Hacker Perspective: Health + Nutrition
Caveat: this information on
this web page is based upon material gathered from a number of sources including
the internet. Therefore, use this
material cautiously at your own risk and
only with the advice of a physician
- 500 calories from carbohydrates will have a completely
different effect on your body than 500 calories from fat
- calories from simple carbohydrates (like refined sugar and white
flour) race into the
bloodstream causing a spike in serum (blood) glucose.
- The pancreas reacts to the spike by releasing a large volume of
insulin into the blood stream which then triggers fat-storage.
- Insulin production does not terminate quickly which means that
glucose removal usually goes too far (causing hypoglycemia) which
triggers new hunger pangs.
- calories from complex carbohydrates (whole grains) move into the bloodstream at a slower
pace thus triggering a lower insulin response
- calories from fat move into the bloodstream very slowly causing
almost no insulin response
- Replace simple carbs (white bread, white rice, white sugar) with complex
carbs (whole grain bread, wild rice, etc.)
- Replace most carbs with good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
- Dietary fats and proteins are required for the production of
hormones and enzymes
- You must consume one multi-vitamin tablet every day
- you must consume
1000 IU of Vitamin-D each day but no more than 2000 IU (higher values may lead to constipation)
- We all need daily physical exercise (45 minutes minimum; five days out
of seven). Good health comes from "sensible nutrition" and "sensible
IntroductionThinking their bodies are like
automobiles, many people incorrectly think that food is just a fuel. In reality
food is both "a fuel" and "raw material to enable self-repair and growth"
Overloading Man and Machine:
A wise biologist once said:
- If you put a 9-HP (horse
power) load on a 8-HP electrical motor, the overloaded
motor will burn out.
- However, if motors were biological and behaved like the human body, then
9-HP load on an 8-HP
motor would cause the motor to become (over time) a 9-HP
||Motor will burn out
||Muscle and skeleton will grow (over time)
to support the new load
Under-loading Man and Machine:
Unlike gorillas, the human body is always engaging in resource
conservation. Since it takes a lot of energy to maintain muscle tissue, the
human body will dismantle (cannibalize) under-used muscle and supporting
bone. This is an example of the "use-it or lose-it" scenario which was first
made apparent after once-healthy long-duration cosmonauts returned to Earth
only to discover that they could not walk.
||Nothing. It is more efficient and safer to
use an overrated motor
||Muscle will shrink (over time) to support
the new load.
Bone will shrink to match the weaker muscle.
But consider this extreme example which we see in human society:
||Nothing. But some oils may dry
out over time allowing oxidation
||Muscle will atrophy in a very
short time and function will be lost
- Non-exercising cosmonauts lost the ability to walk
after only 10 months
- Non-exercising astronauts lost 2% of their bone mass
(bone minerals were excreted via their
Food as a Fuel
- Caloric measurement is performed in a device known as a
device burns test material (usually food) in an enclosed volume with a
constant supply of oxygen while measuring the amount of heat released into a
larger volume of water over the time of the complete burn. Although this is
a good starting point, a calorimeter is nothing at all like the human body.
- In physics, one "calorie"
(lower-case or small "c"; also known as a "gram calorie") of thermal
energy is required to raise
one gram of water by one degree
Celsius. This equates to 4.2
- In nutrition, a "Calorie" (upper-case or capital "C") represents
one kilocalorie which is one thousand times larger. This is the amount of
energy required to raise one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius. This
equates to 4.2 kilojoules.
- Since there was already great confusion by the common use of an
upper-case or lower-case starting letter, the calorie was not merged into the System International
which is why scientists use the term Joule.
- Don't like metric measurements? An alternate unit is the
BTU (British Thermal Unit)
which is the amount of thermal energy necessary to raise one
pound of water
by one degree Fahrenheit. While BTU is often used for
industrial heating and cooling, I have never heard of it being used in human
- Measuring the caloric content of food assumes that food is just fuel,
rather than a mixture of fuel and raw material to enable self repair and
(sugar, starch, etc.)
- these burn the easiest because they contain with their own
built-in oxidizer (oxygen atoms)
- dictionary definitions:
- noun (1869): from carbo- "carbon" +
hydrate, denoting a compound produced when certain substances
combine with water.
- noun (current): Any of a group of
organic compounds that includes sugars, starches, celluloses,
and gums and serves as a major energy source in the diet of
animals. These compounds are produced by photosynthetic plants
and contain only carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, usually in the
- these burn less easily than carbohydrates because an external
oxidizer must be provided (usually by breathing). The human body can
make use of certain essential dietary fats so it is not always a
good idea to restrict dietary fat intake. It is a good idea reduce
saturated and trans fats. (see below for details)
- while it is true that human animals can burn protein as fuel, it
makes much more sense to use this material for tissue growth and
- All three food categories are capable of increasing serum (blood)
glucose levels after digestion.
