Dehydration Does More Than Make Us Thirsty

A new study conducted at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory has concluded that being as little as one percent dehydrated can lead to all kinds of problems including:  mood, energy level, focus, and energy.

During the tests it was concluded that it did not matter if someone had been exercising or sitting around, the “adverse effects of dehydration were still the same.” Most people wait until they have a thirsty feeling before taking in water or any liquids, but at this point the body is already one to two percent dehydrated.

According to Lawrence E. Armstrong, one of the lead scientists on this study and a professor of kinesiology at UConn’s Department of Kinesiology, the study confirmed that staying hydrated is important every day and in all aspects of life not just for exercising and being in extreme heat.

The studies also showed that women seem to have more problems due to dehydration than men do.  It is unclear why this is, but “mild dehydration caused headaches, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.” Most women found that tasks were more difficult when mildly dehydrated although their cognitive reasoning was not impaired.  Women were much more sensitive to mood impairment than men during the exercise and at rest tests.

Men also experienced “fatigue, tension, and anxiety when mildly dehydrated.” Their problems were more in the areas of “vigilance and working memory” during the tests. They too could have mood problems, but it was not as severe as that seen in the women studies.

More research is needed to understand why women are so much more susceptible to dehydration than men.  Harris Lieberman, a co-author on the study and a research psychologist with the Military Nutrition Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Mass, said, “In both sexes these adverse mood changes may limit the motivation required to engage in even moderate aerobic exercises.  Mild dehydration may also interfere with other daily activities, even when there is no physical demand component present.”

Even the Smallest of Connections Matter

According to a new study done by Purdue University published in Psychological Science, the need to feel connected is very important even if the connection is with a complete stranger.  People just generally want to feel accepted or feel like they belong to a group even if the acknowledgement is from someone they had never met before making eye contact on the street.

The study was conducted on a traffic heavy path on the campus.  A research assistant was tasked with walking along the path and acknowledging passerby’s by making eye contact, making eye contact and smiling, or completely ignoring the person.  The person was then stopped and asked about what they felt about the research assistant’s acknowledgement or lack of.

Those who received some sort of eye contact whether it involved a smile or not were more likely to feel less disconnected than those who were ignored completely.

This study helped to show that feeling connected causes happiness.  It really does not matter what type of circles that people belong to.  Everyone just seems to want to belong.  The study showed that even when snubbed by complete strangers it can affect that connected feeling and “hurts.”

In the article it was mentioned that previous studies had been conducted, and it was discovered that even a connection was needed from groups that people really wanted nothing to do with such as the Klu Klux Klan.  This seemed to show that people do not want to be ignored by other individuals no matter who they may be.

Co-writer of the study, Eric D. Wesselmann stated, “These are people that you don’t know, just walking by you, but them looking at you or giving you the air gaze—looking through you—seemed to have at least momentary effect.” Wesselman further states that the human connection is a “very strong phenomenon.”

McDonald’s to Stop Using Pink Goop Beef in Its Burgers

By now I’m sure you have seen the image to the left on facebook, twitter, or around the internet. The “Pink Goop” as it has been referred to in the past, is McDonald’s secret beef recipe for making burgers. When the image came out on a news site, the image went viral over night – Chef Jamie Oliver just called it quits and said the the ammonium hydroxide soaked pink beef is no longer going to be used in their patties.  McDonald’s has finally received enough pressure and will ditch the use of the pink goop beef in all it’s burgers, a process that took several years.

If you’re wondering what in the world this pink goop is made out of, the answer is pretty simple – it’s actually made of of “beef trimmings” which are the undesirable, leftover crap of a cow. These leftovers are good … if you’re a dog … but not for humans. The beef trimmings are then processed and soaked in ammonium hydroxide which gives it the pink color, and then they are churned into ground beef.

It’s taken a while but McDonald’s has finally decided to step up its standards in the US and will no longer use the pink BPI meat in the USA. They will continue to use the goo in other countries since they haven’t figured out what is in their McPatties yet. If you’ve eaten a burger from McDonald’s in the past – we all have – you may have noticed that it tasted fine, but pink goop meat is so bad that US Department of Agriculture microbiologist Geral Zirnstein doesn’t even consider “the stuff to be ground beef” and considers “allowing it in ground beef to be a form of fraudulent labeling.”

