Is Obesity a Disease? Or is it a Choice?

weight

This is a graph of my weight loss. I have calculated precisely my daily calorific requirement. I know my shortfall. So I can calculate very precisely how to control the loss or gain almost daily. IMHO, anyone can do this, if they have a computer with a spreadsheet. IT AIN’T ROCKET SCIENCE.

Link to Periscope video on katch

The above video is a Periscope video I did on the subject of obesity, where I show how I went from 87.5 kg on 1st June, to 76.4 kg on 11th November just by changing my diet.

I do not think that obesity should be treated as a disease, unless it is a mental disease. If you eat the wrong “food” (if you can call it that), you will gain weight, if you do not use the energy.

The wrong stuff is any wheat product (bread, pasta, noodles), rice, potatoes, sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, alcoholic beverages. Go easy on fruits (contain fructose) and protein (in meat, mainly).

Eat FAT, FAT, FAT!!!! Nuts,(Coconuts, walnuts) Olive oil, flax oil, eggs, meat (grass fed), fish, chia seeds, hemp seeds, butter, yoghurt (esp. probiotic yoghurt), avocados, green leafy vegetables, berries.

Make sure that 60% of your energy intake comes from fat and that you do not eat more protein in grams than your body weight in kg.

Get off your backside and exercise – walk 10,000 steps a day – it is not difficult. Ride a bike. Go swimming.

Get rid of stress in your life. Meditate. Do yoga. Make love.

GO FOR IT!

 

 

 

 

Swim for your life!

I have got a crazy goal – to swim 2,500 metres freestyle on my 100th birthday!

Crazy, isn’t it? WHY???? I hear you scream.

Because 1) You need to have goals in life and 2) When I am swimming, get to around 1500 metres and think of stopping, I say to myself, “Steve, if you cannot do it now, how on Earth do you expect to do it when you are 100!”

So why bother? Because swimming is damned good exercise.

Since I was 8 years old I could swim; in our town, we had a very good swimming instructor, Vic Levitt, who thought that every child should be able to swim. Great man, Vic! I never really got into swimming, though, preferring soccer, rugby and squash.

However, squash at a high level becomes risky after 35 and rugby suicidal. So I started to seriously swim some 25 years ago (running was not a realistic option – flat feet!). I started off doing a length (25m) and having a breather. I swam once a week and built up through 1,000 m breast stroke to where I am today – 2,500 m or more. I “cheat”, according to my family, because I wear flippers, but I do it in about 50 minutes.

Swimming is good for the following reasons:

  1. You exercise many more muscle groups than with running or cycling
  2. You are buoyed by water, so there is no gravitational pressure on joints
  3. Water “gives” to pressure, so you cannot over-strain joints and muscles
  4. Combined with Buteyko breathing, it helps respiration.
  5. It is ideal if you are obese, have arthritis or are pregnant.
  6. It increases flexibility, endurance, muscle tone, strength and cardio-respiratory conditioning without straining your heart.
  7. Acts as an ideal lymphatic pump, helping clear your lymph system of toxins.
  8. After an hours swimming, you release oxytocin , the cuddle-drug, into your bloodstream which makes me feel like I am floating for several hours.
  9. You also meet like-minded people at the beach or in the pool or in the sauna afterwards.

It is important that you swim correctly. I swim TI (total immersion) freestyle with a little bit of latitude due to the flippers. If you want to learn this, visit Terry Laughlin’s Youtube pages. Many women try to keep their heads above the water, which causes neck problems. Get some goggles or a face mask to avoid this.

Personally, I don’t like swimming in the sea. Therefore I am very glad to swim in a local pool that has Denmark’s best water quality. It is not overheated either.

One thing the Buteyko breathing is taught me is how to swim a full length underwater. I generally do this every 10th length. You feel like a dolphin, but alas, I have not mastered moon walking with my flippers or leaping 6 metres in the air.

