Friday, January 2, 2015

Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) - Do they really have any negative impact on human health?

A long while back I was reading an article about perfluorinated compounds. Within that health-related post, they mentioned that researchers from Denmark think that chemicals used (PFCs) to keep stuff grease-free and stain-free could be predisposing children to metabolic disorders later in life.
PFCs are everywhere, evidently, and are not limited to food packaging like you find with microwave popcorn bags, etc. Here is a quote from the page that I was recently reading: "...they keep your upholstered furniture and carpets stain-repellant and water-repellant and your drapes wrinkle-free. The chemicals serve the same function on permanent-press clothing and any outerwear, backpacks or other accessories that are advertised as water-repellent. While you'll wind up eating PFCs that are used in food packaging, you'll most likely inhale PFCs in all the other applications listed, since the chemicals bind to dust floating around your home." Source = healthyliving.msn.com/pregnancy-parenting/kids-health/harmful-food-packaging-putting-kids-at-risk [link is no longer active]

On the other hand, after reading more about the recent study they mentioned, it made me less sure if the perfluorinated compounds really have any negative impact on human health. I mean, they were basically using overweight kids to prove their point. Yet, within that study, they plainly said that normal-weight kids that had high levels of PFCs in their body didn't show any ill effects. WTF? In conclusion, they assume that people who are already overweight would be more sensitive to these supposedly dangerous PFCs. Once again, WTF?

Now, what does seem to suck, is that it takes humans much longer to rid their self of the PFCs than it would for animals out in the wild, lab rats, etc. In fact, it takes several years for a typical humanoid to flush their current PFCs out of their biological system that they often refer to as a body. If you'd like to read more about that subject, go here: www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/half-life-of-perfluorooctanesulfonate-perfluorohexanesulfonate-and-perfluorooctanoate-in-retired-fluorochemical-workers-olsen-et-al/

If you'd like to read another negative article about perfluorinated compounds, go here: pollutioninpeople.org/toxics/pfcs

Now, here is where the "do they really have any negative impact on human health?" part of this post begins. What about the retired workers from places that manufacture stuff that is loaded with PFCs? You'd think they would have never lived to retirement age and/or would have all dropped dead by now or had severe problems if these particular chemical compounds were highly hazardous to human health, wouldn't ya say? Well, apparently not, since many of them are totally healthy. Could this latest PFC scare tactic all be a lie or simply some hyped-up hulajula mawktooey hoopla and ballyhoo? Either way, feel free to go visit an article about another study concerning this subject, except this one says that PFCs have no negative impact on human health: solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/PFOS/PFOA/Information/Health-Environment/ [link is no longer valid]

At any rate, I'm getting tired of these studies that are constantly picking on my damn microwave popcorn! LOL!

---End of Post "Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) - Do they really have any negative impact on human health?"

Semi-related Post: Worried about Popcorn Lung?

Will chocolate pills be the next health craze in the future?


Side Note:  This post is about 10 months old, as I recently moved it to this Health & Fitness Blog from another location/website.  Anyway...

 In today's 'health supplement' market, you never know which supplement will really hit the floor running until after the commercial hype turns into a trending craze. In the past, one of the biggest pills to take the market by storm was the fish oil supplements. Like fish oil, these chocolate pills are also going to be aimed at cardiovascular and heart health. Numerous studies are underway, of course, so expect to see these chocolate pills explode in the coming years.

"The study will be the first large test of cocoa flavanols, which in previous smaller studies improved blood pressure, cholesterol, the body's use of insulin, artery health and other heart-related factors." Read more about the potential use of chocolate pills, here: news.msn.com/science-technology/study-to-test-chocolate-pills-for-heart-health [URL is no longer valid]

Personally, I'm not that impressed that they found a way to extract the goodness of chocolate into a mega dose and/or high-concentration pill form. Like most of y'all, I also already knew that chocolate was good for you; duh! Dark chocolate has the most health benefits, of course, but I'd much rather have it in the candy bar/brownie format; ha!

