DHEA miracle supplement in a bottle

Having problems with energy, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, weight gain, infertility and more? DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a steroid hormone that can be bought for as little as $10 from most vitamin shops. It’s not part of your multivitamin but there are many claims that otherwise healthy people can benefit from DHEA supplementation. There is no large-scale scientific evidence that low levels of DHEA cause these conditions, or that taking DHEA can help prevent them. DHEA may be the miracle elixir that peddlers sold at carnivals or it can be a miracle cure.

As people age, hormone levels change. The most noticeable, among men and women, is the reduction of adrenalin, produced by the adrenal gland. Lower levels have been associated with increased stress and reduced energy. The adrenal gland produces steroid hormones such as cortisol, aldosterone, and testosterone. It also produces epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are commonly called adrenaline and noradrenaline. Epinephrine plays key roles in aiding the retention of memories. DHEA is a steroid hormone synthesized from cholesterol and secreted by the adrenal glands. Readily available as a supplement (practically anywhere vitamins are sold) the healthy claims for DHEA are plentiful. Do those claims hold up to scientific study?

DHEA supplementation is designed for people over age 18. DHEA is one of the supplements that people consider for the claims that it can slow or reversing the characteristics of aging, improving thinking skills in older people, and improve cognitive abilities. Supplement manufacturers stack all sorts of claims that convey that DHEA is a miracle in a bottle.

Athletes and body builders may use DHEA to increase muscle mass, strength, and energy. Most evidence points to the contrary. Sports organizations outlaw use of DHEA, as it is essentially a steroid.

DHEA may hold potential risks for those battling cardiovascular disease. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, DHEA decreased levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol in women. The Mayo Clinic cites all the important claims of DHEA supplementation according to validity. Efficacy average might be a C+, barely passing.

DHEA is laboratory produced from soy and wild yams, as vegan resources. Is it better to take DHEA as tablet, capsule, or tincture. Is it okay to take it at all?

Some people claim that DHEA works wonders, despite the lack of competent evidence. Many do consider it a miracle. This may also be a placebo effect. A placebo is often used in clinical experiments to test the effects of a drug. A placebo is an inactive pill, usually made of sugar. Placebos seem to affect how people feel and this has been known to occur in up to 1 out of 3 patients.

It would be so nice if DHEA contributed to all those things that people expect. Unfortunately, life and biochemical mechanisms often are very complex and sophisticated. The average doctor can give you hormonal-level blood tests but many doctors may not be familiar with the clinical aspects of DHEA.

If you feel that DHEA supplementation may be a quick miraculous to what ails you, please do not experiment with a DHEA regimen without first consulting a licensed nutritionist. Each hormone may deliver particular purposes and, many times, one may cancel out another. One may produce other negative reactions, such as lowering levels of good cholesterol. A licensed nutritionist will be able to guide you through dosing and possibly help you find different routes to help you reach (your sense of) wellness.

Once upon a time there was Pope Joan

Catholic historians bring new subtleties that sometimes seem to defy what many Catholics were either never taught or refused to believe. Amidst the rigid patriarchy, is it possible that a female squeezed through the Canons to become a Pope? A female Pope? Once upon a time there was Pope Joan.

Is this a fiction? Is this a forgotten pock mark in Catholic history? Is this true?

If today’s era is the Internet era, we are bombarded by information of all kinds. About ten years ago, books were emerging about a figure dubbed “la papessa”, a woman pope. A researched novel was released called Pope Joan followed by a popular movie. The concept of Pope Joan, a female pope in the dark ages seems appropriate for current time. Is it fiction, myth, or reality? Sometimes history is sourced through popular references. Is it possible that, in the dark period between Rome’s fall and the Renaissance, there was a female pope? Could Pope Joan be factual? Whatever it is, the concept is a curious one.

Most of us have little regard for what made the world we live in as part of a process. It is what we believe it to be as a solid. A child may only know life with a smartphone. There’s no reality that once phones were wired or not invented.

I was having a discussion with a young person. We got into a conversation about movies and she mentioned she loved the oldies, meaning mysteries from the 1980’s. She had no idea about Hitchcock, Bogart, Cagney or other actors or directors from the 1930’s through the 1960’s. It’s a clear example of how one’s perception of history may be so fragmented and thin. It can be the crux of the statement that people make the same mistakes over and over because history is constantly repeating itself. Are you aware there was once a female pope? Her name was Pope Joan. You might know him as Pope John VIII. Or do you?

