Archive for the ‘General health’ Category


Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
Methods of food preservation
Food preservation aims (1) to destroy microorganisms as by heat, or (2) to retard their growth by removal of moisture or the use of cold temperatures. Chemical changes are minimized by avoiding exposure to air and light, by reducing the environmental temperature, and by destroying enzymes.
Dehydration, one of the oldest methods of preservation, eliminates the moist environment that microorganisms need for their growth.
Freezing inactivates bacteria and enzymes. Foods stored in the home freezer at -18° С (0° F) may be left for several weeks or months (depending on the product) with minimum loss of texture, color, flavor, or nutritive value. Once foods are thawed, bacteria and enzymes are reactivated and the foods should be used promptly before spoilage can occur.
Freeze-drying consists in rapidly freezing the product and then removing the moisture in a vacuum.
Cookery. The cooking or baking of food leads to destruction of microorganisms and enzymes. Lower temperatures, such as those attained in a double boiler, are not sufficient to destroy some organisms, such as Salmonella in eggs. Some spores of bacteria and some toxins are not destroyed by the heat used in ordinary cooking methods.
Pasteurization is the application of heat to destroy pathogenic bacteria, but it does not sterilize the product. In the high-temperature, short-time process now widely used, milk is held at 160° F for at least 15 seconds. Milk and cream for the manufacture of cheese, ice cream, and butter is usually pasteurized.
Canning is still the primary means used to preserve foods for long periods of time. Home canning is far less frequent than at one time. Meat, poultry, and nonacid vegetables, such as corn, peas, and green beans, should be canned only with a pressure cooker for specified times in order to ensure destruction of the spores of CI. botulinum.
Chemical preservation. Sugar has some preservative effect when used in high concentrations for jams, jellies, and preserves, but molds will grow on the surfaces unless they are protected from air. Brine is used for pickles, sauerkraut, and pickled fish. Sodium benzoate may be used in a limited number of products, including margarine. Sulfur dioxide prevents the darkening of apples and apricots during dehydration. Calcium propionate in bread and sorbic acid in cheese wrappings retard mold growth.
Nutritive values of processed foods
Many people have the mistaken notion that processed foods have been robbed of their nutrients.” Commercial processing techniques today ensure maximum retention of nutrients. In fact, fruits and vegetables that have been frozen or canned at the peak of their quality may be higher in nutritive value than those sold as fresh in markets where the temperatures were too high or the products were held for too long a period.
In canned foods the water-soluble vitamins and minerals distribute evenly between the solid and liquid. Suppose one fourth of the contents were liquid, then up to one fourth of the water-soluble nutrients would be lost if the liquid were discarded. Thus, the general rule: use liquids in which foods have been canned or cooked.
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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
Most drugstore-quality vitamins are made from synthetic chemicals – they are not derivatives of natural food substances. Although this is also true of some brands sold in health food stores, most vitamins sold in health food stores are concentrations of nutrients from such natural sources as rose hips, green peppers and acerola berries (vitamin C); brewer’s yeast, liver or rice polishing (vitamin B); fish liver oil, or lemon grass (vitamins A and D); vegetable oils (vitamin E); kelp (iodine); bone meal, egg shells and milk (minerals); etc.
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the difference and the usefulness of synthetic vs. natural vitamins. Natural health authorities usually claim that synthetic vitamins are useless, ineffective and extremely harmful. Most orthodox doctors and nutritionists claim that synthetic vitamins have a molecular chemical structure identical to the so-called natural vitamins, and that they are just as effective. Who is right?
I have made studies of world-wide vitamin research to find an intelligent answer to this question.
In Sweden, two groups of silver foxes were fed identical diets, but one group received a food supplement in the form of all the known synthetic B-vitamins; the control group received vitamins in the form of brewer’s yeast and liver. The synthetically fed animals failed to grow, had bad fur and acquired many diseases. Animals fed the natural vitamins grew normally, developed beautiful fur and enjoyed good health. Approximately similar results were demonstrated in other animal studies in various countries.
“On the whole, we can trust nature further than the chemist and his synthetic vitamins”, explained Dr. A. J. Carlson, of Chicago University.
We must keep in mind that in nature vitamins are never isolated. They are always present in the form of vitamin complexes. There are 24 known factors in vitamin C-complex. There are 22 known B-vitamin factors. E vitamin, as we know it, is composed of at least 9 natural tocopherols. And so on. When you take natural vitamins, as for instance in form of rose hips, brewer’s yeast or vegetable oil, you are getting all the vitamins and vitamin-like factors that naturally occur in these foods – that is, all those that are already discovered as well as those that are not discovered yet. Our knowledge of vitamins is not complete. New vitamins are discovered frequently. For example, it has been clinically demonstrated that foods which are naturally rich in B-vitamins, such as brewer’s yeast and liver, contain some potent, but as yet unidentified or isolated, B-vitamin factors. When you take your vitamins in the form of vitamin-rich supplements or in the form of “complexes”, you are getting the benefit of all the known as well as unknown vitamins.
Does this mean that synthetic vitamins are useless? Not necessarily. The rightful place of synthetic vitamins is in their therapeutic use where extremely large doses of easily-soluble and fast-acting vitamins are necessary. For example, Dr. W. J. McCormick, the world-famous authority on the therapeutic uses of vitamin C, has successfully used huge doses of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in acute cases of poisoning or infection, preferably intravenously. His treatments brought spectacular results and often saved lives. You cannot very well inject rose hips intravenously and get such results. Dr. Linus Pauling had used synthetic ascorbic acid to successfully prevent or cure the common cold. In huge doses, synthetic vitamins perform as fast-acting drugs. Their action is often more rapid than the action of natural vitamins. This fact can be invaluable in acute conditions of poisoning or ill health.
Vitamin E is a good example. Proponents of natural vitamins advise taking vitamin E-rich vegetable oils, particularly wheat germ oil instead of isolated vitamin E capsules. Or, if capsules are used, they advise taking vitamin E in the form of mixed tocopherols, as it occurs in nature. But, Drs. Evan and Wilfred Shute, the world’s foremost authorities on therapeutic uses of vitamin E, use only an isolated alpha-tocopherol in their successful practice and research work. They contend that alpha-tocopherol is the only active part of the vitamin E complex and that the other tocopherols are not necessary in therapeutic use.
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Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Moles are discrete and small areas of dark pigment (or colour) on the skin. They vary in colour from flesh-coloured to brown or black. Some are hairy and raised, others are smooth and flat. They are very common and start to appear soon after the child’s first year. Some children may only have a few moles scattered around their body, while others may have more than thirty. They mostly occur on the face and neck or on the back. It is extremely rare for a mole in a child to turn cancerous.

