Tag Archives: violence

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people; truck tragedy in France

It was another sad day to wake up to news of a deadly incident having occurred in France.  A truck was driven through a crowd of people who were gathered to watch fireworks in Nice,, France. The crowds were gathered in celebration of their nation’s revolution that had started on Bastille Day in 1789. The day is also known as National Day. Eighty four people have been reported to have been killed by the assault. The truck driver was killed but he managed to drive approximately 1.2 miles through the crowd before he was shot. He was believed to be a French citizen of Tunisian descent, more is not known about any direct connection to terrorist groups however it is assumed to have been the motive but ISIS has not released any statement claiming responsibility and the driver may have had personal motives or psychiatric issues that are not known at this time. Whether there were any other accomplices is also not known at this time.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/jul/14/nice-bastille-day-france-attack-promenade-des-anglais-vehicle

7/16/16, update: The Islamic State /ISIS/ISIL has claimed that the truck driver was acting in response to their call for individuals to fight nations that are fighting the Islamic State. http://freebeacon.com/national-security/amaq-news-agency-islamic-state-claims-responsibility-nice-attack/ And another update: a few people who knew the driver were arrested or held for further investigation into the events leading up to the tragedy. The  driver had a history of mental health issues and medication use in the past and an episode of road rage type violence. Family was surprised about the Islamic State claim however as the truck driver had not been radical or very religious in the past. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/france-bastille-day-truck-attack-1.3682221

The driver also had explosives in the vehicle and guns and had fired into the crowd of people before he was killed. Thankfully he was stopped before the explosives were detonated. Terrorism doesn’t require assault rifles. Assault with a car or truck loaded with explosives has been recommended by the Daesh terrorists in training materials they have produced recently and in the past. And assault by vehicles loaded with explosives has occurred in several Middle East nations. It is a difficult risk to protect against. Electrical disruption devices could be used to stop a vehicle by stopping the electrical signals to the engine. Otherwise people are being warned to use caution in public places and at crowded events and to possibly consider skipping crowded events for increased safety.   http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/france-truck-attack/truck-reportedly-plows-crowd-bastille-day-france-n609621

Hamas and Al Qaeda and ISIS have all used and recommended driving cars into crowds. France may have been made a target  in part because of the nation’s making it illegal for Muslim women in France to be able to wear the traditional dress and veils in public according to Maajid Nawaz a former fundamentalist that is now working with a counter terrorism group. The traditional dress and veils of the Muslim religion is considered to bring Muslim women closer to Allah.  Maajid Nawaz also introduced the term “self starter” as more accurate than “lone wolf.” With the use of social media for recruiting and sharing training materials terrorism is spreading to individuals that may be acting alone but in support of the Jihadist groups.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr1-se7uTZE

The “War on Terror” has led to increased instability and terrorism around the world. Sharing democracy with other nations is a noble goal but it hasn’t been very successful and our own democracy has become an oligarchy so we aren’t even really a good role model for what a democratic form of government looks like anymore. Drone bombs and radioactive waste and increased birth defects and destroyed infrastructure aren’t noble goals and seem terrifying to me. We need to stop playing both sides and just get an international group of boots on the ground to wipe out the Daesh terrorists and help refugees return to their former homelands.

Improving equality and access to food and jobs, clean air and water, would likely help reduce the stress and malnutrition that may be contributing to people becoming capable of mass violence against others.

My condolences and best wishes to the survivors and the families and friends of those who lost their lives.

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.

nErD does not stand for nearest Emergency room Department

I ran across the term nErD yesterday and I wasn’t sure what it might mean. My first thought as a health professional trained in medical acronyms was that it might have something to do with the ER or Emergency Room Department. In addition to the adult ICU (Intensive Care Unit) there is also a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) but there isn’t a neonatal emergency room department to my knowledge.

To my chagrin after a few seconds of puzzlement I noticed another reference to the term — “nerd” — and I felt like I should probably go see the movie “Revenge of the Nerds” again just as a refresher course.

Emergency Rooms have been on my mind for a while so that might explain my jumping to that idea first. At some point in the past I’ve shared this idea but I’ll reshare it because it could help provide safe and effective health care at an inexpensive price.

