Should link between dementia and artificial sweeteners be taken with a pinch of salt?

How peoples capacity for forgetfulness and lies may have impacted on research tying stroke and dementia to diet drinks

They were supposed to be the healthy alternative to their sugar-rich siblings. But now lovers of diet colas and other low-calorie drinks have been hit by news that will radically undermine those credentials: a counterintuitive analyse suggesting a link to stroke and dementia.

The study in the publication Stroke may cause a rethink among the persons worried about obesity, diabetes or a possible early heart attack from sugar-rich beverages who have been considering making a change. It comes to the alarming conclusion that people polishing off one can a day of artificially sweetened drink are nearly three times as likely to have a stroke or develop dementia.

Its a shocking conclusion. But the first reason to intermission is that the study determined no such hazard in people who drank standard sugary lemonades and colas.

There is little previous evidence with regard to dementia, which is why the researchers were looking at it, but the link between sugar and stroke is very well known. Too much sugar raises the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and stroke. Its altogether a bad thing, which is why the World Health Organisation is telling us all to cut down. So “whats going on” in this study?

The evidence it analyses is pulled from the well-respected Framingham Heart Study a cohort of more than 5,000 people in Massachusetts, US, whose diets and lifestyles have been monitored for nearly 50 years, with the main objective of used to identify more about heart disease. Along the route, researchers have looked at other health outcomes.

What they are up against is people capability for forgetfulness and lies. This is the case with every analyze into the food we eat except for those rare ones, almost impossible to do today, which have in effect incarcerated their subjects and controlled every sip and mouthful they took.Researchers understand this and to continue efforts to take account of it, but it is difficult.

There are several possible other reasons why an increased stroke hazard was associated with diet drinkings and not sugary drinks. One is what is called reversal causality. People who come to realise that they are ill and have a high risk of a stroke then switch their behaviour by choosing diet drinks long after sugary beverages have helped cause the problem.

When it came to dementia, the link with diet drinks that researchers ensure disappeared once they took specific aspects of the health of the people in the study into account. When the researchers accounted for other determining factor for Alzheimers, such as risk genes, diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol levels and weight, this significant association was lost, suggesting that these drinks are not the whole story, said Dr Rosa Sancho, head of research at Alzheimers Research UK.

The researchers point to it themselves: We are unable to determine whether artificially sweetened soft drink intake increased the risk of incident dementia through diabetes mellitus or whether people with diabetes mellitus were simply more likely to devour diet liquors, they write. But they call for more research and others will support them in that.

Artificial sweeteners have been viewed with mistrust by a lot of consumers for many years and not entirely deservedly. They are not natural, in the way that sugar is natural, being grown from beet or cane. Some of the hostility comes from those who worry about ingesting man-made chemicals. But while some artificial flavourings have been shown to carry health risks, examines have failed to find similar problems with artificial sweeteners.

Aspartame has been extremely controversial since its approval for utilize by several European countries in the 1980 s, says NHS Choices. In 1996, a study connected it to an increase in brain tumours. However, the study had very few scientific basis and later analyzes showed that aspartame was in fact safe to devour, says the NHS.

Large analyses have also been carried out to look at whether the sweetener increased cancer dangers, and gave it a clean bill of health. The European Food Safety Authority said in 2013 it was safe even for pregnant women and children, except for anyone with a rare genetic condition called phenylketonuria.

Dumping aspartame from its low calorie bestseller did not give PepsiCo the halo impact it hoped. In 2015, it announced it was taking the sweetener some people love to dislike out of Diet Pepsi and replacing it with sucralose. A year later, when it became clear Coca Cola would not follow suit and that fans favor their drink the style it used to be, it did a U-turn and set aspartame back in.

There have been huge efforts to develop artificial sweeteners that will taste as good as sugar and be acceptable to the doubters. Stevia, a plant extract, is marketed as a natural sweetener to the increasingly sceptical health-conscious.

Now it is not just drinks. Public Health England is putting pressure on food companies to cut 20% of sugar from their products by 2020. That will probably mean smaller chocolate bars, where artificial sweeteners merely wont deliver the same savour. But they will be part of the answer in other foods.

