NAMM 2014 heralds acoustic guitar

Is music a lifestyle or a love? For musicians, it’s life and living. Each January, in California, music merchants assemble and exhibit new products for musicians. At NAMM 2014, the acoustic guitar seems to be making a comeback. Sure, the electric guitar is still popular but more companies are boosting their acoustic guitar offerings with special, custom models.

The marketplace may be changing as more large instrument stores are in malls, high shopping areas, and online. Guitar boutiques are very popular and offer friendly, personal service. J&R Music World recently closed its music instrument store in downtown Manhattan but several guitar boutiques remain strong a little over a mile away. Consumer demand remains high, interested, and guitars are best sellers. 2014 may be a positive year!

The release of Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis movie is about a struggling folk singer from the old acoustic 1960’s. While Fender was making inroads into rock, folk singers strummed tunes in and out of clubs on acoustic guitars. From the 1970’s to the late 1990’s, interest in acoustics faded. Eric Clapton’s acoustic concert helped popularize the acoustic guitar once again.

Fine, hand-crafted, boutique and one-of-a-kind acoustic guitars step into the spotlight at the 2014 NAMM Show. The NAMM Show gathers 95,000 members of the music product industry from around the world to preview new product debuts from thousands of brands across every category.

In 2008 to 2010, interest in the acoustic guitar trailed electrics but, now, the old is becoming new again. Sales of high-end, luthier-crafted and custom acoustic instruments are at a five-year high. Guitar craftsmen and dealers point to a strengthening economy and growing pool of accomplished players for the increase in people searching for (and purchasing) their fretted Holy Grail.

Though the acoustic guitar, in one version or another, hailed from Europe, a German named Christian Martin started manufacturing guitars in the USA in 1833. That’s 190 years ago. It was the instrument cowboys and soldiers played to pass the time and entertain. It was, along with banjo, at the foundation of bluegrass. The acoustic guitar has become a consummate American instrument and is still produced in the United States. Now, virtually every guitar manufacturer selling in the USA has an acoustic guitar line.

Children often learn to play on a starter acoustic guitar, usually from a less expensive brand. The trend has changed as fewer kids upgrade to electric. The advantage of the acoustic guitar is you don’t need an amplifier to play it, though many may have pick-ups for amp connection. Pricing ranges from very inexpensive to priceless. It seems as if the acoustic guitar is back on track.

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2014 show was at the Anaheim Convention Center in California from January 23 to 26 2014. This annual show, designed for trade only, reflects and shapes trends of how music is composed and played by musicians. Whether 2014 may create more Llewyn Davis wannabe singers remains to be seen. The acoustic guitar, for now, is on the up-trend.

Surprisingly, many of the large music instrument stores have shut their doors in New York City. 2013 marked the closure of J&R Music World’s music instrument store. There are smaller guitar boutiques cropping up that offer specialized personal services that musicians often require. In the intimate person-music instrument experience, an acoustic guitar is often one’s best friend anywhere and everywhere. Music Merchants may open and close but people and musicians will always find the instruments they want to play.

Samson rejuvenates the old Apple 30-pin connect

Many say lightning strikes only once. Last year, Apple’s new Lightning port on their mobile devices plunged earlier models into obsolescence. It was the day that Apple’s 30-pin connection had died. If you have an iPhone 4s, you have that 30-pin connection. The iPhone 5 does not. At the 2014 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show, Samson Tech remembers that not all musicians cared about updating their iPhones and iPods. Welcome a new 30-pin Bluetooth adapter for your iPhone 4 or older versions.

Samson’s BT30 30-Pin Bluetooth Receiver transforms Apple 30-pin dock audio players, including select Samson Expedition Series Portable PAs, into Bluetooth-enabled receivers capable of streaming music wirelessly from smart phones, tablets and laptops. Ultra-convenient and easy-to-use, the BT30 lets you enjoy the latest in audio playback technology without sacrificing the useful accessories you’ve grown accustomed to for playing music, such as older iHomes, PA systems and more.

Utilizing Bluetooth 3.0 technology, the BT30 receiver provides your 30-pin audio device with a 30-foot range for wirelessly streaming music. You can now control your music from afar with minimal effort, whether it’s to skip to your favorite track or pause the music when the outside world comes calling. The BT30 also grants you the freedom to choose your music source. No longer bound to a certain device size or manufacturer, the ubiquity of Bluetooth protocol enables you to stream music to a 30-pin audio dock from virtually any smart phone, tablet and laptop.

The BT30 offers easy setup in just three simple steps: Dock, Pair and Play. Dock; plug the BT30 receiver into your 30-pin dock audio device. Pair; Activate the Bluetooth feature on your music source and tap the Bluetooth Pair button on your BT30. Play; select the music you wish to hear on your music source and enjoy. The receiver will even save these settings to your music source for even quicker and easier pairing the next time around. In addition, the BT30 conveniently receives its power from your audio device dock with no extra adapters or charging needed.

The BT30 transforms Apple 30-pin dock audio players into Bluetooth-compatible receivers and is powered by the audio dock connection. Samson’s BT30 30-Pin Bluetooth Receiver will breathe new, Bluetooth-capable life into your Apple 30-pin dock audio players, without forcing you to upgrade.

New 2013 cholesterol guidelines

Sometimes it may be the binge eating you had before your medical exam. Other times it may be the dietary recommendations that eating chicken and fish are healthier than red meat. Any animal-source food has cholesterol. According to the Center of Disease Control, 71 million Americans or 1 in 3 have high LDL or bad cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is associated with lining arteries with plaque that may lead to organ damage, particularly leading to heart attacks and strokes. For some people, it is dietary, and is easily controlled. For others, these may be familial, chronic conditions. There’s no wonder why cholesterol management is a big topic and essential indicator examined on general blood tests. When the American Heart Association announces new guidelines for cholesterol management, doctors listen. The new report promotes high statin dosage to control high LDL levels.

A group of researchers from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association put their weight on new cholesterol management guidelines. Their emphasis is to increase statin treatments to more people who might be at risk of having a heart attack. The origin of these reports were designed to effectively care for those who already had some level of a cardiovascular episode.

As with all cases, the panel took a traditional approach. As with all patients, they emphasized lifestyle guidelines (i.e., adhering to a heart healthy diet, regular exercise
habits, avoidance of tobacco products, and maintenance of a healthy weight). They cited that use of one of the 4 statin groups would help those who can’t manage to keep their LDL at a normal range. They did not discuss HDL/LDL ratios.

Establishing a target range under real circumstances still remains vague but they deemed that an LDL-C of 190 is considered threatening.

The new guideline recommends moderate- or high-intensity statin therapy for these four groups:

1) Patients who have cardiovascular disease;
2) Patients with an LDL, or “bad” cholesterol level of 190 mg/dL or higher;
3) Patients with Type 2 diabetes who are between 40 and 75 years of age
4)Patients with an estimated 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease of 7.5 percent or higher who are between 40 and 75 years of age (the report provides formulas for calculating 10-year risk).

Chronic use of statins may have negative effects on neuromuscular systems, particularly peripheral myopathies. While Cleveland University research cites that 72.5% of statin-intolerant patients may be treated with statins. There are those that have diseases like muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis for which statin use may be almost fatal. Recommendations of high stain dosages may be more dangerous holistically than cardiology specialists realize.

