Friday, December 14, 2018

The Brain and Seven Virtues

Just for fun I decided to view these seven virtues against the back-drop of current world events. Each brain has its own perspective of these seven virtues.

·        Prudence from prudentia meaning "seeing ahead, sagacity") is the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason. 

·        Justice is the virtue which regulates humans in their dealings with others. Connected to justice are the virtues of gratitutde, piety, and religion. 

·       Fortitude that Thomas Aquinas ranks third after prudence and justice and equates with brave endurance. Patience and perseverance are qualities (or virtues) related to fortitude.

·        Temperance is the virtue which moderates in accordance with reason the desires and pleasures of the sensuous appetite. Related to temperance are the virtues of continence, humility, and meekness.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Brain and “Virtue”, 3

According to Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato, the four most desirable character traits in a human being were: temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage (or fortitude). “Many the time when my eight-year-old self would become a slight bit impatient about the length of a visit to the sick or the length of time it was taking to memorize a new piece of music, my father would solemnly quote, “Patience is a virtue.” I was reminded of that while reading about the Science of Generosity, defined as the “virtue” of giving good things to others freely and abundantly. I even recall going to the public library and looking up the words patience and virtue and didn’t seem to find they were particularly connected. I did discover that some theologies took temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage and added to them faith, hope, and charity—making seven virtues. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Brain and “Virtue”, 2

Excellence has been defined as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good in doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. But who or what decides what is right and what is wrong? Which “brain” determines the criteria? Therein lies the conundrum. Children grow up consciously or subconsciously absorbing what the “big people” in their life “DO” in terms of behaviors and what their role-models “DO” has far more impact on a child’s perception than what the parents, grandparents, teachers, or care-providers say. This means that the definition of “excellence” along with “Virtue,” is very subjective and depends in large part on what a child was exposed to growing up. The good news is that a human brain can evaluate what it learned it childhood and decide whether or not it wants to continue down that road or take another road. You may recall the poem by Robert Frost that ends with these lines:  Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Brain and “Virtue”

One doesn’t hear much about “virtue” these days. Growing up, I certainly heard more about it than in recent years. I was taught that the word itself referred to behavior showing high moral standards; a quality considered morally good or desirable in an individual and something to be practiced whether the person was alone—with no one watching—or when with others. Indeed the Latin words virtus and the Ancient Greek ρετή "arete" refer to moral excellence. So what is “moral excellence? The term moral was defined in several dictionaries as “the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong.” The word excellence was defined as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. Combining them the definition could be the quality of being outstanding or extremely good in doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. More tomorrow.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Science of Generosity

Christian Smith at the University of Notre Dame and colleagues, are studying the science of generosity, as they put it. They defined generosity as the virtue of giving good things to others freely and abundantly. They also pointed out that generosity also involves giving to others not simply anything in abundance but rather giving those things that are good for others. The goal of true generosity is to enhance the true wellbeing of those to whom it gives. Generosity can involve tangible and intangible gifts. Many automatically think of money and possessions. Some of the intangibles may even be more important in the long term, including personal time, attention, aid, encouragement, emotional availability, empathy, the sharing of information to help promote personal growth and high level of Emotional Intelligence, and so on. The researchers were also clear that generosity is not identical with pure altruism, since people can be authentically generous in part for reasons that serve their own interests as well as those of others. If indeed, generosity is a virtue, to practice it for the good of others also necessarily means that doing so achieves one’s own true, long-term good as well. Perhaps like all of the ‘virtues,’ true generosity is in people’s best enlightened self-interest to learn and to put into practice.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Personality Traits Linked with Intelligence, 2

The second study reported in the Journal of Research in Personality concluded that those who possess a dispositional tendency to value joint benefits more than their own, scored higher on an intelligence test. Researchers studied 301 people who played games that involved either donating to others or keeping things for themselves. They found that those who were more egotistical and who kept more for themselves tended to be less intelligent. While those who were more generous to others tended to be more intelligent (e.g., individuals with higher IQs were more concerned with the public good.) Comments by the authors concluded that the evidence presented supports the possibility that unconditional altruism may serve as a costly signal of general intelligence because altruism is costly and is reliably linked to the quality ‘general intelligence’. They also found that children’s intelligence predicts later socio-economic success better than attributes of their parents’ attributes, concluding that intelligence is an indicator of future resources. A person with high cognitive skills may be able to donate more in advance than someone with lower skills and perhaps can afford to be more generous because they have more to give.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Personality Traits Linked with Intelligence