History plays lots of tricks. When we delve further to understand how the past shapes our present, we find some shocking details about new legends. What’s really shocking is how the possible revelation of certain ancient secrets attack the very thoughts we’ve held as fact. One is rather much a joke about the staunch brotherhood of the church. About 1,000 years ago, the Roman Catholic Church had a Pope Johanna or Pope Joan, according to recent research. Could this be true? Is it merely a myth?

The legend is that Pope Joan was a female pope that may allegedly have reigned for a few years some time during the middle ages. It sounds unprecedented but, also in recent years, historians have found ancient scrolls that were omitted from the New Testament that offer alternative views of Mary Magdalene as a 13th apostle.

It is generally accepted that medieval church had its times of corruption within the ranks. Pope Alexander VI, born as Rodrigo Borgia, reigned at the time of the Inquisition. History penned this pope as being malicious and corrupt.

Several books over past decade and a few documentaries reveal that one pope was a woman who reigned in the dark ages. Pope Joan was a woman who disguised herself as a man and sat for two years on the papal throne. Her disguised name was John Anglicus and existed in the mid-9th century. She was believed to have been born an Englishwoman but managed to concealed her gender to pursue scholarly ambitions. When it came to scholastics, women had no role at that time.

Medieval women had very hard and restrictive times in an era when many men were fighting and living was harsh lived harsh. A few women lived comfortable lives but Medieval society was completely dominated by men and women had to know ‘their place’ in that era. During this period of European History, women were expected to live in the home of their fathers until married and then in the home of their paternally selected husband. For many unmarried women, a life as a servant for the rich was all they could hope for. Such work was demanding and poorly rewarded. This was the generality throughout the next 1,000 years. Unattached women were either servants or prostitutes or part of a religious order. Christian religious orders included nuns, hermitesses, beguines, tertiaries, and anchoresses. All required disciplined study and isolation from life.

So if a unique, smart woman was to aspire further, she could only do so by infiltrating the world of men. Ad John Anglicus, this woman was able to do so. She acquired such success as a perceived man that she was elected as Pope John VIII in 853 AD. It turned out that Pope John VIII was really a woman. Upon discovery of her real gender, Pope Joan was removed in 855.

Of course, history can be debated and interpreted forever. Was there a Queen Esther of Persia as indicated in the Old Testament? Was Mary Magdalene more pivotal in the missions of Jesus? Was there ever a Pope Joan? It’s a matter of belief and a leap of faith. There are only fragments available for scientific discussion. If Pope Joan did exist then perhaps the Catholic Church might reconsider doctrines and allow women to join the priesthood. The key word is “If.”

There are 13th-century references that there was a female pope. A well researched book originally written in 1931 and reprinted in 2011, The Woman Who Was Pope: A Biography Of Pope Joan, 853-855 A. D., provides an interesting foundation that there may be some truth to the myth. A 19th-century work, Myths of the Middle Ages, also has references to this female pope.

Yet, the ages were dark. Some would like to dream and honor a unique woman who rose to the highest position in Catholicism. Some dreams are fantasies. In some ways, history is only what and how you interpret it, based on fragments. Reality is what you believe. Pope Joan is arguably something you might want to argue about.

Decriminalizing Recreational Drug Use

A century ago, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud discussed that the young child’s ego functions (sex, affection, aggression, self-preservation) was replaced by restrictions. Freud identified this as the Pleasure Principle being modified by the Reality Principle. In modern terms, it’s pain and pleasure. Freud, in his early days, had a cocaine addiction problem.

One might say that drug use is a return to the pleasure principle from reality and social recreational drug use may begin as a path to heightened pleasure. Pleasure is a chronically addictive and, despite the risks and possible pains, recreational drug use becomes a chronic drive, vital to living. It’s a body urge akin to going to the bathroom or snacking between meals. Science is just beginning to study and learn the systems of the addiction to pain and pleasure and, while there are exciting discoveries, curing addictions are still particles in a wind. There are therapies for some forms of addictions but do they work?

In the early 1880s, apothecaries touted added cocaine a cure for everything from morphine addiction and depression to dyspepsia and fatigue. It was widely available in tonics, powders, wines and soft drinks before its mass consumption created a cadre of raging addicts demanding medical attention. One of cocaine’s leading medical advocates was a struggling Viennese neurologist named Sigmund Freud. He began studying cocaine’s effects in 1884, and his clinical notebooks amply demonstrate that his favorite experimental subject was himself. Opioid and stimulant addiction was rampant throughout Europe and Asia. For the most part, it was recreational but it was as addictive as tobacco and alcohol. Its eventual illegalization had only a small influence on reduced drug use. Cocaine is a major crime industry and controlling it is a massive problem.

