openemptythoughts  asked:

I know this isn't NECESSARILY a fat-related question, but more so a "I don't trust mainstream health politics" question, but: what do you know about the correlations between cholesterol levels and heart attack / heart health? I've heard some things that recently people are more skeptical of the direct relationship, and also that those with genetically high cholesterol are not able to lower it with any diet changes. Thoughts / a direction to look for answers?

It is well established that fatness is correlated with higher blood lipid levels (cholesterol/triglycerides), and that blood lipid levels is in turn correlated with cardiovascular disease. Based on this correlation, dietary changes and “maintaining a healthy weight” are often recommended to lower the risk of heart disease. 

But what does the science tell us?

One meta-analysis concluded that “Increasing soluble fiber can make only a small contribution to dietary therapy to lower cholesterol”. 

Another meta-analysis found that: “compliance with current dietary recommendations (30% of energy from fat, < 10% from saturated fat, and < 300 mg cholesterol/d) will reduce plasma total and low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations by approximately 5% compared with amounts associated with the average American diet.” 

Exercise also appears to lower cholesterol by a similarly small margin. 

Regarding the potential benefits of weight loss, a recent meta-analysis of weight-loss experiments that included long-term follow-up of participants found that diet/exercise/weight loss did not lower blood lipid levels in any meaningful way (i.e., less than 0.25 mmol/L change), these small observed changes were not correlated with weight loss, and weight-loss did not predict a decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore: “A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.”

Based on these results, it seems like changes in diet, exercise, and weight-loss have negligible effects on blood lipid levels, and similar (non) effects on incidence of cardiovascular disease. I’m not sure what to make of these results, but as with all things fat and health related, it seems that the literature poses more questions than answers.

-  Mod D



Alfalfa is an herb. People use the leaves, sprouts, and seeds to make medicine.

Alfalfa is used for kidney conditions, bladder and prostate conditions, and to increase urine flow. It is also used for high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, upset stomach, and a bleeding disorder called thrombocytopenic purpura. People also take alfalfa as a source of vitamins A, C, E, and K4; and minerals calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and iron.

How does it work?

Alfalfa seems to prevent cholesterol absorption in the gut.


Insufficient Evidence for

  • High cholesterol. Taking alfalfa seeds seems to lower total cholesterol and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in people with high cholesterol levels.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Bladder problems.
  • Prostate problems.
  • Asthma.
  • Arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Other conditions.
  • More evidence is needed to rate alfalfa for these uses.


Alfalfa leaves are POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults. However, taking alfalfa seeds long-term is LIKELY UNSAFE. Alfalfa seed products may cause reactions that are similar to the autoimmune disease called lupus erythematosus.

Alfalfa might also cause some people’s skin to become extra sensitive to the sun. Wear sunblock outside, especially if you are light-skinned.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy or breast-feeding: Using alfalfa in amounts larger than what is commonly found in food is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding. There is some evidence that alfalfa may act like estrogen, and this might affect the pregnancy.

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Alfalfa might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. There are two case reports of SLE patients experiencing disease flare after taking alfalfa seed products long-term. If you have an auto-immune condition, it’s best to avoid using alfalfa until more is known.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Alfalfa might have the same effects as the female hormone estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use alfalfa.

Diabetes: Alfalfa might lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and take alfalfa, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

Kidney transplant: There is one report of a kidney transplant rejection following the three-month use of a supplement that contained alfalfa and black cohosh. This outcome is more likely due to alfalfa than black cohosh. There is some evidence that alfalfa can boost the immune system and this might make the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine less effective.


Major Interaction: Do not take this combination
Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with ALFALFA
Alfalfa contains large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, alfalfa might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.

Moderate Interaction: Be cautious with this combination
Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs) interacts with ALFALFA
Some birth control pills contain estrogen. Alfalfa might have some of the same effects as estrogen. But alfalfa isn’t as strong as the estrogen in birth control pills. Taking alfalfa along with birth control pills might decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. If you take birth control pills along with alfalfa, use an additional form of birth control such as a condom.

Some birth control pills include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Triphasil), ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Ortho-Novum 1/35, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), and others.
Estrogens interacts with ALFALFA
Large amounts of alfalfa might have some of the same effects as estrogen. But even large amount of alfalfa aren’t as strong as estrogen pills. Taking alfalfa along with estrogen pills might decrease the effects of estrogen pills.

Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ALFALFA
Alfalfa might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, alfalfa might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.

Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs) interacts with ALFALFA
Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Large doses of alfalfa might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking alfalfa along with medication that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.

Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

For high cholesterol: a typical dose is 5-10 grams of the herb, or as a steeped strained tea, three times a day. 5-10 mL of a liquid extract (1:1 in 25% alcohol) three times a day has also been used.


Mod MC

  • brunch ブランチ
  • buffet ビュッフェ
  • all you can eat 食べ放題 たべほうだい 
  • metabolic disorder 代謝障害 たいしゃしょうがい
  • diabetes 糖尿病 とうにょうびょう
  • glucose spike グルコーススパイク or 血糖値スパイク けっとうちすぱいく
  • conservation of energy エネルギー保存 エネルギーほぞん 
  • cellular respiration 細胞呼吸 さいぼうこきゅう
  • ATP アデノシン三リン酸 あでのしんさんりんさん
  • glycolysis 解糖 かいとう
  • pyruvic acid ピルビン酸 ぴるびんさん
  • Krebs cycle クレブス回路 くれぶすかいろ
  • absorptive 吸収性 きゅうしゅうせい
  • postabsorptive 吸収後 きゅうしゅうご
  • basal metabolic rate 基礎代謝率 きそたいしゃりつ
  • hyperglycaemia 高血糖症 こうけっとうしょう
  • hypoglycaemia 低血糖 ていけっとう
  • blood sugar 血糖 けっとう
  • pancreas 膵臓 すいぞう
  • insulin インスリン
  • glycogenolysis グリコーゲン分解 ぐりこーげんぶんかい or 糖原分解 とうげんぶんかい
  • glycogenesis グリコーゲン合成 ぐりこーげんごうせい or 糖原形成 とうげんけいせい
  • lipogenesis 脂質生合成 ししつせいごうせい
  • adipose tissue 脂肪組織 しぼうそしき
  • lipoprotein リポ蛋白質 りぽたんぱくしつ or 
    • LDL 低密度リポタンパク質 ていみつどりぽたんぱくしつ
    • HDL 高密度リポタンパク質 こうみつどりぽたんぱくしつ
    • (the English abbreviations are also used)
  • steroid hormone ステロイドホルモン
  • glucagon グルカゴン
  • gluconeogenesis 糖新生 とうしんせい

nilimadaisy-blog  asked:

I will love to have all your study notes ,as I am also appearing final prof coming January 13th :( and I'm in dire need of help. P.s I am from india too. Means same subjects n same syllabus ;)

I haven’t made a lot of notes this year. But I have made sure whatever lil notes I have made are published on the blog, you can find them on the contents page here :)

Same syllabus, yaay! So we have Medicine, Surgery & Orthopedics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Peadiatrics, right?

Here’s the list. Hope it helps!

PeadiatricsDevelopmental milestones mnemonic: Copies, draws, scribbles!
Developmental milestones mnemonic: Pincer grasp
Pica mnemonic
Thumb sucking sequelae mnemonic
Hydrops fetalis mnemonic
Minor clinical problems observed in normal infants during first week of life illustration
Malnutrition: Waterlow Gomez classification menmonic
My low osmolarity ORS notes for MBBS exam and constituents of ORS mnemonicOral Rehydration Therapy
Management of nephrotic syndrome (Mnemonic + notes for MBBS exam)

SurgeryGastrointestinal system
Tumors of colon and various polyposis syndrome mnemonic
What is the cause of reversal of sleep wake pattern in patients with cirrhosis?
Choledochal cyst types mnemonic
Ransons criteria for prognosis of acute pancreatitis mnemonic
Cullen’s sign, Grey Turner’s sign and Fox’s sign seen in pancreatitis mnemonic
Child Pugh score mnemonic
Medical management of variceal bleeding mnemonic
♥ Clinical features of acute appendicitis mnemonic
Somatostatinoma mnemonic
Whipple’s triad mnemonic
Charcot’s triad mnemonic
Exception to Courvoisier’s law mnemonic
Saint’s triad mnemonic
Pyloric stenosis mnemonic
Hematemesis mnemonic
Risk factors for carcinoma stomach mnemonic
Treatment of bleeding peptic ulcer mnemonic
Sugiura Futagawa operation mnemonic
Surgery for acute bleeding varices and portal hypertension that cause portoazygos disconnection mnemonic
Treatment of upper gastrointestinal bleeding mnemonic
Intussusception mnemonic
Fistula in ano mnemonics
Abdominal anatomy mnemonics related to hernia
Surgery mnemonics
Genitourinary system:
Differentials of inguinoscrotal swelling
Treatment of carcinoma penis mnemonic
Unilateral and bilateral causes of hydronephrosis
Epidural anaesthesia mnemonic
Testicular tumors surgical management mnemonic
Paraumbilical hernia mnemonic
Fournier’s gangrene mnemonic
Thyroid eye signs mnemonic
Types of perforators of the lower limb mnemonic
Intermittent claudication notes
Treatment of Varicose veins mnemonic
What does flush ligation mean?MBBS surgery instruments mnemonic
OrthopeadicsFoot drop (Notes)
Injuries that can occur due to fall on outstretched hand mnemonic
Tuberculosis spine mnemonic
Types of sequestrum
Clinical features of tuberculosis spine mnemonic
Colles fracture mnemonic
Congenital Talipes Equinovarus (CTEV) and club foot surgical treatment mnemonic
Tuberculosis spine mnemonic (Potts disease)
Heberden’s and Bouchard’s Nodes Mnemonic
Bones that undergo avascular necrosis mnemonic

