Soy improves bone density in menopausal women
- Created on Tuesday, 14 January 2014 17:37
Researchers reported in a study published in September 2013 that soy isoflavone supplementation improved some menopausal symptoms and increased bone density in menopausal women. The investigators assigned 80 women to receive 90 mg per day of soy isoflavones or placebo for six months. The researchers measured bone mineral density of the radius and tibia using quantitative ultrasound. The researchers measured indices of bone metabolism including calcium, phosphorus and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and serum cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). The subjects completed questionnaires regarding menopausal symptoms.
The results showed that tibial bone density increased significantly with isoflavone supplementation compared to the placebo group.
The investigators stated, “For menopausal women, soy isoflavone in the dose of 90 mg per day could improve some menopausal syndromes and was effective on increasing limb bone density."
I realize that soy is a very controversial, and online especially, soy-bashing is rampant. But, I eat some soy, and I will continue to eat some soy. I take it in the form of tofu and tempeh. I do not take soy supplements.
I'll admit that there is a negative case that can be made against soy. Soy is high in phytic acid. But, most and perhaps all plant foods contain some phytic acid. So, you can't avoid it. Phytic acid is thought to interfere with mineral absorption, but it should be kept in mind that in the normal course of eating and living, only a small percentage of the minerals in food get absorbed. At most, 20% of the calcium in food gets absorbed. It's presumed that only 10% of the iron in food gets absorbed- and it may be much less. About 15% of the zinc in food gets absorbed. The phytic acid in plants may be a reason why, but it would be toxic if we absorbed all the minerals in food. The evidence shows that, despite the phytic acid, plant-based diets are best for bone health, teeth health and mineralizatoin in general. The concern about phytic acid has been exaggerated.
Soy phyto-estrogens have also been a boogey-man to some. But again, many plant foods contain phytoestrogens, and some contain much more than soy, such as sesame seeds. Phyto-estrogens are weak estrogens, and they have been found to be protecxtive against breast cancer in women. Does soy cause feminizing effects in men from the phyto-estrogtens? Well, it hasn't happened to me. And my testosterone level is high for a 63 year old man.
Some of the complaints against soy relate to raw soy beans, such as the digestive antagonists and hemagluttins. These issues apply to all raw legumes, but they are neutralized by cooking. Cooked legumes have been included in the traditional diets of people from all over the world, and scientists agree that legumes are beneficial to health, being cardio-protective, diabetes-preventive, and very high in antioxidants. The USDA lists legumes as 3 of the top 5 foods in antioxidants, the other 2 being berries. The very highest antioxidant food, according to the USDA, is the red kidney bean.
So, beans, in general, are very good foods. I am them almost every day. And I'm not talking about soy. I'm talking about pinto beans, blacks beans, kidney beans, garbonzos, etc. They are truly a staple in my diet. What soy I eat is on top of that, but in smaller quantity.
I don't say that people should be eating large quantities of soy. But to include some is fine, and I do so myself and without worry. It has a positive effect on bones. It has a proven anti-cancer effect, including on prostate cancer in men. And it is definitely cardio-protective. In my book, a little soy is definitely A-OK.
Raw Food Blues
- Created on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 04:47
I got inspired to write about all-raw diets again because I was contacted by a young woman who is having problems after following an all-raw vegan diet for quite some time. She's lost weight and is well under 100 pounds. But, she also complains bloating and digestive sensitivity with food intolerances and systemic Candida. All of that should not be happening to a 29 year old woman.
I am not one to jump on the Candida bandwagon, but there is definitely an element of truth to it. We are all in a constant struggle with yeast. Think of it like a military stalemate- like in Korea. We are most all definitely slightly infected with Candida. We live in a balanced state of push-pull with them. But, nutritional stress can upset the balance, and throw us into a vulnerable state.
What gives Candida the edge? Overly alkaline diets is one thing. Keep in mind that an alkaline diet is definitely a good thing. But if everything you eat is alkaline, you can become over-alkaline. You need acid-forming foods too, such as nuts and grains and beans.
Another thing is protein deficiency. When people try to live on fruits and vegetables and not much of anything else, they can be shortchanged in protein. And that can cause sub-optimal immunological function which can cause Candida to grow excessively.
