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Article source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/in-good-health-simon-harris-bowled-over-after-birth-of-daughter-1.3762583

Your Good Health: Volume of medical research staggering

Dear Dr. Roach: Is medical research shared? It seems that after all these years of battling various types of diseases and maladies, more progress should have been made than has been done. I suspect that if medical research were fully shared and people pooled their knowledge, more progress could be made. Is it just that various entities don’t want to share because each one wants to be the one to get the Nobel Prize for Medicine?

G.A.

You would be shocked at the amount of research knowledge that is published every year on all aspects of clinical medicine and basic science. Back when I was in in medical school, it was estimated that if a clinician or scientist read eight hours a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, just on his or her own field of expertise, at the end of a year, he or she would be eight years behind. I am sure it is much greater now. The problem isn’t the lack of studies or lack of sharing. It is in sorting through the sheer amount published.

The quest for personal glory certainly is a part of what drives many scientists. However, I know a great many researchers, and most do so for the love of the science and out of a desire to further the field and to be part of the process that leads to better understanding.

Discoveries are (mostly) not made in isolation by a brilliant scientist — they are the result of patient, thorough, gradual work by many scientists across the globe.

Of course, I wish progress came faster, but looking back on the medical knowledge when I started in the 1980s until now, the amount of progress has been staggering, and this has been reflected in progressively longer human lifespans, among other important measures.

Dear Dr. Roach: Perhaps this is beyond the scope of medical science, but one sees many admonitions from health experts warning of the dangers of a “sedentary” life, yet back when I had a day job, it felt so good to “plop down in my easy chair” when I came home from work. I love to read, and do a lot of computer-based activities, so I probably spend more time than I should on my rear end. How can something so bad feel so good?

B.D.

You will have to add me to the list of those advising against a sedentary lifestyle. I agree that it feels good to rest after a busy day, but that resting doesn’t need to go on for hours. Further, the feeling you get after a vigorous workout is also good, and the sense of well-being, increased energy and better sleep that most regular exercisers get every day is even better.

Reading and computer-based activities can be fun, and I certainly spend my share doing them, but getting up periodically (my smartwatch warns me every hour) can help prevent the blood clots that can accompany prolonged sitting at the desk or in that easy chair.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.
 
 

Article source: https://www.timescolonist.com/life/health/your-good-health-volume-of-medical-research-staggering-1.23603759

New ‘planetary health diet’ can save lives and the planet, major review suggests

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Updated 2:37 PM ET, Thu January 17, 2019

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(CNN)An international team of scientists has developed a diet it says can improve health while ensuring sustainable food production to reduce further damage to the planet.

Article source: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/16/health/new-diet-to-save-lives-and-planet-health-study-intl/index.html

Are “healthy” snacks like veggie chips actually good for you?

Recently, I ate some “cauliflower puffs,” which are like Cheetos, only they are not Cheetos, because they are made with cauliflower. Cauliflower is a vegetable. Did you know vegetables are good for you? I’ve heard this. The bag, from a brand called Vegan Rob’s, doesn’t exactly promise that “Probiotic Cauliflower Puffs” are “healthy” — as in, it does not use the word “healthy,” a term that the Food and Drug Administration is redefining at this very moment. But it did say it was “plant based” and “crunchy good!” and also gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and “powered by Ganeden BC30 Probiotic,” which, the website for Ganeden BC30 Probiotic tells me, is an “EXTREMELY stable” ingredient added to “many foods” to support gut and immune health.

The caulipuffs don’t say they’re “healthy,” but the bag exudes an general aura of health. (We reached out to Vegan Rob’s to discuss, but they haven’t commented as of press time.) The main ingredient isn’t cauliflower — it’s sorghum, no one is pretending otherwise — but still, it seems, at the very least, cauliflower-adjacent. The bag is a vegetal green with a cruciferous print and purple accents. It is granola-chic. If you were in middle school, it is what your weird friend’s cool mom would serve you after school. She would be blonde and elegant but wearing Birkenstocks.

“Love yourself, our planet, and all living things,” the cauli bag advises. “Snack as clean kind as possible.” It says I don’t have to be vegan to enjoy plant-based snacks (true!) and that if I “meditate and focus on the crunch,” I might feel my “stress melt away” as I “reap the benefits of the cruciferous cauliflower.” Vegan Rob is kidding, sort of. Vegan Rob is self-aware.