Obstetrics and Gynaecology
DeLancey supports of genital tract mnemonic
Semen report notes + mnemonic
What is the difference between menstrual regulation and vacuum evacuation?
Vaginal candidiasis (Candida infection) mnemonic
Fothergills repair or Manchester operation mnemonic
Hirsutism mnemonic
Dermoid cyst mnemonic
What is extra ovular space?
Breech delivery diagrams
Tests for ovulation mnemonic
Tocolytic agents mnemonic
Magnesium sulphate regimens for eclampsia and preeclampsia mnemonic
Total dose infusion formula (Haldane and Ganzoni) mnemonic
Hydatidiform mole (Complete vesicular mole) mnemonic
Tubal ectopic pregnancy mnemonic
What is the significance of pain during child birth?
Normal labor: Mechanism on dummy pelvis and mnemonics
Difference between partial and complete hydatidiform mole mnemonic
Quad screen results and trisomy mnemonicMinimum number of antenatal visits recommended by WHO mnemonicEngagement, synclitism and asynclitismPostpartum hemorrhage causes mnemonicLecithin–sphingomyelin ratio mnemonicPathophysiology and Medicine- Cardiac and vascular pathophysiology
Types of pulse mnemonic
Evaluating axis from ECG (Mnemonic)
Kawasaki disease mnemonic
Submissions: Mnemonic for arterial involvement in atherosclerosis
Baroreceptors mnemonic
Mean systemic filling pressure
Cardiac Output and Venous Return curve mnemonic
♥ Vasomotor reversal of Dale
Why does heart stop in diastole when plasma potassium level rises?
♥ Why are there differences in cardiac action potential in different parts of the heart?
Cardiac fast fibers and slow fibers - Why does a less negative membrane potential convert a normally fast fiber into a slow fiber?
Behind the scenes: Subendocardial fibres lack phase 1
♥ What are the factors affecting diastolic blood pressure?
Arteriovenous fistula - What happens to cardiac output and total peripheral resistance and why?
Investigations in renovascular hypertension
- Pulmonology (Respiratory)
Nail disorders, diagnosis and abnormalities due to systemic diseases mnemonic
Case scenarios: When you don’t give patients 100% O2 and why
Decompression sickness - Caisson’s disease
Ondine’s curse
Exudate & Transudate
Why lactate dehydrogenase in Light’s criteria?
♥ Obstructive and restrictive lung diseases
♥ Oxygen - hemoglobin dissociation curve mnemonic
Ghon’s complex in primary tuberculosis mnemonic
- Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary system (Abdomen)
Causes of hepatosplenomegaly mnemonic
Extraintestinal manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease mnemonic
Leptin thin. Ghrelin gobble. Mnemonic.
Ulcers of the stomach mnemonic
♥ Difference between primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis mnemonic
♥ Difference between chronic atrophic gastritis type A and type B
- Hematology (Blood) and oncology
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) treatment mnemonic
♥ Hairy cell leukaemia simplified
French American British classification of Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia (AML types) mnemonic
Oxygen saturation mnemonic
Mechanism of Invasion of Tumor cells
Mantle cell lymphoma mnemonic
♥ Burkitts lymphoma mnemonic
Follicular lymphoma mnemonic
Hemolytic uremic syndrome mnemonic
Thalassemia blood picture mnemonic
Hemolytic face mnemonic
♥ Clotting factors mnemonic
The Rh factor
Difference between iron deficiency anemia and anemia of chronic disease
♥ How to remember lipoprotein disorders
- Reproduction
Which cell secretes what? Male reproductive system mnemonics
Which cell secretes what? A simplified ovarian cycle comic video
Which cell secretes what? A simplified ovarian cycle comic
- Nephrology (Renal)
Normal arterial blood gas values and serum electrolytes mnemonic
Clearance of inulin and para-aminohippuric acid mnemonic
♥ Free water clearance
Glomerular filtration rate formula and mnemonic
♥ What is the difference between prerenal failure & acute tubular necrosis?
♥ Darrow-Yannet Diagrams simplified
Darrow Yannet diagram: Doubt
- Endocrine
What happens in type 1 diabetes mellitus?
What happens in type 2 diabetes mellitus?
Hashimoto’s & Graves’ disease mnemonic
Intrinsic tyrosine kinase and receptor-associated tyrosine kinase mnemonic
Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia mnemonic
Treatment of thyrotoxic crisis mnemonic
What is the function of thyroid peroxidase?
Felty’s syndrome mnemonic
- Neurology (CNS)
Causes of ischemic stroke
Clinical manifestations of stroke within anterior circulation
Peripheral neuropathy definition and causes (MBBS notes)
Neurofibromatosis 1 mnemonic
Tuberous sclerosis mnemonic
Remembering the autonomic innervation of the bladder
Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome mnemonic
Cerebellar lesion clinical signs and symptoms mnemonic
Site of lesion of CNS disorders that cause involuntary movements mnemonic
The crossed paralyses: Millard-Gubler, Foville, Weber & Raymond-Cestan brainstem syndromes mnemonic
Multiple sclerosis mnemonic
Site of lesion of CNS disorders that cause involuntary movements mnemonic
Pilocytic astrocytoma
Pathology brain tumors mnemonic- Other
Neuromuscular (myoneural) junction
♥ Difference between Pemphigus vulgaris & Bullous pemphigoid mnemonic
Marfan’s syndrome
Collagen in wound healing & Ehlers-Danlos syndrome mnemonic
Kartageners syndrome
Bone talk - How to remember the most commons of bone tumors
Paget’s cells mnemonic

