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Monday, November 21, 2016

Study: High-Protein Diet Significantly Reduced Liver Fat in Just Six Weeks │ On Our Social Acceptance of Marijuana │ Excessive Worrying About Health Increases Heart Disease Risk by 70%

Around 10:00 p.m. last evening, my youngest step-son Pote headed out the door and drove off in his older brother Tho's car.

I knew the kid was most likely off to hook-up with his girlfriend and bring her back here for the night.

Well, he was gone for some while, and my younger brother Mark finally went upstairs to his bedroom around 10:45 p.m.

It was my chance to turn off the T.V. and then make a quick check of things here at my computer ─ my plan after that was to go back downstairs and lock the front door and turn off the lights.

I had no sooner finished up what I wanted to do here, and I heard the nuisance and his girlfriend driving into the open carport.

My chance to put up that small block to the nuisance's convenience was foiled, and he freely escorted his girlfriend into the house for the night as I shut myself into my bedroom and readied for bed, wondering if God actually somehow favours the two randy youngsters over my mental health.

I got to sleep readily enough, but did have at least two breaks overnight that resulted in visits to the bathroom.  The first break was around 4:30 a.m., and I had just finished using the toilet when I heard my Mark start the fan in his ensuite in preparation for his morning shower before heading off for work.

So I quickly flushed the toilet and had some swallows of water from the bathroom sink's cold water tap, and returned to bed to seek some further sleep.

I think the second sleep-break and bathroom-visit was around 6:45 a.m. ─ just a bit too early to be getting up for the day.

But when I returned to bed, I questioned myself whether I would succeed in any more sleep.

It was a pleasant surprise to next check the time and see that it was nearing 8:00 a.m. ─ some sleep had visited me after all.

I had an interesting dream in the late stages of my night, but just what it might have been entirely eludes me.  I hate that.

I am unable to remember my dreams like I seemed able to do when I was a young man.

I hoped to get out today and do one of two shopping excursions I have in store for myself, but my wife Jack is likely returning to Canada today from her visit to her family in Thailand.  So I wanted to launder the bedding and pillow cases ─ I have had the day to myself (thus far at 2:04 p.m., at least).

That got my priority.

I could have published a new post at one of my hosted websites, but I opted to put it off and add a little more content tomorrow morning.

I see that particular website has been banned by Chitika ─ I logged into my account this morning.  That should leave me seven other websites in the list of domains for me, but there are only three there.

Where did the other domains disappear to?  Three of the four had been banned by Google in the past, as had the one that I saw today listed as banned in the domain list for me at Chitika.

Chitika has always hyped itself as the alternative to Google's AdSense, but it seems to me that Chitika has begun distancing itself from websites that AdSense has banned.  I am thinking now that Chitika only wants to be represented on AdSense-approved websites.

That is wretchedly weak of them, in my opinion.

But enough of them.

It has been a day with an equal mix of cloud and brilliant sunshine, but the rest of the week is projected to be on the wet side ─ and thus more likely to get me out to do any shopping expeditions. 

One final thing I just want to quickly mention is my considerable surprise this morning to weigh myself and find that I am about five pounds heavier than I thought I was.  At a height of almost five feet and 11 inches, for most of my adult life I have weighed in the lower 180s.  Consequently, finding myself at around 188 pounds was unexpected.

I will likely get a little help today in that I will be eating just one meal ─ supper.  I was not particularly hungry around midday when I usually have my first meal.  

I only eat twice a day.

Perhaps I will now leave the discussion of my day with this old clipping that I may have taken from a TV Guide back in the late 1960s or early 1970s:


I was in love with this actress for about two years ─ can you tell who she is?

It is Diana Rigg ─ or Emma Peel of The Avengers T.V. series. 

I have no idea what she was involved in when this photo was taken ─ her garb seems out of place for an ice-cream cone.  She looks dressed for an era that predates such a commercial treat.

Perhaps she was taking a break during filming, or maybe even a stage production?.

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According to various estimates, probably around 20% of Americans have fatty liver disease, and most have no idea they are in this state.

I have no idea what the situation is in Canada or other nations, but I expect that anywhere obesity exists as a problem, then this condition will also be quite prevalent.

