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