Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Inuk man rolling cigaretes ARVIAT NUNAVUT


File:ARVIAT (NUNAVUT).jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Canadian Medicine: Pesticide punch

Pesticide punch

Wading through the produce aisles

If you think apples don’t taste like they used to, you’re probably right. The Environmental Working Group ( has just updated its list showing pesticide levels in 53 types of produce, and apples – formally No. 4 of their “Dirty Dozen” – now weigh in at No. 1!

Researchers at Purdue University in Lafayette, IN, analyzed 51,000 pesticide residue tests done over 10 years (2000-2009) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Food and Drug Administration. 98% of the apples tested contained pesticides out of over 700 samples. And most of the fruit and veggies under scrutiny had been washed and peeled, in order to represent more realistic eating conditions.

Others that made the Dirty Dozen were celery, strawberries and peaches – which contained 57 different chemicals – along with greens such as kale, lettuce and hot peppers – treated with as many as 97 pesticides.

If we stick to Canada’s Food Guide we’d consume a minimum of five servings of Mother Nature’s bounty every day. By choosing these from the least contaminated foods we’d ingest less than 2 pesticides. However, picking them from the Dirty Dozen would up our daily pesticide intake to 14 different chemicals – some of which are associated with nervous system disorders, chronic problems including cancer, endocrine system dysfunction, and lower intelligence levels in kids – who may (along with those in the fetal stage) be the most vulnerable to the synthetic residues.

There’s also evidence that the phosphorus-rich fertilizers used in fields have contributed to the toxic blue-green algae blooms in our freshwater lakes, reported to cause vision loss and difficulty walking in some people who’ve been in contact with it, but that’s another story.

When organic produce isn’t readily available -- at the market, or due to budgetary constraints – these lists could be your best shopping companions.
Milena Katz

Canadian Medicine: Pesticide punch


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Qsymia: FDA Approves Another New Diet Drug | Healthland |

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Qsymia, the second new diet drug in a month, and the most effective of the weight-loss pills that the agency has considered in recent years.
Qsymia, made by Vivus Inc., receives market approval on the heels of Arena’s Belviq (lorcaserin), the diet pill cleared by the FDA in late June. Before these two new drugs, the last prescription weight-loss pill to be green-lit by the government was Roche’s Xenical (orlistat) 13 years ago, in 1999.
Diet pills have had a spotty history with the FDA, largely because of safety problems involving the heart. Other drugs — most notably fenfluramine, used in the popular weight-loss combination fen-phen — have been withdrawn from the market for such hazards, and new drugs have had to clear a high bar for consideration.
(MORE: A Brief History of Diet Pills and the FDA)
The new pill, formerly known as Qnexa (the FDA asked Vivus to change the name to avoid confusion with another drug on the market), will be available by the fourth quarter of this year, according to the company’s president, Peter Tam. Here’s what you need to know.
Who can use Qsymia?
The drug is approved for obese adults with a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or higher. It can also be used by overweight adults, with a BMI of 27 or higher, if they have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.
How does it work?
Qsymia is a combination of two existing drugs: phentermine, an appetite-suppressing stimulant that has long been used for short-term weight loss, and topiramate, an anti-seizure medication used to treat epilepsy that makes people feel fuller after eating. Some doctors have already been prescribing the two drugs together for weight loss. Researchers say the key to Qsymia’s success is that it targets multiple brain pathways that trigger overeating.
How much weight will I lose?
It varies. In clinical trials, overweight and obese patients taking Qsymia for a year lost differing amounts of weight: on average, patients taking a middle dose of the drug lost 8.4% of their body weight; on a higher dose, patients lost 10.6%.

Qsymia: FDA Approves Another New Diet Drug | Healthland |

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Addicted to coffee? You may be dopamine deficient

Addicted to coffee? You may be dopamine deficient

Sunday, July 08, 2012 by: PF Louis

Learn more:

 (NaturalNews) Many of us depend on an early morning "Jo" to get us on the go. Some of us need refills as the day progresses.

