Archive for the ‘general’ Category

Dr. Levy in Slo-Mo?

With some guests I can get engrossed in what they are saying and fail to translate and summarize as often as I should, especially when they get on a roll. I think that was the case with Tom Levy, MD when he was on HBN May 17. So, I thought it might be useful to do a written review.

First, some news about Dr. Levy. The brighter doctors are, the more likely they are to see problems with dogma and create better ideas. Therefore, they are also more likely to get crosswise with the establishment which desperately wants to maintain its profitable status quo.  In doing a search for a photo of Dr. Levy, I was saddened but not at all surprised to discover that mainstream medical practitioners did not approve of Dr. Levy’s innovative Covid treatment method using nebulized hydrogen peroxide. In March, the Colorado Medical board even censured him for spreading what they claim is “misinformation”. Like so many others, that board sticks to the government party line and censors those with other ideas. Never mind that he has witnessed cures with this method. (It safely helped me.) I agree with his quote from when he responded to a CBS Colorado affiliate about the censure: “That’s not authority, that’s authoritarianism.” Right on! Read my article about what constitutes a quack.

Interview review:

We began by discussing the spike protein that is a scary aspect of the Covid-19 virus and can be chronic. As a cardiologist, Dr. Levy is all too aware of the health risk that spike protein causes by creating clots in the circulatory system and causing inflammation of the heart muscle which was previously quite rare. It is also a grave concern that the so-called covid “vaccines” which tell our cells to manufacture spike protein. (“Long covid” seems to be characterized by continuing high levels of spike protein and chronic conditions they cause.) Although covid spike proteins have been found in every tissue in the body, they seem especially attracted to the heart tissue where the damage can be quite serious and even fatal. Some heart conducts signals (e.g. when to beat). When that is damaged is when you see something like athletes (who likely have a compounding rush of adrenaline) dropping dead on the field from major heart arrythmias. Spike protein also attacks blood vessels creating clots which can obviously lead to heart attack and stroke. Oxidation therapies seem to help people at least feel better. However, the spike protein can reappear later out from hiding or because it has continued to be made in cells. So, treatment may need to be repeated.

Virtually all diseases at the most fundamental cellular level are oxidative problems—where there is a problem with the electrons. The oxidative therapies (antioxidant supplements like vitamin C, ozone, hyperbaric oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet radiation of the blood, etc.) fix those by restoring electron balance. Dr. Levy said that vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide are great partners.

Oops, that is only ½ way through the information-rich interview, but I’m out of both space and time, so I will continue next week. Sorry.

TAKE A HIKE! (Well, at least a walk…)

By now, surely everyone knows that exercising is good for whatever ails you. It is less well-known that you don’t have to join a gym, squeeze into yoga pants, or even buy fancy running shoes (Nike will survive)—just walk. As you will see, I’ve assembled this blog on that subject from 3 main sources (one has several references).

Newspaper online. An article in the New York Times is my favorite source this time. It said “Walking after a meal, conventional wisdom says, helps clear your mind and aids in digestion. Scientists have also found that going for a 15-minute walk after a meal can reduce blood sugar levels, which can help ward off complications such as Type 2 diabetes. But, as it turns out, even just a few minutes of walking can activate these benefits. The best news was that as little as a 2 to 5-minute walk after dinner can have positive effects.” Now we are getting to something even lazy bums like me can manage! This link is to the NYT article, but note, you likely have to register to read it .

AARP Magazine – The AARP article itself has just flat disappeared. So, I went to their website and found this info: “Walking 9,800 Steps a Day May Cut Dementia Risk in Half–Faster pace, even with fewer steps, may also offer brain benefits, research suggests. A new study finds that older adults who got in just under 10,000 steps a day — 9,800, to be exact — were 50 percent less likely to develop dementia. Even those who racked up 3,800 daily steps saw a 25 percent reduction in risk.” (hmm…maybe if I had been walking more I would know where the stupid article is).

Chat GPT – April 13, 2023, I used Bing’s artificial intelligence (AI) app to help write a blog about chocolate. This one seems better. By the way, many folks are worried that computers / robots are going to take over the world and dominate (or even eliminate) humans like the HAL 9000 did in the movie, 2001 A Space Odyssey. The AI utility is really quite amazing. But, I want to point out that by simply using a FREE AI app, I am not supporting research into making the robots more powerful. What follows below, unless in bracketed [italics], or my closing paragraph is Chat GPT’s research and text. I only did some minor formatting:

INTRO: Walking is one of the simplest and most accessible forms of exercise. It is a low-impact activity that can be done almost anywhere and requires no special equipment. Walking has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. In this article, we will explore some of the benefits of walking and discuss the research that supports these claims.

