Once again, fellow travelers it is time to reach out to the poor benighted Booboisie novitiates that remain
ignorant of healthful living. In the spirit of bonhomie, we present in this issue’s first article a very simple, straightforward five-point question and answer guide to better health. A fifth grade student could understand the import of this simple guide. Enough said!
The next disparate article presents somewhat of a conundrum in reference to statins. Does one take statins and risk all manner of untoward effects of the drug or risk atherosclerosis and ischemic stroke. The Captain once again opts for the use of statins, to use a couple of lines from “The Shining,” Lloyd: What will you be drinking, sir? Jack Torrance: Hair of the dog that bit me, Lloyd. Parkinsons Disease affects only 1 to 2% of the population and of that population; many live in rural areas, drink well water, and are exposed over a period to herbicides.
Lastly, read a brief but informative article on the role cholesterol plays in nerve and brain function. We included this article to dispel confusion as to the importance of having a certain amount of cholesterol for daily cellular function, without it our nervous system would short circuit.
Five Heart Healthy Questions To Ask Yourself
February 22, 2015
Question number one: Do I Eat Healthy? Many people claim to eat healthy but either do not or simply do not know what it means. The American Heart Association describes a healthy diet as one which includes 4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, with a 1,500 mg limit on sodium.
Question number two: Am I At A Healthy Weight? This is important because even heavier people can still be at a healthy weight. It really depends, actually on your diet as well as your fitness level.
Which leads us to…
Question number three: How much Do I Exercise? Answering this question can be somewhat complicated because recent studies have just shown that even mild exercise can provide great benefit for many people. However, if you are at an unhealthy weight or have particular health conditions which would benefit from a more regimented exercise schedule, it may be wise to consider it.
Question number four: How is My blood Pressure? High blood pressure is, of course, very bad for your heart. Diet can help, but so can the reduction of stress in your life, so be sure to weigh several factors.
Question number five: How is My Cholesterol? While a recent study has indicated that cholesterol regulations of the past no longer apply, those who wish to keep their heart in top shape might benefit from, at least, minimally restricting cholesterol.
Should Statins Remain A Parkinsons Treatment
February 23, 2015
Statins have lately been the go to drug for many conditions, but a new study has investigated them more deeply to weigh the benefits and side effects.
And this investigation has realized a somewhat surprising result.
“The adverse effects suffered by people taking statins are more common than reported in the media and at medical conferences,” explains Diamond and Ravnskov.
The study go on to say, “Increased rates of cancer, cataracts, diabetes, cognitive impairments, and musculoskeletal disorders more than offset the modest cardiovascular benefits of statin treatment.”
Study author Xuemi Huang, comments, “We confirmed our previous finding that high total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were associated with a lower risk of PD (Parkinson’s disease).” The Penn State College of Medicine professor of neurology at Penn State College of Medicine continues, “Moreover, statin use over the course of the study did not protect against PD, and in fact appeared to increase PD risk in the long term.”
Huang goes on to say, “Statins have been proven to be effective in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events and stroke. Although some have proposed that statins might be a ‘cure-all’ drug, this might be a case where what’s good for the heart isn’t good for the brain.”
He also tries to explain the results of the study in regards to Parkinson’s Disease: “One possibility is that statin use can be a marker of people who have high cholesterol, which itself may be associated with lower PD risk. This could explain why some studies have found an association between use of these medications and low incidence of PD. Most importantly, this purported benefit may not be seen over time.”
Of course this just warrants more research; and Huang cautions physicians to learn more about statins. “This is evidence that personalized medicine is better than a one-size-fits-all approach,” he says.
A typical nerve cell is composed of a cell body, a narrow tubular portion called an axon that conducts an electrical signal away from the cell body and a branching axon terminal that links to receiving nerve cell bodies. Some nerve cell axons, such as those running from your spinal cord to your extremities, may be a meter or more in length. Electrical impulses through these long nerve fibers, as well as through the white matter in your brain, must be insulated. Myelin is a layered material composed of phospholipid, cholesterol and protein that winds around nerve cell axons. Myelin insulates nerve impulses from neighboring nerve fibers, and it increases the speed of impulses through nerve axons.
Myelin is produced in your nerve tissues by helper cells called glial cells, which are located adjacent to the nerve cells. Glial cells secrete myelin as an extension of their own cell membranes, and the secreted myelin spirals around your nerve cell axons to form segments of the myelin sheath. Many glial cells lined up along an axon are required to fully myelinate and insulate a long nerve cell. The composition of myelin is approximately 30 percent protein, 27 percent cholesterol and 43 percent phospholipid. Myelin production is absolutely dependent on cholesterol synthesis in the glial cells.
The weight of your brain is only a few percent of your body weight, but it contains about 25 percent of all of the cholesterol in your body. The majority of the cholesterol in your brain is present in myelin sheaths. Cholesterol circulating in your blood with lipoproteins cannot get past the blood-brain barrier, which prevents large molecules from entering your brain. Therefore, all of the cholesterol present in nerve tissue must be produced locally in nerve tissue. Your brain produces more cholesterol than it needs, and extra cholesterol is transported out of nerve tissue after conversion to a compound called 24-hydroxycholesterol. Many degenerative diseases in the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease, are linked with imbalances of brain cholesterol.
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