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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

💀 ☠ Study Finds Vegetarians as Vulnerable to Heart Disease as Anyone Else │ America's Riskiest Hospitals for C. Diff │ Antioxidant Insurance Policy: Resisting Age-Related Decline

The squalid wretch within me took charge last night and ─ instead of me getting to bed well ahead of 11:30 p.m. as it appeared I might ─ it may have been 2:25 a.m. before I was under the covers.

Possibly it was even later.

I was somewhat disturbed by the trending U.S. Election results that I had seen earlier, but I cannot place the blame for my miscreance there.

Despite my late turning-in, I had a bathroom break around 5:40 a.m., and then decided to rise for the day around 7:30 a.m.

I expect that it had lightly rained the entire night.

I found myself to be home alone.  My youngest step-son Pote had probably been given another early start at work, but it would only mean that he would probably be home by or in the noon-hour (and he was).

I did some work on the edit I have going to an old post at one of my hosted websites, and then ─ despite feeling low-down and demoralized ─ I began readying to venture out and do some local shopping at the No Frills supermarket roughly four blocks from here where I live.  

I had to go ─ I had nothing much to eat, so some ground beef was definitely on order.

It had been lightly raining earlier in the morning, but when I set off at 10:38 a.m. it had gotten very bright out there ─ and no rain.  It looked as if the skies were trying to clear.  

I preferred that it had been raining.

But I accomplished my mission, and once home I set about preparing one of my delicious slow-cooked ground beef dishes with vegetables and much spicing.

When the noon-hour was underway, I noticed that it was lightly raining again. 

My kind of day.

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I know full well that vegetables are healthy, but as far as I am concerned, we need animal products in our diets, too 

Apparently a limited study has been done ─ more of an analysis, actually ─ that unexpectedly found that vegetarians are as vulnerable to heart disease as are meat-eaters:

Consumer.HealthDay.com

The study has yet to be published ─ it was just a presentation on October 17 at the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) meeting that was held in Las Vegas.

I did manage to track down a link to the study abstract at the ACG's website acgblog.orgPoster 1382 Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Vegetarians in the United States: A Population-based Study,

If I had access to all of the organic raw milk and raw milk products from pasture-raised cows and goats that I could ever want, as well as limitless access to the eggs of free-range poultry, I could live life without needing to taste animal flesh ever again.

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So far, I think I only personally know of one victim of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) ─ he survived, but he was fitter than the average guy.  He specializes in one of the martial arts.

The bacteria is everywhere, but it is usually kept in check.  Only where our immunity is low ─ or if we are careless with hygiene ─ do we tend to fall victim.

You may have heard that hospitals (actually, any kind of healthcare facility) are places where it is especially easy to become infected.

Well, in the States, Consumer Reports published their investigation into which such facilities in the U.S. were the worst when it came to incidents of C. diff infection.

If you are being faced with a hospital stay in your near future, then you might want to check out the report:

ConsumerReports.org

There are some tips in that report on how to avoid coming down with a C. diff infection.  But NewMarketHealth.com also offered their own variation on the advice:
#1: Don't take antibiotics unless it's absolutely necessary. The CDC reports that those taking antibiotics are up to 10 times more likely to come down with an active C. diff infection during the course of the drug and up to a month afterwards.

One of the reasons is because many of us already carry the pathogen in our gut. Kill off your "good guy" bacteria, and C. diff can easily take over.

#2: Take a high-quality probiotic every day – especially if you've recently taken antibiotics.

#3: Wash your hands! That age-old advice moms hand out is more important than ever. And remember: Hand sanitizers don't kill this bacteria, so do the real deal with soap and water.

#4: If you're caring for someone who has a C. diff infection, wear gloves when helping them use the bathroom or bathing them.

#5: Ditch those acid-suppressing meds called proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec or any of the generic versions (which might be the most important preventive step you can take). These drugs are well-known to seriously up your risk of a C. diff infection.
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I see that if I ever come into a healthy second income ─ or win a lottery jackpot ─ I am going to have to try and remember to keep myself supplied with N-acetylcysteine  (NAC).  Wikipedia says in that link that NAC "is not very expensive," but I am doubtful.

And does "very expensive" mean more than merely "expensive"?  If so, I cannot afford "expensive," either.

But what's so special about NAC?

It has the ability to increase our glutathione levels; this essential antioxidant tends to decrease in our bodies as we age.
"We've known for some time of the importance of glutathione as a strong antioxidant," said Tory Hagen, lead author on the research and the Helen P. Rumbel Professor for Health Aging Research in the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU.

"What this study pointed out was the way that cells from younger animals are far more resistant to stress than those from older animals," said Hagen, also a professor of biochemistry in the OSU College of Science. "In young animal cells, stress doesn't cause such a rapid loss of glutathione. The cells from older animals, on the other hand, were quickly depleted of glutathione and died twice as fast when subjected to stress.

