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Health jam: mixing drugs, vitamin supplements and the science of placebo


Mixing drugs is harmful, even deadly. Didn’t your doctor tell you that already? Mixing drugs with alcohol has the same deadly effect. People need to be very careful and ask their doctors if some drugs can be taken with other drugs.

This is why it is always good to tell your doctor that you’re already on medication or if you take any meds which he didn’t prescribe. You life can depend on it. How do the drugs kill you? Easy: when you mix drugs the body breaks them down and generates toxic substances which can lead o liver failure or impede brain functions.

What do we know about vitamin supplements? What we already knew: they are crap. If you have healthy food at home, you do not need them. Also, only your doctor can prescribe what you may need. Don’t just take vitamins “pre-emtive” because they will do harm. Period.

We remain in the realm of meds and drugs and investigate the Placebo Effect, which is used in order to test real drugs for their efficiency. Placebos are pills that don’t do anything. The doctor tells you that they are medicine and thus they will help you cure your illness. Thinking of this you will feel better, but the illness will not go away, the injuries will still be there.

You only feel better:

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science

Your phone won’t give you cancer and you don’t get the flu from the flu shot


Aaron Carroll is ready to fight the medical myths again. This time it is about the phone and its cancer giving properties, which have not been demonstrated even after 2 decades of studies from around the world.

Phone use microwave radiation, liek the one from your microwave oven, but at much lower intensity and thus, the only possible effect when used continuously is a mils heating of the area where the phone is near your skin.

Heating. Maybe not even one degree.

So, as for cancer giving properties, phones have not been proven to do that.

Next up: does the flu shot give you flu? Nope. The symptoms you feel when you get the flu shot is your body reacting to the inactive viruses or bacteria in that shot.

So, if you fell ill after you have been given a flu shot, then that means that you are ok, your body works. It simply mounts a response to the inactive pathogens from the vaccines.

You’ll be ok in no time, but ready for the big battle:

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Which diets work? low fat and low carb are the same on the long run


Aaron Carroll explains why we should keep our diets for a long time, at least six months if not one year. Also, on the long run low fat diets are the same as low carb diets. So, if you wanna get slim, then you need to keep the fats and card low, have a healthy sleeping and eating schedule and exercise. Not more than that!

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learn science

Healthcare Triage trio: systematic reviews, pot, and meta analysis


Systematic reviews, as opposed to review, which are opinions of scientists, look at a ton of studies on a given topic and then derive the conclusions from there. Systematic reviews are scientific studies made to discover patterns and find the truth. they also are transparent enough to let others follow the same path and test the conclusions.

In the news from below you will learn that pot, ie medical marijuana, is not that dangerous and it can be used to reduce pain. Several US states have started accepting it to be publicly used. also, swearing reduces pain too.

While systematic reviews are a good way to use studies of studies in order to get some valid conclusions, there is also the meta analysis. Meta analysis simply merges all the data from all studies in order to get the truth out. Systematic reviews check many studies and rule out those who won’t be deemed useful:

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science

Health myths about MSG, monosodium glutamate, and the gluten-free diets


MSG, monosodium glutamate, has an undeserved reputation among health fanatics from all over the world. Reactions explains what MSG is and why it should not be feared. MSG is a flavor enhances that is used to increase the sensation offered by the umami flavors.

MSG is the salt of l-glutamate, a substance present in vegetables and meat and is even created by our body during metabolism. L-glutamate gives the umami flavor in some vegetables like tomatoes or potatoes.

The MSG myth started in 1968 when the Chinese Food Syndrome myth started to roll out. It is said that a scientist described that the Chinese food gave him unpleasant after effects in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. That journal considered that MSG, found in some algae in the Chinese food, was the culprit.

MSG does not do anything to your body as it only enhances the taste. In any case, even if you use soy sauce you still eat l-glutamate so you won’t get away from it. So, MSG illness is a myth.

