Summary of “Who’s afraid of sugar?”

The New York Times declared earlier this year: “If Sugar Is Harmless, Prove It.” The Guardian asked, “Is Sugar the World’s Most Popular Drug?” Last year, The Wall Street Journal said that our sugar consumption was “a matter of life or death.” Dio mio! The New York Post last year went topical, publishing a piece the day after Halloween that said a “Lethal dose” of candy corn was “1,627 pieces.”
“Sugar stimulates brain pathways just as an opioid would, and sugar has been found to be habit-forming in people,” the article went.
Sugars are simple carbohydrates, and every complex carbohydrate in existence is broken down into sugars in your body.
Why would the author of The Blood Sugar Solution admit that excess sugar and excess fat have an equal impact on weight loss? Well, if I have to spell out the answer for you then you’re probably not getting it.
It’s a commonly held misconception that sugars from fruit are “Better for you” than sugars from, say, jelly beans, but that’s only because an apple has much less sugar than jelly beans.
Coconut sugar: Have you seen those large brown granular crystals in the sugar aisle? They cost way more than regular sugar, but the only thing different about them are their labels, which proudly declare that they are things like natural, organic, and non-GMO. Bullshit artists like to use coconut sugar in their products, claiming that it’s “Low glycemic,” but spoonful for spoonful? Both in terms of GI and calories, it’s about the same goddamn stuff as the white crystals – you’re just paying a lot more for it.
Non-GMO sugar: Sugar can be derived from one genetically modified source, the sugar beet.
You cannot tell any chemical difference whatsoever between a bag of sugar derived from conventional sugar beets, genetically modified sugar beets, and sugarcane.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Free Yourself From Toxic Situations That Are Bringing You Down”

The answer lies in developing habits which yield highly successful results.
These habits can be adopted by a simple change of mindset.
In order to do so, we need to know what are the best habits to follow for achieving success in life.
A simple Google search for “Successful habits” will give you 181,000,000 results.
To have successful habits, one needs to actually do them.
To really inculcate productive habits into our routine, we need to write them down.
A person who inculcates growth mindset among their list of habits is bound to succeed as they are willing to accept both success and failure in equal measure.
In conclusion, a rewiring of your mindset to acclimatize to these 6 habits can lead to dramatic changes in life and successful results.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Unbelievable’: Heart Stents Fail to Ease Chest Pain”

The findings raise questions about whether stents should be used so often – or at all – to treat chest pain.
For the study, Dr. Justin E. Davies, a cardiologist at Imperial College London, and his colleagues recruited 200 patients with a profoundly blocked coronary artery and chest pain severe enough to limit physical activity, common reasons for inserting a stent.
Clinical guidelines in the United States say stenting is appropriate for patients with a blocked artery and chest pain who have tried optimal medical therapy, meaning medications like those given to the study patients.
Since the procedure carries some risks, including death, stents should be used only for people who are having heart attacks, she added.
A large, federally funded study with Dr. Maron as a co-principal investigator, which does not have an untreated control group, is now underway to determine whether medications can be just as effective as stenting or coronary bypass in preventing heart attacks.
In 2007, another large study led by Dr. Boden – also without an untreated control group – found stents did not prevent heart attacks or deaths from heart disease.
The idea that stenting relieves chest pain is so ingrained that some experts said they expect most doctors will continue with stenting, reasoning that the new research is just one study.
Even Dr. Davies hesitated to say patients like those he tested should not get stents.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Blood-thinning drugs ‘can reduce risk of dementia by up to 48%'”