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Also, Vegan Rob is very good at making snacks, because cauliflower puffs are delicious. They taste like Cheetos with substance. Is that substance a little bit like sawdust? Maybe. I prefer to think of it as the dust of virtue. It gives them a pleasant sort of heft, like you are eating an actual food product, and not caloric air. At the Kroger I checked, they cost $3.99 for 3.5 ounces, compared to Frito-Lay’s Cheetos Puffs, which cost $1.89 for roughly the same amount.

Vegan Rob is not alone. We are living in a golden age of processed vegetable snacks. Once, we were limited to potato chips, corn chips, tortilla chips, and maybe pretzels. Those were the chips. Lay’s. Doritos. Cheetos. Fritos. Tostitos. For the health-conscious, there were Sun Chips — corn chips, but whole grain! — and Terra Chips, which are made from a variety of fried root vegetables and are mostly very pretty. Some are blue, some are red, and others are orange, like impressionism in a bowl.

But in the past several years, there has been a great flowering of alterna-chips, an uprising of vegetables in the snack aisle. (At my local Whole Foods, this aisle is called “Snack Attack!” accurately capturing the violence.) There are Beanitos (2010), which are black bean-based chips, and Splitz (2015), which are crunchy yellow split pea sticks, and ChickBean Crisps from Saffron Road (2017), a mélange of legumes in chip form. There are Peatos (2018), a pea-and-lentil product enough like Cheetos to cause a minor scandal. There are From the Ground Up cauliflower pretzels (2018); “when it comes from the ground,” the tagline reads, “it’s got to be good!”

One might note here that potatoes — the main ingredient in potato chips — also come from the ground. One might further note that, much like Vegan Rob’s cauliflower puffs, many (though not all) regular old potato chips are also gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan. But no one is arguing that potato chips are healthy. Potato chips are an all-American villain, shorthand for everything that’s wrong with the national diet. Nonperishable, mass-produced, and cheap, potato chips, researchers told the Atlantic, are “one of the most obesity-promoting foods for youth to consume.”

The problem is that chips taste good. People like chips. Chips are designed to be liked. “It’s a classic high-fat, salty food that you just can’t stop eating,” says Traci Mann, a professor of social and health psychology at the University of Minnesota. This has historically been chips’ main selling point. “Betcha can’t eat just one,” challenged Lay’s. “Once you pop, you can’t stop,” taunted Pringles. This product is so good, you will continue to eat it until it becomes a threat to public health.

For brands, this presents a market opportunity: chips, but healthy chips, designed to capture consumers who want to “eat better,” whatever that means. Who want to eat vegetables. Who care about health, but also convenience. People who know chips aren’t great, nutritionally speaking, but who want to eat chips. People who don’t eat chips but would if they could feel good about it. People who could feel good about it if only they could be sure that their chip wasn’t the bad kind of chip.

“They’re clearly out there to convince chip-loving people that they can eat these and still be healthy,” Mann tells me. She’s tempted, she says, even though she’s a professional. “I’ve noticed them and thought, ‘Oh, you know, I could eat a delicious, crunchy chip and it won’t be bad for me.’”

Vegetable chip alternatives, by their packaging (earthy and highbrow, which you can tell because the bags are generally matte) and their nutritional brags (more protein! more fiber!), are positioned as snacks to feel good about, or at least okay about. Chips you could eat while maintaining your identity as someone who mostly doesn’t eat food from vending machines.

But are new-wave vegetable chips actually better for you? Is it worth trading your Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for Fiery Hot Peatos? How are we supposed to feel about Brussels sprout puffs, which are exactly like the cauliflower puffs, except slightly greener?

Comparing each product ingredient by ingredient — calorie to calorie, protein to protein — you see slight variations. A 1-ounce serving of original Beanitos has 7 grams of fat; an equivalent serving of nacho cheese Doritos has 8 grams. A serving of Peatos has 130 calories, while Cheetos has 160. Calorically, the differences are generally trivial.

The new-vegetable chips are mostly lower in fat than their classical counterparts, but not by much: an ounce of Vegan Rob’s Brussels sprout puffs has 8 grams of fat; Lay’s Classic potato chips have 10 grams. Sodium is a wild card: From the Ground Up cauliflower pretzels have 330mg of sodium per serving, for example — less than the classic pretzel equivalent, Rold Gold (450 mg), but nearly double a serving of regular Lay’s (170 mg).

