Poster girl for the meat-free revolution, Virpi Mikkonen: ‘My vegan diet brought on early menopause’

Early last year, Virpi Mikkonen was alarmed by the appearance of a rash on her face. There were other problems: a bout of flu that was hard to shift; crumbling nails; feeling low; and, most worrying, her periods stopped. A blood test revealed her follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels had sky-rocketed to the level at which women hit the menopause. Virpi was 37 and having hot flushes. 'I thought, what's wrong with me? I am healthy, I exercise,' Virpi says. 'I was really scared.' ...

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New neurons form in the brain into the tenth decade of life

In a new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers examining post-mortem brain tissue from people ages 79 to 99 found that new neurons continue to form well into old age. The study provides evidence that this occurs even in people with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, although neurogenesis is significantly reduced in these people compared to older adults with normal cognitive functioning. They publish their results in the journal Cell Stem Cell. The idea that new neurons continue to form into middle age, let alone past adolescence, is controversial, as previous studies have shown conflicting results. The UIC study is the first to find evidence of significant numbers of neural stem cells and newly developing neurons present in the hippocampal tissue of older adults, including those with disorders that affect the hippocampus, which is involved in the...

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Those ‘healthy’ plant-based protein smoothies are full of glyphosate…and that includes the organics!

In recent years, researchers have discovered glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other common weed killer formulations, may affect your body's ability to produce fully functioning proteins, inhibit the shikimate pathway (found in gut bacteria) and interfere with the function of cytochrome P450 enzymes (required for activation of vitamin D and the creation of nitric oxide and cholesterol sulfate). Glyphosate also chelates important minerals; disrupts sulfate synthesis and transport; interferes with the synthesis of aromatic amino acids (shikimate pathway) and methionine, resulting in folate and neurotransmitter shortages; disrupts your microbiome by acting as an antibiotic; impairs methylation pathways; and inhibits pituitary release of thyroid stimulating hormone, which can lead to hypothyroidism.1,2 Roundup has also been linked to certain cancers.3 In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a "probable carcinogen"... ...

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New study links Roundup weed killer to liver damage

The popular weed killer Roundup might be linked to liver disease, a new study suggests. A group of patients suffering from liver disease had elevated urine levels of glyphosate, the primary weed-killing ingredient in Roundup, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego. "We found those patients who had more severe disease had higher levels of excretion, which means they had higher levels of exposure, presumably through their diet," said lead researcher Paul Mills. He is director of UCSD's Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health. ...

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Atheist philosopher thinks it’s reasonable to argue against reason

Have you noticed the remarkable cluelessness in atheist arguments about science and metaphysics? It's really on display in a recent essay by atheist philosopher Justin E. H. Smith. In a nutshell, Smith, a professor of philosophy at Concordia University and author of Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason, argues that reason is inferior to the non-rational behavior of animals. Permit me to offer some responses to his essay, "If reason exists without deliberation, it cannot be uniquely human," which advanced that view recently at Aeon: Philosophers and cognitive scientists today generally comprehend the domain of reason as a certain power of making inferences, confined to the thoughts and actions of human beings alone. Like echolocation in bats or photosynthesis in plants, reason is an evolved power, but unlike these, the prevailing theory goes, it emerged exactly once...

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