Monday Miscellaneous

Diphenhydramine

Source: Wikimedia

Benadryl can cause hallucinations.

A 24-year-old man presented to the emergency department with acute anticholinergic symptoms, hallucinations, and bizarre behavior following a large ingestion of diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

Weird. I guess Benadryl joins cold medication and Tylenol in the category of “OTC drugs that can do a quite a bit of damage.” Just goes to show that OTC ≠ safe.

A couple of snippets from Harvard’s School of Public Health:

  1. Although caffeine itself is probably fine, coffee made without a paper filter can raise LDL levels.

    Coffee contains a substance called cafestol that is a potent stimulator of LDL cholesterol levels. Cafestol is found in the oily fraction of coffee, and when you brew coffee with a paper filter, the cafestol gets left behind in the filter. Other methods of coffee preparation, such as the boiled coffee common in Scandinavian countries, French press coffee, or Turkish coffee, are much higher in cafestol.

  2. Fructose, on the other hand, is looking to be pretty not-good.

    The entry of fructose into the liver kicks off a series of complex chemical transformations. (You can see a diagram of these at health.harvard.edu/172.) One remarkable change is that the liver uses fructose, a carbohydrate, to create fat. This process is called lipogenesis. Give the liver enough fructose, and tiny fat droplets begin to accumulate in liver cells (see figure). This buildup is called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, because it looks just like what happens in the livers of people who drink too much alcohol.

    Incidentally, the so-called healthy agave nectar is apparently worse when it comes to fructose than even high fructose corn syrup.

    Note that in the liver, fructose metabolism skips a key regulatory enzyme of glycolysis: phosophofructokinase.

Speaking of your liver, it’s polyploid!

Many liver cells are polyploid, containing 4, 8, 16 or more times the haploid chromosome complement, although the significance of the phenomenon is not known. A study in mice now shows that hepatocytes can both increase and decrease their ploidy in vivo

Picture for this week: Streptavidin/biotin, one of the strongest non-covalent bonds in your average organism.

And finally: Cooking with condoms? o.O


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