Other restaurants were doing the same thing, but McDonald’s was the only one that got the heat, after McDonald’s said they were going to discontinue the use of the Goop, Burger King and Taco Bell also came out saying they will no longer use the ammonium hydroxide soaked beef and beef trimmings – finally, I can eat more human food and less dog food when I’m getting my dollar burger. Expect the price of the dollar menu to go up though, this was a way to keep costs down and now that they can’t use the goop, they’ll be forced to buy better meat products… and we’re going to be stuck with the bill. [CBS NewsDaily Mail]

This Man Did NOT Know He Shot Himself in the Head With a Nail Gun

When you shoot your self in the head, the first thing you should feel is the pain associated with the shot right? At least that’s how it should be, but Dante Autullo shot him self in the head with a nail gun and didn’t even feel a thing… well he felt the hit but didn’t think it was anything to serious. As a matter of fact, he kept on going throughout the day as if nothing had happened. He drove 8 hours back home and took his child to a school recital, all while he had a freaking 3 1/2 inch nail in the middle of his brain.

He claims that he felt the hit, but when he went to reach for it he just felt a small scrape and had no idea the gun had actually fired the nail into his skull. That actually makes some sort of sense. If you get hit, you usually feel around, if there isn’t a big hole you tend to ignore things. Last year This Man got shot in the head with a bullet and didn’t know about it until 5 years later. He thought he had gotten hit by a firework during a New Years celebration in Germany.

The reason he didn’t feel anything inside is head is actually pretty simple to explain – your brain doesn’t feel pain… shocking I know, but the brain – the giant piece of mass that sends out signals when something hurts – doesn’t have the ability to send out signals that HE is hurting.

The fact that he shoved a 3 1/2 inch nail into his head however, that’s a little more complicated to explain.

Here’s what happened, according to The Chicago Tribune:

Autullo was standing on a ladder, reaching over his head to drive nails into the top of a wall, when he lost his grip on his nail gun. The recoil swung the gun back and pressed it against his skull. From the outside, it appeared to be a minor scrape, but just below the skin was the head of a nail.

The nail had entered cleanly into his brain without sending skull and bone fragments into the gray matter. The nail didn’t touch any vital areas of the brain. Which kept him alive, he didn’t lose any type of body sensitivity, movement, or even suffer from migraines. The Doctors are not exactly sure how he was able to deal with the nail in his head yet. After he came home from the kids rehearsal, he took a nap and THEN he went to the doctor, where they took the X-Ray in the image below.   [Chicago Tribune via: Gizmodo]

10 Awesome Reasons That Beer is Good For You

Fellow beer drinkers, we can finally rejoice: Your favorite brew may be healthier than you think. A study suggests that beer is actually good for us, everything from reducing broken bones, to helping with mental decline and the study also suggest that it may even help us live longer.

The only problem is that it can only help you if you drink in moderation, meaning two beers a day for men is more than enough to keep you healthy.  Anything more than that can cause liver problems, cancer, and death – both by intoxication and crashing.

So I guess we can finally change the old saying to – A beer a day, keeps a doctor away. Yahoo news compiled the list below and I can finally sleep in peace knowing that the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad so I may have one more for dessert.  After all, If we get too drunk we can always take DHM to sober us up right away.

1. Stronger Bones

In a 2009 study at Tuffs University, the researchers found that beer contains high levels of silicon which means your bones won’t break as easy. They determined that in order to have better bone strength, you should drink one or two drinks daily. The study also found that anything above 2 drinks actually increases your risks for fractures.

Pale Ales are the equivalent of Red Wine when it comes to medical benefits. In a 2010 study they found that pale ales are way better for our health than other kinds of beers, even nonalcoholic beers.

2. A Stronger Heart 

In 2011 analysis of 16 earlier studies involving more than 200,000 people, conducted by researchers at Italy’s Fondazion di Ricerca e Cura, found a 31 percent reduced risk of heart disease in those who quaffed about a pint of beer daily, while risk surged in those who guzzled higher amounts of alcohol, whether beer, wine, or spirits.

