Health is about health not reality shows

Health may not seem important until you don’t have it anymore. Reality shows may seem real but real life is different than an edited for television show. Healthy choices in the present can help protect and prevent problems later. Hair growth gets joked about but it can be a sign of health or lack of nutrients in some cases and in other people it is just a genetic difference or an age difference. Male facial hair requires genetics, age and testosterone for some types of hair growth. A few links about it are included in this post along with a brief note about nutrients for cardiovascular health. The nutritional need for healthy hair growth and a healthy heart are similar.

The Iodine and Testosterone Relationship

Iodine is essential for women and men and growing healthy babies.

Genetics is involved in individual differences but the underlying need for essential nutrients helps a variety of issues in the body not just ability to have a healthy cardiovascular system, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16522926,

or a good testosterone level and healthy hair growth of eyebrows, or on other areas of the body.

https://www.realbeardedmen.com/blogs/news/124881031-how-genetics-affect-beard-growth

Oversupplementing of some nutrients (selenium, vitamin A and E) may be harmful rather than helpful to hair growth and other health symptoms. Selenium and iodine in balance are needed, and adequate vitamin A and E also, Other nutrients that seem involved in hair growth include vitamin D, the B vitamins folate, niacin, and biotin, and the trace minerals iron and zinc are also needed. Simple protein malnutrition alone or lack of some amino acids can lead to sparse hair growth.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/

A recent post was short but important, many nutrients work together to support a healthy body and cardiovascular system:

Whether nutrient deficiencies or other metabolic imbalance is the cause is not clear or it may be a response to oxidative stress, however levels of the trace nutrients magnesium, selenium, zinc, and vitamin D3 were found to be low and the level of calcium elevated in myocardium, a type of muscle tissue in the heart. [1]

  1. Karl T. Weber,1,* William B. Weglicki,2 and Robert U. Simpson3 Macro- and micronutrient dyshomeostasis in the adverse structural remodelling of myocardium, Cardiovasc Res. 2009 Feb 15; 81(3): 500–508.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Is it Addiction or Starvation?

1. Talk Therapy or “Just say no” can’t help a genetic difference.

Talk therapy is also beneficial but can not “cure” a biological difference in metabolism.
  • Looking up the definition of the word “disease” suggests that a genetic difference affecting a body wide receptor system might fit the term “body disease.” “Disease: a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.” – Oxford Dictionaries (I.1.disease)
Redefining the neurobiological underpinnings and genetic risks of the behavior we call addiction could lead to more targeted help for the sufferers of addiction rather than continuing to treat them primarily by focusing on a discussion of their difficulties with motivation or impulse control.
Binge eating disorder for some sufferers may involve a genetic difference in the endogenous cannabinoid system which leaves the person unable to produce the cannabinoids normally and so they are left hungry, starving for the foods that are better sources of cannabinoids naturally.
Chocolate is the richest standard food source that isn’t a controlled substance but it isn’t a low calorie food (hemp oil and hemp seed products are not available in a limited quantity but they are still difficult for farmers to grow in all areas and medical marijuana is still considered a controlled substance at the U.S. federal level.) Less calorie dense foods than chocolate include pomegranate seeds, dark green leafy vegetables and herbs such as oregano and other green leafy herbs. So if binge overeating sounds sadly familiar, consider making an enormous salad and it may be just what your body needs. I use a half a pomegranate worth of seeds on my salad, which is about 1/2 cup of the seeds, and 1 teaspoon each of Italian Seasoning and Basil or Tarragon or some other leafy green herb. The enormous (a full dinner plate size is what I mean) salad might also help sufferers who are trying to resist the urge to over-consume alcohol or a few other addictive substances as well, if an underlying difference is present in their genetic code.
A dinner plate with a soup spoon and regular spoon for size comparison. Salad includes romaine lettuce, cilantro, tarragon, Italian seasoning, carrot, celery, avocado, pomagranite seeds, hemp seed and pumpkin seed kernels, lime juice and hemp oil and sea salt to taste.
