We have a number problems in this country: the national debt,the quantity of jobs available, the rocky relationship between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, all of which deserve our undivided focus and attention. There is another problem we face, one that comes close to equaling Rob and Kristen’s emotional rollercoaster. It is a problem that contributes to our social and economic conditions. Our society faces the problem of trying to find the delicate balance between the lack of quality and the excess of quantity that is found in multiple aspects of our culture. Simply put, Americans want more. And they want it to levels of excess that have become problematic and detrimental.
Today, we’ll first look at the causes behind our society’s issues with quality as it relates to quantity. Next, we’ll examine the effects of this epidemic, and finally, we’ll pin-point some solutions that will allow us to balance our growing need for more, with what we actually need, so that we can tip the scales in our favor.
Need money, feed me! hateandanger.wordpress.com
Tipping the scales back towards center may not be as easy as it seems. We are fighting against more than balancing our needs and wants; we are fighting against a way of thinking that has dominated our social understanding of quality versus quantity. In the 1987 movie Wallstreet, corrupt businessman Gordon Gekko tells us that,
Greed is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.
Unfortunately, what Mr. Gekko says is true. Greed is now what drives our wants and desires, and what pushes us to obtain what we want at any cost. We have entered a time where people pay less attention to what you have, and more attention to how much of it you have. We are blinded by the quantity of the things we own, rather than the quality of our possessions and our lives. According to physicist and computer scientist Carlos Roca in his article “Social Cohesion in a Society of Greedy, Mobile Individuals,” published in the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences,
Human wellbeing in modern societies relies on social cohesion, which can be characterized by high levels of cooperation and a large number of social ties. Both features, however, are frequently challenged by individual self-interest. The stability of social and economic systems can suddenly break down as the recent financial crisis illustrates.
What this means is that our individual interests are actually breaking down our social structure. Our “me-first” attitude is what directly affects our need for quantity, instead of quality. If we are focused on getting as much as we can, as fast as we can, the quality of what we consume is going to be compromised.
There are many aspects of our society that have been affected by our focus on quantity at the expense of quality. In the business and entertainment sectors, we’ve seen politicians sent to jail for crimes motivated by greed, and celebrities and artists produce material that is at best of questionable quality. One need look no further than politicians like disgraced Illinois senator Rod Blagoivich, or companies like Johnson and Johnson, which in 2007 reported illegal activity to the government such as bribing government-paid doctors and health officials to promote sales of medical devices in Greece, Poland and Romania. According to Robert Khuzami, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s division of enforcement,
For years, the company tried to hide its illegal activities by using sham contracts and off-shore companies to cover its tracks. The Johnson & Johnson’s bribes might have harmed public health in several European countries.
The scariest effect of this mentality is the disregard for the public’s well-being. This side-effect manifests itself in the actions of companies like Johnson and Johnson, but also in what we are exposed to in our everyday lives.
Our country’s obesity rate, for example, is a calling card of society’s issue with quantity. A 2012 report published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that by 2030, 42 percent of U.S. adults will be obese, adding $550 billion in obesity-related medical expenses to healthcare costs over that period, unless Americans change their ways. Our need for more money, more food, and more recognition is literally making us sick. If we don’t work to correct the imbalance between how much of everything we want, versus how much of it we need, we will find ourselves with a lot of stuff, but without the most important things we have – our physical and emotional health.
Back in 1997, Rapper The Notorious B.I.G. told us that,
Fifteen years later, his words, like the rapper, have started to take on an even larger meaning. When it comes to getting our B.I.G. quantity issues under control, we need to change rappers. And by that I mean, change the rap lyrics our country has come to identify with. The iconic group Outkast tells us,
What this means is that we need to be patient and work for good things in our lives, instead of accepting the many mediocre things that come our way. Anthony Levine, CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and author of Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference, argues we need to approach solving our attitudes towards the need for excessive quantity from an economic angle. He says that,
When the market’s crashed in 2008, I think people realized just how much we need community. Not only did out of control money put us in a bad situation, but we realized that we can’t rely 100% on 401ks and the market to take care of us. Trying to make so much money so that you don’t need anyone is a ridiculous and lonely pursuit. We need to view our financial returns alongside the society we’re building. It keeps us connected.
Please sir, may I have some more? rashidaanurse.blogspot.com
As Mr. Levine says, we need to make sure we are focusing on what’s good for our society, not just what is good for us as individuals. We need to remember that greed only leads to excess, which does not translate into having items of quality in our lives, and also, a quality society. The only thing greed leads to is a huge quantity of stuff.
As the saying goes, the best things in life are worth waiting for. And that is what we need to keep in mind when we evaluate what we have in our lives. You may desire more in terms of your financial, social, or personal gains, but that isn’t the answer. The answer is to appreciate the quality of what you have and know that quantity never equals quality.
So, while we still have issues such as our nation’s debt and the job crisis, perhaps these words will reach the ears of the people who hold the fate of our country’s happiness and health in their hands, and it will teach them to love and be grateful for what they have. Here’s looking at you, Kristen and Rob.
I have very, very disappointing news to share with everyone: Being fit does not co-exist with being fat. At least that is what the Annals of Internal Medicine are claiming through a new study. But let us back up a little, where did this idea even come from?
Data has been floating around recently about the idea that one can be fit even if one is obese. Due to this data the acceptance of being overweight wasn’t thought of as anything more than a choice. But can there be repercussions from choosing to be fit and obese? Could there be health issues unbeknownst to us that the study is trying to bring attention to?
There is a stockpile of data showing that there is no ‘healthy level’ of obesity. Over 60,000 patients in 8 studies weighed in on the findings presented by the study mentioned above. The result was that those who were metabolically healthy but obese had a higher risk of death or cardiovascular events later in their lives than others of normal weight. The study simply concludes that being overweight or having excess weight poses a threat to your longevity. In addition to weight management, which of course is the inferred solution, one should always check their blood pressure and cholesterol levels to ensure their body stays healthy and fit.
Who wants to check their weight now? Go here for a Body Mass Index calculator! It will tell you whether you are at a societally normal weight, underweight, overweight, or obese. It is better to know than to be in denial.
In the end both your fitness level and your health level is quite clearly determined by you. If you choose to be a little overweight and still feel great then who is to say that in fact you aren’t going to live forever? Honestly, living life the way you want to is what matters most, if indeed you wish to be happy then live the way that makes you feel happiest. Doesn’t hurt to adjust some parts though! Cheers to living!
I want to know if I am burning fat. Is there an app for that? Most likely yes! A new gadget has been revealed that allows you to check if you are burning fat and sends the data to your phone. A group of researchers from Japan’s NTT DOCOMO Research Laboratories have conducted a study and built a prototype gadget that will soon hit the market.