3. Healthier Kidneys

Unlike alcohol that destroys your kidneys, a study in Finland singled out beer among other alcoholic drinks, finding that each bottle of beer men drank daily lowered their risk of developing kidney stones by 40 percent. One theory is that beer’s high water content helped keep kidneys working, since dehydration increases kidney stone risk.

4. Boosting Brain Health 

If you can’t remember if you had a beer today, you may want to start taking one. A 2005 study revealed that having a beer a day actually lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The study tracked the health of 11,000 older women showed that moderate drinkers (those who consumed about one drink a day) lowered their risk of mental decline by as much as 20 percent, compared to non-drinkers

5. Reduced Cancer Risk 

A Portuguese study found that marinating steak in beer eliminates almost 70 percent of the carcinogens, called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) produced when the meat is pan-fried. Researchers theorize that beer’s sugars help block HCAs from forming. So next time that you decide to have your buddies over, you may want to marinate the steaks in your favorite beer – If anyone complains, you can argue that you’re keeping them safe.

6. Boosting Vitamin Levels 

A Dutch study, performed at the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, found that beer-drinking participants had 30 percent higher levels of vitamin B6 levels in their blood than their non-drinking counterparts, and twice as much as wine drinkers. Beer also contains vitamin B12 and folic acid.

7. Guarding Against Stroke 

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that moderate amounts of alcohol, including beer, help prevent blood clots that block blood flow to the heart, neck and brain—the clots that cause ischemic stroke, the most common type.

8. Reduced Risk for Diabetes 

Drink up: A 2011 Harvard study of about 38,000 middle-aged men found that when those who only drank occasionally raised their alcohol intake to one to two beers or other drinks daily, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes dropped by 25 percent. The researchers found no benefit to quaffing more than two drinks. The researchers found that alcohol increases insulin sensitivity, thus helping protect against diabetes.

9. Lower Blood Pressure 

Wine is fine for your heart, but beer may be even better: A Harvard study of 70,000 women ages 25 to 40 found that moderate beer drinkers were less likely to develop high blood pressure—a major risk factor for heart attack—than women who sipped wine or spirits. 

10. Longer Life 

In a 2005 review of 50 studies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that moderate drinkers live longer. The USDA also estimates that moderate drinking prevents about 26,000 deaths a year, due to lower rates of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

DHM: The Hangover Cure Pill – It’s like the Morning After Pill, for Alcohol

I hate the horrible feeling associated with drinking. A night out with our friends usually ends up with a horrible morning after – but researchers are working on the morning after pill for alcohol.

The pill is spiked up with a natural chemical called dihydromyricetin, or DHM, it comes from a Chinese raisin tree. The Chinese have been using this tree for about 500 years to cure hang overs symptoms from excessive drinking. Naturally, researchers began to look into the composition of the tree to figure out exactly what part of the tree helped in the healing process – and then turn it into a pill for a profit.

They extracted the DHM Chemical and tested it on drunk rats with surprising results – they went from drunk, to not, in 5 minutes. Jing Liang, the lead researcher in the study, said that DHM will reduce the degree of drunkenness for the amount of alcohol drunk. So while this pill doesn’t completely get rid of the hangover symptoms, it greatly decreases them. You could have 10 beers, and feel as if you only drank 1. Eventually, Liang wants this pill to reduce an alcoholic’s desire for alcohol since you’ll practically only be drinking water.

In my opinion, is just going to make them drink more. If people know that there is a pill that can instantly reduce the amount of alcohol in your system in 5 minutes or less, they will get drunk, and then take the pill when it comes time to go home. You may have less accidents on the road, but since the pill only controls the symptoms of alcohol, the medical implications are still something to worry about – kidney failure being one of them

In Liang’s tests, the rats were injected with the equivalent of a human drinking 15 to 20 beers in two hours. If left untreated, the rats would take up to 70 minutes to get back on their feet. After a milligram of DHM, per kilogram of rat bodyweight was added to the equation, the rats would get back up on their feet in just 5 minutes.

