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  1. #81
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    Hormesis

    Quote Originally Posted by millipied View Post
    Ann Coulter: Radiation Is 'Good For You'

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_837512.html
    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    Oh good, I hope she volunteers to help at the plants in Japan and gets herself a nice dose of it. You know you have gone batshit crazy when O'Reilly wont defend you.
    I'm not going to watch the Ann Coulter video but I would imagine she is referring to the concept of "radiation hormesis". I don't know much about the evidence for it, just that it competes with the prevailing no-threshold model for the potential harm of any dose of radiation. There is an article on Wikipedia on radiation hormesis, which I won't look down on unless others want to offer better sources to get some background info on it.

    I find the concept of hormesis in general quite fascinating. We had a brief mention of it in one of my classes, and it refers to the possible phenomenon that exposure to low stress or harm can actually produce some benefit. My professor told us (according to my notes) that in Hiroshima's close vicinities, there was a high incidence of tumors and general all-cause mortality rates (if you weren't killed right away), but a little further out, the life expectancy of the population was actually higher than that of populations even further away from the site. One proposed mechanism is that the body's protective measures are being stimulated by short-term exposure. Now, my prof emphasized it's the ACUTE radiation exposure that has been linked, although the Wikipedia article on radiation hormesis specifies that it's the chronic exposure.

    Exercise, as a kind of physiological stress, can be considered another example of hormesis. I don't know whether it deserves to be classified as acute or chronic, however. Daily exercise is what confers major benefits, not isolated strenuous workouts once every couple months, but it's not the same kind of stress as career-related ongoing stress from a job over decades, which is usually considered bad. I would lean towards classifying exercise as regularly scheduled acute stress.

    Low daily intake of alcohol has been considered possibly beneficial for cardiovascular health, although we all know that alcohol in general is a toxic substance to the body and binge drinking is terrible for you!

    Broccoli and related greens like brussels sprouts, kale, etc. contain a substance (is it sulforaphane, or indole-3-carbinol, I don't remember, or maybe it's both) that is actually a kind of plant toxin, but it's been posited as an anti-cancer/anti-tumorigenic substance because of perhaps how the body reacts.

    Lots of other substances, like cigarette smoke or coffee, induce increased levels of liver enzymes which promote more efficient detoxification. I'm definitely not telling anyone to start smoking (or to intentionally expose themselves to higher levels of radiation), but it's kinda cool that it happens. In one observational study, regular coffee drinkers were associated with having lower rates of liver cancer.

    Really neat stuff.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKPRINCESS View Post
    I find the concept of hormesis in general quite fascinating. We had a brief mention of it in one of my classes, and it refers to the possible phenomenon that exposure to low stress or harm can actually produce some benefit. My professor told us (according to my notes) that in Hiroshima's close vicinities, there was a high incidence of tumors and general all-cause mortality rates (if you weren't killed right away), but a little further out, the life expectancy of the population was actually higher than that of populations even further away from the site.

    ...Really neat stuff.
    I read an article about hormesis and pesticides a few years ago in Discover magazine. It is a quite fascinating subject. Arsenic in water is a good example. People who drink water with a higher than allowed ppm live longer than people with the allowed amounts, but at even higher levels it has very toxic effects. Many of the pesticides will extend lab animals lifespans if given in slightly toxic amounts, but clearly poisoning people to make them healthier is not going to become a popular practice.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    I read an article about hormesis and pesticides a few years ago in Discover magazine. It is a quite fascinating subject. Arsenic in water is a good example. People who drink water with a higher than allowed ppm live longer than people with the allowed amounts, but at even higher levels it has very toxic effects. Many of the pesticides will extend lab animals lifespans if given in slightly toxic amounts, but clearly poisoning people to make them healthier is not going to become a popular practice.
    That's really interesting. Never heard that about arsenic, before.

    Edit: While we're on the subject of pesticides and "poisons" that can make people healthier...warfarin/coumadin was a rat poison (it's used for preventing strokes/blood clots in vulnerable people.)
    Last edited by PUNKPRINCESS; 03-19-2011 at 03:05 AM.

  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Civic View Post
    One of the things I like about FSU is the posters who are experts in one field or the other. We have physicians, artists, teachers, attorneys, etc.
    If you are looking for an expert in the field of brain atrophy due to watching grandchildren full-time for the past 8 years, then I'm your person, lol!
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKPRINCESS View Post
    That's really interesting. Never heard that about arsenic, before.

    Edit: While we're on the subject of pesticides and "poisons" that can make people healthier...warfarin/coumadin was a rat poison (it's used for preventing strokes/blood clots in vulnerable people.)
    Arsenic was used as medicine for quite a while, and used to be used as a performance enhancing drug in race horses. An overdose is thought to have killed Phar Lap, though.

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    Arsenic was used as a "beauty treatment" back in the 1800's - it turns cheeks rosy without rouge.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post
    Arsenic was used as a "beauty treatment" back in the 1800's - it turns cheeks rosy without rouge.
    I thought it made your skin white and it was consumption (tuberculosis) that had the effect of creating a becoming blush.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  8. #88
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    xkcd's Randall Munroe is awesome and provides an awesome chart showing you the amounts of radiation you get from various things:

    http://xkcd.com/radiation/

    I had no idea a banana was radioactive!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I thought it made your skin white and it was consumption (tuberculosis) that had the effect of creating a becoming blush.
    Used externally, it did bleach the skin, but consuming small doses of arsenic gave a "blooming" complexion. (Before death set in.)

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    xkcd's Randall Munroe is awesome and provides an awesome chart showing you the amounts of radiation you get from various things:

    http://xkcd.com/radiation/

    I had no idea a banana was radioactive!
    Wow, that was really informative and fascinating, too - thanks for posting it!
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

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