The gadget works similarly to a breathalyzer. You breathe into it and it checks for one specific compound called acetone. This compound has been used to indicate whether a person is burning fat. When fat breaks down in your body during exercise or lack of other energy sources, acetone is produced in the blood. Eventually it gets expelled to the lungs and is exhaled. This device measures the level of acetone in your breath and is fairly compact; It is about 4 inches long and weighs about a quarter of a pound.
Once you exhale, the device calculates the concentration levels of acetone (the more acetone you have the more fat you are burning) and sends it to the smartphone either via Bluetooth or a cable. This is all achieved within ten seconds.
The study lasted 14 days and used 17 adults of which 11 were men and 6 were women. All of their BMIs were above Japan’s average. The volunteers were split into three groups:
(Group 1) Carried on normal life, no calorie restrictions, no exercise requirement
(Group 2) No calorie restrictions, partook in light exercise 30-60 mins a day
(Group 3) Calorie restricted, partook in light exercise same as group 2
Every day before breakfast, they were required to note down their body weight, fat percentage and breath acetone concentrations. Upon concluding the study, results show that the first two groups were not burning fat in significant amounts. Their acetone level also remained unchanged. The third group, however, experienced a significant increase in acetone concentration as well as the rate of burning fat.
With the world population becoming more and more obese, fat acceptance is becoming the norm, as well as dangerous. The main investigator of the study, Satoshi Hiyama, had this to say:
Because obesity increases the risk of lifestyle-related illnesses, enabling users to monitor the state of fat burning could play a pivotal role in daily diet management. Current standard methods, however, are still not practically suitable for point-of-care instrumentation for diet-conscious people who wish to monitor their own fat metabolism at home or outside.
However if this device allows us to monitor how our dieting affects our fat burning, this might alter the way we think about food and exercise altogether. We may start to alter our diets ourselves more frequently.
The prevailing issue is still the fact that this was conducted with only 17 individuals. A small sample pool such as that could bring down the credibility and accuracy of this gadget. But even if the accuracy and consistency of the device is proven to be solid, the challenges that still remain are the acceptance of the new technology and whether it will achieve its main goal: to alter people’s dieting habits for a permanent improvement.
Critics are quick to point out the consistently noted dangers of cannabis ingestion. These are the same arguments that have been used for decades. They remain aggressively debated without compromise, despite decades of rational evidence suggesting falsity and fallacy. The seemingly valid concerns regarding cannabis use that top the critics’ list are: the gateway drug theory, short-term memory loss, psychosis, decreased intelligence, harm from cannabis smoke, depression, an elevated heart rate, and worries over driving while high. Let’s allow science and logic to save the day, shall we?
An historically major issue concerning cannabis is the worry that it may induce schizophrenic symptoms or intensify various forms of latent schizophrenia. The subjective experience of ingesting cannabis is highly personal and varies greatly among users around the world. Common experiences include:
Greater enjoyment of food taste and aroma
An enhanced enjoyment of music
A greater enjoyment of comedy and humor
Distortions in perception of time and space
Short-term memory loss
Improved long-term memory recall
Heightened sensitivity to external stimuli
At extremely high doses common experiences include:
Altered body image
Hallucinations (extremely rare)
Mild dissociation of mind and body
While the vast majority of the effects of cannabis are viewed as positive, panic attacks and paranoia are obviously unwanted. Between 20 and 30 percent of recreational users experience intense anxiety and/or panic attacks after smoking cannabis.
While these symptoms usually occur due to thoughts of legal ramification for ingesting cannabis, exaggerated worry over a thought process, or general anxiousness over trying something new, it has been reported that the symptoms can happen spontaneously as well. It is possible and plausible that these symptoms could lead to greater and more persistent symptoms of psychosis. However, there are multiple aspects of the psychosis worry that needs to be discussed.
First, through our increasing knowledge of cannabinoids and the role they play on the endocannabinoid system, researchers have discovered that certain cannabinoids have a marginally stronger effect than others with regards to producing hallucinations delusions, and subjective psychological stress.
While the THC (the most psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis) offers incredible physio/psychological health benefits, it has been linked to being the sole culprit of producing more schizophrenia-like symptoms.
When comparing multiple subjects under the influence of only THC, a mixture of THC and CBD (cannabidiol), and no cannabinoids, researchers found that only THC produced subjectively negative psychological effects. The subjects with no additional cannabinoids in their system and the subjects with the mixture of THC and CBD both experienced a nearly identical psychological effect. The only major difference was that the subjects who had ingested the mixture reported less anhedonia (unable to experience pleasure) then the other two groups. The researchers concluded that if anything, their research highlighted
the importance of distinguishing between different strains of cannabis.
Once we break cannabis down into its component cannabinoids it is easy to see why users describe such incredibly varied experiences. Cannabidiol is extremely effective in treating and preventing symptoms of schizophrenia, as research continues to suggest. Many researchers believe that cannabis legalization will herald a revolution in the treatment of various psychological disorders, including schizophrenia. According to a 2005 double-blind study analyzing the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol, researchers found that:
cannabidiol treatment was accompanied by a significant increase in serum anandamide levels, which was significantly associated with clinical improvement. The results suggest that inhibition of anandamide deactivation may contribute to the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol potentially representing a completely new mechanism in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Other studies on the topic affirm that many subjects report
A group of Dutch scientists say that there is no proof that cannabis induces schizophrenia. These findings will be embarrassing for the Dutch government, which has been bearing down on Marijuana Coffee Shops saying the drug induces schizophrenia.
The truth is that much of the research done thus far has been skewed and largely unscientific. Under proper guidance, and using the correct strains, researchers all around the world agree that cannabis is a wonderfully effective psychotropic medication. Researchers discussed the consistently shown promise and proof of cannabis as an effective psychotropic medication in the British Journal of Psychiatry:
I considered Arseneault et al‘s (2004) search for evidence of the association between cannabis and psychosis as quite skewed. They did not explore the evidence regarding positive, therapeutic or beneficial psychoactive effects of cannabis in mental health in the context of appropriate, rational and clinical usage…Signalling, mostly inhibitory, suggests a role for cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in central nervous system disease where inhibition of neurotransmitter release would be beneficial. Evidence suggests that cannabinoids inhibit the neurotransmitter glutamate, counteract oxidative damage to dopaminergic neurons and may be potent neuroprotective agents (Croxford, 2003)…knowing [cannabis’] potent neuroprotective function, its potential role in psychiatric practice should not be discarded lightly.
The most important thing to remember is that symptoms of schizophrenia generally (nearly always) precede cannabis use. Schizophrenia and general psychosis have far more to do with genetic make up than anything else (refer to the graph).
Research regarding the connection between cannabis and psychosis, especially symptoms of schizophrenia, remains historically lacking and skewed with regards to component cannabinoids in cannabis. Cannabis produces highly varied subjective experiences, and research has revealed that each cannabinoid within cannabis has a markedly different effect on individuals. Multiple recent studies have shown that cannabis, specifically the cannabinoid CBD, is a highly effective agent in treating schizophrenia and other psychological disorders. Most importantly, symptoms of schizophrenia precede cannabis use in the vast majority of cases. There is currently no clear evidence that cannabis is directly responsible for causing psychosis and schizophrenic symptoms in users.
