Fatal Fungi

This lethal lineup of mushrooms contains amatoxins, which include alpha, beta, and gamma amanitin. Amatoxin poisoning accounts for more than 90 percent of all deaths resulting from mushroom poisoning worldwide. Part of what makes them so deadly is that they can easily be confused with other, completely edible mushrooms. Death caps, for instance, can look much like straw and Gypsy mushrooms. The various destroying angels can be mistaken for button, meadow, and horse mushrooms. In Cleveland, Gholam recently treated a patient who had eaten a deadly Amanita mushroom he found in his yard after a plant identification app on his phone identified the mushroom as an edible variety. It almost killed him.

The mushrooms’ amatoxins are easily absorbed through the gastrointestinal tracts once they’ve been eaten. From there, the toxins head to the kidneys and, in particular, the liver, which is one of the most important organs in the body for making proteins. Amatoxins work by blocking a key enzyme involved in making new proteins, called RNA polymerase type II. In the liver, blocking this enzyme causes a cascade of trouble that results in cell death and tissue necrosis. While some of the toxin ultimately gets flushed in urine, some gets transported out of the liver with bile acids, where they end up back in the intestines for the process to begin again—in what’s called an enterohepatic cycle.

After ingestion, symptoms only appear six to 24 hours later, once significant damage has accumulated. Then the poisoning proceeds through three distinct phases. First, there’s gastrointestinal distress—marked by excruciating abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and blood in the urine—and can sometimes be accompanied by rapid heartbeat, low blood sugar, and dehydration. All that can last for 12 to 36 hours. Then, there’s the second, “latent” phase, when symptoms quiet down as liver and kidney damage set in at about 72 hours. In this phase, a person may be lulled into thinking they’re in the clear, potentially causing them to decline emergency medical care that could save their life.

In the three-to-five days after ingestion, things go downhill, with abrupt liver and multi-organ failure. Some patients end up needing liver transplants. Fatality rates vary but sometimes range between 10 and 20 percent, though some studies have found higher rates.

There are no specific treatments for amatoxin poisoning.

Ohio foragers are accidentally poisoning themselves with lethal mushrooms — https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/10/ohio-foragers-are-accidentally-poisoning-themselves-with-lethal-mushrooms/

“…a plant identification app on his phone identified the mushroom as an edible variety.”

Go ahead and search for the phrase “mushroom identification app” in your favorite search engine.

Foraging for wild mushrooms is a perfect example of you don’t know what you don’t know even if an app on your phone leads to believe you know.

News Addiction

The results revealed that 16.5% of people surveyed showed signs of ‘severely problematic’ news consumption. Such individuals frequently became so immersed and personally invested in news stories that the stories dominated the individual’s waking thoughts, disrupted time with family and friends, made it difficult to focus on school or work, and contributed to restlessness and an inability to sleep.

73.6% of those recognized to have severe levels of problematic news consumption reported experiencing mental ill-being “quite a bit” or “very much” — whilst frequent symptoms were only reported by 8% of all other study participants.

61% of those with severe levels of problematic news reported experiencing physical ill-being “quite a bit” or “very much” compared to only 6.1% for all other study participants.

Taylor & Francis Group. “News addiction linked to not only poor mental wellbeing but physical health too, new study shows.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/08/220824102936.htm (accessed October 5, 2022).

Emotional Support…Squids and Shrimp

“It has shrimp, it’s great, it’s so relaxing,” they said. “And then at the one hour and 22-minute mark, it gets inexplicably funky for about four minutes, and then goes back to being chill. It’s a whole experience.”

“Wow. This is truly the pinnacle of human creation,” one comment on the shrimp video reads. “The internet was made so I could chill alongside two shrimps.”

https://www.latimes.com/travel/story/2022-09-16/monterey-bay-aquarium-lofi-hiphop-squid-jellyfish-shrimp

I’ve got the shrimp playing now. Maybe I’ll do the squid later.

The pinnacle of human creation!

Social media use can lead to low quality sleep and harm mental health — Health Secrets of a SuperAger

Many people in today’s world live with their smartphones as virtual companions. These devices use electronic social media networks that alert users to updates on friends, favorite celebrities, and global events. Social media has become firmly integrated into a lot of people’s daily lives. According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of people in the […]

Social media use can lead to low quality sleep and harm mental health — Health Secrets of a SuperAger

Thank you Tony.

Got Kids? READ THIS

Beyond just online platforms, the new survey finds that the vast majority of teens have access to digital devices, such as smartphones (95%), desktop or laptop computers (90%) and gaming consoles (80%). And the study shows there has been an uptick in daily teen internet users, from 92% in 2014-15 to 97% today. In addition, the share of teens who say they are online almost constantly has roughly doubled since 2014-15 (46% now and 24% then).These are some of the findings from an online survey of 1,316 teens conducted by the Pew Research Center from April 14 to May 4, 2022

Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022 — https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/08/10/teens-social-media-and-technology-2022/

Remember my earlier post I Thought I Told You To Put That Phone Down! This earlier post has additional links to other posts on the topic of social media addiction.

Technology addictions, also commonly known as digital addictions or internet addictions, are often overlooked due to the acceptance that society has placed on using digital devices. Technology addictions often go unnoticed by loved ones because the addicted individual may appear as though they are tending to something important such as work-related tasks on their digital device, when in reality hiding behind the screen is something extraneous. When a technological problem does develop and is noticed it is often not viewed as being an imminent risk akin to an addiction to alcohol or drugs because not only is it more acceptable, but it is also not viewed as being acute or deadly. Despite these beliefs, pathological technology use can indeed be pervasive and detrimental to one’s health and well being. In a growing digital age there is a rapid expansion of digital use and subsequent potential for problematic pathological technology use to ensue.

https://www.familyaddictionspecialist.com/blog/the-6-most-common-types-of-technology-addiction

The link provided above is neither an endorsement or evidence of a previous or existing patient-therapist relationship.

