from the world's big
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen might have discovered a cure.
How Meditation Can Manage Chronic Pain and Stress | Daniel Goleman<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="003f88caa581ddd99ae8bdae9fd40e8e"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yAd-JGbaRp8?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>A <a href="https://www.embopress.org/doi/full/10.15252/emmm.201911248" target="_blank">new study</a> at the University of Copenhagen might have uncovered a breakthrough in chronic pain relief. Published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, researchers achieved complete pain relief in a group of mice by using a compound, Tat-P4-(C5)2, that was produced after a decade of development. </p><p>According to the team, this peptide only targets dysfunctional nerves causing the pain. In previous studies the team discovered it also helps reduce addiction. These two uses are not separate: chronic pain often leads to opioid addiction. By reducing pain, dependency on pain relievers may also be reduced. </p><p>So far, co-author Kenneth L. Madsen, Associate Professor at the Department of Neuroscience in Copenhagen, says there have been no side effects. Pain medicine often results in lethargic states, a condition not observed in the mice. Madsen hopes to turn this discovery into a business model. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Now, our next step is to work towards testing the treatment on people. The goal, for us, is to develop a drug, therefore the plan is to establish a biotech company as soon as possible so we can focus on this."</p>
Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display on March 23, 2016 in Norwich, CT. On March 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced guidelines for doctors to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers prescribed, in an effort to curb the epidemic.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images<p>Chronic pain is most often prevalent in the back, muscles, bones, neck, joints, and face. Associated problems include headache, sleeping problems, fatigue, and anxiety. It has been known to last anywhere from weeks to years. Other factors that lead to chronic pain include diabetes and psychological factors, such as anxiety or depression.</p><p>Self-care treatments include regular physical exercise, stress management techniques, and relaxation. A combination of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, yoga, and meditation can help mitigate chronic pain. Of course, depending on pain location and severity, some of these interventions might not be tenable. </p><p>Besides the above treatments, there are pharmaceutical interventions, such as analgesics and narcotics. The problem, as the researchers note, is the addiction that follows. These drugs do not cure the problem. They only mask symptoms. Long-term side effects sometimes turn out worse than the pain itself. </p><p>Human trials will be next in the development of this peptide. There is always the possibility that it reacts differently in humans. Still, this is a positive step forward that could help millions of people find relief from one of the most frustrating and debilitating conditions known.</p><p> --</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a>. His next book is</em> "Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</p>
Your morning coffee is good for you - if you drink it at the right time.
- Caffeine, the main stimulant found in coffee, works on a chemical level to give you energy by replacing the biochemical adenosine, which makes you tired.
- There are many health benefits to caffeine, such as a boost in metabolism and an increase in physical performance/muscle strength.
- To get the most positive impacts of your daily caffeine intake, drink coffee between 10 in the morning and 12 noon or between 2 in the afternoon and 5 in the evening.
Your brain on coffee<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1b7784d7ec18a202dd02c5c97e1499d4"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4YOwEqGykDM?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-caffeine" target="_blank">Caffeine</a>, the main stimulant in coffee, works on a chemical level to give you a boost of energy. However, caffeine is structurally similar to another chemical naturally created in the body, called <a href="https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1067/adenosine" target="_blank">adenosine</a>, which makes you tired.</p><p>Some substances imitate natural neurotransmitters and can take their place in receptors. For example, morphine can bind to the receptors in the brain meant for your endorphins (which is a natural kind of 'morphine' produced by your brain). </p><p><strong>Caffeine replaces adenosine, which builds your adrenaline and causes dopamine to linger longer.</strong></p><p>Similar to how morphine binds to endorphin receptors, the caffeine in your morning coffee binds to your brain's adenosine receptors, preventing the biochemical from making you tired. </p><p>Caffeine also builds your adrenaline supply which increases your heart rate and allows blood to pump faster. At the same time, caffeine prevents dopamine from being reabsorbed into your system, which allows it to linger in the brain for a longer amount of time, causing you to feel it's positive effects (such as happiness) for a longer amount of time. </p><p>This lingering of dopamine is what often triggers the brain to crave more caffeine. After all, while dopamine itself <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/women-who-stray/201701/no-dopamine-is-not-addictive" target="_blank">isn't inherently addictive</a>, it does play a large role in many addictions. </p><p><strong>More coffee means more adenosine receptors which means more coffee...</strong></p><p>The brain is a complex and intricate system. The more coffee you drink, the more adenosine receptors are formed, meaning it can take more coffee to keep you awake now than it did when you started drinking coffee as a young adult. </p><p><strong>According to<a href="https://www.outsideonline.com/2390099/overdosing-caffeine" target="_blank">research</a>, caffeine has a half-life of around 6 hours. </strong></p><p>Within the first 10 minutes, the caffeine enters your bloodstream and is pumped throughout your body, causing an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. </p><p>Up to 20 minutes after intake, caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors, neutralizing fatigue. Dopamine levels increase and linger, which provides the drinker with an alert and focused feeling. </p><p>Within 30 minutes, your adrenal glands shift into high gear and begin producing more hormones. During this time your vision may become sharper due to your pupils dilating. </p><p>Within 40 minutes, your body begins producing more serotonin, which improves the neuron function within your spinal cord - this leads to improved coordination and muscle strength. </p><p>After 4 hours, your metabolism increases, which is why you burn energy faster. Your body begins to break down stored fats during this time. </p><p>Within 6 hours, the liquid coffee has gone through your system and you will likely feel the urge to urinate, during which time approximately half the caffeine you consumed is expelled. </p>
How to make your coffee habit benefit you<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzIxMTYwMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwOTg1MDUzMH0.WurPbO0oMxESAMOAyKVawD9TfwtYQhmmF0VjgWhXX7w/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C72%2C0%2C72&height=700" id="cca79" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3a409121a158d78aba0b22335d00f702" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept of coffee time coffee cup on blank background with clock" />
What time of day you drink your coffee can mean the difference between a good habit and a bad habit.
