Monday, November 9, 2015

How to Weave a Poppy for a Secure Fit

As a teenager, I served in Navy League and Sea Cadets.  Every November, I bought, and quickly lost several poppies.  I tried many techniques, but never learnt how to stop losing them.

Last year, a Veteran visited my ESL class.  I volunteer my services teaching English to immigrants new, and some who have been here for years, often working too hard in the family to learn much English.  The Veteran showed us how to wear a poppy, so that we don't lose it.

The first step is to pull the pin back and pinch it against the flower.  This gives you some room on the pin to complete the technique.

It's a good idea to think about location and direction.  The poppy is generally placed over the heart if worn on the chest. You want the point of the pin to be pointing away from your body - so it doesn't stick you by accident.
Step 2 is to fold the cloth, and thread the pin through the fold in the cloth.

 In this picture, I've folded the poppy back so you can see it clearly.

Step three is to weave the pin back through the edge of the poppy.

This makes the poppy secure, because the end of the pin is not loose, it is actually pressed against the fabric by the poppy flower.

All you need to do now is Step 4: to pull the point of the pin forward, so the black is properly centered.

The poppy is now well secured and will not easily fall it.

This technique even holds the poppy in place, most of the time. Even if you are driving and the seat belt is brushing against it, it will be secure.  It is still possible to come loose, but much less likely.

Now that you know how to avoid losing your poppy, you can save some money.  Take a moment when you buy your next poppy - and perhaps pay a bit more, for the extra one you don't have to buy this year.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cancer Cure Catch 22

Two medical researchers meet in the university lab.  Jim is excited. John is interested.

Jim: "I've found the cure for cancer! All we need are some clinical studies proving it works and the Nobel Prize in Medicine is ours."

John: "Hey! I'm pumped. ... But wait a minute, how can we do a clinical study that tests a cancer cure?"

Jim: "Easy! We enlist some cancer patients, treat them with the cure protocol.  After their cancer is cured, we publish the results. It's that simple.  Of course we'll need to register the study, comply with appropriate bureaucratic and human rights legislation, but the University knows how to get that done."

John looks confused: "But how do we prove the patients are 'cured'?"

"It's obvious!" Jim retorts: "Their cancer is gone. They are cured!"

John: "Actually, it's not obvious.  How can we prove the cancer is gone.  Maybe it's just in remission. Maybe it's not really a cure?"

Jim is getting excited, "That's the great part. Today's cancer cures try to 'kill' the cancer.  Of course you can never be certain you've killed all of the cancer cells. And they don't address the cause of the cancer at all. So of course it returns even if you do kill all of the cancer cells."

John: "And our cure is different?"

Jim: "You bet it's different.  We don't try to kill the cancer cells, we health the body. When the body is healthy, it naturally removes the cancer cells, and no more can grow."

John objects: "Health isn't a verb.  It's a noun."

Jim is still excited, "It's going to be a verb.  We're going to win the Nobel Prize!"

John: "But how can we prove the cancer is cured?"

Jim slows down, and asks, "What are you getting at?"

John: "There is no scientific or medical protocol to prove a cancer has been cured."


John continues: "Cured is not defined for cancer. There is no definition of a cancer cure. It's impossible to define a cancer cure study, because we can't prove a cancer has been cured."

Jim asks, "What about all of those people searching for cure? What about all those people running for the cure, shaving their head for the cure, raising money for the cure?"

John, quietly, "Haven't you noticed, many of the cancer fundraising websites have quietly removed the word 'cure' from their main pages. There are some organizations still raising funds for a cure - but their parent organizations have stopped using the word cure. 'Run for the Cure' has become 'Run for the Cause', but they don't mean the 'cause of cancer, they mean the fundraising cause."

"You can't be serious," Jim replies with incredulity.

John goes on, "Look at the American Cancer Society.  Their website says they are 'Dedicated to helping persons who face cancer. Supports research, patient services, early detection, treatment and education.' Their mission is "The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service" They don't use the word 'cure' in their mission. If you search their site for the word cure, you will see a claim that they have spent 4 billion dollars since 1946 to find cures, but other pages reference a 4 billion dollar expenditure on research.  If you check their 'areas of research', you will find biology, cause, treatment, prevention, early detection, diagnosis, etc... but no mention of 'cure'. There are some references to finding a cure, but most of them are more than 5 years old. Cure is not defined, so there is no point in searching for one..."