This is one of the most commonly used arguments against the use of cannabis as a form of medicine or recreation. Like the psychosis argument debunked above, the depression argument is always portrayed in a skewed and exaggerated fashion. The most important thing to remember as we discuss this is that correlation does not imply causation.
Over 4400 adult internet users [who] completed The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale and measures of marijuana use. We employed an internet survey in an effort to recruit the most depressed and marijuana involved participants, including those who might prove unwilling to travel to the laboratory or discuss drug use on the phone or in person. We compared those who consumed marijuana daily, once a week or less, or never in their lives. Despite comparable ranges of scores on all depression subscales, those who used once per week or less had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users. Daily users reported less depressed mood and more positive affect than non-users. The three groups did not differ on interpersonal symptoms.
Cannabis users, whether they ingested the substance less than once a week or every day, reported far less depressive symptoms and far more happiness and satisfaction than non-users. The study goes on to say that:
The media continues to report links between marijuana and depression. In a recent review, Degenhardt, Hall, and Lynskey (2003) identified a modest relationship only among problematic users. Many studies show no link between cannabis and depression despite appropriate statistical power, measurement, and design (Fergusson & Horwood, 1997; Fergusson, Lynskey, & Horwood, 1996; Green & Ritter, 2000; Kouri, Pope, Yurgelun-Todd, & Gruber, 1995; McGee, Williams, Poulton, & Moffitt, 2000; Musty & Kaback, 1995; Rowe, Fleming, Barry, Manwell, & Kropp, 1995). One neglected source of depression among marijuana users may stem from medical use. Separate analyses for medical vs. recreational users demonstrated that medical users reported more depressed mood and more somatic complaints than recreational users, suggesting that medical conditions clearly contribute to depression scores and should be considered in studies of marijuana and depression. The data suggests that adults apparently do not increase their risk for depression by using marijuana.
Just like we discussed in all of the other arguments, the public only sees what the media picks and chooses to show, which is usually negligible data that has been exaggerated and skewed to fit their hype. The previous study also brought up an excellent point that has never been discussed before: are the results of studies concerning cannabis and depression that get aired by main stream media corrupted by reports of depression that originate from medical suffering? The use of cannabis is so wide spread around the world, especially in the US, that it should not be discounted.
Finally, in a longitudinal study completed in 2009 regarding cannabis and suicide,researchers found that:
Although there was a strong association between cannabis use and suicide, this was explained by markers of psychological and behavioural problems. These results suggest that cannabis use is unlikely to have a strong effect on risk of completed suicide, either directly or as a consequence of mental health problems secondary to its use.
The depression argument is false in many of the same ways as the psychosis argument. In the vast majority of cases depressive behavior precedes cannabis use. Additionally, in most cases where cannabis is used to self-treat depression it is found to be successful. Cannabis is a clear biological antidepressant and exhibits incredible therapeutic properties. Depression is highly subjective and everyone experiences it differently. The truth is that in multiple studies both light and heavy cannabis users report far less depressive symptoms than non-users. There is no evidence whatsoever that cannabis use predicts or causes depression. Many depressed people use cannabis and report positive results far more often than people using contemporarily prescribed prescription medication.
Driving While Stoned
(*Note: this report does not advocate driving while under the effects of any substance, including cannabis. The aim of this section is to view the credible findings on how cannabis affects drivers.)
drivers who drank alcohol overestimated their performance quality whereas those who smoked marijuana underestimated it. Perhaps as a consequence, the former invested no special effort for accomplishing the task whereas the latter did, and successfully. This evidence strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution, at least in experiments.
The [findings] contrast with results from many laboratory tests, reviewed by Moskowitz (1985), which show that even low doses of THC impair skills deemed to be important for driving, such as perception, coordination, tracking and vigilance. The present studies also demonstrated that marijuana can have greater effects in laboratory than driving tests. The last study, for example showed a highly significant effect of THC on hand unsteadiness but not on driving in urban traffic.
It is apparent that despite multiple laboratory studies displaying favorable results, real world driving tests are even more positive. When we actually test the effects of cannabis on drivers in the real world, we see very little safety issues, if any at all.
Drivers under the influence of cannabis, unlike alcohol, realize they are under the effects of a substance and successfully compensate for their altered state of mind by driving slower and by giving themselves more space between other vehicles. One of the first actual road tests with cannabis studies drivers in the lab, on the highway, and in congested urban areas. The results affirmed that as far as cannabis’ effect on actual driving performance:
Driving quality as rated by the subjects contrasted with observer ratings. Alcohol impaired driving performance according to the driving instructor but subjects did not perceive it; marijuana did not impair driving performance but the subjects themselves perceived their driving performance as such….Thus there was evidence that subjects in the marijuana group were not only aware of their intoxicated condition but were also attempting to compensate for it…drivers become overconfident after drinking alcohol…and more cautious and self critical after consuming low THC doses by smoking marijuana.
Drivers under the effects of cannabis pay more attention to the road; drive more slowly, and leaving themselves more room between other cars.
The truth is that alcohol is a far more serious problem than cannabis when it comes to driving. Studies performed from 1982 to 1998 demonstrate time and time again that alcohol is significantly more dangerous than cannabis on the road. Alcohol use is also far more prevalent in crash statistics.
Blood and/or urine from fatally injured drivers in Washington State were collected and tested for the presence of drugs and alcohol. Drug and/or alcohol use was a factor in 52% of all fatalities. Among single vehicle accidents, alcohol use was a factor in 61% of cases versus 30% for multiple vehicle accidents. Drugs most commonly encountered were marijuana (11%), cocaine (3%), amphetamines (2%), together with a variety of depressant prescription medications.
The study even found that it was far less likely to find alcohol in a person’s system in the presence of cannabis, implying that cannabis use lessened the prevalence of alcohol use on the road:
Trends noted included an association of depressant use with higher blood alcohol levels, while marijuana use was associated with lower blood alcohol levels.
The objective of this study was to estimate the association between psychoactive drug use and motor vehicle accidents requiring hospitalization.
The risk for road trauma was increased for single use of benzodiazepines and alcohol…High relative risks were estimated for drivers using combinations of drugs and those using a combination of drugs and alcohol. Increased risks, although not statistically significant, were assessed for drivers using amphetamines… No increased risk for road trauma was found for drivers exposed to cannabis.
