Stop Oxidants? Stop Breathing! The Antioxidant Hoax

by Kerry Cue

Roman border dark red

dark red quote 1

Evidence gathered over the past few years shows that, at best, antioxidant supplements do little or nothing to benefit our health. dark red quote 2

Lisa Melton,The antioxidant myth: a medical fairy tale, New Scientist, 05 August 2006.

Sibylesque Signature dark redRoman border dark red

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Eat. Pray. Breathe Oxidants.

We breathe oxygen. The oxygen is carried around our body by red blood cells. And, guess what? Oxygen is an oxidant. It ‘burns’ or ‘oxidises’ fuel in our cells. We get energy. The red blood cells then carry the carbon dioxide produced by oxidation back to our lungs and we breathe it out. Sometimes, these oxidising reactions are incomplete producing free radicals or, as scientists like to call them, Reactive Oxygen Species, ROS.

Sibylesque Cup cakes

Lisa Melton attacked the popular belief that anti-oxidants have magical health benefits in the New Scientist. In the article biochemist, Barry Halliwell from the National University of Singapore explains that “One percent of the oxygen we consume turns into ROS.” Other free radical producing factors include X-rays, smoking, air pollutants, bacteria, and intensive exercise. When subjects with diets high in fruit and veg were found to suffer a lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, stroke and some cancers the theory that antioxidants mop up free radicals was born. It has sponsored a $US 23 Billion supplement industry and that is not even including superfoods.

According to Melton ‘Time and again, however, the supplements failed to pass the test. ‘True, they knock the wind out of free radicals in a test tube. But once inside the human body, they seem strangely powerless.’ Evidence suggests that sometimes anti-oxidants can even do harm. One study involving 18,000 subjects had to be stopped when researchers found the cancer rates rose in those given beta carotene supplements.

Even antioxidants should be consumed in moderation.

Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019

……………………………………………..

Photo Source: atomictoasters blog

HOME

 

Drinking 8 glasses of water a day for Dummies

pink-roman-border

Navy quote 1You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him water ski.

ff………….Kerry Cue, Sibylesque (Just made that one up to be annoying)

pink-sibyl-signature

pink-roman-border

……………………………………………………………………………………..

Even as I write these lines some self-proclaimed health adviser will be insisting that for optimum health you should drink 8 glasses of water a day.

This assumes two things:

1. You are incapable of deciding if you are or are not thirsty. Answer this question. What day is it? Correct. As you do not appear to have dementia, you will remember to drink fluids.

2. That 8 glasses is the correct fluid intake for you. How do they know?

8 glasses a day women under hairdryer pinterest

Meanwhile, the claim that you need eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day has been debunked.

Drs. Dan Negoianu and Stanley Goldfarb at the University of Pennsylvania reviewed published clinical studies on the topic and found no data to suggest people need to stick to the “8 x 8″ rule.

“Indeed, it is unclear where this recommendation came from,” they write in an editorial in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

Photo source: Vintage Hairdryers pinterest

HOME

The Salt Wars are Over!

by Kerry Cue

Navy Roman Border

Navy quote 1

“There is little evidence for long-term benefit from reducing salt intake.”

Navy quote 2f………….Cochrane Collaboration, 2003

Navy Sibyl signature

 

 

Navy Roman Border

………………………………………………………………………….

Stop the maths and pass the salt!

salt and pepper wizards eBbayIn 2006, the New York Times article titled ‘The War over salt’, Melanie Warner (13 Sept 2006) reported that the American Medical Association, AMA, had called on the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, to limit the amount of salt in food. This was the first time the AMA had called for the regulation of a food ingredient.

The article stated: ‘In 2004, researchers at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute published a study in The American Journal of Public Health concluding that 150,000 lives could be saved annually if sodium levels in packaged and restaurant foods were cut in half.’

Hold that thought.

1950s TV spidersden blog

In 2011, the Scientific American ran this headline : It’s Time to End the War on Salt. ( Melinda Wenner Moyer, 8 JUL 2011)

Meta-studies by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international, independent, not-for-profit health care research organization concluded as early as 2003 “there is little evidence for long-term benefit from reducing salt intake.” Moreoever, the Cochrane Institute found that reducing salt intake does not reduce blood pressure significantly. The groups hypersensitive to salt include some elderly and some Afro-Americans.

Hillel Cohen, an epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine noted ‘A great number of promises are being made to the public with regard to this enormous benefit and lives saved’, but it is ‘based on wild extrapolations.’ That’s simply bad maths!

In other words, take extreme recommendations about your salt intake with a grain of salt.

Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

Photo source: 1. eBay, 2. spidersden blog

HOME

How marketing controls your mind or, would you eat buttons? Guess what? Millions do.

by Kerry Cue

Roman border dark red

I’m on a maroon quote-130-day diet, so far I’ve lost 15 days.dark red quote 2

     ………………………..Coffee Mug

Sibylesque Signature dark redRoman border dark red

 

 

………………………………………………………………………….