For example, many people suffer from rheumatism and fibromyalgia. These involve muscle pains, affecting over 10 million people, that have no succinct etiology to infer causality and results. There is little data to support that high-dose statins may induce more extreme pain or inflammation. While cholesterol management is vital, average cardiologists may not take these other common diseases into consideration when prescribing statin drugs.

Specialists that read these guidelines may take easier approaches at high-dosing statins to force cholesterol management to those that may not need it. The November 2013 guidelines of the American College of Cardiologists and the American Heart Association seems to sanction this. Most cardiologists adhere to the average and this report definitely targets the average. Patients are then forced to seek out cardiologists that see patients as individuals instead of group numbers. Groupings are attractive at writing presentations. Patients as clients require more specific attention.

Yet statins are touted well beyond cholesterol management with research demonstrating efficacy in treating cancer and other diseases. It’s as if all the leading drug companies that produce cholesterol are behind all the experiments. In some respects, companies like Merck and Pfizer are using cardiologists as drug pushers, especially when two major heart organizations sanction high dosages of statin medications to help lower LDL cholesterol.

I have genetic cholesterol and management requires an almost vegan diet along with exercise. Because of a form of muscular dystrophy, all statins have been proven toxic. I use Source Natural Cholesterol Complex on a daily basis, along with non-statin prescription Zetia and Lopid. Policosanol is a key ingredient in my supplement mix and policosanol research shows that 20mg can help reduce LDL cholesterol by nearly 30%. For people that suffer from statin intolerance, statins are not the conclusive treatment.

Cholesterol is only one of many indicators that may lead to heart disease. Relying on statins to lower LDL cholesterol levels may be great for many people. For those that exhibit statin intolerance, there are other routes and physicians should understand and study these.

Sifting through this 80 page document from November, it’s a rather unimpressive work and further extends that the two leading organizations continue to fail at examining holistic approaches to cholesterol management. Cholesterol levels correlate differently with age and this report didn’t cover that well. As people rise over 70, 190 to 200 LDL is more tolerable than that of a 25 year old.

Prescribing high intensity statins as a rule instead of an exception, may actually harm some patients in those groups due to side-effects. The fervent faith in statins for cholesterol management that seems to be shared by traditional cardiologists may be taking cardiovascular care in wrong directions. There must be more exploration into alternative approaches that place responsibilities on both doctor and patient.

Finding a reasonable target that I can maintain without statins is my goal. In the overall wellness mix, I prefer to be in control. Control requires an active goal-oriented approach. That control persists between routine visits to my practitioner.

Patients, as drug consumers, will accept statins and will likely not report intolerances. While statins for lowering cholesterol may be beneficial, the overall goal is to help patients (as clients) pursue healthy lifestyles and feel well. On the patient’s side, you must be willing to take necessary drug-free steps to improve your heart and cardiovascular health. Ultimately your health is your responsibility!

As to the new stricter standards proposed by the ACC and AHA regarding cholesterol borderlines and statin medications, everything and anything is subject to change. Each year new studies and interventions lead to new perspectives of how to approach cardiovascular conditions. The ACC and AHA are traditionalists and are likely to follow Statins as a holy sword. Statins are not exclusive. Seek out other options and, if possible, find integrative health centers that offer more holistic and educational approaches to help resolve what may be a chronic condition. There are lifestyle choices that can help you manage your LDL cholesterol levels.

Fuzzy viewing and eye strain for smartphone users

Despite the race to develop sharper, brighter, and better screens on smartphones and tablets, a threat is growing that frequent users may be losing visual acuity. Though Apple, Samsung and other leading digital device manufacturers are seeking larger and friendlier screens, eye strain is becoming an issue of some concern. What are the effects on your eyes when peering at digital devices only inches from your face?

According to a report by the Vision Council at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2014, frequent users may develop a condition called Digital Eye Strain.

Between work and leisure, typical users average 6 to 9 hours a day in front of digital devices including computer monitors, smartphones, tablets, and TV. A noted rise of eye irritation among the 18 to 35 year old strata includes dry eyes, headaches and blurry vision. There are predictions that, what used to be a middle-aged accessory, more young people will need corrective lenses with continued use.

According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), computer users should have an eye exam before they start working on a computer and once a year thereafter.

It was originally referred as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) but the proliferation of mobile digital devices extended its scope to Digital Eye Strain. Frequent use of texting and social media sites are said to be contributors.

Research does indicate that use of digital books offers no difference in performance among students. Adversely, roadside digital displays may distract drivers and increase accidents.

Habitual texting on streets or while operating a vehicle has been shown to have dangerous implications. Several States are outlawing texting while driving.

SUNY College of Optometry professor Dr. Mark Rosenfield has conducted extensive research on digital eye strain and notes that, so far, there is no evidence that digital eye strain is a chronic condition. Then again, use of smartphones has only been around since 2007 and popularity grew in 2010. Rosenfield recommends that, when using digital devices, frequent breaks are advised. The 20:20:20 rule is a good guideline, so that every 20 minutes, you should look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Some apps even make the screen go blank every 20 minutes as a reminder.

Of course, many people are fervent and enthusiastic at studying, working, mobile games, mobile videos, and social functions. Their concentration overrides any attempt to follow the 20:20:20 rule. PC use at work should be adjusted for optimal use.

According to a survey from the Vision Council, 70 percent of American adults experience eyestrain while using digital devices and over half of those don’t know how to cope with it. Are we getting a little stupid here?

In the pre-digital years, the old cathode ray tubes emitted electrons and people were advised to take frequent pauses. TV viewers were advised to sit a few feet from the screen in a dimly lit room. Digital devices are much closer to your eyes.

The general code is responsible use. Use the 20:20:20 rule as a basis for your digital device use. You may prefer to adjust it to 30:30:30.

Eye strain may be a recreational and occupational hazard. Advanced gamers and people with heavy computer analytic workloads seek out special computer glasses to reduce eye strain. With this group, digital eye strain can be a serious problem since breaks are rare. There are different types of computer glasses, available at broad price ranges. Are they effective? It’s hard to say. You may do best with prescription optics.

Most users now use smartphones as mobile computers. You can browse the internet, shop, buy, and access nearly any app that you can do with a PC. The difference is you are peering at a 4-inch or 5-inch screen instead of a 24-inch screen. Is eye strain possible? It is possible, even on a PC.

Find lots of free eye strain prevention apps for Android on the Google Play website. These can be adjusted to help remind or integrate pauses to help reduce eye fatigue.

The idea is to switch from cyber to reality at least twice an hour. While eye fatigue may be minor, pauses help promote visual health and wellness. If eye irritation and strain persist over a few days, see an eye professional for an evaluation.

It’s not smart to be victimized by digital eye strain when you can easily avoid it. Enjoy using your digital devices but remember your health and visual health.

Of men women and menopause

Living means coping with a constancy of changes. There are many life changes that people face. Women and men, transitioning from youth, cope with aging. For women, it is known as menopause. Menopause is a radical biochemical change that signals the conclusion of the reproductive years. Men and women lose muscle and gain fat. Menopause is a central issue as baby boomers from post World War II age within a population that is living longer. Menopause or change of life offers many things to consider. Everyone, one day, will encounter menopause.

