Oct 26, 2009


Hi Everyone and especially those of you who have told me that you enjoy this effort.  It makes more sense (and saves time) for me to stay with one blog site and use labels to keep the baby boomers informed about any new findings. As a result, please go to my other blog here and keep an eye out for new posts that are labelled Baby Boomers. You can have my blog posts sent directly to your inbox when they are posted and also email them to a friend. I would appreciate your doing so.
 Cheers and see you at Mind Gas

Oct 17, 2009


Nutrition Quiz

The Sacramento Bee, Calif.


Broccoli gets a bad rap. If it's not then-President George H.W. Bush disparaging the veggie, it's Homer Simpson getting killed by eating a sprout on "The Simpsons." Clearly, broccoli needs a better agent. Take our quiz about the positives of this member of the cabbage family.

1. A recent study by London researchers found that the compound sulforaphane found in broccoli activates a protein that reduces inflammation ... where?

a) Liver

b) Arteries

c) Large muscle groups

2. University of Illinois researchers found that broccoli with enhanced bioactive contents helps detoxify enzymes and might result in what breakthrough?

a) Preventing cancer

b) Preventing heart disease

c) Preventing kidney failure

3. Broccoli sprouts, according to UCLA researchers, can reduce the incidence of which condition?

a) Kidney stones

b) Asthma

c) Gout

4. In addition to helping reverse heart damage in diabetics, according to researchers in Britain, broccoli consumption helps people suffering from what?

a) Liver disease

b) Crohn's disease

c) Kidney disease

5. According to the Web site www.groovyvegetarian.com, Tom "Broccoli" Landers holds the world record for eating a pound of broccoli in how many seconds?

a) 14

b) 67

c) 92

ANSWERS: 1: b; 2: a; 3: b; 4: c; 5: c

Sources: The journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the journal Clinical Immunology, the journal Diabetes

Sep 16, 2009

retirement rocks!

retirement rocks!



Heather Compton &

Dennis Blas

ISBN 978-0-9812573-0-3

Available at www.retirementrocks.ca $24.95

I’ve been looking forward to this book for several months and the wait was worth it. First of all, yes the book deals with the financial aspects of how much is enough, designing a lifestyle to suit your financial abilities, taking care of the legalities, tax savings, investments, expenses, planning, pensions and money management issues. And yes, this is done in a way that is professional, understandable, engaging and sensitive. If I stopped at that point, I would say the authors gave great value for the investment of $24.95 and that I would have felt much more knowledgeable and prepared to look at my financial future.

What pleased me most about this book is that the writers decided to offer so much more than financial advice and looked at some of the most important issues about retirement and the most challenging for many. We have all laughed at the story of the stay-at-home wife who lives in fear as the clock strikes down to retirement and HE is going to be around the house all day. We have also seen people who retired to a recliner and reruns of I Love Lucy and died 2 years later from boredom. More and more, we are hearing from relationship professionals about late life marriage breakdowns. Rarely would a top flight retirement planning book take on these issues as part of the process of a successful last phase of our lives, and it is high time that someone did. Thankfully, retirement rocks! has done just exactly that.

The authors place primary importance on our lifestyle and relationships by placing these sections first in their book and it makes such good sense. It is easy to see that Heather and Dennis have worked hard and successfully at their own relationship and we are the better for it. They share their personal experience and have called upon many other examples to provide us with a full range of thought provoking and soul searching methods to make sure we have the most important parts of our lives in place before the frying pan of retirement hits us on the head. The two sections on Lifestyle and Relationships make this a book that is valuable and useful to people everywhere and not just in Canada where the financial advice applies most specifically. Some equally smart American accountant/advisor could easily lift the first two parts and add U.S. focussed financial material and turn this into an international best seller – yes, it’s that good. This book is full of sensible, practical advice for being proactive about creating a retirement that rocks for you and me.

Buy this book for the financial planning but

read it for the glimpse at a life worth living.


Robert J. Bannon

Book reviewer

Sep 10, 2009


Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:06 AM
Subject: News Release from Dietitians of Canada

For immediate release
September 9, 2009

Does extra weight add extra years to your life?

