Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Online Breast Milk May be More Harmful Than Good

In this groundbreaking shockumentary of a blog post we will discover that what seems to be a horrible idea, ACTUALLY IS a horrible idea. The idea you ask? Buying Craigslist milk.
It is widely known that the best food for an infant is mother’s milk. But what if the mother has had a mastectomy? What if the mother has a career that doesn’t allow her to use the breast pump or to feed as regularly as she wants to? Or what if simply the mother cannot produce enough milk to satisfy the needs of the infant?
The clear answer seems to be to go to craigslist and just get a random woman’s number, then meet her in the wal-mart parking lot, give her 5$ and get a Dasani bottle full of breast milk. Yet the problem with this seems pretty obvious and kind of creepy.
Several milk sharing websites were recently tested. In the test samples were taken and tested for bacteria. Nearly 74% came back with levels of contamination high enough to infect a human and cause illness. 64% were infected with staphylococcus. Some samples were even infected with human fecal matter.
The most likely cause of the infectious bacteria is poor hygiene practices, improper care of breast pumping devices, improper storage, and the use of a dirty container. Since selling human breast milk is not regulated, there is no way of knowing the condition in which the milk was harvested. There is no way of knowing if it was stored properly, and most importantly blood borne pathogens live in breast milk. This includes HIV.
There are better alternatives out there such a milk banks. These banks pasteurize the milk which kills the bacteria. Others argue it also kills many of the nutrients.
In some cases the breast milk was shipped in box with no dry ice, no ice, just in a cardboard box at room temperature. Guess what? That milk had a lot of bacteria in it.
Aside from that doesn’t buying online breast milk just give you the hebeejeebees?

Friday, November 8, 2013

FDA Eliminating Trans-Fat: What Will Change?

As of November 7, 2013, the United States Food and Drug Administration has announced a new law that will require companies to phase out trans-fat from all foods. This means that a variety of popular food items will have to reformulate their products to eliminate trans-fat in order to be compliant with the law.

In 2006, the FDA required that all foods be marked with the level of trans-fat that they contain. This influenced many food manufacturers to drop the levels of trans-fat in their food. However, companies were listing the fat as "partially hydrogenated oil" in order to make it less obvious on the nutrition label.

Here are some of the foods that will be required to change under the new legislation.

  1. Microwave popcorn
  2. Cookies and crackers
  3. Refrigerated dough and pie crust
  4. Margarines
  5. Coffee creamers
These are products that are consumed by Americans almost every day. People who drink coffee with creamer, have crackers as a snack for lunch, and have a ready-made pie for dessert could often consume more trans-fat in a day than they realize. Thanks to this new legislation by the FDA, we can expect to see a drop in diabetes and other weight- and health-related issues due to diet.

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Why It Matters That The Obamacare Website Has Glitches

    After the launch of the Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, many users complained that it was difficult to sign up and reported that there were many glitches within the signup process. President Obama says that this is okay and states that many products have glitches when they are first released. This is indeed true; many products do have glitches when they first arrive on the market, but companies are normally quick to react. For example, Obama compared the Obamacare glitches to some issues that Apple had with its newly-released mobile operating system, iOS 7. Apple released a software update to fix all of the glitches after just 8 days, but the government health insurance website is still having problems after being public for weeks.

    The government says that HealthCare.gov had over 8 million unique viewers during the first few days of the launch. Although this may have put a strain on the servers, the developers should have been anticipating that and done something to prepare for the increased traffic. Reports show that the government has spent at least $90 million of taxpayer money on the website - not the entire program, just the website alone - so far. With this much money spent, it would seem like they should have things in order.

    Many security experts are wary of the Obamacare website's glitches because it will attract hackers. Lots of personal information, such as social security numbers, is stored in the Obamacare database, so it already has the attention of malicious hackers. Adding on top of that, the fact that the site has glitches that could possibly affect the security of the database, so hackers will be very interested in getting access to the information.

    Obamacare hasn't officially started yet, but users can still theoretically sign up, assuming the website doesn't have an error. Coverage begins on January 1, 2014 and open enrollment on the website ends March 31, 2014.

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Is It Safe? Tap Water v.s. Bottled Water

    I worked with a chemical company for several years. My specialty with the company was water treatment. In the argument of which is better Tap water or Bottled water, there really are two sides to that coin. Let's start with Bottled water.

