How can we fight a Virus?

     There is only one thing we know that can really fight and win the battle with a virus: it is our own immune system.  Vaccines can train the immune system how to recognize viruses, but the immune system must still win the fight.  The following is a basic tutorial on how the immune system works on a cellular level to protect us and preserve our life.

     How does the immune system work?

Our big heavily armed immune cells circulate mostly through our blood, rolling along inside blood vessels, looking for the signals of trouble from surrounding cells.  When they receive these distress signals, they quickly mobilize, moving and squeezing through cells and tissues until they arrive at the place of distress.  There are two types of communication systems that immune cells use so they know what to do.

(1) The innate immune system uses Redox Signals coming from damaged, oxidatively-stressed cells and the subsequently activated cytokines (the distress signals) to locate where the damaged cells are (we see this as tissues becoming inflamed and red).

(2) The adaptive immune system keeps a list that identifies the “bad guys”.  When they identify a “bad guy” they call in the heavy artillery to fight and kill the bad guys and clean up the damaged cells.  Often millions of cells must be damaged before a significant immune response happens and the bad guys are successfully identified.

    How do the immune cells kill viruses?

The “big gun” that the immune cells use will kill almost anything is called the “oxidative burst”, made from a special combination of the same redox signaling molecules that are used to send the distress signal (isn’t life incredible).  For those technically savvy, these redox signaling molecules include Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2), Hypochlorous  Acid (HOCl), Superoxide (O2*-), and other hypochlorite ions and reactive oxygen species (ROS).  In the right combination, these can be either anti-inflammatory (passing along signals) or fatal and inflammatory (killing cells and viruses).  The chemical redox balance is what makes the difference.  Hydroxychloroquine, announced by Trump to kill the Coronavirus, uses such oxidative methods.  Chloroquine Phosphate was shown to be somewhat successful during the SARS-2 outbreak last decade.  The immune cells, however, have the best weapons and are trained on how to use these “big guns”.  If they get it wrong, they can start destroying the good cells and bacteria or start a cytokine storm (see below).

    What does our immune system need to optimally destroy viruses?

Basic supplies needed by our immune cells to be effective are simply found in the micronutrients we eat found mostly in vegetables and fruits.  These include magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, Vitamins A, B12, C, D3, and others.  Also amino acids in proteins are needed to build and repair damaged cells.  Folates (in veggies) are also needed to build DNA and nervous communications.  We cannot understate the importance of these nutrients, nothing can substitute for them!!!   To get them, go to your produce aisle and pick out everything that looks lush and colorful (greens, oranges, reds, purples).  Learn how to prepare them into delicious raw salads or fixings (or make smoothies).  Better yet, learn how to grow them!  The perfect blend of micronutrients and pre- and pro-biotics are found in fresh raw garden vegetables (grown in good soil).  Without them, your immune system army will not have the supplies they need to win.  Lots of Vitamin C and bitter herbs is very helpful to battle viruses.  Good home-made soups are wonderful and they even help wash the viruses out of our throats!

     What weakens our immune system?

During a viral invasion, our immune system must be armed to kill literally trillions of viruses.  Any weakness in our defenses can spell lots of pain and distress to our organs and tissues.  In order to win, we should avoid things that would weaken our defenses.  Besides lack of nutrient supplies, steroids, antihistamines, many pain killers, cold medicine, and some drugs can seriously weaken immune response and slow your recovery.  It is very wise to avoid such unless absolutely necessary to reduce swelling.  Overabundant carbohydrates and sugary foods raise blood sugar, though this provides energy, too much of it causes inflammation and distress to the blood vessels, that can confuse immune cell signaling, and/or can cause the immune system to overreact.  It is dangerous to distract or overstimulate the immune system.

     What is a cytokine storm?

The distress signals, cytokines, help the immune cells recognize where they should go.  If the immune system gets overly stimulated, it can start to harm healthy cells, create excess distress signals (oxidative stress), these signals in turn create more cytokines, which call in stronger immune response, and the whole thing escalates into an unneeded and miserable full scale attack.  Balanced redox signaling is required to clear things up.  Sometimes immune suppressors may be employed by health professionals to slow down the escalation to quell the cytokine cascade.  Serious allergic reactions often involve cytokine storms.