The aging process has been a dilemma for thousands of years. As more people live longer than average, those changes are examined and studied. Women go about major hormonal changes at around age 50. This period is called menopause. Recently, male menopause came to light, particularly as a marked reduction in testosterone. As we age, hormone production seems to shift to low gears. Lean muscles give way to fat, stiffness, and atrophy. Bones and joints express the pains of wear and tear. Cognitive changes are observed. While youth had many challenges, aging beyond 50 can exhibit an entire new set of adversities that seem beyond challenge. Living well beyond age 70’s may be very rough as indiscretions of youth start creeping up and showing themselves.

I am reminded of a little known tale by the Grimm Brothers, from the 19th century, about the Duration of Life:

When God created the world and was about to determine the duration of life for all the creatures, the donkey came and asked, “Lord, how long am I to live?”

“Thirty years,” answered God. “Is that all right with you?”

“Oh, Lord,” replied the donkey, “that is a long time. Think of my tiresome existence carrying heavy loads from morning until night, dragging bags of grain to the mill so that others might eat bread, only to be cheered along and refreshed with kicks and blows! Spare me part of this long time.”

So God had mercy and gave him eighteen years. The donkey went away satisfied, and the dog made his appearance.

“How long do you want to live?” said God to him. “Thirty years was too much for the donkey, but you will be satisfied with that long.”

“Lord,” answered the dog. “Is that your will? Just think how much I have to run. My feet will not hold out so long. And what can I do but growl and run from one corner to another after I have lost my voice for barking and my teeth for biting?”

God saw that he was right, and he took away twelve years. Then came the monkey.

“Surely you would like to live thirty years,” said the Lord to him. “You do not need to work like the donkey and the dog, and are always having fun.”

“Oh, Lord,” he answered, “so it appears, but it is different. When it rains porridge, I don’t have a spoon. I am always supposed to be playing funny tricks and making faces so people will laugh, but when they give me an apple and I bite into it, it is always sour. How often is sorrow hidden behind a joke. I cannot put up with all that for thirty years!”

God had mercy and gave him ten years. Finally man made his appearance. Cheerful, healthy, and refreshed, he asked God to determine the duration of his life.

“You shall live thirty years,” spoke the Lord. “Is that enough for you?”

“What a short time!” cried the man. “When I have built a house and a fire is burning on my own hearth, when I have planted trees that blossom and bear fruit, and am just beginning to enjoy life, then I am to die. Oh, Lord, extend my time.”

“I will add the donkey’s eighteen years,” said God.

“That is not enough,” replied the man.

“You shall also have the dog’s twelve years.”

“Still too little.”

“Well, then,” said God, “I will give you the monkey’s ten years as well, but you shall receive no more.”

The man went away, but he was not satisfied.

Thus man lives seventy years. The first thirty are his human years, and they quickly disappear. Here he is healthy and happy; he works with pleasure, and enjoys his existence. The donkey’s eighteen years follow. Here one burden after the other is laid on him; he carries the grain that feeds others, and his faithful service is rewarded with kicks and blows. Then come the dog’s twelve years, and he lies in the corner growling, no longer having teeth with which to bite. And when this time is past, the monkey’s ten years conclude. Now man is weak headed and foolish; he does silly things and becomes a laughingstock for children.

Personality, ideology, and general changes of life has been bring up a unique, new marriage/divorce statistic that may be rising with increased age spans. We have heard of the 7-year itch and many marital breakups during the first 10 years. Now a 25-year itch is emerging. In 1990, only 1 in 10 divorces were people 50 and older. In 2013 it’s 1 in 4. The rate has elevated from 10% to 25%. The change seems so radical that Catholicism and other religions observe this as a challenge and redefinition to traditional, moral values.

New and evangelical Christian movements blame the proliferation of women’s rights in the 20th century as the cause of increasing divorce rates and moral degradation. Although it is only a splinter group, more new Christian couples delve through the biblical foundations to prove that God has defined roles for women. Men are required to discipline wives to the order of happiness. Outside these groups, more rational thinkers and scientists are exploring the symptoms, responses, and regulation of menopause, an its affects on marital cohesion.

Female menopause studies observe the cessation of certain hormones that were key t reproductive functioning. Male menopause is similar in that it is associated with reduced testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction. In men, the hormonal changes are thus far seen as gradual.

Thousands of years ago, Aristotle observed that menopause began at age 40 and the history of menopause brought many theories. Promises of longevity bring new focus perspectives to menopause. While dominantly a female issue, science and sociology are examining the gender crosslinks in new, progressive ways. Therapeutic changes evolve faster and, in relationships, prove consequential. In addition, how you cope and deal with menopause may give way to disease sensitivities that were generally unobserved.

In the U.S., the average age of onset for “natural” menopause is near 50. The first evidence is the cessation of the menstrual cycle. Around that time, many women indicate they feel hot flashes, surges of heat. Hot flashes occur when the blood vessels near the skin’s surface dilate to cool. This produces the red, flushed look to the face. A woman may also perspire to cool down the body. These surges of heat also may disturb normal sleep patterns and dream cycles, leading to daytime exhaustion and cognitive impairments. It has been studied that long-term memories are “filed” during dream cycles.

In addition, some women experience a rapid heart rate or chills. This rapid heat rate may be mistaken as a cardiovascular disease indicator. It may not be so. Heart rate may normalize post-menopause.

Frequent mood changes are often discussed. Mood changes have been observed in up to 23% of menopausal women, during and after. Additionally, symptoms of anxiety—tension, nervousness, panic, and worry are evident. The loss of sexual desire has been linked to periods of depression. It is often difficult to infer whether the depression is a cause or response. A woman’s loss of desire may contribute to her depression, yet she also may see her desire decline as an effect of depression.

Perhaps one of the mood effectors might be noticeable weight gain or softening of the contours. Menopause does not result in weight gain among women, however, hormonal adjustments are linked to a difference in fat distribution, which increases belly fat. Many see a growth in belly and rear fat leading to larger dress sizes. Menopause weight gain studies are seriously addressed by menopause research advocacy groups. This is something evident to women as well as men. Apart from slowing metabolic rates, one doctor writes his hypothesis that hormonal estrogen dominance plays a significant role for women and for men. Dr. Christiane Northrup, popular author and speaker, also cites that reduced progesterone levels engage an estrogen dominance that brings forth lists of symptoms.

Among fitness and nutritional experts and gurus, approximately 1.5 billion adults are overweight worldwide – 300 million of them are obese females. Most high levels are due to diet and inactivity.

In a body that is so complex, one can not belittle the changes in hormone levels in menopause and middle-age that attribute to less activity and body weight gains of 10% to 25%. Adrenaline or epinephrine is both a hormone and an important neurotransmitter, produced by the adrenal gland, and is associated with your body’s response to stress. Adrenal substances are part of that “get-up and go” process and glandular production declines with aging. The decline of adrenaline production and other key neurotransmitters may be associated with lower activity drives and weight gain values. Yet, fitness experts and health practitioners try to motivate people over 50 to exercise. Exerting exercise is positively linked to activating the adrenal gland to work harder.

In a woman’s menopause, three key hormones are shifting production – progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone – along with another called FSH. Hormones are naturally produced chemicals that play key roles in how your body functions and matures.

FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), a hormone produced in the anterior pituitary gland, increases, and estrogen levels decrease. An FSH test should be added to your normal series of routine blood tests to indicate hormone and lipid changes. It is an important predictor of menopause.

Progesterone plays a role in maintaining pregnancy and is produced in the ovaries.As you grow older and enter perimenopause (the menopause transition phase, which can last six years or more and ends one year after your final menstrual period), your hormone levels fluctuate and decrease, causing irregular ovulation and menstruation, as well as bothersome symptoms like hot flashes.

Estrogen is another hormone associated with the reproductive cycle. Estrogen also plays a role in bone formation, blood clotting and other body functions. The hormone also affects the brain, and studies also show that chronically low estrogen levels are linked with reduced mood. Men produce estrogen as well, but at lower levels than women. In men, estrogen is thought to affect sperm count.

Testosterone is usually associated with males but females also have it. Excess female testosterone levels are attributed to smaller breast sizes and body hair. Its role in menopause may be caused by the testosterone receptors becoming less receptive, while the amount of free testosterone in the body decreases. The decrease is due to an increase in a blood protein that binds with the hormone, rendering it useless. A gradual fall in the testosterone levels (from 30 to 40 percent) is common in men between the ages of 48 and 70. As testosterone levels drop, men may experience a loss in muscle strength and function, increase in body fat, decrease in body density and a decrease in sexual function and drive. Subsequently, as female testosterone levels are reduced, there is loss of muscle strength and increases in body fat and size.

Hormones are chemicals that the body responds with. Your hot flashes, mood swings, lack of motivation, and increases in fat correspond with reduced hormone levels during the normal aging process. As the over-50 crowd aims to lead active, productive lives for several more decades, hormone replacement therapy has gained significant popularity. Yet, whenever you intervene in coverting the body’s balance, there are going to be detrimental effects. Such therapies have been reported to trigger heart and cancer problems. Sometimes trying to fix one thing may result in having to deal with side effects. Chemicals and chemical formulations for hormone and neurotransmitter re-balancing offer more questions than answers.

Yet some hormone replacement therapies have been shown as effective helpers in hip replacements and other bone surgeries. Research is emerging that may help attack possible cancers that may have been associated with synthetic hormone replacements. Adversely, certain hormone replacement therapy formulations may contribute to increased heart attack and stroke incidences. Dietary combinations with certain hormone replacements may lead to possible tumor growths.

Part of the formation of side effects may arise from how the replacement was given, either by pill or by topical cream. Part of the causes may have been patient errors through overdosing to get faster results. A new method uses medicinal patches to provide a steady, slow, graduated stream. A hormone replacement therapy patch is being touted as a possible method to help control side effects.

Despite the risks associated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), an overwhelming number of women are attracted to its benefits. When you’re suffering from fatigue, headaches, hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, loss of sleep, and skin dryness, the possibility of relief seems sensible. HRT helps suppress the loss of sexual desire and reawakens passionate feelings. This may be one of the causes of the 25-year itch syndrome and rising divorce rates over the past twenty years. Single or joint psychotherapy may help. HRT does treat menopause but users must make certain that they see their doctor for tests, at least three times per year, to help avoid the emergence of life-threatening illnesses. HRT is not to be taken lightly. Be under the care of a physician you trust.

A change of life, menopause may be disheartening. The cessation of what many call the monthly curse brings consequences that many prefer to ignore. It’s attitude that helps you ride the tide and surf through the transition. Age 70 no longer means death. It’s closer to age 90. That’s many more productive and enjoyable years to go after you turn 50. It’s all about how you adapt to circumstances. AARP is one of the organizations that help along the way.

Aging and menopause may seem like drags. Most complementary therapies are promoting exercise and diet to help wear the (so called) normal symptoms of aging. In a way, it makes sense that mental and physical stimulation, together, help coax your body to produce hormones that are beneficial to overall health and wellness over the years. While Hormone Replacement Therapy may seem like the easiest alternatives to achieving happiness, the consequence is monitoring physiochemical responses through frequent blood tests that may or may not be covered by health insurance policies. We see more people living well and productively to ages of over 100. At ages of 50 or over, your lives may, instead of being reborn, be happily revised for future happiness.

When it comes to dealing and coping with menopause, it’s being healthy, happy, and positive that helps chart a better course ahead. Live long, love, and prosper.

Hypertension or High Blood Pressure

Beware! There may be a serial killer stalking and targeting you. It might be you. One of the new epidemics facing people living in the United States is very silent. You don’t feel it. If it’s there and it can contribute to your health problems. It can even kill you. It’s called hypertension or high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing up against the blood vessel walls travelling throughout your body as it nourishes organs and cells. The higher the pressure the harder the heart has to pump. Do you have hypertension?

Normal blood pressure is defined as less than 120/80 mmHg; pre-hypertension is classified as between 120-139/80-89 mmHg. High blood pressure is classified as stage I (140-159/90-99 mmHg) or stage II (greater than 160/100 mmHg). These targets are often modified.

Each time you visit your doctor, make certain that you have your blood pressure checked and ask what it is. Better yet, keep a blood pressure monitor at home and check your reading each day, preferably at the same time everyday. It is an affordable, practical tool that each home should have and, for some, as important as a toothbrush.

One out of three adults in the developed and developing world may develop or have hypertension. The underlying cause usually cannot be determined and it is likely that many factors may contribute to the cause. Hypertension, though, may influence your heart, kidneys, liver, and brain. If untreated, it may help trigger life-threatening illnesses or death.

Hypertension patterns may be caused by genetics and it may be good to know if it runs in your family. The general causes may be associated with diet and/or lifestyle. Some people with high blood pressure may be sensitive to salt or sodium. Research on sodium intake have been generally inconclusive. Usually other factors, such as old age, become a factor. Patterned hypertension is defined as Essential Hypertension. Essential hypertension has often been connected with obesity, diabetes, stress, insufficient intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium; lack of physical activity, and chronic alcohol consumption.

The reason why owning (and using) a blood pressure monitor is as important as owning a toothbrush is that one cause may be the narrowing of blood vessels. Those narrow canals may have plaque accumulations. Plaque on teeth may result in gum disease. Plaque in your arteries may result in heart attacks and strokes. When blood vessels narrow, it is believed that blood pressure heightens as a possible result. Some people might have plaque build-up without hypertension but both hypertension and heart disease may be easily monitored and prevented by doctors and (mostly) by you. Cardiovascular disease and hypertension may easily be controlled by cardiovascular exercise – as simple as walking briskly 15 to 30 minutes each day. Are these changes reasonable? You can also opt for other methods to treat hypertension.

If your readings are routinely pre-hypertension or at Stage I levels, you should seek out a physician for further tests or medication. There are many classes of medications used to treat hypertension. Each has some risk of side effects. Because these classes may be sourced at certain theoretical causes, it is important that you and your doctor are aware of possible inferences of causality.

If there is no general pattern of hypertension but your blood pressure has been increasing recently, it may be secondary hypertension. Causes are likely to be sourced to kidney, thyroid, and other possibilities. For this reason, your doctor should order blood tests before determining treatment.