Button sandwich anyone?

casein button 2 etsyThe chemistry I studied at university long, long ago included the industrial uses of casein. Now casein is the protein in milk. It is used to make buttons.

Traditionally, buttons were made from shells, wood, metal, glass, and bone. The advantage of casein is that it can be molded and coloured. (See Plastics Historial Society for the history of casein buttons.)

Casein buttons, buckles and knitting needles were first produced in the UK in 1914 and continued through until the 1980s!!!! Casein buttons are still manufactured in small batches today.

creepy kid grilled cheesery blogNow cheese consists of three major ingredients.: fat, protein and water. If you remove the fat, then all you have left is the protein, casein, and water. If you place a piece of low-fat cheese in the sun to dry our all you have left is the casein (and some fat). It is a little rubbery. Pop it into a solvent (Nail polish remover. That sort of thing.) to remove the residual fat. Bingo! You get a button.

Of course, the marketing folk want us to believe that low-fat cheese is healthy. But, would you eat a button?

Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

……………………………………………………………….

Photo Source:1.  etsy, 2. grilled cheesery blog.

HOME

 

The Twelfth Raven: A memoir of stroke, love and recovery

Moroon border 2

maroon quote-1All sorrows can be borne if you put them into stories.

maroon quote-2

……………………………Isak Dinesen, Author, Out of Africa quoted in The Twelfth Raven

Moroon border 2

Sibylesque Sibyls Books
REVIEW by Kerry Cue

 

thetwelfthravenThe Twelfth Raven:

A memoir of stroke, love and recovery

Doris Brett

UWA Publishing (2014)

The Twelfth Raven, according to an old English rhyme, brings joy for tomorrow. Sometimes, I wish poets wrote news headlines then, instead of the ‘Syrian Bloodbath’ headline, you might read something like ‘Trickster God’s Toy with Us Again’. The Trickster God’s certainly overthrew all that defines normality in Doris Brett’s life. Firstly, Brett’s husband Martin suffered, at 59, a stroke followed by a superbug, heart valve failure and open-heart surgery. Then Brett needed a radical mastectomy.

Doris_Brett_2014_smallRead this book if you want to learn how to defend yourself against the Healthcare system. But Brett is a poet. The language is lyrical. Dreams untangle knots in reality to reveal some profound truths. Read this book, if you want to gain some insight into the inner journey of an insightful writer in a family crisis. Brett is ruthlessly honest and very generous in this regard.

A recommended read.

We, THE SIBYLS, declare Doris Brett an Honorary Sibyl for her ruthless honesty, her unflinching endurance and her ability to provide insights into life’s hardships by weaving her brand of lyrical magic.

Sibylesque Sibyl Approved Maroon

 

 

 

Anti-Wrinkle Creams: When Hope Conquers Experience

by Kerry Cue

Roman border dark red

dark red quote 1

Most men running the major beauty corporations,

where you undoubtedly have spent

a lot of money,

think you’ve lost it at 50.

dark red quote 2

– Andrea Robinson, Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+

Sibylesque Signature dark redRoman border dark red

 

….

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Apply daily and avoid gravity for the next 40 years?

“Toss the Gloss- Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+” CropIn the New York Times this week Bea Shipiro interviews Andrea Robinson, who worked in the cosmetic industry developing products for Revlon (Ultima II Naked collection ) and L’Oreal. The cosmetic industry veteran has just published a book titled “Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+

Her book, according to Robinson, intends to “unconfuse” older women whom the industry has already dismissed. (We’re well aware of being dismissed by the industry.)

The person to ‘unconfuse’ 50+ women is Bobbi Brown, 56, the author of “Living Beauty”. According to Bobbi Brown, whose book has remained in print since 2007:

…………………………………………………………………………

Living beauty…………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………

“There is no cream that is ‘anti-aging’ ……. There is no cream that fixes wrinkles.”

…………………………………………………………………………

Sibylesque 1920s Flapper

In fact, in Australia it is illegal to claim that a cream can reduce wrinkles. If an anti-wrinkle cream can do anything it is not a cosmetic.

It is a pharmaceutical product and must be tested. As a result, ads for cosmetic creams have developed a convoluted language to convince women that they do something that, legally, they are not allowed to do.  A Multi Revitalifting Visage Night Creme will provide ‘hydradiance’ or ’luminescence’. Obviously, such creams do not reduce wrinkles, but you get to glow in the dark.

If you pay big money for an ‘anti-aging’ cream remember it doesn’t do anything, but at least you can be comforted in the knowledge that, philosophically speaking, it is opposed to the concept of aging.

Kerry Cue is a humorist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing on her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

HOME

 

At my age, doctor, John Glen was an astronaut!

by Kerry Cue

Roman border dark red

dark red quote 1 The United States contains more people aged 65 and older than the total population of Canada.dark red quote 2

…………………………….The Demographics of Aging Report

Sibylesque Signature dark redRoman border dark red

 

….

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

At your age, what do you expect?


