The ABC’S of Health
By Dr. Jo Gjelsten
I’m just starting to warm up now, I think, from Sandy’s knockout punch as I write this on Nov. 12th, which got me thinking about the physiological effects of cold on our bodies. So, after much deliberation for at least oh, 2 or 3 seconds anyway, I came to the conclusion without a groundbreaking, scientific, placebo controlled double blind, double dare ‘ya double trouble peer reviewed retrospective study that it is indeed VERY STRESSFUL to be cold all day/all night MaryAnn. I reference this song in remembrance of our wonderful neighbor MaryAnn who left us suddenly this past month; we will always remember you and already miss your kind heart and easy conversation; a joy to us both. Your Tim helped us get past the storm; a really good man. I hope our MaryAnn is somewhere down by the seaside she loved, siftin’ sand.) Here, yes, we were cold, but COLD, is relative to how much you’re moving your butt around, but, the only positive thing I can say about being cold, is that it takes more calories to keep warm, and therefore we spent some time at Didier Dumas’ making sure we didn’t lose all those precious fatty calories, which we didn’t, as evidenced by the crumbs on our little pastry paper plates. Our fridge went “blink”, so eating healthfully wasn’t easy during the big blow, which brought a tree down on our screened- in porch just as Paula was finishing the shrimp sauté so we could use up the perishables. After we scraped ourselves off the ceiling, screaming What the hell was that!, as if it could have been anything other than a tree; perhaps a small planet or a bear. So, like everyone else, we had to ride out the storm. Having a well that runs on electricity meant no water so that was fun, but nothing we went through compares to our dear Tim losing his MaryAnn. And we didn’t have to experience what others in Stony Point, Piermont, and Staten Island went through. So in the end we’re lucky, but luck has nothing to do with this weather phenomena, which is no longer the storm of the century; it’s now the annual sucker punch from Mama’s ‘N Papa’s Nature; the new reality. Large storms used to show up as the size of your fist on the weather map. Now they take up the whole screen when the entire eastern sea-board map is shown. What have we learned from this? For some, not a thing. But global warming is real, for those who may be in denial. It’s as real as the rammin’ slammin’ thank you mammin’ storms and record heat we’ve been having, and if you haven’t noticed this is true, you may not be all there, or here, or anywhere, Donald, but the last ten years have been the warmest on record. I for one would really enjoy living through the next ten years without all that stress that can shorten lives by bringing on things like cancer. With all the new research on the horizon, longer lives, if not cut short by some named storm, are indeed possible, just ask the mole rats. (?!!?) Yes ma’m and the NAKED mole rats, “Blind mole rats and naked mole rats -- both subterranean rodents with long life spans -- are the only mammals never known to develop cancer, despite a 30-year lifespan that gives ample time for cells to grow cancerous”. A 30 year lifespan! THAT’S THIRTY times longer than the other dirty rats! What does that mean? That being naked can benefit our longevity, or it’s the high levels of NRG-1, which it may be because that’s what the study said. This NRG-1 is “neuroprotective” which means it protects their neuros or noives from anything neuro-bad-for-you. And get this: “The Blind Mole Rat uses a separate mechanism (how clever they are); the cells recognized their pre-cancerous state and began secreting a suicidal protein, called interferon beta. Because rodents have an 85 percent genetic similarity to humans, (OMG why isn’t that a surprise!) it may hold the key to a longer and healthier life for us as well.” With studies like this that show what rats we all are, we have potential, so let’s not screw up the planet Pluto. In other health news, mostly unrelated but interesting to me anyway so I threw it in here because it wouldn’t fill a whole column, what the hell. Three things. First, now we know that clots have brains, of a sort. Yes clots. Ok, they can “sense”. So let’s start with clots so you can enjoy your sandwich. In an article called “New Aspect of Platelet Behavior in Heart Attacks Revealed: Clots Can Sense Blood Flow”, which surprises me as I was not aware of this clot behavior problem. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania quite by surprise found out the following: “Using a specially designed microfluidic device, the researchers pulsed fluorescent dye across a clot to investigate how well it blocked bleeding. When they stopped the flow in order to adjust a valve to deliver the dye, the researchers were startled to see that a massive contraction was triggered in the clot. (Massive clot contraction; sounds serious.) If they delivered the dye without stopping flow, there was no change in the clot properties.” Now who would have thought we have contracting clots. Go figure. And the second bit of news is that parasites can catch viruses. We now know that some parasites, specifically one found in the hoo-hah, a major, most common STD in fact, called trichimonas vaginalis or in men, urethitis which affects only oh, 250 million folks, can have a virus that turbocharges this awful condition. The article is called in part “When Parasites Catch Viruses” ATCHOO!! And finally, are your sperms’ tails too short? Yes Yolanda, they may be, so says a study in a few Universities ‘round the globe. It showed that due to a genetic mutation the little guys were not as well endowed, so to speak, or so I say anyway with long tails. So, with a straight face here was a comment by somebody involved…” "The train is still running in sperm tails with dysfunctional RABL2, (the gene, Jean) but it contains fewer passengers.” Yeah, ok. Next time I’m on a train I hope that doesn’t come to mind. But it’s yet another reason to clean up our environment; to restore the tail function of sperm, so we can keep the human race in the rat race and ‘simma down the weather already! So there you have it, a hodgepodge of info from Dr. Jo you probably won’t see anywhere else you hope. Hope your Thanksgiving was Thankful and Giving. www.GoDrJo.com copyright 11/12/12.