As an opioid, heroin itself is dangerously addictive. According to National Institute of Health, an estimated 4.2 million people over 12, in the USA have used it at least once, and 23% of that group may have an addiction problem. As a stimulant, cocaine use is more pervasive as a popular recreational drug. Affecting a key neurotransmitter at brain level called dopamine. Naturally produced by the body, dopamine acts to the brain like adrenaline does to your body. Another dopamine affective drug is Methamphetamine. Unlike cocaine, methamphetamine can be prescribed by a doctor to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other psychological conditions so it can be somewhat similar to cocaine by prescription.

As pure states of these drugs are illegal, distribution is handled “behind closed doors” by crime families running cartels and distribution networks. Street versions of these drugs obviously don’t adhere to Federal Drug Administration (FDA) standards. Certain impurities may be added and those impurities may affect dosage strengths and may add forms of toxicity. Those toxicities may contribute to the death of the drug user. Beyond addiction, these addictive drugs should be decriminalized to take them away from street criminals.

The recent death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman from a possible heroin overdose was a central media splash for over a week. The talented and acclaimed actor has been struggling with substance abuse for many years and recently spent some time at a voluntary rehab center. Rehab centers cite very high success rates from what is perceived to be an acute condition. In Hoffman’s (and many others), this progressed into a chronic addiction, much like alcohol, cigarettes, eating, and certain repeated obsessions. The problems involving recreational drug use involve the social schema that it’s okay to purchase, own, carry and use these illegal substances. Many do.

Data from the USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2009 showed heroin killed nearly 3,500 Americans, almost double the number that perished in 2000. In 2012, an estimated 23.9 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug during the month prior to the survey interview. This estimate represents 9.2 percent of the USA population aged 12 or older. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics (pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives) used for recreation. Based on the survey, nearly 1 of 10 has tried a form of recreational drug at least once. Since many drugs are sold on the street, actual demographic data is limited.

According to the 2013 United Nations Drug Report, there are estimates that in 2011 a total of 14.0 million recreational heroin injections were used worldwide. (Again estimated data)

Painkillers are legally prescribed or sold over-the-counter for the relief of occasional or, under advisement, chronic pains. Many people use them as per directions but there are those that feel “more is better” and abuse them for better results. The problems associated with overdosing can lead to organ and digestive disorders.

Recreational abusers begin either by peer or social pressure. Repeated use is the body’s natural adaptation as a “need”. That is the root of addiction. Your body and brain learn to accept the substance and you crave for it almost involuntarily. In a sense you are relieving the pain, the hunger that your mind and body elicit. Satiating that pain is pleasurable, as pleasurable as a great meal, an amorous overture, or a vacation. Pain and Pleasure are prime motivators and the quest for pleasure drives the international economy. There are physical illustrations as to how our brains are stimulated by any form of pain and pleasure be it social, chemical, or otherwise.

You’ve heard of the song “addicted to love.” A recent study at Loyola Medicine illustrated a neuroscience explanation of how levels of a key neurotransmitter change with the pleasure of passion. The visual appearance of food as opposed to water excites another neurotransmitter in a study at Drexel University in 2013. Loneliness and materialism are mutual partners to reduce feeling of isolation, a consumer study shows.

Now passion may lead to everlasting love or criminal behavior. Food can lead to irresponsible diets associated with obesity that’s connected with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Greed and loneliness can lead to certain aversive behaviors.

You and your body are one. Pain and pleasure are intricately bound to the course of living. You seek it and hope to find it. Following a frequent path to find pleasure becomes a habit. At what point does it change from voluntary to involuntary? When you can or can’t stop the behavior. When you can’t, it’s an addiction.

In his new book, Craig Nakken bridges addiction to compulsive behavior. He explains the complexity of behavioral, psychological, and physiological needs that compel people toward shaping an addictive personality.

According to Stephen Mason and a growing number of researchers, there is a genetic component to having an addictive personality. Social influences may be less involved. It is nature first and nurture might follow. Common addictions for people with this personality include gambling, sex, food, illicit drugs, tobacco, alcohol, cults, social groups, relationships or people (stalking), exercise, the Internet and even shopping. Social media and texting are becoming observed and, in some ways, life threatening addictions.

The problem is that controlling popular recreational addictive substances like cocaine and heroin isn’t cutting into the problem. It feeds giant criminal cartels and, as commodities, is extremely valuable. It is tied to street crime. Often, the drugs may be polluted with pseudotoxic or toxic substances that can result in deaths like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who was likely to have had an addictive personality. Though Mr. Hoffman earned respect for his performances in theater and movies, his personality drove him to alcohol and heroin, and death at age 46.

Another promising actor, Heath Ledger, died of a lethal dosage of prescription and non-prescription drugs that were readily available. They were oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine. The list of celebrity deaths due to drug use is vast.