Bacterial Taxonomy 1 - Classification Based on Morphology and the Gram Stain. 

Taxonomy, is literally the science of classification. Look at the picture above, and imagine that all those little divisions, like “firmicutes” are different phyla under the kingdom of bacteria. Then those phyla are further subdivided into different classes, then orders, then families, then genera, and then finally species! Take a look at how this works for one particular bacteria, called streptococcus mutans. 

Wow, there’s a lot to classify, probably why it’s taxonomy: it’s such a taxing job.

Ahem, right, so. As you’ve probably noticed, Streptococcus mutans is named using its Genera and its Species name. Similarly, all organisms have a scientific name comprising of two parts: The genus, followed by the species. It is very important to classify organisms in this way because: 

  1. It establishes criteria for identifying organisms. 
  2. Allows arrangement of related organisms into groups. 
  3. Provides important information on how organisms evolved.  

Bacteria are classified, usually, according to their morphological, metabolic and biochemical differences, although genetic and immunologic factors are also now being considered. 

One of the earliest, and most fundamental methods of classifying bacteria depended on the use of the Gram Stain. 

Gram Stain

Unlike large organisms like humans, parrots and dra-, erm, Komodo Dragons, which are easy to spot and have a distinct appearance to the eye, bacteria are colourless and invisible to light microscopy. Thus, gram staining had to be developed to give bacteria a colour, and visualize them. Since bacteria would either respond to the stain, or not, all bacteria were subsequently classified into gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. 

There are 4 steps to the Gram Stain Procedure. 

  1. Pour crystal violet stain (a blue dye) and wait for 60 seconds. 
  2. Wash off with water and flood with iodine solution. Wait for 60 seconds. 
  3. Wash off with water and then “decolourize” with 95% alcohol solution. 
  4. Counter-stain with safranin (a red dye). Wait 30 seconds and then wash off with water. 

Basically, when viewed under the microscope, cells that absorb the crystal violet dye and hold on to it become blue: These are gram-positive. Alternatively, if the crystal violet is washed off by the 95% alcohol, the cells absorb the safranin and appear red. These are gram-negative. 