The discussion of foods that are good sources of phospholipids or cannabinoids is not to suggest that medical marijuana patients should stop using their medication but simply to point to some food sources that might be available to most people where ever they live. Medical marijuana has significantly more cannabinoids than the foods that I mentioned in the previous paragraph or which will be mentioned later. My own physical symptoms are better helped by use of medical marijuana than by very large salads however the large salads are less expensive and have less effect on my mood. My previous use of the psychiatric medication Olanzapine has changed my withdrawal reaction to the medication and to marijuana significantly. I still have four months supply of the medication Olanzapine and plan to never ever use it again because its physical side effects while using it are very bad and withdrawal from it are much worse, frighteningly worse.
Medical marijuana patients who have never used olanzapine are unlikely to have the negative withdrawal reaction that I now experience within a few hours of my last dose. The strain of medical marijuana or type of synthetic or natural product is also important for any user in order to have a positive mental health reaction. Pure THC or the synthetic version, Dronabinol, can cause increased anxiety. Strains that have a mixture of cannabinoids and terpenes seem to help balance the mental effects in a way that is less likely to cause increased anxiety. Real lemon and lime products that contain the oil is one example of a easily available food substance that provides terpenes which help reduce the anxiety effects of medical marijuana or the synthetic Dronabinol. Terpenes and a link about lemon is included later in this post.
The Endogenous Cannabinoid System holds answers.
Background information:
  • Endogenous refers to something that can be made internally by our body rather than a chemical that is needed to be obtained from an external source on a daily or semi-regular basis. An example such as oxygen from the air we breathe is needed within every few minutes or cellular damage can start to occur; or trace nutrients such as essential fats or fat soluble vitamins may not be needed as often because they can be stored in the fat and membranes of the body. They may only need to be consumed in the diet every few days or weeks without resulting in negative health effects. The body can store extra vitamin D during summer months that can last most of the winter but does start to run out by springtime.
A person with a metabolic difference due to genetics, chronic illness, or the standard changes associated with aging may need an external source of nutrients that other people of average health would be able to make internally – “endogenously.”
  • Cannabinoids are a type of chemical called phospholipids which are formed from a lipid, a type of fat, and the mineral phosphorus.
I have a genetic difference in my ability to phosphorylate (I.2.wikigenes.BHMT) so that I am unable to make phospholiids endogenously and I have found that having an external source of cannabinoids in my diet every day helps my chronic illness conditions and improves my muscle and nerve control. I am registered as a Medical Marijuana patient in a state where it has been legalized for medical use.
     Some of my symptoms that are relieved by the herbal medicine have been troubling me since I was an infant. I had severe eczema throughout my childhood and severe congestion. Rarely could I breathe through both nostrils and nosebleeds were also common. The enzyme the BHMT gene produces when functioning incorrectly is associated with a risk for vascular problems – ie nosebleeds or easy bruising or spider veins or all of them.
     The protein that the gene normally produces is necessary in Glycerophospholipid biosynthesis, metabolism , and Phospholipid metabolism, (so a double mutation in this gene may make it difficult for me to make phospholipids endogenously), among 17 pathways in all – that is an important enzyme: (I.6.genecards.BHMT) And the CDK-mediated phosphorylation and removal of Cdc6 SuperPath involves 97 other pathways which include a Calcium2+ pathway and a Parkinsons Disease pathway and creatine metabolism (important for muscles) and synthesis of DNA and many other metabolic paths/chains of chemical events : (I.7.genecards.phosphorylation)
  • Phospholipids are found in human breast milk and helps stimulate the infant’s appetite and helps support adequate weight gain. The cannabinoids and phospholipid group perform two main functions – they are flexible and form a significant part of membrane walls, like building blocks or bricks; they can also be released from the membrane and act as messenger chemicals that can activate other systems or be modified slightly to become a different type of messenger chemical called eicosanoids.
  • Eicosanoids include the leukotrienes: Santa Cruz Biotechnology,(I.8.scbt.com)

