Thursday, 2 March 2017

6 Animals That Are Almost Completely Immortal.

Animals That Never Die
Jelly Fish
Immortality is an age-old concept I thought only existed in the movies. Mythology as old as human history refers to people and animals who never die. From the legendary Vampire Count. Dracula to the original hybrid, Klaus Michaelson.  But, for the most part, immortality is a fantasy-- right? Well, surprisingly there are some animal species that, for whatever reason, don't like the idea of death and have decided that they will have no part in it. These animals are functionally immortal. 


They never age, and unless something or someone, somewhere decides to kill them, they could theoretically live forever. Let's have a look at the 6 Animals that never die. 


1. The Sea Anemone

Sea Anemone Animals That Never Die
Sea Anemone
The lowly sea anemone may not look like an immortal animal. In fact, it doesn't even look like an animal. In between swaying to the left, swaying to the right, and occasionally swallowing a bit of debris, this brainless polyp is busy defying everything we know about mortality. A sea anemone doesn't age as it gets older; it simply grows bigger. 


Fortunately for those who find this a little creepy, none of them has lived long enough to develop sentience yet-- they get wiped out at around age 80 by heat, water pollution, infections and greedy collectors.


2. The Lobster

Lobster: Animals That Never Die
SpongeBob: Larry The Lobster

Like the sea anemone, the lobster is  Immortal. It has no brain, and its central nervous system is about as simple as a common household insect. But lobsters have somehow figured out a way to defy ageing as we know it. Unlike people, lobsters don't experience any change in metabolism or body function as they get older. A hundred years old lobster will even continue eating, moving and making baby-lobsters without any sense of shame. 


They also keep getting bigger-- meaning that, after couple-hundred years, they can be the size of a wolf, and capable of scaring the living daylights out of anyone who's read the Dark Tower series.


3. The Giant Aldabra Tortoise

Giant Aldabra Tortoise: Animals That Never Die
Giant Aldabra Tortoise

Aldabra giant tortoises are exactly what they sound like-- freaking Giants. The males can weigh nearly 800 pounds, which would make them the most terrifying animals in the world if they ate meat and moved a little quicker. Fortunately, Aldabra tortoises barely seem to notice humans like us-- they aren't tame; they simply don't care. Because, inside their little reptilian brains, they are laughing at the fact that we get old and die. 


We aren't sure just how long Aldabra tortoises live because they have a pesky tendency to live longer than the people watching them. The oldest confirmed age of an Aldabra tortoise was 255 years, but some may have lived to be twice that age.


4. The Rougheye Rockfish

Rougheye Rockfish: Animals That Never Die
Rougheye Rockfish

The rougheye rockfish just sounds defiant. In fact, I'd include a few more descriptions-- like riptide, rugged, 'rumblin', 'radical and ravin'-- in its name because the rockfish is incredibly ugly but makes up for it by being defiant of everything. 


Everything Including mortality. A rougheye rockfish, which is a functionally immortal animal, can live to be 200 years old or more unless some guy with a fishing pole manages to break it of its persistent addiction to life.



5. The Immortal Jellyfish

Jellyfish: Animals That Never Die
Immortal Jellyfish

The name says all. When the immortal jellyfish gets tired of being a sexually mature adult, it can decide to be a polyp-- that is, a baby-- again. To do this, the jellyfish (technically a medusa) turns itself inside-out, then re-absorbs its tentacles and other dangly bits. 


It then lands in its grave (or birth site) somewhere in the sand and becomes a colony of tiny little polyps. It's like your grandpa deciding that he's going to go to bed and turn into a few dozen fetuses-- only the immortal jellyfish doesn't have dementia and actually will follow through on its threat.


6. The Hydra

Hydra: Animals That Never Die
The Hydra

This is neither the Evil organisation we've all come to hate in the Captain America movie franchise nor the legendary 3-headed beast slain by Hercules. The hydra is a nearly microscopic immortal animal, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in stamina. (You probably know at least a handful of men who use the same excuse with their girlfriends.) Hydras are actually remarkably efficient predators; they release an explosion of neurotoxins into their prey, paralyse it, and then consume the animal whole. Every single cell in the hydra's tiny body is constantly dividing and rejuvenating, so any injured, polluted or defective cells are diluted by the thousands of others. Because they are constantly replenishing their living cells, hydras do not age at all-- ever.


Immortality doesn't truly exist in practice, but, in theory, any of these immortal animals really could manage to live forever. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for us) environmental conditions do eventually destroy every living "immortal" animal.

There you have it, 6 animals that actually never die or are almost Immortal. I know you enjoyed reading this one. Endeavour to share this with your friends using the numerous share icons floating all around the page. Also don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get more updates directly to your email. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The 5-second rule: When Is It Really Safe To Pick up and Eat Foods That Fall On The Floor?

The 5-second rule
Image Credit: www.kidshealth.org

Is It really safe to pick up and eat Foods that fall on the floor before 5 Seconds? Very interesting question if you ask me. I know you probably must have heard of the five-second rule somewhere, somehow, and you have absolutely no clue how valid this well-adopted rule is. However, if you're coming across this for the first time, the 5-second rule is a 'so-called' food hygiene practice stating that food (or sometimes cutlery) dropped on the ground will not be significantly contaminated with bacteria if it is picked up within five seconds of being dropped. As funny as it may sound, many of us actually believed and applied this rule while growing up; and it gained so much popularity in households, restaurant kitchens, schools and almost anywhere people prepare or consume food. 

Read More: Patient Zero: First Recorded Cases of 8 Common Deadly Disease Outbreaks In History.

