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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Social Activities Slow Functional Decline in Elderly │ Inflammatory Markers IL-6 and CRP Help Predict Risk of Disease and Death │ Skip the Soy for Muscle Growth in Seniors

It was probably at least 11:30 p.m. when I made it to bed last night ─ my younger brother Mark was still sitting up, having newly regained consciousness from a pass-out spell in his chair in the living room.

He said that he was about ready to retire, too.  However, I was upstairs in my bedroom just as I heard Pote driving his older brother Tho's car into the open carport, and I correctly surmised that the girlfriend would be with him.

Mark had dallied just long enough for Pote's convenience ─ that is, the kid would not need to have to expend the effort of actually unlocking the front door in order to bring in his girlfriend for the night.

When Pote does this to me, it just infuriates me.  I hate being just about ready to lock the front door for the night when he suddenly shows up with his squeeze to share his bed.  It just seems to make things too easy for him.

I slept reasonably well until my left nasal passageway clogged shut around either 4:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m.  I had to endure the reduced breathing until I finally checked the time at 8:01 a.m. and decided to rise for the day.

I had experienced a most interesting dream that involved my wife Jack.  I cannot even begin to identify just where it was that we were.  It was somewhere very warm, and there was a bank of structures that seemed to have cabaña-like units occupied by mostly younger people.  

Beyond these was an expansive open area that may have led to a beach, and lots of people had settled themselves there to enjoy the sunshine.

We were in one of the canabaña-like units.  I cannot quite understand what it was that Jack had put on, but it was almost like a ultras-pale-skin white bodysuit with almost a tutu-like affair that had more of a droop to it in the style of a very short skirt.

Her legs looked unusually well-muscled.

Whether inadvertently or intentionally, she had bent over and provocatively teased me to such degree that any erectile dysfunction might otherwise have attended sexual activity with her was not even remotely likely to present itself.

But she then hustled off through the heavily populated open area and made her way towards what must have been the beach.

The effect of my response to her tantalization was remarkable.

One reason the dream proved so interesting is that last Saturday whilst napping, I had another dream involving her in which for ─ whatever reason ─ I was enjoying an unusual degree of arousal, and I indicated as much to her; but she did not bite and display any interest in taking me on to give me a test drive. 

I ought here to mention that my wife and I have not been intimate in over 3½ years.  We have drifted too far apart for various reasons I will not here explore.

Enough of dreams.

When I rose this morning, Pote was up.  He had already taken his girlfriend away, for she must have had to work.  But does he?  He drove off in his older brother Tho's car a little after 3:30 p.m. ─ was it to go to work for the evening at one of the two Guildford shops that employs him?

I do hope so.  I do not instead want for him to soon be back with his girlfriend.

The day has been another frigid experience for anyone outside in the ice and snow.  It had been sunny, but it slowly began clouding up.  We're supposed to get snow overnight and through tomorrow morning, and then the afternoon is supposed to develop into  "mixed precipitation" and actually be just above freezing.

By Monday and then Tuesday, still with some rain, the temperature is projected to climb as high as 6º Celsius.

Perhaps the snow and ice we have will be washing and melting away in the next several days.

I wish now to post just three more photos that were taken on (I think) October 30 when my wife Jack and some of her family visited the Ayutthaya ruins in Thailand.

There was obviously a functioning temple thereabouts.  The first two photos depict my wife Jack looking properly somber and even pensive:

And this is Jack's sister Lumpoon:


I have three unrelated topics to present in this section ─ all three just came to my attention this morning.

The first involves pet dogs and cats ─ specifically, four types of intestinal worms, and how to recognize their symptoms and how to deal with any infestations:


We have no pets, apart from some flashy-looking blue fish that looks like its got feathery plumes instead of fins.  I saw my youngest step-son Pote this morning on his knees apparently putting feed into a small glass tank that I didn't realize was occupied by anything.

I asked him about it, and he said that he's had it for maybe as long as two months!  This is the first I knew of it.

I suspect that it may be a Siamese fighting fish.  