A patient can spend a lot of time waiting in an Emergency Department, to be seen or to be treated or for the test results to be ready or for the specialist to stop by. Some of that waiting time could be spent in a relaxing and potentially healing Epsom salt foot soak or bath.

Magnesium deficiency is estimated to be a problem for as many as 70-80% of the U.S. population. It can be an underlying factor in many chronic illnesses and chronic pain conditions and can be involved in acute substance abuse or mental health situations. A foot soak in Epsom salts can take slightly longer than a soak in an Epsom salt bath to achieve results but both can be helpful for relieving muscle cramps and some other types of pain such as migraines. Mental upset due to alcohol or other substance abuse or mental health conditions can also be soothed by soaking in Epsom salts. The amount of time to soak would vary depending on how deficient the person was in magnesium and might even be helpful as a diagnostic screening for magnesium deficiency (the mineral is largely stored within the interior of cells or within the bones so blood tests for magnesium only catch extremely severe cases of magnesium deficiency).

Excessive magnesium absorption can relax the muscles too much and may cause slowing of the heart rate and smooth muscle relaxation can also cause watery bowel movements. A hospital protocol might involve having an attendant start a patient with a non-open wound pain situation or upset mood in an Epsom salt foot soak or bath. The patient would be instructed on the early symptoms of excessive magnesium absorption and to let the attendant know if/when the first fluttery heart beats or relaxation of sphincter muscles was occurring. Typically a 20 minute Epsom salt bath is a good length of time while a forty minute bath might cause excess relaxation. Research suggested the ideal routine for a patient with difficulty absorbing magnesium from dietary sources would be approximately twenty minutes in a bath with one cup of Epsom salts every other day or three to four times per week. Taking the baths more often though can lead to symptoms of excess magnesium occurring sooner than twenty minutes, based on my personal experience with Epsom salt baths.

Alcohol and some other substances that are used excessively can cause magnesium deficiency which can cause irritability and even increase the risk for violence.

So if you or a loved one is upset or in pain that is not due to an open wound then it is possible that a trip to your bathroom for a Epsom salt bath might be soothing enough to skip a trip to the nearest Emergency room Department (you know, the nErD).

Excerpt from a previous post with more info about safely taking Epsom salt baths:

Time for an Epsom bath perhaps.

Epsom salt baths can be a well absorbed source of magnesium because skin absorption will bypass a problem of poor intestinal absorption of magnesium. Calcium tends to be preferentially absorbed by the intestines, especially when there is an imbalance in vitamin and hormone D levels and poor intestinal absorption of magnesium over time can easily lead to symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are usually labeled something else by the medical profession because the problem is not obvious on lab tests until it is quite severe because the body takes more magnesium from the bones as needed up until the point where osteoporosis is severe  enough to cause a shortage of stored magnesium.

Soaking in a bathtub for twenty minutes that has one cup of Epsom salt to a half full bathtub, and one teaspoon of a cooking vinegar such as apple cider vinegar to balance the alkalinity of the Epsom salt, can be a cure for a bad mood as well as various achy muscle cramps if magnesium deficiency is an underlying problem. Negative symptoms can occur if you stay in the bath too long. Excess magnesium absorption can cause loose watery stools for an entire day, not just once. Falling asleep in the bath can also lead to more life threatening symptoms of a weak, and fluttery heart rate, or even lead to coma and/or death — so twenty minutes to forty minutes is probably safe for a deficient person while someone who isn’t deficient might notice a weak slowing heart rate sooner than the twenty minute average that a person deficient in magnesium might find only as calming and soothing to  their mood and muscles. A person who was deficient but who then started taking the baths regularly might start noticing the weak heart rate sooner — get out of the tub then, even if its not been twenty minutes — shower and rinse time. Research on the therapeutic use of Epsom salt baths recommended one cup Epsom salt to the half full/full bath and use up to three to four times per week, but not daily.