Well, we at ScienceHealth24 got a little curious and did some digging. It turns out that the 5-second rule, where food is apparently 'safe' to eat if dropped on the floor and picked up within 5 seconds isn't actually true and there are facts to prove it. Some may truly believe this assertion, whereas most people employ the rule as an amusing social fiction that allows them to eat a dropped piece of food, despite the potential reservations of their peers. Researchers, by testing various foods on different surfaces to see how fast bacteria transfers to it, found that bacteria can jump on our dropped snacks in under 1 second, which of course is very bad news for big eaters everywhere, including myself.
According to Donald Schaffner, a member of the research team from Rutgers University, 

"The popular notion of the '5-second rule' is that food dropped on the floor, but picked up quickly, is safe to eat, because bacteria need time to transfer,"

"We decided to look into this because the practice is so widespread. The topic might appear 'light', but we wanted our results backed by solid science."
The team performed an experiment using four different types of surfaces - stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood, and carpet - and selected a number of different foods to drop on them, including watermelon, dry bread, buttered bread, and gummy candies. They grew Enterobacter aerogenes - a safe, non-pathogenic relative of Salmonella - in the lab, and covered their test surfaces in it.

Each piece of food was then dropped on each bacteria-covered surface, and left there for various amounts of time: 1 second, 5 seconds, 30 seconds, and 300 seconds. A total of 128 different scenarios trials were completed and replicated 20 times, adding up to 2,560 individual measurements that were used to analyse the amount of contamination on each food item.
The team discovered that the biggest factor when it came to bacteria transfer was the amount of moisture present in the food, followed by the type of surface it's being dropped onto. And while bacteria didn't hesitate to transfer over, the longer food was left on the surface, the more bacteria jumped on the food.
Schaffner said, "Transfer of bacteria from surfaces to food appears to be affected most by moisture. Bacteria don’t have legs, they move with the moisture, and the wetter the food, the higher the risk of transfer. Also, longer food contact times usually result in the transfer of more bacteria from each surface to food."

The team says that even though they found that longer contact times did lead to higher levels of contamination, picking up food in less than 5 seconds is still enough time for bacteria to transfer - especially if the food is wet or sticky like watermelon or candy, which had the highest levels of contamination across the tests.

"The 5-second rule is a significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfer from a surface to food," Schaffner says. "Bacteria can contaminate instantaneously."
There were some surprising finds, too. You would think that surfaces covered with Carpet, with its tendency to catch crumbs and get dirty rather quickly, would be bad; but the researchers found that it's actually the best surface because its structure minimises the amount of contact it has with the food.

The Rutgers team isn’t the first to debunk the 5-second rule. There have been other studies about it and TV shows have tackled it, too. But they hope that their concrete analysis of different types of foods and surfaces will help people to understand how the popular piece of advice is not something you want to base your hygiene practices around.
The team’s work was published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. You can read more on another Independently conducted experiment to test the 5-second rule by a high school senior Jillian Clarke, during a six-week internship in the food science and nutrition department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Well, that's all I have to say. Thanks for reading. There are so many new ways to share this article with your friends on social media and it would only take less than a second. Also, subscribe to our newsletter to get more amazing updates to your mail. Don't be shy, share your opinions in the comments below.

10 World's Deadliest Poisons Used To Kill People










World's Deadliest Poisons






I know it may seem like I'm helping a lot of killers out there 'up their game' with this post, but my motives are simply scientific.☺ In biology, poisons are substances that cause disturbances in organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when an organism absorbs a sufficient quantity. Poisons are definitely among fiction’s greatest weapons. Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes seem to have developed our interest in untraceable, fast-acting poisons. In case you do not know who Sherlock Holmes is, then a big part of your life is missing. However, murder mystery and solving crimes are one thing, but when the story becomes reality, you have got yourself a real killer!





Read More: 10 Common Habits That Could Damage Your Kidneys





Thousands of chemical compounds exist in the world today which are toxic to man, I'd say there are only a handful of things that you ingest, inhale or simply come in contact with that won't kill you. Here's a list of the deadliest poisons used to kill people.



10. Hemlock






Image Source: listverse.com




Hemlock or Conium is a highly toxic flowering plant indigenous to Europe and South Africa. It was a popular one with the ancient Greeks, who used it to kill off their prisoners. For an adult, the ingestion of 100mg of conium or about 8 leaves of the plant is fatal – death comes in the form of paralysis, your mind is wide awake, but your body doesn’t respond and eventually the respiratory system shuts down. Probably the most famous hemlock poisoning is that of the Greek philosopher, Socrates.




Read More: Insomnia: Here's Why You're Having Trouble Falling Asleep At Night.





Condemned to death for impiety in 399 BC, he was given a very concentrated infusion of hemlock. Hmm... Really tragic.











9. Aconite






Image Source: listverse.com






Aconite comes from the plant monkshood. Lovers of the Vampire Diaries Tv series (like myself) will be thrilled to know that this plant is also known as Wolfsbane. Aconite leaves only one post-mortem sign, that of asphyxia, as it causes arrhythmic heart function which leads to suffocation. Poisoning can occur even after touching the leaves of the plant without wearing gloves as it is very rapidly and easily absorbed.





Read More: Water Intoxication: How Drinking Too Much Water Can Actually Kill You.






Because of its untraceable nature, it has been a popular one with the “get away with murder” crowd. Reportedly, it has a particularly famous casualty. Emperor Claudius is said to have been poisoned by his wife, Agrippina, using aconite in a plate of mushrooms. Well, obviously, if you're planning on killing a werewolf anytime soon, be sure to pack a lot of Wolfsbane.






8. Belladonna






Image Source: listverse.com






This was a favourite of the ladies! The name of this plant is Italian and means 'beautiful woman'. That’s because it was used in the middle-ages for cosmetic purposes – diluted eye-drops dilated the pupils, making the women more seductive (or so they thought). Also, if gently rubbed on their checks, it would create a reddish colour, what today would be known as a blush! This plant seems innocent enough, right?