When to see your doctor

• if you notice the mole growing rapidly;

• if the mole has become itchy or sore;

• if the mole has been bleeding or has developed a crust;

• if the mole has changed colour, especially if it becomes darker;

• if the mole has become raised and lumpy;

• if your child would like the mole removed for cosmetic reasons.


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Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

There are a number of positive steps, all of equal importance, that you can take as parents to improve your lot with a new baby:

Organise a support system. Enlist the help of parents, relatives, friends, or neighbours who are willing to assist with the sheer physical work that has to be done (e.g. cleaning, washing, preparing meals). They often provide psychological support and reassurance as well. Reliable and trustworthy paid help, if you are able to afford it, can be invaluable.

Ask for your partner’s help. Explain your needs clearly to each other. Try to have realistic expectations of one another. The preparation of gourmet meals should be put on hold, and simple or easy to prepare food or take-aways become the order of the day. You may also have to turn a blind eye to the housework for a while.

Find a sympathetic maternal and child nurse and enlist her support. She is likely to have a wealth of experience to draw on and her guidance may prove invaluable. Talk to other parents and help each other out. Others may have some good tips. Organise a baby-minding club with other parents so that you can have a couple of hours to yourself every few days. Use this time to do something for yourself that you enjoy — go swimming, go to the hairdresser, or go and visit a friend.

Make sure you own needs are met. Don’t be a martyr. Take time out whenever possible for relaxation, catching up on sleep, or just going down the street. You need this time alone.

Don’t try to be a superman or superwoman. Be realistic about what can be achieved. If the time you would spend making the bed and doing the dishes means the difference between coping and collapsing, forget the housework!

Organise a schedule for essential activities but remember that it needs to be flexible in case of unexpected events.

Acknowledge that all babies are different and that your baby’s temperament may well be the reason for all that grizzling or unpredictability.

Know that all parents experience frustration and despair with their new baby at some stage. Remember it is only a phase and things will improve.

Ask for help! Turn to your partner, doctor, nurse, mother-in-law — anyone! Don’t try to go it alone.


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Monday, May 18th, 2009

I mentioned the importance of walking together as a couple every day. For this “sexual sig wisdom walk,” one person talks, the other listens on the entire walk. Next walk, change roles. The listener uses the L.O. V.E. technique while the talker discusses anything at all. There is a wisdom in all of us, and, as Buckminster Fuller once said, “All of us are geniuses. Some of us are just less damaged than most.”

One wife reported, “I had a hard time at first getting used to being the talker and then just a listener, but it was something. I looked forward to both roles, but hearing him talk while we walked, talk about trees, work, kids, neighbors, whatever, without reacting to me was a real trip.”

“I realized how much I interrupt and control the conversation. While we walked, it seemed easier to listen and not take over. We kind of got in a rhythm,” said her husband.


