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TELOMERES: Cancer Cure, Fountain of Youth: Latest Research

The enzyme telomerase is on full force in malignant cells.

Many scientists believe that the cure to cancer and the way to reverse aging is a full understanding of telomeres and telomerase.

Anyone who finds this post certainly knows what a telomere is and what telomerase is. Isn’t it just SO fascinating, that the cure for cancer and the cause of aging seem to be on the very same continuum?

Maybe 10 years from now there will be a whole new class of drugs called telomerase inhibitors—the cure for cancer. And maybe there will be a class of drugs called telomerase activators—a way to reverse the aging process, or at least, reverse diseases of aging such as coronary artery disease. Of course, nobody wants to wait 10 years for these breakthroughs.

Check out the links to articles about groundbreaking discoveries below:

Treatment or Cure for Cancer
Cardiovascular Disease


PULMONARY EMBOLUS: Prolific Killer, Very Common, Symptoms

Blood cells (red) are trapped in fibrin filaments (greyish/white): a blood clot

Far more people die every year from a pulmonary embolism than you think; these blood clots in the lungs cause cardiac arrest, and often, the cause of death is listed as just that—cardiac arrest.

A blood clot in the lung, that originates from a blood clot in a vein (usually in the legs) is called a pulmonary embolism or embolus.

The Centers for Disease Control provides frightening statistics:
Every year in the U.S., 60,000 to 100,000 people die from a P.E.
In about one-fourth of all cases, sudden death is the first symptom.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/data.html


TALL WOMEN CENTRAL: Heels, Self-Esteem, Coping, Dating, Comments

Here’s how tall women and teen girls can learn to embrace their blessed height and conquer the world with high heels, high confidence and empowerment.

Below are links to a huge assortment of articles for tall women (and teen girls). These articles originally appeared on the Yahoo! Voices site (formerly Yahoo! Contributor Network, and originally Associated Content). The site shut down July 31 of 2014. My articles had begun appearing on the Yahoo! Voices site (then Associated Content) in 2007, and I continued writing about tall women well into 2014. During these years, my articles generated enormous page views—evidence that this topic is scorching hot!

Below are the best of these articles, and they will have a dramatic effect on your ability to embrace your height.

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FEARFUL of RETIREMENT? Work Causes More Disease & Depression

You should fear WORK, not retirement, because the workplace leads to burnout, stress, heart disease, depression, trouble sleeping and more.

Do not be afraid of retirement. Do not fear freedom. Do not fear being extricated from a ball and chain.

I just don’t know how anyone can choose to continue working when they’re in a financial position to retire. These include “younger” people who win a Powerball, yet continue working a 40-hour-per-week grind.

Every so often I see an article headline online to the tune of, “Six Things to Fear About Retirement” or “How to Cope with Retirement.”

What the…?

I mean, really, it’s not retirement that’s been linked to all sorts of medical diseases and mental problems. Below are links to articles about how WORK is strongly associated, as well as a direct cause, for numerous health and mental conditions. You don’t see studies linking retirement to insomnia, heart disease, hearing loss and other ailments.

If you’re skittish about retirement, read the articles below and see how much that WORK is linked to bad health.

Pregnancy: Weight Gain, Moods, Vitamins, Binge Eating

Pregnancy brings with it a host of concerns including weight gain, binge eating, mood swings and many other issues. Below are links to articles that will answer many of your questions about this most crucial time of your life.


PVC stands for premature ventricular contraction. It creates the illusion of an extra heartbeat, especially if there are two or three in a row. And sometimes, it feels as though the heart has skipped a beat. This makes the person believe they’re about to have a heart attack.

In fact, many people with PVCs or the so-called “skipped heartbeat” fear getting a heart attack. Every episode makes them think this, especially if the episodes don’t occur that often. If they occur often, however, the patient becomes accustomed to it and is simply “cardiac aware.”

Nevertheless, having frequent premature contractions is a troubling sensation, distracting and can still produce a lot of anxiety, even though that feared heart attack has never happened in all the years that someone has experienced recurring premature ventricular contractions, “extra” heartbeats or “skipped” heartbeats. Another way this has been described is a jumping, fluttering or pounding feeling in the chest.

Below are links to articles about PVCs with a cardiologist’s feedback.

