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Notes: HealthNews RoundUp - 4th Week of September, 2019


Marijuana Nurseries Spew Toxic Fumes



Growing cannabis plants give off biogenic volatile organic compounds, BVOC for short, that can poison those exposed.  Besides the BVOCs from the plants, the oil extraction process gives off another, butane.  Together, these organic compounds create highly toxic ground-level ozone.


Researchers from Nevada’s Desert Research Institute studied emissions from four growing facilities in both Nevada and California.   The large number of plants at each location produce large amounts of BVOCs and ozone.  Nevada and California already exceed acceptable levels of group level ozone,


If you are growing marijuana, be certain to protect yourself sand your community from the fumes.  If you’re growing it legally, consult with the EPA and seek out ways to protect yourself and your community.


Vera Samburova, Mark McDaniel, Dave Campbell, Michael Wolf, William R. Stockwell, Andrey Khlystov. Dominant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) measured at four Cannabis growing facilities: pilot study results. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1080/10962247.2019.1654038


#cannabis #ozone #BVOC

cannabis, ozone, BVOC



Hand Sanitizers Don’t Protect Against The Flu

Vidcast:  ttps://


Simply rubbing your hands with Purell™ or  knock-offs will not kill the influenza virus.  A Japanese study just published by the American Society of Microbiology shows that the mucus that contains the virus protects it from alcohol-based hand sanitizers.


The typical 15-30 second sanitizer rub won’t kill the flu virus, or probably any virus, unless the secretions are dried.  The good news is that first washing your hands with an antiseptic soap for 30 seconds will kill virus.  


You don’t have antibacterial soap but do have Purell?  I suggest quickly washing your hands with any soap to eliminate mucus and then use the hand sanitizer. 


Ryohei Hirose, Takaaki Nakaya, Yuji Naito, Tomo Daidoji, Risa Bandou, Ken Inoue, Osamu Dohi, Naohisa Yoshida, Hideyuki Konishi, Yoshito Itoh. Situations Leading to Reduced Effectiveness of Current Hand Hygiene against Infectious Mucus from Influenza Virus-Infected Patients. mSphere, 2019; 4 (5) DOI: 10.1128/mSphere.00474-19


#Influenza #mucus #Purell

Influenza, mucus, Purell



Buy Your Kids Playthings To Keep Them Active



Give kids active toys like bikes, skates, scooters, slides, and swings that motivate them to physically exert themselves.  When you do, they will not be among the more than 80% of kids who never meet physical activity guidelines.   These specify at least one hour of vigorous activity each day.


Researchers at the University of Queensland studied more than 4000 children 5-17 years of age.  Predictably, those with more active toys and relatively fewer electronic toys more often met physical activity goals.


Fabricating your kids’ world to promote physical activity teaches them to care for their bodies. This educational gift is the most valuable they’ll ever receive.


Katrina M. Moss, Annette J. Dobson, Kimberley L. Edwards, Kylie D. Hesketh, Yung-Ting Chang, Gita D. Mishra. Not All Play Equipment Is Created Equal: Associations Between Equipment at Home and Children’s Physical Activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2019-0075


#Exercise #parenting #activetoys #electronictoys

Exercise, parenting, activetoys, electronic toys



Majority Of Teens Ride With A Distracted Peer At The Wheel

Sixty percent of adolescents ride with teen drivers who are distracted.  University of Michigan researchers report this information from their study of 877 surveyed families.


The most common distractions in the vehicle include deafeningly loud music in 46% of cases, cell phone use in 42%, and additional raucous teens in the back seat in 39% of the time.  Even more concerning were data showing that the impaired teen driver was speeding in 45% of instances, sleepy 14% of the time, or intoxicated in 5% of cases.


Motor vehicle accidents kill more teens than any other cause.  Strongly encourage your kids to ride with peers who drive defensively and never allow them to drive with a teen who had had a license for less than 6 months.


Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan. "3 in 5 parents say their teen has been in a car with a distracted teen driver: Teens driving with teens: More than half of parents in a new national poll believe their teen has been in an unsafe situation riding with a teen driver." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2019.


#Teendriving #distracteddriving #parenting

Teendriving, distracteddriving, parenting



Tea Drives Better Brain Connectivity

Regularly consuming green, oolong, or black tea at least 4 times weekly will improve your brain’s regional synchrony and your thinking skills.  A collaborative study recently published in the journal Aging looked at MRI brain imaging and neuropsychological test results as a function of tea drinking.


The imaging studies showed that regular tea drinkers had more efficient connections between various regions of their brains.  This speeds transfer of information and triggers enhanced performance on cognitive tests.


If you want to stay on the top of your intellectual game, tea makes an excellent beverage.  Previous studies have also shown that it improves your mood, reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, and reduces your risk of age-related cognitive deterioration by some 50%.