- Most people know that nerve tissue will die quickly without access to
glucose or oxygen.
- Many people seem unaware of the fact that nerve tissue (brain, spinal
cord, and optic nerves) can burn out (die) when exposed to high levels of
serum glucose. To prevent this, the body has developed an elaborate
monitoring and control mechanism involving the release of
Insulin by the pancreas
which signals fat cells to begin removing glucose from the blood. (there are
also other mechanisms that involve the conversion of glucose to glycogon for
storage in the muscles)
- All foods ingested do not have the same bioavailability or bioactivity.
- Unlike cattle, humans cannot digest grass. Grass does contain
calories as measured in a calorimeter and yet almost none of those
calories will be absorbed by the human body. (even cattle cannot
directly digest grass; they employ bacteria in a special stomach
compartment to perform the conversion)
- Simple Carbohydrates
- Simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar and starches, don't
need to be digested and therefore race into the body causing
a spike in blood glucose levels. This event is noticed by the
pancreas (note: both the "current level" as well as the "rate
of increase" are important) which releases the hormone
in response. Insulin signals other body parts, like fat cells, to
begin to "take up" the serum glucose.
It should be pointed out
that a large release of insulin usually causes an over reaction
which can drive the blood glucose levels from a state of
hyperglycemia (too high) to a state of hypoglycemia (too low). In
healthy people this will trigger hunger pangs which will cause the
whole ingestion-digestion-compensation cycle to repeat.
- Starch is nature's stored form of sugar and comes in the form of
bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta. A starch digesting enzyme called
amylase can be found all through our digestive tracts
starting with the saliva in our mouths. To experience this digestive
process, place a small piece of white bread into your mouth and wait
10 to 30 seconds while the enzyme converts some of the starch into
sugar. It will begin to taste sweet, and this one reason why some
people refuse to give up white bread. This is another reason why
eating slowly is more satisfying. The conversion from starch into
sugar will continue inside your stomach but there are no taste buds
down there to enjoy it.
- Avoid refined sugar entirely
- it has only been available to modern man in large quantities
for the past few hundred years and humanity was not meant to
- many people don't know that jam is sweet because the high
sugar content is toxic to most bacteria and mold. In this case
sugar must only be thought of as a preservative.
- Avoid white bread entirely
- its popularity has fluctuated greatly over the past few
hundred years but the most recent round occurred when people
were convinced to purchase bread products rather than make it
- retail bakers discovered that white bread has a much
longer "shelf life" than whole grain bread. The problem here
is that the bread now lasts longer because many nutrients
have been removed. The retail bakers then tried to fix this
problem by adding vitamins and minerals to "enrich" the
- many commercial bread manufacturers scammed us for many
years by selling caramel colored white bread (simply labeled
"brown bread") as if it was the healthy brown bread. If you
eat bread you want course-ground whole-grains. (due to
larger surface area, fine-ground particles are digested
faster than course-ground; you always want to digest slowly
in order to avoid spiking your serum glucose levels)
- Limit white pasta + white rice
- since fully cooked white pasta will quickly convert into
sugar, try preparing it al dente (under
cooked). Undercooked pasta will convert to sugar much more
- serving pasta covered with a light coating of olive oil will
slow the digestion rate which will produce the same amount of
sugar but over a much longer time period.
- replace pure white pasta with brown, green and red pasta
(provided the coloring is natural and not artifical)
- Avoid soft drinks entirely
- most soft drinks contain between 4 and 10 teaspoons of sugar
- Limit fruit drinks
- In the wild, you would never be able to eat more than two
apples or two oranges so why do people think it is good to serve
large glasses of apple juice or orange juice? Just because
something is natural doesn't mean it is good for you.
- Complex Carbohydrates
- Complex carbohydrates, like whole wheat bread and under cooked
pasta, require digestion. Blood glucose levels will rise more slowly
and the pancreas will be able to react in a more precise and
controlled fashion. The rule of thumb here is the more complex the
carbohydrate, the slower the digestion, absorption, and pancreas
- Despite the fact that blood glucose rates will rise much more
slowly, they will still rise. Overeating will still cause a larger
release of insulin with some of the negative side effects (like
triggering fat storage).
- Fats require just as much (if not more) digestion than complex
carbohydrates and will never cause a rapid increase in blood glucose
levels. But as previously mentioned, overeating will still cause a
larger release of insulin with some of the negative side effects
(like triggering fat storage).
