Wednesday, August 4

Information that can save your life UPDATED

I've updated the post to correct link problems with the articles I reference, and also revised the post to show updated remarks about kale and juicing.  


This post is to share links (and my comments) to online articles about some important health issues. Although the articles report on scientific research they are written for the public.  I think I've already published here a number of the reports, going back years. But we could all stand for a review.  All the websites I link to are 'safe.'  

Most of the articles relate to research about sleep. It turns out the body has a red line where sleep is concerned. But because we don't immediately drop dead when we cross the  line, we've assumed that we could get away with chronic loss of sleep. The scientists have been learning that instead of killing us outright the body finds workarounds to keep going that over time are devastating to mental and physical health. Just how devastating is a horror story, well told in the articles I'm sharing.

 If you read nothing else on the list, I hope you'll read the first one -- or listen to it; there's a video. What the sleep expert has to say will get you in the ballpark fast:

(What is "enough" sleep?  A minimum of seven hours.)  

"Those with diabetes, [and/or] frequent sleep problems were 87% more likely to die in the following 9 years."

I'd ignore the "six hour" minimum mentioned as "universally accepted" in the above report. The six hours is probably based on old research. Again, seven hours is the minimum. See Here’s What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep (And How Much You Really Need a Night) – Cleveland Clinic for a list of how much sleep is needed for each age group.    

The first article on the list explains why I'm including the one on early-onset dementia.

Of course they're stressed if they don't get enough sleep. I don't recall that the article mentions the age of the study participants but from the type of people in the study, I'd guess most if not all were in their early 20s.  From this article and others, it's looking as if early-onset dementia is an even bigger problem in the United States than the research on dementia shows at this time.   

"Cassia can contain relatively high concentrations of coumarin, a plant compound that can damage the liver. "

Please take special note of the advice in the article about research in general into spices and herbs for health benefits. 

I recall the story of the woman who'd heard a little nutmeg was good for health so she decided that more would even better for her.  She almost died. 

Spices and herbs and essential oils, no matter how 'natural,' must be taken with caution if they're used for therapeutic reasons. The article on cinnamon pounds home the point. Whether natural or made in a lab, they're all chemicals. 

Naomi Campbell, the supermodel, takes lavender pills for anxiety. But she would have the money to hire a nutritionist/herbalist to advise her.  

Speaking of overdosing on a good thing:  

"Four-and-a-half cups of chopped kale – the amount in 8 ounces of juice for a “cleanse” – can be lethal if your kidneys are weak."

The above sentence was deleted from the updated (2021) version of the article, which had been on the internet for years.  The article now reads, under point #3 ("You Can Damage Your Kidneys for those who have Kidney Disease") 
Fruits and vegetables are naturally wealthy causes of potassium, which is generally a good factor – the mineral plays a vital role in bloodstream pressure regulation, based on the American Heart Association. Your kidneys perform the important job of excreting excess potassium. For those who have chronic kidney disease (CKD), that function doesn’t act as well, and potassium can take shape in your bloodstream. As a result, you’ll need to limit your potassium intake, as a lot of mineral may cause harmful negative effects, including an irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrest, based on the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).
So the updated edited version is scaled back from those with "weak" kidneys to those with chronic kidney disease.    

This said, it's important to pay attention to your kidneys' needs. Here is a 2016 list from the National Kidney Foundation: 10 Common Habits That May Harm Your Kidneys | National Kidney Foundation. Sedentary people might want to take special note of Point 10
Sitting for long periods of time has now been linked to the development of kidney disease. Although researchers don’t know yet why or how sedentary time or physical activity directly impact kidney health, it is known that greater physical activity is associated with  improved blood pressure and glucose metabolism, both important factors in kidney health. 
And the takeaway from the article about juicing remains the same: Best to eat fruits and vegetables instead of drinking them.

It was news to me that there are 'good' bacteria in the mouth along with bad bacteria. So I wish the dentist who wrote the article had focused first on just getting across that the mouth has good bacteria. Even so, I found the article an important read, and a very surprising one. 

The big question is whether the 'good' mouth bacteria are killed by antibacterial preparations that kill bad bacteria.  Clearly the dentist who wrote the article thinks the answer is yes, and warns to stop using antibacterial mouthwashes. I assume his advice would also apply to antibacterial toothpaste and dental floss coated with antibacterial preparations. 

I note the maker of Listerine mouthwash has published an article that mentions there is both good and bad mouth bacteria -- but doesn't address whether its product kills good bacteria along with the bad stuff. (I've misplaced the link to the article.)

Anyhow, I learned from the dentist's article that protecting the good mouth bacteria is very important to health for a number of reasons that he details. I wish the dental and medical professions, as a whole, would emphasize this. No dentist or doctor ever told me that I have mouth bacteria I shouldn't kill. 

That's enough articles for now. More on the way soon.



Charles said...

Good evening,
Links only take me to Google account log in and then to blogger. Don’t go to articles…

Pundita said...

Charles, I have fixed the problem. Thank you very much for alerting me! I have also posted an updated version of the article on juicing, which omits the scary sentence about kale but which still presents scary info.