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Research shows that incessant smoking increases psychosis risk.

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Two new studies report an increased risk of psychosis among smokers of not only marijuana, but tobacco, too.

The tobacco study has now been published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, and the marijuana study — which was conducted by the same team — has now been published in The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Research has found links between psychosisand both tobacco and marijuana smoking — particularly in regard to schizophrenia-related psychosis.

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However, the precise reasons why people who experience psychosis are more likely to smoke are not clear.

Some scientists think that smoking might act as a kind of “self-medication” — that is, people with psychosis might find that smoking relieves their symptoms, perhaps due to some unidentified neurological mechanism.

Or, smoking might help to make people who have psychosis less bored or stressed, which could also alleviate symptoms.

Recently, studies have started to investigate whether smoking itself might increase a person’s risk of psychosis. Although much research has looked at whether smoking marijuana might contribute to an increased risk of psychosis, comparatively few papers have applied the same investigative approach to tobacco.

A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis that was published in The Lancet examined this issue. Its authors reported that smoking tobacco every single day was linked with both increased risk of psychosis and earlier age of onset of psychotic disorder.

In this latest systematic review, people having a first episode of psychosis were three times more likely to be smokers than nonsmokers.

Based on their findings, the authors questioned the “self-medication” theory and proposed instead that nicotine may be having an effect that creates the conditions for psychosis, possibly on the dopamine system.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that helps to control the brain’s “pleasure and reward centers.” Scientists now know that smoking feels pleasurable because nicotine causes dopamine to be released into the brain.

Part of the reason why the authors of The Lancet study believe that the dopamine system may play a role in driving the link between daily smoking and psychosis is because studies have shown that smokers are less likely to get Parkinson’s disease.

While Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a lack of dopamine, schizophrenia is thought to be “the opposite of Parkinson’s,” in that some scientists believe that its symptoms are caused by an excess of dopamine.

In the tobacco study, the researchers analyzed data from 6,081 individuals who were part of the 1986 birth cohort of Northern Finland. Participants who were 15–16 years old in 1986 answered questions on psychotic experiences and whether they used drugs or alcohol. They were then followed until they reached the age of 30.

The team found that smoking heavily or daily was linked with increased risk of psychosis.

Individuals who smoked 10 or more cigarettes per day were more likely to experience psychosis than people who did not smoke. Furthermore, people who began smoking before the age of 13 were also found to be at increased risk of psychosis.

Even when the researchers took into account whether the people in the study used alcohol or drugs or had a family history of psychosis, the link between smoking and psychosis was still significant.

“Based on the results, prevention of adolescent smoking is likely to have positive effects on the mental health of the population in later life,” concludes study author Jouko Miettunen.

In the study of marijuana, the team found an increased risk of psychosis among teenage users.

“We found that young people who had used cannabis at least five times had a heightened risk of psychoses during the follow-up, even when accounting for previous psychotic experiences, use of alcohol and drugs, and the parents’ history of psychoses,” notes study co-author Antti Mustonen.

“Our findings are in line with current views of heavy cannabis use, particularly when begun at an early age, being linked to an increased risk of psychosis,” he adds.

“Based on our results, it’s very important that we take notice of cannabis-using young people who report symptoms of psychosis. If possible, we should strive to prevent early-stage cannabis use.”

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Effects of Hot baths on inflammation, glucose metabolism

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According to new research, a hot bath could have effects that extend way beyond mental relaxation. According to the authors, regular hot baths might reduce inflammation and improve metabolism.

Over recent years, hot baths, saunas, and other so-called passive heating therapies have received growing attention from scientists.

Scientists now believe they offer some potential benefits, including improved vascular function and sleep.

Because hot baths are low cost and unlikely to cause significant side effects, understanding any benefits that a hot bath might have could be a quick win for medical science.



Recently, researchers set out to understand whether hot bath immersion could have an impact on metabolic disorders, such as diabetes.

 Almost 20 years ago, a paper concluded that hot water immersion of individuals with type 2 diabetes enhanced insulin sensitivity. However, it is still unclear how this might occur.

In the most recent study, the researchers dug a little deeper into the mechanisms at work. They theorized that the influence of a hot bath over glucose metabolism might revolve around the inflammatory response.

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Inflammation and insulin resistance

There is some evidence that chronic, low-level inflammation increases insulin resistance. In other words, inflammation reduces a cell’s ability to respond to insulin, potentially contributing to the development of diabetes.

Conversely, exercise has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity — meaning that the body has better control over glucose levels.

Although doctors often recommend exercise to reduce the risk of developing metabolic disorders, not everyone can exercise — perhaps due to health conditions or physical capacity. It is, therefore, essential to find alternative ways to improve insulin sensitivity for these people.

Exercise, as with other physical stressors, sparks a brief inflammatory response, followed by a more extended anti-inflammatory response. The researchers wanted to see if a different type of physical stressor — a hot bath — might have a similar effect on the immune system.

For this study, the researchers investigated the impact of a hot bath on overweight, mostly sedentary men. The findings were published recently in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Hot bath intervention

Each participant immersed themselves in a water bath set at 102°F (39°C) for 1 hour. Scientists took blood just before and after the bath, and then 2 hours later.

Also, the researchers charted the participants’ blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate every 15 minutes.

 Over the following 2 weeks, the participants had a further 10 hot water immersions.

The researchers found that a single hot water immersion caused a spike of interleukin — a marker of inflammation. Similarly, there was an increase in nitric oxide (NO) production.

The spike in NO is important because it causes blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure. NO also improves glucose intake into tissues, and scientists think it has anti-inflammatory properties.



As expected, the 2-week intervention saw a reduction in fasting blood sugar and inflammation. In the same way that exercise influences inflammation, the researchers saw an initial increase followed by a long-term decrease in inflammation.

The researchers also write that it “might have implications for improving metabolic health in populations unable to meet the current physical activity recommendations.”

It is important to note that the people who took part in the study did report some discomfort. This was either due to the length of time that they were required to stay in the bath or the high temperature. Future research might investigate whether shorter periods or lower temperatures might have similar benefits.

Of course, hot baths alone cannot treat metabolic disorders, but they may be a simple, cost-effective intervention that can run alongside other treatments.

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Experts recommend natural remedies to Diabetes.

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Medical practitioners have recommended some natural remedies that could curb the increasing rate of diabetes in the country.

The practitioners offered the remedies in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

They spoke against the backdrop of this year’s World Diabetes Day, which is celebrated globally on November 14.



The practitioners said the awareness had become imperative because diabetes is a condition that impairs the body’s ability to process blood glucose.

“Diabetes usually is prevalent in middle aged and older adults but now becoming common in children. Adults are still at the highest risk than children,’’ Dr. Iorwuese Charles told NAN on phone.

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He said that diabetes has to do with an increase sugar level in the blood caused by an absolute deficiency of insulin that affects one out of three adults.

Charles, a medical practitioner at Police Hospital Ado, Ekiti State, said that diabetes is a group of diseases that usually ends up in too much amount of sugar in the blood.

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He advised families to always maintain good lifestyle habits to curb diabetes in their homes.

Charles said the symptoms in diabetes include increased frequency of urination, increase thirst, dry mouth, increase in eating with weight loss.

Other signs, he said, are: “Blurring of vision, tiredness, fatigue, mood swings, irritability, frequent urination at night and headaches.”

According to him, the symptoms of diabetes are endless with no permanent cure but with proper maintenance one could live a healthy life.

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