I regard the raw-food-only movement as misguided. It's all based on an appeal to naturalism. After all, animals in the wild don't cook their food, right?
That's true, but there are lots of things that human beings do that wild animals do not. And on a larger scale of naturalism, modifying nature and our environment is what humans do and have always done. What is natural for us is unlike what is natural for ANY other species.
How long have humanoids been cooking? I say "humanoids" because if you bring it up to homo sapiens, which is our species, we have ALWAYS been cooking. Cooking predates the rise of homo sapiens by the better part of a million years- at least.
But, cooking may go much further back than that. Some paleontologists think that humanoids started cooking several million years ago. The longest estimate I have seen is 9 million years ago. Can you really describe something that our ancestors have been doing for 9 million years as unnatural?
In fact, some paleontologists think that cooking was instrumental in motoring human evolution, that we might not exist today in the way that we do if not for cooking. Cooking has the effect of vastly increasing the variety of food that can be accessed. It has the effect of increasing the digestibility of food, and that of course spurs growth. And cooking can also be said to concentrate the nutritional density of some foods. Does it destroy some nutrients? Yes, but it's not the absolute amount of nutrients that matter, but the amount that you digest and absorb. It's like the difference between the "gross" and the "net" in business. No matter how big the "gross" is, it's the "net" that matters. And that's why they call it the "bottom line." And, we all know what that means, in and out of business.
Now, don't get me wrong: I think that eating a generous amount of raw foods is VERY IMPORTANT. Every single day, I eat generously of raw fruits and raw salad vegetables, and I have raw nuts too. And sometimes I eat raw seeds, although not nearly as often as I eat raw nuts. But, once I've made a point to eat a generous quantity of those foods, I know that I have gotten all the benefits that raw foods have to offer. So from there, if I eat cooked vegetables, and some whole grains and legumes (cooked) I don't see it as a compromise. I see it as a complement.
I am convinced that for most people, including myself, a mixed diet, including raw and cooked foods is best. It's a much more proven diet than an all raw diet. Is it less natural? That is not a point I am willing to concede. I don't think we are doing anything unnatural when we bake a yam or steam some broccoli. I see it as bringing the most out of these wholesome natural foods.
I am going to try to help this young woman, but she is going to have to be willing to change course. That's because if she stays on the course she's on, I know I can't help her.
Vaccinations: it's all a hoax
- Created on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 03:31
I want to thank my dear girlfriend Linda Hadley for showing me this article. I agree with it completely. Vaccines are a hoax. They started on the basis of pure superstition, and then, because enormous profits were looming from it, they morphed it into a "science".
We all know essentially how they are supposed to work: Weak antigens are introduced which cause an immunological response, provoking the buildup of antibodies so that when the real microbe comes along, the body will generate a powerful immune response.
Guess what? Most of the MDs who actually administer vaccines to people don't know much more about it than what I just said. They just know what the general idea is; that's all- even though they may spend their whole day injecting poisons into people on the basis of it.
Most of the diseases for which vaccines are given were waning before the vaccines were introduced. There is NO scientific evidence of disease prevention from vaccines. They have evidence of immunological responses to vaccines, yes. They can change antibody titers with it, yes. But, do they actually prevent disease? It has NEVER been demonstrated. Yet, there are many cases in which vaccines have been shown to cause disease and death.
Look at what has happened repeatedly with the so-called swine flu vaccines. Every time they wind up killing more people with the vaccine than the disease kills. Thank God Americans wised up in 2009 and most of them refused to take the swine flu vaccine that year.
Here's the article that Linda found. Please read it and pass it on. This nonsense has to stop. There are no conditions or circumstances that I would ever take any vaccine. If they tried to force me, I would fight, physically fight. And if the alternative was to leave this country, then I would leave, and good riddance. I'm telling you; we are living in an insane world.
Cogent comment about ObamaCare
- Created on Thursday, 31 October 2013 18:57
An article about all the woes about ObamaCare, inspired this comment by a reader:
"I don't mind going to the doctor at all; it's just that I don't need anything amputated, dissected, poisoned, irradiated, electrocuted, infected, or other such stuff."