Gram Positive = Blue 

Imagine yourself sitting by the beach, opposite crystal blue waters, or kayaking across deep waters, or even river tubing across the bluest of rivers.. won’t you say yes to that? So, Blue = Positive. Note that Gram-Positive bacteria may also appear purple if the red safranin is not effectively washed off. This is because blue + red is purple. 

Gram Negative = Red

Now you’re sitting in sweltering red heat, sweat pouring down your body, the sun red in the sky. You don’t want that, do you? Or for comic book fans, you can picture Superman’s face when he sees a Red Sun in the sky. NOPE, thinks Superman. So Red = Negative. 

This difference occurs due to a difference in morphology of the bacteria. 

Gram Positive vs Gram Negative Bacteria 

Unlike eukaryotic animal cells which contain only one cell membrane composed of phospholipid separating the nucleus from the ECF, both gram-positive and gram negative bacteria contain more than 1 layer: the layer outside the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane is the peptidoglycan layer. 

Keep reading


Accumulation of fatty material in the artery walls resulting in a narrowing or blocking

  • Affects mainly medium-large arteries
  • Only occurs in arteries with high pressure
  • Does not occur in veins unless exposed to systemic arterial pressures

Atheroma Formation 

  • disease of the tunica intima but can impact on the tunica media
  • accumulation of lipid rich material to for plaques


  • Endothelial damage occurs allowing entry to LDLs (low-density lipoproteins) into the tunica intima


  • Lipid taken up by macrophages in the intima
  • Accumulates to form a visible white bulge - fatty streak


  • Continued accumulation of lipids
  • cytokines from macrophages stimulate proliferation of intima cells with features of myofibroblasts
  • these secrete collagen - plaque starts to become fibrotic
  • lesions are more raised and yellower
  • as the lesion develops there is a pressure atrophy of the tunica media and the elastic lamina is disrupted


  • Increased collagen secretion forms a dense, fibrous cap (fibrolipid cap) which is hard and white
  • this advanced plaque shows free lipid as well as the lipid in macrophages
  • collagen build up also weakens the arterial wall
  • endothelium is fragile and often ulcerates, allowing platelet aggregation and formation of a thrombus (clot) (thrombosis)

anonymous asked:

My sister recently told me that plants (vegetables) have cholesterol and you can still have heart failure by eating plants. I didn't know what to say so after I tried to research it. Then, I came across a website that states that plant cholesterol is toxic for humans. I don't really know what to say to her because she is always approaching me wth non vegan arguments. What do you guys know about this "plant cholesterol" and is it bad?

They are called Phytosterols & TONS of mind numbing studies have been done on them & they don’t get absorbed in the digestive system.

this study shows that adding PEs to a meal does not alter fat hydrolysis in the duodenum nor chylomicron release, but specifically reduces free cholesterol availability for intestinal absorption

Just remember, these same well meaning & undereducated people will then tell you that vegan’s don’t get enough healthy cholesterol in the same breath they are telling you that plants have cholesterol…  Be careful, it is really messy when you point it out and their heads explode.

But you are NOT off the hook because you are VEGAN!!!

Heart Disease is the #1 killer in America.  The founder of the American Vegan Society H. Jay Dinsha died of a heart attack at 66.  (40 years as a VEGAN)

How can mainstream vegans promoting a garbage vegan diet where we all could die BEFORE Dave Thomas (69d) the founder of Wendy’s & the Bacon Double Cheeseburger…  not see the counter productiveness of this on saving animal lives???   

Watch Dr. Gregor go over this comparison of Dave Thomas to Jay Dinsha.

<–   this is one of the most important health video to watch for vegans

The Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio explains why vegans are doing so horribly.

Omega 3′s = green leafy veg & flax & walnuts

Omega 6′s = corn, safflower, cotton seed & sunflower oil (processed foods)

Making of a heart attack = Injury - Inflammation - Oxidation - Clot * burst to heart attack.  Omega 6, despite being essential, in excess increase the injury & inflammation & stopped the EPA & DHA production Omega 3′s reduce.

