Researchers have developed a way to reliably predict which chronic pain patients will respond to a sugar placebo pill based on brain anatomy and psychological characteristics. Doctors may one day prescribe placebos that work as effectively as any painkiller for certain patients, the researchers’ new study suggests
Taking low-dose aspirin daily doesn’t preserve good health or delay the onset of disability or dementia in healthy older people. This was one finding from our seven-year study that included more than 19,000 older people from Australia and the US.
Last week I had a shocking cold. Blocked nose, sore throat, and feeling poorly. This made me think about the countless vitamins and supplements on the market that promise to ease symptoms of a cold, help you recover faster, and reduce your chance of getting another cold. When it comes to the common cold (also called upper respiratory tract infections) there is no magic cure (I wish) but some supplements may deliver very minor improvements. Here is what the latest research evidence says.
We are still in love with vitamins a century after they were discovered, with half the US and UK population taking a supplement. Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin – is the favourite and is believed to have the most proven benefits. Governments, including the UK government, have said that the evidence for vitamin D’s health benefits is so overwhelming that every adult should take it as a supplement for at least six months of the year.
Many parts of the country have seen episodic crises due to synthetic marijuana, the largest occurring in Mississippi, where 721 adverse events were logged between April 2-3, 2015. Even with outbreaks aside, synthetic cannabinoids are 30 times more likely to harm you than regular marijuana.
The vine Banisteriopsis caapi is one ingredient in ayahuasca, a psychedelic brew that Amazonian indigenous populations have long used for spiritual purposes.
There’s only one thing better than a hot cup of coffee in the morning: a new research paper telling you your daily habit is good for your health. Headlines presented the good news from the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
New research may be among the first to examine how low levels of vitamin D affect physical performance over the long term.
There is broad, scientific consensus that antibiotic use in animal agriculture is increasing the risk of the development of resistant bacteria. It’s less clear what, if any, role this plays in human health.
An ingredient in toothpaste and other personal care products may be harming the microbes in our gut and leaving us vulnerable to disease. The antimicrobial chemical triclosan is in thousands of products that we use daily: hand soaps, toothpastes, body wash, kitchenware and even some toys.
Roseanne Barr has claimed that she was under the influence of the drug Ambien when she posted her already infamous racist tweet (since removed). But what do we know about Ambien and its side effects?
High-dose vitamin D supplements improve weight gain and help with the development of language and motor skills in severely malnourished children, our latest study has found.
Demand for drugs and devices that can enhance brain functions such as memory, creativity, attention and intelligence, is on the rise.
Chamomile – that yellow flower so often made into a tea, enjoyed before bed – is a very interesting plant. It was recently discovered that the humble flower may control or even prevent diabetes...
Protein supplements for athletes are literally sold by the bucketful. Protein supplements are expensive, and might not be doing much for you. The marketing that accompanies them persistently promotes the attainment of buff biceps and six-pack abs.
From our western perspective, crickets do not look appetizing, but neither did lobsters at one point in time, and in fact they used to be known as the cockroaches of the sea. Now lobster is considered a scrumptious delicacy.
Curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, may be able to reverse some of the effects of Gulf War illness (GWI), according to a new study
Caffeine is one of the most researched substances reported to help athletes perform better and train longer and harder.
When most people think of cannabis users, they probably think mainly of the younger generations. But it’s actually the 45 to 64 age group who show the highest proportion of household spending on cannabis.
On January 4 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole memo, a 2013 document that limits federal enforcement of marijuana laws. This opens the door for a crackdown in the nine states with legal recreational marijuana.
Researchers have developed a new way to attack cancer: using a non-toxic dose of sodium formate—found in nettles and ants—to trigger an organic-osmium compound.
Supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry. But, unlike pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of these products don’t have to prove that their products are effective, only that they are safe – and that’s for new supplements only.
Cinnamon is a popular spice at Christmas time, used to flavour everything from mulled wine to pumpkin pie. And, unlike many Christmas foods, this one might actually be good for you.
Given the opioid addiction crisis, it would seem preposterous that an opioid is legal for use in the United States and can be purchased at tea stores, convenience stores, over the internet and, yes, even from vending machines.