Sweeteners such as sucralose, which is 650 periods sweeter than sugar, have long been in breakfast cereals and salad dressings, while saccharin is in store-bought cakes, despite a scare over bladder cancer which caused the Canadian government to ban it as an additive in 1977. It lifted the ban in 2014. The safety debate will go on, but artificial sweeteners are likely to play a bigger part in our diet as the squeeze on sugar ramps up.

There are those, however, who suppose artificial sweeteners will never be the answer to obesity and the diseases that follow in its wake. The problem, in their view, is our sweet tooth and the answer is to reduce our liking for sweetness. So they want to see the gradual reduction of the amount of sugar in our drinkings and our food and snacks without it.

It worked with salt, says Cash, the campaign for action on salt and health, which did much to bring down the salt levels in our food without our noticing it. The same should be possible for sugar. But not if artificial replaces are used to keep our food and drinks tasting just as sweet as they did before.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Microwaves suspected in ‘sonic attacks’ on US envoys in Cuba and China, scientists say

( CNN) They’ve been described as “sonic attacks” — bizarre, unexplained head injuries that spurred the United States to bring home diplomatic staff from China and Cuba. Now scientists are saying the ailments could have been caused by microwave weapons.

“Everybody was relatively skeptical at first, ” he told the newspaper, “and everyone now concurs there’s something there.”

In a Sunday interview with CNN, Smith said microwaves are “a main suspect” in causing the diplomats’ traumata, but ultrasound and infrasound were being studied as potential causes as well.

State Department pulls employees out of Cuba

US diplomats in Cuba report brain injuries

Trump: Cuba ‘responsible’ for diplomat attacks

Sonic attack may have caused brain injuries

Obama announces new moves to fight opioid and heroin abuse epidemic

( CNN) The Obama administration is stimulating it easier for physicians to use anti-addiction medications in the fight against an exploding outbreak of prescription drug and heroin abuse.

It’s part of a package of new initiatives announced Tuesday that includes other efforts to expand craving treatment and increase coverage for mental health and substance abuse services. These initiatives are in addition to the $1.1 billion he proposed last month.

JUST WATCHED

One man’s road from heroin to hope

Gay humen can’t donate blood to victims of the Orlando shooting. That’s absurd | John Paul Brammer

Everyones first response after an inhumanity like this is to ask how they can help. Gay and bisexual men are stymied in their attempts to do so by an outdated law

Last night at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, 50 of our LGBT brothers and sisters were taken from us.

Today, like so many others in my community, I am overcome with a sense of helplessness. I am overcome with the advise to do something, anything, to help the victims and their families. Many in Orlando feel a similar urge. People are lining up to give blood in the wake of the massacre.

But gay and bisexual men who want to give today are encountering an obstacle: the FDA requires a year of celibacy before men who have sex with humen can donate blood.

These new rules were put into practice in late 2015. They were presented as an end to the ban on homosexual humen blood but they are continuing mean even gay men who have been in a wholly monogamous relationship for a year are barred from donating.

Regulations against gay blood reached in 1983 in response to the panic surrounding the HIV/ Aids epidemic. The American Medical Association called for an aim to the ban in 2013, saying it was discriminatory and without a sound scientific basis. HIV-positive donors can be screened out and merely one in 2m HIV infections are caused by transfusions .

In short, the prohibition on lesbian blood is unjustified. Other countries, such as Argentina, have already done away with it.

Misinformation spread on social media Sunday, saying that the ban on homosexual blood has been temporarily lifted in Orlando because of high require. This is actually false, as local donor service OneBlood corroborates.

It is an outrage that our blood can be spilled but not donated. It is an outrage that, despite the facts and despite calls to lift the ban from experts in different regions of the country, homophobia and lesbian panic keeps it in place. Thank God for groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, one Muslim group mobilizing support to keep blood furnishes up.

As we celebrate Pride and yes, we will celebrate even in the wake of tragedy, as we always have let us remember our revolutionary roots. Above all, Pride is a gala of resistance. It is a gala of our audacity to exist.

And so, in the spirit of Pride, in the spirit of Stonewall, in the spirit of our LGBT family members who have been stolen from us too soon, let us continue to resist.

Today is a painful reminder that there are still so many combats left for us to battle. The oppressive, outdated policy on faggot blood is one, and it must come to an end. I look forward to a future where we can express our solidarity with those who are harmed or in need through our required donations.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Top students more likely to smoking pot, drink alcohol, examine says

( CNN) British teens with the highest exam scores are less likely to smoke cigarettes yet more likely to drink alcohol and smoke pot compared with teens at relatively low scores, according to a study published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal Open.