The good thing about DHM is that it actually neutralizes some of the “crappy” hangover symptoms. Usually, when a person suffers from a hangover, his desire to do anything is shut down. The rats go through the same symptoms. When they are drunk, and they place them in a maze, the rats coward away in a corner and go to sleep. But when they are treated with DHM, the rats behave like any other rat would – DHM revives their inquisitiveness to reach the end of the maze. It’s as if they only drank water the night before.

Lastly, the rats that were addicted to alcohol were given DHM, afterwards, the researchers gave them an option to drink sweet tasting alcohol, or sweet tasting water. They found that the rats treated with DHM would drink more sweetened water over sweetened alcohol.

If this cure actually works in humans as well as it has been working in rats, the researchers may finally have found a way to cure alcoholism – or in my cases, horrible morning after experiences. Via: New Scientist

Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Virus Found in India

TDR – Totally Drug Resistant – is not a word that you want to hear when it’s attached to any kind of infection, bacteria, disease, or virus, much less the tuberculosis virus. News have been rushing across India of 12 patients infected with tuberculosis that has mutated to be resistant to all drugs used against the disease. This means that it can NOT be treated or cured – as of right now.

Which is really bad, especially this early in the year. Looks like 2012 is going to be a rough year.

Why This TDR-TB is Horrible

Tuberculosis or “TB” is one of the world’s deadliest viruses killing 1.7 million people in 2009 alone. Normal TB is treated with pills, the whole treatment can take up to 6 months – if you’re lucky – even after you have been treated the pill they use to treat you has long term side effects and the patient has to continue to take the pill until the patient begins to feel okay again.

So How Did The Virus Become TDR?

When people get infected with a virus, they tend to receive medicine to kill the virus off. Unfortunately, people stop taking the medicine when they start to feel “okay,” when they do this, the virus’ that survive the medicine attack mutate to create better stronger copies of its self to become resistant to drugs. There are several different types of TB – The regular TB, MDR-TB: Multi Drug Resistant, and XDR-TB: Extensively Drug Resistant, each one of them is immune to different types of drugs.

The only reason TDR is really bad is because it’s Totally Drug Resistant. XDR is resistant to most treatments, and currently the only cure can take up to 2 years to fully take care of the virus. You can imagine how bad TDR can be.

Where Did It Come From?

The First reported cases came from Israel, where 15 people were infected, somehow it has managed to make it to India. Out of the 12 people infected with TDR-TB, 4 of them saw doctors for treatment. The doctors failed to identify the disease and at least 3 of them received the wrong antibiotics. Since most practicioners in India are un-regulated, the doctors that misidentify diseases and give the wrong dosage of antibiotics cause the disease to grow stronger. In this case they turned the MDR-TB into XDR-TB and finally up to TDR-TB. [Wired

Researchers are Mining 100 Year Old Brains for DNA to Cure Mental Illnesses

It turns out the brains stored inside jars around the globe in some weird scientist’s basement can actually be used for something good. Researchers that study mental health disorders claim that DNA extracted from the brains can assist them in finding cures – if they can figure out how to extract it first.

The researchers stated that the brains stored since the early 1900’s can sever as a type of brain health archive full of information that is no longer available in our modern day brains.

The Indiana Medical History Museum has hundreds of preserved brains and brain chunks that have been taken from mentally ill patients and people who have died from natural causes. Indiana University pathologists’ have been trying to extract the DNA from these brain chunks. They are trying to find a gene that is responsible for causing metal disorders, like Schizophrenia, or Bipolar disorders. Scientific American stated that certain gene variants are thought to be related to schizophrenia, but so far scientists have been unable to isolate the mutated gene.

SciAm stated that now days, a mentally ill persons brain is difficult to find, autopsies are not as common now as they were in the past, and the schools and laboratories that have these “ill” brains tend to keep them for themselves and guard them very carefully.

They hope that by studying brains preserved in jars, they’ll be able to learn more about how our brain works, they are trying to find the gene to cure most mental illnesses, if they succeed at Extracting the DNA and RNA from these jar-brains, they’ll be able to get one step further into finally figuring out how our gray mass actually works.

[Scientific American]