I have been asked by a faithful customer to write a blog about the elderly. So, I am just going to muse a little bit here about what I think are important issues for the elderly. First, I think the elderly should be very cautious about taking drugs. Older people do not clear drugs from their bodies as efficiently or as rapidly, and there is greater risk of harm. Note also that the effects of drugs are cumulative. For instance, painkillers- including both prescription and over the counter ones- damage the kidneys. The same is true of anti-inflammatory drugs. So, you really want to avoid them as much as possible. For instance, if you have a headache, instead of taking a painkiller, try applying an ice-pack. Try to steer clear of those drugs as much as you possibly can.
Another example is statin drugs for high cholesterol. I don't think they should be taken by the elderly, and certainly not prophylactically. What I mean is that if you have no history of heart disease, and no particular signs of heart disease, but you happen to have high cholesterol, just leave it. Of course, you can always improve your diet and try to lower it that way. I'll never object to that. But don't take statins. For one thing, the association between high cholesterol and heart attacks falls apart after age 70. And more important, elderly people with higher cholesterol actually live longer than those with lower cholesterol. It's believed that cholesterol protects against cancer and infections-two of the leading causes of death among the elderly. But the most important thing, in my opinion, is to refuse to take statin drugs. Read the book, Lipitor: Thief of Memory by Dr. Duane Graveline. If you do, you'll want no part of statin drugs.
An invariable effect of aging is atrophy. That's where your good tissues (such as bone, muscle, even your brain) shrink and shrivel up. The result is that you get weaker, slower, more frail, more fragile, etc. This happens to everyone to some degree,. It's natural and you might even say universal. However, we need to fight it as much as we can. There are various causes of it, including the loss of youthful hormone levels, and also habitual inactivity. However, another reason that applies specifically to the elderly is malnutrition, which relates not only to what the elderly person eats but also to how well he or she digests and absorbs the food. Digestion, like everything else, gets weaker with age. In particular, hydrochloric acid production in the stomach declines a lot with age, and you need hydrochloric acid to properly digest your proteins. I think there are many elderly people who should consider taking digestive support, in the form of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes, to help them make better use of their food. And of course, their diet has got to be properly constructed and balanced. No "tea and toast" elderly diet will do. I should add that dental problems often compromise nutrition for the aged. Obviously, you should work closely with your dentist and practice careful, thorough, and regular dental hygiene- as should everyone. But, if your choppers just aren't up to par any more, you need to find ways to work around it. If you can't chew raw green salads any more, then you should blend them. If you can't chew raw nuts any more, then you can grind them in a coffee grinder. Don't compromise your diet just because of bad teeth. Find ways to work around it.
You have to exercise if you intend to live. There is nothing better than walking. If you can walk at all, you had better do it. Even if you do other things, make it a practice to walk regularly, faithfully, and daily, if possible. Realize that walking is the most bio-mechanically sound exercise you can do. There is nothing better. There is nothing kinder and gentler to your body. There is nothing more rythmic and smooth and balanced. Swimming and pool exercises are also very good. Gym machines like stair climbers and stationary bicycles aren't bad either, but nothing beats walking. Games like tennis, golf, and racquetball are fun, but many people get hurt playing them. There is lots of strain involved when you're twisting and turning and reaching, etc., as you do in those sports. So be cautious with those activities.
I mentioned the need to be cautious about drugs, but the same is true of surgery. Older people do not tolerate anesthetics as well. The shock of surgery, the blood loss, the trauma- it's all much more arduous for an older person. So, don't be overly enthusiastic about having surgery. For instance, if you are an 80 year old man, and if you are not in pain and if you are able to pass your urine freely, don't submit to prostate cancer surgery. I certainly wouldn't. I'm 60 and I wouldn't.
One surgery I do believe in for the elderly is cataract surgery. Just make sure you have a highly experienced surgeon.
Should the elderly get flu shots? I don't and I wouldn't. For one thing, the serological (antibody) response of the elderly to the flu shot is much weaker. There are plenty of authorities within mainstream Medicine who say that flu shots are useless for the elderly. Are you aware that those who have had multiple flu shots have a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease? I think that a much better, safer, and more effective option is to take high-dose Vitamin D3: 5000 IUs daily. That's what I do. Yes, it's safe, even for the elderly.
