Your Health is Your Responsibility

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America is a society that often does what it wants with regard to health under the assumption that the doctor will “fix it”, whatever “it” is.  The graveyards are full of people that miscalculated on what medicine can do to fix things that were neglected for years.  The best thing to do is prevent health problems as much as possible.  Eventually, we all wear out, but we try to ignore thinking about that.

Taking responsibility for your health is theoretically not that difficult.  You eat the right foods.  You exercise your body on a routine basis.  You manage your stress.  You pay attention to changes in your body and make corrective actions.  This isn’t rocket science by any means.  But… you have to do all of these things and more to get and stay healthy.

Your health is your responsibility has taken on new meaning with the release of a malicious virus called COVID-19 upon the whole world.  This virus is uniquely capable of causing a transition from health to death in a week or two.  The effects linger after an apparent recovery has been achieved.  The CDC has provided guidance to protecting the overall population through self-quarantining, social distancing, wearing a mask, and careful sanitary adherence.  For the individual, COVID-19 is a random event waiting to happen.

A global pandemic requires a redefinition of the requirements for maintaining health.  There is a race to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.  Past vaccines have taken from four to ten years to develop.  This is because a vaccine has to be proven to provide long-term protection from a virus while being safe to the recipients.  It is impossible to obtain long-term data in a short period of time.  Therefore, increasing the immune function for an individual and for the overall population is the most practical approach to limiting the impact of a virus that has achieved global pandemic status.

Once the new reality of dealing with a global pandemic has been addressed, we need to focus on what needs to be done when some measure of normalcy has been reestablished.  One of the additional things is to maintain a positive attitude.  There is scientific proof that how we view life actually changes our DNA.  If we expect to be sick, the body will respond.  If we expect to be well, the body will respond.  There are genetic factors in some diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.  If our attitude is that these diseases are inevitable, we are more likely to suffer from them.

The basis of healthy eating is to limit our calories to what our body can use.  The type of foods that we eat is then the second issue.  Processed foods tend to have high sugar and salt content, with certain preservatives such as nitrates and nitrites being especially problematical.  The medical profession has proven to be an inaccurate source of information about nutrition and its effects on health.

When all fats were considered bad due to cholesterol, processed foods reduced fats and added more salt and sugar.  Eggs were bad because they had cholesterol.  Margarine was better than butter because there was less saturated fat.  Then the nutrition winds changed and the only really bad fats were Trans fats, as in margarine and hydrogenated vegetable oils.  There is still a lot of misinformation about fats like coconut oil, which turns out to be healthier when compared to many other vegetable oils, e.g. corn oil, cottonseed oil, and soybean oil.

Some diets help to prevent or cure certain diseases.  One relatively new diet, at least in name, is the ketogenic diet.  It is a very, very low carbohydrate diet with moderate proteins and lots of healthy fats.  Since medical research has shown that cholesterol levels are not that dependent upon what we eat, more fats are considered healthy.  The ketogenic diet helps in the prevention and cure of cancer.  it also helps to lose weight.

You won’t find many doctors that agree that a ketogenic diet impacts cancer, but a German scientist by the name of Otto Warburg got the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1933 because he proved that cancer cells preferentially metabolize sugars.  Carbohydrates are converted to sugars, which mean a very low carbohydrate diet reduces the availability of glucose for the nutrition of cancer cells.

“Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.”

You can learn more about the processes of metabolism of glucose to feed cancer cells.  The paper is six pages.  I suggest you read the Conclusion before you tackle the whole article.  The key point is that science has rediscovered that what we eat can have a major impact on our bodies and diseases.

Supplements are another point of controversy with the medical profession.  There is now an aggressive assault on vitamins and supplements by the pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  While there have been exaggerated claims by some supplement and vitamin suppliers, there is ample research to show that there are major benefits in preventing and curing diseases by the use of combinations of supplements and vitamins.

One of the most significant developments in cardiovascular health and prevention of osteoporosis has been documented with the use of vitamin K2 in combination with absorbable forms of magnesium and potassium.  Vitamin D3 is also recognized as a key component of building strong bones, and the addition of D3 further improves the performance of K2.  Vitamin K2 pulls calcium from the plaque in arteries and deposits that calcium in the bones.  This reduces arteriosclerosis, which reduces heart attacks and deaths due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD).  The insertion of the calcium from the arteries into the bones reduces osteoporosis, which results in maintaining or increasing bone density and increasing bone strength.

There are links to three articles published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on findings that verify these effects of vitamin K2 to reduce arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis.  Vitamin K2 has the scientific name of menaquinone.

Nutritional strategies for skeletal and cardiovascular health: hard bones, soft arteries, rather than vice versa

Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study.

Vitamin K deficiency: the linking pin between COPD and cardiovascular diseases?

The study done on the effects of vitamin K deficiency as a link of COPD to heart disease does not distinguish between vitamin K1 and vitamin K2.  Vitamin K1, which is found in kale, spinach, etc. is a coagulant.  Vitamin K2 works with matrix GLa protein (MGP) to reduce calcification of arteries.  The study concludes that blood thinner use in COPD patients leads to higher calcification of arteries due to the reduction of vitamin K levels.  This calcification is called arteriosclerosis, which is commonly known as hardening of the arteries.  Vitamin K2 is better than pharmaceutical drugs to treat arteriosclerosis.

Regular cardiovascular exercise and strength training are key factors in preventing heart disease and osteoporosis.  There is new research on Alzheimer’s disease that concludes that vigorous exercise helps to maintain brain function, and may slow or eliminate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  While there are genes that have been identified as raising or lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, diet, exercise, stress management, and mental and social activity all help reduce the risk of these diseases.

Be responsible for how you treat your body.  The efforts required to maintain a healthy body provides a significant return in preventing many diseases and maintaining overall physical and mental health.  There are no pills or surgeries that can substitute for the approach outlined in the article.  Do the work and enjoy the benefits.

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