Natural Ratio 1:1  (before Omega 6 loaded modern cooking oils)

Meat Eaters 7:1   (eat fish that cheats the system, since fish eat the Omega 3′s for them)(flax is better & doesn’t have toxins included in fish)

Vegetarians 10:1

Vegans 15:1

Vegan Children 44:1…

So what to do?  Just fill vegans up with ground flax seeds?  Not so fast…


  • Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, published his results of patients who had had an average of three previous cardiac events before he put them on a vegan diet with no added fat – including oil – and not one patient ever had another cardiac event in twelve years!  (Esselstyn CB Jr.  Updating a 12-year experience with arrest and reversal therapy for coronary heart disease (an overdue requiem for palliative cardiology).  Am J Cardiology.  1999 Aug, 84(3):Pages 339-341)
  • Students were assigned to a group who ate a fat free breakfast of 900 calories versus a fatty breakfast of 900 calories.  The arteries of the group that had no fat in their breakfast bounced right back after being constricted for five minutes; but the arteries of the group that had the fatty breakfast took up to six hours to regain their ability to dilate and contract normally.  All oil is 100% fat.  Even olive oil.  (Vogel RA.  Brachial artery ultrasound: a noninvasive tool in the assessment of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins.  Clin Cardiol.  1999 Jun;22(6 Suppl):II34-9.)
  • Researchers at the University of Maryland found that eating bread dipped in olive oil reduced the arteries’ ability to dilate by 31%.  (Vogel RA, Corretti MC, Plotnick GD.  The postprandial effect of components of the Meditterranean diet on endothelial function.  J of Amer Col Card.  2000 Nov;36(5))
  • Many vegans’ ratio is shockingly high – even as high as 120:1
  • The Lyon Heart Study turned olive oil into a health food when they found that the Mediterranean Diet, high in olive oil, helped people who had had at least one previous heart attack reduce their chance of further cardiac events by 50-70%.  HOWEVER, what you never heard was that a full 25% - one out of every four people on the Mediterranean diet – still had another heart event or died.  (de Lorgeril, et al.  Mediterranean Diet, Traditional Risk Factors, and the Rate of Cardiovascular Complications After Myocardial Infarction; Final Report of the Lyon diet Heart Study.  Circulation, 1999 Feb 16;99(6):779-85.)

So no its not MORE of one oil, its LESS OF ALL OILS.  Fatty vegans what is your long term goal?  To die at 66 of heart disease & develop degenerative brain disease?  seem more normal (aka dying prematurely like everyone else?) with fried vegan junk food?  If you want to save animals, start with saving yourself!

Read more about the Omega 3 to 6 ratio from Jeff Novick.

For people in fat fear;

Our requirements for essential fats are very small—no more than 0.5 gram daily.  Only plants can synthesize essential fats—so eating plant-foods is the obvious source of these necessary nutrients.  Because body fats (adipose tissue) store these essential fats efficiently, even if overweight people were placed on an artificially manufactured fat-free diet, they would have little risk of becoming deficient in essential fats over their entire lifetime.  Note: a diet made of unprocessed plant foods, like the McDougall diet, naturally contains about 7% of its calories as fat—and about half the total fat found in plant foods is of the essential variety—the kind we need ~Dr. McDougall Aug, 2006

Consider the possibility that an excess of these nutrients caused by adding avocados and other oils to a low-fat meal may result in nutritional imbalances that encourage disease. It is possible.

Save the vegan junk food for celebrations!  or better, yet — we don’t restrict, we replace!  make healthy versions not lacking in flavor or texture! 

Herb of the Week Almond


Sweet Almond

The almond trees are native to the Mediterranean region, particularly the eastern coast. Trees of this species are expansive by nature. Normally, almond trees are found to grow up to a height of around seven meters or 20 feet. They have even or smooth boughs that are pale hued. Like in the case of other trees in this genus - plum, cherry and peach, almonds also bear flowers that are pink or white in color. The trees blossom during the period between mid and late spring. The almond flowers are single and do not have any stalk. The leaves of the trees belonging to this species are oval shaped, finely jagged and sharp at the end. The almond bears fruits that have a faded green color. The outer encasing of the fruit hardens up when they are ripe eventually coming apart to expose the recognizable nuts that are enclosed in rough, yellowish encasings.

Almond has been cultivated since ages. While this species was extensively grown in the Middle East for centuries, the Bible too refers to the tree as ‘Aaron’s rod was an almond branch’. The almond also finds mention in Greek mythology where it is denoted as Phyllis, a mourning nymph who was abandoned by her lover Demophoon. According to Greek mythology, Phyllis eventually succumbed to sorrow and dejection. The gods are said to have transformed Phyllis into a tree (almond) owing to compassion. When Demophoon returned to the tree, it burst into flower.

