Fixing Inguinal Hernias- the right way
- Created on Saturday, 01 February 2020 17:54
I never thought I would get an inguinal hernia. I don’t know why because I have certainly done a lot of strenuous exertion in my life. Is it because I think I’m Superman? Yeah, it could be that. But regardless, I got one, and I immediately started looking into what to do about it.
If it’s mild, as mine was, there is always the option of doing nothing and just living with it. But, that doesn’t make sense because it’s not going to go away, and it’s likely to get worse. Plus, there is the psychological factor of constantly living with the thought, “I have a hernia; I am broken; I am not intact” and it plagues you night and day. So, one should get it fixed, and the sooner the better.
I knew before I started investigating that I did not want mesh. And that’s not only because of what I’ve read and heard about it, including the lawsuits, but from hearing directly from men who had mesh repairs and regretted it. One young man I know went back and had a second operation to have the mesh removed.
So, mine would not be a mesh repair, and I knew that going in. There are several non-mesh repairs that use the body’s own muscles to form a new floor. The two most prominent are Shouldice and Desarda, both named after doctors. Dr. Shouldice was a Canadian surgeon who developed his hernia repair method during WW2. The Shouldice hospital is still located in Ontario and receives patients from all over the world.
Dr. Desarda, who is still living, is an Indian surgeon, from India, and his technique, which he has been doing since the 1990s, involves a simpler method. It consists of dividing the External Oblique muscle and moving part of it “from the ceiling to the floor” i.e. from above the inguinal opening to below it. The Shouldice method involves cutting and overlapping several muscles, and it involves much more cutting and much more suturing. And all that extra trauma results in a slower recovery, and so they keep you at the Shouldice hospital for 5 days after surgery because of the pain and delicacy. With the Desarda method, you can go home the very next day.
I watched both surgeries online before I decided, and from that I knew that I wanted to go with Desarda. In a word, the muscle looks very happy to be put where it is put, and it looks like a solid trampoline of support. It all looks very comfortable when it's done. But, with Shouldice, it really looks tense and uncomfortable the way they reconfigure the muscles.
So, I watched both surgeries, and the Desarda looked much more appealing to my eye.
So, after that decision was made, the next was where to have it done. And it turns out that there is only one surgeon in all of America who is certified by Dr. Desarda to perform his technique, and that is Dr. Robert Tomas of the UFirst Rejuvenation Center in Ft. Myers, Florida.
And besides watching videos of Dr. Desarda operating, I got to watch videos of Dr. Tomas operating, and I was equally impressed with both of them.
So, I hoped on a plane to Ft. Myers and let Dr. Tomas fix me. It went very well. I don’t remember anything from the surgery. I was told that I was woken up and asked to cough to test the strength of the repair he had made, and I apparently did that, although I don’t remember it.
The thing I feared most was the post-surgical pain. But, here it is the 3rd day after surgery, and I am in very little pain. And what pain I have isn’t constant. It’s mainly getting in and out of bed, and it does hurt a lot when I cough or sneeze. But, I’m not doing that all day, and as I sit here typing, I’m not feeling anything at all. At this moment, I’m as comfortable as you are.
In fact, the pain is so mild that I have already discontinued the pain meds. I took them for a couple days, but I don’t need them anymore. And you know how I am: I don’t like taking drugs.
So, this has been a good experience, and I am very impressed with Dr. Tomas and his whole team. He is very dedicated. He charges a very reasonable price. It was less than $4000, and that’s for everything, including the pain meds. The pre, the post, the anesthesiologist, everything is included. And I say to get abdominal surgery for that little in this day and age is amazing. But, Dr. Tomas told me that he wants to make it accessible to people of ordinary means.
So, to any man who has an inguinal hernia, I would strongly urge you to go to Dr. Tomas. This is not a paid endorsement. I wouldn’t dream of doing that. I am offering this advice because I think it’s valuable, and the fact is that 25% of men will get inguinal hernia in their lives.
So, my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Robert Tomas and his staff, and here is his website:
FDA says that sunscreen chemicals seep into your blood
- Created on Saturday, 25 January 2020 17:44
After applying sunscreen extensively (with 75% coverage of the body) to 24 young adults, they found significant measurable levels of the chemicals in the blood.