Although some people believe smart students simply have a propensity to experiment, James Williams and Gareth Hagger-Johnson, co-authors of the new study, say these patterns of substance utilize may continue into adulthood.

“Our research provides evidence against the theory that these teens give up as they grow up, ” said the authors, both affiliated with University College London.

Most in US suppose cannabis has health benefits, despite lack of data- analyze

Survey respondents believe drug can alleviate various ailments, even as scientists call out for more research

Americans believe marijuana is helpful in treating a variety of health problems despite a lack of available evidence supporting it, a new survey observed.

The results, to be published in the upcoming issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, prove the most respondents believe smoking marijuana can help with pain management and then MS. Just under half believe it can alleviate insomnia, nervousnes and depression, ailments for which marijuana’s efficacy and safety have not been established by scientists.

” They believe things that we have no data for ,” said the study’s lead author, Dr Salomeh Keyhani, a professor of general internal medicine at the University of California San Francisco medical school.

Of the 16,000 respondents to the online survey, 14.6% said they had employed marijuana in the past year, lower than in the country at large, according to a 2017 survey.

In the US, marijuana’s unique legal situation complicates efforts to study and obtain accurate information about the drug’s harms and benefits.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the agency responsible for drug law enforcement, marijuana is a schedule I drug, meaning that it has serious hazards and no medical benefits. Other drugs in this category include heroin and LSD.

This restricted status makes it difficult for scientists to study marijuana, especially its health benefits.

” We need better data ,” Keyhani said.” We need any data .”

She attributes the gaps between public perception and proved science largely to commercialization of the narcotic in several US countries, which has led to advertising and media coverage.

Thirty-one
Thirty-one US countries have decriminalize cannabis for medical use. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/ PA

To pro-cannabis activists, the lack of traditional research gives credibility to anecdotal evidence, or allows them to point to research on animals or from pre-clinical lab examines not normally used to demonstrated a substance’s medical benefits for humans.

At the same time, marijuana’s schedule I status “ve lost” credibility in recent years. In June, the US Food and Drug Administration( FDA) approved Epidiolex, a first for a drug derived from the marijuana plant. The narcotic, developed by the UK firm GW Pharmaceuticals, won approval to treat certain severe pediatric epilepsy disorders.

In addition, 31 US nations have legalized medical marijuana for a wide various forms of illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress ailment, for which there is not medical proof of efficacy. To alleviate the current opioids crisis some nations, including New York, are willing to allow anyone prescribed an opioid wide latitude to replace it with medical marijuanas.

The survey also procured 18% of US adults believe smoking marijuana is somewhat or completely safe for adults. A smaller segment of the population, 7.3% believe it is somewhat or completely safe for children to be exposed to secondhand pot smoke and that marijuana use is safe during pregnancy. These faiths do not have a basis in mainstream science.

The most common perils respondents associated with marijuanas use were legal problems, addiction and impaired memory.

A recent analyze in the Lancet determined marijuana does not reduce chronic ache or help replace opioids.

However, a different recent analyze published in the periodical Addiction procured an association between states which have decriminalize medical marijuana and a reduction in prescriptions for schedule III opioids. It did not find evidence of drops in prescriptions for more powerful schedule II opioids.

Mixed signals regarding marijuana’s potential dangers and benefits have enabled the commercial marijuana industry to promote a maximalist view of marijuana’s possible benefits. Since direct unproven claims of marijuana’s medical benefits, and affirms such as that a product cures cancer, can lead to unwanted attention from the FDA regulators, cannabis companies have learned to be much more subtle.

Starting with the largely uncontested assertion that no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose, companies will often go on to promote softer, if still unproven , notions of cannabis’s curative properties. For instance, the website of the California company Papa& Barkley features testimonies from customers who say the company’s products alleviated their arthritis ache, nervousnes, insomnia and a guitarist’s thumb cramps.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Fentanyl: The powerful opioid that killed Prince

Sacramento, California( CNN) America’s addiction to opioid-based analgesics and heroin just got exponentially even more dangerous. The most potent analgesic on the market, prescribed by doctors for cancer treatment, is being built illicitly and sold on the streets, delivering a super high and, far too often, death.

