Will Food Porn Turn You on to Better Food?

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Healthy food porn is winning social media.

Food porn: We’ve all looked at it. Heck, most of us even try make our own when we’re especially proud of a batch of peach pancakes we’ve made for brunch. But is food porn actually good for us? According to NPR, food porn may be good for your health… if the food porn you’re gawking at is healthy, that is.

While the majority of food porn that graces Instagram and Twitter is of rich, chocolate cake, health junkies are beginning to pull out their camera and snap salacious photos of their superfood salads and grilled chicken. According to NPR, Bolthouse Farms, a food company that specializes in selling juices and baby carrots, is trying to urge healthy foodies to snap photos of their nutritious meals. The hashtags the company is pushing are #urwhatupost and healthy #foodporn. The idea is to make help these images of healthy foods more searchable and visible:

“The idea is that — over time — the healthful images may shift the balance of the Food Porn Index (introduced by Bolthouse Farms one year ago). As we’ve reported, the index tracks which foods are trending in social media and presents the data in a swirl of food images. The online campaign is one of several strategies food companies are using to heighten the appeal of healthy eating.”

While this is just the latest of many healthy marketing tactics that companies are using to promote their healthy goods, I think it’s a simple, great idea. Sure it’s always fun to look at scrumptious food, but I also enjoy this healthy food porn because it gives me new cooking ideas. The hashtag “healthy #foodporn” on Twitter cultivates a ton of amazing images of recipes that I’d love to try.

What are your thoughts on this new marketing campaign? Do you enjoy looking at food porn? Are you a regular healthy #foodporn poster?

Related on Organic Authority

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Are You Addicted to Dopamine?

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Hormone level predicts how the brain processes social information

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People with higher levels of oxytocin have greater activity in regions of the brain that support social cognition, a psychology study indicates. The study has implications for better understanding how oxytocin interacts with cognition in both healthy people and people with disordered social behavior. For example, low levels of oxytocin have previously been associated with social deficits often found in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

The hormone oxytocin is made at different levels in different people and it plays a role in regulating social behavior. A new University of Virginia study involving brain imaging finds that people with naturally higher levels of oxytocin in their blood show greater brain activity when processing social information.

“The purpose of the study was to investigate how people’s endogenous levels of oxytocin were related to brain activity when they viewed social interactions,” said Katie Lancaster, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of Virginia and first author of the study. “We found that people with higher oxytocin levels showed greater recruitment of brain regions that support social cognition, suggesting that these people are naturally attending to the more social aspects of the interactions. “People with low levels of oxytocin showed less recruitment of these ‘social brain’ areas; their brain activity resembles the patterns of neural activity previously observed when people focus on non-socially relevant information.”

The study has implications for better understanding how oxytocin interacts with cognition in both healthy people and people with disordered social behavior. For example, low levels of oxytocin have previously been associated with social deficits often found in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

The results, published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, provide a potential mechanism to explain how lower levels of oxytocin might impact neural systems that support complex social behaviors.

The research team behind the study was led by James Morris and Jessica Connelly, both U.Va. assistant professors of psychology, and their collaborator, oxytocin researcher C. Sue Carter, director of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University.

As part of a larger neuroimaging study, the team measured brain activity while participants completed a social perception task. This task involved watching film clips of geometric shapes interacting in ways resembling dancing, fighting and other social activities. When healthy people watch these film clips, they generally perceive the shapes to have intentions and personality characteristics even though they are just simple geometric shapes; this natural anthropomorphizing is disrupted in people with autism.

The researchers also took blood from participants to determine their levels of oxytocin and relate it to brain activity from the social perception task.

“Our results suggest that people with higher oxytocin levels are processing social information in a different way, perhaps deeper, more meaningfully,” Lancaster noted. “Because people’s endogenous oxytocin levels are remarkably stable over time and are highly heritable, we believe that endogenous oxytocin can be used as a biomarker of social perceptual functioning.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Virginia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Katie Lancaster, C. Sue Carter, Hossein Pournajafi-Nazarloo, Themistoclis Karaoli, Travis S. Lillard, Allison Jack, John M. Davis, James P. Morris, Jessica J. Connelly. Plasma oxytocin explains individual differences in neural substrates of social perception. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2015; 9 DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00132

Cite This Page:

University of Virginia. “Hormone level predicts how the brain processes social information.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150324153339.htm>.

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Let’s Not Mince Words: How to Mince Garlic with Ease

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mincing garlic

Ever seen the words “2 cloves garlic, minced” in a cookbook and reached for the jar of ready-minced garlic? Or attempted to mince garlic only to end up with jagged, misshapen chunks that don’t melt easily into the dish you’re preparing? Never fear — you’re about to learn how to mince garlic easily.

