Posts Tagged cancer

Cannabis as Medicine: Not a Panacea but still Valuable

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Photo credit: ___ariel___

There are some very passionate supporters of weed out there.  It can cure cancer and relieve pain while freeing your mind.  You could be lead to believe that it is a cure all for nearly everything.  Its understandable that people are passionate about the topic when they do have very good and valid points in the face of a government that just doesn’t seem to get it.  The voice of support has to become louder and more impactful as the frustration mounts.  Believe me, the government gets it, but lobby groups have more power over rational discussion in American politics.  And cannabis certainly has a place in medicine, it just may not quite live up to the hyperbole…but it might.  We should have had a better idea of its medicinal value years ago, had those efforts not been hampered by the legal status of cannabis over the last century.  In this article, I’ll explore what the peer reviewed science currently has to say about the plant. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hype and Potential Behind the Therapeutic Promises of Curcumin: From Alzheimer’s to Cystic Fibrosis

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Turmeric root contains biologically active curcumin.

Turmeric is a root belonging to the ginger family, and like ginger, is used prominently in oriental cuisines.  Owing its yellow color to a compound called curcumin, the root is probably best known as the spice used in curries.  Like its ginger cousin, turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.  I’m not entirely sure how we know the timeline or how much truth is in that statement.  Nonetheless, I will parrot that as truth since we as humans often have this immutable faith in the supposed medicinal value of things we pull out of the ground.  As it turns out, there does appear to be some real potential medical applications, not with turmeric itself, but with curcumin.  Some of the claims are hype, some of them show a lot of promise with a little more research, and there may actually be some benefit in taking curcumin now.

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Raw vs Cooked Vegetables

Many new diets make claims that raw food, particularly vegetables, is better for you based on the assumption that our ancestors evolved to eat food that way and cooking destroys some of the nutrients.  As I write this sentence I am neutral on the claims made of consuming raw vegetables.  The claims do make sense to me because I know that heat tends to destabilize the structure of proteins, essentially rendering them inactive, and alters the structure of chemical compounds (please note I use the word chemical here in a general sense to describe naturally occurring chemicals, such as those made by plants, as well as synthetic chemicals).  But I also know that the process of digestion is designed to do exactly that.  With that said, does it even matter if you eat your vegetables raw if everything going down your gullet will be broken down to basic molecular units? Read the rest of this entry »

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Subway Bread Will Not Give You Cancer

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Earlier this year Vani Hari who runs the blog FoodBabe began an online petition for Subway to remove an ingredient from their bread called azodicarbonamide or ADA for short.  She makes statements like ADA is a component used to make yoga mats, it causes respiratory issues, and when heated ADA is linked to tumor development and cancer.  Major news networks like CNN and USA Today picked up the story and ran with it, pretty much citing these claims verbatim.  It becomes much less interesting when you actually look into the details but the news and people like Vani make their living by fear mongering and sensationalizing pseudoscience.  I find it detestable. Read the rest of this entry »

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