London, Mar 20 (AP/UNB) — Smoking high-potency marijuana every day could increase the chances of developing psychosis by nearly five times, according to the biggest-ever study to examine the impact of pot on psychotic disorder rates.
The research adds to previous studies that have found links between marijuana and mental health problems, but still does not definitively pinpoint marijuana as the cause.
Psychotic disorders — in which people lose touch with reality — are typically triggered by factors including genetics and the environment. But experts say the new study's findings have implications for jurisdictions legalizing marijuana, warning they should consider the potential impact on their mental health services.
"If we think there's something particular about (high-potency) cannabis, then making that harder to get a hold of, could be a useful harm-reduction measure," said Suzanne Gage, of the University of Liverpool, who was not connected to the new study.
Researchers at King's College London and elsewhere analyzed data from a dozen sites across Europe and Brazil from 2010 to 2015. About 900 people who were diagnosed with a first episode of the disorder at a mental health clinic, including those with delusions and hallucinations, were compared with more than 1,200 healthy patients. After surveying the patients about their use of cannabis and other drugs, researchers found daily marijuana use was more common among patients with a first episode of psychosis compared with the healthy, control group.
The scientists estimated that people who smoked marijuana on a daily basis were three times more likely to be diagnosed with psychosis compared with people who never used the drug. For those who used high-potency marijuana daily, the risk jumped to nearly five times. The paper was published online Tuesday by the journal Lancet. It was paid for by funders including Britain's Medical Research Council, the Sao Paulo Research Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.
"If you decide to use high-potency marijuana, you should bear in mind: Psychosis is a potential risk," said Dr. Marta Di Forti, of King's College London and the study's lead author. She said it was unknown how frequently people could smoke lower-potency marijuana without raising their likelihood of psychosis, but that less than weekly use appeared to pose no risk.
Di Forti and colleagues estimated that in Amsterdam, about half of new psychosis cases were associated with smoking high-potency pot.
Gage noted that it was possible that people with a family history of psychosis or other risk factors might be more susceptible to developing problems like psychosis or schizophrenia if they used cannabis.
"That could be the thing that tips the scale for some people," she said. "Cannabis for them could be an extra risk factor, but it definitely doesn't have to be involved. If you use cannabis, it doesn't mean you are definitely going to develop psychosis."
Dhaka, March 19 (UNB)- Nothing sounds more delectable than a warm thali (plate) of good Bengali or Indian food when you’re craving something desi and Kolkata’s famous, ‘The Bhoj Company’, ticks all the right boxes when it comes to just that. Luckily for Dhaka residents, Bhoj has a franchise right in this city.
Located at Banani, they have quickly managed to make themselves known to food enthusiasts all over town. This particular visit of mine was to give their Indian dishes a try and boy have I been pleased! Our table ordered all kinds of Kabab you could dream of. From Tangri Kabab to Chicken Reshmi we had it all. However, what I was looking forward to were the classics; Palak Paneer and Butter chicken with some good of naan.
The Palak Paneer is a very traditional Indian dish mostly popular amongst Shakaharis/Vegetarians in India. Upon serving, the vibrant green colour was quick to catch my eye and I couldn’t wait to dig in. My verdict? This dish is probably the best Palak Paneer I have tasted. The ponir cubes had a spongy texture and acted as an amazing replacement of meat. The Spinach was puréed to perfection and had a mellow flavour of different spices. While the dish tasted amazing by itself, the butter naan was highly disappointing. Instead of having an infused flavou of butter to the naan, it was dripping with it to the extent that blobs of oily mess fell on the table when it was being served. Some may prefer it this way but most people don’t so this one was a miss.
The Butter Chicken and Tandoori Prawn were two more such hits! This was not my first time trying their Butter Chicken. I already knew how good it was and awaited the responses of those around me and surely they had caved in. The rich sauce went extremely well with the plain naans and even better with the garlic ones. The mixture of different spices were just enough to be handled in fact, since the dish is cooked with a tomato base and tons of butter, it gives out a taste on the sweeter side.
If there was one prawn dish I would have to recommend you in town, it would probably be this one from Bhoj. Despite of them being medium-big sized prawns and still being intact in their shells, I was surprised how the chef managed to pack so much of flavour into them. The prawns were succulent and cooked to perfection with a slight char flavour to it.