I'll finish by pointing out that it's in your senior years that the idea of "leaving well enough alone" should carry a lot of weight, especially when it comes to radical interventions. I hate to have to say this, but in my opinion, medical abuses far outweigh medical miracles even in 2011, so be wary!
I recently heard from a man who was advised to have a CT scan of his brain, which he underwent. The reason was that he has a hand tremor. His age is 63. He got a second opinion before submitting to the brain scan. Both doctors strongly urged him to do it because they thought it was highly possible he could have a brain tumor. And ultimately, he did it because he was freaked out about that. Who wants to live with uncertainty about whether or not you have a brain tumor? So, he did it, and fortunately, the scan came back negative. But, how likely was it that he had a brain tumor? The most common symptoms of a brain tumor are headaches, seizures, visual problems, hearing problems, garbled speech, gait problems, cognitive and personality disruptions, and nausea/vomiting. This man had none of those symptoms. The chance that a brain tumor would present with one-sided hand tremor and nothing else is exceedingly small. Laughably small. However, to treat peripheral neuropathy, he has been taking two anti-seizure drugs, Neurontin and Tegretol, for decades, and both of those drugs are known to cause tremors with longterm use. Weren't those drugs the most likely cause of his hand tremor and not a brain tumor? He received a whopping dose of radiation from that CT scan, and the dye they injected into him is hardly safe either. I think it was medical malpractice for them to order that scan. There was no justification for it. And in the tiny, remote possibility that he had a brain tumor, other symptoms would have manifested soon enough to point to it. There was no need to go fishing for it. This is prime example of medical exploitation, and it happens countless times every day. And we are all victims because the costs get passed down to all of us through higher medical insurance premiums and the taxes that we pay. And of course, it is only going to get worse under Obama Care. Now, more than ever, you need to be wary and remain independent when it comes to all medical decisions. It's a jungle out there, and the system is rigged against patients. Don't be overly impressed with any doctor. Be prepared to make your own decisions concerning your health.
As you probably realize, I don’t refrain from expressing my opinions about national events, particularly the actions of the government, whether it’s outlawing raw almonds or starting another insane and criminal war in the Middle East.
However, this article is not about that. This article is about the war between the tree nuts. Which is the best nut?
American researchers recently announced that walnuts have the best combination of antioxidants of any nut. They also raved about the quality of walnut protein, saying that it can replace meat in the diet. Of course, they also extolled the omega-3 fats in walnuts.
“Walnuts have a combination of more healthful antioxidants and higher quality antioxidants than any other nut,” were their exact words. Study findings were presented at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Anaheim, Southern California on March 21.
The researchers based their conclusion on an analysis of antioxidants in nine different types of nuts: walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias and pecans. "A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut.”
Those are strong words. I have always felt that in the domain of nuts, there are so many giants, it’s hard to say which one is best. But walnuts are, undoubtedly, one of the best. And they have an amazing history too. Walnuts are the oldest cultivated food on planet Earth. And they are also the oldest pre-agricultural food eaten by humans. Walnuts that were quite identical to our modern walnuts grew one million years ago in a large swath of Asia that extended from Iran to India. It was the Romans who introduced walnuts to Europe, planting them in every country that they occupied, including Britain. Americans speak of “English walnuts” but England was actually one of the last stops in the march of the walnut trees. And, walnut trees are very hearty and long-lived: living up to 500 years.
However, what’s interesting is that, in contrast, the US Deptartment of Agriculture rates the pecan as the nut highest in antioxidants. In what they claim was the “largest, most comprehensive analysis of foods to date,” USDA researchers analyzed all kinds of foods and found that “pecans ranked highest among all nuts in antioxidant capacity and were among the highest of all foods in antioxidant capacity.” Pecans, of course, are an all-American nut. They are the only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America, with a natural range that encompasses the central and eastern USA and extending down into northern Mexico. Pecan trees have been known to live 1000 years! And as I have mentioned before, pecans are the highest in zinc of any plant food. Pecans absorb so much zinc that growers here in Central Texas use foliar zinc sprays to insure that the nuts fill out completely. And I don’t have to tell you how important zinc is.
