Monday, July 25, 2011

From the VO FaceBook page. (#2)

These are some recent tidbits from our FaceBook page containing my brief musings on various health related topics.

Don't be a brain in a vat!

A study confirms the VitalObjectives' approach: If you build whole-body health, disease (in this case dementia) will have no place. As one of the investigators put it: "Anything that's bad for you is ultimately bad for your brain. That's because the brain and body are intimately interconnected -- so any physical health problem can affect the cognitive organ."

In other words, don't pretend that you are a brain in a vat. Take care of your body and you will take care of your brain (which keeps that consciousness of yours alive).

The KettleBack for summer training.

The "KettleBack" from MBody Strength is perfect for bringing a kettlebell to the beach for a work out, or for weighted walks. I ended up walking 7 miles last Monday with a 35 pound kettlebell on my back. A great feature is the way the back pack's design transfers the load of the weight from the kettlebell to one's hips. (I'm not affiliated with MBody Strength, but really like this product - below is a video presentation of it.)

Be strong and live long! (Or should it just be "moderately strong"?)

This study found that having muscular strength has a remarkable correlation with reduced risk of death for virtually everyone: "When examining the relation between muscular fitness and all-cause mortality ... the moderate and high muscular fitness groups had, respectively, a 44% [!!!] and 35% [!!!] reduction in risk compared with the low muscular fitness group, after adjusting for age and sex." BOTTOM LINE: Guys and gals, train with WEIGHTS and GET STRONG!

Now, in reaction to the above, one of my intelligent readers remarked "
But maybe not very strong?". This in response to the slightly elevated risk in the strongest group compared to the moderately strong group.

This is my answer:

I think that very strong is actually what to aim for, but it needs to be done gradually, without drugs, and with an eye towards injury risks.

The slightly heightened risk for the very strong group in the study likely comes from including elite athletes (who tend to burn their candles in both ends) in the sample. Other studies made on elderly subjects show a mortality risk advantage for the strongest people."

Three leg press tips:

I like the leg press. I think that it is a safe and effective alternative to barbell squatting for many trainers. Here are three tips. (I have been leg pressing for 15 years without injury.)

Tip #1: one legged leg press saves the lower back vs using both legs, but take care to keep the back stable and pressed to the back of the seat. Also, always do the proper abdominal brace. (Google mcgill and abdominal bracing for the correct way.)

Tip #2: I avoid going really heavy with a deep knee bend on the leg press as that may stress the lower back too much. You don't want your lower back to round. (Think of a curled up fetus - that's not a look that you want to approach on the leg press machine.)

Tip #3: If your progress on the leg press stalls, try a different type of leg press machine (if available). There is a huge variation in how different machines accentuate the sticking points in each individual's biomechanics. I had to change from a newer Nautilus machine to an older model in order to keep making progress with the exercise.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Take Action! Save Your Supplements!

One of the few freedoms that we still have left in this country is our relatively unrestricted access to innovative and high quality nutritional supplements, many of which are crucial for building health and for reaching health goals.

However, this freedom is constantly under threat. The FDA and crooked politicians in collusion with various lobbyists relentlessly try to remove our ability to stay healthy through natural means, and to remove our means for escaping dependence on the flawed and expensive pharmacological "disease-care" model advocated by drug companies and agricultural lobbies.

This summer, new formidable attacks on health freedom have been mounted by Congress and the FDA, which could take away your access to supplements.

I urge you to read the following alert from "The Weston A Price Foundation", and to take prompt ACTION.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Clinical Notes: Acne Geography

These are some of my observations about where acne appears and what it may signify in terms of malfunction in the body:

Acne all over the body: Primarily "leaky gut", which may or may not be addressed by going on a paleo diet. (A more concentrated therapy may be necessary in addition.) If temporary (such as during a dietary change or the introduction of a new supplement), it is possible that the acne is because of inefficient liver detoxification (see more below).

Acne all over the face: Primarily dietary causes (typically grains, legumes, dairy). Leaky gut is very possible. In women, when the acne appears "cyclically", there is a component of hormonal imbalance (which could be dietary in origin, but more complex than in men).

Acne concentrated around the mouth: Inefficient liver detoxification. This may be because of leaky gut, poor gut flora, poor intake of nutrients supporting detoxification and elimination.

Acne concentrated to the back and/or shoulders of guys: Get the diet in order. No grains, legumes, and dairy, and it will very likely go away.

Acne or spots on front of thighs: Poor liver detoxification.

From the VO FaceBook page. (#1)

These are some recent tidbits from our FaceBook page containing my brief musings on various health related topics.

Misunderstanding the paleo diet.

There is an enormous misunderstanding about paleo diets held by scores of both proponents and detractors: That the paleo diet is about "what cavemen did". No, no, no! It is about what nature did to the cavemen. In other words, what needs to be figured out is which environmental inputs and stresses form the basis for how human physiology evolved. The answers then inform what the general dietary template for humans should be.