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The Why of Nutrition Basics

In case you missed it, I am writing a series called “The five essential components for a healthy life” You can go to the ‘writing section’ of my blog, or simply scroll down to catch up on the introductory post. It will tell you all five components and have a brief introduction of what this is all about… Personally, I always hear “this is healthy for you, eat this” or “that’s bad for you, don’t eat that” but if I don’t know and understand the reasons why something is bad or good for me, then nothing is going to deter me from doing the bad things, because I don’t really understand the consequences. There is too much nutrition to go over in a single post, but I will try my best to inform you of the basics of nutrition and the WHY of nutrition.


“Fat is bad! I don’t want to gain weight!” Believe it or not, all fats are not bad for you. They are an essential part of your diet and are a major source of energy. What we will be focusing on is the type of fats you should and should not be eating.

Let’s first talk about the good type of fat: Mono and polyunsaturated fats. Why are they important? They can help lower your total cholesterol level. But what does lowering your cholesterol levels do? It prevents slow build up of the cholesterol in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain (and all the other organs and tissues). And when cholesterol teams up with other substances, it can form plaque, which is a a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible, thus limiting or completely “cutting” of blood supply to certain areas. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, a heart attack or stroke can result. So we like Mono and Poly, they are nice =) Where can you find polyunsaturated fats? Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and fatty fish are great sources.

Bad fats: Saturated fat essentially does the opposite of mono and polyunsaturated fats. It increases the total cholesterol and LDL (LDL is bad) in your blood stream; this also boosts your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Meat and dairy products are sources of saturated fat.

Cholesterol (HDL & LDL)

All cholesterol is not bad! HDL (high density lipoprotein) is very beneficial to have because it helps get rid of LDL (Low density lipoprotein) which is bad. Monounsaturated fats raise HDL (the good cholesterol) and will then lower LDL (bad). Canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados are good sources. HDL (good) carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it’s passed from the body. It is even believed that HDL removes excess bad cholesterol from arterial plaque, slowing its buildup process.

Omega fatty acids

What is with all these Omega fatty asses, I mean acids, I keep hearing about?

Describing what they are with their hydrocarbon chain will do you no good, so know this: In the world of good fats, omega-3s are king. They fight inflammation; help control blood clotting (which is a good thing when you cut yourself), and it lowers blood pressure. Where to find it? Fatty fish like albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good sources. Vegetable sources include walnuts, and some vegetable oils.

So what about omega-6s? The truth is, omefa-6s are found waaaaaay more in our diets than omega-3s. They are found in vegetable oils and many snack foods. However they are not bad! What is important is the RATIO of omega-6s to omega-3s. The desired ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s is around 1:1 to 5:1. This ratio sounds silly. Why would we want more 6s? They don’t sound as beneficial as 3s!? Just know this: some American and European diets have a 20-50:1 ratio of 6s to 3s! So what we need to do is consciously look for omega-3s. If we are able to balance this it will reduce the risk of death from heart disease. Which everyone wants, because believe it or not, heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide (obviously more prevalent in the American and European countries than places such as Africa)


Are you really going to tell me about water? Yes, it is so vital and absolutely essential that you drink enough of it that I would not be doing any service to you by skipping over it! Did you know that the human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water? Why is this? Water makes up 50-65% of your body (not just body weight, your ACTUAL body) and not to mention, water is involved in every single function and process. The majority of every cell is made up of water. And cells are what make up us and keep us alive. So, if we don’t have enough water, we don’t have living cells, therefore we don’t live ourselves. But what does water actually do besides just help cells and their process. It helps regulate your temperature and keep it at homeostasis, it cushions your joints, protects your vital organs and spinal cord. The list goes on and on. But what is important to understand is that we are talking about pure water.  If you drink juice, tea, coffee, soda or whatever you will not get the benefits of what pure H2O will provide, and here is why. Caffeine will dehydrate your body, so you ultimately urinate out more water volume that was in the beverage you just drank. Obviously, alcohol is a diuretic, so not only does the amount of water contained in the drink pass quickly through the body, the increased urgency causes the drinker to eliminate even more water and essential minerals. (That’s why you feel hung over the day after if you don’t drink enough water prior and after a night out). Simply put: Your body doesn’t store soda or tea in your veins and cells, so it has to be converted to water to be used by the body, right? Well, this is done via the kidneys, and it not only is going to take energy to filter out the impurities, it is also going to take most of the pure H2O with it, and leave an insignificant amount left for your system. So what is the take home message here? Men should drink around 3 liters and women should drink around 2.2. Obviously this all depends on body type. But that’s a lot of water we need per day! Make it a habit to drink it whenever you can!


