It was time once again this week to head into the doctor’s office Monday for a blood draw – and as expected my cholesterol was still high. The blood pressure was OK, but the whole thing got me to thinking that it’s time to haul out the “personal chemistry set” and do some more tweaking.
I have not been terribly worried about weight loss. I’m down to “pre-cruise” levels and the general energy levels are very high.
But in going through the “chart review” with the doc, I realized that many of the vitamins I have been trying have eventually fallen off my daily regimen. Most of them for the simple reason that they didn’t provide any noticeable improvement in cognitive function – which is what got me started on the whole process in the first place. That and gout.
As of this morning, my personal “things that work” include acetyl –L-carnitine which is written up over here at WebMD.
This one has a very gentle effect on cognition…but it seems to raise my Lumosity test scores a bit (5%) when I remember to go use the Lumosity daily brain-trainer.
Similarly, I get a further 5% bump in my test scores when I use Huperzine A, again described over here. Coffee helps, too.
The current combination of morning pills also includes celery seed (more gout prevention), black cherry extract (ibid or ditto, your call) the first of two Now Foods Adam Men’s Multiple Vitamins.
The last one is Source Naturals L-Arginine L-Citrulline Complex which I have told you about previously. I first became aware of this one years back in a conversation with Dr. Ron Klatz of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M which is worldhealth.net) and a visit to their website is always a rewarding experience to see what the current new directions in healthcare are.
For example, take the article on the reason to add a gram of turmeric to breakfast.
A footnote here: I find the effect of simple L-arginine almost immediate, but it doesn’t last for a long time. Seems (if I’m reading the literature right) that the Citrulline breaks down over time (converting into L-arginine). So the effect is energy and breathing enhancement over a longer period. At least with me.
This is not to be taken as medical advice. I am simply sharing my personal experience with you because let’s face it: We all live in bags of fluids and bones which seem to be here simply so our wandering souls have someplace to roost for a lifetime. But as long as the roosting must be done, no reason not to make at least some study of things to see if we can make the ride more enjoyable.
My doctor – who has gotten ahead of me by a good bit on weight loss – says his approach has simply been some self-control added at meal times and a lot more time walking his dog. His dog is big enough that he walks the doc, but the idea is activity above all.
He also made the point that with the right mix of foods, I wouldn’t need to mess with the amino acids – and I could just let my body do the work for me. But having no time to research all the foods to brew up exactly what makes me feel optimized (especially when comes to the mental acuity part) we have simply agreed to disagree. A handful of pills over cooking any time.
After the blood work (been sedentary so the cholesterol was high) the recommendation was made that I think about trying something called Tricor which is a non-statin approach and I have to admit that I’m thinking about it.
What gives me pause (and which I am thinking about) is this note on the WebMD site:
Lowering triglycerides in people with very high triglyceride blood levels may decrease the risk of pancreas disease (pancreatitis). However, fenofibrate might not lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Well, hell, if it doesn’t lower the stroke or heart attack rate (for sure, double blind, yada, yada) what’s the point?
I did get an important bit of intelligence about weight loss: Seems there is one of the new diabetes drugs that is being packaged for weight loss.
Whatever the name of this gem is, it works by modulating blood sugar and modulating fat use. At a level below what’s needed for diabetes, the stuff apparently does reduce weight gain tendencies.
In medicine, seems nothing is “free” (you have noticed Obamacare, right?). This weight-loss series my doc tells me is in the high hundreds of dollars per month (close to a thousand) so it’s easy to seed why other ideas are more attractive.
My Next Phase of the Weight and Diet Experiments
Everyone in my family loves bread. When I was a kid, we could hardly wait for Pappy to build his crusty outside, perfect inside French bread. The fresh loaves from Gai’s or the bakery in the Pike Place market were close. But like his son, Pappy studied the hell out of things and got deeply into the chemistry of perfect baking.
MY problem is that when I was a kid, I was diagnosed with allergies to some of the world’s finest edibles: wheat, eggs, corn, and oh yeah: chocolate.
Which made it impossible to eat sensibly.