I can’t find the actual research study {here it is: http://george-eby-research.com/html/absorption_of_magnesium_sulfate.pdf }  among the following posts of mine (see below) but Dr. Oz has an article on the baths also and recommends the twenty minutes a few times a week also: [http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/restoring-magnesium-levels-with-epsom-salt-baths]

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.


A GMO labeling bill has passed the Senate but it may create loopholes in what will be considered GMO

Genetically modified organisms created for agricultural purposes may be required to be listed on food labels but the wording of the proposed legislation may allow some types of foods or ingredients to not be listed. Refined ingredients that would not be expected to contain “genetic” content (DNA or RNA) may not be required to be listed as GMO.

The risk to health however has to do with the proteins that the GMO DNA cause to be produced throughout the plant rather than the DNA itself. Allergens might be produced that weren’t present in the normal crops. And in Bt GMOs the Bt toxin is produced throughout the plant as an insecticide, even within the part we harvest for food use. And while it is believed to not be harmful to human health it was initially developed as an antibiotic and mineral chelator. And humans depend on having a healthy balance of microbes within the intestines and glyphosate may be harmful to them. A refined ingredient might not contain much DNA protein or much of a Bt endotoxin protein either but it would be nice to have a lab test showing that it wasn’t present in the refined ingredient rather than be concerned only about GMO DNA. Testing for glyphosate residue levels would be of interest to me also.

Read more about the Senate bill on GMO labeling, it is a bipartisan backed bill that is expected to pass the House:  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-food-gmo-vote-idUSKCN0ZO08N

“About 75% of the foodstuffs at the grocery store are now genetically manipulated, in what has been called the world’s largest biological experiment on humans.” http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/36746-monsanto-bayer-and-the-push-for-corporate-cannabis

Sometimes progress can seem like progress but if it misinforms the public then is it really progress? A food label that claims to inform consumers about GMO content but which actually excludes major categories of refined ingredients that are based on GMO crops is providing disinformation – inaccurate information about the food’s content. Sick people who are trying to improve their health wouldn’t be able to trust the labels if the labels still allowed ingredients that were making the sick people to feel sicker. If the goal is supporting an individual’s right to know what is in their food then the labeling requirements ideally would include all types of GMO based ingredients whether the ingredient includes GMO DNA are not.

On a different but related topic — a couple recent posts [1, 2] included history about concerns I’ve had regarding excessive vitamin D and calcium supplementation, the new information I learned about glyphosate provides the likely solution – but more research is needed. The glyphosate information about CYP enzyme inhibition of vitamin D metabolism could be an explanation for the increase in low vitamin D levels observed in the U.S. population. And excessive supplementation with inactive vitamin D may not have been found to be helping as expected because of inhibition by the herbicide glyphosate.

A quote from a book on an unrelated topic: “When you solve a mystery, you destroy its power over you.”  – Dan Neuharth, Ph.D.,  If You Had Controlling Parents; How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World. page 79, (Harper, 1998)

The question of why U.S. citizens had lower vitamin D levels than Canadians, when I knew our food supply had adequate amounts of vitamin D and that we would collectively be getting more sunshine than Canadians on average with most of the country being located farther south, was a mystery I’ve been pondering ever since learning of it in 2010.

And the inhibition of CYP enzymes by glyphosate could be a cause of low vitamin D levels that don’t respond well to supplementation and which could be affecting a large percentage of the population. There was a large increase of the herbicide with Round-Up ready GMO crops and with the introduction of glyphosate as a crop desiccant . (And magnesium deficiency may be another cause of low vitamin D levels when there is plenty of vitamin D available and which could be affecting a large percentage of the population, but more on that later.)

As a dietitian I was uncomfortable ethically in 2010 regarding the high dose supplements being given to people for long term treatment without monitoring the active hormone level and I am still uncomfortable about the potential risks for the minority of people who may develop elevated levels of the active hormone D. Elevated levels can cause worsening of chronic illness and even increase risk of death. A large number of studies have now been performed that have not found high dose supplements to be consistently helpful — and it turns out that the form of the supplements may be inhibited from being activated by glyphosate.