Read More: Hypnic Jerk: Why You Get The Feeling of Falling In Your Dreams and Wake up with a Jolt or Twitch.





Well, actually, if ingested, a single leaf is lethal and that’s why it was used to make poison-tipped arrows. The berries of this plant are the most dangerous – consumption of ten of the attractive-looking berries is fatal.







7. Dimethylmercury






Image Source: listverse.com







This one is a slow killer – a man-made slow killer! But this is exactly what makes it all the more dangerous. Absorption of doses as low as 0.1ml have proven fatal; however, symptoms of poisoning start showing after months of initial exposure, which is definitely too late for any kind of treatment.





Read More: 13 Essential And Proven Health Benefits Of Eating Garlic Every day.






In 1996, a chemistry professor at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, spilled a drop or two of the poison on her gloved hand – dimethylmercury went through the latex glove, symptoms appeared four months later and ten months later, she died.






6. Tetrodotoxin






Image Source: listverse.com






This substance is found in two marine creatures – the blue-ringed octopus and the puffer fish. However, the octopus is the most dangerous, because it purposely injects its venom, killing in minutes. It carries enough venom to kill 26 human adults within minutes and the bites are often painless, so many victims realise they have been bitten only when paralysis sets in.




Read More: 10 Amazing and Unexpected Sources Of Antibiotics Used By Scientists.





On the other hand, the puffer fish is only lethal if you want to eat it, but if it is well prepared, meaning the venom is taken out, the only thing that’s left is the adrenaline of eating something which could kill you.






5. Polonium






Image Source: listverse.com






Polonium is a radioactive poison, a slow killer with no cure. One gramme of vaporised polonium can kill about 1.5 million people in just a couple of months. The most famous case of polonium poisoning is that of ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.





Read More: Tips: How To Get Clear And Beautiful Skin Naturally.






Polonium was found in his tea cup – a dose 200 times higher than the median lethal dose in case of ingestion. He died in three weeks.




4. Mercury






Image Source: listverse.com






There are three forms of mercury which are extremely dangerous. Elemental mercury is the one you can find in glass thermometers, it’s not harmful if touched, but lethal if inhaled. Inorganic mercury is used to make batteries and is deadly only when ingested.





Read More: Here Are The Ten (10) Worst Foods For Your Teeth.






And finally, organic mercury is found in fish, such as tuna and swordfish (consumption should be limited to 170g per week), but can be potentially deadly over long periods of time. A famous death caused by mercury is that of Amadeus Mozart, who was given mercury pills to treat his syphilis.







3. Cyanide






Image Source: listverse.com






Now here’s one right out of an Agatha Christie novel. Cyanide seems to be extremely popular (spies use cyanide pills to kill themselves when caught) and there are plenty of reasons for this. Firstly, it is found in a great variety of substances like almonds, apple seeds, apricot kernel, tobacco smoke, insecticides, pesticides and the list goes on. Murder, in this case, can be blamed on a household accident, such as ingestion of pesticide – a fatal dose of cyanide for humans is 1.5 mg per kilogramme of body weight. Secondly, it’s a rapid killer: depending on the dose, death occurs within 1 to 15 minutes.





Read More: Here are 13 Interesting and Amazing Facts About Dreams.






Also, in its gaseous form – hydrogen cyanide – it was the agent used by Nazi Germany for mass murders in gas chambers during the Holocaust.


If you're a fan of the TV series Limitless, then you probably must have heard them say Cyanide is basically untraceable in the victim's body. This compound is a known inhibitor of the Electron Transport Chain and oxidative phosphorylation, thereby preventing ATP synthesis.







2. Botulinum Toxin






Image Source: listverse.com






If you’re watching Sherlock Holmes, then you’ll know about this one. The Botulinum toxin causes Botulism, a fatal condition if not treated immediately. It involves muscle paralysis, eventually leading to the paralysis of the respiratory system and, consequently, death.





Read More: Acetaminophen: 6 Dangerous Effects of Paracetamol You Probably Didn't Know.






The bacteria enter the body through open wounds or by ingesting contaminated food. By the way, botulinum toxin is the same stuff used for Botox injections especially in the treatment of Excessive sweating disorders!




1. Arsenic






Image Source: listverse.com






Arsenic has been called “The King of Poisons”, for its discreetness and potency – it was virtually undetectable, so it was very often used either as a murder weapon or as a mystery story element. But that’s until the Marsh test came and signalled the presence of this poison in water, food and the like.




Read More: The 5-second rule: When Is It Really Safe To Pick up and Eat Foods That Fall On The Floor?




However, this king of poisons has taken many famous lives: Napoleon Bonaparte, George the 3rd of England and Simon Bolivar to name a few. On another note, arsenic, like belladonna, was used by the Victorians for cosmetic reasons. A couple of drops of the stuff made a woman’s complexion white and pale. Just perfect! From basic Biochemistry, I know (that means that you should also know) that Arsenic kills by competing with Phosphoric acid in the Glycolytic pathway. It is actually a competitive inhibitor that displaces phosphate from 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate forming 1-Arseno-3-phosphoglycerate which is a very unstable compound. Cutting the long story short, you die.

Okay, there you have it, 10 World's Deadliest Poisons you will ever come across.Thanks for reading, in case you wanted to use a lesser toxic poison to kill someone before, now you know better. Please endeavour to share this with your friends using the share widgets and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive our latest updates directly to your Email. Oh! Don't be shy, share your opinion in the comments below.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Health: 10 Surprising Things You May Be Addicted To.

Things You May Be Addicted To photo
Image Credit: youtube.com

Sometimes, when you hear the word 'addiction', your mind quickly starts conjuring images of people under the influence of hardcore drugs such as cocaine and marijuana. Funny enough, we're all addicts in our little (or big) way. There are certain things we do, places we go, things we eat or drugs we take that provide some kind of stimuli or sensation to the brain that's unlike anything you have ever felt in your entire life and your body keeps craving more and more.

