Make Love not War


Truth be told, I make a good argument. This is not about anything in particular, it is merely an observation of my character, which is to say, that when it comes to confrontation, I am as comfortable in conflict as I am in any Saks Fifth Avenue in the world.

My beloved, however has taken years to rise to the task. When we first met, he faced any dispute with eyes drawn to the ground for fear of opening his mouth lest I shove my proverbial fist in it. In his defense, I do believe this is both a common and a safe response for a man having a verbal Tet a Tet with the opposite sex. Women as a rule- are good in a fight. We mastered the language early on and we are not afraid to use it.

Scientifically girls speak words before boys and form sentences well before their male counterparts. WE spend much of our formative youth talking- in our early years we talk to ourselves… I lay in bed each night for most of the 70’s in my pink and silver disco room lit with the token night light. I had full on conversations only an eight year old can have about what I would wear to school in the morning and who I would be when I grew up.

I have spent much of my life talking to things in succession that cannot answer back. First were my Barbie dolls that bore an immense amount of optimistic responsibility. I played both parts answering them as my imaginary muscles flexed with vigour. From there, I moved on to a variety of animals… first the fish, then the hamsters, now the dogs. Their little heads cock to the side as if they “get me” and somewhere I do acknowledge this unreasonable argument to be true. How many of us have whispered in a dog’s ear at one point in life…. “You understand Spotty, you love me.”

I have moved on through life to talking to ads in magazines- cursing the skinny blond that lies across the pages eating whatever she likes. I have had full discussions with television programs in order to cultivate my debating skills. I am the Bill Maher of my own living room. I have had full on conversations with my girlfriend’s baby daughter who stares up at me smiling as a result of gas and not out of comprehension.

I have had one too many midnight talks with unconscious patients on life support in Intensive Care Units across this country. These eerily one-sided discussions are shamefully reminiscent of a tacky movie scene. The lights are dim a lifeless hand is in mine as I will a perfect stranger to overcome a disease that is far bigger than the treatment I have to offer.

Many of these conversations end with ones we have all at the gravestones of parents and friends with long discussions of how things have become and what should have been.

So after millions of words have passed my lips, it is no surprise that I can kick my husband’s ass in an argument. Or at least I used to. After 16 years together, I must say… in the argument Olympics… he’s a gold medal contender.

I say this with pride as though I am training an athlete. When we first got together his eyes looked at the floor and I could sense there was an internal voice that just wanted to know when the fight would be over.

Now, many years later…. He gets his point across with a respect for both me and for the English language. There is no yelling, there is a discussion- eyes are met, minds are met and yes, I am sometimes wrong. It is very grown up and quite frankly, kind of hot. But I had to ask…. Is it healthy?

Several studies have looked at marital discord and health related indices.

In 1994, a study published in the Journal of Biobehavioural Medicine examined certain hormones in newlyweds. The study showed significant rises in the Growth Hormones and Epinephrine and Norepinephrine (hormones linked to the “fight or flight response) in couples who were arguing. Furthermore there were sex-based differences in these fluctuations. Naturally our body physiologically responds to an argument by adjusting our neurohormonal make up to accommodate. What was most remarkable was that these fluctuations were statistically different between men and women.

Another study published in Health Psychology in 1991 examined the impact of normal family arguments on 24 females and 19 males (aged 32–73 yrs) with high blood pressure. Patients and their partners discussed a threatening disagreement for 10 min while blood pressure (BP) and conversation were recorded. Discussing problems increased BP, but the causal pathways differed by sex. In women, hostile interaction and marital dissatisfaction were associated with increased BP; supportive or neutral exchanges were unrelated to BP. In men, BP fluctuations were related only to the patient’s speech rate.

These findings are consistent with other research on sex differences in communication and social problem-solving styles and implicate different mechanisms involved among the sexes.

Now, I do not have high blood pressure and I do believe Jason’s also runs a cool 120/80. Perhaps as we get older and continue to settle in discussing and debating with each other our physiology will adapt as much as our discussions have. Until then, I will continue to challenge and be challenged in the hopes that like my sisters everywhere- I will have the last word.