Physical benefits of walking

  1. Improved cardiovascular health – Walking is a great way to improve cardiovascular health. It increases heart rate and strengthens the heart and lungs, reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. According to the American Heart Association, walking for at least 30 minutes a day can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease.
  2. Weight management – Walking is an effective way to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), walking burns calories and can help you maintain a healthy weight. A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that walking for 30 minutes a day can lead to a significant reduction in body fat and body weight.
  3. Improved bone health – Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that helps to strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, walking can help to improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures.
  4. Improved joint health – Walking is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints. It can help to reduce joint pain and stiffness, especially in people with arthritis. A study published in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy found that walking can improve joint mobility and reduce pain in people with knee osteoarthritis.

Mental health benefits of walking

  1. Reduced stress and anxiety – Walking is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. It releases endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, walking can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
  2. Improved cognitive function – Walking can help to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia. According to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, walking for at least 30 minutes a day can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Improved mood – Walking can help to improve mood and reduce the risk of depression. According to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, walking for at least 30 minutes a day can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
  4. Increased creativity – Walking can help to increase creativity and boost productivity. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, walking can help to improve creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

AI’s Conclusion[I deleted the AI conclusion because it was just repetitive and dull. The research the bot did was useful but I think I should have asked it to make the “article” more concise and entertaining…I will experiment with that if there is a next time]

AI Supplied Sources:

  1. American Heart Association: Walking for a Healthy Heart
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Walking: A Step in the Right Direction
  3. Journal of Physical Activity and Health: Walking for Weight Loss: The Pedometer as an Indicator of Physical Activity
  4. National Osteoporosis Foundation: Exercise for Strong Bones
  5. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy: The Effects of Walking on Joint Mobility, and Pain in Older Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis
  6. Erickson, K. I., Hillman, C. H., & Kramer, A. F. (2015). Physical activity, brain, and cognition. Current opinion in behavioral sciences, 4, 27-32. doi: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.01.005

My final addition: I (the human, Martie) came across an interesting study which says that taking that walk out in nature (or even just being there) can reduce the need for psychotropic, anti-hypertensive and asthma medication.


STROKE of luck?

The risk of having a stroke should not be left to chance. 795,000 Americans a year are not lucky in that regard and 137,000 of them do not get a second chance at prevention (or anything else). These days, strokes are happening to folks as young as 20 and more often to women. High blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and smoking are some of the risk factors. I used an article in the May Costco Connection as a resource for this blog, but I believe that some of my research went above and beyond the call of duty—I actually experienced a stroke*.

When a clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain (ischemic stroke), that part of it no longer works. The same can occur from a ruptured blood vessel in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). All the things that we discuss (nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle improvements) to support cardiovascular health are protective in both cases. One common cause of blockage strokes is heart clots due to a heart rhythm abnormality, atrial fibrillation (a-fib). As explained in the footnote, please take this seriously.

ACT QUICKLY if you see or experience signs of a stroke. (Get medical help! Now is not the time to start an herb program.)  Mayo Clinic lists these signs:

  • Trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying.
  • Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg.
  • Problems seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Headache. (sudden and severe)
  • Trouble walking. (dizziness or a loss of coordination)

F.A.S.T.” is a shorthand easy to remember reminder:

  • Facial droop on one side
  • Arm or leg weakness
  • Speech difficulties
  • Time (if these first three are present, it is time to call 911 immediately) [besides the help you get in the ambulance, the hospital is notified to be ready for your needs.]

I wish you good luck, but also urge you to avoid stroke risks and know the signs to help yourself and others around you.