     How does a virus work?

Viruses are little packets of genetic material (viral RNA) that can attach to cells and be injected into the cell, where they are converted to DNA and grafted into our DNA coding.  When this viral DNA coding is executed (expressed) by the cell, it creates more of the viruses that can infect other cells.  Virus packets have different shapes.  The Coronavirus, for example, looks like a little ball with spikes coming out (like a crown).  At the end of the spikes are the molecular machinery used to attach (fuse) to cell receptors and inject the genetic material into the cells.  When a cell is infected and activated, it can produce many millions of copies of the same virus.  These viruses fill and rupture the cell, sending millions of viruses out that can then infect other cells.

The immune system detects the distress signals from the cells and called in.  If immune cells can identify the viruses, the adaptive immune system will then work to destroy them.  There are safe nanoparticles of just the right shape and size that might be able to attach to the fusion points of some viruses, like the HIV-1 virus that can be used to block the injection machinery from fusing to cells.  Nanoparticle solutions, however, are still in testing.

     Can my immune system kill the Coronavirus?

YES.  The immune system is really the only thing that will be able to kill the virus once it is inside us.  We need to have a fully-functioning immune system to win!  Older people have slower immune systems and thus are more susceptible to more serious consequences.  If you are older or have had health problems, it would be very wise to take the advice from the post to heart, I wrote it so you know that we can win.  Education about what we are dealing with is critical.

We can and will beat this virus, as we have done throughout all history. Having a strong immune system is the key!


Dear World Family

     As history unfolds before my eyes, I am seeing things I never thought I would see.  Times when my prosperous and abundant country, full of good, free, strong and capable people, is brought to its knees by a threat.  We have been through wars, disasters, and civil struggles together.  We have learned that with a common purpose and determined attitude, we can get through anything, we can survive on very little individually, but there is one thing that we cannot survive without.

     We cannot survive without the human heart; not just the one that pumps precious resources throughout our body, but also the one that gives warmth and meaning to our lives, that makes us feel and care for one another.  It is this heart that beats with gratitude as we see people working hard to bring us the resources we need to live and thrive.  Right now, these people include the medical and emergency professionals and care providers that are attending to us.

     We must exercise our heart muscles to supply them with the resources (masks, medical equipment, food, security, and other resources) that they need to best serve us.  It is this heart that will keep the blood flowing throughout our great country, every individual contributing their share to make it happen.

We still are a strong and prosperous country, all of the organs and resources are there and working.  We inherently know this, it was all working just fine a little while ago.  Let us keep the life-sustaining blood flowing that is necessary for all of us to live and thrive.  If you have resources, please share them in kindness with those in need.

     It will come back to you, it always has, it always will. I feel that it is time for me, personally, to act also and share what I have with you. In the next few posts, I will do my best to share my knowledge of cellular medical science with you that could be very beneficial at this time. Let’s keep posted through the modern miracle of social media!


Hippocratic Greetings


Have you ever met a skilled doctor that would give you the highest-quality treatment available when you need it most, regardless of your ability to pay for it? The word “Hippocratic” describes the qualities of an ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates (hip-pock-ra-tees), who was the embodiment of an ideal physician: very knowledgeable and when needed applied his vast skill and art to anyone regardless of cost or reward. He was the kind of smart and caring doctor that you would really love to have care for you or your family during times of medical crisis. Hippocrates formed the first independent medical school in the world, was called the Father of Medicine and is known for separating the field of medicine from the other fields of science of that time (460 BC).

The word “Hippocratic” is not to be confused with the word “hypocritical” which is based on the Greek word, “Hypocrite” that describes the attributes of an actor who skillfully uses deceit to fraudulently convince others of high intentions while only really seeking self-benefit. Many of us have met a hypocritical person once or twice in our lives. Essentially, the words Hippocratic and hypocritical are opposites, yet it might be easy to confuse the two. To find a good example of either of these words we need to search no further than the bathroom mirror. Think of a time when you have used your skills to benefit someone with no thought of reward, and then think of another time when you used deceit to gain a reward or benefit for yourself.

