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Thursday, April 28, 2011

A FEW THINGS OF INTEREST ABOUT YOUR HEALTH


Two weeks ago I wrote on "How to Live Longer," largely a quick summary of my Chapter 2 from SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity.  Today, I provide  other interesting items regarding your health:

1.  I've long felt that people (even the medical profession) tend not to help your body, but actually attempt to neutralize natural healing.  Many have a runny nose and take something to dry up your sinus.  Your body might be reacting to a variety of irritants, but, in general, it is trying to eliminate waste.  Don't stop this process.   Another example is that you might have a fever, and take steps to lower it.  If anything, save for 104 degrees F and above of course, we should tolerate this increase for a while, if not slightly augment it.  Doctors are finally coming around to recognizing that fever is an infection fighter.

2.  You have face wrinkles?  Well, sea algae could well be your salvation.  Apparently, a biofuel  company, Solazyme, has a pending patent featuring alguronic acid from this microorganism.  Algenist, an anti-aging skin care line by Sephora, will begin selling for from $65 to $95.  I wonder if this will work on my arm?

3.  Quoting from the above book:

Every time you go swimming, consider that just in a liter of seawater live more than 20,000 different kinds of bacteria. Or everytime you kiss, don't think about the 40 million bacteria in a milliliter of saliva. There are about a billion different kinds of bacteriaIf a virus had the shape of a baseball, a bacterium would be the circle around the pitcher’s mound and a human cell would be in the range of the ballpark. As a virus requires a host, it has to invade a microorganism, human or any life form, to survive.

Quoting further:

o You harbor 100 trillion bacteria in and on you, but have only around 10 trillion cells of your own, thus, you host many times more germ cells than your own. Before you get too revolted, per above, your cell is much larger than a bacterium.

o You have probably up to four pounds of bacteria in your gut, and could have nine pounds total. Yes, this is most disgusting.

Carl Zimmer of the New York Times reports that, like the four blood types, someday you will be characterized by your gut bacteria.  There, apparently, are only three basic types, but which one you are should determine how you will treated.

Of related interest, Thomas Maugh II of the Los Angeles Times, wrote that the bacteria in your intestines can determine your weight.

4.  Is sodium good or bad?  Well, too much of anything is bad, but, it now turns out that if your sodium consumption is too low, there is an increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease.  Another study showed that sodium from vegetable juice lowered blood pressure.  The problem is that there is no consensus on how much sodium should be consumed.  One group says 1,500 milligrams/day should be the maximum for those over the age of 50, and a 6-inch sub sandwich with a cup of soup can exceed 1,500 mg.  Another indicates that 3,800 mg/day could be okay, and if this intake drops too far below 3,000 mg/day, your body will seek out foods that taste saltier (salt is sodium chloride).  Almost surely I ingest too much salt, which can affect my two kidneys (remember you only have one heart, liver and bladder), and increase my weight.  So I guess the best answer is to consume between 1,500 and 3,800 mg/ day of sodium, but stick to the low end if you are getting older and don't exercise much, and feel free to be on the high side if you are younger and sweat a lot.

5.  There seems to be some correlation between suicide and happiness, more specifically, the happier the society, the higher the suicide rate.  In the United States, Utah, which ranks #1 for a sense of well-being, is #9 in suicide rate, while New York, #49 on well-being, is #50 in suicides.  Hawaii is in the top ten in well being, but #39 in suicides, so we are markedly different.  Alaska is #1 (21.8/100,000/year) for suicides.  Globally, most of the former Soviet countries are way up there (with Lithuania having the highest suicide rate in the world at 31.5/100,000/year), and both South Korea (#2 at 34) and Japan (#5 at 24) being among the worst.  The world average is 16/100,000/year.

Deaths for self inflicted injuries per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004.[1]
  no data
  less than 3
  3–6
  6–9
  9–12
  12–15
  15–18
  18–21
  21–24
  24–27
  27–30
  30–33
  more than 33

Apparently, there might be no suicides in Haiti and a few other countries, but information is sketchy, for Egypt in that list is also zero, but another source indicated that this number is 6.5 and increasing.  Worldwide, about one million commit suicide annually, which is a higher casualty rate than war and homicides combined.

6.  Bird and swine flu originated in birds and swine, while AIDS probably came from chimpanzees.  Well, leprosy might come from armadillos.

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I wonder why, but the Dow Jones Industrials are surging, up 72 to 12,763, now a bit more than 10% higher for the year, with world markets mixed.  Gold, yes, broke the all time record yet again, +$9/toz to $1536.  The NYMEX crude remains around $112/barrel, while the Brent Spot is at $125/barrel.

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