Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy Healthy New Year

As we roll into 2007, I am re-posting an article I wrote about health.

Healthy living for the 21st Century

When we were young we heard what are called "old wives tales" about health and food...We rolled our eyes and looked at our mothers as if they were aliens...Now we are learning that our mothers were correct.

Maybe they knew what Hippocrates said:

"Leave your drugs in the chemist's pot if you can heal the patient with food."
"Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food."

Or maybe they read Maimonides:
"Let nothing which can be treated by diet be treated by other means."

Or maybe they knew this Chinese proverb:
“He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skill of the physician.”

Whatever knowledge they had - those old wives - our parents and grandparents - they seemed to know a lot about nutrition.

My mother was adverse to seeing a physician unless absolutely necessary - something I took note of as she lived to 95. She believed in eating well and letting one's body take care of itself. She fed us well and grew most of the vegetables we ate. But - and it's a big BUT.... the soil was in better shape when I was a kid.... and that was in New York City!

Today we have depleted the soil and no matter how organic our food - it is missing what it used to have way back when - and what is missing are many essential nutrients. The environment is more toxic than it was, food is more processed, and it is usually picked before it is ripe and very often cooked to death.

If the soil and environment have worsened, is there anything we can do to grow older better? Yes - we can supplement our diets with glyconutritional products.

“Glyconutritional products will play a leading role in the 21st century's emerging wellness industry. The driving determinant will be the growing realization that optimal cell-to-cell communication is one of the most critical functions of the life process and is fundamental to immune system health."

And if our cells do a better job of talking to one another, who knows what they can start talking about! So listen to your body now - it talks to you and tells you what it needs - and it can do a lot more communicating if given the appropriate equipment.

Newer equipment

I'm a skier so let me use a ski analogy. Skiing can be tiring and it's even more so with older bodies and older equipment. When I first skied we had leather boots with laces and very heavy long skis with heavy bindings. But I was a lot younger then - in my 20's and I hardly noticed how tiring it was - it was too much fun. As I aged - into my 50's - I began to think there had to be a solution to all the work the skiing knees do and I fell in love with what were called shaped skis or parabolic skis. I was the first I knew to buy a pair and it made all the difference for my body. The skis do the work! I'm into a newer shorter pair these days and will continue to monitor newer models of skis as it makes more sense to let the equipment do the bulk of the hard work.

At the same time I learned of the new ski equipment, I also came across new inner body equipment - glyconutrients. For sports fans, think of glyconutrients as the nutritional version of shaped skis, lightweight bikes or titanium softball bats. It's all about that new equipment helping us do what we do better and to doing it as we age.

The ingredients in glyconutrients are not "new" - they have been around probably forever and used to be found in our daily food - but no more. The ingredients have been re-discovered and combined into products; products that protect and nourish our cells and regulate our organs and organ systems.

Way back when we were in school the up-to-date science of the time was adequate for then but it was missing a lot of information we now know about. I know from my own field of Developmental Psychology that advances in technology lead to advances in developmental knowledge. The same is true of all sciences, including glycobiology. In this new field, over 20,000 articles have been written in a few short years. Why so many and why so fast? "This breakthrough discovery exposed the missing link that has the scientific community, health researchers, and pharmaceutical companies scrambling to get up to speed on this incredible science. "

Science and medicine have long tried to break the code by which the cells of the body communicate with one another in order for its complex functions to occur. Just as biochemistry is the chemistry of life, this mysterious code is the language of life. For years, scientists focused on proteins as the primary communication molecules. Early in this century however, a theoretical mathematician at the Weisman Institute calculated the number of molecular configurations possible with protein molecules and the number of known chemical command signals needed to run the body. She concluded that there were not enough protein configurations possible to supply all the messages. Another code was required - a sugar code.

Of the 200 monosaccharides [sugars] that occur naturally in plants, eight are known to be components used in cell-to-cell communication. These eight sugars are glucose, fucose, mannose, galactose, xylose, N-acetylglucosamine, N- acetylgalactosamine and N-acetylneuraminic acid. Only two of these, glucose and galactose, are commonly found in the foods we eat. The others need to be put into our bodies in the form of nutritional supplements.

Glyconutritional products will play a leading role in the 21st century's wellness industry. The driving determinant will be the growing realization that optimal cell-to-cell communication is an important function for the life process and is fundamental to immune system health. And - it is what will allow us to be healthier as we age.

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