Our descendants May Suffer from the Pollution on Our Body

The damage caused by pollution on the reproductive, nervous and respiratory systems can run for several generations. According to a new study, this would also apply to the immune system.

If a famous saying is “you are what you eat”, as far as the body’s ability to fight infections is concerned, this study suggests that to some extent, you may also be what your great-grandmother was eating, according to Professor of Immunology and Toxicology Paige Lawrence. In a press release published she presented the research she has led, the conclusion of which is that the effects of environmental pollution on several generations also affect the immune system.

It is agreed that pollution can have disastrous health consequences. For example, according to WHO figures, 1.3 million people die each year from urban air pollution. A study had also highlighted the risks of polluted air inhaled by a pregnant woman, which can have harmful long-term effects on the health of the child or cause premature births.

Pollution of industries on the environment could impact, according to this study, the immune systems of several successive generations.

A Genetic Alteration That is Transmitted

If past research already shows that the reproductive, nervous and respiratory systems can be severely affected over several generations by pollutants, this new study points to an additional direct effect on the immune system, and here too in a transgenerational way. These conclusions come from an experiment on mice, whose immune mechanism has many similarities with humans.

Scientists exposed pregnant mice to a toxic chemical widely used in the industry, namely dioxin. It is found for example in the production of pesticides, and even in waste incineration processes. Dioxins are highly toxic chemical compounds harmful to health and should be handled with caution. They are considered hazardous materials and only special companies in waste management or medical research can deal with them.

It can sometimes be found in food and thus integrate the human body through the digestive tract. The result of the experiment is that white blood cells intended to protect the organism against foreign pathogens have been shown to be particularly weakened in the face of a virus such as influenza A.

This alteration in the expression of each gene is transmitted from generation to generation.

More importantly, if the pregnant mouse was affected by this weakened immune response, its offspring as well, but also the generations that followed … up to the equivalent of great grandchildren. And this transmission effect is even more present in the female. The explanation comes according to the researchers’ hypothesis from an impact on genes: dioxin clings to a protein called AHR and then alters the transcription of genetic instructions. This alteration in the expression of each gene is transmitted from generation to generation.

This research is the first to concretely make such observations. Before considering the conclusions as recorded, new data are still necessary. If confirmed, it would also provide a broader understanding of the human immune system.

The results obtained would indeed explain why, in the event of an influenza epidemic, for example, vaccines do not have the same effectiveness on each person. Environmental pollution could be a factor in immune deficiency from birth (then combined with other factors such as age and mutations in the virus).

Dealing With Multi-Generational Housing in Georgia

How to thrive, not just survive, in a crowded house.

Many of us today are compelled to live together in multi-generational situations that would not have been likely in our parent’s generation. Sometimes, different generations of one family living together are a natural and easy adjustment. Other times, families can barely tolerate the additional members and count the days before the new housemates move out.

The New Family Arrangement

Boomerang kids take many different forms. Some BKs have never been independent, and some have done everything right and still find that the condition of homelessness or unemployment is out of their control. Some BKs return with a sense of humility and gratitude with a willingness to contribute and carry their own weight. When a BK returns to the nest with a sense of entitlement, there are problems.

Baby Boomer Parent Moves in With Kids

More and more, we are seeing baby boomers move in with their adult children. If all adults bring to the table a clearly defined role, this can be good for everyone. Hopefully, this means more responsible people are participating in housework, child care, cooking and expenses. Even though the home is a little more crowded, the quality of life is improved, especially for young children and adults who put in long hours at the job. The relationship between baby boomer(s) and in-law spouses is deserving of special respect, effort and tolerance on both sides.

Caring for Elderly Parents and Children

The three or more generation household with one or more people who need constant care and supervision is the most challenging. In this situation, the middle generations are able to share the load.

Survival Tips for Viable Multi-Generational Households

All adults must know the cost of operating the household, and expenses must be shared in a fair way. If some household members are able to pay more, others should contribute with what is agreed to be an equal value of labor.

Ideally, all household members have their own areas where others do not have access without permission. A permanent living arrangement can be especially stressful for in-laws. A son-in-law really needs his man cave and a daughter-in-law must have a place where she is autonomous.

If necessary you can make more space in your house in Savannah by doing a big clenout, making room in the attic, the garage or other rooms.
You can rent a dumpster container which has a large capacity to be filled with old furniture and mattresses, various waste materials and other junk. This way the house will be more spacious for everyone.

Minor children in multi-generational households suddenly have many parents. Different families have different structures for authority and discipline. Regular communication is important in the form of frequent family meetings or dinner hours where adults and children can discuss these issues in non-threatening environments.

More adults in a residence mean more adult consumption of things like parking spaces and washing machines. Parents of young children need the freedom to use the machines Saturday morning through Sunday night. Those who have more flexibility and less laundry should stay away from the washer and dryer on weekends. Let the person who treasures his or her car the most park in the garage.

