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.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Health Notes

Here is what we are discussing today (with links) at The Tao of Health:

This article says that older people who eat whole grain foods may reduce their risk of developing metabolic syndrome, i.e. diabetes and heart disease. I think it is a matter not only of eating food that is good for you, like whole grains, but also of not eating food that is bad for you, such as some refined food. This is just another reason to eat whole grain.

Brown algae polyphenols may have reduced the number of skin tumors in mice by up to sixty percent, according to results of Ohio State University research published in International Journal of Cancer.

This article has some really good ideas about the importance of fiber, and how to get more of it in your diet. Just the fact that they are discussing all this is great. I would like to take a moment to extol the virtues of pistachio nuts. I eat at least a handful of them at night while watching TV, plus a bunch of roasted pumpkin seeds, among other healthy things, and I think they are very good for me in the fiber department.

There really is a connection between food, health, and politics. This article touches on them all. For example, during World War II, when meat and dairy products were scarce, rates of heart disease declined in the country? I’m not surprised.

Too much folate can be bad for some older people? I think the key is that when you take folate, you need to be sure you get enough vitamin B12. Otherwise you might have anemia and some cognitive impairment. Please read the article for a full understanding of what they’re getting at. Before I leave this, though, let me say a word or two about “intrinsic factor,” a concept that was mentioned in this article and which I had never heard of before. Intrinsic factor is a substance that helps people absorb vitamin B12 in the intestines. If it’s not present, then it won’t happen. There are other ways of getting B12 though. I’m a vegetarian, and I take a liquid supplement that has

To further complicate this discussion, however, this article says that taking folate supplements may improve cognitive function as well as lower homocysteine levels. If you’re thinking about taking any supplements, please talk to your doctor. Also, please do your own research and inform yourself. The more information you have, the better decisions you will be able to make.

Three quarters of the people (in Canada) who are taking statin drugs “don’t have evidence of occlusive vascular disease?” That’s interesting, although I suppose some people take them to lower their cholesterol, not necessarily to treat a heart condition. But statins can be dangerous, possibly leading to muscle breakdown, kidney damage, or peripheral neuropathy, and this study says these drugs do not reduce deaths in women, so the risks might outweigh the potential benefit in some cases. Furthermore, it seems to me that the article questions whether statins should be given to women at all. Read the article for a fuller discussion and understanding.


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