Water for the Pima

A few months ago, I published a post about the Pima Indians (Akimel O'odham) of Arizona. The Pima are one of the most heart-wrenching examples of the disease of civilization afflicting a society after a nutrition transition. Traditionally a healthy agricultural people, they now have some of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world.

The trouble all started when their irrigation waters were diverted upstream in the late 19th century. Their traditional diet of corn, beans, squash, fish, game meats and gathered plant foods became impossible. They became dependent on government food programs, which provided them with white flour, sugar, lard and canned goods. Now they are the subjects of scientific research because of their staggering health problems.

I'm happy to report that after more than 30 years of activism, lawsuits and negotiation, the Pima and neighboring tribes have reached an agreement with the federal government that will restore a portion of their original water. Of the 2 million acre-feet of water the Pima were estimated to have used since before the 16th century, the settlement will restore 653,500. An acre-foot is approximately the personal water use of one household. The settlement also provides federal funds for reconstructing old irrigation canals.

Now we will see how the Pima will use it. Will they return to an agricultural lifestyle, perhaps with the advantages of modern technology? Or will they lease the water rights for money and continue to live off Western foods? Perhaps some of both. They are definitely aware that Western food is causing their health problems, and that they could regain their health by eating traditional foods. However, white flour "fry bread", sugar and canned meat have been around for so long they are also a cultural tradition at this point. Only time will tell which path they choose.

Conflict of Interest

The U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) is a government organization that educates physicians and the general public about the "dangers" of elevated cholesterol. They have a panel that creates official guidelines for the reduction of cardiovascular disease risk. They contain target cholesterol levels, and the usual recommendations to eat less saturated fat and cholesterol, and lose weight.

They recommend keeping LDL below 100 mg/dL, which would place tens of millions of Americans on statins.

I was reading Dr. John Briffa's blog today and he linked to a government web page disclosing NCEP panel members' conflicts of interest. It's fairly common in academic circles to require conflict of interest statements, so a skeptical audience can decide whether or not they think someone is biased. The 9-member NECP panel was happy to indulge us:

Dr. Grundy has received honoraria from Merck, Pfizer, Sankyo, Bayer, Merck/Schering-Plough, Kos, Abbott, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and AstraZeneca; he has received research grants from Merck, Abbott, and Glaxo Smith Kline.

Dr. Cleeman has no financial relationships to disclose.

Dr. Bairey Merz has received lecture honoraria from Pfizer, Merck, and Kos; she has served as a consultant for Pfizer, Bayer, and EHC (Merck); she has received unrestricted institutional grants for Continuing Medical Education from Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Novartis, Wyeth, AstraZeneca, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging; she has received a research grant from Merck; she has stock in Boston Scientific, IVAX, Eli Lilly, Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, SCIPIE Insurance, ATS Medical, and Biosite.

Dr. Brewer has received honoraria from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Lipid Sciences, Merck, Merck/Schering-Plough, Fournier, Tularik, Esperion, and Novartis; he has served as a consultant for AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Lipid Sciences, Merck, Merck/Schering-Plough, Fournier, Tularik, Sankyo, and Novartis.

Dr. Clark has received honoraria for educational presentations from Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, and Pfizer; he has received grant/research support from Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, and Pfizer.

Dr. Hunninghake has received honoraria for consulting and speakers bureau from AstraZeneca, Merck, Merck/Schering-Plough, and Pfizer, and for consulting from Kos; he has received research grants from AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Kos, Merck, Merck/Schering-Plough, Novartis, and Pfizer.

Dr. Pasternak has served as a speaker for Pfizer, Merck, Merck/Schering-Plough, Takeda, Kos, BMS-Sanofi, and Novartis; he has served as a consultant for Merck, Merck/Schering-Plough, Sanofi, Pfizer Health Solutions, Johnson & Johnson-Merck, and AstraZeneca.

Dr. Smith has received institutional research support from Merck; he has stock in Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson.

Dr. Stone has received honoraria for educational lectures from Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Kos, Merck, Merck/Schering-Plough, Novartis, Pfizer, Reliant, and Sankyo; he has served as a consultant for Abbott, Merck, Merck/Schering-Plough, Pfizer, and Reliant.

Every company in bold is a statin manufacturer. This is outrageous! These are the people setting official government blood cholesterol target values for the entire country! Eight out of nine of them should be dismissed immediately, and replaced by people who can do a better job of pretending to be impartial!

Eating Down the Food Chain

Europe once teemed with large mammals, including species of elephant, lion, tiger, bear, moose and bison.

America was also home to a number of huge and unusual animals: mammoths, dire wolves, lions, giant sloths and others.

The same goes for Australia, where giant kangaroos, huge wombats and marsupial 'lions' once roamed.

What do these extinctions have in common? They all occurred around when humans arrived. The idea that humans caused them is hotly debated, because they also sometimes coincided with climactic and vegetation changes. However, I believe the fact that these extinctions occurred on several different continents about when humans arrived points to an anthropogenic explanation.

A recent archaeological study from the island of Tasmania off the coast of Australia supports the idea that humans were behind the Australian extinctions. Many large animals went extinct around the time when humans arrived in Australia, but that time also coincided with a change in climate. What the new study shows is that the same large animals survived for another 5,000 years in Tasmania... until humans arrived there from the mainland. Then they promptly went extinct. That time period didn't correspond to a major climate change, so it's hard to explain it away.

It's a harsh reality that our big brains and remarkable adaptability give us the power to be exceptionally destructive to the environment. We're good at finding the most productive niches available, and exploiting them until they implode. Jared Diamond wrote an excellent book on the subject called Collapse, which details how nearly every major civilization collapse throughout history was caused at least in part by environmental damage. It's been a hallmark of human history since the beginning.

I don't think it will take much to convince you that the trend has accelerated in modern times. Ocean life, our major source of nutrient-rich wild food, has already been severely depleted. The current extinction rate is estimated to be over 1,000 times the baseline, pre-modern level, and rising.

Humans have always been top-level predators. We kill and eat nutrient-dense prey that is often much larger than we are. But today, the extinction of such walking meat lockers has caused us to eat down the food chain. We're turning to jellyfish and sea cucumbers and... gasp... lobsters!

While it's true that we've probably always eaten things like shellfish and insects, I find it disturbing that we've depleted the oceans to the point where we can no longer sustainably eat formerly abundant carnivorous fish like tuna. We need to make a concerted effort to preserve these species because extinction is permanent.

I don't want to live in a future where the only thing on the menu is bacteria patties, the other other other
other white meat.

Saharan Hunter-Gatherers Unearthed

The media recently covered an archaeological discovery in Niger that caught my attention. In the middle of the Sahara desert, researchers found a hunter-gatherer burial site containing over 200 graves ranging from about 10,000 to 4,500 years old. During this period, the region was lush and productive.

There were two groups: the Kiffian, who were powerful hunters and fishermen, and the Tenerian, who were smaller pastoralists (herders) and fishermen.

Individuals at the Kiffian sites averaged over 6 feet tall, with some reaching 6' 8". They were powerfully muscled, and found with the remains of elephants, giraffes, pythons, giant perch and other large game.

Not that you have to be Conan the Barbarian to kill an elephant. Forest pygmies traditionally hunt elephants, and there's a picutre in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration to prove it. They use stealth, agility and an intimate knowledge of their prey to make up for their small size and primitive weapons.

Both the Kiffians and the Tenerians had excellent dental development and health. Take a look at some of the pictures. Those are the teeth of a wild Homo sapiens. Straight, free of decay and with plenty of room for the wisdom teeth. They must have had good dentists.

Both cultures also showed a high level of intelligence and empathy. They were found with decorated pottery shards and their bodies were arranged in imaginative and empathetic ways. A man was buried sitting on a tortoise shell. A mother was buried with her two children. Here's the picture. I can't say it better than the LA Times:
Among the Tenerian graves was a heart-rending burial tableaux [SIC!!]: A young woman was lying on her side. Pollen under her body suggested that she was placed on a bed of flowers. Lying on their sides facing her were two young children, their fingers interlocked with hers, leaving a tangle of bones.
Haha, I couldn't let the spelling error slide, it should be 'tableau'. Hey, I'm half French, give me a break.