The largest study ever done linking road accidents with drugs and alcohol has found drivers with cannabis in their blood were no more at risk than those who were drug-free. In fact, the findings by a pharmacology team from the University of Adelaide and Transport SA showed drivers who had smoked marijuana were marginally less likely to have an accident than those who were drug-free. A study spokesman, Dr Jason White, said the difference was not great enough to be statistically significant but could be explained by anecdotal evidence that marijuana smokers were more cautious and drove more slowly because of altered time perception. The study of 2,500 accidents, which matched the blood alcohol levels of injured drivers with details from police reports, found drug-free drivers caused the accidents in 53.5 per cent of cases. Injured drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.05 per cent were culpable in nearly 90 per cent of accidents they were involved in. Drivers with cannabis in their blood were less likely to cause an accident, with a culpability rate of 50.6 per cent. The study has policy implications for those who argue drug detection should be a new focus for road safety. Dr White said the study showed the importance of concentrating efforts on alcohol rather than other drugs.
The BBC and CNN both filmed their own research on the actual effects of cannabis on driving ability. The BBC study focused on a single driver and found that he actually drove better while ‘high’; driving more cautiously and paying more attention to the driving test. The CNN study was a bit more extensive and controlled.
The study, conducted in Washington where recreational cannabis use is legal, focused on 3 volunteers who drove under the effects of different amounts of cannabis. They drove alongside a driving instructor with drug recognition experts (police officers with specific drug recognition training) watching them from outside the vehicle. The volunteers included a heavy daily user, a weekend user, and an occasional user. Even at 7x the legal limit of driving under the influence, 5x the legal limit, and 4x the legal limit respectively, all of the volunteers passed their driving tests, received positive reviews from the driving instructor, and would not have been pulled over by the drug recognition experts.
It’s just safer to drive under the influence of marijuana than it is drunk….Drunk drivers take more risk, they tend to go faster. They don’t realize how impaired they are. People who are under the influence of marijuana drive slower, they don’t take as many risks.
From a theoretical point of view it makes sense that people would be concerned over potential risks of ‘driving while stoned.’ However, the research speaks for itself. Laboratory and real world test results have confirmed time and time again that cannabis does not have a detrimental effect on driving ability. People under the effects of cannabis, unlike alcohol, realize their altered state of mind and compensate successfully for it. In most instances cannabis users drive more safely; driving slower, paying more attention to the road, and remaining more cautious and vigilant. Cannabis does not pose any serious danger to drivers or anyone else on the road.
Cannabis Smoke and Lung Damage
There are endless reports that claim cannabis harms the lungs and bronchial airways, as well as increasing the risk of lung cancer. What you’ll quickly notice though is that the studies these reports are quoting from are completely theoretical studies based on comparisons with cigarette smoke, as opposed to actual findings from research. Additionally, they only focus on one mode of cannabis ingestion, one that destroys many of the medical benefits of cannabis; smoking.
It is true that there are over 50 potentially carcinogenic substances found in cannabis. Additionally, because smoked cannabis is not completely dry and is smoked without a filter, there is roughly 4 times more tar than the amount found in cigarettes. One can see why studies would speculate that cannabis may increase the risk of lung cancer. As usual, when you look at the actual science, the opposite is true.
First of all, there is currently not a single known case of cancer originating from the ingestion of cannabis. As stated numerous times in this report, there has never been a death that cannabis was directly responsible for.
A study in 2005, the largest ever conducted of its kind, left Donald Tashkin, a pulmonologist at UCLA‘s David Geffin School of Medicine, scratching his head. Tashkin and his research team had hypothesized an association between cannabis and lung cancer, but even after 30 years of observing thousands of subjects they were unable to find a connection between cannabis and lung cancer.
We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use. We expected that we would find that a history of heavy marijuana use – more than 500 to 1,000 uses – would increase the risk of cancer from several years to decades after exposure to marijuana. What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.
The heaviest users in Tashkin’s study smoked more than 60 joint-years worth of marijuana, or more than 22,000 joints in their lifetime. Moderately heavy users smoked between 11,000 and 22,000 joints.
That’s an enormous amount of marijuana [however] in no category was there any increased risk, nor was there any suggestion that smoking more led to a higher odds ratio. There was no dose-response, not even a suggestion of a dose response, and in all types of cancer except one, oral cancer, the odds ratios were less than one. This is the largest case-control study ever done, and everyone had to fill out a very extensive questionnaire about marijuana use. Bias can creep into any research, but we controlled for as many confounding factors as we could, and so I believe these results have real meaning.
That being said, Dr. Tashkin wisely notes:
It’s never a good idea to take anything into your lungs, including marijuana smoke.
Smoke does not belong in your lungs, and just as this report does not advocate driving while under the effects of cannabis, it equally does not recommend smoking cannabis. What this report does suggest is using a vaporizer, cooking the cannabis into food, or making a cannabis oil. All of these methods make this entire argument irrelevant as they do not involve any form of smoke.
The media has bombarded the public with seeming ‘proof’ that cannabis leads to lung cancer. The truth is that all of this ‘proof’ has been entirely speculative. Despite cannabis smoke containing carcinogens and up to 4 times more tar than the amount found in cigarettes, long term studies confirm that there is no increased risk of lung cancer from smoking cannabis. On the contrary, the cannabinoids found in THC work to fight against cancer and even protect healthy cells. Most importantly, because cannabis can be ingested in many ways that don’t involve smoke, this entire argument is irrelevant.
Critics are quick to point out the consistently noted dangers of cannabis ingestion. These are the same arguments that have been used for decades. They remain aggressively debated without compromise, despite decades of rational evidence suggesting falsity and fallacy. The seemingly valid concerns regarding cannabis use that top the critics’ list are: the gateway drug theory, short-term memory loss, psychosis, decreased intelligence, harm from cannabis smoke, depression, an elevated heart rate, and worries over driving while high. Let’s allow science and logic to save the day, shall we?
Many critics of cannabis use claim that cannabis is a gateway to harder and more persistent drug use. They are implying that if a person uses cannabis, recreationally or medically, they are more likely to use dangerous drugs like cocaine (again, ironically listed as a schedule 2 drug) or heroin. Although multiple studies have found that cannabis users are more likely than non-users to engage in the use of more ‘hardcore’ substances (meaning higher addiction potential and/or more biologically detrimental), there are endless holes in this argument.
Much of their [US drug-policy leaders] rhetoric about marijuana being a ‘gateway drug’ is simply wrong. After decades of looking, scientists still have no evidence that marijuana causes people to use harder drugs. If there is any true ‘gateway drug,’ it’s tobacco.
Alcohol and tobacco are more accessible and far more likely to be used by teens, consequently making those substances more likely to lead to further drug use. As stated by Elders, they are the true gateway drugs. In one of the most highly credible and sourced assessments on the science of drug use, the Institute of Medicine stated that:
In fact, most drug users do not begin their drug use with marijuana–they begin with alcohol and nicotine, usually when they are too young to do so legally…
There is no evidence that marijuana serves as a stepping stone on the basis of its particular physiological effect.
Starting to see the trend here? Alcohol and tobacco are far more dangerous and addictive than cannabis. If the gateway drug theory did have any legitimacy, it would have to be applied to alcohol and nicotine, two completely legal substances, before it could be attributed to any other substance.