Both of these attributes seem to be opposing parts of our human nature. If we are fortunate, there will be caring people in our lives that will help us see the truth about our own hypocritical nature. In the novel “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens, the Spirit of Christmas Past took the old miserly Scrooge back in time to a joyous Christmas party of his youth that was hosted by his beloved former employer, Mr. Fezziwig; a cheerful loving man who was close to Scrooge’s young heart. The Spirit criticized Fezziwig, saying he was a fool to have spent a fortune on such a party.  Scrooge emphatically retorted, “It isn’t that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy …; to make our service light …”

Soon as he said this, Scrooge could not escape the memory of his own actions earlier that day when he mercilessly heaped miserable oppression on his own loyal employee for the sake of a few pennies. When he truly realized the consequences and self-deceit of his hypocritical nature.  When he realized he could use his assets to change the future for the good, his heart became liberated. He exclaimed with glee, “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world!” and Scrooge from that point on he used the full set of his skills and resources for the benefit of others.

This indescribable joy of heart is the inescapable reward for those who find within themselves their own Hippocratic nature and develop it to its full extent. There will be a time in everyone’s life when the realization comes that all the treasures, skills, abilities and resources that we have accumulated throughout our whole lifetime will only truly have value when spent for the enrichment of those around us. May we find the occasion to share the music within us for all to enjoy while we still have a voice. May the warmth of embracing all that is good and right fill our hearts both day and night, and light our way the whole year long until the full value of the new year is spent.

Wishing the best for all of you in this new year!


The Fingerprint of Truth

This past Thursday and Friday I had the opportunity to attend the ISANH Paris World Redox Conference on Oxidative Stress Reduction, Redox Homeostasis and Antioxidants. As the long name indicates, this was an academic conference attended and presented by PhD researchers from over 30 countries, covering a variety of disciplines in this growing area of science and its application. This was especially meaningful for me, as I have been a proponent of this are research for many years.

This Sunday morning my mind is flooded with impressions. I wish to share a few with you. All around me in Paris are reminders of the history of human intellectual development, in the famous universities, the museums, the art, the music, beauty in building and structure of cathedrals, castles. The feeling of the emergence of society from a warring feudal state into a renaissance of knowledge of truth and beauty is palpable. It has brought my mind to wonder how to identify that subtle but powerful pattern of human development that connects us and impels us toward the pursuit truth and beauty. The patterns in our psyche and society that identify such a pursuit are what I call the fingerprint of truth.

Truth simply is that that is. It exists beyond the sphere of human pretense and interpretation. Those that are diligent to the pursuit of truth often develop the real human virtues of being fascinated, open, magnanimous, curious, dedicated, with a burning desire to share their discoveries with all that wish to comprehend. This appears to be the fingerprint of those so engaged. These sincere desires are expressed and resonate in verse, music and art as well as in math and science research. This fingerprint was seen everywhere at this Redox Conference.  There was a kind air toward those who are dedicated to the same path and an understanding of the importance of this field of knowledge in application to medical science and for the benefit of humanity.

During the next several posts I will outline some of the research and developments we saw at the conference and many others so you also might be enlightened and inspired.  Let us all keep this fire brightly ablaze.  Stay tuned.


Whims and Whispers

This is a short post to share just one idea revealing the true value of money.  Our financial security is based on trust; trust that available currency can be exchanged for a loaf of bread or anything of real value.  All of the sophisticated financial analysis, all of the currency in the world is only relevant when the true value of money is seen in this light.  In this light, the exchange of currencies, stocks, bitcoin, and so on among themselves, are based on whims and whispers and can be very dangerous when they quickly erode trust in currencies and financial systems.  What a shaky foundation we have built for our financial security.

When we learn enough to build a financial system based on real value (1 coin = 1 basic loaf of bread, 5 coins = 1 hour of heavy labor) then the real value of money is evident.  A crypto currency based on exchange of goods and services would be of real value.  Of course, all of the sophisticated analysis would still apply, but it would really mean something more than just whims and whispers.


