Friday, 10 August 2018

Feedback regulation of food intake

The physiological regulation of the food intake has two kind of feedback signals: long-term and short-term. The long-term feedback signals are derived from the adipose tissue and reflect the size of the adipose tissue stores. The short-term feedback signals originate from the gastro-intestinal tract and influence satiation and satiety. The signals are received in the hypothalamus and are integrated with emotional stimuli (mood), cognitive stimuli (thinking), hedonic stimuli (liking), influencing hunger, appetite and food seeking behavior.

On food intake, the immediate distension of the stomach (stretching) will send the feeling of fullness. The food entry on the gastro-intestinal tract will inhibit the release of the hunger hormones and stimulate the release of the satiety hormones (cholecystokinin - CCK AND glucagon-like peptide 1 -GLP1). The entry of glucose and amino-acids into the blood stream will activate the nutrient sensing cells from hypothalamus.

Long-term regulation - the leptin hormone produced by the fat tissue (the production and the blood levels of leptin are proportional to the amount of fat mass, converging the feeling of satiety, sending signals to the satiety cells in the hypothalamus. Lack of leptin due to the genetic disease will lead to extreme hunger, massive overfeeding and obesity. While the animals tends to have a relative stable body weight, the human's body fat tends to increase with age.

When we fast, we release hunger hormones, the low levels of nutrients in blood will also decrease the leptin production, triggering the hunger cells in the hypothalamus. Raising an effective hunger response and being effective at storing body fat is critical for survival.

Let's see a bit more about the feedback regulations from adipose tissue. When we have a body fat gain, the increased leptin release will stimulate the satiety cells in the hypothalamus, decreasing the food intake, decreasing the energy storage. When we lose body fat, the decrease of the leptin will trigger the hunger cells from the hypothalamus, increasing the food intake and increasing the energy storage.

The adipose tissue( fat ) has a central role in the long-term regulation of food intake. The leptin reduction during weight loss is one of the reasons of being difficult to maintain the weight loss.

The next post will be about the energy value of nutrients, maybe after i come back home. 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Factors determining food intake

There are few factors determining the food intake, and we should be aware of them if we want to follow a diet successfully.

1. Sensory factors - sensory properties of a meal (combination of taste, smell, sight and even sound). We eat more of what we like and less of what we do not. Chefs are experts in optimizing the sensory aspect of any food.

2. Social factors - much of what we eat is determined by our culture, and people with different background can possess different culinary customs. Social settings are also underlined, as we eat more in company of others than we eat alone (food made for social bonding as barbecue and food made to celebrate special events as birthday cake). Social factors can override physiology (thousands of calories on our Christmas dinner for example). If you try to improve dietary habits, the social settings can be an impediment towards your goal.

3. Psyhological factors - losing appetite when stressed or eating for comfort (increasing the food intake due to emotional eating is a major cause of weight gain).

4. Physiological factors - our physiological needs dictate the food choice The desire for food is driven by the evolutionary need to supply our bodies with nutrients and energy in order to survive. There are complicated feedback mechanisms (long term and short term) leading to hunger sensation an food seeking behavior when food intake and energy levels drop. On long term, the energy intake will always match perfectly the energy expediture, proving the existence of overriding physiological feedback mechanisms that resist to large fluctuations in body weight.

I will try to put all this in some coherent post about the feedback regulation of the food intake and, as an added bonus, also about feedback regulation of the adipose tissue (fat). Hope you will enjoy it.

Talk to you soon!

G.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Energy balance (food related)

As i was talking quite a lot about proteins, i will stop here. I will start a new series of articles, related to energy homeostasis and balance.

First i need to underline some definitions.

Energy balance is defined as the balance between energy intake (in) and energy expediture (out).

We have three situations:

Energy intake is bigger than the energy expediture, you are gaining weight (energy is stored as fat).
Energy intake is lower than the energy expediture, you are losing weight (fat used as energy).
Energy intake is equal to the energy expediture, you keep the same weight.

Energy intake - via macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, fat and protein) - they contain energy, used as fuel or stored as body fat.