The extent of danger or harm from this is unknown. But, I think it is axiomatic that we don’t want sunscreen in our blood.
What I have been doing for a long time is using a zinc-based sunscreen: zinc oxide. If any is absorbed into my blood, I figure it won’t hurt me to get a little more zinc. And I only use it on my face and neck. For my body, I rely on coverage. Even when I’m swimming, if I expect to be in the water for a long time, I will keep a shirt on throughout. I’d rather do that than apply sunscreen.
And be aware that when you eat a lot of green and yellow vegetables, and fruits such as mango and papaya, you get a lot of carotenoids, particularly beta carotene, which builds up in your skin and acts like an internal sunscreen. Realize that the photo-protective effect of carotenoid pigments is the whole basis for having the yellow carotenoid lutein in your retina. It’s there to prevent ultra-violent damage to the macula.
I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and I admit that I look a little bit orange from it. Not terribly so, but a little. And I can live with it.
But, try the zinc oxide sunscreen. There are several different brands of it. The one I am using currently is by Neurtrogena, called Sheer Zinc. It goes on white, which is the color of zinc, but it vanishes as soon as you rub it in. It’s not like the lifeguards with a white nose. It’s absolutely undetectable. Plus, it’s dry; it’s not greasy; not oily. It really is the way to go.
I’m pushing 70 now, and so far, I haven’t had any skin cancers or pre-cancerous lesions, despite having spent a lot of time in the sun. And I admit that I love the sun. I would get depressed living somewhere that got little sun. I wouldn’t consider it. I know myself too well.
And realize also that as far as cancer goes, the sun is mostly protective, that except for skin cancer, the incidence of other cancers go down from sun exposure. For instance, there is much less colon cancer among those who have lived in the sun, for example, throughout the Equator, there is less colon cancer. Another correlation exists with multiple sclerosis. There is increasingly more M.S. as you move north or south from the Equator, with the highest levels in the far north and far south.
So, the beneficent rays of the sun should not be shunned. But, it is necessary to control your exposure and always avoid burning. And I am very careful about that, although I will admit that during the filming of My Stretch of Texas Ground in Texas in July 2018, I did get sunburned. But, that’s the only time in decades.
Report on the 2019-20 flu season
- Created on Friday, 17 January 2020 00:27
The CDC is saying that this is the worst flu season in decades, but they are also saying that the percentage of Americans taking the flu shot has never been higher, with over 60% of children vaccinated for it, and nearly 50% of adults. And yet, we are in the midst of an epidemic of flu.
If it were true that it’s mostly unvaccinated people who are being stricken, then surely they would say so. But, they are not saying anything about that, which tells me that vaccinated persons must be succumbing at the same rate as the unvaccinated. And who knows, it could even be worse.
Be aware that flu vaccine is never tested for efficacy. They test it to see if it raises antibody titers, but that’s not an end in itself. There’s no guarantee that having a higher antibody titer is going to keep you from getting the flu. That’s the wishful thinking, but it’s never tested. And it could very easily be tested. Take two groups of one thousand adults each who are comparable in every way except that one got the flu vaccine and the other didn’t. Then, see how many in each group gets the flu.
They could do it easily, and every single year. But, they never do it.
And this year, when it’s clear that people are succumbing despite having been vaccinated, do they step back and question whether the vaccination is really working? No, they don’t. Why? It’s because, as Dr. Robert Mendelson taught us, Modern Medicine is a religion, and vaccination is its sacrament.
Last year, they admitted that the flu vaccine was only 10% effective, meaning presumably, that for every 10 unvaccinated persons getting the flu, 9 vaccinated ones would get it.
Another claim that they make is that if you get vaccinated and still get the flu, that it’ s likely to be milder, lasting a day or two less.
I would tell you that it is entirely possible that the flu vaccine is doing nothing positive at all and only harm. I have not gotten the flu. I feel fine. But, even if I did get it, I would have no regrets about not getting a flu shot. Even if I knew for sure I was going to get the flu, I wouldn’t get it. I am not worried about lasting harm from the flu, but I do worry about it from the shot.
The bottom line is that if the flu vaccine were effective, they would be more than willing to test it. But, they don’t test it, and there is no excuse for that.