I also do a “high intensity burst” every 10 lengths between underwater swimming. This is supposed to be very good conditioning for the body. I give it everything and swim 25 metres in 15 seconds on one breath. It is absolutely exhilarating!

I have also been inspired over the years by the octogenarians who swim on a daily basis at the pool. I am working towards swimming at this age and beyond.

So, get your swimming togs out and go down to your local pool. If I can do 2,500 lengths at 61, so can you and who knows? We could start a  100 (25m lengths) at 100 club!

 

 

 

 

Flushed With Success

Over 500,000 gall stone operations are performed in the US each year – the great majority apparently unnecessarily.

That is a startling figure. I’ll come back to it later.

It seems that many people suffer from gall stones and having lost 10 kilos in 3 months, I read that the residue from the fat-burning could be cholesterol that is released and ends up in the liver,  waiting to be recycled.  I have a family history of gall stones; my Father had his removed when he was 54, and as it was before keyhole operations, his wound became septic which kept him off work for ages. My sister had her gall bladder removed in her late forties; “Forty, Fat and Fair” she was told.

I decided, therefore, to do something about it in the form of a liver flush. Now, this might not suit everyone and it is not for the squeamish. I found various instructions on the Internet and decided to follow those of Dr. Hulda Clark.

A bit of research showed that a lifetime of eating C.R.A.P (C.R.A.P.: C – Carbonated drinks. R – Refined sugars. A – Artificial sweeteners & colours. P – Processed.) causes a so-called fatty-liver. The liver is the processing works for the body and performs many functions. Amazingly, it is the only organ that can regenerate, so it is never too late to do something for your liver.

After I did the flush, I mentioned it to a friend “Oh, so you have read Andreas Moritz’s book The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse ?” I had not until after I did the flush, but in it, he claims that gall stones are the root of most that is evil in our bodies and are the result of stones that form in the bile ducts of the liver. The stones, usually made of cholesterol or hardened bile, block these ducts or get passed to the gall bladder, where they also eventually block the bile duct. This means that there is accumulated bile sludge and furthermore, only a small amount of bile enters the small intestine. Bile is vital for good health as it aids the absorption of nutrients and the expulsion of waste.

The flush – what I did

In retrospect, I would have fasted longer. I started the process at lunchtime and after 2 PM, I did not eat anything. At 6 PM, I dranks a solution of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate), which was to relax and dilate the bile duct. It tastes terrible, so you have to cool it in the fridge. At 8 PM, I repeated the process.

At 10 PM, I drank a mixture of 125 ml of olive oil, 125 ml of fresh lemon juice, 2 crushed cloves of garlic and half a teaspoon of powdered ginger. It tastes absolutely DREADFUL!

The instructions said go to bed immediately and lay on your right side for a while. I did go to sleep, but at about 3 AM, I awoke and felt that I had an internal pinball machine fitted. I also felt like I had a hangover, with some nausea. Eventaully I fell asleep again. At 6 AM, I got up, not feeling too bad.

I had another Epsom salt drink, but -argh! I forgot to put it in the fridge! It is the worst taste ever. I could not eat, but the drink fills you somewhat. At 8 AM, I had the last of the epsom salts, and actually walked the dog. This might have been ill-advised, because when I came back, I exploded in the loo!

If you have seen the bit in “Dumb and Dumber” where Lloyd gives Harry laxatives and Harry  is at the Swanson’s residence and is on the loo, you will know what I mean by explode!

Without going into the gory details, the results were obvious. It looked as though I had eaten green peas and black lentils- hundreds of them! The temporary diarrhoea continued for an hour. (Don’t make any plans to go out that morning). At the end of it, I was exhausted.

At 10 AM, I ventured an apple and a cup of tea.  No problems.

I found it prudent to eat some Acido yoghurt, to replace the flora in my gut that I had probably lost. I could have taken probiotics, but at $50 equivalent for 30 capsules, I thought the yoghurt, at $3 was a cheaper solution.

I had twinges in my right side for a couple of days, but that is passed. Would I do it again? Yes, after reading The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse at regular intervals.