Jim: "Well, if there is no scientific definition of a cancer cure, we'll have to make one."

John: "But, You can't just make up your own rules about a cancer cure, and then design an experiment to test the rules you made up..."

Jim: "Surely, if we treat people who have cancer, and their cancer goes away, and doesn't come back - they are cured. That might take sometime, but we can eventually prove it is a cure."

"That won't work.  It happens every day.", John says smugly.

Jim: "What happens every day?"

John: "Some people claim have cured their cancer. Someone claims their cancer is cured. But, there is no test for a cure. There is no way to prove the cancer is cured. Because there is no test for a cure, these people, these 'cure claims', are just 'anecdotal evidence'."

Jim: "Anecdotal evidence?"

John: "Yes, a claim, without proof.  Anecdotal evidence."

Jim: "That's not really anecdotal evidence.  Anecdotal evidence is when someone tells me they were cured, and then I tell you.  I'm telling you an anecdote. When they tell me, it's their truth, it's not an anecdote."

John: "Well... the medical systems call it anecdotal evidence... You can't really argue with all those PhDs."

Jim: "But what if one of them is actually a cure?"

John: "We can't tell. There is no way to recognize a cure.  Cure is not defined for cancer. There is no test for a cancer cure.  No medical test. No scientific test.  No legal test.  None."

Jim: "Hmmm.  So we're caught?"

John: "Yes, it's the classic logic problem. A catch 22.  You can't find a cure for cancer, because cancer cure is not defined."

Jim: "and of course we can't define a cancer cure, until we find a cure for cancer?"

John: "You've got it.  Catch 22.  No bell prize for you. But if we work on it long enough, we might get tenure. That's a goal we can achieve."

to your health, tracy

Monday, July 20, 2015

Manure in the Medical Media: neglecting your teeth...could also cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer

Breaking news from The Guardian's Health and Wellbeing section, July 19, 2015: "Why neglecting your teeth could be seriously bad for your health " with the sub-heading "It’s no secret that a lackadaisical approach to dental care leads to fillings and gum disease, but the latest evidence suggests it could also cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer" leading the article and the email blast as well, written by Linda Geddes "freelance science journalist".
What did Linda actually write? "it’s too early to say for sure that gum disease directly causes other more serious illnesses".

"In the past decade, there has been an explosion of new research linking oral health to illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The most likely explanation is inflammation"

"Despite such evidence, it’s still possible that gum disease doesn’t directly cause heart disease. Another possibility is nutrition"

"periodontal therapy may actually lower blood-sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes."

"The links between gum disease and cancer are more circumspect. "

So. There is no evidence to support the Guardian's heading that poor dental care "could also cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer". None. The scientific evidence presented studied people who already have diabetes actually suggested that:

The diabetes scientific study presented did not study 'causes' of diabetes, rather it studied effects of periodontal disease on people who already have diabetes.

On the link between periodontal disease and heart disease the study clearly states: "current research does not yet provide evidence of a causal relationship between the two diseases".

People who already have cancer are unable to fight it effectively if they also have dental inflammation.

The article's conclusion: brush your teeth regularly, visit your dentist often for teeth cleaning may have some benefit, but it is not supported by the poorly written, poorly edited, and poorly presented medical media manure.


What is the truth about periodontal disease, diabetes, heart disease and cancer? Is there any truth in the article? Yes and no.

The truth about periodontal disease is simple and obvious.

Health is slow.  Health comes from the inside and grows outwards.  You can't make your car run better by polishing the paint job, and you can't make your teeth better by polishing them either. The key to dental health is nutrition, and the key to poor dental health is poor nutrition. Dental disease may require additional attention, but dental health comes not from disease treatments, it comes from eating healthy foods, that grow healthy gums and healthy teeth. \

The proposed link between periodontal disease and diabetes, heart disease, and cancer is inflammation.  But what is the cause of inflammation? Inflammation is caused by poor health, not by neglecting to brush your teeth. Inflammation is caused by poor nutritional health.  Are there any other causes? Yes, physical damage caused by stress or by bacterial infections.