Not always associated with hypertension, but an important factor, is rapid heart rate. The condition is known as Tachycardia. Normal resting heart rates are generally 50 to 90 or 60 to 100, depending on different theories. Heart rates over 100 and as high as 400 may cause dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath and lightheadedness. Possible cases may be heart-related conditions, high blood pressure, hearty muscle disease, thyroidism, lung disease, and chronic emotional stress. Consumption of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages may also contribute variances toward a rapid heart rate. If your heart rate range is somewhere between 50 and 110, you may not have clinical Tachycardia. But if you experience routine dizziness or lightheadedness, you may benefit by exploring further.

Because rapid heart rate may often be heart related, you should consider an appointment with a cardiologist, and many primary physicians may recommend one. Often, doctors can perform non-invasive tests to help determine heart rate steadiness. These are called Vagal Maneuvers. These are tests that affect the vagus nerve, which helps regulate your heartbeat. The maneuvers include coughing, bearing down as if you’re having a bowel movement, and putting an icepack on your face. The vagus nerve not only helps mediate heart rates but may also contribute to regulating stress that’s bridged with mood disorders, such as depression. For those patients who may have resting heart rates that are typically over 150, diagnostic tests may be performed to determine cardio-muscular conditions within the four heart chambers.

For those with rapid heart rates that are near the normal range, beta-blockers are often selected as medicinal treatment.

When hypertension may be associated with lifestyle, there are lifestyle steps that may help you get your blood pressure back to normal range. What I’ve found, through the years, is that lifestyle measures often have high extinction rates. Blood pressure readings may drop when following these changes but may rise to higher levels when lifestyle steps cease. This is why medications are generally helpful.

There are a number of different types of drugs used to treat high blood pressure. As mentioned earlier, these are different classes and work in different ways. Work with your doctor but familiarize yourself with the different options:

Diuretics: Help the kidneys to flush excess water and salt from the body.

Beta blockers: Help the heart beat more slowly and less forcefully, and also relax arterial walls, together resulting in less pressure within and on blood vessels.

ACE inhibitors: ACE stands for angiotensin-converting-enzyme.This class of drugs inhibits production of the hormone angiotension II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow, thereby increasing the pressure inside.

Calcium channel blockers: Prevent calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels, allowing both to relax.

Alpha blockers: Reduce nerve impulses that tighten blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely.

Beta blockers: Reduce nerve impulses and slow heartbeat. Beta brain waves are associated with normal waking consciousness and a heightened state of alertness, logic and critical reasoning. While Beta brain waves are important for effective functioning throughout the day, they also can translate into stress, anxiety and restlessness. Often prescribed for treating hypertension, beta blockers may make you sleepy when you need to be alert.

Nervous system inhibitors: Increase nerve impulses from the brain to relax and widen blood vessels.

Vasodilators: Relax muscles in blood vessel walls.

Do you enjoy eating licorice? This popular candy may contribute in elevating blood pressure. Do you take over-the-counter meds? Decongestants contain pseudoephedrine, which adversely affects your cardiovascular system and increases your blood pressure. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can increase your blood pressure if you have hypertension. Women older than 35 and use oral contraception are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure.

There are many vitamins and supplements that might be effective in treating hypertension. Please realize these have not been tested by the US Federal Drug Administration for possible efficacy. Even though these may be natural, they are (like drugs) chemicals and may behave uniquely in your body. If you have hypertension and prefer to go the natural way, consult a medically associated nutritionist. Sometimes nature may not be the best path.

Beware of sodium (salt) content in canned and processed foods. Many add around 1 gram of sodium per serving. Most people don’t eat one serving. Fast foods often have more than 1 gram per serving. The reason is easy. Salt helps make foods tastier. If you haven’t got hypertension, enjoy eating to your heart’s content. If you do have hypertension, your heart may not be as content as your appetite. Using different spices and herbs may be better alternatives but then that means you better prepare meals at home. Fortunately many foods sold at supermarkets offer Reduced Sodium versions. While sodium intake is up to scientific debate as a cause of hypertension, are you willing to risk your life to a bunch of bickering scientists?

It was always believed that hypertension and heart attacks were more prevalent in adult men than women. That may no longer be true. As more women are in the workplace and confronting more stressors, hypertension and heart issues may be emerging among women. While not always positively correlated, hypertension is seen as a cofactor when a heart attack occurs. This silent killer targets men and women.

Gum disease may lead to tooth loss if not monitored. Hypertension may be like going alone into a dark alley at midnight. Having hypertension means you are dealing with a silent killer, a phantom of your body. Hypertension is easily detected and monitored. Hypertension is also easily treated in many different ways, from lifestyles to meds. The point of wisdom is – once you’re aware of it, control and treat it.

Nobody says that some other condition or event may kill you. You can play an active role to assure that hypertension won’t stop you from experiencing the fullness of life. On that level, you can be the empowered controller.

Healthy eating on a shoestring budget

Those with limited finances are said to live on a shoestring. This means the amount of money to spend on areas such as food and housing is small. With inflation rising and the cost-of-living adjustments dropping, eating on a shoestring may mean unhealthful eating. Some blame poverty but, even among the poor, there are ways to satisfying hunger and getting needed nutrition at the same time, on a shoestring budget.

People who have a shoestring budget want to make the optimum use of their limited resources in the different fields of life, whether it is for their personal needs, traveling, business, raising a family, or celebrating. With low income statistics rising in the USA, living a shoestring budget is more fact than fiction. Saving for the future is becoming harder and harder as debt increases.

A shoestring budget refers to a very limited or small amount of money to spend on something. Origins of a shoestring budget have been associated to gambling but it may have been more solid as a cheap means for tying a boot or shoe that didn’t fit properly. Early shoes that needed to be tied used shoestrings. As a term, shoestring was replaced by shoelace or bootlace but, among the poorest, string sufficed as the cheapest way. During the years that followed the Depression of 1929, string was commonly used (and seen) to lace shoes and boots. It meant that you didn’t even have the money to buy shoelaces. There were some that used rags for shoes and shoe strings held them up.

As per 2013 poverty statistics, poverty guidelines are about $11,000 for one person and about $23,000 for a family of 4. Approximately 15% of United States residents live at these poverty levels. That’s about 46.5 million people. The United States median income in 2013 is about $50,000 per year and a significant number of households are at around $30,000 a year, pre-tax. Those living at poverty levels are subject to federal taxes. Essentially, anyone or any family with incomes of less than the median income need to sustain a shoestring budget to survive.

In addition, an average of 28% of Americans do not have savings accounts for emergencies and co-exist in day-to-day, often borrowing on credit cards. Conservatively, the average credit card debt per household is about $6000. Each household is treading water on a sinking ship to survive.

Eating well on a shoestring budget is a significant problem. Obesity, however, seems to a surprising correlation if people lack money for food. The problem stems that most people eat snack and fast food instead of nutritious meals. Financially, fast food and snacks like potato chips and candy have gained value as affordable meal and tasty alternatives on a budget.

