Is the Hard-Line ‘Zero Infection’ Approach the Best Method?

Shanghai, China has locked down again due to the pandemic virus.

“Pay me now or pay me later, but pay me you will” was a famous 1970 Fram oil filter slogan. I believe that the same applies to our pandemic. But, unfortunately, hiding from the virus now and the virus will find you later is what we see in many places.

Vaccine Protection Declining

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2117128#:~:text=For%20the%20Ad26.-,COV2.,to%2061.5)%20at%205%20months. It has been known for many months that the effectiveness of the pandemic vaccines declines over time. Six months after the second shot, the vaccine’s effectiveness is close to 50% of its original protection.

Many people believed the vaccines would work. When breakthrough cases, hospitalizations, and deaths increased, boosters were made available. Yet, many chose not to get boosted. https://www.vox.com/coronavirus-covid19/2022/2/24/22947388/covid-19-vaccine-booster-shots-hesitancy. Why?

When polled, the two primary reasons were convenience and belief it would work. If the vaccines do not work, why bother with the booster shot.

Omicron Variants

https://www.who.int/news/item/22-02-2022-statement-on-omicron-sublineage-ba.2. The current plaque of new cases worldwide appears to be one of the two primary Omicron variants – the BA 2. The World Health Organization stated that the BA 2 variant is slightly different in genetic sequence but not enough to classify it as a new variant.

Transmissibility of the Omicron BA 2 is slightly less than the BA 1. Yet, countries that survived the earlier variants by extremely rigid restrictions are seeing astronomically high case rates. On the other hand, death rates are meager.

Locking Down (Again)

https://www.newsmax.com/world/globaltalk/virus-outbreak-china/2022/04/03/id/1064060/. Shanghai, the largest city in China with over twenty-six million, is locked down again. Yesterday, health officials reported nearly 440 new cases. In twenty-four hours, testing revealed over 7,500 asymptomatic cases of the BA 2 variant.

Shanghai began another lockdown last week – a two-stage process that returned to the early pandemic regulations. The city endured over two months of a rigidly enforced complete shutdown early in the pandemic. As a result, the citizens are not as compliant as a year ago.

Other Countries and BA 2

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. The country reporting the highest new case rate is South Korea, with over 250,000 per day. Even at that level, just over 300 per day are dying from the virus. France, Germany, Italy, Vietnam, Australia, and Japan are seeing high new case rates – in some cases, the highest since the pandemic started.

Deaths from the pandemic virus are highest in Russia, South Korea, Germany, the United States, Italy, and Brazil. The death rates are extremely low for the percent of new infections. Most countries have a 99% or higher survival rate from COVID-19.

Zero-COVID Strategy Failing?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-COVID#:~:text=A%20zero%2DCOVID%20strategy%20consists,contain%20new%20outbreaks%20before%20they. According to Wikipedia, Zero-COVID Strategy (also known as COVID Zero) is a public health policy to finding, testing, tracing, isolating, and supporting to maximize suppression of the virus.

Several countries in the western Pacific adopted this policy and kept coronavirus from spreading. New cases and deaths were rarely above the low double digits. Some countries were able to record zero (or very low single digits) new cases for an extended period, such as New Zealand.

For over a year, New Zealand was a shining example of how to shut down the spread of the pandemic virus. In less than a month, new cases shot up to over 20,000/day (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/new-zealand/). The death rate in New Zealand, which had been almost zero, has climbed to the low double digits.

Infections & Restrictions

https://www.bbc.com/news/59882774. Shutting businesses down, restricting travel into and out of the country, quarantines, and other measures are not working, especially with the latest variant of Omicron. Let one person into the country with the virus, and new caseloads explode.

It is hard to put the genie back in the bottle once it has escaped. Public support for such restrictive measures is also waning. Mass testing is ongoing along with make-shift hospitals and quarantine centers. China claims that it controlled the initial pandemic, and for almost two years, that have been near zero new cases until recently.

China’s travel restrictions are strictly controlled and monitored. Screening is done immediately, and mandatory two-week quarantines are required for new visitors. In addition, regular testing is done by neighborhoods, and those testing positive are evicted, quarantined, and possibly new lockdowns instituted in those areas.