But now that I am serious about health (eventually it had to happen) I am starting to look into the gluten-free angle and trying that.
I may have mentioned that I’ve started to prepare a big for this: We have loaded up on rice. The Rice Flour which will become gluten-free pancakes this morning has been in the fridge all night…and I am trying to sneer at bread.
The afternoon Martini is like to take a hit on this gluten-free deal, too. While many vodkas, especially European, are made from potatoes, a few American vodkas (Tito’s Texas and Smirnoff) are made from corn.
Turns out there is some debate even within gluten-free world as to whether gain-based vodkas still have long enough chains of gluten protein after the distilling process to be problematic. Still (*a bad distillery pun , sorry) there are lots of alternatives now including rums, whiskeys, and even a gluten-free beer called Glutenberg.
I checked with my daughter (the one who was hospitalized with severe celiac sprue when she was young (two weeks at Children’s in Seattle) to see if she was gluten-free. “No…”
One theory is that she has outgrown it, but a more workable theory is that in the middle age part of life, your body immune system is much more robust. It’s around the edges (very young or getting well-past middle age) that it can come back.
So over the next couple of weeks, I will be phasing into a completely gluten-free diet for a week or three to see if there are any noticeable effects, other than tears in the grain producing states. Folks in Idaho may see an economic boom as potato flour and rice flour roll into my lifestyle.
Elaine thinks is stupid. (There’s a non-zero chance she’s right…) But this is one of those home chemistry set experiments that I’ve been meaning to get around to.
As to whether this will actually help me shed weight more easily? Well, that remains to be seen. Here’s a column that says it won’t because only 1% of Americans are really celiac disease prone.
Except – unfortunately, I am definitely in THAT one percent since I have some of the associated symptoms (*including wheat allergy test results) and a daughter who has celiac as well, regardless of her joy of baking pastries.
On the other hand, there are plenty of reasons why gluten-free can help shed pounds, as defined in this article. Mainly, a “splurge” to grab a cheeseburger on the way by Mickey D’s is off the table.
The whole matter of fast food and gluten-free is of interest: Here’s a discussion about whether McDonalds has much to offer. And the point that is terribly disappointing is that the few fried foods that I really like (Ivar’s or Harbor Lights fish and chips in Seattle _) come off the table.
So do a million and one other great things to eat. I don’t do KFC, but every now and then a bucket of Original Recipe and a couple of Bud Lights…well, a man’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.
We don’t have an IHOP here in East Texas, but there’s a Denny’s And you know that Chicken Fried with…oh-oh…gone, too. Floured. No toast, no gravy. So if I hold off ham, that brings me down to either a hunk of fish or meat, maybe a potato, and a glass of wine.
Or, as this morning, mixing up rice-flour pancakes…and having them with real (no high fructose corn crap) syrup.
All of this aside, I’m not sure it will make much – if any – difference. But that’s the joy of us each being born with our own “chemistry sets.”
Whether you want to tinker with yours is up to you…but I’ve learned a good bit about myself.
The most important part of which is that if I want absolutely top mental performance, the right menu for me is a lean hunk of meat, a couple of eggs, my vitamins, a handful of friend potatoes (potatoes are “brain food”) and two cups of half-caf coffee.
Try it some time…just don’t have pizza the night before.
Any personal experience you care to share on going gluten-free would be appreciated…leave a note below.
We Are Surrounded by Idiots Dept.
Reader Jeffrey (in real life a mostly reasonable attorney) has spotted yet another sign of terminal madness in End Times:
And now, from the grab bag of galactically idiotic ideas, we are offered this little gem:
Generation Citizen says its campaign aims to spur civic engagement among youth, but critics question whether 16 is too young, and whether the push is a partisan one.
Hell, that’s nothing! I’m waiting for some religion or other to lower the age of voting to the age of confirmation. Was I ready to vote at 12? Oh, uh, no. But was I also ready to make an informed decision about which religion to side with? Uh…not the answer you wanna here, more’n likely.
Ure’s idea on voting: You file a tax return? You vote. Why should freeloaders decide who has to buy all the free lunches?
Thanks and write when you break-even,