What I'm leery about is this "mega-dose" craze. Many studies of the past have shown that basically mega anything either has no additional benefits or, in some cases, causes more harm than good. For example, a lot of people now think that extremely high doses of antioxidants that you'd find in certain supplements actually raises your risk for cancer and/or causes it. As always, moderation wins again. The bottom line is, unless they find chocolate pills to be a good drug-replacement therapy for heart patients (or something along those lines), it will be nothing more than marketing hype. Simply eating dark chocolate on a regular basis should provide all the health benefits from this substance your body needs without expensive chocolate pills.

---End of Post "Will chocolate pills be the next health craze in the future?"

Drinking Alcohol helps combat Food Poisoning

Instead of the usual negative posts you read about alcohol from the Internet, I thought I'd change it up a bit and actually write something good about alcohol. I've known about this for a long while, but drinking booze just before a meal actually helps combat food poisoning. Now, don't go out and try to get food poisoning just to test this theory; ha! I'm not sure what the current research says about why this is true, but in the past it had something to do with alcohol breaking down the cellular membranes of certain types of bacteria and whatnot, that would then allow your stomach acid to kill the rest of it. Research has also demonstrated the ability of alcohol to kill salmonella, shigella and E-coli in the laboratory. One would have to drink a few drinks, though, and just sipping on a couple of light beers would most likely not be enough.

The research for the effects of alcohol being able to combat food poisoning most likely spawned from large crowds of people at restaurants that had an outbreak of food poisoning. People began to notice that the ones drinking alcohol prior to the poisoned food, were less likely to become ill. This is easily witnessed when everybody at the table is eating the same food, with the only variable being alcohol. You can check online for more resources, if you like. I didn't check for additional sources because this is a well-established fact. The first page I read the other day that was related to this subject, is located here: www2.potsdam.edu/alcohol/HealthIssues/1110384069.html [link is no longer active]

If you'd rather read about the health benefits of beer & alcohol, go here:
perpendicularity.org/blog/2010/05/04/health-benefits-of-beer-alcohol-cheers/

---End of Post "Drinking Alcohol helps combat Food Poisoning"

Semi-related Post:  Natural ways to combat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bench Shirts and Excessive Gear has ruined the concept of Bench Pressing

Over the last few years, I have witnessed the glorious bench press competitions turn into a freakish event that looks more like a clip from a movie that features a cyborg version of an armored Frankenstein trying to pump iron. I mean, for the ones that don't know, the bench shirts are strapped on so tight and act as a spring of some sorts, that if you master the technique they can actually add a few hundred pounds to your bench press. Is that fair? Does it boil down to who has the best bench shirt wins?

The rules obviously don't apply in most of these competitions or claims or displays via YouTube, and I've seen people with their back arched so high that their butt doesn't even touch the bench. The last time I checked, bench pressing was about lifting weights, not about how close you can get your ass to your shoulder blades! Many of these people are so jacked up with equipment/excessive gear and upper body apparatuses (bench shirts), that they look like a freakish padded warrior that can't even put their arms down (due to the advantageous bench shirt) while walking to the damn bench. I just seen a person lift an enormous amount of weight without even bending his elbows. How does that count? The spotters lifted the weight down for him, then he lowered it a couple inches and rolled/squirmed it back to the spotters and they called that a bench press even though he never pressed anything!

At any feign rate of lifting, I just think this sport/competition has turned into a complete joke. Unless it is raw/natural with no equipment involved whatsoever and no spotters that help you lift it off the bench for you, it shouldn't count; period! If you need excessive gear, pads, supports, braces, tightly strapped upper body apparatuses and additional people just to perform YOUR bench press, you need to find another hobby or at the very least, quit claiming to lift several hundreds of pounds more than you can actually lift yourself!

Besides, the short-armed wide gripped tactic that involves the arched spring method is basically 80% technique and 20% strength. At one time, the bench press was one of the standard measures of strength, but now, going by what I've seen during the last few years, it means absolutely nothing!