Garlic, as we all know, has a very strong flavor and aroma. Its flavor actually gets stronger the smaller it’s cut, which is why dishes like chicken with 40 cloves of garlic don’t get overwhelming. But having chunks of garlic in a dish where garlic is meant to be minced is unpleasant and unpalatable — and completely unnecessary once you’ve learned to mince properly. The secret starts with a sharp knife, but after that, it’s all about having a bit of technique.

mincing garlic

First, crush the garlic clove lightly with the flat of your chef’s knife blade, just to allow the skin to be more easily removed.

mincing garlic

mincing garlic

Peel the garlic clove. It should pop right out of its skin if it’s been crushed properly.

mincing garlic

Remove the end of the clove and the sprout, if you like (some do, some don’t) — you can decide which flavor you prefer.

mincing garlic

Make several parallel cuts through the garlic clove, going almost all the way through the clove but also keeping the end together, in order to make slicing crosswise easier.

mincing garlic

Hold the clove together and slice crosswise through the parallel cuts. This is where having a sharp knife is key! Keep your fingers on top of the clove to avoid cutting yourself.

mincing garlic

Once again, cut almost all the way through to the end without cutting completely through.

mincing garlic

Put the point of your knife on the board and rock your knife while slowly edging it through the garlic clove. If you go slowly, you should end up with a perfectly sized mince on the first go.

mincing garlic

As you reach the end of the clove, you’ll need to bunch your fingers together and be very careful so as not to cut yourself.

mincing garlic

If you don’t end up with a small enough mince on the first go, you can run your knife back through the garlic again.

mincing garlic

That being said, I prefer a secondary technique if you need your garlic a bit smaller than a mince.

mincing garlic

First, season the minced garlic with a bit of fleur de sel or other salt with jagged edges.

mincing garlic

Then, use the flat of your knife blade to crush and cut the garlic. This will help you create a garlic paste; the salt will help break the pieces of garlic down.

mincing garlic

I sometimes use this technique for recipes where garlic will remain raw, like in a summer tomato salad or Greek salad. Minced garlic is great in this roasted rutabaga with garlic and thyme recipe or with organic bistro garlic fries.

Related on Organic Authority

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All Images by Emily Monaco

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Study: Main Ingredient in Roundup Weed Killer Probably Causes Cancer

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Study: Main Ingredient in Roundup Weed Killer Probably Causes Cancer

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the French-based cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup weed killer, as a probable human carcinogen.

The weed killer falls between known carcinogen and possible carcinogen on the agency’s listing, mostly for its industrial use. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would consider the agency’s findings, according to the AP.

Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide used on both food and non-food crops and as a plant-growth regulator. It’s the main ingredient in Roundup weed killer, the most popular herbicide in the U.S., and is often used along with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops because the genetically modified seeds are made to resist the chemical. As a result, the weed killer is widely used across large swaths of monoculture crops. (In the U.S., 89 percent of corn and 93 percent of soy are genetically modified.)

Some studies have found glyphosate can increase the risk of lymphoma. It’s also been linked to a number of cancers in lab rats.

According to EPA, the use of glyphosate has increased dramatically in the past three decades:

Glyphosate is among the most widely used pesticides by volume. In 1986, an estimated 6,308,000 pounds of glyphosate was used in the United States. Usage in 1990 was estimated to be 11,595,000 pounds. It ranked eleventh among conventional pesticides in the US during 1990-91. In recent years, 13 to 20 million acres were treated with 18.7 million lbs. annually. Glyphosate is generally sold as the isopropylamine salt and applied as a liquid foliar spray.

Its increased use is problematic for consumers, who may not be aware of how much residue ends up on the foods they’re eating—though the largest concern is for agricultural workers who deal with the chemical firsthand.

“All labeled uses of glyphosate are safe for human health,” Monsanto’s Phil Miller, global head of regulatory and government affairs, said in a statement reported by AP.

Related on Organic Authority

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Image of rows of soy plants via Shuttershock

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Just slip out the back, Jack: Are humans hardwired to break-up and move on?

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When it comes to romantic relationships, a research review article suggests humans are wired to break-up and move on. Drawing largely upon the field of evolutionary psychology, they say men and women might break up for different reasons. For instance, a man is more likely to end a relationship because a woman has had a sexual relationship with another man. On the other hand, a woman may be more likely to break up if her partner has been emotionally unfaithful.

A Saint Louis University research review article suggests people are hardwired to fall out of love and move onto new romantic relationships.

“Our review of the literature suggests we have a mechanism in our brains designed by natural selection to pull us through a very tumultuous time in our lives,” said Brian Boutwell, Ph.D., associate professor of criminology and criminal justice and associate professor of epidemiology at Saint Louis University. “It suggests people will recover; the pain will go away with time. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Boutwell and his colleagues examined the process of falling out of love and breaking up, which they call primary mate ejection, and moving on to develop a new romantic relationship, which they call secondary mate ejection.

Drawing largely upon the field of evolutionary psychology, they say men and women might break up for different reasons. For instance, a man is more likely to end a relationship because a woman has had a sexual relationship with another man. For evolutionary reasons, men should be wired to try and avoid raising children that aren’t genetically their own, the authors say.