Back Pain: Exercise & Other Treatments, Disc Herniations

Your back pain can have any number of causes (like disc herniation), and thus, any number of treatments may work including exercise.

Most back pain can be remedied with natural treatments. There are various exercise approaches that can mitigate low back pain (LBP). Below are links to articles that explain a lot about America’s No. 1 non-fatal medical problem.



MENOPAUSE, HOT FLASH HELL: Treatments, Heart Health, Weight

Here’s answers about hot flashes, other menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms and problems, natural treatments, weight gain, LDL cholesterol and more.

Below are links to articles about menopause and postmenopause.

CTE: Why Head Trauma Causes Progressive Damage Years Later

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) begins developing years, sometimes decades, after the athlete retires, but why?

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) refers to the progressive damage that continues to occur to the brain—even after the athlete retires and no longer receives hits to the head.

You’d think that the maximum damage to the brain would be whatever damage was there at the time of retirement from sports—and that it stays at that level (provided the athlete never gets hit in the head again).

But no, that’s only the beginning for some retired athletes: The snowball continues rolling down the hill, getting bigger and bigger. So why?

 “The short answer is we really do not know why,” says neuropsychologist Kenneth Podell, PhD, FACPN, co-director, Houston Methodist Concussion Center, and concussion specialist for the Houston Texans and Houston Astros.

The focus here isn’t why the symptoms of CTE start showing years after the last blow to the head. It’s about why the damage to the brain tissue continues getting worse. Nevertheless, the symptoms are delayed “because cell death in the brain can take years to occur, and must reach a critical level of damage (threshold) before they clinically express themselves,” says Dr. Podell. 

But what makes that snowball get bigger?
The concussion or strikes to the head are the primary mechanism. The snowball is the secondary mechanism. 

“The primary damage in CTE, at least one of the thoughts, is that the head hits and concussions damage the tau proteins that act like structure bridges or a lattice supporting the microtubules (channels that transport information down the length of an axon or nerve cell) for communication with other nerve cells,” Explains Dr. Podell. 

 “Without the proper support and lattice, the microtubules will start to break down (secondary damage) which can take longer to occur.  Again this has to be proven as definitive. We simply do not understand why CTE occurs and if it continues developing after the athlete retires.”

Though it’s believed a genetic component may be involved in CTE, this doesn’t explain why the damage keeps getting worse after the insult has ceased.

Dr. Podell explains: “It could be that all of the damage to the brain was done at the time of insult, and it simply takes years for it to express itself, or if CTE itself actually worsens over time.  Or it simply can be a cascading effect. The only way to quantify CTE would be through brain autopsy. Techniques are currently being developed for PET scanners to image CTE in living individuals, but we are not at a point to do serial quantification.”

Dr. Teena Shetty, MD, is a neurologist at Hospital for Special Surgery and an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant for the New York Giants. She says, “The potential for cumulative damage from repetitive concussions or subconcussive blows is of growing concern and remains incompletely understood.”

She says that aging and genetics may play a role in the progression, but the extent to which they do is unclear. Additionally, many retired athletes with CTE are in their 40s and 50s. Although symptoms can be subtle at first and therefore missed for years, this does not explain the progressive factor, given the absence of continuing concussions.

Postmortem examinations of CTE victims reveal a pathological accumulation of plaques and tangles in the brain. “The reason repetitive blows may predispose to increased development of these in certain individuals is still under investigation,” says Dr. Shetty. “We really have not advanced the science enough as yet.”

Dr. Podell concurs: “We really have not advanced the science enough to know the cause of the disease course/progression of CTE.” 

Lose 100 Pounds with Three Strength Training Exercises

You need only three strength training exercises to drop 100 pounds of unhealthy body fat.

There’s nothing gimmicky about what I’m going to tell you. If you’re a hundred pounds overweight, or weigh 450 pounds (think of losing 100 pounds three times), you can lose 100 pounds with the following three exercises, PLUS a controlled, clean diet:

Bench press

If you were to employ only these exercises and nothing else as far as structured exercise, I’d recommend a three-times-a-week regimen, such as Mon/Wed/Fri or Tues/Thurs/Sat.

