Health

What really happens when you flush with the toilet seat up

I think it’s safe to say that this is about to be the grossest thing you’ll read all day. However, it’s probably one of the most important reads as well. Why? Because if you don’t close that toilet lid when you flush, a lot of unfriendly bacteria is going to spray all over your bathroom. And no, this is not a joke. According to a 2013 review of studies published by the American Journal of Infection Control, it’s clear that flushing your toilet with the lid wide open can pose potential risks. The specific act is called “toilet plume aerosols,” which occurs during flushing. When the toilet contains feces or vomit, the flush can produce potentially infectious aerosols that will live in your bathroom for hours. Now, keeping your bathroom clean isn’t a new idea, especially since bacteria can easily contaminate toilet seats, lids, surrounding floors or any nearby surfaces. But flushing your toilet probably isn’t in your immediate list of disease-ridden activities. If anything, flushing the toilet feels like a clean activity. Here are the specifics: When you flush the toilet, some fraction of the aerosol droplets produced while flushing could contain microbes. Microbes come from infectious diseases from whatever is in that toilet bowl. Vomit and feces can contain high pathogen concentrations such as Shigella, Salmonella, and even norovirus. These pathogens can actually survive on surfaces for weeks or even months. “Research suggests that this toilet plume could play an important role in the transmission of infectious diseases for which the pathogen is shed in feces or vomit,” the study says. “The possible role of toilet plume in airborne transmission of norovirus, SARS and pandemic influenza is of particular interest.” So for future reference, you may want to start closing the lid when you flush. Especially if that toilet is anywhere close to your toothbrush.

You’re welcome..     🙂

Medical marijuana bill would let veterans obtain weed with VA’s approval

Democrats have proposed legislation that would let the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recommend marijuana to patients receiving treatment in states that have legalized the plant for medicinal purposes, eliminating obstacles caused by its status as a federally controlled substance. Introduced by Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, the bill would allow “veterans to use, possess or transport medical marijuana and to discuss the use of medical marijuana with a physician of the Department of Veterans Affairs as authorized by State law,” according to a copy of its language released Wednesday. “Federal law prohibits VA doctors from prescribing or recommending medical marijuana to veterans,” Mr. Nelson said in a statement. “This legislation will allow veterans in Florida and elsewhere the same access to legitimately prescribed medication, just as any other patient in those 31 states would have.” While most states in the country have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes or recreational purposes, the plant is considered a Schedule 1 substance under federal law, effectively prohibiting VA physicians from even discussing its potential health benefits with veterans seeking treatment through the government. In addition to letting VA physicians recommend medical marijuana to veterans, the proposed Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act would direct the VA to research its impact and any potentially reduction of opioid abuse among veterans. Opioids account for about 63 percent of all drug deaths in the U.S., and previous research found that veterans are twice as likely to die from an accident opioid overdose than non-veterans, according to the bill’s sponsors. Marijuana proponents have argued that its benefits offer a non-lethal alternative to opioids, and states that have legalized the plant for medical purposes have subsequently experienced a drop in annual fatal opioid overdoses by nearly 25 percent, lawmakers said in support of the bill. “VA has not taken a position on the bill,” VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour said…

This could be a potentially bad bill..  Trading one drug (opiod) for another (pot) is could be potentially very dangerous..  We’ll keep an eye on this one..

Not sleeping? That may make your social life a snooze

Sleep loss is linked to everything from car accidents to weight gain. But a new study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley has added another possible consequence of not getting enough sleep: loneliness. The study, published earlier this month in the journal Nature Communications, found that sleep-deprived people felt more lonely and less social around other people. Researchers also found that well-rested people observing the sleep-deprived individuals rated them as more lonely and less socially desirable. And, after the observers saw a brief clip of a lonely person, they themselves felt lonelier. The study involved 18 healthy young adults, and more than 1,000 observers recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk marketplace for the online portion of the study. “I think this is an interesting study,” said Dr. Chris Winter, neurologist at Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of “The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It.”

Interesting..  Thanks to Jessica Peralta over at Healthline.com for this piece.  For more, click on the text above