So.. what causes inflammation, periodontal disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer?

Poor health, most specifically poor nutrition.

But that's not the news you will hear from anyone selling dental treatments, toothbrushes or toothpaste.

to your health, tracy

 Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Most Forbidden Word in Modern Medicine

There is a forbidden word in medicine. This word is gradually disappearing, actively shamed, banned to the 'alternative' fringes of medicine, and  replaced by newfangled, more fashionable terms. It is also being replaced, in many cases, by its opposite.

The forbidden word?  CURE.
The word 'cure' is disappearing from medical references and medical textbooks. It is even being replaced, in many cases, with 'incurable'.

Have you noticed? More and more diseases are defined as 'incurable'. There is no cure for the common cold, but that's not all.  Alzheimer's is incurable (but we're raising funds to search for a cure).  Parkinson's is incurable (but we're raising funds to search for a cure). Cancers are incurable (but we're raising funds to search for a cure). Diabetes is incurable (but we're raising funds to search for a cure). Hypertension (high blood pressure) is incurable (but we're raising funds to search for a cure). Do you notice a pattern here? Almost every disease today is incurable, and every disease has an organization, or two, or three, raising funds to search for a cure.Even one of the newest diseases, in terms of being classed as a disease - obesity, has a foundation the "Obesity Treatment Foundation" with a goal - not to cure - but instead of "Optimizing Treatment, Increasing Awareness".

Depression used to be curable, in many cases, but today it is 'treatable'.  It seems to have become incurable. How can that be? Why is it so? Is the field of medicine moving forwards, backwards, or perhaps sideways? First we need to understand the actual medical meaning of 'cure'.

What is a cure?

Webster's dictionary defines cure as:
     "recovery or relief from a disease"
     "something (such as a drug or medical treatment) that stops a disease and makes someone healthy again" That's half right.  Stopping the disease is a cure. "Making someone healthy again", or restoring the healthiness that was lost due to the disease, is healing, not curing. If we cure a leg infection by cutting off the leg, the cure does not 'make them healthy again'. If we only cut off part of the skin, and it grows back - healing makes them healthy again, not the surgical cure.

Definitions in medical dictionaries tend to make more confusion, not less - with definitions that are so broad that almost any aberration from 'average' can be viewed as disease.  Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary defines cured broadly as "restoration of health to a person with a disease or other disorder", and defines disease with uncommon restrictions, as "a condition of abnormal vital function involving any structure, part, or system of an organism" and "a specific illness characterized by a recognizable set of signs and symptoms, attributable to heredity, infection, diet, or environment." Stedman's Medical Dictionary online at Drugs.Com defines cure as "to heal, to make well". But, surely healing and curing are independent concepts: the body heals, a treatment cures. Both of these definitions of cure allow the disease to continue to exist, as long as the patient is viewed as 'healthy' or 'well'.

Cure, if we are to find real cures, must be defined as stopping the progress of a the disease.

To understand the word 'cure', we need a clear definition of the word 'disease'.  Webster's, unfortunately, does not provide one.

What is a disease? Webster's gives a similarly poor, weak definition of disease: "a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms".  According to this definition, every physical condition that 'impairs normal functioning' is a disease. As a result, every symptom - a migraine, obesity, can be classified as a disease. Even perfectly natural attributes, like sexual preferences and left-handedness, might be considered diseases. I'm not suggesting that Webster's is at fault. Webster's simply documents what the collective experts think.Why is there no simple, clear definition of disease in the entire field of medicine? If you look everywhere for diseases to treat, you find diseases everywhere, like a boy with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

But the medical hammer is not a cure, it is a 'treatment'. In most cases, medicine is simply not looking for cures.

The news media is making the search for cures worse, not better. A quick scan of Google news for the word 'cure' gives everything but actual cures. The first 15 Google News hits using the word 'cure' in the title gave the following results:
 - 7 articles about fundraising. None of the fundraising organizations spend a majority of funds searching for cures, they search for 'treatments', and ways to help patients 'live with their disease'.
 - 5 articles about 'searching for a  cure'.  None of the articles were actually about real cures for real diseases in real people.  Fake diseases in mice. Treating symptoms. No hint of actual cure.
 - 3 articles about nonsense 'cures'.  A cure for boredom, golf slumps and retail store summer doldrums.