Redox Signaling — A Universal Principle of Life

Breath of Life
With every breath you take, oxygen from the air rushes into your lungs, is absorbed into the hemoglobin in your blood and pumped by your heart throughout the trillions of cells in your body. If you doubt the importance of this, you can perform the simple experiment of holding your breath for a minute; as you turn blue, you will entirely convince yourself that oxygen is vitally needed by the cells in your body.

What do your cells do with all these oxygen molecules? Oxygen molecules are used by the cells to capture electrons from other molecules. Oxygen molecules have two unpaired electrons (called free radicals) that are hungry for companions.O2 These oxygen free radicals capture available electrons from other molecules; when electrons are captured this is called “reduction”; oxygen is said to be “reduced” when it captures electrons. These electrons are stolen from other molecules; when electrons are ripped off of these molecules, this is called “oxidation”, these other molecules are said to be “oxidized”. Thus oxygen “oxidizes” other molecules by stealing their electrons and becomes “reduced” at the same time, by capturing such electrons. The special name REDOX (REDuction/OXidation) is given to this process.

Why is this REDOX process so important to cells? The metabolism of sugars, fats and keytones takes place within hundreds of power-generating mitochondria (my-toe-con-dree-ah) inside the cells. These mitochondria produce the energy needed to power our cells. Oxygen is needed as part of the final step of metabolism inside the mitochondria to capture the electrons that participate in the electron transport chain (ETC) (electrons are quickly transported to “charge the batteries” of the mitochondria). If oxygen were not there to capture these electrons, they would quickly leak back in, discharge the mitochondrial batteries, and in turn would cause our cells to run out of fuel and energy. Thus oxygen is vital to stop the electrons from leaking back, to keep these cell batteries charged, and to keep the cell’s machinery working. More than 80% of the oxygen we breathe is used in the mitochondria for this purpose.Electron-movement-is-shown-through-the-mitochondrial-electron-transport-chain-ETC-and

When an oxygen molecule (O2) captures an electron, it transforms into a new type of reactive oxygen called the “superoxide anion” free radical (O2*-). This type of oxygen radical is highly reactive. An enzyme called “superoxide dismutase” (an antioxidant made inside the cell) donates yet another electron to the superoxide and transforms it into a “peroxide”. This peroxide state of oxygen attracts two hydrogen atoms to become hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). From here, other enzymes in the cell (such as “catalase” and “glutathione”) again reduce this type of oxygen into its most reduced state, “water” (H2O). There are several other transformations that reduce oxygen, one of them combines oxygen with the chloride ion (from salt) to form the “hypochlorite anion” (OCl-). We will not mention any more of them here for simplicity’s sake.

Oxyen ROS
And so we see that the story of the oxygen molecule inside our cells involves a series of transformations as it is reduced from oxygen gas to water and the other states of oxygen. The types of molecules that are produced in these transformations (O2*-, H2O2, OCl-), as mentioned above, are given the name “reactive oxygen species” (ROS). These also are part of a group known as “redox signaling molecules”.

This story of how oxygen is used and transformed inside cells is as old as aerobic life on earth. Even earlier in the earth’s story, green plants on earth, through photosynthesis, were able to use the energy from the sun to run these oxygen transformations in reverse. Plants start by using sunlight to “bump” electrons off the plentiful oxygen atoms in the water molecules (H2O) to start the reverse transformation. In the plant cell, when an electron is removed from oxygen in the water molecule, the oxygen is transformed into various forms of ROS. Finally (after all the reverse transformations) the oxygen is transformed into the oxygen gas molecule (O2). This oxygen gas is released by the plants into the atmosphere. Thanks to plants, about 20% of the air in our atmosphere is now oxygen (O2). The story of how oxygen transforms from water to oxygen gas in plants, is released into the atmosphere, and then is transformed from oxygen gas back into water in animals is a vital part of the story of life, as we know it.