Now i will speak about the food intake and some specific qualities.

Satiety - is the feeling of satisfaction that occurs after a meal. This will prevent you from eating until next meal.
Satiation - feeling of satisfaction and fullness that occurs during a meal. This will make you to stop eating.
Hunger - uncomfortable sensation caused by lack of food.
Appetite - integrated response to the sight, smell, thought or taste that triggers eating.

Now, understanding these four notions is the key to any successful diet. 

While the satiety determines how much time passes between meals, the satiation determines how much food is consumed during a meal. Foods promoting satiation are very bulky, high water content and fiber, and they got strong sensory attributes. Veggies for example, eating them causes satiation. Thinking about texture, a watermelon is more satiating than watermelon juice. Calories ingested quickly are not properly sensed (think about fizzy drinks). Prolonged exposure time to the food (chewing) causes people to quit sooner and consume less energy overall.

Energy from fluids is less satiating than the energy from solids. That's why the consumption of sugary beverages may lead to over-eating, increasing the occurrence of obesity in many occasions. This is not accepted by the beverage industry and there is misleading advertising and powerful lobby against it. But, if we use our common sense, we can realize that it is true.

Enough for today, I will post soon about the factors determining the food intake (physiological, sensory, psychological and social, to name a few).

See you!
G.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Protein quality and recommendations

For optimal synthesis of body protein, all the aminoacids need to be present in adequate quantities and proper proportions. Any essential aminoacid deficit will drastically limit the synthesis of much needed protein.

You need to learn about the concept of limiting protein. The limiting protein is the least abundant aminoacid in a dietary protein source (for example for wheat the limiting protein is the lysine). By combining different dietary protein sources you will provide with a wide array of aminoacids.

Protein quality has two variables. First is the digestibility (what percent of the dietary protein is absorbed into the body), second being the aminoacids composition (the higher the similarity of aminoacids composition and the average body protein, the higher is the quality, so, obviously, animal proteins are better than plant proteins, unless you combine various sources). A meal or a diet should have a mixture of different  proteins. A mixture of plant-based proteins will have a more favorable aminoacids composition than one individual plant. This is called protein complementation - combining more proteins to achieve higher protein quality (grains are low in lysine, and beans are low in methionine, but together they are well balanced).

Methods to measure protein quality:

1. Biological value (BV) - measure of the protein percentage absorbed from a food to be incorporated into the body.

2. Protein efficiency ratio (PER) - weight gain divided by its intake of a particular protein during test period. PER was the official method before getting replaced by PDCAAS (protein digestibility corected aminoacid score). AAS (aminoacid score) is calculated for any particular protein comparing the level of limitating aminoacid in the protein towards the level of the same aminoacid in a reference protein. PDCAAS for milk is 1, for isolated soy protein is 1, for wheat is 0.4, for beans is 0.6-0.7, but wheat combined with beans is almost 1. PDCAAS is easy to calculate , based on the human aminoacids requirements.

DIAAS (digestible indispensable aminoacid score) - the diference is that, while for PDCAAS indigestability of a particular protein is measured in stool, for DIAAS is measured in terminal ileum, being more accurate.

The recommended protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram weight (56grams for a 70kg adult). Most people have more than RDA (required daily ammount), as protein is 10-25% of our total energy intake. You will have above 20% if you eat mostly meat, eggs and dairy. Endurance and strenght athletes eat 1.2-1.7 grams per kilogram (and many do not know that you can achieve this through diet alone, without any supplementation). According to the Journal Of Sport Sciences, it is ideal to consume them as soon after exercise, for them to be optimally used.

Beware: even if it is unproven, there are some potential health effects of protein that are promoted by media.

- High protein intake to be avoided by patients with kidney disease.
-No conclusive evidence to link proteins to cardiovascular diseases, cancer or osteoporosis.
-No conclusive evidence that there is a relation between protein intake, energy intake and body-weight.
-Between animal and plant-based proteins, the animal food is bad because of the package (more fats, salt and carbs), not because the proteins from the aminal sources are bad.

Next posts will be about energy requirements and energy balance. Have a wonderful day!
G.