Where the alterna-chips come out consistently ahead is on fiber and protein. Splitz, the crown prince of fiber, has 8 grams — about a third of what’s recommended daily for women, in one hip little bag — while potato chips and pretzels have a lone gram. (Most of the vegetable chips hover in the 3-gram range.) The old-school chips have about 2 grams of protein; some of the new health alternatives have double that, or more.

Are there differences? Sure, yes. Are the differences meaningful? Not quite, says Jeanne Goldberg, a professor of nutrition at Tufts. “No one should be eating [vegetable chips] thinking that they’re doing something better for themselves than eating potato chips.”

The difference between 1 and 3 grams of fiber? “You can make up that difference just by how big a handful you pick up,” she says. As for the protein: Most of us are already doing just fine. “Of all the things Americans need to do to modify their diet, adding protein is not it,” Goldberg says. “There is no reason to think, ‘I’m going to eat cauliflower chips because they have more protein than potato chips.’ That’s silly.”

While it is definitely true that vegetable chips contain at least some of the vegetable they claim to be chipped from, how much of that vegetable varies wildly from product to product. The first ingredient in Beanitos is indeed black beans; the first ingredient in Splitz is, as promised, yellow pea flour. But Brussels sprout powder — that is, Brussels sprouts that have been dehydrated and ground into a dust — doesn’t appear until midway down the ingredient list for the puffs, meaning they contain more sorghum flour, sunflower or safflower oil, nutritional yeast, and rice bran.

Is it bad that there’s more nutritional yeast in the puffs than Brussels remains? Not inherently. It’s just that it’s not all that vegetal. Which is just fine, as long as you think of it like what it is: a prepackaged snack food, a chip. “We should think of them as brilliant marketing of health auras,” says Marion Nestle, a nutrition researcher at NYU and, most recently, the author of Unsavory Truth, about conflicts of interest in food science. “I think of them as dietetic junk foods.”

“If you like Brussels sprout chips and you can afford 130 or 140 calories’ worth of Brussels sprout chips, great! In terms of health benefits, don’t go for the Brussels sprout chips,” Goldberg tells me.

“It’s really sort of parallel to SnackWell’s cookies, isn’t it?” Mann says. “It’s a little better than a regular cookie but not awesome. Eating a bunch was still like eating a bunch of cookies, for the most part.”

But you knew that already; we all knew that. You’re supposed to eat whole foods, ones that don’t come in packages. You’re supposed to eat fresh fruits and fresh vegetables and not ones that are dehydrated and milled into flours and fried. Maybe they’re a little better than the alternative — a little more fiber, slightly fewer calories — but they’re not a health food, and that’s fine. Not all foods are health foods.

“I think if you asked people, they would tell you they know the products are junk foods, but slightly better ones,” says Nestle. “But the marketing is supposed to hit people below the level of critical thinking.”

What I remember most about SnackWell’s, icon of ’90s ultra-low-fat diet culture, is that they were like regular prepackaged cookies, but a little bit worse. Just a touch less delicious, a pinch less like things that exist naturally on earth. This has always seemed to me to contribute to their glow of health: They’re not as good as regular cookies (to eat), so they must be better than regular cookies (for you).

There’s research to back this up. “The finding is that ‘healthy’ and ‘tastes bad’ are highly associated in our mind, so if we hear something is ‘healthy,’ we’re going to think it tastes worse. And if something tastes bad, we’re going to think it’s healthier,” Mann says. This, she points out, presents a kind of challenge for the health-washed junk food industry. “Since they’re clearly being presented as healthy, our response to them should really be, ‘Oh, those are going to taste bad.’” But they sell. They’re everywhere. They’re pretty good.

Is it possible this is actually an asset? If no one expects “healthy” chips to be as good as regular chips, they don’t fail if they’re a little weird. As long as they’re still pretty good, isn’t the slight weirdness a sign of their virtue? Is it possible that maybe, by tasting slightly worse — or at least, less familiar — than classic potato chips, neo-veg chips feel healthier?

Goldberg buys it. I believe it in my bones, based on the fact that I have yet to leave a bag of new-wave chips unfinished. Maybe the chips will introduce people to new vegetables, make them more adventurous eaters of cauliflower in non-puff contexts. Is that possible, I ask Goldberg? “Do you think so?” she counters. I don’t, although I do like innovation, as a concept.