*PERSONAL “RESEARCH” For decades, I very occasionally experienced an uncomfortable rapid heart rate that made me feel a little weak and lightheaded. Not until I finally saw a cardiologist did I learn that the symptom was due to atrial fibrillation (a-fib) discussed above. My cardiologist said that the occasional fast beat and irregular heart rhythm was not in itself very serious but still suggested a medical procedure, ablation, to make it stop. Ablation uses freezing or burning to scar part of the heart. That sounded just too extreme and permanent. I had long been accustomed to finding the cause of problems and using natural remedies. So, when the episodes became longer and more frequent, I started a diary to see if I could figure out the trigger. Patterns did seem to develop around several things such as stress, alcohol, sugar, dehydration, low magnesium, etc. However, watching those things did not totally solve the problem. One episode instead of lasting just hours, lasted a week. During that time, I was eating lunch on the couch and coughed. Luckily, husband Bill heard me and came to see if I needed the Heimlich maneuver. I had trouble telling him that I was just trying to cough up some juice I inhaled from an apple I was eating. He later told me that I was leaning to one side, and he became concerned. Luckily, he knew the signs of stroke and asked me to raise my arms. When my left one would not go up, we both knew it was time to call 911. Luckily, the ambulance arrived in 5 minutes and gave me stroke first aid on the way to the hospital which luckily was only 5 minutes away. More luck—the closest hospital is a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center. So, within 30 minutes of being on the couch identifying the stroke, I had surgery to remove the clot in my brain. While, as you can see, my event was probably preventable and a whole lot of luck (or divine help) was involved, along with fast action were reasons that I have no lingering effects from that major stroke. Also key, within days I received Infiniti Matrix therapy. I know that helped heal the damage before it could become permanent. Since then, I wisely decided to put aside my visceral resistance to pharmaceuticals in favor of staying alive and now regularly take a medication (flecainide) that reliably prevents a-fib.

Blood pressure—we do want some

May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month. You may not know if yours is in a safe range or not, but if you are reading this, you do have some.

There is a common term “what goes up must come down”. That applies to things affected by gravity but not necessarily to blood pressure. Blood pressure can go higher than normal and increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidneys and damage to the brain. It will likely stay high if nothing is done to bring it down. Most often, that “something” is medication…sometimes more than one and they can save the day. However, remember that pharmaceuticals are omnidirectional. That means they force a process one direction, e.g. blood pressure only down and if overdone, could send it to zero! Obviously, having NO blood pressure would be more than inconvenient because of the death problem.  Even lowering the blood pressure of seniors to the alleged ideal (120 / 80 which is appropriate for a 40-year-old) can cause brain problems. (Read more.) Natural approaches have a much greater chance of encouraging blood pressure into the normal range. The Mayo Clinic offers these 10 ways to control blood pressure without drugs. Our fine sponsor Kyolic has an excellent article on natural approaches to blood pressure management. The wonderful thing is that these steps can help prevent other diseases and make you feel better in the process.

The following was taken from the HBN Library article on cardiovascular health.  “By using diet and lifestyle adjustments instead [of medication], folks would be spared not only the known side effects of the drugs, but also surprise problems from interactions with their other medications. LINK. Natural remedies for high blood pressure such as fish oil and magnesium offer added protection for many other health issues. Celery Seed Extract is another good choice. LINK.

I wrote specifically about blood pressure in this post.  One of the first supplements I think to recommend is Kyolic Formula #109 and their website explains why:

“Supplements. If you’re looking for additional support, reinforcing your BP health with a few targeted supplements can be a smart move. One supplement in particular, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE), has been scientifically shown to lower blood pressure while improving arterial stiffness, inflammation, and gut microbial composition. In a 2018 study, participants with uncontrolled hypertension who were given a daily AGE supplement for 12 weeks saw a significant drop in both systolic and diastolic pressure compared to those who got the placebo.11 Better still, a 2021 clinical trial that paired AGE supplementation with regular exercise enhanced the supplement’s blood pressure-lowering effects even further.12

But AGE isn’t the only supplement that can lower pressure. Research suggest that two additional nutrients, nattokinase and l-theanine, may also have a positive effect on preventing and treating hypertension. Fortunately, you can get all three in one convenient supplement with Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Formula 109.”

Satisfying sweet tooths (teeth?)

Does it seem that the more sweets you eat the more you want? Well, it really does work that way for at least couple of reasons. One is that when your blood sugar spikes because of a sugar load, insulin brings it down but it can over-compensate. Then, when your blood sugar is low (hypoglycemia), survival instincts kick in and tell you to get blood sugar back up. (At that point, celery just won’t do the job.) Another reason is that a regular diet of sweets and refined carbohydrates encourages an overgrowth of yeast. Yeasts have a sneaky way of sending your brain messages to eat more of what they like. (They basically order their lunch.)

“Lemonade” conjures up wholesome images of grandma pouring you an icy glass on the porch of the old farmhouse on a warm summer day. However, research shows that lemonade along with other sweet drinks are linked to early death in type 2 diabetics.

