Thursday, July 31, 2014

Good news on health and heart tests....

Thursday, 7-31-2014

A.  Introduction

1.  The two most important things to know among many that can be helpful to measure your heart health status – AND all your health status! -- are your level of small particle LDL and your level of chronic or background inflammation.

If both are very low, your chances of heart attack and stroke go way down.  Even if you have other things that might cause them, you get a LOT of protection. 

That’s because small particle LDL and your level of chronic and background inflammation are the two biggest causes of heart disease.  Each one does it. So you want BOTH to be very low.

If your level of small particle LDL and your level of chronic or background inflammation as measured by the HSCRP test are high, you are in serious trouble.

Not only do these things cause heart disease, they cause many cancers and make any cancers you get more likely to metastasize and kill you.  And, high levels of inflammation also CAUSE osteoarthritis and make any you get hurt worse and limit you more.  Not only that, the cut back in blood flow you get if both are high long enough also helps cause Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia!

2.   You have to get the HSCRP test separately.  But there is good news on your level of small particle LDL.

All you need to get a very accurate idea if yours is high or low is to get the basic lipid panel that is relatively inexpensive.

In fact, at this time, if your doctor or medical group have you take the test, there is no charge for it as it is known to help prevent disease.

It measures your total cholesterol.

But of far more importance, it measures your HDL, your LDL, and your triglycerides.

And, research at Harvard found that the ratio of HDL to triglycerides is a very close indicator of your level of small particle LDL.

a) That said, what do you want to see and NOT see when you look at your lipid panel and HSCRP test? 

For HSCRP, 1.0 or lower is desirable and less than .5 is very desirable. Over 2.0 is high and undesirable and 3.0 or higher is very dangerous.

b) You want your HDL to be high and your triglycerides to be low; AND you want to have a higher number for your HDL than for your triglycerides. That’s because that ratio shows how much small particle LDL you have. 

The ideal combination is to have LDL below 100 and far more HDL than your triglyceride level.  That’s because that means you have a very low level of small particle LDL.

When I was younger and eating a more ordinary diet and not taking many supplements to protect my heart even though I was exercising well, my HDL was about 50 and my triglycerides were about 150.  So at three times as high a triglyceride number my heart disease indicator was average but NOT desirable at all! 

The biggest problem was my high triglycerides from eating too many sugars and refined grain foods and not knowing to avoid hydrogenated oils or how to do it.  Because I was running every week on most days and not smoking or drinking soft drinks, it wasn’t worse!

Now I’ve slashed that stuff out of my diet and take niacin and a sterol supplement and more and still exercise, my HDL divided by my triglycerides are almost 3.0.  Last time, I got 2.7 and I once got to 3.0 (100/37 now and 105/35 then.)

What happens if, as Zorba the Greek said in the movie, you have “the full catastrophe”? 

(You will if you eat all kinds of foods with hydrogenated oils and sugars and refined grains, drink soft drinks either regular or diet, and do no exercise.) 

You’ll get fat if you keep doing it.

And your readings will be something like triglycerides 330 and HDL of 30 -- where the bad side is ahead by 11 to one!

You can fix the causes or you can be very sick once this damages you enough; and you will live fewer decades of healthy life and have MUCH higher health care costs!

2.  The two pieces of good news are that you can now get your small particle LDL level tested directly.

If you’ve taken action and your HDL is a good bit higher than your triglycerides or you are at risk because it’s still the reverse, you might want to test the level of your small particle LDL directly.

If so, you likely would be pleased to do it for less than the several hundred dollars it used to cause!

Here’sere’s the first piece of good news!:

The direct test by itself now costs less than $150! 

It’s called the Vertical Auto Profile (VAP) test.

“This test will analyze your LDL cholesterol and determine if it is made up of predominantly the small, dangerous particles or larger, more benign particles.

It will also tell you how much Lp(a) is circulating in your blood. In addition, the VAP test breaks out your HDL cholesterol subtypes, letting you know if you have more of the HDL2 subtype, which is most beneficial.”

Here’s the second piece of good news.

You can now get this test and others at reasonable cost BY YOURSELF without having to have your doctor order them or see them.

That can be desirable for either of two reasons:

a)  If you think it likely your test will be bad news, you might not want to have your doctor order it or see the results before you have a chance to improve the numbers on your own.

Today doctors often prescribe drugs that do little to change the causes or make fatal events less likely but DO have side effects that harm your quality of life or worse cause actual harm or other diseases.  Worse, if such test results once go into your medical records it might cause your rates to rise when your insurance company learns of it.

So if the news is bad and you do take action which improves the numbers BEFORE you get tests your doctor and insurance company see, you can now spare yourself that hassle!

b) If you want the direct information and ask your doctor for this test, you either will be denied access or have to pay extra because the insurance company sees it as a test you don’t need and not allowing it or paying for it will save them money.

In that case, paying for the test yourself without that hassle and likely paying less and getting the test right away and not having to pay for a doctor visit too can be desirable.

I’ve had that happen to me for some diagnostic tests.

It seems there ARE several companies now that DO tests directly from requests by the consumer without the doctor first entering into it or getting the results.

I’ve long hoped one day that would be possible and the company would have enough locations that I and the people I know would be able to do this.

Now that DOES exist; and the company I found like that offers many tests depending on what you want and can afford.

They also have locations throughout the United States.

For example, they have one near me in Palo Alto here in California.

Their web address is:

And, the company is apparently LabCorp.

Here’s the info on their Palo Alto location for example:

LabCorp Palo Alto
853 Middlefield Rd Ste 6
Palo Alto, CA 94301  650-324-2496

And, the link to the VAP tests is:

These companies now give you a shot at managing your own life that were not available before.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Stanford study suggests sitting more is making us fat too....

Tuesday, 7-29-2014

1.  Since the end of World War II in 1945 people drink for more soft drinks and eat far more fast food and eat out more often.  Between then and now, we have clearly added far more of the components of those foods compared to what people ate then.

Food components such as refined grains, high fructose corn syrup, and other fattening, health harming, and nutrition and fiber poor ingredients are now 25% of the calorie intake of many Americans. 

No surprise, people who stop it all and eat vegetables and health OK protein foods and some health OK oils that add up to 10% of their previous intake usually lose 15% of their previous body weight as fat.  This has proven to have massive health benefits cutting the risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and even mental decline.

(People who do this also stop ingesting MSG which is a proven fattener and stop most of their previous intake of hydrogenated oils which is a proven heart attack starter that’s unusually effective – close to as bad as smoking.)

Even better once you get used to the new way of eating, you are LESS hungry more often than before.

Until recently, most writing about the trends in rising obesity for Americans since that time have focused on those trends in added fatteners in the diet of the average American.

Clearly this has been an accurate focus.

 Stanford researchers thought that this trend may have already peaked but Americans were still getting fatter every year during the last 20 years or so.

 The data they found suggest that more recently it’s also the increase in sedentary time and lower amount of physical activity that is driving the obesity increase.

Clearly the increase in obesity in the last 30 years IS still caused by what the calorie intake is made up of.

And the increase in calories from 40 and 50 years ago is also made up mostly of the harmful and fattening foods and drinks that increased so much in most people's diet.

High fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, real sugar, refined hybrid GMO wheat, MSG, and hydrogenated oils --
all went up in average intake during that time and are clearly part of the cause. 

(Each of them has been found to help cause chronic diseases and increased obesity and visceral fat.)

For individuals, cutting the intake of each of these to zero and cutting way back on real sugar, will help remove obesity. 

And, successfully working up to eating 6 servings a day of vegetables would help cut obesity AND has proven health benefits and longevity.  (Of course, adding them without cutting out the fattening foods and drinks is much less effective for health and much less effective for fat loss.)

2.  It seems a recent study at Stanford also found that being completely sedentary DOES cause obesity and is a cause of the more recent rise in obesity.

Their data indicate that getting half of the people who are completely sedentary now into exercise at least 10 minutes in three or four sessions a week would cut down on obesity.

So would having a way to exercise at your desk at work or at your computer at home or both that at least half the people used every day for at least an hour or two.

The write up of their study was in several media outlets.  This one is from Medical News Today

Rise in obesity 'due to decline in exercise, not over-eating'   Tuesday 8 July 2014

A study from Stanford University reported in The American Journal of Medicine suggests the rise in obesity in the US is likely due to increased sedentary lifestyles across the nation, and not eating too many calories.

The researchers came to this conclusion after studying data for the last 20 years from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that shows there has been a sharp decline in levels of leisure time physical activity among Americans - especially among young women - accompanied by an increase in average body mass index (BMI), while calorie consumption has remained somewhat steady.

Lead author Uri Ladabaum, Associate Professor of Medicine in Stanford University School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed trends in obesity, waistline obesity, physical activity and calorie intake in American adults up to 2010.

In 2010 over half of American women reported no leisure-time exercise
More than half (51.7%) of female adults in the US reported no leisure-time physical activity in 2010. This proportion is nearly treble what it was in 1994, when 19.1% of adult American women reported doing no exercise.

For men, while the proportion who reported no leisure-time physical activity in 2010 was lower than for women, at 43.5%, this is nearly four times the 11.4% of men who said they did not exercise in 1994.

When they analyzed the data by subgroups, the team found women, and black and Mexican-American women in particular, showed the greatest decreases in reported exercise.

BMI and average waist size have also climbed steadily
Meanwhile, across the same period, the US saw average body mass index rise by an average of 0.37% per year, with the most dramatic increase being in young women.

The team also looked at changes in abdominal obesity, which some consider an independent risk factor for death, even among people with normal BMIs - thus being "apple-shaped" is considered riskier than "pear-shaped" for the same height and weight.

A person is considered abdominally obese if their waist circumference is 88 cm (34.65 in) or more for a woman, and 102 cm (40.15 in) or more for a man.

The researchers found that average waist size went up by 0.37% per year for women and 0.27% for men.

They found that abdominal obesity has gone up in both normal-weight and overweight women, while for men it only went up in overweight men.

Prof. Ladabaum says these changes have occurred in the absence of significant changes in calorie consumption:

"At the population level, we found a significant association between the level of leisure-time physical activity, but not daily caloric intake, and the increases in both BMI and waist circumference."

Although he and his colleagues did not investigate the types of food consumed, they were able to calculate the total daily calorie, fat, carbohydrate, and protein consumption over the period. They found these have not changed significantly over the last 20 years.

"It remains controversial whether overweight alone increases mortality risk," says Prof. Ladabaum, "but the trends in abdominal obesity among the overweight are concerning in light of the risks associated with increased waist circumference independent of BMI."

'Troublesome trends in younger adults'
While increased calorie intake is often blamed for the current obesity epidemic in the US, the researchers say they found no evidence of this in their study, as Prof. Ladabaum concludes:

"Our findings do not support the popular notion that the increase of obesity in the United States can be attributed primarily to sustained increase over time in the average daily caloric intake of Americans."

He also warns that that while it looks like obesity rates appear to be leveling out in the US, their "analyses highlight troublesome trends in younger adults, in women, and in abdominal obesity prevalence, as well as persistent racial/ethnic disparities."

In January 2014, Medical News Today reported how a study from Kansas State University suggests less sitting and more moving improves health and quality of life. The researchers showed people who do this have a lower risk for chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, breast cancer, colon cancer and others.

Written by Catharine Paddock PhD

Here’s the link to the original article.

Rise in obesity 'due to decline in exercise, not over-eating'
In the last 20 years, while calorie intake has not changed much, obesity among
Americans has continued to rise, in line with a decline in exercise, especially
among young women.

3.  Meanwhile three things are true about diet, exercise, and fat loss:

a) You can do a good or even better job with exercise and eat enough of the wrong things and you will stay fatter than you would like.  People do.  I even did this once.

b)  You can lose fat with diet alone:

You can use a total conversion to an eating format such as Dr Joel Fuhrman’s all vegan style or the more recent Wahls Protocol by Dr Terry Wahls that includes fish and liver but contains as much or even more vegetables than Dr Fuhrman’s work.  (Neither include grains.)

If you do that and are fat now and eat or drink nothing else, you can lose fat down to a level you stop being overweight by BMI.

c) If you want to lose fat and lose fat you keep off, you are more likely to succeed and will be less fat while able to eat more if you do the right exercises most days of every week – in addition to upgrading what you eat:

Helping people succeed right away on very small and doable exercise has been shown to empower people to take the food advice better and have more of a self image as being someone who is health oriented and can take action to cause it effectively.  And, that helps them start to eat right & continue eating right.

Eating more which the exercise allows you to do and still lose fat protects you from getting too hungry.  People who get too hungry tend to quit and gain the fat back.

Doing effective strength training and interval or variable cardio with short, intense bursts causes more calories to be burned for hours after the exercise and has proven to speed fat loss when done well.

People who fail to strength train, lose muscle every year.  They don’t get less hungry and the excess they add over time makes them gain fat. 

(In addition you get huge health benefits from doing regular exercise of these two kinds.  It slows aging, helps prevent mental decline, helps prevent osteoporosis, and even improves the sex life for both sexes.)

So, if you want to succeed in losing fat you KEEP off and speed the process, adding the right exercises does help and is important to add.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why 66% of smokers get Alzheimer's disease....

Thursday, 7-24-2014

1.  A recent study found that about 66% of smokers get Alzheimer’s disease.

That’s truly astonishing news that even doctors may not yet know! 

Smoking news recently reported by Medical News Today says that smokers are 45% more likely to get dementia. 

So there's a new reason to give people to quit!

Few people who are mentally competent now want to wind up there!

And, given the horrible financial and emotional costs of dementia, it's another public health and economic reason to tax tobacco products heavily; and increase the areas where smoking is not permitted.

It also means developing better ways to quit and making sure more and more smokers use them would be very desirable!

If half of all people over 80 get dementia, a commonly cited estimate, this data show that only 45.87% of nonsmokers do and 66.5% of all smokers do assuming that currently about 20% of Americans smoke.

And, since some of that 80% get second hand smoke exposure, the rate for people who stay completely away from tobacco smoke is even lower -- perhaps lower than 40%.

Doing the things that cut that risk by over 8 to one at that point in addition can cut their risk to less than 5%! (We’ve posted on those often.)