The best analogy I’ve ever encountered for the ridiculousness of the gateway drug theory comes from Lynn Zimmer, PhD, Professor Emeritus at Queens College at the City University of New York:
In the end, the gateway theory is not a theory at all. It is a description of the typical sequence in which multiple-drug users initiate the use of high-prevalence and low-prevalence drugs.
A similar statistical relationship exists between other kinds of common and uncommon related activities. For example, most people who ride a motorcycle (a fairly rare activity) have ridden a bicycle (a fairly common activity). Indeed, the prevalence of motorcycle riding among people who have never ridden a bicycle is probably extremely low. However, bicycle riding does not cause motorcycle riding, and increases in the former will not lead automatically to increases in the latter.
Nor will increases in marijuana use lead automatically to increases in the use of cocaine or heroin.
According to Igor Grant, MD, Executive Vice Chairman at the University of California, San Diego Department of Psychiatry:
Smoking marijuana will certainly affect perception, but it does not cause permanent brain damage. ‘The findings were kind of a surprise. One might have expected to see more impairment of higher mental function. Other illegal drugs, or even alcohol, can cause brain damage…
If we barely find this tiny effect in long-term heavy users of cannabis, then we are unlikely to see deleterious side effects in indivduals who receive cannabis for a short time in a medical setting…
If it turned out that new studies find that cannabis is helpful in treating some medical conditions, this enables us to see a marginal level of safety.
Government experts now admit that pot doesn’t kill brain cells.
This myth came from a handful of animal experiments in which structural changes (not actual cell death, as is often alleged) were observed in brain cells of animals exposed to high doses of pot. Many critics still cite the notorious monkey studies of Dr. Robert G. Heath, which purported to find brain damage in three monkeys that had been heavily dosed with cannabis. This work was never replicated and has since been discredited by a pair of better controlled, much larger monkey studies, one by Dr. William Slikker of the National Center for Toxicological Research [William Slikker et al., ‘Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Rhesus Monkey,’ Fundamental and Applied Toxicology 17: 321-32 (1991)] and the other by Charles Rebert and Gordon Pryor of SRI International [Charles Rebert & Gordon Pryor – ‘Chronic Inhalation of Marijuana Smoke and Brain Electrophysiology of Rhesus Monkeys,’International Journal of Psychophysiology V 14, p.144, 1993].
Neither found any evidence of physical alteration in the brains of monkeys exposed to daily doses of pot for up to a year.
The surprising truth is that cannabis actually promotes the creation of new neurons in hippocampal regions of the brain, the part of the brain most responsible for memory. Xia Zhang, an expert at the Neuropsychiatry Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada along with other medical researchers, points out that cannabis is the only illicit drug ever found to promote the creation of brain cells:
We show that 1 month after chronic HU210 [high-potency cannabinoid] treatment, rats display increased newborn neurons [brain cell growth] in the hippocampal dentate gyrus [a portion of the brain] and significantly reduced measures of anxiety- and depression-like behavior.Thus, cannabinoids appear to be the only illicit drug whose capacity to produce increased hippocampal newborn neurons is positively correlated with its anxiolytic- [anxiety reducing] and antidepressant-like effects.
College students who smoke cannabis demonstrate comparable or even higher grades than their cannabis abstinent classmates, and are more likely to pursue a graduate degree.
The short answer is yes, cannabis alters your mind and body, like any other substance in the world, but it does not make you stupid (certainly you’re not going to claim any of these highly successful cannabis-users are stupid), and all of the physiological and psychological effects are temporary.
Critics of cannabis use argue that memory loss, especially short-term memory loss, occurs more prominently in cannabis smokers. They also claim that it is a permanent effect. All of these claims are either exaggerated or wrong. We’ve already discussed how all the effects of cannabis ingestion are completely temporary; the same applies to memory.
but appear reversible and related to recent cannabis exposure rather than irreversible and related to cumulative lifetime use.
Furthermore, after extensively studying cannabis use, lead researcher and Harvard professor Harrison Pope came to the conclusion that:
From neuropsychological tests chronic cannabis users showed difficulties, with verbal memory in particular, for ‘at least a week or two’ after they stopped smoking.Within 28 days, memory problems vanished and the subjects ‘were no longer distinguishable from the comparison group.’
These tests affirm that the physio/psychological effects of cannabis are temporary and reversible.
long-term cannabis use [is] only marginally harmful on the memory and learning. Other functions such as reaction time, attention, language, reasoning ability, perceptual and motor skills [are] unaffected. The observed effects on memory and learning, [show] long-term cannabis use [causes] ‘selective memory defects’, but that the impact [is] ‘of a very small magnitude.’
In fact, rather than having deleterious effects on memory, Ohio State University scientists have shown that
Research supports this claim as past studies have revealed that cannabinoid receptors stimulated by cannabinoids in cannabis act as an anti-inflammatory agent and serve to improve memory in old rats.
Surprisingly, recent research into the activity of the hippocampus suggests that the key to a good memory is forgetting. Think of the brain as a computer with enormous hard drive space. Despite this incredible amount of storage, it is still finite. The more memories our brains create, the harder it is for our working memory to properly remember and recall. In this way, forgetting a few things actually isn’t a bad thing. It is in fact highly beneficial overall.
Another important point is that different cannabinoids found in cannabis affect memory centers in the brain in remarkably different ways. Through further legalization, scientists will have the freedom to perform more extensive research, while growers will have the opportunity to create strains of cannabis that have an even more minimal effect on the memory centers of the brain.
These studies reveal that in the short run, short-term and working memory are disrupted by the ingestion of cannabis by creating new neurons in the memory centers of the brain. These additional neurons disrupt working memory by acting as additional ‘noise’ to the active, recalling mind. These short-term memory lapses are completely temporary though, and in the long run the brain is actually left with additional neurons and a more expansive memory center. To use the analogy of a computer again, think of heavy-cannabis ingestion as a temporary lapse in primary memory functionality for the sake of upgrading the storage capabilities of secondary memory.
Elevated Heart Rate
It is true that many cannabis users describe symptoms of panic and consequently an elevated heart rate, especially during their first time trying cannabis. What still remains debated is whether cannabis itself biologically causes heart rate to increase.
The most well known study done on the correlation between cannabis and heart rate, and subsequently the only truly credible and widely used study, is one performed by a man named Dr. Murray A. Mittleman. Mittleman’s study focused on:
information on cannabis use from 3,882 middle-aged and elderly patients who had suffered heart attacks. A total of 124 patients were identified as current users, including 37 who reported smoking the drug up to 24 hours before their attack, and nine who had used it within an hour of experiencing symptoms.
Mittleman’s conclusion was that the first hour after taking cannabis heart attack risk is 4.8 times higher than during periods of non-use. In the second hour, the risk drops to 1.7 times higher. According to Mittleman this was the first study to document that smoking cannabis could trigger a heart attack, but that the trigger mechanism remained unknown. So what’s the issue with this constantly cited study?