- In the early 1990s marketing bozos used pretzel logic to
convince consumers that eating fat makes you fat. Before too long
almost everything purchased in a super market contained a "low fat"
label. However, fat gives food its taste, and low fat food tasted
bad, so they compensated by adding carbohydrates. In most cases the
"low fat" version of any food had the same number of calories as the
"normal fat" version, but the "low fat" version could actually
trigger more "fat storage".
- labeling caveat:
- low fat foods contain low fat but may be tweaked with
- low carb foods will help you restrict fat creation and
subsequent fat storage
- Proteins are the base material for all tissues as well as
enzymes and hormones.
- Although they can be burned, it is much more efficient to use
them for other purposes.
- Proteins are composed of amino acids. There are 20 amino acids
of which humans can make only 12 which means that the other 8 must
come from our diet. (Rats, on the other hand, can make all 20). If
any one of the essential 8 amino acids is missing, protein synthesis
- Errors in early dietary recommendations were based upon simple
interpretations of the following facts:
|One gram of this:
||Yields This Many Calories:
So at first glance, it looks like eating fats will make
cause you to take in more calories.
However, eating simple
- will trigger the largest insulin release...
- which tells fat cells and muscles to remove too much glucose
from the bloodstream...
- which will causes new hunger pangs...
- which will cause you to to eat more food thus triggering a new
- low-fat foods
- In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some smaller food
manufacturers believed calorie facts "as-is" then began to market
"low-fat" snack food.
- Big companies (who can, and do, employ nutritionists and
scientists) should have known better but decided it was better to
sell the pubic what the public wants.
- It only took 10 years to see obesity as a problem.
- It only took 20 years to see obesity in epidemic proportions
- Reminder: Much Low-fat food (which
has been tweaked with sugar to improve the taste) will make you
fatter than food with a higher fat content. Always
inspect the labels
- soft drinks
- How many people remember the tiny 6.5 once (5 cent) soft-drink
bottles sold from 1960s vending machines?.
- Now every convenience store stacks 32-once torpedo bottles.
- The movement to much larger bottles was also due to a marketing
war between the soft-drink vendors (their cost between the contents
of small and large bottles is negligable)
- If you must consume soft-drinks then make sure it is either
low-cal or zero-cal. Although artificial sweeteners come with some
risk, being obese is also risky as well as undesirable.
- fruit drinks
- How many people remember ordering orange juice in a restaurant
then having it served in a 7 once "juice glass"? For some reason I
don't understand, many young people today have never heard the
phrase "juice glass".
- What is worse is this: No one can eat more than two apples or
two oranges due to the fiber content. And yet a children are often
handed a glass containing the equivalent of many more than two
pieces of fruit.
Food as a Building
- As stated earlier, all nutritional food falls into three (or four) major
- sugars, starches, etc.
- only used as a fuel source
- never used as a building block
- Fat (lipids)
- can be used as a fuel
- can be used as a component of building block material
- cell walls are composed of a water tight material known as
- myelin is a fatty substance used as an electrical insulator
Loosing Myelin is similar to allowing wires to short out.
- some are considered
essential fatty acids and only come from our diet
- dietary fat comes in four chemical categories (ranked in order
of good to bad)
- each molecule is one hydrogen atom away from being
- each molecule is many hydrogen atoms away from being
- each molecule is saturated (can't add any more hydrogen)
- in biology, the prefixes
signify chemical differences that can make a molecule twist
to the right or to the left. In chemistry, these prefixes
indicate which versions of the molecule are flexible verses
- although trans fats exist in nature, they are usually
produced during the manufacturing of processed foods and are
associated with coronary disease.
- these molecules are known to move from the digestive
tract into the body where they clump up
- some researchers believe these molecules get pass
the blood-brain barrier and play some kind of role in
- these molecules have been known to block the
cellular absorption of amino acids (components of
- In the 1950s people were convinced to switch from butter
to margarine. Butter tended to be naturally hard or soft
based upon temperature while margarine has been moved from a
liquid phase to a solid phase by industrial hydrogenation.
This same process resulted in margarine containing much more
- Although it can be burned, it is more efficient to use it for
- Proteins are the base material for all tissues as well as
enzymes, neurotransmitters, and hormones.
- Proteins are composed of amino acids (the amino acid order
determines the function). Think of protein as a necklace and the
amino acids as pearls.
- There are 20 amino acids of which humans can make only 12 which
means the other 8
essential amino acids must come from our diet. (Rats, on the
other hand, can make all 20 which is one reason they are so
successful at survival). Whenever any of the essential 8 are
missing, protein synthesis stops.
- Eating too little protein...
- can hinder certain kinds of chemical processing including
digestion. (protein is the substrate for all hormones)
- will have a degenerative effect on the endocrine system
(including signaling via protein messages)
- can result in certain kinds of nutrition-deficient nerve and
- It is my personal belief that dietary protein is one
component necessary for good mental health.