I once asked my wife Jack if such fish existed in any waterways around where she grew up, and she averred that they did.  In fact, she said her sons had even caught them.

I guess they can be found in canals and larger ditches, and even rice paddies. 

The second item I have concerns olive oil.  I have before posted how prevalent fraud is concerning claims of such oil being 'extra virgin' or even just 'virgin.'

Well, it is even worse than I had imagined.
When it comes to olive oil, tests reveal anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of the olive oils sold in American grocery stores and restaurants are adulterated with cheap, oxidized, omega-6 vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil or peanut oil, or non-human grade olive oils, which are harmful to health in a number of ways.

Even "extra virgin" olive oil is often diluted with other less expensive oils, including hazelnut, soybean, corn, sunflower, palm, sesame, grape seed and/or walnut. These added oils will not be listed on the label, nor will most people be able to discern that their olive oil is not 100 percent pure.

Chances are, you’ve been eating poor quality olive oil so long — or you’ve never tasted a pure, high quality olive oil to begin with — you don’t even realize there’s something wrong with it.
Undoubtedly, that situation must exist in every country ─ not just America.

This is the article:


The final item concerns how dire things are looking for people in the States under President-elect Trump insofar as concerns GMO foods, and the increasing harmful chemicals used in agriculture to grow such foods.

The following is from OrganicConsumers.org
The list of corporate cronies who will soon run the new sad reality show in Washington DC gets uglier by the day.

Here’s one appointment that may have escaped your notice. Under the incoming Trump Administration, the CEO of the company that brought us Napalm, Agent Orange, Chlorpyrifos, 2,4-D and, along with Monsanto, GMO crops, will head up the “American Manufacturing Council.”

It’s a safe bet that Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical, won’t care one whit about how much poison his company unleashes on you and your food.

On December 10, President-Elect Donald Trump pulled Dow’s Liveris up on stage at the Deltaplex Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich., to announce that the head of the chemical giant will lead Trump’s “American Manufacturing Council.”

As the two men “showered each other with praise,” said a Wall Street Journal report, Liveris reportedly told the crowd, “I tingle with pride listening to you.”

Does Liveris “tingle with pride” over the fact that Dow’s Agent Orange killed more than 400,000 people during the Vietnam War? Or that more than a million people still suffer disabilities and chronic illness from exposure to Agent Orange?

Is Liveris proud that Dow continues to market chlorpyrifos, a chemical known to cause brain damage in kids, despite being ordered to pay a $2-million fine to the state of New York for illegally marketing this dangerous chemical as “safe?”

We know for a fact that Liveris is proud of Dow’s latest soy and corn crops, genetically engineered to withstand massive amounts of Enlist Duo, a toxic concoction made from Dow's 2,4-D and Monsanto’s glyphosate. Yep, Liveris is "tingling with pride” over Dow’s latest poison, even though the EPA estimates that once these crops are unleashed, kids ages 1 to 12 could consume levels of 2,4-D that the World Health Organization, Russia, Australia, South Korea, Canada, Brazil and China consider unsafe.

In a list of talking points drafted by Trump’s National Advisory Committee for Agriculture and Rural Issues, this was talking point #10:

"The Trump-Pence administration will use the best available science to determine appropriate regulations for the food and agriculture sector; agriculture will NOT be regulated based upon the latest trend on social media."

With Dow’s CEO in charge of the “American Manufacturing Council,” there’s no doubt that the so-called “best available science” will be as pro-poison and pro-GMO as it gets.

“We’ve got ideas and we’ve got plans,” Liveris told the cheering crowd in Grand Rapids.
Natural organic farming certainly appears to me to be distinctly threatened.


This does not bode too well for me at the age of 67, socially isolated as I am from all but those in my household:


Obviously only people with a vested interest in this area will bother with the subject matter, so I will leave it to you to pursue this or not.  The published study is Association Between Social Participation and 3-Year Change in Instrumental Activities of Daily Living in Community-Dwelling Elderly Adults (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.14447):
In conclusion, this community-based prospective study found that participation in a variety of social activities was associated with a lower rate of instrumental activities of daily living [IADL] decline in women but not men and that participating in hobby clubs was positively associated with independence in IADLs regardless of sex. Although these findings underscore the importance of encouraging community-dwelling elderly adults to participate in social activities suitable for their sex to maintain IADL ability through social participation [SP], clinicians need not only to pay attention to established health risk factors but also to be aware of inactive SP from the perspective of taking precautions against incipient functional decline.