Blood-thinning drugs could protect against dementia and stroke in people with an irregular heartbeat, research suggests.
A study found that patients being treated for atrial fibrillation were less likely to develop dementia if they were taking anticoagulants.
While the findings could not prove cause and effect, they “Strongly suggested” blood-thinning pills protect against dementia in patients with the condition, the team said.
Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke and blood clots, which some experts think may appear in the brain and help trigger dementia.
Monitoring each person’s progress provided 1.5m years of follow-up during which 26,210 patients were diagnosed with dementia.
“Prof Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said:”Strokes caused by a clot blocking the blood vessels in the brain are a major cause of dementia, and atrial fibrillation is an important risk factor as it increases the chances of these clots forming.
“By treating AF patients with blood-thinning drugs, you reduce the risk of both stroke and dementia.”
“Dr Carol Routledge, head of science at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:”The findings highlight a need to investigate this link further, but the nature of the study prevents us from firmly concluding that anticoagulants reduce the risk of dementia.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Insects Are in Serious Trouble”

Since 1989, scientists from the Entomological Society Krefeld had been collecting insects in the nature reserves and protected areas of western Germany.
These traps are used by entomologists to collect specimens of local insects, for research or education.
Over the same period, the weight of insects caught in the height of summer, when these creatures should be at their buzziest, fell by 82 percent.
Most of these surveys focused on particular groups, whereas Hallmann’s group looked at the entire spectrum of flying insects.
Insects are the most diverse and numerous group of animals on the planet.
Although weather patterns in the region could explain the numbers of insects across a season, they couldn’t account for the year-on-year decline.
The team didn’t look at larger-scale climate events, like prolonged droughts, and they couldn’t measure the effect of habitat fragmentation-cutting up the land available to insects rather than merely reducing it.
The nature reserves in the German study are small, too distant from each other for insects to travel between, and locked in by agricultural land.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When the Revolution Came for Amy Cuddy”

Cuddy suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident the summer after her sophomore year in college, when a friend of hers fell asleep at the wheel while Cuddy was asleep in the back seat.
The year that Amy Cuddy published her power-posing paper, Joseph Simmons, who attended graduate school at Princeton with Cuddy, was starting to think about his own seminal paper, one that would, unknown to either of them, have as much influence on her life as it would on his own; it would change not just their lives but the field as they knew it, with wildly differing consequences for each of them.
Cuddy and Simmons, each of whom came from working-class backgrounds, had been fond of each other at Princeton, even if they did not socialize often: Cuddy was a new mother, and Simmons was five years younger and heavily committed to his softball team.
Simmons considered Cuddy a friend, someone he was always happy to see at a party, despite their obvious differences: Cuddy, who used to follow the Grateful Dead, would have been the one dancing at the party, while Simmons would have been the one laughing with his close friend, a fellow graduate student named Leif Nelson, about the latest buzzy journal article that seemed, to them, ridiculous.
A mutual friend of Cuddy and Simmons’s from graduate school, Kenworthey Bilz, a professor of law at the University of Illinois, tried to reassure Cuddy.
Cuddy did not like seeing her work criticized in a non-peer-reviewed format, but she wrote a bland statement saying, essentially, that she disagreed with their findings and looked forward to “More progress on this important topic.” Carney reassured Cuddy in the months after the Data Colada post that their paper would eventually be vindicated – of course the effects were real; someone would prove it eventually.
On Sept. 26, 2016, Amy Cuddy woke up and checked her phone to find a chilling text from a friend.
If Amy Cuddy is a victim, she may not seem an obvious one: She has real power, a best-selling book, a thriving speaking career.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here’s how that happened.”

