Wonders of tea
Tea, the second most favorite beverage in the world after water, has always been considered a healthy drink. A recent worldwide symposium of leading scientists in the field of tea research on the benefits of tea suggests drinking tea may boost the immune system, cardiovascular health, and cognitive function, and reduce the risk of cancer.
Organized by the Tea Council of the USA, the symposium advocated adding 2-4 cups of unsweetened tea into the diet to get the beneficial flavonoids. The four main varieties are white, green, black, and Oolong tea (all derived from Camellia sinensis). Tea provides substances with biological activity like L-theanine, caffeine, and flavonoids (catechins), which are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. Each cup of tea has between 35-60 mg of caffeine, compared to 95 mg in a cup of regular coffee. Tea also reduces tension, anxiety, and stress. The flavonoids in tea exert a protective effect against age-related dementia and cognitive decline.
Unlike soft drinks, which are actually slow-acting poison to the body of children and adults, gradually causing metabolic syndrome in people over time, tea is a beverage of wonder for our health.
Diet and lifespan
Conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon sailed worldwide in search of the elusive fountain of youth in the 16th century, like those of Greek Historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC and Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC, were all doomed to fail. The reality is that the real fountain of youth is in our minds, our discipline, attitude, habits, behavior, and diet (this last one is within our easy reach by simply “sailing” to our nearest grocery stores and gym or spa) for healthy food items and exercise. Indeed, a healthy lifestyle is essential. Oro-dental health is also vital to brain, cardiovascular, and general health, which impacts longevity also.
A new review of nutrition revealed that it is possible to prolong youth by slowing down aging (effects) and maximizing longevity to the fullest our genes would allow, with the proper diet, considering both quality (kind of foods) and quantity (calories we eat). The findings showed the best diet for a longer life includes fish, a lot of plant-based foods, low sugar, low refined carbohydrates, low red meat (once a week) and no processed meats, and regular fasting every now and then. Of course, no smoking, and alcoholic drinks are limited to one or two a day, and no illicit drugs. The diet needs to change to a high protein diet after age 65, supplemented with multi-vitamin-mineral once daily.
Plant-based foods include fruits, legumes, grains, vegetables, and seeds (chia, sesame, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds). For those with arthritis, the recommendation is to avoid nightshades vegetables, like tomato, potato, pepper, paprika, and eggplant.
Vitamin D and cancer
A study found that Vitamin D deficiency is seen in nearly 67 percent of Black and 33 percent of Hispanic women living in the Northern hemisphere, making them 21 percent more likely to develop various illnesses, including breast cancer. These women are predisposed to vitamin D deficiency because their skin is darker, with higher melanin pigment, causing them to get less natural vitamin D from sunlight exposure. Vitamin D3 is the preferred supplement. It is healthy to get some sun exposure, especially in the morning. In general, about 40 percent of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. Other illnesses caused by vitamin D deficiency are osteoporosis, depression, muscle weakness, and, if severe, death.
A half-hour direct exposure to mid-day sun provides about 10,000 to 20,000 IU depending on the area and time of the day, and distance from the equator. Foods that contain this vitamin include salmon, canned tuna, egg yolk, cod liver oil, swordfish, mackerel, and sardines. One tablespoon (14 grams) of cod liver oil has more than 3 times the recommended dose of vitamin D, so one teaspoon covers it. A normal level of vitamin D, which is inexpensive and readily available without a prescription, is also good against COVID-19.
Test for Alzheimer’s
There are an estimated 6 million Americans, 850,000 in the UK, and around 245,000 in The Philippines with Alzheimer’s dementia. The disease is named after neuropathologist, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who, in 1906, discovered amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in a woman’s brain, which are the hallmarks of the disease.
Brain imaging and spinal tap fluids are the two most common procedures to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s, but as of May 4, 2022, a new diagnostic blood test to detect Alzheimer’s at a high accuracy rate (16 years before the symptoms develop) has been approved. It was developed at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo.
To know well in advance when such a devastating illness will deprive a person of memory and transform the patient into a helpless baby-like state is certainly most welcome. The one involved could plan with the family ahead of time. There are Alzheimer’s cases where the patient instantly loses total memory, like flipping a light switch followed by total darkness in a split second.
On Sunday, May 8th, The Philippines had 152 new COVID-19 cases, 45 of them in Manila. There were 1,399 new cases from April 25th to May 1st, an average of 200 cases daily, 5 percent lower than the previous week. The national total is 3,687,018, with a death toll of 60,439. Almost 68 million (about 75 percent) have been fully vaccinated and 13.2 million also had their booster shot. The very first case was on January 30, 2020, on a woman who arrived in Manila from Wuhan City, the first case outside of China.
As of Tuesday, May 10th, 11:48 AM (EST), the total global COVID-19 cases: 518,023,291, deaths – 6,278,760, new cases – 362,765; USA: 83,688,188, deaths – 1,024,752, new cases – 73,056; The Philippines: 3,687,320, deaths – 60,439, new cases – 127.
There is a potential severe wave of COVID-19 in the coming Fall and Winter in the USA which could infect as many as 100 million, almost a third of the population. Vaccines save lives. More than 11.7 billion shots worldwide (579 million in the USA alone) have proved how safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are.
With those statistics, it is prudent at this juncture for everyone, especially seniors and those immunocompromised, to get vaccinated, to continue masking properly and social distancing, even if fully vaccinated, because of the potential new undetected strains and the waning protection from the vaccines. Death following reinfection happens in 1.8 percent of cases. Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX was infected twice.
Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, Health Advocate, newspaper columnist, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian foundation in the United States. Websites: FUN8888.com, Today.SPSAtoday.com, and philipSchua.com Email: email@example.com