Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Exercise 2010

These following four types of exercises will keep you younger than your years – stretching, balance, cardiovascular and strengthening.

STRETCHING prevents injury to the muscle and its tendons. Formal exercises such as yoga, the exercise ball, or just plain yawning are healthful. Contrary to popular opinion, pulsing stretches should be performed as a gradual tightening until mild discomfort of the muscle group, holding for a brief time and then relaxing. This maneuver should be repeated three times. Hands to the sky, touching the toes, twisting (torquing) the abdomen and chest on the pelvis from side to side and pulling back the ankle to the buttock are some examples.

BALANCE is particularly helpful in older people. They prevent falls with subsequent broken bones. Programs like Tai Chi and dancing are great, as is the big ball. After feeling confident sitting on the ball, try to recover after moving on the buttocks to a near-fall. Recently, the half ball has become inexpensively available to stand on. Another exercise is standing on one foot for 30 seconds without holding on.

STRENGTHENING exercises builds muscles, as well as turning fat into muscle. Weightlifting, resistance machines and holding one’s own weight against gravity (push-ups) are recommended. Fewer repetitions (reps) with heavy weights are suggested. Between 8 and 12 reps with 30 second between each set are advised. The last rep should be so difficult that one could not do another one to “save their life”. Bench and military presses, biceps curls and that one could not do another one, and shrugs are examples of these.

CARDIOVASCULAR ENDURANCE includes fast walking (to slight shortness of breath), running up and down stairs, dancing, stationary bike, treadmill, running, jogging, or just a CD or videotape with aerobics. During this time, 4 separate periods of peak effort are recommended for 60 seconds, such as running as fast as one can, or pushing the pedals as fast as possible. This builds up the mitochondria (the individual cellular motors) within the muscle fiber, enhancing the metabolism of fat, decreasing insulin resistance, and thus preventing the cardiometabolic syndrome and diabetes. Moreover, this improves the most important muscle of the body, the heart.

HOME TRAINING is doable. Certainly it is easier to exercise in a Gym and with a training partner who will passively hold you responsible if you do not show up. But if that is not possible, a workout can be done at home without any special equipment. Such exercises as SQUATS and PUSHUPS, with the latter putting the toes and knees for women and the toes only on the floor for men, lying prone and pushing up with their arms. Another is a DIP, with the back of the feet on one chair, the hands on the arms of another chair and with the buttocks between the chairs, extending and flexing the arms. The abdominal muscles can be exercised by SITUPS, which is lying supine on the floor with the toes under a piece of heavy furniture and sitting up, touching the elbows to the knees. Several variations of the SITUP are done, such as touching the elbow to opposite knees, and sitting only half way up (CRUNCH). Also standing facing a wall and putting the hands on it three feet or so from the floor and pushing back. These resistance exercises build muscle. Resistance exercises help more for weight loss than the cardio exercises. Another method of building healthy muscle is ISOMETRICS. Here one contracts opposing muscle groups simultaneously and hold that tension using good posture as tight as one can for at least a minute. It is helpful to do this looking into a mirror. For every one pound of muscle an individual puts on, the body consumes an extra 100 calories extra to maintain and service that muscle. To put on 5 pounds of muscle, one can have 500 free calories a day, or if eating the same diet, this adds up to 3,500 calories a week, which is equivalent to 1 pound of weight loss! Jogging requires only a set of running shoes and the “track” is just outside your front door. Do not forget about the all important bursts of fast running during the jog. Once the ideal weight is obtained, the “appestat” will be reset to maintain a healthy better looking body.


CAT (Computer Axial Tomography, now commonly called CT scans, are greatly over ordered in the United States. Given the highly profitable nature of diagnostic imaging, it’s no wonder this procedure is overused. Costing roughly $600 per study for overhead (which includes office space, employees, and a Radiologist), the upkeep on the scanner (which includes the cost, and repairs to the unit when heavily used), and a $1500 reimbursement from the insurance companies, indeed this procedure is a lucrative business. Some areas of the country do eight times more CT scans than other parts, yet do not have any detectable increases in health, only more expense. Despite the fact that the average American pays more for health care than any other nation, it is 16th in health and longevity. Japan is number one, followed by the Scandinavia. Moreover, when over ordered, the CT scans are dangerous!