All non-essential businesses have been shut down. Public transportation is suspended, along with most vehicular traffic is banned. Schools have been closed. Self-test kits are available across the country. Those testing positive with the self-test kits must have a PCR test for confirmation.

Conclusion

Were the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants easier to contain? Probably not. However, when you can control who goes where and when the spread of disease is limited. Widespread testing also facilitates knowing that the control measures are working. Quarantines were established initially to take the load off healthcare facilities.

With a 99% survival rate, healthcare treatment is a numbers game. If one thousand people become infected today, less than one hundred will need hospital care, and ten may die from the virus. When the daily numbers approach 250,000/day, healthcare facilities may not be able to care for those in need.

The data I researched surprised me the most was the ratio of asymptomatic new cases to those with symptoms. A ratio of nearly 18:1 is being recorded in Shanghai for the BA 2 variant. Eighteen people are infected with no symptoms for one who has the virus with symptoms. That is a staggering number. No wonder so many people are getting infected and infecting others.

Couple a very high transmission rate for COVID-19 (the Omicron variant) with populations that have been held in check (even with vaccinations), the wildfire of new cases is bound to erupt as the restrictions fail to protect against infection.

Pay me now or pay me later, but pay me you will apply to our pandemic. Protect people with the harshest restrictions, and the bug will bite you in the end when you are not prepared for it. Are we scared of a 99% survivability rate for this virus? Or are we unwilling to protect those genuinely vulnerable and allow the rest of the citizens to take that 99:1 risk?

The risk is much lower for those under 50 years of age. Seasonal influenza kills tens of thousands of people in a bad flu season and is currently the number nine cause of death in the United States. Would the numbers be similar for the pandemic virus if the most vulnerable were well protected?

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

Can Infrared Light Therapy Improve Memory Performance in Those With and Without Dementia?

Light therapy to improve brain function may also help those with dementia.

Last summer, I wrote about a light and sound therapy to help those with Alzheimer’s disease. Here is an excerpt from that article. https://wp.me/p4ztmz-1q2

Modulated Light & Sound

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/alzheimers-light-therapy-sound-therapy/2021/07/27/id/1030117/. Alzheimer’s patients were exposed to a rhythmic brain pattern focused on gamma rays, the fast brain activity. It is where we learn, process, and remember.

Scientists found reductions in amyloid plaque by using visible light flashes at 40 Hz manipulated gamma brain waves. The testing was successful on laboratory animals, and human testing began using synchronized audio with the flashing light. In addition, a placebo white noise and random light flashes were used as a placebo.

Results

https://www.fiercebiotech.com/medtech/cognito-s-light-and-sound-therapy-slows-alzheimer-s-declines-clinical-study. After three months of human studies using light and sound, the brains of AD patients showed improvement – brain degeneration slowed. No side effects were noted. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/can-flickering-light-and-sound-treat-alzheimers

A second study was done for six months with about five times the number of AD patients. A similar placebo treatment was incorporated into the test. The placebo group in both studies showed no improvement in the progression of AD. This second study noted a 65% improvement in disease progression.

Another leap forward in the battle against dementia has been achieved using infrared light. Late last year, a Durham University study showed that motor function and processing skills improved with light therapy. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/infrared-light-therapy-treatment-dementia-b1941220.html?fbclid=IwAR3vi1eAjdeIj_ppBiqwLzHPzqBahH7M38BqbC6icrclT3aiI661fKPcS1Y

Transcranial PBM-T (Photobiomodulation therapy) uses an infrared wavelength at 2068 nanometers twice daily for six minutes each time. The pilot study was very promising, and it is believed that the memory performance achieved could be beneficial to both those with and without dementia. The study was published in the Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery Journal

A control group and a placebo group were tested for one month. Significant improvement was noted in the control group. Motor function, memory, and brain processing speed improved. A helmet delivered infrared light directly into the cranium. It is believed that dying brain cells are regenerated into fully functional cells.

Conclusion

I have written over 40 articles on Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. In the past month, new studies have revealed potential new ways to diagnose or treat dementia. This study looks promising, and I hope that the follow-on clinical studies prove successful in treating Alzheimer’s and other related diseases.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

Five Natural Options to Reduce Cholesterol in Fifty Days

A cheeseburger and French fries are not recommended when you have high cholesterol.

Cholesterol is an exciting topic. Our bodies make it. Nearly every cell in our bodies needs it. Statin drugs to treat cholesterol shuts down the body’s production of it.