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The biggest challenge for those who want to lose weight is to maintain that desire or be continuously motivated to implement the weight loss plans no matter how difficult it becomes.  The psychological barriers must be overcome to successfully achieve the weight loss goal. Some people are depressed by the pressures of daily living and this puts the weight losing diet in jeopardy. Many people in depressive states go out of control and eat excessively to ease the depression. It is best to follow the weight loss tips given by health clinic experts published in the internet. Studies on developing new weight reducing techniques are continuously being conducted and many more weight loss tips are expected to be published.

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Garlic, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Cognitive Decline

There are many traditional medicines for promoting longevity and life extension. Although we can measure their direct effects, its more holistic influence is a bit more tricky to understand. For example, during research, you might get one bout of subjects who lived longer than their ancestors, but then the researcher may die before the second sample passes away and, as you can imagine, an investigator’s death is one of those pesky obstacles known to halt research.

Nevertheless, many herbs and supplements are said to promote longevity. It is important to note that they cannot prove or even suggest that this stuff adds years to one’s life, which is why, when you hear about something ‘increasing longevity’ from traditional medicine, it usually refers to adding life to years as opposed to the converse. In other words, it increases the vitality and virility of elderly persons or just prevents ailments from affecting the elderly.

In more practical terms, these traditional medicines appear to have the ability to attenuate cognitive and physical decline with aging. Garlic, in particular, may have promise in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

How does Garlic influence Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease, regardless of what the initial problem(s) is/are, is characterized by buildup of protein aggregates or ‘brain plaque’ that causes damage to brain cells. The accumulation of this plaque and the damage they cause then promote degeneration of the brain, and while this is common to both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (both diseases associated with protein aggregates causing oxidative stress) Alzheimer’s is diagnosed more by memory loss and damage to particular systems of the brain that use the learning neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

The standard therapies for Alzheimer’s at this moment in time are known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, which prevent acetylcholine from declining and abrogate a good deal of the memory symptoms.

Garlic acts in a different manner, since it doesn’t influence acetylcholine signalling much (if at all). It actually appears to have the ability to disintegrate the protein aggregates in the brain both when tested outside of the body ” and in living mice “while some other bioactives in garlic can prevent the oxidative damage from already formed protein aggregates from hurting brain cells or just reduce their synthesis outright “”.

Garlic still appears to be ‘treating the symptoms’ of Alzheimers since the proteins are just an intermediate in the problems, but it is at a level before the reference drugs and before brain damage actually occurs. While it seems to beneficially influence all aspects of these protein aggregates and their pathological accumulation, it is weakly to moderately potent and so its relevance in humans unknown.

We can make said relevance known, however, by just feeding garlic to living creatures with Alzheimer’s to see what happens.

Have there been studies conducted?

At this moment in time there are no human studies conducted, but a surprising amount in mice.

There is actually a mouse research model called SAMP8, which is used to research longevity promoting agents since the SAMP8 mice have accelerated aging when compared to normal mice. A few decades ago, a battery of studies noted that adding 2% of the diet to mice as aged garlic extract noted that their lifespan was normalized to normal mice which initially suggested an antiaging effect “” although the one study giving garlic to mice who were a bit resistant to the aging process (SAMR1) failed to find an effect ” and there is another age-accelerated mouse model (SAMP10) which failed to find an effect “. Garlic is beneficial in a few mice models, but it is by no means a universal longevity promoting agent according to the above. One common thread that was noted, however, was that all mice including the SAMR1 had a reduce rate of brain shrinking during the aging process and better cognitive scores in older age.

Then it was later found out that SAMP8 mice is actually a really good research model for Alzheimer’s disease “, so the above research showing improved cognitive scores during the aging process also suggests protective effects in persons with Alzheimer’s, and this was confirmed with using a completely different mouse model which also measured Alzheimer’s disease (Tg2576 mice)”.

Summation

Garlic appears to be a promising intervention for Alzheimer’s by beneficially influencing the things that cause neruonal damage (protein aggregates) rather than intervening at a later stage, but doesn’t appear to be a ‘curative’ effect for Alzheimer’s either; somewhere in between the two.

It does not have human studies at this point in time, but the animal studies are very promising and use the dosages seen in other studies (particularly those in cholesterol) which are known to apply to humans.

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Nature’s PharmacyВ  – About Us

Meeting
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What is a
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In every medical practice
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