Saturday, September 13, 2008

Olive Oil - anti-inflammatory

Fresh news about olive oil: a study published in Nature magazine proves that it functions in our body much in the same way as the painkiller ibuprofen (but without its negative effects). Oleocanthal, a compound of the oil, that has anti-inflammatory properties, is to blame for this.

So, one more reason to use this healthy oil, mostly known for its heart-healthy fats, frequently.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The HPV vaccine

I’m sure you’ve heard already, here and there, about the vaccine against HPV (I hope you’ve heard more bad news than good news :D). Let’s still have a summary of the facts, because this vaccine can not only be useless, but it can even harm a lot.

The story that reveals the truth starts with the HiFi DNA Tech company that was producing HPV testing devices, based on the analysis of the DNA. They were trying to convince the FDA (The Food and Drug governmental Administration of the USA) to classify this HPV test as a class II (something not necessarily safe, but allowed to be sold on the market), not as a class III (something that is not allowed on the market). The arguments that HiFi DNA Tech used were the following:

- For more than 20 years, FDA named HPV detection tests as “cervical cancer detection tests”
- But since 2003, FDA changed their position and stated that HPV is not linked with the cervical cancer
- HiFi DNA Tech arguments that their test is no longer a cervical cancer detection test, but it merely detects the presence of the Human Papilloma Virus. So the company claims that the test merely finds the presence of a virus, but it does not make a diagnose for a disease (because this last one would have been a harder to achieve standard for a class II testing).

In October 12, 2007, HiFi DNA Tech sues FDA to force the Class II classification for their HPV detecting technology ( The same year, in March, HiFi DNA Tech submitted FDA the reclassification request. From this petition anyone can see that FDA knew all along that HPV is not linked to cervical cancer.

So, we have a company that produces HPV testing devices that requests FDA the reclassification for Class II based on the fact that FDA already stated that HPV does not directly cause cervical cancer. This proves that FDA knew this for many years, and still it approved the vaccine against HPV as being something life-saving, and, moreover, they enforced mandatory vaccinations, so everything was just a big hoax that was based on the population’s fear of cancer.

The reclassification petition is still posted on the FDA website ( In this text indeed we can find that FDA sustained in March 2003 that most of the HPV infections are short-term and are not linked to cervical cancer. With other words, since 2003, FDA has not considered HPV infections as being a high-risk infection. Indeed, the statement from 2003 can be found on the FDA website, . We can read in this report that the DNA testing for the detection of HPV is not intended to replace the Paps screening and it was not intended for women under 30 years with normal Paps results. More, it states that even if in this particular group of women, the rate of HPV infections is high, most of the infections are short-term and are not associated with cervical cancer. In the same document we can see that most of the women who are infected with HPV are capable to fight with the virus and their health does not suffer any long term consequences.

In other words, HPV does not cause cervical cancer, and FDA has known this since 2003. HPV infections “cure themselves”, without a vaccine and without drugs. HPV does not cause cervical cancer, but this cancer can be initiated after a persistent illness state, that makes the patient more vulnerable to persistent infections (as you can read in the petition from 2007). More important, we can find in the petition from 2007 that the vaccine raises the risk of precancerous lesions. HiFi DNA Tech claims that now, because of the vaccines, the HPV detecting tests are more necessary than ever, since the vaccine raises the risk of developing precancerous lesions of high-risk with 44.6% in women testing positive for relevant HPV strains, as FDA sustains in the document “Gardasil HPV Quadrivalent Vaccine” from May 18, 2006, that you can find here: .