I was asked if it was possible to do this after you have had the gall bladder removed and the answer is “yes”, because you don’t stop producing gall stones after gall bladder removal.

I wish that my Father and sister had known about this body maintenance before they had their gall bladders removed. It seems that the gall bladder plays a far more important role than is recognised by doctors, but as long as it is a “nice little earner”, I suppose people will be offered the operation before the flush.

Over 800,000 hospitalisations and $2 bn are spent on gall bladder disease a year. I hope that my blog here will better inform people on the options availbale.

Incidentally, it makes me wonder why drug companies have not developed a liver flush? Perhaps they have a pact with the medical profession; don’t you dare create something that threatens our livelihood! I find it significant that the Healthline website does not mention liver flush as a treatment for bile duct blockage (but specifies gall bladder removal).

PS: If your doctor says that you should not drink olive oil and lemon juice, ask him or her why it is OK to drink carbonated sugary drinks!

 

 

 

 

Please Close Your Mouth When You Run Past My House!

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What is wrong with this picture? Yes, yes, they all have blurred faces. I have done that to protect the guilty!

The problem is that they all have their mouths open while they are running. Is that a problem? It is not that they have bad breath as they run past my house on the bi-annual “Griseløb” . No, they are possibly causing immense damage to their bodies.

Why? Each and everyone of them is hyperventilating. They are expelling all of their carbon dioxide. I hear you say “That is a good thing, isn’t it? – Isn’t respiration  about getting oxygen in and CO2 out?”. Wrong – that is a bad thing. And yes, getting oxygen in is correct. How would we otherwise stay alive? But where do you need the oxygen when you are running? In the muscles, the cells and the organs.

If you are not retaining some of the carbon dioxide in your bloodstream (the “Bohr Effect“), you are not releasing the oxygen from the haemoglobin. Moreover, it is lowering the PH value of your cells (“acidosis”) and their are some enlightened doctors and researchers who say that this creates conditions for cancer.

How do you counter this? Learn to breathe in and out through your nose only. It is called Buteyko breathing and has long been used to cure asthma. Another good reason to breathe through your nose is that the nose extracts the majority of the microbes we don’t want in our bodies, before they get to the lungs. It also warms and moistens the air that you inhale.

Misha Sakharoff has written an excellent piece on this “Asthma is common among Olympic athletes – but why?”

They knew about this in India a long time ago with Pranyamic breathing. As they say “The more you control your breathing, the longer you will you live”, and this is especially true when we are exercising heavily.

So at the next Griseløb, I may well stand outside with a big sign “Luk munden”, which means “close your mouth”!

Obsessed with my health? Moi?

My brother has a mantra: “Your health is your wealth”. It is probably the most profound thing a human can say, It does not matter how materially wealthy you are, unless you are in good health, it is difficult to enjoy life.

So why do we take it for granted? Why do we strive to get materially rich at the expense of our health? We rush here and there, never any time to reflect, get stressed, eat crap food, are too tired to exercise and then when the apparently incurable illness inevitably comes along, we cry “Why me?”

So today, I am going to tell you why my apparent obsession with my well-being is simply a case of taking responsibility for my life.

Why should I put my health in the hands of others? Because they have a long education? Because they only come into the picture when I am ill, and then only to treat the symptoms of the illness?

No. I am reasonably intelligent and I feel that I am in touch with my body. I am aware. I know what works for me and what does not. I use the Internet to research stuff.

Tools help, though. If only they are adapted away from the shibboleths of modern western health care – or should that be health-don’t-care?

I recently bought a new phone, the Android-based Samsung Galaxy S5. I did not need the S6, and this phone suits my needs. On the phone is an app, S Health, and I have started using it. You have to enter some data, in the absence of having further devices strapped to your chest, It has an in-built pedometer, which counts your steps. The goal is 10,000 steps per day, the recommended target for adults. I have a dog, so it is relatively easy to achieve.

