MDMA, Juul and a cardiovascular disease study. 3 health stories you may have missed — and why they matter

What to know about this week's health stories. (Getty Creative)
What to know about this week's health stories. (Getty Creative)

Hello, health and wellness enthusiasts. My name is Kaitlin, your guide to the news you may have missed this week — and how it can affect your life. Meanwhile, here’s what my team and I were focused on:

Here’s what else to know:

💊 MDMA was rejected as a mental health treatment

An independent Food and Drug Administration panel rejected the use of the drug MDMA — also known as Ecstasy in tablet form, or Molly in crystal form — as a therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The panel said there wasn't enough evidence that the treatment is effective and said the risks were greater than its benefits, with specific concerns about the study’s design and the drug’s potential cardiovascular effects.

Why it matters:

The continued conversation around psychedelics and mental health suggests people and experts are seeking other forms of treatment — and that the options currently on the table are lacking.

While not the same drug, the panel’s rejection of MDMA as a treatment option follows recent concerns about ketamine therapy, an off-label treatment use of the psychedelic, which many experts believe can be a game changer for those with difficult-to-treat mental health conditions. Though people like Chrissy Teigen and Sharon Osbourne support the use of the drug in ketamine clinics, not everyone agrees. The therapy was again in the news following the death of actor Matthew Perry, who died from the effects of ketamine and had spoken about going to ketamine clinics for treatment.

🫀 Cardiovascular disease is a major problem

Well, this is alarming: According to a new study, six in 10 adults will have cardiovascular disease in the next 30 years, with high blood pressure the most likely condition people will develop. That’s a big problem because high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and stroke.

Why it matters:

Cardiovascular disease has been on the rise for years, but experts told Yahoo Life that the numbers will continue to climb because of several factors, such as our growing numbers of elderly people. Obesity, which is also linked to cardiovascular issues, is on the rise, including with younger people, who may have to contend with heart disease for the rest of their lives. The good news? Lifestyle changes, like eating a healthier diet and working out, can reduce your risk.

Here are some recommendations:

🚭 The FDA is reversing its ban on Juul

The Food and Drug Administration announced this week that it’s reversing its ban on Juul, the controversial e-cigarette brand. The FDA initially banned the products because the company wasn’t able to prove that keeping them on the shelves would be safe for the general public. However, the e-cigarettes (which have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly among young people and specifically in high school bathrooms) have remained on the shelves as the company appeals. Now, Juul is once back under agency review, where the company is seeking a fresh marketing authorization for their products.

Why it matters:

First, let’s read beyond the headlines: “Unbanning” Juul doesn’t mean that the FDA has declared that vaping is safe. While there is evidence to suggest vaping is better for you than traditional cigarettes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that vaping isn’t safe due to the chemicals they contain — including nicotine, which is an addictive chemical that can have a negative impact on adolescent brains. More research, including the FDA’s review of Juul, may help point a way forward.