There are no articles about actual cures for actual diseases. In the first ten pages of a Google News search for a disease cure, there is exactly one.  A cure for Hepatitis C, a drug that kills the virus.  It is notable that the only 'cures' that are actually documented as true medical cures are toxic chemicals that kill invading bacteria or viruses. There are no other disease cures in medical texts.

Why does the news media misuse the word 'cure' so much? Because the word cure has sizzle, gets attention - and also, because there are so few actual 'cures' to report on.  Fewer than 1 per decade is my best estimate. How many new cures for were discovered in the last 10 years? The last 20 years? The last 50 years? The last 100 years? How many patients were cured of their diseases this year, last year, the last 10 years? We don't know. There are no statistics for cures. There is no science of cures. As a result, there is no news about cures. Lots of fundraising and non-cures for non-diseases. Few cures.

The science of healthicine provides a definition of disease designed to facilitate 'cures'. A disease is not a physical state, it has an active progression.

a disease is an ongoing progressive negative medical condition, that has an ongoing cause. 

With this definition, all diseases can be cured.
 - It is cured when the cause is removed or stopped.
 - If it cannot be cured, it is not a disease.

It is important to recognize that diseases are progressive.  If it does not have a progression, it might be a disability, a dysfunction, or a simple attribute of the patient, but it is not a disease. If the progression is stopped, the disease is cured. Every disease has a cause, or causes - and if key causes are removed, the progression will be stopped, and the disease has been cured.  If the cause returns, the disease will appear again, as a new disease, due to the 'new (similar) cause'.

There are lots of things that do not cure disease, but are sometimes presented as if they were cures. A 'treatment' is not a cure, unless it 'stops the disease'. A symptomicine is not a cure. Aspirin and Tylenol are not 'cures' for headache. They are symptomicines, hiding the symptoms, but not addressing the cause, not curing the disease.  When their 'hiding' fades, the symptoms reappear.

It is important to clearly distinguish between 'remission' and cure. Remission is a remission of symptoms of the disease.  When symptoms go into remission the disease is hidden, but the cause might not have been addressed. In these cases, remission of symptoms actually facilitates the progression of the disease.  When symptoms are not visible the patient and doctors are less vigilant. Today's medical systems have great difficulty distinguishing between remission and cure. Was the patient cured, or is the disease in remission? We have no tools to tell the difference in many cases.

A vaccine is not a cure, it is a preventative, although there are many preventatives, that are also cures. Vitamin C, or foods that contain Vitamin C, prevent scurvy.  If you get scurvy, Vitamin C, or foods containing Vitamin C, are the cure. No 'medicines' can cure scurvy.

One of the most famous medical books, the MERCK Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, does not call Vitamin C a 'cure' for scurvy.  It says: 'Treatment consists of oral Vitamin C', but does not use the word 'cure'. Has the word cure become forbidden. If you check the MERCK manual a bit more carefully, you will learn that 'cure' is not defined, is not in the index, and not in the table of contents. Cure is not clearly defined by the field of medicine, it seems to be forbidden. Or at best, ignored, pushed to the side, discounted, not clearly defined.

It's clear that scurvy can be caused by lack of Vitamin C (there might be other causes). It is also clear that scurvy caused by deficiencies of Vitamin C can be cured, the progression can be stopped, with Vitamin C, or foods containing Vitamin C.  Furthermore, once scurvy has been cured, or before scurvy is present, it can be prevented by appropriate consumption of Vitamin C. The cure for scurvy is not 'remission' of symptoms - it is a true cure. The disease is no longer present, although if the disease caused physical damage, that damage might never heal completely.

Many nutritional deficiencies lead to specific diseases that progress as long as the cause is present. In all cases, the only cure is to meet the deficiency, not medicine can cure these diseases.

It is also clear that a new case of scurvy will arise if the cause returns. It is important to note that this is not a return of the disease, it is a return of the cause. If a person fails to consume sufficient Vitamin C - either in foods or in supplements - the person will get scurvy, or get scurvy 'again'. A new case of scurvy.  When a patient's scurvy is cured and then reappears, there is no 'remission' of symptoms, and 'worsening' of symptoms. There is simply a cure, and a new occurrence.