At page 13 in this document we see that if the vaccine is given to a woman that already has an inactive strain of HPV, it “activates” the infection and directly causes precancerous lesions. This means that the only women that could consider this vaccine safe would be the ones that have not started their sex life. And (in the states where it is mandatory) even if the doctors would ask the patients, it’s not sure that the students would be honest, especially if their parents are present. So, not only that this vaccine harms sexually active women, but it also has no effect on virgins. Because it is already proved that HPV is not directly connected to cervical cancer. And then, is this vaccine helping anyone? Well, let’s see:
- If you are a virgin woman and you do not vaccinate yourself – there is no risk of cervical cancer
- If you are a virgin woman and you vaccinate yourself – you do not gain any medical benefit from this vaccine, because it does not guarantee that you will not have cervical cancer
- If you are a sexually active woman and you do not vaccinate yourself – the presence of HPV is limited by your own body and it does not lead to cervical cancer
- If you are a sexually active woman and you vaccinate yourself – you have a 44.6% higher risk of precancerous lesions and you do not benefit of any reduction in the risk of cervical cancer.

We can conclude that this vaccine does not bring benefit to any woman. There are even some groups of women that have to suffer upon it.

It is hilarious that Merck, the manufacturer of the vaccine, publicly suggested that even the boys should receive the vaccine against HPV, because there exists the possibility to have oral sex with girls that carry this virus. I’ll say it again, boys should be vaccinated against a virus that is claimed to be linked with cervical cancer!

Next, let’s have a look at an article published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” in August 2007, with the title "Effect of Human Papillomavirus 16/18 L1 Viruslike Particle Vaccine Among Young Women With Preexisting Infection” (available here: ). The research determines the ineffectiveness of HPV vaccinations in women who already have a strain of HPV (meaning all sexually active women, regardless their age). In this document you can see not only that this vaccine does not help in protecting women against HPV, but it even causes the raise of the presence of HPV strains. The final conclusion of the article is that there is no evidence that this vaccine would be useful for someone and that it does not even offer a protection for 12 months against HPV.

These data from behind the HPV vaccine “business”, together with the information worldwide published after the vaccinations began (the deaths of some young women, plus the infertility given by the vaccine and noticed in all vaccinated women who tried to get pregnant) will help you in deciding not to have this vaccine against HPV.

I wish you health and wisdom!

Besides the links above, this article is based on the research of Mike Adams that you can read here: and that I was glad to bring to the Romanian half of my blog for people who do not speak English to read all the good information.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The interaction between grapefruit and drugs

All the media is roaring about the interaction between grapefruits and pharmaceutical drugs. At first, I did not get what the problem was, since this was known for some years now. Well, it seems that now the grapefruits are guilty of lowering the drugs’ absorption (until now it was generally known that grapefruits increase the rate of which some drugs enter the blood stream). What can I say, that’s interesting, especially since it’s not just about taking the drugs with grapefruit juice, but the effect of the grapefruits lasts more than 24 hours (some even mention 72 hours). That’s strange…

The most laughable is the conclusion of these researchers, when they say that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that they will come across more drugs that interact with food. We’re on the right path, maybe at some time we will be forced to swallow just chemical pills and we will not be allowed to eat any real food at all. What can I say, if I would be put to choose between citrics and drugs (I’m not talking about desperate cases) I would stick to the citrics.

I know that not everybody believes in miracles like: eat healthy, practice some sports, take care of your mind and all these solve any kind of health problem. Especially in our country, where you don’t find any organic food, it’s indeed difficult to make these statements. But if that drug is not absolutely necessary to you, think about giving it up in favor of the citrics.

If you would like to see how do fruits (because we’re also talking about tangerines, some types of oranges and… apples!) interact with drugs, but also if you would like to see some lists of these certain drugs, check these:

About grapefruit in Wikipedia

This year (august) reports

(Or, you can find the report right at the American Chemical Society The ACS Report )

The Mayo Clinic list of the drugs that interact with grapefruit

The 2006 report of the American Academy of Family Physicians, where you can find a list with the drugs

I hope you won’t find in these lists any kind of drugs that you usually take. Especially since this would mean that you’re healthy :D.

