Health

What Does Prop 64 Really Bring to California?

Regardless of what you think about the legal use of marijuana for non-medical purposes, you should understand what Prop 64 really means.

Prop 64 is being pushed by big money interests to commercialize and market recreational marijuana. Many people think that no one should go to jail for smoking a little pot. That is not what this Prop is about. Commercialization and marketing of marijuana means that it will be marketed and advertised to adults. What does that mean for our kids?

Alcohol is not supposed to be marketed and advertised to kids. So, do kids turn off the TV when beer ads are shown? Apparently not, since alcohol is the most abused drug among California teen-agers.

Alcohol costs California billions of dollars for the social problems it creates, and leads the country as number one for alcohol consumption.

Background:

California is the largest alcohol market in the United States. In 2005 alone,Californians consumed almost 14 billion alcoholic drinks, which contributed to many severe and potentially fatal alcohol-related illnesses and conditions. Alcohol use also causes violent and non-violent crimes, as well as injuries and traffic collisions. While several studies have estimated the magnitude and cost of these problems nationally and others have analyzed underage drinking costs, no overall cost estimate at the state level currently exists for California. We present the first comprehensive estimate of the cost of alcohol consumption in California. 

Results:

Alcohol consumption in California led to an estimated 9,439 deaths and 921,929 alcohol-related problems, such as crime and injury in 2005. The economic cost of these problems is estimated at between $35.4 billion and $42.2 billion. Our main estimate is $38.5 billion, of which $5.4 billion was for medical and mental health spending, $25.3 billion in work losses, and $7.8 billion in criminal justice spending, property damage and public program costs. In addition, alcohol is responsible for severe reductions in individuals’ quality of life in California. We estimate that the disability caused by injury, the personal anguish of violent crime victims, and the life years lost to fatality are the largest costs imposed by alcohol. The total value for this reduced quality of life in California is between $30.3 billion and $60.0 billion. Our main estimate for quality-of-life costs is $48.8 billion

 ://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wpcontent/uploads/CostAlcoholCaliforniaSimon.pdf

Do you think that legalizing marijuana will give us less of a drug problem? Do you want your kids eating THC-laced gummy bears on the way to school? Just as alcohol is regulated, so would pot. But the kids don’t seem to have much trouble getting their hands on alcohol, and there is no reason to think they could not figure out how to get marijuana, particularly when the edibles come in the form of candy bars, “pot tarts”, and chewing gum. A young patient of mine from Colorado Springs told me that pot shops are now as common as 7-11’s in Colorado.

Sound public drug policies are supposed to encourage less addiction and abuse. More drug use of any kind creates social problems that harm communities and families and clog social services. Regardless of whether or not you think that pot smoking should be decriminalized, realize that Prop 64 is not sound policy because it puts big money interests ahead of the well-being of families, kids and the community. It will allow George Soros, the largest investor in Monsanto, and Sean Parker (cofounder of Napster and first president of Facebook) to make billions of dollars when pot is advertised like cola drinks. Marketing is always aimed at the most vulnerable and gullible populations, so targeting young people, minorities, and under-served communities makes good business sense if money is your sole motivation. http://wakeup-world.com/2016/07/20/monsanto-big-pharma-george-soros-and-the-push-to-legalize-marijuana/?doing_wp_cron=1469633726.8202860355377197265625  It is speculated that Monsanto will create GMO marijuana seeds and may even intend to corner and patent the seeds in order to dominate the world market.

80% of addictive substances like tobacco and alcohol are consumed by 20% of the population. Drug manufacturers never want you to be responsible in your behavior. They want you dependent so they can have you as a life-long customer. Check this out to follow the money on Prop 64. http://theweedlynews.com/2016/08/28/when-you-follow-the-money/

This is not about adult freedoms. It is about the “freedom” of greed and vested interest to market their wares to vulnerable people. Watch the celebrities and sports stars get on board for marketing purposes if Prop 64 passes. And what will our kids think about drug use then?