Read More: 10 Common Habits That Could Damage Your Kidneys

The brain attaches a great deal of importance to that 'thing', seeing it as quick feel-good means and you consequently get addicted. If that's your case, then Houston, we have a problem. Addiction is a condition characterised by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences. It is the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. So with this post, we're going to identify and tackle some of our addictions. Sit back, relax and let's play a game. 😏  After reading this, I want you to type in the comments which one (or more) of the 10 addictions below you suffer from. Simple right? Let's get on with it then, here are 10 surprising things you may be addicted to.

Surprising addiction 1: Surfing the internet

You can never really think of a more pleasant way to pass time than spending time browsing the internet. Surfing the internet is surely one of the best ways to relax on the planet. It strangely has a way of meeting our every need and altering our mood; If you're lonely there are dating sites that promise to find you the perfect partner, If you're just bored to death You can just check out funny and amazing videos on YouTube, there's Facebook, News etc. All these are available at just a swipe of your Smartphone's screen.

Read More: Water Intoxication: How Drinking Too Much Water Can Actually Kill You.

However, researchers in China revealed that internet addiction actually alters the brain in a similar way addiction to drugs and alcohol does. It is thought that sufferers of Internet addiction disorder (IAD) could face similar symptoms to those suffering from other addictions, including withdrawal symptoms. One study of users of internet-ready smartphones found that many are so addicted to their device they now hear “phantom vibrations” in their desperation to receive a message. Sometimes I even hear my cell phone ring in my head when in reality, my cellphone's battery is flat.

Surprising addiction 2: Falling in love

We all know that one person who goes from relationship to relationship, never seeming to spend more than five minutes alone. You may think that there is no greater feeling than having someone care and love you for no apparent reason (even if there is). Everyone wants to find love someday (I really do 😟), but if you find yourself jumping from one relationship to another with the inability to stay single for a month, then you're addicted to falling in love. Yep, that heart-racing, euphoric feeling of falling in love... turns out you can get hooked on it.

Read More: Acetaminophen: 6 Dangerous Effects of Paracetamol You Probably Didn't Know.

According to psychologist Arthur Aron, who led a study investigating love addiction, falling in love activates the same system in the brain as drug addiction, making you crave that feeling again as soon as the first flush of love starts to fade. You find yourself crushing on almost every beautiful girl you see until eventually you get crushed. If that's your story, I want to see your comment below.

Surprising addiction 3: Sugar

Everyone seems to be writing songs about 'Sugar' lately, describing ladies or lips to be "♪ Sweet like sugar, Love so sweet like sugar ♪ ", and many other weird lyrics. Well, I can't really blame them. We all crave our favourite sweet treat from time to time, but did you know that you may actually be addicted to snacks such as doughnuts and chocolate? Studies have suggested that when we eat sugary snacks, chemicals called Opioids are released in the brain, leading to intense feelings of pleasure, and it is this feeling we often crave in the absence of sugar. In fact, according to research by a University of California team, sugar is both as damaging and as addictive as both alcohol and cigarettes. Some sugary foods are dangerous and could cause you some serious health problems.

Surprising addiction 4: Tattoos and piercings

While it may sound impossible for people to get addicted to having their bodies inked and pierced from head to toe, many people who start out with the intention of getting one tattoo or piercing will feel compelled to get more, which can feel like an addiction.

Read More: 8 Dangerous Effects Of Cosmetics and Beauty Products On The Body

While it is debatable whether this is a true addiction, it is certainly a compulsion for many, which may be partly down to the rush of feel-good Endorphins which are released during the process of getting a tattoo to help you cope with the pain.

Surprising addiction 5: Work

Almost everyone looks forward to weekends and TGIFs so that they can finally escape the stress and tension associated with their jam-packed schedules on weekdays. There are actually some people who suffer from work addiction and these weekends we so much crave for to stay away from the office or school may not be quite as treasured. While many of us jokingly use the term “workaholic”, research suggests this is a real condition that can jeopardise sufferers’ health and relationships – it is not simply a case of “working hard”.

Read More: Nail Biting: Read This If You're Addicted To Biting Your Nails.

According to a Spanish study, around 12% of workers in Spain suffer from the addiction, while in Japan “death by overwork(karoshi) is thought to cause an estimated 1000 deaths per year. If you would rather spend 80% of your time working than spend time building relationships and hanging out with friends and family, you may be suffering from work addiction.

Surprising addiction 6: Tanning

Research findings published in the journal, Addiction Biology, suggest that exposure to ultraviolet rays in the form of sunshine or tanning beds can cause changes in brain activity similar to drug addiction, keeping you hooked on tanning. According to Dr Bryon Adinoff, an author of the study, the brain responds to UV light in areas that are associated with reward, causing some people to develop an addiction (Tanorexia) despite the potentially fatal health risks of tanning.

Surprising addiction 7: Video games

Ahh! Here is my favourite addiction. I'm a typical Football Manager addict. Yeah, I know it's bad but I can't go 30 minutes in a day without thinking of my next match, my next tactic, why I lost a previous match, what players to buy next... You get the idea. Across the world, teenagers are holed up in their rooms in front of television or computer screens feverishly playing video games, yet research suggests this may not be as harmless as it seems.

Read More: Here are 13 Interesting and Amazing Facts About Dreams.

A 2006 BBC-reported lecture revealed that 12% of online gamers polled reported some addictive behaviours, while many countries across the world have set up treatment centres to deal with this growing addiction. Just like any addiction, compulsive gaming can jeopardise relationships and careers, and there have even been cases of excessive gamers dying from exhaustion.