“Men are particularly sensitive to sexual infidelity between their partner and someone else,” Boutwell said. “That’s not to say women don’t get jealous, they certainly do, but it’s especially acute for men regarding sexual infidelity.”

On the other hand, a woman may be more likely to break up if her partner has been emotionally unfaithful partly because of evolutionary reasons. Over the deep time of evolution, natural selection has designed mate ejection in females to avoid the loss of resources, such as help in raising a child and physical protection, that their mates provide.

Sometimes both men and women end a relationship for the same reason. “For instance, neither gender tends to tolerate or value cruelty on the part of their partner,” Boutwell said.

In addition, some people might be more likely than others to fall out of love or have problems moving. The ability to break up and find someone new to love lies along a continuum, influenced by environmental and genetic factors.

Brain imaging studies of men and women who claimed to be deeply in love also provided important clues about dealing with breakups. Functional MRIs showed an increase in neuronal activity in the parts of the brain — the pleasure areas — that also become active with cocaine use.

“Helen Fisher’s work has revealed that this circuitry in the brain, which is deeply associated with addictive behaviors, also is implicated in the feelings associated with romantic attraction and may help explain the attachment that often follows the initial feelings of physical infatuation with a potential mate. Think of it as that initial feeling of falling in love, when you want to constantly be around the other person, almost in an addictive way,” Boutwell said.

Falling out of love, Boutwell contends, might be compared to asking a cocaine addict to break his or her habit.

“To sever that bond and move on is a huge ask of a person,” he said. “Ultimately, trying to move on from a former mate may be similar in some ways to an attempt at breaking a drug habit.”

Building off the drug addiction analogy, Boutwell examined studies about the brains of former cocaine addicts to try to predict how the brains of those who are breaking a relationship habit might look. Images of the brains of those no longer using cocaine showed a larger volume of gray matter in various brain regions, which were markedly different from images of brains of active cocaine users.

“We might argue that different regions of the brain act in a way that once that addiction has been severed, then help to facilitate a person moving on and finding a new partner,” Boutwell extrapolated. “A person might initially pursue their old mate — in an attempt to win back their affection. However, if pursuit is indeed fruitless, then the brains of individuals may act to correct certain emotions and behaviors, paving the way for people to become attracted to new mates and form new relationships.”

Conducting functional MRI studies that examine the brains of men and women who have rebounded from a relationship and fallen in love again would provide additional evidence to lend credibility to or dismiss the addiction hypothesis, he added.

In an additional attempt to understand what is going on inside the brain when a relationship ends, Boutwell examined research regarding the impact of a group of antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on romantic love. The use of SSRIs can potentially lower levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and testosterone, which might stifle romantic feelings and sexual interest.

“This is not to say that people should cease using their anti-depressants without consulting their doctors. That could be potentially tragic and a very bad decision,” Boutwell said. “Rather, like any medication, it is important to fully understand the side effects. In this case, those side effects might impinge on the intimate feelings of one partner towards another.”

Boutwell urged more research into lost love to better understand the difficulties that can creep into a romantic relationship.

“If we better understand mate ejection, it may offer direct and actionable insight into ways in which couples can save a relationship that might otherwise come to stultifying and abrupt halt,” he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brian B. Boutwell, J. C. Barnes, Kevin M. Beaver. When love dies: Further elucidating the existence of a mate ejection module.. Review of General Psychology, 2015; 19 (1): 30 DOI: 10.1037/gpr0000022

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Healthy How-To Event: Spring Cleaning

 

According to an Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) investigation of more than 2,000 cleaning supplies sold in the US,  found that many contain substances linked to serious health problems. EWG concludes that:

  • Fumes from some cleaning products may induce asthma in otherwise healthy individuals. A large and growing body of evidence links frequent use of many ordinary cleaning supplies at home or on the job with development of asthma and other respiratory problems. It is already known that cleaning product fumes may trigger attacks in persons previously diagnosed with asthma.
  • Common cleaning ingredients can be laced with the carcinogenic impurity 1,4-dioxane. Independent tests have detected the presence of 1,4-dioxane in numerous name-brand cleaning supplies. Other products contain preservatives that release low levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde.
  • Children born to women who held cleaning jobs while pregnant have an elevated risk of birth defects, according to a 2010 study by the New York State Department of Health.
  • Some cleaners can cause chemical burns and poisonings as well as less severe irritations and allergies. A severe physical reactions signal that consumers should take care anytime they use these products.
  • Despite these health concerns, cleaning product labels often do not give consumers enough information about their ingredients to allow people to make informed decisions on which ones are safer and which ones might harm their health.

Government agencies and independent research institutions have not adequately evaluated the safety of numerous substances found in cleaning products. Although government scientific and regulatory agencies have focused considerable attention on chemicals suspected of causing cancer, they have devoted far fewer resources to evaluating substances that may be toxic to the brain and nervous system, the hormone system and other organs. Investigating the full range of risks of cleaning products to public health and the environment should be an urgent priority. Yet the problem remains largely hidden from the view of the American consumer.