And that just about says it all. I have gone my whole adult life without medical insurance, and I don't have any now. And it doesn't trouble me in the least.
Obviously, there is always the risk of trauma, and the most likely cause of that would be a traffic accident. But, what I do about that is carry very high medical coverage on my auto insurance. I think I have half a million dollars, including uninsured motorist. I suppose I could get hurt otherwise, but I don't ski or skateboard or rock climb or do anything dangerous. I don't go looking for trouble.
But, as far as disease goes, what does Medicine have to offer? Cardiology is a wasteland with practically nothing but detrimental to deadly interventions. If I had a cancer and it was highly localized, I might let them cut it out, but I would not do chemo or radiation. For diabetes, Medicine has only one useful drug: Metformin, which fortunately is generic and very cheap. Were I to become diabetic, I would order the Metformin myself online and manage it myself, and of course, diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements would be the mainstay of the treatment.
Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the three main degenerative diseases that people get, and I live my life assuming that I'm heading towards them, and therefore, I had better do all the preventive things I can on a daily basis.
Modern Medicine consists mostly of toxic interventions that alter symptoms and blood test results but make people sicker. That may sound like an extreme statement but it's true.
If you get arthritis, whether osteo or rheumatoid or other, are you going to take their drugs? You'll be a damn fool if you do.
If you start having trouble with your bowels, are you going to take their drugs? You think you're ever going to get to normal by doing that?
There are a few beneficial, even lifesaving things they do in Medicine. But percentage-wise, it's very small. Mostly, they just do mischief- with pharmaceuticals and other things.
Living without Medicine? I can tell you that it's a sweet life. And the sooner you wake up to the reality that Modern Medicine is mostly a menace, the better off you'll be.
Broccoli to the rescue for radiation
- Created on Friday, 18 October 2013 18:52
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center report a protective benefit for 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), a compound metabolized from indole-3-carbinol which occurs in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, against damage caused by radiation. They are hopeful that this finding could lead to protective therapies for humans undergoing radiation therapy or otherwise exposed to radiation.
"DIM has been studied as a cancer prevention agent for years, but this is the first indication that DIM can also act as a radiation protector," stated coauthor Eliot Rosen, MD, PhD, of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The study involved rats treated with potentially lethal doses of gamma radiation. The animals were divided to receive injections of DIM following periods of up to 24 hours after irradiation. Control groups of rats received injections of an inert substance. "All of the untreated rats died, but well over half of the DIM-treated animals remained alive 30 days after the radiation exposure," reported Dr Rosen, who is a professor of oncology, biochemistry and cell & molecular biology at Georgetown University. "We also showed that DIM enhances the survival time of lethally irradiated mice."
In comparison with untreated animals, mice treated with DIM experienced less of a reduction in red and white blood cells and platelets that normally occurs as a result of radiation therapy. In their introduction to the article, the authors note that low concentrations of the compound have been shown to help protect the cells against oxidative stress.
"DIM could protect normal tissues in patients receiving radiation therapy for cancer, but could also protect individuals from the lethal consequences of a nuclear disaster," Dr Rosen observed.
What I am doing is eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables on a regular basis. I anticipate eating a lot of kale this winter because it is growing well and abundantly in my garden, and it is impervious to frost. So, I expect to be harvesting kale regularly from now until April, or at least March.
United pilot has fatal heart attack in flight
- Created on Monday, 07 October 2013 03:07
You may have heard about this. He didn't die immediately. He died on the ground afterwards. Fortunately, the co-pilot was able to land the plane safely. But, they couldn't save him.
My understanding is that he was a very heavy man, like 300 pounds, which is most unusual among pilots from what I have seen.
But, here's what we should think about: He was a commercial pilot, so he was undergoing frequent health checks, including heart checks. I'm sure he had regular blood work and electrocardiogram. And he may have had other heart testing as well.
Apparently, he passed all of it, and they felt he was safe to fly. They were wrong.
What it means is that, despite all the advances, heart disease remains a “hidden disease” in many cases. It is still true that the first sign of having heart disease may be sudden death.
I believe that arteriosclerosis is a natural age-related pathology to which all humans are inclined. I'm saying that everybody gets it – to some extent.
