About Zoey Sky

Zoey Sky is a regular contributor at NaturalNews.com

What’s Your Risk-Taking IQ? Research Suggests How Much Risk We’re Willing to Take is Pre-Wired

Tips on How to Be a Bolder You!   Have you ever wondered what drives people to take certain risks, such as going bungee jumping or risking a financial gamble? While a person’s tendency to take risks will often vary, a new study has proven that over time a stable general factor affects general risk preference. Swiss and German researchers have recently finished a study that looked into this general factor of individual risk preference, “which remains stable over time” and is similar to the general Intelligence Quotient (IQ). The study, which was published in two journals (Science Advances and Nature Human Behaviour) was based on findings that involved 1,500 participants. (Related: Preventable Lifestyle Risks Kill More Than One Million Americans Yearly.) Individuals often make life-changing decisions based on various factors, but we don’t really know the nature of the risk preference that significantly affects risk-related decisions. Does a person’s risk preference have anything to do with the context or is it mostly the same even in different scenarios? It looks like the answer to both questions is “yes,” and findings from a large-scale study done by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and the University of Basel, which was accomplished with funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation, has the data to prove this. The Swiss and German researchers used three unique approaches to evaluate the risk preferences of 1,507 adults aged 20 to 36 years old: “self-reports on hypothetical risk scenarios,” “experimental behavioral tests involving financial incentives,” and “information on actual risky activities in everyday life.” Overall, the participants finished 39 tests in one day. The researchers then asked the 109 participants to retake the tests after six months to analyze the stability of the risk preference over time. Past studies on risk preference often relied on only one or only a handful of measurement instruments. Dr. Renato Frey from the University of Basel and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development shared, “Our findings indicate that risk-taking propensity has a psychometric structure similar to that of psychological personality characteristics. Like the general factor of intelligence, there is also a general factor of risk preference.” He added, “In other words, your willingness to take risks may vary across different areas of your life, but it will always be affected by the underlying general factor of risk preference.” To support this theory, the study’s results revealed that a person’s general factor of risk preference stays stable over time. The study also found that both the hypothetical scenarios and the reports on actual risk-taking behavior helped determine a similar analysis of a person’s unique risk preference. Meanwhile, a new picture resulted from the experimental behavior tests. Based on a comprehensive study of the differences, the researchers confirmed that for the different behavior test, participants used unique decision-making strategies. These strategies varied according to the type of behavioral task, like when risk was presented in the context of a game, or via a [...]

2018-10-09T18:52:11+00:00 By |

Why Cosmetics Ingredients Matter: Skin is Your Largest Organ; What You Put on it Gets Absorbed Into Your Bloodstream