Besides the fact that any type of smoke entering the lungs produces the same effect (it is not necessary and not medicinally optimal to smoke cannabis, a subject that is covered later in this report), Dr. Lester Grinspoon, who is one of the world’s foremost cannabis researchers as well as Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a former senior psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston for 40 years, explains why this study should be dismissed. Dr. Grinspoon tells an interviewer, in response to Mittleman’s study:
..let me say that since 1967 there have been numerous reports and studies, each of which the American media has blown out of all proportion, stating one or another supposed ill effect of marijuana use. I can list them, if you’d like. ‘Increase in the size of the ventricles, decrease in testosterone, destruction of chromosomes.’ All were front-page stories, none of them have ever been replicated. In other words, they didn’t pan out scientifically. Of course, the studies that contradicted them ended up on page 31 or thereabouts, if they got mentioned at all… I would point out that out of 3,882 patients, we’re talking about 9 who used marijuana within an hour of the onset of a heart attack. That’s around 0.2%. By sheer mathematics, given that people sleep eight hours per day or so, we can deduce that 6.7% of those patients emptied their bowels within an hour of onset. It’s incredible to me that the numbers here could be said to constitute a significant risk factor.
So, as is typical of the main stream media, a report was utterly sensationalized and relatively negligible data was heralded as proven truth. Dr. Grinspoon elaborates on the shortcomings of the study by reminding the interviewer that:
[Mittleman] put that increase [in heart rate] at 40 beats per minute. In truth, that number is closer to 20 beats per minute, which is probably consistent with running up the stairs in one’s house...I blame the media far more than I do Dr. Middleman. I read his abstract, and in its conclusion he cautioned against making too much of the data…in 1997, Kaiser Permanente did a large-scale study which included more than 65,000 admitted marijuana users, and they could not demonstrate any impact of marijuana use on mortality. If marijuana use really was a significant risk factor for heart attack, it is hard to believe that it didn’t turn up there. Again, I’m not saying that there is absolutely no risk demonstrated here. But given the history of the research since 1967, I’d be surprised if these findings don’t go down the same chute as all of the other front-page scare stories.
With regards to actual significant scientific data, cannabis has in fact been shown (as stated in the ‘Cannabis Cures Everything’ section of this report) to treat and protect the heart, as well as help prevent heart disease through the interaction with the endocannabinoid system of the heart and surrounding regions of the body. It is consequently a likely tool for fighting and preventing obesity (along with hemp seeds). The science is still emerging, but what little research exists strongly suggests that cannabis will serve an extremely positive role in keeping the heart healthy in the future.
The single study that is consistently used to argue that cannabis poses a danger to cardiovascular health is far from significant and only became prominent through sensationalized media. Repeat studies suggest the cannabinoids found in cannabis play a pivotal role in cardiovascular health and the prevention of heart disease.
Even more amazingly, studies all around the world have concluded with exponentially growing empirical affirmation that cannabis completely and totally cures cancer. It additionally acts as a preventative, stopping cancer from ever coming back. Don’t believe me? Continue reading, or just ask the US government; they own the patent for cannabis as a successful cure and/or treatment for a whole array of medical conditions.
Before we delve into the medicinal benefits of cannabis, we must first understand the vehicle through which cannabis performs its medicinal magic, the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System
Cannabis is one of the most highly effective medicinal substances in the world. It has the power to treat and/or cure a countless number of illnesses and syndromes, including a whole array of different types of cancer. But how can a single substance have such an extraordinary effect on our biology? It all begins with the endocannabinoid system.
Endocannabinoids are the substances our bodies naturally make to stimulate these receptors. The two most well understood of these molecules are called anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). They are synthesized on-demand from cell membrane arachidonic acid derivatives, have a local effect and short half-life before being degraded by the enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL).
Phytocannabinoids are plant substances that stimulate cannabinoid receptors. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most psychoactive and certainly the most famous of these substances, but other cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) are gaining the interest of researchers due to a variety of healing properties. Most phytocannabinoids have been isolated from cannabis sativa, but other medical herbs, such as echinacea purpura, have been found to contain non-psychoactive cannabinoids as well.
The information above focuses on the two most well known endocannabinoids in the body, as well as the most well known cannabinoids in cannabis, but there are far more. Cannabinoids are split into three categories:
It is through the encocannabinoid system that cannabis is able to perform its magic. Cannabis has the ability to treat and/or cure a constantly growing list of illnesses, including cancer. Dependent on the individual and the type of cannabinoid used, most types of cancer have been observed responding positively to the introduction of cannabis in the system, including cancer found in the breast, prostate, lung, thyroid, colon, skin, pituitary gland, ovary, pancreas, as well asmelanoma, leukemiaandmore! The cannabinoids in cannabis act through the body’s natural endocannabinoid system to cure and/or treat cancer in several ways, the most prominent and well researched being:
One of the greatest benefits of cannabis as medicine is that it stimulates and acts in harmony with a system that is already present throughout the body. Instead of prescribing five or more different, highly addictive pills to treat various symptoms, and additional pills to treat the endless side effects (often worse than the illness itself) of all the pills, doctors are able to use cannabis and the cannabanoids within it, as a single, natural medicinal source without any physical addiction potential and little to no harmful side effects. Plus, don’t forget, it is impossible to overdose on.
Cannabis Cures Everything Else
Along with treating various forms of cancer, cannabis can be used to treat a constantly growing list of other diseases and syndromes as well. It may even slow the aging process. Additionally, the cannabinoids found in cannabis are exceptional anti-oxidants and neuroprotectants. It is such a remarkable substance that it is able to treat seemingly opposite illnesses simultaneously, like obesity and eating disorders/malnutrition. Again, the key is the activation and involvement with the endocannabinoid system. Cannabis has shown results ranging from promising potential to revolutionary effectiveness in curing and/or treating:
It is because the cannabinoids in cannabis are so influential on the endocannabinoid system, a system that spans every part of our body, that they are able to have such an effective, overarching, revolutionarily positive effect. Keep in mind that the above is what researchers have found with limited funds, little time, and immense legal obstacles. The golden age of cannabis research hasn’t even started yet.
Cannabis Oil: Run From the Cure
The most medicinally beneficial way to ingest cannabis is by making a high potency cannabis oil. It should be clear now from this report that cannabis is far more effective than conventional medicine for a near-endless variety of ailments. This is especially true for cancer.
The point is, no matter what type of conventional medicine you use, your chances of survival are bleak, and the side effects are horrendous. On the other hand, there is a medicine available that has been proven to completely cure cancer in the majority of cases, as well as having little to no adverse side effects. Additionally, it is as non-toxic as a substance can get, and is impossible to overdose on. Plus, it focuses on treating the side effects of cancer along with the cancer itself. At this point, you recognize that I’m referring to cannabis, but in this case, I’m referring specifically to cannabis oil, also called hemp oil and hash oil (though hemp oil could also refer to a pressed oil derived from hemp seeds which contains a relatively low amount of medicinally superior cannabinoids, namely THC. To avoid confusion I will refer to it only as cannabis oil).