I will not dive too far into sugar because we all know it’s bad for us; I just want to make sure you understand why. To make it very basic this is what sugar does: it suppresses your immune system and robs your bones of important minerals. Not only does sugar do this, the artificial sweeteners harm your health as well and they too have adverse effects on your efforts at staying slim. The list of dangers from sugar is a never-ending list so I will only pick a few. Sugar causes advanced aging, especially to your skin, weakens eyesight, can cause arthritis, and has been strongly linked to cancer and heart problems.


How the hell can’t chicken be organic? It’s a chicken! Okay, so let’s dive into our last discussion: organic foods. The benefits of organic food: they contain more beneficial nutrients (some research says up to 20 times more than non organic!) it is also better for the environment. What defines organic? Organic crops must be grown in safe soil, have NO modifications, and must remain separate from conventional products. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. (yes, the non organic crops you eat may contain sewage sludge-based fertilizers, unbelievable, right!?) Organic livestock must have access to the outdoors and be given organic feed. They may not be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal-by-products.

Take home message

Dude, you wrote too much! What is the take home!? The take home is this: No one can possibly eat perfect, so everyone is allowed to have a cheat day. There is an 80/20 rule that you should follow. 80% of the time eat as healthy as you can and 20% of the time eat (almost) whatever you want! A simple way to eat healthy is to think in these terms: if it wasn’t around 200 years ago, it is not essential or beneficial to your diet, so don’t eat it! Many of the artificial ingredients found in foods were created in the last 100 years, and some even more recently. You will be blown away by just how much stuff you consume that doesn’t contain natural ingredients and virtually no nutritional value. They say you are what you eat, so do your best you can and feed your body with the fuel it is intended to have! 

If you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.



After studiying for 2 weeks for this biochemistry exam I couldnt even finish it because we only had 2 hours to make it (Yes, that should give you an idea of how long it was) and most of the people didnt finish the whole exam, the feeling of knowing and not being able to get a good grade for this exam frustrates me so much :( Now more than never I want to believe that grades dont necessary say how much you know (although I’ve got one of the best grades in the past exams and tests). Cant go back in time, cant fix it I guess I’ll just have to swallow it

Creation of minimal cell with just the genes needed for independent life

Researchers have designed and synthesized a minimal bacterial genome, containing only the genes necessary for life, and consisting of just 473 genes. This advances the team’s groundbreaking research published in 2010, in which they built and booted up the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell, providing proof of principle that genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in the lab, and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new, self-replicating cell controlled only by the synthetic genome. After this the team - led by Craig Venter and Clyde Hutchison - set about their ultimate objective, a goal since 1995, to synthesize a minimal cell containing only the genes necessary to sustain life in its simplest form, an effort that could help scientists understand the function of every essential gene in a cell.

To do this work, Venter, Hutchison and colleagues again turned to Mycoplasma, bacteria possessing the smallest known genomes of any autonomously replicating cells. In 2010, the researchers had synthesized the genome of Mycoplasma mycoides. Here, based on existing literature, the researchers designed hypothetical minimal genomes in eight different segments, each of which could be tested in order to accurately classify constituent genes as essential or not. During this design-build-test process, the researchers also sought to identify quasi-essential genes, those needed for robust growth but not absolutely required for life. In a series of experiments, Venter, Hutchison and colleagues inserted transposons (or foreign genetic sequences) into numerous genes to disrupt their functions and determine which ones were necessary to the overall functioning of the bacteria. They whittled away at the synthetic, reduced genome, repeating experiments until no more genes could be disrupted and the genome was as small as possible. Critically, analysis revealed that some genes initially classified as “non-essential” do in fact perform the same essential function as a second gene; thus, one of the pair of genes needs to be retained in the minimal genome. A final version, dubbed JCVI-syn3.0, comprises 473 genes - a genome smaller than that of any autonomously replicating cell found in nature to date. The researchers’ minimal genome lacks all DNA-modifying and restriction genes and most genes encoding lipoproteins. In contrast, almost all genes involved in reading and expressing the genetic information in the genome, as well as in preserving genetic information across generations, are retained. Interestingly, the precise biological functions of roughly 31% of the JCVI-syn3.0 genes remain undiscovered. However, several potential homologs for a number of these genes were found in other organisms, suggesting they encode universal proteins with functions yet to be determined. The JCVI-syn3.0 platform represents a versatile tool for investigating the core functions of life.