A study published in the Journal of Research in Personality revealed some interesting information. It concluded that intelligent people are more likely to be generous and altruistic. While generosity is not something people usually associate with intelligence, this research clearly shows a link. In the study abstract, the researchers referred to “unconditional altruism” as an enduring puzzle and posited that the “costly signaling theory,” a well-established framework in biology and economics, may be useful to shed light on the individual differences in human unconditional altruism. Based on this theory, their research showed that unconditional altruistic behavior is related to general intelligence; that unconditional altruism can serve as an honest signal of intelligence. They believe that their findings imply that altruistic behavior can be distinguished from cooperative behavior.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Breakfast and Chronic Disease

Eric Rimm, senior author of a study related to breakfast and coronary heart disease and associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, said, “It’s a really simple message. Breakfast is an important meal.” And Leah Cahill, postdoctoral research fellow in HSPH’s Department of Nutrition, was quoted as saying: “Skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a heart attack over time.” This study corroborated other studies that have pointed to a link between breakfast and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health problems seen as precursors to heart problems. As my favorite aunt would likely have put it: “Eat a good breakfast already!” I do.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Breakfast and Energy

Prevailing wisdom has been that a failure to eat breakfast can result in a 40 percent loss of energy by noon. That’s not all. In a study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), researchers found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who ate a morning meal. Non-breakfast-eaters were generally hungrier later in the day and ate more food at night, perhaps contributing to metabolic changes and heart disease. The scientists analyzed food questionnaire data and health outcomes from 1992-2008 on 26,902 male health professionals, ages 45-82. During the study, 1,572 of the men had cardiac events. Even after accounting for diet, physical activity, smoking, and other lifestyle factors, the association between skipping breakfast and heart disease persisted.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Breakfast and Brain Function

I sometimes am asked questions about whether or not eating breakfast is important. There are, of course, opinions on both sides of the question. Breaking the fast from sleeping (unless you get up and snack at night!) boots up the brain much like you boot up a fats, and carbohydrates for energy, not so with brain cells. Glucose from carbs is the only source of fuel that the brain can use (it cannot burn fat). Due to its rapid metabolism, the brain requires minute-to-minute glucose. Glucose levels decline more during a period of intense cognitive processing. Studies in all types of people have shown improved mental ability following a carbohydrate meal. But what type of carbs? Healthier ones, of course, Carbs that are eaten in as natural state as possible and that are relatively low on the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load lists. Those recommended in a Longevity Lifestyle.

(Nedley, Neil, M.D. Proof Positive; Brand-Miller, Jennie, PhD, Thomas M. S. Wolever, MD, PhD, et al. The New Glucose Revolution)

Friday, November 30, 2018

Sunlight & the Brain, 3

Jet-lag, as the brain scrambles to adjust to crossing many different time zones of light and dark, puts the brain in conflict with the person’s normal sleep patterns. For some it can take a day for every time zone crossed, often causing problems with effective thinking and efficient performances. Similar symptoms can occur when an individual must work rotating shifts or when sleep times differ radically on weekends, as the brain tries to adjust to shorter, longer, or irregular hours. Some teenagers tend to experience a sleep-phase delay. Their melatonin levels naturally rise later at night (compared with many children and adults), which can cause adolescents to feel alert later at night and making it difficult for them to fall asleep before 11:00 pm or midnight. Sleep deprivation, compounded by early school start-times, can negatively influence life in general, and learning in particular. Keeping lights dim as bedtime approaches and/or wearing special glasses to block LED light from electronic devices may help, as can exposure to bright light as soon as possible in the morning.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Sunlight & the Brain, 2