Junhua Li, Rafael Romero-Garcia, John Suckling, Lei Feng. Habitual tea drinking modulates brain efficiency: evidence from brain connectivity evaluation. Aging, 2019; 11 (11): 3876 DOI: 10.18632/aging.102023


#Tea #brain #thinking #dementia

Tea, brain, thinking, dementia



The Natural History Of Narcissism

The pathologic love of yourself decreases almost 80% in most persons as they pass from their teen years into midlife.  Psychologists from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign report this finding after studying some 237 participants over a 23 year period.


Three aspects of narcissism, vanity, entitlement, and authoritarian tendencies changed differently over time.   Vanity decreased the least and its persistence was associated with unsatisfactory relationships and broken marriages.  Entitlement decreased the most, but is persistence was associated with a lower satisfaction with life.


The decline of narcissism is a sign of overall psychologic maturity.  Those who gaze beyond themselves are happier and more beloved.


Eunike Wetzel Emily Grijalva Richard Robins Brent Roberts. You’re Still so Vain; Changes in Narcissism from Young Adulthood to Middle Age. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (accepted), 2019 [link]


#Narcissism #vanity #entitlement #sociopath

Narcissism, vanity, entitlement, sociopath



Playing One Sport Risks Injuries



Kids and teens who specialize in a single sport sustain more stress fractures, tendinitis, ligament tears, and musculoskeletal overuse damage.  Brown University epidemiologists and Boston Children Hospital orthopedists analyzed data from more than 10,000 youths over the past 22 years.


More serious injuries occur in those who exclusively play one sport, practice and play intensively, and in girls than in boys.  Girls bumped their injury risk by 30%.   For boys injury risk and severity rose when they played baseball or participated in gymnastics or cheerleading.


The investigators suggest that young athletes principally playing a single sport add a second one recreationally to spread physical stress over around their bodies.  They also recommend variations in practice workout exercises to achieve moderation in physical exertion.


Alison E. Field, Frances A. Tepolt, Daniel S. Yang, Mininder S. Kocher. Injury Risk Associated With Sports Specialization and Activity Volume in Youth. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 2019; 7 (9): 232596711987012 DOI: 10.1177/2325967119870124


#Sports #overuseinjury

Sports, overuseinjury



Onions and Garlic Reduce Breast Cancer Risk



At least once daily Sofrito, a sauce consisting of garlic and onions, reduces the risk of developing breast cancer by 50% or more.  Researchers at the Universities of Buffalo and Puerto Rico studied more than 300 breast cancer survivors and an equal number of healthy controls.


Those women consuming the most Sofrito showed the greatest benefit. The effect was dose-dependent, and those eating less had only a 40% cancer reduction.


Sofrito is a popular part of Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian cuisines.  This study confirms earlier ones that identified anti-cancer properties in so-called allium vegetables that include garlic and onions.  Ironically, their magic appears to be contained in the sulfur compounds that make them so smelly.


Gauri Desai, Michelle Schelske-Santos, Cruz M. Nazario, Rosa V. Rosario-Rosado, Imar Mansilla-Rivera, Farah Ramírez-Marrero, Jing Nie, Ajay A. Myneni, Zuo-Feng Zhang, Jo L. Freudenheim, Lina Mu. Onion and Garlic Intake and Breast Cancer, a Case-Control Study in Puerto Rico. Nutrition and Cancer, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1080/01635581.2019.1651349


#Onions #garlic Sofrito #breastcancer

Onions, garlic Sofrito, breastcancer



Medicinal Weed Use Is Popular Among The Young



More than one in every 10 young persons with medical illness is currently using marijuana each day.  Public health researchers at the Universities of Nebraska and Kansas reviewed survey records from nearly 170,000 participants.


Frequency of use is highest in the youngest.  Twenty-five percent of young patients 18-24 use marijuana while only 2.4% of those over 65 do so.    The majority who use cannabis for medical purposes smoke it.


As more and more states pass medical marijuana laws, its use will continue to rise.  As that happens, standardization of available products and careful FDA oversight will help to assure safety and effectiveness.


If you are a user, be certain that your clinicians know it so that cannabis may be properly integrated into your care plan.


Dai H, Richter KP. A National Survey of Marijuana Use Among US Adults With Medical Conditions, 2016-2017. JAMA Netw Open. Published online September 20, 20192(9):e1911936. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.11936






Nuts Control Your Weight



If you crack open that can of nuts and consume even half a serving each day, you’ll keep your weight in a healthy range and avoid obesity.  Harvard nutritional researchers conducted longitudinal studies on nearly 145,000 professional men and women for up to 24 years.


Subing in nuts for less healthy fare such as processed meats, refined grains, and sugary treats lowered the risk of gaining more than 10 pounds over a 4 year period by 23% and reduced the risk of obesity by 16%.  The investigators theorize that chewing nuts and digesting the fiber they contain tends to satisfy your appetite.


Eat those nuts, especially walnuts, instead of junk food each day.  You only need 7 walnut halves, 12 almonds, 8 cashews, 14 peanuts, or 23 pistachios.