2. It might be motivating to learn of an underlying cause to cravings.

It might help a person to learn that for a person with a genetic difference, difficulties with motivation or impulse control are likely due to an underlying deficiency of a substance they are missing, which would likely have helped them have better impulse control and to not have cravings for substances.
Someone without the genetic difference would be making the substances internally which would help them have good impulse control and not crave substances.
     Helping the person with substance abuse problems to find approved external sources of the substance (cannabinoids) seems like it would be more helpful and potentially more motivating for them to be able to view themselves as a worthwhile person with special dietary needs rather than as an unmotivated drug addict who just doesn’t try hard enough to change.
     Substance abusers likely quit using and relapsed again more times than anyone cares to count. every single time a chronic user runs out of their substance of choice they are “quitting” until they get more.
     Do you blame a hungry person for eating breakfast in the morning? Should a person just “quit eating” if they have an overeating disorder? Answer: No.
  • Cannabinoids might help some types of eating disorders and some types of drug or alcohol addictions by providing an essential nutrient that the person might not be able to make.
  • If the body can’t make an important substance or convert substances into active forms then it becomes an essential nutrient – essential for that specific person’s daily diet.

3. Genetics of the cannabinoid system and binge eating disorder, alcohol abuse and drug addiction.

“It is important to note that, as with alcohol, marijuana, and heroin, a human genetic variant of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor gene CNR1 has been associated with susceptibility to cocaine and amphetamine dependence (Ballon et al. 2006, Comings et al. 1997; Zhang et al. 2004).
  • Behavioral Neurobiology of the Endocannabinoid System; Ch.13: Drug Addiction, (page 334, I.9.Searchworks)
Endocannabinoids: The Brain and Body’s Marijuana and Beyond is a reference textbook available online as a pdf. (I.10.Endo.pdf)  It includes information regarding the genetic differences known to be associated with binge eating disorder and other drug addictions affected by rimonabant, a chemical which inhibits the endogenous cannabinoid system. Use of rimonabant affected craving for food/sucrose and alcohol in animal research, and it was found to reduce rewarding effects of morphine/opioids, amphetamine, cocaine and diazepam in other studies.
  • Rimonabant is not in use for drug addictions because it is associated with a significantly increased risk for suicide. This is an important point to note – blocking the endogenous cannabinoid system is associated with a significant risk for suicide.
The problem with addiction to some substances or to eating excess food for some cases of over eating disorders is an underlying inability to make the cannabinoids but a remaining need for them and a hunger, an urge for “something,” something that is unknown however. And what people choose to consume in order to try to quench that unknown hunger varies from food and alcohol, to the rest of the drugs that are commonly abused.
     Dietary sources are needed instead. However our food supply has limited sources. Vine ripened produce or lemon oil, rich in aroma, are examples of a food containing cannabinoids or a similar group of aromatic and medicinal phytochemicals called terpenes. Chocolate and the herb rosemary are two other food sources. The spices cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg are also sources. Non-euphoric cannabinoids also exist and may have medicinal benefits depending on the patient’s condition. Copaiba oil is a food grade essential oil that can have non-euphoric cannabinoid content with medicinal benefits.
     Wouldn’t it be nicer to tell starving people that they are starving rather than that they are poorly motivated?
  • For more information regarding binge eating disorder, drug addiction and rimonabant: See Ch.3: Endocannabinoid Receptor Genetics and Marijuana Use, (p72-73 & 91, I.10.Endo.pdf) and Ch.13: Behavioral Effects of Endocannabinoids, mentions that research with rimonabant has helped show excessive alcohol drinking behavior and development of alcoholism may be related to genetic differences in the CB1 receptors. (p319, I.10.Endo.pdf)
  • Impulse control deficits may involve the cannabinoid system: See Ch.13: Behavioral Effects of Endocannabinoids, (pp325-330, I.10.Endocannabinoids.Full Text.pdf).
  • Schizophrenia may be related to a deficiency in the cannabinoid receptors themselves rather than being due to a deficiency in cannabinoids: See Ch.15, Neuropsychiatry: Schizophrenia, Depression, and Anxiety,; of the book Endocannabinoids: The Brain and Body’s Marijuana and Beyond: (p378, I.10.Endocannabinoids.Full Text.pdf)
More recently a gene has been identified in binge eating disorder, the gene for the cytoplasmic FMR1-interacting protein 2 (CYFIP2). (I.11.sciencedaily) The gene has a number of known variations and has allso been associated with Fragile X, an autism like condition, ADHD, autism, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and Prader-Willi Syndrome.. (I.12.ncbi.FragileX)
     The enzyme the gene CYFIP2 produces when functioning normally is involved in many metabolic pathways in the body including one that plays a role in myelination of nerve cells and one in phospholipid metabolism. (I.13.reuters) (I.14.genecards.CYFIP2)
     So an external source of cannabinoids might help a person with a problem in their CYFIP2 gene to have normal appetite control and also to protect their nerves from multiple sclerosis – which causes degeneration of myelin.  Myelin is similar to the lipid part of some of the phospholipids of the endogenous cannabinoid system. Multiple sclerosis has been associated with social anxiety and eating disorders (I.15.omicsgroup) which are also conditions associated with gene differences in the cannabinoid system. Myelin is made with sphingomyelin which is made of sphingolipids. (I.16.sphingolipids) Easy right? (I.17.mpcfaculty.lipids) Even easier – coconut oil is about 50% phospholipids and is a good source of sphingolipids. (I.18.coconut)
     I don’t know if I have any differences in my CYFIP2 gene; it was not one of the 30 genes that were included in the Nutrigenomic Screening I had done for my personal use for the “purposes of research.” Genetic screening is only used for certain conditions in standard health care currently and some types of health care claims can not be made by practitioners about genetic screening for other conditions – no guarantees in life or lab tests. The screening I had was designed to test genes commonly found to have differences associated with autism. (I.33.Nutrigenomic Screening) (p22, I.34.example of the genetic screening I had)
     I have a genetic difference in my ability to phosphorylate (I.2.wikigenes.BHMT) The gene I have a double malfunction in, BHMT, is also associated with multiple sclerosis except it seems to be with an over activity rather than too little function. Methionine and homocysteine metabolism and vitamin B12 may be involved. (I.19.BMHT.MS) Hypothyroidism may be associated with over expression of this gene: (I.20.wikigenes)
     The enzyme BHMT/1 (Call – T), Betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), in normal health helps produce the amino acids methionine and Dimethylglycine (DMG).
     DMG has been found helpful in ADHD, autism, allergies, alcoholism drug addiction, and chronic fatigue syndrome among other chronic issues. Methionine has been found helpful in treating depression, allergies, alcoholism and schizophrenia among other chronic issues. Since learning of the difference in my genetics I have been taking the two amino acids in a powder form that I add to a glass of water. It doesn’t taste good but it leaves me feeling more energetic and with a more positive mood.
     What it tasted most like was a tart red wine and the nutrient content of red wine does contain free amino acids, so someone with a problem with the BHMT gene may have problems with unidentified cravings that wine seem to help. While I did love red wine, it didn’t love me. It was one of the first triggers for severe migraines that I identified and started avoiding. A painkiller did help with migraine pain somewhat but zero time spent with a migraine is my goal.
     I found based on the information that is available regarding dose, that a half teaspoon of each of the amino acid powders helped my mood without causing such an energy boost that it caused an increased heart rate or prevented me from going to sleep. I tried one teaspoon of each initially and found that it was too much of an energy boost. Both amino acids can act as activating chemicals within the brain.
     I have early symptoms of neuropathy, I would rather prevent multiple sclerosis than to learn more about it first hand. Taking the supplemental methionine may be helping my body do what it needs to do to prevent an autoimmune breakdown of my myelin.