Fit at 70

In my professional life, I study neurodegenerative disease, the mechanisms of aging, and what the two have in common. I was reading through a textbook on aging a few months ago, and I came across an interesting series of graphs.

The first graph showed the average cardiorespiratory endurance of Americans at different ages. It peaks around 30 and goes downhill from there. But the author of this chapter was very intelligent; he knew that averages sometimes conceal meaningful information. The second graph showed two lines: one representing a man who was sedentary, and the other representing a man who exercised regularly for his entire life. The data were from real individuals. The endurance of the first man basically tracked the national average as he aged. The endurance of the second man remained relatively stable from early adulthood until the age of 70, after which it declined noticeably.

We aren't taking care of ourselves for nothing, ladies and gentlemen. We're doing it because the stakes are high. Just look at Jack LaLanne, the fitness buff. He's been working out regularly and eating a whole foods diet since before I was born, and he's still pumping iron every day at 93.

Kitava: Wrapping it Up

There's a lot to be learned from the Kitava study. Kitavans eat a diet of root vegetables, coconut, fruit, vegetables and fish and have undetectable levels of cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke and overweight. Despite light smoking. 69% of their calories come from carbohydrate, 21% from fat and 10% from protein. This is essentially a carbohydrate-heavy version of what our paleolithic ancestors ate. They also get lots of sunshine and have a moderately high activity level.

The first thing we can say is that a high intake of carbohydrate is not enough, by itself, to cause overweight or the diseases of civilization. It's also not enough to cause insulin resistance. I sent an e-mail to Dr. Lindeberg asking if his group had measured Kitavans' glucose tolerance. He told me they had not. However, I can only guess they had good glucose control since they suffered from none of the complications of unmanaged diabetes.

The Kitavan diet is low in fat, and most of the fat they eat is saturated because it comes from coconuts. Compared to Americans and Swedes, they have a high intake of saturated fat. So much for the theory that saturated fat causes CVD... They also have a relatively high intake of fish fat, at 4g per day. This gives them a high ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, with plenty of DHA and EPA.

Their blood lipid profile is not what a mainstream cardiologist would expect. In fact, it's "worse" than the Swedish profile in many ways, despite the fact that Swedes are highly prone to CVD. This raises the possibility that blood lipids are not causing CVD, but are simply markers of diet and lifestyle factors. That's very easy for me to swallow because it never made sense to me that our livers would try to kill us by secreting triglycerides and withholding HDL. The blood lipid profile that associates best with CVD and metabolic syndrome in the West (but has no relation to them on Kitava) is one that's consistent with a high carbohydrate intake. Where does carbohydrate come from in the West? White flour and sugar maybe?

Kitavans also have very low serum leptin. This may be a keystone to their leanness and health. It suggests that their diet is not interfering with the body's metabolic feedback loops that maintain leanness.

The Kitavan diet is one path to vibrant health. Like many other non-industrial groups, Kitavans eat whole, natural foods that are broadly consistent with what our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten. It amazes me that as humans, we can live well on diets that range from near-complete carnivory to plant-rich omnivory. We are possibly the most adaptable species on the planet.

The ideal diet for humans includes a lot of possibilities. I believe the focus on macronutrients is misguided. There are examples of cultures that were/are healthy eating high-fat diets, high-carbohydrate diets and everything in between. What they do not eat is processed grains, particularly wheat, refined sugar, industrially processed seed oils and other modern foods. I believe these are unhealthy, and this is visible in the trail of destruction they have left around the globe. Its traces can be found in the Pacific islands, where close genetic relatives of the Kitavans have become morbidly obese and unhealthy on a processed-food diet.

Cardiovascular Risk Factors on Kitava, Part IV: Leptin

Leptin is a hormone that is a central player in the process of weight gain and chronic disease. Its existence had been predicted for decades, but it was not identified until 1994. Although less well known than insulin, its effects on nutrient disposal, metabolic rate and feeding behaviors place it on the same level of importance.

Caloric intake and expenditure vary from day to day and week to week in humans, yet most people maintain a relatively stable weight without consciously adjusting food intake. For example, I become hungry after a long fast, whereas I won't be very hungry if I've stuffed myself for two meals in a row. This suggests a homeostatic mechanism, or feedback loop, which keeps weight in the body's preferred range. Leptin is the major feedback signal.

Here's how it works. Leptin is secreted by adipose (fat) tissue, and its blood levels are proportional to fat mass. The more fat, the more leptin. It acts in the brain to increase the metabolic rate, decrease eating behaviors, and inhibit the deposition of fat. Thus, if fat mass increases, hunger diminishes and the body tries to burn calories to regain its preferred equilibrium.

The next logical question is "how could anyone become obese if this feedback loop inhibits energy storage in response to fat gain?" The answer is a problem called leptin resistance. In people who are obese, the brain no longer responds to the leptin signal. In fact, the brain believes leptin levels are low, implying stored energy is low, so it thinks it's starving. This explains the low metabolic rate, increased tendency for fat storage and hyperphagia (increased eating) seen in many obese people. Leptin resistance has reset the body's preferred weight 'set-point' to a higher level.

Incidentally, some reaserchers have claimed that obese people gain fat because they don't fidget as much as others. This is based on the observation that thin people fidget more than overweight people. Leptin also influences activity levels, so it's possible that obese people fidget less than thin people due to their leptin resistance. In other words, they fidget less because they're fat, rather than the other way around.

The problem of leptin resistance is well illustrated by a rat model called the Zucker fatty strain. The Zucker rat has a mutation in the leptin receptor gene, making its brain unresponsive to leptin signals. The rat's fat tissue pumps out leptin, but its brain is deaf to it. This is basically a model of severe leptin resistance, the same thing we see in obese humans. What happens to these rats? They become hyperphagic, hypometabolic, obese, develop insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Basically, severe metabolic syndrome.

This shows that leptin resistance is sufficient to cause many of the common metabolic problems that plague modern societies. In humans, it's a little known fact that leptin resistance precedes the development of obesity, insulin resistance, and impaired glucose tolerance! Furthermore, humans with leptin receptor mutations or impaired leptin production become hyperphagic and severely obese. This puts leptin at the top of my list of suspects.

So here we have the Kitavans, who are thin and healthy. How's their leptin? Incredibly low. Even in young individuals, Kitavan leptin levels average less than half of Swedish levels. Beyond age 60, Kitavans have 1/4 the leptin level of Swedish people. The difference is so great, the standard deviations don't even overlap.

This isn't surprising, since leptin levels track with fat mass and the Kitavans are very lean (average male BMI = 20, female BMI = 18). Now we are faced with a chicken and egg question. Are Kitavans thin because they're leptin-sensitive, or are they leptin-sensitive because they're thin?

There's no way to answer this question conclusively using the data I'm familiar with. However, in mice and humans, leptin resistance by itself can initiate a spectrum of metabolic problems very reminiscent of what we see so frequently in modern societies. This leads me to believe that there's something about the modern lifestyle that causes leptin resistance. As usual, my microscope is pointed directly at industrial food.

Cardiovascular Risk Factors on Kitava, Part III: Insulin

The Kitava study continues to get more and more interesting in later publications. Dr. Lindeberg and his colleagues continued exploring disease markers in the Kitavans, perhaps because their blood lipid findings were not consistent with what one would expect to find in a modern Western population with a low prevalence of CVD.

In their next study, the researchers examined Kitavans' insulin levels compared to Swedish controls. This paper is short but very sweet. Young Kitavan men and women have a fasting serum insulin level considerably lower than their Swedish counterparts (KM 3.9 IU/mL; SM 5.7; KW 3.5; SW 6.2). Kitavan insulin is relatively stable with age, whereas Swedish insulin increases. In the 60-74 year old group, Kitavans have approximately half the fasting serum insulin of Swedes. One thing to keep in mind is that these are average numbers. There is some overlap between the Kitavan and Swedish numbers, with a few Kitavans above the Swedish mean.