Also, check the info provided by Compound Chem about MSG:
Undeserved-Reputation-Monosodium-Glutamate-724x1024

Now, ever heard of gluten-free diets? I’m sure you did and this is why you won’t buy certain types of breads because they might have gluten. Well, most probably you won’t need to follow a gluten-free diet as gluten is not harmful at all. Very few people have issues with it. I mean very very few people:

Gluten-free diets won’t help you at all so stop following crappy advice you get from everywhere.

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infographics learn science

Diseases: bubonic plague, ebola, herpes + where we donate vs what kills us


Right at the middle of the week I hit you with an article about diseases. Come on, you gotta love ’em. They show our nature and they are kind to the population by killing the weak ones. Kidding. diseases are bad and we must take every possible step in destroying it. Fortunately, vaccines and a cleaner world we live in have pretty much keps diseases at bay.

For example, the bubonic plague still exists today in certain places of the world, but we are safe from it because we keep our houses clean, we clean our selves a lot, use antibiotics and have a way better medical system now. Also, because so many have died in the past, only the strongest remained to send out stronger genes to us.

Analyzing bubonic plague will help us create better cures that will cover a hole range of diseases that work in similar ways to it.

What about Ebola? Well, fighting it with technology will ensure that in the future we will overcome this disease too. Since we now have containment procedures, hospital that can quarantine ill people and tech that can track the disease in airports, we can now be safer:

Now, are you ready to have your mind blown by Vsauce 2 in Mind Blow #86? Well, find out that most of us have herpes, but it won’t affect most of us if we have a strong immune system. You, yes you, may have hespes:

Another thing to think about: where we send our donations money and what actually kills more people. The disparity is incredible. We give money for breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and ALS, but the top #4 killers are, in fact: heart disease, pulmonary diseases, diabetes and then breast cancer. the order is… out of order.

Good to know that people donate money, but they better be donating where it’s most needed:
donationa-diseases-that-kill-us

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learn

Vaccines and herd immunity


The power of vaccines is three-fold: it prepares your body to fight with a virus/bacteria, it protects others that cannot be vaccinated and, at groups or population level, it blocks the spreading of diseases. Herd immunity is the situation where an entire population is vaccinated and therefore all are protected since there is no way or host that would transmit the disease. Unvaccinated people inside a group pose risks to other even if they are vaccinated. Since vaccines are not 100% successful that means that some might get the disease.

Vaccinate, people, and don’t let kids or elderly die because you refuse to vaccinate.

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learn science

Learn about risk reduction in treatments. Advertising is a bitch


Learn about the risk reduction that has to be taken into account. Healthcare Triage presents the difference between relative risk reduction, the thing that is often advertised, and the absolute risk reduction, the one that truly matters. When a new treatment comes out or when a study is done you will often hear that it reduced cancer risk by 25% or it reduces cardiovascular risk by 60%. But that is the relative risk reduction.

The devil is in the details.

Treatments are not like black and white areas. The same treatment might not work for you, but it may work for someone else. Given the fact that people have some chance of developing a disease during this year, should we take drugs that tells us that it will reduce the risk of, let’s say, cancer by 0.5%? Is it worth it?

Most of the treatments that have big risk reduction have, in fact, very low absolute risk reductions. Aspirin is told to be really good in reducing heart attacks, but the absolute risk reduction of aspirin is only 0.6%. Useless.

Remember: check for absolute risk reduction. Watch the video from above to learn more.

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learn science

Let’s kill health summer myths with Healthcare Triage


When a bee stings you, you should try to either scrape it or to pinch it in 1-4 seconds max. More than that and the venom will hurt more. If a jellyfish stings you you should urinate on the area that has been stung. Wrong. You need to put that area in hot water. This will reduce the pain.

More: you can use mayonnaise and eat in the summer without issues, citronella candles won’t help fight mosquitoes, poison ivy rash is not contagious, but its oil is.

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learn

Reasons to be scared of the future: a weaker human

Rhys Darby explains why should we scared of the future: the bacteria that is surrounding us is getting tougher and we are getting weaker. Why? Because some of us are too clean, wash ourselves too often and kill as many bacteria from our bodies as possible.

Killing all the bacteria from our skin ensures that we become weaker in front of an outbreak. The solution? Do not wash so often and make sure to jump into the mud from time to time. 😀