In past writing I’ve included information about types of infection that may be affecting hormone D metabolism in some people but infectious disease is likely to affect a smaller number of people than the population wide levels of low vitamin D that have been observed. Some pathogens are known to modify the vitamin D receptor metabolism. Inhibiting the vitamin D receptor would reduce immune function of the cell and allow the microbe to infect the cell. Infection likely is affecting vitamin D levels for some people but a food contaminant would likely affect a larger percentage of the population.

A GMO labeling law is progress but the law wouldn’t include crops that use glyphosate as a desiccant in addition to excluding some refined but GMO derived ingredients from being listed as GMO and it may be the glyphosate itself – the Round-up herbicide – in Round-up ready crops that is the biggest risk to health– not the genetically modified DNA. And similarly it may be the Bt toxin itself that the genetically modified DNA encodes for rather than the DNA that is a risk to health. The Bt toxin may be causing harm to the intestinal bacteria and may have been modified enough from the original Bt toxin that the genetically modified Bt toxin is now also a risk to the cell walls of human intestinal and red blood cells unlike the Bt toxin that previous research has been based on. Research with the GMO seeds by private research labs or scientists is being limited by the companies that own the GMO seed patents.

Intestinal bacteria can affect mood positively or negatively and an imbalance in magnesium, vitamin D, and calcium can also affect mood. My condolences to all of the families and individuals who have lost loved ones or friends to gun violence. Part of the reason I’ve been concerned about the excess supplementation of vitamin D is because an imbalance in vitamin and hormone D can lead to an imbalance in calcium and magnesium which can lead to severe irritability and even homicidal violence. Epsom salt baths are inexpensive and provide a form of magnesium that can be absorbed well even when there is an imbalance in the vitamin and hormone D levels which tends to promote calcium absorption in the intestines and increased magnesium losses in the kidneys.

Calcium is also important but the average U.S. diet tends to include many calcium rich sources and promote calcium supplements more than magnesium. Magnesium however is necessary for converting vitamin D into 25 hydroxy D and 1, 25 dihydroxy D in addition to CYP enzymes so magnesium deficiency might also be an underlying factor for low vitamin D levels that don’t respond well to vitamin D supplements.  “Data indicate a reduced risk of insufficient/deficient vitamin D status at high magnesium intake and an inverse association between circulating 25-hydroxy vitamin D and mortality, particularly cardiovascular mortality, among those with magnesium intake above the median.”  ~ People with more magnesium intake also had better vitamin D levels and reduced risk of death, particularly less risk of death due to heart disease.   http://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-11-229

Unlike most other nutrients the blood levels of vitamin D can be affected in a number of different ways as it is actually a hormone rather than being simply controlled by intake of food or supplements. And levels of blood calcium and magnesium are also carefully controlled in a number of ways because they are electrically active. Excess calcium can cause muscle contractions and magnesium helps muscles relax. Excess calcium is associated with more severe coronary artery disease and magnesium deficiency is associated with heart attacks and strokes. Elevated hormone D tends to promote elevated calcium levels and may lead to heart disease and osteoporosis. Elevated calcium levels is also associated with increased risk for kidney failure. the following link has a chart that compares risks of elevated blood cholesterol and calcium and the difference is startling. http://blog.parathyroid.com/high-blood-calcium-risks/

Many nutrients are important (all of them in fact), and an older article (2013) reviews a variety of nutrients and research on violence and aggression and diet or other factors affecting violence such as psychiatric pharmaceuticals. Adequate omega 3 fatty acids may be protective. Cholesterol is essential too, low levels of it is associated with increased aggression according to the article. The review of research was in response to the increase in school shootings (2013): http://www.westonaprice.org/uncategorized/violent-behavior-a-solution-in-plain-sight/ – that link is to a site that promotes a diet based on the foods that are believed to have been available to ancient people. The article reviews a large number of nutrients and other topics and their possible role in promoting or preventing violence. Magnesium is just one of the many nutrients essential for health but it is also essential for a good mood. There were many other results for the search terms that I used, “magnesium deficiency violence aggression‘: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=magnesium%20deficiency%20violence%20aggression

Solving the mystery has led to information that has helped my health and a GMO label law might make it easier for me to avoid GMO products but it might not be that helpful if the law is written so that many types of GMO ingredients wouldn’t be included and a GMO-free label actually meant only possibly GMO free. The labels wouldn’t be reliable if foods might still contain refined GMO ingredients and yet not be required to have the GMO label.