In figure 2, they address the possibility that exercise is the reason for Kitavans' low insulin levels. Kitavans have an activity level comparable to a moderately active Swedish person. They divided the Swedes into three categories: low, medium, and high amounts of physical activity at work. The people in the "low" category had the highest insulin, followed by the "high" group and then the "medium" group. The differences were small, however, and Kitavans had far lower serum insulin, on average, than any of the three Swedish groups. These data show that exercise can not explain Kitavans' low insulin levels.

The researchers also found that they could accurately predict average Swedish and Kitavan insulin levels using an equation that factored in age, BMI and waist circumference. This shows that there is a strong correlation between body composition and insulin levels, which applies across cultures.

Now it's time to take a step back and do some interpreting. First of all, this paper is consistent with the idea (but does not prove) that elevated insulin is a central element of overweight, vascular disease and possibly the other diseases of civilization. While we saw previously that mainstream blood lipid markers do not correlate well with CVD or stroke on Kitava, insulin has withstood the cross-cultural test.

In my opinion, the most important finding in this paper is that a high-carbohydrate diet does not necessarily lead to elevated fasting insulin. This is why I think the statement "carbohydrate drives insulin drives fat" is an oversimplification.  With a properly-functioning pancreas and insulin-sensitive tissues (which many people in industrial societies do not have), a healthy person can eat a high-carbohydrate meal and keep blood glucose under control. Insulin definitely spikes, but it's temporary. The rest of the day, insulin is at basal levels. The Kitavans show that insulin spikes per se do not cause hyperinsulinemia.

So this leads to the Big Question: what causes hyperinsulinemia?? The best I can give you is informed speculation. Who has hyperinsulinemia? Industrial populations, especially the U.S. and native populations that have adopted Western foods. Who doesn't? Non-industrial populations that have not been affected by Western food habits, including the traditional Inuit, the Kuna, the traditional Masai and the Kitavans.

We can guess that total fat, saturated fat and carbohydrate do not cause hyperinsulinemia, based on data from the Inuit, the Masai and the Kitavans, respectively. We can also guess that there's not some specific food that protects these populations, since they eat completely different things. Exercise also can not completely account for these findings. What does that leave us with? Western food habits. In my opinion, the trail of metabolic destruction that has followed Westerners throughout the world is probably due in large part to industrial foods, including refined wheat flour, sugar and seed oils.

I'm not the first person to come up with this idea, far from it. The idea that specific types of carbohydrate foods, rather than carbohydrate in general, are responsible for the diseases of civilization, has been around for at least a century. It was an inescapable conclusion in the time of Weston Price, when anthropologists and field physicians could observe the transitions of native people to Western diets all over the world. This information has gradually faded from our collective consciousness as native cultures have become increasingly rare. The Kitava study is a helpful modern-day reminder.

Cardiovascular Risk Factors on Kitava, Part II: Blood Lipids

The findings in the previous post are all pretty much expected in a population that doesn't get heart disease. However, things started to get interesting when Lindeberg's group measured the Kitavans' serum lipids ("cholesterol"). Kitavan and Swedish total cholesterol is about the same in young men, around 174 mg/dL (4.5 mmol/L). It rises with age in older Swedish men but not Kitavans.

Doctors commonly refer to total cholesterol over 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L) as "high", so Kitavan men are in the clear. On the other hand, Kitavan women should be dying of heart disease left and right with their high middle-age cholesterol of 247 mg/dL (6.4 mmol/L)! That's actually higher than the value for Swedish women of the same age, who are far more prone to heart disease than Kitavans.

The fun doesn't stop there. Total cholesterol isn't a good predictor of heart attack risk, but there are better measures. LDL on Kitava is lower in males than in Sweden, but for females it's about the same until old age.  HDL is slightly lower than Swedes' at middle and old age, and triglycerides are higher on average. Judging by these numbers, Kitavans should have cardiovascular disease (CVD) comparable to Swedes, who suffer from a high rate of cardiovascular mortality.

Kitavan smokers had a lower HDL than nonsmokers, yet still did not develop CVD. Smoking is considered one of the most powerful risk factors for cardiovascular disease in Western populations.  I think it's worth noting, however, that Kitavans tend to be light smokers.

These data are difficult to reconcile with the hypothesis that certain patterns of blood lipids cause CVD. Kitavans, particularly the women, have a blood lipid profile that should have them clutching their chests, yet they remain healthy.

There is a theory of the relationship between blood lipids and CVD that can explain these data. Perhaps blood lipids, rather than causing CVD, simply reflect diet composition and other lifestyle factors. Both on Kitava and in the West, low HDL and elevated triglycerides imply a high carbohydrate intake. Low-carbohydrate diets consistently raise HDL and lower triglycerides. On Kitava, carbohydrate comes mostly from root crops. In the West, it comes mostly from processed grains (typically wheat) and sugar. So the blood lipid pattern that associates best with CVD and the metabolic syndrome in the West is simply a marker of industrial food intake.

Cardiovascular Risk Factors on Kitava, Part I: Weight and Blood Pressure

The Kitavans are an isolated population free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, despite the fact that more than three quarters of them smoke cigarettes (although not very frequently). They eat a carbohydrate-heavy, whole-foods diet that is uninfluenced by modern food habits and consists mostly of starchy root crops, fruit, vegetables, coconut and fish. Their intake of grains and processed foods is negligible.

Naturally, when Dr. Lindeberg's group discovered that Kitavans don't suffer from heart disease or stroke, they investigated further. In the second paper of the series, they analyzed the Kitavans' "cardiovascular risk factors" that sometimes associate with heart disease in Western populations, such as overweight, hypertension, elevated total cholesterol and other blood lipid markers.

Kitavans are lean. Adult male body mass index (BMI) starts out at 22, and diminishes with age. For comparison, Swedes begin at a BMI of 25 and stay that way. Both populations lose muscle mass with age, so Kitavans are staying lean while Swedes are gaining fat. The average American has a BMI of about 28, which is considered overweight and 2 points away from being obese.

Kitavans also have a low blood pressure that rises modestly with age. This is actually a bit surprising to me, since other non-industrial groups like the Kuna do not experience a rise in blood pressure with age. Compared with Swedes, Kitavans' blood pressure is considerably lower at all ages.

In the next post, I'll discuss the Kitavans' blood lipid numbers ("cholesterol"), which challenge current thinking about heart disease risk factors.

The Kitavans: Wisdom from the Pacific Islands

There are very few cultures left on this planet that have not been affected by modern food habits. There are even fewer that have been studied thoroughly. The island of Kitava in Papua New Guinea is host to one such culture, and its inhabitants have many profound things to teach us about diet and health.

The Kitava study, a series of papers produced primarily by Dr.
Staffan Lindeberg and his collaborators, offers a glimpse into the nutrition and health of an ancient society, using modern scientific methods. This study is one of the most complete and useful characterizations of the diet and health of a non-industrial society I have come across. It's also the study that created, and ultimately resolved, my cognitive dissonance over the health effects of carbohydrate.

From the photos I've seen, the Kitavans are beautiful people. They have the broad, attractive faces, smooth skin and excellent teeth typical of healthy non-industrial peoples.

Like the
Kuna, Kitavans straddle the line between agricultural and hunter-gatherer lifestyles. They eat a diet primarily composed of tubers (yam, sweet potato, taro and cassava), fruit, vegetables, coconut and fish, in order of calories. This is typical of traditional Pacific island cultures, although the relative amounts differ.

Grains, refined sugar, vegetable oils and other processed foods are virtually nonexistent on Kitava. They get an estimated 69% of their calories from carbohydrate, 21% from fat, 17% from saturated fat and 10% from protein. Most of their fat intake is saturated because it comes from coconuts. They have an omega-6 : omega-3 ratio of approximately 1:2. Average caloric intake is 2,200 calories per day (9,200 kJ). By Western standards, their diet is high in carbohydrate, high in saturated fat, low in total fat, a bit low in protein and high in calories.

Now for a few relevant facts before we really start diving in:

  • Kitavans are moderately active. They have an activity level comparable to a moderately active Swede, the population to which Dr. Lindeberg draws frequent comparisons.

  • They have abundant food, and shortage is uncommon.

