Archive for category food + health

Covid-19 funnies and wise words

Thank God for a sense of humour. I was glad of the wise words, and of the funnies to lighten things up. It can get pretty heavy these days, can’t it?

From LinkedIn
From LinkedIn. If you own this, let me know.

When Martin Luther was dealing with The Black Death plague, he wrote these wise words that can help inform the way we approach things happening in our world right now…”I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.” Luther’s Works Volume 43 pg 132 the letter “Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague” written to Rev. Dr. John Hess

From LinkedIn. If you own this, let me know.

Advice to teens on Covid-19

France’s quarantining of the entire country shows the drastic measures that may need to be taken in other countries, too, if people do not take adequate precautions early enough.

From LinkedIn (sorry, couldn’t find the original; if you own this, let me know)

In a press briefing on March 11, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the event a pandemic. He also said,  “WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.”

Read the rest of this entry »

COVID-19 Corona virus update

the risk is … to the whole society, yet the solution depends not on society but on the individual.”

UPDATE: Armageddon ou Foutaise? Dr. Ph. Devos

Japan confirmed cases = 839 (not including the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”), just over half of the UK numbers (1,395) and 15% of France’s (5,437) (from Johns Hopkins )

Multilingual Hotlines have been set up in Japan for the major non-Japanese populations.

The Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare website shows a slight decrease in the number of new cases since March 10th, but there was a similar drop the previous week, and it spiked up again on March 10th. (I notice there are just 5 columns per week. Wait. Is that Mon-Fri? The website today Monday March 16th are for March 13th, so we’ll have to wait until they process the weekend numbers.)

UPDATE: The website numbers are out of date.

Health authorities in Japan reported 63 new cases of coronavirus infection on Saturday — the highest daily increase excluding those linked to the cruise ship Diamond Princess.

The officials say the number of cases confirmed in the country reached 773 on Saturday.

The figure does not include 697 people from the US-operated cruise ship or 14 others who returned on chartered flights from China.

Another death was reported on Saturday, raising the tally to 22 in Japan and 7 others from the cruise liner.

Japan sees record daily new coronavirus cases

Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare 16 March 2020

but the number of cumulative cases continues to rise.

Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare 16 March 2020

There are a number of live streams of updated data on YouTube. This one says ” The numbers on screen is based on combination of government announcement and news media”, so the usual caveat applies: do your own research.

This is not Armageddon or the end of humanity, the Apocalypse or any other doomsday prediction. As this Belgian doctor wrote, “We’re not all going to die. In the worst-case scenario, 0.4% of the Belgian population will die, the great majority of which will be among those over 80. Stop the madness already!”

Nous n’allons pas tous mourir : dans le pire scenario, 0,4% des Belges mourront, en large majorité dans les plus de 80 ans. Arrêtez la psychose. 

UPDATE: Armageddon ou Foutaise? Dr. Ph. Devos

He updated on March 8th with this, which I think is sensible (my rough translation): “I hope to convince the country to try and limit the infections to 500 per million inhabitants. To achieve this, individual behaviour will be more effective than mass measures. It may be difficult for some to remain quietly at home when they get a slight fever; some may find it difficult to wash their hands at least 5 times a day, and some cannot imagine not shaking hands with anyone. And yet it can be done. And if we do not do these things, we will be forcing the government to take drastic measure such as we see in Lombardy (N. Italy). I ask everyone to consider their personal responsibility: the risk is not merely to individuals but to whole the society, yet the solution depends not on society but on the individual.”

Je préfère pour ma part agir en amont et convaincre la population pour tenter de ne pas atteindre les 500 contaminés par millions d’habitants. Pour cela le comportement individuel sera plus déterminant que les mesures de masse. Rester cloîtré chez soi alors qu’on fait une petite fièvre sera difficilement acceptable pour de nombreuses personnes. Se laver les mains plus de 5 fois par jour sera également difficile pour beaucoup. Même ne plus serrer une main semble inconcevable pour certains. Pourtant cela peut marcher. Et si on ne le fait pas, on obligera le gouvernement à prendre des mesures drastiques telles que celle que l’on voit en Lombardie. Je demande à chacun de réfléchir à la responsabilité qu’il veut porter : le danger n’est pas au niveau de l’individu, il est collectif. Par contre le gros de la solution n’est pas collective, elle est individuelle. 