A telling sign about the flu vaccine
- Created on Friday, 27 December 2019 20:36
Nuts to You
- Created on Friday, 20 December 2019 03:40
It is the holidays, a time that people traditionally have nuts around. It was always that way when I was a kid. But, as an adult, I became a serious nut-eater, and I can honestly say that I eat nuts every day. I consider them a primordial food for human beings, and the research shows that they are very health-promoting and disease-preventing.
Nutritionally, nuts have some outstanding attributes, and I would like to discuss a few:
Brazil nutss are the highest source of selenium on the planet, providing more than any other food and by a wide margin. There is so much selenium in brazil nuts that it is theoretically possible to get selenium poisoning from them. Yet, I have never seen reported a single case of clinical selenosis from by eating brazil nuts. And it leads me to believe the form that the selenium occurs in brazil nuts just isn’t very toxic. We’re advised not to eat more than 2 or 3 a day because of the high selenium content, and I generally stick to that. But, a good batch of brazil nuts is pretty tempting, it's easy to keep going. But, I’ll tell you a secret: like most nuts, brazil nuts are very high in oil, which can go rancid. So, when I eat brazil nuts, I bite them in half first and before chomping any further, I look at the color of the flesh inside. If it’s white, I know it’s a fresh nut. If it’s brown, I know it’s rancid, and so I spit it out. It’s a very reliable screening process. Brazil nuts have been shown to be cardio-protective, and here’s another interesting thing: they are one of very few wild foods that are marketed commercially. Yes, with brazil nuts, you are eating a wild food.
Pecans are one of the highest sources of zinc, and they are very digestible. And the great Dr. Walter Pierpaoli says that the decline in zinc nutrition plays a major role in causing the decrepitude of old age. Pecans are also high in monounsaturated fat and loaded with polyphenols, much like olive oil, and even though raw pecans have more to offer than olive oil, nutritionally and otherwise, olive oil gets far more attention and praise. And don’t get me wrong: I think there is a place for extra virgin olive oil in a healthy diet. But, if I had to say which is better, it’s the pecans. Pecans become available in November, and you should buy a bunch then and keep them in the freezer. The really dark shelled pecans that you commonly see in supermarkets and chain stores are old and oxidized, and they may even be rancid. A fresh pecan is more blond-colored than brown. So, buy new-crop, light-colored shelled pecans in the fall, and ideally, you should get them directly from growers or from a distributor who accesses growers. Pecans are a wonderful food, but they need to be fresh.
Almonds are very high in calcium and magnesium, the two “macro” minerals along with potassium. They are also very high in Vitamin E, including the crucial gamma tocopherol form of it. Almonds have the advantage of keeping better than other nuts because the skin of the almond “hermetically” seals it preventing oxidation and rancidity. It’s not fool-proof, and you should definitely keep them refrigerated. But, it’s definitely easier to keep almonds around for a long time than other nuts, and you don’t have to freeze almonds. Refrigeration is enough. With pecans, I would not settle for refrigerating them; I would definitely freeze them, and I do. And keep in mind that they don’t actually freeze because their oil requires a lower temperature to freeze than your freezer gets. So, you can actually eat pecans right out of the freezer. But, almonds are often called the king of nuts because they keep so well and so long, and they are nutritionally a powerhouse.
Walnuts are uniquely high in the plant form of omega 3, which is alpha linolenic acid. And the body can convert it into EPA and DHA to some extent, although it’s limited. But, ALA has beneficial effects of its own, and walnuts have a vast array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The common walnut is often referred to as English walnuts but it would be better to call them Persian walnuts because that’s where they come from. Walnuts have the distinction of being one of the oldest human foods, and they are believed to have changed very little over the last million years. And there has been a lot of research on walnuts demonstrating that they have a cardio-protective effect; they help to prevent heart disease. Some people find the taste of walnuts to be strong, but there is an easy way to overcome that and make them taste lighter: just add a few raisins to them.