Toronto, ON - Recently, some researchers have suggested that individuals that are overweight live longer. But what is the real key to longevity? Dietitians of Canada (DC) has looked at the evidence and concludes that all individuals, regardless of their weight, can benefit from healthy eating and regular physical activity. Moreover, excess weight is clearly linked to serious health consequences. Prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity remains a priority.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the method of classification recommended for use by Health Canada. It is a standardized index of weight-for-height describing health risks. Evidence suggests individuals classified as underweight (BMI lower than 18.5), overweight (BMI between 25 and 29.9) and obese (BMI 30 and over) are at increased risk of morbidity (illness) and mortality (death). However, some studies have shown that overweight individuals had a significantly decreased risk of mortality compared to normal-weight individuals.

"The association between BMI and mortality is complex," says Kate Storey, registered dietitian and author of the review document Weighing the issue: What is the real key to longevity? "Other measures such as body composition and waist circumference, in combination with BMI, may better predict and reflect the complex relationship between overweight/obesity and mortality."

"One must keep longevity within the context of health, added Storey. A healthy weight does not guarantee a longer life, nor does longevity guarantee health. While longevity is a multifaceted issue, lifestyle behaviours, such as eating well and regular physical activity, are definite steps in the right direction to a long and healthy life."

Dietitians of Canada represents almost 6,000 dietitians across Canada and is committed to promoting the health and well-being of consumers through food and nutrition. For trusted information on nutrition and healthy eating and to register to receive DC's regular nutrition updates, visit Dietitians of Canada's award-winning website at www.dietitians.ca.

Sep 9, 2009


More obesity blues



Obesity is on a rampage, with the World Health Organization pegging the numbers at more than 300 million worldwide, with a billion more overweight. With obesity comes the increased risk for cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, and hypertension (see also University of California - Los Angeles).

Now comes more discouraging news. In the current online edition of the journal Human Brain Mapping, Paul Thompson, senior author and a UCLA professor of neurology, and lead author Cyrus A. Raji, a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues compared the brains of people who were obese, overweight, and of normal weight, to see if they had differences in brain structure; that is, did their brains look equally healthy.

They found that obese people had 8 percent less brain tissue than people with normal weight, while overweight people had 4 percent less tissue. According to Thompson, who is also a member of UCLA's Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, this is the first time anyone has established a link between being overweight and having what he describes as "severe brain degeneration."

"That's a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain," said Thompson. "But you can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer's, if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control."

The researchers used brain images from an earlier study called the Cardiovascular Health Study Cognition Study. Scans were selected of 94 elderly people in their 70s who were healthy not cognitively impaired-five years after the scan was taken. To define the weight categories, they used the Body Mass Index (BMI), the most widely used measurement for obesity. Normal weight people were defined as having a BMI between 18.5-25; overweight people between 25-30, and obese people greater than 30. The researchers then converted the scans into detailed three-dimensional images using tensor-based morphometry, a neuroimaging method that offers high resolution mapping of anatomical differences in the brain.

In looking at both grey matter and white matter of the brain, they found that the people defined as obese had lost brain tissue in the frontal and temporal lobes, areas of the brain critical for planning and memory, and in the anterior cingulate gyrus (attention and executive functions), hippocampus (long term memory) and basal ganglia (movement). Overweight people showed brain loss in the basal ganglia, the corona radiata, white matter comprised of axons, and the parietal lobe (sensory lobe).

"The brains of obese people looked 16 years older than the brains of those who were lean, and in overweight people looked eight years older," says Thompson.

"It seems that along with increased risk for health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, obesity is bad for your brain: we have linked it to shrinkage of brain areas that are also targeted by Alzheimer's," said Pittsburgh's Raji. "But that could mean exercising, eating right and keeping weight under control can maintain brain health with aging and potentially lower the risk for Alzheimer's and other dementias."

Keywords: Alzheimer Disease, Bariatrics, Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Hypertension, Neurology, Non-insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity, Obesity and Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Urology, University of California - Los Angeles.

This article was prepared by Cardiovascular Device Liability Week editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2009, Cardiovascular Device Liability Week via NewsRx.com.

To see more of the NewsRx.com, or to subscribe, go to http://www.newsrx.com .