Only in the past decade have scientists realized the true importance of the intermediate forms of oxygen (ROS) in this transformation and the role they play inside living cells. We have found that these ROS forms serve as fundamental redox signaling molecules inside the cell. In short, they turn off and on the genetic switches that control what happens inside the cell, they are used to move electrons around inside the vital salt-water fluids that fill the cell. They cause transformations in the protein-based machinery of the cell that allow it to move (fold, unfold, change shape, break apart, come together, etc.), they serve to inform the cell that something is wrong when too many of them accumulate (a condition called oxidative stress). Depending on how many of them are in the cell, key functions of the cell are regulated. For example, too much hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in plant cells will slow down photosynthesis (this keeps plants from “burning out” in full sunlight) and in animals, too much H2O2 will slow down the metabolism (this also prevents animal cells from “burning out”). These redox signaling mechanisms act like the controlling “gas pedal” in your car, they control the speed of the “motor” in the cell and keep it from “burning out”. In short, without these redox signaling molecules, it would be impossible for the cells to live, breathe and regulate themselves.

A knowledge of how these most universal and fundamental processes in life work gives us great power. As these oxygen transformations and the resultant redox signaling takes place in most every cell on earth, the reach of redox signaling technologies is almost universal. These redox signaling molecules effectively kill primitive bacteria (they are the primary weapon of the immune system), they turn on the alarms and repair genes inside cells, they participate in energy regulation (as already mentioned), they participate in electrical and chemical signaling networks everywhere. They are also the primary actors in the networks that recognize and kill defective cells and regenerate healthy cells. They are part of the networks that allow our cells, tissues, organs, and systems to cooperate and function together. Their life-saving potential is well known, we all know that administering oxygen can save lives. No longer are these reactive oxygen species (ROS) thought of as enemies, they are redox signaling molecules, a vital part of the primary tool chest of life. We can use them to live, and to live more abundantly.


Can We Save the Planet?


Many agree this is something we need to do and soon. But what exactly does it mean to “Save the Planet”? Imagine a visionary legislator coming home after passing key piece of legislature to fund a massive recycling program considered to be a major victory for the planet. His 16-year-old son is in the kitchen heating up a pizza when he comes through the door. The kitchen is a mess, the garbage is full. He walks into the kitchen, “Hi, son”, he says, “my bill passed today, it is a major win for the planet!”, then looking at the kitchen he adds, “This kitchen is a mess and you need to take out the garbage.” All he gets is a groan and a mumble, “I’ll do it later”. “Don’t forget to sort the recycling”, he says in a commanding voice, as he walks out of the kitchen. An hour later, after some phone calls, he comes back to the kitchen to find a bunch of mixed garbage, with greasy pizza boxes, stuffed in the recycle bin, the kitchen is still dirty, and his son has gone out with friends. Things like this happen throughout the world, as witnessed by the millions of tons of garbage we bury or export, vile contaminated rivers flowing into the oceans, the radioactive poisons, heavy metals, and carbonic acids circulated by ocean currents, along with the floating islands of garbage that are larger than some countries. Entire global ecosystems are affected.

The real battles to save the planet are fought at home. They have much more to do with the inherent human behavior in our homes, streets and businesses and the established routines that drive the current social systems. How can we win? How can we change inherent human behavior and the systems they drive? Scientists have long realized that social systems are chaotic. Like traffic patterns and weather patterns, billions of individual factors and decisions determine how the overall system works. There are no exact solutions to chaotic systems – they are not predictable. Like tossing dice or flipping coins, there is no way to predict what the exact results will be beforehand. We can determine, however, the probability that certain patterns will appear. We are getting accustomed to this concept. if the weather channel says there is a 50% chance of rain, for example, millions of individual measurements and data from satellite images have detected storm systems that might or might not result in rain in your region. Only the probability that it will rain can be determined.

Global Warming is a hot topic, many now believe that it is a major problem. We know that cutting down oxygen-producing rain forests and increasing carbon emissions (from carbon fuels and even more so methane from cow droppings) absorb and retain the energy that comes from the sun, and thus heat our atmosphere. The resulting consequences of climate change are by nature chaotic and not predictable. Will carbon accumulation lead to massive storms, melting polar ice caps, or an ice age, massive death of ocean life as predicted, or toward shifts in climate that might be less destructive or even beneficial? The exact effects cannot be determined. Things we cannot control, like varying solar cycles and magnetic field collapse, also are major factors that affect what could happen to our climate. I have heard that attempts have been made to “cool” the planet by introducing reflective metal particles into the atmosphere (released by large arrays of planes flying in formation over large areas). These metal particles in the atmosphere are designed to reflect solar energy away from our planet. Let us understand, we cannot predict the results that such measures will have to control our climate. Placing more artificial substances in our atmosphere could make it much worse rather than make it better (not to mention the effects to our health). There are far too many factors to consider and even if we knew everything, predictive models by nature do not exist.