However, a recent study has found that a diet of at last 30% protein can markedly reduce the fat in one's liver in a mere six weeks ─ here are a couple of reports on the study:

MedicalXpress.com

UPI.com

The liver fat reduction ranged from 36% to 48% in those six weeks, and it had nothing to do with any reduction in body-weight.

People are eating far too much carbohydrate.  Insofar as calories are concerned, the proportion of carbohydrates should be lower than both protein and fat.

But ensure that the fat is saturated, and also high-quality plant-derived oils such as coconut and olive oils. 

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I have certainly smoked marijuana in my lifetime, but not much in my later years.  I have actually never enjoyed smoking it ─ I would just do so because of social participation.

In other words, if I was drinking with people and someone lit up and started passing around a joint, I would take my turn.

However, I believe that I may have smoked my last joint as of a couple of years ago.  The experience was very bad.

I was also drinking a lot.

This was outdoors in the fairly extensive property of the homeowners whose outdoor party I had attended.

I awoke at some point during the night in another area of the property, and found myself quite paralyzed.  It took some time before I was able to generate the focus and ability to consciously begin moving my limbs and body enough to gain my feet, but I was completely off balance and needed to continually support myself.

It took longer still before I could move my feet ─ one fretful, slow step, and then another when it seemed safe to attempt.

It was morning by the time I got myself to the house, and my cousin let me in ─ she helped me to a couch or chesterfield so that I could lie down, but I still had to hold onto other furnishings as I made my way to it.     

Once I had lied down, I just gave myself time to recover.

This had happened to me years earlier, maybe the late 1980s or early 1990s.

My rare social participation at another party at a different cousin's home found me again paralyzed, and lying on the kitchen floor.  My mind was entirely alert.  I simply could not use my limbs.

I was a bit of a laughing stock.

But I was left alone after a couple of other guests left, and my cousin and his wife went to bed.  The friend I had gone there with crashed in the living room.

After a few more hours, I regained possession of my motor skills.

When I got myself erect and was able to move with some degree of normalcy ─ I had slept on the kitchen floor, and the sleep aided in my recovery ─ I solicited my friend as to whether he wished to keep sleeping, or if he preferred to leave with me.

We had both taken mountain bicycles to get there ─ it was a ride of maybe a half-dozen miles.

There was no issue once I was outside and active again.

But those two experiences have shown me that the pot of recent years is not the same pot I used to smoke socially back in the 1970s and into the 1980s.

As I said, I have never enjoyed the stuff ─ I don't like being stoned.  I prefer being buzzed from alcohol.  I can generally gauge what's happening when I drink. Weed is something else entirely.

There is a recent published study titled Marijuana use and use disorders in adults in the USA, 2002–14: analysis of annual cross-sectional surveys (doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30208-5) that raises questions about the prevailing acceptance of marijuana in society today.  

Dr. Marc S. Micozzi heartily concurred with it, and went further:

DrMicozzi.com

The full study is unavailable without a subscription or else a payment, but these are its final two paragraphs: 
We found that the number of adults who had used marijuana in the past year increased by 10 million and the number of daily or near daily users increased by 4·4 million in the USA during 2002–14. Heavy marijuana use is associated with unemployment, lower than average income, diminished life satisfaction, and criminal behaviour. Understanding of these trends is relevant for policy makers who continue to consider whether and how to modify laws related to marijuana and for health-care practitioners who care for patients using marijuana. Perceived risk of marijuana use is associated with patterns of high frequency and early onset use, suggesting the increasing need for clinical intervention. Furthermore, our results indicate an increasing need to modify risk perceptions of marijuana use in adults through effective education and prevention messages.

Marijuana use and use frequency increased in the USA during 2011–14 and when compared with 2002. Associations between increases in marijuana use and decreases in perceived risk of smoking marijuana suggest a potential benefit of education and prevention messages. Co-occurrence of marijuana use and marijuana use disorders with use of other substances and depression underscores the importance of screening across the full range of behavioural health issues.
No doubt if I was a regular marijuana-smoker, I would likely have built up a tolerance over the decades since 1970 when I first became exposed to smoking it.