Sep 7, 2009


Al Sears, MD
11903 Southern Blvd., Ste. 208
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411

September 07, 2009

Dear Robert,

Talk about putting the fox in charge of the hen house…

President Obama recently selected Michael Taylor, former chief lobbyist for Monsanto, as the new “food safety czar” at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Think about that: The former lawyer and lobbyist for the company that manufactured Agent Orange will now make decisions about our nation’s food supply.

Taylor is the man most responsible for getting recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH) approved for use in dairy cows. That’s the stuff that fattens the cows to dangerously obese sizes, getting them ready for slaughter faster (By the way – Monsanto produces the growth hormone).

And the food safety concerns don’t stop there. The push for producing food faster extends to the produce you eat, too.

Genetically-modified seeds and hormones are now staples in the food you eat. You drink it in your milk, eat it in your cheese and yogurt, and ingest it each time you eat commercially-raised, grain-fed beef.

Since these seeds hit the market in 1996, we’ve seen:

  • Children reach puberty at earlier ages

  • A dramatic rise in asthma, autism, obesity and diabetes

  • A jump in food allergies, especially among children

  • Allergy-related emergency room visits double from 1997-2002

Your health is too vital to leave it in the hands of corporate lobbyists and their political cronies. It doesn’t have to be this way. Take charge of your own food choices.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Don't be fooled by beef labeled “organic”. The organic label only means that the cattle do not have obvious levels of antibiotics or hormones in their body at the time of slaughter. It does not mean that ranchers have never given cattle these treatments.

  • Get serious about eating grass-fed beef. There are many farmers who have pledged to raise their cows purely on the natural foods they are supposed to eat – grass, not grains. Visit www.grasslandbeef.com and www.eatwild.com for a list of grass-fed farms in the U.S. and Canada.

  • Become a locovore. There is a movement in place to eat and buy locally from farmer’s co-ops within a 100-mile radius of where you live. Visit your local farmer’s market and ask questions about how they grow their crops. Threats to small family farmers and co-ops may come from heavy-handed regulations by the food safety czar, so get the good stuff while it lasts.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Sep 4, 2009


Prostate Cancer Risks: Age, Race, Family, And Now Weight Gain

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services -- Unrestricted


Patrick Walsh, M.D., author of Guide To Surviving Prostate Cancer and Distinguished Service Professor of Urology--The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, is the world's foremost authority on prostate cancer. His book provides some striking news for men:

--More than 200,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.

--27,000 will die in the U.S. from it this year.

--Prostate cancer is the most common major cancer in men.

--Because prostate cancer is silent, generally without symptoms, early detection is the key.

--Men should begin being screened for prostate cancer at age 40.

--When prostate cancer is small, it is curable.

--More than 95% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are alive ten years later.

Dr. Walsh evaluates the three major risk factors--age, race, and family history. Prostate cancer is the scourge of older men (age 60-79) with a risk rate of 1 in 7 developing the cancer. The cancer frequently takes time to grow, over the course of decades.

The highest risk of prostate cancer hits African American men. Why this is, is not completely understood, but may involve genetic susceptibility, diet, and lack of vitamin D. Their cancers are also more likely to be severe types and recur.

Risk of prostate cancer grows higher with familial links. In fact, the risk is 2.5 times higher if your father or brother had prostate cancer. Hereditary prostate cancer, (possible risk of 50%) is believed to occur when three first degree family members had it, the disease shows itself in three generations, or if two relatives developed the disease earlier (less than age 55).

The most important action to take is to get screened, beginning at age 40. The PSA test can provide a baseline for later years. Dr. Walsh adds that those between the ages of 50 and 64 who die of prostate cancer, could very well have been saved if the disease had been caught while in their forties.

A recently released study from the online journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention (Sep 2009) has found that weight gain plays a major role in the development of prostate cancer.

Dr. Walsh includes a prevention chapter in his new second edition. He recommends men eat a minimum of five fruits and vegetables a day, especially focusing in on the cruciferous vegetables as cited from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli are examples of the type of vegetables which contain sulforaphane--an important anticancer ingredient which helps to increase potent enzymes in the body. In turn, the body is assisted in creating its own antioxidants to help ward off cancer.

Why Healthy Men Are Having Sex To see more of Basil and Spice, go to http://www.basilandspice.com/ Copyright (c) 2009, Basil and Spice Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.