The Double-Edged Sword of GMOs

Most of us have heard of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). What first comes to your mind when you hear this acronym? Many think of fluorescent mice or purple-colored carrots, but GMOs also encompass less dramatic examples: plants and animals that have been genetically engineered for disease tolerance or improved quality.

The 21st century has not been tranquil for humankind. From chronic diseases to impoverishment, many of us have been facing the worst of nature over the last few decades. However, this era has also involved great strides in technology, a weapon that can be used to tackle these problems.

GMOs can be beneficial to human health. You might have heard of Golden Rice, a genetically modified (GM) rice variety. This has a greatly enhanced proportion of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in humans.

GMOs are used for more than just battling malnutrition; there is ongoing research on the large-scale cultivation of transgenic plants for the synthesis of plant-derived pharmaceutical proteins (PDPs). PDPs are thought to be able to treat myriad ailments. For example, a GM potato could contain a protein that treats Hepatitis B.

More of this news at University Observer

Can High-Protein Diets Damage Your Kidneys?

Here’s a quote that’s been floating around the Internet: “When life gives you lemons, you ask for something higher in protein.”

While it’s not clear who originated the quote (probably not a pasta maker or a bread baker), the quote certainly highlights the recent popularity of high-protein diets such as the Dukan, the Atkins, the South Beach, the Paleo and the Ketogenic diets.

Also, eating too much protein is not without its risks. An article just published in the New England Journal of Medicine reviewed the scientific evidence on what the amount of protein in your diet can do to your kidneys.

For the article, Kamyar Kalantar‑Zadeh, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. of the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine and Denis Fouque, M.D., Ph.D. from the Université Claude Bernard Lyon summarized what is known from studies in animals and humans. Think of your kidneys as the filtering system for your blood.

Moreover, keep in mind that, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 14% of people in the United States have chronic kidney disease, most commonly from high blood pressure or diabetes.

Read more at Forbes

Is Couples Therapy The New Wellness Essential?

“It’s crazy that we spend so much energy working to enhance everything else about ourselves and our lives, but we have so much shame about working on our relationships in the same way. Even though I’m in what I consider to be a healthy relationship, I think couples therapy helps to make it that much better.”

Is couples therapy right for you and your partner? Here’s what the experts have to say.

Michael I. Bennet, M.D., relationship expert and author of F*ck Love, says that it’s probably not necessary to go to couples therapy if there isn’t a specific problem. But if there’s one issue or fight that keeps coming up over and over again, give it a try.

He also recommends going into it with a specific goal in mind. “Consulting such a therapist with a smart goal is bound to be constructive and lead you either to a better relationship or to a better idea of what you must do to find what you’re looking for,” he says.

Think of couples therapy as a check-in.

“As humans, we grow and change over time both individually and as a couple. Caring for a relationship can often fall below parenting, work, and other life tasks in terms of priorities. Nurturing the relationship strengthens the couple’s performance in all aspects of their partnered and individual lives.”

More of this news at Mind and Body Green

Could Genetically Modified Pigs Put Leaner Bacon On The Horizon?

It’s a question on many bacon-lovers’ minds: can the pork product be part of a balanced diet? After all, a mere four slices of the stuff contain roughly 40 percent of recommended daily values of saturated fat and sodium.

A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences announced that 12 “healthy,” low-fat pigs were engineered by the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, NPR’s The Salt reports. Their research was aimed at breeding hardier pigs that would be more economical for farmers to raise, especially during colder weather. The resulting swine have about 24 percent less body fat than usual.

According to NPR, fellow researchers deem the development to be important. “It demonstrates a way that you can improve the welfare of animals at the same as also improving the product from those animals — the meat,” R. Michael Roberts, a professor who edited the paper for the journal, reportedly said.

Genetically-modified (GM) food is a contentious topic. According to Eat Right Ontario, approximately 85 GM foods have hit the market in Canada since 1994. GM salmon is one such food, which was approved for sale in Canada in 2016 with no special labeling required. An August 2017 Angus Reid survey showed that while most Canadians have limited awareness of GMOs, they “still want more transparency,” Global News reported.

Continue Reading at National Post

Air Pollution: Effective Home Remedies To Treat Asthma

New Delhi: As expected, the national capital recorded high pollution levels on Friday morning, just a day after Diwali celebration, amid a ban on the sale of firecrackers ordered by the Supreme Court.

According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), by 11 am, the overall PM 2.5 in Delhi hit ‘severe’ levels, with a reading of 574 ug/m3, and PM 10 also touched ‘critical levels’ of 517 ug/m3, posing health risks to residents, especially those living with chronic conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, etc.

Asthma cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be managed. Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrow and swell and produce extra mucus, making it difficult to breathe. Here are some home remedies that may help prevent an asthma attack and provide relief from symptoms:

GingerAsthma

Ginger can be taken in various forms – just cut one inch of ginger, peel and grate it. Add grated ginger to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and drink it.