Personal Story

For most of my life, my total cholesterol ran in the range of 104-114 mg/dl. I was eating double cheeseburgers (triples at one point in my early life), sausage and cheese omelets, and other foods that typically cause cholesterol levels to increase. Why did my total cholesterol remain so low?

I asked many flight surgeons and an occasional family doctor, and no one could tell me at what point low total cholesterol could become a problem. Unfortunately, there is little definitive information on how low is too low regarding total cholesterol with internet searches today. Regardless, near the end of my sixteen years of flying, I found a flight surgeon who told me he would worry if any of his patient’s total cholesterol dropped below 90 mg/dl.

Cholesterol

Our bodies make cholesterol, and the foods we eat add cholesterol. There is a balance between the body’s production and food-supplied cholesterol. When you are no longer eating high cholesterol-producing foods, your body makes more. Conversely, when you eat more foods that increase cholesterol, your body produces less. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dietary-cholesterol-does-not-matter#effects

For most of us, cholesterol production and dietary cholesterol intake are not a problem. Yet, many doctors fear that when total cholesterol goes over 200 mg/dl, they must take action to reduce it. Yes, the evidence points to increased risk of more plaque in the heart valves and arteries, increased risk of high blood pressure, and an increased risk of other cardiovascular diseases.

Plaque

Plaque builds up in the heart valves and arteries over time. It is made up primarily of oxidized fat (cholesterol) and calcium. https://www.secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/info-detail-2/what-is-arterial-plaque#.Yj81dnrMKUk. Calcium forms plaque when the body does not have enough vitamin K2 to cause calcium to go into the bones. Oxidized cholesterol is formed by eating commercially fried foods, excess polyunsaturated fatty acids, and smoking.

Cholesterol Reduction

https://www.pritikin.com/your-health/health-benefits/lower-cholesterol/1759-5-tactics-to-reduce-cholesterol-quickly.html. Five lifestyle changes have been shown to reduce cholesterol. Eat more foods high in fiber -fruits and vegetables. Minimize unhealthy fats in your food selections. Eat fewer refined grains (white flour), stop smoking, and exercise more.

Other things to consider? Increase omega-3 fatty acids and reduce omega-6 fatty acids. Avoid trans-fat. Supplement with more soluble fiber. Maintain a healthy weight. And drink alcohol in moderation. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lower-cholesterol#eat-soluble-fiber

Conclusion

Researchers tell us that for every ten percent drop in your cholesterol level, your heart attack risk drops by around 25%. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/615295.

The medical profession concentrates on cholesterol numbers rather than ratios. Doctors usually give their patients the total cholesterol number. You need to know all the cholesterol numbers, not just the total.

The HDL cholesterol ratio and total cholesterol are more critical than the total cholesterol by itself. The ratio of total cholesterol divided by HDL cholesterol should be less than 5.0, with an ideal ratio of around 3.5.

When your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dl and your HDL is 35 mg/dl, your ratio is 5.7 – something to be concerned about. When your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dl, and your HDL is 60 mg/dl your ratio is 3.3 mg/dl – almost ideal. The same total cholesterol number can mean two different things based on the HDL levels.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

Eight Natural Options to Remedies That Reduce Headache Pain

Headaches! Some natural treatments work as well as drugs.

Over forty million Americans get headaches each year. Eight million of them will have to visit a doctor’s office. The most common type is the tension headache. The other two common types of headaches are migraines and clusters. https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/know-your-headaches.html

There are many drugs used to treat headaches. This link lists the most. https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/migraine-treatments

Natural Options

https://www.greenmatters.com/p/natural-headache-remedies?fbclid=IwAR0-FOHiKW59W5xz555x8cv3MY1JExDh_9qwofKigScyWngyRmhNJpZMdwE

Drink Water

Headaches can be caused by dehydration. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21517-dehydration-headache#:~:text=A%20dehydration%20headache%20happens%20when,and%20taking%20pain%20relief%20medication.

Relaxation Techniques

Tension headaches may be treated with several types of relaxation techniques. http://www.headachereliefguide.com/relaxation.php

Magnesium

Low levels of magnesium are also known to cause headaches. https://www.withcove.com/learn/magnesium-migraine-prevention#:~:text=How%20can%20it%20help%3F,transmitting%20chemicals%20in%20the%20brain.