- can result in a weakening of the immune system (B-cells,
CD8-cells etc. are all built from protein)
- Unlike fat, protein is not stored in a long term fashion for
future use so our bodies will preferentially cannibalize internal
protein structures as required (thus treating them like storage
containers). These include:
- breaking down immune system cells (ever wonder why you
sometimes get a cold sore after a few days of too much exercise
combined with too little nutrition?)
- breaking down muscles in the extremities (arms and legs) to
save muscles in the core (heart)
- Vitamins, Minerals, etc.
- When they were first discovered, scientists where looking
for amino-acids and mislabeled these substances "vital amines"
which was later shortened to vit-a-mins. In fact, these
substances really fall under the category of coenzymes (except
vitamin-D which is a steroid) and act as a catalyst in enzyme
- Vitamins are classed as water soluble (all the B and C
vitamins) or fat soluble (all the rest). Ingest too many water
soluble vitamins and you'll urinate away the excess. Ingest too
many fat soluble vitamins and their storage in your body may
approach toxic concentrations.
- Certain vitamins like vitamin-C
are necessary for normal life. English sailors several hundred
years ago endured gum disease and premature tooth loss until
they were given a daily ration of limes to stop this disease.
Ever since then they were known as "limeys".
- Scientists have known for quite some time that
human cancer rates increase in proportion
to the distance from the equator. It was always believed
that this was due to industrial pollution which tends to be
greater in the north. Around 1980, some American doctors
believed that this might have something to do with vitamin-D
which is normally produced when human skin is exposure to
sunlight (which is much lower in higher latitudes -OR-
non-existent if you wear a sunscreen with SPF-8 or higher).
Since that time there has been quite a bit of evidence that
human cancer rates are much lower in in higher latitudes when a
daily vitamin-D supplement is consumed. Supplementation
is even more important today since fewer adults eat fish or
drink milk (which is usually fortified with vitamin-D).
- I'm am 53 years old (in 2005) and have been been
consuming a single 1000 IU tablet of vitamin-D3
daily for the past 3 months. This stuff is really cheap ($7
per bottle of 100 tablets) but has completely changed my
physical health for the better.
- Previously I had chronic tooth aches with no tooth
decay but X-rays by my dentist revealed nothing. After
one month of vitamin-d supplementation the chronic pain
has totally stopped.
- I always suspected that some teeth were getting
loose (I thought I could feel movement whenever I chewed
my food). All my teeth now feel rock solid and this is
not surprising since bone and tooth growth are not
possible without Vitamin-D. BTW, I still have all 28 of
my original adult teeth (wisdom teeth were extracted due
to lack of space).
- I was becoming intolerant to coffee. So much so that
I could enjoy a cup in the morning but a cup in the
middle of the afternoon would interrupt my sleep at
night. I'm now back to 2 cups a day with no coffee
- Even after I totally gave up coffee a few years
back, I would wake once or twice per night to urinate.
This has stopped and I always get 7-8 hours even though
I'm drinking coffee again.
- For the past 10 years I've been suffering from a
mild form of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which
starts near Halloween and doesn't seem to go away until
Christmas. My emotional state was a mixture of dread and
depression but I am only able to endure it because
logically I know it is related to the loss of sunlight.
This year I still seem to be enduring a bout of SAD but
the mental load seems 50% to 75% lower than in previous
years. Since natural vitamin-D is associated with
sunlight, and SAD is associated with a loss of sunlight,
I wonder if I've stumbled onto something here.
- In 2006 I increased my daily dose to 2000 IU and
have continued this into 2013. Never ingest a
supplement without also consuming a calcium
- Caveat: higher does of Vitamin-D
may deplete your magnesium levels (which can cause
constipation) as well as deplete Vitamin-K (which will
reduce the clotting of blood). As is true with all nutrients, too
much can be just as bad as too little.
- It has long been known that some vitamins can have an
anti-oxidizing effect in the body which will result in the
reduction of "one of the risk factors" associated with certain
kinds of cancer. That said, preventing cancer and eliminating
cancer are two completely different things.
No nutrient therapy has ever been known to cure cancer.
If you suspect cancer then see a doctor immediately AND read all
you can on the subject (but beware of anything that sounds like
somebody's "get-rich-quick scheme" because snake-oil salesmen
have always preyed on the gullible public and no one will be
more desperate than someone who has just been told they have
- Coenzyme Q10
- Every cell in your body contains an energy-producing
organelle called a mitochondria or
mitochondrion. Some body organs never sleep which means
their cells host more of them. Heart cells may have several
while liver cells often contain many more. The problem with
mitochondria is they get tired as they get age -AND- they
require a better supply of Coenzyme Q10. There
is not much you can do for a worn out mitochondria other than
hoping your body will kill the host cell then cause a
neighboring cell to replicate. But you can improve things by
consuming an Coenzyme Q10 supplement.