Even though chaotic patterns in human behavior may not be predictable, the overall trends are measurable. Obvious examples include increases and shifts in world populations, life spans, shifts in education, aging populations, early mental decline in adults, increase of autism in children, regional increases in suffering due to diabetes, obesity, allergies, cancers and other major health issues related to local diets and contaminated environments. When carefully analyzed, the latest trends are disturbing, to say the least. If current trends are projected into the year 2040, the next generation will be living in a world where half the adults will be diabetic or pre-diabetic, a quarter of the children will be on the autistic spectrum, the chances of having cancer will be 50% in some regions, almost everyone will have food allergies and early dementia, and a dwindling amount of young working adults will have to support huge aging and sick populations with staggering health-care costs. The larger part of the world populations will be uneducated, poor and highly motivated by strong ideologies. It is unclear on how much of this society can take before becoming heartless and unstable.

On the positive side, there is great hope. There is much greatness in us, our technical capacity is almost unlimited. The best chances to save the planet are most probably found in motivating human behavior at home toward different habits and implementing sustainable systems across the planet. Offering the homeless or unemployed people rewards to find and sort recyclable resources, offering real incentives to clean up dirty environments, conveniently placed recycling bins, recycling trash, education, self-sustaining ecological and social systems, alternative energy options, methods of purifying water, reducing insecticides and harmful chemicals, managing industrial contaminates, agricultural waste, and by respecting natural laws (genetic and otherwise) that have existed since the beginning of time. Hundreds of emerging nanotechnologies and biotechnologies have much to offer in these areas. There are answers that now exist in science. In my experience, above all, the real solutions are ultimately found in the true intentions of our heart.

Through current nanotechnologies, we now have the technical abilities to eliminate the wide-spread contamination and depletion of large water supplies. Biotechnologies exist to cure spoiled ecosystems on the small and large scale. We can let beneficial natural bacteria grow back into our soils and digestive systems. Through aquaponics and natural farming methods, we can grow plants almost anywhere on earth that are replete with all the beneficial (and tasty) nutrients we need through natural genetic processes. There are biotechnologies that help us recover from and eliminate sugar and narcotic addictions. Biotechnologies, such as redox signaling and stem cells, give our body the ability to quickly regenerate damaged tissue. The list of solutions is endless. We can survive and even thrive through the most difficult of circumstances. We just have to want it bad enough.


Does Your Brain Grow Back?

From centuries of science, the answer to this question is unmistakably “Yes”. Scientists have watched nerve cells grow back, both in the peripheral nervous system (muscle and sensory) and the central nervous system (brain) after they have been injured. The more interesting questions might be: How fast does brain tissue regenerate? How fast do brain cells die? and can we slow down brain-cell death and speed up brain-cell regeneration? If brain cells are growing back faster than they die off, then the brain is growing back. If brain cells are dying off faster than growing back, then the brain is degenerating.

As with most questions that effect our health, the real answers to these questions (and more) are found in how brain cells work, live and die. The difference between Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, MS, age-related dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases can be found simply in what type of brain cells die off or stop functioning and which are not replaced quick enough.

There are estimates that the human brain has about 100 Billion nerve cells and 1 Trillion glial cells (the cells that help the nerve cells out). The glial cells produce the materials, hormones and neurotransmitters (proteins, serotonin, dopamine) that are needed for the nerve cells to function. In the brain, these vital materials get shuttled around by the flow of the brain fluid (cerebral-spinal fluid) created in the brain that flows through channels (ventricles) inside the cholesterol jelly that holds our brain together. To maintain normal mental ability, you need only about 20 Billion (20%) of the nerve cells in the brain to be working and the brain fluids must keep flowing.

