Health & Wellbeing

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Creative People Physically See and Process The World Differently

by Alice Klein, PreventDisease.com

Openness to experience is one of the "big five" traits often used to describe personality. It is characterised by curiosity, creativity and an interest in exploring new things. Open people tend to do well at tasks that test our ability to come up with creative ideas, such as imagining new uses for everyday objects like bricks, mugs or table tennis balls.

There's some evidence that people with a greater degree of openness also have better visual awareness. For example, when focusing on letters moving on a screen, they are more likely to notice a grey square appearing elsewhere on the display.

Now Anna Antinori at the University of Melbourne in Australia and her team are showing that people who score more highly when it comes to the openness trait "see" more possibilities. "They seem to have a more flexible gate for the visual information that breaks through into their consciousness," Antinori says.

Patchwork Pictures

Antinori and her colleagues asked 123 university students to complete a binocular rivalry test, in which they simultaneously saw a red image with one eye and a green image with the other eye for 2 minutes.

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Canada Officially Moves to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Nationwide

by Carey Wedler, The Anti-Media

Canada officially moved to legalize recreational marijuana on Thursday when the government introduced legislation allowing the possession of small amounts of cannabis. The new law also sets regulations for the sale, growth, and purchase of the plant.

USA Today reports:

“Canada’s federal government set the age at 18, but is allowing each of the provinces to determine if it should be higher. The provinces will also decide how the drug will be sold and distributed. The law also defines the amount of THC in a driver’s blood, as detected by a roadside saliva test, that would be illegal. Marijuana taxes will be announced at a later date.”

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6 Hormone Balancing Powers Of Red Clover

by Margie King, GreenMedInfo

Menopause can seem like torture. Women at midlife suffer with mood swings, stubborn weight gain, hot flashes, and low energy.  At the same time they can develop anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping. This natural remedy may provide a perfect solution...

The problem is hormones run amuck. 

The ancient Celts had a natural solution - red clover (Trifolium pretense).  They considered red clover magical and sacred. It wasn’t just superstition. 

Modern research explains why this folk remedy is so effective in helping women at midlife. Red clover contains gentle hormone-balancing plant compounds called isoflavonesThese natural chemicals weakly attach to estrogen receptors in the body’s tissues. And they mimic the effects of estrogen. 

Isoflavones are also adaptogenic.  They sense what the body needs, and adapt their response.

If estrogen levels are low, they act like estrogen.  But if estrogen levels are too high, they take up space on the receptors. They block stronger estrogens. 

Red clover is so powerful it may be a safe and natural alternative to pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy. 

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Lead Poisoning In Children 3x Higher In California City Than in Flint

by James Holbrooks, The Anti-Media

Following up on a report published in December of last year, Reuters ran a piece this week that shed light on the alarmingly high rate of lead poisoning among children across the state of California. One rate in Fresno was almost three times higher than that of Flint, Michigan.

From Wednesday’s article:

“Dozens of California communities have experienced recent rates of childhood lead poisoning that surpass those of Flint, Michigan, with one Fresno locale showing rates nearly three times higher, blood testing data obtained by Reuters shows.

“The data shows how lead poisoning affects even a state known for its environmental advocacy, with high rates of childhood exposure found in a swath of the Bay Area and downtown Los Angeles. And the figures show that, despite national strides in eliminating lead-based products, hazards remain in areas far from the Rust Belt or East Coast regions filled with old housing and legacy industry.”

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Prescription Opioids Take a Backseat to Medical Cannabis, Study Shows

by Sabrina Mueller, Awareness Junkie

New research shows that, given the choice, patients will now reach for cannabis over prescription opioids, anti-depressants and sedatives, such as Valium and Xanax.

Canada is one of the first nations to create a federal medical cannabis program. As of August 2016, more than 65,000 patients were receiving products from more than 30 federally-licensed medical cannabis producers.

Collecting Medical Cannabis Data

In order to asses the merit of the new federal program, professors at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University of Victory created a survey of 107 questions. These questions pertained to demographics, patterns of use and the cannabis substitution effect.

Two hundred and seventy one patients, all with prescriptions to medical cannabis, responded to the survey. These individuals had a wide range of conditions including chronic pain, metal health and gastrointestinal issues, while also retaining prescriptions for many other drugs.

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Probiotics In Yogurt Reverse Depression Symptoms

by Mae Chan, PreventDisease.com

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have reversed depression symptoms in mice by feeding them Lactobacillus, a probiotic bacteria found in live-cultures yogurt. Further, they have discovered a specific mechanism for how the bacteria affect mood, providing a direct link between the health of the gut microbiome and mental health.

There are over 400 species of bacteria in your belly right now that can be the key to health or disease.

Broken down, the word probiotic means "for life" or "promoting life." While it sounds good, you still may wonder: are probiotics just another gimmick, or is there some science behind mental health benefits?

Based on their findings, the researchers are optimistic that their discovery will hold true in people and are planning to confirm their findings in patients with depression.

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Review of 200 Studies Confirms That Every Pound Gained Increases Risk of Many Cancers

by John Summerly, PreventDisease.com

A review of over 200 studies has revealed a substantial link between body fat and 11 different types of cancer, prompting calls for further research and tougher efforts to tackle the obesity crisis.


MRI scan of a morbidly obese 250 pound woman (left) and healthier 120 pound woman (right). The areas of pronounced visceral fat are evident on the obese woman around the abdominal cavity.

Just a few years ago, the first a causal link was shown in a study published in Cancer Prevention Research detailing how visceral fat is linked to colon cancer.

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Paying Attention To The Perspective Of Others Is The Best Way To Read Them

by Josh Richardson, PreventDisease.com

We tend to believe that people telegraph how they're feeling through facial expressions and body language and we only need to watch them to know what they're experiencing -- but new research shows we'd get a much better idea if we put ourselves in their shoes instead. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

All our perspectives help us define our truths. Within this perspective, what is true works for the situation at hand and it is what allows us to assess all our experiences. When we realize that all truths are true, we no longer have a need to be right. So what happens when we consider the perspective of others?

"People expected that they could infer another's emotions by watching him or her, when in fact they were more accurate when they were actually in the same situation as the other person. And this bias persisted even after our participants gained firsthand experience with both strategies," explain study authors Haotian Zhou (Shanghai Tech University) and Nicholas Epley (University of Chicago).

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