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February Newsleter 2021

From Climate Change Angst to a Sperm Shortage: (Will it never end?) Nicholas Kristof in the Sunday New York Times (2/21/21) wrote an OpEd piece called "What Are Sperm Telling Us?", and starts his column with these words: "Something alarming is happening between our legs." which is one of the best topic sentences I have ever read. Try to get hold of the article, as this sperm problem is our next dark frontier to tackle, after we "solve" climate change. (Good luck with that.) Seems that this sperm genocide - called Spermageddon - is being caused by endocrine disrupters which "mimic the body's hormones and thus fool our cells" into behaving badly. They are rampant in the plastics called phthalates.

Here is what to do to save your little boys from being born with inordinately small penises and your little girls from reaching puberty at age 8: Avoid phthalates (duh), store food in glass containers; don't microwave food in plastic, buy organic foods, avoid tobacco and marijuana, use a cotton or linen shower curtain rather than a vinyl one, don't use air fresheners, prevent dust build-up and check out the Environmental Working Group for safe products.

Know yourself and you will know all things." Socrates

Now onto something maybe not happier but different: Dementia: It's no secret that a healthy diet will benefit the brain. However, it may not only be the foods you eat, but how you combine them. (American Academy of Neurology, 4/22/20). The study followed 209 people, average age 78 who had dementia and 418 people, same age, sex and educational level who did not have dementia. This is what they found: "Processed meats were a 'hub' in the food networks of people with dementia and they were likely to combine their sausages and cured meats with starchy foods like potatoes and alcohol and snacks like cookies and cakes."

People without dementia were more likely to have a lot of diversity in their diet that included healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables, seafood, poultry or meats and they might combine their meats with salads and veggies, rather than carbs. This brings to mind the Pegan Diet which is essentially a carnivorous vegan diet. Google it and see if it's something you might want to do. Although this sounds like an oxymoron, It makes a lot of sense to me and that's the way I aspire to eat. So far, so good.

"Know thyself. There is nothing else to seek." Course In Miracles

Dementia and Vitamin D: You already know that I can't stay away from talking about my favorite supplement, vitamin D, so here goes with some good news for all of my D-compliant patients: A double blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial enrolled 183 participants with Mild Cognitive Impairment. They received either 800 iu's of oral vitamin D3 daily or a placebo for 12 months. Cognitive function significantly improved in the vitamin D group (Surprise! Surprise!) while it declined significantly in the placebo group. (Alzheimers Dis, 2020) If you want to keep your marbles, take your daily dose of D, get your D levels checked and tell me about it. (I want the lab NUMBER, not just your MD telling you that "Your D levels are fine.", because often we don't agree.)

Want to know more about Joe Biden's health? According to the Washington Post, he has had "two aneurysms, deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism. He has had surgery on his prostate; his gallbladder was removed in 2003. In 2008, he had mild diverticulosis and a noncancerous tubular adenoma removed. The 46th president's medicine cabinet has recently included Eliquis (an anticoagulant), Crestor (a statin for cholesterol), Nexium (for reflux) and Dymista (for allergies)."

"When you are totally acquainted with yourself, you will never meet a stranger, for you know another as you know yourself." Uranda

An Abominable history of COVID for this country: "Around 40% of the Americans who have been killed by COVID-19 might have lived if better political decisions had been made before and during the pandemic." The Lancet, an extremely well thought of British medical journal, rips into The Former Guy with these words: "He brought misfortune to the USA and the planet" and describes Trump's response to COVID as "inept and inefficient." (The Daily Beast, 2/2/21)

Good oils: We already know how good Omega 3's are for us, and I have all of you on some sort of fish oil, probably my Pro-Omega 2000 from Nordic Naturals. (By the way that is the ONLY fish oil I can take; all the others I burp up and that's most unpleasant.) Not only should you take your fish oil caps, but it would be a good idea to eat foods strong in Omega 3's. These are Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds, Salmon, Firm tofu (organic, please), Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts, Navy beans, and Avocados.

For the second great kind of fish oil which is more specific to nourishing your brain - DHA -these are the foods you should be putting into your shopping cart: Salmon, Tuna, Trout, Mussels, Oysters, Atlantic Cod, Caviar, Pickled Herring, clams and snow crab. But, I think taking Nordic Naturals ProDHA 1,000 at one a day is easier than trying to get it all from food.

Good News for Us Nappers! A study out of China published in the British Medical Journal in January revealed that "afternoon napping in older people increases mental agility." For a long time, I was reading research that said napping in the afternoon was bad for you and in fact was one indicator that you were slipping into la-la land. It makes sense to me that napping is good for oldsters, as often we don't sleep as well as we should at night and it's good to catch up. But don't nap any longer than 20-30 minutes because then it becomes bad for you. (Sort of like 3 squares of a Chocolove bar is healthy, and an entire bar isn't. As I get older, I really GET that everything in moderation is a wonderful rule to live by).

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