But obviously, if you eat healthily and live healthily, and maintain your weight properly, and do not smoke, and do exercise, you are likely to get much less of it than otherwise.
And I also believe that genetics plays a large role because hundreds of millions of people live conventionally, yet some succumb early to heart disease while others live long in spite of having the same lifestyle and influences.
Obviously, you can't change your genetics, but you can change your diet and your lifestyle, and it's going to do a lot of good no matter what. But, the point I am trying to make is that people have got to stop thinking they are “OK” just because they don't have symptoms. The early stages of heart disease are truly invisible. There is no pain. There is no disability. There may even be excellent athletic performance as the arteries are slowly closing and plaque is building up.
So, don't be dismissive about this. Rather, you should assume that you are doomed to have heart disease to some degree, and you are going to do everything possible to minimize the extent of it.
That means eating an unrefined, plant-based diet, which means whole plant foods as the preponderance of what you eat. I don't say you have to be a strict vegetarian to avoid heart disease, but you damn sure ought to be a near- vegetarian. There is simply no good reason to eat vast amounts of animal food. Whatever animal food you eat should be a small part of your diet. Load up on fruits, vegetables, salad greens, beans, raw nuts, whole grains, and anything of animal nature that you eat should comprise only a small and restricted part of your diet.
Otherwise, exercise regularly- very important! Avoid poison habits. Secure sufficient rest and sleep. And consider taking heart-protective supplements such as high-dose Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, fish oil, turmeric, resveratrol, and more. The prevention of heart disease should be a daily preventative practice for all of us. The nightmare of what happened to that United pilot need never be anything that happens to us. If we're smart, we will tend to that very seriously every day.
New worries about elevated mortality among coffee drinkers
- Created on Friday, 16 August 2013 21:41
There is bad news for heavy coffee drinkers from the realm of medical research, and Americans love their coffee -- 64% are regular coffee drinkers. The average coffee drinker chugs 3.1 cups of java a day. But new research shows that men and women under the age of 55 who drink more than 4 cups of coffee a day had a higher risk of dying than their non-coffee-drinking peers.
Researchers looked at over 43,000 adults from 1971 to 2002, and analyzed their coffee consumption, in addition to dozens of demographic and health factors. They found that people under 55 who drank more than 4 cups of coffee a day had a significantly higher risk of dying than those who didn’t drink coffee -- 56% higher for men and 113% higher for women.
The exact reasons for the higher mortality in heavy coffee drinkers aren’t clear; it could be related to stress, high caffeine intake, lack of sleep, or other associated factors. But for those of us who depend on a cup of java to perk us up in the morning, this is certainly a wake-up call.
This is in contrast to a rash of reports about health benefits from coffee, such as better mood and lower risk of diabetes. The good effects of coffee have been attributed to the high antioxidant content. But, the truth is that the reason why coffee is so high in antioxidants is because coffee is a bean. And if you other beans regularly, you can get the antioxidant benefit without the dangers and drug-like effects of coffee.
Beans are the highest antioxidant food on the planet. The top three antioxidant foods in the American diet, according to the USDA, are beans, with red kidney beans topping the list.
I make a point of eating beans regularly- almost every day. Black beans are my favorite right now, but I also like pintos, and I eat red kidney beans too, especially since I know how good they are for us.
People complain about eating beans; they attribute them to causing digestive discomfort, especially gas. But, there are products you can take to reduce that, such as Beano. We offer one called Digestive Enzymes. It’s perfectly safe and effective, and it’s inexpensive.
If you’re not used to eating beans, perhaps you should start slowly. There is nothing wrong with that. Just start with a little scoop or two on your plat, but do it regularly. Over time, I believe you will adjust to eating beans, and you’ll be able to get away with eating more of them.
I find beans to be very hearty and satisfying. Since I don’t eat meat, I often use beans as a substitute. I find beans to be very filling, and they deliver lasting energy. And they are not the least bit fattening. Beans are NOT a food that the body readily turns into body fat.
So, eat some beans, beans, the musical fruit.
And don’t be afraid of a little toot.
Beans will help the way that you feel
So, eat some beans at some of your meals.