Photo by bluehand on Shutterstock<p>Of course, with anything caffeinated, moderation is key. When consumed in excess, caffeine can cause anxiety, heart palpitations, and sleeping problems.</p><p>According to <a href="https://www.consumerreports.org/food-safety/too-much-caffeine/" target="_blank">Consumer Reports</a>, up to 400mg of caffeine per day (which equals two to four 8 ounce cups) can be part of a healthy diet, however anything over 600mg per day is too much. </p><p><strong>What are the health benefits of coffee? </strong></p><p>Despite what you may have been told, there are several ways your daily caffeine intake is good for you. Not only can coffee improve your energy levels, but it can cause your brain to function <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee#section1" target="_blank">at optimal levels</a>, making you smarter. </p><p><u>Some other health benefits of coffee include: </u></p><ul><li>Boosting your metabolism</li><li>Improving your physical performance </li><li>Helping you with your nutrient intake (the vitamins B2, B3, B5, manganese, and potassium are all found in coffee)</li><li>Lowering your risk of developing type 2 diabetes</li><li>Helping fight depression symptoms and make you happier </li><li>Providing a source of antioxidants </li></ul><p><strong>Consuming caffeine when cortisol levels are high decreases the health benefits.</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-cortisol" target="_blank">Cortisol</a>, a naturally-occurring stress hormone, has a very distinct circadian rhythm that is regulated by the brain's central pacemaker. Interrupting this rhythm can lead to metabolic abnormalities, fatigue, and poor quality of life, according to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19223520" target="_blank">a 2009 study</a> published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. </p><p>Consuming caffeine when your cortisol levels are at a natural peak can lead to interference in the production of cortisol and an increase in your tolerance, which can impact your response to stress and will cause to you need more and more caffeine as time goes on.</p><p><strong>When is the best time to drink coffee?</strong></p><p>The cortisol levels in your body are at a natural peak three times per day, one of which is in the early morning. According to <a href="https://time.com/3903826/coffee-early-morning-worst-time/" target="_blank">this article in Time Magazine</a>, the best times to drink coffee (or ingest caffeine) are between 10 in the morning and 12 noon, and then again between 2 in the afternoon and 5 in the evening. </p><p>This will allow your brain to make the most of your caffeine surge, as it's not replacing any other important functions, such as the cortisol release that naturally happens several times per day. </p>
Dr. Kate Biberdorf explains why boiling water makes it safer and how water molecules are unusual and cool.
- University of Texas professor and science entertainer Kate the Chemist joined Big Think to talk about water molecules and to answer two interesting and important questions: Why does boiling water make it safe to drink, and what happens to water when you boil or freeze it?
- According to Kate, when water is heated to a certain temperature (100°C/ 212°F) the hydrogen bonds break and it goes from a liquid to a gas state. Boiling for a minimum of 5 minutes kills any viruses and bacteria that were in the water.
- "Water is a freak and so it is one of my favorite molecules ever," Kate says. "It has these unique properties and we are surrounded by it constantly. We also are made of water. We have to drink water to survive...It's a really, really fun molecule to investigate."
Study shows ripples across a newly fertilized egg are similar to ocean and atmospheric circulations.
When an egg cell of almost any sexually reproducing species is fertilized, it sets off a series of waves that ripple across the egg's surface.
A new study reminds us that physical and emotional pain are not far apart.
- Physical and emotional pain are not that distinct, given that both are routed through a single brain region.
- A new study at NYU shows that physical pain can lessen the effects of depression and emotional duress.
- Holistic methods for dealing with both physical and emotional pain should be considered.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia feels the pain during his fourth round match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.
Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images<p>For the study, Doukas and team recruited 60 test subjects to look at upsetting images. They were then provided with four methods of coping, two cognitive and two physical. The cognitive methods were distracting yourself with another thought or mentally changing the meaning of the image. As for physical means, subjects could self-administer an electric shock, either painful or painless.</p><p>Over the course of 16 trials, two-thirds (67.5 percent) of volunteers self-administered at least one painful electric shock. The average was two per person, with 13 being at the high end. Doukas hopes that this information helps to de-stigmatize those who purposefully engage in painful behavior to deal with emotional duress. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"While of course we do not want people to put themselves at risk for infection or accidental death, the fact is that human beings use pain to manage their emotions all the time — think of an intense massage to relax, and putting extra hot sauce on tacos to make them more intense and enjoyable. While the injurious aspect of NSSI can be alarming to many, the infliction of pain on oneself may not be inherently pathological, and may actually be making good use of some basic biological responses to pain, such as endorphins."</p><p>We often discuss the brain-body connection as if they're separate domains. We can actually witness the workings of that connection in the form of our nervous system. Everyone recognizes that injury can lead to depression while heartache can result in the manifestation of physical disease. If cutting seems a strange choice for dealing with stress or anxiety, remember that for roughly 2,000 years bloodletting was the go-to by doctors for a variety of ailments. </p><p>This is not a call for sanctioned cutting. We know that in most cases draining blood from your body is the opposite of healing. Yet we're also aware that the distance between physical and emotional pain is not far. Creating a holistic pain management paradigm moving forward would be in our best interests. While some region-specific remedies are important, epidemics such as with opioids, depression, and obesity show that we are not managing pain well. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a>. His next book is </em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy.</p>