Inadequate assessment of the long-term health consequences of chronic exposure to potent chemicals in cleaning products stems in large part from the absence of federal regulations requiring safety tests and setting legally-binding upper limits on toxic ingredients and impurities. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is nominally responsible for overseeing dangerous cleaning products, but has focused on child-safe packaging and other measures to prevent accidents.

Sound chemical policy is critical to identifying and removing from commerce harmful chemicals in everyday products like cleaning supplies. In the meantime, the EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning can be a valuable tool in helping consumers to reduce their exposures to products known to contain harmful ingredients.

Learn more about cleaners and:

Dangers of laundry pods to children: http://snip.ly/mPX4

Friday during the Healthy How-to Spring Cleaning webinar, I will share my all natural cleaning options, better for your health & SAFER for your kids! Register today!

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LA Market Selling Whole Raccoons Under Investigation

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LA Market Selling Whole Raccoons as Food Under Investigation

Los Angeles County Health Department inspectors uncovered whole raccoons being sold as meat at the Metro Supermarket in the Temple City neighborhood.

This isn’t a case of accidental contamination like the horsemeat scandal that plagued Europe last year; these were entire raccoons, frozen and bagged and selling for $9.99 a pound.

According to CBS2, which broke the story, a customer, Christina Dow, was shopping in the market and noticed the frozen raccoons. She took video of them on her mobile phone and shared it on social media, alerting the Health Department.

“The way it’s packaged in the store, it’s so real, and it’s so fresh, and you don’t see chickens with their feathers and blood all over them, and their expression, with their tongue hanging out,” Dow said to CBS.

LAist took a slightly different approach to the story: “The latest in cultural panic comes to us this week from Temple City, where a supermarket has pulled frozen raccoons from their shelves after a complaint from a customer who’s not used to seeing meat with the head still on.”

Eating raccoon meat, like eating dogs, is a common delicacy in China. But whether or not it’s illegal in LA county is still unclear. According to CBS2, a number of local health agencies, and the LA County District Attorney’s office could not confirm whether “selling raccoons as food was legal or not.”

Employees of Metro Supermarket told CBS that the store has been selling raccoon meat “for years” without any issue.

The LAist writer points the finger at Dow for the investigation, criticizing her for a lack of exposure to world culture, “Christina Dow freaked out because it was her first time in an ethnic supermarket. Next time go to Ralphs, lady.”

An ethnic food or not, though, source is an issue for a number of reasons, including the safety of the raccoon “meat.” Animal products are inspected by the USDA in the U.S. for safety and humane treatment. Raccoons imported illegally, or worse, trapped here on the streets of LA, could put consumers’ health at risk.

Raccoons, like dogs and pigs, are incredibly smart animals, capable of crafty problem-solving and mischief.

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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Live Well: Weekend Organic, Homemade Brunch

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Do This: Make an Organic, Homemade Brunch this Weekend

I love going out to brunch, but who doesn’t, really? Brunch menus typically include a Bloody Mary or Mimosa choice, as well as breakfast potatoes. That’s all I need to kick off my weekend on a positive note. Brunch prices, though, can be a bit steep. Also: Do you really want to fight for a table with the hungry crowds this weekend? I think not.

So, we’ve rounded up a few recipes you can whip up quickly and without exerting too much energy. Seriously: A homemade brunch is easier to make than you would think.

Start off with a beverage. Whether you dig on a bit of booze in the morning, or a coffee jolt, (or both), you can make either one of these mid-morning treats easily.

A Bloody Mary is all about the garnishes. If you stick to a simple recipe, and really dedicate time to arranging your cocktail’s garnishes, everyone will be impressed. Some great garnishes include celery sticks, olives, and my favorite – pepperoncinis. This is a homemade brunch staple.

But if you can’t do booze in the morning, no worries. You can easily make a special hot drink to satiate your thirst. For example, make any one of these coffee recipes. (We’ve got recipes for Mexican Coffee, Spiced Honey Coffee, and Coconut Cream Coffee.) All are remarkably simple to make and full of heartwarming spices.

Brunch isn’t all about specialty drinks. It’s also about hearty meals.

As I alluded to earlier, I really love breakfast potatoes. If you want to make a killer potato recipe that’s a bit unique, give this Zaatar Roasted Potatoes recipe a spin.

Now, you don’t want your meal to be carb-heavy (you’re not looking to nap right after you eat), add a protein-packed main dish to your spread. Now, I’m vegan, so I love this scrambled tofu recipe. But if you dig on eggs and meat, give the following brunch recipes a try:

Breakfast Sausage Recipe with Maple and Fennel

Organic Scrambled Eggs With Black Truffle Oil & Avocado

If you’re looking for a sweet side, you can never go wrong with sliced, seasonal, fresh fruit.

Do you regularly make a homemade brunch?

