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Are You Headed for a Nursing Home?

A major cause of the high cost of health care is the number of elderly who have to go into a nursing home, sometimes for years. It now costs from $5000 to $6000 a month. Two conditions are most common. One estimate is that 70% of patients have dementia, mostly Alzheimer’s disease, or have extreme osteoporosis with the possibility of one or more broken bones. Dr. Diane Schneider says that osteoporosis is a silent disease and that one of every two women over fifty will break a bone because of it. That’s a wake–up call to get treatment before it gets worse with age. On the other hand Alzheimer’s seems to be a progressive disease that might eventually affect half of all persons over eighty.

First let’s look at the frail woman who breaks a hip from a simple fall. She has had gradually worsening osteoporosis for many years as her bones got thinner and weaker. She may be proud of the fact that she kept her body thin and doesn’t have heart disease or diabetes. She didn’t realize she needed enough magnesium and protein in her diet as well as calcium to keep her bones strong. The extreme case of a woman breaking a hip from falling out of bed means that all her bones are too thin. Her pelvic bones are so fragile that a surgeon can’t even consider a hip replacement. She is dependent on the nursing staff for everything.

Other patients may look healthy and have normal or higher weight but can’t be left alone. They are the ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia who might wander off and get hurt. They might live many years but have no meaningful life.

Both types of patients might have avoided going to a nursing home if they had taken care of their health when they were younger. Your body is meant to be healthy but only when you exercise as our ancestors did. They walked a lot and did work that used their muscles. Most doctors now agree that vigorous exercise will help you grow new brain cells and might prevent dementia. Aerobic and resistance exercise together can keep your bones strong as well as strengthening your muscles. Start now to improve both your body and your brain. Whether you, an insurance policy or Medicaid pays the high monthly cost of staying in a nursing home, you don’t want to go there.

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Are You Getting Enough Magnesium?

Magnesium is important for optimum health. It aids over 300 chemical reactions in the human body Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar, is important in energy metabolism and making new proteins. It helps nerves, muscles, the heart and normal blood pressure. It aids the immune system and along with calcium keeps bones strong.

A government study in 2005 showed that 68% of Americans don’t even get the recommended minimum of 420 mg. a day. If you ever got muscle cramps at night, your doctor may have recommended taking calcium. A very active hiker said he took calcium and still got cramps after an active day. I gave him some of my magnesium tablets. He chewed them well for good absorption and had no more cramps

D.King and co-workers (J.Am.Col.Nutr. 2005) showed that persons with low magnesium had high C-Reactive Protein levels. High CRP values indicate inflammation that may be a factor in cardiovascular disease, some cancers and even Alzheimer’s disease. Even sixty years ago, obstetricians injected magnesium for the high blood pressure in toxemia of pregnancy. It is used routinely in patients in intensive care units.

Dr. Michael and Dr. Mary Dan Eades say that magnesium can replace calcium-channel-blockers and other drugs used for high blood pressure, migraines, allergies and asthma attacks. However, magnesium js cheap and not considered a medication by most doctors.

Broccoli contains magnesium while cauliflower, another cruciferous vegetable, is white. Magnesium is in chlorophyll which gives some vegetables their green color. Even eating lots of green vegetables won’t give you enough magnesium and most bottled waters have little or none. You can get magnesium tablets at your drug store. You don’t want the higher doses that relieve constipation. I take about half as much magnesium as calcium to keep my bones strong and stay healthy without drugs.

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Pesticides in Fat and Oils are a Real Danger

A chemical that can kill a bug can harm your health. Insects, molds and some bacteria have many of the same enzymes in their cells as mammals do. Many insecticides and other chemicals derived from crude oil can be absorbed by plant seed oils as well as animal fats. These are more dangerous for the consumer than pesticides that can be washed off with a detergent solution.
However, farm workers who have to handle or breathe pesticides are being harmed by all of them. They get rashes, lung and liver disease as well as more cancer and birth defects than the average American.

PAN, the Pesticide Action Network, documents these problems and has prevented some new pesticides from being used. Since chemicals that contain chlorine are especially dangerous to living creatures, methyl bromide has been used instead of methyl chloride to fumigate strawberry fields but it is just as harmful to farm workers. Legislation finally stopped the substitution of an even more dangerous toxin, methyl iodide.

The insecticide DDT was eventually banned in the 1960s after Rachael Carson wrote in “Silent Spring” how insecticides were killing birds or preventing them from reproducing. I remember a poster that pointed out that the breast milk of a pregnant woman might contain DDT.

When I studied the cytochrome system, using homogenized beef heart as an ingredient, I found that cyanide quickly inactivated the cytochromes. My father had used cyanide in a jar with plaster to kill butterflies for his collection. Cyanide gas released in death chambers kills quickly by knocking out cytochrome oxidase. In my research I also found that a chemical developed to kill insects in crops also inactivated the cytochrome system.

Vegetarians who think that all animal fats are bad but all plant oils are good should consider the source of the oil. I say that olive oil is superior to the similar canola oil. Canola oil is made from rape seed, a field crop. Most field crops are sprayed with insecticides. This includes soybeans. The worst salad oil is from cotton seeds. Cotton crops have a heavy dose of insecticides.

If you have a limited budget for organic food, use it for products containing fats or oils. I buy Irish or New Zealand cheddar cheese, olive oil and tofu from organic soybeans.

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