“Grief is itself a medicine”, said William Cowper, a popular English poet. But for some, it can prove fatal. In this week’s “Did you know?” column, we are presenting interesting findings about the impact of grief on human health, Marijuana 2.0 in the making, and link between height and cancer risk.
There have been several reports of elderly couples dying within hours/days of each other. Science has an explanation for this phenomenon, dubbed broken heart syndrome.
Severe grief can promote bodily inflammation which in turn can cause negative health outcomes including death, according to a study conducted by Rice University researchers.
As part of the study, the researchers examined the blood of 99 recently bereaved individuals and conducted psychological assessments. According to the findings, the widows and widowers with elevated grief symptoms suffered up to 17 percent higher levels of bodily inflammation than those with less grief severity.
As is well known, inflammation can lead to heart diseases, stroke, and cancer and could lead to death.
The study is published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.
Marijuana use and its health benefits are widely debated topics. Canada legalized recreational marijuana as recently as October 17, becoming the second country in the world to do so after Uruguay.
For those who thought that only marijuana plant produces THC, the psychoactive compound that induces the ‘high’ and hallucinogenic effect in the user, you are wrong.
Researchers at the University of Bern have for the first time investigated “perrottetinene” a compound in liverwort plant, and found it to be medically effective than marijuana.
In animal models, perrottetinene, which resembles THC, reaches the brain very easily and once there, it specifically activates cannabinoid receptors. It even demonstrates a stronger anti-inflammatory effect in the brain than THC, according to the researchers.
Given the potential wide array of medical applications that are being explored for marijuana, the findings by the University of Bern makes perrottetinene very interesting.
The findings are reported in the journal Science Advances.
Height & Cancer Risk
There have already been a number of studies linking height and cancer risk.
A report, published by the Royal Society, which was based on data from four large-scale studies on 23 types of cancers in the U.K, U.S., South Korea, Austria, Norway and Sweden, reveals that there is a 10% increase in cancer risk for every 4 inch (10cm) increase in human height above the average used in the study of 5ft 7in for men and 5ft 3in for women.
One of the theories behind the increased cancer risk is that taller people have more cells, and more cells provide more targets for oncogenic somatic mutation.
There are also studies which claim that the rates of heart disease and diabetes may be lower in tall people.
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