- Speaking of tired (lazy?) mitochondria, they host a chemical
process known as the
which involves Citric Acid. Therefore, you
should not attempt to get through life living on
Vitamin-C supplements but no citric-acid containing
- undo the error of the early 1990s
- decrease dietary carbohydrates (if at all possible, eliminate simple
carbs like refined sugar and white flour).
On a microscopic level, cell division
(specifically, DNA duplication) is one of the most energy intensive
operations in the world of biology. On a macroscopic level, the human
brain requires more energy than any other organ. Reducing carbohydrates
will adversely affect these two examples.
- increase dietary fat (in this order: monounsaturated,
polyunsaturated, trans, saturated)
- undo the error of the early 1950s
- switch from white bread back to whole grain bread.
- This will have the additional benefit of increasing dietary
fiber which will have a cleansing effect on the lower digestive
- switch from margarine back to butter (or cream cheese)
- switch from butter to cream cheese
- eat more protein. Every system in your body will benefit from this.
- give up sugared soft drinks entirely. All meals should be consumed with
- milk - preferred since it acts as a natural emulsifier allowing oil
and water to mix in the stomach.
- beer or wine (never more than 2 servings of alcohol per day)
- reduce or eliminate fruit juice. The sugar may be all natural but it is
still too much, too soon
- It is much better to eat an orange than drink the equivalent amount
of orange juice
- It is much better to eat an apple than drink the equivalent amount
or apple juice.
- Apples are also an excellent source of dietary fiber which means
you will be unable to eat many of them (everybody can eat one but
very few can eat three). Now consider how much apple sugar you
ingest when you drink apple juice (it's way more than you could eat
directly from the source).
- Magic Ratios
- some nutritionists have said that the best diet consists of:
- 3 parts carbohydrate, 2 parts fat, 1 part protein
- some sports medicine people have stated that the best diet consists
- 2 parts carbohydrate, 2 parts fat, 2 parts protein
- The diet that's correct for you is probably somewhere between these
- Biologist and humanitarian
kicked off the
Green Revolution which is responsible for saving billions of humans from
starvation. If life were fair then "every citizen of planet Earth would know
this man's name" and "we would all participate in a world wide holiday
celebrating his accomplishments" (I vote we declare January-1 as
Norman Borlaug Day).
- There is no way I can do justice to his life's work on this page but I
will say this: I have seen some (rational) online discussion suggesting...
His numerous techniques for increasing annual productivity (including
the use of both organic and inorganic fertilizers) can leave the soil
somewhat overtaxed. While you can get a second growing season out of
many plots of land, plants may not have the levels of iron, magnesium or copper
they might have had naturally. Even still, a slightly less-nutritious
plant is a million times better than starving
- This is why you need a single multivitamin tablet each day:
comment: I realize it's not natural (or how we
evolved) but the same could be said for what we're doing to the planet. Stop
Homosapien and start thinking
You Need Physical Exercise!
- In the very early 1900's, approximately 90% of North Americas were
involved in agriculture and food distribution. Much of this was manual labor
associated with farming.
- One hundred years later this figure has dropped to 2% leaving the
remaining 98% of our population mostly sedentary
- This is the first 100 years of mankind's existence
where a strenuous lifestyle is not required in order to live. We were
not designed to operate in this environment. We all need physical exercise.
- Biology is "Demand Driven":
- SKELETON: While attempting to prevent osteoporosis, you could eat
huge quantities of calcium but very little will be utilized by
osteogenesis (bone growth processes) until a physical load is placed
upon your skeleton. Whether we're talking about bones, muscle or brain,
we must always remember the biological truism: "use-it
- METABOLISM: If you've never exercised but then decide to go for a
short jog or run, you will quickly loose your breath. As you repeat this
on a daily basis, you will gradually increase your endurance to the
point that you will no longer loose your breath. The reason for this
change is that your body noticed you were out of breath and so
compensated by manufacturing additional red blood cells which will
enable more oxygen to be transported from the lungs to your muscles.