Everyone I spoke with for this story reiterated that if you want to eat a potato chip, you should just eat a potato chip; that if you like cauli puffs, you can have some cauli puffs; that you can be a healthy person who, in moderation, occasionally has some chips made from whatever vegetable you want. Obviously, that is true. “Personally, I love really good potato chips and can’t imagine substituting lentil chips,” Nestle says.

But maybe the primary allure of the non-chip chip isn’t exactly that it’s healthy — as Nestle says, people likely know, deep down, it’s not. But it’s just divorced enough from other classic chips — villainous chips, the chips you have been warned about — that regardless of whether it’s actually all that different, nutritionally speaking, it’s different in one important aspect: It doesn’t have the baggage.

This is sad, in a way. Wouldn’t it be better if we all had healthy relationships with food, and could eat chips of any kind in moderation, without feeling bad about it, and without convincing ourselves they’re actually salads? Yes. But the fact that we don’t presents food companies with an incredible opportunity: to reconcile the chip as a nutritionally woke snack. “These products are a proliferation of marketing genius,” Goldberg says.

There is one other detail, though, one persuasive argument in favor of the new chip revolution, and that is that it tastes pretty good. It’s novel. Have you had a cauli puff? You should, it’s fun. There is so little fun in the world. But weird chips are fun. They aren’t vegetables. They are nutritionally variable, at best. But we can enjoy them for exactly what they are: a marginally better-for-you entry into the canon of festive snacks.

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Article source: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/1/17/18185262/healthy-snacks-cauliflower-puffs-peatos

Your Good Health: Failure to vaccinate children bad for all of us

Dear Dr. Roach: I just read an article that vaccinations are on the decline in many states. My question is about children who already have vaccinations. Do unvaccinated children who catch a disease pose any risk of infecting vaccinated children? Who is actually at risk here: Is it only the kids who don’t receive vaccinations who are vulnerable to spread disease among themselves? My thought is that parents who don’t vaccinate their kids take responsibility for any disease that they catch, while parents who vaccinate their kids have nothing to worry about.

R.S.

This is a commonly asked question, and one that is sometimes used to justify not vaccinating. However, there are two reasons why not vaccinating children is bad, not only for them, but for society.

The first is that no vaccine is perfect. Take measles, for example, where two doses of the vaccine, properly stored and correctly given, is about 97 per cent effective at preventing measles. That is not 100 per cent: No medical procedure, test or drug is perfect. Having most of the people in the population immune to measles prevents large-scale outbreaks and protects those in whom the vaccine has not worked, a concept known as “herd immunity.” However, the person who was vaccinated but it did not work is at risk (without knowing it) from a person infectious with measles, an extremely contagious disease.

Secondly, there are people who are unable to get the vaccine. This includes children with cancer receiving chemotherapy, as well as those with primary or acquired deficiencies in their immune system. Children under one are too young to effectively respond to vaccines and are at risk. Older people may lose immunity, and some people born between 1963 and 1967 may have received an inactive vaccine. Society can protect them by ensuring high compliance with vaccination in the entire population.

Measles is so contagious that 95 per cent of the population needs to be immune (through previous illness or effective vaccination) in order to have the protection of herd immunity. When that number drops, the risk of a large outbreak increases, which unfortunately has been the case in several recent small outbreaks in the U.S. and larger outbreaks in Europe.

Measles is not a benign condition. About one person per thousand with measles will die from it. Another one or two will have serious complications. Measles also causes significant damage to the entire immune system, which takes years to recover from, and which can make another disease more likely to be fatal.

Dear Dr. Roach: Why are MRI machines so loud? Is the loud noise really necessary? Also, how often does this noise cause tinnitus or hearing problems?

K.C.H.

MRI scanners make noise because the moving of electrical coils inside the machine, which create the magnetic fields, causes a vibration that can be very loud. Some MRI machines can be as loud as a jet engine. This absolutely can cause short-term tinnitus and hearing loss, and should prompt ear protection.

Manufacturers of MRI scanners are using new technology with much, much quieter machines. These will likely gradually replace the loud machines.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.

Article source: https://www.timescolonist.com/life/health/your-good-health-failure-to-vaccinate-children-bad-for-all-of-us-1.23602294

Your Good Health: Light therapy can help counter seasonal affective disorder

Dear Dr. Roach: Would you write about seasonal affective disorder to help so many others who may be suffering with this, but don’t even know it? I was diagnosed with clinical depression after a move to Wisconsin from Southern California. I took medication and had counselling, and after a couple of years, was doing well. My doctor and I decided I could go off Prozac.