Pistachio nuts are also from Iran and Western Asia, and Iran still grows the best pistachio nuts in the world, as far as I’m concerned. Here in the U.S. we only get the California pistachios, which aren’t bad, but unfortunately, they are offered almost exclusively roasted and salted. And they don’t need roasting or salting. A raw pistachio has a taste that is similar to avocado except that it’s richer and more concentrated. But, when fresh they are exquisitely delicious, and they require no processing whatsoever. Again: there is a lot of clinical evidence of cardio-protection from pistachios.
Macadamias are exotically and tropically delicious and are very high in monounsaturated fat- like olive oil. And I would say the same thing that you should always eat them raw and unsalted. They are very expensive, which is a deterrent. But, I hope that occasionally you will treat yourself to some raw macadamias because they have such a distinct flavor that is very satisfying.
Are nuts going to make you fat? Well, they haven’t made me fat. I am 5’6 and I weigh 135 pounds, the same weight I weighed in high school, and I am 69 years old. I don’t know what my body fat composition is, but I’m sure it’s low, in the single digits. And I eat raw nuts every day. And when I say every day, I mean that the only days that I don’t eat raw nuts are days that I happen to be fasting.
So, I am a great believer in the nutritional and health benefits of nuts, and it’s because they have delivered great nutrition and health benefits to me over the years and decades. And I shall eat them for the rest of my life until I die.
Take care of your kidneys
- Created on Friday, 29 November 2019 03:35
There isn’t much you can do for your kidneys, except don’t abuse them; don’t overwork them; and don’t poison them. You are born with about a million nephrons in each kidney, and they do have a natural attrition. You do lose kidney function just from wear and tear. And, the kidneys have very little healing power. Once a nephron is gone, it is never replaced. You have an allotment at birth, and that is it. I wish I could tell you of a supplement that will protect your kidneys, but I don’t know of any, and if anyone tells you otherwise, they are just speculating, if they aren’t lying.
So, the main way to help your kidneys is to just don’t hurt them. Here are my top 10 tips for preserving your kidneys.
1 Limit salt. Don’t listen to those who say it’s all a big lie. The fact is that most Americans have very salty urine, and that comes from the body trying to keep up with excreting the excess salt that they consume. It is work. It is irritating. It’s a strain. Try to limit your salt intake to no more than 1500 mgs/day. And that’s if you are healthy. If you’re sick; if you have chronic problems; try to get it below 1000, and especially if you have kidney problems. I know people who don’t consume any refined sodium chloride at all. The only salt they get is from celery, spinach, tomatoes, etc. I do consume some salt, but I am careful about it. I read labels, and I keep track of my daily consumption.
2 Limit protein. Obviously, you have to get enough, but when people go on high-protein diets, most of that protein gets broken down. The liver breaks it down, but the kidneys have to excrete the waste. I wouldn’t like it if I had a blood level of urea say in the 20s. But, high protein eaters can have blood urea over 30. I wouldn’t like that. Getting rid of nitrogenous waste is one of the biggest burdens the kidneys have, so why make it harder than it has to be?
3 Avoid alcohol. That’s because alcohol is toxic to the kidneys. This is from the National Kidney Foundation. Alcohol causes changes in the function of the kidneys and makes them less able to filter the blood. Alcohol also affects the ability to regulate fluid and electrolytes in the body. When alcohol dehydrates (dries out) the body, the drying effect can affect the normal function of cells and organs, including the kidneys.
I do not drink. Call me a teetotaler; call me a party-pooper; call me whatever you want. But, I do not drink.
4 Don’t smoke. And I mean don’t smoke anything. Smoke, of any kind, contains toxic substances which irritate the kidneys and cause damage. Smoking reduces blood flow to your kidneys, and it raises blood pressure, which hurts your kidneys. It also leads to atherosclerosis which hurts your kidneys. Don’t smoke. Anything.
5 Eat an alkalinizing diet. Your blood as a ph of 7.4 where 7.0 is neutral. That may sound like it’s only slightly alkaline, but it’s logarithmic scale, where 8 is 10x more alkaline than 7. So, 7. 4 is pretty darn alkaline, and it means that we should be eating an alkaline diet. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat any acid-forming foods because you need them too. But, you need to buffer them by eating an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
6 Exercise, but not to extremes. Your kidneys, like the rest of your body, benefit from you exercising. However, while you are exercising, your kidneys are relatively deprived of blood, and if someone exercises to an extreme, it might actually tax your kidneys. Of course, there are other harms from excessive exercise as well. What it comes down to, in my opinion, is that if you are exercising for health, than moderation is the watchword. If you go for a vigorous 3 mile walk, that’s going to deliver all the health benefits. Beyond that, you are doing more than you have to. And that’s just an example that pertains to walking, but it applies to everything. Be diligent about exercise, and be regular about it. But, don’t be excessive.
