Tuesday, October 02, 2007

British bar staff "healthier" since smoking ban (NOT)

What utter crap! Why could these pathetic individuals not do some REAL research? Why not examine disease incidence or symptom incidence? All they have shown is that people who are less exposed to smoking show signs of being less exposed to smoking! D'oh!

Bar staff have seen huge health benefits from the ban on smoking in public places, a study by the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre in Warwick - funded by Cancer Research UK - has found. Researchers tested the air quality in 40 pubs, bars and restaurants across the country and measured the level of cotinine - the metabolic byproduct of nicotine - in the blood of those who worked there.

Today they will tell the National Cancer Research Institute Conference in Birmingham that staff have four times less cotinine in their blood than they did in June and thatair quality, measured by the number of particles in the air from cigarette smoke, dropped from near hazardous levels in June to levels that are similar to the outside air in August.

Hilary Wareing, co-director of the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre, said: "This study proves beyond doubt that smokefree workplaces are helping to improve the health of the nation's hospitality workers."



It certainly does not help my memory! I was an enthusiastic wine drinker for decades -- decades which are now an almost total blank to me. But I did drink too much. The study below is actually yet another demonstration of hormesis -- that something toxic in high doses can be beneficial in low doses

A glass or two of wine can boost our ability to remember, according to a new study. Scientists have found that moderate amounts of alcohol challenge the brain and it responds by improving the memory. The findings rubbished the notion of drinking to forget, as they also show drinking enough to exceed the limit for driving means you are more likely to remember the embarrassment of a boisterous binge - from making an indecent proposal to dancing without your trousers on. "Contrary to popular belief, we also found that excessive levels of alcohol enhanced memories of highly emotional stimuli," said Prof Matthew During of the University of Auckland, New Zealand. "Our work suggests that heavy drinking actually reinforces negative memories."

With Dr Maggie Kalev he studied the effects on memory of moderate levels of alcohol consumption, equivalent to a glass or two of wine a day, and found they can enhance memory. Moderate levels of alcohol challenge the brain and it responds by improving memory, said Prof During. "It is like the best way to build strength in a muscle is to challenge the muscle. But you have to get it just right." Dr Kalev added that low levels of alcohol "promoted neutral memories, such as remembering objects."

Their research has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience. An earlier study by a scientists from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, suggested that alcohol affects our memory for details more than our memory of a major event. That suggested why, after recovering from a binge, one may not remember dancing on a table, or much about the place where drinking occurred. However, you may still have a lingering feeling that a good (or bad) time was had.



Paradoxical Facilitatory Effect of Low-Dose Alcohol Consumption on Memory Mediated by NMDA Receptors

By Maggie L. Kalev-Zylinska and Matthew J. During

Epidemiological studies have suggested a negative correlation between alcohol intake and Alzheimer's disease. In vitro, ethanol negatively modulates NMDA receptor function. We hypothesized that chronic moderate alcohol intake leads to improved memory via adaptive responses in the expression of NMDA receptors and downstream signaling. We fed liquid diets containing no, moderate, or high amounts of ethanol to control and matched rats with hippocampal knock-down of the NR1 subunit. Rats with increased hippocampal NR1 expression were also generated to determine whether they had a phenotype similar to that of ethanol-fed animals. We found that moderate ethanol intake improved memory, increased NR1 expression, and changed some aspects of neurotrophin signaling. NR1 knock-down prevented ethanol's facilitatory effects, whereas hippocampal NR1 overexpression mimicked the effect of chronic low-dose ethanol intake on memory. In contrast, high-dose ethanol reduced neurogenesis, inhibited NR2B expression, and impaired visual memory. In conclusion, adaptive changes in hippocampal NMDA receptor expression may contribute to the positive effects of ethanol on cognition.

The Journal of Neuroscience, September 26, 2007, 27(39):10456-10467


Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

Trans fats:

For one summary of the weak science behind the "trans-fat" hysteria, see here. Trans fats have only a temporary effect on blood chemistry and the evidence of lasting harm from them is dubious. By taking extreme groups in trans fats intake, some weak association with coronary heart disease has at times been shown in some sub-populations but extreme group studies are inherently at risk of confounding with other factors and are intrinsically of little interest to the average person.


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