How harmful is marijuana to developing children? This has been a controversial topic, but it makes sense to be concerned about any chemical substance that is introduced to an immature system. For details about neuropsychological decline and decline in IQ for heavy users who started as adolescents see this study. chttp://www.moffittcaspi.com/sites/moffittcaspi.com/files/field/publication_uploads/Meier_PNAS_Cannabis_2012Published_0.pdf

This is not your grandmother’s pot anymore. I recall observing motivational issues in heavy pot smokers among my college classmates in the 70’s when the THC content was 1%. Through years of hybridization and sharing of seeds and plants, the marijuana growers have created plants that have a THC content that ranges from 16 to 32%, and may go even higher, as will you, if you smoke it. It would take 17.5 joints of the 1975 vintage to equal 1 joint today. http://herb.co/2015/09/30/modern-day-weed-vs-hippie-weed/

Marijuana plants do have medicinal properties and one company in particular is in late-stag testing. But guess what? It is not THC that is medicinal- it is another component of the plant called cannabidiol or CBD. When THC goes up, CBD goes down and vice-versa. So, the hallucinogenic and “high” aspect is not medicinal, but just the opposite. CBD has anti-inflammatory effects that hold promise for the treatment of pain and inflammation and a variety of conditions. We don’t need commercialized high dose THC marijuana for that purpose. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/whats-the-deal-with-these-high-cbd-strains/

We may need reform regarding our laws about marijuana, but only 1% of our prison population is incarcerated for possession. http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/lists/top-10-marijuana-myths-and-facts-20120822/myth-prisons-are-full-of-people-in-for-marijuana-possession-19691231

Since marijuana is already easily available in California, Prop 64 is not needed and, if passed, may cause great harm to our kids and teenagers at a time when their developing minds and neurological systems are most vulnerable.

“Other symptoms of Colorado’s pot culture include increased use among teens, resulting in educational problems in middle schools and high schools, a spike in “edibles”-related emergency room visits, consumption by children and pets resulting in illness and death and regulatory confusion surrounding public consumption and enforcement.” http://www.newsweek.com/unexpected-side-effects-legalizing-weed-339931

“Marijuana-related emergency room visits grew 57 percent in two years, from 8,198 in 2011 to 12,888 in 2013, the study found, with a 29 percent increase in emergency room visits for teens. The report also found that drug-related suspensions and expulsions increased 32 percent between the 2008-2009 and 2012-2013 school years. The majority of expulsions were for marijuana violations.” https://www.rt.com/usa/316148-marijuana-related-deaths-injuries-study/

Raising teenagers is difficult enough these days. I am very grateful that my sons’ schools did not have more of a drug problem. It is now up to us to decide what kind of drug problems our kids and grandkids will face going forward. Prop 64 will surely make them worse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What We Learned From Cats

In the 1950’s a medical doctor named Francis Pottenger, Jr. was conducting research into the endocrine (hormonal) systems of cats in an attempt to standardize dosages of hormones needed to sustain their lives.

The cats in the study were being fed a seemingly healthy diet of raw milk, cod liver oil, and cooked meat scraps of liver, muscle, and other organs.  Organ meat contains the highest quality nutrition. Cats are strict carnivores (meat eaters) so this diet was considered to be the best for them. However, the cats were not thriving and more cats had to be added to the research, straining the food budget. Dr. Pottenger ordered raw scraps of meat from a local meat plant.

The raw scraps were fed to one of the animal groups. In very short order Dr. Pottenger and his research assistants noticed that the kittens born to the mother cats being fed the raw meat were friskier and better formed than the cooked meat group.

The teeth, skeletal formation, and tone of the musculature of the raw meat group were superior to the cooked meat group. Dr. Pottenger became so interested in the evidence of nutritional superiority of the raw meat group that he began to document his findings and his famous “Cat Study” was begun.

Although Dr. Pottenger never said that cats were exactly like humans, the evidence of the importance of the quality of nutrients in physical health is too startling to be ignored. The vitamins, minerals, and protein quality of the raw meat were clearly of much greater benefit than the cooked meat.

