Mice Studies Aren’t Good For Demonstrating Safety

The studies used to demonstrate safety for drugs and chemicals use lab rats that a specific, tame breed.

It’s hard to see if something is wrong with the mice unless they’re really fucked up.   Imagine if mice experienced an average 10 point IQ loss from some drug.  There’s no way you’ll be able to see this relatively small change.

Researchers have recently experimented with a new way in detecting negative effects with drugs.

They used the anti-depressant Paxil as an example of a drug that scientists couldn’t detect a negative effect in mice offspring when given to pregnant mothers.  Studies have come out that it does increase birth defects.

The new way takes wild mice and puts them in a habitat that resembles the wild.   In this way, they have to compete for resources with other males.

Researchers found that it’s easier to detect abnormalities in mice with this approach.

It was able to detect the negative effects in the offspring of the pregnant mothers fed Paxil.

They were also able to detect the harmful effects of sugar.  When mice ate a diet of 25 percent extra sugar (the mouse equivalent of drinking three cans of soda daily) females died at twice the normal rate and males were a quarter less likely to hold territory and reproduce.  (R)

Norepinephrine is Required For Memory Formation

The results demonstrated that Hebbian mechanisms are important but not sufficient for memory formation, but require concurrent activation of noradrenaline. (R)

This is why we remember events better when we’re afraid.

2/3 of Doctors Still Treating Early Stage Breast Cancer With Radiation

Why you shouldn’t trust your doctor…

“In 2004, a randomized clinical trial supported the omission of radiation treatment in elderly female patients with early-stage breast cancer.

Despite this evidence, a new study reports that almost two-thirds of this group of patients still receive this treatment today.” (R)

Inhibiting Inflammation in the Intestines Leads to Weight Loss

“the inactivation of a part of the intestine immune system (a protein called MyD88) allows these persons to lose weight and to reduce the diabetes type 2, linked to the obesity.

More specifically, the team shows that when modifying the response of the immune system by disabling this protein MyD88 only in those cells covering the intestine, this allows to slow down the development of diabetes and to limit the development of fat cells, to reduce the harmful inflammation present because of the obesity and to strengthen the barrier function assured by our intestine and limiting as such the inappropriate transit of bacterial elements of our intestines in our body.” (R)

Reducing Blood Serotonin Can Cause Weight loss

The majority of serotonin in the body is produced by tryptophan hydroxylase (Tph1).

The McMaster team found that when they genetically removed or inhibited this enzyme that makes serotonin, the mice fed a high-fat diet were protected from obesity, fatty liver disease and pre-diabetes due to an enhanced ability of the brown fat to burn more calories. (R)

3 Day Fasting as a Cure For Cancer and Autoimmune Conditions?

“In the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system, a study shows that cycles of prolonged fasting not only protect against immune system damage — a major side effect of chemotherapy — but also induce immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.”

“In both mice and a Phase 1 human clinical trial, long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles then “flipped a regenerative switch”: changing the signaling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems, the research showed.”

“By outlining how prolonged fasting cycles — periods of no food for two to four days at a time over the course of six months — kill older and damaged immune cells and generate new ones, the research also has implications for chemotherapy tolerance and for those with a wide range of immune system deficiencies, including autoimmunity disorders.”

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system,” said corresponding author Valter Longo, the Edna M. Jones Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the USC Davis School of Gerontology, and director of the USC Longevity Institute.”

“When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged,” Longo said. “What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?”

Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose, fat and ketones, but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells. Longo likens the effect to lightening a plane of excess cargo.

“During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. In particular, prolonged fasting reduced the enzyme PKA, an effect previously discovered by the Longo team to extend longevity in simple organisms and which has been linked in other research to the regulation of stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency — that is, the potential for one cell to develop into many different cell types. Prolonged fasting also lowered levels of IGF-1, a growth-factor hormone that Longo and others have linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer risk.”

“”We are investigating the possibility that these effects are applicable to many different systems and organs, not just the immune system,” said Longo, whose lab is in the process of conducting further research on controlled dietary interventions and stem cell regeneration in both animal and clinical studies.”(R)

Bacteria Drill Into Our Cells and Kill Them

This a mechanism by which having a chronic bacterial infection can be harmful (R)

Mediterranean Diet Increases Telomere Length

“The Mediterranean diet has been consistently linked with health benefits, including reduced mortality and reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

It is characterised by a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (such as peas, beans and lentils), and (mainly unrefined) grains; a high intake of olive oil but a low intake of saturated fats; a moderately high intake of fish, a low intake of dairy products, meat and poultry; and regular but moderate intake of alcohol (specifically wine with meals).