Here’s the relevant quote from Medical News Today & the link to their complete article:

"Smokers have a 45% higher risk of developing dementia than non-smokers, according to information published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI).

Evidence reviewed by WHO reveals a strong link between smoking and the risk of dementia, and the more a person smokes, the higher the risk. It is estimated that 14% of Alzheimer's disease cases worldwide are potentially attributable to smoking."

Smoking increases risk of dementia
Smokers have a 45% higher risk of developing dementia than non-smokers,
according to information published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in
collaboration with Alzheimer's Disease...

2.  Meanwhile many smokers don’t even know or believe that smoking is even harmful!

The majority of smokers have only heard that smoking causes lung cancer and that even most smokers don’t get it. 

So most of them just think they will be in the lucky group and make no effort to quit. 

The odds of course are so dreadfully high they might not be so lucky.  That’s because, if they are heavy smokers, 25% of the time they will get lung cancer.

3.  What doctors do know that most smokers do not is that the really big risk from smoking is heart disease – even MORE than it is from cancer. 

The other problem is that doctors have not got the word out very well yet that every single puff adds to the plaque that will eventually close up the arteries of smokers.

Smoking has a similar effect on your lungs.

That means that no smoker escapes this harm.  None!

Brand new teen smokers and people who “only” smoke three to five cigarettes a day are harmed with every single puff.

Then if they keep smoking, this happens thousands of times after a few years even for these young and light smokers.

4.  How does this make smokers more likely to get Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia?

Because it means the lungs and blood vessels in smokers deliver less oxygen and remove less CO2 and other waste products than in nonsmokers.

Worse, cigarette smoke delivers carbon monoxide instead of Oxygen.  So brain cells and nerves in the brain of smokers sustain more damage and less of it is cleaned up.

Alzheimer’s and other dementias are caused by damage to the brain cells and nerves and by the damage from waste products that build up until they cause damage themselves.

Clearly, cigarette smoke does both.

So, just like eating hydrogenated oils is a way of eating heart attack starter, smoking is a heart attack starter AND a dementia starter too!

5.  But that may only be half the reason smoking causes dementia!

Except for cadmium pollution of food and industrial accidents both of which are now less frequent, the main cause of excess cadmium exposure is smoking.

But besides osteoporosis and other harm, it seems that high cadmium exposure looks to cause Alzheimer’s disease too!

I found the info that excess cadmium exposure causes such damage when I researched the reasons why eating foods that are not organic can be harmful.  One such harm comes from the use of fertilizers that contain too much cadmium in foods that are not organically raised.

I thought I remembered that smoking also causes excess cadmium exposure.  Indeed it does and far more of it!

Here are some of the things I found online:


"....One model for human cadmium intake (Van Assche 1998) has estimated that ingestion accounts for 95% of total cadmium intake in a non-smoker. For a smoker, this model estimates that roughly 50% of their cadmium intake arises from cigarettes with the balance due to ingestion and the low levels of cadmium naturally present in ambient air."

& ...."in general, cigarette smoking is a habit which can more than double the average person's daily cadmium intake."

& from

"A single cigarette typically contains 1-2 mcg of cadmium. When burned, cadmium is present at a level of 1,000-3,000 ppb in the smoke. Approximately 40 to 60 percent of the cadmium inhaled from cigarette smoke is able to pass through the lungs and into the body. This means that for each pack of cigarettes smoked, a person can absorb an additional 1-3 mcg of cadmium over what is taken in from other sources in their daily life.

Smokers typically have twice as much cadmium in their bodies as their nonsmoking counterparts."

AND, Wikipedia had this:  "Cadmium exposure can also cause people to lose their sense of smell.  That effect is also a marker for Alzheimer's disease."

So, smoking causes mental decline in several ways all of which work.  And every puff by every smoker causes this damage.  Then, after even a few years of smoking that damage is multiplied thousands of times.

So, besides cancer and heart disease and heart attacks and strokes that smoking causes or triggers, smoking causes mental decline too.

That means that it’s worth a massive, focused, and if needed, repeated attempts, to quit smoking.

And for all of us paying the costs that are generated, helping people quit and making it harder and more expensive to continue smoking is also worth a massive, focused, and repeated effort!   

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nicotine causes cancer and heart disease by itself....

Tuesday, 7-22-2014

Tobacco and tobacco smoke cause heart disease, trigger heart attacks people could have escaped, and cause cancers in every part of the body.

A. They do this even if they were nicotine free.

1.  Tobacco itself is radioactive, so if you contact it or its smoke to your mucous membranes by breathing its smoke -- even if it’s second hand smoke -- or you put tobacco in your nose or mouth, that radioactivity is carried by your blood to everywhere in your body.

Particularly if you use a lighter with its high temperature flame to light tobacco, the many carcinogenic hydrocarbons formed are carcinogenic even without the radioactivity problem.

2.  The carbon monoxide and the bioactive small particle particulates in tobacco smoke can cause heart disease without the nicotine. They cause the damage to the insides of your blood vessels that your body then tries to patch by building up the plaque that builds up to cause heart disease.  (Note that this effect happens to all smokers every single time.  NONE escape it. Even brand new smokers and people who smoke just 4 or 5 cigarettes a day get it just the same with every puff they take.

 And the carbon monoxide may be the main heart attack trigger even if there is no nicotine.

B.  So, given that and the fact that some people have a physical addiction to nicotine, there are methods to help people quit that give them some nicotine after they stop smoking.  For some people this does seem to help.

But what about nicotine itself? 

Is it desirable to get help with the addiction without nicotine or use as little as possible and step down the amount to zero for sure as soon as possible or can you take your time?

If you can quit smoking for sure while stopping the nicotine sooner, we now know that question’s answer is YES:  Stop the nicotine as soon as possible. Or don’t use it!

It turns out that nicotine BY ITSELF causes both cancer and heart disease!

Earlier this year Medical New Today had a story on research showing nicotine helps cause heart disease.

And, last month they reported a study showing that nicotine also causes cancer by itself as well:

Nicotine in e-cigarettes and smoking cessation devices 'carcinogenic'
Research into the carcinogenic properties of nicotine may have severe 
implications for popular smoking cessation devices such as e-cigarettes and 
nicotine patches.

“The study, led by geneticist Jasmin Bavarva, exposed cells to nicotine and compared them to cells that had not been exposed. They found that thousands more mutations were present in the cells that had been exposed to nicotine compared with the control cells.

The patterns of mutation found were similar to those observed in cells experiencing oxidative stress, a known precursor to cancer. The authors conclude that nicotine exposure can adversely affect genes by inducing mutations, and over the period of significant exposure may contribute to increased cancer incidence.

Prof. Harold Garner, director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute's Medical Informatics and Systems Division, says that the results are important:

"For the first time they directly measure large numbers of genetic variations caused only by nicotine, showing that nicotine alone can mutate the genome and initiate a cancer state. This is particularly timely since nicotine is used as a smoking cessation therapeutic."

Add to this the other study that found that nicotine by itself helped cause heart disease and the other comments in the cancer study make sense:

“10.1% of participants trying to quit by using other nicotine replacement therapies were successful

15.4% of participants trying to quit without assistance [from nicotine replacement] were successful.”