Related Links to further your reading:
* www.slate.com/articles/sports/left_field/2004/08/one_giant_lift_for_mankind.html
* forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=146545&;
* health-fitness-guru.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-to-estimate-your-max-bench-press.html

---End of Post "Bench Shirts and Excessive Gear has ruined the concept of Bench Pressing"


Recent Blog Post:
http://random-twaddle.blogspot.com/2015/03/free-radicals-vs-exercise.html

The Reason Pork Rinds / Skins are Not a Significant Source of Protein

I'm sure most of you that has ever consumed store-bought pork rinds have seen the following under the nutritional label: "Not a Significant Source of Protein." Even though they may list 6 or 8 grams of protein or whatever, they will say that it is not a significant source. A long while back, possibly before the Internet, I remember reading about the source of protein in these pig skins. If I recall correctly, the protein actually comes from the structure of each hair follicle within the skin, hence its insignificance. It is not a protein that the body uses very effectively nor is it a balanced full chain of amino acids nor does it have enough value to even be called a partial source of amino acids.

It is somewhat trivial, though. I mean, who in the hell is going to try to live off of freakin' pork rinds? It is like, "Hey, my new diet consists of pork skins and water. Here's another pig skin to good health; cheers!" LOL! But anyway, the Internet is full of preposterous ideas when concerning this subject. In fact, some idiots, oops, I mean folks, actually think that the label is wrong and that pork rinds are actually a fair source of protein.

Out of all the pages I looked at online, I only found two statements on two separate forums that was halfway accurate. One of them said that pork rinds are not used by the human body, albeit even that isn't correct! They have a lot of selenium, trace elements, etc., and they are a source of energy/calories. One of the best comments was on a bodybuilding forum, in which this was stated: "The type of protein in pork skins is called collagen, the same substance found in hair, fingernails, and hooves. Its bio-availability is almost non-existent, hence the statement on the package." You can read more from that forum, here: forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=848935&page=1

But just calling it collagen doesn't really answer the question for most people. Collagen is very important to the human body and the protein structures therein. Collagen is also essential to the function of connective tissues. However, your body suppose to make this. In fact, Vitamin C plays an important role in the production of collagen, but that's another subject entirely. On the other hand, if you can understand that eating hair and fingernails would not be a significant source of protein, you will start getting a better idea of what's going on here.

After skimming through the World Wide Web, I like the more succinct answer that I've known for many years (the one stated in the first paragraph) much better than all the senseless chatter I had to endure while perusing random websites. At any swine-filled rate, I like store-bought pork skins on occasions, but I've never had the chance to eat the rinds that were fresh from the farm; cheers!

---End of Post "The Reason Pork Rinds / Skins are Not a Significant Source of Protein"

Random Blog Post: Creatine is a waste of money - for most people!

For the ones worried about Popcorn Lung...

I have ran across this subject a few times lately and, for some reason, there seems to be a great deal of misinformation on the Internet about "popcorn lung." Some folks seem to think that you get it by simply eating butter-flavored popcorn a few times a week or that you are always at risk when consuming microwave popcorn.

Popcorn Lung is a lung disease that is cause by repeatedly breathing in lots of hot vapor and steam that has diacetyl in it, which is the chemical used to flavor butter popcorn. This started as a major issue with the factory workers at the popcorn plants, several years ago, as they breathed this crap in all the time. There is only one known consumer that was ever diagnosed with Popcorn Lung by merely eating microwave popcorn, and he said he ate 2 bags every night for 10 years and would always stick his head in the bag when he got it out of the microwave, and deeply inhaled the fumes. Yes, that is rather extreme, but it happened nonetheless. However, there were several factory workers that developed this lung disease.

About 8 years ago, the major brand-name microwave popcorn companies removed the chemical that was responsible for this. You can read more about that, here: www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/12/18/popcorn_firms_removing_flavoring_chemical/

Even if they replaced the chemical with an equally harmful one, consuming a few bags of microwave popcorn here and there shouldn't even come close to the one reported case from that popcorn-crazy consumer, nor would it closely resemble the factory workers that once worked around diacetyl on a regular basis. Stuff like this and so much more, is what the Internet often turns into a widespread Urban Myth. It wasn't too long ago, a few bloggers got some bad rumors started about baby carrots. It was so ridiculous, they had to air it on the News and the carrot companies showed that it was all a bunch of lies and propaganda that propagated on the Internet.