    There is a lot of money to be made in bottled water. The consumers must really trust that the bottled water is clean, safe and of the highest quality.  The consumer believes in most cases that Bottled water comes from some magical stream, or some pure source better than the water they are drinking out of the faucet. In the majority of cases this is not true. Bottled water producers take the water from the very same aquifer that the municipalities do. The difference is that the bottled water producers typically run that same water through either a carbon filter, or a  Reverse Osmosis filtration system. So then It would seem that bottled water is the way to go right? Well it is a bit more complicated than that. It all relies on the testing of the water, and if the bottled water producer understands his filtration equipment.

    First let's talk about water purity before we move on to filtration. Water purity is measured using Conductivity measured as uhmos. Pure water does not conduct electricity, it is the suspended and dissolved solids that do this. This is why salt water is more conductive and, since corrosion is an electrical process of leaching electrons out of metal, it is more corrosive. Let us say that the Municipalities water that the bottler is taking from comes in with a conductivity of 248uhmos. Which is very good quality water. Now we give this already high quality water to the bottler.

    Let's look at the filtration. Activated carbon filtration has a limited life cycle in which the adsorption properties of the filtration media degrades over time and needs to be replaced. This is expensive, and will cause a shutdown of production. In order to tell it the media is still performing one must test the input against the output to see the efficacy.

    Reverse osmosis filtration membranes use pressure to force water through a membrane that filters the particulates suspended and the majority of dissolved particulates as well. In order to tell if the filtration is at optimal efficacy one must record the pressure differential of the input versus the downstream throughput. Record these numbers and when a significant difference is noted this is because the membranes have started to be compromised with particulates that is severely reducing the flow of water to process.

    Now if both of these filtration devices are operating at maximum efficacy the end result will be water that has a conductivity of ~0uhmos. Sounds impressive right? The only problem with water this pure is that on an electron level it is unnatural. You will never find pure water in nature as it seeks ionic neutrality. So what happens if you drink water that has ~0uhmos? You will become violently ill as the pure water strips electrons from your body, calcium from your bones, iron from your blood, sodium from the lining of your stomach. All the water seeks is ionic neutrality and since you are the only available source of ions, it will rip them out of you.

    Mister bottler knows this to be true so in order to combat this he allows the majority of the water he sourced from the Municipality to pass through treating only a small portion of the water which he then adds back to the bulk. So our already high quality 248uhmos city water when mixed with his filtered portion now comes in at about 232uhmos. That is pretty much the same water quality the city provides you. You would need a lab full of sophisticated equipment to tell the difference.

    Now let's look at the Municipality water since, honestly 95% of all drinking water AND bottled water comes from this source. Don't be fooled by labels that say they come from a spring. It may be true a portion of the municipality water comes from that spring, and since they source from the municipality, they can call it spring water. Tricky huh?

    Municipality water comes from either a River, Lake, or Aquifer. It is important to know the quality of the water in the city you live in. If you already know these data and you live in a place with high quality, don't waste your precious money on bottled water. It is a fools errand. If you live in a city with a lot of ups and downs in water quality, you might want to think about reading the back of the bottled water you want to buy and make sure it came from someplace out of state, which then you much research their water quality before you make your purchase.

    Wherever they bottled it, that's the municipality they are poaching from.

    On to testing and accountability. The EPA tests the water quality for municipalities, they have in stream electronic testing apparatuses that alert the municipalites if any tollerances are being compromised so that they can take corrective actions. Even in "low" quality city drinking water, the water is safe to drink in the US.

    The FDA makes yearly inspections of bottling plants, more if warranted. Often times bottlers use such low amounts of filtered water that their filtration devices become fouled with bacteria and impart bacteria and particulates to the water they are treating. So the 248uhmos water from the Municipality hits the bottle at 263uhmos. So on this day they didn't do you any favors.

    All that to say Drink which ever one you want. The smart money is on tap water. But on any given day if an engineer is having an off day at the plant in the city or the bottling plant, who knows what you are drinking? But don't worry the most likely worst outcome for you is spending a little extra time on the toilet. Gross but true.