The list of foods that might be sources of glyphosate or Bt toxin:

It is our right to protect our health and I find my health is improved when I avoid or moderate use of some of those foods, I wasn’t aware of the specific oils on the list but had been avoiding excess poly-unsaturated oils in general because it may increase inflammation to have too little omega 3 fatty acids and too much of certain fatty acids found in poly-unsaturated fats..

  • An imbalance in the two types of fats has also been associated with increased aggression per a link provided earlier:  (2013):  http://www.westonaprice.org/uncategorized/violent-behavior-a-solution-in-plain-sight/
  • And having certain types of controlling parents has also been associated with increased risk for aggression or violence per the book I quoted earlier in this post: “When you solve a mystery, you destroy its power over you.”  – Dan Neuharth, Ph.D.,  If You Had Controlling Parents; How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World. quote page 79, (Harper, 1998)

Glyphosate and the  GMO Bt toxin may be affecting our intestinal bacteria which can affect our moods. Disrupted vitamin D metabolism can lead to an imbalance in calcium and magnesium which can affect our moods. When the body works it seems simple but it isn’t.

The GMO labeling law has language that will identify ingredients as GMO by how refined they are rather than whether the whole food was a GMO or not. Information about GMO content would be helpful but a refined ingredient might still contain glyphosate residue or Bt toxin or other unknown allergens that may have developed during the genetic modification of the organism. Research and testing of those chemicals would be helpful. Labeling laws would be a challenge for the food industry to comply with. Working on using less glyphosate and GMO crops (that have been shown to potentially be hazardous to humans or the environment), seems like a more direct route to improving health to me.

/Disclosure: This 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./

Being thankful for social taboos; Health and Peace, Part two

Being thankful for social taboos might seem odd but what if they are helping protect us in some way? In the field of nutrition there have been several examples of traditional food preparations methods and cultural habits which turned out to be extremely beneficial for protecting health in some way, either by modifying toxic substances found in the raw food or by reducing the risk of infectious pathogens that might be found in the raw food item.

Mom was certainly right about the health benefits of eating our vegetables. They are loaded with a variety of nutrients and help support healthy bacteria within our intestines which it turns out are essential to our health in many ways. Social taboos and other cultural traditions may also be protecting our individual or group health in ways that we don’t yet understand. Ignoring traditions or working to change traditions just because they seem like old-fashioned relics of the past may be harmful to our health in ways we won’t understand if we don’t try to understand.

In a previous post I shared an excerpt about research that suggests there is an association between a group’s rate of infectious disease and the rate of violence in the group. Violent acts against strangers was discussed in that post but the research article also mentioned that an increased rate of violence during times of less health may also include an increase in partner violence and more negative treatment of women, especially in association with promiscuity. (For help in the U.S. call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for support and referrals: 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY), http://www.thehotline.org/ )

A taboo is something that is not socially approved of, such as a behavior that is not supposed to be done by members of polite society, and it may be something that is so disapproved of that it isn’t even supposed to be openly discussed by members of polite society. But not openly discussing things can make them more difficult to understand or for people to learn about, so for clarity, a social taboo against promiscuity might be subtly reinforced in a polite way with a society’s dating customs and their wedding traditions, or it might have been more negatively seen in the increased attacks against family planning services in recent times in the U. S. or in the violent treatment of women by terrorist organizations such as Daesh (ISIL) or Boko Haram.

Some types of infectious disease can be spread by sexual contact so a social taboo against promiscuity, if it did lead to less unprotected sexual contact, could be helping protect a woman’s health and possibly any future children’s health by:

  • by preventing infection from a sexually transmitted or otherwise infectious disease,
  • and it might also be protecting a woman from becoming pregnant at a time when she is unprepared for a baby or from becoming impregnated by a man who may not be a genetically good match for her body, (The most well understood prenatal bloodtype risk is for a woman who has a Rh negative blood type to have multiple children with a person with a positive Rh blood type.),
  • and more recent research suggests that limiting promiscuity might also be protecting women from increasing her risk for developing autoimmune disease later in life, (but so might not getting pregnant at all, and the human race needs some women to continue being brave and carrying on with the having-a-baby job, and they need adequate vitamin D for the woman’s body to be more tolerant of the infant’s foreign DNA – more on that in a different post).