Pizza Hut offers delivered pizza deals that can feed 4 people at less than $15, with an average of 2 slices each. Pizza Hut pizza carries lots of carbohydrates, fat, and salt, albeit a nice supply of protein. Domino’s Pizza, disputably the number one pizza dealer, is slightly more caloric and fattening. A majority of households buy pizza for lunch and dinner meals. Applebee’s is found almost everywhere and offers an inexpensive way to eat-out but also have high calorie and fat counts. McDonalds has a mix of low and high calorie foods but beware of small portions. When you add fries and a coke, it’s a nutritional disaster. While you can feed your family on a shoestring budget with this route, there are better options.

Healthier eating on a shoe string is very possible and very easy. The United States Department of Agriculture offers a way to do so if you follow the 3P guide – how to plan meals, purchase foods, and prepare at home. The focus is away from fast foods but the these tips may allow tasty, nutritious alternatives with savings that may permit a pizza delivery once a week.

There are certain accessories that help you preserve and manage foods for your family. Food containers, such as these by Glad
, are available at most supermarkets. They are affordable and durable. Small containers may be used to prepare lunches and large containers may be used to store extra food.

I often recommend a slow cooker, sometimes called a crock pot. A distinct advantage of the slow cooker, an electric countertop device, is it allows preparation of rich soups and stews. The slow cooking process helps make inexpensive cuts of meat and fish taste tender and brings out the flavor of fresh vegetables. Relatively inexpensive, these slow cookers come in a range of sizes that fit your needs at a shoestring budget. There are many easy recipes for slow cookers for tasty meals.

Using Yogurt, offers many possibilities for healthy snacks. It is rich in protein and calcium. Off-brand yogurts sell for about $3.00 per quart (4 servings). Plain yogurt can be mixed with nuts, dried fruits, preserves, and cereals. The thicker 1% low-fat type offers thickness and substance as a filling snack. Sometimes I mix cinnamon with yogurt and add instant oatmeal (cinnamon helps metabolize carbs in oatmeal).

Canned sardines (with bone) offer high protein, calcium, and iron. A can of sardines may be gotten at most supermarkets for around $1.00. Place contents on a roll and enjoy a hearty sandwich. Total cost is less than $1.50.

Consider roasting or frying mushrooms
, garlic, green peppers, carrots, with a can of chick peas, with a spoon of olive oil. and you have a nutritious meal for your family as dinner or as lunch portions. Total cost is under $10.00.

With creativity, shopping smarts, and home preparation, you and your family will be delightfully impressed at how you can eat well on a shoestring budget. The USDA is an incredibly rich resource at how to eat well on a budget. Iowa State University has an excellent website for support at planning, budgeting and creating healthy meals that make a shoestring budget seem much larger than you thought. There are endless resources ready to help you enjoy eating with little financial resources available.

The disparity of having money and not having money is often distressing. Fortunately, shopping for groceries at supermarkets offer vast choices to suit many budgets. A shoestring budget may seem very challenging but, when you see the statistics, there are many others that are confronting those same challenges. The beauty of internet access is that you can share resources. Stay away from fast-food and eat healthier or tastier. You’ll be pleasantly surprised about the diversity you can accomplish when eating on a shoestring budget.

With over 80 million USA residents living at or near poverty levels (1 to 2 standard deviations below median income), it seems nearly impossible to feed a family of 4 at a shoestring budget of $10 to $15 per day. Most people above median spend more than $15 for a single meal. Free meal programs at school help.

Families at or near poverty levels also require safe, affordable housing and convenient education and public transportation. They also need clothes, TV//Internet access, telephone, heat, hit water, laundry facilities, healthcare, furnishings, and recreation. It isn’t easy but it is possible. The plight and blight of urban and rural USA is evident. Survival with little or no money seems like a consistent uphill climb. For young children this can be disconcerting, especially since TV programs cater to those with higher incomes.

It flames my anger that United States and wealthy private individuals reach out to save the poor in foreign countries before addressing the needs of those living within the protection of our borders. Perhaps it is their perception. With the American spirit, impoverished families seem to scrounge up creativity and tenacity to strive for the opportunities that the USA offers. Impossibilities seem more possible but living on a shoestring budget requires wisdom and creativity and help from the community. Healthy and tasty eating on a tight budget is possible but there is little room for errors.

Cyberbullying menaces parents and kids

As wonderful and as life enhancing internet use is, it is a reflection of our society and of the human condition. Internet is a pathway, window, or stargate to wonderful realities of dreams and beyond. It is also an ominous, grievous reality attracting predators of all kinds from viruses to spam. Whether practical jokes or impractical malice, explorers of all ages are at risk of confronting a new threat. It’s called Cyberbullying and sometimes you’ve got to take the bull by the horn to reduce the threat.

During Christmas, millions of transactions at Target were hacked resulting in harm to customers, banks, and the store itself. Hackers are a sort of criminal not indifferent from a terrorist. It is called Cyberbullying. In any neighborhood or school, a well-raised child may encounter some kid known as a bully. It is one of the most menacing traumas a child may endure. There are still bullies but with the prevalence of smartphones, tablets, and notebooks the bully has also transitioned to social media and e-mails. Cyberbullying is the use of Information Technology to harm or harass other people in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner. Cyber-bullying could be limited to posting rumors or gossips about a person in the internet bringing about hatred in other’s minds. It may go to the extent of personally identifying victims and publishing materials that may severely defame and humiliate kids, parents, or anyone.

Cyberbullying occurs around the world. European countries, particularly United Kingdom and Hungary, have been seriously addressing the consequences of this activity. In 2011, ABC Family presented a movie on this subject.

Cyberbullying seems to be more pervasive at intermediate and high school levels where teens have broader access to smartphone and tablet apps that are social media oriented. Targets are more likely to be (though not exclusively) girls and non-heterosexuals. Girls are likely to openly complain about be bullied. It also isn’t exclusive to social media sites. Nearly 40% of teens have complained about one or numerous incidents related to
Cyberbullying. Sexting is also a form of Cyberbullying and is subject to criminal prosecution.

The psychological and emotional outcomes of cyber bullying are similar to those of real-life bullying. Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. There may also be notable decreases in academic achievement. Some of these conditions, if not treated properly, could extend into adulthood. Many of these symptoms are similar to those of victimization due to crimes. Many States have strict laws about cyberharassment and a Cyberbullying instigator may be prosecuted.

The saying was ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. In the world of Cyberbullying, texts and social media entries can lift people up or send them to an early grave. Whether intentional or not, the object of a bulling tree is never happy. Cyberbullying is dangerous.

While students that are tech-savvy may find methods of blocking offenses, as a parent you are faced with unique challenges at prevention. Cyberbullying is a different kind of bullying in that your child can be the perpetrator or the victim in your own home. Even with a great amount of vigilance, it’s not possible for you to watch your child 24 hours a day. The idea is to discuss online use and social media on a routine basis with your child, realizing that as adolescents they will demand more independence from being monitored. Again, most teens share methods of thwarting any means of being monitored. Research tells us that children really do look to parents and caregivers for advice and help on tough decisions. Sometimes spending 15 minutes a day talking can reassure kids that they can talk to their parents if they have a problem. That’s a good basis to begin at an early age.

So where does that lead ways of suppressing and coping with Cyberbullying? The National Crime Prevention Council is one of many organizations offering programs to support parents and victims. When the National Association of School Psychologists submitted this article, smartphones and tablets had virtually no market penetration for Cyberbullying. You really need access for up-to-date information.