  • Their good health is probably not related to genetics, since genetically similar groups in the same region are exquisitely sensitive to the ravages of industrial food. Furthermore, the only Kitavan who moved away from the island to live a modern life is also the only fat Kitavan.

  • Their life expectancy at birth is estimated at 45 years (includes infant mortality), and life expectancy at age 50 is an additional 25 years. This is remarkable for a culture with limited access to modern medicine.

  • Over 75% of Kitavans smoke cigarettes, although in small amounts. Even the most isolated societies have their modern vices.

The first study in the series is provocatively titled "Apparent absence of stroke and ischaemic heart disease in a traditional Melanesian island: a clinical study in Kitava." In it, Dr. Lindeberg presents data from interviews and electrocardiograms (ECG) suggesting that heart disease and stroke are absent or extremely rare on Kitava. The inhabitants are entirely unfamiliar with the (characteristic) symptoms of heart attack and stroke, despite the sizable elderly population. This is confirmed by the ECG findings, which indicate remarkable cardiovascular health. It also agrees with data from other traditional cultures in Papua New Guinea. Lindeberg states:
For the whole of PNG, no case of IHD or atherothrombotic stroke has been reported in clinical investigations and autopsy studies among traditionally living Melanesians for more than seven decades, though an increasing number of myocardial infarctions [heart attacks] and angina pectoris in urbanized populations have been reported since the 1960s.
Dementia was not found except in in two young Kitavans, who were born handicapped. The elderly remained sharp until death, including one man who reached 100 years of age. Kitavans are also unfamiliar with external cancers, with the exception of one possible case of breast cancer in an elderly woman.

Overall, Kitavans possess a resistance to degenerative diseases that is baffling to industrialized societies. Not only is this typical of non-industrial cultures, I believe it represents the natural state of existence for Homo sapiens. Like all other animals, humans are healthy and robust when occupying their preferred ecological niche. Our niche happens to be a particularly broad one, ranging from near-complete carnivory to plant-rich omnivory. But it does not include large amounts of industrial foods.

In the next few posts, I'll discuss more specific data about the health of the Kitavans.

Letter to the Editor

I wrote a letter to the New York Times about their recent article "The Overflowing American Dinnerplate", which I reviewed here. The letter didn't get accepted, so I will publish it here:

In the article "The Overflowing American Dinner Plate", Bill Marsh cites USDA data showing a 59% increase in fat consumption from 1970 to 2006, coinciding with the doubling of the obesity rate in America. However, according to Centers for Disease Control NHANES nutrition survey data, total fat intake in the US has remained relatively constant since 1971, and has actually decreased as a percentage of calories. The apparent discrepancy disappears when we understand that the USDA data Marsh cites are not comprehensive. They do not include the fat contained in milk and meat, which have been steadily decreasing since 1970.

The change Marsh reported refers primarily to the increasing use of industrially processed vegetable oils such as soybean oil. These have gradually replaced animal fats in our diet over the last 30 years. Since overall fat intake has changed little since the 1970s, it cannot be blamed for rising obesity.

Rats on Junk Food

If diet composition causes hyperphagia, we should be able to see it in animals. I just came across a great study from the lab of Dr. Neil Stickland that explored this in rats. They took two groups of pregnant rats and fed them two different diets ad libitum, meaning the rats could eat as much as they wanted. Here's what the diets looked like:
The animals were fed two types of diet throughout the study. They were fed either RM3 rodent chow alone ad libitum (SDS Ltd, Betchworth, Surrey, UK) or with a junk food diet, also known as cafeteria diet, which consisted of eight different types of palatable foods, purchased from a British supermarket. The palatable food included biscuits, marshmallows, cheese, jam doughnuts, chocolate chip muffins, butter flapjacks, potato crisps and caramel/chocolate bars.
It's important to note that the junk food-fed rats had access to rat chow as well. Now here's where it gets interesting. Rats with access to junk food in addition to rat chow ate 56% more calories than the chow-only group! Here's what they had to say about it:
These results clearly show that pregnant rats, given ad libitum access to junk food, exhibited hyperphagia characterised by a marked preference for foods rich in fat, sucrose and salt at the expense of protein-rich foods, when compared with rats that only had access to rodent chow. Although the body mass of dams was comparable among all groups at the start of the experiment, the increased energy intake in the junk food group throughout gestation was accompanied by an increase in body mass at G20 [gestational day 20] with the junk food-fed dams being 13 % heavier than those fed chow alone.
Hmm, this is remarkably reminiscent of what's happening to a certain group of humans in North America right now: give them access to food made mostly of refined grains, sugar, and industrially processed vegetable oil. They will prefer it to healthier food, to the point of overeating. The junk food then drives hyperphagia by interfering with the body's feedback loops that normally keep feeding behaviors and body fat within the optimal range. These data support the hypothesis that metabolic damage is the cause of, not the result of, "super-sized" food portions and other similar cultural phenomena.

The rest of the paper is interesting as well. Pups born to mothers who ate junk food while pregnant and lactating had a greater tendency to eat junk than pups born to mothers who ate rat chow during the same period. This underscores the idea that poor nutrition can set a child up for a lifetime of problems.


One of the things I didn't mention in the last post is that Americans are eating more calories than ever before. According to Centers for Disease Control NHANES data, in 2000, men ate about 160 more calories per day, and women ate about 340 more than in 1971. That's a change of 7% and 22%, respectively. The extra calories come almost exclusively from refined grains, with the largest single contribution coming from white wheat flour (correction: the largest single contribution comes from corn sweeteners, followed by white wheat flour).

Some people will see those data and decide the increase in calories is the explanation for the expanding American waistline. I don't think that's incorrect, but I do think it misses the point. The relevant question is "why are we eating more calories now than we were in 1971?"

We weren't exactly starving in 1971. And average energy expenditure, if anything, has actually increased. So why are we eating more? I believe that our increased food intake, or hyperphagia, is the result of metabolic disturbances, rather than the cause of them.

Humans, like all animals, have a sophisticated system of hormones and brain regions whose function is to maintain a proper energy balance. Part of the system's job is to keep fat mass at an appropriate level. With a properly functioning system, feedback loops inhibit hunger once fat mass has reached a certain level, and also increase resting metabolic rate to burn excess calories. If the system is working properly, it's very difficult to gain weight. There have been a number of overfeeding studies in which subjects have consumed huge amounts of excess calories. Some people gain weight, many don't.

The fact that fat mass is hormonally regulated can be easily seen in other mammals. When was the last time you saw a fat squirrel in the springtime? When was the last time you saw a thin squirrel in the fall? These events are regulated by hormones. A squirrel in captivity will put on weight in the fall, even if its daily food intake is not changed.

A key hormone in this process is leptin. Leptin levels are proportional to fat mass, and serve to inhibit hunger and eating behaviors. Under normal conditions, the more fat tissue a person has, the more leptin they will produce, and the less they will eat until the fat mass has reached the body's preferred 'set-point'. The problem is that overweight Westerners are almost invariably leptin-resistant, meaning their body doesn't respond to the signal to stop eating!

Leptin resistance leads to hyperphagia, overweight and the metabolic syndrome (a common cluster of symptoms that implies profound metabolic disturbance). It typically precedes insulin resistance during the downward slide towards metabolic syndrome.

I suspect that wheat, sugar and perhaps other processed foods cause hyperphagia. It's the same thing you see when wheat is first introduced to a culture, even if it's replacing another refined carbohydrate. I believe hyperphagia is secondary to a disturbed metabolism. There's something about the combination of refined wheat, sugar, processed vegetable oils and other industrial foods that reached a critical mass in the mid-70s. The shift in diet composition disturbed our normal hormonal profile (even more than it was already disturbed), and sent us into a tailspin of excessive eating and unprecedented weight gain.

Media Misinterpretations

The New York Times just published an article called "The Overflowing American Dinner Plate", in which they describe changes in the American diet since 1970, the period during which the obesity rate doubled. Bill Marsh used USDA estimates of food consumption from 1970 to 2006. Predictably, he focuses on fat consumption, and writes that it has increased by 59% in the same time period.