Friday, 20 July 2018

Protein turnover and nitrogen balance

Today i will speak a bit about protein synthesis and protein degradation. The protein balance, also known as nitrogen balance, is the balance between protein input and protein output. The Protein turnover consist mainly in changing the ingested proteins into aminoacids, and then using the aminoacids resulted to synthesize the proteins needed in our body. For some proteins the turnover is fast (less than 2 hours), for others can be slow (up to 12 months - structural proteins). But on average in 12 months our body is completely renewed.

When we talk about protein balance, we are thinking at the input and output in terms of carbon = energy and urea = nitrogen. Because most of the nitrogen in the body is on protein form, measuring the nitrogen intake and excretion results in finding the nitrogen balance, which is more or less equal with the protein balance.

In normal conditions the protein input is equal with the protein output. In some cases the input is bigger than the output, we are talking about a positive balance (this will happen in pregnancy, growing-up children, gaining weight through bodybuilding or in recovering patients). Negative balance (when the input is lower than the output) happen in case of illness, losing weight, low protein intake, burns or heavy trauma.

On average we will have 80 grams of dietary protein and 70 grams of residual protein, 150 grams of protein in total. The output will be 150 grams also, mainly urea and undigested proteins via stools with the carbon used for energy.

The aminoacid will divide in urea (the nitrogen part) and carbon dioxide CO2 and water (from the carbon part). Some aminoacids carbon part can be converted into glucose (gluconeogenic aminoacids). If they cannot be converted, they are called ketogenic aminoacids. The gluconeogenesis process will start during prolonged fasting to maintain the blood sugar levels. But except for this case, most people will increase the protein degradation if they increase the protein intake.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Protein functions

The proteins are used for a multitude of functions in the cells and in the tissues. The function of a protein is determined by two factors: the aminoacids sequence and the folding of the polypeptide chain. Thinking about this, a persistent faulty incorporation of one incorrect aminoacid in the polypeptide chain can cause a severe disruption of the protein function, being the basis of many genetic diseases.

The main protein functions in our body are:

1. Building material. They got an important structural role outside and inside the cell. The main structural protein is collagen, which is also the most abundant, being found in skin, tendons, cartilage, bone, connective tissue and giving structure and strength to tissues and cell. Defects in collagen synthesis can result in brittle bones (osteogenesis imperfecta). 

2. Enzymes. Are defined as proteins that speed up a biochemical reaction, having a catalyst function, by lowering the activation energy barrier needed to be overcome for a reaction to happen. Every cell has more than one thousand enzymes responsible for different reactions (like those required to generate energy by breaking down glucose or fatty acids).

3. Transporters (totally unrelated to Jason Statham movie). They offer assistance with the transport of different molecules across the cell membrane (in and out).

4. Hormones. They are messengers circulating via blood stream, released from a specific tissue into the blood to signal something to distant tissues ( like the insulin released by pancreas to reach muscle and fat tissue to promote glucose uptake). Chemically speaking, the hormones are either polypeptides or steroids.

5. Antibodies. They are involved in defending the body against pathogens such are viruses and bacteria, and are called immunoglobulins, secreted by plasma cells, with the role of creating an immune system.

6. Regulation of fluid balance. They are taking care of the water being appropriately distributed across the blood stream (intravascular), in the space between the cells (intercellular) and inside the cells (intracellular).

Next post will be about protein turnover and nitrogen balance, and maybe some more extra bits. Have a nice day. See you soon.

Hope

She was leaning forward, ready for a kiss. But he put a finger on her lips, whispering:
"Not now. Find me later"

Opening her eyes, Maria realized that she is still in her home, on her sofa. And then, her eyes could see the address card laying in the middle of the bowl, on her coffee table. It was not just a dream after all.

It was a black, metallic, little square of paper, with golden letters. Queen Industries, followed by an address." It was not a dream after all. Or i just fall asleep and wake up in the middle of a full Marvel nightmare movie." she was thinking.