Also, what you can read in Wikipedia is the 2007 report that claims that grapefruits are boosting the levels of estrogen, and so, they are causing breast cancer. This is not going to make me not eat grapefruit anymore, because this would be a loss for my overall health. But, as with other food items, what we must learn is that too much of a good thing can be harmful. Everything is about variation and moderation . Because by eating too much from a food item you’re harming yourself both by the overfilling of your body with the same stuff and by lacking so many other nutrients that you could find in other food items.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Little steps for health

This morning I watched a TV health show and it was about atherosclerosis and about the fact that the patients should embrace an almost vegetarian way of living, enriched with some fish. I just stood there and thought: how do people decide to change their life for the better, to change their food for a better health? I already know what works for me.

I usually take small steps, because I get scared easily :D and I do not want the hesitating part of me to rebel. It’s like having two personalities and the most determined and ambitious one is trying to fool the weak one. How can I exemplify this? With these little steps I’ve made for health:

- I used to be a great smoker, so, when I decided to quit, I told myself that I wasn’t going to smoke that morning (so that the part of me that usually would panic wouldn’t get scared: “this is my pleasure, what do you mean that I should never smoke again?”). Then, in the evening, I told myself that since I haven’t been smoking all day, I’ll save some money and smoke only the next morning, when the cigarette will be delicious with a cup of coffee :P. It’s like lying to yourself. The next morning, the same thing, day by day, until I began to set further milestones (“I’ll smoke next week”, or “I’ll smoke on vacation”, or even better “I’ll smoke after I’ll have a baby, so that I won’t go through this over again for a pregnancy”).

- About the saturated fat, the first decision was not putting sour cream over my food, like I used to when I was a child. Only after this became a habit (and I started to enjoy the real taste of food because they were not having all the same taste of sour cream) I completely gave up these unhealthy fats.

- Regarding the salt, again, the first step was that I quit adding it when it was in my power (over potatoes, salads, popcorn, for example). Then, I removed it from the cooked food too. And now, the taste of food is extraordinary. I can’t figure it out if it’s from the lack of salt or it’s because now I’m more creative in using spices and special seasonings, not just salt and pepper, like everyone uses on every food (or worse, that vegetable spice full of salt, sugar, colorings and other not healthy additives).

- I have to admit that I had to give up on potato chips suddenly about 15 years ago. I did not find any other indirectly way. I used to like them so much, that it seemed that trying some tricks would fool me for nothing.

- We all know that sweets are not healthy. But everybody likes them. So, again, I had to take more small resolutions: I did not eat any other chocolate that the one with over 70% cacao, I did not eat anything containing white sugar, then I quit the brown sugar too and especially I gave up on the artificial sweeteners (including the chewing gum). I’ve made all these in time, combined with the reducing of quantity. That means that if in the beginning I used to have something sweet every weekend, now I make myself something special only on holidays or special occasions (ice-cream made entirely with yogurt, fruits and stevia, or Floating Island (Oeufs a la Neige) sweetened with stevia, or sesame seeds mixed with nuts and honey as you can find in the stores, but those bought are full of sugar and other chemical useless stuff). So I don’t use flour or fat dairy, in order for the desert to remain healthy.

- I gave up on frying food. I rarely grill. Most often I steam, boil or bake in the oven. But lately I’m trying to eat more and more raw vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, in the last years it has not been a day without raw fruits and vegetables. But I would like these to be of a majority, because in the cooked food you can find less than 10% of the nutrients from the raw food.

- There would be so many more to say, that I don’t even remember, from the fact that I use only extra virgin olive oil to the fact that, even if I rarely eat bread, pasta or rice, when I do, I use only whole grains. I don’t even want to think about the times when I used to drink sodas and juices filled with sugar or other sweeteners. But that was a long time ago. Now I’m consuming about 1-2 times a year a glass of bottled 100% fruit juice. Because I think it’s healthier to eat the whole fruit, and if you really crave fruit juice, then you’d better make it yourself, fresh, at home, and so you know it has as many vitamins as possible.

But, like I said, I’ve made these decisions in time, and I didn’t give up. I used to take the next step only after I was comfortable enough with my new eating style. And I do the same when it comes to sport, or my decision of not eating after 6 o’clock.

