Newswise – Most of us plan to overeat during the Thanksgiving holidays.If you’re worried about gaining weight, be sure to read AnneStrieber’s diet book.Meanwhile, researchers have discovered that a protein foundin the brain is genetically linked to both alcoholism andanxiety. Sugar also helps alleviate stress. Sweets maydecrease production of a stress-related hormone that hasbeen linked to obesity.

Psychiatrist Yvonne Ulrich-Lai discovered that whenlaboratory rats chose to eat or drink sweet snacks, theirbodies produced lower levels of a common stress hormone.”The sweets we are talking about are not the low-calorie,sugar-substitute variety,” says Dr. Ulrich-Lai. “We actuallyfound that sugar snacks, not artificially sweetened snacks,are better ‘self-medications’ for the two most common typesof stress?psychological and physical. These hormones help anindividual survive and recover from stress, but have beenlinked to increased abdominal obesity.”

Other researchers studied rats selectively bred foralcoholism, which were found to have high anxiety levels, aswell as to consume greater amounts of alcohol, than alcoholnon-alcoholic rats.

Researcher Subhash Pandey says, “This is the first directevidence that a hereditary deficiency?is associated with[both] high anxiety and alcohol-drinking behaviors.Genetically high anxiety levels are important in thepromotion of higher alcohol consumption in humans. Drinkingis a way for these individuals to self-medicate.”

Like all addicts, alcoholics have lower serotonin levels,but they should raise their moods by eating chocolate ortaking medication, instead of drinking.

Both whites and black can have the gene for alcoholism, butblacks should especially avoid smoking cigarettes.First-degree relatives of black individuals with early-onsetlung cancer have twice the risk of getting lung cancerthemselves than the first-degree relatives of white people.

All doctors know that cigarette smoking is a major healthrisk, but they’ve noticed that there is more lung canceramong black families. Detroit doctor Michele L. Coteconducted a study to estimate the lifetime risk of lungcancer by race, smoking status, and family history ofearly-onset lung cancer. This information could be used toidentify high-risk individuals and to counsel families witha history of early-onset lung cancer.

She found that relatives of black patients with early-onsetlung cancer had more than twice the risk of lung cancercompared with relatives of white patients. Black people mayhave a genetic susceptibility to lung problems, since asthmais endemic in the black community. We now know that blacksget more asthma because asthma is caused byroaches andblacks more often live in big cities, where roaches abound,even if you don?t see them.

Atone for your sins by giving everyone you know a2006 cropcircle calendar for Christmas. If you buy one now, you’llget a free 2005 calendar with every order! Hate Christmascards? Send beautifulcrop circlepostcards this year instead.

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