Video: How Aging Really Affects Your Sleep

With age comes wisdom. But it can also come with a change in your sleep patterns.

See four ways aging affects your sleep, and what you can do about it.

Watch video at You Tube (1:31 minutes) . . . . .

Belgian Doctors Said Parents Who Raise Children as Vegans Should be Prosecuted

James Crisp wrote . . . . . . . .

Doctors in Belgium have called for parents who raise their children as vegans to face prosecution after a number of deaths in schools, nurseries and hospitals.

It is estimated that 3 percent of Belgian children are forced to follow the strict diet, which rules out any animal products, including dairy and eggs.

The Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium published a legal opinion on Thursday, which could influence future court judgments and is the first time a health authority has taken a position on veganism in the country.

The opinion said it was unethical to subject children to the diet because it didn’t include animal proteins and vital amino acids which can help growth and prevent health problems.

The vegan diet could only be made safe for growing children if complemented with medical supervision, regular blood tests and vitamin supplements, which most parents were not qualified to provide.

“We must explain to the parents before compelling them,” said Professor Georges Casimir, who led the commission that wrote the report, “but we can no longer tolerate this endangerment.”

“This restrictive regime requires ongoing monitoring of children to avoid deficiencies and often irreversible growth delays,” the legal opinion said, “It is unsuitable for unborn children, children, teenagers and pregnant and lactating women.”

“It is not medically recommended and even forbidden to subject a child, especially during periods of rapid growth, to a potentially destabilising diet, requiring frequent supplementation and control,” it said.

“This concept of nutrition is similar to a form of treatment that it is not ethical to impose on children.”

The opinion was published after a request by Bernard Devos, a regional government official responsible for children’s rights and protection in Brussels and the French-speaking region of Wallonia.

Mr Devos asked for the opinion after children suffered health complications, including a number of deaths, in schools, nurseries and hospitals, Belgium’s Le Soir newspaper reported.

It would make it easier for him to enforce the separation of a child from parents who insisted the youngster followed the restrictive diet.

Professor Casimir warned that such a strict regime would now legally qualify as “non-assistance to a person in danger”, a crime which carries a sentence of up to two years and fines in Belgium.

A person cannot be convicted of the 1961 offence if he is unaware the person is in danger but the legal opinion now made it common knowledge that a vegan diet can kill, he told Le Soir.

The pediatrician said, “When we are children, the body manufactures brain cells. This implies higher requirements for protein and essential fatty acids. The body does not produce them, it must be brought in via animal proteins.

“We are talking here about stunted growth and psychomotor delays, undernutrition, significant anemia. Some developments must be done at a specific time in life and if they are not done, it is irreversible.”

Dawn Carr, of PETA, said, “What a load of ignorant codswallop! NHS nutritionists confirm that while a meat- and dairy-based diet is what strikes people down in adulthood – as it can lead to hardened arteries that cause stroke, brain aneurysms, and heart attacks – a well-planned vegan diet is perfect for babies and children.

“Kids, including my own, thrive on a balanced vegan diet, but as with any dietary regime, it’s the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child is getting all the necessary nutrients. And yes, that’s easier to achieve on a vibrant vegan diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and pulses.”

Heather Russell, dietitian at The Vegan Society, said: “Nutritional planning is important for everyone, not just vegans. It’s possible to provide all the nutrients needed for growth and development without animal products.”

“Both the British Dietetic Association and the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognise that well-planned vegan diets can support healthy living in people of all ages, including infants, children, teenagers and pregnant and breastfeeding women,” she added.

In 2017, in Beveren, Belgium a couple were sentenced to a suspended six month sentence after their seven-month-old baby died of malnutrition and dehydration.

The infant’s death was blamed by doctors on the parents’ choice to only feed it vegetable milk.

A survey published last year found that 44 percent of Belgians had cut their meat consumption, despite the country’s fondness for Flemish beef stew and frites cooked in beef, horse or goose fat. 16 percent of Belgians said they eat mostly vegetarian.

The trend mirrors that seen across Europe, as concerns over climate change and animal welfare grow.

Source: The Telegraph

Simple Test Can Tell If You’re Stressed Out

Stress is often called “the silent killer” because of its stealthy and mysterious effects on everything from heart disease to mental health.

Now researchers at the University of Cincinnati have developed a new test that can easily and simply measure common stress hormones using sweat, blood, urine or saliva. Eventually, they hope to turn their ideas into a simple device that patients can use at home to monitor their health.

The results were published this month in the journal American Chemical Society Sensors.

“I wanted something that’s simple and easy to interpret,” said Andrew Steckl, an Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor of electrical engineering in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“This may not give you all the information, but it tells you whether you need a professional who can take over,” Steckl said.

UC researchers developed a device that uses ultraviolet light to measure stress hormones in a drop of blood, sweat, urine or saliva. These stress biomarkers are found in all of these fluids, albeit in different quantities, Steckl said.

“It measures not just one biomarker but multiple biomarkers. And it can be applied to different bodily fluids. That’s what’s unique,” he said.

Steckl has been studying biosensors for years in his Nanoelectronics Laboratory. The latest journal article is part of a series of research papers his group has written on biosensors, including one that provides a review of methods for point-of-care diagnostics of stress biomarkers.

