I closed out last year reading some scientific discoveries. It is stunning to see what scientist were working on. Like many leaps forward, some are not ethical and some will definitely improve life. Too much of science is agenda motivated these days, but that is another topic for another day.
There were two game changer studies in terms of brain function and longevity last year: the effects of moderate drinking and chronic marijuana use on the brain.
- Moderate drinking increases mental decline. A study of 550 British civil servants over 30 years found that moderate drinkers (14-21 units/week) were 3 times more likely than abstainers to develop shrinkage in the part of their brain that controls memory; an early indicator of Alzheimers. A unit was measured for U.S. standards as being 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of spirits. Heavy drinkers were at highest risk and light drinkers (1-7 units/week) did not have a protective effect over abstainers (some past studies reported a few drinks a day protects against stroke and such). Those who abstain had the lowest risk of brain changes. In my book How to Build a Big Unbreakable Life, I mention another British civil servant study that showed they also had higher heart disease and shorter life spans because of the stress of working in a hierarchical system. Take away message: If you are a moderate drinker, a life change that decreases your stress will help you stop drinking your worries away and decrease your risk of dementia. Reference: http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j2353
- Chronic marijuana use is associated with elevated dopamine levels. Scientists looked at the long-term effects of THC on mouse brains and found they decrease the regulator on dopamine production. Some may be thinking, "Good, dopamine is my happy hormone." Yes and no. Chronically elevated dopamine levels lead to schizophrenia, social withdrawal, and paranoia. It also decreases breast milk production, which is bad news for nursing mamas. I bring this up because many tout MJ as a cure-all without any risk of addiction or brain damage. But this isn't true. Everything comes with risks and rewards. THC effects the brain in many ways that are not all positive. Take away message: A broad use of safe, food-based nutrients would be better for healing from diseases than hanging your hat on MJ. Be careful when the political momentum pushes a "cure-all." It is likely not true. Reference: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/early/2017/10/16/JNEUROSCI.0190-17.2017
Other discoveries last year included the first quantum communications, discovering a single neuron in mice that taps into all parts of the brain, editing out fatal genetic diseases, raising baby pigs in a bag instead of a womb, and successfully growing replacement organs in a lab.
The world is changing rapidly. Not all these changes are inspiring; some are downright dangerous and unethical. No matter what is going on, good or bad, exciting or challenging, focusing on Wholeness Living will keep you stable so you can navigate the coming years with confidence, clarity, and wisdom.
That's all for this week.
Remember you are priceless & powerful,
Wholeness Living Thought Leader
Wholeness Living Thought Leader