CT scans are risky in three ways. One, the patient is overexposed to radiation. Second, it leads to more dangerous and unnecessary invasive procedures. Thirdly, the contrast used with most of the scans ruins the kidneys. It takes just one CT scan to equal up to 450 chest X-Rays. This translates to an extra 30,000 cancers each year. Furthermore, the radiation is accumulative and grows more each year. It may take 25 years for the cancer to appear. The mortality rate of these tumors, despite early pick-up and good treatment, is 50 percent.

The iodinated contrast material which is injected into the veins, is excreted by the kidneys. It is hypertonic and “dehydrates” the sensitive micro vessels and tubules of this organ. Also 3% of the population is sensitive to these organic iodinated molecules. Very rarely could one have such an acute allergic reaction and die suddenly! To avoid renal destruction, the Doctors should make sure the kidneys are working adequately by doing a serum BUN and Creatinine, both of which are Renal Function Tests. If the BUN is below 25 or the Creatinine is more than 1.8, the contrast is used for better definition. However even with normal function, unless the person is more than adequately hydrated and/or they take strong antioxidants such as N-acetyl cysteine they lose function every time they have contrast. It is additive over the number of studies a patient has over their lifetime. NAC, 600 mg three times a day on the day before, the day of, and the day after the study is advised. Lastly, CT scans are in many cases overly sensitive and pick up incidental findings of no real clinical relevance. Our medical profession should let “sleeping dogs lie”, but do not for reasons that may be not that altruistic. The medical mind-set taught to young doctors is supposed to be the more the better in our land of plenty, but what it really does is make more money for physicians by increasing the number of procedures and operations. Of course this also leads to heightened anxiety, further testing, biopsies and unnecessary surgeries creating earlier disability and death for the poor patient. With new healthcare legislation around the corner, the problem will only get worse. Because most patients are not told the full extent of the risks and consequences of these proedures, they are ultimately scared into invasive actions that are unnecessary. It is estimated by some that CT scans kill almost a million people a year! CT scanning is a great technology and do help to extend lives by better and earlier diagnoses, but should be used judiciously!


As many as 10% of us have Gluten Intolerance (see blog 12/27/09) and QUINOA (keen-wah) is a storehouse of wonderful nutrition and can be used as a wheat substitute. It has 2 grams of magnesium, 6 of protein and 3 of fiber in a ¼ cup! Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a grass. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, and spinach. Its leaves are also eaten as a leafy vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is currently limited.

Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in Andes mountain civilizations for over 5000 years. Locally referred to as “Mother Grain”, being secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by corn, it kept the Incan armies strong and robust. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%), making it a healthy choice for vegetarians and gluten intolerants. Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source almost as complete as the milk protein, casein. Lysine is one of eight essential amino acids - building blocks of protein - that the body cannot manufacture on its own. As a building block of protein, lysine benefits the body by contributing to growth in babies and children. Lysine benefits also include production of carnitine, a substance that converts fatty acids into energy and lowers levels of LDL cholesterol.
In addition, lysine benefits the skeletal system by contributing to the production of collagen, the protein used to make bone, tendons, cartilage and connective tissue. Calcium absorption is also facilitated by lysine, and lysine benefits the skin by helping to maintain its health and elasticity.

Quinoa is easy to digest and is ideal for the first “grain cereal” given to infants. Many doctors feel giving oats, wheat, and barley to infants sets them up for a life long allergic problem. Because of all the above characteristics, quinoa is recommended by the Food and Agriculture of the United Nations for under developed countries and is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.

Raw quinoa has a sapin coating that is irritating to the digestive tract causing gas, cramps and diarrhea and must be washed off before consumption. Most boxed quinoa has been pre-rinsed and some even sprouted (germinated) for convenience. Sprouting any grain by leaving it in room temperature for a given period of time enhances its healthy attributes. Quinoa may be germinated in its raw form to boost its nutritional value by leaving it in water for only 2 hours at room temperature. Wheat takes 12! Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content.