The Daal Makhni was rather a humble looking bucket. It tasted weirdly bitter and below bland. Other misses were probably the Reshmi Chicken, Tandoori Aloo, and Chicken Reshmi. But with the delicious Butter Chicken, Palak Paneer, and Tandoori Prawn I had just eaten. I think I can let these pass for now.
By: Ifreet Taheea
Honolulu, Mar 19 (AP/UNB) — Hawaii would be the first state in the U.S. to ban most plastics at restaurants under legislation that aims to cut down on waste that pollutes the ocean.
Dozens of cities across the country have banned plastic foam containers, but Hawaii's measure would make it the first to do so statewide. The liberal state has a history of prioritizing the environment — it's mandated renewable energy use and prohibited sunscreen ingredients that harm coral.
A second, more ambitious proposal would go even further and prohibit fast-food and full-service restaurants from distributing and using plastic drink bottles, utensils, stirring sticks, bags and straws.
The Hawaii efforts would be stricter than in California, which last year became the first state to ban full-service restaurants from automatically giving out plastic straws, and broader than in Seattle, San Francisco and other cities that have banned some single-use plastics.
Activists believe the foam container measure has a better chance of passing in Hawaii.
"We have this reputation of setting the example for the world to follow, and that's what we're trying to do here," state Sen. Mike Gabbard, lead author of the more ambitious measure, said to the Senate. "Our state can once again take the lead in protecting our environment."
Gabbard, father of Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, said 95 percent of plastic packaging worldwide is thrown out after being used once. In the U.S., 500 million plastic straws are used and thrown out every day, he said.
Discarded, slow-to-degrade plastic is showing up at sea, as in a massive gyre northeast of the Hawaiian islands, and on beaches.
Plastics also contribute to climate change because oil is used to make them, said Stuart Coleman, Hawaii manager for the Surfrider Foundation.
Eric S.S. Wong, co-owner of two fast-food establishments on Oahu, said not being able to serve food in plastic foam containers would drive up his costs at a time when he faces rising health insurance charges for his employees and a possible minimum wage hike that lawmakers also are considering.
He said he'll have to raise prices.
"Now all of the sudden, your family's $30 dining experience became $37 or $38," Wong said.
His Wiki Wiki Drive Inn takeout counter in Honolulu sells sandwiches, breakfast meals and Hawaii favorites like Loco Moco, which features white rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg and gravy.
A package of 200 foam boxes costs him $23, while the same number of biodegradable boxes would cost $57, he said.
Chris Yankowski of the Hawaii Restaurant Association, which represents 3,500 restaurants, said lawmakers are trying to do "too much too fast."
Yankowski, who is also president of Triple F Distributors, argued that good alternatives to plastic products are not yet available. Hawaii's cities and counties also don't provide composting facilities, so there is no organized place to dispose of compostable containers that lawmakers say restaurants should use instead, he added.
"It's almost like we want to do great things for the environment, but we're not ready to handle it when we change it over," Yankowski said.
The Hawaii Food Industry Association, which counts the state's biggest supermarkets and convenience stores as members, initially opposed the foam container ban but now supports it.
The group said in written testimony that it's encountered difficulties coping with varied local regulations and it wants the state to create a consistent standard. Two main counties — Hawaii and Maui — have already adopted plastic foam bans. Maui's took effect on Dec. 31, while Hawaii's takes effect on July 1.
The association still opposes the broader measure, which also would ban plastic garbage bags.
The president of Island Plastic Bags, a Hawaii company that makes plastic bags, said the legislation would prohibit his company from selling trash bags to nursing homes and hospitals as well as restaurants and hotels.
Grocery stores wouldn't be able to sell trash can liners, Adrian Hong said in written testimony. It would create a "public health crisis," he said.
Gabbard said his proposal was in the early stages so lawmakers have time to address such concerns.
The state Senate has passed both bills. They still must get through several House committees and the full House before heading to the governor.
Cindy McMillan, a spokeswoman for Gov. David Ige, said he hasn't stated a position on the measures yet.
Justin Macia, a pharmacist in Honolulu, said he would like people to use less plastic and stop using plastic foam entirely because of how long it takes to degrade. Cardboard containers would be a great alternative, he said.
"It's definitely something that's got to go," he said, after eating a sandwich from a foam takeout box.