Nutrient toxicity, or over consumption, is also a disease that cannot be cured by medicines or medical treatments. If you are consuming too much Vitamin A, you will get the disease hypervitaminosis A. There is a cure.  It is simple. Stop consuming too much Vitamin A. No medicine can cure hypervitaminosis A, and any attempts to develop a medicine to treat hypervitaminosis A would be seen as nonsense. There are many diseases that can be cured, but not with medicines.

Obesity is medically classified as a disease - although it can easily exist as a stable state not an active progression. It would not be classified as a disease in the science of healthicine. The process of becoming obese, of continual weight gain could be classified as a disease, but presence of excess weight is simply an attribute, or a symptom, not a disease.

If someone is obese, and they lose weight, such that they are no longer obese, are they cured? The Obesity Treatment Foundation does not mention 'cure', does not suggest that obesity can be 'cured'. They ask for donations to promote awareness and treatment, but the word "cure" is avoided.

Symptoms of obesity can be cured by food restrictions. However, if this temporary fix does not address the causes and the should be considered a cure. If the cause is addressed, obesity can be cured and reversed.  If the cause comes back, the disease will return.

We pretend to know that the cause of obesity is overeating. But we don't know the cause of overeating - and there is considerable evidence that the cause of overeating is obesity. We will not find the cure to the 'obesity epidemic' until we find the real causes.

We will not find the cure for any individual patient's disease, nor for any class of diseases, until we find and address the true causes.

How might we find cures?  How might we find the causes of today's many 'incurable' diseases?

We can only find cures for diseases when we use better definitions for disease, and better definitions for cures.

disease: an ongoing progressive negative medical condition, that has an ongoing cause.

cure: stopping the progression of a disease.  A treatment that stops the progression of a disease by addressing key causes.

to your health, tracy

 Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

On the Healthiness of Corners

I was born in 1952, like Mad Magazine, (that's my Alfred E. Neuman impersonation), in the days when corporal punishment was commonplace. My misbehaviors were often met with a threat, or a deliberate spanking. I'm sure I'm the better for it in some ways.  But the punishment I dreaded more, the punishment I believe was much more effective, for me, was simpler: kneeling in the corner.

"Go kneel in the corner" was a simple punishment, but very effective.  A bit of meditation, time to think about my actions, or in-actions, and their consequences. No one to talk to, all by myself. No chance for misbehavin' in the corner. If I was too energized to kneel in the corner, my father might stand behind me, making sure I didn't run away, giving my body time to settle. "Face into the corner. Think about what you have done."

Talking was no use.  The corner was for silence.  If I tried to talk, the answer was "no talking", or "we can talk about it after your time in the corner". Of course after my time in the corner, I had little interest in talking.

Only the corner to look at. Even if I closed my eyes, I could still see it.  My siblings, in the background behind me - playing, paying no attention. Me, stuck in the corner. I didn't dare move - spanking was the next level of punishment and only temporary a respite, because afterwards it was back in the corner again.

How long in the corner? I never knew.  It felt like forever, but I suspect my entire time in the corner was less than an hour or two. I had to stay in the corner until my mom, or dad, said I could go.  Had they forgotten about me?  Not allowed to talk, I couldn't ask. How long had I been here? Hard to tell... minutes seemed like hours.

What to think about? There was only one thing to think about: how did I get here?  I might place blame on my brother, or my sister, or my parents - but that got me nowhere.  I was the one in the corner.  The corner kept reflecting my focus back to me, giving me time and a reminder to reflect on myself, and my actions. My siblings were free to go, inside the house, outside playing.  And I was here, stuck in the corner.

I don't remember my parents talking to me about what I had done wrong.  Maybe they did, but I don't remember. I don't remember what I did - 50 years ago.  But I remember the corner.

When I got older, I was allowed to stand in the corner, instead of kneeling. Interesting, because I could sway left to right or back and forth.  This let my mind sway as well, considering different actions I might have taken, different choices.