Apparently the measurement of levels of a substance within us called α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) has been used as a biomarker for estimating the five-year risk of all-cause mortality (or death from any cause).

But a recent study has found something within us that is even better:



I am not that involved with doctors, so I wouldn't easily be able to request such testing ─ I don't even know if it would be done for free under my medical coverage.

Nevertheless, it is very interesting that there are such indicators within us that can be measured to project the likelihood of our death within even as few as three years.

As the study concludes:
We found no evidence that AGP is a stronger prognostic marker of mortality than the widely used inflammatory markers IL-6 and CRP. As in previous studies, elevated AGP was associated with 5-year mortality. However, even with this length of follow-up, it did not do better than IL-6 in predicting mortality. Our analyses of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer-related mortality suggest that IL-6 may be a better prognostic marker for all of these outcomes, in both the short and the long term.

Muscle-loss is a problem as people become older, but a protein-supplementation study offers encouragement.

Here are a couple of reports on the study:



Jack Harrison also had a few things to say about the study:


I wholeheartedly agree with his views on DuPont, and also soy ─ I will not knowingly consume it anymore.  I wish that I had not been as ignorant as I was in my younger years when I believed it to be wholesome.

However, I have some trouble with this claim that he made:
Those dairy proteins activate what's known as the mammalian target of rapamycin, or mTOR. I'm sure you've never heard of mTOR. Heck, your own doc may have never heard of it -- but that's what causes your muscles to suck up protein and pull out the amino acids they need to grow and recover.

The same study found that when soy comes calling, mTOR won't even answer the door.
I spent a fair while skimming through the full study to try and locate anything indicating that soy failed to activate mTOR and thus failed to stimulate muscle tissue to synthesize protein from the available amino acids provided by the protein supplements.

The closest I came to anything like that in the study was this:
Although both hyperaminoacidemia and mTORC1 signaling were similarly elevated between groups, only the WPI [whey protein isolate] group showed a statistically significant increase in FSR [fractional synthetic rate], our third primary outcome, during the Early period. This may have been because of the potentially superior ability of fast-acting whey protein compared with a PB [protein blend] to stimulate muscle protein synthesis in older adults. 
The soy was in the protein blend, whereas whey protein isolate was pure milk protein.  

It was thus identified that "fast-acting" whey protein was potentially superior to the soy-containing protein blend in stimulating muscle protein synthesis in older adults.


I must hasten to a close, for I am taking far too long with this post.

I finish 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 house I was renting the small affair in was located on Ninth Street, one or two houses up from Third Avenue.

I went to bed at 8:30 p.m. the evening prior to this entry.
WEDNESDAY, December 17, 1975

I'm having difficulty sleeping in.  

I enjoyed a WD in the early a.m.

I rose about 3:15 a.m.  I felt quite tired later.

I went to Safeway, where I met with Ken; my produce bill came to $13.93.

I completed typing up Jean a letter.

I lied down at 12:15 p.m. and napped, arising 2:30 p.m.

I finished typing another letter later on, to Terri.

I'll be abed at 8:00 p.m., I guess.

It turned out to be 8:15 p.m.  Big deal.
I didn't sound like I felt myself to be having much of a day.  

The "WD" was a wet dream.  I usually tried to differentiate between mere nocturnal emissions for which I had no memory of a dream, and those releases in which I did recall the dream.

If it truly was the latter, I rather wish that I had bothered to describe it a little.  I haven't had any nocturnal release in far too many years.  I miss it.

At Safeway, I could have meant at least a couple of guys named "Ken," so I won't try to guess now.  

The letters I typed were to American pen-pals:  Jean M. Martin (née Black) and Terri Martin ─ no relation to one another.
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