Sunlight helps the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a group of cells in the brain’s hypothalamus, keep the human circadian rhythm in sync with the sun. This includes resetting this 24-hour biological clock on a regular basis. The process, known as entrainment, occurs when light-sensitive cells in the retina send electrical signals to the SCN. In humans, at sundown when the brain registers that there is no more sunlight outside, the SCN tells the pineal gland to release the hormone melatonin, which helps to promote a sense of being sleepy. (If the brain is exposed to artificial light after sundown, including LED lights used in most electronics, the release of melatonin can be interrupted). In the morning, as sunlight enters the eyes, the SCN is activated and wakes up the body organs, notifying the pineal gland to stop secreting melatonin. If natural light cannot get to the retina, the cycle of the circadian clock begins to lengthen beyond the usual 24-hours and a few minutes, which can be disruptive to a person’s life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sunlight & the Brain

Life on planet earth cannot survive or thrive without exposure to natural sunlight. Beyond the commonly touted benefits of Vitamin D production and calcium utilization, sunlight turns on internal chemical reactions and stimulates enzymes to work more efficiently. Brain plasticity and depression that are regulated in part by Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), show a correlation with the amount of ambient sunlight. Estimates are that exposure of one’s arms to 10-15 minutes of natural light can provide these benefits—dark-skins may need 5-6 times that amount of time. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. UVA wavelengths are longer than UBV but both can be damaging. Excessive exposure to sunlight can contribute to skin cancer, premature wrinkling and aging of the skin, cataracts, and macular degeneration. It is also linked with diseases that are aggravated by immunosuppression, allowing reactivation of some latent viruses.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Cancer & the Doctor Within

Remember the quote by Albert Schweitzer, MD: Each patient carries his own doctor inside him--we are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within a chance to go to work. 
Studies are showing how you can give the doctor within you a chance to go to work—lowering your cancer risk, reducing angiogenesis, and learning how to stay healthier and younger for longer. Estimates are estimates are that 70% of the factors that determine how long and how well you live is up to you--based on your lifestyle choices. Study. Apply. Create and live a Longevity Lifestyle. You are the only person who can do this for you! Go to work—and never “fear” cancer again!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Cancer & a Longevity Lifestyle

A Longevity Lifestyle is one that proactively and consistently avoids known factors that increase a risk for cancer. Studies show it matters. A Longevity Lifestyle is designed to:

  • prevent what can be prevented
  • reduce a risk for what cannot be prevented
  • arefully manage what was not or could not be prevented.

Prevention? Plenty of water; optimum sleep; carefully selected friends; a support network; high levels of emotional intelligence; appropriate macro- and micro-nutrition; a honed life-satisfaction outlook; appropriate supplements to keep brain and immune system healthy, and so on.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Cancer Risk Factor – Low Quality Nutrition

 Cancer cells are “glucose hogs.They thrive and multiple on highly refined and processed foods filled with sugar, fat, and salt, which can promote the growth of blood vessels (a process known as angiogenesis). More blood vessels allow glucose to reach cancer cells and tumors. Dr. William Li did a YouTube TED talk and pointed out that some foods prevent or discourage angiogenesis… Think of those foods as medicine.

Prevention? Aim for a Mediterranean cuisine filled with fruits and veggies in as natural and unrefined a state as possible; fat from avocados, olives, nuts, olive and coconut oil; some ancient grains; and minimize red meat, regular dairy products, and processed, fried, and refined foods.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Cancer Risk Factor – Toxic Substances

What are toxic substances? Asbestos, weed killers, DDT, substances listed in Prop 65 that was enacted in 1976, and many others all have been found to increase the risk of cancer. Frankly, sugar is toxic to the brain, so are many artificial sweeteners.
Prevention? Evaluate your environment for the possible presence of cancer-promoting substances. Be careful about the type of water you drink—get the best source possible. Take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary and as ordered. Then take steps to replace healthy bacteria in your small and large intestines because ONE dose of antibiotics can wipe out all positive bacteria in your large bowel.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cancer Risk Factor – Mental Attitude & Stressors

Both animal and human studies have shown a correlation between mindset, self-talk, and health. This includes how you handle stressors. Most people learn their stress reactions in childhood by watching how the adults in their life handle stress—these learned behaviors may or may not be helpful or effective. Do you have a positive can-do growth mindset or a negative fixed it-is-what-it-is mindset? It makes a difference which one you own and practice on a daily basis.