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There is an in-built device at the back of the phone to measure one’s pulse.

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Mine seems to off the scale to the left, but that is not a bad thing. When you gather data over a number of days, you start to see a trend.

The next panel shows your stress level, which tracks the variation in your pulse rate. Is it accurate? I have no idea. I seem to be on the low end, again. By design, that is!

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Weight is an important factor with one’s health, and I was looking for the scales app on the phone, but alas, it does not have one! So you have to weigh yourself manually and add the data. No problem! I have also a BFI (Body Fat Index) calculator app and you can enter this data, too.

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I have just broken down through the 80kg barrier – haven’t been there for 25 years! My BFI is about 20%, in the middle of the range. The BMI (Body Mass Index) is calculated for me, based on my height which I entered in the set up.

If you want to track your blood pressure, then you will have to do it manually. Again, you can track the trend. I have a digital medical sphygmomanometer (wow! – that’s a mouthful). I don’t measure it every day – once a week should do.

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There is a good food tracking section, which allows one to record the food from a very comprehensive list. If the food that you consume is not on the list, you can add (but not edit) the item. The problem is that here it is only possible to record “portions”, but on the other hand you can have a fraction of a portion. Very importantly, the breakdown of carbohydrates, fat and protein are shown – for each item and each meal and the total for the day.

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This is a great feature, but for me personally it does not allow me to use the data in a sensible way. Why is that? Because I favour a low carbohydrate diet, and the raw numbers in weight do not reflect how much energy I am extracting from each group. To find this, multiply the carbs and protein weight by 4 and the fat times 9. I do this in an excel spreadsheet like this:

breakdown

You can see that the weights have been converted back into kcals per food type and then shown in their respective ratios. Extreme ketogenic diets are almost exclusively fat (for treating cancer), but my aim is around 70%, which is mildly ketogenic. That means that I (my liver, that is) will produce ketones (and glucose) as opposed to exclusively glucose. This seems to hold my carbohydrate intolerance at bay at the same time, I can still swim long distances without “bonking”, or running out of energy.

There are also various measurements of performance based mainly on running and cycling, but also a host of other sports, showing the calorie burn.

I am no expert on these apps, but it seems pretty sensible. To create awareness of your situation so that you can take some action, it is probably worthwhile tracking your performance and diet. Take responsibility, but do not become obsessed with it!

A longer life – at what price?

My Father died at the age of 76. Not bad for a man born in England in 1913. Better than average, one might say. He died of shortage of breath – literally, He was mowing the lawn and felt bad. He passed out on his bed, and died. His heart was not getting enough oxygen to function because his alveoli in his lungs no longer functioned.

If you thought that my Father suddenly “kicked the bucket”, you would be wrong. He suffered from what is now called Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for the last 8 years of his life. It was not pleasant to see him, as he was coughing up phlegm constantly and was on an atomiser machine most of the time. He blamed it on the fact that he delivered coal for 25 years, but ib fact, it was the roll-up unfiltered cigarettes that did it. But he would never accept that-

What is my point? That the last 10% of his life were miserable. He was also on steroids, which gave him uncontrollable diaorrhea occasionally, so he was never far away from a toilet.

Countries seem to tout life expectancy numbers as an indicator of how “healthy” the nation is. Also how “wealthy” a nation is – that is, how it can keep citizens alive for the longest time.

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Imagine that a country wanted to REALLY boast of its longevity. It could spend a fair proportion of its GDP on life support machines, and keep everyone going until they were 100. But what would be the point for the individuals?

Here is a fantastic animated graph which shows the development of life expectancy against GDP from 1800 to the present day. Between 1890 and 1955, there was a great increase in life expectancy from 47 to 72 years of age. This was for a 300% increase in GDP. But what else was happening? Pathological diseases were eradicated for one thing, by improving sanitation. Families got smaller which meant less infants dying. I am no anthropologist, but that is my speculation.