UPDATE: Armageddon ou Foutaise? Dr. Ph. Devos


Japan Corona-virus (COVID-19) update

From the homepage of the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare:

It’s difficult to make sense of these numbers:

As of 12:00, Mar. 13, 602 cases have been confirmed.

About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

But just below that is another chart that says 714 tested positive. There is a time difference of 6 hours, but surely that would not account for 112 cases. But the 714 figure does not include those on the cruise ship! Including those, total comes to 1,371 with 28 deaths.

According to government sources, total infections and deaths globally are “129,676 infectious cases and 4,941 deaths“.

  • China – 80,813
  • Italy – 12,839
  • Iran – 10,075
  • South Korea – 7,979
  • France – 2,876
  • Germany – 2,369
  • Japan – 1,371
  • UK – 590

(Summary Version) Basic Policies for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control[103KB] PDF in English.

Present immigration restrictions (PDF in English). Restrictions apply to people from some Chinese provinces, to Korea, and to Iran. But not to Italy! Wha…? Italy has almost double the infections of S Korea. Go figure.

Meat-less meat?

In Neal Stephenson’s excellent novel “The Diamond Age” (read my Goodreads review of it here), nano-technology has advanced to allow almost free creation of the basics of life, such as food, created in  Matter Compilers.

Well, just as Harry Potter’s moving pictures are now standard on smartphones, so science is quickly catching up with Stephenson’s idea of food-making matter compilers, as discussed in this illustrated review of a book called Meat Planet.

Barefoot shoes! (Not April Fool’s)

Barefoot running shoes? Are you serious??!? Yes. They exist. They sell on Amazon (and elsewhere). And they’re apparently great for you.

A kind reader recently sent me an email with a link to her  very interesting article, 15 Health Benefits of Barefoot Running Shoes, According to Science (+8 Tips for Beginners).

She’d spotted my blog post on the subject, written almost exactly 8 years ago, which asked if running shoes are a waste of time (and money), and referred to a Daily Mail article on Mexican runners who performed outstanding athletic feets (Stop it! -Ed.) Sorry, feats, while running in sandals or bits of rubber tires tied on with string. According to 15 Health Benefits of Barefoot Running Shoes, professional athletes do not use them all the time, but mainly when recovering from injuries.

I was so impressed with the list of benefits that I bought a pair of barefoot running shoes on the spot. Perhaps they will inspire me to return to my jogging regime.

The article mentioned Achilles tendinitis, which I suffered from as a child, tho I don’t remember ever being told the name of the problem. At the time, there was a comic series about a barefoot soccer-playing prodigy, which I enjoyed reading. If only I had known about the benefits of barefoot running, I might have emulated my comic-book hero and cured my tendinitis.

So stop reading this and go and read Jacky Miller’s article:

“Let’s plant some s***!”

Gardens – most people like them. They exist in every culture. And now, they might be saving lives. Check out this short video, then grab a shovel and “let’s plant some s***!” (Click here to see on YouTube if the player won’t play.)

No Big Fukushima Health Impact Seen, UN Official Says: Scientific American

VIENNA, Jan 31 Reuters – The health impact of last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan appears relatively small thanks partly to prompt evacuations, the chairman of a U.N. scientific body investigating the effects of radiation said on Tuesday.

“What we have seen in Chernobyl – people were dying from huge, high exposures, some of the workers were dying very soon – nothing along these lines has been reported so far (in Japan),” he said. “Up to now there were no acute immediate effects observed.”

via No Big Fukushima Health Impact Seen, UN Official Says: Scientific American.

The “several thousand children” who developed thyroid cancer due to radioactive iodine poisoning after Chernobyl were signalled by “acute immediate effects” right after Chernobyl blew up. The fact that “no acute immediate effects” have been observed does not mean that there will be no negative health effects from released radiation. But it does bode well.