4. Sometimes people are wrong – Nixon was wrong.

If the good people, in their wisdom, shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.” – Abraham Lincoln (1809-1894), (p 634, I.23)
Hemp fiber was essential for rope and strong fabric. Thomas Jefferson grew hemp and is said to have smoked it too. It is time to stop being disappointed in loved ones who are likely suffering from a metabolic deficiency that leaves them susceptible to substance abuse or overeating and instead start accepting that they have needs that a person of average health doesn’t have or may not have to the same extent. Many nutrients are needed in a just right amount, not too little or too much.
     Cannabinoids are powerful and can be consumed in excess however it does not have the toxicity and deadliness of many other substances that are abused, including alcohol.
     The American Medical Association has recommended that marijuana be rescheduled as an herb with medicinal benefits. (I.24.AMA resolution) (I.25.veteransformedicalmarijuana)
     Rescheduling marijuana as a medicinal plant would free academic researchers to study its medicinal benefits. As a “Scheduled Substance” currently research studies are only supposed to assess toxicity and rehabilitation areas rather than design experiments assessing the medicinal value. Currently the synthetic form of the main euphoric cannabinoid, THC, is listed at a “safer” level of risk than the marijuana plant itself.
     The synthetic forms can be even more dangerous as they are more concentrated and are in isolation rather than also providing the non-euphoric cannabinoids that are found in most strains of marijuana and which have calming effects. Synthetic THC or THC in excess can cause paranoia and other mood symptoms that would have been unknown to Thomas Jefferson when he enjoyed smoking marijuana that was milder in the amount of THC it likely contained and more likely to be balanced with non-euphoric cannabinoids.
     The problem with black market development of a product is that it is often being designed to maximize the “buzz” or “euphoria” rather than the medicinal or pain killing effects. However, there is not that much “euphoria” felt by the person with chronic illness who is using a larger quantity of marijuana everyday due to an underlying inability to make cannabinoids because a tolerance is built up and they simply need some of the herb or other concentrated sources of cannabinoids every day just to maintain a state of health and function that is a little closer to everyone else’s “normal function“.    

     The person with a chronic need wants an herbal medicine that has a balanced variety of cannabinoids that treats a variety of symptoms, not just the euphoria inducing THC that can lead to overdose symptoms of a racing heart, feeling very chilled, and paranoia or anger combined with extra energy, so manic behavior might be a risk with an overdose reaction. Real lime or lemon juice products that are concentrated rather than being a watery lemonade may help counteract some of the mood changes associated with an overdose of THC. More on lemon oil is included in the next section. 

5. Medical Marijuana helps reduce opioid use, which can save lives.

     We currently have an epidemic of deaths due to opioid medications, prescription and black market drugs. The increase in deaths is due in part to the over prescription of opioid painkillers by the medical community but it is also due to black market substitutes that have been introduced in recent years. One type is particularly potent and is being sold as something else so consumers wouldn’t even know that they were being given a stronger version of an opioid medication than the prescription medication they were told they were purchasing on the black market – key point – don’t buy drugs on the black market because you don’t know what they might contain.
     This likely seems an obvious point which, honestly, even the drug addict knows that but their need is great enough during withdrawal that they may be more likely to take risks.
     Women may be especially at risk for opioid addiction whether it is due to differences in size or physiology is unknown. Addiction to opioids seems to occur for women at lower doses of the medication that were taken for a shorter amount of time than for men who become addicted. Women may be more susceptible to the cravings for the drug. (I.27.jotopr)
     In states with medicinal marijuana sales of painkillers dropped,which would include the opioids. Physicians are not comfortable with the inability to “prescribe” a set dose. “Take two hits and call me in the morning?” was asked in jest or in seriousness by a psychiatry professor, Deepak D’Souza, who also has researched marijuana. (I.28.npr)
     Deaths due to overdoses of opioids have also decreased in those states. (I.29.nbcnews) The cannabinoid and opioid receptor systems may both be involved in the regulation of appetite. Levels of the hormone leptin may be increased in response to CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus. Leptin and other appetite hormones may then “control opioid-regulated feeding…(Verty et al., 2003).” See Ch.13: Behavioral Effects of Endocannabinoids, (p313, I.10.Endocannabinoids.Full Text.pdf).
     Since marijuana use seems to be saving lives and has low toxicity risks, it doesn’t seem like how big a dose is as big a question as how to get a safe reliable supply to more patients in pain. The answer does exist but it is one a physician or psychiatrist is unlikely to like – the dose varies based on the person’s genetics and metabolism, the supply of nutrients available, tolerance, etc.; the answer is “It depends.” But the medication is so safe that worries about “too much” are really unnecessary, except possibly for more concentrated synthetic sources or extracted cannabinoid oil products.
     Signs of “too much” THC or synthetic THC can include a racing heartbeat, which very, very rarely has caused a couple/very few deaths. To the user first experiencing the racing heartbeat of excess THC, it may be frightening and feel like a panic attack. Relax it slows down again and only people with a pre-existing heart condition may be at risk during the time that the heart-rate is rapid.
     So if you have a weak heart – avoid excessive amounts of THC. The rapid heart-rate doesn’t occur at low doses. It may be accompanied a feeling of being chilled, and suddenly needing a jacket. Anxiety or anger may occur with excess THC or synthetic THC or during withdrawal from an excessive amount.
     The aromatic terpenes in citrus oil can have a calming effect if anxiety is a problem after consuming marijuana. Pinene from pistachio nuts may also be helpful, but a glass of lemonade might help the mood more quickly than eating pistachios because they would take longer to digest. (I.26.fastcompany)
     Artificial lemon flavored products wouldn’t help, only real lemon or lime juice products would help calm a mood unsettled by an excess or imbalance of THC. The plant contains many active phytochemicals which can include terpenes and other cannabinoids that are calming to the mood rather than causing euphoria. THC is the only cannabinoid in marijuana that causes euphoria.
     Opioid medications also cause euphoria – so why is one more socially acceptable than the other? Smoking is dirty and smelly and – the easiest way to not overdose.
     Eating products or the concentrated synthetic dose in one single sitting can leave a person feeling symptoms of overdose about one hour later, far too late to stop at half a serving or a small taste to see how you might handle that particular product and/or the strain that was used in it. Different strains of the plant can cause very different symptoms and help different types of symptoms, so the question of “how much” is less significant than which strain to use and the method to use to consume it.
     Smoking provides fairly instant changes to the mood so it is easy to tell if you’re getting more anxious or developing a rapid heart rate. Strains of marijuana can vary a lot, some types may cause the anxiety symptoms, while others would just cause the stereotypical “couchlock” – falling asleep. While setting fire to the couch might be a very real risk, otherwise, no danger other than possibly drooling a little and looking stupid. Looking stupid is better than looking dead from an opioid overdose – in my opinion – and I am a medical marijuana patient who has experienced these symptoms and read research about safe use.