The real horror, however, is the street crimes that may be related to drug sales, distribution, and competition. There are accidents involving deaths from moving vehicles. In addition, there are huge costs to pay law enforcers to crack down on drug cartels and employees. Most of these are hidden from view.

The addictive personality is found in all walks of life regardless of politics, religion, race, ethnicity, wealth and gender. It is inclusive of rank, education, and celebrity.

Decriminalizing recreational drugs takes it out of the hands and the auspices of criminal cartels to government controlled centers. Drugs can be standardized and sold. Based on buyers, the sales stations can identify the consumer and also ask if they were seeking intervention (which they could decline). Sales would be taxed, much in the same way alcohol and tobacco are. Some States already allow sale of marijuana and synthetic marijuana is available online. Colorado expects to add $100-million in marijuana sales tax revenue by end of 2014.

The war on street drugs is also very high in costs and, while law enforcers are successful at thwarting one shipment, others manage to pass through. Addicts always have a supplier. According to estimated statistics, the amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs is more than $51-billion. The war is unwinnable because chronic addictive personality types will always demand and pay for a supply. Imagine what the crime cartels are earning! The estimated numbers of those involved in recreational drug use seem to rise each year! Prohibition of these street drugs adds to the nation’s deficit. Is it wasted money?

According to police reports, there were 70 bags of heroin in Phillip Hoffman’s apartment when he died. A couple artists, believed to be the source, had over 100 bags among them. These are generally respectable, professionals. Who would know? Addictive personalities are found in all walks of life and recreational drug use isn’t only found in dark alleys but in homes of the rich and famous. It may even be found in the private offices of elected officials. The facts rest that practically anyone can have some form of addictive personality and practically several of those could be accessing and using illicit drugs for recreational pleasure.

Rehab centers are great businesses but, since most admissions are voluntary, there are few long range studies to demonstrate that addictions don’t return in a year. Hoffman was in a rehab center a year ago and now he’s in a grave. 12-Step programs claim that if someone remains active for over a year, the success rate is high. There are no firm or estimated statistics that show how many make it to a year attendance.

Based on year-to-year estimated users, addicted drug use follows a constant pattern. The $50-billion annual expenditure does little to bring those numbers lower. The drug use numbers may rise.

Many will openly agree that heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines should be controlled substances but they should not be prohibited. Drug users always find suppliers and many of those may be hardened gangsters in crime syndicates. The drugs aren’t standardized and users may die of the toxic fillers instead of the actual drug. Addictive personalities, prone to drug use, are chronic conditions based on the body’s basic system of homeostasis. Drugs are needed for balance, even though recreational. For those people, drug use is wonderful, even though it may be bad for them.

Accepting decriminalization of recreational drug use is a sensible way of standardizing content, monitoring users, adding government revenue, and suppressing street criminal problems and importers. Decriminalization doesn’t mean these substances are great but, for some addictive personalities, access from reliable government stations may be preferable. Subsequently, they still aren’t legal. They are controlled.

If you remember why it was necessary to repeal prohibition of alcohol beverages, you can understand that repealing cocaine and heroin drug use is worth consideration. It has been a bad investment to enforce, it elevates crime, and drug use potentially causes deaths. So do lots of other things. One day there may be a way to help control all forms of chronic addictions and compulsions. Until then, decriminalizing recreational drug use may be the better choice among two evils. People like Hoffman will no longer die in vain.

The federal and local governments can save money by becoming the agents that standardize and sell heroin, cocaine, or similar substances. With responsible registration of users, and based on frequency of use, rehab intervention programs may be recommended but not forced on drug users. Heavy taxation, as with alcohol and tobacco, will bring revenue to State and federal budgets. The bottom-line is people with addictive personalities have a chronic need for drugs. Slice out the criminal providers, decriminalize recreational drugs, and let the government monopolize and control the market.

NOTE: I personally do not use, support nor approve of recreational drug use but believe that decriminalization may be a more positive approach to deal with a chronic, persistent problem.

Cholesterol particle size matters

As per 2013, more than 1 in 3 adults (81.1 million) live with 1 or more types of cardiovascular disease. According to a government agency, there were 126.0 coronary heart disease deaths per 100,000 population in 2007. In addition to being the first and third leading causes of death, heart disease and stroke result in serious illness and disability, decreased quality of life, and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic loss every year. The statistics are similar for both women and men. A form of cardiac disease may occur at any age, with higher percentages at age 40 than at age 70. It can be a silent killer. Making sure you have cholesterol panel blood tests may help you measure possible ways of reducing your risk. How reliable are the standard lipid panel blood tests? They may not be.