When consulting with your doctor about some illness or injury, you may hear the words, “Well, at your age, what do you expect?” In other words, your illness is ‘your age’. You may want to respond, “At my age, Doctor, John Glen was an astronaut”. John Glen went into space at 77 years of age! Unfortunately, your health provider would more than likely mumble [under their breath], “You’re no John Glen”.

Pelvic Floor Exercises on Beach Now imagine you are a 70-year -old American with a painful knee. What does it actually mean if your doctor glibly comments ‘Well, at your age, what do you expect?’ According to the statisticians there are 18 million Americans in your 65 – 74-year-old age group. As there are 18 million Americans ‘your age’ does that mean they are all limping about the place because of painful knees? The flaw in this logic is simple. You cannot make assumptions about the health of one person from group statistics. When the sample size is 18 million, such assumptions become a joke.

If your doctor thinks YOUR AGE is the disease, he or she might miss a more specific diagnosis. How do you respond to this type of comment by a medical practitioner? One 70-year-old had the answer. In her book, [published over 30 years ago!], ‘Mirror, Mirror, The Terror of Not Being Young’, author, Elissa Melamed, tells the story of a 70-year-old who visited her doctor with a painful right knee. “You’re 70 years old, what do you expect?” he insisted. “My left knee is 70 too”, she replied, “and it’s fine”.

Kerry Cue is a humourist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing at her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

HOME

 

Puffing Your Way to a Better Brain

by The Sibyls

‘If it’s good for the heart, it’s good for the brain.’ Health advisers are constantly telling us that exercise  is  good  for  the brain. Now researchers in Germany claim to have discovered the reason why. It has everything to do with a vitamin-like chemical called choline.

In  an article titled Get on your bike and ride out dementia risk (Fin Review, July 2017), Jill  Margo  explained  that  there  have  not  been  many  randomised,  control  trails  of  brain metabolism before. Prof Johannes Pantel, Goethe University, Frankfurt, said the small study showed that regular aerobic exercise protects and maintains brain function by keeping the choline levels constant.

Choline maintains brain cell membrane health. Dementia is commonly marked by a sharp rise then crash in choline levels.

So get smart and ‘Puff Puff Puff’ your way to better brain health.

(Note: ‘Banging’ (see above) may also be beneficial to brain health.)

Fall Down 7 times. Get Up 8. Do the Hokey Pokey …

by The Sibyls

Midlife  can  involve many  stresses  including  career  demands,  difficult  teenage children, divorce,  lack of time,  lack of fitness,  parents’   failing  health  and  money  worries  with no simple solutions in sight. But one of the BIGGEST issues of midlife is accepting that you are not always in control. Unexpected things can happen to you despite the best plans.

An article by Tara Parker-Pope in The New York Times this week (How to Build Resilience in Midlife) gives some pointers that could equally apply at any age.

Life, or so it seems, was simple once. Now it is so complex.
Here are some of the ways to build resilience:

  • Practise Optimism
  • Rewrite Your Story
  • Don’t Personalise It
  • Remember Your Comebacks
  • Support Others
  • Take Stress Breaks
  • Go Out of Your Comfort Zone

We, the Sibyls, would add:

  • Seek joy

Joy will not just arrive on your doorstep. You have to seek it. Find out what makes you happy and what makes you laugh. Then do this everyday or, at least, when you can.

To Beat Alzheimer’s Beef Up Your Brain

by Kerry Cue

I’m trying to remember the name of a pioneering neuroscientist. ALOIS … What’s his name? You know. ALOIS  … Alzheimer. Alois Alzheimer first observed the  amyloid  plaques in the brain of an otherwise healthy patient in 1906. ALOIS. I think it’s a start if I can remember that name.

The article BANKING AGAINST ALZHEIMER’S written by Professor David Bennet, director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, was published in  The Scientific American last year. I was expecting to find news of an  imminent  cure, but I  was  sadly disappointed. According to Prof Bennet, who is in charge of  100  scientists working on the project, ‘drug development for treating Alzheimer’s has been slow and marked  mostly by  disappointment.’

Moreover, ’as researchers continue to untangle the intricate web of disease mechanisms, it makes sense to focus on preventing Alzheimer’s in the  first place—to apply what we know about strengthening our brain to withstand the hits that come with aging.’ And  here  is the  big  news.  Subjects  who  faired  better  regarding  Alzheimer’s had  more  neurons, that is heavier brains. So beef up that brain of yours for successful aging.

Dali’s surreal paintings inadvertantly capture the disjointed memory of Alzheimer’s.I added the cloud border to push the imagery even further back into the memory.

11 ways to stave off Alzheimer’s*:

1. Pick your parents well! Then you’ll get good genes, a good education and avoid emotional neglect.

2. Keep physically and mentally active.

3. Be social.

4. Do new things.

5. Relax. Be happy.

6. Avoid negative types including family members.

7. Work hard.

8. Set goals. Find a purpose in life.

9. Healthy heart, healthy mind. Diet and exercise matter.

10. Eat that green leafy stuff and other vegetables.

11. Be lucky!

*As suggested by Professor Bennet according to current reseach.