As long as it’s a fad and as long as “kids will be kids”, Cyberbullying is a result of how mobile technologies and their use are still virtual reflections of real-life interactions. Cyberbullying may not have specific answers as to whether it will go away. More likely, as bullying goes, it will linger from generation to generation. So communication must begin at home. When you present your child with a smart mobile device, parents must acknowledge the intricacies and power that these more affordable devices have. The bully no longer needs to lurk on the sides or stalk you on the way to school. Cyberbullying is right there on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and other social sites. In some ways, it’s a smoking gun.

Engage your kids with spontaneous discussions on a variety of topics and, if they have or demonstrate concerns about issues they are bothered about, try to take an open and friendly approach. If Cyberbullying comes up, there are wide ranges of resources to help resolve the problem before possible symptoms arise.

Creating a solid bridge between you and your growing child may help avoid any troubling waters that lie ahead. Rest assured, there will be more waves and currents ahead, as mobile devices become more significant avenues in their lives and yours.

Control Carbohydrates with Cinnamon and Chromium

You are what you eat. Carbohydrates play large roles in most diets around the world. In countries where people are less active, these carbohydrates may lead to many averse health conditions, including obesity and diabetes. Carbohydrates are addictive. It’s very hard to eliminate use every day. Are there ways to control carbohydrates that are easy and effective?

Among the problems of today’s American diet are the necessity to focus on processed grain-based foods, such as breads, noodles, and pastas. These are rich in carbohydrates. Your body, through the pancreas, releases insulin to metabolize them. Most of these processed foods are full of simple sugars and starches that help boost energy quickly. Consequently, if you start sitting or doing relatively inactive work, the remaining carbs turn to fat. There are two mediators for this process and are available as supplements – Cinnamon and Chromium. These two haven been proven to be helpful to control carbohydrates in normal diets.

According to research, keeping blood sugar in check does everything from enhancing weight and fat loss and decreasing appetite to warding off several chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, etc. In contrast, foods that are rapidly digested and quickly released into the blood promote overeating, obesity, insulin resistance, and other metabolic disturbances contributing to disease. Nutritional Chromium is a carbohydrate stabilizer but many do not get enough from foods. Fortunately, most multiple vitamins may include Chromium as an essential mineral. The big surprise is that Cinnamon (sticks or powder), a spice found in most grocery supermarkets, is also effective with metabolizing carbohydrates.

A review of studies cite varied evidence that cinnamon may play a role with certain forms of sugar metabolic diseases, particularly diabetes.

Ironically, cinnamon offers about 8 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon serving. Somehow, though, it is an effective method to control carbohydrates.

Cinnamon is a common spice, often used in baking, cereal. coffee, and other foods as a flavoring. It has a semi-sweet taste. Taking a cinnamon supplement can help speed up the metabolism of carbohydrates and moderate your craving for more throughout the day. Cinnamon (according to nutrition belief) may be beneficial for stabilizing your blood sugar; also helpful with suppressing fatigue by giving you energy. Cinnamon increases the stabilizing effect of insulin while reducing insulin resistance. It does this by:

1) Activating the enzymes to stimulate insulin receptors.

2) Helps with blood sugar is by enhancing the effects of insulin-signaling pathways in your skeletal muscle tissue.

3) Cinnamon contains natural flavonoids antioxidants which enhance insulin sensitivity. This makes more of your blood glucose enter the cells where it belongs; helping your levels to stabilize which in turn stops inflammation and ends your carbohydrate cravings.

Use of Chromium also aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates. According to research, chromium studies cite evidence that it may even be beneficial in controlling type-2 diabetes that is becoming more common in the USA.

Key functions of chromium:
1) Helps insulin facilitate the entrance of glucose into your cells and is a requirement for energy.

2) May influence cholesterol levels by improving its metabolism.

3) Is crucial to blood sugar and cholesterol metabolism and has become popular in weight loss programs. You can use chromium to support glucose metabolism if you have diabetes or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

As an alternative approach to dealing with hyperglycemia and e3levated cholesterol issues, chromium picolinate and GTF chromium may play supportive roles in treatment of certain diabetes cases. If you are diabetic, and you are concerned with chronic use of traditional medications, you are advised to consult with your doctor or a certified nutritionist before following a chromium regimen that may require higher doses. Supplemental chromium may definitively aid those who want to control carbohydrates on a routine basis.

There are several types of chromium supplements available, such as chromium chloride, chromium polynicotinate (GTF Chromium) and chromium picolinate. Chromium picolinate is remarkably stable and remains intact for several hours in synthetic gastric juice. The comparative data results of chromium picolinate versus other forms of chromium demonstrated that it is the most effective form to facilitate glucose control. It was also observed that chromium picolinate is better absorbed physiologically (2.5%) than chromium chloride (0.5-1%) and chromium acetate (0.8%); chromium oxide is not absorbed at all (0.001%). Effective doses seem to be in the range of 200 to 600 micrograms (0.2 to 0.6 mg) but, again, please consult your physician or certified nutritionist prior to beginning a routine supplement regimen.

Cinnamon, or rather one of the constituents of cinnamon, has been shown to be helpful at controlling the onset of Alzheimer Disease, a rising neuro-cognitive condition. Most of these cinnamon Alzheimer studies are in the animal phase.

Controlled doses of cinnamon has been shown to have some positive effect on menstrual cycles among some women suffering with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). So…in addition to cinnamon’s ways to control carbohydrates, it is seen as a possible wonder drug in other diseases and conditions. It’s possible that early alchemists used cinnamon medicinally.

Cinnamon has been used as a flavor enhancing spice for thousands of years. People sprinkle cinnamon in coffee, tea, and cereals. Cinnamon is found in cookies and cakes. The amounts of cinnamon used in recipes are generally small. No negative side effects were ever reported. Therapeutic doses of cinnamon are much higher. These higher doses of cinnamon in capsule form have not really been tested for effects by scientific scrutiny.

One of the flavonoids found in cinnamon is Coumarin. High doses of Coumarin have been shown to negatively effect the liver with chronic use. Many sources of cinnamon have low levels of Coumarin but one form, Cassia cinnamon, has higher levels. It’s important to find the source of the cinnamon when used for therapy.

Subsequently, a recent study in Finland has provided evidence that Coumarin has possible anti-inflammatory effects when used as an ingredient. Consequently, the anti-coagulant properties of Coumarin are used in blood-thinning drugs that can have serious side effects. Taking huge doses of Cassia cinnamon may be beneficial in some ways and dangerous in others. So when you want to control carbohydrates in your diet, it is very advisable to discuss capsule dosages with a certified nutritionist.