Surprising addiction 8: Shopping

Most of us love buying something new, whether it is the latest life-enhancing gadget or a gift for a loved one (iPhone 7 😃 ). However, for some, buying new things can become a destructive addiction. Shopping addiction, or Oniomania,  is thought to be caused by a rush of endorphin and dopamine which cause the shopper to experience a temporary “high feeling” which they want to experience again and again. Many shopping addicts use shopping as a way to escape from negative feelings or situations in their life, however, the addiction can actually lead to further problems both financially and emotionally.

Surprising addiction 9: Lip balm

While not a chemical addiction compared to that of alcohol and cigarettes, applying lip balm can definitely be habit-forming. This is because while lip balm offers a temporary moisture boost for dry lips, it can interfere with the process of cellular turnover and the production of natural moisture, leading you to apply more and more lip balm to counter these drying effects.

Read More: Tips: How To Get Clear And Beautiful Skin Naturally.

While it may not be life-threatening or recognised as an official illness, many websites and Facebook groups have been set up dedicated to this potentially expensive addiction.

Surprising addiction 10: Music

We all have our favourite songs, the ones we listen to over and over again until we eventually start to hate it, but did you ever consider you could be addicted to your favourite music? According to a study by researchers at McGill University, you may well be. The study revealed that when we listen to music we experience a natural “high feeling” and our body releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter also released when people take drugs or eat pleasurable foods. According to the researchers, dopamine makes us want to repeat behaviours, which is the reason we can become addicted to our favourite music.
Okay, that was revealing. Now we had a deal before you started reading this and we agreed to play a game. We at ScienceHealth24 want you to type in the comment box which of the above 10 addictions you suffer from. It's pretty easy and wouldn't even take 15 Seconds of your time. At the end, we should be able to have an overview of which Addiction is more popular.  So let the comments begin. Thanks for reading, endeavour to share this with your friends using the share buttons below. Also, subscribe to our newsletter to get more amazing updates directly to mail as soon as they are posted.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

10 Common Habits That Could Damage Your Kidneys

treating kidney damage
Image Credit: icatcare.org

Do you know that you could be on the verge of damaging your Kidneys right now? Sure that got your attention. The Kidneys are very important organs in the body of an animal and I definitely would not have been able to type this if my Kidneys were dysfunctional (I wouldn't even exist at all).
So precious and yet so expensive to replace when they damage. Little wonder why many people (ladies especially) are more than willing to trade one of their Kidneys for an iPhone 7 which is in every way a bad move.

Read More: Water Intoxication: How Drinking Too Much Water Can Actually Kill You.

Resembling two super-sizes beans that fell off the Giant beanstalk, our Kidneys play a critical role in excretion, filtering the blood through a complex mechanism designed to rid the blood of unwanted toxins which are basically by-products of metabolic reactions in the body.  The big question is what if our kidneys were to go bad and fail? Kidney disease is one of the most costly illnesses in the world to treat and it is very expensive to manage Kidney related diseases. Each year, lots of people die from kidney related diseases all over the world, and the number of people suffering from chronic renal failure, and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive is on the increase.
Statistics have it that worldwide, more than millions of patients are waiting for kidney transplants, but only a few thousands will receive transplants because of the shortage of suitable organ donors. More donors will emerge if only they can promise more people the iPhone 7, no doubt about that. Patients usually feel surprised when they are diagnosed with Kidney Failure. Experts have been able to link Kidney related diseases and kidney failure to your daily life habits. Here are the top habits which could lead to a potential Kidney damage.
1. Not emptying your bladder early: Maintaining a full bladder for a long time is a quick way of causing bladder damage. We all do this especially when we're on the bus and can't make a quick stop. That the urine stays in the bladder for a long time can cause the bacteria breeding in urine to multiply quickly. Once the urine reflux back to the ureter and kidneys, the bacteria can result in kidney infections, then urinary tract infection, and then nephritis, even Uremia. So, no matter how busy you are, remember to drink a lot of water and urinate regularly. Once you form the habit of holding back urine, it will ultimately damage your kidneys.

2. Not drinking enough water: The main functions of the kidneys are to regulate erythrocyte balance and eliminate metabolic wastes in the urine. If we do not drink enough water, the blood will be concentrated and the blood flowing to the kidney will not be adequate, thus the function of eliminating toxins in the blood will be impaired leading to Kidney damage.

3. Taking too much salt: 95% sodium we consume through food is metabolised by the kidneys. Exceeding the salt intake will make the kidneys work harder to excrete the excess salt and can lead to decreased kidney function. This excess sodium will cause water retention, causing oedema (or oedema). Oedema usually elevates blood pressure and increases the risk of damaging your kidneys.The daily salt intake should be controlled within 6g per day.
4. Not treating common infections quickly and properly: Common infections, such as pharyngitis, tonsillitis, common cold etc, usually triggers or aggravates kidney damage. They do this by causing an acute attack of acute glomerulonephritis or chronic nephritis. So, you will see that people who get kidney disease for the first time or whose illness condition becomes worse usually have a history of cold or sore throat. If after having a cold, symptoms like blood in urine, swelling, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and poor appetite appear, you should consult your doctor immediately, to assess your kidney functions, and start treatment if compromised.

5. Eating too much meat: Eating too much meat and protein can increase the metabolic load of the kidney. Many of us can not simply resist skewered meat (A.K.A. Suya) and we end up eating lots of it when we get the chance. For those suffering from proteinuria (the presence of excess proteins in the urine), meat consumption may aggravate protein leakage, worsening renal pathological lesion. In healthy persons, urine contains very little protein; an excess is suggestive of illness. It is suggested that protein intake should be 0.8g/kg per day. This means that a person with 50 kg should consume 40g of protein per day. Meat consumption per day should be limited within 300g.