However social taboos against promiscuity in women would be unlikely to also help promote men from wearing a protective device or from some men being promiscuous or refusing to wear a protective device, but the differences between male and female instincts and physiology is a different topic. Males may have more of a biological instinct to spread their genetic material to many receptive females while females may have more of an instinct to nurture and protect primarily only their own children or mate — which we are now learning may also have been helping to protect their bodies from increased risks of autoimmune disease.

A major clue was discovered about autoimmune disease by research in the area of organ transplant and skin graft acceptance. At a basic level autoimmune disease is understood to be something like an allergic reaction to the patient’s own body where the patient’s white blood cells are overly sensitized to some type of normal tissue and are attacking healthy tissue as if it was instead foreign to the body. Patients receiving an organ transplant are given medication to help suppress the immune system because while an attempt is made to match the blood type of the donated organ to the recipient’s blood type the organ tissue still contains genetic material, DNA, that is foreign to the patient.

As organ transplants became more commonly performed it was found that there seemed to be an increased risk for some patients to later develop health problems that were very similar to a few types of autoimmune disease. It was already known that autoimmune disease was more common in women during their reproductive years and more recently it was discovered that women may be more at risk because of DNA transfer across the placenta. The expectant mother receives some cells from the fetus, which is called fetal microchimerism, and the baby receives some cells from the mother, which is known as maternal microchimerism.

Autoimmune disease may be more common for women in their reproductive years because of an unusual condition called microchimerism which can develop during pregnancy. A person of predominantly one type of DNA sometimes is found to also have a few cells with a different type of DNA. The term microchimerism is derived from an older word. A ‘micro-chimera’ would be a not quite full size one: A chimera is a type of creature made up of two or more animals such as the flying horse Pegasus from mythology.

In real life microchimerism has been found to be fairly common and may be be protective in some ways as it has been associated with an increased lifespan — but it also has has been associated with an increased risk for autoimmune disease. Men and children may have microchimerism cells that they received during fetal development but women may also gain the cells during pregnancy or possibly even with sexual relations. The research is still in early stages. There are few of the cells in number compared to the normal type of cells but they tend to cluster in a few areas of the body such as the bone marrow where they may serve some beneficial functions in similar ways to stem cells.

So while social taboos that discourage promiscuity in women may seem like a backward relic of ancient times, placing what might seem like unnecessary limits on a woman’s freedom, what if those limits were protective? What if limiting promiscuity or encouraging women to have children with only one mate during her lifespan may also have been reducing a woman’s risk for developing autoimmune disease later in life?

So while I can’t ever be thankful for violence against women or strangers during times of infection or during times of health, it does seem possible that a social taboo against promiscuity may have had some underlying health benefits. Cultural traditions that helped protect women’s long term health are something to be thankful for and those very cultural traditions may have persevered over time because they did help survival. More of the women who followed the traditions may have survived and had children who carried on the traditions. Cultural traditions that limited promiscuity may have helped preserve health of women and their children and while it is helpful to have a better understanding of how those cultural traditions may have helped protect health, I can also be thankful for the family planning methods available now that also protect health.

The right to breast feed may be a cultural tradition that had trouble withstanding early formula company marketing but which research has since found to be very important for both the infant’s health and the mother’s. And the research about microchimerism that suggests a possible causal relationship between the condition and autoimmune disease also suggests that breastfeeding may be very important for helping reduce that risk because it may be helping the infant’s body incorporate any remaining maternal microchimerism cells into long term storage in a safer way — where they may have future roles to play as stem cells or in some other protective role, the condition is associated with an increased lifespan — we don’t know what we don’t know until we learn it.