Prevention? Develop a positive, can do mindset. Raise your emotional intelligence and dump JOT behaviors. Stop talking about what you don’t want to have happen. Use only positive self-talk to tell your brain what it can do and what you want it to do. Use effective stress management techniques. Be serious about light but don’t take every little thing too seriously. Laugh a lot at yourself and the vagaries of life!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cancer Risk Factor – Hormones

Hormones in oral contraceptives (OC) and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have been linked with some types of cancer, as are increased levels of estrogen. ( Aromatase in fat cells, especially belly fat, converts testosterone to estrogen in both males and females. This can be very problematic for both genders.

Prevention? Maintaining your weight in an optimum range and preventing excess belly fat can decrease testosterone-estrogen conversion. Think carefully about hormonal supplements and do so with good medical supervision.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Cancer Risk Factor – Genetics

Some individuals are at a higher risk from mutated genes passed down from biological ancestors; it likely requires more than one gene mutation, however. Studies suggest 5-10 percent of breast cancer may be due to two mutated genes.  --American Cancer Society

Prevention strategies? Learn your family history, if at all possible. Talk with your physician about genetic studies, mammograms, and colonoscopies as indicated. Do self-breast examinations, male or female. Have an annual physical exam including a rectal; for females a pelvic exam with visualization of the cervix.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Physical Activity

Physical activity and exercise are critically important for the health of both brain and body. Staying active and obtaining appropriate amounts of exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, overweight / obesity, abnormal hormonal fluctuations, and immune system dysfunction--all factors that have been connected to cancer. Physical activity promotes release of endorphins, excretion of toxins and waste, and increased distribution of oxygen and other macro- and micronutrients. 

Prevention strategies? Stay physically active! Obtain regular exercise—do what you can at least 3-5 x a week.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Radiation Exposure

Exposure to radiation can come from various sources including: X-rays, radiation treatments, sun-tanning parlors (banned in Australia), warfare agents, and sunlight. Some estimate humans need about 15 minutes of exposure per day to the arms to obtain needed benefits, preferably early morning and late afternoon. Excess exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to skin cancer due to gene mutations (melatonin, for example).

Prevention Strategies? Human being need sunlight so obtain moderate exposure, preferrably not in the hot mid-day sun. Use proactive protection and obtain regular skin checks as needed. Negotiate with your healthcare professionals to obtain x-rays (etc) based on identified need. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Cancer Risk Factor – Infectious Agents

Organisms such as viruses and bacteria have been or may be linked with an increased risk of cancer (and some types of parasites). For example:

·       HPV –     Human papillomavirus

·       HBV –     Hepatitis B virus
·       HCV –     Hepatitis C virus
·       HIV –      Human immunodeficiency virus

·       HHV-8 –  Human herpes virus 8

·       EBV –      Epstein-Barr virus

·       HTLV-1 -  Human T-lymphotrophic virus-1
·       MCB -      Merkel cell polyomavirus
·       SV40) -    Simian virus 40
·       Chlamydia trachomatis(bacteria)
·       Helicobacter pylori (bacteria)

·    Prevention strategies? Proactively select a lifestyle that minimizes exposure to infectious organisms. Consider being immunized against organisms for which immunizations exist. Seek medical evaluation immediately for unusual symptoms.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cancer Risk Factor – Alcohol

Alcohol is a brain toxin and a carcinogen linked with several types of cancer, including: head and neck, esophageal, liver, breast, colorectal, etc. Ethanol breaks down to acetaldehyde, a substances that damages DNA and proteins. Alcohol also generates reactive oxygen species that also damage DNA, proteins, and fats through oxidation. It impairs ability of body to absorb a variety of nutrients and increases levels of estrogen in the blood. People often ask, “How much alcohol can I drink safely?” News releases recently have stated that ingesting any amount of alcohol increases one’s risk for cancer. Also be aware that when tobacco and alcohol are used together, the risk rises higher than either one separately. Prevention strategy? Carefully assess how much risk you are willing to take.

¾National Toxicology Program, US Department of Health & Human Services

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cancer Risk Factor – Smoking

SMOKING or inhaling toxic fumes including vehicle exhaust is a major risk factor. Tobacco smoke contain thousands of chemicals, at least 70 of which are listed as carcinogens, for example:
Radioactive elements (e.g., uranium)
Carbon monoxide
PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
Chemicals take up space that would ordinarily be occupied by oxygen, which leaves the brain slightly anoxic
Prevention strategy? Never smoke; if you smoke now, stop!
Avoid inhaling side-stream smoke if at all possible. . .