It is easier to be fooled into eating more sugar than you think that you are because it is in so many of grocery items and goes by so many names: cane sugar, beet sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Then there is fructose, dextrose, glucose and other names ending in “ose”. If a word ends in “ol” it is a non-caloric sugar substitute that is a sugar alcohol. Examples include sorbitol, maltitol and mannitol. One, xylitol, is valued because it is antimicrobial. Science has recently suggested (but not proven) that frequent consumption of another sugar alcohol, erythritol, may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. (I checked the actual study to see if it was funded or influenced by the competing sugar industry. It was not directly. This article details the errors in that study.) Excess intake of most any sugar alcohol at one sitting may cause gas and a loose stool. I still think those are preferred to the chemical artificial sweeteners like Splenda® (sucralose), NutraSweet® (aspartame), and saccharin.

Natural is still better. I like the herbal sweetener, Stevia which has health benefits and Monk fruit (also sometimes called “lo han guo” or just “lo han”).

Craving something sweet? Maybe eat an apple or a date so you get some fiber and other nutrients.

Too bad your dentist can’t fix a “sweet tooth”

I did a quick internet search for the origin of “sweet tooth”. reported “The phrase has been used in English for hundreds of years, since the late fourteenth century, and it comes from toothsome, an even older word meaning ‘delicious or tasty’. This sense of tooth standing in for taste gave rise to sweet tooth, or ‘particularly enjoying sweet tastes.’”

We probably always knew there wasn’t just a tooth to blame for sweet cravings. And it is not surprising that the origin goes back to the 13th century. Actually, the cravings themselves most likely go back to early humans. Think about it. If we were not genetically programed to seek foods with some sweetness, our species might have eaten only leaves and died off thousands of years ago from starvation. Foods with a bit of sweetness in the flavor, like nuts, root vegetables and obviously fruits, have more calories and other nutrients.

Unfortunately, modern food technology and product availability have thrown us a big curve. These days, we are much more likely to die from the effects of obesity than starvation. Although in the past, thanks to industry lobbying not science, the government blamed fat in the diet instead of sugar. If we understand the science as alluded to in this authoritative article by the Harvard School of Public Health, sugar intake should be controlled to reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease. (I might add: diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s.)

Americans eat more sugar than any other population on the planet! (Yay us? Is it a coincidence that we also pay more for sickness care?) Most estimates have us eating well over 100 pounds a year on average. And, since that average includes some people who eat no sugar, other folks must eat boatloads. Probably few people have a sugar bowl on the table and must refill it every two days. Most of the intake is hidden in foods and beverages. Even an apple contains sugar, but I doubt that anyone is getting fat eating apples. The biggest offenders are not naturally occurring sugars like that but rather refined sugar added to beverages. Examples of sugar in these: 12 ounces of Dr. Pepper = 10 teaspoons, Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino® or Monster Energy drink = 14 teaspoons (almost a quarter cup). Look up your personal beverage temptation on this website. Of course, we all know that candy, cookies, cakes, donuts, pies, and ice cream are sources of sugar. But it is important to read labels on catsup, BBQ sauce, salad dressing, yogurt, peanut butter, chicken pot pies…well, everything. Little by little it adds up. Learn more about sugar on this page in our Library.

At the market, I was inspired to do this blog when another customer (who said that her husband is diabetic) asked me about a brand of bread that had the least sugar. I think we are better off without bread in general, but at least this variety of Dave’s bread had good organic ingredients, decent fiber, low  sugar content and is sliced thin.

If your sweet tooth is getting you into trouble, know that there is hope. Stopping cold turkey can cause withdrawal symptoms. Reducing gradually may be easier. Be of good cheer—after  you are off for a week, it becomes much easier to resist sugar. Yes, you still know it tastes good but it doesn’t have power over you. I ran across a supplement product that, based on my experience in the past with its ingredients, should help reduce cravings.  (I’ve never used this particular one, so I can’t say for sure.)


I have been curious about AI (artificial intelligence) being used to write articles (and term papers!). So, just for fun, I thought I’d give it a try on a topic of general interest but where no great harm would be done if the robot got the info wrong. (E.g. I wouldn’t ask a bot for help with D.I.Y. brain surgery!) Except for italic text, the following blog was written by Microsoft’s Bing AI. Since we’ve just been through the seasons of chocolate hearts and chocolate bunnies, I picked this subject. I started by asking the benefits. AI automatically added the link.

Chocolate has several health benefits. It contains flavanols like epicatechin and catechin, as well as anthocyanins and phenolic acids which help protect your cells from inflammation, improve your brain function, and boost your immune and cardiovascular health1.