Garlic

Garlic is packed with a number of compounds that provide relief from the asthma symptoms.

Continue Reading at Times Now News

Five Natural Remedies For Strong And Shiny Nails

Dry, brittle, and damaged nails can be not only unsightly – even if you’re the only one who notices them – but they can indicate low levels or deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.

Give these remedies a try for strong and shiny nails that your friends will envy!

1. Make sure you’re getting enough essential vitamins

2. Drink lots of water

3. But avoid water on your nails

4. Get plenty of protein in your diet

5. Keep your nails cut short and moisturize

Read the full article at New Idea

Health And Wellness: Why A Banana A Day Will Keep The Doctor Away

When you see commercials with elite athletes dramatically tearing up the basketball court or drilling long balls to center field, the ever-important question always follows: Is it in you? Well, according to experts, not as much as it should.

Doctors say we need 4,700 milligrams daily, but studies show most people aren’t getting enough potassium in their diet.

If you are looking for an effective way to feel better, here are four reasons potassium is essential for good health.

1. It reduces bone loss.

The role of potassium in bone health relates to the ability of selected potassium salts to neutralize bone-depleting metabolic acids.

2. Maintains blood pressure.

To appreciate the role of potassium, you need to understand kidney function. The tricky process of controlling blood pressure relies on the kidneys. When the body is filled with excess fluid, blood pressure increases, so the kidneys to need to filter the blood and eliminate excess fluid that is stored in the bladder.

Read more at Herald Extra

10 Things You Never Knew About GM Foods

Rebecca Nesbit writes a piece for us upon the release of her new book Is That Fish In Your Tomato?

Only one genetically-modified crop can be legally grown in the EU – a maize variety which is resistant to the caterpillars of the European corn borer moth. It is grown mostly in Spain and Portugal and isn’t grown in the UK.

In Europe, any food containing over 0.9% GM material has to be labeled. GMOs are permitted at low levels because of contamination – GM grain gets accidentally mixed in with non-GM grain. Meat from animals fed GM feed doesn’t need to be labeled.

Extensive studies haven’t found any health problems associated with GM foods. New varieties go through thorough testing as part of their regulatory approval, and safety studies have been performed by university scientists around the world. The World Health Organisation is one of the many organizations to issue a statement saying that there have been no effects of GM crops on human health.

The GM crops currently available have new genes inserted into their DNA. These can be from a different species or can be synthetic sequences made in the lab. New lab techniques are springing up which allow scientists to make much smaller changes to a plant’s DNA. It’s not yet clear which of these will be regulated as genetically modified organisms.

More of this news at Female First

Is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet the Best for You?

Tom Brady, Venus Williams, Penélope Cruz, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have something in common, aside from being unnaturally beautiful: They’ve all followed forms of anti-inflammatory (AI) diets at one time or another.

Tom has done it to boost his performance on the football field. Venus said she did it to help keep her autoimmune disorder in check. And Penélope and Rosie have followed an AI-style detox to keep their skin radiant.

What is inflammation, anyway?

Believe it or not, inflammation starts as a good thing. It happens when your immune system sends out white blood cells and “warrior” compounds like eicosanoids to attack invading viruses, bacteria, or toxins. A classic example of totally normal inflammation: pain, heat, redness, and swelling around a wound or injury (think of a tender sprained ankle).

But for more and more of us, the balance never happens. That’s because sugar, refined grains, and saturated fat can also trigger an inflammatory immune response, notes Sears, and the typical Western diet is packed with them, meaning we’re inflaming our bodies over and over, every time we eat.

Air pollution and environmental toxins also trigger your immune system this way, but “most of the chronic, extra inflammation in our bodies is diet-related,” says Sears. In arteries, chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease. In the brain, it’s linked to anxiety and depression. In your joints, it causes swelling and pain.

Read more at Health

Can the Right Kind of Canola Oil be a Health Food?

Do you know about the dangers of canola oil? Erucic acid levels, solvents, trans fats, and omega-6 fats – these are all some of the common concerns. But how much do you really know about canola oil, in general?

Why canola oil?

The main thing that I want you to keep in mind during this entire discussion is that I really do not have a vested interest no matter where you stand on the canola oil debate. I am a fan of science, and I am a fan of facts.

If we want to focus our efforts on both avoiding the things that can harm you, while focusing on the things that can help, I think it is dangerous to rule things out completely without considering every single aspect of an issue.

Erucic Acid

Erucic acid is made by other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower and is found in the chemical family of glucosinolates. If you have heard of the protective compounds in broccoli, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts, this is what we are talking about when we consider glucosinolates.

Read more at HuffingtonPost