The drug, fentanyl, has been around since the 1960 s. Its effectivenes runs miracles, allaying extreme pain in cancer patients who are usually prescribed patches or lozenges. But it can also kill. A medical examination to indicate that Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, ending weeks of supposition on how the singer died.

An illicit version of the drug is inundating into communities across America, and casual users are finding out that their fentanyl pills and powder are delivering a powerful high that is easy to overdose on.

It’s more than sexuality ed. For these young woman, it’s a movement for equality.

When writer Meera Subramanian traveled to India, she wasn’t sure exactly what she’d discover.

In an excerpt from her volume, “A River Runs Again, ” she tells us what she detected :

It was the girls who talked most passionately. Several are speaking about becoming more comfortable with their bodies after having been taught what was happening to them, after resolving at least some of the mysteries of adolescence. They had lost their shyness by learning about the details of biology

Scene from rural Bihar. Photo courtesy of Allison Joyce/ Redux.

In rural Bihar one of India’s most impoverished countries Subramanian sat in a small brick one-room schoolhouse, listening to a group of local teenagers talk about their lives. One young woman in particular caught her attention…

Sobha was the most self-possessed. Her forehead was marked with a sparkly bindi that matched an S-shaped pendant hang from her neck. She sat attentively as the others spoke, only once interjecting, We should say the truth.” But once she had the floor, she commanded the room. All confused chatter stopped.

‘What kind of place is this? ‘ you’ll say if you come to my village. From Bodh Gaya, there’s a river and a mound, and behind them is the village, like a cave. People were afraid to go inside. Even my father didn’t want to stay in the village. It was claustrophobic.” There had been changes, she said. Some villagers now had telephones, and one road was being paved. She learned about the Pathfinder training course from village elders, who said all daughters between fifteen and eighteen should attend.

Subramanian writes that Sobha and the other teenagers had just finished a three-day train on the basics of sexual health through an organization called Pathfinder International, led by two bold advocates, Pinki and Binod.

But my situation was common in the village, “[ Sobha] said, where each household might have six sisters, five sisters. So we made a group with at the least one daughter from each house. We took the training and then we went back home to teach others.” She had to periodically gulp to catch her breath, as though she had been waiting a very long time to speak and felt the importance of each term .

Pathfinder mural in Bihar. Photo courtesy of Allison Joyce/ Redux.

Sobha said she was able to get a Pathfinder poster of the life cycle of a human being passing from birth through adolescence, followed by marriage and a young couple weighing birth-control options, and later holding a child as it is being immunized. She utilized the poster to begin be discussed with others in the village. Pinki and Binod exchanged seems ; they had no idea that one of their students had gone rascal and appointed herself as trainer .

When Sobha finished, Pinki asked if she would continue to work with Pathfinder to organize more training courses. Sobha eagerly concurred.

Subramanian was deeply moved by what she saw. These adolescents weren’t only learning about reproductive health; the latter are learning to find their true voices:

We emerged from the small schoolhouse into an afternoon damp with mist. Though their hair was neatly pulled back and their clothes were modest , I ensure the girls as powerful goddesses, devis eager for justice, who stepped in where the male divinities were failing, determined to softly, or not so softly, dismantle a world that treats them as second-rate citizens .

Pinki and Binod. Photo courtesy of Allison Joyce/ Redux.

As she continued her travellings, Subramanian procured even more reason to hope for a future of real equality and sustainability throughout India.

India is undergoing a revolutionary exam. Girls from all over South Asia are leaning in, tip-off the balance, and hairline fractures are appearing in the ancient system of chauvinism. Whether sexual violence is on the rise or decline is difficult to know. Whether the aggression is men’s bitter reaction to the power they perceive they are losing to women is likewise uncertain.

But what is known is that it is now news. The rise of both women and men who are unwilling to accept the status quo has been startling and encouraging . There are women who bring their daughters into the streets to protest, boys like Sanoj who fight for the rights of their sisters, men like Pinki’s father who struggle to educate their daughters.

In her new volume, “A River Runs Again, ” Subramanian writes about the real change happening not just in Bihar, but all across the country. From villagers reviving a dead river to an engineer-turned-farmer bringing organic food to the plates of everyday Indians. And, perhaps most heartening of all, women and girls are taking the lead.