What causes brain cells to die or stop functioning? The answer is always related to stress. Stress can be related to many things, such as toxins (like heavy metals, neurotoxins, alcohol, anesthesia) that have somehow made it into the brain, or the lack of beneficial minerals (like copper, magnesium, selenium, lithium) that are needed by the brain cells. Stress can also be related to nervous overuse (like worry, emotional trauma, stimulatory drugs) that cause a build-up of oxidants and free radicals. Stress can also be caused by a traumatic injury (like an accident, fall or blow to the head) that physically damages the soft tissues or something that limits blood and oxygen flow to the brain cells.

Another type of stress that is a factor in Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease comes from the build-up of protein “nets” (like amyloid beta proteins) in the brain that choke the brain cells and have not been sufficiently washed out by the brain fluid flow. Some recent exciting advances toward reversing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease involve chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck that clear the brain-spine fluid channels and increase the flow that washes out the built-up proteins in the brain.

In all cases, stress on the nerve cells causes a build-up of oxidants (oxidative stress) inside the nerve cells. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is good because oxidative stress can stimulate the redox signaling network (reduction oxidation) inside the nerve cell to repair damage in the cell, restore the blood flow, reduce the inflammation, reduce the oxidative stress and clean up the proteins and take out the toxic garbage. The bad thing is that if this repair process doesn’t happen fast enough, then the build-up of oxidants will inflame the brain cells and eventually cause them to undergo programmed cell death. Most brain-cell death in an injury is not caused by lack of oxygen, but by oxidative stress that has gone on too long.

Timely reduction of oxidative stress in the brain helps promote brain-cell health and longevity. New redox signaling technologies have produced compounds that are perfectly safe, can make it into the brain, and are shown to increase oxygen, reduce oxidative stress, reduce oxidation, reduce oxidized cholesterol, reduce neuroinflammation, open detoxification channels, and enhance the redox signaling networks. Much research still needs to be done. The timely reduction of oxidative stress in the brain is an important key also to the regeneration of nerve cells. As mentioned above, nerve cells can regenerate or form new connections that help to restore brain function when they are in an optimal environment surrounded by the fluids and materials they need to thrive.

Another important factor is that brain-cell regeneration is also stimulated by use. If you are using your brain to near exhaustion (just like in muscle cells) the brain will generate new cells to keep up the activity. Otherwise, non-exercised brain cells will eventually die off. It is the old “use it or lose it” syndrome.

Sadly, the slow processes of brain-cell death in degenerative diseases (as mentioned above) are not obvious until more than 80% of the brain cells have already died or stopped functioning. This means that reversing these degenerative diseases, if possible, requires large-scale regeneration of the brain. Nerve regeneration is generally a slow and careful process. So even if we succeed in slowing the degeneration down and speeding brain regeneration up to the point where the brain is growing back, we can expect that the restoration of full brain function will still be a long and difficult process. The good news is that the brain can grow back and we are developing the technologies that make this process happen faster. There is hope and a wonderful future with these emerging technologies, if we will let it be.


Weighty Matters


It is safe to say that millions of people want to lose weight. Many are looking for the perfect diet, the best exercise program, the easiest way to peel off the pounds. Some of us have given up. Some have become fanatic over one method or another. Others hope that there is a perfect pill for weight loss and are even willing to suffer painful, dangerous surgery. In truth, the only way of finding the real answers is through a basic understanding the way our body works on a cellular level. At this level, the real answer to gain a sustainable healthy body has very little to do with losing weight and more to do with the truly weighty matters: Nutrition, Hydration, Exercise and Sleep.

Fat cells are as important as any other types of cells in your body. Their job is to store the energy that your body needs. Fat is concentrated energy, more than 80% of the energy that our cells use daily comes from fat. Every 10 pounds of fat stores as much energy as 60 pounds of sugar. Just 7 pounds of fat can supply the body with enough energy to run 10 marathons end to end without stopping (compare that to how many batteries a robot would need). When we eat carbs and sugars (unless we are running a marathon) insulin is produced that causes the cells to convert the excess sugars into efficient fats and store them away in fat cells. Even thinking of eating sweets can trigger insulin to stimulate fat storage. Even worse, fat cells “eat” insulin and other hormones that are necessary to maintain healthy hormone levels, too much fat causes hormonal imbalance; eating carbs and sugars provides only a temporary emotional lift, but ultimately only adds to the problem as sugars are readily converted to more fat. This cycle is a recipe for eternal misery.

