Sunday 22 January 2017


Our bodies need healthy levels of cholesterol to function. Cholesterol is a fatty substance made by the liver and distributed throughout the body. It allows our bodies to make vitamin D and hormones, and makes up bile acids. We also get less than 25 percent of our body’s cholesterol from the foods we eat, especially animal fats.
High cholesterol means you have a lot more cholesterol in your blood than you need. Most people who have high cholesterol don’t have any obvious symptoms. A simple blood test can tell you if you have high cholesterol. If you do have high cholesterol, dietary changes, exercise, and targeted medications can help lower it and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Circulatory System

Cholesterol moves through your bloodstream via lipoproteins. There are two kinds of lipoproteins, and we need them both. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) transport cholesterol around to where it’s needed. If there’s too much cholesterol, it may be deposited into the arteries. LDL is commonly referred to as “bad cholesterol.” High-density lipoproteins (HDL) take the extra cholesterol from your tissues and cells and return it to your liver for repurposing. That’s why HDL is called “good cholesterol.”
The job of the arteries is to move blood from your heart to other parts of your body. Too much LDL and not enough HDL makes it more likely that your arteries will develop plaque, a hardened mixture of cholesterol, fat, and other elements.
As coronary arteries narrow, it’s harder for blood to make it through to your heart. If an area of plaque breaks open, it can result in a blood clot, which can block blood flow altogether. This puts you at great risk of having a heart attack. Symptoms of reduced blood supply to the heart include chest discomfort, pressure, and pain (angina). You may also have pain in your jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, or back. Angina can be mistaken for indigestion.
If blood flow to one section of heart muscle is blocked, the result is a heart attack. That means the heart muscle is dying. Blood flow has to be restored fast, or there’s a risk of permanent heart damage or death.
When plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your brain, your brain is deprived of oxygen. Brain cells quickly become damaged and start to die (stroke). Symptoms include sudden weakness and numbness. Depending on the area of the brain involved, you may have trouble speaking, seeing, or moving your limbs. A stroke can cause brain damage, disability, or death.
Plaque can also build up and interfere with blood flow to your arms and legs (peripheral arterial disease). If the blood supply to your limbs is blocked, you may feel numbness or pain. There’s an increased risk of infection in those limbs. Lack of blood can cause tissue death (gangrene).

Digestive System

High cholesterol can create a bile imbalance, leading to gallstones. According to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse, more than 80 percent of gallstones are cholesterol stones.
A buildup of plaque in your arteries can also block blood flow to your kidneys and stomach. Intestinal ischemic syndrome is when there’s a blockage in arteries leading to the intestines or bowel. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and bloody stools.

Sunday 15 January 2017

What is the first impression means.....!

A Harvard psychologist says people judge you based on 2 criteria when they first meet you!
People size you up in seconds, but what exactly are they evaluating?
Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy has been studying first impressions alongside fellow psychologists Susan Fiske and Peter Glick for more than 15 years, and has discovered patterns in these interactions.
In her new book, "Presence," Cuddy says that people quickly answer two questions when they first meet you:
Can I trust this person?
Can I respect this person?
Psychologists refer to these dimensions as warmth and competence, respectively, and ideally you want to be perceived as having both.
Interestingly, Cuddy says that most people, especially in a professional context, believe that competence is the more important factor. After all, they want to prove that they are smart and talented enough to handle your business.
But in fact, warmth, or trustworthiness, is the most important factor in how people evaluate you.
"From an evolutionary perspective," Cuddy says, "it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust."
It makes sense when you consider that in cavemen days it was more important to figure out if your fellow man was going to kill you and steal all your possessions than if he was competent enough to build a good fire.
But while competence is highly valued, Cuddy says that it is evaluated only after trust is established.And focusing too much on displaying your strength can backfire.
She says that MBA interns are often so concerned about coming across as smart and competent that it can lead them to skip social events, not ask for help, and generally come off as unapproachable.
These overachievers are in for a rude awakening when they don't get a job offer because nobody got to know and trust them as people.
Cuddy says:
If someone you're trying to influence doesn't trust you, you're not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative. A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you've established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Why do flights take longer to fly West than East?

