What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Marijuana extract prevents nerve pain

A marijuana extract called ‘Cannabidiol’ could help prevent painful neuropathy in patients receiving the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel, according to new animal experiments.
“Our preliminary findings…indicate that cannabidiol may prevent the development of paclitaxel-induced allodynia in mice and therefore be effective at preventing dose-limiting paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in humans,” according to the report by Sara Jane Ward, Ph.D., and colleagues of Temple University School of Pharmacy, Philadelphia.

 Paclitaxel—commonly used in the treatment of advanced breast or ovarian cancer—can cause nerve damage (neuropathy), leading to symptoms like pain, numbness, or tingling.

Cannabidiol is a marijuana extract that has pain and inflammation-reducing effects, while avoiding the psychoactive side effects of marijuana and other “cannabinoid” compounds.
In the new study, male and female mice were treated with paclitaxel and monitored for evidence of neuropathy.

The results showed that paclitaxel induced abnormal pain responses (allodynia) mainly in female mice—less so in males. Allodynia was more likely to develop at higher doses of paclitaxel.

When female mice were treated with cannabidiol before paclitaxel, it effectively prevented the development of allodynia. Abnormal pain responses to both cold and mechanical pressure were prevented by cannabidiol. The preventive effect was permanent, with no evidence that nerve damage developed after cannabidiol treatment was stopped, the report said.

Rapid height loss may signal heart, bone disease

Height loss is a natural part of aging and nothing to worry about—some people start losing around half an inch in height as early as 30.

A dramatic loss in height, however, can be an indicator of serious health concerns such as hip fractures, spinal fractures and even heart disease, particularly in men, several recent studies have found.

A study released last week by Dr Marian Hannan, from Hebrew Senior Life - an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, found men over 70 who lost at least two inches in two years have a 54 per cent higher risk of fracturing a hip over the following two years than their peers.

“Recent height loss in both elderly men and women appears to provide a simple indication of who’s at risk for hip fracture,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Hannan as saying.

Meanwhile osteoporosis was associated with more severe height loss - generally four inches according to researchers at the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London.

Staying as active as possible, quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet with good levels of calcium and vitamin D are all ways to slow down the decline in height, say scientists.
However, your genetic make-up will always play a part in how much you shrink.

The study has been published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Arrangement of food influences eating habits

It is not so much the food that prevents one from controlling weight, but rather where it is placed in the kitchen, according to a new study.

The study found that we are three times more likely to eat the first edible item we see at home than the fifth.

It means if a healthy salad is first in the line of vision, we are much more likely to have it for dinner than if the ingredients for it are stored at the back of the fridge behind a pile of fattening ready-meals.

Whenever we are hungry we are always tempted to eat wat we see first. Brian Wansink, professor of nutritional science at Cornell University in New York, said that where our food is stored has a huge effect on how much we consume.

“We found a really strong tendency towards the food which is visible. If you put your least healthy food at the front of the cupboard or refrigerator, that’s the one you are most likely to eat,” the Daily Mail quoted Professor Wansink as saying.

 “You are much less likely to eat the fifth or tenth item you see when you come home tired from work,” he added.