Another study found that people who smoked although they got short term stress relief then felt worse later and that people who quit actually quit wound up feeling less stressed.  The problem of course is that few smokers know this.

And, the other problem is that stop smoking programs don’t teach other methods to use for stress as well as it needs to be done.

There is a new way to teach this that may prove to work that is in the training and response to it by successful US Navy Seals who pass that training regimen.  It’s about 20 times harder and more uncomfortable than quitting smoking!  Emulating the SEALS who pass may do the job for people quitting smoking too. (More on that another time.)


1. Using alternative methods to quit and overcome the physical addiction other than nicotine replacement looks desirable

2.  Using eCigarettes to quit smoking is also a VERY bad idea since the people mistakenly believe that the nicotine in them is safe. It turns out nicotine by itself is nearly as harmful as smoking!

3.  This means that absolutely for sure using eCigarettes in public places should be banned too.  And everywhere smoking is banned so should eCigarettes be banned.  

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Monday, July 21, 2014

My monthly fatloss progress report....

Monday, 7-21-2014

This month’s report is a mixed review with some positive and some negative.
I both gained some leverage and lost some. 

1.  Here’s my immediate progress section first:

I lost a half pound on the scale.  BUT my waist measured what it did last time.

Because I was able to maintain some of the recent increase with faster to fix and less expensive vegetables and DID make some progress on my strength training, I maintained my progress basically.

(I’m now at 3 and a half pounds over my goal weight; but my waist measurement shows I need to either lose below that or add muscle or both.)

2.  I did make two changes that could have caused the small weight loss.  If I maintain them, I may lose the 3 and a half pounds over my goal weight I am now or a bit more.

And, since those will be fat pounds, I may also lose a half inch on my waist.

3.  Because of extra stress, I did let my number of drinks per week go from about 9 to about 11.  I was able to cut that to 9 again the last week of the month. 

Since every drink a week tends to equal 1.5 pounds of fat on the scale if not burned as an energy source, that may help me lose three pounds of fat and only be a half pound over my goal weight if I maintain it for a few more weeks AND after that.

I was under as much stress the week I did that and still got it done.  So, I think this time I may be able to sustain it.

4.  I was eating a big plateful of greens once a week before in a salad with a bit of avocado and feta cheese and a light olive oil dressing at a local upscale cafe.  Since I eat olive oil and avocado separately, I’m saving a few dollars a week buying a plate of greens and eating them by themselves twice a week.  Since the added drinks didn’t add too much before, it may have been that change of eating more greens with less oil that caused the half pound weight loss.

That change looks sustainable! It may be helping my fat loss.  It costs less.  And, it’s doubled my intake of raw, fresh greens. 

So, that is promising news despite the small size of the improvement.  That’s added to by the fact that the changes that caused it only happened the last week of the month.

Doing them every week for four weeks might make faster progress than just a half pound.

5.  The new method I added last month for strength training seems to be helping me get stronger with small enough increases to allow for more continuous progress in strength than what I was doing.

I now do two sessions a week for upper body strength training.  At one, I am doing more reps at the slightly faster slow speed and fewer reps with a heavier weight than I was using. The progress is a bit slow; but it IS happening.  At the second session two days later, I use a couple of notches less weight BUT I do more reps and at the slower slow speed.  In that session, I just did 18 reps with each hand in an exercise that was MUCH harder for just 9 reps not long ago.  I’m at the point I can jump the weight for those sets!

THAT is encouraging!

My leg strength training is mostly better.  My two substitutes for the leg press on the machine are gradually doing better.  They involve using my bodyweight for only one leg at a time.  Best of all, neither one is making the injury I seemed to get act up the way it was before on my substitute super slow squats holding dumbbell in each hand.

My one leg at a time calf exercises are still making excellent progress on my right leg.  But I hurt my left Achilles tendon doing something away from my exercises which had not bothered it.  But now it’s injured, I’ve had to drop from holding a 35 or 37 pound dumbbell to using one with 10 pounds to using one with 8 pounds and will need to go to 5 pounds or even three to do that exercise without preventing that from healing.  So, I’ll just keep my right leg exercises the same until I can gradually build back my left leg to do that weight again.  By doing the similar style with the lighter weight with my injured leg and doing the same weight with my right leg, the studies show that by doing those two things,  once the injury heals the strength will build back just fine relatively quickly.  So even though it’s irritating to have to wait a few weeks for that to happen, my confidence in the method is as good as it was before.

If all keeps going well, I’ll need to buy a new 40 pound dumbbell as the 35 pound with the 2 pound wrist weight will not be enough to be challenging if this keeps up.

My muscles LOOK a bit bigger.  So even though I’ve not gained enough to increase how much they weigh and calories they burn.  After another year or so, I may gain a pound or two at an age when most people lose 5 pounds of muscle instead!

4.  The two sessions of progressive short sets of high intensity, interval cardio have been a mixed review.  But the overall news is good.

(I kept my weekly session of 4 sets of back to back abdominal exercises and my weekly 10 minute session of intense variable cardio on my Nordic track where I was already at a high level I’d worked up to gradually.)

I hope to be able to do two sets of jump rope to replace one of the two abdominal exercises sessions in a way that increases my calories burned by 100 calories a week or more at some point.

Clearly, I’ll have to get a better jump rope and one on one coaching to do it and of course wait until a few weeks after my left Achilles tendon heals.

But until I do that and get to superbly fit and a bit less fat, I’ll do what I have been and keep my very good level of fitness and not gain the fat that people my age normally do.

I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing now.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The best vegetables to eat....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 7-17-2014

1.  Why eat a lot of vegetables in the first place:

a) We’ve posted recently that people who eat 6 servings of vegetables a day of vegetables have a 42% lower chance of dying of any cause than people who don’t.

The reduction of heart disease and cancers account for most of that reduction.

b)  And, Dr Terry Wahls added some animal proteins from naturally fed animals and wild caught fish and a bit of seaweed to that many servings a day of vegetables and some whole fresh fruit.

She found this diet so protective, that she literally went from being unable to work and in a wheel chair and not able to walk due to MS to going hiking and resuming work.

c)  Dr Weston Price found several cultures still eating their native diets that were in superb health—and dental health.  (He was a dentist.) There was some variation due to differences in what foods were locally available to each culture; but the healthy ones ate a locally adapted version of the diet Dr Wahls has found so protective!

2.  What vegetables are best:

(We’ve pasted together here several kinds from several sources here to give you ideas.

By all means eat the ones you already know and like more often; and try some of the others; and add some variation to go with your favorites you like to have often.)

Dr Wahls’ protocol is a bit too much for many people.  But the more you can do and the closer you can approach it and more harmful foods and drinks you  remove to make room for it, the healthier and longer lived you will be.

Combining 3 or 4 vegetables at a time into a VitaMix drink is one way people have found to make this doable in practice.  (Two or three vegetables and one fruit or add a bit of ginger and these blends can actually taste good!)

a)  Here are her three parts to her basic protocol with some readily available kinds. 

For many of them it’s critical to only eat it if you can get it organic.  And, though other places do OK, I’ve found Whole Foods does this best and for more kinds of produce.

3  cups of leafy greens

Chard, Collard Greens, Kale, Parsley are some of the best.