(Natural News) Do you know what your makeup is made of? At least “60 [percent] of the products we use on our skin are absorbed and deposited into the circulatory system.” Lori Stryker, from OrganicMakeup.ca, explains that our skin “wraps and protects our bodies.” Part of the integumentary system, skin is comprised of a “living, dynamic tissue system.” It can partially or completely absorb products that are applied to it, and the average woman absorbs 30 pounds of the ingredients used in moisturizers within 60 years. This has become a cause for concern, especially due to the “chemical cocktail effect,” or the “possible long-term effects” of the various chemical combinations included in cosmetics. Consumers still buy products that are made with known irritants and carcinogens, most of which are “derived synthetically or from petroleum.” Knowing is half the battle, so avoid any cosmetics that include the harmful ingredients listed below. (h/t to OrganicMakeup.ca) Aluminum – Possibly causes Alzheimer’s disease, aluminum is an ingredient for almost all antiperspirants. It blocks pores so the skin doesn’t release sweat. Artificial colors – Artificial colors are derived from coal tar. An example is Azo dyes, which are “a risk to asthmatics, eczema sufferers, and people sensitive to aspirin.” The dyes can make children hyperactive and it can cause severe headaches, blurred vision, and itchy/watery eyes and nose. Benzoates – Also called benzoates, benzoic acid, sodium benzoate, or parahydroxy benzoate. A preservative in cosmetics and fizzy drinks, benzoates can cause gastric irritation, numbing of the mouth, and aggravates asthma. Certain essential oils – Rosemary is harmful to epileptics, and sage is not recommended for pregnant women. DEA, MEA, TEA – Known as ethanolamine compounds, diethanolamine (DEA), monoethanolamine (MEA), and triethanolamine (TEA) can cause allergic reactions. These ingredients can irritate the eyes and dry out hair and skin. Dibutyl phthalate – Used in cosmetics to assist in the absorption of other ingredients, dibutyl phthalate can cause birth defects in animals and damage the male reproductive system. Formaldehyde – A preservative, formaldehyde can cause skin reactions. Fragrances – Fragrances often contain at least 200 undeclared substances. Fragrances can cause skin irritation and allergies. May also cause dizziness and hyperpigmentation. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – Some GMOs may include soy and corn, and the effects of GMOs are still undetermined. Isopropyl alcohol – A drying agent derived from petroleum. Keratolytic chemicals – Includes hydroxyl acids and retinoic acid, these are corrosive and used in skin peels. These chemicals can dissolve the outermost layer/stratum corneum of the epidermis and makes skin more sensitive to sun damage. It also accelerates production of dead skin cells and the skin thickens to repair its surface so that vulnerable skin cells underneath are protected from the effects of skin peeling. Methylisothiazolinone – Causes allergic reactions and irritations. Parabens – Derived from petroleum, parabens can trigger skin irritations and may be a xerestrogen (XE). XEs are “chemicals that mimic the effect of estrogen in the body.” Parabens are linked to decreased sperm counts and rising breast cancer rates, and they are used in 99 percent of all cosmetics [...]

2018-04-02T22:21:35+00:00 By |

Good Gut Health: Probiotic Use During Pregnancy Helps Both Mom and Baby Avoid Obesity

According to a recent study, both pregnant women and infants can benefit from probiotics because these “good” bacteria can help prevent obesity. The findings, which were published in the European Journal of Nutrition, revealed that when breastfeeding women take probiotics, it helps “alter gene expression by decreasing DNA methylation” of the 37 gene promoters linked to weight gain in mothers (68 in the infants). DNA methylation modifies gene expression through the addition of methyl, a molecule, to DNA. This alters the activity level of the gene’s function via a mechanism called “transcription.” Professor Kirsi Laitinen from the University of Turku, the study’s lead researcher, wrote: “Three of the known risk genes were affected specifically in the mothers and five in the children. The DNA methylation of the promoter of the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene, the strongest known genetic risk factor for obesity, was decreased in the women in response to the intake of the probiotics. The FTO is associated with body mass index (BMI), obesity risk, and type 2 diabetes in various studies. For the study, the researchers observed 15 Finnish women who were pregnant through a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Seven participants selected at random received a probiotic capsule with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactuis Bb12 daily. Meanwhile, the remaining eight women were given placebo capsules. The researchers used blood samples to determine the DNA methylation status of 623 obesity-related and 433 weight-gain related gene promoters. The samples they used came from the pregnant women. The researchers took samples before the women received the supplements and at least six to 12 months after they gave birth. The scientists took samples from the infants at the same time. A tool dubbed ingenuity pathway was used to study the DNA methylation status. Professor Laitinen and the team also took note of the effects of the probiotic supplements on the DNA methylation of levels linked to genes that are responsible for the metabolic and immunological processes. The researchers posit that taking probiotics during pregnancy may offer other benefits aside from preventing obesity. They added that further studies must be done to determine the worth of probiotics as a gene therapy tool. They shared that gathering ribonucleic acid (RNA) was necessary because this helped confirm that DNA methylation was”translated into variations in gene expression.” It is also possible that DNA methylation in tissues could vary from those that occur among blood cells. Since the trial size was relatively small, it would be better to try and replicate the results in a bigger group, noted the researchers. They added, “Probiotics’ clinical effects are known to be dependent on which specific species and strains of probiotics are being used.” The researchers believe that certain probiotic strains could have different effects on DNA methylation. They believe that the current findings are promising, and they are eager to see if the results can be used to further studies concerning the “primary tissues, in other populations, and with other probiotic strains.” Foods Rich in Probiotics Try to eat [...]

2018-04-02T22:23:15+00:00 By |