Today, I have a healthy respect for corners.  Corners are everywhere. They exist where one side joins the other side. Edges are inside-out corners. Change happens in the corners, at the edges. One wall is marching along, and it hits the corner and turns. Change can happen when you are stuck in a corner as well. Corners are the end - as far as you can go. Corners are the opposite of freedom. If we want freedom, it is important to understand the opposites, and their logic.

If you've gone too far, you can find yourself cornered, stuck in a corner. Then what? Rushing away can be ineffective, take some time, ask yourself - how did I get here?  How can I avoid getting stuck here in the future?

Next time you are stuck in a corner, use it as an opportunity to reflect, to learn, to health yourself. Ask "how did I get here?"  "have I cornered myself"... My parents never put me in the corner - I did it all by myself.  What?  Me worry?

to your health, tracy
 Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Nutritional Nonsense: from Coffee to Cancer

I recently spotted, this question on Quora: "What are the nutritional benefits of consuming coffee on a daily basis?" And I thought, now there's an interesting challenge for the 'science of nutrition'. So, I took it upon myself to answer with current nutritional science - according to Wiki, and to add some comments about the lack of science.  My answer, by the way, has already been down-voted.

What are the nutritional benefits of coffee? There were, of course, many answers, ranging from antioxidants, to protection against diabetes and dementia, to the nonsensical 'it gives you energy' - coffee has no calories, therefore it cannot give you energy.

What are the nutritional benefits of coffee according to nutritional science? I typed the 'nutrition of coffee' into Google and got the following from Wiki:
Coffee: Nutrition Facts Amount Per 1 fl oz (29.6 g)100 grams 6 fl oz (178 g)1 cup (8 fl oz) (237 g)100 grams   - Calories 0

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Trans fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 2 mg 0%
Potassium 49 mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 0 g 0%
Dietary fiber 0 g 0%
Sugar 0 g
Protein 0.1 g 0%
Caffeine 40 mg
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 0%
Vitamin D 0%
Vitamin B-6 0%
Vitamin B-12 0%
Magnesium 0%

* Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
My Notes:
1. Coffee has zero calories.  It is not a source of energy, although it might 'energize' you. Actually, according to the above list, coffee has a small amount of protein, and proteins contain calories.
2. Most of the items on the list of nutrients have zero value, indicating that they are NOT PRESENT in coffee.  This is a telling fact about many nutritional labels, the presence of non-ingredients.
3. The only nutritional contents of coffee, according to the science of nutrition, are sodium, potassium, protein, caffeine.
4. Many ingredients of coffee, are simply ignored by the nutritional analysis, because they are 'not on the list' of nutrients that have been deemed important by nutritional scientists. Studies of the benefits of coffee cite anti-oxidants and other chemicals, but they are 'not on the list'.
5. The listing for "Total Carbohydrate" has an error, even though carbohydrates are not present in coffee. But that's not enough error, The list of ingredients shows a 'Daily Value' of zero percent.  But there is no Daily Value for carbohydrates, so a Daily Value score of zero is nonsense.
6. The nutrient list contains 'Saturated Fats' and 'Monounsaturated Fats' even though coffee contains no saturated fats and no monounsaturated fats. Presumably this is because we used to believe that saturated fats were unhealthy.  Science has recently proven this theory wrong - and also proven that the benefits believed to come from monosaturated fats are illusory. But much of published science has not yet caught up to the latest research.
7. The nutrient list includes 'Trans Fats', even though coffee does not contain any trans fats, and trans fats are not nutrients - they are toxic chemicals.
8. The largest part of coffee is, duh.... water.  But water is not listed as a nutrient, even though the theoretical 'Daily Value' of water is 8 glasses.
9. According to Wiki, if you consume a diet of "2000 calories" of coffee daily, you will receive almost no nutrients.  And... according to Wiki, coffee contains zero calories, so a 2000 calorie diet requires drinking a few million cups a day, for nothing. Or adding milk and sugar.

In short, the nutritional value of coffee given by Google, from Wiki is mostly bunk, error prone nonsense, full of empty non-facts, non-ingredients, missing the most common ingredient - water, and missing any ingredients that are actually studied research into the benefits of coffee. At the same time as it misses most of the healthy ingredients of coffee, it lists many items that are not present at all.

Frankly, much of the current science of nutrition is similar BUNK, and this question and answer provides ample proof.

But this is not the only example.  Let's get more serious about the science of nutrition.