6. Resources for help or just someone to talk to:

  • National Helpline: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: “SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.” (1.30samhsa.org)
  • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, RAINN Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE, (1.31RAINN.)
  • U.S. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: “Call 1-800-273-8255, Available 24 hours everyday.” (1.32.suicidepreventionlifeline.org)

Help is only helpful when you accept it. Recognizing that you need it is the first step.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Links and References:

(I’ll finish this list later, I’ve learned a lazy editing tactic is to skip the footnote numbers until the final draft is complete.)

  1. Disease,” Oxford Dictionaries (I.1.disease)
  2. BHMT,” wikigenes.org, http://www.wikigenes.org/e/gene/e/635.html (I.wikigenes.BHMT)
  3. Glycerophospholipid biosynthesis,
  4. metabolism ,
  5. Phospholipid metabolism,
  6. (I.6.genecards.BHMT) [http://www.genecards.org/cgi-bin/carddisp.pl?gene=BHMT] (I.6.genecards.BHMT)
  7. (I.7.genecards.phosphorylation) [http://pathcards.genecards.org/card/cdk-mediated_phosphorylation_and_removal_of_cdc6] (I.genecards.phosphorylation)
  8. Leukotriene,” (I.8.scbt.com)
  9. Behavioral Neurobiology of the Endocannabinoid System; Ch.13: Drug Addiction, (page 334, I.9.Searchworks)  Behavioral Neurobiology of the Endocannabinoid System, Editors David Kendall and Stephen Alexander (Springer, 2009, Nottingham, U.K.). (I.Searchworks)
  10. Endocannabinoids: The Brain and Body’s Marijuana and Beyond, (CRC Press, 2006, Boca Raton, FL), Chapter Three, Endocannabinoid Receptor Genetics and Marijuana Use, editor and chapter by Emmanuel S. Onaivi, et al., (pages 72-73, 91, and 333), Chapter 15, Neuropsychiatry: Schizophrenia, Depression, and Anxiety, chapter by Ester Fride and Ethan Russo, (page 378), (I.10.Endocannabinoids: FullText pdf)
  11. (I.11.sciencedaily) Genetic risk factor for binge eating discovered. Sciencedaily.com, Oct. 26, 2016,  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161026170543.htm (I.sciencedaily)
  12. (I.12.ncbi.FragileX) Sabiha Abekhoukh and Barbara Bardoni, CYFIP family proteins between autism and intellectual disability: links with Fragile X syndrome, Front Cell Neurosci. 2014; 8: 81., ncbi.nlm.nih.gov https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3973919/ (I.ncbi.FragileX)
  13. (I.13.reuters) Pathway Maps: G-protein signaling_RAC1 in cellular process, Life Sciences Research, thomsonreuters.com, http://lsresearch.thomsonreuters.com/maps/383 (I.reuters)
  14. (I.14.genecards.CYFIP2) CYFIP2, genecards.org,  http://www.genecards.org/cgi-bin/carddisp.pl?gene=CYFIP2 (I.genecards.CYFIP2)
  15. (I.15.omicsgroup) Shahla Mohamadirizi1*, Vahid Shaygannejad2, Soheila Mohamadirizi3 and Marjan Mohamadirizi4, Eating disorders in a multiple sclerosis clinical population and its association with social anxiety.   https://www.omicsgroup.org/journals/eating-disorders-in-a-multiple-sclerosis-clinical-population-and-its-associationwith-social-anxiety-2376-0389-1000183.php?aid=82623 (I.omicsgroup)
  16. (I.16.sphingolipids)
  17. (I17..mpcfaculty.lipids)
  18. (I.18.coconut) Handbook of Plant-Based Fermented Food and Beverage Technology, Second Edition, edited by Y. H. Hui, E. Özgül Evranuz  CRC Press, May 17, 2012, https://books.google.com/books?id=5fvRBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA669&lpg=PA669&dq=sphingolipids+in+coconut&source=bl&ots=QlgC46XLn8&sig=Y5AiDM4oUTBp9BS3aOKCtWK0Fbk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQuL-wmdbVAhUG7CYKHXZCCxsQ6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=sphingolipids%20in%20coconut&f=false
  19. (I.19.BMHT.MS) Naveen Kumar Singhal, et al., Changes in Methionine Metabolism and Histone H3 Trimethylation Are Linked to Mitochondrial Defects in Multiple Sclerosis. J of Neuroscience Vol 35, Issue 45, 2015 PAGES: 15170-15186 ISSN: 0270-6474 https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rohan_Dassanayake2/publication/283710653_Changes_in_Methionine_Metabolism_and_Histone_H3_Trimethylation_Are_Linked_to_Mitochondrial_Defects_in_Multiple_Sclerosis/links/5693c64508aeab58a9a2aaf3.pdf (I.BMHT.MS)
  20. (I.20.wikigenes)
  21. ( methionine )
  22. ( Dimethylglycine (DMG).
  23. John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, 14th Ed., 1910, (p 634, I.23)
  24. (I.24.AMA resolution) American Medical Association Medical Student Section, Resolution 2, JUne 8, 2008, http://www.oregon.gov/pharmacy/Imports/Marijuana/Public/AMA_MedStudentSectionResolution.pdf (I.AMA resolution)
  25. (I.25.veteransformedicalmarijuana) AMA Votes to Reschedule Medical Marijuana, VMCA, http://www.veteransformedicalmarijuana.org/node/67 (I.veteransformedicalmarijuana)
  26. (I.26.fastcompany) Chris Dannen, Three Beginner Mistakes to Avoid When Eating Cannabis, fastcompany.com Sept. 10, 2014, https://www.fastcompany.com/3035175/three-beginner-mistakes-to-avoid-when-eating-cannabis (I.fastcompany)
  27. (I.27.jotopr) Karen Barth, New Study Shows Women are Hit the Hardest as Opioid Epidemic Sweeps the Country. Jotopr.com, Feb. 27, 2017, https://jotopr.com/new-study-shows-women-are-hit-hardest-as-opioid-epidemic-sweeps-the-country/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost (I.jotopr)
  28. (I.28.npr) Shefali Luthra, After Medical Marijuana Legalized, Medicare Prescriptions Drop for Many Drugs. npr.org, July 6, 2016, http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/07/06/484977159/after-medical-marijuana-legalized-medicare-prescriptions-drop-for-many-drugs (I.npr)
  29. Reuters, Legalized Marijuana Could Help Curb the Opioid Epidemic, Study Finds. March 27, 2017,nbcnews.com,  http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/legalized-marijuana-could-help-curb-opioid-epidemic-study-finds-n739301 (I.29.nbcnews)
  30. National Helpline: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (1.30samhsa.org)
  31. Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, RAINN Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE, (1.31RAINN.)
  32. U.S. National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1-800-273-8255, (1.32.suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
  33. Amy Yasko, Nutrigenomic Testing, Holistic Health International, http://www.holisticheal.com/health-tests/nutrigenomic-testing (I.33.Nutrigenomic Screening)
  34. Amy Yasko, Methylation Analysis Pathway: John Doe, Neurological Research Institute, http://www.holisticheal.com/media/wysiwyg/John_Doe_MPA_05.19.17.pdf (p22, I.34.example of the genetic screening I had)