What this says for human health is that paying attention to the source of the nutrients may be vitally important. It is pretty easy to figure out that a well-done hamburger from a fast-food chain might be of inferior nutritional quality to a hamburger from a higher end restaurant. But how about a hamburger from a fully grass-fed cow cooked rare or even served raw? Restaurants used to serve raw meat as “Steak tartare” often.  The Tatars were a warring tribe and legend has it that they did not stop to cook their meat, but preserved it under their saddles as they rode. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/60315/original-steak-tartare/

Some of the healthiest cultures in the world have eaten raw animal products. Sushi is a prime example. African tribes have been known to drink the blood of their herd animals for a meal. Native Americans cut the hearts from animals killed in hunts and served them up to the warriors of the tribes.

Perhaps one of the reasons red meat has gotten a bad rap is because we so often eat it cooked to the point of protein-death, and eat far too much at a time to be able to digest it.

If you do indulge in raw animal foods, you may have a higher number of parasites, since little critters like sushi, too. Strong stomach acid, herbal preparations, and avoiding sugar and processed foods can all help keep down the population of hitch-hikers, but everyone has some in their body. You just want to keep them from getting out of control. So, cleanses, probiotics, and herbal preparations should be part of your regular health regimen. You change the oil in your car, and doing a cleanse is just as important.

Nature does not demand that foods be cooked or processed to be nutritional. Our modern diet of processed and chemical foods is too far from a natural state to maintain the kind of robust health that makes life fun and a body disease-resistant.

Even if the idea of raw meat does not appeal, take a cue from Dr. Pottenger’s kitties and include raw foods every day. Vegetables and fruits, unrefined oils, and raw cheese are all good choices. Even raw honey has benefits, as long as it is used in moderation because of the natural sugar.

Live cells need living food. In Nature, big cats are always sleek and svelte. It is only when domesticated cats eat commercial food that they get chubby and develop Diabetes.  So we can learn something from our feline friends. Play a lot, sleep a lot, and eat plenty of raw foods. Purrrrfect!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuts About Coconuts (Oil)

What makes coconut oil unique? At a temperature of 76 degrees or higher, it is liquid and the high saturated fatty acid content causes it to turn solid when it is colder.

Are saturated fats dangerous for your arteries? Consider the fact that our body temperatures are about 98.6. This means that coconut oil is liquid at that temperature so could not clog arteries. This is beside the fact that all fats are broken down into small bits before they are absorbed from the digestive tract. So, you don’t need to worry about natural fats, only processed or fried fats.

Coconut oil is healthy for the gut, the brain, and the skin. It will help arrest and prevent Alzheimer’s and it improves cholesterol and assists with loss of belly fat and weight.

Can you think of any other oil or fat that has the same benefits? Although there are many healthy fats, such as flax oil, olive oil, and butter, coconut oil may be one of the smartest choices.

We are learning more about the needs of a healthy brain. Alzheimer’s is considered to be Diabetes Type 3. The good news is that this gives us a prevention and treatment path. Keep blood sugar in balance, limit the various forms of sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup, alcohol, and refined sugar, and protect your brain function. The brain operates well using ketones, instead of sugar, for fuel. Ketones are produced in the liver from fats, only when sugar consumption is low. http://healthimpactnews.com/2016/study-how-ketones-as-brain-fuel-can-prevent-alzheimers-disease/

Many people have mentioned that their memory seems to be getting worse, or they feel foggy. Decreasing sugar and starchy carbs, and increasing good fats like coconut oil would be worth trying as a remedy.

Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids. There are four different types of fat in coconut oil, and each has benefits. Lauric acid is a fat that may help balance hormones, with benefits for men and women.

The medium chain fatty acids seem to be processed differently in the body, so they encourage lean muscle and fat loss. Belly fat may be reduced with long-term consumption. Keep in mind that you have to reduce sugar and starches to enjoy this benefit.  http://dailyhealthlifestyles.com/20-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/4/

MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides) has been making the news in the Paleo world for making bullet-proof coffee. MCT is processed coconut oil, so it is missing some of the all-around benefits of raw unrefined coconut oil. Is MCT better for lean muscle? Check out the bullet-proof website to see what they have to say, but be sure to use high quality no matter if you want to try it. https://www.bulletproofexec.com/what-is-mct-oil-vs-coconut-oil/

A high-fat low-carb diet was used at Johns Hopkins Hospital to treat epilepsy in children with dramatic results. High-fat low-carb has been used to starve cancer cells, and may be an exciting alternative for treating brain tumors. https://healthimpactnews.com/2013/using-the-ketogenic-diet-to-heal-brain-tumors/

Bacteria does not seem to like the fats in coconut oil, so it is good for the immune system and for gut healing if you have already taken too many antibiotics, or suffer from gastric distress. Inflammation is naturally reduced with the fats in coconut oil. Again, reducing sugar consumption is key. Also, experiment with reducing dairy and wheat/grains, which seem to be inflammatory for many people.