"But pretreatment with NAC increased glutathione levels in the older cells and largely helped offset that level of cell death."
That quote is from this report on a study of glutathione and NAC:

ScienceDaily.com
NAC, the researchers said, is known to boost the metabolic function of glutathione and increase its rate of synthesis. It's already used in emergency medicine to help patients in a toxic crisis, such as ingestion of poisonous levels of heavy metals. It's believed to be a very safe compound to use even at extremely high levels -- and the scientists are hypothesizing that it might have significant value at much lower doses to maintain glutathione levels and improve health.

"I'm optimistic there could be a role for this compound in preventing the increased toxicity we face with aging, as our abilities to deal with toxins decline," Hagen said. "We might be able to improve the metabolic resilience that we're naturally losing with age."
Once again, NewMarktHealth.com had some extra information about NAC:
...This study isn't the first good news we've heard about NAC by a longshot.
  • In a 15-year-old study, NAC was found to improve cognitive function in patients diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's disease.
  • For many years, doctors have used NAC to dissolve the mucus that contributes to asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinusitis.
  • NAC appears to significantly lower homocysteine, reducing artery plaque that causes heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
  • In 2013, researchers found that NAC given with chemotherapy might reduce the memory-loss effects of "chemobrain."
Although NAC has a squeaky clean safety profile, it can possibly interfere with blood-thinning meds. So talk with your doctor first if you're taking one of those drugs.

And while NAC isn't found in foods, there are plenty of ways to get more glutathione in your diet.

Cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, bok choy, and horseradish are all excellent sources.
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The very brief description beneath this fairly old family photo is from the Google album where I have the scan saved:

That is my cousin Gail and her betrothed Eugene.

The setting is most likely somewhere in Calgary, back in 1974 or 1975.
 
I am going to sign off for today after posting the following journal entry from 41 years ago, back when I was 26 years old and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

The house I was renting the small unit in was located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

I see that I had a hike planned to go and visit my father Hector, who was living in an apartment with his girlfriend Maria Fadden at 6038 Imperial Street in Burnaby

I never quite knew what to expect when I came to pay a visit ─ the last time I visited during the previous week they were plastered, along with a couple of other guys they knew.  I kept apart as much as I could, and finally just left and hiked back to my room.
SUNDAY, November 9, 1975

I arose shortly after 5:30 a.m.

I have a large, unsightly inflammation on the right side of my neck, and so am going to dad's wearing a turtleneck sweater which just barely reaches the spot; I would liefer not go out today at all. 

I have 10:10 a.m. scheduled as my set-out time.

For the past 2 days I have completed all my exercises in the morning.

Anyway, on my way to dad's I felt very broken over my overall appearance and my responsible life-style and circumstances.

My knocking roused dad & Marie who had consumed a lot of booze yesterday, tho they did retire early; they were now sober.

They prepared a delicious supper, which I could easily have fallen asleep waiting for; turkey drumsticks and rice with a turkey sauce were the menu.

When I left (Marie was again sleeping), dad having accompanied me to the front door (he earlier gave me a key to their door), my walk was done in rather high-spirits; I really enjoyed my visit today.

I got to bed shortly past 7:00 p.m.

About 8:30 p.m. in a sleep-induced stupor I got up and answered Cathy's persistent knocking.

I hadn't turned on any lights, and was relieved I hadn't when she said she had someone she wanted me to meet; but it was only Nell.

My complexion caused me to keep out the lights, tho eventually they found the kitchen light.

They coaxed and pleaded, but I wouldn't remove from bed to attend the party at Nell's; Cathy supposedly had Bill's car, so he was there.

They even resorted to a long wrestling match with me, but I couldn't be bodily carried away either. 

Before leaving at 8:30 p.m., Cathy used the "Come-on-you're-no-friend-of-mine" routine, but to no avail.

If I'd looked better, perhaps I would have gone.  Cathy looked pretty sexy, I felt, and stimulated me.

Anyway, it took me a long while afore I finally got back to sleep.
Me and my worrisome complexion!

It was good to read my expression of appreciation of that visit with my father.  He often walked me to the door of the apartment buildings he variously lived in.  And if I was to be catching a bus, he would even go to the bus stop with me.

He was so sweet when he was sober.

After I got back (on foot) to my room, my early retirement was disrupted by the visit of my younger brother Mark's beautiful girlfriend, Catherine Jeanette Gunther; and my maternal Aunt Nell Halverson.   

Nell's household were partiers.  

If she still lived out on 64th Avenue in Surrey ─ very near to Newton Junior High School ─ then Jeanette must have borrowed my old friend William Alan Gill's car, and she and Nell drove all the way to New Westminster just to entice me to come and join the fun.

I was so darned in awe of Jeanette ─ I loved her.

But low self-confidence cannot easily be defeated, so I resisted their inventive measures to get me to return to Nell's home with them.  They had come a long way for nothing.

I wish that Jeanette had somehow remained in the lives of my family.  She was an exceptional young woman and mother.
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