What foods cause cancer, and what foods protect against cancer?

This is a serious, important question. What does science have for an answer?  A recent meta-study produced this informative graphic, from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

It seems clear from the graphic, what everyone already knows.  Everything causes cancer.  And everything protects against cancer. Coffee causes cancer, coffee protects against cancer, and one study says we're not sure. That's the current state of nutritional science.

How can this happen? Why does this happen? There are two main causes.

Studies of Illness

Health is whole, illness - is a hole in your health.  Healthiness and illness are like 'light and darkness'. If someone spends their entire life studying darkness, they will know nothing about colour, saturation, hue, brightness, heat, wavelengths, rainbows, etc.  Their knowledge will be limited to various shades of black and grey, dark and darker. And so it is with health and illness. Many scientists spend their entire lifetimes studying illness, measuring illness, searching for illness and trying to 'kill' illness, or if killing it is not possible, to 'treat' the symptoms of illness.

But we know little about healthiness, there is no science of healthiness.

There are no scientists who study healthiness. There is no science of healthicine. Alice and Zizi provide the classic example.  Alice and Zizi are two women, two friends, neither of whom has any illness.  They are both 'healthy' according to modern medical science. But the question arises:

Who is healthier, Alice - or Zizi?

The more we look into this question, the more we realize that we have no tools, no techniques, no science to measure healthiness.  Alice and Ziz have no illness, no signs and symptoms of illness, so in theory, they are both perfectly healthy.  But we know this is not true. One of them is probably 'healthier' than the other. But which one? A historical analysis might show that Alice gets more colds than the other, for example, and that their colds last longer. Is that a measure of healthiness? And Zizi might be diagnosed with cancer tomorrow.  Such is the nature of cancer diagnosis. But today, we have no tools to answer the question:  "Who is healthier, Alice or Zizi?"

Nutritional studies are based entirely on illness. As a result, we have four scientific studies showing that coffee prevents cancers, one study that shows no harm or benefit, and four studies showing that coffee cause cancer.  Nutritional science in action.  Bunk.


When we attempt to study healthiness by measuring single things in isolation, we get nonsense.

Attempting to measure the benefits of coffee by analysis of the individual contents, and ignoring the contents that are 'not on our list' result in superficial analysis and nonsense.

Attempting to measure the effects of 'coffee' on cancer, in isolation from everything else in the diet, results in nonsense.

And the proof is there for everyone to see.

What is the way out?

Nutritional science finds some truths about nutrition.  Unfortunately, many of the 'truths' that are found are simplistic nonsense, useless to anyone who actually wants to find health.

If studies of illness, and reductionist studies cannot find the truth about nutrition, how can we find the answers?

The answer can only be found in studies of healthiness: healthicine. When we begin to study healthiness in earnest, we will begin to see many truths that are invisible today.  When we turn away from studies of illness, the darkness, we will begin to see the light.  There is a lot to learn.

to your health, tracy

Tracy is the author of two books about healthicine:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Medical Bigots

According to Webster's, a bigot is "a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc." What is a medical bigot?  A medical bigot strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc in various fields of medicine.  A medical bigot sees things in black and white, devoid of color, or complexity. A medical bigot wants simple answers, the simpler the better.

"A strong or unfair dislike for other people, ideas, etc." perfectly describes the bigot. A bigot has a strong dislike for strange persons, unfamiliar ideas, difficult questions, challenges, controversy, etc., preferring the safety of their current knowledge, and position. Medical bigots don't make good scientists, because scientists are always ready, willing and able - eager even, to challenge their current knowledge.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Vaccine Debates: A Healthicine View

The internet is awash with vaccination posts.  Everybody, it seems, has an opinion, and want you to see their point of view. Punt "vaccine myths and facts" into Google today and you will see over 700,000 hits. Many of the so called "myths" are not myths at all. The 'myths' chosen, and the 'facts' that follow are opinions, designed to support each individual author's objectives.

Let's forget myths.  What vaccine facts are actually important? What vaccine questions are important? What answers are important?

This post presents some important questions about vaccines - as a test.  Can you answer these questions?  Check it out, move the cursor over the answer of your choice and see your results.

1. What is the purpose of a vaccine?