Some of the benefits of eating chocolate include:

  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Preventing cognitive decline
  • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems
  • Appetite control
  • Improved memory
  • Mood elevation
  • Treating cough and cold
  • Smooth functioning of the nervous system
  • Stress relief
  • Improved vision
  • Increased energy
  • Protecting against sunburn
  • Curing diarrhea

MW: I believe that some of the benefit of chocolate comes from the magnesium it contains. Knowing that there had been some recent news about contamination in dark chocolate, I asked a separate AI question about that and it came up with these two links but no wraparound thoughts of its own:

MW: Well, this was fun and it did save a little time. Sadly, I must use that time to see if I can gain some control of my emails. (After getting my Outlook reinstalled by tech support, it immediately downloaded 3,340! emails that apparently backed up on the server while the program was not working. I can easily delete half, but will have to at least look at them to decide that.)

Breathing can be good for your health!

Yes, I know…you’ve been breathing regularly all your life. But…there is more to that story.

This week’s blog is an extension of last week’s, Think your way to better health! Thinking about our breathing helps our health in many ways as is pointed out in the following article by Andrew Shepherd, DC. Also, check out what I added at the bottom about a simple but effective breathing technique.

“Proper breathing decreases the risk of disease AND improves immune system strength! It also can:

✅Reduce stress levels in your body
✅Lower your heart rate
✅Lower your blood pressure
✅Improve diabetic symptoms
✅Reduce depression
✅Better manage chronic pain
✅Better regulate your body’s reaction to stress and fatigue

Many people are “shallow breathers” as a reaction to environmental stressors.

Breathing in a shallow way keeps the body in a cyclical state of stress; stress causing shallow breathing and shallow breathing causing stress. This activates the sympathetic nervous system which then keeps the body in constant “fight or flight” mode. That’s why shallow breathing in the long run can have serious health consequences. 

According to John Luckovich, an Integrative Breathwork Facilitator in Brooklyn, NY, ‘the chronic stress that is associated with shallow breathing results in lower amounts of lymphocyte, a type of white blood cell that helps defend the body from invading organisms and lowers the amounts of proteins that signal other immune cells. The body is then susceptible to contracting acute illness, aggravating pre-existing medical conditions, and prolonging healing times. It is also a precursor for cardiovascular issues’. (Source: Headspace)

This is important information with the contagious diseases that pop up in the news.

Working on proper breathing techniques will calm the sympathetic nervous system and keep you less susceptible to illness and disease. 

It’s also important to note that chiropractic adjustments will help reduce the stress on your nervous system and facilitate relaxation in the body which will allow you to take fewer breaths per minute. 

Practicing proper breathing techniques AND getting adjusted regularly are two of the best things you can be doing for your health.” 

Martie adds this: As noted above, simply focusing on your breathing can reduce stress and it can help with sleep (better than counting sheep). I like a technique called “box” or “square” breathing that is said to be used by Navy Seals, professional athletes, nurses and police officers when they are anticipating a stressful event. Here are instructions from the Cleveland Clinic for that technique:.

  1. Breathe out slowly, releasing all the air from your lungs.
  2. Breathe in through your nose as you slowly count to four in your head. …
  3. Hold your breath for a count of four.
  4. Exhale for another count of four.
  5. Hold your breath again for a count of four.
  6. Repeat for three to four rounds.

I think it is pretty cool that there is something so powerful for health that is FREE and has no unpleasant side effects. Thank you, Dr. Shepherd for writing about this fundamental health factor.


Dr. Shepherd’s Sources:

  • Front Hum Neurosci. 2018; 12: 353.
  • Am J Hypertens. 2009 Dec;22(12):1326-31. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2009.184. Epub 2009 Oct 1.
  • JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Mar;174(3):357-68. doi: 10.1001 /jamainternmed .2013.13018.
  • Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Nov;1056:242-52.

Think your way to better health!

Does that sound silly? It should not since you know at the least what you think determines your actions. Your actions can obviously either build health (e.g. go for a walk in nature) or destroy it (e.g. swallow a back alley discount pain killer that turns out to contain fentanyl).

Beyond that, the brain tells the body what to do. (Has your brain ever told your stomach to do a sickening flip when you found out that you would have to give a speech?) In many and marvelous ways that we may not even notice, the brain controls the body. Surprisingly, mainstream science acknowledges the power of the mind. As you may know, they factor in the placebo effect in studies. That, of course is when simply the belief that a therapy will provide help itself causes improvement. Not as well known, there is a corresponding negative—the nocebo effect…i.e. thinking that a therapy will cause harm results in a negative health outcome.