Related on Organic Authority

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Vegan Apple Cake Recipe with Cardamom

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apple cake

This vegan apple cake recipe  with cardamom is reminiscent of apple pie, only without the excess sugar, butter and labor inherent in the traditional recipe.

Instead, this version is a light cake with a sweet, floral touch of cardamom. Better yet, it’s entirely vegan and something for which you don’t have to feel guilty going in for seconds.

Enjoy the benefits of seasonal apples and the nutritional aspects of the spicy cardamom pod, which is revered in India for its many health benefits.

Vegan Apple Cake with Cardamom

Serves 10-15

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sweet, crisp red apples, cut into small cubes
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax seeds mixed into 6 tablespoons water)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper or generously grease the pan with coconut oil or vegan butter. Place the cubed apples in a bowl and cover with water and the juice of one lemon. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the whole-wheat pastry flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom and ½ cup turbinado sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the flax eggs, coconut milk and coconut oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold lightly. Drain the soaking apples and fold the cubes into the mixture. Fold until evenly combined.

Pour the batter into the lined pan and spread. Evenly sprinkle 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar atop the cake surface. Pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center and the top is golden brown.

Related on Organic Authority

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New research finds autism genes activate during fetal development

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Mutations that cause autism in children are connected to a pathway that regulates brain development, scientists have found. The researchers studied a set of well-known autism mutations called copy number variants or CNVs. They investigated when and where the genes were expressed during brain development.

Autism mutations may influence brain size through RhoA pathway during fetal brain development. Credit: UC San Diego School of Medicine

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that mutations that cause autism in children are connected to a pathway that regulates brain development. The research, led by Lilia Iakoucheva, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, is published in the February 18 issue of Neuron.

The researchers studied a set of well-known autism mutations called copy number variants or CNVs. They investigated when and where the genes were expressed during brain development. “One surprising thing that we immediately observed was that different CNVs seemed to be turned on in different developmental periods,” said Iakoucheva.

Specifically, the scientists noted that one CNV located in a region of the genome known as 16p11.2, contained genes active during the late mid-fetal period. Ultimately, they identified a network of genes that showed a similar pattern of activation including KCTD13 within 16p11.2 and CUL3, a gene from a different chromosome that is also mutated in children with autism.

“The most exciting moment for us was when we realized that the proteins encoded by these genes form a complex that regulates the levels of a third protein, RhoA,” said Iakoucheva. Rho proteins play critical roles in neuronal migration and brain morphogenesis at early stages of brain development. “Suddenly, everything came together and made sense.”

Further experiments confirmed that CUL3 mutations disrupt interaction with KCTD13, suggesting that 16p11.2 CNV and CUL3 may act via the same RhoA pathway. RhoA levels influence head and body size in zebrafish, a model organism used by geneticists to investigate gene functions. Children with 16p11.2 CNV also have enlarged or decreased head sizes and suffer from obesity or are underweight. “Our model fits perfectly with what we observe in the patients,” said Guan Ning Lin, PhD, a fellow in Iakoucheva’s laboratory and co-first author with Roser Corominas, PhD.

Interestingly, the RhoA pathway has recently been implicated in a rare form of autism called Timothy syndrome, which is caused by the mutation in a completely different gene. “The fact that three different types of mutations may act via the same pathway is remarkable,” said Iakoucheva. “My hope is that we would be able to target it therapeutically.”

Iakoucheva and colleagues are planning to test RhoA pathway inhibitors using a stem cell model of autism. “If we can discover the precise mechanism and develop targeted treatments for a handful of children, or even for a single child with autism, I would be happy,” she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California – San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Guan Ning Lin, Roser Corominas, Irma Lemmens, Xinping Yang, Jan Tavernier, David E. Hill, Marc Vidal, Jonathan Sebat, Lilia M. Iakoucheva. Spatiotemporal 16p11.2 Protein Network Implicates Cortical Late Mid-Fetal Brain Development and KCTD13-Cul3-RhoA Pathway in Psychiatric Diseases.Neuron, 2015; 85 (4): 742 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.01.010

Cite This Page:

University of California – San Diego. “Autism genes activate during fetal brain development.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2015.

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Introduction to essential oils: Safety, Efficacy & Application

The Basics of essential oil therapy including safety, efficacy and various application methods.
The PDF that accompanies this presentation can be viewed at http://1drv.ms/1DqJuyJ

Or you can view the office mix version, click here

Don’t miss the Fabulous February Promotion:

2

To learn more, please click here for complete details!

Be Well!

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Fabulous February dōTERRA Promotion: Free Essential Oils

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Having access to the pure, potent gifts of dōTERRA has been such a blessing to my family. And I would LOVE to share that gift with YOU!

If you would like to live a more natural lifestyle, there is no better time to enroll in a wholesale dōTERRA account than RIGHT NOW! My team is offering some exciting, exclusive promotions that are only available until the end of February.

