Thursday, February 24, 2005

I have to wonder

This web site frequently has some useful information, but sometimes I have to wonder about that guy. This posting, for example. He uses billion several times where trillion is clearly the correct number. The cost of health care will soar to $3.6 billion? What a deal that would be.

Then there's this little gem I noticed from an article about the hazards of microwaving your food:

"By comparison, microwaves from the sun are based on principles of pulsed direct current (DC) that don't create frictional heat; microwave ovens use alternating current (AC) creating frictional heat."

Does he really think that there is any energy from the sun traveling in a wave with a frequency of zero? The concept of direct current is not even applicable here. MicroWAVES are oscillating just like any other wave from the sun.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Exercises for the Most Common Back Problems

I saw this article about back trouble back in August 2004. Apparently a lot of back trouble is caused by the weakness of two sets of muscles, the lumbar multifidus and the transversus abdominis. The cause, it seems, is sitting on one's ass for long periods.

I did a little googling and found that the alternate superman exercise is supposed to strengthen the lumbar multifidus muscles (really helped me).

I tried the "horse stance" exercise on this page and found that I no longer need my chiropractor to realign my spine periodically. It seems that my particular issue is addressed just by strengthening the smaller stabilizing muscles.

And the transversus abdominis muscle can be strengthened by doing abdominal vacuum exercises. And that's how you flatten your stomach too, apparently.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Why Stretch?

Nismat is a great site for information about stretching and flexibility. Check out physical therapy.

Muscles can get tight and shorten and then have limited prospects for growth.

If your trying to increase muscle size, you need to exercise a muscle over the entire length of contraction, not just at the peak of contraction.

Having a flexible muscle enables you to do this because you can contract the full distance. If the muscle is tight, it can't go very far.

If a muscle cannot be extended very far, the muscle may get stronger in the contracted position, but strength building that might have occurred in the extended position cannot take place. Some strength gains, and thus some size gains, are missed.

This also negatively impacts the shape of a muscle too. If not all parts of the muscle are stressed in the same weigh, the shape as the muscle grows will be a bit distorted.

Also, if a muscle has been injured in the past, it can actually have tough areas called lesions where muscle function is actually a bit impaired. An accumulation of these lesions causes a muscle to shorten. Stretching a muscle can, over time, break up these lesions!

That's my theory anyway. And stretching has a strong tradition in so many cultures and sports. If see the same answer to many different questions, you know there's something important there.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Research on Coconut Oil Effects on Cholesterol

Interesting page with lots of studies mentioned. Will check into the literature later.

So far, I'm doing well with the coconut oil. Should probably get the cholesterol tested soon and compare with my last test.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Good Overview of Research into Diabetes and the role of Coconut Oil in the diet

Apparently, there is a connection between magnesium deficiency, calcification (leading to heart disease and other conditions) and thyroid function.

The body is really complex. So many factors involved. Its a wonder doctors can determine anything.

See my pie-in-the-sky solution to our fairly sick health care system.

Nobel prize winner Bernardo Alberto Houssay did some of the earlier work on coconut oil. I could not find the actual study available for free anywahere online, but its referenced on Harvard's website. I've seen commercial sites that refer to this, but no credible site directly quoting it.

From the info what I've gathered on the web, the switch to vegetable oil away from coconut oil has contributed to the rise of diabetes in the US. That and the high fructose corn syrup surge.

Try to buy processed foods that do not have soy or some form of corn in them.

Coconut Oil

Have you tried this stuff? Its supposed to be very good for those with slow metabolisms that might due to thyroid problems. Its also supposed to be a very good antiviral and antifungal agent that wards off inflammation as well.

There seems to be a real controversy about whether it elevates the bad cholesterol level in the blood. Its a bit unclear from the studies I was able to find. Some indicate that it does and others have mixed results. A lot of sites selling this stuff say the bad studies are due to the coconut oil being hydrogenated (this is the process that creates the dreaded "trans fat").

There is also research that suggests that heart disease may not be caused by cholesterol at all and that cholesterol accumulating in the arteries is actually a response to inflammation. This inflammation is related to C-reactive protein and possibly even to calcification caused by something called nanobacteria.