Cannabis oil refers to a highly potent extract of cannabinoids from cannabis, especially THC, usually in the range of 40-90% purity (though there are claims of higher purity), in the form of a thick oil that can be taken daily. The same science discussed above applies to cannabis oil as the same cannabinoids are present, only with the oil they are in much higher concentrations. It is due to the increased potency in cannabinoids, specifically THC, that cannabis oil is the most medicinal and beneficial form of the medicine.
The use of cannabis oil became most prominent due to a documentary made by a man named Rick Simpson. The documentary is called ‘Run From The Cure,’ ( the word cure referring to the conventional cures for cancer, like chemotherapy. The documentary focuses on the science of the endocannabinoid system, how to make the oil and what to expect, doctor testimonials, research regarding cannabis’ effect on cancer, and testimonials from patients that have used cannabis oil to successfully cure their cancer.
Another story that is making ground breaking news is a story that is dubbed: Brave Mykayla. It is the story of Mykayla Comstock, a 7 year old girl from Oregon who successfully used medical marijuana, specifically cannabis oil, to fully cure her leukemia.
Cannabis oil is effective to an unprecedented degree, so says science and the people who have used it successfully to treat their cancer. Unfortunately, unless you are approved to use cannabis medically, it is incredibly expensive and potentially dangerous to procure due to its legal status. Something obviously needs to change, but what can be done? What’s the next step? **This article is preceded by and continues in the report: Cannabis Cures Cancer and Everything Else: A Through History and Review.
*Note: Although it does not specifically contain a discussion on cannabis oil, this exceptional video speaks extensively on the overall science of cannabis’ effects on the endocannabinoid system, presents testimonials from doctors and patients, and discusses various government funded/peer reviewed studies verifying cannabis’ extraordinary effects. It is the video I recommend to anyone even remotely interested in the subject, and is a great introduction to the plethora of research on the issue. It contains the following credible credits:
Dr. Robert Melamede, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Biology Chairman
Biology Department at the University of Colorado
CEO and President of Cannabis Science
“Cannabinoids kill cancer cells in many cases, people are not aware of this”
Dr. Manuel Guzman, Ph.D.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Professor at the Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
“Cannabinoids have the effect of inducing death in cancer cells”
Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D.
Vice President for Cannabinoid Research
University of South Carolina Columbia Distinguished Professor
“Cannabinoids can be used effectively as anti-cancer agents”
Dr. Sean McAllister CPMC Scientist
California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute http://thesethgroup.org/videos.html
“Cannabidiol inhibits aggressive breast cancers”
Dr. Donald Tashkin, M.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Emeritus Professor of Medicine
Medical Director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory
“THC actually has an anti-tumor effect”
Dr. Robert Sterner, M.D.
UCSD General Surgeon
Graduate of Harvard & UCLA
“Marijuana seeks out cancerous cells and preferentially kills them”
Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather, M.D.
Addiction Medicine Specialist
President of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians
“There are multiple mechanisms of action in which cannabis kills cancer cells”
Dr. Bonni Goldstein, M.D.
Canna Centers, Medical Director
Cannabis Researcher and Scientist
“Cannabidiol has been found to make cancer cells commit suicide”
Dr. Josh Wurzer, Researcher
Laboratory Director, SC Laboratories
Cannabis Researcher and Scientist
“Health benefits attributed to THC is actually because of the CBD content”
It should now be clear by reading this report that cannabis and hemp remain illegal for utterly irrational reasons that are actually damaging society as a whole. Most importantly, cannabis should not be labeled a schedule 1 substance as it contains, at the very last, a substantial amount of medicinal value. This medicinal effect comes with the added bonus of having little to no danger of addiction, overdose, or biological harm; something that cannot be said about most other substances approved by the FDA. Even aspirin, a substance millions of people around the world pop like candy, kills 1000’s of people every year. Let’s not forget that the most popular pain killer in the world has been found to substantially increase heart attack risk.
A slew of studies…show diclofenac — sold under the brand names Voltaren, Cambia, Cataflam and Zipsor — is just as likely to cause a heart attack as the discredited painkiller Vioxx (rofecoxib), which was pulled from the U.S. market in 2004.
We have so many issues with modern medicine, yet a cheap (free if you grow it) natural, highly effective medicine/pain killer already exists in the form of cannabis. Why is it still only available to less than half the country, and only after jumping through extraordinary loopholes? Even more ludicrous, although medical cannabis users are practicing their legal state right, and moreover, the natural right to peacefully preserve their own lives, they are still labeled by the federal government as criminals deserving up to life sentences behind bars. This is alarmingly unreasonable and irresponsible decision making at best. At worst it is pure foolishness and downright criminal in itself.
Regardless of medicinal comparisons between substances, what is important is that people have as many medicinally effective substances available to them as possible, without interference from Big Brother. As Lynn Zimmer, PhD, former Professor Emeritus at the Queens College, City University, New York explains:
The question is not whether marijuana is better than existing medication. For many medical conditions, there are numerous medications available, some of which work better in some patients and some which work better in others. Having the maximum number of effective medications available allows physicians to deliver the best possible medical care to individual patients.
Type 2 diabetes patients become resistant to insulin and it becomes inefficient in clearing out glucose from the bloodstream. The study found that men who prolonged three nights of their sleep also improved their insulin sensitivity, which is responsible for regulating glucose in the blood stream.
Insulin sensitivity can be improved with longer sleeping hours. Most Americans these days work for a longer period of time during the work week and are engaged in more social activities than in the past. Such a lifestyle explains the current decrease in sleeping hours.
According to the article from labiomed.org, researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia did a study on 19 non-diabetic men who had reported an average of 5.1 years of having a lack of sleep during the workweek. They slept an average of 6.2 hours each night during the week, but slept 37.4 percent longer (or 2.3 hours) longer each night during the weekend. Length of sleep was reported by a device the subjects wore on their wrist which monitored the sleep-wake cycles.
The men spent three nights in a sleep lab on each of two separate weekends. The researchers randomly assigned the men to two of three sleep conditions: (1) 10 hours of sleep, (2) six hours of sleep or (3) 10 hours in bed, in which noises during deep sleep aroused them into shallow sleep without waking them. The six hours of sleep tested persistent sleep restriction.
During the whole study time, the men had the same food intake so that the diet would not influence the results. Researchers concluded that the men who slept 10 hours a night had improved insulin sensitivity and decreased insulin resistance by a significant factor.