Xiaoran Liu, Yanping Li, Marta Guasch-Ferré, Walter C Willett, Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier, Shilpa N Bhupathiraju, Deirdre K Tobias. Changes in nut consumption influence long-term weight change in US men and women. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, 2019; bmjnph-2019-000034 DOI: 10.1136/bmjnph-2019-000034



#Nuts #weight #obesity 

Nuts, weight, obesity



Boost Your Self-Confidence

Vidcast:  ttps://


You’ll turboscharge your self-confidence by seeing yourself in the eyes of those outside your circle of peers.  A Brigham Young University study of 213 college students analyzed the phenomenon called the imposter syndrome in which even competent trainees feel they are faking it and will be embarrassingly exposed any minute.


The study shows that one in every 5 students suffers from imposter syndrome.  The most effective remedy for this self-defeating mindset is reaching out to parents and professors rather than peers for feedback on your work.


Even those suffering from imposter syndrome can perform well.  Eliminating the self-doubt just makes it easier and more pleasant for you to excel at school or work.


Richard G. Gardner, Jeffrey S. Bednar, Bryan W. Stewart, James B. Oldroyd, Joseph Moore. “I must have slipped through the cracks somehow”: An examination of coping with perceived impostorism and the role of social support. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 2019; 115: 103337 DOI: 10.1016/j.jvb.2019.103337


#Selfconfidence #impostersyndrome #selfdoubt

Selfconfidence, impostersyndrome, selfdoubt



Chronic Insomnia Easily Cured



Cancer survivors facing sleepless nights can be cured with basic sleep education.  Psychologists at Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, looking for a less resource-intense alternative to individual cognitive-behavioral-therapy, tested a simple 2 step program on some 51 participants.


It begins with a sleep-education class that makes that dry information about healthy sleep found in pamphlets come alive.  This session alone cured 41% of the group.


A second step for those with continuing problems is a short series of additional group meetings led by a psychologist or social worker.  This step brought the success rate up to 71%.


Healthy sleep is critical for all of us but particularly for cancer patients.  It stokes up the immune system and keeps the remainder of the body firing on all cylinders.


Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "Chronic insomnia can be cured in cancer survivors with a basic sleep education class." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2019.


#sleep #cancer #sleepeducation #grouptherapy 

sleep, cancer, sleepeducation, grouptherapy



Plastic Teabags Shed Into Your Drink



When you brew tea contained in a plastic teabag, it can release nearly 15 billion microscopic plastic particles into the liquid you’re consuming.  A new study from the American Chemical Society tested four different commercially-available teas that are packaged in completely or partially plasticized teabags.


A single teabag released 11.6 plastic microparticles and 3.1 billion even smaller nanoparticles.  We don’t yet know how dangerous such contaminants can be to humans, but experimental tests on small aquatic organisms, ok water fleas, show that plastic particles drive serious anatomic and behavioral changes.


Buyer beware so read labels and check online.


If you’re a tea lover, buy teas in bags without any plastic.  Those include Able & Cole, Clipper, Pukka Herbs, Teapigs, Twinings pyramid, and Waitrose Duchy.


#plasticteabags #microparticles

plasticteabags, microparticles


The Psychology Of Lies



Slogans seem more believable if the words appear in alphabetic order or nearly so.  A University of  Texas study, just published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, explores this phenomenon in detail.


Ten advertising claims, either written in an alphabetic sequence or not, were presented to a focus group and rated for truthfulness.  The truth ratings were significantly higher for those sound bites that flowed in alphabetic order..  For instance, “Bufferin Eases Pain” is more believable than “Pain Eased By Bufferin.”


The advertising agencies employ this brain preference to control your buying habits.  Knowledge is power.  Now you are aware of this advertising trick, so look for it in the advertising pitches you see and hear.


 Dan King, Sumitra Auschaitrakul. Symbolic Sequence Effects on Consumers’ Judgments of Truth for Brand Claims. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2019; DOI: 10.1002/jcpy.1132


#Alphabeticorder #advertising #truth

Alphabeticorder, advertising, truth



Fruits And Vegetables Pamper Your Kidneys



Many studies convince us that healthy eating, consuming more fruits and vegetables while moderating intake of carbs, fat, and meats, reduces cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.  Now an Australian meta-analysis presents proof that such a moderating diet will also keep your kidneys in work order.


The researchers analyzed 18 separate studies following some 630,000 participants over about 10 years.  A consistently healthy diet was associated with a 30% lower incidence of kidney disease.


One study after another sings the praises of abundant fruits and vegetables in your diet.  If you want a long life, you must respect and maintain your body’s equipment and especially your brains, heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver.


Katrina E. Bach, Jaimon T. Kelly, Suetonia C. Palmer, Saman Khalesi, Giovanni F. M. Strippoli, Katrina L. Campbell. Healthy Dietary Patterns and Incidence of CKD. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2019; CJN.00530119 DOI: 10.2215/CJN.00530119


#Fruits #vegetables #kidneydisease

Fruits, vegetables, kidneydisease




That’s “Health News You Should Use.”  Until we next speak, keep a smile on your face, your brain active, and your body in motion....these are THE best medicines. 

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