This added oxygen will have the effect of raising your
resting metabolism. When you stop exercising
it only takes 14-21 days for the body to get rid of the (now unneeded)
excess red blood cells. This will slow your resting metabolism which
will cause you to gain fat and loose muscle. Scientists tell us the
oxidative damage is caused by metabolic body processes with insufficient
oxygen (partial burning). I have always wondered if extra red blood
cells would reduce this since much more oxygen is available (complete
- EYE DISEASE: One type of macular degeneration is caused by an
excessive growth of blood vessels in the eye. Normally, angiogenesis
(the growth of new blood vessels) is caused by a lack of oxygen. Rather
than growing new blood vessels, it might make more sense to get some
daily exercise. In the short term, this will oxygenate more of the body
while you are exercising. In the long term your body will increase the
number of red blood cells which will allow more more oxygen to be
delivered to various parts of the body whether you are exercising or at
- Isaac Asimov (PhD Biochemistry)
- Died in 1992 at age 72 from complications related to AIDS.
- He contracted this disease (AIDS) during a blood transfusion in 1984
after a triple bypass.
- If he would have exercised moderately and monitored his diet, he
would not have needed the bypass surgery or the blood transfusion which
resulted in the infection that killed him. Had he lived 10 more years, he probably would
have published a few dozen more books (Asimov's 15 most popular sci-fi books).
- My Father
- Died in 1988 at the age of 63
- Had a physically demanding job as a butcher appearing strong and
vigorous while working
- He smoked cigars all his adult life but only drank alcohol
occasionally and never to excess
- He retired at age 62 and seemed to lose his biceps in 3-4 months
- After 10 months of retirement he died of a massive heart attack (the
coronary artery splits into 3 branches; the lowest branch was totally
occluded while the middle branch was only blocked to the 50% mark)
- Although many believe that it's the sudden stop that gets you, the truth of the matter is that you can get away with a few
of life's vices provided you have a physically demanding life. But you
will live longer if you exercise daily and skip these same vices.
Except for one thing: for some unknown reason people who drink
no alcohol have a similar mortality rate as alcoholics.
People in the middle who only drink 1-2 ounces of alcohol per day seem
to live longer. Perhaps alcohol thins the blood; perhaps it is human
social contact of a bar room. For more information try Googling the
alcohol. Also check out the book "The Healthy Barmaid" by
Doctor W. Gifford-Jones
pregnant women must never consume alcohol since
the baby's underdeveloped body is incapable of filtering and removing
the associated poisons.
Stress + Inflammation
Biology can be best described as the merger of two related process: anabolic
and catabolic. The anabolic process builds while the catabolic process destroys.
Metabolic = Anabolic + Catabolic
A short time after we are born anabolism (building) is running high while
catabolism (destroying) is running low. As we age anabolism starts to drop while
catabolism starts to rise. Once catabolism rises above anabolism, natural death
is not far behind.
The hormone symphony that controls our lives is nothing short of a miracle
and yet some hormones have a much greater effect than others. Anabolic hormones
like testosterone (which exists in both men and women by the way) help us grow
and maintain muscle mass but catabolic hormones like
cortisol make sure we won't
keep that mass unless we exercise.
One of the more negative aspects of cortisol is that it is released during
times of injury or stress. One of the more diabolical facts associated with
aging is that the body's sensitivity to stress increases with age which only
results in more production of cortisol. So although it is not a good idea to try
to eliminate cortisol from the body, it is probably a good idea to control your
stress so cortisol is not released too often or too long.
For some reason that medicine does not yet understand, this age-related
sensitivity to stress can be reduced with moderate daily exercise.
Your car might last much longer if you didn't use it but it is just the
opposite for your body. It doesn't make sense but it is true.
Omega-3 vs. Omega-3-6-9
Many people supplement with Omega 3
to reduce (eliminate?) the action of
people seem to forget that people with
(John F Kennedy was one notable example) cannot produce sufficient (or any)
cortisol. On top of all this, cortisol is one mechanism used by the body to
cause fat cells to empty (the opposite action of insulin). For this reason
alone, people supplementing with Omega-3 should switch to Omega-3-6-9 so that
cortisol is controlled but not eliminated.
- Read the book "Good
Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes
- Guaranteed Human
- quantity as well as quality. This is not a joke or scam but it will cost
you $6.00 per month.
- many people in the west think this is due to wine and Resveratrol
- many Europeans think this is due to life-style (fast-food in the
west vs. the slow-food
cultural movement in Europe)
- it may even be due to higher levels of trans-fats in the west vs. low
levels in Europe
- Diabetes comes in two major categories and here
are some very simple descriptions:
1 Diabetes is caused by the pancreas producing insufficient amounts
of insulin. The only treatment here is injecting insulin because you
can't live without it.