Personal experience helping his father with a health crisis informed his research and opinion that a home test for various health concerns would be incredibly helpful.

“I had to take him quite often to the lab or doctor to have tests done to adjust his medication. I thought it would be great if he could just do the tests himself to see if he was in trouble or just imagining things,” Steckl said. “This doesn’t replace laboratory tests, but it could tell patients more or less where they are.”

UC received grant funding for the project from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Air Force Research Lab. Steckl said the military studies acute stress in its pilots and others who are pushing the edges of human performance.

“Pilots are placed under enormous stress during missions. The ground controller would like to know when the pilot is reaching the end of his or her ability to control the mission properly and pull them out before a catastrophic ending,” Steckl said.

But the UC device has widespread applications, Steckl said. His lab is pursuing the commercial possibilities.

“You’re not going to replace a full-panel laboratory blood test. That’s not the intent,” Steckl said. “But if you’re able to do the test at home because you’re not feeling well and want to know where you stand, this will tell whether your condition has changed a little or a lot.”

UC graduate Prajokta Ray, the study’s first author, said she was excited to work on such a pressing problem for her Ph.D. studies.

“Stress harms us in so many ways. And it sneaks up on you. You don’t know how devastating a short or long duration of stress can be,” Ray said. “So many physical ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure and neurological or psychological disorders are attributed to stress the patient has gone through. That’s what interested me.”

Ray said taking exams always gave her stress. Understanding how stress affects you individually could be extremely valuable, she said.

“Stress has been a hot topic over the past couple years. Researchers have tried very hard to develop a test that is cheap and easy and effective and detect these hormones in low concentrations,” she said. “This test has the potential to make a strong commercial device. It would be great to see the research go in that direction.”

UC is at the forefront of biosensor technology. Its labs are examining continuous sweat testing and point-of-care diagnostics for everything from traumatic brain injury to lead poisoning.

Steckl, too, has been a preeminent innovator at UC. His papers have been cited more than 13,000 times, according to Google Scholar. In 2016, he used salmon sperm, a common byproduct of the fishing industry, to replace rare earth metals used in light-emitting diodes for a new kind of organic LED.

“We’re device engineers at heart,” Steckl said. “We don’t shy away from things we don’t know much about to begin with. We look for opportunities. That’s a hallmark of electrical engineers. We’re not smart enough not to go where we shouldn’t. Sometimes that pays off!”

Source: University of Cincinnati


Today’s Comic

Video: 6 Minute Standing Ab Workout

Don’t feel like like going to the floor to give your abs an awesome workout? No problem! This workout will have your core burning big time without ever going to the floor! Make this workout your go-to if you don’t have a comfortable surface to lay on, don’t want to get down on a floor that’s seen a lot of foot traffic, or just want to mix up your ab routine.

For this 6 minute workout, you will be doing 4 ab exercises for 45 seconds each, two times through.

The 4 ab exercises are:

1) Punches – Place your legs about shoulder width apart and twist your upper body, throwing a punch with your arm. Then twist the other direction and punch with your other arm. Your feet should stay mostly stationary, with just a little twist of the same foot of the arm that is punching to allow the body to twist.

2) Front Kicks – Keep one leg planted and kick out with the other leg, focusing on contracting your abs when you kick. Alternate legs after each kick. Be sure you have plenty of space to do this exercise and don’t kick anything or anyone!

3) Standing Marches – Start with both hands straight up in the air and bring one knee all the way up while bringing your arms down, keeping your hands above your elbows and near your body, so your elbows and knee line up, with your knee in between both arms. As you do this, squeeze your abs. Return to the starting position and do the same thing with your other knee, and continue to alternate knees.

4) Standing Cross Crunch:

Knee to Elbow Variant – Bring one arm up so your elbow is at chest height and your hand is above your elbow, and bring your opposite knee up while bringing that arm down so your elbow meets your knee (don’t hit them together hard). As you do this, squeeze your abs. Return them back to their starting point and do the same thing with your other knee and elbow, and continue to alternate.

Extended Leg Variant – Kick one of your legs straight out, keeping your leg as straight as possible, and reach out to touch the toes of that leg with your opposite hand. Alternate legs and arms throughout the workout.

Don’t worry if you can’t kick super high or touch your toes when you do this workout, just make sure you are doing the range of motion that you are able to do and engaging your abs with each move.

Watch video at You Tube (6:49 minutes) . . . . .

Hummus and Grilled Chicken

Ingredients

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
8 slices ciabatta-type bread
salad leaves, to garnish

Hummus

1 (15 oz) can chick-peas, drained
4 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Method

  1. Place chicken breasts in a shallow dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix together lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper and pour over chicken. Cover and leave in a cool place for 1 hour.
  3. To make the hummus, place chick-peas, tahini, yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and process to form a slightly grainy paste.
  4. Grill the chicken breasts under a preheated grill for 15 minutes, turning once, until cooked through. Cut into slices and keep warm.
  5. Mix together the sesame seeds, cumin, paprika and salt.
  6. Drizzle the bread on both sides with olive oil and toast under the grill.
  7. Spread some hummus on each piece of toast, top with chicken slices and sprinkle with sesame seed mixture.
  8. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and serve, garnished with salad leaves.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: North African Cooking