For the ones that find this way of changing difficult, I have some advice, too. I’ve noticed it works for my family (and they are pretty stubborn and reserved when it comes to changing food habits… sorry mom :D) to state the situation differently: “you should eat more fish” instead of “don’t eat so much meat”; “you should eat more salads”, “this eggplant salad is more delicious with raw onion rather than fried”. So not only that you have to make positive statements, but also, by including more fish, fruits or vegetables, you will have you less room for unhealthy food. And believe me, after a good apple you will not want a cake anymore.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cows fed with M&M's and potato chips

The healthiest beef (or, since we are speaking of red meat, we should say “the less noxious beef”) comes from grass fed cows. But, since this is the most expensive way of feeding a cow, most of the farmers feed their animals exclusively on corn (some of them use chemical food, so even worse than corn). The corn has not only the price advantage, but it also makes the cows grow faster and it makes the meat fattier. All these besides weakening the animals’ bones and removing the little nutrients the beef had in the beginning. But as a farmer you get more beef in less time and this is the most important thing, right?

But now the corn is getting more expensive. Wall Street Journal has made a feature report about farmers feeding the cows with sweets (M&M's, Hershey's...) and potato chips… It these products can be called “food”… Actually they are wastes from the junk food factories. Junk-food (sweets and chips) becomes fast-food (in burgers) in a tragically-comical way.

Cows aren’t meant to eat corn anyway, never mind chocolate and potato chips. Cows are meant to eat grass. But feeding cows with grass raises the beef “production” cost and so it is inefficient. You need plenty of fields (that would be more money worthy used in agriculture), hay for winter, and the growing rate of the grass fed cows is not that phenomenal as the one of the corn fed cows. But the meat of the grass fed cows still has some little nutrients left… and it does not contain petroleum based fertilizer, used in corn production.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The purpose of the appendix

I said that I regret the fact that I accepted so easily an appendectomy (an appendix removal operation). It did hurt a little a few times, I went to the hospital for a little check-up, the doctor palpated me and he asked me if I can come for a surgery that day. :D My mom could not believe me when I went back home and I started searching for necessary things for the hospital. Nobody investigated it any further (no analyses), but they did tell me that I could experience some bigger pain and how would I deal with it if it would have hit me during the exams, for example (I was in the first year at the university)? :)) They also told me that it does not have any purpose and this way I’m making “sure” that I won’t experience that kind of pain ever. It seems that back then I did not know what an intestinal pain really is, because now, in my memory, that pain feels close to zero. And in fact, that is how I was feeling it back then, too. But the thought of the doctor’s stories about the perforated appendix… made me accept it really quickly. And I even felt a little bit of a hero because I wasn’t afraid at all of the operation, it seemed like a really funny story to tell to my grandsons. When I think what a peaceful life (from the health point of view) I had until then… And how seek I was after the anesthesia… I’ve been unconscious for a few hours after a 12 minutes operation. Then the recovery lasted more that a month, with deep pain and a weakness that made me unable to even open the front door… But it could have been worse :D because I can say that my scar is quite ok compared to the others I’ve seen.

So now, I find myself suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), I get bloated and I have awful intestinal pain, I have sometimes some cramps that I cannot move and I can barely breath, I feel like I’m going to faint… all these besides the physical aspect… every afternoon and evening my belly looks like the one of a 6-7 month pregnant woman. The good news is that everybody smiles warmly to me on the street. The bad news is that all my acquaintances started to ask me when my due date is. In the morning I have a flat belly and in the evening I’m like a balloon.

And, as the title says, it has been discovered that the appendix has a purpose, after all: it is like a farm for the beneficial bacteria that aid the body in digestion. The appendicitis cases seem to be caused by a way too sterile environment, in which case this reservoir does not have the opportunity to remake the gut bacteria cultures.

So my advice is that you should not let the doctors “cut” you this easily. If you have a small pain, investigate, it may be caused by kidneys, intestines, ovaries (in women). Because if you let yourself on the hands of some doctors that can’t wait to cut you, even in unnecessary cases, you’ll suffer (besides missing this appendix) a risky anesthesia (I could not recommend either way, total or local), a long recovery and maybe even a hideous scar.