Ginger Tea

Inflammation is another known cause of headaches. An anti-inflammatory such as ginger tea is known to work well. https://www.healthline.com/health/ginger-for-headache#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

Hot or Cold Compress

It is an individual’s choice to use hot or cold compresses. Place it on your forehead, temples, or back of your neck. I prefer a very hot shower to soak my neck, shoulder, and back muscles. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/in-depth/migraines/art-20047242#:~:text=Apply%20hot%20or%20cold%20compresses,may%20have%20a%20similar%20effect.

Butterbur

Traditional treatment for many ailments is butterbur, Petasites hybridus. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/butterbur

Vitamin B2

A deficiency in the B vitamins can cause headaches. For example, a riboflavin deficiency (vitamin B2) appears to be more headache-inducing than other B vitamins.
https://headaches.org/2007/10/25/vitamin-b-2/#:~:text=High%20doses%20of%20Vitamin%20B,next%20two%20months%2C%20researchers%20said.

Turn Off the Screen

Blue light can create eye strain and headaches. I bought a new computer monitor a while back and immediately had eye problems and headaches – within ten or twenty minutes. I bought a pair of blue-light filter glasses, and I can spend hours without any health issues. When you suspect that your electronic device might contribute to your headache, take a fifteen or twenty-minute break. https://www.healthline.com/health/blue-light-headaches

Conclusion

There are many causes of headaches. Treating a pathway that is not the cause of your headache may have no effect. For example, there may also be more than one cause – stress/muscle tension and blue light. Assess your life to determine what lifestyle changes might be needed.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/headache/basics/causes/sym-20050800. This link is a good one to review potential causes of headaches.

See your doctor when your headaches are increasing in frequency or severity or are interfering with your daily interactions.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin

 

Six Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Without Drugs

When was the last time you took your blood pressure? I take mine daily.

Many things are known to cause high blood pressure. In some cases, it is probably caused by a combination of factors. Drugs treat a specific pathway. Over time, drug dosage or the type of drug is changed because it may no longer be effective.

What are typical causes of high blood pressure? Smoking, obesity, too much salt, too much alcohol, unmanaged stress, old age, genetics, and more are part of the list.

Dangers of High Blood Pressure

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410. This is a good link on high blood pressure. Complications from high blood pressure could be a heart attack or stroke, aneurysm, heart failure, weakened blood vessels in the kidney, thickened blood vessels in the eyes, metabolic syndrome, memory problems, and maybe even vascular dementia.

The cost of a blood pressure monitor has fallen a lot in recent years. I did a quick Google search and found several under $20. It is a good insurance policy to get a blood pressure monitor and use it often. Record your times and blood pressure readings. Take this information to your doctor when you have a problem or at your annual physical exam.

Drug Options

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/hypertension-ace-inhibitors-medication-natural/2022/03/07/id/1059974/. One method of lowering blood pressure is to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE). Nearly half of the prescription drugs used to control blood pressure are ACE inhibitors.

Side effects of ACE inhibitors used to control blood pressure include a dry cough, hyperkalemia (increased potassium levels in the blood), fatigue, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and loss of taste. Angioedema or swelling of the airway happens rarely. There are three groups of people who should avoid ACE inhibitors – those who are pregnant, those who have severe kidney failure, and those with allergic reactions to ACE inhibitors should not use them.

Natural ACE Inhibitor Options

Garlic

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6966103/#:~:text=Garlic%20supplements%20have%20shown%20effectiveness,levels%20and%20blood%20’stickiness’.

Grape Seed Extract

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33671310/

Pomegranate Juice

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21457902/#:~:text=Pomegranate%20juice%20consumption%20may%20reduce,and%20reduces%20systolic%20blood%20pressure.

Indian Gooseberry

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/indian-gooseberry and
https://pharmeasy.in/blog/amla-uses-benefits-side-effects/

Mushrooms (Lion’s mane, shiitake, maitake, and reishi)

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3443885/#:~:text=Shiitake%20feeding%20resulted%20in%20a,blood%20pressure%20increase%20in%20hypertension and
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924224414001289

Whey Protein

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6526665/ and
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-whey-protein

Conclusion

There are other natural options to treat high blood pressure. Unfortunately, doctors cannot prescribe any of the above since they are foods and are not approved by the FDA to treat anything. However, you can talk to your physician and tell him that you want to try one or more of these natural options and work a plan that will align with any current drugs you currently take.