Physical capabilities cannot be negotiated. Upstairs bedrooms for people who are able to run upstairs easily, the downstairs bedroom is for Granny. Don’t make her share the bathroom if there is an option.

Step back and let loving relationships develop. When the dog decides Granddad is his best friend, be glad the dog and Granddad have each other.

Be aware of voice tones and volume. A clear and understandable tone to some is anger to others.
Compromise and flexibility are vital to a harmonious home. Know the difference between standing up to an issue and holding your ground. The dozens of shoes that are a tripping hazard by the front door can be contained by a basket and not so much dirt will be tracked in the house.

Many families are discovering that multi-generational housing promises lower levels of financial stress, less work because of shared chores and more care and supervision for children and the elderly. Aside from all of the practical aspects to these unique living situations, they also create the opportunity for buidling or renewing bonds between the generations.

Are you living in a similar situation to one above? What ways have you found to cope, or better yet, thrive as a family?

Plastic recycling

If the sorting of our waste materials remains unusual to most poeple, let us not be blinded by the mirage of all-recycling, which alone can not solve the big problem of post-use management of plastic waste.

By billions, debris are concentrated in the seas at the mercy of the currents, forming a polluting plastisphere highly integrated into the ecosystem. Eliminating it is a headache for specialists.

In 2015, 9.1 million tonnes of plastic ended up in the sea, drained by rains and winds, carried by rivers. Depending on their density, some flow, others float and are driven by winds and ocean currents. Today the amount of plastic in the oceans is estimated at 300 million tons, and if nothing is done, there will be an additional 155 million tons by 2025.

Waste materials gradually integrating the food chain

A priori, this plastiplankton is not dangerous for the organisms that ingest it. Their digestive system evacuates the constituents of plastic, which are inert, unassimilable materials.

However, a study published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry showed that molds in the presence of polystyrene nanobeads lacked appetite. The impact is not zero therefore, on filtering organisms.

It is even less so when it is due to micro or macro-waste. First because they serve as vehicles for the dissemination of species in the oceans. For example, the 2011 tsunami which released billions of tonnes of waste to the sea, resulted in the migration of some 120 species from Japan to Canada. And with them, a lot of pathogens for local people.

The plastisphere changes the rules of the game between different organisms. So are the Halobates sericeus, marine insects that walk on water and lay on floating objects … a fortiori on plastic debris. In an environment where resources are scarce, the multiplication of nesting sites favors their development, to the detriment of other species. And especially fish, which also deposit on plastics their eggs, a dish of choice for halobates.

Three years ago, a study by researchers at the University of California found that these insects proliferated in the North Pacific Gyre. In 2015, the 7th Continent mission also took large quantities of them in the North Atlantic.

Other privileged inhabitants of the seventh continent are the jellyfish whose young polyps (first stage of development) colonize the pieces of plastic willingly. Perhaps this is the key to their proliferation? What is certain is that jellyfish eat fish. So the more jellyfish there are, the fewer fish there will be.

Finally, waste that contains polyethylene become porous by degrading and absorb persistent pollutants. They are thus transformed into true “sponges” with heavy metals in them. What happens to these pollutants? Are they released into the environment? Are they transferred to seaweed or plankton? The study of the plastisphere is just beginning. And faced with the extent of the disaster, it is urgent to understand before considering cleaning the seas. Because under the plastics, there is life, a life abounding to be preserved.

The solutions to get rid of plastic

Among the possible actions, some fall under the false good idea, but others would have a real effectiveness. According to a study published in Science in 2015, the 192 coastal countries of the planet produced 275 million tonnes of plastic waste in 2010, of which 8 million tonnes were dumped into the oceans. Faced with this finding, what to do?

Reduce pollution at the source?

Ban all plastics? The solution is unrealistic. Without food film, for example, a large amount of food would be thrown away. However, restrictive measures are taken. In France, cash bags will be banned in 2016: a bag that serves 20 minutes pollutes indeed 450 years.

Making plastic biodegradable? Biodegradable plastics are designed to disintegrate under specific conditions of humidity, heat and microbiology rarely reached in nature. There is a so-called oxofragmentable plastic: an additive allows its fragmentation. False idea because it makes the pollution invisible. Compostable packaging is. they come from natural products: potatoes, seaweed, corn, agro-food waste. This is the option chosen by the Brittany Materials Engineering Laboratory which uses local waste associated with marine bacteria to produce local packaging. A virtuous circular economy.

Prevent the arrival at the sea?

This requires the general immobilization at the scale of a watershed, involving the regular cleaning of watercourses. The 7th Continent NGO team conducts clean-up operations every year, the last one taking place in the Seine, where an average of 100 kilograms of waste was removed every 100 meters. In France the water agencies finance capture grids, but it’s still anecdotal at this time. A participatory application will be inaugurated in September to allow to photograph and locate by GPS the contaminated places. This information will be transmitted to the waste collection services.

Pick up the rubbish ?