One of the problems associated with the development and study of heart disease and its risk potential in the United States is that there is no national system to collect data on how often cardiovascular events occur or recur, or how often they result in death. Based on smaller studies, many outside the United States, vascular, cardiovascular, and heart disease statistics are astounding. Is the risk of developing heart disease 33%? Are doctors proactive in employing better testing?

A while back, a gastrointestinal specialist told me I had GERD, acid reflux disease. I didn’t seem to be getting upset by the associated risk factors. On a second opinion with a chief physician, she asked me whether I knew the type of GERD. I didn’t know. Obviously there are many types. When it comes to cholesterol and possible heart disease risks, cholesterol has many different subtypes. Some of these go beyond mere lipoprotein levels. Many subtypes and particle sizes come into play when trying to determine risk factors. Many cardiologists proceed with treatments, based on traditional blood test panels, prior to using studies that analyze cholesterol at deeper levels. For some, cholesterol particle size matters and can make a vast difference in a prognosis.

With all the chatter about cholesterol levels, when you check cholesterol particle size, size matters. Some particles of this blood fat are large and buoyant and breeze easily through your circulatory system. But other particles are small and dense — and four times as likely to cause heart disease as they are more likely to gather on your artery walls. So even if you have a low total cholesterol value, you may be at greater risk than you or your doctor might think.

When you are at a risk for cardiovascular diseases, with high LDL, you shouldn’t rely on the results found from a traditional blood test. There are other blood tests that help you get closer to the heart of the problem. Don’t get stressed till you ask your doctor to address this further. The tests are:

One test focuses on cholesterol particle size as well as subclasses or subtypes of LDL (the bad type) and HDL (the good type) levels that aren’t seen in a traditional blood test. The Vertical Auto Profile (VAP) test will analyze your LDL cholesterol and determine if it is made up of predominantly the small, dangerous particles or larger, more benign particles. It will also tell you how much lipoprotein is circulating in your blood. In addition, the VAP test breaks out your HDL cholesterol subtypes, letting you know if you have more of the HDL2 subtype, which is most beneficial. Basically, when it comes to HDL protective qualities, there are black sheep among the different possible HDL. HDL Cholesterol (good guy) is comprised of
different subtypes. HDL2 is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease even in patients whose Total and LDL cholesterol are within the desirable limits established by
the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).

A Lipoprotein Particle Profile (LPP) test also breaks down cholesterol into fractions smaller than LDL and HDL and analyzes the particles comprising each of them, just like the VAP test. It measures the lipoprotein particles directly giving a more precise evaluation of their size. High numbers of small, dense LDL particles can ultimately cause cardiovascular disease. The LPP test has an advantage over the VAP test, because its methodology allows for more precise measurements and because it can also measure remnant lipoprotein (RLP), which is a more threatening type of cholesterol that isn’t singled out by most other cholesterol tests. Elevated remnant cholesterol may cause more artery inflammation that can lead to a heart attack, using a non-fasting test. This leads to a more accurate view than the fasting traditional test. LPP measurements track particles as you live with them.

Another advanced test is the NMR Lipoprotein Test that uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to deliver a more precise profile of LDL levels in your bloodstream. Test results will outline risk factors. The test from Liposcience was recently approved by the FDA. It only tracks LDL cholesterol particles.

In calculating possible cardiovascular risks, guidelines may differ among those organization that set up risk criteria. Among the oldest is the Framingham Heart Study that was established by the National Heart Association in 1948. The American Heart Association has a heart risk assessment calculator based on the 2010 Framingham study.

A set of statistics indicate that about 50% of people who have suffered heart attacks have “normal” cholesterol numbers according to NHLBI The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institute of Health. In many cases the cholesterol particle size mattered upon further investigation. Using cholesterol particle size as part of routine measurement may reduce cholesterol level risk or increase it. According to the NHLBI calculator, my risk potential is 10% over the next 10 year period. The calculator factors age, gender, traditional total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, whether I smoke, and my systolic blood pressure reading. A 10% risk sounds pretty good, although I’d sit more comfortably with 5% or less as a probability.

Being statin treatment intolerant, that 10% number is kind of okay. I do take other cholesterol reducing drugs and supplements, follow a strict diet, and exercise regularly. Also having Myotonic dystrophy (a degenerative muscle disease) may mean more frequent cardiograms and cardiac muscle tests to keep my risk factor as low as possible.