Vitamin and mineral supplements won’t prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration. However, there’s evidence vitamins can slow the progression of existing macular degeneration.
Milk and dairy products are the main source of iodine in many diets, and an important iodine source in many countries.
Why do onions actually make us cry? And why do only some onions make us blub in this way when others, including related “allium” plants such as garlic, barely ever draw a tear when chopped?
The drugs used to treat cancer after surgery can help to slow disease progression, but they don’t always stop cancer cells from spreading, nor do they help with pain associated with some cancers such as sarcomas (rare bone cancers). Cannabis, however, potentially does both of these things.
It’s hard to go a day in Canada without hearing about at least one of two types of drugs – but for vastly different reasons.
Women juggle a life of menstruation, pregnancy, birth, menopause, housekeeping, work, raising, children, and on, and on, and on. That’s why we need all the help we can get. Today, I’m going to share some of the many herbal friends that a woman can make pals with.
A new study shows that aspirin, used for decades to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems, may provide little or no benefit for certain patients who have plaque buildup in their arteries.
I was a clumsy child and had more than my fair share of bumps and knocks. As a result, I was the recipient of a considerable amount of repetitive advice to “rub it better”.
For decades, some people have embraced the idea that there might be major health benefits from taking vitamins in quantities well beyond the recommended daily requirement.
Every year, millions of Americans get short-term prescriptions for steroids, such as prednisone, often for back pain, allergies, or other relatively minor ailments.
Fish oil supplements that contain DHA (the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid) are marketed to pregnant women as a way to support brain development.
Caffeine and napping have something in common. Both make you feel alert and can enhance your performance, whether that’s driving, working or studying.
Benzodiazepines (such as Valium and Xanax) are depressant prescription drugs used most commonly for anxiety.
Flogging fish oil supplements is a lucrative business. In the US alone, 19m people take the pills, spending around US$1.2 billion annually on them.
It is a common belief that herbal medicines are safe and research suggests that they are used by at least a third of people in some countries, such as the UK.
Complementary medicine has received a lot of attention in the past couple of weeks.
One of the most important vitamins for your health is vitamin D. It allows the body to absorb calcium and phosphate from your diet, which are essential for the development of healthy bones.
Scientists are investigating a compound found in green tea for often-fatal medical complications associated with bone-marrow disorders.
Simple painkillers (such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen) are widely bought over the counter and prescribed by doctors. But the stark truth is that most of these medicines don’t work very well.
To boost strength and resilience we need to eat more nutrient-dense foods and support blood circulation. The digestive system is an important source of support for the lungs that also tends to express more deficiencies in autumn.
Taking a low-dose aspirin every day to reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer may be worth the increased risk of stomach bleeding, an analysis shows.
Just one dose of a hallucinogenic drug offers many cancer patients up to six months of relief from disease-related anxiety or depression.
A review of seven research studies suggests a vitamin D deficiency might increase the risk of bladder cancer.
Scientists have identified for the first time the region in the brain responsible for the “placebo effect” in pain relief, when a fake treatment actually results in substantial reduction of pain.
Depending on your genetic make-up, you might be able to drink coffee right before bed or feel wired after just one cup, ongoing research shows.
“A glass of red wine a day could keep polycystic ovaries at bay,” said a news headline this week.
Currently 25 states and the District of Columbia have medical cannabis programs. On Nov. 8, Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota will vote on medical cannabis ballot initiatives, while Montana will vote on repealing limitations in its existing law.
Aspirin is, like ibuprofen and Voltaren (diclofenac), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain and reduce fever.
A compound derived from the leaves of the neem plant could significantly suppress the development of prostate cancer, according to new research with mice.
Metformin is the most widely used drug to treat type 2 diabetes globally. In Australia, approximately two-thirds of patients with type 2 diabetes are prescribed metformin, either alone or in combination with other pills, or with insulin injections.
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a synthetic chemical made from a substance found in a fungus that grows on rye and other grains, called ergot.
In one of television’s more bizarre recent offerings, the History Channel show “Appalachian Outlaws” follows a band of West Virginians as they hunt rugged forests for American ginseng, a medicinal root worth hundreds of dollars per pound.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for keeping us in good health. While eating a varied diet should give us all the nutrients we need
Low levels of vitamin D are linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline and impairment in elderly Chinese people.
