Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Research on Female Brain & Body, 3

In 2014, the National Institutes of Health established guidelines for preclinical experimental design. These guidelines were designed to encourage researchers to adopt best practices, such as randomization and the inclusion of both male and female lab animals. Many thought this might result in a more radical change in favor of equal research on males and females. A report in May of 2017 showed that the best-practice guidelines were not widely being adhered to. Researchers reviewed 4,000 papers published from 2006 to 2016 in five journals under the umbrella of the American Heart Association: Circulation, Circulation Research, Hypertension, Stroke, and Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. They were comparing the preclinical design against four criteria related to the MIH guidelines of 2014. The analysis showed that male animals were still being used about the same in pre-clinical trials or were increasing. Of the five journals reviewed, Stroke provided the best record of compliance. I am hopeful that is a start.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Research on Female Brain & Body, 2

A neuroscientist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine I Aurora, Colorado, was doing studies with mice. So the story goes, she was surprised to notice that the brains of some female mice who had Down Syndrome (a defect involving chromosome 21), evidenced some unexpected abnormalities. She already knew that the brains of trisomic male mice (with Down Syndrome) showed changes in their hippocampus related to protein levels. These female mice, however, showed the most serious changes in their cerebellums. Mice and rats have similarities to the human brain. Therefore, findings in these rodents often lead to potential correlations with human brains. Gardener has been quoted as saying, “If we find that males or females are differing not only in their baseline impairment, but in their response to drugs, we need to know that. We could be missing a big piece of information that could lead to better or different clinical trials.” So, if male mice had changes in their hippocampus (the brain’s search engine), and female mice had more significant changes in their cerebellum, this potentially could have implications for humans with Down Syndrome. More tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Research on Female Brain & Body

The national plea for equality has made me think about equality in a new way. Recently, I had a bad reaction to a medication. My nephew, in graduate school, did some research and discovered that it had only been tested on males—so how it would impact females was unknown. I think that is inequality for women regardless of their skin tones. What do you know about this? Equality needs to be recognized for all races and skin tones—AND I think it is a much larger problem than that . . . Please comment.

It has been traditional to use male subjects (whether mouse, rat, monkey, or human) because, as one male researcher told me, the fluctuations of hormones in a female would clutter up the conclusions. I responded by saying that this was precisely the reason females need to be used as research subjects at least equally with males (by later adulthood females tend to outnumber males). How do medications and treatments impact a female with her fluctuations of hormones, as he put it? Very differently if anecdotal reports are representative. More tomorrow.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Proverbs from Russia

Growing up, what I learned about Russia came from the music of Russian composers that I played in my study of music and stories about Siberia. And the Tzar’s amazing FabergĂ© Easter eggs. Oh yes, and a few movies like “Dr. Zhivago.” 

These are few Russian proverbs.
  • Absentmindedness is searching for the horse you are riding
  • A fly cannot enter a closed mouth
  • Happiness is not a horse; you cannot harness it
  • If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one
  • If you don't have time to do it right you must have time to do it over
  • Take your thoughts to bed with you, for the morning is wiser than the evening

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Auto-Brewery Syndrome, 4

Although once believed to be a very rare condition, it may be very underdiagnosed, especially as the ingestion of carb-heavy foods such as pizza, bread, pasta, beer, ice cream, and other desserts seems to be increasing in many industrial countries. Individuals with diabetes may be at higher risk for developing Auto-Brewery Syndrome. What can be done? Reduce the amount of surgery desserts and carbs that are ingested. Consult a physician to obtain testing for fungi or yeast in the system and for a possible prescription of antifungals. See a health-care professional for blood-alcohol level testing when symptoms arise. Eat a heavy meal of carbs one night, and by next day you likely will be showing symptoms of alcohol intoxication if you have ABS.. Sometimes probiotics are taken to help grow the health bacteria in a person’s microbiome. Bottom line: if someone you know is exhibiting symptoms of drunkenness and you can find no evidence of alcohol ingestion, he or she just might have an active brewery operating in their gastrointestinal track and will likely need medical help cleaning up that mess.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Auto-Brewery Syndrome, 3

