Category Archives: Medical

What is the Placebo Effect?

The placebo effect is the response from a person from an intervention, for example, a tablet, that contains no active ingredients but elicits a perceived response within the body. A placebo pill typically contains substances such as starch, saline or sugar.

In research, studies often use two groups of patients, one that receives a real medication, with the other receiving the placebo. These sets of patients do not know which group receives what pill. The effects are then measured. The patients receiving real medicine may show side effects or other beneficial or negative responses that could be linked to the medication. Those in the placebo group may also show responses, however, as they have not received the real medication, these responses are known as the ‘placebo effect’.
The placebo effect links the mind and body of patients. If a person believes the tablet they take will help them, then their body may show positive changes. This cannot be linked to a medication, as the pills they receive contains no actual medicine. It is believed that the placebo effect works due to the thoughts and feelings of the patient resulting in physical changes within the body. If a patient believes they are receiving a treatment, then their body makes physiological changes to reinforce that belief.

The placebo effect is most commonly synonymous with research studies. Studies, whereby patients are randomised into either the treatment or the placebo group, are designed to try and find whether there are significant clinical differences between the medication, compared to the placebo. For a medication to be considered beneficial, it must have more positive outcomes than the placebo group.

A Dietary Lifeline By Way Of Fatty Acids

Lack of omega-3 fatty acids could be the reason your health has been failing. For your diet to improve, it must contain high omega-3 fatty acids. A diet that has fish is a healthy diet too. Fish are a huge bank of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, the pink or peach-coloured flaky fish has been declared a nutritional wonder among the different types of fish. Salmon has a strong olfactory retention. They are born in fresh water; navigate to the open sea and return to spawn in their birthplace. It is the homing mechanism that makes them an excellent food source.

Salmon may not be a fat-burning agent, but its strength lies as a rich source of lean protein which aptly fits into the healthy diet program when taken twice or thrice in a week. But also, do not forget mackerel, tuna and sardines are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Vegetable oils such as soybean oil, safflower, and corn oil are a source of low polyunsaturated fatty acids. You are therefore advised to use olive oil in cooking and as a seasoning in the salad. Research points that a diet rich in olive oil plays a major function in the prevention of heart disease, some types of cancers, obesity, dementia, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

The importance of whole grains in a meal cannot be overemphasized. They are low in calories and high in fibre. This helps increase the stomach’s sensation of fullness. But even then omega-fatty acids should never lack in your diet.

Is Snus The Alternative To Cigarette Smoking?

Cigarette smoking is one of the hardest habits to quit. Once you get addicted, it can take quite a while to get rid of the habit. The substance that causes this in the cigarette is known as nicotine. This problem was so prevalent in Sweden that they came up with snus, which scientists suggest could be an alternative and could help people to quit the tobacco habit.

What is snus?

Snus is a tobacco product that is produced in a moist powdery form. It is consumed orally by placing it under the upper or lower lip. You suck on it and you do not have to spit it out. This is a good alternative to tobacco consumers who do not like burning the product, which causes smoke. Snus allows users to get the same effect and nicotine without smoking’s irritations.

Today scientists have managed to create a product that will give lower nicotine levels, and which is supplied by nicotine free snus. This way, those who need to quit smoking can start to reduce the levels of nicotine intake gradually over time. This is the best way to quit smoking since it is difficult to stop cold turkey.

Scientists also say that snus use reduces the chances of getting cancer of the tongue, throat and stomach. They say that the levels supplied by nicotine free snus, are less harmful to the human body as compared with the burning of tobacco products.

The debate is still on going about the effects of using snus as compared to cigarette smoking, to the extent that the EU had at one point considered banning the use of snus in its member states. However, the use of snus has proven that it can help stop cigarette smoking by gradually reducing the quantity of nicotine ingested dose by dose.