Named after the Greek word kreas, meaning flesh, creatine is an amino acid derivative found in all cells in the body, but is stored primarily in muscle.
The use of food supplements and herbal medicinal products by the public, including athletes, is common practice – but it is not well regulated.
It’s easier than you think to experience the beauty and healing properties of lavender by growing and using your own fresh lavender for use in food, body care, bathing, and other purposes. It can easily be done indoors in pots or outside in your garden.
The opium poppy is arguably the oldest painkiller known to man, with its use being described by the ancient civilizations. Opium mimics the body’s home-made painkillers
It is an open secret: while athletes dope their bodies, regular office workers dope their brains. They buy prescription drugs such as Ritalin or Provigil on the internet’s flourishing black market to boost their cognitive performance.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid narcotic about 100 times as potent as morphine, continues to be in the news, as deaths from fentanyl overdose continue to rise and even more potent nonpharmaceutical forms become available on the street.
It’s easy to explain the appeal of drugs like heroin and cocaine, which directly stimulate the brain’s reward centres. What’s less easy to explain is the appeal of psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin that produce altered states of consciousness.
A golden era of antibiotics shifted the leading causes of death away from infection to cancer and cardiovascular disease. At the moment, we can still treat most infections as only a few are resistant to what is currently the last line of antibiotics – the colistins.
"These findings provide us with a much better understanding of how this class of drugs may act upon the brain in ways that might raise the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia," says Shannon Risacher. "Physicians might want to consider alternatives to anticholinergic medications if available when working with their older patients."
The drugs are sold under the brand names Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, and Protonix, among others. More than 15 million Americans have prescriptions for PPIs, although the number of people taking PPIs is likely higher because the figure does not include PPIs bought over-the-counter without prescriptions.
Children who had vitamin D stores above the threshold recommended by the Canadian Pediatric Society averaged around 450 grams (or about one pound) less body fat at 3 years of age.
"It looks like acetaminophen makes it harder to recognize an error, which may have implications for cognitive control in daily life," says Dan Randles.
As a young child I recall my grandmother giving me the largest spoonfuls of cod liver oil, coaxing me with the promise of an equally large spoonful of golden syrup. It was probably a throwback to her own childhood when the post-war government sought to provide infants with a cod liver oil supplement.
The list of over-the-counter dietary and weight loss supplements is exhaustive, with the majority based on scant supporting evidence from studies conducted in humans to support their claims. Weight-loss products make up one of the largest growing markets in the world.
"For some individuals, this simple nutritional supplement might really help reduce the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder. Any progress on the prevention front would be welcome given the number of people affected," says Zhigang Xie.
Scientists are taking a closer look at the main breakdown product of aspirin, called salicylic acid, and its potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Everyone loves D, the sunshine vitamin. Doctors, patients and the media have been enamoured with vitamin D supplements for decades. As well as their clear benefit in curing severe vitamin D deficiencies, endless headlines hail their magical ability to reduce a vast range of conditions from dementia to cancer.
Researchers found a significant association between a patient’s vitamin D levels and the severity of their IBS symptoms, particularly the extent to which IBS affects their quality of life.
The Australian federal court has accused Reckitt Benckiser of misleading consumers. The UK-based company has been marketing products in their Nurofen range for specific types of pain. The truth is, they all contain the same active ingredient: an analgesic drug called ibuprofen. Ibuprofen can’t be targeted at any specific pains.
We’ve known for a long time that aspirin can help prevent damage from a heart attack or a stroke if taken during one of those events. In fact, you might have seen ads about how aspirin can be lifesaving during a heart attack.
Sulforaphane is found in vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, and cabbage—and in particularly high concentrations in young broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane also is available as a dietary supplement called BSE.
Antioxidants have made a fortune for the dietary supplement industry, but how many people really know what they are and why they’re supposedly good for you? One common claim is that the these molecules can protect you from cancer.
In a study published last week, researchers at Harvard University examined 21 brands of dietary supplements containing an herbal stimulant called Acacia rigidula. More than half of the brands analyzed contained an untested amphetamine isomer called β-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA).