All the muscles in your body will get trained with the deadlift, squat and bench press. These three exercises emphasize large muscle groups, though the small ones like biceps and triceps DO get worked. So do the abs!

To lose 100 pounds with these three exercises, follow this formula:

1)   Do five sets of each for all three training days.
2)   Take one minute of rest (no longer) between sets, and 2-3 minutes in between exercises.
3)   Set the resistance so that it’s possible to do eight repetitions but impossible to do more than 12. If you can do more than 12, increase the resistance. If you can only do seven reps, decrease.

Point 3 is tricky because it will be impossible to take only one minute of rest and keep pumping out an 8-12 rep max using the SAME weight load. For example, suppose your first bench press set is 11 reps for 95 pounds; you absolutely cannot do any more.

Bench press
Rest one minute. Your second set at 95 pounds might be eight or nine, but it’s more likely you’ll only be able to do seven reps. This falls out of the eight to 12 range. In anticipation of this, you’d have to quickly reset the barbell to a lighter weight before the minute was up. It’s easier to do this if the 95 pounds are loaded with two 10-pound plates and a five-pounder on each side, rather than a 25-pounder on each side (when using a standard Olympic bar which weighs 45 pounds).

Because then you can just slip off the five-pound plates to lighten the barbell; you’ll be able to press 85 pounds within that 8-12 rep range. If you take off TOO much weight, you’ll feel like you can go beyond 12 reps.

Back squat (credit: Rexwar)
Why is the 8-12 rep range so important for losing 100 pounds?
It’s time under tension. If you don’t do enough reps, the muscle cells won’t be subjected to a long enough tension. When enough tension is imposed on them, they are forced to develop “metabolic machinery.” The acquisition of this machinery within each muscle cell, and the sustenance of it, requires energy. This energy is pulled from stored body fat.

If the time under tension goes for too long (more than 12 reps), the focus will be on fewer fast twitch muscle fibers and more on slow twitch. Slow twitch is designed for endurance. If you can do more than 12 reps, the weight is too light to incite optimal acquisition of metabolic machinery. If you must struggle to get within the 8-12 range, the weight is heavy enough to maximize metabolic machinery.

This doesn’t mean that a few sets here and there can’t be a 6-7 rep max or 13-14 rep max. There will be times you’ll mis-judge how much to reduce the resistance, for example, and you’ll find yourself barely getting in six reps, or finding that 12 weren’t all that hard. It’s okay to periodically make this miscalculation.

But the general protocol is the 8-12 rep max to build up that metabolic machinery which will accelerate your resting metabolism. Furthermore, the one-minute rests will amplify this effect. Longer rests will take you further out of range, and your muscle cells will develop more contractile proteins rather than metabolic machinery. If the shift is on contractile proteins, you’ll get stronger faster; there’s less development of the metabolic innards and instead, an increase in contractile proteins.

Enough of the science—just trust me: Do the deadlift, squat and bench press, as I’ve described, and you’ll lose 100 pounds (as long as you eat sensibly—no gorging on pizza after your workouts).

Morbidly obese people will have a challenge learning the back squat (free barbell across back), so I recommend using the Smith machine until you lose enough weight to begin learning the free barbell squat. The goal is to hit parallel with excellent form!

The deadlift is easier for a morbidly obese individual to learn, but this exercise demands flawless form. The bench press is the easiest because you lie on a bench, but for best results and safety, you should use good form.

You can lose 100 pounds with these three exercises by following the protocol described in this article.

Night Work Is Big Risk for Breast Cancer

Another study says that working at night significantly increases the risk for breast cancer.

University of Georgia researchers say that artificial light disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm and greatly increases the risk for breast cancer.

"Exposure to artificial light leads to a significantly higher risk for developing breast cancer," states Chunla He, one of the researchers. The obvious recourse is to go to bed early and get up early. But this is not possible for someone who can’t change work shifts.

However, some women who work out of their home have gotten into the habit of going to bed at 2 a.m. and getting up for the day at 10 a.m. Unemployed women, as well, may find that they’ve developed a habit of staying up way past midnight and awakening later.

The risk of breast cancer has been studied on flight attendants because they usually work night and day shifts. Chunla He found, in the analysis of these studies, that working as a flight attendant was associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.