3 cups of colorful vegetables and fruits 

Broccoli, Artichoke hearts, green cabbage,  green bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and yams, Red Kale, red cabbage, pumpkin puree.

Kiwifruit, raspberries, strawberries, red grapes/blueberries, blackberries, plums, raisins, figs, lemons, organges, peaches, and nectarines

3 cups of sulfur rich vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables:  broccoli, red & green cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Napa or Chinese cabbage, kale;
Known to be safe mushrooms;
Onions and garlic & related foods such as leeks and green onions.

b) Best vegetables listed in an email from Steve and Becky Holman as best for you based on a list of the best vegetable created by Researchers at the University of Wayne based on the nutrient density, "considering 17 nutrients generally understood to be important to public health, like potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamins."

The winner--drum roll please--watercress. Say what? Yep, the leafy green with that tangy taste.

Here are the top 3: 1) watercress, 2) Chinese cabbage, 3) chard,

Kale was #15 and broccoli #19.

They noted that some specific vegetables on the list can fight abdominal fat. How? 

(The cruciferous vegetables best help clean out the estrogen mimics in our diet of chemical residues we ingest that tend to cause fat to be over-deposited.)

Of course all of them that are fat free and eaten by themselves or with others like them are filling and very, very low in calories.

Simply eat LOTS of those and do include but go just a bit easy on the health OK protein foods and the health OK fats oils and foods containing them for best fat loss results. 

From this Wayne University list:

1.  Watercress   Bit too spicy for my taste; and you'd need to use a lot as it has little leaves. Reported to be an excellent anticancer food however. 

2.  Chinese cabbage if it's as mild as it looks; and it is available in big amounts, it may be a winner!

3.  Chard is milder tasting than Kale and collard greens & if that good for you too, is a definite winner!

From other lists:

1.  Kale   The big winner on most lists.

2.  Collard greens  Similar to kale.

3.  Broccoli   Strong anticancer effects in more than one way AND carotenes too.  Easy to find and best known. Raw & lightly steamed work best for anticancer.  Lightly steamed or sauteed with olive oil for carotenes works best.

4.  Red cabbage  Easy to find, cruciferous, and colorful, not too harsh

5.  Green cabbage Easy to find, not too harsh

6.  Brussels Sprouts  Often available and not too harsh, Vitamix makes much easier to fix.

7.  Cauliflower  Milder and one of few white ones and as good at anticancer as broccoli or better

8.  Cilantro   Removes harmful metals if you eat it often. Can add a nice green color and flavor.

1.  Daikon Radish is a mild radish that is a great pasta substitute as it can be make into pasta like strips.

2.  Horseradish is dreadfully harsh but used right as a spice in small amounts, it may be the best anticancer one.

3.  Basil Tastes great and has some ursolic acid which has some anticancer and anabolic effects with no steroids in it!

4.  Oregano   Can be part of a good taste blend and besides some ursolic acid is anti viral and antibiotic!

1.  Turmeric  May be the real number one as it fights heart disease and cancer and Alzheimer's too!

2.  Ginger  Better tasting cousin to Turmeric that also cuts nausea when needed.

1.  Carrots Highest in ALPHA carotene and has hundreds more carotenes!

2.  Onions  Can taste good when well used and anticancer and some heart disease protection

3.  Garlic  Great heart disease protection and can taste great and anticancer effects too.
(Available "deodorized" as an effective heart protective supplement.  And, for most flavor and most heart protective effects minced fresh garlic works best.) 

4.  Celery Can help lower high blood pressure.

3 superfoods are used as vegetables; but two are technically fruits and one is a fungus.

1.  Avocados  Heart healthy fat AND proven protective effects plus a multivitamin in one food!

2.  Tomatoes  Super food for heart disease and anticancer plus good both raw AND cooked --
                        works best for nutrition when combined with extra virgin olive oil or avocado.

3.  Mushrooms   Mild, filling, some protein, anticancer, and immune system boosting + B2 source

1.  Green bell peppers high in vitamin C  Can be eaten both cooked and raw.  Can be used as a container for other foods both ways besides that -- to avoid needing to use a grain based container such as a taco or tortilla or piece of bread.

2.  Hot peppers can help boost metabolism for fat loss effects, high in vitamin C, can add flavor when used to the taste of the person eating them, AND can help prevent bronchitis in people with viral or bacterial lung infections.

And, these work well for colorful vegetables high in mixed carotenes:

1.  Garnet yams  Best color and the most carotenes and flavor
2.  Sweet Potatoes  Well prepared still very high in carotenes
3.  Pumpkin puree   Comes in cans but comparable to red yams for flavor and carotenes
4.  Acorn squash
5.  Zucchini

6.  Winter and summer small squash  

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Advantages for organic foods and best sources....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 7-15-2014

1.  Some studies have found that organic produce has very comparable levels of well known nutrients with conventional produce which has been sprayed with pesticide and herbicides.  (One of these was done recently at Stanford.)

(This is partially true as we discuss in this first section. But there are other ways to judge the health impact on you of produce, we go into after that, for which organic is dramatically safer to eat.)

And, Dr Terry Wahls points out the real fruits and vegetables have so many, literally hundreds, of micronutrients besides the ones in vitamin supplements that even conventional produce has more nutrition than supplements for just a few well known nutrients.  (This is particularly true for folate, and carotenes and the tocopherols.) 

Other studies have found more nutrients and micronutrients in organic produce.

So the bottom line is that for well known nutrients, organic may be better or may not be for a particular vegetable or fruit depending on which farm it was grown on.

And, your health may depend more on how many of the most health beneficial vegetables and whole fruits you eat each day and each week than whether or not they are organic.

However for some micronutrients with very strong health effects, flavonols, etc which may be as valuable as the well known nutrients, organic does consistently test as better.  And, one such study was reported recently on Medical News Today.

So, for nutrition and good health eat many of the most health beneficial vegetables and whole fruits each day and each week.  Six servings to eight servings of several kinds of vegetables and one or two servings of whole fruit each day is the ideal to work towards.

And, when you can, for nutrition, if you have access to organic, and particularly if it costs the same, lean towards organic produce.

2.  However, there are some problems with conventional produce which make organic produce a far better choice for every week or daily consumption.

That same Stanford study DID find that there was far less pesticide and herbicide residue on organic produce.

a) Herbicides in particular are harmful to human cells.  One article I read said that almost all grains and produce treated with glyphosphate from the herbicide had enough of this potent agent to be harmful to humans.

Found this next from a Scientific American article:

“Glyphosphate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is the most widely used herbicide in the United States.  About 100 million pounds are applied to U.S. farms and lawns every year, according to the EPA.

Until now, most health studies have focused on the safety of glyphosphate, rather than the mixture of ingredients found in Roundup. But in the new study, scientists found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns.

One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself a finding the researchers call "astonishing."

This clearly confirms that the [inert ingredients] in Roundup formulations are not inert, wrote the study authors from France’s University of Caen. Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death [at the] residual levels” found on Roundup-treated crops, such as soybeans, alfalfa and corn, or lawns and gardens.

The research team suspects that Roundup might cause pregnancy problems by interfering with hormone production, possibly leading to abnormal fetal development, low birth weights or miscarriages.”