If not on a prescription drug, I suggest getting your doctor’s approval to take one or more natural options, regularly monitor your blood pressure, and report back to the doctor within an agreed-upon schedule. High blood pressure is not something to ignore.

My personal experience with high blood pressure when I flew in the military was that if I kept my weight in check and exercised regularly, I never flirted with high blood pressure. However, if I gained weight over the year and slacked on my exercise, I would tend towards more elevated blood pressure. There are natural options to control blood pressure.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

 

 

One in Five Older Adults Are Deficient in This Vitamin and Have Higher Risk of Dementia

Eggs are a good source of folates (vitamin B9)

Twenty percent of older adults are deficient in folate (vitamin B9). Researchers examined over twenty-seven thousand medical records of men and women between 60 and 75.

The Study

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/low-folate-dementia-death-aging/2022/03/22/id/1062407/. None of them were previously diagnosed with dementia. For four years, the researchers monitored the records for any diagnosis of dementia or death. Over 3,400 of them were deficient in folate.

At the end of the study, of those 3,400-plus, dementia was noted almost 8 per 10,000 person-years. The measurement of person-years accounts for both the number of people and the amount of time each person spends in the study. If ten thousand people spent one year in a study, the metric of 10,000 person-years would be used.

Death was observed at just under 20 per 10,000 person-years. Those not folate deficient usually see rates of just over 4 per 10,000 person-hours for dementia and just over 5 for death.

Options?

https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-folate-folic-acid#1. Natural sources for folate can be found with an easy Google search. WebMD lists beef liver, dark leafy greens, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), asparagus, broccoli, oranges, bananas, and eggs as foods high in folates.

Confusion

https://www.healthline.com/health/folate-deficiency. Vitamin B9 sometimes appears as folate or folic acid on labels. Folate is the natural vitamin, and folic acid is the synthetic one. Vitamin B9 is not stored in the body and must be replenished daily.

People with vitamin B9 deficiency usually have fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Changes in the hair, nails, and skin might also be symptoms. In addition, B9 is critical for heart health, and palpitations might also be a sign of B9 deficiency.

Conclusion

This study was done by researching health records. Therefore, there was no cause-and-effect analysis done. Folate deficiency may or may not be a pathway to dementia, but the data is alarming and worth consideration.

Vitamin B9 is needed in many aspects of our bodies’ health. Another B vitamin, B12, mimics Alzheimer’s disease. It would not be a hard jump to assume that another B vitamin might also be a contributing pathway to dementia. And it is an easy test to assist in diagnosing and treating dementia.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

Who Is Putting Cancer-Causing Poison in Our Drugs?

Hard to resist the smell and taste of bacon!

Nitrosamine is a toxin linked closely with cancer in the lungs, brain, liver, kidneys, bladder, stomach, esophagus, etc. Recently, nitrosamine has been found in a blood pressure drug, Accuretic, manufactured by Pfizer.

Pfizer’s Drug

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/accuretic-blood-pressure-medication-pfizer/2022/03/22/id/1062321/. Elevated levels of nitrosamine were discovered recently in Accuretic, and Pfizer reported that there is not an immediate risk. Pfizer recalled this drug. Additionally, Pfizer recommends that patients using this drug talk to the physicians about an alternative treatment option.

OK, no risk, yet change medicines, eh? Yes, nitrosamines are found in other products, especially cooked bacon, cured meats, cosmetics, etc. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609975/.

Is it a health risk if found in so many products we consume regularly? Or is it the level of nitrosamine detected? It depends on whether the sodium nitrites or sodium nitrates are synthetic or natural, such as those contained in celery powder. Nitrites are added to processed foods to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum.

Options?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/nitrosamine. Nitrates and nitrites have been used as preservatives for longer than we care to remember. Salt is used in ‘uncured’ meats instead of nitrites. However, some consider salt a health hazard almost equal to nitrosamines.

Regardless, nitrosamines result from chemical reactions of nitrates to nitrites by the enzyme nitrate reductase or other secondary or tertiary amines. Nitrites react with proteins, such as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and become nitrosamines.