2 Diabetes is caused by a life-time of consuming too much sugar.
Your pancreas is releasing insulin but insulin receptors (special cells
that listen for, and react to, the insulin signaling message) throughout
your body have become so tired from a lifetime of use that they have
become deaf to the signal. If you don't ever what to find yourself in
this situation then you need to reduce your consumption
of simple carbs, especially sugar, immediately. DO NOT BURN OUT
- A third type has the unofficial name of Type 3
Diabetes and this involves the inability of the brain to utilize
serum glucose (sugar). Think about all those people with, what appears
to be, dementia (probably slapped with an Alzheimer's label). Many of
these people are eating (or are being force fed, perhaps intravenously)
but their brains are unable to utilize glucose. This is one reason why
some appear to be in a sleepy stupor while others appear like sleepy
drunks. Research is in early days here but it appears that type-3
diabetes may come in two flavors.
- What I call Type-3a (think 3-one)
involves insulin not being able to transition across the blood-brain
barrier (caveat: some recent publications indicate that the brain
manufactures its own insulin).
Since this form of diabetes is similar to type-1,
adding insulin can temporarily improve the situation and this is
done with a custom inhaler (it is like you are snorting insulin)
- What I call Type-3b (or, alternatively,
Type-2b where b =
brain) is similar to traditional type-2 where insulin receptors in
the brain are worn-out and so are no longer listening to the insulin
- Alzheimer's Disease is almost always associated with the buildup
of amyloids plaques which occur naturally in the body. Question: Is
it possible that a natural garbage collection process in the brain
is underpowered due to the brain's inability to utilize glucose?
- Are all of the optic nerves inside the brain or out? Many people
go blind in old age and I wonder if this is related (in part) to a
lack of chemical power (glucose)
- It is a well known fact the the brain uses "a lot of energy"
with guestimates varying between 25% and 40% of the total energy
available. That would require "a lot of insulin" and I wonder if the
brain produces it -OR- is it more likely that the brain produces a
substance to escort insulin across the blood-brain barrier.
(why they are good for humanity)
A brief list of known: Memory Systems
- long term memory of the genetic subroutines of our ancestors
- short term copies of DNA segments (messages) sent throughout a cell
to accomplish some task
- short term memory including stuff like "what I ate for dinner
yesterday" or "where did I park my car?"
- long term data including everything from "how to catch a frog" to
"the knowledge of math and science"
- Spinal Column
- reflexes, like "how to retract from a hot object without thinking
- Immune System
- memory of all the diseases encountered by the host body
- Stone Inscriptions
- carvings on the surfaces of ancient pyramids (Egypt, Mexico,
Cambodia, to only name three of many)
- Wooden Inscriptions
- human-written records (fictional and factual)
- VHS tape, Laser-disc, DVD, Blu-ray
- wax cylinders, plastic discs, magnetic tape (open reel, 8-track
cassette, compact cassette, CD-ROM)
- human records (everything including: books, audio, video, games,
programs, accounting records, etc.)
- human initiated machine-collected data (everything from seismometers
and storm monitors to space probes)
The many paths to knowledge
While it is possible for every human brain to redevelop everything (like math
and science) from first principles, it is much more efficient to attend a school
where the factual information is passed from instructor to student. This way,
all students can avoid the failures and dead-end paths taken by others.
Likewise, an immune system can learn about diseases it
has not yet encountered by being exposed to the protein coats associated
with viruses collected by scientists. The end-product is known as a
vaccine and the information
download process is known as an
inoculation. In most
cases a vaccine is a collection of multiple viruses that have been
sliced-and-diced by enzymes during the manufacturing process (rendering them
non-infectious). The resulting
protein segments of these viruses are then injected into the body where the
immune system notices something foreign then begins manufacturing protein
anti-bodies for an attack which never materializes but is remembered.
Caveat-1: some viral diseases are so dangerous that it
is unlikely you will survive your first natural contact. Or if you do survive,
you will never be fully returned to a pre-diseased state. One example is
Polio (Poliomyelitis) which was
rampant during my childhood in the 1950s but another example is
hepatitis which is rampant
in human society today. Benjamin Franklin said it best: An ounce of
prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the case of inoculations this
might be rephrased: A nanogram of vaccine is worth a kilogram of cure.
Caveat-2: Most modern people today would be
embarrassed to admit they are functionally illiterate. So if
inoculations are a form of learning then shouldn't people be just as embarrassed
to admit their bodies haven't be educated? I suppose ignorance is a form
of bliss but this form will get you killed.
Fully 20% of all cancers are caused by viruses with some scientists
speculating that the number is as high as 40%. One nasty virus is HPV (human
papilloma virus) which comes in ~ 130 versions with the most benign forms
responsible for ten kinds of warts.