A common cooking method is to treat quinoa much like rice, bringing two cups of water to a boil with one cup of grain, covering at a low simmer and cooking for 14–18 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl and should have a slight hardness to it (like al dente pasta). As an alternative, one can use a rice cooker to prepare quinoa, treating it just like white rice (for both cooking cycle and water amounts). Vegetables and seasonings can also be added to make a wide range of dishes. Chicken or vegetable stock can be substituted for water during cooking, adding flavor. It is also suited to vegetable pilafs, complementing greens like kale and spinach. Quinoa can be added to salads and other cold foods to enhance filling of the stomach and give a health boost. Quinoa can serve as a high-protein breakfast food mixed with xylitol (see blog 12/21/09), almonds, or berries. It is also sold as a dry product, much like corn flakes. Quinoa flour can be used in wheat-based and gluten-free baking. For the latter, it can be combined with sorghum flour, tapioca, and potato starch to create a nutritious gluten-free baking mix. A suggested mix is three parts quinoa flour, three parts sorghum flour, two parts potato starch, and one part tapioca starch. Quinoa flour can be used as a filling for chocolate.

This powerhouse nutritional product is available at some avant guarde grocery stores, but is readily purchased at most Health Food Shopps. “PEARL QUINOA-Soul Food of the Andes” has recently been promoted by ALTER ECO a Bolivian coop that is democratically managed by its farmers for sustainable development with profits used for organic programs and is the product that we have used with ease. It comes in easily sealed bags for about $8/lb. For all those interested in their own and the health of their loved ones, I sincerely recommend this nutritious and versatile health food.


Eggs have been vindicated in the last two decades as a villain causing cholesterol plaque build up in our arteries or have they? Actually, it depends how they are cooked. It is true egg yolks contain the highest amount of cholesterol of any type of cuisine, but it is also high in healthful micronutrients such as choline for our brain and cysteine the all important building blocks of protein formation. It is not the cholesterol we eat, but the cholesterol our body produces depending on our genetics and the other kinds of ‘foods” we eat. In an individual prone to develop high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, trans fats, sugars and oxidized foods are the culprits. The cholesterol in the egg is oxidized when cooked in certain ways that expose it to air and heat. Therefore scrambled eggs or omelets have a large amount of oxidized cholesterol that clog up our blood vessels if we are genetically unfortunate as is 30% of our population.

In the past, I described ale, ape, and age. These stand for Advanced Lipid End products, such as in eggs, Advanced Protein End products that are in roasted foods and Advanced Glycosylated End products such as in caramelized ones. These are pro-oxidants that “rust” our arteries by oxidizing our body’s cholesterol after production. Although, tasting better than the non-oxidized portion, these delicious crunchy morsels are dangerous to our health in causing not only cardiovascular disease, but also cancer! In cooking any food, the hotter, it is, the more dangerous it becomes. The worst method is grilled, followed by roasted then baked in which the food is heated up in excess of 212 degrees. Far better is poached, braised, boiled, and crock pot methods. In the preparations these items because of the water never exceeds 212 degrees, and there is little or no ale, ape or age and no oxidized cholesterol. The latter is the worst of all since it is directly absorbed into our blood stream and impacts directly on our artery wall.

Poached or boiled eggs or maybe a fried egg are OK, since the cholesterol containing yolk remains intact. But even fried eggs have some ape; the delicious brown “skirt” around the white. It also has ale from the butter or oil used in frying. This is why in general fried foods are not healthy. Antioxidants we should be consuming do mitigate some of this. Since I have heard of ale, occasionally, I will eat a fried egg, rarely an omelet and never scrambled one!


Celiac disease is vastly underdiagnosed. It takes on average 11 years between the first appearances of bowel symptoms to its diagnosis. To add insult to injury, many times it is silent in the intestine and extra intestinal problems occur. The most common significant “allergen” known to civilized man is a protein found in wheat, gluten. As many as 10% of us are sensitive to it. Gluten is also in rye, spelt and triticale and kamut. Although not all Docs agree it is found in Beans (dark), Oats, and peanuts. Non-Gluten cereals are rice, millet, tapioca, buckwheat, flaxseed, millet, teff, and quinoa (KEEN-WA). It is not in vegetables and meat. Gluten is used in 90% of all protein-fortified products. When this foreign protein is ingested, it attacks the intestine, causing inflammation and poor absorption of nutrients, but also the gluten antibodies destroy some of our other tissue. This genetic malady is termed CELIAC DISEASE, when it involves the intestine so that malabsorption occurs. But that is only part of the problem. Partially digested protein is also absorbed. These peptides play havoc on many of our already stressed systems as noted below. The age of onset is from infancy to senility. In children neurological symptoms, short stature and anemia happen. In adults skin rashes particularly dermatitis herpetiformis,osteoporosis,anemia,infertility,irritable bowel syndrome,GERD, neurological symptoms and autoimmune diseases such as low thyroid (Hashimotos disease) arthritis and vitiligo are noted. Lymphoma and other Cancers are more common in folks who have sensitivity and still consume gluten.

