
"A nap today may be beneficial for mental processing tomorrow." And according to this study, not only might you get cognitive improvements from your midday snooze lasting clear into the next day, a nap apparently won't keep you from conking out at night either. However the study involved "normal sleepers" sixty years of age or older. Which is somewhat confusing in that the article starts off by saying that "people over age 60 sleep two hours less per night than their younger counterparts."
Red Wine Headaches? Here's An Easy Sol... Oh Hell, Never Mind.
Some folks react strongly to "biogenic amines" which can hide in red wine and other fermented, aged, or pickled foods (like chocolate, cheese, olives, nuts and cured meats). These nasty amines can cause unpleasant symptoms like headaches, high blood pressure, heart palpitations and elevated adrenaline levels. However, there's help on the way! A new gadget invented by U. C. Berkeley researchers can detect nasty amines so you can stay well away from foods that contain them. This all sounded quite handy until Crabby got to this part of the article: "The prototype — the size of a small briefcase — uses a drop of wine to determine amine levels in five minutes..."
Yeah, make sure you bring that with you on your next dinner date.
So Enough About Health Already, it's Friday!
Kid Sex Change?
Visit this blog for an amusing compilation of Unfortunate Company Logos, Names, Signs, and Slogans, most of which are at least vaguely obscene.
And Healthbolt ran this picture a while ago, but it cracked Crabby up so she'll go ahead and swipe it herself:
But What About Animals That Exercise?
Funny you should ask... Sure, we got 'em! Try these photos or this video if you need your weekly fix. And have a great weekend!