The problem is, we aren't eating any more fat than we were in 1970. The US Centers for Disease Control NHANES surveys show that total fat consumption has remained the same since 1971, and has decreased as a percentage of calories. I've been playing around with the USDA data for months now, and I can tell you that Marsh misinterpreted it in a bad way. Here are the raw data, for anyone who's interested. They're in easy-to-use Excel spreadsheets. I highly recommend poking around them if you're interested.

The reason Marsh was confused by the USDA data is that he confused "added fats" with "total fat".  While total fat intake has remained stable over this time period, added fats have increased by 59%. The increase is almost exclusively due to industrially processed seed oils (butter and lard have decreased). Total fat has remained the same because we now eat low-fat cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products to make up for it!

Another problem with the article is it only shows percent changes in consumption of different foods, rather than absolute amounts. This obscures some really meaningful information. For example, grain consumption is up a whopping 42%. That is the largest single food group change if you exclude the misinterpreted fat data. Corn is up 188%, rice 170%, wheat 21%. But in absolute amounts, the increase in wheat consumption is larger than corn or rice! That's because baseline wheat consumption dwarfed corn and rice. We don't get that information from the data presented in the article, due to the format.

So now that I've deconstructed the data, let's see what the three biggest changes in the American diet from 1970 to 2006 actually are:
  • We're eating more grains, especially white wheat flour

  • We're eating more added sweeteners, especially high-fructose corn syrup

  • Animal fats from milk and meat have been replaced by processed seed oils

Wheat + sugar + processed vegetable oil = fat and unhealthy. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

What Not to Tell Your Doctor?

For many years since medicine has been established as an ethical profession and gained widespread credence people have believed that they could and should tell their doctor everything even remotely pertinent to their health and that it was held in the strictest confidence. Furthermore, how can the physician make accurate judgments when important or significant information is missing? This system worked very well until relatively recently but there now exists a breach of this confidence that people should know about and this breach has developed from the advent of third party investigations into people's backgrounds. Your medical records are no longer confidential because you are forced to reveal them. Let us look at some scenarios.

When visiting your doctor's office on a Monday not feeling well you tell him/her that you occasionally drink a half case of beer over the weekend. Believing in the confidentially of your records you forget about it. Some time later when you apply for life insurance the company requires you to sign a release for your medical records. (No release, no application.) The underwriters peruse your records, note the extra beer, and subsequently rate your premiums higher making you pay extra for decades, thousands of dollars.

You complain to your doctor of recurrent chest pain. Investigation reveals nothing, the discomfort resolves permanently and you have no further follow-up to document the benign resolution. Everything is O.K. Ah, but not really. Those words sit there permanently in the record. Later you apply for a mortgage or health insurance or life insurance, signing a release of your records. You are turned down flat or at least rated a higher premium.

Perhaps you have occasion to mention to your doctor that you have stress, marital discord, job problems, and mental/emotional problems, etc. You later apply for a job requiring security clearance or background checks. These jobs are many and include police, security and just about any job involving real responsibility. Despite having resolved the problems guess who might not get the job? You may never find out why, either.

You injure your hand and you admit to your doctor that you punched a wall in anger. It could be the only time you ever did something like that but guess what? Those words will sit there forever and be taken as evidence of emotional instability. Want to try for a responsible job?

It really is a shame to see someone pay higher life insurance premiums for decades or be passed over for a job they really want because of an entry in their medical record.

What can be done about this dilemma? (Webster: A predicament that defies a satisfactory solution.) Your concerns must be balanced against the doctor's need for information and his real need to document what he/she concluded and why. A correct solution would be very welcome but one is not apparent.

The best approach might be the following: Tell your doctor the truth and discuss with him/her your concerns regarding your record coming back to hurt you and how this can be managed in the best way. In the case of your problem turning out to be benign then make sure the record reflects this outcome and is satisfactory to you AT THAT TIME. Don't be required to scramble around years later trying to correct it. That's lame at best and you probably won't even get a chance. Besides, even doctors don't live forever.

If your problem turns out not to be benign, then there is no choice but to have it in your record. That's life.

When faced with a dilemma all one can do is make the most carefully considered decision one can. Work with your doctor and try to obtain a result that is best for you. After all, it's your life.

Just be careful out there.

(c)Vincent R. Moloney MD

This article may be reprinted in your ezine or website in its entirety provided you leave all links in place, do not modify the content and do include the resource box. Please notify the author with a courtesy copy.

Play music like you always wanted. Gain the knowledge you need to learn rapidly and cut out most of the practice drudgery. Dr. Moloney is a retired Family Practitioner with a lifelong interest in music and teaching. Empower yourself to take charge of your music learning by studying his E-book. http://www.musicsimplified.com/

What Mountain?

Hopefully we're starting to get the message in our goal-oriented culture, that the full life experience is in the going, not in getting there. What do we miss along the way in the frantic rush to get there? Life itself? We miss the process, the richness of fully appreciating where we are in the moment, relaxing into it, and observing ourselves inwardly as we move through our experiences. How often have we reached our goals, gone over the mountain, only to find another mountain!

The style of yoga that I teach is a metaphor or training in relaxing into the process; relaxing into the moment Its referred to as flow or vinyasa (flowing, in Sanskrit). The emphasis is on the process of moving from one pose into the next, pausing in a pose for 3 to 5 breaths, relaxing, fully experiencing it, and flowing gracefully and gently into the next pose, and so on. How we practice yoga can be a metaphor of how we practice our lives. With tuning into our breath, our life flow, we allow our energy within to carry us along throughout the yoga practice. This brings with it an awareness of our own inner patterns. Where do we rush? Where do we push? What do we do with the discomfort and discipline required in learning a new way of moving and being with ourselves?

A yoga practice can be a microcosm of how we live our lives, if we allow it to to be our mirror. How do you approach your yoga practice? Are you disciplined, rigid in that discipline? Do you give yourself a break when you need to, and honor your body's limitations? Are you competitive in a yoga class, or with yourself? Do you push to your limit at the beginning of each pose? Do you back away from doing certain poses out of laziness or fear? Do you listen to your body and treat it gently with love? How does your attitude toward your practice reflect in your day-to-day lifestyle? Becoming the observer, as well as becoming one with your yoga practice enriches the process of integrating yoga into your life. Let your yoga be your teacher. Slowing down and taking the time to observe your own movement and patterns takes practice. That's why its called a yoga practice!

There is no goal in yoga, there is no place to get to. There is always someone who can do the pose better. And with about 84,000 yoga poses, (I can't imagine who counted them,) there is always a new level of any pose to challenge us, another mountain to go over. Isn't life like that? So what's the rush? Are we enjoying ourselves, relaxing into our practice of yoga, allowing it to teach us about life itself? We're not living to compete and beat ourselves up for not climbing more mountains faster, we're here in this life experience to be happy, to share a joyful, exciting and entertaining journey inwardly, and with each other, and to learn from each other along the way. Let yoga be your teacher.

Susan Winter Ward, internationally recognized yoga instructor, author, and video producer, is the creator of Yoga for the Young at Heart?, a multimedia publisher which publishes an informative and inspiring collection of CDRoms, videos, audio tapes, books and television programs, as well as exciting vacation retreats. Her product line is available at: Yoga for the Young at Heart

Life Expectancy and Growth of Paleolithic vs. Neolithic Humans

If paleolithic people were healthier than us due to their hunter-gatherer lifestyle, why did they have a shorter life expectancy than we do today? I was just reminded by Scott over at Modern Forager about some data on paleolithic (pre-agriculture) vs. neolithic (post-agriculture) life expectancy and growth characteristics. Here's a link to the table, which is derived from an article in the text Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture.

The reason the table is so interesting is it allows us to ask the right question. Instead of "why did paleolithic people have a shorter life expectancy than we do today?", we should ask "how did the life expectancy of paleolithic people compare to that of pre-industrial neolithic people?" That's what will allow us to tease the effects of lifestyle apart from the effects of modern medicine.