Friday, November 9, 2018

Cancer Risk Factor – Obesity

Obesity is linked with more than 50 illnesses and diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, scores of others. Currently at least 33 percent of the world’s population is estimated to be overweight or obese, that estimate is likely to rise to 50 percent within a decade or so. Most overweight and obesity is believed linked with lifestyle:  too little exercise; too many calories; fast, fatty, fried, and frozen food choices; sodas (regular or diet), lack of portion control, snacking between meals, eating refined and processed foods, and so on. It is critically important to keep your weight within a normal range for your gender size, and bone structure; and to avoid belly fat. Aromatase in fat cells (especially in belly fat) converts testosterone into estrogen, which creates an imbalance of hormonal levels and is undesirable for both males and females. Prevention strategy? Keep your weight within a desirable range for your gender, age, and size.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cancer Risk Factor - Aging

Every human being is believed to have abnormal or mutated cells in the brain and/or body as cells do not replicate (divide / multiply) flawlessly. The neurons you have now in your brain, nervous system, heart, gut, and who knows where else, may be the same ones you had at birth. As the brain and body age, the numbers of abnormal cells can increase. And neurons appear generally not to replace themselves at all! Estimates are that the average person carries around between 100 and 10,000 precancerous or malignant cells at any one time – whether they turn into the disease of cancer depends on multiple factors, most pertaining to lifestyle. 

Prevention strategy? Create and live a longevity lifestyle that can help you stay healthier and younger for longer. And start now!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Cancer Challenge

According to Dr. Albert Schweitzer,” Each patient carries his own doctor inside him¾we are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within a chance to go to work.” The question is, how do you give the “doctor who resides within” a chance to go to work? My brain’s opinion is that you do this by learning information about how to stay healthier and younger for longer; by proactively turning what you learn into personal knowledge; and by applying it on a daily basis for as long as you live. Unfortunately, this concept seems to be a challenge for many human beings—going back a long way, too. Confucius (551-479 BC) supposedly said: It is not that I do not know what to do—it is that I do not do what I know. That was followed a few hundred years later by words from Paul the Apostle: (5-68 AD): What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Bottom line? When you know better you can do better, but it requires choice and consistent application. The next blog will start outlining the most common risk factors for cancer—and guess what? The vast majority of them are preventable! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Cancer Described

Some have described cancer as a bad cell that goes ballistic and begins to grow and reproduce uncontrollably. A few cells can clump together and start to form a small tumor the size of the tip of a ball-point pen, which may become quite large and metastasize, destroying surrounding healthy tissue, including brain and body organs. According to authors of Never Fear Cancer Again, the cancer process requires a specific body environment to sustain itself—stop creating the conditions that allow it to thrive. The key to cancer care involves creating and living a longevity lifestyle designed to help you:

        Prevent what is preventable
        Reduce the risk for what isn’t totally preventable
        Better manage what wasn’t or couldn’t be prevented

Monday, November 5, 2018

Fear Can Trigger Downshifting

In situations that involve anger, fear, trauma, crisis, or threat (anything that triggers a sense of helplessness) the brain automatically shifts its energy and attention from the neocortex to the reptilian brain in an attempt to access safety functions. When “downshifted,” the brain tends to experience a sense of anxiety rather than the excitement of a challenge, has difficulty problem-solving or recalling what it was told, and may suppress or interfere with immune system functions. Since your brain and immune system together constitute the most amazing healing system on this planet, downshifting can derail this system. Gratitude is the antidote for fear—information and knowledge can reinforce gratitude. If you look for it, there is always something for which to be thankful, which can upshift your brain and boost your immune system.

Friday, November 2, 2018

2nd Highest Cause of Deaths

As the 2nd highest cause of death in the USA (just behind cardiovascular disease), cancer is a huge concern for many on this planet—over 20,000 people die each day from cancer. What can you do to reduce your risk?