Everyone is thirsty. Girls and women , after centuries of serving tea to the men in their lives, are reaching for their own beakers . I don’t want to believe that power is finite. Let the teapot be topped off, let the servings be stretched. Because everyone is striving. In today’s India , men and women, boys and girls, share each other’s desires for what Pinki calls self-independence.”

Pathfinder training for local humen in Bihar. Photo courtesy of Allison Joyce/ Redux.

Maybe this is why Pathfinder has found that its develops are substantially more effective when they teach young men and women simultaneously. It’s not just about giving knowledge to the girls or teaching the boys to be respectful. It’s about what arises in the ka, that ethereal space between the two sexes. It’s about what happens when their lives come together .

The stricter statutes against rape that passed at record pace in 2013 might translate into less violence against women. And increasing government support for safety nets and social security could make aging parents less dependent on sons, helping to balance the economic scales that favor a son child over a girl…

In a country that has historically discriminated harshly against females, both men and women are now coming together to fight for equality. Of course, there’s still work to be done…

Resistance remains. Some local government officials have responded to the rash of rapes by indicating India lower the legal age of marriage to help curb such crimes. Boys and girls should be married by the time they turn sixteen, ” they argue, so that they do not stray.” In the face of such logic, the problems can seem intractable. But traditions can be lost in only a single generation. So can the beliefs that it is necessary to marry off your daughter at the onset of puberty and that it is her fault if she does not deliver a son, and do so immediately.

Pathfinder materials. Photo courtesy of Allison Joyce/ Redux.

…but Subramanian has insured firsthand what happens when people elude expectations and find their own voices:

I have ensure the shift in my own family. My Indian grandmother was married at the age of ten. Her four daughters were married in their late teens and twenties. My parent, one of her middle sons, completely broke rank, marrying an American when he was thirty. I wasn’t married until the tender age of forty-four and have chosen not to have children. Among my cousins’ grown children who remain in India, arranged marriage remains the norm, but some are holding out against matches they’re not willing to accept. Each generation has had fewer children than the one before it, and the levels of education for males and females tick upward. Our population growth is stable.

But we are a family with relative entails. For the vast majority of Indian still struggling to survive, larger structural changes are required. They are within reach. Kerala once had the highest population growth in India, but since 1971 it has invested heavily in women’s education, accessible family planning, and comprehensive health care. With neither threat nor coercion, the fertility rate more than halved in a single generation, from over four to under two

Those teens in Bihar are part of a whole new generation. It starts with education…

To stabilize population growth is to rally for literacy, because reading and understanding terms on a page develops the same skills needed to read and understand our own bodies. Through this knowledge comes power and autonomy. And speech. The daughters I met in Bihar … spoke in feisty voices, their exhilaration read in conjunction with impatience as they told the stories of their lives. What they found was that learning how to speak to a spouse, a mother-in-law, a doctor, a police officer is a powerful tool. With this transformation of a private voice into a public voice a public identity is bear, one prepared to dissent and stand up for oneself.

People ask us, ‘Why do you go to these meetings? Do they give you something? ‘” Reena Kumari, an eighteen-year-old Bihari girl told me. I say, ‘When you go to pray, do you get something? ‘ They say, ‘Well, that one daughter who did the training met a boy and ran away.'” She laughed, and continued speaking speedily, in a strong voice. We argue back you had her for fifteen years and they had her for three days and you’re saying we influenced her? ” she said.

There is a flaw in your nurturing , not in our friendship.”

You fight back with their parents? ” I asked.

…and it ends with a new generation that can speak their intellects and own their futures.

Hum bolti hain! ” she said. We speak up! Before develop, we didn’t know anything, but after, we do. We learned how to find the right words to negotiate. There are so many changes.”

Scene from rural Bihar. Photo courtesy of Allison Joyce/ Redux.

To negotiate such changes is to ask for everything you want, knowing you might merely get a fraction. It is to remain unflinching as you look forward into the future of India’s women and girls and the generations they will bear. The path ahead is difficult, littered with obstacles, still under building. But I can imagine the youth I met in Bodh Gaya[ in Bihar] growing up in this new India, their India, moving forward down this road They shape the style as they go. They link their thumbs, they accelerate their pace, and their voices, is giving rise into that space between spaces, are unafraid.

Read more: www.upworthy.com