Do human pheromones exist?
Sometimes called “ecto-hormones”, they may help or hurt your upcoming date, strengthen or weaken your love life, promote gaining or losing friends, decide the outcome of your job interview and even secure or compromise your child’s health. Surprised? Don’t be. Just look carefully into this issue and do your best to use biology in your favor when possible.
The term pheromone is derived from ancient Greek ”pheran” – to carry, and “horman” – to excite. They are a diverse group of chemical messengers
used by animals to communicate fear, aggression, attraction, sexual excitation and many other signals to the members of their own species. We are going to discuss here sex attractants in particular.
Insects are not the only ones to fly for miles upwind drawn by the sent of their females. It is easy to picture canines, felines and other mammals lead by the noses to their mates in heat. Many primates like lemurs and other prosimians rely more on their well developed sense of smell than on their poor eye sight and mark the trees with their pheromones to induce the pursuit by possible Continue reading
Absolutely, the answer is yes. Even if they are most conventional, well known and answering the FDA rules and regulations of manufacturing practices. The pills and powders you paid a lot of money for may contain wrong ingredients and contaminants like bacteria, fungi, various toxins and side products of photosynthesis, pesticides, heavy metals, glass, food coloring, and more. Many “special’ components can cause allergic reactions, and it is easy to overdose on one or more ingredients if the labeling is not accurate or if you combined a few different sources, or have already had received your daily norm by means of normal food.
Then why are these pills pushed so hard on the market and most internet articles praise them with rather positive reviews? Could it be the same reason one would have to dig really hard to find a detailed description of the illegal drugs detrimental health effects? The first few pages on most search engines about, say, opiates, will tell you a slightly hidden but mostly flattering story about the pain relieve and pleasure they provide. Get a clue? Correct, just follow Continue reading
Is there anything in common between Joconde and young Whitney Houston? How about a casino jack pot hitter and Michael Phelps after wining the Olympic gold, or the first man in space and your own baby pictures? That beautiful open smile, isn’t it.
Our smiles can signal health, compassion, powers of love, success, security, and a whole bunch of other definitely positive intentions towards the people and the world. These signs of happiness are triggered by the release of certain hormones and neurotransmitters (like dopamine and endorphins) by both hippocampus and stem portions of the brain responsible for mood and are therefore often involuntary and instinctive.
For millions of years of natural selection happiness developed as a reward for the activities and events enhancing the chances of human populations for survival and reproduction. Ability to instantly recognize the signals of happiness and positive intentions and distinguish them from signals of danger and hostility may have been a borderline between life and death, passing or not passing of our ancestors’ Continue reading
Sun burns, blisters, rashes, wrinkles, mutations, melanomas, oh my! The modern pharmaceutical industry is making evil out of the sun light and eagerly provides and pushes layers of creams, sun blocks, sun screens, sun lotions, you name it. Why is it then that the oldest people on our planet surviving to the age of 115, 120 and over are known to spend most of their life time outdoors without these modern sun blocking remedies? And how come the mutation that caused the color change of the human skin from dark to white (evidently allowing MORE solar radiation to pass through) had NOT been eliminated by natural selection? On the opposite: this specific change did allow human ancestors to move to higher altitudes and migrate to Europe, Asia and Northern America.
The sun has been shining for billions of years. Without sunlight evolution of life on our planet including humans would simply not have been possible. It is well known that just a few minutes of tanning makes people happier and relieves depression by the skyrocketing production of serotonin and endorphins (neurotransmitters for pleasure and euphory), as well as life sustaining amounts of vitamin D, the latter being produced not only in humans, but in all other vertebrates including fish, amphibians and reptiles. This vitamin allowed vertebrate animals to maintain their calcified skeletons as they emerged to the land from the sea water nearly half a billion years ago. So who in their right and not corrupted mind could have labeled this vital adaptive Continue reading
We are going to discuss here the adaptive advantages of the premenstrual syndrome. Surprised? How can anything called “a syndrome” be positive, especially if the reader had experienced from the first hand all those headaches, bloating, food cravings, mood swings and other miserable symptoms sneaking up on you at about a week or so before your period?
Well, let’s take an excursion to our ancestors for the answers, and see what the evolution theory has in stock for us on this subject matter. Before diving into the thousands of years back though let us refresh our modern knowledge of the female ovarian cycle in humans.
Every 28 days or so a next on line primary oocyte (the egg cell) in either the left or the right ovary begins its final journey inside the follicle. Besides other functions the growing follicle is mostly responsible for the production of estrogen, which starts building up the uterine lining (endometrium), and stimulates a woman to look for the best genetically matching mate. Estrogen brings a woman to the top of her attractiveness, health, smarts and also…promiscuousness. Yes, the time before ovulation originally designed to wisely find and attract the male, may bring around the best outcome on the important exam, complicated assignment or a job interview.
Closer to the middle of the cycle the matured egg is released from the ovary in the process we call ovulation and is likely to be captured by the fimbriae of the oviducts, or the Fallopian tubes. It is here, in the oviduct, the egg is prepared to meet the sperm in the process we call fertilization. Once the egg is released from the ruptured follicle, the follicle turns into corpus luteum (the yellow body in Latin) and it is now mostly concerned with the preparation of the uterine lining and a woman’s body for implantation (embedding of the embryo into the endometrium). Estrogen production drastically drops, progesterone takes over, and the immune system weakens its attacks on antigens to give the future embryo a chance Continue reading
For most people a big high calorie juicy burger and a fattening platter of fries would seem more attractive than low calorie foods like celery sticks, beets and grated carrots, especially when hungry. A crumble apple pie and hot fudge sundae for desert would most likely win over a bowl of cut up fresh apples, even if folks are well aware of the health consequences and concerns. Why is that? And if it comes so “naturally” could that be really unhealthy?
Well, let’s take an excursion to our ancestors for the answers, and see what the evolution theory has in stock for us on this subject matter.
First of all, eating by ingestion is one of the most important characteristics of Kingdom Animalia, which we, humans, belong to. Even the simplest tiny sessile cnidarians like Hydra have a mouth. The first prototypes of brain developed as a bunch of neurons (ganglia) above the esophagus of primitive worms just to help find food. It is the food we eat that supplies our organism with glucose as the energy source for cellular respiration and other nutrients as building blocks for our own organic matter. Being intrinsic to survival eating evolved to be one of the strongest animal instincts from suckling of a Continue reading