Telomeres sit on the end of chromosomes (like the plastic tips on the end of shoelaces), stopping them from fraying and scrambling the genetic codes they contain. In healthy people, telomeres shorten progressively throughout life, more than halving in length from infancy to adulthood, and halving again in the very elderly.

Shorter telomeres are thus associated with lower life expectancy and greater risk of age-related diseases. Lifestyle factors, such as obesity, cigarette smoking, and consumption of sugar sweetened drinks, have all been linked to people having shorter telomeres than typically occur in people of a similar age. Oxidative stress and inflammation have also been shown to speed up telomere shortening.

After adjusting for other potentially influential factors, the results show that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with longer telomeres.Each one point change in diet score corresponded on average to 1.5 years of telomere ageing.

However, none of the individual dietary components was associated with telomere length, underlining the importance of examining dietary patterns in relation to health, not just separate dietary factors such as intake of whole grains, say the authors.” (R)

See my modified version of the Mediterranean Diet.

If you are lectin sensitive, then I recommend a lectin avoidance diet.

Niagen NAD Prevents Hearing Loss

“A way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss has been found in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3. This discovery has important implications not only for preventing hearing loss, but also potentially for treating some aging-related conditions that are linked to the same protein.

Published today in Cell Metabolism, the researchers used the chemical nicotinamide riboside (NR) to protect the nerves that innervate the cochlea. The cochlea transmits sound information through these nerves to the spiral ganglion, which then passes along those messages to the brain. Exposure to loud noises damages the synapses connecting the nerves and the hair cells in the cochlea, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss.” (R)

I find it stimulating.

Alcohol is Officially ‘Paleo’: We’ve Been Drinking It For 10 Million Years

Not that I care what is or isn’t paleo…but I just found it interesting.   Readers of this blog know that I care about what works, not ideology.

Around 10 million years ago, the Earth cooled off, food sources changed, and our primate ancestors started to explore life on the ground.

Primates started eating not only fruit picked from trees, but also the fallen fruits below. And fallen fruits, when they’re exposed to bacteria in the environment that convert sugars to alcohols, will begin to accumulate alcohol.

Being a source of calories and nutrition, we started to create pleasure centers for alcohol.

This is when chimpanzees and gorillas evolved a version of the protein that was 40 times more efficient at breaking down alcohol.  (R)

I barely drink alcohol because I feel better without it.

Autism is a Result of Immune Disfunction

People with autism have neuroinflammation, presence of autoantibodies, increased T cell responses, and enhanced innate NK cell and monocyte immune responses.  Fixing the immune imbalance in animals leads to improvements. (R)

SAMe Beats Antidepressant

In a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, SAMe helped 45% of the people treated.  This compares to  31% for escitalopram, and 26% for the placebo.

Symptoms were completely halted in 34% for SAMe, 23% for escitalopram (p=0.023), and 6% for placebo. (R)

I recommend SAM-e to boost mood.

Keep Iodine Around to Prevent Damage After a Heart Attack

Heart attacks generally occur because of a blockage in the arteries that prevents blood from getting to the heart.

When the blockage is removed, the sudden rush of oxygen-rich blood overwhelms cardiac cells and damages the tissue.  This is the most damaging aspect of a heart attack.

When iodide was given to rodents, they had 75 per cent less dead tissue.

The hypothesis as to why this works is as follows: A high iodide dosage decreases secretion of hormones by the thyroid.  These hormones normally stimulate metabolic reactions, so depressing them may reduce cardiac metabolism.

I experienced this first hand the first time I took an excessive iodine dosage.   It induced a pretty intense hypothyroid state.

If this is indeed the mechanism then taking iodine daily won’t help prevent heart attack damage because the body adapts.

Doubling saturated fat in the diet does not increase saturated fat in blood

“Palmitoleic acid, a fatty acid associated with unhealthy metabolism of carbohydrates that can promote disease, went down with low-carb intake and gradually increased as carbs were re-introduced to the study diet.”

“Everyone showed increased palmitoleic acid levels as carbs increased, but values varied widely between individuals, especially at the highest carb intake. This is consistent with the idea that people vary widely in their tolerance to carbohydrates.”

Note that these people were under their calorie needs i.e. a hypocaloric diet.   This is critical.

However, I’m intolerant to large amounts of saturated fat, even within my calorie needs.  I don’t burn it well and I start getting weak.