My new DASH shoes from Soft Star Shoes.

I still love my Original RunAmocs LITEs, but the DASH model is more stylish and feels just as great. I don't intend to ever return to wearing "normal" shoes - exceptions made for formal events. If there is one experiment that anyone with knee-, back, or even neck pain should make, it is to try bare-footing shoes for a month. Soft Star Shoes makes the best shoes in this category in my opinion. (I don't get paid to say this.)

Vitamin C as an anti-stress remedy.

Feeling overly wired after having had too much coffee? Take a 0.5-1 grams of vitamin C with flavonoids to clear out the cortisol. Same trick works for me to enhance sleep after some excessive bar hopping.

Therapeutics: The importance of "Glimpsing".

‎"Glimpsing": When a person has a day or two with higher energy, diminished symptoms, and a good mood. It doesn't matter if it doesn't last longer. It is a sign of what the person's body and mind are capable of; that nothing is irreversibly broken; that healing is possible, but that healing is a process not a single event.

Measuring health: Idiotic lab reference ranges.

Lab reference ranges: The ones that you see on your blood test are derived from either a statistical spread that includes many sick people, or recommendations from a committee of politicians and drug industry lobbyists. Wouldn't it be smarter to look at reference ranges that reflect supremely healthy people? I think so, so that's what I do. :)

Have you eaten your steak today? #1

Did you know that the body's biggest pool of anti-oxidants doesn't come from those "anti-oxidant rich" veggies touted on cable TV, but from systems that rest on the body's own anti-oxidants: uric acid and glutathione. These are made from nutrients found abundantly in.... meat and other animal products! No wonder that feel that I age backwards when I eat a steak.

Have you eaten your steak today? #2

In a recent study, the acid taurine reversed metabolic damage in rats made pre-diabetic through fructose overfeeding. The same tendency has been shown in humans. We find taurine in relevant amounts in meats and seafood. (Please don't try to get your taurine from Red Bull.)

Genetic testing? That's cool, but...

I have recommended the genetic test to have some FUN and to DEFY the coming Gov't crackdown. But, really, for health optimization, the test isn't very useful. The health hurdle for most people isn't their genes. It is the maladaptive stress and malnourishment that they subject their bodies to. Optimize your hormones, digestion, detoxification, and immune system. Then we can talk about genes.

Friday, July 1, 2011

From My Sketchbook: Why Being "Free of Symptoms" is not Enough.

Some crude sketches here, but these are points that I just feel that I have to get across because there is so much misunderstanding about what health is, and how it relates to symptoms.

The Normal (or what should be): The Body in Perfect Health.

  • Proper nourishment exceeds the body's requirements for dealing with the level of stress it faces.
  • The "homestatic pendulum" (as illustrated above) swings effortlessly and with great flexibility in response to stressors of different kinds.
  • The body is responding successfully to stress from different directions without internal resource depletion. (This is a key point.)
  • The person experiences great energy, great mental and physical function, and no persistent symptoms of any kind.
The Body in an Early Stage of Chronic Stress. (Or
what commonly passes for ”health”.)
  • Stress exceeds the incoming nourishment required to fight it.
  • The body gets increasingly stuck fighting one or more stressors without enough recuperation. Resource depletion begins to occur.
  • Homeostatic flexibility and balance are gradually lost. A common cold can make the person under the weather for days or weeks.
  • The person feels mostly OK, but something seems to be amiss…

  • The Body in a Late Stage of Chronic Stress. (This is most people past the age of 30, which drives me nuts, given the health that I know is possible.)

  • Stress continues to exceed required incoming nourishment, and resources have become depleted.
  • In one or more respects, the body is in a sustained state outside the bounds of normal homeostasis.
  • The symptomatic threshold is permanently crossed, and symptoms become persistent.
  • Symptoms begin to bother the person and/or his doctor.

  • Implications:
    1. Symptoms are the last thing to appear when the body gets out of balance. (When and how chronic symptoms occur is a matter of a person's internal resource reserves and his genetic propensities.)
    2. Being symptom free is not to be healthy. (Say after me, slowly: ”being symptom free is not to be healthy”. Once more: "being symptom free is not to be healthy!!" - Thanks!)
    3. Getting rid of overt symptoms is not enough to stop a degenerative process. (Finding and removing stressors, while restoring nourishment is the only way to do it.)
    4. Most people spend time going back and forth (usually with the help of the corner pharmacy or their doctor) between the early- and late stages of chronic stress. However, since the ratio between stressors and nourishment is never corrected, people become more and more symptomatic, and lose more and more homeostatic flexibility. Homeostatic flexibility is the hallmark of life. When it goes to zero, you are dead.
    5. So called ”health care” commonly concerns itself with returning people from the symptomatic stage to the early stage of chronic stress, but does not at all help people return to perfect health.

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