This suggests quite strongly that avoiding produce and grains that are not organic is protective enough to make a strong case to do so as close to 100% of the time as you can.

b) Note too that this also suggests avoiding all GMO crops since most of them either have some kind of pesticide inside the food where it can NOT be washed off –
AND because the other main change is to make the food itself resist damage from Roundup, it guarantees that virtually all of this food and the oils made from it contain Roundup traces in them.

So this means that soy, corn, and canola oil have the double problem—both the dangers from the GMO crop AND the Roundup residue. Worse, all three of these oils also are high enough in omega 6 oils to cause harmful amounts of high chronic inflammation.

So avoid those oils and all the produce that is NOT organic that you can.  Stick to organic extra virgin olive oil and organic produce that is available to you to protect yourself and your family if you find this convincing as I do.

3.  Lastly, the fertilizers used on conventional crops apparently contain enough of the metal cadmium to be worth avoiding for that problem alone.  Organic crops don’t use this kind of fertilizer.

Wikipedia had this:  “"Cadmium is an extremely toxic metal commonly found in industrial workplaces. Due to its low permissible exposure limit, overexposures may occur even in situations where trace quantities of cadmium are found."

And this:  "Some sources of phosphate in fertilizers contain cadmium in amounts of up to 100 mg/kg, which can lead to an increase in the concentration of cadmium in soil."

What harms can excess cadmium exposure cause or contribute to?

Compounds containing cadmium are also carcinogenic.

Cadmium tends to cause loss of bone mineral density helping to cause osteoporosis.

And, exposure to cadmium tends to cause kidney damage which, if it occurs, is irreversible.  And exposure to it can cause kidney stones.

Cadmium exposure can also cause people to lose their sense of smell.  That one is also a marker for Alzheimer's disease.

Cadmium exposure also tends to cause high blood pressure.

4.  Best sources for organic foods and supplements:

a) Prop 65 applies to supplements and other products sold in California.  If something contains a bit of lead or mercury or a known chemical that might be carcinogenic, it can't be sold in stores here, and if sold in California from an out of state source, you get a Prop 65 notice before you buy.

I'm in favor of it.  Some natural extracts used to contain some lead for example.  The ones sold here (in California) from a store here may cost $2 a bottle more but the company providing it has to find a way to get an extract that does not contain lead or contains dramatically less. 

If you can buy foods and supplements from a source do what you can to buy from or in California.  That way you avoid whatever the out of state supplements sometimes contain that you very well might not want to take long term.

b)  Avoid buying commercial treat juices and packaged foods even if they are labeled as organic because the companies who own these brands are the same soft drink companies and food companies only too happy to sell you high fructose corn syrup and other harmful ingredients.  So the chances of there being traces of things you might not want to be exposed to is higher than it should be.

c)  So far the best large scale provider of organic foods and produce I know of is Whole Foods.

They aren’t perfect and haven’t yet enforced their coming ban on GMO foods in their stores.

But they do have the best selection and the most consistent availability of organic produce I’ve seen  Moreover many of these foods sell at very similar prices to conventional produce sold in other stores.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Several ways to avoid fatal heart attacks....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 7-10-2014

1.  About 6 weeks ago I saw a story in Medical News Today that had research showing that a combination of a poor immune response involving T cells with very high chronic inflammation was an indication of an above average risk of having a fatal heart attack.

But since we have ways to prevent both, it seemed to me at the time that taking the actions that prevent both is a great way to protect yourself against having a fatal heart attack:

Better T cell regulation from D3 and slashing inflammation prevent fatal heart attacks

This test measures T cell regulation and inflammation with the finding that low T cell regulation and sky high inflammation cause &/or trigger fatal heart attacks.

So, in addition to slashing omega 6 oils and increasing DHA & fish based omega 3 and virtually eliminating sugars and grains to get fast heart attack protection, adding 5,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 and using natural anti-inflammatory foods and extracts to further lower inflammation will make repeat heart attacks and fatal heart attacks less likely.

a) D3 helps prevent autoimmune disease in part because it improves T cell regulation in addition to its other health benefits.  And, 3,000 to 5,000 iu a day looks to be the real optimum intake for most people based on the research I’ve seen. 

(People who are outside a lot on summer days make more than that from sun exposure but few of us are outside that much even in summers.  In addition, most research on the beneficial effects of taking vitamin D3 has found that the greatest beneficial effect was in taking amounts of 4,000 iu a day or a bit more. Moreover, unlike vitamin D2 which is a manmade analog, vitamin D3, the natural form, is clearly safe up to 10,000 iu a day and likely far more. So, 5,000 iu a day is extremely likely to be safe.)

Oils like soy and corn and canola are high in omega 6 and are inflammatory.  Extra virgin olive oil is quite low in omega 6 and has tested to have health benefits both for that reason and others.  So to avoid the inflammation part of this, stop ALL the oils that are high in omega 6 and use extra virgin olive oil instead.

Grain is high in omega 6 oils.  And, eating a lot of it and meat and poultry and fish from animals fed grain dramatically boosts your blood levels of omega 6 past the safe level and causes this high inflammation.

So, also cut out all refined grain or virtually all of it; cut back to a low level of 100% whole grains, and either cut out meat and poultry and fish from animals fed grain and eat grass fed or pasture fed or wild caught only – OR cut way back on how much you eat and then only the trimmest and least fat versions and eat beans and lentils and nuts instead of animal source proteins much of the time.

You can also eat turmeric and take curcumin and eat ginger to sharply lower inflammation.  And, doing so also tests as lowering the small particle LDL that causes heart disease.

And, if you do those things and cut out most sugar and all high fructose corn syrup as well, this too lowers chronic inflammation and the small particle LDL that causes heart disease.

And eating wild caught fish high in omega 3 oils and taking DHA and omega 3 oils from fish in addition to cutting back on all sources of omega 6 oils also sharply drops inflammation AND the small particle LDL that causes heart disease.

In fact, one study found that doing this sharply increased heart protection with a few days!

Here’s the research about the test:

A genomic signature for lethal heart attacks in at risk patients
A simple blood test could be used to predict whether a patient with coronary
heart disease is at significant risk of having a heart attack or of dying from a
related cardiovascular condition.

2.  Suppose you are at risk for a fatal heart attack and there was a button you could push to trigger a heart attack, if you didn’t want a fatal heart attack, wouldn’t you be sure to avoid   such a button or even going near it?!

Surprisingly there IS such a heart attack trigger!  Some people push it themselves several times a day and some people have people near them push their button for them.

This trigger is tobacco smoke.  So the closer you can come to zero exposure to tobacco smoke, the less likely you are to have any heart attack – including fatal ones.  

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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Worse news about sucralose....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 7-8-2014

Since the time of the poison gasses of World War I chlorinated hydrocarbons have been used as poison gasses and insecticides.

Chlorine gas is harmful and chlorinated hydrocarbons often are.

So, when I found out that Sucralose (Splenda is a trade name for it) was in essence chlorinated sugar, a hydrocarbon, I suspected it was likely best to avoid ingesting it.

In fact, it apparently was created in hopes of being an insecticide.  The idea was to make something that would be sweet enough to attract bugs; but would harm them at the same time.

(Mixing boric acid with real sugar does do that and kills roaches.)

