Are you looking for another reason to press your local and national politicians to legalize psilocybin ‘magic’ mushrooms? Or if you live where they’re already legal, do you seek ammunition to convince your personal physician to prescribe them? Well, today is your lucky day, ‘shroom lovers. A new study of classic psychedelics users found they had lower odds of heart disease and diabetes. That may not be why many people want to use LSD or magic mushrooms, but it just might give you an argument for convincing skeptics.
“While pharmacological treatment, intensive lifestyle modification, or both can delay or reverse the development of cardiometabolic diseases, no study has thus far investigated the long-term cardiometabolic effects of classic psychedelics, which could potentially be administered both as a pharmacological treatment and as part of a program to facilitate healthy lifestyle changes.”
You know we’ve come a long way from Dr. Timothy Leary when a scientific study links the usage of psychedelics to “healthy lifestyle changes,” yet that’s exactly how a new study in Scientific Reports introduces its research. Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2005–2014), which surveys 375,000 people on drug usage over their lifetime, author Otto Simonsson of the University of Oxford and his team focused on respondents who said they had at least once used one or more of the classic psychedelic substances -- DMT, ayahuasca, LSD, mescaline, peyote, and psilocybin. Of the positive respondents, they checked to see which had been diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes in the past year. The results were surprising.
“Lifetime classic psychedelic use was uniquely associated with a 23% lower odds of heart disease in the past year and a 12% lower odds of diabetes in the past year.”
Add these results to previous research which has found classic psychedelic use can lower odds of being overweight, lower odds of having hypertension, increase feelings of peace and well-being, and this sounds like a ‘drop the mic and find a doctor’ moment. While he’s excited with the results, Simonsson cautions that the study has some holes in it. The study is a specific analysis of a large database, not a specific experiment on the effect of psychedelics on heart disease and diabetes. The database did not provide into on dosage or frequency of use. The terms “heart disease” and “diabetes” are generic and covers a wide range of conditions and disorders – it’s unknown if psychedelics can help all or just some of them. Finally, psychedelics usage can cause positive lifestyle changes which also benefit people with heart disease or diabetes, so they can’t determine if the results came from the drug or the behavior. As always, they conclude that more research is needed.
Would it help with funding and approvals if Grace Slick rejoined what’s left of Jefferson Airplane for a new version of White Rabbit? Remember what the dormouse said -- feed your head, your heart and your endocrine system.