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Monday, May 18th, 2009

The third-date phenomenon, sex on the third date, is universally known. Due to the AIDS issue and fear of other sexually transmissible diseases, the third-date phenomenon is becoming the tenth-date phenomenon, but the timing is irrelevant. Sex is nowhere near as important as everyone says it is, and probably very important to those people who tell you it does not matter at all.

Remember, the rules are that the whole game changes after the sex act takes place. It is the turning point. For men, the conquest may be complete, and they may disappear. For women, emotional involvement may intensify now, but they must be courageous and not let the man know they take this sex thing too seriously. No research supports this sexist view, but these rules have little to do with fact.

Some people cheat on this rule flagrantly. Men and women may become close, feelings may get involved, honesty, caring, and vulnerability may follow. When this involvement happens, start discussing philosophical issues of recreational sex, short life spans, limited life pleasures, and the value of extensive sexual training prior to any real commitment. Even though there is no data to show that amount or frequency of sex relates to fulfilling sex, this argument can protect you from any real involvement related to sex.


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Friday, May 15th, 2009

The spine consists of many small bones; the vertebrae, which are separated from each other by a cushion of cartilage known as the inter-vertebral disc.

Projections from the back of the vertebra enclose a canal through which passes the spinal cord consisting of nerve cells and fibres.

These projections from the back of the vertebra connect with the ones above and below by means of small joints.

Viewed from the side the spine has two S curves, one above the other. The end result, functionally, results in a vertical position and viewed from the front or back the spine is straight.

In the condition known as scoliosis there is a sideways curve of the spine which is complicated by a rotational deformity. In the chest this rotation can affect the ribs and distort the chest cavity.

Once a kink develops in the spine a corresponding tilt must also develop the other way at some other level so as to enable the person to stand upright.

Sometimes scoliosis may be secondary to muscle weakness or paralysis, such as may occur with poliomyelitis.

Sometimes the condition is due to poor posture in the child, but under this condition it is always mild.


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Friday, May 15th, 2009

Iatrogenic disease is caused by medical treatment and the more potent and effective remedies we have, the more complications and side effects we get.

Every doctor who prescribes for a patient has to weigh the good effects from his treatment against the likely bad effects.

In most cases, the side effects are rare, so he can prescribe with little risk to his patient.

Sometimes the doctor may be aware of the risks of side effects, yet his patient may be blissfully unaware.

I do not advocate telling every patient about every side effect or the secondary anxiety we cause may be worse than the complaint for which the patient originally consulted us or he might refuse to take the medication and suffer severely from the disease because of fear of rare side effects.

Potent cortisone creams and ointments are freely prescribed for many skin conditions and, if not emptied, the tubes lie around in the cupboard and are often self-prescribed for any subsequent rash.

These strong cortisones should not be used on the face. It has been known since 1972 that they can convert a minor facial rash into a separate condition known as peri-oral dermatitis.


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Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

For the normal emotional development of a child, certain requisites in his formative years should be met by the parents or a readily identifiable mother or father substitute.

The developing child needs: love and affection, given freely and without qualification; security; acceptance of himself as an individual; self respect; a sense of achievement; recognition of himself and his achievements; independence, the absence of prolonged dependence on mother or mother-substitute; and authority, knowing the limits of his ego and the limits that will be imposed upon him by the authoritative figure; not only by the parent but also by the teacher.

Adults often forget that children have anxieties, fears, hopes and desires. Children may suffer depression or frustration. These emotional problems may show themselves differently from that in adults due to the child’s limited experience and limited powers of expression.


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Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

In the United States, it is illegal to sell “vitamin B15″(pangamic acid, calcium pangamate), and according to the Journal ofthe American Medical Association (243:2473), the FDA is prosecuting distributors who handle it and are seizing it from health food stores. Furthermore, the courts are backing up FDA’s right to destroy the materials they have seized.

Not just playing cops and robbers, the FDA is truly worried by the fact that two of the most widely available brands of this “vitamin” were found to contain substances which, after being swallowed, turn into some of the most potent cancer-producing chemicals known.

Even worse, different brands have been found to have completely different compositions so that the terms vitamin B15 and pangamate are meaningless. Pangamate, incidentally, is derived from the Greek words pan, meaning all, and gamete, meaning seed, and has been applied to mixtures of substances extracted from all kinds of seeds.

Furthermore, it is not a “vitamin” in the usual sense of the word since it has never been shown to be an essential dietary ingredient and there has been no definition of its chemical nature.

“Producers can throw anything they want into a bottle and label it vitamin B15 or pangamic acid,” reports the Journal, and producers have alleged that it helps heart disease, aging, diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma, alcoholism, hepatitis, jaundice, allergies, neuralgia, and neuritis.


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