So, which is better, pecans or walnuts? All I can tell you is that I eat both and on a daily basis.
There is a new film out, available for free on Youtube, entitled The Marketing of Madness that you really should see. It covers the entire history of psychiatric drugs and the manner in which they have been marketed. The most startling thing is that the foundation of modern psychiatry- that mental illness centers around chemical imbalances in the brain- has never been proven. And all attempts to prove it have led to strikingly inconsistent results. For instance, attempts to induce depression by deliberately depleting serotonin have failed miserably. And despite all the fanfare, Prozac and its pharmaceutical cousins have not been shown to work any better than placebos. It's very unsettling to consider this vast area of health care because it's so widespread and pervasive in our lives (10% of Americans are on anti-depressant drugs), and yet, there is so little science behind it. It's one thing to talk about a chemical imbalance, but once you start treating people for it with potent pharmaceuticals, you had better have a way to measure what you are doing. But no such measurements exist. It's all theoretical. They are treating what they purport to be a physical, organic problem but on the basis of a purely conceptual model that cannot be substantiated- certainly not at the level of the individual patient. And if patients can be forgiven for participating in this scam, can doctors? How many doctors who prescribe Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc. have really studied the data on these drugs? Most of them have not studied them at all. In a way, doctors are just like patients: they are cogs in the wheel that keeps the whole psycho-pharmaceutical carousel turning.
Here is the link to The Marketing of Madness. Please watch it.
Many Americans are taking or stockpiling potassium iodide due to the catastrophe in Japan. It was reported on Friday that miniscule fallout from Japan was detected In Los Angeles. However, it is Sunday evening as I write this, and I have not seen any updates to that in the mainstream media. An alternative media website reports that French authorities have announced that the radioactive plum has already crossed North America, reaching the western Atlantic Ocean, and is now headed towards Europe. They do not consider the amount of radiation being detected to be dangerous. But, the entire Northern Hemisphere is expected to be affected eventually, which was also true of Chernobyl.
The basis for taking potassium iodide is that radioactive iodine-131 is formed from uranium and plutonium during nuclear fission. Iodine-131, a potent carcinogen, will find its way to the thyroid gland and cause cancer. Other organs that accumulate iodine are also vulnerable, particularly women’s breasts.
However, if tissues are fully saturated with iodine, they won’t pick up iodine-131. The standard emergency dose of potassium iodide is to take 130 mgs, which comes to 100 mgs of iodine. 100 mgs is 700x the US RDA for iodine. However, it is only 8x as much as is typically consumed in Japan on a daily basis The seafood and seaweeds that they consume in large amounts deliver a lot of iodine.
But, it doesn’t have to be potassium iodide for emergency protection. Any form of iodine will do. Just don’t rely on iodized salt because consuming that much sodium could kill you. Lugol’s solution will work, and so will Iodoral. I keep the 12.5 mg Iodoral around, which means that I would have to take 8 tabs to get the recommended 100 mgs. And I will do that, if push comes to shove. Iodoral contains a combination of potassium iodide and elemental iodine. This is advantageous because some tissues, including the breasts, like the elemental iodine better.
But timing counts for a lot. In order to be effective in blocking I-131 uptake, the 100 mg dose of iodine needs to be taken in a window of 24 hours before and 2 hours after exposure to fallout. If I hear of significant fallout on the West Coast, I am going to take 4 Iodoral tablets immediately and then more later.
Although the nuclear fallout from Japan has lost top billing, it’s far from over. As of Sunday night, they are saying that 2 of 6 reactors have been successfully cooled down. However, a third reactor is experiencing high pressure, and they may have to release some radioactive steam into the atmosphere. They are saying that the risk of a core meltdown has dropped substantially, but it is not non-existent.
Like most companies, VRP has been sold out of Iodoral and Potassium Iodide, however, they did locate a supply a Potassium Iodate, which is also safe and effective. If you are interested, you can order it here: http://www.1to1vitamins.com/daily-program.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=354&category_id=21