Between 1956 and now, we have seen an increase of just 8 years – in fact, for many years it was flat. This was for a 357% increase in GDP (at adjusted PPP).

Let’s try and put the numbers in perspective: Over a period of 65 years, life expectancy increased by 25 years with a wealth increase of 300%. A 53% increase over 65 years – 0.82% longer each year, which adjusted for the GDP increase is 0.27% per annum. Over a period of 58 years to the present date, life expectancy increased by 8 years with a wealth increase of 357%, which adjusted for GDP increase is 0,05%.

It would appear that we are living marginally longer as the GDP rises. But I would argue that part of the GDP is going to healthcare, indicating that we pay a heavy price to increase the life expectancy and that doing this increases GDP growth, thus providing the magic economic growth that is the mantra of politicians around the world.

According to the latest OECD numbers Denmark spends 11.1% of its GDP on healthcare (if you think that is a lot, then look at the US – 16%!). This is up from 8,7% in 2000, and it was probably a lot lower in 1955!. Denmark’s saving grace is that the amount spent on medicine has gone down, to 6.5%.

Incidentally, if you play with the control on the graph, you will see that in 1916, Denmark had the highest life expectancy at birth in the world. In 2013 Denmark was placed a paltry 29th. What happened?

There well be a natural upper limit to how long we can expect to live, but I believe that lifestyle is not only holding the number down in Denmark, it is causing many people to live a morbid lifestyle on medication for many years. Is this desirable? Is it feasible? In Greece, many older people on medication suddenly found that the medications were not being paid for by the state. I think we should all be careful – because in dire draconian states of austerity, expensive medication for the chronically sick is going to be the first thing to go.

The Diabetes Society in Denmark sponsored a study where they found out that treating diabetes 1 & 2 had massive costs. I reprint the abstract from the study here

Objective: The study aims to provide real world evidence on societal costs attributable to diabetes (SCAD) in Denmark evidenced by age, gender, education and complication progression. Method: All persons (PwD) (N=318,729, 2011) in the Danish National Diabetes Register were linked to national data from 5 health/social registers. Complication groups were defined through data from the Danish National Hospital Register. SCAD were measured as difference between resource consumption of PwD compared to the diabetes-free population. Results: SCAD were estimated to at least 31.8 billion DKK in 2011, corresponding to 107,000 DKK per patient-year distributed on 5.5 billion DKK for primary and secondary care, 1.1 billion DKK for pharmaceuticals, 6.4 billion DKK for nursing, 13.2 billion DKK in lost productivity and 5.6 for additional costs. Steep increasing costs with increasing complications are evidenced across all cost components: 12 times in the health care and 33 times for nursing services for persons’ with severe complications compared to persons’ with no complications. 25% of PwD consume nearly 60% of all resources. PwD received lower annual income than controls when controlling for highest educational level. Conclusion: Majority of costs are incurred among persons’ with severe complications pointing to importance of secondary preventive efforts among PwD.

31.8 billion kroner! and that is just diabetes. Note the conclusion. And what about the costs of all the other lifestyle diseases?

We need to rethink this.

Can you cure cancer by holding your breath?

No! Well, not as far as I  know.

So what is all this with breathing and cancer and other lifestyle diseases?

It is about reverting to the way humans in the past used to breathe. How is that different from the way we breathe today? Many of us breathe using the top of our lungs only, we have our mouths open, we hyperventilate and we have a notion that taking in lots of air in a deep breath is good for us.

What is the connection? In a nutshell, we do not get enough oxygen into our cells, which leaves them vulnerable to common lifestyle diseases.

I will attempt to explain simply: Our cells need oxygen to function. Oxygen is carried in the bloodstream, and the catalyst that allows it to be taken up by cells is carbon dioxide. That’s right – CO2, the same stuff that is giving us global warming concerns. Only  in the atmosphere, the concentration is 0.04%, up from 0.o3% this last century. In the bloodstream, it should be 6.1%. You heard right. 6.1%. Even higher in the brain (7%) If you have less than 3% you are dead! Probably due to bad breathing, stress, bad diet and lack of exercise, many people are down closer to that level than the ideal.

