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Lifestyle diseases and nutritional supplements

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  • thiagarajan.arunachalam
    http://www.hindu.com/op/2009/05/31/stories/2009053150031400.htm Lifestyle diseases and nutritional supplements JACOB P. I. The lifestyle of people these days
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2009
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      http://www.hindu.com/op/2009/05/31/stories/2009053150031400.htm

      Lifestyle diseases and nutritional supplements

      JACOB P. I.

      The lifestyle of people these days is weird. In olden times, major illnesses were malaria, tuberculosis, whooping cough, diphtheria, small pox, plague, etc. The good doctors in our society had remedies for all these diseases. Vaccination still helps us fight microorganisms. Times have changed. Degenerative diseases or lifestyle diseases — heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, the Alzheimer's disease, stroke, asthma, obesity, arthritis, etc., are some e xamples.

      These diseases have no age barrier and doctors have nothing to offer as preventive medicines. Our lifestyle is to blame. We now grey at 25, have wrinkles at 30, menopause and hypertension at 35, heart attack at 40…

      Faulty food habits

      Our food habit is one reason for the malady. An adult needs 1gm/kg body weight/ day of protein; 250-700g of carbohydrates, 20-60g of fats, nearly a dozen of vitamins and minerals and 2-3 litres of clean drinking water. Lack of carbohydrates, fat and water are immediately felt as hunger, thirst and weariness.

      But deficiency of proteins, vitamins and minerals is never felt immediately and has a degenerative effect. Proteins are the building blocks of our body. Once in 720 days all the cells in our body die and are made anew. The cells in the brain have a life span of one and half days. So if your protein intake is insufficient, your dead brain cells may not get replaced. This slowly manifests as memory loss. Skin cells have a life of 28 days. If your intake of complete protein (protein with all nine amino acids are called complete proteins) is insufficient, you won't have that `zing-thing' in you and won't glow. In short, you will look older than you are.

      The mucous lining of our intestine has cells whose life span is only a few hours. Protein-deficient folks end up with colon cancer. Degeneration is occurring daily. Persons with a deficiency of glucosamine (the aminoacid that your cartilage is made of) have joint pains. It is known that after 40, our bodies don't produce glucosamine normally, hence the hip, knee and joint pain. Soy protein with its low fat and high protein is the answer for most nutritional deficiencies.

      The oxygen that we breathe has a darker side. The fresh air that we inhale reaches the airsacs (alveoli) of our lungs. From the alveoli, the haemoglobin of our blood carries it to various cells of our body. In a cell the mitochondria uses this oxygen to produce energy, water and free radicals. O-ions or free radicals are the major cause of damage to our cells, just as a cut apple gets oxidised and turns brown, or iron gets rusted and brass vessels get bad with verdigris.

      Awareness helps

      In all these cases, oxidation by free radical attack is happening. Internally, at various places in our body free radical attack is rampant. Research has shown that free radical attack causes most of the present-day ills of our society: cancer, macular degeneration of the eyes, rheumatoid and ortho arthritis, thickening of the arterial walls due to bad cholesterol, etc. It's about time all of us realised the dangers of our times and invest in our well-being.
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