Intelligence differences and Racism, Classism, and Corporate-profit-mongerism

Yes, racism is bad and slavery is bad. Slavery was bad when Africans were brought to the Americas, north and south, against their will and it was bad centuries earlier when blondes from the area that is now Finland were shipped to a variety of areas around the world against their will.

Racism and Class-ism in History:

Having slaves that look different from the rest of a population likely made it easier to control and limit their movement; like a neighborhood game played among boys where one team simply removes their shirts – the shirts and the skins makes an easy way to tell who is playing on which team without a need for expensive uniforms.

Slaves were also seized in the areas where Moscow and Poland are located. Some families were allowed to buy back their loved ones if they could afford it, while others in times of famine were able to sell their children to the slave industry. Between “1200 until 1760, an estimated 6.5 million prisoners” were shipped to areas ranging from Italy to India. The more recent trade of African prisoners may have shipped as many as 12.5 million people over three and a half centuries to ports ranging from as far south as Argentina to as far north as Canada. The people taken in the earlier centuries of slave trade were primarily women and children who were sold as domestic and sexual workers while the later centuries of trade in humans focused on strong men for use as field laborers. [1]

Slavery is bad, but so was the slaughter of Native American people and the take over of their lands. Spanish conquistadors and European explorers killed the men of the native populations and bred with the women often enough that the genetic evidence can still be found in the mixed heritage of their ancestors. Genes from the Y chromosome can show who your father and grandfather and great-great-great-(etc.) grandfathers might have been while mitochondrial DNA can show who your mother, grandmother and great-great-great-(etc.) grandmothers might have been. [2]

Slavery is bad, and so is slaughtering native people and taking their land, and so was slaughtering disabled and black people and Jewish people and people with different political or religious beliefs during Hitler’s control of Germany. In the decade before Jewish people were collected and put in concentration camps and killed by Hitler’s regime, hundreds of thousands of black people and people with disabilities were put to death. At the end of the war when surviving prisoners were freed from the concentration camps there were homosexual prisoners that were actually left imprisoned. [3] They weren’t given their own country. Eleven million people were killed by the Hitler regime but we tend to only hear about the six million people of Jewish  ancestry. Who decides what is fair or bad or worth mentioning in textbooks?

Japanese Americans were rounded up and imprisoned in concentration camps in the United States of America during World War II. That was also bad, in my opinion at least.

It turns out that the genetic joke is on Hitler; the only pure race of humans is Sub-Saharan Africans, the rest of the world’s peoples have a mixture of genes made up mostly of Sub-Saharan African genes combined with a small percentage from Neanderthal and Denisovan people and one other unidentified early race of people. [2]

So who decides what is fair or bad? Possibly the people with the biggest guns or the fastest horses or the fastest intellect or the ones with the most powerful friends.

Racism, Class-ism, and Corporate Profit-Monger-ism in Modern Times:

It is not fair that today in the United States there are more prisoners in a for-profit prison industry then there were slaves during the years of the African slave trade, in my opinion at least. It does not seem fair to me that people are sent to the for-profit-prison-industry for standing on the sidewalk while looking female and attractive (loitering) or while male and not pale (obstructing pedestrian traffic) or while male and smoking a hand rolled tobacco cigarette (undercover police drug bust – ouch, that’s too bad that your head was slammed against the pavement by what seemed to be a mugging by gangsters which turned out to be a wrongful arrest by undercover officers instead). [4]

If the wrongfully arrested don’t have someone to post bail for them, then they have to stay in jail where they are encouraged to sign plea agreements, which is signing that you agree to plead guilt of the alleged crime and which results in the person having an arrest record. If the person gets a few standing-on-the-sidewalk arrests, then the person becomes a repeat offender with multiple arrests on their record and risk of longer jail terms for future standing-on-the-sidewalk arrests. [4]

Our assumption that we have a system that assumes we are innocent until proven guilty may be inaccurate. The system seems to have changed into a system of guilty until you can post bail or otherwise defend yourself.