Melatonin is a hormone that’s dispensed by the body overnight during sleep—but optimal amounts are released if sleep occurs just after dark and then rising for the day occurs at sunrise—which is not a practical schedule for many women.

But think of the sleep schedules of cavepeoples. They didn’t even have oil lamps. No candles, nothing. They had no choice but to go to sleep (what else could they do besides getting intimate) once the sun went down. They slept till sunrise when they could finally see again.

"When the sleep-wake cycle is disrupted by artificial light,” says He, “melatonin secretion is adversely affected."

Popping a melatonin pill before going to bed at 2 a.m. is not the solution, but it’s better than doing nothing if you absolutely can’t arrange for an early bedtime on a consistent basis.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141017183719.htm

Can IBS Cause Ribbon Stools?

You’ve heard that colon cancer can cause ribbon stools, but IBS can also do this.

For this article I consulted with Michael Blume, MD, a gastroenterologist at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore.

“Ribbon stools are not uncommonly seen with IBS, although excluding other causes, such as anatomic problems, inflammatory disease, etc., would be prudent,” says Dr. Blume. The exclusion process should also include colon cancer, even if you’ve had irritable bowel syndrome for years. IBS does not protect against colon cancer.

How does IBS lead to poops that are shaped like ribbons?
Dr. Blume says, “This usually occurs because if there is spasm in the colon, it may give one the sensation that there may be some obstruction and cause a change in the caliber of the stool.

“When one's colon goes into spasm, as often occurs in IBS, the muscles in your large intestine constrict.  Remember that you have muscles in your intestines, also, although they are somewhat different than the ones in your arms and legs that you voluntarily control.” The type of muscle in your GI tract is called smooth muscle, and the muscle that enables you to bench press a barbell or comb your hair is called skeletal.

Dr. Blume says that when the intestinal muscles constrict, “they cause the diameter of your large intestine to become narrow, and when this occurs, one's stools may appear narrow.”

Can IBS Cause Nausea after Bowel Movement?

That feeling of nausea after your bowel movement may very well be caused by your IBS, says a gastroenterologist.

For this article I consulted with Michael Blume, MD, a gastroenterologist at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore.

Here is what Dr. Blume explains: “Nausea can be caused by a great many things, but can often occur after a bowel movement.  When this does occur, it usually is related to changes in upper gastrointestinal function, where one’s stomach does not empty normally.  This can occur in the setting of IBS.”

It’s About the Stomach
“Nausea usually occurs in situations where one's stomach is not emptying properly,” says Dr. Blume.  “This can occur with problems with gastrointestinal function, as well as structural or inflammatory problems in the gastrointestinal tract. 

“IBS causes problems with the function of the entire GI tract, including the upper gastrointestinal tract.  Exactly why this occurs is not entirely well-understood, but likely involves changes in your body's chemistry, as well as alterations in the innervation of your gastrointestinal tract. 

“When one's colon is not functioning normally, as is often the case with IBS, very often one's upper GI tract is also not functioning normally, and this can result in symptoms of nausea or bloating,” including after a bowel movement.

Can IBS Cause Bloody Mucus?

Do you have IBS and have noticed what looks like blood in the mucous that comes out with your bowel movements?

For this article I consulted with Michael Blume, MD, a gastroenterologist at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore.

Dr. Blume explains: “One not uncommonly sees mucous in the stool with IBS, but not blood.  Your colon normally produces mucous, mostly to act as a lubricant.  When your colon gets somewhat irritable, it makes more mucous, and one may see it in the stool.  It may look scary, but usually is not dangerous.  

“Bleeding, however, is not a sign of IBS, as a rule, so when one sees bleeding or bloody mucous, it would indicate that there may be some other problem going on, and should prompt that person to seek medical attention.”

Blood in the mucous could be finding its way there simply because the mucous is part of the stool movement. If it’s truly blood in the mucous, there’s likely blood somewhere else in the bowel movement—quite possibly imperceptible to your naked eye. Red is easier to see when it’s mixed with something white or cream colored.

If you have IBS, it’s not impossible to develop an unrelated condition that causes blood in your stools. The blood may just happen to get mixed with the mucous, making it easier to see. If you’re worried about any symptoms, make an appointment with your gastroenterologist.

Can an IBS Attack Last for Days?