7 Get sufficient sleep. More blood goes to your kidneys when you are sleeping. And it’s when you are sleeping that your kidneys have the easiest time of doing the balancing and normalizing of your blood chemistry on which your life depends. So, do your kidneys a favor and get plenty of sleep.
8 Be wary of drugs because many of them, and most of them, are nephro-toxic. Your kidneys have to eliminate the drugs that you take, and many drugs are renowned for damaging the kidneys. A good example are pain-killers. All the NSAID painkillers like Aleve and Ibuprofen damage the kidneys. You don’t feel lt. You don’t sense it. But, they do. And I have known people who wound up with destroyed kidneys, where it was time to go on dialysis, whose doctors told them that all the years of taking painkillers is what destroyed their kidneys. And again: it is irreversible; completely and totally irreversible. And even diuretics, which are given to increase urine output, are damaging to the kidneys. Most of the time, it’s just not worth it to take them. It really isn’t.
9 Watch your blood pressure and keep it low naturally. I have written before that I HATE blood pressure drugs. I hate them all. Every single one of them, and there are all kinds, are like throwing a monkey wrench in your machinery. But, at the same time, I recognize the value of having lower blood pressure. High blood pressure alone can lead to heart disease. I don’t doubt it. And it can also damage your kidneys. So, through diet and exercise and even supplements, there is a lot you can do to keep your blood pressure down without drugs, and you should.
10 Get an annual blood test to see how your kidneys are doing. It’s part of the serum chemistry panel that they do, and it will typically include urea, uric acid, and creatinine. The flagship is creatinine. Basically, you want it at 1 or less. Even if rose to 1.5, it would be cause for concern, and the need to see what is going. On. And as long as it stays nice and low, you can be confident that your kidneys are holding up.
So, love your kidneys because you’re not getting any more, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Dialysis is no picnic, nor is getting a kidney transplant. And I intend to go my whole life without ever experiencing either one.
Anyone in the hospital should have an advocate present
- Created on Friday, 25 October 2019 04:48
I mean someone who will act to protect you while you are in the hospital- like a lineman protects his quarterback. That’s because hospitals are dangerous, and Medicine is likewise dangerous.
For instance, let’s take the issue of scans. CT scans are very popular today. They are a $100 billion a year industry. They entail a large amount of radiation. A single CT scan is equivalent to about 120 chest x-rays, and that’s according to Consumer Reports. If you need one, you need one, but you shouldn’t do it unless it’s absolutely necessary.
But, who is to be the judge of that? The doctor? Well, if that’s what you think, then go ahead and let them CT the hell out of you. But, I guarantee you I am going to decide for myself. And if I am unconscious, then my advocate can decide, who shares my attitude and convictions.
I had the privilege of knowing Dr. John Gofman, M.D. I never met him in person, but I corresponded with him. He was a medical luminary, a heart doctor, an anti-war and anti-nuke advocate, and he wrote the 1000 page tome RADIATION AND HUMAN HEALTH, which I have. And the gist of it, the bottom line, is that every radiation exposure counts; it increases your risk of developing cancer, if only slightly. Dr. Gofman went so far as to determine the increased cancer risk from a single dental x-ray, and it exists. And I am very cautious about dental xrays too. I have never submitted to full mouth xrays. The four bitewing x-rays, to see between the teeth, are all I have ever consented to. And I don’t do them every year. It’s more like every 2 or 3 years.
But, if you are in the hospital, you may not be feeling too well, and your ability, your strength to exert your will when it comes to medical actions may be compromised. Hence, you need an energetic advocate to oversee everything that is done to you.