The data come from age estimates of skeletons from various archaeological sites representing a variety of time periods in the Mediterranean region. Paleolithic skeletons indicated a life expectancy of 35.4 years for men and 30.0 years for women, which includes a high rate of infant mortality. This is consistent with data from the Inuit that I posted a while back (life expectancy excluding infant mortality = 43.5 years). With modest fluctuations, the life expectancy of humans in this Mediterranean region remained similar from paleolithic times until the last century. I suspect the paleolithic people died most often from warfare, accidents and infectious disease, while the neolithic people died mostly from chronic disease, and infectious diseases that evolved along with the domestication of animals (zoonotic diseases). But I'm just speculating based on what I know about modern populations, so you can take that at face value.

The most interesting part of the table is actually not the life expectancy data. It also contains numbers for average stature and pelvic inlet depth. These are both markers of nutritional status during development. Pelvic inlet depth is a measure of the size of the pelvic canal through which a baby would pass during birth. It can be measured in men and women, but obviously its implications for birth only apply to women. As you can see in the table, stature and pelvic inlet depth declined quite a bit with the adoption of agriculture, and still have not reached paleolithic levels to this day.

The idea that a grain-based diet interferes with normal skeletal development isn't new. It's well-accepted in the field of archaeology that the adoption of grains coincided with a shortening of stature, thinner bones and crooked, cavity-ridden teeth. This fact is so well accepted that these sorts of skeletal changes are sometimes used as evidence that grains were adopted in a particular region historically. Weston Price saw similar changes in the populations he studied, as they transitioned from traditional diets to processed-food diets rich in white wheat flour, sweets and other processed foods.

The change in pelvic inlet depth is also very telling. Modern childbirth is so difficult, it makes you wonder why our bodies have evolved to make it so drawn-out and lethal. Without the aid of modern medicine, many of the women who now get C-sections and other birth interventions would not make it. My feeling is that we didn't evolve to make childbirth so lethal. It's more difficult in modern times, at least partially because we have a narrower pelvic inlet than our ancestors. Another thing Weston Price commented on was the relative ease of childbirth in many of the traditional societies he visited. Here's an exerpt from Nutrition and Physical Degeneration:
A similar impressive comment was made to me by Dr. Romig, the superintendent of the government hospital for Eskimos and Indians at Anchorage, Alaska. He stated that in his thirty-six years among the Eskimos, he had never been able to arrive in time to see a normal birth by a primitive Eskimo woman. But conditions have changed materially with the new generation of Eskimo girls, born after their parents began to use foods of modern civilization. Many of them are carried to his hospital after they had been in labor for several days. One Eskimo woman who had married twice, her last husband being a white man, reported to Dr. Romig and myself that she had given birth to twenty-six children and that several of them had been born during the night and that she had not bothered to waken her husband, but had introduced him to the new baby in the morning.
Now that's what I call fertility!

Creatine: No Way to Know What You're Taking

Creatine can help to strengthen muscles, but athletes who take these supplements need to know how much they can take safely before they harm themselves. When you exercise and your muscles get as much oxygen as they need, they burn carbohydrates, fats and protein for energy. When you exercise so intensely that you cannot get all the oxygen you need, your muscles use creatine and ATP. So when you exercise so intensely that you can't get enough oxygen, you can delay fatigue by taking creatine and it allows you to do more work, which makes you stronger.

The body of a 160 pound man contains 120 grams of creatine and he takes in and uses about two grams a day. No good studies have been done to show what amounts are safe to take beyond what your own body makes, so let the buyer beware. Creatine may allow you to lift more weights and make you stronger, but it may harm you.

Taking too much creatine can cause weight gain, increased insulin production and possibly kidney damage. High levels of insulin constrict arteries to cause heart attacks and affect the brain and liver to make you fat. The chemical process of extracting creatine in the laboratory forms toxic contaminants called dicyandiamide and dihydrotriazines, that have to be removed before humans can take them safely. The industry that distributes creatine is unregulated and you have no way to know what you are actually buying.

Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports at http://www.DrMirkin.com

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Your Body Reflects Your Mind

When you think of getting into shape, getting healthy or changing your lifestyle, you most likely think of diets, exercise and supplements. What you may not realize is that nothing you do on the outside can ever be long-term without first tackling what is happening on the inside. Until you get your thoughts into shape, create a healthy mind and change how you think about you, you can never create the vision you have of yourself.

As you most likely know, what you eat, when you eat and how you eat all play a part in the optimal health of your body. However, what you may not realize yet is that every thought you have, be it conscious or subconscious (the hardest to control), effects how you respond to the food and exercise you take part in.

The science of Quantum Physics explains that our world is made up of energy. All things, from the car you drive to the air you breath to the thoughts that enter and exit (or stay stuck in) your mind, are made of varying speeds of energy particles. These energy particles are attracted to same vibrations. The universal Law of Attraction states, ?that which is like itself is drawn.? Like attracts like. What you think about is what you attract more of into your life.

So, if you have limiting subconscious beliefs that you may or may not even be aware of (like losing weight will change my whole life and that is scary, I am just not a ?thin person? or I have never been able to keep the weight off no matter how much I do) that are directly conflicting with your conscious desires (like I am going to lose this weight once and for all, I am going to develop my muscles or I am going to get my body fat down) the subconscious beliefs will almost always win out.

The reason this happens is two-fold. One, the subconscious is a very powerful force in your life. Primarily, your subconscious mind?s main responsibility is to keep you alive. No matter what else happens, it must keep your heart beating, your lungs taking in oxygen and your blood pumping. It also keeps you alive from a safety standpoint.

Your subconscious is comprised of multiple beliefs, which are represented by parts that are all looking out for your best interest. A great majority of your beliefs are often beliefs that have been with you for many, many years. As a child, you are an open book. You are ready to learn and grow and thrive. As things begin to happen, positive and negative, you begin adopting beliefs to assist you in surviving as a human. Given you are still a child, the resources available are limited, so many of the beliefs you adopt end up being a bit limited as well. They work great for the time, but may not work great as you grow and learn more and develop more resources. However, and this is where most people get stuck, those beliefs become engrained in your subconscious and never get challenged. You begin to react from these beliefs without even knowing you are doing so. They, in essence, become habitual responses that begin creating the patterns and themes of your life. You may change your conscious beliefs and desires, but your subconscious, the 88% of your mind that takes its responsibility of keeping you safe and alive very seriously, is not changing. These beliefs actually become blocks that sabotage your efforts and you don?t even know you are doing it.

The second reason your subconscious is most likely going to win out is that when you have conflicting intentions (as you do if your conscious mind has a desire and your subconscious mind has a different intention), is that your conscious mind has less energy and focusing power. If your subconscious makes up 88% of your mind and your conscious mind is the other 12%, using the science mentioned earlier that like attracts like, the majority of your energy is actually being focused on your subconscious intention. You end up with what you don?t want and you don?t understand why.

The only way to create change in your external world is to uncover what beliefs are actually being held onto by your subconscious mind. This is true of making money, advancing in your career and most definitely for losing weight, getting into shape and creating a healthy body.

When you have first identified where you are, you then can identify where you want to be. This is how you uncover where the conflicts are living. Using tools like Neuro-Linguistic Programming, the Nine Environments of Holistic Living, the Law of Attraction and the Process of Deliberate Creation, you can remove the blocks that no longer serve you, replace them with those that do and develop a daily plan for manifesting that which you most want to create for your life.

Fitness, weight loss and health begin in the mind and then manifest in the body. It is time to begin your quest toward total transformation. The power is yours. You simply need to begin.

Copyright 2006 Melissa Quiter

Melissa Jean Quiter authors the 4-phase, life and business-changing program for learning how to take back your power in creating. ?Being Spiritual Doesn?t Mean Being Poor! How to remove what blocks you from making money & creating happiness,? is a timeless program based on the Law of Attraction, universal laws, deliberate creation, NLP and environmental design. To get started, visit: http://www.ProvocativeCommunications.com/lawofattraction.html or e-mail: Quiter@Texas.net for more articles.

Adults and ADHD: How Common is It?

ADHD has become more widely known as a children?s disorder, but it is also something adults have to contend with. Read more about it here.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is usually diagnosed in children, thought it can often continue on into adulthood. In recent years, adult ADHD has become quite common, though it manifests slightly different symptoms than it normally does in children.

