The Motivational Power of Self-Compassion

The number-one reason people give for why they aren’t more self-compassionate is the fear that they will be too easy on themselves. Without constant self-criticism to spur myself on, people worry, won’t I just skip work, eat three tubs of ice cream and watch Oprah reruns all day? In others words, isn’t self-compassion really the same thing as self-indulgence? Before answering that question, it’s first worth considering whether self-criticism is really the great motivator it’s cracked up to be.


Mercury, PCBs Found in Coastal Fish

A new study of sportfish along the California coast shows mercury and PCBs in several popular species, some above state health thresholds but none high enough to trigger changes in fish-eating guidelines for Southern California. The study, part of a multi-year effort to examine fish in the ocean as well as inland waters, found mercury and PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenals, cancer-causing chemicals often used in electrical transformers before they were banned in 1979.


Research Shows Local Honey may Halt Allergies

Honey has been considered an alternative allergy treatment for many years, with many allergy sufferers swearing by its anti-allergenic properties. Until recently, however, there had not been much research into whether or not local honey truly played a role in diminishing allergy symptoms, or perhaps even halting allergies altogether. A recent study found that the use of local honey resulted in a 60 percent reduction in symptoms for birch pollen allergy sufferers.


Arizona Sues Justice Dept. Over Medical Marijuana

Arizona officials are taking the state’s own medical marijuana law to court. Attorney General Tom Horne late Friday sued the U.S. Justice Department and other defendants on behalf of the state and Gov. Jan Brewer. The suit asks a federal judge to rule on whether strict compliance with the Arizona law provides protection from federal prosecution or whether the Arizona measure is pre-empted by federal law.


Obesity Linked to Working Conditions

Now you can blame your job for something other than stress. New research estimates that, every day, Americans are burning at least 100 fewer calories at work than they did in the 1960’s; in other words, our jobs are making us fat. The authors of the new study are blunt in their conclusion: “Over the last 50 years in the U.S. we estimate that daily occupation-related energy expenditure has decreased by more than 100 calories.


This Type of Factory Produces 100 Times More Waste than the Entire US Population Combined

If you thought you were a major contributor to pollution, just wait until you hear this. Factory farms produce 100 times more waste than every single person in the United States combined. The amount of waste produced by these factories is in such mass quantities that it is virtually impossible to clean up properly. Much of this waste is dumped into the water supply, drastically increasing overall water pollution as well as contributing to the pollution found in drinking water.


Brazil Does Away with Rainforest Protection Law

Despite the hard work of environmentalists, scientists, and ten former environment ministers, Brazil’s formerly-protected rainforests will soon be at the whim of the nation’s powerful agricultural sector. The bill, now approved by the lower house of Congress, was originally intended to further protect Brazilian rainforests. Farm-based economic interests, however, were successful in re-shaping the bill to remove key restrictions that were implemented in 1965 to curb deforestation.


Vermont Moving Toward Single-Payer Health Care

Vermont became the first state to lay the groundwork for single-payer health care on Thursday when its governor signed an ambitious bill aimed at establishing universal insurance coverage for all residents. “This law recognizes an economic and fiscal imperative,” Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin said as he signed the bill into law at the State House. “We must control the growth in health care costs that are putting families at economic risk and making it harder for small employers to do business.”


Grapefruit Molecule may Lower Bad Cholesterol, Treat Diabetes

A little bitter with a little sweet, in the form of a nano-complex dietary supplement taken before meals, can result in a substantial reduction of fat and sugar absorption in the body, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Harvard University researchers have found. The researchers previously showed that naringenin, the molecule responsible for the bitter taste in grapefruits, could potentially be used in the treatment of diabetes, arteriosclerosis and hyper-metabolism.


Drug Abuse Costs Rival those of Chronic Diseases, Report Says

Illicit drug use cost the U.S. economy an estimated $193 billion in 2007 — a figure that comes close to the annual costs related to diabetes and other chronic diseases, according to a government study released Thursday by the National Drug Intelligence Center. The report looked at the most recent year in which data was available and examined expenses associated with crime, health and medical treatment, and lost productivity related to the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of pharmaceuticals.


Would Primary Care Improve from these Suggestions from Experts?

Many people either receive over-treatment, unnecessary treatment, or the completely wrong treatment due to hasty medical decision making and negligence. Antibiotics are given out like they are candy and screening tests are routinely being implemented into people’s lives for little reason. So what could be done on a health physicians part to reduce the number of unnecessary treatments?


Groups Sue FDA Over Use of Antibiotics in Animal Feed

A conglomerate of environmental and health-advocacy groups are suing the FDA over the use of two antibiotics used in animal feed to treat livestock. The group alleges that the FDA knew years ago that loading up livestock full of penicillin and tetracyclines (the 2 antibiotics in question) was causing bacteria to become resistant to drugs that humans rely upon to fight infections — thus leading to the onset of numerous ‘superbugs’ and mutated viruses.


Few Realize they are Eating Genetically Modified Foods

When a team of activists wearing white hazmat suits showed up at a Chicago grocery store to protest the sale of genetically modified foods, they picked an unlikely target: Whole Foods Market. Organic foods, by definition, can’t knowingly contain genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. But genetically modified corn, soy and other crops have become such common ingredients in processed foods that even one of the nation’s top organic food retailers says it hasn’t been able to avoid stocking some products that contain them.


Research Finds Protein Drinks After Workout Maintain Muscles

A new research report appearing online in the FASEB Journal shows that what someone drinks after exercise plays a critical role in maximizing the effects of exercise. Specifically, the report shows that protein drinks after aerobic activity increases the training effect after six weeks, when compared to carbohydrate drinks. Additionally, this study suggests that this effect can be seen using as little as 20 grams of protein.


Mushroom Compound Suppresses Prostate Tumors

A mushroom used in Asia for its medicinal benefits has been found to be 100 per cent effective in suppressing prostate tumour development in mice during early trials, new Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research shows. The compound, polysaccharopeptide (PSP), which is extracted from the ‘turkey tail’ mushroom, was found to target prostate cancer stem cells and suppress tumour formation in mice, according to an article written by senior research fellow Dr Patrick Ling in the online journal PLoS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science.


Drug Labels Contain 70 Negative Side Effects on Average

Have you ever counted the number of side-effects you might hear in a prescription drug commercial? Although the number may seem like, and definitely IS a lot, there’s a good chance that what you’re hearing is only a partial list of damaging effects. New research shows that the average drug label contains an astonishing 70 possible negative side-effects! What’s more, the researchers found that the drugs prescribed on a very regular basis averaged around 100 side-effects each, with some reaching sky high for 525 negative reactions.


America the ‘No-Vacation Nation’ – Do Americans Work Like Robots?

Let’s be blunt: If you like to take lots of vacation, the United States is not the place to work. Besides a handful of national holidays, the typical American worker bee gets two or three precious weeks off out of a whole year to relax and see the world — much less than what people in many other countries receive. And even that amount of vacation often comes with strings attached. Some U.S. companies don’t like employees taking off more than one week at a time.