Still others use coffee to get over depression or anxiety, even though caffeine can create more fight or flight hormones and tax our adrenal glands by pumping us with adrenaline. The adrenaline rushes lead to more retention of cortisol, leading to a vicious cycle of more stress and anxiety.

Many of us may have to look into our coffee drinking habits to determine whether to decrease consumption or quit altogether, even with the threat of withdrawal symptoms.

Although caffeine is in some foods and beverages, for example chocolate and tea, the bulk of our caffeine consumption is carried by coffee.

The first thing to consider is whether you can do without. If not, there is some level of addiction. There is a way to ease caffeine withdrawal mentioned later in this article.

How coffee elevates our moods and gets us going

Caffeine is a naturally occurring chemical stimulant called trimethylxanthine. It can be addictive and debilitating as well as helpful, as both Bach and Beethoven, heavy coffee drinkers, would attest.
Caffeine stimulates the brain to produce the neurotransmitter dopamine by occupying the brain's adenosine receptors. Adenosine is what helps us feel like sleeping, but the adenosine receptors don't discriminate between adenosine and caffeine.

Dopamine elevates our moods to make us feel better and stave off depression, which is why there is so much coffee consumption in areas that lack sunshine for extended periods, such as the USA Pacific Northwest and Scandinavia. Dopamine also helps create motivation and contributes toward conscious body motion.

Some research even points to coffee drinkers having fewer problems with depression and Alzheimer's disease than non-coffee drinkers. While feeling better from the dopamine, the caffeine also increases the brain's activity and neuron firing.

This alerts the pituitary gland to release hormones that signal the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline (aka epinephrine) for "fight or flight." The adrenaline rush makes you more alert.

Adrenaline injections are sometimes administered to help overcome extreme breathing problems or cardiac issues. Caffeine can help get over an asthma attack by elevating one's mood, increasing heart rate, and dilating bronchial passages.

Coffee's adverse effects and kicking the habit

But as the adrenaline wears off toward a crash, cortisol slowly builds up. If this cycle is repeated often enough, the cortisol builds up and creates the same effects as chronic stress: Fatigue, anxiety, nervousness, irritability, and lowered immunity.
A recipe for disaster is working a stressful job and drinking lots of coffee to cope with it! Adrenaline rushes can be addictive, just ask any gambler or sports nut.

But it appears dopamine's mood elevation may be the hook that makes it hard to kick caffeine and remove the adrenal stress that causes long term negative health effects.

Sometimes the caffeine from drinking coffee habitually can cause gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. Caffeine is a cross reactive substance, meaning it can create gluten intolerance even though it doesn't contain wheat. Ironically, wheat products usually accompany that cup of Jo.

Many experts consider the caffeine cure for dopamine deficiency the most addictive quality of coffee drinking. Getting off caffeine slowly or cold-turkey can create withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability, mild depression, and mental fogginess.

Nutritional consultant and author of The Body Ecology Diet, Donna Gates, recommends a naturally sourced non-essential amino acid supplement L-Tyrosine to help you kick the caffeine habit effortlessly. It is a natural precursor to the brain's dopamine production and it helps people be alert.

Sources for this article include:

Addicted to coffee? You may be dopamine deficient

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Asia’s 5 Spiciest Cuisines

If you have a somewhat normal digestive tract, you may want  to proceed with caution with these spicy cuisines.  At the same time, we all enjoy taste adventures and  John Krich has given us plenty to choose from.  

This article is a comprehensive introduction to Asian food that really makes you perspire.  The cuisine of the Sichuan Province is my favorite and is available in a number of fine restaurants in Vancouver, B.C. where most of my spice-filled adventures have taken place. 

Did you know that the chili had its origins in the Americas?  Always on the hunt for memorable food ideas?  Start here ....

