For the past five months, Rob Rhinehart has lived off Soylent, a milky mixture of vitamins and minerals he developed. He says it contains all the human body needs to be completely satiated and nutritionally balanced — and he believes it will change the way we eat.
“It started as a personal need for myself,” says Rhinehart, a 24-year-old software engineer based in San Francisco. “My diet before was pretty poor. I ate mainly convenient cheap foods because I wasn’t really that into food.”
via Soylent: Is the ‘Food of the Future’ Really a Nutrition Solution? | TIME.com.
With the unofficial start of summer just a few days away, many people will soon be stocking up on sunscreen. The products they’ll be seeing in stores look different than they have in the past. That’s because new rules for sunscreen labels are now in effect. The changes are good ones for consumers.
The new rules, mandated by the FDA, are making sunscreen more informative with less misleading information. For example, the term “sunblock” is banned because none of these products can block all of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. “Waterproof” is also banned, replaced by “water-resistant”—which must be accompanied by a set time for reapplication. Another big change has to do with SPF, or sun protection factor.
When sunlight hits your skin, it is being exposed to ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn, while UVA can prematurely age and wrinkle skin. Both contribute to skin cancer. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect against UVA and UVB.
via New sunscreen labels offer clearer sunburn, skin cancer information – Harvard Health Publications.
Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a molecule that contains the instructions an organism needs to develop, live and reproduce. These instructions are found inside every cell, and are passed down from parents to their children.
DNA is made up of molecules called nucleotides. Each nucleotide contains a phosphate group, a sugar group and a nitrogen base. The four types of nitrogen bases are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). The order of these bases is what determines DNA’s instructions, or genetic code. Similar to the way the order of letters in the alphabet can be used to form a word, the order of nitrogen bases in a DNA sequence forms genes, which in the language of the cell, tells cells how to make proteins. Another type of nucleic acid, ribonucleic acid, or RNA, transmits genetic information from DNA into proteins.
via DNA: Definition, Structure & Discovery | LiveScience.
LAST month, Katy Perry shared her secret to good health with her 37 million followers on Twitter. “I’m all about that supplement & vitamin LYFE!” the pop star wrote, posting a snapshot of herself holding up three large bags of pills. There is one disturbing fact about vitamins, however, that Katy didn’t mention.
Derived from “vita,” meaning life in Latin, vitamins are necessary to convert food into energy. When people don’t get enough vitamins, they suffer diseases like scurvy and rickets. The question isn’t whether people need vitamins. They do. The questions are how much do they need, and do they get enough in foods?
Nutrition experts argue that people need only the recommended daily allowance — the amount of vitamins found in a routine diet. Vitamin manufacturers argue that a regular diet doesn’t contain enough vitamins, and that more is better. Most people assume that, at the very least, excess vitamins can’t do any harm. It turns out, however, that scientists have known for years that large quantities of supplemental vitamins can be quite harmful indeed.
via Don’t Take Your Vitamins – NYTimes.com.
A 19-year-old survived a dangerous sodium overdose after drinking more than a quart of soy sauce on a dare, according to a case study in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.
After drinking a quart of the sodium-heavy condiment, the teenager slipped into coma with seizure-like activity. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors determined he was suffering from hypernatremia, a metabolic condition in which there is a salt imbalance in the bodily fluids.
Eventually doctors determined that he had ingested 160 to 170 grams of sodium from the soy sauce, a potentially lethal dose for his weight and build. He had effectively overdosed on sodium.
“He didn’t respond to any of the stimuli that we gave him,” Dr. David J. Carlberg, who treated the patient as an emergency room physician at University of Virginia Medical Center, told LiveScience. “He had some clonus, which is just elevated reflexes. It’s a sign that basically the nervous system wasn’t working very well.”
via Soy Sauce Overdose Sends Teen Into Coma – ABC News.
People who go on an extremely low calorie diet are more likely to develop gallstones than people on a moderately low calorie diet, according to a new study.
Dr. Michael Jensen, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, said dieters typically end up with similar weight loss in the long run whether they use extreme calorie restriction or more moderately restricted diets.
“You’re going to end up in the same place (weight-wise), so why take the risk of ending up in the hospital with a gall bladder problem just to lose weight faster?” said Jensen, who was not part of the study.
Gallstones affect as many as 20 million people in the U.S.
Dr. Kari Johansson, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said quick weight loss from very low calorie diets is thought to impact the salt and cholesterol contents of bile and the emptying of the gallbladder, both of which can contribute to gallstones.
via Crash diet tied to increased gallstone risk | Reuters.
Farmers’ markets are loaded with spinach this time of year, and Martha Rose Shulman, the Recipes for Health columnist, has found that soups can be a great way to draw out the flavor of this superfood. She writes:
At a cooking class I taught with my friend and colleague Clifford A. Wright, we demonstrated different versions of the same Andalusian spinach and chickpea soup, a dish that is packed with spinach. Cliff uses lots of olive oil and cooks his for a long time, the way the authentic dish would be produced; I use less olive oil and add the spinach at the end because I prefer the flavor and look of spinach when it’s barely cooked.
via Spinach Soup Recipes for Health – NYTimes.com.
Creative types are often seen as rather flaky — their minds leaping wildly from one bizarre idea to another, ever seeking inspiration. But a new study suggests that people who actually achieve creative success have minds that stubbornly cling to ideas, even to the point where it impairs their ability to shift focus.
In one experiment, researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois selected 34 students out of more than 300 who completed a questionnaire on creative achievement, ultimately including 19 who had outstanding achievements in music, art, science, writing or other areas and 15 of those whose scores ranked them as being among the least creative.
via Creativity Linked with Deficit in Mental Flexibility | TIME.com.
My first tick sighting was a mixture of horror and fascination. It happened during my one and only experience with summer camp, on the shores of Alma Lake in north-central Wisconsin. One of my cabin mates discovered a big, fat tick burrowed into the skin of his belly. “Gross!” we chorused, unable to stop looking. Ideas for how to remove the tick swirled fast and furious. The leading contender was to light a match, blow it out, and touch the hot tip to the back end of the tick. As we scurried around looking for matches, cooler heads prevailed and the kid went off to the nurse for a more effective form of tick removal.
Knowing how to remove a tick is a useful skill for anyone who spends time outdoors, or who cares for someone who does. The sooner a tick is removed—correctly—the less likely the critter can deliver microbes that cause Lyme disease or other tick-borne diseases.
via Matchless strategy for tick removal; 6 steps to avoid tick bites – Harvard Health Publications.
Cholesterol-lowering statins are heavily promoted for heart patients but research is calling into question their use as a preventive medicine.
Statins such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor) are among the widely used prescription drugs.
Since the drugs were first marketed 30 years ago in the U.S. for preventing a second heart attack or stroke in those who’ve already had one, there’s been a shift toward prescribing statins for otherwise healthy people in Canada and the U.S.
“These are patients who really haven’t had an event, a cardiovascular event, but they seem to be at high risk,” said pharmacy Prof. Muhammad Mamdani, who works at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
“You also get populations where people seem to be relatively healthy, their cholesterol levels aren’t that high, but for whatever reason, they are placed on a statin. That’s a patient population that is a lot more debatable and some practices may not be warranted.”
via Statin benefits questioned for heart disease prevention – Health – CBC News.