It doesn’t seem fair that people who default on their credit card debt can have their cars seized or their wages garnished when they never received a summons to court about the unpaid debt. Whistle-blowers in the banking industry have lost their jobs trying to inform the government about unfair practices by the banks in their handling of mortgage and credit card debt but the banks got bailed out and no bank executives went to jail.

Aggressive business tactics are viewed as just doing good business – but good business for whom? Pensioners have lost their pensions and individuals have lost their homes or cars. Business practices that depend on fraudulent legal devices are bad, and fraudulent, and it is unfair that it is the whistle-blower who tried to protect small credit card holders who lost her job. Some in-house lawyers did lose their jobs at the bank involved in the case. [4, 6] A different whistle-blower in the flawed home loans scandal is being awarded a percentage of the settlement fine that was collected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). [5]

It is unfair that the Welfare system has turned into a fraud detection system that may send individuals to the for-profit prison industry over a son’s too large pants (might be evidence that a boyfriend is staying in the home instead of a son with too large pants.) Rates of violent crime has been dropping and rates of welfare recipients have also been dropping, yet prison population is going up. It doesn’t matter what your skin color is if you are not able to read the plea agreement or the Welfare rights statement that a person in a position of authority is prompting you to sign.  [4] Is entrapment fair just because someone isn’t able to read the subtext of an unfair statement?

Instead of subsidizing a for-profit prison industry we could subsidize a for-profit invasive species control industry and group homes for those with mental health problems or for parents who need help providing for their children. The current Welfare system makes getting married a bad financial decision for mothers and that is a system that is probably not ideal for the children.

Group Homes might help families stay together and grow together:

A group home that is centered around the children who are in need might provide group dining room and daycare facilities and parents could be asked to work a certain number of hours working in the kitchen or daycare or in cleaning the communal areas. Efficiency apartments could be available for the individual families and marriage could be encouraged for parents who want to stay in the group facility with their children. Stipends for the volunteer hours might provide some cash allotment but increasing amounts for having increasing numbers of children wouldn’t be provided. The children’s financial support would be tied to their stay at the group home. Parents could be encouraged to seek paying jobs while staying in their efficiency apartment within the larger group home and would be allowed to save towards getting their own place instead of the current system which takes away Welfare payments when the recipient finds other paying work or sends the recipient to jail for fraud if undeclared income is discovered by the Welfare fraud investigative team or because of a tip from a disgruntled ex-friend or family member.

Intelligence and Natural Differences:

Equal rights and equal opportunities are important but expecting equal outcomes is not reasonable. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and it is not fair that “aggressive” but fraudulent business practices are awarded billions while individuals are sent to for-profit prisons over a few hundred dollars in Welfare benefits – that’s not very fair at all, in my opinion at least.

It is a nice idea that a college education can assure a good job and good life but it isn’t really true. College is hard because the jobs that students are being prepared for are demanding. Preparing some people for technical jobs and some people for basic life skills management or for working a certain number of hours within a group home may be more realistic.

We are all different and that is what provides a diverse range of talents. We need more jobs for people who have more physical skills than intellectual ones and we need to protect them from unfair “aggressive” business practices because it is really not fair that someone is sent to jail because they signed a plea agreement or Welfare paper that they didn’t understand, in my opinion at least.

Class-ism and Injustice in the name of defense, is offensive, to me at least:

A college degree didn’t save Miriam Carey from being shot multiple times after having turned the wrong way onto White House grounds. [7] An off duty officer dressed in a short sleeve shirt and caring an ice chest moved a mobile barricade in the way of her car while she was trying to leave. He and the barricade got knocked down and she was chased for several blocks by multiple police cars before officers killed her with five gun shot wounds. Two drunken Secret Service officers actually did drive onto White House grounds and they weren’t shot multiple times or even once. [8]

Miriam Carey’s boyfriend had asked for help for her. She was a health professional who was being treated for severe postpartum depression with irrational beliefs. She had her young baby in the car with her on the day she turned the wrong way onto White House grounds and then failed to stop when directed to do so by the off duty officer who was not in uniform. Miraculously her baby is alive and in the custody of the father, her boyfriend who had tried to get adequate help for her condition. The tragic event happened months after the delivery of her baby when Miriam Carey may have been trying to gradually stop the use of her psychiatric medication.

We need more mental health care facilities and a police force that doesn’t shoot first and assume one is guilty until proven innocence. It is likely that if she had survived the multiple shots that she would have been arrested for the misdemeanor offense of failing to stop when signaled to do so by the police cars who pursued her after she tried to leave the area by the White House. [7] It seems unfair to me that Secret Service officers receive different treatment than other people. The two drunken officers weren’t arrested or shot but they were reassigned to “non-supervisory and non-operational” assignments (in other words, they didn’t even lose their jobs). [8]

Corporate profit-monger-ism going international may be dangerous to health:

Currently the international community is facing the possibility of increased power being given to corporations if the Trans Pacific Partnership is passed. It includes language that would allow corporations to sue nations for any laws that might impede their profit margins. [9] For example some nations have passed cigarette packaging laws that highlight the negative health risks associated with smoking and tobacco corporations have tried to sue the nations regarding the special packaging requirements. The large tobacco corporations may have a larger income than some of the small nations that are trying to resist the lawsuits. Sales of cigarettes have dropped in the U.S. and the companies are seeking more customers elsewhere. [10] People’s health is being put at risk for the sake of corporate profit and foreign nations that are trying to protect their citizens are being harassed by multiple lawsuits. That doesn’t seem fair, to me at least.