This is simple and effective in the short term. This solution was tested at the scale of a country, Lebanon, where, in the aftermath of the civil war, the seabed was covered with more than one meter of waste. In August 1997, Operation Big Blue launched the first collection campaign that brought together 40,000 people along the coast. Since then, this cleaning has become annual. The problem is as long as plastics are released in the wild, they will have to be picked up. The cycle is endless, therefore.

Trapping waste at sea?

This is the challenge of the Dutch Boyan Slat who imagined a flexible barrier of two kilometers long, attached to the seabed, which stops the waste pushed by the currents. These are concentrated in the middle of the device, from where they are extracted from a platform. The Ocean Cleanup Association has announced the implementation of a prototype in 2016 off the coast of Japan. Problem: this system does not take into account the plastisphere and the life associated with it. And does not solve the problem of nanoparticles.

Consider renting a dumpster and fill it with all your unwanted plastic items, so they safely end up in a landfil or even better they get recycled. This way it will not end up in the ocean and you will be helping the environment.

Healthy Eating Habits To Support Your Weight Loss

fitnessHealthy eating habits are minor adjustments you incorporate into your lifestyle to stay fit and strong. When you are overweight, these minor adjustments can potentially save you from weight-related diseases that can strike your health any minute.

Health issues like obesity, diabetes and stroke are just some of the examples of deadly weight-related problems you should protect yourself from.

Part of eating healthy is following a strict diet. But diets are not exactly easy to follow, especially when you love eating food.

Rather than forcing yourself to go on a strict diet, here are eating habits you can follow to help your health adapt to a healthier lifestyle.

Choose A Diet That Consists Of The Food You Like

it may seem that the best weight loss method is to stop eating the foods you overindulge, but starving yourself will do nothing but damage your health further. A diet that consists of foods you do not like is also not good as it will only set you to failure.

According to medical researchers, If you completely eliminate the foods you like, you will most likely abandon your diet plan. So it is important that you eat the foods you love. Just make sure you do not overindulge.

Eat In Smaller Portions

Eating smaller food portions mean you cut down your calories. Doing this can help your body burn off your excess body fat to fuel your body’s need for energy.

To encourage smaller meals, you can substitute your regular large dining plate to a smaller one. Using a smaller plate gives you the illusion that you already have too much food on your plate.

Another tip you can do is to ask your waiter to cut your order in half and put the other half in a takeaway bag to consume later. This does not only help you eat less, it cuts down your costs as well.

Use The Fist Rule

Though eating out in restaurants sounds more convenient, the portion sizes they give you are definitely too much. In fact, food portions in the United States have increased thrice as much over the course of two decades.

According to most dietitians, keeping your meals no larger than your fist will keep your calories in check.

Be A Mindful Eater

Eating the right amount of food is only half the battle. The other half lies on your head as there is a psychological component in eating. When people know that they are being watched, they tend to eat lesser portions because it constantly reminds them that they should not eat more.

This phenomenon is mainly why many people who take part in studies successfully lose weight regardless of which group they are assigned to. They stay conscious about their meals simply because their behavior is constantly watched, observed and studied.

Eat More Lean Proteins and Fiber

One of the secrets to weight loss is keeping yourself full. Source your meals from fiber-rich foods and lean proteins. They help you stay filled and satiated for longer hours.

As fiber and protein take time to digest, sugar and other nutrient absorption will take time. These foods help stabilize your blood sugar and prevent diabetes.

Processed foods like cookies, candy bars and pastries on the other hand are easily digested. They can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. This instability is responsible for that intense hunger even if you just ate a few hours ago. So it is important to stay away from these foods.

Stop Drinking Sodas and Other Sweetened Beverages

Sodas, juice concentrates and cocktail drinks taste a lot better compared to water. But what they make up for taste, they lack in nutrition.

A study of 170 obese women between the age range of 25 to 50 found that by replacing beverages to plain drinking water, you can encourage weight loss.

Set Your Kitchen

The foods found in your kitchen can trigger your usual unhealthy eating habits. If you line your shelves with sugary snacks and processed junks, you are most likely going to abandon your diet and start munching on these foods again.

What you can do is to set up your kitchen to make it more dieter-friendly. Keep healthy foods in sight by putting a basket of fresh fruits on top of the counter.

You can also chop vegetables beforehand so that you can easily whip up a salad or a healthy snack in case you get hungry.

Reduce temptation by throwing away all processed foods, sweet treats and heavily salted snacks. And try not to buy these foods again whenever your grocery shop.

Grocery Shop With A Full Belly

Shopping in a grocery store with an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. Shopping while hungry will encourage you to impulsively buy unhealthy foods that should have been forbidden in your kitchen the first place.

As mentioned earlier, eating right starts with stocking your pantry, fridge or cupboards with healthy foods.

Surrounding yourself with people who support your decision to become healthy will encourage you to stay on track. Be sure to pick the friends who understand how important it is for you to stay healthy and lose weight. Keep yourself accompanied by people who will not tempt you to go back to your old ways.