The flights take 5 hours to go West-East on this journey, but is taking about 7 East-West. The reason for the difference is an atmospheric phenomena known as the jet stream. The jet stream is a very high altitude wind which always blows from the West to the East across the Atlantic. The planes moving at a constant air speed thus go faster in the West-East direction when they are moving with the wind than in the opposite direction.
Every planet/moon has global wind that are mostly determined by the way the planet/moon rotates and how evenly the Sun illuminates it. On the Earth the equator gets much more Sun than the poles. resulting in warmer air at the equator than the poles and creating circulation cells (or "Hadley Cells") which consist of warm air rising over the equator and then moving North and South from it and back round.
The Earth is also rotating. When any solid body rotates, bits of it that are nearer its axis move slower than those which are further away. As you move north (or south) from the equator, you are moving closer to the axis of the Earth and so the air which started at the equator and moved north (or south) will be moving faster than the ground it is over (it has the rotation speed of the ground at the equator, not the ground which is is now over). This results in winds which always move from the west to the east in the mid latitudes.

Sunday 8 January 2017

Eggs and cholesterol

There are some facts about cholesterol that the majority of the public does not know and even some doctors seem to have forgotten because it has been so long since they learned about them in the early years of medical school.
a) cholesterol is an animal product from the catabolism of heamoglobin. As plants do not have blood, they produce phytosterols which inhibit cholesterol absorption in the guts. The claim "no cholesterol" on labels of plant-base food is non-sense, a commercial trick.
b) Human body needs quite a lot of cholesterol and manufactures about 1g daily (with a total body amount of 35g), and mother Nature gives us the ability to recycle most of the cholesterol from the guts.
c) cholesterol is produced by the liver and secreted into the gallbladder, stored there under the form of bile salts. When the stomach content moves down to the upper portion of the small intestine, it triggers a contraction of the gallbladder which forces the bile into the guts. The bile salts (with their cholesterol component) are water soluble and can be easily absorbed through the blood vessels in the intestine wall, then into the blood.
d) on the other hand, the cholesterol in the food are under the esterified forms, not water soluble and not easily absorbed through the intestine wall. Most of them ends up to be food for the gut bacteria.
d) consequently, most of the cholesterol in our blood comes from ourselves, less than 20% come from food.
e) go ahead and enjoy egg, butter, crustaceans (crab, shrimp, lobster ...) because the recommendations about them the last 50 years concerning cholesterol have been wrong on biochemical and physiological basis.
*** for people who want to lower cholesterol but don't know what to believe, these are other tidbits:
a) as the largest source of cholesterol comes from bile. the most logical way to reduce cholesterol is to prevent the bile salts from being absorbed.
b) soluble fiber in grains and fruits is the most effective and SAFE weapon to do that because the bile salts adsorb (with a d, not b) onto the fiber, cannot be released to be absorbed (with a b) and will be eaten by the bacteria or .... pooped out.
c) this is the caveat: as bile is not secreted into the guts all day long but only in spurts (especially during meals high in lipid), eating high fiber in the form of oat meal or high fiber cereal once a day in breakfast is non-sense, mainly because that breakfast is fat-free, that is without egg, bacon, butter!
So, the best way to lower cholesterol inexpensively, without a doctor visit or a prescription is to go to the pharmacy, ask for one of the fiber caplet or pill available OTC and take one of them three times daily WITH EACH MEAL.
If your blood cholesterol does not drop in few weeks, you can think about asking your doctor for extended-released niacin or a statin. 50% of my patients did not need anything beyond a high fiber diet and only 30% more needed a fiber supplement.
Further reading
Daily egg consumption in hyperlipidemic adults - Effects on endothelial function and cardiovascular risk. Valentine Njike, Zubaida Faridi, and David L Katz