But I haven't that tolerance ─ and my lungs are better off for the infrequency with which I have ever been involved with the stuff.

As for the ill-effects that go with inhaling the smoke regularly, why not just consume it orally?  That's not going to ameliorate the other harms Dr. Micozzi enumerated, of course.

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How much do you worry about your health?

According to a recently published study, people who are constantly fretting about their health run a 70% greater chance of developing heart disease than folks who concern themselves with other issues and concerns.

Here are some reports on the study:

TheGuardian.com

Consumer.HealthDay.com

MedicalNewsToday.com

HealthNewsReview.org

The following are the conclusions and implications of the study.  Just bear in mind that IHD (ischemic heart disease) is coronary artery disease; and CVD stands for cardiovascular disease:
Persons with high levels of health anxiety have about 70% increased risk of IHD relative to persons with lower levels after adjustments for established CVD risk factors, including lifestyle factors. This finding is of public health significance as IHD is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. If persons with high levels of health anxiety stay alert with the intention to better ‘control’ and ‘detect’ early signs of severe somatic diseases, it might contribute to unintentional harmful effects as the autonomous activation associated with anxiety in general likely is associated with increased risk of IHD. These findings illustrate the dilemma for clinicians between reassuring the patient that current physical symptoms of anxiety do not represent heart disease, contrasted against the emerging knowledge on how anxiety, over time, may be causally associated with increased risk of IHD. At best, this finding might encourage patients to seek treatment for health anxiety and to trust their heart.
So that 70% increased risk of developing heart disease was entirely irrelevant to any individual's other risk factors, including his or her lifestyle.  

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I close now with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

The little unit I was renting was located in a house situated on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

I worked just one day a week ─ usually a Friday; I served as a truck swamper on the blue pick-up truck of a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is today known as Fraserside Community Services Society.

Back then, they were located on Carnarvon Street.  The building doesn't exist anymore, but it was located right about where the New Westminster SkyTrain Station now extends out onto Carnarvon Street. 

Anyway, my bedtime the evening prior to this journal entry was 6:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, November 21, 1975

I got me up several minutes past 2:30 a.m.

32 days of postal striking!

This is as well my 24th day of abstinence.

It is now no less than 4:20 a.m.; I went to Bill's before my 12 laps, but his car wasn't there; nor when I checked after my jogging.  I need my brush!

I checked him out unsuccessfully more than a half hour later.

I shall drop off my welfare declaration on my way to S.A.N.E.

And what a lousy day I had.

Esther had other things to do, so all that was done was a substitute trip (Joe) to the dump.

I skipped lunch and hung about all day awaiting Esther's return from Vancouver.  

I was really impressed by how much I detest it at S.A.N.E.  I felt like one of the useless people, the mentally deficient; hell, it's how you get treated!  Boy, oh boy.

I was unable to phone Mark's till late in the day, and received no answer.  So, I must assume the Calgary trip was go, and hike on over.
I am unsure what abstinence I was referring to ─ possibly I was avoiding the snare of pornography, and the shame it generally brought on.

My old friend William Alan Gill lived in a bachelor suite, possibly three or four blocks from my room.  I had left my only hairbrush in his car or else his apartment the night before.

I had quite long and unruly hair, and possibly a bit of beard. 

The early laps I ran were done at the New Westminster Secondary School track.

My employment with S.A.N.E. was through an initiatives or incentives project they were involved in with New Westminster social services.

To continue being a part of the programme, I had to submit a monthly declaration to social services citing my need. 

Esther St. Jean was usually the driver of the pick-up truck.  She was a genial gal in her early 40s.  With her away and involved in something else, there was no one to drive the truck, although a chap by the name of "Joe" seems to have been available to take on that role, just to get a load taken to the dump. 

Did Esther finally return, or was I idle all that day?  I don't say.

S.A.N.E. sometimes took on a few mentally challenged people ─ apparently that day I was feeling like I was every bit one of them.

My brother Mark had left me a note the day before, saying that he, his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther, and her two little girls, were all going to Calgary to enjoy the Grey Cup festivities.  He wanted me to come over to where they were living in Whalley on Bentley Road and tend to their chained German shepherd Daboda in their absence.

I was far more active back then than I am nowadays!
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