Although I will admit to a quasi-addiction to You Tube for new music.

I Thought I Told You To Put That Phone Down!

Compared with participants who used less than 120 minutes per day of social media, for example, young adults who used more than 300 minutes per day were 2.8 times as likely to become depressed within six months.The study, which will be published online Dec. 10 and is scheduled for the February 2021 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, is the first large, national study to show a link between social media use and depression over time.

University of Arkansas. “Increased social media use linked to developing depression.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201210074722.htm (accessed December 13, 2020).

Journal Reference

  1. Brian A. Primack, Ariel Shensa, Jaime E. Sidani, César G. Escobar-Viera, Michael J. Fine. Temporal Associations Between Social Media Use and Depression. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.09.014

A few more posts for your reading pleasure.

Vegan Diet and Fracture Risk (I’m confused too)

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet I’m sure the headlines caught your eye. But a 43% higher risk of fractures just seemed really high to me with a meat free diet as the cause. I found the following article online. Since most people nowadays can’t get past the headlines you’ll find the second paragraph completely ignored by the media.

Compared with people who ate meat, vegans with lower calcium and protein intakes on average, had a 43% higher risk of fractures anywhere in the body (total fractures), as well as higher risks of site-specific fractures of the hips, legs and vertebrae, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine. Vegetarians and people who ate fish but not meat had a higher risk of hip fractures, compared to people who ate meat. However, the risk of fractures was partly reduced once body mass index (BMI), dietary calcium and dietary protein intake were taken into account.

The authors caution that they were unable to differentiate between fractures that were caused by poorer bone health (such as fractures due to a fall from standing height or less) and those that were caused by accidents because data on the causes of the fractures were not available. No data were available on differences in calcium supplement use between the different diet groups, and as in all dietary studies the estimates of nutrients such as dietary calcium or dietary protein are subject to measurement error. As the study predominantly included white European participants, generalisability to other populations or ethnicities may be limited, which could be important considering previously observed differences in bone mineral density and fracture risks by ethnicity, according to the authors.

Vegans, vegetarians and pescetarians may be at higher risk of bone fractures — https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-11/bc-vva111820.php

As I was gathering my thoughts the algorithms started doing what they do and this popped up in YouTube.

Let’s discuss the latest paper from the EPIC database. Excuse me eating while working. Not enough hours in day. Short version: this is a database from 90’s. Average fiber intake is 20 gm so not healthiest plant based eaters. Meat eaters got more vitamin D. Also (forgot to mention in video) used hormone replacement therapy up to 50% more. Both associated with stronger bones. Other studies have shown that plant based eaters have great bone health BUT you have to be healthy. Get dark greens. Drink or eat soy (studies show as good dairy for bones). Exercise and use resistance training. And take supplements if needed. I like multivitamins that have K2 as that may be a nutrient vegans are deficient in unless you eat natto 🤮. Definitely vitamin D if deficient. The EPIC Oxford cohort are not the healthiest vegans and vegetarians BUT have less ischemic stroke, weight less, generally better heart and less of certain cancers despite poor supplementation and diet habits.

Dr. Garth Davis YouTube post 11.23.20

I love it when someone else does the work for me. If you have eleven minutes listen to Dr. Davis’ analysis. I am now less confused.

Lower fracture risk with higher BMI because you have more padding when you fall!

College Clusterfuck 2.0 – “It’s a Dystopian Hell” – Updated

Update 09.05.20

What could be worse than being stuck at home with Mom and Dad for months on end isolated from friends, activities restricted?

Going back to Mom and Dad to be stuck at home for even longer because you got expelled from college AND telling them they just paid for a year of college and housing for nothing.

The students were part of a special one-semester program for first-year students and according to Globe, the prepaid $US 36,500 cost for the semester won’t be refunded. Students won’t be able to take courses from home but are eligible to return in the fall.

11 freshmen at Northeastern were dismissed for violating COVID-19 rules. Their $35,000 tuition won’t be reimbursed. — https://www.businessinsider.com.au/11-northeastern-students-dismissed-breaking-covid-19-rules-party-2020-9

jordanschachtel.substack.com — America’s college students are returning to campus for the Fall semester, and many are finding themselves in an environment that no longer resembles an academic institution, but something closer to a correctional facility for young adults. It’s not just a handful of schools that are pursuing extreme restrictions and punitive measures in the name of “stopping the spread” of the coronavirus, but something that has become a nationwide norm.

Tales from America’s COVID college campuses — https://muckrack.com/jordan-schachtel/articles

College campuses have transformed into some of the most restrictive environments in America.  After hearing about these conditions, I sent out a post on social media asking for testimonials from students, parents, and educators. The responses below are some of the many replies I received discussing what students are experiencing in colleges and universities that have allowed for students to return to campus.

Tales from America’s COVID college campuses — https://jordanschachtel.substack.com/p/tales-from-americas-covid-college

From what I can tell Jordan Schachtel is an investigative journalist. If you follow the link in the second quote above you’ll find a bevy of quotes from both students and parents on college life 2020 pandemic edition. What you’ll read is absolutely jaw dropping. A lot of prison analogies…

This is not going well nor will it end well. Online education will become the new operating model for higher education sooner rather than later. See my earlier rant Post Pandemic Changes in Consumer Behavior for Professor Galloway’s opinion. He says it’s simple math.

Funny to think how colleges and universities will succeed now that they all have to focus on education and teaching their students. Not sports. No longer modern day fiefoms that exist solely to enrich the clueless intellectual elites. My Dad always told me the purpose of college was to teach you how to think, not what to think. High time to get back to what a “higher” education should be.