Avoiding any foods with nitrates and nitrites will help immensely. However, some foods are difficult to avoid – like bacon! I have been buying uncured bacon for a few years. Is there a real advantage?

Maybe, maybe not? My bacon is nitrite-free, and no preservatives are added. It does have sea salt and celery extract listed on the label.

What minimizes or inhibits the chemical reactions that lead to the formation of nitrosamines? Vitamin E (all eight compounds), vitamin C, selenium, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid. Increasing your daily intake of antioxidants can also be of immense benefit.

Other Concerns?

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cooked-meats-fact-sheet. This fact sheet is a good source for the dangers and options of cooking meats. Some recommendations include avoiding direct flame, hot metal surface, long high-temperature cooking times, continuously turning meat, and removing charred portions of cooked meat.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15284391/. Nitrosamines are not the only worry when it comes to our foods and potential cancer sources. Nitrosocompounds increase as meat is cooked at high temperatures. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (HCA) and heterocyclic amine (HA) are the byproducts.

Conclusion

Is Pfizer using nitrosamines for preservation? I do not know. The article did not go into detail, and my research did not specifically say they did. However, it had to get into the blood pressure medicine. Pfizer. And then there was the recall indicating some level of safety concern.

Coincidentally, not long ago, Pfizer recalled its anti-smoking drug, Chantix, due to nitrosamine levels.

The level and duration of nitrosamines determine the risk of future health problems. Very low levels of sporadic exposure to nitrosamine should not be near the concern of daily exposure to higher levels. How much and how long are still unknown.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughin – RedOLaughin.com

 

Reverse the Sleep Apnea Aging Processes with This Simple Fix

Sleep disruptions can harm you in both the short and long term.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) happens when the upper airway is blocked during sleep. As a result, it creates breathing problems and repeated awakenings during the sleep cycle.

Sleep and Inflammation

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080902075211.htm. An article in the September 2008 issue of the Biological Psychiatry Journal reported that losing a little sleep at night can trigger inflammation. Researchers measured (NF)-ĸB, nuclear factor kappa B, levels that regulate the body’s inflammatory responses.

Those with more sleep had higher levels of (NF)-ĸB compared to those missing a portion of their normal sleep cycle. Higher levels of inflammation occur because of OSA-caused awakenings during the night.

Sleep and Oxidative Stress

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-40989-6. The rest, repair, and recuperation during sleep eliminate ROS (reactive oxygen species) that our bodies generate when we are awake. Impairing the sleep cycle retains levels of oxidative stress that would have usually been removed from the body. Again, OSA causes interrupted sleep intervals not conducive to eliminating oxidative stress.

CPAP and Sleep

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/sleep-apnea-aging-cpap-treatment/2022/03/21/id/1062134/. A recent small sleep study (https://erj.ersjournals.com/) measured two dozen people diagnosed with OSA before and after using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines. The participants’ blood and DA were analyzed to measure biological age. This sleep study lasted one year.

Those with OSA and not using CPAP machines were found to have accelerated the biological aging processes. CPAP machine keeps the airways open, and the body receives a steady flow of oxygen, reducing or eliminating sleep disruptions. Those using CPAP machines showed slower signs of aging.

Reducing OSA sleep disruptions by using CPAP machines reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, which, in turn, lowers the rate of aging.

Conclusion

OSA is one of several factors that can increase the rate of aging. Smoking and diet are two causes that were also identified and addressed during this study. Untreated sleep apnea increases the risk of other health issues besides aging. High blood pressure, stroke, and mental decline are frequently observed in patients with untreated sleep apnea.

Check with your doctor when you have issues getting consistent sleep issues. Stress is a significant cause of sleep difficulty and can be managed with a more aggressive stress management program. Reducing alcohol levels before bedtime helps also. Plan your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

Did You Know that Small Bedroom Lights Can Harm Your Health?

Sleep, quality sleep, cures many things!

Sleep is mandatory for good health. There is a healthy range of around seven to nine hours for adults. When you are outside that range – above or below – your long-term health can be impacted

Power of Sleep and Health

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/why-do-we-need-sleep#:~:text=Sleep%20is%20an%20essential%20function,the%20brain%20cannot%20function%20properly. Our bodies (and minds) require sleep to recharge and repair. We have an internal body clock called the circadian rhythm. It regulates our sleep cycle.