Adult ADHD is usually diagnosed in adults who exhibit inattentiveness in their personal relationships at work and at home with their family. Adult sufferers often find it difficult to sustain a job and a relationship.

Recognizing ADHD in adults

In general, adult sufferers tend to experience problems at work, which usually results in frequent job changes. Because of these problems they tend to have a lower socioeconomic status, by virtue of being unable to sustain a job long-term, which is a primary requirement of career development.

Adult sufferers of ADHD usually have a history of failure in professional and personal endeavors, and end up in lower-level jobs that don't require organizational skills, and have less responsibility.

Adults with ADHD tend to find it difficult to support themselves, and their families, which often results in the breakdown of the family unit. Adults suffering from ADHD often have a history of multiple relationships and marriages.

Diagnosing ADHD in adults

No one should take it upon themselves to diagnose a friend or self-diagnose. This can lead to misunderstanding. But the more you know about an illness, the quicker you can suggest to a friend to get help. Or if you recognise symptoms in yourself, awareness can help you seek the proper help.

ADHD sufferers fall into three types:

1. The inattentive type
2. The hyperactive and impulsive type
3. A combination of types 1 and 2.

The above types of symptoms generally need to be present for at least six months, and a person must be experiencing difficulties in normal social functioning. If you recognize any of these types, then seek professional help immediately.

Dylan Miles, journalist, and website builder, lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of http://www.healthcareplace.net on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.

Pain in the Neck could be from Your Computer

Neck pain can really get irritating if it persists for long periods of time. The pain can get unbearable that's why some people succumb to taking medications or pain relievers only to find out that they don't do them any good. Let's check out these simple and basic tips on how to treat and relieve you from neck pain.

1. Get spinal checkups regularly.

It is very important to always keep your spine aligned. This can ensure the proper functioning of your neck and back, specifically the upper region. Your chiropractor will do spinal adjustments on you. This can decrease the stress on your thoracic and cervical spines. It also improves the communication between your brain and all parts of the body. As a result, a happier and healthier you.

2. Always be conscious of your posture.

There are a lot of people who exhibit poor posture. When asked to stand up straight, they are unable to exude the proper posture anymore. This is because they have been used to that kind of posture and they are unaware of it already. Proper posture does not only involve the back, as lot may think. It also includes the neck. Poor posture, if not dealt with can give rise to neck pain as well.

3. Exercise regularly.

Exercising does not only do good to the body's muscular and cardiovascular system but to the skeletal system, too. For an efficient and effective program, you have to do at least three sessions a week for about forty minutes. In order to be more inspired to do these exercises, involve the whole family and your friends. It will benefit, not only yourself, but your loved ones as well.

4. Eat well and eat right.

Naturally, you keep your body healthy by eating the right food at the right amount. When you observe proper diet and nutrition, your body will the given the appropriate energy or fuel that can increase your endurance and performance. It can also increase your body's immune system to fight injuries and sickness. It can speep your recovery from injury and it also makes you feel good. If you are having a hard time eating right, you might as well consider taking up dietary supplements to cover up for vitamin and mineral deficiencies in your body.

5. Manage stress.

There are a lot of techniques devised to relieve stress, if not to eliminate it totally. Usually, stress is carried on the upper back, the shoulders, and the neck. If you prefer, go to your nearest chiropractor to ask about these techniques and how to do them the right way.

6. Do not put pressure on your neck.

For example, while using the telephone, do not use your neck and shoulders to hold it while you talk. In the office, always sit properly and keep your neck straight by working at eye level. You can unconsciously get neck pain during sleep because you are unaware of your movements. You can use a cervical pillow for this. You can also roll a towel and put it around the curve of your neck while you sleep. Never sleep on your stomach.

7. Stretch.

It is always best to do stretching if possible. In the office or at home, you can take short breaks just to reduce the tension. Some massage won't hurt either. It can decrease the tension not only on your shoulders but also on your neck.

Do not let yourself get weighed down by neck pain. If you are one of those people suffering from neck pain, do not fret. There are a lot of simple techniques and remedies you can get and use wherever you may be.

There are other risks as you sit in front of that computer but it would be to much to write about in this article, so if you would like to learn more about other risks such as:

Eye strain
RSI (Repetitive Stress Syndrome)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Constant Head Aches
Breathing Problems
Difficulty Concentrating

You can learn all about this in the book: ?The Painless PC?

Hege Crowton is establishing herself as an expert copywriter. She is known for doing in-depth research before writing her articles. Many of her articles are posted on http://www.ezinecrow.com and she also does a lot of writing for http://www.CrowSites.com

Copyright 2005 HealthCrow.com

The Logical Approach To Losing Weight

Are you looking into the different ways that can help you to lose weight? Have you tried a number of different diets in the past but still find yourself being overweight? Are you fed up with being fat? Do you yearn the day when you can buy the type of clothes that you really want? If you have answered yes to any of these questions then this article could well prove to be of benefit to you.

I am somebody who until a few years ago would have answered yes to all of the above questions. I had tried many forms of diet, I would buy clothes that suited my size rather than the clothes I actually wanted to wear. I was without doubt fed up with being fat and was desperate to find a way of losing weight which would last.

In my opinion the answer to all of weight problems was quite simple. I do not need any fancy diet, what I needed to do was to think in a logical way. I first of all had to ask myself a number of questions:

Question. Why are you overweight?

Answer: I eat far too much food and drink far too much alcohol. The food that I do eat is basically fat food such as crisps, chocolate, takeaways and microwave food. I also do very little exercise, therefore I do not give my body a chance to burn off some of this fat. I tend to rarely walk anywhere, I prefer to drive.

Question. Why have you been unsuccessful with your past dieting attempts?

Answer: I did not really follow the program. I may have done for the short term but certainly did not over the longer term. I also gave into temptations by eating food types which I was not really supposed to.

Question. How much do you want to lose this excess weight?

Answer. A huge amount.

Question. So why do you not follow the dieting programs to the letter?

Answer. I am weak, I suppose.

As you can see, the answers to my weight issues are in the answers to these questions. Quite simply I need to:

Be more disciplined

Be more determined

Be stronger

Walk and exercise a lot more

Eat in a much more healthy way

Cut down my intake of alcohol

Stick to the above for the long term

A couple of years ago I started to implement my new logical form of diet and I am happy to report that I am now at a size that I am happy with.

Stephen Hill helps to promote a number of websites including:

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Close Kept Secrets to Weight Loss Lesson #17

God is the most awesome force that we have. Every time we are off track, we just need to ask ourselves one question. Why am I disconnecting from Him?

I have previously written about a favorite author of mine, Florence Scovel Shinn. She has written many books, one of which is called The Game of Life and How to Play It. This is the book that helped me change my thoughts when I was very ill. I read it over and over and over again to help me create a different pattern of thought. It was an absolute gift to me and I would encourage you to get it. In addition, I just recently got her book entitled The Wisdom of Florence Scovel Shinn. This is a compilation of four of her books. I use these books in my daily devotion to stay connected to God. The messages are so incredibly powerful, yet simple. Staying connected to God in every thought that we have is the answer. Let go and let God. Surrender!

I am going to use part of her book to illustrate some points:

?All life is high vibration. You combine with what you notice, or you combine with what you vibrate to. If you are vibrating injustice and resentment you meet it on your pathway, at every step. You will certainly think it is hard world and that everybody is against you. Hermes Trismegistus said several thousands of years ago, ?To change your mood you must change your vibrations.? I make it even stronger: I say, to change your world, you must change your vibrations. Turn on a different current in your battery of thought, and you?ll see the difference immediately. Suppose you have been resenting people and saying you are not appreciated. Make the statement: ?God appreciates me, therefore, man appreciates me, I appreciate myself.

The law of laws, is to do unto others as you would be done by; for, whatever you send out comes back and what you do to others will be done to you. So, the woman who refrains from criticism, saves herself from criticism. Critical people are always being criticized. They also have rheumatism, for acid thoughts produce acid in the blood, which causes pain in the joints. Be undisturbed by a situation and it falls away.?

When we react, when we judge, when we resist, we are disconnecting from God. All of these emotions are fear-based. As Wayne Dyer says, ?If you knew who walked beside you at all times, you would have no fear.?