        Understand and respect its power
        Recognized that much of cancer can be prevented
        Take appropriate steps to reduce your risk
        Dump worry and anxiety
        Create a positive can-do mindset
        Avoid “fearing” cancer¾as this can suppress your immune system

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Top 3 Causes of Death in the USA

Nearly 75 percent of all deaths in the United States are attributed to just ten causes, with the top three of these accounting for over 50 percent of all deaths:

1.   Heart Disease
2.  Cancer
3.   CLRD (Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease such as COPD)
4.   Accidents
5.   Strokes
6.   Alzheimer’s
7.   Diabetes
8.   Influenza & Pneumonia
9.   Kidney Disease

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Cancer-friendly Environment

According to Francis and Diamond the cancer process requires a specific body environment to sustain itself—a cancer-friendly environment. Dr. William Li estimates that food choices are responsible for 30-35% of a cancer-friendly environment. The key may be to stop creating the conditions that allow cancer to thrive. What does this meant practically? 

Dr. David Rakel, University of Wisconsin, has pointed out that your lifestyle choices can even override your genetic code and effectively reduce or even eliminate your chance of repeating your family’s history of poor health. Estimates are that about 30% of how well and how long you live is impacted by your biological and genetic history. This means that 70% of is related to your own choices and the lifestyle you have chosen. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Cancer Risk Factors

Estimates are that the average person has somewhere between 100 and 10,000 pre-malignant or malignant cells in the body at any given time. Whether or not these cause disease depends on many factors, including the health of your brain and your immune system, which together create the most amazing healing system on the planet. According to Albert Schweitzer, MD, each person carries his or her own doctor inside him. Humans are at their best when they give the doctor who resides within a chance to go to work. Raymond Francis M.Sc., and Harvey Diamond, authors of Never Fear Cancer Again, have pointed out that although many factors contribute to developing a diagnosis of cancer, there are only two fundamental causes of all disease: nutrient deficiency and toxicity. More tomorrow.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Cancer & Angiogenesis

Before the 1960s, cancer researchers believed that the blood supply reached tumors simply because pre-existing blood vessels dilated. But experiments have shown that angiogenesis—the growth of the new blood vessels—is necessary for cancerous tumors to keep growing and spreading. Research by William Li, MD, has shown that tumor cells secrete growth factors (VEGF, bFGF) that bind to endothelial cell receptors in the lining of blood vessels, which activate the growth of new capillaries (angiogenesis) in order to bring nutrients to the tumor. In addition, the tumor cells stop producing the enzyme PKG, an anti-VEGF or inhibitor. Much as with tumors, fat tissue is highly angiogenetic. Estimates are that one pound of excess fat may contain from 7 to 100 miles of capillaries. Anti-angiogenesis factors may, therefore, have a potentially positive impact on obesity. More tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Cancer Metabolism, 2

Warburg reportedly described cancer cells as having several differences when compared with healthy cells. First, cancer cells tend to be slightly acidic when compared with healthy cells that are slightly alkaline. Second, cancer cells are anaerobic, while healthy cells are aerobic (and use oxygen effectively in the metabolism process of generating energy that is stored as ATP). Third, cancer cells are “glucose hogs,” using 10-20 times more glucose than healthy cells. Fourth, cancer cells can rewire themselves to create energy using glucose—a rather energy-intensive way to generate energy—even when mitochondria (energy factories in the nucleus of healthy cells) are present.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Cancer Metabolism

Warburg reportedly described cancer cells as having several differences when compared with healthy cells. First, cancer cells tend to be slightly acidic when compared with healthy cells that are slightly alkaline. Second, cancer cells are anaerobic, while healthy cells are aerobic (and use oxygen effectively in the metabolism process of generating energy that is stored as ATP). Third, cancer cells are “glucose hogs,” using 10-20 times more glucose than healthy cells. Fourth, cancer cells can rewire themselves to create energy using glucose—a rather energy-intensive way to generate energy—even when mitochondria (energy factories in the nucleus of healthy cells) are present.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Warburg Effect

Based on his research, Otto Warburg theorized that cells that are unable to use oxygen could represent the starting point of cancer. This was debated for years until about 1953 when Watson and Crick discovered the structure of the DNA molecule—which led to cancer being perceived as a disease governed by mutated genes. Plus, “the metabolic catalysts that Warburg spent his career analyzing began to be referred to as housekeeping enzymes.” During the past decade, however, research is now looking at Warburg’s “housekeeping enzymes” (cancer metabolism). They have again become one of the most promising areas of cancer research. After all these years, some scientists are beginning to wonder if cancer metabolism may be the common weak point in a disease that shows up in a couple hundred different forms.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

