Researchers appear to have discovered a benefit to psychedelic use: a lower chance of heart disease and diabetes.
After examining ten years’ worth of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a team of scientists discovered an unexpected trend: those who reported having tried psychedelics at least once in their lives had a lower chance of getting either condition over the course of the previous year, according to a study published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.
In particular, the researchers examined the data from 375,000 survey participants and discovered that just 2.3% of people who had ever used DMT, ayahuasca, LSD, mescaline, peyote, or psilocybin had received a diabetic or heart disease diagnosis in the preceding year. Comparing that to the 4.5 percent diagnostic rate among those who had never used any of those medications, it is significantly lower.
According to Oxford sociologist and primary research author Otto Simonsson, “the findings suggest that lifetime classic psychedelic use is associated with lower odds of having had heart disease or diabetes in the past year,” PsyPost said.
One theory is that certain people who have experimented with mild psychedelic use may have reduced cardiac stress years and decades later, as moderate psychedelic use is linked to a long-term sense of greater calm and well-being.
All of that does not imply that you should take a bunch of mushrooms for the sake of your cardiometabolic well-being, but it does point to an intriguing relationship between psychedelics and medicine that needs more research to fully understand.
Simonsson told PsyPost, “The direction of causality remains unknown.” “Further research using randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled designs is required to determine whether traditional psychedelic use lowers the risk of cardiometabolic diseases and, if so, by what mechanisms.”
Nevertheless, it’s a promising discovery that may be added to the long list of other therapeutic advantages that researchers seem to have discovered linked to the usage of psychedelics. And now that they have this apparent association, researchers may be able to carry out more clinical studies to see whether the medications indeed enhance heart health.