    Friday, September 27, 2013

    A Cure for Type II Diabetes: Veganism

    While the title may be a bit misleading, for some sufferers of Type II Diabetes this diet may just be what the doctor ordered. Although it is doubtful that a doctor would order that since the majority of the time a doctor is interested in treating the disease or the symptoms rather than the patient.
    With the common American's diet worse than ever with all of the cheap food we devour, rather it is in the drive thru or whipped up with some 73/27 ground beef, a little milk and the 2 flavor packets that come with our Hamburger Helper, which consists of salt, food coloring, and artificial flavors and colors, lets not forget the preservatives. and some barely passable pasta that has been hanging out in cardboard for over a year before it hits your frying pan. Is it a wonder why we are not the picture of health? I submit to you it is no wonder.
    Eat em if you Got em Boys
    We are intended to be hunter gatherers, we are neither now. We are biologically programmed to crave two things above all others, sugar, and fat. This is why Ice Cream is nature's most perfect food, err wait nature doesn't make Ice Cream, it's almost like scientists know what we are programmed to crave and they stuff it into everything we eat. Even though in excess those two things cause horrific side effects to our bodies. Why would they do that? And why is the song "Money" by Pink Floyd suddenly stuck in my mind? Wait I know why, because it is all about making money not nourishing our bodies.
    Let's look at WHY we crave fats and sugars above all else. The simple answer is that fats and sugars deliver more calories to our bodies than any other food source. And from a survival standpoint calories mean survival. When spring is here we are supposed to eat all the fruit we can, grab that low hanging fruit, shoot the fat deer, and eat up while the eating is good, try to pack on those pounds for the hard cold winter that is to come. The only problem is that, for us at least, the winter never comes. We just keep enjoying the milk shakes, and burgers, the 73/27 Hamburger Helper, The Hot Pockets, Pot Pies, and pre seasoned Pork Roasts right off the shelf of our local Grocer.
    Delicious and Viscous
    And by local Grocer I mean Wal-Mart that gets the beef that is fed GM Corn to get it as fat as possible as quickly as possible right before slaughter. It's almost like the scientists and bankers got together to deliver to us the cheapest, most horrible food substitutes available so that they can get rich, and fat, and we can get fat on the cheap. Wait a minute, that is what is happening.
    Let's look at the Vegan Diet for a moment, not because I think its terrible to kill animals for food, it's actually awesome and natural. When we hunt for animals that eat natural foods etc etc. But all that to the side, I have no qualms about eating meat, Milk is good and darn it all if Hamburger Helper hasn't figured out the right mix of chemicals to make a really appetizing version of Cheese Burger Macaroni!
    That being said the Vegan diet is high in soluble fiber, cholesterol free, and low in saturated fats. Which by the way is a prescription for a heart healthy diet.
    So how can the Vegan Diet cure my Type II Diabetes? Take a look at the above photo. Look at how full your stomach becomes just on veggies and fruits. When you compare this to just eating chicken. Now let's add some Fried chicken in there, all that oil delivers a massive payload of calories. And it takes so much more to give you that satisfied feeling. Following a Vegan diet allows you to feel full on far fewer calories that you are probably used to. If you couple the diet with a moderate amount of exercise, this caloric deficit will start to shed the pounds very very quickly. How much and how long it stays off is up to the individual.
    Back to the Diabetes question. By regulating the blood sugar, and keeping it under tight control, the medications needed to keep it in balance can be drastically reduced, and for many Vegan practicers it can be eliminated.
    An additional benefit is that by eating such a heart healthy diet, the risk of cardiovascular disease can be severely reduced, this is great news for Type II Diabetes sufferers since this is a common complication of the Disease.
    I think the most exciting news is that by cutting out the crap in your diet, and introducing some of the good, you can CURE DISEASE. That seems like such a foreign concept to so many people. I think that the masses expect the Doc to give me that pill that will cure my disease, or maybe let's think about gastric bypass so I will only eat a small amount of my 73/27 Bacon Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper, this way I'll lose weight and I don't have to exercise. It's robbing Peter to pay Paul however and Mother Nature doesn't reward shortcuts.
    Vegans: Punching Type II Diabetes in the FACE!
    I think with an understanding of what a Vegan diet can do is key to even starting the endeavor. As always consult your doctor before starting a new diet but think about ignoring him if he says no, or at least seeking a second opinion possibly from a nutritionist. Good luck and Cure yourself of disease. That's like a superhero!

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013

    Why High Intensity Interval Training works so well HIIT

    High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a training program that utilizes short intense nearly max effort exercise, followed by a reduction in intensity recovery period. There are several different methods to the exercise method.
    Sebastian Coe 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist
    The first introduction of a form interval training was by Peter Coe. Peter Coe was the track coach of the famous Olympian Sebastian Coe. In these sessions Peter would have his son run 200M as fast as possible, then rest for 30 seconds, then repeat. VO2 max is the maximum amount a person's muscles can transport and use blood during incremental workouts. A person's VO2 max is indicative of their total personal fitness. This pushes the body beyond its VO2 max for short periods of time, then allows a short recovery to get some oxygen back to the muscle tissue just long enough to recover for the next intense effort. Using this method Sebastian Coe was able to win several Olympic medals including the gold in 1980 and 1984.
    By pushing the body past the VO2 threshold for short periods of time this increases the VO2 threshold which as earlier discussed is indicative of total personal fitness.

