Pharmacology

Fish oil has been used as an anti-inflammatory (and a lot of other things) but scientists haven't been sure how the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil work in that capacity but a new report in Cell shows how omega-3 fatty acids both shut down inflammation and reverse diabetes in obese mice.   The report says omega-3s alleviate inflammation by acting on a receptor (GPR120) found in fat tissue and on inflammatory immune cells called macrophages, studies in mice show.

GPR120 is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCRs), a group involved in many important cell functions and that includes the targets of many drugs. Other researchers had recently shown that five orphan GPCRs, GPR120 included, respond to free fatty acids.
Want to make people healthier?  Put more goof stuff in beer.  And don't count out the smarts of ancient people in fun ways to stay healthy.

While antibiotics officially date to the discovery of penicillin in 1928, a chemical analysis of the bones of ancient Nubians (today's Sudan) shows that they were regularly consuming tetracycline, most likely in their beer, 1,700 years ago.
One of the crazy repercussions of the idiotic “war on drugs”, apart from destruction of innocent lives and whole countries like Mexico and the US, is that you cannot openly buy many quite harmless substances while relatively dangerous ones are freely available.

An interesting chemical in this respect and also in regards to the philosophy of mind and what we understand to be “truth” is 2-(diphenylmethoxy)-N,N-dimethylethylamine, short Diphenhydramine (DPH). As a sleep aid it is available cheaply in 99 cent stores (in the US). You can also spend a lot of money instead buying the exact same marketed as Benadryl against allergies.

Donald Light, professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, says the pharmaceutical industry is a market for 'lemons' -  a market in which the seller knows much more than the buyer about the product and can profit from selling products less effective and even less safe than consumers are led to believe.

Talking at the meeting of the American Sociological Association, he said three reasons why the pharmaceutical market produces "lemons" are: Having companies in charge of testing new drugs, providing firewalls of legal protection behind which information about harms or effectiveness can be hidden, and the relatively low bar set for drug efficacy in order for a new drug to be approved.
One solution to the heart risk caused by obesity, although an obtuse one, is to add things to the junk food industry instead of taking away some junk food.

Researchers at Imperial College London writing in the American Journal of Cardiology suggest fast food vendors provide statin drugs free of charge.  Statins reduce the amount of unhealthy LDL cholesterol in the blood, and trial data has shown them to be highly effective at lowering a person's heart attack risk.

In the study, Dr. Darrel Francis and colleagues calculate that the reduction in cardiovascular risk offered by a statin is enough to offset the increase in heart attack risk from eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake.
Calcium supplements are commonly taken by older people for osteoporosis but have now been associated with an increased risk of a heart attack, according to a study published in BMJ-British Medical Journal.   

The results seem to indicate that a reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in osteoporosis management is needed.  Calcium supplements are commonly prescribed for skeletal health, but the recent trial suggested they might increase rates of heart attack (myocardial infarction) and cardiovascular events in healthy older women.
Homeopathy's origin should be a clue to why there is no evidence to show it has ever worked.  In the words of Samuel Hahnemann, the German physician at a time when being an M.D. was not a mark of respect, believed
"The vital force that animates the healthy body, rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation . . . so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence."

...

"when a person falls ill, it is only this spiritual vital force, everywhere present in his organism, that is primarily deranged by another dynamic influence hostile to his life." 
Introduction
Bbiomarkers of growth hormone doping are not subject to the same natural fluctuations as growth hormone itself, says a new study which could help sporting authorities worldwide catch athletes that use it to boost their performance.   Published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology,  the study's findings show that growth hormone testing might be viable for inclusion in the "athlete biological passport", which logs an athlete's blood test results over the athletic season.
It's pretty common to have a level of skepticism regarding modern athletes and performance-enhancing drugs.   A few users taint the entire field, especially if it brings some success.   Baseball, football, cycling ... all elite members are under scrutiny.  

But the levels of performance-enhancing drugs in those events is nothing, says a new study.   Participants in this big-money 'sport' have a whopping 80% rate of performance-enhancing drug use.

What are we talking about?  Poker.

The Nova Southeastern University study says poker players are using drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, Valium, and other prescription medications, as well as substances including caffeine, energy drinks and guarana to get an edge over their opponents.