However, there are other versions of HPV which are responsible for skin cancer,
genital cancer, anal cancer, and 90% of all cervical cancers.
vaccines are available to prevent infection by some HPV types responsible
for cervical cancer. Inoculate your daughters to reduce the danger of cervical
cancer in their bodies then inoculate your sons to protect your future
"Egg Allergies" and "Herd Immunity"
A very simple explanation
During the creation of a
vaccine, live viruses are evolutionarily adapted to non-human hosts by being
transferred into three-to-four generations of chicken eggs. During the transfer,
the virus becomes more bird-like which means it becomes virtually harmless
(before slicing-and-dicing) to humans. It also means that people with allergies
to egg protein will not be able to utilize a vaccine prepared in this way.
But it is not necessary for everyone in society to be inoculated (although
those who are not are in greater danger than those who have). If a significant
majority of the population is inoculated then
herd immunity will
prevent the disease in question from becoming an epidemic (thus protecting
un-inoculated people in the herd)
Inoculations do not cause Autism
- Males experience Autism
at rates ~4 times greater than females and this magic ratio reminds me of
other sex-chromosome linked diseases like
- By law, 100% of the health records of the citizens of Denmark must be
sent to the government which are then made available to researchers
(personal data is not disclosed). These records contain information about
who has, and who has not, received childhood inoculations. By analyzing this
data it can be seen that autism rates are virtually identical for the
inoculated group vs. the uninoculated group.
- It is true that there are higher autism rates now, this primarily due to
the fact that some other afflictions are now be labeled as autism
- To learn more:
The medical community published this information in 2001-2002 but
internet-based conspiracy theorists and weirdoes have kept the Autism scare
alive. I worry about parents who lose a child to a disease which could have been
prevented with a vaccine. But in the end it is all up to choice: do you want to
live in the modern scientific world or live like the Amish?
Miscellaneous Stuff (copied from elsewhere)
Tattoo inks may be
BRUSSELS - Fans of tattooing are putting poisonous chemicals into
their skin because of widespread ignorance about the substances used in
tattooing dyes, the European Commission warned yesterday. "Would you
inject car paint into your skin?" the commission asked in a statement
accompanying its report on the health risks of tattooing and
body-piercing. It said most chemicals used in tattoos were industrial
pigments originally used for other purposes, such as automobile paints
or writing inks, and there was little or no safety data to support their
use in tattoos. In addition, laws demanding tattoo artists use gloves
and sterile needles did not include rules about the dyes, meaning they
could be impure and dirty without breaking the law. The report said that
as well as the risk of catching diseases such as HIV or hepatitis from
dirty needles, tattooing could cause skin cancer, psoriasis, toxic shock
syndrome or even behavioral changes.
(Toronto Star - July-20, 2003)
Aspartame (a.k.a. NutraSweet)
- Personal Note:
I personally experienced massive headaches and memory loss associated with
the consumption of Aspartame (NutraSweet) in the form of Diet Coke during
the mid 1980's. After seeing an episode of Nova which
stated "almost 1/3 of North Americans experience unwanted
side effects from the consumption of Aspartame", I stopped consuming
Aspartame entirely. The head aches went away with in a few weeks and my
memory slowly returned (to 95%, I think) within a few years.
- These links seem to think that consumers should proceed cautiously:
www.howstuffworks.com/question536.htm the digestion of Aspartame
produces "Methyl Alcohol" (a.k.a. Methanol or Wood Alcohol) which is
then converted into Formaldehyde by enzymes in the liver. Formaldehyde
can cause some damage to proteins until it is converted into Formic Acid
which then interferes with mitochondria
Dr. Gabe Mirkin/nutrition/N238.html
- Aspartame and saccharin continue to be blamed for a wide variety of
ills, even though research has shown them to be safe if eaten in
reasonable amounts (question: what is the definition of a safe amount?
This may apply to maintaining your current weight but probably doesn't
apply to correcting an over-weight situation
- Aspartame breaks down into two chemicals,
- Formaldehyde is a known cancer-causing agent.
- Phenylalanine is an essential (to human nutrition) amino acid
but will cause problems in humans diagnosed with PKU also known as
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov (you will need to search from here)
www.medscape.com (you will need to search from here)
www.medbroadcast.com (you will need to search from here)
- Post Script
- The Aspartame molecule exists in two major forms,
Alpha and Beta,
Beta form causing more problems in humans
- The Alpha form converts to the Beta form
when exposed to acids over time, which can happen to any brand of soft
drink sitting on the shelf for a while.
- Since the speed of chemical reactions is faster with heat, soft
drinks stored at room temperature may be more dangerous than those
stored in a cooler or a chilled vending machine.
- The Alpha form (in dry products like gum, Jell-O, vitamins, etc.)
isn't known to convert to the Beta form. It was the dry form which was
originally submitted to the government for safety testing and approval.
- www.nih.gov - National Institute of
is a neat online medical + drug resource. You need a user name and password
to get in, but these are free if you go through the registration process.
They have links to MedLine
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Kitchener - Waterloo - Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.