How to clean your grill with an onion

Did you go a little heavy on that barbeque sauce during your last cookout? It’s OK, life happens, and barbeque sauce is delicious. Plus, with this simple hack on how to clean your grill, you won’t have to worry about that caked-on barbeque sauce much longer. This grilling hack doesn’t require a brush or aluminum foil (which yes, is also a nifty way to clean your grill), but requires a simple vegetable: an onion. That’s right, an onion can actually clean your grill, while also being an eco-friendly product for your food, grill, and the environment. Numerous grillers rave about this simple trick, and how incredibly easy it is to do. Here’s all it takes: Cut an onion in half. Take your grilling fork and spear that onion on the skin side. Head over to your preheated grill (warming up the gunk on your grill helps to scrape it off) and rub the cut side of the onion on your grill. That’s it. Now, if the barbeque sauce on that grill is too powerful to your onion, you can actually loosen it up with other natural ingredients. Try spraying lemon juice or white vinegar across the grates to dampen and separate the gunk from the grates. The acidity can actually help with the cleaning process, and will make cleaning the grill with that onion even easier than it was before. Apparently, onions have antibacterial properties that can help with cleaning, especially with a messy outdoor grill. According to the National Onion Association, onions contain phytochemicals, which are various biologically active compounds that can be found in plants. The health-functional properties in these compounds actually include anti-cancer and antimicrobial activities. So why does this matter for the grill? For the antimicrobial activities, actually. An antimicrobial is an agent that can kill off microorganisms and stop growth, fighting bacteria and fungi.

Now, that’s holiday weekend news you can use!  For more, click on the text above.   🙂

Missouri becomes first state to issue law protecting citizens from accidentally buying fake meat

Missouri has passed a law that will protect consumers from the dangers of unwittingly purchasing fake or lab-grown meat. On Tuesday, the state passed the first law in the nation prohibiting companies from “misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry,” the law reads. The law was lobbied by the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, USA Today reports. The group was concerned about the shoppers being confused by plant-based or lab-grown meat, synthetic meat that is grown from cultured animal cells, posing as meat from an animal. “The big issue was marketing with integrity and … consumers knowing what they’re getting,” Missouri Cattlemen’s Association spokesman Mike Deering said to USA Today. “There’s so much unknown about this.” The law states, “Currently, no person advertising, offering for sale, or selling a carcass shall engage in any misleading or deceptive practice including misrepresenting the cut, grade, brand or trade name, or weight or measure of any product.” Manufacturers that fail to comply with the new law will face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison. The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association is lobbying for a similar law at the federal level – prohibiting lab-grown and fake meat from using the words “beef” and “meat” in their marketing. Tofurkey, along with Animal Legal Defense Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Good Food Institute (GFI) filed a lawsuit against the Missouri law. “All of these products that are currently on the market use descriptors that say what the source of the ingredients [is] … you’re going to find something that says soy-based vegan beef crumbles,” the GFI’s director of policy, Jessica Almy told NPR. “These compound names, like plant-based chicken, communicate to consumers what the source of the food is.”

Eating cheese and red meat is actually good for you

Grill up that steak and roll out a wheel of cheddar — because red meat and cheese are back on the menu for healthy living. Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, found that people who scarf down higher levels of red meat and cheese are likely to live longer. People who had three portions of dairy and 120 grams of unprocessed red meat per day benefited the most, the research team found. “Our findings on full-fat dairy and unprocessed red meat do challenge conventional thinking,” McMaster professor of nutrition and epidemiology Andrew Mente conceded to fellow researchers at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich, Germany. Those eating the most dairy and red meat saw their chances of early death fall by 25 percent and fatal heart attack decreased by 22 percent, according to the researchers, who in their methodology accounted for differences in wealth and education, as well as other health habits. “It’s protective up to the serving sizes that we’ve identified. We are saying three dairy and we are saying around one portion of red meat [a day], or white meat,” said Mente. “Relative to carbs, I would say that saturated fat is beneficial — it’s pretty clear from this data.” White meat, such as chicken and turkey, also carried similar benefits, the researchers said. “Our results show that dairy products and meat are beneficial for heart health and longevity,” said Dr. Salim Yusuf, who teaches cardiovascular disease at the McMaster Medical School. “This differs from current dietary advice.” The researchers also said a healthy diet includes more than eight daily portions of fruit and vegetables and half-portions of nuts and beans.

This is the best news I’ve read in a LONG time!     🙂

Report: Marines lead all services in binge drinking, sex partners

A new report from the RAND Corporation analyzed survey data from thousands of active-duty military members and found Marines are more likely to be heavy drinkers, use tobacco and engage in riskier sexual behavior than the sailors, soldiers and airmen of the other branches. RAND found that incidents of binge drinking and hazardous drinking among Marines was almost double what it was in the Air Force. The report defines binge drinking as having at least four or five drinks on one occasion. Hazardous drinking is defined as usage that suggests alcohol use disorder, commonly known as alcoholism. Nearly half of the Marines surveyed reported drinking habits that met the criteria for hazardous. The survey also revealed Marines were more likely to have had more than one sex partner over the course of one year and were less likely to use condoms with new partners. The data were gathered as part of the 2015 Health Related Behaviors Survey conducted across all branches of the military and the Coast Guard. Researchers spent two years combing through and making sense of the data, which included responses to numerous aspects of physical and mental health. In addition to questions about drug and alcohol use, respondents provided researchers with information on their eating and sleeping habits, sexual behavior as well as their diets and exercise. Almost 17,000 usable surveys were involved in the study.

Interesting..  For more, click on the text above.