This page contains different information related to the body (that you could already know). I sometime wondered why nobody gave me a basic instruction guide to my body and environment upon arrival on earth. Yet I buy a simple toaster oven and I get a 80 pages manual. Anyway here is my own version of it. The info could be wrong, but might be interesting to share or develop (and could actually help someone)!
Question: I ear people talking about UVA, UVB, skin cancer, calcium absorbtion. What should I know?
Answer: UVA causes irreversible skin aging. UVB causes sunburns. UVB is blocked by windows/glass. UVA goes through windows/glass as well as clouds so watch out! UVB has also a helpful effect on your health, causing a chemical reaction with steroid molecules already present on your skin, which in turns creates another type of molecule that is absorbed back by your skin which leads to the creation of vitamin D3 (that you get almost nowhere else). Vitamin D3 allows calcium to be used by the body hence its importance! So what does all this means: (a) Getting sunbathe through a window won't help you with vitamin D3 and calcium; it will only cause skin aging; same thing when you drive your car (with window closed). (b) After going outside and enjoying the sun, try not to wash (hands & body) immediatly to allow a few time (15 minutes?) for the helpful molecules to be absorbed by your body. Now about sunscreens: 98% of sunscreens that are on the market are terribly dangerous for your skin. They do contain chemicals that blocks UVA and UVB but are also highly cancerigen. However it's relativly easy to select one which is totally safe for your skin and block UVA and UVB. The best known sunscreens uses titanium dioxide to block UVA and zinc oxide to block the UVB range. Examples of good brands are Mexitan4, or Trade Winds Caribbean Solcremes. More info about about various products and ingredients that you put on your skin can be found in the skin-deep database: It's a nicely presented compilation of years of research available freely at your finger-tips about everything you put on your skin: creams, soaps, sunscreens, deodorants and most of the ingredients you find in your skin-related products (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com), nicely presenting each ingredient's carcirogen level, neurotoxicity, reproductive toxicity and bioaccumulation dangers. I still can't believe it's free!
Did you know that when you sleep, the saliva formation stops. Yes, that's why you don't slime all over your face when you sleep! Since saliva is used to wash out your mouth after eating, if you go to sleep directly after eating, saliva won't have time to clean your mouth and acid will quickly form, slowly degrading your gums and teeth without you feeling it (unless your dentin is exposed). Hopefully, teeth do regenerate if it is only mildly etched by the acid (when the pH goes back to normal in your mouth, the enamel remineralization cycle puts back ions in the mineral matrix of your enamel that degraded after eating). Teeth can however demineralize beyond repair - this will first appear as white spots on your teeth. On the other hand, gums do not grow back! Gum will heal if cutted, but will not grow back if it is weared out (wow)! Brushing our teeth and passing the floss only removes the big pieces; saliva does the rest and needs about 2 hours to do it's job (minimum). I wish I had knew this before I took the habit of eating before taking a nap -- it's so easy to sleep with your stomach full :) (yet damaging to your mouth!)
Weak body parts
Some parts of the body are harder to heal than others... sometime you learn that after it's too late, so it's good to know. The knees are weak in humain!! If you begin to have knee pain during an activity, stop. Its funny, in Futurama TV show, the Alien even mention it :P
Also, very cold weather put stress on your articulations and they wear faster. Being heated by surrounding blood, this is not a real problem for most articulations, except for fingers, feets and sometimes the knees (maybe other parts also?). In extreme cold weather these articulations can easily drop below the body temperature and be exposed to faster wear if used. If you are a programmer for example, don't allow your hands to get cold when working on the computer, the long-term effect will fastly catch you.
Another thing that I experienced is when recovering from a (serious) injury. At some point when you are in a weakened state, you can feel the various effects of different things more clearly. I was surprised to see these things affecting adversely the recovery and making the pain grow back (on a scale of 10): coffee (8/10), alcohol (5/10), sugar (1/10). So I suggest to avoid those when trying to make a quick recovery.
So you've got your first apartment or house with a water heater and want to know what's the minimal temperature you can safely set your water heater to without having an outbreak of bacterial growth?
Answer: 55 degree celsius minimum (to prevent the legionella bacteria), but the government3 recommends 60 degrees so that when it reaches out pipes at remote areas in the house, it is at least 50. So... we cannot safely save electricity by lowering the water heater. Oh.. and if you are at 40 and below, you are in danger :)
Food and Nutrition
There are so much information out there about nutrition, can you help me clear this up?