So how in the world could a chocolate bar be convincingly sold as a health food? You can thank a decades-long effort by the chocolate industry.
Big Chocolate’s investment in health science was a marketing masterstroke, catapulting dark chocolate into the superfood realm along with red wine, blueberries, and avocados – and helping to sell more candy.
How Mars helped turn chocolate into a heart healthy snack In 1982, Mars Inc. – the company that has brought us M&M’s, Snickers, and Twix – established the Mars Center for Cocoa Health Science in Brazil to study, in part, the biology of cocoa and its impact on human health.
To find out what kind of conclusions Mars-sponsored studies come to, Vox searched the health literature and identified 100 original cocoa health studies funded or supported by the chocolate maker over the past two decades.
Among the findings in the Mars-sponsored health studies: Regularly eating cocoa flavanols could boost mood and cognitive performance, dark chocolate improves blood flow, cocoa might be useful for treating immune disorders, and both cocoa powder and dark chocolate can have a “Favorable effect” on cardiovascular disease risk.
“Premium chocolate,” like the vegan dark chocolate avocado bar, is helping drive growth in the chocolate market, Euromonitor found in an analysis of the US chocolate industry.
Industry funding can warp our perceptions of chocolate When you look at industry-funded studies, one thing becomes clear: They tend to focus on the health attributes of cocoa: its impact on cardiovascular health or cognitive function.
“The idea that dark chocolate is healthy has worked its way into the mainstream psyche,” said NYU food historian Amy Bentley, adding that even the very restrictive Paleo dieters sanction dark chocolate because of its “Numerous health benefits.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Are you ‘phubbing’ right now? What it is and why science says it’s bad for your relationships”

“Phubbing” is the practice of snubbing others in favor of our mobile phones.
In a study poignantly titled, “My life has become a major distraction from my cell phone,” Meredith David and James Roberts suggest that overuse of our phones in the presence of others can lead to a decline in one of the most important relationships we can have as an adult: the one with our life partner.
According to their study of 145 adults, phubbing decreases marital satisfaction, in part because it leads to conflict over phone use.
Not surprisingly to anyone who has been phubbed, phone users are generally seen as less polite and attentive.
A set of studies actually showed that just having a phone out and present during a conversation interferes with your sense of connection to the other person, the feelings of closeness experienced, and the quality of the conversation.
“It is ironic that cell phones, originally designed as a communication tool, may actually hinder rather than foster interpersonal connectedness,” write David and Roberts in their study “Phubbed and Alone.” Their results suggest the creation of a vicious circle: A phubbed individual turns to social media and their compulsive behavior presumably leads them to phub others – perpetuating and normalizing the practice and problem of “Phubbing.”
The most important predictor is addiction – to social media, to the phone and to the Internet.
According to studies, older participants and women advocate for more restricted phone use in most social situations.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Your Brain Has A Hunger Off Switch, And It May Be Possible To Switch It Off Faster”

A new study has located a set of brain cells that control appetite, and activating them by eating more of certain foods could be a key to losing weight.
The brain cells are called tanycytes and they’re found in a brain region called the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in how our bodies process what we eat into usable or storable energy.
The presence of these brain cells was already known, but this study shows for the first time that it may be possible to activate them by eating higher levels of particular nutrients.
The nutrients that appear to flick the hunger switch are two essential amino acids: lysine and arginine.
“Amino acid levels in blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” says Nicholas Dale, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Warwick and lead study author.
“Finding that tanycytes, located at the center of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
The researchers believe the findings could help stem the obesity epidemic by pointing to new ways of triggering appetite suppression.
Quoting from the study: “A more detailed understanding of how food intake and energy expenditure are determined in the brain may lead to the development of new strategies for overcoming the obesity epidemic and other metabolic disorders.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Your Brain Has A Hunger Off Switch, And It May Be Possible To Switch It Off Faster”

A new study has located a set of brain cells that control appetite, and activating them by eating more of certain foods could be a key to losing weight.
The brain cells are called tanycytes and they’re found in a brain region called the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in how our bodies process what we eat into usable or storable energy.
The presence of these brain cells was already known, but this study shows for the first time that it may be possible to activate them by eating higher levels of particular nutrients.
The nutrients that appear to flick the hunger switch are two essential amino acids: lysine and arginine.
“Amino acid levels in blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” says Nicholas Dale, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Warwick and lead study author.
“Finding that tanycytes, located at the center of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
The researchers believe the findings could help stem the obesity epidemic by pointing to new ways of triggering appetite suppression.
Quoting from the study: “A more detailed understanding of how food intake and energy expenditure are determined in the brain may lead to the development of new strategies for overcoming the obesity epidemic and other metabolic disorders.”

The orginal article.