6. Not eating enough: This is equally as dangerous as eating too much, both of them will cause damages to your digestive organs. Mucosal tissues (of the digestive tract) relates closely to your immune system. This is why many kidney failure patients are diagnosed with autoimmune kidney damages.
7. Painkiller abuse: The use of analgesics (e.g Paracetamol) for a prolonged duration may reduce the flow of blood and greatly affect kidney function. In addition, patients with analgesic-induced renal failure are more likely to suffer from bladder cancer. Use analgesics only when it's absolutely necessary, learn to rest instead of taking drugs as Paracetamol could cause dangerous Effects. If you have been on pain killers for a long term, it's about time you had a test to access your renal function done in the case of damages.

8. Missing your drugs: Hypertension and diabetes have been shown to accelerate kidney damage, so if you are diagnosed as having any of these diseases don't live your life in denial, USE YOUR DRUGS. This will ultimately help control your condition while also helping to preserve your kidneys and avert Kidney failure.

9. Drinking too much alcohol: Drinking alcohol has never produced any benefit and never will. Drinking without limitation may cause the deposition of uric acid in renal tubules, causing tubular obstruction and increasing risks of kidney failure.
10. Not resting enough: In our society, hypertension as a severe threat to life is largely due to stress. A common symptom of stress is insomnia (learn more about Insomnia and its causes). Blood pressure may increase by an average of 2-5mg/Hg because of sleeplessness. Chronically elevated blood pressure can cause damage to kidney capillaries giving rise to kidney problems. Thus, we need to develop a good attitude to life and strike a good balance between work and rest to protect your kidneys and live a healthy life.

Kidney damage graphic
Image Credit: healthline.com

At the early stage of kidney diseases, there are usually no special symptoms, so lots of patients are not diagnosed until the acute attack appears or the condition develops into the late stage. So you should endeavour to do a kidney function test from time to time to assess how healthy your kidneys are. Never ignore the soreness of waist, swelling of the feet, changes in urine colour or volume, increase in night urination,  high blood pressure and other such symptoms. Once found, you should go and see your doctor immediately.

Read More: Patient Zero: First Recorded Cases of 8 Common Deadly Disease Outbreaks In History.

Thanks for reading, endeavour to share this post with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our newsletter and get more amazing updates directly to your mail. As usual, don't be shy to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Acetaminophen: 6 Dangerous Effects of Paracetamol You Probably Didn't Know.

Dangerous Effects of Paracetamol graphic
Image Credit: modifylifestyle.com

Is Paracetamol dangerous? As we all know, Paracetamol, also known as Acetaminophen or APAP, is a very powerful painkiller (analgesic) used as a medication to treat pain and fever. It is typically used for mild to moderate pain. But what you don't know is taking Paracetamol in excess is dangerous. Most people actually confuse the names Panadol and Paracetamol, mistaking them to be two different drugs but they are basically the same thing. Panadol is just a brand name for the drug Paracetamol. Other names for it include Tylenol in the US and Calpol which is a liquid form for small children.

Read More: The 5-second rule: When Is It Really Safe To Pick up and Eat Foods That Fall On The Floor?

It is typically used by mouth but is also available intravenously(directly into a vein) and effects last between two and four hours. Millions of families see the drug as a cheap way to get rid of that annoying headache or body pain that will not just go away, but research reveals that the dangers of the cheap painkiller have been greatly underestimated. The new study appears to indicate a link between long-term use of the popular medicine and increased risk of conditions like stroke, renal failure and gastrointestinal bleeding. Packets of paracetamol are used by millions of people daily to combat a host of common complaints like headaches, back pains and high temperatures.

Dangerous Effects of Paracetamol graphic
Acetaminophen: Image Credittheguardian.com
Enough stories, here are 6 dangerous effects of Paracetamol You probably didn't know:

1. Liver damage: Using paracetamol all the time can potentially cause fatal liver damage. In 2011 the US Food and Drug Administration launched a public education program to help consumers avoid overdose. Acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage if more than is prescribed by the doctor is used. The overdose risk may be heightened by frequent consumption of alcohol because most people take the drug to treat headaches that accompany hangovers.  Paracetamol toxicity is the main cause of acute liver failure in the Western world and accounts for most drug overdoses in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Read More: Bioluminescence: 10 Amazing Animals That Glow In the Dark.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, in the United States, there were 56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalisations, and 458 deaths per year as a result of acetaminophen-associated overdoses during the 1990s. Those are really huge figures considering how cheap and easily-abused Paracetamol is. Within these estimates, unintentional acetaminophen overdose accounted for nearly 25 percent of the emergency room visits, 10 percent of the hospitalisations, and 25 percent of the deaths. Paracetamol is metabolised by the liver and is hepatotoxic (meaning that it's like poison to your liver); side effects are even multiplied when combined with alcoholic drinks and are very likely in chronic alcoholics or patients with liver damage. Sometimes I wonder why people take alcohol in the first place knowing it has dangerous effects.
2. Skin reactions: Professor Philip Conaghan, of the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, said: There’s no reason for mass panic but people should be careful when taking it long-term and doctors should consider carefully what other drugs they can recommend to their patients.” On August 2, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new warning about paracetamol. It stated that the drug could cause rare, and possibly fatal, skin reactions, such as Stevens–Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Really big names to worry about don't you think? Prescription-strength products will be required to carry a warning label about skin reactions, and the FDA has urged manufacturers to do the same with over-the-counter products.

Read More: Insomnia: Here's Why You're Having Trouble Falling Asleep At Night.
3.Asthma: Though this may sound far-fetched, there is actually an association between paracetamol use and asthma but the evidence suggests that this likely reflects confounders rather than a causal role. A 2014 review found that among children the association disappeared when respiratory infections were taken into account. As of 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) continue to recommend paracetamol for pain and discomfort in children, but some experts have recommended that paracetamol use by children with asthma, or at risk for asthma, should be avoided.
4. Cancer: Some studies have found an association between paracetamol and a slight increase in kidney cancer, but does not affect bladder cancer risk.
5. Increased risk of heart attack: Daily paracetamol intake could increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke and early death. Recent studies found that patients prescribed high doses of the painkiller for long periods were up to 63 percent more likely to die unexpectedly. The risk of having a heart attack or stroke was up to 68 percent higher and there was an almost 50 per cent greater chance of having a stomach ulcer or bleed. Although, Paracetamol is considered by doctors to be safer than aspirin, which can cause stomach bleeds, and ibuprofen, which has been linked to heart attacks and strokes.