For new wholesale account enrollments:

Spend 100PV get  50PV free
Spend 100PV in February + 100PV LRP order  in March = 150PV FREE oils
Spend 220 PV in February + 100PV LRP order in  March =225PV FREE oils
Not ready to enroll?
Send me your referrals and I will give you a 35PV bonus!

Best Deal- get 325PV in FREE oils and save $113*:

NaturalSolutionsKitFull

 

NATURAL SOLUTIONS KIT
  • 5mL BOTTLES:
    Serenity
    DigestZen®
    Purify
    Melaleuca
    Oregano
    AromaTouch®
    Frankincense
    Breathe
    Balance
  • 10 mL BOTTLES:
    PastTense®
    HD Clear
    ClaryCalm
  • 15 mL BOTTLES:
    Citrus Bliss
    Lavender
    Lemon
    Peppermint
    Slim & Sassy®
    Lemongrass

On Guard® Collection:

  • On Guard Protective Blend (15mL)
  • On Guard Beadlets
  • On Guard Toothpaste
  • On Guard Hand Wash w/2 Dispensers

Other Products:

  • Life Long Vitality
  • TerraZyme
  • HD Clear Foaming Face Wash
  • Deep Blue Rub
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil (4 oz)
  • Sample Vials
  • Aroma Lite Diffuser
  • Wooden Box
  • Wellness Advocate Introductory Packet*
  • Enrollment

The dōTERRA Wellness Advocate Introductory Packet includes a Living dōTERRA Naturally, Sharing dōTERRA Naturally, Building dōTERRA Naturally, Product Guide, cap stickers, and a welcome letter.

20520001  $550.00  400PV

*To get the 325PV in FREE oils you also must make a 100PV order in March.

To order, please visit, mydottera.com/ellicecampbell or send me an email, I am happy to guide you so that you can maximize your savings!

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The big business of deception

Worldwide, counterfeiting accounts for more than half a trillion dollars, or 5% to 7%, of world trade each year. Counterfeiters are involved in the illegal production of knock-offs in virtually every conceivable area – food, clothes,…

The big business of deception

Read more… http://ift.tt/1L0JPau

Subscribe for the latest in Holistic Health from Enlightened Lotus Wellness Founder, Ellice Campbell, Arapahoe County Holistic Health Examiner @examinercom

8 Companies That Use BPA-Free Lining In Canned Foods

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Companies That Use Bisphenol A Free Lining In Their Canned Foods

 

Looking for BPA-free canned goods? You should be, and for good reason.

The amount of bisphenol A (BPA) found in the lining of canned foods varies, but overall levels are small. Even still, scientists aren’t sure whether low exposure is dangerous. The chemical has been linked to all sorts of health conditions including heart disease, cancers, and developmental problems. Studies have even found that bisphenol A can lower sperm counts in men.

BPA is a main ingredient in epoxy resins which extend the shelf life of canned foods. Canned foods have been found to contain the highest amounts of the chemical, though smaller amounts also show up in plastic containers as well.

“Even if the levels are considered low, there are multiple sources of BPA and you don’t just eat one thing in a day,” said John Meeker, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, reported on Discovery News. “There are a number of animal studies suggesting that there are health effects at lower levels than those thought to be acceptable. That’s consistent with a number of new human studies related to health outcomes.”

Choosing more fresh foods is one way to avoid BPA, but in a pinch, we all choose canned foods once in a while. I’m likely not going to make my own coconut milk and in the winter, canned tomatoes are a must. Cutting back is certainly an option, but sometimes the can comes in handy.

“To the best of our knowledge, there is no government agency that does regular screening of our food for toxic chemicals,” Meeker said. “If these were to be done, we might detect patterns which would help us to decrease the numbers and levels of toxic chemicals in American food.”

But some companies have taken steps to appeal to consumers who are wary of even trace amounts of toxic chemicals in their foods. When you’re at the grocery store, choose canned foods from these food companies that use BPA-free lining, according to MNN:

  1. Amy’s
  2. Bionaturae
  3. Crown Prince Seafood
  4. Eden Foods (Eden foods still uses BPA in highly acidic foods like canned tomatoes.)
  5. Farmer’s Market
  6. Muir Glen
  7. Westbrae Natural
  8. Wild Planet Foods

It may not say it on the label, so have this list with you at the grocery store. You can also avoid BPA by turning down thermal cash register receipts, which can also contain the chemical. Use glass, wood, and ceramic materials to cook on and store foods. And avoid plastic cutting boards. Use stainless steel or glass water bottles rather than plastic water bottles.

When you’re choosing foods, looking for additives and nutritional facts just isn’t enough. The savvy health nut must also look at food packaging when possible to avoid dangerous chemicals like BPA. Don’t panic, just take steps to reduce your exposure for both your health and the health of your family. And thanks to these progressive food companies, the task is made just a little bit easier.