As you can see the list goes on and on. Adding coconut oil to your morning smoothie, spreading it on veggies, or using it for cooking, has internal benefits. As a hair and skin conditioner, coconut oil is healing and moisturizing for every member of the family from a babe in diapers to acne-prone teens, and age-conscious adults.

Coconut water and cream can also be a healthy addition to your diet. I use grass-fed butter and coconut cream in my tea and coffee for a delicious alternative to dairy. I learned to drink tea with milk when I lived in England and none of the milk alternatives did the trick for me. But coconut creamer and butter make the tea taste just right.

If you have been using canola oil, or other vegetable oils, it is time for an oil change. Coconut oil is better than butter or olive oil for higher temperature cooking.

But the real benefits come from using raw, organic coconut oil. Enjoy it on skin and hair for its beauty benefits, or add it to your diet for its health benefits. Inside or outside, you can go nuts for coconuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staying Strong For Men

When women age, we can talk about it freely because women are allowed to be concerned about their hormonal changes, their faces, and figures.  For men, the problems of aging may be just as concerning, but not so easily discussed.

Just like women, men have a need for hormone balance. The adrenal glands (those tiny but mighty glands sitting above the kidneys) make the steroid hormones that allow us to run faster in danger, monitor libido, and determine energy levels. Men and women both make hormones out of cholesterol. Then the cascade of hormones proceeds into progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. Estrogen is lowest on the hormone chain, and estrogen is formed from testosterone.

An enzyme called aromatase causes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Aromatase can surge when too much sugar, alcohol or refined carbohydrate is consumed, spiking blood sugar. As more fat accumulates around breasts (man boobs) and belly, the fat can also produce estrogen, adding to the problem. http://blogs.christianpost.com/health/is-your-testosterone-turning-into-estrogen-5890/

All cells in the body have hormone receptors on them. For men, testosterone should be more dominantly parked in the cells. If there is too much estrogen, then the male sexual characteristics diminish. Muscles turn to fat and the prostate can enlarge. Too much circulating estrogen is a risk for prostate cancer. http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/docking-receptor-binding.html

Higher amounts of circulating estrogen increase risk of stroke.  Estrogen dominance, which is the ratio of estrogen to testosterone, is a risk for heart attack and thicker arteries. Low testosterone levels can be associated with depression and anxiety. http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/low-testosterone-8/default.htm

Statin drugs decrease cholesterol, which in turn can decrease testosterone levels. This may lead to Erectile Dysfunction caused by low testosterone. Statin drugs have also been associated with higher risk of Diabetes Type II. Sufficient healthy fats in the blood keep blood sugar levels more balanced.

You can monitor your testosterone levels through blood or Salvia hormone testing. Another simple way is to have a zinc taste test. Adequate zinc is needed for testosterone. We offer all of these tests at Well Body Clinic.

We also have herbal DHEA and testosterone boosters, in cream and tablet form that will encourage the body to make more testosterone. A detox program for weight loss, or a Blood Sugar balance program, will help you kick the carb habit, stop the snack cravings, drop weight and lose the excess belly fat.

Lifestyle choices may influence your testosterone levels. Avoid excess alcohol, sugar and grains. Eat sufficient protein, but make sure it is digested well; so digestive enzymes can be used. Get plenty of cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts to help the liver metabolize excess estrogen. Get moderate exercise and sufficient sleep. (Maybe Mom was right all along.)

No matter what kind of a job you have, life itself is an Olympic event and those who train for it usually come out ahead of the crowd. Breaking old habits is never easy until the new habits have replaced them.

For Father’s Day, and every day, stay strong and ready for the next event. Healthy guys are sexier. And out-running your kids is always satisfying.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great men in our lives.