    Professor Izumi Tabata Perfecting his Method
    Professor Izumi Tabata improved on the HIIT by introducing the Tabata method. This involves 20 seconds of Ultra intense exercise at about 170% VO2 Max, followed by 10 seconds of rest, completing this circuit 8 times for a total of 4 minutes of exercise. Using this method 3 times a week an already fit athlete can expect to see increases of about 2% in as little as 7 weeks.
    So great right? Thanks for the history lesson, how does this help me? There are numerous different training programs out there that have a HIIT backbone as their structure. Bootcamp for instance, but probably the most well known would be CrossFit. CrossFit is essentially a well disguised version of HIIT with better marketing. And by better I mean HIIT doesnt have any marketing while CrossFit is sponsored by Reebok.
    CrossFit does have remarkable results
    This is why CrossFit has the amazing results that people find, whether it be from increased strength or balance, most CrossFit gyms or "boxes" as they are called have an atmosphere that lends itself to a social setting in which people all work out together at the same time each day, reach personal bests, for friendships and encourage each other, because of the great results and the fast friends formed, it becomes "addicting"
    It amuses me to hear a CrossFitter say something to someone that has never done CrossFit like, "you wouldn't understand, it's a CrossFit thing" Ironically the CrossFitter does not understand it is a HIIT thing. But then again I tend to think most CrossFitters are meatheads. At least my friends are at my local box. Enjoy your WODs (Work Out of the Day)

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    Can the human body heal Cancer?

    our bodies can heal cancer

    The human body is capable of some remarkable things. Often times we just have to get out of the way and let it take care of itself. On the other hand modern medicine does not at all abide by this philosophy. Treat the symptoms, and do this perpetually until all of the symptoms are held at bay. A symptom free patient is a well medicated and helthyish patient. Who cares about actual health as long as we have no symptoms this should be good enough. It’s simple to see why this is the medicinal dogma of the day. There is no money in healthy people.

    It is interesting that there are so many different specialists out there that specialize in treating the symptoms of a particular area. The very good specialists can still talk a look at the whole of the human body and realize that in fact the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone and make their diagnosis from that place. It is also interesting that so many marketing experts will claim that their product can help you reduce belly fat. Or that this super food is amazing for your brain. Ok I can tell you that you can’t reduce just belly fat. You remove fat from everywhere and it just happens that also it will be reduced in the belly. In the same way any food that claims to be super for your brain must thereby also be super for your whole body. Again the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone. We are all connected.

    There is some relevance that needs to be given to the placebo effect. In a study there was a terminally ill cancer patient with tumors the size of oranges throughout his lymphatic system. The man was reaching his final days of life when a brand new experimental drug was being introduced and he was part of the trial. Within three days of taking the drug he was out of bed and the tumors had reduced to half the size. Within weeks the tumors were all but gone, and the patient had gone into remission. The miracle drug was saline. It is remarkable what the mind can do if given the right opportunities.
    This does not mean that all medicine is bad and we shouldn’t take any but I will say that any new medication should be taken with a grain of salt. Always question why this medication is being prescribed and what kind of side effects can be expected. Just be aware that you can’t treat just one part of your body without affecting the whole. This is the practice of today’s doctors, and many times by treating symptoms, now ones are created and over medication can exist.

    Take the case of a Seattle Grandmother that was admitted to the hospital with asthma. The doctor at the time gave her steroids to stop her symptoms of asthma. It worked! This also caused her blood pressure to rise to the point that she suffered from vertigo. In order to treat that she was given bloodpressure medicine, this caused dizziness. Now too dizzy to walk she laid in bed and her ankles began to swell, the doctors on staff gave her a water pill, which caused he potassium levels to drop, so they put her on potassium supplements. They also treated her for Osteoporosis which ultimately led to gastric bleeding. She was later quoted as saying “I came out sicker than I went in”

    This may not be the norm but over medication is a problem that is rampant in this country. I don’t advocate a mistrust of all doctors, I do advocate seeking consultation with your doctor as to why you are on the medicines you are on. Check to see if you can reduce the dosages or can get off of the medication. The human body can heal itself, often times it just needs the chance to do so.