What happens when carbohydrates ferment in the small intestine (and sometimes in other parts of the body)? The result is the production of intoxicating quantities of ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol. Bottom line: The ethanol is absorbed in the small intestine, causing an increase in blood alcohol concentrations that produce the effects of intoxication without the consumption of exogenous (from the outside) alcohol. As levels of ethanol increase, the individuals exhibit behaviors common to alcohol intoxication. This can include slurred speech, difficulty walking, headaches, drowsiness lack of mental acuity, vomiting, and so on. The individual may protest that “I ingested no alcohol!” Unfortunately, people may not believe that because the person looks and acts ‘drunk.’ More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Auto-Brewery Syndrome, 2

Gastrointestinal dysbiosis is a term that refers to a condition in which there is an imbalance of the beneficial microorganisms (e.g., bacteria) versus the harmful microorganisms within one’s intestines. This can occur when individuals are prescribed antibiotics, because they are not very discriminating when it comes to killing bacteria. Sometimes antibiotics can be life-saving. Taking them when it is not absolutely necessary, can contribute to this imbalance. Couple that with a typically high intake of simple carbohydrates (especially sugary desserts) and the presence of yeasts such as Candida Albicans floating around in the intestines—and you have the recipe for Auto-Brewery Syndrome. This condition is characterized by the fermentation of ingested carbohydrates in the gastrointestinal tract of the body with the help of specific types of bacteria and/or fungi (yeasts). More tomorrow.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Auto Brewery Syndrome (ABS)

 Okay. You are a brain-function specialist. Periodically, my husband acts like he is intoxicated but adamantly protests that he has never drunk one drop of alcohol. I have combed the house and checked the trash—no evidence of bottles or cans—although my mother thinks he is lying. Any suggestions?

Yes. Actually, I do have a suggestion. You might want to take him to his physician—sooner than later—and have him checked for yeast infections in his Gastrointestinal Tract. There is a condition dubbed Auto-Brewery Syndrome or ABS. It is also known by other names including: “Drunkenness disease” and “Gut Fermentation Syndrome.” His microbiome (bacteria) may be involved as well as a whole host of types of yeast. If he has taken antibiotics recently, that may play into this as well. Studies have shown that even one dose of antibiotics can pretty much wipe out many of the beneficial bacteria in a person’s microbiome. More tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Depressive Disorder, 5

If you find yourself becoming anxious, worried, and continually sad—or angry, as sometimes seen in males—(especially when there has been no specific loss that could trigger this such as the death of a family member or close friend, getting fired from your job or unable to find employment), avoid keeping this to yourself and risking a spiral down into serious clinical depression. 

There are things that you can choose to do, activities that can help you feel better. Go for a walk or a swim or a bike ride or do some other type of exercise that works for you. Choose to think of something for which to be grateful every time you think of something sad and depressing or scary. Limit the time you spend watching sad and stressful events on television. If you play a musical instrument, get it out and play it for a few minutes a day. Drink plenty of water, get enough rest, eat regular meals of quality foods . . . Mental health is often a combination of factors. Talk with your healthcare professional. Contact the County Mental Health Department in the area where you live and ask for a referral or an appointment. Life is too short to spend it living in sadness . . .

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Depressive Disorder, 4

Rates of depression appear to be increasing world-wide. Perhaps not surprising when pandemics are also world-side. There are some interesting tidbits, too. WHO has reported that from 2005-2015, depression rates increased globally by 20%. Studies suggest that people born after 1945 were ten times more likely to experience depression than people born before 1945. An aging population and increasing stress in industrial countries could also be contributing. 

Based on a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the higher a nation’s GNP the higher the rate of depression. Depressive Disorder is a debilitating mental health problem and there are things you can do about it. 
More tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Depressive Disorder, 3

What makes the difference in the highest versus lowest rates of depression by country? 

Some say it has to do with culture, because a country’s culture can have a huge impact not only on an individual’s depression level but on the availability of treatment service and their cost. There is some sense that the countries with the lowest rates of depression have recently begun adding mental health resources for their residents and at an affordable cost. 