The Kite Runner
- Created on Monday, 15 July 2013 02:59
We’ll take a break from health tonight so that I can tell you about this movie I just saw, The Kite Runner. It affected me greatly, and there aren’t that many movies that affect me greatly.
The story begins in Kabul, Afghanistan in the 1970s, and it involves two boys, Amir and Hassan, who were about 13. They were best friends, but it was an unusual friendship because Hassan and his father were servants to Amir and his father. There were no mothers involved. Hassan and his father were of the Hazara community, considered lower class. Best pals Amir and Hassan were often badgered and threatened by a gang of older boys led by Assef. These boys hated Hassan for being Hazara, and they hated Amir for befriending a Hazara and treating him like a human being. It almost came to blows once until Hassan pulled out his slingshot- with which he was expert- and threatened to take out Assef’s eye. So, the older boys backed off. But another time, they trapped Hassan in an alley alone, and they brutally beat him, and then Assef anally raped him. Hassan didn’t know it, but Amir was there, hiding. He saw the whole thing, but out of cowardice, he did nothing.
Everything changed after that. The friendship between Amir and Hassan collapsed. It wasn’t Hassan’s wish at all, but Amir was stricken with soul-battering guilt. And eventually, Amir took devious and cunning action to have Hassan and his father banished from his father’s house. It worked, although not exactly in the way he planned.
Amir wasn’t fundamentally bad- far from it. His nature was to be kind, respectful, and good, and you see it throughout the movie. It’s just that he was in pain from the guilt, and he thought that making Hassan go away would make his pain go away. Of course, it didn’t work out that way.
But then, the Soviet/Afghan war broke out, and Amir and his father had to escape to Pakistan. On the way, there was an incident in which a Russian soldier tried to force himself on an Afghan woman, and it was Amir’s father who stood in the way. But, witnessing his father’s courage – to defend a perfect stranger- only heightened Amir’s self-loathing for having abandoned his friend.
Then, it jumps ahead to where they have immigrated to America. Amir and his father are living in Fremont, California, where there is, apparently, a large Afghan community. They went from being wealthy Afghans to ordinary, working class Americans- but at least they survived the war. Amir is a fine young man who is very devoted to his father, who is ailing. And he is pursuing his lifelong dream of becoming a writer, a novelist. He has graduated from community college, and he seems rather Americanized – he speaks English perfectly- but, he is still attached to his Afghan roots. He falls in love with a beautiful Afghan woman from a well-respected family, and they have a traditional wedding. His father dies soon afterwards. It’s a good marriage, but they are unable to conceive children. He does succeed as a writer, and Amir has definitely made a life for himself, but there is a perennial sadness about him, and the viewer, of course, knows the reason why. The burden of his guilt over what happened with Hassan he wears like an albatross around his neck, and he has no one in whom to confide.
Some years later, Amir receives a call from his father’s best friend, Rahim, who still lives in Pakistan. This man was like an uncle to Amir growing up. Rahim tells Amir that he is dying, but that he would like to see him before dies, and that he has something very important to tell him. So, Amir travels alone to Pakistan, and Rahim informs him that Hassan is dead- killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. But, Hassan had written a letter to Amir, which he entrusted Rahim to deliver. So, trembling, Amir reads the letter from his childhood friend, and from the letter, and from some other things that Rahm tells him, Amir realizes that there is something that he has to do. It’s for Hassan; it’s for his father; and it’s also for himself- a second chance to do the right thing in the face of grave peril. So, he travels into Taliban-controlled Afghanistan on this mission, and to say that it was harrowing doesn’t begin to do it justice. At this point in the story, you are going to be riveted to your seat. I’m not going to say any more about it because I don’t want to spoil it for you. But, let’s just say it’s a story of rising to the vicissitudes of fate, and a story of redemption.
If you’re wondering about the title, it had to do with the sport of kite fighting, which is very popular in Afghanistan. It’s where two kite flyers are maneuvering their kites so that the string of one cuts the string of the other. And when the loser’s kite floats down, the winner gets to keep it. And there’s a team effort involved, consisting of a main combatant who handles the string and an assistant. And one of the things the assistant does is run to retrieve their opponent’s fallen kite which is now theirs, hence the title: the kite runner. Hassan was Amir’s kite runner.