ESPECIALLY if you’re a woman! – Sodas have been blamed for the obesity epidemic?now there’s ANOTHER reason why you shouldn?t drink them (especially if you?re a woman). Women who drink two or more cans of regular soda (not diet soda) per day are nearly twice as likely to show early signs of kidney disease.

This is not a risk for men, which is just another example of sexism, when it comes to our bodies. Yes, the ways in which men and women are alike?and different?are fascinating. One of these is pain: some painkilling drugs are less effective in women compared with men.

Researchers have found differences in the brains of men and women when it comes to processing morphine. BBC News quotes researcher Anne Murphy as saying, “It is increasingly clear that morphine is significantly less potent in women compared with men?until now, the mechanism driving the phenomenon was unknown. Additional research with the inclusion of female subjects needs to be devoted to determining a more potent treatment for persistent pain in women.”

Murphy says that this research means that more attention needs to be paid to adequate pain relief for women. And speaking of women, since they are the ones most often treated for breast cancer, it’s important that they know that doctors have discovered that chemotherapy works better when it is given at certain times of day.

For years, research has hinted that the time of day that cancer patients receive chemotherapy can impact their chances of survival. Now, a new study shows that treatment is most effective at certain times of day because that is when a particular enzyme system?that can reverse the actions of chemotherapeutic drugs?is at its lowest levels in the body.

Researcher Aziz Sancar says, “Timing is everything, and here we have molecular data showing why this is especially true with regard to cancer. By hitting cancer cells with chemo at a time when their ability to repair themselves is minimal, you should be able to maximize effectiveness and minimize side effects of treatment.”

From her studies with mice she theorizes that the best time of day to have chemotherapy is in the afternoon, from 2 to 6 p.m. (and the worst time is from 6 to 10 a.m.). Since the study was done with mice that were engineered to get skin cancer from sun exposure, her study shows that these are also the best?and worst?times to be out in the sun.

According to reseacher Bruce S. McEwen, deciphering the substantial but often ignored differences between the sexes is crucial to developing more effective personalized medicine. None of his findings suggest one sex is stronger or more intelligent, and in many cases, the differences discovered raise more questions than they answer.

e says, “Medicine is clueless as to how males and females really differ from one another. They have a very mechanistic view of disease and they tend to think it always works the same way in both sexes. That can be dangerous.”

Elizabeth Waters agrees and says, “Females aren’t males and it’s really important to understand the differences.”

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