Among exercisers, Chromium is the essential element that helps promote endurance and is included in relatively high doses in performance supplements. Chromium is believed to control carbohydrates by aiding protein to build muscle mass, though there is little scientific support for Chromium as an ergogenic. At best, Chromium might help regulate the carbohydrate stream to muscles, allowing for a stream of continued energy through a workout.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, Chromium is a major and essential aspect to control carbohydrates in the metabolism of sugar. He also believes that Chromium may help raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and improve heart health. He estimates that up to 50% of people in the United States may be deficient in Chromium and can account to higher development of diabetes and certain metabolic syndromes that people complain about. Chromium is found in small quantities in foods such as brewer’s yeast, calf liver, whole grains, processed meats and cheese. Supplementation is recommended.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “As many as 90% of American diets are low in chromium, but it’s rare to be truly deficient in chromium. The elderly, people who do a lot of strenuous exercise, those who eat a lot of sugary foods, and pregnant women are most likely to be deficient in chromium. Low chromium levels can increase blood sugar, triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), cholesterol levels, and increase the risk for a number of conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.” As a possible side effect, overdosing on Chromium may There are some reports that chromium may make depression and anxiety or schizophrenia worse, although other reports suggest it helps depression. As with all supplements in the United States, further research is necessary.

Dietary intakes of chromium cannot be reliably determined because the content of the mineral in foods is substantially affected by agricultural and manufacturing processes. Based on supplement absorption through capsules, the general opinion is that 200 micrograms of Chromium per day is considered safe for most non-diabetic people.

WebMD indicates “that taking excessive chromium supplements can lead to stomach problems and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Too much chromium from supplements can also damage the liver, kidneys, and nerves, and it may cause irregular heart rhythm. But side effects from taking chromium supplements are rare.” Antacids inhibit Chromium absorption.

Cinnamon and Chromium help control carbohydrates. When used responsibly, they may provide many health promoting results. Keep in mind that high-dosing either of these in lieu of following a responsible, balanced diet will confound your dietary goals and ambitions. Research is expanding on Chromium and Cinnamon and their association with controlling and treating other diseases. Common and inexpensive, these two supplements may be perfect for the low-to-moderate carb addicts that comprise most people in the USA. Because cinnamon is a common food additive, adding and using it in healthy recipes may help curb that addiction.

4K H.265 Video streaming making inroads at CES 2014

Key trends popping up at 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas are more mobile accessories, evolving 3D printers, and the fruition of 4K TV screens. While 4K screens are available, 4K video software and streaming is insignificant to drive consumers to grasp 4K models at premium prices to accelerate otherwise flat HDTV sales. It’s happening as a union of standards combine as 4K H2.65 enjoin. This union makes 4K TV and video a realization as the new products start release around Spring 2014. Retailers can anticipate enthusiastic interest as the 2014 holiday season approaches. That is really what CES is all about. Get set for 4K H.265.

It was back in 2012 that 4K ultra-HDTV models came to market by Sony, Samsung and other leading brands. HDTV has a 1920×1080 resolution and 4K has double, yielding 3840×2160. That’s a lot of video data. 4K is so much data that broadcast TV needs to undergo major changes to broadcast at those resolutions from the current 720p, adopted in 2009. In addition, streaming would require broader and faster internet connectivity to support these more complex streams.

In 2012, a new CODEC was designed to help make 4K and (eventually) 8K streaming possible. High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) H.265 is the new compression system designed to support new technologies benefitting from higher resolutions. Most of these focus on streaming. All are focusing on eventually adding 3D capabilities that do not require special glasses. A codec is a device or computer program capable of encoding or decoding a digital data stream or signal in audio and video. You may be familiar with MP3 and MP4. As digital data streams and complexities change, new codecs need to be implemented. 4K H.265 is the latest.

HEVC stems from Europe and Asia and is the result of an alliance whose sole aim is to make 4K marketable. High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is the current joint video coding standardization project of the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (ITU-T Q.6/SG 16) and ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11). The Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC) has been established to work on this project. The Joint Collaborative Team on 3D Video Coding Extension Development (JCT-3V) has been established to work on 3D video coding extensions of HEVC and other video coding standards. Succeeding H2.64, the newer H.265/MPEG-HEVC opens up possibilities for 3D video coding that supports the coding of multiple views and associated depth data. It adds new coding tools to the H.265/MPEG-HEVC design, which improve the compression capabilities for dependent video views and depth data.

Software based, companies are clamoring for the biggest piece of the market as 4K tries to explode with brisk sales toward Christmas 2014 as 4K H.265 TV models attempt to elevate inertia in sales.

Screen technologies are shifting for 4K display. LG is leading with introductions of large screen OLED. OLED is organic light emitting diode. It replaces backlit LED bulbs because OLED emits its own illumination. This allows thinner displays. With thinner displays, possibilities of curving screens help deliver greater panorama than current HDTV screens. LG’s been working on a 77-inch flexible OLED TV for more than year, subjecting the display to “tens of thousands of hours of tests” to ensure reliability and durability. The lead is minimal as Samsung, Sony, and other brands move their OLED screens forward.

The real problem is available media. Digital Cinema Cameras have already produced commercial movies in as much as 4.5K resolutions for theaters. YouTube displays 4K playlists and allows users and professional producers to upload 4K videos. Netflix will be releasing House of Cards in a 4K version and is likely to be producing other independent programming in 4K. LG, Sony, and Samsung have already inked deals with Netflix. A key to ensuring this capability is the built-in 4K HEVC 60p decoder. The new TV models will decode broadcast signals in both H.264 and HEVC H.265 formats, in either 30p or 60p. Smart TV models are now smarter. Of course Amazon is setting release of 4K Prime and the wide variety of available screens. Expect more media to be ready by Christmas 2014.

Sony 4K is really being promoted as Sony has seen sluggish sales of their products for the past two years. Needless to say, Sony has been planning 4K Blu-ray for years and will no doubt being upgrading 1080p media to comply with H.265 for greater pixel density and sharpness. You will need a 4K player. New camcorders are ready for your own 4K videos.

A reason for 4K H.265 is an irregularity among 4K theater and 4K TV. 4K Ultra High Definition is actually a derivation of the 4K digital cinema standard. While your local multiplex shows images in native 4096 x 2160 resolution, the new consumer format is actually closer to 3840 X 2160. This, too, may change as standards mature.

RedRay is the ”
first 4K Cinema Player to bring ultra high-definition content to your home, business or local theater using internet file based distribution. Capable of playing 4K, 3D or HD media, REDRAY utilizes a 1TB internal drive to store all of your content. Advanced networking and low data rates let you distribute content via FTP transfer or solid-state media. REDRAY makes playback of 4K content as simple as HD – but at 4 times the image quality.” It is manufactured by the same company that manufactures professional 4K cameras.

As far as broadcast TV goes, 4K H.265 presents other possibilities. Stations and carriers may be leaning toward their internet sites for subscribed streaming. 4K will be backward compatible to older standards. In Japan, the 2014 World Cup games will be broadcast at 4K H.265 and will set a standard that other stations may follow.

The 4K H.265 revolution has moved from a 2012 birth to a 2014 adolescence. At that rate, it should mature by 2016. As it moves to senior status in 2018, 8K Video is likely to emerge. It’s already in planning.

From the kinescopes of the 1950’s, home (and theater) TV and video have made major strides. Gone are the old film projectors and those that operated them. Gone are the 3D glasses. The era for home video and mobile entertainment is carving a new century and the opportunities seem endless, as long as we continue to create new paths and inroads. How will living be in 2050? That’s quite a fantasy. For now, 4K H.265 is ready to emerge and excite consumer activity for the next few years.

Will our visual acuity and neural systems ever be able to recognize differences in higher resolutions? That’s evolution. 2014 is the 4K H.265 year. Prepare for a new way to appreciate TV and video this year.