This weeks news covers an alternative to drinking alcohol, another way to help quit smoking, a number of topics on cardiovascular health and fizzy drinks.
A former government drugs advisor, Professor David Nutt, believes it is possible to have the sensation of alcohol – minus the risk to your health… Read more here.
Initially, I thought this was great! Who wants to never have a hang over again, or wants to drive home sober after a night out? But after some thought, I’m not sure how much different taking ‘alcohol like’ chemicals will be to taking recreational drugs. These chemicals, which we don’t know too much about, can have serious implications on your health. The article says that this compound is without health risks, but everything has health risks, you can even overdose on water. If this drug gives you a drunk feeling, I can easily see people wanting to improve and maintain that feeling, leading to an overdose. We see it with recreational drugs at the moment and I’m not really sure how different this will be.
A new way of scanning the heart can identify those who may be at high risk of a heart attack, early tests suggest… Read more here.
This is very impressive, and it was actually discovered by accident! Whilst researching treatment for a totally different ailment, scientists noticed that this treatment highlights plaque build up in arteries. This allows doctors to identify patients who are at risk of developing a heart attack soon, and allows them to act. This could dramatically reduce the incidence of heart attacks. Great news!
Using magnetic fields to alter brain activity may help some people quit smoking, according to an early study. The researchers said they had used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to “undo” nicotine addiction in the brain… Read more here.
I guess this is good news, but the real problem is that people don’t want to quit. There already are a number of ways to help people who really want to quit, but not all smokers want to. This is another treatment which ‘makes people more likely to quit’, it is good news, but when I was reading this I felt tired. It feels like smoking in the news going round and round in circles, making very little progress.
Millions more British patients could be prescribed statins to guard against strokes and heart attacks in light of research that has prompted a radical change in American guidance… Read more here.
Statins have made the news again, and again, it is quite concerning. Although I think there is a place for statins in the health world for extreme cases, it should only be an absolute last resort. The general mentality towards statins really needs to change. At the moment doctors and patients alike see statins as a quick fix, and can’t wait to prescribe/ take them. The sooner people realize statins do have a negative impact on health the better.
To fight the war on pudge, the United Kingdom is backing an initiative tolabel staircases with calorie counts to encourage people to become more active… Over the course of a day, people can scan “smart signs” posted at each staircase to keep track of how many calories they’re burning. If a staircase hasn’t been labeled yet, StepJockey gives climbers the opportunity to “rate” the stairway by providing enough information that the website can calculate how many calories would be burned by climbing it. The details can be printed on a poster and mounted on a wall… Read more here.
I actually quite like this idea, I think it has a lot of potential and could be quite good fun. If people are able to share progress with friends similar to that of the Nike Fuel band or Fitbit Flex software, then I could see it getting quite popular.
Drinking a sweet drink over a long period can lead to hyperactivity and alter hundreds of proteins in the brain, scientists found… Read more here.
If you needed another reason to put that fizzy drink down (other than obesity, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes) this is it. Fizzy drinks have such a negative impact on health I think that in the not too distant future they will become regulated in a similar way to cigarettes.