Besides excessive and unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation, there is the issue of drugs. Are you going to take every drug the doctors want to give you? That could be a lot of drugs. If you have a raging infection, and they want to give you antibiotics, I’m not saying you should refuse that. But, if they want to give you pain meds, that should be up to you. I know the harm the pain medicines do, especially to the kidneys. If it’s a low level of pain that I think I can handle, I will. Now, I realize that not everyone feels that way. Some people are quick to take a painkiller at the slightest headache. Or if they have strained muscles from playing tennis, they’ll start downing pills. Of course, if the pain is excruciating, I’m not saying you should endure it. But, it’s for you to decide.
And there are plenty of other drugs that are given that may not be necessary, such as, drugs to sedate you, drugs to make you sleep, drugs to stimulate your bowels, or diuretics which are given for all kinds of cockamamie reasons which offer exceedingly little on the positive side and much harm on the negative side. I have written an article about diuretics that I am proud to say is very well read, and I say that because I hear from people from all over the world who have read it. Here’s the link:
Then, there is the issue of your food. For as long as I can remember, people have been making jokes about hospital food, but the truth is, it hasn’t gotten any better, which is to say, any healthier. You need an advocate there to make sure they give you decent food, or, if necessary, to bring it in from the outside.
And what about water? There are still hospitals that provide nothing but tap water for drinking. In most countries of the world, and all the ones that I have been to, nobody drinks the tap water. But, here in the U.S., they encourage us to drink tap water.
The hospital may use a crude filtration system, such as a carbon filter, which is certainly better than nothing. But, if there is any doubt, have your advocate bring you in good bottled water.
And finally, I will point out that you should want to get out of the hospital as soon as you possibly can. I’ll be honest with you: I wouldn’t leave that decisions to doctors either. And even if there is some risk in leaving- there is also risk in staying. So, for me, I would rather err on the side of getting out of there as soon as I can.
If I seem to have a bad attitude about hospitals, I do. And if I seem to have a bad attitude about doctors, it goes beyond that. The number of them who are capable of thinking outside the box of their medical education is very small. And fortunately, I know some medical doctors whom I respect very much. I consider myself lucky to know them and to have access to them. But, frankly, I have very little respect for the average M.D. And it’s not that there are no good things done in Medicine. I know there are. And some of the things they do are amazing. But, there is an awful lot of routine medical practice, “Oh, your blood pressure is up to 140, time to start you on drugs for the rest of your life.” That kind of Medicine I despise.
Hospitals are dangerous, so if you are in one, you need a bodyguard.
A lessen from Bernie
- Created on Sunday, 06 October 2019 04:58
On the campaign trail, Senator Bernie Sanders had an attack of angina, so they rushed him to the hospital and found that he had two blocked coronary arteries which they stented. So, in other words, he has heart disease.
Without a doubt, he’s been getting the very best of medical care all along, right? We take care of our Senators, don’t we? And he’s a rich man otherwise, so, he was going to have access to top flight medical care.
So, what has he been doing medically up to now? Has he been taking a statin drug? Has he been taking one or more blood pressure medicines? I don’t know, but I do know that rich men like him get the same medical advice that poor people get, which is to take those drugs. And a lot of people who take those drugs wind up having cardiovascular events. The drugs don’t prevent them.
But, the point is that if he can get heart disease, don’t you think you can? Don’t you think anybody can? The best thing, I think, is to just assume that we are all headed towards getting heart disease. And every morning that we wake up, we should be determined to do everything in our power to prevent it.
So, what does that entail?
1 Don’t ingest poisons that provoke heart disease, such as tobacco smoke, which is a powerful prgenator of heart disease. And the same is true of every kind of smoke, including marijuana smoke. Including the burning incense you may be breathing in at church. Including the smoke from your fireplace. Burning carbonaceous material releases toxic polycyclic hydrocarbons which trigger plaquing within the arteries. So, don’t breathe smoke
2 Don’t drink alcohol. I know you were told for years and decades that a little alcohol is good for your heart, but the latest research shows that it was all bull, that when you compare moderate drinkers, not to people who quit drinking and may have damaged themselves severely from it, but to lifelong abstainers, that lifelong abstainers have much less heart disease than moderate drinkers. The only good thing you can say about moderate drinking is that it’s better than heavy drinking.
