Study claims a link between diet sodas and stroke and dementia

(credit: Phera Laster / Flickr)

Excessive intake of sugar has been linked to a huge variety of health problems, many of them a consequence of the obesity that’s also linked to excessive sugar. That’s led many people to switch to drinks with artificial sweeteners that aren’t metabolized by the body. A new study is now suggesting that these sweeteners are associated with their own health risks, namely stroke and dementia. But the study doesn’t get into causality, and there’s enough oddities in the data to suggest that it’s not time to purge your fridge just yet.

The study, run by a collaboration of Boston-based researchers, relied on a cohort of individuals that had been recruited starting in 1971. On average, every four years since, the

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This Little Silver Cube Could Be the Future of Personal DNA Testing

Source:
Motherboard

Excerpt:
“Paul Lem and the Spartan Cube. Image: Alexander CollierIf Apple made a personal DNA testing product, it might look something like the Spartan Cube: A minimalist, anodized aluminum box, about the size of a large coffee mug, and roughly as heavy as a small laptop. Aside from the logo of Spartan Bioscience, the Canadian company behind it, there’s nothing much that tells you what it can do. But this unassuming device holds within it a bona fide revolution—at least, according to the medical doctor behind its design. Or, if you’re a cynic, it’s a Pandora’s box.I recently drove out to the Ottawa suburbs to pay a visit to the offices of Paul Lem, founder and CEO of Spartan Bioscience, and his team of … Read the rest

Mental Health, Free Will, and Your Microbiome

Source:
Brain Pickings

Excerpt:
““We are legion, each and every one of us. Always a ‘we’ and never a ‘me.’” “I have observed many tiny animals with great admiration,” Galileo marveled as he peered through his microscope — a tool that, like the telescope, he didn’t invent himself but he used with in such a visionary way as to render it revolutionary. The revelatory discoveries he made in the universe within the cell are increasingly proving to be as significant as his telescopic discoveries in the universe without — a significance humanity has been even slower and more reluctant to accept than his radical revision of the cosmos. That multilayered significance is what English science writer and microbiology elucidator Ed Yong explores in I Contain … Read the rest

Poison Ivy

I sat at a picnic table. I think that must have been it. And a dog must have brushed against the legs of the table after walking through a patch of poison ivy. Because I never went near any vegetation other than grass, but within a day I had the typical blistering rash on the underside of my right forearm and the outside of my right knee.

I washed it and kept it dry and hoped it would go away quickly, but it didn’t. The rash kept spreading over the course of a week until it was all over both arms and both legs. I got some Tecnu and washed everything, but it didn’t help.

The medical literature says the urushiol (the irritating oil found in … Read the rest