Birth control pill can shrink parts of the brain, altering its structure and function

The birth control pill shrinks women’s brains and increases risk of Crohn’s disease

birth-control-pill image
Neuroscientists from the University of California, Los Angeles found that the two main regions of the brain controlling emotion and decision-making are thinner in women who take the pill. Image by anqa.

2015 Study Abstract

Oral contraceptive pills (OCs), which are used to prevent pregnancy by the majority of women in the United States, contain steroid hormones that may affect the brain’s structure and function. In this investigation, we tested the hypothesis that OC use is associated with differences in brain structure using a hypothesis-driven, surface-based approach. In 90 women, (44 OC users, 46 naturally-cycling women), we compared the cortical thickness of brain regions that participate in the salience network and the default mode network, as well as the volume of subcortical regions in these networks. We found that OC use was associated with significantly lower cortical thickness measurements in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex. These regions are believed to be important for responding to rewards and evaluating internal states/incoming stimuli, respectively. Further investigations are needed to determine if cortical thinning in these regions are associated with behavioral changes, and also to identify whether OC use is causally or only indirectly related to these changes in brain morphology.

Sources and more information
  • The birth control pill shrinks women’s brains and increases risk of Crohn’s disease: New studies, lifesitenews, Wed Apr 15, 2015.
  • Oral contraceptive pill use is associated with localized decreases in cortical thickness, wiley, DOI: 10.1002/hbm.22797, 2 APR 2015.

In America, chicken is easy and accessible, but at what cost?

Dirty Birds: A Story of Chickens in America

In many parts of the world, chicken is a delicacy. In America, it is easy and accessible. But at what cost? Get a rare glimpse inside the commercial chicken industry with farmer Craig Watts. Then visit a far different chicken farm in the poultry capitol of the world: Georgia.
What do you think? Tell us @PBSFood and @OriginalFare.

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Cervical Cancer Screening with the HPV test and Pap Test

When to Get Tested and How to Make Sense of Your Test Results

Cervical-Cancer-Screening cover image
When to Get Tested and How to Make Sense of Your Test Results.

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On Flickr®

Secret toxic chemicals in perfumes marketed to girls

Perfume: Not Child’s Play

Justice-Perfume image
I was curious what made these fragrances special for kids since they’re offered for sale, right at child-eye level, at the counters of both Justice and The Children’s Place. ” ~Anne Brock~.

Bubblegum pink boxes decorated with hearts, shiny blue boxes with stars, fun phrases like “tickled pink” and “giggle” all make perfumes marketed toward children look more like toys than cosmetics…
…one ingredient in Children’s Place Giggle fragrance is ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, also called octinoxate. It is a hormone disrupting chemical of high concern, backed up by strong evidence from the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption…
…ingredient amyl cinnamal, also known as amylcinnamaldehyde, has been associated with allergies and contact dermatitis, per the EWG database… ”

Read Perfume: Not Child’s Play, womensvoices., February 13, 2014

Related: How Hidden Fragrance Allergens Harm Public Health and Secret Scents infographic, the allergens hiding on your scented products.

Morts sur ordonnance

Des substances aux effets secondaires sévères…

Documentaire, “Morts sur ordonnance” durée 52’, auteur-réalisateur Olivier Pighetti. Production Piments Pourpres Productions, avec la participation de France Télévisions, 2014.

Plus d’information
  • Anxiolytiques, antidépresseurs, somnifères et autres tranquillisants sauvent des vies, mais de nombreux experts parlent aussi de «bombes à retardement» : ils seraient à l’origine de vagues de suicides, de troubles de comportement graves, d’homicides et certains seraient plus addictifs que les drogues dures. Aux Etats-Unis, les procès intentés par les victimes ont coûté des milliards de dollars aux industries pharmaceutiques. Pourtant, ces médicaments restent un best-seller planétaire et, en tant que premier consommateur mondial, la France représente un véritable tiroir-caisse. Ce film montre la dangerosité potentielle de ces molécules et analyse comment l’industrie pharmaceutique a verrouillé le marché, avec un cynisme effrayant.
  • Regardez cette liste de vidéos sur l’industrie pharmaceutique sur notre chaîne YouTube.