I did really well for a while, but then in the winter, I became depressed again. This time, the antidepressants did not help at all. In the spring, I read an article describing seasonal affective disorder, and recognized myself. I was so excited to learn more that I contacted my psychiatrist, who said he didn’t really know much about it, but gave me a small article from a professional journal that included information about light therapy.

I bought a light box and have used it every year since then. Now I do not need antidepressants at all. I believe that this is something many people are not aware of, and with these long winter nights, it might be something that you would write about. Since I got my SAD lamp, the availability of high-quality therapeutic lights has definitely grown. I truly believe that light therapy saved my life. It has made the winters bearable.

T.M.H.

Seasonal affective disorder is a condition of recurrent mood disorders, especially major depressive illness episodes, occurring in a particular season, usually winter. Without treatment, symptoms often improve in spring or early summer. It is far more common than you might think — 0.5 per cent to three per cent of the population met criteria for this disorder in a well-done study. Worse, 60 per cent of people diagnosed with SAD have never been offered treatment.

What causes SAD is unknown. Theories include issues with circadian rhythms, relating to the decreasing amount of sunlight; changes in melatonin synthesis; and changes in the sensitivity of the retina to light.

Treatment for SAD might consist of light therapy, which worked well for you, but does not work as well for others; drug therapy, such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or bupropion (Wellbutrin); and talk therapy. These might be more effective when used in combination. In addition to these primary therapies, careful attention to sleep and exercise are useful adjunct treatments.

Light therapy can be done in different ways. One well-studied method is bright light (10,000 lux, a measure of brightness) for a half-hour each day beginning 10 minutes after awakening. Other studies have shown good results with less-intense light (2,500 lux) for longer periods (two hours). Finally, simulating dawn with gradually increasing light has been effective in several trials. As always, finding an experienced mental-health professional is likely to result in better outcomes. SAD is sufficiently well-known now, at least by most mental-health specialists, so finding an expert will be much easier than it was years ago.

A few people have the opposite pattern of SAD, having depression or mania during the summer. Light therapy is not effective in these cases. In fact, limiting sunlight during the day and keeping cool at night might help.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu

Article source: https://www.timescolonist.com/life/health/your-good-health-light-therapy-can-help-counter-seasonal-affective-disorder-1.23594831

CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH.U) Locks Up Acquisition of In Good Health, Inc.

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 16, 2019 /CNW/ – CLS Holdings USA, Inc. “CLS”, a diversified cannabis company operating as Cannabis Life Sciences, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an option (the “Agreement”) to acquire In Good Health, in accordance with the previously excuted letter of intent. In Good Health is a licensed medical dispensary in Brockton, Massachusetts.

Subject to the terms and conditions of the Agreement, the parties have agreed upon all  of the documents necessary to complete the acquisition. The completion of the acquisition of In Good Health remains subject to a number of conditions as set out in the Agreement.

In Good Health is located 25 miles south of downtown Boston and is one of the 48 licensed dispensaries in the state. In Good Health operates a dispensary that was the second licensed medical dispensary in the state and has been operational since September 2015. In Good Health is currently servicing 18,000 registered patients and delivering to 1,700 homes with key product offerings of flower, concentrates, vapes, edibles, pre-rolls and tinctures.

Massachusetts has a population of 6.9 million people as compared to 5.6 million people in Colorado. Massachusetts is also centrally located to the dense population of New England with a less than 100-mile drive from Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont. In 2017, Colorado generated $1.5 billion in legalized marijuana sales and had over 500 licensed dispensaries and over 700 licensed cultivation facilities. Massachusetts currently has issued only 48 licensees.

About In Good Health

In Good Health is a for-profit corporation which holds a Certification of Registration to operate a registered marijuana dispensary in Massachussets. In Good Health was one of eleven original applicants awarded a Certificate of Registration from the Department of Public Health, and was the second to open in the state. In Good Health successfully operated its co-located marijuana cultivation and dispensary facility in Brockton, Massachusetts in September, 2015.

About CLS Holdings USA, Inc.
CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (CLSH) is a diversified cannabis company that acts as an integrated cannabis producer and retailer through its Oasis Cannabis subsidiaries in Nevada, and plans to expand to other states.

CLS stands for “Cannabis Life Sciences,” in recognition of the Company’s patented proprietary method of extracting various cannabinoids from the marijuana plant and converting them into products with a higher level of quality and consistency. The Company’s business model includes licensing operations, processing operations, processing facilities, sale of products, brand creation and consulting services.

