The Tao of Politics

One of my main concerns is: how can I make a difference? There are thousands of political blogs out there. It’s easy to get lost in that ocean. So I may blog about politics on occasion, or I may blog about health issues, depending on where my interests lead me, and where I feel I can contribute something of significance.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Health Notes

Here is what we are discussing today at The Tao of Health:

What does everyone think about the new food pyramid? In some ways I don’t like it at all. When I plug in my age, sex, etc, it comes back and tells me I should drink three cups of milk a day, and eat 6.5 ounces of meat and beans. I’m fine with the beans, but I’m a vegetarian, and there’s no way I’m going to eat the meat. And there’s no way I’m going to drink three cups of milk either. I would really gain weight if I did that. It does have some good things, though. For example it makes suggestions about how much and what kinds of vegetables to eat per week, so that’s good. The new food pyramid is ok, I guess, if it gets people to eat a healthier diet. But they should really do a version for vegetarians, or even vegans.

Has anyone ever heard of Modified Fruit Pectin (MCP)? I don’t think I had until today. According to this article pectin “is generally not absorbed by the bloodstream.” That’s why it has been “modified,” so it can be absorbed. Scientists are using MCP supplements in an attempt to treat prostate cancer. They say that “MCP may block an important substance that enables cancer to grow and spread.” Of course it would be great if it did that. Read this article. It is very interesting.

Can chronic inflammation promote cancer? According to this article, there is plenty of evidence that says yes, although the relationship between the two is not understood. In any event, I don’t think inflammation in the body is good, and I try to reduce it or eliminate it whenever I can.

This article has tips on how to have a healthy heart. For adults the suggestions include: Don’t smoke, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, maintain a healthy cholesterol level, maintain normal blood pressure, take omega-3 fatty acids, get regular check-ups, and take any medications as recommended by your doctor. For children: Limit watching TV to one hour per day, get outside for physical activity at least 30 minutes per day, eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, avoid fast food and fried food, don’t smoke, report any unusual physical feelings to an adult, and see your pediatrician regularly.

There may not be much difference in the effectiveness of different antidepressants, but the side effects, which could include constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, insomnia and vomiting, can be rather varied. This often causes patients to try more than one medication before finding one that works for them.

Could Chinese herbs be effective in treating AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, etc? This is an interesting article on using computers and data mining to compile a database of herbs and their chemical makeup.


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