Read More: Fact: What Your Nail Colour And Look Says About Your Health.
6. Death: As sad and annoying as the word death is, taking too much paracetamol in pills and cold remedies could kill you. Victims of  Paracetamol overdoses often fail to realise the amount they are taking could be fatal over a few days. According to dailymail, a study shows the risk of dying from liver failure is higher from accidental overdose than deliberate suicide attempts. In the study, a team led by Dr Kenneth Simpson analysed data from 663 patients who had been admitted to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary between 1992 and 2008 with liver damage caused by paracetamol. They found 161 people with an average age of 40 had taken a staggered overdose, usually to relieve stomach and back pain, headache or a toothache. Two out of five died from liver failure – a higher fatality rate than recorded for deliberate overdosing. This is because people report feeling unwell to accident and emergency departments without knowing the cause, making it difficult to diagnose and treat in time.
Dangerous Effects of Paracetamol graphic
Image Credit: consumer-voice.org
There you have it, 6 dangerous effects of Paracetamol you probably didn't know. You should probably know that you're only going to have these problems when you overdose on Paracetamol so next time you're having a really strong headache especially due to stress; and the thought of popping another pill comes to mind, create a counter-thought and consider having a nap instead. Sleeping definitely is my best remedy for stress-induced headaches or body aches. There are many other remedies for relieving stress, headaches and body aches. Even a good massage should do the trick.

Read More: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Why You Feel Regular Discomfort in Your Belly Hours After A Meal.

Endeavour to share your thoughts with us in the comments below. Also, don't forget to share this post with your friends, you never know whose life you will save. Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the next amazing update directly to your mail.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Top 5 Foods That Could Cause You Serious Health Problems.

Foods That Could Cause You Serious Health Problems.
Image Credit: livelovefruit.com

Hey, be honest with yourself. You probably didn't stumble upon this post by accident. Did you know that there are certain foods that do more harm than good when consumed? Everyone deserves to treat themselves to 'that tasty food' every now and then; but before you dig in, there are a handful of foods you should steer clear of to avoid causing devastating effects to your body, skin, and waistline.

Read More: The 5-second rule: When Is It Really Safe To Pick up and Eat Foods That Fall On The Floor?

Here, experts weigh in on foods to push off your plate for good no matter how tasty they may be. I know this is going to be hard, especially if you have sweet tooth issues but the sooner you stop eating them in excess the better. Below are 5 foods that could cause you serious health problems.

Frosting or icing graphic
Image Credit: divinoscupcakes.blogspot.com.ng

1. Frosting or Icing: That sweet sensation that drowns your tongue with icing in your mouth is so amazing. Icing, often called frosting in the United States, is made of sugar with a liquid, such as water or milk. When we were kids, we would fight over the icing on the cake at birthday parties (ahh...good old days). Icing might taste really great on cakes and cookies, but it’s packed with problems. It’s one of the only items in the grocery store that still has 'trans fats', which are terrible for your health and waistline.

Read More: Nail Biting: Read This If You're Addicted To Biting Your Nails.

From what we learned in chemistry, trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.Trans fat raises bad cholesterol, lowers good cholesterol, and causes inflammation, which can lead to belly fat and diseases ranging from heart disease to diabetes. On top of that, frosting is loaded with sugar, and high-sugar diets contribute to premature wrinkles.


Processed bake food graphic
Image Credit: 123rf.com

2. Processed Baked Foods: So convenient, so tasty (if we’re being honest here), but so not worth it. Those muffins, doughnuts, buns and dessert cakes will add tonnes of calories and loads of unwanted sugar to your diet, plus they aren’t easy to digest. These foods are bad on so many levels because they are filled with high sugar content and preservatives for a longer shelf-life — they can literally sit there forever. Sugar increases inflammation in the skin, which on top of irritating acne and rosacea, can make you look puffy and bloated. Why bother with all these when you can just eat fruits and look healthy.


Image Credit: wikihow.com

3. Soda: Dietitians, Food Microbiologists and Biochemists all agree that Soda should be completely cut from your diet. One can of soda is like a can of water with 10 packets of sugar in it. Some people (especially students) drink Soda every day of the week just because it makes them feel good. The recommended amount of daily sugar for a woman is about six teaspoons or 24 grammes, and soda has way more than that.

Read More: Here Are The Ten (10) Worst Foods For Your Teeth.

Nothing beats good old fashion water which is still the best option to stay hydrated. If you want to jazz it up, add a slice of fresh fruit for flavour.


Image Credit: thisweekfordinner.com

4. Sugary Cereal: A bowl of Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, or Cap’n Crunch might taste like heaven-on-earth, but it’ll wreak havoc sooner rather than later with its high amount of inflammation-causing sugar and gluten content. For some people with sensitive skin, gluten can exacerbate breakouts, leading to increased redness and, yes, more breakouts,” says Dr Tanzi.

Read More: Blood Suckers: Top 10 Animals That Feed on Blood for a Living

We have other cereals in the market with low sugar so opt for gluten-free options like Rice Chex, Golden morn and Corn Flakes.