/Disclosure: This 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./

A right to a fair hearing and trial

A right to a fair hearing and trial by one’s peers was not upheld in Ferguson, Missouri in August when a police officer shot and killed a young black man. More recently a second death occurred as a result of police action prior to any arrest or fair trial.

Students from a nearby university led some of the activists onto their campus grounds as guests for the night. The remaining group set up a small number of tents and remained on campus for the night. Read more: “How ‘Ferguson October’ Ended Up Occupying a Plaza on Saint Louis University’s Campus,” by Kevin Gostola, Oct. 13, 2014, [The Dissenter].

A friendly neighbor in a different community also stood up to police regarding the rights of a neighbor who happened to be black to remain free from police interrogation in his own neighborhood. Read more: “Incident Shows Importance of Standing Up For Each Other,” by John Vibes, Oct. 11, 2014,  [popularresistance.org]

Magnesium deficiency is bad for a good mood, and can be dangerous in combination with THC

     A modern day cannibal such as the homeless man in a recent news story may not be infected with anything contagious but could be overreacting to acute magnesium deficiency. The homeless man may have been under the influence of a synthetic street drug commonly referred to as “bath salts,” a chemical substance based on the structure of the euphoric cannabinoid THC contained in medical marijuana. A study on cannabinoid effects found that research animals would kill other smaller animals when deficient in magnesium but not otherwise. Typically a mellow couch potato is the stereotype rather than raging maniac yet even mild magnesium deficiency made small doses of the THC turn the nutrient deficient animals into killers.
Education on the risks of magnesium deficiency would make a starving rage less likely to occur no matter what other chemical effects might be going on. Magnesium deficiency rage is part of the problem with alcohol abuse. Other pharmaceuticals also can deplete magnesium stores and coffee, carbonated beverages and the act of smoking also cause magnesium stores to be used for buffering the removal of waste.
The following excerpt from an endogenous cannabinoid textbook does make regulation of bath salts seem like a good idea. I am not familiar with the chemistry of the drug being sold as “bath salts” or the current news stories but I felt it necessary to mention magnesium deficiency in relation. Preventing magnesium deficiency would help prevent rage. Promoting safe access to medical marijuana products which contain a good balance of the euphoric THC and the more calming non-euphoric cannbinoids for those with documented chronic medical needs would help make a black market less profitable and reduce the risk of there even being a black market for the higher risk synthetic THC/bath salts (legal because it isn’t marijuana and is sold as “bath salts” or by some other name).
Education about stress coping skills and plenty of community support centers would help reduce demand for and support of a black market in artificial enhancements to life of whatever type – gambling, incessant video game playing or other escapes from reality.
In the excerpt below it mentions that magnesium deficiency alone could cause rodents to kill and eat other rodents. A large dose of THC given to hungry isolated rodents led to them killing other rodents when. Smaller doses of THC did not cause rodent killing unless the rodents had also been on a magnesium deficient diet for six weeks prior to the smaller dose of THC.

65. Marie-Hélène Thiébot, Frédérique Chaperon, Ester Fride, and Emmanuel S. Onaivi, Endocannabinoids : The Brain and Body’s Marijuana and Beyond, Chapter 13, Behavioral Effects of Endocannabinoids, (2006 by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC)  (p 310)

 “In isolated rats, food deprived for 22 h and then fed ad libitum for a 3-h period, a single injection of D9-THC (11 mg/kg) induced mousekilling (muricidal) behavior with enhanced aggressiveness, as indicated by the dramatic increase in the number of attacks on the dead mouse until it was completely torn in pieces (Bac et al., 1998). These authors also showed that D9-THC, at doses (2, 4, and 8 mg/kg) inactive to induce muricidal behavior in control rats, became efficient in rats suffering a magnesium (Mg2+) deprivation for 6 weeks. A severe Mg2+ deficiency (50-ppm diet) induced killing behavior by itself, and D9-THC exacerbated further attacks on the dead mouse. A moderate Mg2+-deficient diet (150-ppm) alone did not produce muricidal behavior, but all the rats became mouse killers when given D9-THC, whatever the dose. These results suggest a potentiation between both treatments to elicit aggressiveness. D9-THC would act as a trigger to induce aggression in Mg2+-deficient rats and reciprocally Mg2+ deficiency would reveal the potential neurotoxicity of a low dose of D9-THC (Bac et al., 2002).” (p310)