For additional information, please visit: http://www.clsholdingsinc.com

Twitter: @CLSHusa

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (collectively, the “forward-looking statements”). These statements relate to anticipated future events, future results of operations or future financial performance. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to whether and when certain transactions will be completed, including the proposed In Good Health acquisition. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “intends,” “expects,” “plans,” “goals,” “projects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements are only predictions, are uncertain and involve substantial known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, levels of activity or performance to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity or performance expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the risk that the conditions precedent contained in the Agreement for the acquisition of In Good Health are not satisfied. We cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity or performance and we cannot guaranty that the proposed transactions described in this press release will occur. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made. These cautionary statements should be considered together with any written or oral forward-looking statements that we may issue in the future. Except as required by applicable law, we do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to reflect actual results, later events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. See CLS Holdings USA filings with the SEC and on its SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com for additional details.

SOURCE CLS Holdings USA, Inc.

For further information: Contact Information; Corporate: Chairman and CEO, Jeff Binder, jeff@clsholdingsinc.com, 888-438-9132; Investors: Adelaide Capital Markets, Jackie Kelly, Jackie@adelaidecapital.ca, 416-301-2949

Article source: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/cls-holdings-usa-inc-otcqb-clsh-cse-clsh-u-locks-up-acquisition-of-in-good-health-inc--806374450.html

Your Good Health: Woman’s high pulse rate, low calcium a cause for concern

Dear Dr. Roach: My heartbeat is around 98-100 per minute. I checked with my primary doctor, and she said it’s normal, as I am getting older. (I’m 48 now, female, and other than heartbeat, my health is normal.) My doctor checked my blood and said everything is normal except low calcium. I can work all day long, but I can’t run even three minutes. Do you think I have a heart problem or am just getting older like my doctor said?

V.N.

The normal pulse rate in an adult is between 60 and 100, and you are very close to the top of the range. While it may be normal, it is worth considering the possibility that this may be a more significant issue.

Any time I hear an explanation of “you’re just getting older,” it raises a red flag to me. Getting older does bring changes, but you are only 48 (not old at all!). Low calcium is an unexpected finding as well.

The main other concern I have is your inability to run for three minutes. This all leads me to suspect that there might be more to your story. If you haven’t yet had an evaluation of your thyroid, you should. An echocardiogram, showing heart structure and function, might be reasonable, and I suspect a cardiologist would be likely to order one. The electrical function of the heart could be tested with an office EKG and a 24-hour monitor if there is further concern after the office EKG. Finally, low calcium can go along with low albumin in the blood, which might indicate a nutrition issue. I think you need a more thorough evaluation before ascribing symptoms to getting older.

If no condition is found, an exercise regimen should help you tolerate more activity and slow your heart rate.

Dear Dr. Roach: I received my laboratory values (a “complete metabolic panel”) from my doctor. What do all these results mean? What organs are they reflecting? How can you tell if the results are good or bad?

C.J.

A complete metabolic panel is a standard set of 14 blood tests. It is certainly not a complete look at the body, but it does evaluate the function of the kidneys and liver.

The kidney tests include the electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride and carbon dioxide) and calcium, as well as two measures of kidney function: blood urea nitrogen and creatinine. Abnormalities of these numbers can indicate disorders of salt and water balance or intrinsic kidney disease. The carbon dioxide level may indicate lung issues.

The liver tests are total protein and albumin, the liver enzymes (ALT, AST and alkaline phosphatase), and the bile and breakdown product bilirubin. There are many types of liver diseases, and they can make those levels too high, reflecting liver cell damage (especially the enzymes ALT, AST) or obstruction of bile flow (alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin), or too low (low protein levels mean any kind of severe liver damage). A high bilirubin can indicate breakdown of red blood cells.

The last test in a complete metabolic panel is the glucose. Diabetes is often diagnosed with an abnormal glucose on routine lab testing before any symptoms are noticed.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.
 

Article source: https://www.timescolonist.com/life/health/your-good-health-woman-s-high-pulse-rate-low-calcium-a-cause-for-concern-1.23600784

Have you been counting calories? It can act as a tool to good health and longevity

By Rashmi Ramesh

Cutting down on the number of calories without compromising on nutrition has been shown to reduce inflammatory diseases and thus increase lifespan.