The Appendix Has a Purpose After All: Repopulating the Gut with Friendly Flora

Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympic Spirit

I admit I’m not the TV sport watching type. I more into practicing :D. But it seems that the Olympic fever has contaminated the internet and this virtual world is now filled with movies with touching moments from previous Olympics. One in particular has drawn my attention and I’m ashamed to say that I did not know about it so far. It is about the 1992 Barcelona Olympic 400 meters semi-final race. You can find on YouTube many movies about this event. I present you here one short but still touching movie, so that I won’t bore you.

What does Derek Redmond’s extraordinary experience teach us? It gave me a lot of thinking… It seems it does not really matter to win, but to give all you’ve got, to be the best you can be, not compared to the others. It is important to finish what you have started, despite all the hardships you encounter. It matters to have somebody to help you, and most important, you have to let that someone help you.

About me

I’ve been thinking if this blog should be just a little health encyclopedia, or if it should be more personalized, with things about myself, and so implicitly about my health problems. I decided to choose the second, even if people usually run away from illness stories and other problems, and even if this way I would expose an intimate part of my life and so I would be more vulnerable. But mostly, I would not be me, the one from today, without these problems; I wouldn’t have got to search all these information if I would have had a perfect health. This way, you’ll understand why I’m looking for certain information (and maybe I don’t know a thing about other health problems), like goitrogens or low glycemic index. And last, but not least, when I first started to search for info in the medical encyclopedias, on the internet and even at some doctors, I admit that I haven’t found much. In Romanian, I have found almost nothing, so I would help at least as a translator for the people who know only Romanian.

I decided to write this blog in two languages because I thought it should be readable not only by the people in my country but also by the people all over the world. But I realized yesterday, writing my first post, how hard it is for me to write strictly in Romanian. Just like the Spanglish in the USA, I felt like mixing Romanian and English together. Because I have so many words or expressions that come easier in English and I haven’t seen this so far. I hope I won’t make many mistakes in any of the languages, because my software-developer profession has kept me away from “long talking” and I am a little out of practice.

So a very brief enumeration of my health problems would be:
- an appendectomy – made in a hurry, in a period of time when I wasn’t asking myself so many questions (whether it is necessary, whether it could be avoided,…); I had just entrusted myself to the doctors’ hands;
- a laparoscopic gallbladder removal – It was indeed after six awful crises in a half an year, so this surgery was not quite easy to avoid; but now I’m asking myself a lot of questions whether those gall stones could not have been removed some other way, because since then I feel worse and worse regarding my overall health;
- an Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – which I try to cure because it is so depressingly unpleasant to have tummy aches and to become bloated every single afternoon/evening
- a Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – that I will detail a lot :D
- a Hashimoto autoimmune thyroiditis – that will also not be overlooked.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The first

Well... my first post. I am very nervous as if you people would expect me to say some great universal truth, to quote something to blow you away. Well, it would not come out well, because I'm not like that. I did not specialize in literature, and I did not open this blog to be philosophical.

But I thought that if I would keep on waiting for my flash of inspiration, I would miss one day of my blog's "life" and I already think that we have so much to recover... so many interesting things that I've read in the last years have been relying solely on my memory (and I don't even take any ginkgo biloba ;)) ). Not only that there's a big chance that I've forgotten all that, but also so many years have passed without me sharing my impressions with you, maybe you would have been helped by things I've read here and there. Maybe not anyone is willing to dig on the internet and through books for any kind of health problems or for nutrition info, or even for some universal plots of the pharmaceutical industry...

So I've thought that my first post should answer the question "why do I want to have a blog?". I've opened this blog to be able to share some interesting information that I find, at least with my family and friends, without me having to repeat the same things to each and every one of them over and over again. In the same time, this blog will take the role of my already overloaded memory, and so even I will easily find any info. Moreover, this way I am looking for your opinion also about any kind of info you find, maybe you know something more important and this way, I'll get help directly from you.

Welcome! (since I don't have much of an introduction, at least the ending should be right :D)