-John Wooden, retired UCLA basketball coach, 97 years old-
I started this blog as my own computer back-up for everything I learn about living a healthy happy long life.
I soon found out that there is no way I can capture everything that comes my way via podcasts, NPR, books, websites, newspapers and magazines with twice a week postings.
For a change of pace I'm backing up my brain by downloading the mass of swirling (but useful) health & happiness tips that have come my way this week. Instead of long posts, you're getting the "blog bytes".
So here goes:
- Take your multi-vitamin BEFORE YOUR LARGEST meal of the day. It's the most important vitamin you can take & it will lower your C-Reactive Protein levels after 6 months of use. From Dr. Mark Liponis, Medical Director of Canyon Ranch.
- Top 3 tips to prevent & treat eczema in children. 1. Take probiotics in pregnancy and while nursing. 2. Take omega-3 (especially DHA-at least 300 mg/a day) while pregnant and nursing. 150 mg/a day for kids after they stop nursing. 3. Switch to organic milk. Decreases eczema 36%. From Dr. Alan Greene, Clinical Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. These 3 tips reduce inflammation, reduce the hyper-immune response, and calm things down.
- Massaging scientific data to raise doubts about the adverse effects of toxic substances is a too-common strategy that's employed by industry to delay government regulation on questionable chemicals. From Sharon Begley of Newsweek, "Whitewashing Toxic Chemicals". Begley discusses George Washington University professor David Michael's new book, Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health. Hmm, who do you believe about the safety of bisphenol-A, Dr. Fred vom Saal or the American Chemistry Council?
- Breast-feeding makes for smarter kids! "Long and exclusive breast-feeding makes kids smarter", according to a study conducted by McGill University's Dr. Michael S. Kramer. Breast-feed for three months minimum, but one year or longer is best. It also bolsters kids' ability to handle psychosocial stress later in life., according to a study by Dr. Scott Montgomery. I'm a huge advocate of breast-feeding. There is no downside here.
- 2 great tips for getting yourself to do something you don't want to do. This comes from Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project. 1. Do it first thing in the morning. This absolutely works for me, and the relief of getting a difficult task out-of-the-way makes me feel on top of the world. 2. Remember: most decisions don't require extensive research. One choice isn't much different from another choice. I can move on. Sometimes being a research librarian can be a curse, and for me this advice is the biggest time-saver & mind-easer I can think of. It's absolutely true. Every time I make a decision without 5 hours of research reinforces the lesson that often "it doesn't make a difference!"
- The best sex lasts from 7 to 13 minutes. Read all about it in Newsweek's interview with Eric Corty of Penn State. His article appears in the May issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
- Three common medications may cause seniors to lose their thinking skills more quickly than those who don't take the medications. Zantac (ranitidine) for stomach acid; Detrol (tolterodine) for urinary incontinence; and Procardia or Adalat (nifedipine) for high blood pressure are all anticholinergics. And anticholinergics interfere with acetylcholine, a chemical that enhances communication between nerve cells in the brain. "These results were true even in older adults who have normal memory and thinking abilities," study author Dr. Kaycee M. Sink said. "For older adults taking a moderately anticholinergic medication, or two or more mildly anticholinergic medications, their function was similar to that of someone three to four years older." Something to seriously consider if you have an older relative taking any of these commonly prescribed medications.
- Low vitamin D may boost the risk of depression in seniors. Does this mean you'll be happier if you retire to Florida? One more reason to get a baseline test of your vitamin D level with the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D test.
- Three motivating pieces of advice to get you out of a rut & forging ahead: 1. Taking risks is the only way to get more out of life than you are currently getting. 2. Hard work is the greatest "talent" any of us can ever possess, and there is no substitute. 3. Go after your dream now, and don't wait for the "some day" to arrive, because the "some day" only comes when you reach out to grab it. From Caroline Adams Miller.
- Two CocoaVia chocolate bars a day lowered cholesterol & blood pressure. Cholesterol dropped because of the plant sterols in the bars, and blood pressure dropped because of the flavanols in the chocolate. It was a well designed study out of the University of Illinois and I'm not going to dispute this science. I love these bars, but at 90 calories a bar I have to be careful. They are addicting. But if you need a chocolate fix, why not lower your cholesterol and blood pressure while you indulge?