Others suggest that, in addition, those countries have worked at destigmatizing a diagnosis of depression (or of anxiety disorder), making it more acceptable to talk about it openly and encouraging its citizens to take advantage of the available resources. 
More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Depressive Disorder, 2

According to the World Health organization (WHO), the ten countries that post the lowest incidence of Depression are as follows:
          • 1.   Solomon Islands
          • 2.   Papua New Guinea
          • 3.   Timor – Leste
          • 4.   Vanuatu
          • 5.   Micronesia
          • 6.   The Republic of Kiribati
          • 7.   The Kingdom of Tonga
          • 8.   Samoa
          • 9.   Laos Peoples Democratic Republic
          • 10. Nepal
  • Other countries are scattered in rank between the ten highest and ten lowest in terms of depression rates. More tomorrow.

Monday, June 22, 2020

As you may already know, Depressive Disorder is one of the most common mental health conditions in today’s world and one of the leading causes of disability around Planet Earth. This is an increasing problem—even more so during this pandemic. 

According to the world Health organization (WHO), the top ten countries that have the highest rates of depression are as follows:

  •      1.   China
  •      2.   India
  •      3.   United States
  •      4.   Brazil
  •      5.   Bangladesh
  •      6.   Russia
  •      7.   Indonesia
  •      8.   Nigeria
  •      9.   Pakistan
  •     10  . Iran

 The US is third highest in the world. Not a statistic I'd say that makes its citizens want to jump for joy! More tomorrow.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Happy Emancipation Day

If my math is correct, today marks 155 years since the formal liberation of all who had been held as slaves in the Unites States of America. Originating in Texas, it is now celebrated annually on the 19th of June throughout the United States, with varying official recognition. Specifically, it commemorates Union army general Gordon Granger announcing federal orders in Galveston, Texas, on this day in 1865, proclaiming that all people held as slaves in Texas (and more broadly in the Confederate South) were free. Earlier, in September of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln had declared that “on the first day of January … all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State . . . shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” I guess without social media, it took 2.5 years for this edict to reach some parts of the country . . .  Did it take too long to come? Definitely. “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

I understand anger. It is the emotion that surfaces when boundaries have been invaded or crossed. As Aristotle put it: Anybody can become angry—that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.” I choose to have it within my power to manage mine. 

Has this melting-pot nation “arrived at equality?” Not hardly. However, in the last few weeks I have become more hopeful that a nation that practiced “systemic racism” —the love of money is the root of all evil—is turning a corner. There are many more inequalities than racism. Nevertheless, this is a start. When my little French grandmother, whom I adored, moved to the USA, she voted in every election until the day she died. She often said, “Elected representatives make laws and run this country. If you want real and lasting change, vote for those who have a goal—and a record—of promoting equality. If you do not vote, you have voted for the status quo.” Happy Emancipation Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Age-Proofing Your Brain, Emotional Quotient, 4

 Studies have shown that the heart is more than just a collection of muscle cells as once believed. It contains neurons—40,000 or more. They look and function much as do brain neurons; use many of the same neurotransmitters; and eat similar food (neurotrophins). According to The HeartMath Solution and The Heart’s Code, what brain neurons are to IQ, heart neurons may be to EQ. A direct unmediated channel is believed to connect brain and heart neurons. Intelligence and intuition are thought to be heightened by input from heart neurons. Who knew? Because the heart is a subconscious organ, however, it often takes time for information to filter up from the heart to the brain and come to your conscious awareness. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Age-Proofing Your Brain, Emotional Quotient, 3

How can high EQ skills help age-proof your brain? They can help you reduce or avoid conflict. Low EQ skills increase conflict and conflict is expensive, especially to the aging process. It tends to trigger the stress response of fight-or-flight and increases your risk for illness due to suppression of immune system functions. And that is just the tip of the iceberg as the saying goes. High levels of EQ may help you:

  • Reduce and even mitigate the effects of undesirable stressors
  • Minimize conflict and enhance your relationships
  • Improve your life personally and professionally
  • Realize a sense of personal empowerment
  • Role-model a more effective way to live
More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Age-Proofing Your Brain, Emotional Quotient, 2

Unfortunately, the study of Emotional Quotient has been largely ignored in educational institutions in favor of academic abilities. Also, unfortunately, society itself has failed to teach essential strategies for handling anger, resolving conflicts positively, maintaining impulse control, exhibiting empathy, and other key skills of EQ. You were very fortunate if your parents possessed and role-modeled high levels of EQ. That doesn’t mean you chose to develop the skills but at least you were exposed to them and had the chance to experience how the skills worked. Many children don’t have that opportunity because their parents and care providers and teachers didn’t develop EQ skills—for whatever reason. You can only teach what you know. More tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Age-Proofing Your Brain – Emotional Quotient

Emotional Quotient or EQ can be defined as the capacity for recognizing our own emotions and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions—and the behviors often exhibited around them—effectively in yourself and in your relationships. The dimensions of a high EQ are skill-based as opposed to the inherited potential for IQ. EQ skills are learned and the good news is that they can be developed and honed at any stage of life. The earlier the better, of course, since estimates are that 50 percent of the problems most people face are of their own making, based on the way they think. Raise your EQ and watch many of your problems slip below the horizon of your life. Such a deal! More tomorrow.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Proverbs from Africa

The other day I came across proverbs and wise sayings reported to be from several different countries. Some are funny, some sad. All are thought-provoking in their own way. It’s interesting, also, the way a similar idea surfaces in different cultures, often using a slightly different metaphor. I have thoroughly enjoyed every trip to Africa, especially getting to experience Victoria Falls—something that was on my bucket list since I was a little girl. And Botswana after becoming hooked  on Alexander McCall's series: "The #1 Ladies Detective Agency." 

  • If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never spent the night with a mosquito
  • A family is like a forest: when you are outside it is dense; when you are inside you see that each tree has its place
  • A happy man marries the one he loves; a happier man loves the one he marries

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Happiness, 7

Understand that your brain is designed to react more intensely to negative events—perhaps as a safety mechanism. By actively focusing and appreciating the positive aspects of your life, no matter how tiny and seemingly insignificant, you can gradually transform perceived misery into gratefulness and happiness. Practice mindfulness. Establishing peace of mind helps you to be happy. PET Scans have shown that the left frontal area of the brain correlates with feelings of joy, happiness, and excitement. Make your own map to joy. Know your happiness. Write the word happiness in the middle of a large piece of paper. Write what and who makes you happy and why, branching out from the center. List people, places, creative activities, food, spirituality, music, beauty, holding a baby or an animal, reading poetry, attending a funny film, or exercise. How do these things connect? Keep coming back to your map and add to it with insights, a collage, or drawings. Naming your happiness can be as much a spiritual practice as an insight into your lived values, like taking an environmental inventory of your life.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Happiness, 6

Studies have shown that people who spend a lot of time using social media are often less happy than they could be. It is so easy to compare oneself to what other “say” they have. There is reason to believe that much of that is magnified for social media and doesn’t reflect reality. Therefore, you are comparing yourself to a fantasy. Stop the comparison game. It will only result in anxiety and/or resentment. Instead of focusing on other people, focus on your own life. You can only compare your own progress in life. Doing so will help you to become more aware of the importance of your own accomplishments in life. Do something you love every day. Don’t just wish to be happier, do everything that lies in your power to affect this change. Remove from your life what makes you feel miserable. Learn to deal with difficulties in your life that you cannot get rid of. Listen to happy music for 10-15 minutes and choose to be happier because of it. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Happiness, 5