An IBS flare or attack is no picnic and can last for many days.

“Some attacks can last for a few hours, some days,” says Michael Blume, MD, a gastroenterologist at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore.

Dr. Blume continues, “IBS attacks can be of variable duration and are different from person to person.”

Irritable bowel syndrome should be diagnosed only when all other possible causes have been ruled out.

“IBS is not an all or nothing disorder,” says Dr. Blume.  Some people have very mild symptoms, some very disabling symptoms.  Many people with mild or sporadic symptoms do not even seek medical attention.” They may simply attribute their symptoms to something they ate or stress.

Symptom Range Varies with IBS: Sporadically to Days on End
“The same goes for duration of symptoms,” says Dr. Blume.  “There are some people who have very sporadic symptoms that last for a short period of time.  Other people have constant symptoms, and there is everything in between. 

“A person with symptoms occurring infrequently and for short durations may choose to treat their symptoms with episodic therapy, if they choose to treat the symptoms at all.  Someone with frequent or long-lasting symptoms may benefit from taking medications on a regular basis. 

“We tend to use symptom duration and symptom frequency to help make decisions as to how to best treat these symptoms. It is also important to remember that IBS is not a medically dangerous condition, although it can be at times quite painful, and often socially incapacitating. 

“A decision to treat these symptoms at all should depend on how much these symptoms are bothering that person, and how much it impacts quality of life.” So as far as duration (days, weeks, months), irritable bowel syndrome is a no-size-fits-all condition. 

HOLDING TREADMILL Is Wrong Regardless of Weight, Age, Fitness, Goals

Do you think there’s no compromise in training efficacy when you hold onto a treadmill?

I’ve covered this topic into the ground. Below are nearly all of the articles I’ve written on this topic. Most were originally posted on the Yahoo! Contributor Network site (originally Associated Content) between 2007 and 2014. The site’s name eventually changed to Yahoo! Voices, and unfortunately, the site was shut down on July 31 of 2014.

After Yahoo! Voices closed down, I reposted all of my treadmill articles to my blog here. However, between 2007 and 2014, some of my articles had turned up on other sites… without crediting me, “borrowed” by other personal trainers. But I’m the original author.


Is Holding onto Treadmill Okay if Posture Is Straight?

Are you figuring that as long as your posture is straight, 
that it doesn’t matter if you hold onto a treadmill while walking?

As a personal trainer, I still disapprove if my clients are holding onto a treadmill despite them making an effort to keep their posture perfect.

If your hands are on the side rails while you’re walking on a treadmill, no matter how straight or erect you maintain your spine, the holding on STILL changes things—in a negative way. Even if your shoulders are relaxed and you’re breathing deeply, the hands-on style alters natural gait and does not create a realistic walk.

Now, you’re probably thinking that walking on a treadmill, even without holding on, is not a realistic action, since it does not literally replicate walking around in day-to-day life or at the school track for fitness.

Though treadmill walking does not duplicate regular movement, there’s still a way to turn this into something fake, within its own parameters—and that’s by holding on.

In other words, there’s nothing unrealistic or artificial about moving your feet, legs, core, etc., to keep up with a tread that’s moving under your feet—as long as you’re not holding onto anything for support!

To understand this, think of log rolling competitions. This action does not in the least replicate regular walking, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a heck of a workout using a log in the water as a tread surface, powered by your feet, legs and core.

Keeping up with a motorized tread involves some degree of workload from your body; it’s not all coming from the motor. If you’re not holding on, you force your body to assume its natural gait and natural position to keep up with the tread.

If you hold on, even with perfect posture or a straight back, the rails then become part of the equation as far as generating work.

You can keep your spinal column as straight as a ruler while holding onto the rails, but you’re still holding on, reducing significant workload from your core, hips and legs.

Using a treadmill CAN carry over to the “real” thing. I speak from experience in that using an incline, with arms swinging, and employing high intensity interval training, has a significant transference to outdoor hill grades.

Walking inclines or level on a treadmill without holding on WILL have significant carryover to real-world movement. Don’t think for a second that you cancel out the negative effects of holding on just because you’re making a point of keeping your posture perfect. Negative effects include about 20 percent fewer calories burned, and a de-training of your body’s proprioception (awareness in space) and balance.