Image Credit: smartkitchen.com

5. Stick Margarine: You should choose a small amount of regular butter or soft spread over stick-shaped margarine when topping foods or baking Margarine is usually loaded with trans fat (you already know what this means)Don’t forget that stick margarine is found in plenty of pastries, crackers, snack foods, and even microwave popcorn, so limit intake to keep cholesterol levels in check.
There you have it, 5 foods that could really cause you serious health problems when eaten in excess. Biochemists always try to look at things at a molecular level. So when next you buy foods and drinks, even if you're offered a tasty-looking food for free,  you should try to show some restraint. Think about how much good it could cause to your body and see if it outweighs the bad. Thanks for reading, join our newsletter to receive more amazing updates directly to your mail, Don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments below, I would really love to hear from you. Share this post with your friends and let them learn to eat healthily.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Nail Biting: Read This If You're Addicted To Biting Your Nails.

Addicted To Biting Your Nails
Image Credit: bbc.com

Are you addicted to biting your nails? Do you want to stop that nail-biting habit of yours once and for all? Nail-biting, also known scientifically as Onychophagy or Onychophagia, is an oral compulsive habit many people develop right from childhood and it can potentially ruin the appearance of your fingers, could be unhygienic and can hurt pretty bad if you take it too far. If you're reading this, my guess is that you didn't stumble upon this post by accident and you're probably addicted to biting your nails. I used to be a nail-biting addict myself so I understand that feeling you get when someone asks "what happened to your nails?" and you just stand there speechless not knowing how to respond. I even went as far as eating the skin around the nails. Imagine how my fingers looked?

Read More: Let's Talk Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating Disorder, Types, Causes, Treatment.

Studies shows that 60% of children and 45% of teenagers bite their nails but the habit becomes less common after the age of 18. However, it may continue right into Adulthood. The worst part of it, which I'm sure you can relate to, is that you are not even aware that you're not even aware that you're biting your nails until you have have gone so deep and hurt yourself till you bleed. It could be while sitting through that very boring Lecture, watching a really cool horror movie, surfing the internet or just doing absolutely nothing. So why do people do it? Why do people get addicted to biting their nails? 

Causes Of Nail-Biting


If you're expecting to see a complex scientific name for the cause of nail-biting addiction, then you're in luck. Scientific studies have proven that Nail-biting is a symptom of a psychological condition called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is a potentially disabling illness that traps people in an endless repetitive behaviour and thoughts. You may be suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder if you find yourself doing repetitive actions such as repeatedly bathing, showering, washing your hands out of fear of being contaminated; repeatedly checking locks or cooking gas, eating foods in a specific order, arranging things in a particular order and many more compulsive behaviours including biting your nails. Although the so-called routines may be temporarily to get rid of the anxiety, the person uncontrollably performs the routine again and again when the obsessive thoughts return.

Read More: Insomnia: Here's Why You're Having Trouble Falling Asleep At Night.

Stress and the all-powerful boredom are also causes of nail-biting addiction for most people. I don't know about you but boredom has pushed me to do some really crazy things. You just sit there with nothing to do and nowhere to go, not feeling sleeping then GBAM! Your fingers slowly glide to your mouth to keep you company.

Signs of Nail-biting Addiction


Apart from the damaging effects nail-biting can cause to the appearance of the nails, Nail biting usually leads to deleterious effects on the mouth and more generally the digestive system. These consequences are directly derived from the physical damage of biting or from the hands becoming an infection vector. Moreover, it can also have a social impact.
The fingernails are usually bitten equally to approximately the same level and it can lead to broken skin on the cuticle of the nails. When cuticles are improperly removed using your teeth, they are susceptible to microbial and viral infections such as paronychia. The contents of the saliva may then redden and infect the skin. In rare cases, fingernails may become severely deformed after years of nail biting due to the destruction of the nail bed. Surely you don't want your nails to get that bad.

Read More: 8 Dangerous Effects Of Cosmetics and Beauty Products On The Body

 Nail biting may also have an association with mouth problems, such as gingival injury, and malocclusion of the front teeth, which is basically the most active in the nail-biting process. It can also transfer pinworms or bacteria buried under the surface of the nail from the anus region to the mouth. If the bitten-off nails are swallowed, stomach problems can occasionally develop. On a more social level, nail-biting can be a source of shame to the nail biter  and definitely reduces the quality of life. Ask any female or male on the planet what they want in a future partner and they'll tell you they want someone with beautiful attractive nails. Really, who doesn't?

addicted to biting your nails
Image Credit: buzzfeed.com

Nail-biting Cure/Treatment


Good news for all Nail biters out there, there is a cure. Well, I wouldn't say a Cure per se, but there are many different ways to prevent you from going all cannibal on your nails. The cheapest of such preventive methods is the use of a Bitter-tasting Nail polish. This special kind of Nail polish is made from the most Bitter chemical substance in the entire universe called Denatonium benzoate. This compound produces an unbearable bitter feeling even words are not enough to describe. Making it an ingredient in Nail polish has really helped to stop the nail biting habit in most individuals. Another treatment for chronic nail biters, is using a dental deterrent device that disables the front teeth from making any damage to the nails and the surrounding cuticles. After about two months the device leads to a full oppression of the nail biting urge.

Read More: Hypnic Jerk: Why You Get The Feeling of Falling In Your Dreams and Wake up with a Jolt or Twitch.

Most importantly, being aware of your actions and sheer determination is enough to fight-off nail biting addiction. Simply make up your mind to stop the act. It's not that difficult to do. In my case, what I did was tell all my friends about my problem. Let those closest to you and always around you know about the problem and your resolve to finally end it. They will be your watchmen, warning you when you're about to unconscionably break your rule. Try to always remind yourself of your resolve, never to bite your fingernails again. After about 2 weeks, you can watch your fingers become attractive again. 
Thanks for reading, endeavour to share this with your friends who are addicted to biting their nails, you'll be saving someone's self-esteem if you do so. Also, follow this link to find out what the colour and look of your nails say about your health. Subscribe to our newsletter to get more amazing updates directly to your Email. Don't be shy, share your thoughts in the comments below.