Hot Like Fire: Asia’s 5 Spiciest Cuisines

By John Krich | July 6, 2012 

China Photos / Getty Images
                                                                              China Photos / Getty Images
 Diners help themselves to a hot-pot dish at a restaurant in Chengdu, in China's Sichuan province

Spicy fare abounds all over Asia. No continent seems to have put the precious plant first bred in the Americas to best and most creative use.  

Indeed, even the places that deserve a mere honorable mention — Malaysia, with its subtle use of padi chilies, or the chutneys and kormas of Andhra Pradesh, India’s spiciest state — would hold their own against anywhere else on earth.

Unlike the chili cook-offs and Tabasco tourneys that seem a fixture of the U.S. summertime barbecue scene, there’s no competition that puts the hottest cuisines of Asia head-to-head.  
Here is one man's attempt to put us in the know:

1. Korean 

Korean is a small nation that nonetheless claims to consume 60% of the world’s red chilies? Anyone who cruises the South Korean countryside in summer can see the evidence, with every village laying out thousands of pods to dry before putting up barrels of kimchi (pickled cabbage) for the winter. So important is this burning staple that numerous academics here are constantly researching, as well as championing, its cancer-fighting effects. And that’s just the beginning, as numerous pepper-dotted veggies and roots and dried sardines always feature in every restaurant’s complimentary spread of small dishes. As for the barbecue, it may seem bland to some — but most Koreans wrap in every lettuce roll a whole raw jalapeƱo or two, and swaths of burning bean paste, to give the real kick to any poor sliver of charred flesh.

2. Sichuanese

How can any region top the place famed for two types of heat, both the red powder shaken liberally over every tofu and street snack, and the local peppercorns that leave lips numb and offer wonderful aftertaste of salt mixed with anise? Chengdu, one of the first cities in the world selected by UNESCO for its new program to preserve culinary heritage, has to be the world’s No. 1 place of pilgrimage for modern-day fire worshippers. The signature ma po tofu and gung bao chicken are just starters, with even fresh tofu custard and innocently bland wontons, not to mention whole-boiled tortoises, dutifully smothered with burning chili oil.

3. Southern Thai

Naturally, Thailand has to figure high on any world ranking, though its hot stuff is often wisely tempered by sweet sauces or cloaked in bland seas of coconut milk. And a quick nibble in Bangkok can never do justice to the Land of Smiles’ pepper addiction. Travel anywhere up-country, and every small-town inn will do its best to knock diners’ socks off with its “jungle curry.” Mosquito repellent won’t protect you from the results. But Thais and tourists alike know that the farther south one goes, the hotter the curries, soups and dipping sauces get, along with the weather. The nam priks (chili dips) prick more, the pleasant stink of the succulent sataw (a sort of Asian lima bean) is always well disguised by thick beds of pepper, and the region’s famed gaeng som, or “sour orange curry,” can become nearly unsippable in the hands of a true southern chef.

4. Assamese

Manish Swarup / AP
                                                                                               Manish Swarup / AP
A farmer stands in his field of "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chili," peppers at Changpool in the Indian state of Assam
Assam, in northeast India produces the treasured seeds, of the bhut jolokia, rated by Scoville units and scorched tongues as by far the world’s hottest form of chili. A lot of Assamese fare is as tame as a bowl of noodles. But any place where people chomp on these burners raw, or drop them in pork curries, deserves a high rank on any list.

5. Hunanese

Bob Sacha / Corbis
                                                                                               Bob Sacha / Corbis
                                  Spices used in the cuisine from China's Hunan province

 The “red-pepper spirit” of China’s inland Hunan province has long been celebrated as giving birth to rebels and revolutionaries like Mao Zedong — and giving a whole new meaning to the term Red Army.

In Beijing now, numerous home-style places cash in on the association and compete with one another to add more and more burned chili pods to their bony chicken dishes. 

Read more:

Asia’s 5 Spiciest Cuisines | NewsFeed |