Have a look at this diagram showing the effects of hypocapnia. This is where hyperventilation leads to a shortage of carbon dioxide in the body and results in hypoxia, which is a condition that sick people suffer. You can see this in the way sick people breathe – very mechanically – in,out,in,out – many times a minute.

Simple man’s conclusion? sick people breathe badly? Bad breathers are sick? Yeah, something like that.

The point is that their seems to be a correlation (to me) between cancer,diabetes, cardiovascular disease and breathing and the consequence of this: namely lack of oxygen to the cells.  There are many references to research that bear this out, but here are some interesting facts:

  1. People who are sick take more breaths per minute than healthy people. (between 18 and 30 breaths as opposed to 6-12 for healthy people.
  2. Even this healthy level is not ideal
  3. People had far better breathing performance 100 years ago.

The way to test for this is the CP (control pause). Breathe out and see how it takes before you need to take  a breath. If you are somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds, you are “normal”. However, “normal” was over 40 seconds 100 years ago. Under 10 seconds and you have very likely got a problem.

That is interesting: Why has the CP fallen over 100 years? I put forward these reasons:

  • Sugar. We consume a lot more sugar than 100 years ago. Also as corn syrup.
  • Wheat products. We eat a lot more of these. Bread, pasta, etc.
  • Crap fats. We don’t have the right types in the right balance.
  • Stress. Our wonderful modern lifestyle means we are pressed and it affects our breathing.
  • Lack of exercise.  Our forefathers (and mothers!) generally did a lot more manual work and walked a lot.
  • Obesity. The result of the above.

I am not going to document the above here, but in a later post, I will attempt to take each one and point to the research.

So, what else does good breathing do? It causes the blood vessels to dilate, thus allowing more blood flow. In my own case, my resting pulse rate is between 43 and 50 beats per minute and my blood pressure is 120/70. (I am male, aged 61). It also adjusts how alkaline your blood is (slightly) but more importantly, reduces the acidity of cells.

The link between cancer and breathing.

I have seen Micha Sakharoff’s data, and he thinks that cancer cannot exist in cells where there is a good supply of oxygen. This equates to a CP of 40 seconds. And no, there has not been any clinical research on this (to the best of my knowledge)*.  Along with the no-carb ketogenic diet, the acidity of the tissues is reduced, Again, cancer will not thrive in an alkaline environment.

Bring on Buteyko Breathing

What is it? It is a series of breathing exercises, originally designed by a Russian, Konstantin Buteyko, to help asthma patients. If you have asthma and you do the Buteyko training, you will most likely stop suffering asthma attacks. What are we training? We are reprogramming the brain (the medula oblongata, to be precise), to accept more carbon dioxide in the body (as bicarbonate and carbon dioxide gas). I have been doing this for 3 months now. I have improved from 17 seconds to an average of 35 seconds. Sometimes, in the evenings, especially after yoga, I can get to 60 seconds. Do I do this because I have cancer? I trust not – but I believe that prevention is better that cure. Given the latest research in the UK (“One in two people born after 1960 in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime“), I owe it to myself  to do something to protect myself.

Apparently, there are some great benefits to be had if you get to a CP of 90 seconds.

Unfortunately, Buteyko is a business franchise, so I cannot explain more. However, there are some excellent videos by an Irishman, Patrick McKeown  on Youtube and there is a lot more information by Artour Rakhimov on normalbreathing.com. Having said that, I really believe that Misha Sakharoff’s holistic approach is well worth giving attention to.

*Of course there are no clinical trials. There is no serious money for drug companies in teaching people to breathe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put statin your pipe and smoke it!

I want to tell you a story.