Things to Consider About Type 2 Diabetes
Despite the news that longer sleep could provide improved insulin sensitivity and raise the possibility of preventing type 2 diabetes from developing, keep in mind that this study consisted of a sample of 19 people. Some may consider this to be an insufficient quantity for conclusive research, including myself. You certainly would not want to be prescribed a medication whose effectiveness was confirmed by a few studies that had a handful of sample cases each. More elaborate research should be done to find conclusive evidence for a link between improved sleep and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
In line with longer sleeping hours, one should also take personal responsibility for his or her own diet. One should be aware of how much sugar and carbohydrates are consumed. There is a higher risk for type 2 diabetes in people with obesity. As of June 18th, 2013, obesity is now officially recognized as a disease, according to the American Medical Association.
Red Wine Vinegar goes well with salads and is a staple of the Mediterranean cuisine. But did you know that it can also help you lose weight and curb your appetite? It even allows you to eat the high-carb foods that usually give you a feeling of regret after the last bite.
When red wine is fermented for a long period, it transforms into red wine vinegar. Besides containing the same antioxidant called resveratrol, the main component of red wine vinegar, and the one that gives it the sour taste, is acetic acid.
Acetic acid is also a main component of other vinegars like white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Acetic acid helps to slow down the digestion of foods that you eat. This action helps to regulate blood sugar and prevent spikes. Blood sugar spikes are what make your pancreas secrete insulin, which tells your body to start to store fat.
According to Doctor Oz, two tablespoons of red wine vinegar will give you optimal results if you want to maintain steady blood glucose and insulin levels. The main reason why it does so is because it prevents some of the carbohydrates that you consume from passing through the blood stream. Carbohydrates are what raise your blood sugar level, insulin level, and ultimately bring your body to store more fat. It is the carbohydrates, not the fat that you eat, that is making you fat.
Here is an excerpt from a research article summary on WebMD concerning mice and red wine vinegar:
Researchers found that the mice developed a lot less body fat (up to 10% less) than mice who didn’t receive the vinegar compound. The amount of food eaten by the mice was not affected.
It’s believed that acetic acid turns on genes that produce proteins that help the body break down fats. Such an action helps prevent fat buildup in body, and thwarts weight gain.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot regulate blood sugar (blood glucose) properly. Those diagnosed with diabetes, are often told by doctors to stay away from sugary foods. This includes grains, especially bread. Carbohydrates are complex sugars, that can be broken down into simple sugars and processed by the body. As mentioned above, carbohydrates make your blood sugar and insulin sky rocket. Consuming a tablespoon or two of red wine vinegar could help some individuals with diabetes have a sugary meal without having their blood sugar levels spike abnormally. Of course, if you are diabetic, make sure you talk to your doctor before you make bagels your new food staple.
If you like your bread, pasta, bagels, and cereals, then incorporating red wine vinegar into your diet could aid in the slowing of digestion and subsequent weight loss. As a spritzer or as a salad dressing, red wine vinegar can be quite delicious.
Kuromame tea is here to help you, if not save you. Kuromame, or black soybeans, a rare legumes native to China, and have long been used in Chinese medicine to clear toxins from the body and promote urination. Kuromame has also been linked to effective weight loss along with promoting a healthy diet. There are a few major components to black soybean kuromame tea that give it its remarkable fat shedding ability.
Polyphenols are compounds known for their anti-aging properties. They are found in foods such as black rice, pears, and potatoes. Black soybeans contain a specific polyphenol called anthocyanin which is known to fight numerous human diseases. Anthocyanin has shown positive results in cancer prevention, anti-aging, reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis, lowering cholesterol, and promotion of lipid metabolism.
A study done by the Journal of Medicinal Food found that anthocyanin inhibited fat absorption in a group of mice that included a higher amount of fat in their diet compared to the control group. The mice did not gain any additional weight.
Isoflavones and Weight Loss
Isoflavones are themselves a type of anti-oxidant and help prevent certain types of cancer such as breast cancer. They also improves lipid metabolism. Lipid metabolism powers your weight loss, or more specifically fat loss. Kuromame tea can help you with this because black soybeans are filled with isoflavones. Lipid metabolism is the process of your body fat being mobilized to be used as energy. They also help to control circulatory blood fats.
There are two more very important components to black soybeans that make kuromame tea the choice for a healthier diet and effective weight loss. One is fiber. Black soybeans are a high carbohydrate legume. However, a large portion of those carbohydrates come from fiber. Fiber helps to lower cholesterol and helps prevent a steep rise in blood sugar levels. The other important and not commonly known compound found in kuromame skin is saponin. Saponin is a chemical compound that also inhibits the absorption of fat.
Make Your Own Black Soybean Kuromame Tea
I have been making my own kuromame tea from the black soybeans I buy in the Asian markets near my house (which you can also buy on Amazon). There is really not much to it:
You grab a handful of black soybeans and put them in a pan over high heat. Let them roast for a few minutes. Nothing extra has to be added. Boil some water for later use. The black soybeans will be ready once you hear the skin crack and the color of the beans turns brown. Take the beans and put them in a french press or other utensil you normally use to prepare tea. Pour in the boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes, or let it sit until you are done drinking.
The reason I do not put down specific measurements is because you can adjust the amount of water to your own liking. Some people like kuromame tea with a smokier taste and some like it more diluted.
After drinking, you can eat the black soybeans themselves since they will be nice and soft. This way you can take in all of the healthy carbs and fiber available to you. It is also worth mentioning that black soybeans are low on the glycemic index, so they make a perfect snack for diabetics!
Besides the obvious reasons for eating spinach and nuts, like losing weight and eating real food, they can also aid in fighting fatty liver disease. For the first time, a correlation between vitamin E and symptoms of fatty liver disease caused by obesity has been uncovered. Fatty liver disease occurs when 5-10% of the weight of your liver comes from fat. It can be caused by alcoholic and non-alcoholic means.
The collaborators, from Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Cornell University, discovered that the essential nutrient vitamin E can alleviate symptoms of liver disease brought on by obesity.
The implications of our findings could have a direct impact on the lives of the approximately 63 million Americans who are at potential risk for developing obesity-related liver disease in their lifetimes,
says Danny Manor, an associate professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Eating leafy greens such as spinach, as well as nuts and sunflower oils, could help battle the symptoms of fatty liver disease since they contain high amounts of vitamin E. Vitamin E has many beneficial health altering properties such as protection against toxins like air pollution, premenstrual syndrome, eye disorders such as cataracts, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
The Fatty Liver Test
Dr Manor tested this hypothesis on a group of mice that were in the advanced stage of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It’s a common symptom of obesity by fat accumulation and inflammation in the fatty liver. The team deprived the group of mice of vitamin E and recorded an increase of fat deposition and other liver problems in the mice. Once vitamin E supplements were given to the mice, these symptoms ceased to exist.
The vast majority of adults do not consume enough vitamin E. This is most likely due to the increased consumption of processed foods which are not rich in Vitamin E for the most part.
We need to consume more vegetables, nuts and seeds, or a supplement, in order to get our daily vitamin E intake as well as to lose weight and avoid fatty liver symptoms.