Anyway, there is a chemical involved with microwave popcorn that could possibly be harmful to our health, and it is used to coat the inside of the popcorn bags. I still eat microwave popcorn, but like most things, moderation is the key. Cheers!

Related Link: www.boston.com/dailydose/2012/09/20/you-need-worry-about-popcorn-lung-from-microwave-snacks/dDkwyN1sf2YoVsyszIIz3O/story.html

Image Credit: It is in the Public Domain and is not under copyright protection.

---End of Post "For the ones worried about Popcorn Lung..."

Random Blog Post:   Grow your own edibles

Brazil Nuts are Radioactive

Yeah, yeah, I know... It seems that everything is radioactive nowadays. Personally, I like Brazil Nuts and I won't let the fact that they are extra radioactive, stop me from enjoying them on occasions. Now, I wouldn't recommend living off of them or else your toes may start glowing in the dark; ha-ha!

Anyway, many of you may already know this since it has been known for a long time, but I thought I'd share this tidbit anyway. By what data I have read, Brazil nuts contain 1,000 times more radium than other foods do. This happens because of the extremely deep and elaborate root structure of the Brazil Nut tree. The roots absorb bits of radium over time, and it eventually ends up in the nuts. These trees are huge and can live to be a thousand years old, by what I've heard.

On the other hand, like all nuts and seeds, they are packed with nutrients and protein. They are a good source of magnesium, selenium, etc. In fact, selenium is believed by many folks to have anti-cancer properties. Anyway, if you like tree nuts but you're scared of getting too much radioactive stuff during the process, just avoid the Brazil Nuts. Since I don't eat them very often and only get a few in those "deluxe mixed nuts" containers, I'm not worried about it.

Image Credit: Bing Image Search using the 'free to use & share' function.

---End of Post "Brazil Nuts are Radioactive "

Semi-related Links:

* Weight Gainers & Protein Shakes
* Quit blaming the meat!
* Easy ways to add Omega-3 into your Diet

Chicken Noodle Soup for Common Colds

It is old advice and a seemingly ancient remedy for common colds, but is there any merit to the claim that chicken noodle soup helps with the symptoms and/or shortens the duration of the common cold? Evidently so... Apparently those moms and grannies out there were right, as not only is the soup itself fairly nutritional, scientific evidence supports some of these claims, as well.

The anti-inflammatory properties of the soup, the extra nutrients that leak out of the chicken bones during the cooking process, the spices and seasonings, and the drug-like agents similar to modern cold medicines (like acetylcysteine) that are release from certain amino acids in chicken soup while being cooked, all factor in. Plus, the steam and warmth of any soup has to be somewhat comforting when you are feeling bad, cold, and sick.

Anyway, I've never made homemade chicken noodle soup, but I have made vegetable soup, beef stew, and spicy chili several times. At any culinary rate, I've read a few tidbits in the past about how there is some truth to chicken noodle soup being good for a common cold, flu or whatever, but I thought I'd spend a few minutes this morning searching online about it. If you'd like to watch this stuff getting cooked the old fashioned way in a big stock pot with wholesome ingredients, go here: www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/chickensoup.htm [URL is no longer valid]

I found another good blog post about this subject, here: daytodaywoman.com/2011/02/23/will-chicken-noodle-soup-really-cure-the-common-cold/

Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm actually going to go into the kitchen in a few and pop open a canned version of chicken noodle soup. All this writing and reading about it, made me hungry for it; ha! Yeah, y'all can make the homemade version if you desire, but I'm taking the easy way out this morning. I'll just be sure to add some hot sauce and extra black pepper to my store-bought version, for an added boost. Cheers!

Image Credit: Bing Image Search using the 'free to use & share' function.

---End of Post "Chicken Noodle Soup for Common Colds"

Semi-related Posts:

Chest Congestion - Guaifenesin
Health Benefits of Vinegar
Eat Eggs for Protein
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Healthy Teas: Hibiscus, Chamomile...