I went to a chemists some 2 years ago and on the way out, I was asked by a lady if I wanted a cholesterol blood test. I had no idea why I agreed to one, but I did. “Oh dear”, she said “Your cholesterol is awfully high – 7.5!”. I immediately felt concerned. Why should I have high cholesterol? I was a bit chunky (86 kg – 5´11″) but took regular exercise (dog walks, cycling and lots of swimming), but why was it “high” . What did it mean?

“You had better go and see your doctor!”

Off I went to the dooctor. Blood pressure – normal and “You are not diabetic!” , as if that was a big surprise (I was 59 at the time). I should have a proper blood test.

On returning to the doctor, she told me that, yes, my cholesterol numbers were high -6.5, but, hey, 50% of Danish adults were at this level anyway. (That should have given me a clue). My LDL was high and my HDL was low and my Triglycerides were- well- a concern. So was I about to have a heart attack?

What could be done? “I could give you statins”

“No thanks”, I said. “Well, at you age, you have a 20:1 chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years”, the dosctor said, referring to a card calculator. Not a big betting man, but 20:1 are long odds, so I asked what else I could do

“Lay off of fats – especially saturated fats like eggs, butter, etc ”

So I left the surgery, feeling a bit sorry for myself. Hell, man, I was fit for my age – not overweight, and for a long time had avoided fats, because I was told that fats were the cause of my indegestion and reflux that I have had all my adult life.

In the next months, I took up baking bread and tried to avoid any more fats. I started eating skyr, a type of Icelandic yoghurt with very low fat. I started to put on weight……

Fast forward to the Raimundas story: I was fascinated as to how he had cured himself, so I asked. One of the disciplines was a ketogenic diet, which avoids carbohydrates. I pointed out that I had been diagnosed with high cholesterol, This was met by a lot of material with the simple message; There is no such thing as high cholesterol for the vast majority of people. There is no such thing as good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. The whole myth is based on forced feeding rabbits (herbavores) on animal fat in a test. Guess what? They died. Research results? Cholesterol is bad! When statins were invented, the drug company that invented them realised that the market was too small – only 5 million potential customers in the US, so they lobbied to have the “dangerous” limit reduced – succeeded – and got 35 million customers. Smart marketing!

This is still going on today. New recommendations make 56 million Americans eligible for statin treatment, up from the current 43 million!

This is the important part here: I stopped eating white bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. I started eating all manner of meat and dairy products. I stopped eating “free sugar”. I cut down dramatically on any form of processed food (ketchup, etc). I made all the food I eat from the basic raw organic materials. I started eating salds drenched with olive and flax oil.

The result? I weighed 87.8 kilos as of mid-June. It is now the end of August and I weigh 80.5 kilos.

I have not taken one single tablet (pantaloc) or gaviscon against heartburn or reflux. My athlete’s foot fungus, which has plagued me for years disappeared.

I have more energy: I used to have to take a 2 hour nap after swimming 2.5 km. Now I do not.

I have not had a new measurement for cholesterol, but according to this web site, I should have lower triglycerides (the nasty stuff).  Their check list says:

  • Lose weight – done that!
  • Cut the sugar – done that!
  • Stock up on fibre – yep, always done that
  • Limit fructose – okay, I still eat fruit, but I avoid the dreaded corn syrup in most processed foods
  • Eat moderately low fat diets. – No . I do not agree with this!
  • Watch what type of fats you eat – well, this is complex, which I will explain at some stage, but I will not EVER eat trans fats  or hydrogentaed fats – so no margarine, biscuits, industrially-baked cakes.
  • Add omega 3 acids – Do this and you will have your LDL and HDL out of balance. (I will explain later)
  • Exercise – do that!
  • Cut down on alcohol . done that
  • Take triglycerides lowering drugs – NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Has my doctor failed me? Should I trust the health system in future? Is it morally right that drug companies should market their products by appearing to help people by giving free tests in chemists/drug store/apoteks? Should we all take responsibility for our health in our own hands? If you are on statins, tell me why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commendable Research – but why look at curing the effect, not the cause?

Have you seen this news? “Scientists believe they may have found a way to turn cancerous cells back into healthy tissue.”