The world of mind/body medicine is rich in connections between thought or emotions and how the physical body reacts. As an example, one of Healthy by Nature’s revered sponsors, the late Gus Kotsanis, MD, told me that he had a very hard time helping people overcome cancer until they stopped harboring anger and resentment. Below are a few more thoughts on the power of the mind:

  • Heart health. In her interview this week about Women’s Heart Health, Sherry Torkos gave her 7 steps for prevention of heart disease and 2 where related to attitude:

1. Be optimistic. Research conducted in over 97,000 women found that optimists have lower rates of heart disease.

7. Stress less and laugh more. Stress is a major risk factor for heart disease, especially in women. Laughing relaxes and expands blood vessels, which protects the heart.

  • Speaking of stress, it shows up in the mirror. You might see a noticeable difference in your appearance in photos taken on vacation compared to one from a work meeting. I like this quote from the late humorist Erma Bombeck, “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”
  • Mindfulness. The University of California, Berkely defines the term this way “Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.” There are many benefits attributed to mindfulness and books and even magazines at the grocery checkout counter about it.

* Many practitioners recommend meditation as a kind of extra purposeful mindfulness. I suspect that prayer has the same calming benefits (in addition the expectation that the prayer will be answered).

* A simple but proven example of mindfulness is to focus on a meal and enjoy various aspects of it and notice how it makes you feel. That may result in more satisfaction and a delay in wanting more food…and cumulatively in weight loss.

* In a practical sense, it is also paying attention. Too often we are distracted, e.g. by phones. How many times do we “forget” a name or where we parked, but rather had paid no attention to begin with? Also, obviously, accidents happen when we are not tuned in. Case in point…one evening I was getting ready to use my Waterpik® flosser, but was thinking about something else when I clicked on the motor before putting the tip in my mouth. I was brought back to the present by a blast of water in my face.

  • Gratitude. My 11/23/22 blog was a somewhat personal piece on gratitude. In it I noted that “On I searched the database for ‘gratitude and health’. I got back 1,261 results!” (Today that number is up to 1,326 and articles cover a great many health issues.) That blog also had this quote: “A deliberate change in perspective can turn annoyances into reasons to be grateful. It is like the quote from Abraham Lincoln, ‘We can complain that rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.’ A practical application—If my errands are slowed down by road construction, I remind myself that I’m lucky to live in an area that even has paved roads and that my city works to fix them”. Also “Happiness is not having what you want, it is appreciating what you have.”

EXPECT health because you get more of what you focus on.

D is Dramatic

The consequences of vitamin D deficiency are indeed dramatic and not at all good. For far too long (according to Jeff Bowles, since the 1930’s), vitamin D has been underrated and even unfairly disparaged apparently to avoid distracting from drug approaches to health. We won’t be able to give the sunshine vitamin its due here, but let’s make a start with a few facts:

  • A very large and lengthy study showed that low levels of vitamin D are associated with greater incidence of dementia. Blood test levels told the story. Those with levels of 25(OH)D at <25 nmol/L [low!] were half again as likely to experience a stroke or dementia as compared to those with 50–75.9 nmol/L [more favorable level]” There are many possible ways in which vitamin D can help the brain, including improving circulation and reducing inflammation.
  • A controlled trial showed that daily supplementation with 5000 IU vitamin D3 reduces influenza-like illness in healthcare workers. [Note that the FDA recommends supplementing only 800 IU of vitamin D and pegs the safe upper limit at 4,000.]
  • Randomized controlled trials showed that vitamin D3 supplementation was associated with a 33% lower risk of COVID-19 infection that ended in death within 30 days. (Dark skinned individuals received more benefit from supplementation.) One possible reason for th benefit is that vitamin D seems to dampen the cytokine storm [immune over reaction] that can be deadly. The other type of vitamin, D2 did not provide statistically significant results. Dosages ranged from 20 IU [why bother?] to 50,000 IU [that’s what I take when infection threatens]. Sometimes hospitals use ultra-high inject-able doses of another form.
  • A ten-year study of more than 12,000 older adults found that those taking vitamin D supplements were 40 percent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia during that time frame. The association was somewhat stronger in women likely due to D’s relationship to estrogen.

The unwelcome costs of low vitamin D levels include high blood pressure, arthritis, infection, kidney disease, immune system problems, respiratory diseases, osteoporosis, and diabetes to name a few. [No, I do not sell vitamin D or even have a sponsor that does. I’m just a believer!] Learn more about vitamin D from this page in the HBN Library.