Everyone has different needs and different goals with their bodies so you are free to choose your level of commitment on food care. However, common knowledge about food is very helpful:
(A) Insecticide and pesticide are present in almost all the food you buy. They cause negative long-term effect on your health such as cancer, fatigue, headaches, damage to the reproductives system, birth defects and other negative things we never heard about. Also most of these chemicals are dangerous *because* they accumulate in your body and never leave. You should thoroughly wash the skin of all fruits and legumes you eat. Organic or greenhouses-grown food are obviously far safer. OGM foods are full of pesticide from the inside out. They are modified to produce their own pesticide within each cell by having DNA from pesticide-forming bacteria. You can obviously not wash out the pesticides from them. (B) OGM food. They contaminate normal crops by cross-pollination. Current OGM crops are soya, canola, corn, tomatoes, rice and cotton. This means aprox 50-90% of these plantations are already OGM and not labelled (in North America). But in the pipeline, you have cauliflower, cucumber, potatoes and sadly even more that we don't know about. I was worrying about trans-fat, sugar and coffee... OGM are 100 times worse! OGM food can be sprayed by worse pesticides because they are modified to resits these strong pesticides. Everything else is killed by them: vegetation, insects, animals, except a few fungus; and it finally leaks into the water that we drink. Before trying to balance your diet, stop eating poison(!).
(B) The alkaline-forming and acid-forming food theory5 seems valid, and you should eat a lot of fresh uncooked legumes and fruits to equilibrate with the bread, meat and cereals that we largely consumes.
(C) Very important: there is one food additive that is not yet banned in many country but has very harmful effect (while no benefit whatsoever). It is hydrogenated fat. It's also called shortening. This kind of fat is added for the only purpose of preservation: having products with longer shelf-life. This kind of fat (trans) is bad because the body uses it to build cell walls not knowing it is a different version of the normal form (cis). The results are defective cell walls which cause so much diversified problems in the body. The more you eat them, the worse is the effect. Even though your tiny cells do not recognizes the difference between the trans and cis form, your digestive system (liver?) is able to recognize this fat molecule being modified and tries not to use it by storing it directly in fat cells, which causes more-than-usual gaining of weight. But what is most sad is that fat cells should contain good quality fat because that's what you "feed" upon when you are a long time without eating. Some people feel very bad when they starve and use on fat cell energy because their fat contains a lot bad substances (including toxins) since the body uses fat cells as a sort of "depotoir" for things it cannot easily get rid of.
(D) Coffee, sugar and drugs: We all go through some sort of dependence on something. It's in our nature. One effortless way to not fall to much for these is knowledge about them. Coffee: There are two big species of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. Robusta taste bitter and is blended with Arabica to improve the taste. It costs less and has higher concentrations of caffeine causing higher dependency. Switch to 100% pure Arabica if you care for yourself! I suggest some "coffee alternatives" for better overal balance. Sugar: It makes so much more harm than it seems. Not only it slowly causes fat cells to fill up: when you ingest sugar, even if your total daily caloric intake is below your need, the body reaction to a sudden intake of sugar can be (for some persons) to use only a part of it and store the rest in fat cells. This makes you get fat even though you don't eat a lot. There are many other downsides for sugar such as many seemingly unrelated (and serious) illness that would have been avoided without sugar. Drugs: For now the only thing I can say about drugs is that everything is possible even without them. For a long time I thought I could have access to good ideas only when under stimulants... it was simply effortless to just look and see all the creative ideas in my mind. Now, I don't see them, but I came to trust that they are available to me when I need them. They come down in my consciousness instead of me getting them up there. It takes more time to reach me, but I know they are still there, now mather how lazy I feel. In quiet piece of mind combined with the desire to reach the idea, it becomes available.
(E) There are a lot more subjects to look into if you are inclined: medicinal herbs knowledge, detecting mild intolerances and allergies that remains unknown by many during their whole life, choosing meat without growth-hormones, food to help you sleep (thryptofan), food combination for tastes and effect (the link between harmonious tastes and good combinations of nutrients for the body), that is, amino acids (the tongue itself has receptors for all the 21 amino acids and is supposed to be used to "preview" the nutritional properties of the food before you eat it, but this knowledge can also be used to create or explain good-tasting combinations), etc. Some thought: I sometime think that nutrition should be a mandatory course in high-school : everybody has got to decide what to eat everyday, yet there are no required classes on that... on the other side, we all go throughout numerous mathematic classes to only use it once in a while.
Mind and spirit
There is only one thing: reject all thoughs of self-judgments and external judgments; they are the same. If you judge others, you judge yourself with the same thing - even if you don't see it at first. The other is among other things a tool to help yourself. We use it to project our feelings of guilt. The goal is just to see others (and thus yourself) as non-culpable.