3 Eat a lot of whole, natural, unrefined plant foods. Those are the only foods that I can tell you, with certainty, do not cause heart disease, and everything else is suspect. Fresh fruits, leafy greens, steamed vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, and cooked beans and legumes are the best foods, and I recommend going light on meats and fish, if you wish to eat them, and to avoid dairy completely, since you certainly don’t need it and are better off without it.
4 Avoid oils except for a very high quality and reliable extra virgin olive oil used sparingly.
5 There are quite a few supplements which can potentially contribute to heart health. How many you take depends on how comfortable you are taking supplements and of course, your income. But, the following supplements are worth considering: a good multi-vitamin/mineral formula, a good omega 3 supplement (either an excellent fish oil such as our Eicosamax, which I take, or, if you don’t like the idea of taking fish oil, take one of the algae DHA supplements) the ubiquinol form of Co10, green tea extract, pycnogenol from grape seed extract or French pine, Vitamin D3, the methylcobalamin form of Vitamin B12 taken sublingually, magnesium, resveratrol, and optimized turmeric. Those are the supplements that I am currently taking, and I feel very good about all of them, both from the standpoint of safety and making a meaningful contribution to my program. It may seem like a lot to take – and a lot of money; but realize that there is a lot that other people spend money on that I’m not spending. I spend zero on alcohol, drugs, and that includes over the counter drugs. I spend zero on doctor visits. I am 68. I am 5’6”, 134 pounds without clothes first thing in the morning; my resting heart rate is 64, and my blood pressure (just taken) was 106/58. And I really do feel good.
6 Limit your sodium intake to no more than 1500 mgs/ day, and if you know you have any heart or kidney problems, limit it to 1000. And anyone who tells you that salt is harmless is not someone you should be taking health advice from. Realize that just about everybody consumes an excess of sodium, and the healthier you are, the more likely you can get away with it. But, even if you are healthy, don’t push it. If you get 1500 mgs/day, even that is 3x as much as you need. You certainly don’t want to go above that.
7 Take care of your teeth and gums. Rotting teeth and inflamed, infected gums provoke heart disease. They provoke inflammation, and the inflammatory chemicals released provoke heart disease. So, take care of your teeth by practicing good nutrition, practicing good dental hygiene (brushing, flossing, water pic) and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. I don’t have a doctor (except me) but I do have a dentist. And I am diligent about taking care of my teeth, for their sake, and for the sake of my general health.
8 Exercise regularly and vigorously but not to an extreme. Obviously, exercise is important, but increasingly, the evidence shows that over-exercising takes a toll- even on the heart. Just recently, we got the news that Mark Spitz has atrial fibrillation. Is it from years and decades of over-exercising? I certainly wouldn’t rule that out. And when you consider how vulnerable we are to injuries, especially as we get older, it certainly behooves us to be cautious about not overdoing it when it comes to exercise.
9. Consider taking anti-aging hormones. I take 25 mgs DHEA every morning and have been doing so for years, and it is known to be cardio-protective. And I take melatonin at night before bed- to aid with sleep and because it is cardio-protective. Milligram for milligram, melatonin is the most powerful antioxidant of them all. And speaking of hormones, everyone over the age of 50 should have a thyroid panel run at least every two years, and if there is any suspicion of thyroid problem, more often than that. Millions of people are destined to become hypothyroid, and the sooner you find out about it the better. If it happens, I favor the use of the natural desiccated thyroid over the synthetics.
10. And finally, I do make it a practice to have blood work done on myself every April. It costs me a few hundred dollars, but there are tests available today that are very specific for the heart and can tell a lot about the health of your arteries. I am referring to what is called VAP testing, includes things like the size of your LDL particles, and the larger they are the better. Another very efficient test is carotid artery ultrasound, which tells you about the condition of your carotid arteries, whether there are blockages. It does not involve ionizing radiation, and it’s not that expensive, usually a few hundred bucks. The coronary calcium test I would NOT do because that involves a tremendous amount of ionizing radiation.
All right, I’ll quit there since we reached 10. But, the main point is, and I’m very serious about this, is that you should wake up every morning of your life determined to do all you can that day to prevent heart disease from developing within your body. Because: you look around you at the number of people who succumb to it, including multi-millionaire Senators who are running for President. If he can get heart disease, you shouldn’t think you can’t.