Related on Organic Authority

Male Infertility Connected to BPA Exposure, Study Finds

BPA-Free Chemicals May Be More Harmful to Brain Development than BPA, New Study Finds

Study Finds BPA Exposure Connected to High Blood Pressure, FDA Maintains Its Safety

Canned food aisle image from Shuttershock

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Terrible at remembering names? Blame it on the music, not the memory

Original content comes to us from Living Well News — ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1vFIrbR

A study challenged younger and older people to look at faces and names while either listening to non-lyrical music or nothing at all. The college-aged participants had no problems — the music didn’t affect their performance. But the older adults remembered 10 percent fewer names when listening to background music or musical rain (as compared to silence).

A sample of faces and names for participants. Participants were first asked if the name looked like the face. They were later asked if the face-name combinations were the same. Credit: Image courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology

 

Music may help some people relax when they’re trying to concentrate. But it doesn’t help them remember what they’re focusing on, especially as they get older.

That’s the finding in a new Georgia Institute of Technology study that challenged younger and older adults to listen to music while trying to remember names. College-aged participants had no problems — the music didn’t affect their performance. But the older adults remembered 10 percent fewer names when listening to background music or musical rain as compared to silence. The findings could have implications for senior living centers and people who prefer to hold meetings away from the office.

The Georgia Tech researchers wanted to replicate everyday life because music and background noise are everywhere. Their study tested the effects on associative memory, which includes the ability to put a face with a name and remember it.

Study participants looked at a series of faces and names and were asked if the person “looked like” the assigned name. The faces were shown again a few minutes later. Participants had to determine whether the name and face combinations were the same as before. Sometimes people did the test in silence. Other times they listened to musical rain or non-lyrical rock music, including lesser-known songs from Eric Clapton, Jefferson Airplane and Rush.

“Both age groups agreed that the music was distracting,” said Sarah Reaves, the Georgia Tech psychology graduate student who led the study. “But only the older adults struggled while it was playing in the background.”

Reaves and her advisor, School of Psychology Assistant Professor Audrey Duarte, linked the results with the well-known cocktail party effect, a phenomenon that allows people to solely focus their attention on one conversation even while surrounded by multiple conversations or loud music.

“Older adults have trouble ignoring irrelevant noises and concentrating,” says Duarte, who oversees Georgia Tech’s Memory and Aging Lab. “Associative memory also declines with age. As we get older, it’s harder to remember what name went with a face or where a conversation took place.”

Reaves notes that the study could help workers in assisted living centers as they plan activities.

“They should be mindful of their surroundings. Maybe employees should turn off music during learning activities or hold them in a quiet room,” she said. “Similarly, older adults who struggle to concentrate while meeting with co-workers at a coffee shop, for example, should schedule meetings in quieter locations. When people get lost while driving, it’s probably best to turn off the radio.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Institute of Technology.Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Reaves, B. Graham, J. Grahn, P. Rabannifard, A. Duarte. Turn Off the Music! Music Impairs Visual Associative Memory Performance in Older Adults. The Gerontologist, 2015; DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnu113

Cite This Page:

Georgia Institute of Technology. “Terrible at remembering names? Blame it on the music, not the memory.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2015.

Vía Living Well News — ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/1vFIrbR

Eating Organic Food Lowers Pesticide Exposure (Comprehensive Study Confirms What Organic Foodies Already Know)

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Eating Organic Food Lowers Pesticide Exposure

If you question spending a little more on organic food at the farmers market or supermarket, you might not want to give it a second thought – in fact, you might want to rearrange your budget to make that spending possible.

That’s because a new study, published in the recent journal Environmental Health Perspectives, confirms that organic food—which by definition cannot contain pesticides—is in fact a healthy way to avoid exposure to the agricultural chemicals linked with negative health and environmental effects.

University of Washington researchers reviewed data collected on more than 4,400 adult participants along with other data on pesticides and food. In a nutshell, the researchers noticed a striking correlation between the people who said they regularly consume organic fruits and vegetables and decreased levels of organophosphate pesticides in the subjects’ urine samples. Organophosphates are among the most common chemicals applied to non-organic crops.

For the subjects who said they “often” or even “always” consume organic fruits and vegetables, the level of organophosphates were 65 percent lower than in the subjects who did not consume organic food.

According to the researchers, the results of this study “do not suggest unacceptable risk” from exposure to organophosphate pesticides in conventionally grown produce, “even for people with the highest exposure levels,” the researchers wrote in the study.

Of course, not all fruits and vegetables are grown the same, and many conventionally raised crops are lower in pesticide use than others. The Environmental Working Group releases its annual “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists of produce with the highest and lowest amounts of pesticide residue based on U.S. government data.

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Related on Organic Authority

To Stop Pollinator Decline, National Wildlife Refuges Phasing Out Pesticides and GMOs

EWG Releases 2014 Pesticides in Produce ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean Fifteen': Apples Worst Offender, Once Again

Math Error? Common Pesticides 1,000 Times More Toxic Than Advertised

Image: Mr. TinDC

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New therapeutic principle for Parkinsonian dyskinesia shows clinical effect

Original content comes to us from Neuroscience News — ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/16Vc4tI
Involuntary dyskinetic movements induced by treatment with levodopa are a common problem for people with Parkinson’s disease. Now, however, researchers seem to be close to a novel therapy to this distressing side effect.