And from the World Nuclear News website:

If nuclear reactors do not restart, Japan faces the challenge of meeting summer peak demand without a large part of its usual power supply, although it is thought that continued energy austerity might be able to bridge the gap.

The cost of this extended nuclear shutdown, however, is catastrophic: Importing an extra ¥4.3 trillion ($55 billion) of fossil fuel tipped Japan’s trade balance into the red for 2011; and today Bloomberg reported financial results from six Japanese power companies that counted total losses of ¥463 billion ($6.0 billion) due to increased fossil fuel costs and idled nuclear capacity.

via IAEA reviews Japan’s nuclear restart process | WNN

No doubt we will get the usual flood of “They’re just saying that because they believe in nuclear power/(insert your favourite bête noire)”

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Dealing with cancer

Someone I know was last year diagnosed with prostate cancer. They recently wrote me a letter. His doctor recommended a certain course of treatment. He decided not to take this recommended course at this time. Why not? What will he do instead? I reproduce below, with his permission, part of the letter he sent me. This may be of interest to some readers. If you have any relevant experience or knowledge that you would like to share, please leave a comment.

The treatment the urologist prescribed in a tone which did not anticipate a refusal was

  • Radiotherapy aimed at the prostate – 10 minutes/day for 6 weeks
  • Hormone therapy – a pill/day for 6 months plus 1 injection (this is assumed to block the production of testosterone, a key ingredient of prostate cancer growth, by the pineal gland, but what else it blocks is unknown – but see my enclosed note).

Radiotherapy is “targeted” on the prostate but since the prostate and the bladder are intimately connected. . . read on.

The answers to my questions were :

  • anticipated success (cure?) is, he said, more than 90% over 10 years (10 years is the bar, whatever your age; they don’t look beyond that!)
  • only the testosterone-triggering part of the pineal gland is affected, he assured me (but not said with the same conviction as the plus 90% reply)
  • and what if I do nothing? That, explained the urologist, is the “catastrophic scenario” with the risk of the cancer spreading elsewhere in the body. In other words, not something to be contemplated.

A lot of reflection followed over the next few days, coupled with detailed research, in which I was enormously helped by a remarkable 500-page analysis entitled ‘You don’t have to be afraid of cancer any more’, by Bill Sardi.

The upshot is that I have decided to adopt the route of ‘Watchful waiting’. I set out my reasoning and my conclusions in a note addressed to my new doctor. She supported my decision, confirmed that nobody knows whether the hormone treatment only blocks testosterone and not other multiple tasks of the pineal gland, and that PSA’s cannot be relied on. She had previously expressed surprise that a biopsy had been proposed since the biopsy itself can, if cancer cells are present, also actually spread them. Had I had Sardi’s book earlier, which confirms her opinion, I think I would have turned it down.

I will review the situation after 3-6 months by taking another PSA (although, according to what I have been able to find out, its reliability is no more than 50%).
In the meantime, I will follow my own course of self-treatment:

  1. vitamin D. I will increase my daily dosage from my present 1000 IU to 5000 IU (toxicity begins from 40,000 IU/day). At the moment, my level of vitamin D is nearly 0, and this could well have been the triggering cause of the cancer, as it is recognized that a low level of vitamin D can lead to prostate cancer (and levels of vitamin D tend to go down with age).
  2. Resveratrol (25-50 mg/day) – probably the most effective anti-cancer nutrient
  3. Selenium
  4. IP6 rice extract (phytic acid)
  5. Vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin B9
  6. Omega-3
  7. Lycopene
  8. I also plan to strengthen my immune system with Beta-glucan
  9. I also plan to keep track of
    1. my immune system, especially the level/quantity of each type of white blood-cells
    2. my bone density
    3. the level of iron in my blood
    4. my total hormone levels, especially testosterone


Reddit Users save a life, maybe

From How the World Works. A friend of mine is due for a bone-marrow transplant, so I was interested in this story. I wonder what the rules are in the UK for compensating bone-marrow donors?

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