According to a large 1999 life risk study of developing heart disease experiment in the United Kingdom, the findings were alarming. The 7733 patients were followed up for a total of 109,948 person-years. Overall, 1157 participants developed coronary heart disease. 1312 died from non-coronary heart disease causes. Lifetime risk of coronary heart disease at age 40 years was 48.6% (95% CI 45.8-51.3) for men and 31.7% (29.2-34.2) for women. At age 70 years, lifetime risk was 34.9% (31.2-38.7) for men and 24.2% (21.4-27.0) for women. After researchers excluded isolated angina pectoris as an initial event, the lifetime risk of coronary artery disease events at age 40 years was 42.4% for men and 24.9% for women.

Hypertension and high triglycerides factor greatly in the mortality rates of heart disease risks.

The lifetime risk of developing or dying From Cancer is 43% for males and 38% for females, all inclusive cancers according to the American Cancer Society. The National Safety Council releases a book on risk statistics in virtually every aspect of life.

Fortunately, we don’t live trying to assess our risks of dying inside or outside our home. Yet nearly everyone knows or has known someone living with the threat of heart disease or cancer. It’s very disconcerting. Cardiovascular risks, one or more, are like driving a car. You need to know more about the road ahead and around you. Use your mind and be proactive about risks. While there’s no guarantee against accidents, be diligent in aiming for safety.

Knowing your serum cholesterol levels, your cholesterol particle size and constituency of the subclasses help you assess and act toward reducing your risks of athesclerosis and heart disease. The media surrounds us with what steps to take. You should know them. Pursue your doctor for more thorough testing. Become proactive at being your personal wellness advocate. Live better, hearty, and prosper towards longer, healthier living.

Is salmon cholesterol heart healthy?

In following a heart healthy lifestyle, there are 5 numbers to key in on:

Diastolic Blood Pressure
Systolic Blood Pressure
LDL Blood Level
HDL Blood Level
Triglycerides Blood Level

People say that dietary intake of fish, particularly Salmon, help keep these numbers in check. Many don’t really know what these numbers mean. It’s actually a little complex and ironically simple. Many don’t really know what these numbers mean. People line up to eat salmon because it’s heart healthy. Is it?

When it comes to rising value, Salmon prices are skyrocketing around the world. Farmed salmon sold at Costco for about $5.00 per pound in 2012. In 2014, the price is hovering at $12 per pound. Wild salmon is now between $17 and $25.00 per pound. Touted a heart healthy foods, salmon and tuna has moved from the common into the rare and people are lining up to buy it. Is salmon as heart healthy as many people think?

Someone asked my opinion of blood test results. His LDL (bad cholesterol) was a little over 200. His doctor wanted to prescribe Lipitor, a common statin drug, to help reduce the LDL. LDL comprises about 70% of the natural cholesterol that circulates in the bloodstream. It is comprised mostly of fat which then tends to get deposited in the arteries creating plaques. This plaque build-up is believed to lead to to atherosclerosis, which is a hardening and narrowing of the arteries and a large risk factor for heart disease. My friend pointed out that his diet consists of salmon, tuna, and trout on salad. He thought he at heart healthy. I advised him that heart healthy fish may not be healthy at all levels. Each adds dietary cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends consuming 300 milligrams per day of dietary cholesterol or, if you have a 100-mg/dl ( milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL)) in blood serum, to 200 milligrams per day.

Salmon is heart healthy but only on certain levels. When compared to meat, a 4-ounce portion of salmon offers body-healthy omega 3 fatty acids, a huge helping of protein and a complement of crucial B vitamins. That does sound great!

The American Heart Association recommends limiting dietary cholesterol intake. Cholesterol is found in any animal source such as meat, fish, and shellfish. It is particularly high in organ meats, such as liver and tongue. Next time you spread pate on a cracker, consider how much cholesterol you’re consuming.

Your body produces cholesterol naturally. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. Cholesterol is a lipid and each cell of your body has a phospholipid bi-layer that offers it protection and balance. It acts as the skin of each cell. Your liver is the primary organ responsible for the production of cholesterol in your body, although very small amounts are made by the lining of the small intestine and the body’s individual cells. The livers cholesterol production is released into your bloodstream to feed all the parts of your body that need it.

Vegetables have no cholesterol so do not add dietary cholesterol. As meat and fish eaters, these foods add dietary cholesterol. A 4-ounce portion of salmon has about 68 milligrams of cholesterol. A similar size of tuna delivers about 50 milligrams of cholesterol. Surprisingly, a 4-ounce lean cut of bottom round sirloin delivers 43 milligrams of cholesterol. When it comes to adding dietary cholesterol, salmon is a big contributor. When it comes to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels naturally, salmon may not be the heart healthier choice. A 4-ounce portion of salmon has 50% more cholesterol than meat. Salmon is considered healthier.