Ordonnance Distilbène 1970.11.20

La responsabilité des médecins dans la prise du DES…

image d' Ordonnance-Distilbène-1970.
Regardez le Diaporama, et l’album de photos “DES adverts” sur Flickr.

Le DES, finalement inefficace pour prévenir les fausses couches, a été retiré des ventes en 1971 aux USA. En France, le Distilbène a continué d’être prescrit jusqu’ en 1977, soit six ans après les Etats-Unis d’Amérique! Alors, quelle est la responsabilité des médecins?

Le Distilbène DES, en savoir plus:

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Physiological effects and mechanisms of action of endocrine disrupting chemicals that alter estrogen signaling

Four distinct EDCs that alter estrogen signaling

violet-salve image
Lavender oil and tea tree oil are essential oils frequently used in over-the-counter health and beauty products, including topically applied lotions, gels, and creams, to impart pleasant aromas and for a variety of purported health benefits. Consequently, topical exposure to essential oils is widespread; however, little is known regarding the acute and long-term effects of such exposure in humans. Clinical evidence suggests that lavender oil and tea tree oil may possess endocrine disrupting activity. Image by Jacqueline Boissonneau.

2010 Study Introduction

A large number of natural and synthetic chemicals have been identified that are reported to disrupt the normal functioning of the endocrine system and produce untoward effects in hormone-responsive target tissues and organs in both humans and animals. These chemicals are broadly referred to as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and consist of numerous physically and chemically distinct compounds. The physicochemical differences among EDCs are paralleled by unique biological effects and mechanisms of action within this class of compounds.

The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the physiological effects and unique mechanisms of action of four distinct EDCs that alter estrogen signaling.

  • Two of these compounds, diethylstilbestrol (DES), and genistein (GEN), have been extensively studied and serve as classic examples of EDCs,
  • while the other two compounds, methoxyacetic acid (MAA) and the essential oils of lavender and tea tree, have only recently been described as EDCs.

2010 Study Conclusions

In this review we have provided examples of the activity and actions of several different EDC type compounds of varying chemical structure, properties, and sources. Findings from in vitro cell based assays and/or experimental animal studies have provided evidence of their hormonal biological actions involving receptor mediated activities as a mechanism for their toxicities. Additionally, an example is given of a unique EDC clinical observation regarding the properties of some essential oils. As expected, further observations of other types of toxicities and development of additional experimental models and systems will be required for the evaluation of the mechanisms involved. Finally, the impact that these exposures may have on the human population will require appreciation of potential chemical effects from certain exposure as well as broader epidemiological assessments in support of the experimental findings.

Sources and Full Study
  • Physiological effects and mechanisms of action of endocrine disrupting chemicals that alter estrogen signaling, HORMONES 2010, 9(3):191-205, 691, 2010, PDF.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Bruce Jenner, in His Own Words

Caitlyn Marie Jenner, was formerly known as Bruce Jenner until June 2015

A fantastic interview during which Bruce Jenner opens up, explains the difference between gender identity and sexuality. Published on 25 Apr 2015 by ABC News.

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Antimicrobial Resistance infographic

How antibiotic resistance happens and spreads

Antibiotic-Resistance-infographic
Antimicrobial resistance is one of our most serious health threats.
Sources and more information
  • ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE THREATS IN THE UNITED STATES, 2013, cdc, PDF.
  • The FDA Just Released Scary New Data on Antibiotics And Farms, motherjones, Apr. 14, 2015.
  • All our posts tagged antibiotics.
On Flickr®

Taking extra vitamins and minerals can do more harm than good and increase cancer risk

Researcher warns of increased cancer risk with excess supplement use

vitamins image
… “We found that the supplements were actually not beneficial for their health. In fact, some people actually got more cancer while on the vitamins.”…  Image via denAsuncioner.

Popular notion holds that dietary supplements are good for our health. But increasingly, research is suggesting otherwise. At the 2015 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, one researcher discusses a number of studies associating excess use of over-the-counter dietary supplements with increased risk of cancer.

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