Fantastic news, which will lead to new treatments, new drugs and lots of revenue.

To me, this is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Why are they not willing to investigate the triggers and the initial sources of cancers? The cynical answer is that there is no money in it, for researchers and drug companies alike.

In the meantime, people get fatter, more unhealthy, the health systems are sagging under the weight of expense for drugs and expensive treatments.

A report shows that every $1 spent on smoking prevention prevents $5 in hospitalisation costs. That sounds like a pretty good rate of return. Considering that in the US alone, smoking costs $170 billion a year in medical costs and  obesity costs at least $147 billion a year. The story is same the world over: In Denmark, the estimated costs of treating the consequence of diabetes is some $500 million per annum, not bad for a population of 5 milllion.

In the UK, 6 million people (out of a population of some 60 million), are on statins, a cholesterol-reducing drug.  According to the Daily Express newspaper “The study also revealed that intensive doses of widely-prescribed statins increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 12 per cent. But this was balanced by the high-dose patients also seeing a 16 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular events.”

This is great news for drug companies, who can sell medications to counter the side-effects of other meds they sell! What genius marketing!

What is my point? If some money was spent by governments on life-style disease prevention, then the amount of money spent on “life-prolonging” treatments would fall – because that is all these medications do. They don’t CURE you! My goodness, where would the money be in that!

There is a case of a man in Denmark who is on medicine that costs $38,000 a year for prostate cancer: This will keep the cancer down, but will not cure it. Therefore it can extend his life x number of years, and yes, he is fully entitled to that. But the economics do not add up! A normal Danish man starts working at around 22, after costing the state for education – say $15,000 a year for 22 years. Then, he works from 22 until 67, paying (at todays prices some   $950,000 in tax (high tax in Denmark, but free medical treatment). So far in life, he has been a good business for Denmark – +$620,000. But he also has a pension and this is some $12,000 per annum for an average of 10 years or so. so we are at $500,000. However, if he gets to 57, as the man in the example, and then is forced to retire, the medication alone would eat drastically into the $500,000, plus all the other costs and the lack of tax he would otherwise pay.  In fact, it would cause a loss.

With so many people getting diabetes, blood pressure problems, cancer, etc, at increasingly younger ages, the health system’s financing becomes untenable!

So it is vital that these diseases are prevented.

Easier said than done! There are so many financial interests: Agriculture, food and beverage industries,medical industry.

And yet, in my opinion, the answer in many cases is one of taking individual responsibility, and learning how to prevent obesity and the follow up diseases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Donation I could ever make – ignored!

I was called recently on the phone by Kræftens Bekæmpelse ,  the Danish Cancer Society. Was I aware that 48 men are diagnosed with cancer in Denmark every day? What did the want me to do? Pledge money!

I asked if the caller was an outsourced fundraiser or worked for KB. She did work there, so I told her that the best donation I could make was to put them in touch with Misha Sakharoff, whom I know as the “Spontaneous Remission Consultant”. I said that this had the potential to save lives and money. She agreed and said that BK acknowledged that life-style was a probable cause of cancer.

I wrote to Micha to check if anyone from Kræftens Bekæmpelse had called; No, was the answer. They had probably thought I was a nutter. On the other hand, it would put a nasty spoke in their business model. And I am sure they have a business model, despite all the good they do.

In 2011, 48% of the income went on research, 26% on supporting patients, 19% on information and 7% on administration, the last translating to 36.44 million Danish Kroner. (About £3.5 m or €5 m). Incidentally, I called KB to find out what proportion of research went to prevention. They didn’t respond.

I asked someone in the health industry why it would not be of interest for KB to make enquiries. The answer was that there would be no way of proving Micha’s methods (except, of course, cancer patients survive!). So this is the way the health industry works: No proof, no adoption of treatment.

I wonder if they are all atheists? Because they happily go to their respective churches without any proof of anything behind the religion they follow.

“There are none so blind that will not see”