  • A recent study found no difference in crime statistics around medical marijuana dispensaries in the year 2009, “Report: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Not Linked To Neighborhood Crime,” by Jason Koebler, (June 6 2012), US News: [usnews.com/news/articles/2012/06/06/report-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-not-linked-to-neighborhood-crime]
  • 2016 update – states that have legalized marijuana have not had increased crime rates due to marijuana, http://www.attn.com/stories/6042/legal-marijuana-and-crime, but there may have been an increase in traffic accidents related to marijuana use – or an increase in testing for it, more research is needed because cannabis affects the body differently between individuals and is very different than the effects of alcohol.
  • Driving under the influence of marijuana is less associated with weaving between lanes than with alcohol use and is more likely to promote driving slower than average http://www.livescience.com/54693-high-drivers-double-after-marijuana-legalization.html (which can also be dangerous if significantly slower than the flow of traffic, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016721/Slow-drivers-dangerous-roads-cause-crashes.html).
  • There have been an increase in emergency room visits due to marijuana products which suggests to me that strains and products are being produced that have too much THC and not enough of the non-euphoric cannabinoids that promote more of a calming and relaxing effect on the brain. This report from 2015 states a problem with increased teen use but I’ve seen other articles that suggest there hasn’t been a significant increase in use by teenagers.  http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/09/15/feds-release-marijuana-stats-to-show-negative-effects-of-legalization/
  • THCV is one of the non-euphoric cannabinoids that help balance the stimulating effects of the euphoria producing THC. Some strains of sativa type cannabis plants contain THCV while indica strains do not. https://www.whaxy.com/learn/thcv-buffers-psychoactivity-of-thc-study.
  • Cannabinoids are made up of phospholipids and arachidonic acid or another fatty acid. The combination forms a flexible building block for cell membranes that can be released from storage when needed as an active messenger chemical. Many types of cannabinoids exist besides THC and they all have roles throughout the body’s organ systems and in every cell of the body. Some people are born with genes that don’t function normally and the inability to produce cannabinoids has been associated with eating disorders, cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, and to a lesser extent with cocaine use and other drug use.
  • Some tips from pros in the field of weed (pun intended) for people who have over imbibed sativa and are paranoid is to first not panic, it will pass. Knowing that the symptoms are due to too much THC may help with the feelings of anxiety. Other tips include eating a little black pepper or lemon juice/lemon peel. Both substances contain terpenes that may help balance the anxiety producing aspects of some sativa strains. Eating may also help with sativa anxiety but time may be necessary for the mood to pass. Too much of an Indica strain is likely to just cause munchies, coach lock (sleepy mellowness with no interest in moving) until sleep occurs.  https://www.whaxy.com/learn/what-to-do-if-you-get-too-high.

The act of smoking in itself can lead to reduced levels of magnesium and vitamin C whether tobacco cigarettes or other herbs are being smoked. The craving for food a few hours after smoking marijuana commonly known as “the munchies” is related to a drop in magnesium levels. It is better for the brain and body to eat rather than to try to resist the messages of hunger – the body is hungry for magnesium though so choose foods that contain some such as whole grains, popcorn or corn chips, beans, nuts, seeds, potatoes or sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, bananas, figs, yogurt, chocolate,  and many other foods contain small amounts. https://draxe.com/magnesium-deficient-top-10-magnesium-rich-foods-must-eating/

Having a good balanced meal before consuming marijuana may also help reduce the risk of having the munchies later. And different strains of marijuana may contain more or less of certain types of cannabinoids or terpenes which may also increase appetite for other reasons than the drop in magnesium in which case, snacking on carrots and celery sticks would contain fewer calories and have less risk of leading to excess weight gain.

Another way to improve the mood if magnesium deficiency is a problem is to take a hot bath with real Epsom salt, details here: http://transcendingsquare.com/2016/07/12/nerd-does-not-stand-for-nearest-emergency-room-department/.

/Disclaimer: This 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./