Enzymes are essential for proper functioning of our body. They are found in all living plant and animal matter. Their primary job is to maintain balanced body functions, digest food, and aid in the repair of tissue. What types of enzymes do you need? Choosing the...
Obesity and weight loss has become an obsession, such as with anorexia, bulimia, constant dieting and bingeing, when the issue of weight is clearly out of perspective. While weight control is a feminist issue, it is also a health issue. Obesity can endanger the internal organs through ...
Contrary to what Juan Ponce de Leon thought when he searched for it in the 16th century, the fountain of youth is made of anti-oxidants, not water, and it's a lot easier to find than the famed explorer thought. Research on aging from the University of Florida shows that anti-oxidants slow down aging process...
Saw Palmetto Berries is an herb which is needed in the U.S. today. The average male over age 50 may suffer from a variety of reproductive ailments, such as prostate problems, low back pain, and diminishing sexual vitality — this herb can help in alleviating some, if not all, of these symptoms. Likewise, women who may experience...
Knowledge has been handed down through the ages regarding the contributions that essential oils can make in our lives. Some of the stories originated in our grandmothers' tales, some were told by wise sages, while others were revealed by those deeply in touch with the plants. Essential oils are established and revered as a reliable and resourceful healing modality.
Garlic is among the oldest and most versatile of the documented natural remedies. When Hippocrates, the father of diagnostic medicine, was busy noting which treatments worked for the Greek people he treated, he listed garlic. A total of twenty-two ancient Egyptian remedies were found to use garlic, as noted in the Ebers Papyrus dating from the sixteenth century B.C.E.
Aloe Vera called Nature's Miracle has been associated with myth, magic, and medicine since pre-biblical times. All over the world today, Aloe Vera is a common household plant. It is one of the most talked about, yet most misunderstood plants in history.
Herbology evolved into a healing art in China through observation and usage. This knowledge was compiled and passed down for refinement through the centuries. Herbs, like everything else in Chinese Medicine, are classified according to their energetic qualities and functions.
Botanicals can be incorporated into wines, cordials or teas, used in cooking and made into tinctures or salves. Some are applied topically as a poultice. Some plants we dry and use as teas or decoctions.
Ginseng, the root of the plant Panax ginseng, is one of the most commonly used herbal medicines and is often sold as an over-the-counter remedy for fatigue. Although it has been used by humans for thousands of years, more recent research has begun to investigate therapeutic and pharmacological uses including anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties.
There is nothing mysterious or even particularly clever or skillful about making healing formulations from plants. Intimidated by the pharmaceutical elite, we think that to be of any use a medicine must be made by a Ph.D. wearing a white lab coat. Not so! If you can make a cup of tea or cook a simple meal...
We can work with plant spirits for our own personal guidance and healing, but when we call upon plant spirits to engage in the healing of another, a particular type of dynamism is added to the healing process. Plants are community beings that are here to serve the community as a whole so that when we step beyond our own personal needs...
If you make a commitment to yourself and to the herbs, and if you are consistent, you will be richly rewarded on your journey with them. This is also true when working with the spiritual energies of herbs and...
Lavandula angustifolia, known as true lavender or English lavender, was until recently considered the hardiest and most fragrant species. Lavender essential oil is the one most widely used in aromatherapy to...
While I first heard the voice of an herb deva in my kitchen that morning, shortly thereafter, they appeared in my garden. They sent me off running to my computer, so I could type the messages they were so insistent on delivering...
The very basic idea of plant-as-medicine dates back to before recorded history. Cannabis has been a medicine since at least 2800 BCE, and until the 1940s, it was listed in America’s pharmacopeia. In the past few decades, we have seen a return to herbal remedies and treatments. Despite the pharmaceutical industry’s attempts at...
Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which set up a new framework for FDA regulation of dietary supplements, requires consumers, as well as manufacturers, to be responsible for checking the safety of these products and determining the truthfulness of their label claims.
Cold sufferers take heart: A University of Florida study offers new evidence that zinc—the latest rage in cold remedies—may provide immediate protection against disease. "We were startled that the response in people was so dramatic and so rapid," said...