The cholesterol portion of your blood test rates these lipids: LDL, HDL and Triglycerides. LDL is the bad cholesterol that may result in artery-clogging plaques. The American Heart Association considers LDL ay 190mg/dl extremely high. HDL is the good cholesterol. They help prevent LDL from sticking to your arteries. With HDL cholesterol, higher levels are better. Low HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL for men, less than 50 mg/dL for women) puts you at higher risk for heart disease. In the average man, HDL cholesterol levels range from 40 to 50 mg/dL. In the average woman, they range from 50 to 60 mg/dL. An HDL cholesterol of 60 mg/dL or higher gives some protection against heart disease. The mean level of HDL cholesterol for American adults age 20 and older is 54.3 mg/dL.

High levels of omega-3 fatty acids, or what researchers refer to as fish oils, make salmon a shoe-in when it comes to improving levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol. The contributing factor may be less than a 5% gain. It may not be enough. Therapy to raise the concentration of HDL cholesterol includes weight loss, smoking cessation, aerobic exercise, and pharmacologic management with niacin and fibrates. I found 1000mg Niacin per day increased HDL by 50% but check routinely. Taking more than 1,000mg per day could be harmful to your liver. The main thing about Omega 3 is that this natural oil complex is essential for heart health in managing your diet.

High Triglycerides are another heart-unhealthy factor that few consider. Your body is capable of producing the right amount of triglycerides it needs. A triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher is one of the risk factors of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk for heart disease and other disorders, including diabetes. The term triglyceride means sugars and certain fats. The mean level of triglycerides for American adults age 20 and older is 144.2 mg/dl. That is why dietary triglycerides in reducing carbohydrates and certain fats are so important. When an average level is 144.2mg/dl, it means many are over 150mg/dl.

Triglycerides may be related to lifestyle and your diet. Many people have high triglyceride levels due to being overweight/obese, physical inactivity, and a diet very high in carbohydrates (60 percent or more of calories).

Triglycerides are associated with a fatty acid called Omega 6 and, although it is a vital nutrient, it helps promote body inflammation. Dietary sources in meat are primarily in the lower, pricey cuts in the loin. Less desirable top cuts have lower levels of Omega 6
so, as triglycerides go, top sirloin is healthier than bottom sirloin. Omega 6 is a saturated fat that can inflame and clog arteries when ingested beyond recommended dietary levels. The recommended level is about 5 parts Omega 3 to 1 part Omega 6. The reality of most food consumers is closer to 1 part Omega 3 to 15 parts of Omega 6.

Salmon, Tuna, Trout, Mackerel, Cod, Tilapia, and Sardines have little Omega 6 fats and much more Omega 6 fats. Many people have high triglyceride levels due to being overweight/obese, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption and/or a diet very high in carbohydrates (60 percent or more of calories). High triglycerides are a lifestyle-related risk factor; however, underlying diseases or genetic disorders can be the cause. Omega 3 contributes to reducing body inflammation and, though a saturated fat, also offers polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats considered healthier. Studies of Omega 3 and Omega 6 ratios cite evidence of better health. Since salmon, mackerel, and sardines are higher in Omega 3 fats, they are very heart healthy on a triglyceride level.

Of course, you can get the benefits of Omega 3 (and Omega 6) from a non-cholesterol vegan-friendly source. It’s flaxseed oil.

If you are having difficulty maintain a cholesterol level of 100mg/dl per day, you would have to limit your salmon dietary intake to just above 8 ounces of salmon per day to help keep your LDL down. The person who showed me his high result was eating over 1 pound each day.

If you are using canned salmon, don’t be fooled by the cholesterol number. Check servings per can. A 6-ounce can may read 28mg cholesterol but if that can yields 3 servings, and you have an entire can, that’s 84mg of cholesterol. 1 can of sardines may have 90mg of cholesterol. Take care of your dietary intake!

Apart from the separate LDL and HDL readings, the LDL and HDL ratio is an important risk factor. Find your Total Cholesterol number by dividing your triglyceride count by five or multiply by 20 percent (0.20). A triglyceride level of 100 mg/dl divided by five would be 20. Add that to your total HDL and LDL. These numbers should be in mg/dl units. To find your cholesterol ratio, you divide your total cholesterol number by your HDL, or good, cholesterol number. For example, if your total cholesterol number is 200 and your good cholesterol is 50, your total cholesterol ratio is 4:1. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), you should keep your cholesterol ratio at or below 5:1. The ideal cholesterol ratio is about 3.5:1. If your ratio is ideal or a little better, you are not likely to need drugs to control cholesterol levels.

