TRC #268: Krokodil + Oreos vs. Cocaine + Does Reading in Dark Damage Eyes

oreoThe gang celebrates Halloween in skeptical fashion in episode 268 of The Reality Check. Darren starts things off by looking into the so-called “flesh-eating ‘zombie’ drug” Krokodil. Adam then looks into the recent media coverage stating that Oreos are more addictive than cocaine. Elan closes the show by answering the question of whether or not reading in the dark damages your eyes.

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Oreos vs. Cocaine

Student-faculty research shows Oreos are just as addictive as drugs in lab rats

Cocaine dependence – Wikipedia

Calories in Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies and Nutrition Facts – Fat Secret

How long can a person survive without food? – Scientific American

Why Oreos Are As Addictive As Cocaine To Your Brain – Forbes

Rats find Oreos as addictive as cocaine – an unusual college research project – Washington Post

How Oreos Work Like Cocaine – James Hamblin – The Atlantic

Reading in the Dark

British Medical Journal – Medical Myths

How Stuff Works – Does reading in dim light really hurt your eyes?


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4 Responses to TRC #268: Krokodil + Oreos vs. Cocaine + Does Reading in Dark Damage Eyes

  1. Dale says:

    In the segment on “does reading in dim light really hurt your eyes” someone mentioned being sure that a flashlight would use less power than night vision goggles. Actually this is incorrect as several models of NVD use a pair of “AA” batteries with a runtime of around 50 hours and there are Generation III models that can run on a single “AA” battery.

  2. Jnunya says:

    Regarding the CT Oreo study. During the show, it is mentioned that the claims of Oreo’s being more addictive in lab rats than cocaine or morphine, are inconclusive. However, I don’t recall hearing the part of the actual study that mentions, “They used immunohistochemistry to measure the expression of a protein called c-Fos, a marker of neuronal activation, in the nucleus accumbens, or the brain’s “pleasure center.” There is a paragraph from college website that mentions this info, but I didn’t hear it in the show:

    Pls. forgive me if you already cited this and I may have missed it. I’m a bit behind on podcast listening. I’m a fan of the show, and a fan of skepticism, but I figured this was very important to mention. This would change the whole perspective on the study I think.

    • Adam says:

      Hi Jnunya,

      I did mention that. The article you liked is the source of all others based on it and was the primary source I used to discuss the story. I don’t recall exactly what I said on the show but in my notes I did specifically mention Lauren Cameron and the c-Fos which indicated activation in the brain’s pleasure centre. While this shows that rats experienced pleasure, this does not really speak to anything about the addictive nature of either cocaine/morphine or Oreos. This simply tells us that pleasurable foods creates a pleasures which is experienced in c-Fos. It can arguably be infered to say that the rats are happier eating food than taking cocaine, but I’m not sure this tells us anything about their addictive nature.

      Simply put it is not established that activation of c-Fos is what makes cocaine or morphine addictive. Cocaine may produce pleasurable feelings in other ways and its addictive nature seems to be caused by more than just a pleasure response. For example removing pleasure does not cause the same withdrawal symptoms as removing cocaine. There is obviously more to it.

      • JNunya says:

        Thanks for the response, Alex. I listened again, and heard you mention it, after a bunch of joke telling by your cohosts (lol). I listened during my commute. My apologies.

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