Possible link between sugar consumption and Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientists in England have a found a possible link between excessive sugar consumption, and Alzheimer’s disease.  It’s not that sugar is suspected to cause Alzheimer’s, but rather that excess sugar in the body interferes with the body’s normal immune response to a build-up of abnormal proteins in the brian that clump and lead to Alzheimer’s.  Not that we really need any more reasons to avoid sugar, right?!  But this is yet another…

As I teach my daughter, ‘sugar is poison’.  Our bodies can handle it to some degree…life is too short to avoid Girl Scout cookies entirely…but it’s not good to subject our bodies to too much.

You can read more about the study in the journal Nature.

Big GMO study about to start

What is being called the ‘world’s first ever comprehensive and independent study on the safety of GMOs and their associated pesticides’ is expected to launch in 2015.  At a cost of around $25 million, this international effort will be an approximately three year study of rats with the goal of answering these questions:

  1. Are GMOs (or their associated pesticides) toxic to organ systems over the long-term?
  2. Do GMOs (or their associated pesticides) cause cancer?
  3. Do GMOs (or their associated pesticides) reduce fertility or cause birth defects?
  4. Is the mixture of chemicals present in Roundup herbicide more or less toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate?

This is a BIG deal.  Monsanto had used a 90 day study which showed no ill effects, while a two year study by others showed tumors in the rats (only detected after around 18 months) – source.  A three year study will help address the concerns raised by that two year study, and may also lead to regulators requiring long term studies for future GM products (currently, long term studies are not required in any country).

So, great news…but we’ll have to wait three or four years to hear the results.  Read more about it here.

Study looks at the effect of cannabis extract on brain cancer

I’ve seen plenty of stories about people using cannabis to treat brain cancer and other medical problems, but there hasn’t been a lot of hard science looking at this treatment.  That’s where this new study is particular interesting, for it does just that – looks at the effects of using two cannabis extracts, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), both by themselves, and also in conjunction with irradiation.  The result showed a clear benefit of the cannabis extracts, and the best results were when the treatment included both those extracts and the irradation – where the tumors virtually disappeared.  Pretty promising stuff…read more here.

Bulletproof coffee

1405442711002_coffeebrain16.1200wI’m such a coffee geek, I’m surprised I don’t write about coffee here more!  I’ve maintained a separate blog called Coffeeopolis where I used to direct that attention…but in the interest of simplifying life I’ll be favoring this one instead.  Today’s coffee fascination is with a new coffee drink called Bulletproof coffee.  When I first read about this, I wasn’t sure what to make of it, and I quickly moved on to other, more pressing matters (like, you know, work!).  It seems to be popping up more and more though.

So, what is Bulletproof coffee?  It’s designed by Bulletproof Exec, one piece of the puzzle to upgrading ‘your performance in every aspect of life.’  Noble ambitions.  Why mess with coffee though?  This coffee drink is part of a larger diet that gets pretty complicated…so click that link if you want to know more, but for now, just know that it’s designed to be more of a breakfast replacement.  So, how do you make it?  You start with one cup of coffee, brewed with 2 1/2 heaping teaspoons of low-toxin coffee (I hear that any wet-process coffee meets this criteria, though you can of course buy special Bulletproof Coffee Beans…).  Add 1-2 tablespoons of a medium-chain triglyceride oil, 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted grass-fed butter, and mix it all in a blender for 20 seconds (you can buy a starter kit of ingredients for $50).  Click here for a printable instruction card.

So what’s it like?  I wish I could tell you.  Or not.  I haven’t decided if this is something I want to try…I love coffee…and this sounds…weird.  What’s gotten me thinking more about it, though, is this article at Fast Company.  The author drank Bulletproof Coffee every morning for two weeks, trying it as a true breakfast substitute.  The results were interesting and the article is worth checking out.  Or check out the video below for instructions for how to make Bulletproof Coffee yourself.

BPA-Free Plastic May Be Just as Bad

Just a reminder that BPA-free plastic may be just as bad for you!  It’s not that companies are purposefully misleading consumers, but rather a case of using a new, untested additive to replace BPA, but an additive with similar function.  The replacement, BPS, is showing up in urine samples in 81% of Americans.   Read more at Scientific American, also this post from earlier this year.