Light affects our circadian rhythm. The hypothalamus in our brain has special receptors (suprachiasmatic nuclei) that process light – natural or artificial. It helps our brain determine whether it is day or night. As the light gets dimmer as night approaches, our bodies make melatonin, increasing our need for sleep. The reverse happens in the morning when cortisol is produced to promote alertness and energy.

How Much Light Affects Us at Night?

https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/sleep-light-heart-insulin/2022/03/15/id/1061332/. A recent small study of twenty healthy adults (https://www.pnas.org/toc/pnas/current) found that one night of sleeping with the lights on created measurable health events compared to one night of sleep with the lights off.

Those sleeping with the lights on had higher pulse rates during their sleep and awoke with higher insulin levels. The study results pointed out that this small study may indicate a problem that could develop over time – years. How little light affects us during sleep is debatable.

The Moon and Sleep

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20211101/moon-affects-sleep-differently#:~:text=Moonlight%20is%20a%20reflection%20of,hormone%20cortisol%20during%20full%20moons. Thousands of years of human existence has seen the moon bright and non-existent. Has the moon’s brightness for those sleeping outdoors been a factor in long-term health? I do not think anyone knows since we cannot measure, test, and evaluate our ancestors.

However, we do know that moonlight is the reflection of sunlight that affects the creation of melatonin. Studies have tested and measured melatonin levels with the cycle of the moon. In men patients, both melatonin and testosterone were lower during the full moon phases. Additionally, cortisol levels were also higher.

These studies were done in Sweden with over 800 people. However, the measurements were for one night of sleep. Men and women were affected differently. The difference was less than a half-hour in the total sleep each night, and the men were more sensitive to the phase of the moon.

Red Light at Night

https://www.healthline.com/health/why-not-to-have-red-lights-on-at-night#light-to-avoid-at-night. We see a red light in military command centers, onboard ships, cockpits of aircraft, astronomy labs, and more. It is to improve your night vision. However, does it affect your sleep?

There have been numerous studies on red light and sleep. A crucial factor in determining the red light is the frequency of the light. Many red lights are tinted red and are not representative of true red light.

A study was done in 2012 of Chinese basketball players (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3499892/) using red light therapy to evaluate the performance of athletes. Red light therapy stimulates the mitochondria to produce more energy and endurance.

The results were improved sleep, increased melatonin levels, and better endurance than the placebo group with no red light therapy.

A more recent study (just before the pandemic) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1477153519885157 tested an office environment by combining red and ambient white light. Again, a measurable difference was noted post-lunch in alertness and energy levels than measurements before the test.

Sleep inertia is a measurable state of cognitive impairment and sensory-motor performance immediately after arising from sleep. It is the transition from sleep to being fully awake. Does red light impair sleep inertia? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6506010/

Measurements were taken in one to three-minute intervals after awakening showed that red light does not suppress melatonin, and results do not affect sleep quality.

Light to Avoid Before Sleep

Blue light is common in many computer screens, cell phones, and other electronic devices. I had headaches and eye strain when I bought my current monitor a couple of years ago. I could go five or ten minutes and begin to feel eye strain, and another ten or fifteen minutes resulted in the beginning of a headache.

I bought a cheap pair of blue light glasses, and I work with the monitor for hours a day without any eye strain or headaches. Blue light helps our bodies adapt to the day. It makes us feel more alert. However, at night it is harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Avoid fluorescent lighting, LED lights, televisions, cell phones, tablets, computer screens, gaming devices, and the like for a couple of hours before bed. If you have sleep problems, this might be an easy thing to address.

Conclusion

Quality sleep is needed for long-term health. So a night or two (and probably even a few more) will not be a big deal. Yes, you will feel groggy for a while, but a good night’s sleep will correct it.

The incremental impairments from having a light on in your bedroom while sleeping still need to be evaluated over months, if not years. Leaving a television on while you sleep might be one of the most detrimental to long-term health. Both the blue light and the background noise affect sleep quality and your circadian rhythm.

Sleep is one factor for long-term health. Exercise, diet, stress management, weight management, and more lead to a longer and healthier life. Many factors play in sleep patterns. Being aware of those that can affect you and making changes to improve sleep might be one of the wisest things you can do today and in the months to come.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com