Calorie restriction (CR), long part of many civilisations, is getting scientific endorsement as a tool to good health and longevity of late. Cultures where CR is a way of life are known to have fewer diseases.

According to Dr Ayush Dhingra, consultant (gastroenterology), Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon, CR is the practice of limiting dietary energy intake with an aim to improve health and delay ageing.

HOW’S IT DIFFERENT FROM FASTING?

“CR reduces average daily caloric intake below what is typical or habitual, without malnutrition or deprivation of essential nutrients, contrary to the fasting diet, where a person does not eat at all or severely limits intake during certain times of the day, week or month,” Dhingra said.

CR is a consistent pattern of reducing average daily caloric intake, while fasting regimens primarily focus on the frequency of eating. The fasting diet may or may not involve a restriction in the intake of calories during non-fasting times, he added. The practical effect of a fasting diet may be fewer calories because there is less time for regular eating but it may also result in deficiency of essential nutrients.

WHY CR MAY BE GOOD

Dr Farah Ingale, consultant of internal medicine at Navi Mumbai-based Hiranandani Hospital, said CR reduces the risk of increased BP, cholesterol and diabetes and, thus, of diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

It also shows a decrease in some inflammatory factors and thyroid hormones. “There is some indication that lower levels of these is related to a longer lifespan and diminished risk for age-related diseases,” Ingale said.

According to Dhingra, CR practices are still being studied around the world for a more comprehensive understanding of how it works.

“In a controlled test set-up, when rodents and other animals were given 10-40% fewer calories than usual but provided with all the necessary nutrients, many showed extension of lifespan and reduced rates of several diseases, especially cancers. CR has been able to reduce age-related mortality — while 37% of the control-fed animals died, only 13% of those on CR diet died. Reduced sexual interest and ability to maintain body temperature in cold environments are some of the side effects of CR. However, more studies are going on to get a comprehensive knowledge of the pros and cons of CR,” said Dhingra.

Arfa Samreen, senior dietitian at Bengaluru’s Vikram Hospital, said: “In a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, it was found that calorie restriction followed in healthy non-obese adults over a period of two years resulted in reduced oxidative stress, which is related to diabetes, cancer and neurological conditions.”

“Dozens of experiments in mammals have validated that undernutrition without malnutrition induces profound anti-ageing effects. Not only do calorie-restricted animals live much longer, but they also remain far healthier than normally fed controls,” she added. One study on mice and other species on a CR diet also showed that it independently increases lifespan.

Dr Sharad Malhotra, senior consultant and HoD (gastroenterology) at Aakash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi, said research has been ongoing from early 1900s for evaluating this issue. Multiple datasets on animals are available, which suggest some improvement in longevity of life and reduction in certain cancers with CR, but human data is still out in small sets only. “The CALERIE trial, which lasted two years, suggests that there is some improvement in health and reduction of pro-inflammatory markers in humans — however, it (study) was limited to 200-odd adults only. Recent data published in Cell Metabolism also suggests that there may be some benefit of CR diet in humans by reduction of oxidative stress — however, there is a requirement of a large amount of clinical data before recommending the same to the general population,” said Malhotra.

NOT JUST NUMBERS

Calorie restriction doesn’t mean simply cutting down on the number of calories you take. For example, while a glass of soda is certainly fewer in calories than fresh fruit juice, the latter contains more vitamins and minerals compared to soda, which is just sugar dissolved in water and devoid of any other nutrients, said Samreen.

If done without supervision, you could be putting yourself at risk of missing out on important nutrients, which, if continued for long, may lead to malnutrition, she added.

EXPERT SUPERVISION IS A MUST

“While studies have shown that CR in humans reduces fasting insulin levels and lowers resting body temperature, which are two biomarkers for ageing reversal, it is advisable to take up the diet under the supervision of a trained dietician and doctors as erratic practice may do more harm than good. Unscientific and unsupervised CR may cause a systematic drop in essential nutritional value of the food you take. This may lead to poor immunity, weaker muscles and bones,” said Dhingra.

According to him, a typical CR day would mean taking about 763 calories in breakfast, 455 calories in lunch and 382 calories in dinner.

“You must prepare your body and mind for this drastic reduction before starting the modified diet plan,” Dhingra said. “It is imperative to inform your doctor if you have any preexisting ailment such as hypertension, diabetes and vascular diseases.”

