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According to a study published in Scientific Reports, those who have tried a classic psychedelic at least one time in their life have lower chances of getting diabetes and heart disease. The new research shows the need for further studies to examine the association between psychedelics and cardiometabolic health.
“In previous studies, we have discovered links between lifetime psychedelic use will lower odds of being obese or overweight and lower risks of having hypertension, they are both risk factors for getting a cardiometabolic disease,” said Otto Simonsson from the University of Oxford, the study author.
“We looked at the link between a lifetime of psychedelic use and cardiometabolic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.”
In a study found in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, scientists argued “that classic psychedelics like psilocybin can be used to promote a positive lifestyle change encouraging better overall health,” showing that using psychedelic drugs is associated with changes in healthier behaviours, like exercising more and reducing alcohol consumption.
Simonsson and researchers found that psychedelics had also been shown to “improve mental health effects linked to cardiometabolic diseases” they also display anti-inflammatory properties.
To figure out the relationship between physical health and classic psychedelic use, the scientists looked at data from over 375,000 Americans who had contributed to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey done by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Volunteers stated if they had taken classic psychedelics like psilocybin, peyote, San Pedro, LSD, DMT, ayahuasca, LSD, or mescaline. They were also asked if they were recently diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease within the last year.
The scientists discovered that the occurrence of both health conditions was lower in psychedelic users. For example, about 2.3% of those who had used a psychedelic had heart disease in the last year, compared to 4.5% of people who had never used a psychedelic.
Similarly, 4% of people who had used a psychedelic in the past were diagnosed with diabetes in the last year, compared to 8% of people who had never used a classic psychedelic drug.
“The study results show that classic psychedelic use is linked to lower odds of getting diabetes or heart disease in the last year,” Simonsson said.
The scientists controlled for gender, age, race, level of education, marital status, engagement in risky behaviour, annual household income, and other drug use.