 Gratitude has been found to increase one's happiness. Cultivating gratitude can help you to break free from the rat race of ever pursuing more. By being grateful for what you have, you will gradually start to be more content with your life. You will notice that gratefulness can slowly help you to be happier in your life. Every day be thankful for something or someone. Thank someone for something they did for you. Text someone and tell them you appreciate that they are in your life. Train yourself to be thankful for little things . . . the more the better. Gratitude is the antidote for fear, anxiety, and worry. Fear and gratitude cannot simultaneously exist in the brain. Your life is basically a sum of all the little choices you make. The better your choices, the better opportunity to be happy and to lead a happy life. More tomorrow.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Happiness, 4

A growing body of research suggests that happiness can improve your physical health. Feelings of positively and contentment seem to benefit cardiovascular health, the immune system, inflammation levels, and blood pressure, among other things. Happiness has even been linked to a longer lifespan—providing more years to continue striving for fulfillment. Researchers found that different types of happiness have surprising different effects on the human genome. People who have high levels of what is called eudaimonic well-being—the kind of happiness that comes from having a deep sense of purpose—showed very favorable gene-expression profiles in their immune cells. They had low levels of inflammatory gene expression and strong expression of antiviral and antibody genes. People who have relatively high levels of what’s called hedonic well-being (as in hedonist)—the kind of happiness that comes from self-gratification—show just the opposite. Their genes had adverse profiles involving high inflammation and low antiviral and antibody expression. More tomorrow.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Happiness, 3

Opposites tend to attract in relationships. Often you will see a very upbeat person partnered with a whinner, who is always seeing the glass half empty (although it is impossible to have a glass half empty in real life—it the glass is empty, it is empty!) In short, you are responsible for your own happiness. The realization that you are responsible for your own happiness can greatly empower you. It can help you to stop making your happiness dependent on external influences – such as money, tangible assets, people, and how your career progresses. Remember, within 2-3 years you become a reflection of the people you hang out with. Select a very small group of “happy” people and spend time with them. More than simply a positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life—that is, living a life with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction. More to come.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Happiness, 2

Studies have shown that individuals do not only have a happiness “set-point” around which they oscillate, but that they are also capable of resetting this set-point. One particular study even highlighted that the long-term happiness levels of both lottery winners and accident victims were not at all influenced by these events. The scientists noted that the happiness levels of participants from both groups quickly returned to their regular state, despite the initial spikes in happiness or sadness. Studies have demonstrated that listening to positive music may be an effective way to improve happiness, particularly when it is combined with an intention to become happier. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020


I’ve always considered myself a fairly happy person but this COVID-19 hype and isolation is beginning to get to me. I miss my friends. I miss going to the mall and out to eat. I’m even missing people I don’t particularly like very much.

You are not alone. As this COVID-19 drags on, many are finding it difficult to stay upbeat. It is important to do so, however. Since the 1990s, a whole branch of psychology—positive psychology—has been dedicated to pinning down what happiness is and propagating it. Basically, happiness is a choice. Happiness is a choice. It’s as simple as that. People who are rich often are not happy; many who are poor often are happy. It is a state of mind. You can feel sorry for yourself and for the situations life has thrown at you. But you are also capable of not allowing these events to influence your positive outlook on life. If you choose to be happy, nothing will ever be able to reduce your level of long-term happiness. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Dementia Starts Early, 2

Studies are showing that subtle symptoms of dementia may be starting at least a dozen years before any clinical diagnosis of even mild impairment can be made. Subtle symptoms can include, for example: a person’s gait begins to slow down dramatically. Other research has shown that, compared with healthy controls, patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment have a higher blink rate and lower heart rate variability. Circadian rhythm disruptions also seem to occur in the very early stages of cognitive decline. But alone, by themselves, these small changes are unreliable markers of neurodegenerative disease. Several companies are doing studies with smart phones to see if data could be collected that could help with earlier detection. Time will tell. Prevention is the name of the game, however. The healthier a person’s lifestyle and the regular inclusion of challenging mental exercise on a daily basis, the better.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Dementia Starts Early

Is there anything new on the horizon to help diagnose dementia in time to maybe do something to slow its progression?