Recently, I had an e-mail conversation with a friend and it went back and forth several times. This friend had a lot of anger in his words. Instead of reacting, I remained calm and it was absolutely amazing. My last e-mail to him, I wrote ?Let?s give this to God.? He then responded with more anger, but I was not moved; I had complete peace. A short time later, this friend e-mailed me and was very kind.

I use this to illustrate that it is about always remaining connected to our Source. I have to remind myself as well as I can get off track very easily. Remember, 7 year old Tami who wants to stick her tongue out and say, ?Neener, neener, neener. You?re not the boss of me.? Sometimes she still comes out, but it?s my ego talking. This is what Wayne Dyer says of EGO?Edging God Out.

Look at where you need to connect to Him and just plug the connection back in. Then feel the power light up your world. Your power source is back and illuminating UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!

I love you and know you?re working on yourself to create the healthy choices in your weight loss goals.

Love and hugs,


Tami Close is a weight loss expert and uses an integrative method, including cleansing and nutritional products from Isagenix, in her weight loss management practice. She is certified in Rapid Eye Technology and has a basic and advanced certificate in Emotional Freedom Techniques. Tami is a recipient of a grant from the Sumasil Grant Foundation in her work with RET and EFT. She is a master trainer and has a B.S. in Training and Development. She is a #1 best selling co-author, Wake Up...Live the Life You Love Finding Personal Freedom. The other authors include Mark Victor Hansen, Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra and others. She has also written several e-books.


Who is at Increased Risk For Developing Mesothelioma?

Since the late 1800's Asbestos has been mined and used commercially. The use of Asbestos dramatically increased during World War II and since the early 1940's millions of Americans have been exposed to asbestos dust working within industries where initally the risks were not known. There has been widespread exposure to Asbestos by workers within shipyards, mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other tradespeople and an increase risk of deveolping mesothelioma has been the result. .

Today, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits for acceptable levels of asbestos exposure in the workplace. By contrast, the British Government's Health and Safety executive (HSE) states formally that any threshold for mesothelioma must be at a very low level and it is widely agreed that if any such threshold does exists at all, then it cannot currently be quantified. For practical purposes, therefore, HSE does not assume that any such threshold exists. People who work with asbestos wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.

The risk of asbestos-related disease increases with heavier exposure to asbestos and longer exposure time. However, some individuals with only brief exposures have developed mesothelioma. On the other hand, not all workers who are heavily exposed develop asbestos-related diseases. Family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos-related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers.

To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestos fibers, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.

The combination of smoking and asbestos exposure significantly increases a person's risk of developing cancer of the air passageways in the lung. The Kent brand of cigarettes used asbestos in its filters for the first few years of production in the 1950s and some cases of mesothelioma have resulted. Smoking current cigarettes does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma.

There is no curative treatment. Close monitoring (routine X-rays or even pleural biopsy) for mesothelioma is mandated. Oxygen therapy at home is often necessary to relieve the shortness of breath. Supportive treatment of symptoms includes respiratory treatments to remove secretions from the lungs by postural drainage, chest percussion, and vibration. Aerosol medications to thin secretions may be prescribed

Looking for information about Mesothelioma? Go to: http://www.mesotheliomalegalreview.com 'Mesothelioma Legal Review' is published by Linda Woodhouse - The complete resource directory for Mesothelioma related information, legal services, and products Check out more Mesothelioma articles at: http://www.mesotheliomalegalreview.com/archive

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Like 99.9% of the world's population, I am mostly dependent on agriculture for my food. It's fun to pretend sometimes though. I enjoy foraging for berries, mushrooms and nuts.

Last week, I went crabbing in the San Juan islands. We caught our limit of meaty dungeness crabs every day we put the pots out. If we had been working harder at it (and it was legal), we could easily have caught enough crabs to feed ourselves completely. We cooked them fresh and ate some the same day. We extracted the meat from the rest, and made an amazing crab bisque using a stock made from the shells, and lots of cream.

Here's a "hunting photo". No smiling allowed; I had to look tough...

Hurricane Recovery: Steps to Start Putting Your Life Back in Order

It seems unreal, another major storm hitting Florida after experiencing four last year. The beginning of hurricane season, Floridians were just starting to get past the destructive events that caused many of people stress and even, depression. As Hurricane Dennis comes onshore, the upcoming hours, days, and months afterwards may be ones of disbelief and shock. There are ways to help get one?s life back in order after these type of predicaments.

Express your emotions when you feel them. If you feel urge to cry, give into it. It's probably the healthiest things you can do for your body as it looks for a way to release any build-up of tension. Don?t be surprised, too, if you seem to have your act together and then at the least expected moment, tears erupt again. Be kind and understanding with yourself whether others are or not.

Talk about your feelings, concerns, and fears. Be honest. Say them out loud to your family, friends, boss, and co-workers. If you can?t get the words out verbally, write them in a letter. You might be surprised that others feel exactly the way you do but were hesitant to express them.

Ask for help immediately. Let your ego step forward. Don?t keep your needs to yourself. Reduce as much stress as you can today. From a bottle of water to an extension on paying a bill, register with FEMA, call your insurance company, and contact your creditors as soon as possible. Getting these things out of the way gives you more energy to deal with other things

Accept help immediately. Now is not the time for pride to stand in the way. Those that offer help are usually in a place to do so are, or they probably wouldn't have extended their invitation in the first place. Take them up on their offer without excuses. Food, a place to stay, clothing, or transportation can again leave you with less to worry about right now. Worry about how to provide payback on any of this later when your life is back in order. You'll be in a better place to consider your thank- yous and they might end up being more what is needed by your benefactors anyway.

Life after a traumatic event such as a hurricane may be life-altering so expect some time to pass before you feel like yourself again. Remember that free professional help is available from government, church, and other charitable organizations at times like this. They were designed for moments like these.

Copyright 2005 Kathy Iwanowski. All Rights Reserved.

Kathy Iwanowski, a former cancer nurse and manager, creates art, speaks, and writes about creative living and work. She resides in Florida. Her articles, editorials, and reviews on art, business, creativity, and nursing subjects have been published in newsletters, ezines, and books in the United States.

To arrange for Kathy as a speaker for your next event or to find out more about her work, visit her website at http://www.kathyiwanowski.com

Cosmetic Surgery in a Nutshell

Cosmetic surgery, like other forms of elective surgery, involves a physical change to one's appearance. Also known as plastic surgery, there are two kinds: cosmetic and reconstruction. The latter involves returning an individual's sense of self after some form of injury and/or illness. The former allows the ability to overcome the physical characteristics one was born with. In a way, the former represents the forefront of how changes in technology can allow changes to the human body.

This surgery comes in all types, from the use of prosthetics as in breast augmentation and liposuction to non-invasive forms of surgery like laser hair removal or even laser correction of the eyes to eliminate the need for eye glasses.

None of this comes without a price however. Besides financial concerns, it remains the responsibility of the individual who will undergo such surgery. For this reason, they do need the support of those around them. This is the kind of support that not only affects their decision, but their ability to assimilate the surgical changes to the body.

In the case of surgery for cosmetic - as oppposed to reconstruction - purposes is the issue of aesthetics. Those around them need to understand the significance societies place upon appearance. How the appearance of someone can alter how they are perceived not only as a person, but as a human being. Surgery for aesthetic reasons, provides people with the opportunity to overcome stigmas associated with their appearance. However, what remains most important is that it's a choice.

Many - perfectly valid - arguments have been presented to the contrary regarding surgery for cosmetic purposes. However, the fact remains that human beings have been altering their appearance for quite some time now.

Cosmetic surgery is significant, not only for what it can achieve, but because it's a choice made by the person undergoing it. It's a personal decision about one's own body.

Another consideration for the individual, outside of their support system, is that they should do as much of their own personal research as possible into the different kinds of surgery available for each procedure. For example, the current surgical techniques employed and the potential legal restrictions, as is often the case with silicone prosthetics. In addition, weighing the pros and cons of each technique. Finally, the surgeon themselves. An initial consultation is always recommended, as with any form of elective surgery.

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