Bits and pieces…..

question mark* Forty-six people per day, or 17,000 per year, are dying in the U.S. annually from overdoses of prescription opioids such as Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin.

About 90 percent of people with chronic pain are eventually prescribed an opioid, and up to 25 percent of them become addicted. —Consumer Reports

* Help your brain with hops! Xanthohumol, a type of flavonoid found in hops and beer, has been shown in a new study, published in Behavioral Brain Research, to improve cognitive function.

Xanthohumol has been of particular interest because of possible value in treating metabolic syndrome.

* Diners gobble far more calories in fast food meals than they realize, research shows. A Harvard Medical School study of 3,400 people who visited fast food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts and Wendy’s, were asked to estimate calories in their meals, then researchers collected their receipts and calculated the actual calories the meals contained.

Adults ordered meals with an average of 836 calories. Nearly all participants underestimated by about 200 calories, and a quarter underestimated by at least 500 calories. —USA Weekend

* In 1995, only seven percent of urban Chinese families owned a refrigerator. By 2007, that figure had jumped to 95 percent. —New York Times

* Almond milk is rapidly gaining in popularity and now makes up almost two thirds of the plant-based milk market in the U.S., followed by soy milk (30 percent) and rice and coconut milks. Plant-based milk sales soared to $1.4 billion in 2013. —

* I don’t consider soy a real food. Obviously in the U.S. nearly all of it is genetically modified, but aside from that it has endocrine-disrupting chemicals. It contains isoflavones that act as goitrogens, which inhibit thyroid function. —

* If you’re facing a big decision, a new study suggests you may want to make it before lunch. Researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands found that test subjects who were hungry were more likely to make better decisions–and reap greater rewards–than those who were well-fed. —

* There are three primary industries that have hijacked our health–the medical, agricultural and junk food industries. After World War II, many of the chemicals used in war were pushed into agriculture after the war ended as part of the ironically named Green Revolution.

As a result, nutrition has not been taught in medical schools and was abandoned in favor of pharmaceuticals. —

* Cardiac conflicts of interest? A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine of nearly 500 individuals who helped create treatment guidelines for heart conditions, found that nearly 50 percent reported financial conflicts of interest involving drug companies and medical technology firms.

The study also found doctors and researchers receiving grants from companies or speaking on their behalf, as well as owning stock in firms selling or developing drugs or devices. —AcresUSA


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