Involuntary dyskinetic movements induced by treatment with levodopa (L-dopa) are a common problem for people with Parkinson’s disease. Now, however, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Lund University in Sweden seem to be close to a novel therapy to this distressing side effect. A treatment study published in the scientific periodical Brain shows that a drug that stimulates certain serotonin receptors in the brain counteracts the dyskinesia causing effects of L-dopa.

The substance tested by the team, eltoprazine, is a so-called serotonin receptor agonist that targets receptor types 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of many biological phenomena, such as satiation, sleep and mental wellbeing, as well as movement. Earlier research on animal models for Parkinson’s conducted by Anders Bjorklund, professor of histology at Lund University, and Per Svenningsson, professor of neurology at Karolinska Institutet, showed promising results using serotonin receptor agonists against L-dopa-induced hyperkinesia, and have prompted the researchers to examine if the principle also operates in humans.

“Eltoprazine has been tested on patients in the psychiatric field, but this is the first time a study has been done with Parkinson’s disease,” says professor Svenningsson, who led the clinical study with Hakan Widner, professor of neurology, from Lund University. “What’s particularly exciting is that we’ve managed to translate laboratory findings into clinical application.”

The study included 22 patients with protracted and complicated Parkinson’s disease and L-dopa-induced dyskinesia. In the four-way crossover study, patients were given a single tablet of placebo and eltoprazine 2.5, 5 and 7.5 mg, alongside a challenge dose of levodopa that was 1.5 times that of their usual L-dopa dose.

It was found that a 5 mg and 7.5 mg dose of eltoprazine both significantly reduced the patients’ dyskinesia. At the same time, the preparation had no adverse impact on the anti-Parkinsonian effects of the L-dopa treatment. Other than a few patients having some transient episodes of nausea, dizziness and other minor symptoms the treatment was well tolerated.

“The treatment seems to be tolerated well by most Parkinson’s patients and counteracts L-dopa-induced dyskinesia via a new mechanism of action,” says Professor Svenningsson. “If our initial findings can be confirmed, this type of therapeutic principle can be of immense clinical benefit to a particularly vulnerable patient group.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Svenningsson, C. Rosenblad, K. af Edholm Arvidsson, K. Wictorin, C. Keywood, B. Shankar, D. A. Lowe, A. Bjorklund, H. Widner. Eltoprazine counteracts L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson’s disease: a dose-finding study. Brain, 2015; DOI: 10.1093/brain/awu409

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. “New therapeutic principle for Parkinsonian dyskinesia shows clinical effect.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2015. >.

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The Best Chocolatiers for an Organic Valentine

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chocolate assortment

No matter how many things change, how much we try to add novelty to traditions, there are some that we hold onto – and a box of chocolates at Valentine’s Day is one of them. I give little boxes of chocolates not only to my significant other, but also to my best friends and my sisters. I think it’s a lovely way to show love on a special day… and it’s only better when you’re giving an organic Valentine.

Now, I’m not talking about organic chocolate bars, though those are delicious as well. I’m talking about a little sampler, a box of chocolates that would make Forrest Gump’s Mamma – and your organic, Fair Trade sensibilities – happy.

Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates – For Your Vegan Valentine

Dutch Jacques and American Pam Sjaak are the husband-and-wife team behind this vegan chocolatier in Northern California. Every one of their products is completely vegan, devoid of milk, butter, eggs and gelatin. Even their sugar is non-bone char! Their vegan chocolate box assortments are rich and delicious. We love their dairy-free caramels, flavored with vanilla, chocolate, macadamia and pecan and topped with exotic salts for a sweet-and-savory touch. They also have a selection of flavored truffles that are somehow perfectly creamy and sweet without any cream at all.

Chocolat Dardenne – For Gluten-Free Certainty

When you’re buying commercially made chocolates, it can be hard to know for sure if they’re safe for your gluten-free friends. That’s why the organic Belgian chocolates from Dardenne are such a great choice. Because they make all of their chocolates from scratch, they have total visibility on all of their products and can assure gluten-free eaters that there is absolutely no gluten anywhere on the chain of production. Which means that you can enjoy the assortment of dark and milk rochers or a larger assortment including coconut and white chocolate worry-free.

Nature-Cacao – To Keep GMOs at Bay

If you want to make sure that soy stays out of your chocolates, trust Nature-Cacao. They use 100% pure organic cocoa butter to make sure that all chocolates are GMO free. The mixed assortment is a better version of the chocolate assortments of your youth, with many different chocolates and fillings to choose from, and the melt-in-your-mouth 70% dark chocolate truffles will have your one true love falling head-over-heels all over again.

Related on Organic Authority

Homemade Espelette Pepper Chocolate Truffle

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Recipe

Organic Chocolates We Love to Love

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