Public Health

There are lots of good reasons not to smoke marijuana and you probably heard or read them all growing up - what you may not have heard is that marijuana, like other pollen-bearing plants, is an allergen which can cause allergic responses.

A new article summarizes research on the ways in which cannabis can act as an allergen. The article draws attention to allergic responses that may be unfamiliar to marijuana users.
I never know what I'm going to find on the editorial pages of the New York Times. Sometimes I agree with them, and sometimes I don't. But, they usually, at the very least, make sense. 

That streak ended on March 2nd, when the Times printed an editorial titled "Painkillers Abuses and Ignorance." The paper really dropped the ball on this one. After reading it, I was left wondering whose ignorance was being referred to, because in 433 words, they did nothing short of a superlative job of mixing together misleading statements, bad conclusions, and naive suggestions.
Want to lower your risk of dying from a heart attack? Go a little nuts.

Peanuts are getting a modern rehabilitation.  Except for severe cases, it has been found that peanut allergies will go away if kids eat them early, and when they reach adulthood they will have less likelihood of dying from heart disease - and be an equalizer across low-income and racially diverse populations.
An on-board air filtration system called  high-efficiency cabin air, or HECA, developed specifically for school buses reduced exposure to vehicular pollutants by up to 88 percent, according to a new paper. study by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. 

The HECA system could help protect the 25 million American children who commute on school buses nearly every day, according to the authors from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Children are more susceptible to air pollution than adults because they breathe more quickly and their immune and cardiovascular systems are still developing, said Yifang Zhu, the study's senior author and an associate professor in the department of environmental health sciences. 

Known for years as the “career woman’s disease” based on the idea that women without children develop disease in their reproductive organs, endometriosis is a painful condition thought to affect one in ten women worldwide.

Nature is all about booms and busts - it is common for species to grow too large to be sustainable. Humans were once that way too, but science has now made it possible for even the poorest people to be fat. We no longer have a feast or famine existence.

And the worst thing you can do to lose weight is go on a 'crash' diet, according to modern nutritional thinking - your body quickly goes into starvation mode. But that is in the short term, clearly if you were to go on a starvation diet for any extended period, you lose a lot of weight, it happens every season on "Survivor".  Mitochondria, the little energy factories in our cells, are nimble about optimizing what they have and do not have.
A connection between persistent insomnia and increased inflammation and mortality from all causes has been identified by a group of researchers in The American Journal of Medicine.

The results apply to those with persistent insomnia, not intermittent insomnia. Persistent (chronic) insomnia affects up to 10 percent of U.S. adults. 

Sunlight may have benefits not yet discovered. Joseph D'Mello CC BY-NC

Summer sunshine makes most of us feel better, but there may be more to the benefits than just feeling good.

A growing body of evidence suggests sunlight itself – with adequate protection, of course – may actually be good for health.

Sleep is essential for overall health. Without regular age appropriate amounts of sleep, adolescents are at risk for developing a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, weight change, and sometimes insomnia.

Can he be the global warming culprit? Link

Could our meat-loving Western diets push climate change over the edge?

That was the message of a recent report from UK think tank Chatham House that, even if the world moves away from fossil fuels, growth in meat and dairy consumption could still take global warming beyond the safe threshold of 2C.