PET Scans and Cancer

Dr. Warburg’s research discovered  found that cancer cells broke down huge amounts of glucose (blood sugar) to create energy for cell replication without requiring oxygen—even though it is much more efficient to use oxygen-fueled reactions as do healthy cells. Warburg tested human tumors and concluded that cancer cells were “glucose hogs.” It is not particularly good when cancer cells are scarfing down 10-20 times as much glucose as a healthy cell would consume. Warburg’s discovery, later named the Warburg effect, is estimated to occur in up to 80 percent of cancers. It is so fundamental to most cancers that as brain scanning equipment was invented, PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans emerged as an important tool in the staging and diagnosis of cancer. They work simply by revealing the places in the body where cells are consuming extra glucose. Your body is considered part of the subconscious mind. Therefore, cancer in the body impacts the brain; cancer in the brain impacts the body. More tomorrow.  

Monday, October 22, 2018

Brain-Body Cancer

Born in 1883, a German biochemist by the name of Otto Warburg became a physiologist, medical doctor, and Nobel laureate. Warburg’s father was reportedly one of Germany’s leading physicists and individuals such as Albert Einstein and Max Planck, were friends of the family. Long before his death, Warburg was considered perhaps the greatest biochemist of the 20th century, a man whose research was vital to an understanding not only of cancer but also of respiration and photosynthesis. In 1931, Warburg won the Nobel Prize for his work on respiration and his discovery that cancer cells were basically anaerobic as compared with healthy cells. Twice subsequently he was considered for the same award, each time for different research. In fact, some think he likely would have won in 1944 except that the Nazis forbade any German citizen to accept the Nobel Prize. An 2016 article by Sam Applemay, put it this way: “In the early 20th century, the German biochemist Otto Warburg believed that tumors could be treated by disrupting their source of energy. His idea was dismissed for decades--until now.” More tomorrow.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Speaking of Reading

Fact: 40 percent of all nerve fibers connected to the brain are linked to the retina. – Jensen, 1996

Fact: Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour. – Jensen, 1996

Fact: Approximately 65 percent of the population are visual learners. – Mind Tools, 1998

Fact: 90 percent of information that comes to the brain is visual. – Hyerle, 2000

Fact: The brain processes visual information 60,000 faster than text. –3M Corporation, 2001

Fact: Visual aids in the classroom improve learning by up to 400 percent. – 3M Corporation, 2001

Fact: Although only 10 percent of secondary students are auditory learners, 80 percent of instruction is delivered orally. – University of Illinois Extension, 2009

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Read it Again?

And speaking of “reading,” remember that reading aloud for 10 minutes a day is an anti-aging strategy. Benefits may derive from the multiple pathways that are used when reading aloud. For example, not only the eyes are looking at the page and decoding the letters and words, but the ears are listening to the words as you articulate them. Reading aloud also requires the use of tongue and lips and teeth as your mouth produces the required sounds. And your larynx or voice box is working to generate word sounds. And if you choose to read a favorite passage several days in a row, pay attention to what is going on in your brain. Are you identifying what you are reading in a new way? Are you perceiving nuances that were missed the first time through or gaining a new over-all flavor? Pay attention. It can be quite interesting . . . and all the time you are reading you are age-proofing your brain . . .

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Read it Again, 2

In their article entitled  “Why Do Little Kids Ask to Hear the Same Story Over and Over?authors Flack and Horst explained how they tested 3-year-old children and what they learned in terms of "novel words" included in the stories. The researchers discovered that children learn more words from repeatedly reading the same stories than from reading different stories with the same number of exposures to the target words. What happens when all the stories are different? The children learned fewer words. However, researchers wonder whether the children are learning something else when stories are different that has not yet been identified or tested?  For now, maybe reading some stories repeatedly and throwing in a new story periodically might be a way to go.

Why Do Little Kids Ask to Hear the Same Story Over and Over? Front. Young Minds. 5:30. doi: 10.3389/frym.2017.00030