But they found it was sweeter than sugar and hard enough to digest it had the effect of almost no calories.  And, they found it wasn’t as toxic to insects as they had hoped.

Surprisingly, they then got it passed as an artificial sweetener.

We already know that sucralose is one of the artificial sweeteners that tend to be fattening by causing your body to crave real sugar and by being so sweet that it tends to increase the amount of sugar you need to taste as sweet.

We already know that people who get these artificial sweeteners in diet soft drinks tend to be even fatter with bigger waists than people who drink regular soft drinks which are also fattening.

And, sucralose is on the list of artificial sweeteners that are thought to have some risk of causing cancer.

More recently research found that sucralose causes several changes in metabolic processes in the body none of which are beneficial.

Then it was found that ingesting sucralose killed a very large number of bacteria in the gut.

Since most of these are probiotic bacteria that help you digest your food and help keep inflammation low and prevent harmful bacteria from moving in, sucralose likely should have been banned at that point.

It did occur to me when I read of that research that maybe sucralose could help kill off bacteria that cause diarrhea such as cholera and C. Difficile.

 I don’t know if that’s been tried or not.

The new information suggests it might not work very well because sucralose tested as killing probiotic bacteria better than harmful bacteria.  Too bad it’s not the same or the reverse.

And, tests found it caused DNA damage which is one of the causes of cancer and aging.

(If you must have some sweet things and want to use no sugar, it turns out that moderate use of the natural sugar alcohol, erythritol, solves these problems.  It tested as not causing the blood sugar changes that make people crave sugar.  It’s a bit less sweet than sugar, so unlike the artificial sweeteners, real sugar still tastes sweet enough instead the reverse.  As a result, unlike the artificial sweeteners, using some erythritol is not fattening.  And, in moderate quantities or small quantities it is not gas producing in your gut as xylitol and the other sugar alcohols are.

Or you can have half erythritol and half sugar using a kind of sugar with added flavor such as honey, dark molasses, or real maple syrup. That combination has half the sugar and half the calories and is about as sweet.)

But whether you cut way back on real sugar or cut back some on sweetened foods and use erythritol for the rest, you can easily do without sucralose.

It certainly looks to be well worth avoiding!

Here are the quotes that caught my attention and the link to the Medical News Today study:

[I added the bolding.]

"At concentrations typically used in foods and drinks, sucralose suppresses beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract with less effect on pathogenic bacteria," article co-author Susan Schiffman, Ph.D said. 

"Most consumers are unaware of these effects because no warning label appears on products containing sucralose." 

Schiffman also said went onto say that the change in balance of gastrointestinal bacteria has been associated with weight gain and obesity. 

At elevated levels, sucralose also damages DNA. 

These biological effects occur at the levels of sucralose currently approved by regulatory agencies for use in the food supply."

Popular artificial sweetener not so sweet
One of the active ingredients in a popular artificial sweetener could have the 
potential to limit the impact of therapeutic drugs, reduce the number and 

balance of beneficial bacteria in the…   

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Thursday, July 03, 2014

BPH may have a CURE....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 7-3-2014

As men get older they tend to have their prostate get bigger even if there is no cancer involved.

We’ve posted on effective ways to prevent cancer, prevent prostate cancer, and prevent aggressive prostate cancer. 

But even if there is no cancer or there is a tiny bit of the slow growing kind that these methods have stopped from growing or even cut back some, BPH, hyper or excessive growth of the prostate, still tends to happen over time.

That gradually begins to make male climaxes less effective as the pumping by the prostate tends to be blocked by its now too large size.

But as the process of this excess growth continues, it begins to do the same with urinating.  This can force the man it happens to into treatment since blocking urination cannot be allowed to continue safely plus the discomfort and pain involved.

The treatments have been mostly to bore out the area with cutting instruments or lasers or removing the prostate or part of it. 

However, each of these has side effects and tends to harm the prostate in its role in male climaxes.  This may be less true for the treatment that blocks the blood flow to part of the prostate; but it makes all the treatments undesirable by this reduction in function.

You can of course take saw palmetto and beta sitosterol and other herbal supplements that tend to keep the prostate function working and delay problems from its growth.

And, there is some evidence that avoiding the chemicals in plastic containers and metal can liners that leach into foods and eating a lot of raw and lightly steamed cruciferous vegetables cuts back on the chemicals the body responds to as if they were estrogen. And that is thought to stop or slow the excessive growth of the prostate.

But someone at or who knew of a company that has a treatment to enhance blood flow in partially blocked blood vessels found out or guessed that as men get older, the main cause of BPH was the reduction of blood flow as their blood vessels to the area build up plaque enough to reduce blood flow to the prostate.

Here’s the great news!  They tested this device on prostates with BPH – and the prostates shrank to normal size AND their function improved too! 

Even 3 weeks of treatment got a reduction in size of 57%!

They found a CURE in other words! 

For this one, it may be a while before many doctors make this available.  But the potential is so huge, I think it likely it will become available in most parts of the country.

Here’s the Medical News Today study I saw last week with the details:

[I added the bolding for some key parts.]

“New treatment for enlarged prostate successful in dogs      Wednesday 25 June 2014

Enlarged prostate is a common problem in older males (both humans and non-humans!). Parsemus Foundation sponsored a study by Dr. Raffaella Leoci to investigate a potential new non-invasive treatment in dogs with benign prostatic hyperplasia. The method was very effective at reducing the size of the prostate gland and we expect that it is relevant for human use too. The study was just published in the journal The Prostate.

What is benign prostatic hyperplasia?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an age-related enlargement of the prostate gland. BPH is one of the most frequent medical problems in elderly males. In humans, it can result in urinary tract problems, obstruction of the urethra, sexual dysfunction and blood in the urine. One of the most frequent symptoms is having to get up to use the bathroom multiple times during the night. Older dogs also commonly have BPH and there is little difference from humans in anatomy, physiology and symptoms of this disease. The most common clinical sign of BPH in dogs is bloody fluid dripping from the penis not associated with urination. In severe cases it can obstruct the colon and result in constipation.

BPH results from urogenital aging. Recent studies suggest that an age-related impairment of the blood supply to the lower urinary tract plays a role in the development of BPH and thus may be a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of BPH.

Simple and effective treatment for canine prostate disease could also help humans

The new method used in the study to treat dogs with BPH was pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF). PEMF is a noninvasive method that generates both an electrical and magnetic field and is used in orthopedics, neurology, and urology. 

It has been reported to have an anti-inflammatory effect and increases healing and blood circulation. 

The idea of using this method for BPH is to improve prostate blood flow and reduce the size of the prostate gland.

The study included 20 dogs with BPH. They received treatment with PEMF for 5 minutes, twice a day for three weeks. The device was simply held over the skin where the prostate is located.

The study used a Magcell® Vetri device from Physiomed Elektromedizin AG, Germany.

An average 57% reduction in the size of the prostate resulted from PEMF treatment in only three weeks, a remarkable improvement. 

There was no interference with semen quality, testosterone levels or libido. 

Doppler parameters showed a reduction of peripheral blood resistances and a progressive reduction in resistance of the blood flow in the dorsal branch of the prostatic artery.