Gluten intolerance is frequently caused by some preceding damage to the lining of the intestines from toxic exposures, infections and medications. Gluten intolerance like true Celiac Disease is treated by avoiding gluten. I tell these poor people to stay away from BROWS where B stands for Barley and Beans (green), R for Rye, O for Oats, W for WHEAT, and S for Spielt The three criteria for true Celiac Disease are genetic predisposition, the consumption of gluten and a triggering event, which could be physical or emotional. With the loss of the integrity of the intestinal lining, the small intestine fails to absorb the micronutrients, which affects all tissues of the body. Rare, are the typical symptoms related to just the gastrointestinal tract with abdominal pain and distention, diarrhea and weight loss.

We have evolve as cereal-less Homo sapiens for almost 500,000 years. The first wheat was accidently noted and occasionally gathered wa 8,000 BC and in England 5,500 years ago were the first wheat farmers. So we as a species went from great hunters to canaries in only 10,000 years. Science knows it takes much longer to change our genes to adapt to this gluten protein from being a foreigner to what our body recognizes as a “non-intruder”. There was no wheat in the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve with their myriad of decedents were not suppose to eat this "food"

At least a third of Gluten Intolerents have lactose problems. The consumption of pizza, of which the dough is an extremely potent reactant, along with the cheese can cause acute symptoms within 20 minutes. Discovered in Poland in 1953, but not known to the Western World until popularized by the English expert James Braly MD, Celiacs have a foreshortened 5th finger (Bralys sign). This is to say that the end of the pinky is shorter than the last joint of the ring finger. To document the diagnosis, many doctors do a a few blood studies that are only positive if the patient has terrible bowel disease when the blood is drawn and still is consuming gluten. A STOOL study for less than $100 can be ordered on-line from www.enterolab.com. Or your doctor can contact the special laboratory, whose address is Intestinal Health Institute, P.O. Box 570744, Dallas TX., 75357. This test is called an antigliadin antibody. It is only positive if the individual is still eating gluten. Also from the stool genetic studies can be done for another $50 even if the patient is gluten free. Ninety eight percent who have celiac disease have HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8 haplotype. So if a person has both of these negative, they are unlikely to have celiac disease. An even better test is the Celiac PlusR from Prometheus (888-423-0896) which does all the antibodies and the genetic haplotype test. It will also identify the more aggressive disease variant by identifying the dreaded DQB1*)0201 gene. Costing $500, it might be the best money spent to pin down this disease and preventing disability and even death secondary to cancer! Also many insurances pay for it. St Francis Hospital Lab is the only official laboratory in Tulsa that deals with the insurance issues.

For now most doctors feel there is no cure for Gluten Intolerance and the best way is to stay away from gluten containing food. Very soon there will be a good enzyme product (Glutenase) available that will break down gluten much the same way lactase granules or powder will allow Lactose Intolerants to consume dairy products. My colleague Dr Jack Wise has a combination of homeopathic and natural products to include Kombu, L-carnosine,Vitamin D, and Aronya Berry which should soon be FDA approved. I have seen amazing healing of folks with Gluten intolerance that can now eat bread again after using his proprietary product. If you or if you know someone who wants to participate in his double blind study contact him (918-260-6830). The participant needs to enter the study with an already positive test be it blood or the very best, an intestinal biopsy. They will then get the real product or a placebo which is one month of of six capsules a day. He will pay for the product and the follow up test to see if the the patient is both clinically and labortory cured. If the person did get the placebo once the code is broken they will get the real medicine as a gift. So either way they will be cured if the product really works. Of course the person must be consuming gluten during the study time.