LDL Cholesterol Does Matter

There is a myth going on in the paleo-sphere that LDL doesn’t matter.  Few researchers take this position seriously.

Anyway, a new study followed more than 18,000 people with known heart disease.  They gave only a statin drug to some, while others received a new non-statin cholesterol lowering drug.

It found that those who took a drug to lower cholesterol even more than statins alone together had a 13% drop in heart attack risk, and a 21% drop in stroke risk, compared to those who only took the statin. (R)

So while cholesterol is only one factor, the actual number matters.

I invite readers to cite studies that show otherwise and I will evaluate the evidence.

I use Red Yeast Rice occasionally.

Acetylcholine is an Antioxidant

Acetylcholine is known to suppress reactive oxygen species (ROS).

The beneficial effects of Acetylcholine come from the production of superoxide dismutase (SOD).

Acetylcholine increased ATP synthesis and mitochondrial DNA.

Acetylcholine stimulated PGC-1α and decreased FoxO3a. (R)

I recommend Alpha GPC to increase acetylcholine.  Otherwise, many herbs increase acetylcholine.

Depression Should Be Thought of As An Infection (Says Researcher)

I think this is simplistic and I don’t agree with this, but I think we should think of it more as an infectious disease.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) should be re-conceptualized as an infectious disease, according to a professor. A new article suggests that major depression may result from parasitic, bacterial, or viral infection.”

“First, he points out that patients with MDD exhibit illness behavior such as loss of energy, and that inflammatory biomarkers in MDD also suggest an illness-related origin. Second, he describes evidence that parasites, bacteria and viruses that infect humans in a way that alters their emotional behavior. Thirdly, Dr. Canli brings the notion of the human body as an ecosystem for microorganisms and the role of genetics.

Based on these points, Dr. Canli suggests a major research step would be to conduct large-scale studies with depressed patients, controls, and infectious-disease related protocols to determine the association or causal nature of infectious disease and depression.” (R)

Disrupting Your Circadian Rhythm Inhibits Learning and Memory

Readers of this blog know that I place importance on the circadian rhythm.  I’m still working on getting to sleep by 10 oclock. (I’m at midnight).

“By disrupting Siberian hamsters’ circadian rhythms, Stanford scientists have identified a part of the brain that, when misfiring, inhibits memory. The work could lead to therapies for neurodegenerative diseases in humans.”

“When that clock doesn’t work well, memory deficits show up.”

“…this experiment shows that when an arrhythmic SCN is misfiring, it chronically inhibits learning and memory.” (R)

How Forskolin Helps You If You’re Sleep Deprived

“What we’ve shown is this memory loss due to sleep deprivation is really dependent on misregulation of cAMP signaling in the excitatory neurons of the hippocampus,” Havekes said. (R)

Forskolin  is known to raise cAMP.  It goes well with Luteolin .

T Cell Activation Causes Oxidative Stress

T cell activation causes oxidative stress.  Now we know that it causes superoxide production, but it’s not required to activate it.  This means if we block oxidative stress, we can still have inflammation. (R)  Superoxide = O2-


Just one 10-second kiss transfers 80 million bacteria

“Kissing may contribute in mate assessment and bonding via sampling of chemical taste cues in the saliva, including those resulting from the metabolic activity of the bacterial community on the surface of the tongue.”

When couples intimately kiss at high frequencies, their salivary microbiota become similar.

Results showed that after kissing intimately, the quantity of probiotic bacteria in the other individual’s saliva rose threefold, and during a 10-second kiss, a total of 80 million bacteria were transferred.

Blocking sex hormones increases thymus growth

Blocking sex hormones such as testosterone increases growth of your thymus. (R)  The thymus decays as you get older and is implicated in aging and immune deficiencies.  It also contains “natural Tregs“, which could help halt autoimmune issues.

Calorie restriction helps you age slower

Neuroscientists at NYU Langone Medical Center have shown that calorie-reduced diets stop the normal rise and fall in activity levels of close to 900 different genes linked to aging and memory formation in the brain.

“Our study shows how calorie restriction practically arrests gene expression levels involved in the aging phenotype—how some genes determine the behavior of mice, people, and other mammals as they get old,” says senior study investigator and NYU Langone neuroscientist, Stephen D. Ginsberg, PhD. Ginsberg cautions that the study does not mean calorie restriction is the “fountain of youth,” but that it does “add evidence for the role of diet in delaying the effects of aging and age-related disease.” (R)

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(No Ratings Yet)

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.