That is an excellent question and one that others are asking, as well. Estimates are that in America one in ten individuals over the age of 65 are living with dementia. At the projected rate of increase, soon close to six million Americans will be living with this debilitating disease. Touted as the sixth leading cause of death in the US, there are still no drug treatments available to improve cognitive function in people who already have dementia. There are studies to support the idea that subtle changes can precede dementia. If these could be picked up earlier and more reliably, some progress might be able to be made. More tomorrow. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Proverbs from Persia (Iran)

Aa a girl I was fascinated by stories about ‘Persia’ (now known as Iran). Cyrus the Great [c. 600 - c. 530 BC] reportedly was the son of a Persian father and a Median mother. Eventually, Cyrus combined Media and Persia into the Medo-Persian Empire, even conquering Babylon. 

Here are a few 'Persian' Proverbs.

Do well the little things now; so shall great things come to you by and by asking to be done
The best memory is that which forgets nothing but injuries—write kindness in marble and write injuries in the dust
Whatever is in the heart will rise up to the tongue
You cannot polish a turd
One pound of learning requires ten pounds of common sense to apply it
All go down to their death bearing in their hands only that which they have given away

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Virome, 3

Viruses can kill the organism they invade; eventually disappear because the body kills the virus, or there are so few new organisms to infect that the virus tends to disappear; or the virus and its host organisms learn to co-exist. They are not all bad! Viruses are able to help spread beneficial bacterial mutations quickly throughout the microbiome and beyond. A 2013 study of the human gut virome tracked the identities, abundance, and mutations of native viruses in one person over 2.5 years. There were 478 relatively abundant viruses, most of which had not been previously identified. A majority of the viruses were bacteriophage, the type that infects bacteria. Eighty percent of the viruses persisted for the entire 2.5 years, but they all mutated: some slowly, some quickly, and some so fast that the virus would be deemed a new species within the 2.5 years. Talk about a miniature micro-star wars . . . More tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Your Virome, 2

When viruses enter your body through eyes, nose, mouth, or broken skin, they can enter your cells, reproduce, and release millions of copies of itself. These, then, proceed to take over other cells. Sometimes viral DNA simply embeds itself in your own human DNA, where it can lie dormant or sometimes come back to life when you least want it, as occurs with recurring cold sores, shingles from a long-past chicken pox, and even some cancers, especially if your immune system is weakened. This is what can happen with Kaposi's sarcoma in immunodeficient patients infected with HIV. Sometimes, a viral code can end up in the DNA in your sperm or eggs, which then gets passed on to future generations. Viruses are champions of DNA mutation, able to carry, exchange, and modify the DNA between cells or from one species to another as when they infect bacteria. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Your Virome

During this COVID-19 pandemic, I keep hearing about “Virome.” I cannot find an easy-to-understand explanation, however. Thanks.

The human virome is essentially your fourth genome. It interacts directly and indirectly with your other three: Genome, Epigenome, and Microbiome. Your virome involves the trillions of viruses that are believed to far outnumber both the cells and the microbes within your body. According to authors Enriques and Gullans, there are an estimated 10 billion bacteria in a liter of seawater, there are also 100 billion viruses playing with them. Even more may live inside the soil and dirt that cover your hands. Viruses, and there are at least ten times more of them inside you at any given time than there are bacteria, live in your intestines, mouths, lungs, skin, and blood, continuously shuttling in and out of your body. Sneeze once, uncovered, and 40,000 droplets, each containing up to 200 million individual viruses, can fly across the room at speeds (some day) at 100 miles per hour. Some have estimated at twice that rate, depending on the force of the sneeze. More tomorrow.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

Traditionally, Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day), originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, barbequing, and participating  in or watching parades. At least that has been the way it was celebrated. Not this year, at least for those who follow the recommended guidelines for social distancing, masks when outside, and limiting trips to essential travel. I, for one, remember the sacrifices made in many wars. This year, I honor and give thanks for the "front-line workers" that are doing the best they can with the knowledge and treatment modalities that are available regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, to save lives. John Donne. You likely know that name. He wrote that no one is as island but that each is connected, part of the continent (paraphrased).  More than ever before, many are realizing the truth of that statement. Be safe. Be well. Be grateful. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

More Ancient Proverbs

Italian: Everyone thinks he has more than his share of brains.