Samreen said it is important to consult your dietitian as adhering to such a diet in the long term can lead to various health problems like anaemia, low bone density, depression and malnutrition. “Consuming a very low-calorie diet can also cause weight loss to occur too rapidly and may make you feel fatigued and nauseous, cause constipation, malnutrition and can also perpetuate the formation of gallstones,” she said.

CR IN PRACTICE

Malhotra said there are multiple communities following CR, such as the CR Society Forum and Fight Aging.

“They provide advice on diet modification, diet enrichment, psychological support and other social media-based help. However, there are currently no uniform guidelines available to follow CR. There are different types of CR, like time-restricted feeding, meal-restricted feeding, 5:2 eating pattern and periodic fasting, which you can talk to your doctor about,” Malhotra said.

In certain parts of Japan, where living beyond 100 is no surprise, calorie restriction is ingrained in the diet.

In India, “while there are no specific societies that practise CR, some religious communities like Jains practise a type of CR in a way as they do not believe in eating after sunset,” Malhotra said.

According to Ingale, CR has been studied scientifically in Hinduism. Smritis, the texts that detail the Vedic way of living, sanctify fasting. “Fasting can be ‘nirahara’ (without food), phalahara (where fruits and milk are allowed) and alpahara (when broken rice and the likes are allowed). An alternation of fasting and feasting exemplify the spirit of Hindu observances, and the calendar (called Panchanga) is filled with myriad observances, some of which are rigorously followed,” Ingale explained.

Say No To Carbs

A ketogenic diet or keto diet is one which needs you to go high on proteins and fats, and low in terms of carbohydrates. It is touted to be one of the most effective diet plans for weight loss.

A person who goes on a low-carb or no-carb diet experiences a sudden drop in body weight during the first few weeks itself. During this diet, the body does not get its source of energy. So it starts burning fat cells, resulting in quick weight loss.

Foods to eat: Fish, eggs, meat, oil, nuts, avocados, leafy greens and butter.

Foods to avoid: Grains, potatoes, rice, beans, sweets, cereals and other high-carb foods.

Article source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/have-you-been-counting-calories-it-can-act-as-a-tool-to-good-health-and-longevity/articleshow/67535739.cms

Another Voice: Food, not drugs, is the key to good health

By Dr. Richard Ruhling

Medical care is the diagnosis and treatment of disease and has nothing to do with health care. Proof comes from the inverse relationship – the more one takes prescriptions to relieve symptoms, the worse one’s health becomes.

While teaching at Loma Linda University in California, I did yearly physicals on executives. One said that sugar gave him joint pains; another said cheese bothered his joints; a third said meat caused his arthritis. They were smart men who had figured it out.

Most people don’t figure it out because foods cause a delayed reaction. People suspecting a food problem should eliminate it 100 percent for five days.

Textbooks show most medical conditions as of “unknown etiology.” That means they didn’t know the cause, so how can a drug be the cure?

An example is an FDA bulletin in 1970 reported deaths from heart disease were double for patients taking either of the two most commonly prescribed drugs for diabetes in eight university medical centers.

The names of the drugs have changed, but drugs still have high risk compared to wise eating. Dr. Nathan Pritikin’s diet in the 1970s got 85 percent of patients off their diabetic drugs and a similar percentage off blood pressure drugs.

Ninety seven percent of people are born normal. If they have a problem 40 or 60 years later, in most cases, they did it to themselves by what they put in their mouths. The good news is it’s reversible.

The late Dr. Lester Breslow of UCLA found that seven simple health habits were good for a 30-year difference between the people who broke them all, compared to people who live by healthy habits.

People with health problems should watch the best physicians on YouTube discussing a plant-based diet. These include Daniel Amen for brain health; Neal Barnard for diabetes; T. Colin Campbell for cancer; Caldwell Esselstyn for the heart, and Joel Fuhrman and Michael Greger for many conditions.

I visited U.S. Senate offices with medical literature stating that prescription drugs were a leading cause of illness and death until one senator said I was wasting my time.

“They own us,” he said, referring to donations by drug companies to their re-election campaigns.

This is a disgrace and the reason why Congress let the drug companies play a major role in writing the Affordable Care Act.

The end result can be an early death or a nursing home where the average number of drugs prescribed is nine to 13. Half die in the first year – blamed on the heart with no autopsy.

Dr. Richard Ruhling taught health science at Loma Linda University. His website is RichardRuhling.com.

Article source: https://buffalonews.com/2019/01/14/another-voice-food-not-drugs-is-the-key-to-good-health/