The efficacy of PEMF on BPH in dogs, with no side effects, suggests that it might be a great treatment in humans. The study also supports the hypothesis that impairment of blood supply to the lower urinary tract may be a causative factor in the development of BPH.

How does pulsed electromagnetic field therapy work?

The mechanism of action of PEMF on canine BPH is not exactly known and could involve several modalities. It may have an effect on nitric oxide or directly on inflammation. Recent research has shown that PEMF is mediated by an increase in nitric oxide synthesis, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of BPH. By reducing inflammation PEMF may prevent complications or may play a role in reducing changes linked to BPH and related conditions. 

By producing an increase in blood circulation, PEMF may also help to prevent secondary complications caused by reduced arterial blood flow such as prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) and improve BPH symptoms.

Next steps

A clinical trial could test whether this approach works as well in humans as in dogs. Parsemus Foundation can't fund a human clinical trial, but is making the information available so that others can. 

Since clinical trials are expensive and take time to arrange, some men who are particularly bothered by BPH symptoms, haven't had success with herbal medicine (like saw palmetto) and don't want surgery may decide in conjunction with their doctors to get one of the devices and try it.”
New treatment for enlarged prostate successful in dogs
Enlarged prostate is a common problem in older males (both humans and 
non-humans!). Parsemus Foundation sponsored a study by Dr. ....

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

3 Studies show everyone should work to prevent mental decline....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 7-1-2014

A surprisingly high number of people are developing mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Less surprising is that many people fear having it happen to them.

What’s much less well known is that if you work to prevent mental decline, you can make it dramatically less likely.

1.  There are things you can do to prevent the damage that causes it. Those are highly recommended and most have other health benefits

2.  There are things you can do to keep the damage if you get it from causing any drop off in mental function and memory.  Those have other life and health benefits too.

3.  And, although mental decline can be irreversible, at least given current knowledge, in the later stages, there are things that mostly DO reverse it and prevent any more damage IF you do them as preventive measures. 

People in the early stages have no symptoms or tiny ones.  But since the preventive and restorative measures are quite doable and have other health benefits, those are highly recommended also.

A.  The first study I saw had this:  “This article reports that some people have a heredity that avoids brain inflammation and so their brains remain functional and the nerves less damaged than otherwise.”

The much better news is that besides the things that prevent the buildup of beta amyloid such as taking sterols or getting them in food, there are a number of things you can do to get this effect without having that heredity or as much of it.

(Taking stigmasterol supplements restored a sense of smell to people with beta amyloid damage who had lost it before.  And, it may work best when you also get antioxidants.  In this case, the mechanism was by reducing the amount of beta amyloid.)

1.  Thinking and learning that use those neurons has been shown to have exactly this effect. Even if beta amyloid has built up, there is no functional damage. (The effect seems to be similar to having snow plows come through every five minutes when it’s snowing.  The road stays clear anyway.)

2. Secondly, your brain is like an internet network, the more it's used and the more nerves and interconnections have build up the more damage you can have in some places without crashing the network or perceiving or having dysfunction.

Learning two or more languages has this effect. 

Socializing with other people regularly and often has this effect too.  (You do it from babyhood so it often feels easy.  But brain scans show it uses enough of your brain to do, it’s like lifting heavy weights and running sprints back to back.  Your brain gets a LOT of exercise every time you do it.)

So does continuous learning for your work or in fields that simply interest you outside of work.

3.  Excess inflammation is part of the process of creating nerve and functional damage that this study found.  You can turn it off by taking natural and safe anti-inflammatories, particularly turmeric or the curcumin in it.  And, you can also live a low inflammation lifestyle that we post on often and did on 5-6 this year, 2014, with a brief summary of how to do it as part of that post.
(We also posted recently that besides other protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease or related damage later, turmeric and its main ingredient curcumin lower inflammation so much it keeps it from forming AND also lowers the small particle LDL that causes heart disease.)

4.  And there are two supplements that have tested as preventing or reversing nerve damage: alpha or r-lipoic acid and benfotiamine.

5.  You can restore or regrow damaged neurons by taking the omega 3 oil, DHA AND doing regular vigorous exercise because that strongly releases BDNF which is a growth hormone that causes the growth of new nerves and brain cells.  (This also prevents mental decline by avoiding brain shrinkage.)

6.  Last but far from least, you can live a lifestyle with high blood sugar preventing effects to avoid one of the main causes of the beta amyloid build up to begin with. 

Regular vigorous exercise, eating LOTS of vegetables and ingesting no high fructose corn syrup or refined grain wheat flour and eating very limited amounts of sugar and whole grains are the main ways to do that.  (That also grows new nerve and brain cells and prevents inflammation besides keeping your blood sugar low.)

Here’s that study:

The genetics behind Alzheimer's resiliency
Autopsies have revealed that some individuals develop the cellular changes
indicative of Alzheimer's disease without ever showing clinical symptoms in
their lifetime.

B.  The second study I saw had this:  This research found a way to boost BDNF with a compound that could result in a drug and that boosting BDNF DID seem to reverse or help stop Alzheimer's disease.

"BDNF levels rose and Alzheimer's disease features were alleviated."

But here again, we do NOT have to wait on the drug!

Regular vigorous exercise most days of every week even in 5 to 25 minute sessions each time boosts BDNF quite strongly.  Doing such exercise is as important to your health as eating or sleeping! 

Longer sessions of 20 to 60 minutes a time a few times a week of moderate exercise, particularly walking also works but takes a lot more time and causes less of a boost. But for people who do it every week routinely it does work. Nice to add if you have time for it or a doable at your desk moderate exerciser.

Taking DHA and omega 3 oil supplements from wild caught fish or algae or the correct strain of plankton BOOSTS this BDNF release from exercise.

Some studies have found that the brain booster supplement bacopa works in part because it also boosts BDNF release.

Here’s that study:

4 new microRNAs involved in regulation of BDNF levels found
Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) regulates many processes including
memory and learning in our daily tasks. Levels of BDNF are important in
determining the outcome of these processes.

C.  The third study I saw had this:  To prevent mental decline -- and to prevent loss of function from brain harming diseases in their earliest stages and before any symptoms show up, the point this research makes clear that it is a good idea for everyone to do the things that boost repair on a regular and ongoing basis.

a) Regular and vigorous exercises most days of every week plus some low moderate exercise as well may be most important due to the release of BDNF they cause.

b) Eating wild caught fish with low mercury from waters with low pollution and/or taking DHA or getting DHA from omega 3 supplements adds to the BDNF release. (This also lowers inflammation and lowers triglycerides both of which lower vascular dementia from reduced blood flow.)

c) So the research says does taking the herb bacopa.  (Bacopa is also a productivity booster because it lowers anxiety and speeds learning.)

d) Adding choline from supplements or egg yolks from eggs from pasture raised chickens at about the same time you take in the DHA and bacopa apparently boosts the process of repair.

e) One study found that adding uridine or the brewer's yeast that's high in it at the same time as the DHA and choline increased the repairs.

Here’s that study:

Boosting self-repair may preserve brain in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's
Brain-wasting is assumed to be unstoppable in diseases like Alzheimer's and
Parkinson's. Now research suggests boosting natural self-repair may be possible

in the early stages.   

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