Dhaka, Mar 18 (UNB)- Well, when I first heard the name, the first thing popped into my head was ‘WAR’. This could be a very dangerous, risky, unsafe place to explore. This is how I summed up my visit to Kargil.
Kargil was definitely not in my plans. I went to Ladakh last year and got to know that two world famous tourist attractions, Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley were not accessible to Bangladeshi visitors. So, visit to Kargil was my plan B.
At first, I was deeply skeptical about going there but my guide assured me that this would be worth a visit.
I was still under same impression until I reached to Kargil. Believe me, I was totally wrong.
Kargil is an amazingly beautiful town surrounded by mighty mountains, followed by Suru River.
A 218-kilometer long Kargil-Leh highway was beyond beautiful. This exhilarating road journey was a combination of adventure and bliss surrounded by various structured mountains, stunning untouched landscapes, turquoise water of Suru River, zigzag hilly roads and historical constructions in some places.
This trip made me realise one thing that, when you're truly on road, deep inside, you start feeling every part of Mother Nature as your travel partner.
On the way to Kargil, I’d witnessed countless mountains with so many different colors- 50 shades of brown, black, purple, green, golden and what not. The fall colored grass and turquoise water of Suru River added a unique dimension to the scene. Oh! How can I forget?
Before reaching to the town, we went to Kargil War Memorial. This place is a beautiful concoction of emotions, sacrifices and respect.
After entering the rustic town, we finally got the chance to see the faces where 90 percent local population comprises Muslims. They are different from the people of Ladakh. I found the Kargil local a tad conservative by nature. So, we didn’t talk to them much and headed towards our hotel.
The next day early morning, we started our onward journey to Leh after a hot breakfast. Here my favorite chapter comes.
On the way back to Leh from Kargil, we found the road adorned with pink Sakura blossoms (also known as Cherry blossom). I almost screamed with joy after seeing this gorgeous pink beauty. Our chauffeur cum guide stopped us on the road side and allowed us to get some pictures.
When I first saw the cherry blossom path, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was so unreal, beyond all expectations. I felt like I was in a movie set. At that moment, I kept photo shooting on with every possible pose with this unbelievably beautiful view.
We started again. After few miles, we took a chai break. We stopped at a tea shop where we had the best `Adrakwali Chai’ (ginger milk tea) and the taste was different, blended with fresh air. AHH!
To head to Leh, we had to go through many passes, monasteries and moon land. It seemed like an alien world to me. It was worth by all means to explore the unexplored.
By: Farah Seraj
Dhaka, March 18 (UNB)- Belonging to a family of doctors have a lot of advantages, the major one being gaining health tips without the use of Google and Wikipedia for a change. Another one was being instilled the habit of eating nutritive food items and drinks like eating eggs, different types of fish and vegetables, drinking water and the list goes on. One habit that I have been following religiously till date is drinking green coconut water a.k.a. ‘Daab’er Pani’ and eating the White meat a.k.a. ‘Shash’ or ‘Malai’ since childhood. Let us have a look at the health benefits of coconut water.
Health Benefits of Coconut water!
• Keeps you hydrated in summer
• Improves blood circulation
• Supplies energy
• Balances blood sugar level
• Burns fat faster
• Dissolves kidney stones
• Recover from bad hangovers
All these years I knew that green coconut is the only one kind available. But I was proved wrong until my visit to Sri Lanka. I saw this light brown colored, large coconut which my Sri Lankan friend said is called a King Coconut. There is not much difference between the two types except for the colour and the taste. The water in the King Coconut is much sweeter than that of the green one. Unlike the green coconut, the King Coconut does not mature into the fruit to make coconut oil or milk. King Coconut is more expensive than the green one. Usually, king coconuts are available in islands.
I have seen King Coconut used as a decorative item in few restaurants as well as lamps during the evening. Unfortunately, I have not stayed till the evening to see how the Lankans use those as lamps.
I would suggest everyone to drink coconut water daily. Juniors and seniors who always go for walks and runs, you should all try to drink coconut water afterwards to balance your electrolytes and gain energy. I would also suggest drinking it after yoga or any kind of workout. Will feel very refreshing afterwards!
You can also use coconut water to brighten your face. Keep it in the form of ice cubes in summer and use it all over after a long, tiring day. It will remove the tan as well as the blemishes if used constantly.
I will cover more later on Coconut Oil and Milk so stay tuned!
By: Marjan Rahman