Mar 22

New Finding: Consuming Trans Fats Linked To Aggression (GreenMedInfo, Mar 11, 2012):

In the first human study of its kind researchers have linked trans fatty acid consumption to increased aggression. Published in the Public Library of Science’s own journal, PLoS, March 5th 2012, researchers at the Dept. of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, reported:

“Dietary trans fatty acids (dTFA) are primarily synthetic compounds that have been introduced only recently; little is known about their behavioral effects. dTFA inhibit production of omega-3 fatty acids, which experimentally have been shown to reduce aggression. Potential behavioral effects of dTFA merit investigation. We sought to determine whether dTFA are associated with aggression/irritability.”

The study looked at 945 adult men and women who were not on lipid-lowering drugs, and who were without LDL-cholesterol extremes, diabetes, HIV, cancer or heart disease. Outcomes assessed adverse behaviors with impact on others based on both objective (life histories of aggression) and subjective (self-rated impatience and irritabilitly) sources of information. The researchers concluded:

“This study provides the first evidence linking dTFA [dietary trans fatty acids] with behavioral irritability and aggression.”

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May 03

Armed with potent drugs and new technology, a dangerous breed of soldiers are being trained to fight America’s future wars.

Amphetamines and the military first met somewhere in the fog of WWII, when axis and allied forces alike were issued speed tablets to head off fatigue on the battlefield.

More than 60 years later, the U.S. Air Force still doles out dextro-amphetamine to pilots whose duties do not afford them the luxury of sleep.

Through it all, it seems, the human body and its fleshy weaknesses keep getting in the way of warfare. Just as in the health clinics of the nation, the first waypoint in the military effort to redress these foibles is a pharmaceutical one. The catch is, we’re really not that great at it. In the case of speed, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency itself notes a few unwanted snags like addiction, anxiety, aggression, paranoia and hallucinations. For side-effects like insomnia, the Air Force issues “no-go” pills like temazepam alongside its “go” pills. Psychosis, though, is a wee bit trickier.

Far from getting discouraged, the working consensus appears to be that we just haven’t gotten the drugs right yet. In recent years, the U.S., the UK and France — among others — have reportedly been funding investigations into a new line-up of military performance enhancers. The bulk of these drugs are already familiar to us from the lists of substances banned by international sporting bodies, including the stimulant ephedrine, non-stimulant “wakefulness promoting agents” like modafinil (aka Provigil) and erythropoietin, used to improve endurance by boosting the production of red blood cells. Continue reading »

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Apr 17

At the debate, Barack Obama (R) said: “An (Iranian) attack on Israel is an attack
on our strongest ally in the region, one whose security we consider paramount. “

PHILADELPHIA (AFP)—The Democratic White House hopefuls vowed Wednesday to defend Israel against any Iranian attack but differed on how to engage the Islamic republic over its nuclear ambitions.

At a televised debate ahead of next Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama agreed that a nuclear-armed Iran was unacceptable.

Both called for diplomacy but Obama went further in renewing a promise of “direct talks” at a leaders’ level with Tehran, along with other US foes.

Iran should be presented with “carrots and sticks,” the Illinois senator said, while stressing “they should also know that I will take no options off the table when it comes to preventing them from using nuclear weapons or obtaining nuclear weapons.”

“We cannot permit Iran to become a nuclear weapons power,” Clinton said, ruling out any summit talks and condemning President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for raising doubts about who really carried out the September 11 attacks of 2001. Continue reading »

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