There are many popular heart healthy diets to help you maintain good cholesterol levels and heart health. Many include portions of fish. While fish is a great source of necessary protein, don’t rely on it alone. Fish, by itself in large quantities, is not heart healthy. If you want extra protein, seek out servings of nuts or soy beans. These are vegetarian sources and contain no cholesterol.

There are some people, by virtue of genetics and family lineage, who have high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels. Sometimes eating heart healthy diets aren’t enough. For those, drug intervention might help but you’re fighting your DNA mix. The therapy may be worse than the initial problem. Seek out more thorough testing and monitor your heart health at least twice per year.

Fish is a source of cholesterol and shellfish may have huge levels of cholesterol. Each ounce of lobster can have 27 milligrams of cholesterol. If cholesterol monitoring is part of your heart health plan, know the cholesterol nutritive levels of your dietary intake. Juggling heart health often requires a mix of bad and good. Strive for better. Balance requires thought and responsibility.

For the most part, keeping those 5 numbers in check is a challenging quest, especially if you are not tolerant to statin drugs. Knowledge, insight, and fervor are necessary for a lifestyle diet. Choosing salmon over meat may have heart healthy benefits. Salmon cholesterol may not be totally heart healthy but it’s a heart healthier choice among animal sources.

When memory may not be real and Woody Allen

People are susceptible to deceptions by media, teachers, peers, and parents. A young person’s reality is often carefully shaped by ideas, observations, religious rituals, and a massive menu of characteristics. As such, while much is shared, each constructs reality and opinion differently. Regardless of the fear of developing Alzheimer’s disease, memories can be shaped, molded, changed, and manipulated to personally produce misconceptions of reality. In a legal case, where no physical evidence is available, is one’s memory of an event accurate?

Personality is often the predicate of memories and one’s reactions to them. Elementally, if your burned your finger touching a hot pot when you were young, you would be very sensitive about cooking and handling hot pots. These memories have been ingrained into your consciousness and arise each day or work silently in the background. It’s part of your individual construct of reality. Your long-term memories contribute to make up the uniqueness of you.

So, in the news, one of Mia Farrow’s adopted daughters, Dylan (now age 20) brought allegations that Woody Allen sexually abused her when she was 4 years old. At the time, Woody Allen had a living relationship with Mia Farrow. The question rises whether Dylan’s memory is real or whether it was coaxed, implanted, and impressed over the years by Mia Farrow. Developing false and repressed memories
of past events has been studied by Elizabeth Loftus, a cognitive-social psychologist. Is it possible that Dylan’s allegations were implanted by her adoptive mother for use years later?

Woody Allen is considered a genius as a great writer, director, actor, and performer. There have been numerous studies associating genius with forms of metal illness

In the 1950’s, following the Korean War, United States was concerned about the effects of brainwashing – implanting a memory that wasn’t there. A key method of inducing this memory was sensory deprivation. If one was deprived of sensory stimulation for a designated period, that person would be vulnerable to suggestion and new memory. A 1959 novel, The Manchurian Candidate and subsequent movie versions set the supposition of how this might affect one’s reality. As early as 1954, grants were liberally distributed to psychologists for the study of brainwashing techniques. Early neuro-psychologist, John Lilly became famous for studies of sensory deprivation through the use of isolation.

In July 2013, researchers at MIT published a paper citing that mice, who were electronically implanted with false memories, followed those false memories.

In pursuing an actual, plausible case against Woody Allen after 16 years, the memory of the accuser may have been colored by the bias of her mother. Bias plays a significant role in law asserting possible implausibility of forensic evidence.

Psychoanalysts follow theories that associated memories lie dormant beneath dissociative masks and covers. Cognitive psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists assert that memory may be the result of false perceptions or discoloring realities. If green seems brown to one, is it in the mind or in the acuity of the system that helps the brain’s detection of a color?

In a field called psycholinguistics discussions and research show how language perception and comprehension might control how people remember. One form is called Neuro Linguistic Programming (or NLP) that blends language, memory and interactions into a therapeutic model. NLP offers techniques in mind control and professes that many people can be coaxed by language to do something they ordinarily might not do. The general idea of NLP and mind control is that language techniques can control susceptible people. Often, children are very susceptible to suggestions and ideas. When programmed, a new reality may replace an old one.

Opinions are varied as to Woody Allen’s marriage to one of Mia Farrow’s adoptive daughters, with a 35 year spread. Whether Woody Allen has a child fetish may be questionable. Dylan Farrow’s accusation of Woody Allen is definitely fodder for media debate and satire. As a legal case, it amounts to her word against his. For all we know, Dylan actually believes her assertion but that assertion may be based on an implant of a false memory. In her case, that makes her memory valid. In shared reality, that memory may be questionable or unrealistic.