People as products of for-profit industries may also be dangerous to health:

A for-profit prison industry turns people into a product as does a for-profit health care system and a for-profit education system. Contracts with required quotas mean that police officers or Welfare fraud investigators may have to work just a little harder to arrest people for standing on sidewalks or for having suspiciously male clothing in the home of a single mother on Welfare. Contracts with for-profit prisons stipulate that states have to provide a certain number of prisoners or pay the difference anyway.

Manufacturing prisoners doesn’t seem fair or sensible. The cost to house prisoners is much greater than the cost of Welfare payments and the irony is that the rate of violent crime and use of Welfare has been dropping. To give a worse case example of privatization – if fire departments were for-profit and they had to meet quotas for numbers of fires put out each month then unscrupulous fire departments might start looking for buildings that look like they might be at risk for fires and test the theory by dropping a few lit matches – and that wouldn’t be fair or safe.

In Summary; we can learn from the past and we can change the future:

As a nation it seems sensible to take a second look at some of the policies that have developed over the years and consider changing directions to meet a changing reality. We live on a planet with limited resources and a growing population. Building on each other’s strengths instead of capitalizing aggressively on weaknesses seems like it would be more profitable in the long run, to me at least.

Profit Monger, definition: “A person, business or profession marked by avarice and greed.”

Classism, definition: “Discrimination or prejudice that is based on social class.”

Racism, definition: 1) “The belief that each race has distinct and intrinsic attributes” and/or 2) “that one race or group of races is superior or inferior to another race or group of races” that may lead to 3) “Prejudice or discrimination based upon race.”

There may be differences between groups on average but each individual has their own unique strengths and weaknesses and we can’t tell what those might be based on how someone looks or what their last name is.

We can help make opportunities available equally but we can not make children incapable of failing just by passing a law. The No Child Left Behind policy has led to increased teacher turn over and increased cheating at the teacher and administrative level and there are increased rates of students who leave school before graduating. We can help create stronger individuals by treating each child as an individual and helping them build their confidence in their own unique strengths and helping them learn to recognize their weaknesses and how to ask for help or to work within their range of abilities. [11, 12] Staying in school is associated with delaying the age at which young women have their first pregnancy which can help prevent complications of birth. [13] And education is more associated with voting than one’s economic bracket – a poor educated person is statistically more likely to vote than an uneducated rich person. [14, page 258]

Being relaxed may help boost intelligence scores when taking intelligence tests, [15], and race and economic bracket may have different effects on one’s stress and anxiety levels. Social acceptance of other’s differences may also be a factor. We can’t all be doctors or lawyers or NBA basketball players – and that is okay – but shooting people first and asking questions later doesn’t seem any more okay than arresting people for standing on public sidewalks.

/Disclosure: I am a nutritionist. Disclaimer: Information presented on this site is not intended as a substitute for medical care and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by your physician. Please see a health professional for individualized health care services./

  1. The Invisible History of the Human Race, How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures / by Christine Kenneally / 2014 [http://www.penguin.com/book/the-invisible-history-of-the-human-race-by-christine-kenneally/9780670025558]
  2. pink-triangle.com / homepage [http://www.pink-triangle.org/]
  3. The Divide; American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap, by Matt Taibbi, (Spiegel & Grau, 2014, New York)
  4. JPMorgan whistleblower gets $63.9 million in mortgage fraud deal / By Jonathan Stempel / March 7, 2014 [http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/07/us-jpmorgan-whistleblower-idUSBREA261HM20140307]
  5. JP Morgan Chase Credit Card Robo-Signing Challenged / by Donald Petersen/ JUNE 25, 2011 [http://www.fdcpa.me/jp-morgan-chase-credit-card-robo-sign/]
  6. How Miriam Carey’s U-Turn at a Whitehouse Checkpoint Led to Her Death / by David Montgomery / Nov. 26, 2014 [http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/style/2014/11/26/how-miriam-careys-u-turn-at-a-white-house-checkpoint-led-to-her-death/]
  7. Two Secret Service agents drunkenly crashed White House barricades: Official
  8. WikiLeaks Reveals TPP Proposal Allowing Corporations to Sue Nations, March 26, 2015 [http://www.democracynow.org/2015/3/26/headlines/wikileaks_reveals_tpp_proposal_allowing_corporations_to_sue_nations]
  9. Tobacco Firms’ Strategy Limits Poorer Nations Smoking Laws / by Sabrina Tavernise / Dec. 13, 2013 [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/13/health/tobacco-industry-tactics-limit-poorer-nations-smoking-laws.html?_r=0]
  10. New Study Offers Reality Check: No Child Left Behind is Increasing Dropout Rates, Feb. 15, 2008 [http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/02/new-study-offer.html]
  11. Don’t Call Them Dropouts; Understanding the Experiences of Young People Who Leave High School Before Graduation, A Report from America’s Promise Alliance and its Center for Promise at Tufts University with support from Target / May 20, 2014 [http://gradnation.org/report/dont-call-them-dropouts]
  12. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (2009by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas D. Kistof and Sheryl WuDunn
  13. The Bell Curve; Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray (The Free Press, 1994, New York)
  14. IQ Since “The Bell Curve”, by Christopher F. Chabris, August 1998 [http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~cfc/Chabris1998a.html]