Everyone gives himself credit for more brains than he has, and less money.
All the brains are not in one head.
Half a brain is enough for him who says little
The world is governed with little brains.
Some many heads, so many brains.

Norwegian: Ask for advice, and then use your brain.

American: We need brain more than belly food.
Brain is worth more than brawn.
Where there are no brains, there is no feeling.
The fewer the brains, the bigger the hat.
You can borrow brains, but you can’t borrow character.

Dutch: A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Nutrigenomics, 3

As the Human Genome Project (HGP) began winding down, scientists started questioning if the interaction between genes and food bioactive compounds could positively or negatively influence an individual's health. In order to assess this interaction between genes and nutrients, the term “Nutrigenomics” was created. Hence, Nutrigenomics corresponds to the use of biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, and epigenomics to seek out and explain the existing reciprocal interactions between genes and nutrients at a molecular level. The discovery of these interactions (gene-nutrient) will aid the prescription of customized diets according to each individual's genotype. Thus, it will be possible to mitigate the symptoms of existing diseases or to prevent future illnesses, especially in the area of Nontransmissible Chronic Diseases (NTCDs), which are currently considered an important world public health problem. You can get a jump-start on this new science—if you are not already doing so—by embracing a Longevity Lifestyle.  It matters! (

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Nutrigenomics, 2

Nutrition offers different substances to an organism that can work as energy supplier (carbohydrate and fat), as cell structure sources (proteins), and on metabolism control (vitamins and minerals), thus maintaining its homeostasis or balance. The brain and body work most efficiently when everything is in balance. The nutritional state of an individual is the result of the interaction between various factors, such as genetic background, physical body, and emotional and social state. Food is a key role factor. The nutrients and other bioactive compounds present in food can either be beneficial or initiate disease. Illnesses related to food consumption include celiac disease, phenylketonuria, and Nontransmissible Chronic Diseases, or NTCDs. These include cancer, diabetes, and dislipidemies (e.g., Familial combined hyperlipidemia). An individual’s state of health depends on the interaction between their genes and the food they eat. The goal of Nutrigenomics, along with other omic sciences, is to clarify the interaction between genes and bioactive compounds from food sources. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Nutrigenomics. I find these new labels and even new sciences so interesting. Nutrigenomics is one of them. Recently I completed filming a set of mini podcasts entitled “The Doctor Within.” It should be available on my website by the end of May, if not sooner. It outlines ways in which you can help to support your amazing immune system. You may be aware that the field of Nutrigenomics studies how the food you eat and your environment impact your health. This relatively new science is designed to connect a patient's symptoms and/or/diseases with their genetic profile, food they eat, and their environmental habits. The search for knowledge regarding healthy/adequate food has increased in the last decades among the world population, researchers, nutritionists, and health professionals. Since ancient times, humans have known that environment and food can interfere with an individual's health, and they have used food and plants as medicines. Food itself can be a good medicine or a detrimental disaster. More tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Pass It On!

I am enjoying the expressions of appreciation and heart-felt thanks that are being posting on social media. Gratitude strengthens the immune system—the person who gives and thanks and the one who receives it. That’s one thing I hope will continue when we have all pulled through this pandemic together. It reminds me of this anecdote. A little boy came home one day from school and gave a paper to his mother. “My teacher gave this paper to me and told me to only give it to my mother.” His mother’s eyes teared up as she read the letter to her child: "Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself." Many years after his mother had died and this little boy had grown, he was looking through old family things in her desk. When he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer, it read, “Your son is addled. We won’t let him come to school anymore.” That little boy was Thomas Edison, the genius of the 20th Century. He had always been so, but his genius came to the world because of one person—his mother—who believed in him enough to teach him how to believe in himself. Years later, when a reporter from the New York Times asked Edison how it felt to fail 999 times as he looked for the filament of a light bulb, he answered, “I did not fail 999 times! I simply found 999 ways that did not work!” Is there someone who needs you to believe in them? It could change the rest of their life!