By looking closer at how fat cells work, we find the real answer about how to reduce excess fat. Better yet, we find the real answer to generating a healthy body. Most fat cells live on or near muscle cells. When muscle cells need energy, they are programmed to extract and burn the stored fat from the nearby fat cells and use it for energy. The more muscle we have, the faster fat is burned. The only way to naturally burn large amounts of fat is to build more muscle. Building muscle might not necessarily result in weight loss, because muscle weighs more than fat, but it certainly will help us burn the excess fat. Again, the answers on how to build muscle can be found by understanding how muscle cells work. When a muscle cell is challenged to the point of near exhaustion, it begins to ask for more muscle cells to be made and it creates redox signaling molecules that aid the muscle cells in repairing damage and regenerating stronger muscle tissue. This will only happen when the muscle cells are challenged to near exhaustion. Muscle cells also need water, proteins and the nutrients necessary to repair themselves and build the new cells.

Did you know that you do not have to exercise heavily to get muscle growth? To bring a muscle to near exhaustion only requires that you lift a weight or have resistance just big enough to challenge the muscle over 7 to 15 repetitions. Lifting weights while moving the muscles slowly, 3 seconds up, 3 seconds down, avoiding jerking, also drastically reduces the amount of soreness and tearing of the muscle. Lifting a weight slowly that is about as heavy as you can comfortably lift 7 to 15 times in a row will bring a muscle to near exhaustion (and feels satisfying), in contrast lifting an easy light weight 50 times has much less of an effect because the muscle is not challenged (and it is boring). You know you have done it right when you feel a “burn” and slight shaking when exercising the muscle, but little or no soreness afterwards. Using exercises like this that challenge and build one individual muscle at a time and alternating the muscle groups (especially muscles that are near the fat you wish to burn) are most effective. After doing a regular exercise routine like this for several days in a row, you will find that you need to increase the weights or resistance to get the same effect. An easy example of exercising your abdominal muscles, can be done lying flat on the floor or in bed: fold your arms, slowly lift your shoulders and feet at the same time off the floor, crunching the abs, hold a second and slowly relax, repeating 15 times.

You will also need to change your diet to feed the muscle cell growth. Cut down to near zero all sugars and carbs that are not needed (breads, processed cereals, sugary drinks, sweet berries, and so on) and then eat tons of green salads with tuna, eggs or chicken breast that are needed to build muscle until you are satisfied. You can actually come up with some very creative and delicious ways to do this with little effort (fried salmon with red onion over a crisp spinach and cilantro basket is my favorite). Good natural absorbable supplements can also be helpful. You will only need to keep this up for a few weeks before starting to feel a real difference. This also has the advantage of switching your body’s metabolism over from burning sugars and storing fat to a metabolism of constantly burning fat all day long. You will feel so good that you might even lose your desire to eat lots of carbs and sugars after a while. You will find yourself “popping” out of bed in the morning without effort and feeling so much stronger and able to do things.

Clean fresh water in abundance, maybe with a little lemon slice, is always refreshing and needed for cell growth. Keep a pitcher or container handy for anytime you are a bit thirsty. It is amazing how good drinking plenty of water can make you feel. With good hydration and exercise, sleep also comes easier. Sleep is when the cells in the body switch over from regular daily activities to repairing themselves, building muscle, brain, gut, blood vessels, and so on that have been used during the day. All this repair and building work is done very efficiently by your cells while your body rests, making you ready and stronger for the following day. You can imagine that mental attitude and awareness also is heightened.

The lessons we learn from a basic understanding how our cells work seem almost natural, like we have known these things all along. We sometimes make it much more complicated than it really is. As the body becomes healthy, muscle is built, fat is burned for fuel and our health and ability to enjoy life is enhanced. It is the way it was meant to be. Let’s do it.