Pharmacology

Ever miss your daily cup of coffee and subsequently get a pounding headache? According to reports from consumers of coffee and other caffeinated products, caffeine withdrawal is often characterized by a headache, fatigue, feeling less alert, less energetic and experiencing difficulty concentrating.  Caffeine withdrawal is at its worst between 24 to 48 hours and lasts up to a week.
We're big fans of oxytocin understanding.  It generally makes people nicer and  and relationships are difficult.   When you introduce stressful issues into relationships, such as home finances, it can only get worse.    Oxytocin has been found to make relationships a little less difficult because it can take the "edge" off sensitive discussions.

The actual biology of human social relationships is just beginning to emerge as research on social cognition conducted in animals is now informing research in humans. 
The calming neurological effects of nicotine have been demonstrated in a group of non-smokers during anger provocation. Researchers writing in Behavioral and Brain Functions suggest that nicotine may alter the activity of brain areas that are involved in the inhibition of negative emotions such as anger.

Fields are alive with the promise of medicine. Consider my list of dozen alkaloids found in nature. They exist in whole plant or its organ(s). Some of these chemical compounds are in minute amounts. For example, vincristine, the cancer chemotherapeutic compound in Catharanthus roseus, occurs at concentrations under 0.0003% on a dry basis. The root of Strychnos nux-vomica contains about 6% strychnine, a pesticide and a former stimulant.[1]

Breast cancer cells in the laboratory that don't respond to tamoxifen may be producing high amounts of cholesterol in order to provide a kind of shield against the drug, say researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC).

They say their study, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), suggests that currently available statin drugs that reduce cholesterol might be useful in patients with tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer. Alternatively, investigators say, new agents could potentially be designed that specifically inhibit the molecules they found to be responsible for this excess production of cholesterol.
New studies indicate the three drugs used to treat male impotence,  phosphodiesterase Type 5 inhibitors  Viagra, Levitra and Cialis also appear to work in females, albeit a little differently, and might be worth a second look to potentially help the 40 percent of women who report sexual dysfunction, researchers say.

In one of the first studies of the effect of the phosphodiesterase Type 5 inhibitors on the pudendal arteries that supply the penis, vagina and clitoris the blood needed to produce a satisfying sexual experience, Medical College of Georgia researchers showed the drugs relax the artery in male and female rats. 
If you're a man and have Lou Gehrig's Disease - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - there is good news if you drink caffeine.   Antioxidants, such as in coffee, can help.   The bad news is you still have ALS and there is no caffeine benefit for women found so far.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal disease that damages key neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The disease causes progressive paralysis of voluntary muscles and often death within five years of symptoms. Although ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) was discovered over a century ago, neither the cause nor a cure have been found, but several mechanisms seem to play a role in its development, including oxidative stress.
Runners clutching bottles of energy drink are a common sight, and it has long been known that sugary drinks and sweets can significantly improve athletes' performance in endurance events. The question is how? 

Clearly, 'sports' drinks and tablets contain calories. But this alone is not enough to explain the boost, and the benefits are felt even if the drink is spat out rather than swallowed. Nor does the sugary taste solve the riddle, as artificial sweeteners do not boost performance even when they are indistinguishable from real sugars.
Soy aglycons of isoflavone (SAI), a group of soybean constituent chemicals, have been shown to promote health in a rat model of the menopause. The research in  Nutrition&Metabolism shows how dietary supplementation with SAI lowers cholesterol, increases the anti-oxidative properties of the liver and prevents degeneration of the vaginal lining.

'Herbal' doesn't always mean safe and buying diet pills on the internet seems like a higher order of risky behavior but people still do it.   Herbal supplement use has continued to rise as people have become aware that some natural products may be superior to synthetic ones, meaning a boost in reported herbal supplement use from 2.5% of people in 1990 to 18.6% in 2002.   

Herbal supplements with references to "traditional medicine" or "natural components" are widely exempt from FDA regulation because they don't contain ingredients in quantities that can do any harm but a new study tackles Chinese diet capsules that claimed to be purely herbal but nonetheless contain synthetic substances in concentrations far above the therapeutic range and may be a cause of poisoning.