With a quick move, she took the card and throw it into the recycle bin. All was good again.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Protein absorption and digestion

Let's talk about the digestion of protein, through polypeptides, all the way to the final product, the aminoacids.

The digestion of the protein starts in the stomach, where the enzyme called pepsin will break the polypeptides into smaller parts. The highly acid medium will help this to happen. The digestion continue in the duodenum and upper small intestine, where the pancreas will secrete another enzyme called chymotripsin, with the role of breaking the small polypeptides into even smaller polypeptides. The final work is done in the lower small intestine, where carboxypeptidase and aminopeptidase enzymes will break everything into aminoacids, and they will be absorbed into the blood stream. About 5% of the proteins will leave the body undigested, through feces.

The single molecules of aminoacids are taken up into the blood stream and distributed across the human body, used to synthesize the so much needed proteins (like albumin in liver or muscle proteins in muscle) and they can have extracellular functions, such as hormones and cell adhesion, or intracellular, such as generating fuel, cell structure, signal transduction. You can find more than 100.000 proteins in our body.

The protein digestion starts in the stomach, when the acid environment causes proteins to unfold, allowing pepsin to access the dietary protein easier. The pepsin enzyme is produced by the Chief cells lining the stomach, and it is present as an inactive pro-enzyme called pepsinogen, being activated by the high acidity. The pepsin will cleave the peptide bonds, creating small polypeptide from the protein. The process is further going into the small intestine (upstream), with the polypeptides being cleaved into even smaller polypeptides under the influence of trying and chymotripsin (which are also created by pancreas as inactive pro-enzymes, being activated when they reach the intestine). In the downstream on the small intestine, the polypeptides are finally transformed into individual aminoacids, under the action of aminopepsidase and carboxypepsidase (both of them produced by the intestinal cells). Those last mentioned enzymes will remove single aminoacids from each end of the peptide. The single aminoacids are taken to the liver, after they were being absorbed via portal circulation, and to the rest of the body, used as building block for the synthesis of the body proteins. In the liver, they are mainly used to synthesize the main serum protein called albumin.

In the next post I will talk about the protein functions (enzymes, structural, hormones, transporter, antibodies and so on).

Friday, 29 June 2018

Introduction to proteins as macronutrient

A short introduction about proteins, composition chemistry and protein content of different foods.

All the proteins are polypeptides, composed of different amounts of amino-acids. We have 20 different amino-acids in their composition, of which 9 are essential and they need to be provided in the diet. The other 11 non-essential ones can be synthesized by our body using the essential ones. The amino-acids are linked through peptide bonds. If there have two, they are called dipeptide, if they have three, tripeptide and so on. The complex proteins have hundred, even thousands of peptide bonds. In each food we have different proteins in different quantities. The amino-acid has a acid group (carboxyl) and an amino group. Depending on the structure, they can be hydrophilic (water loving) or hydrophobic (fat loving).

Let's see some foods and their protein content:

Peanuts 25.5%
Cheese 24.5%
Pork chops 20.4%
Chicken breast 22.8%
Steak 23.8%
Salmon 20.2%
Wheat 12.4%
Bacon 15.2%
Cod 16.4 %
Eggs 12.5%
Milk 3.5%

Protein content of a real food never exceeds 25-30%. There are protein powders used for bodybuilding, containing protein up to 90%, but after they are diluted with milk, water or juice, they will have on average 20% protein content.

Adult vegans can get their protein from soy, nuts, beans and grains, but young children need dairies at least,and maybe eggs,  because while the vegan diet is possible, it is not recommended for children, as very often the parents need solid knowledge related to the mater.

Next post will be about the protein absorption and digestion. See you soon.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Best 7 dietary advice tips related to fatty acids

1. It is good to eat enough dietary fiber (wholemeal bread, fruits and veg).

2. Saturated fats should be less than 10% of our daily meals.

3. Replace solid fats with oil if possible.

4. Limit foods containing trans fatty acids (hydrogenated oils) and keep the total trans fat consumption close to zero.

5. Eat daily less than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol.

6. Reduce intake  of solid fats.

7. The coconut oil myth: because it consists mainly of medium chain fatty acids (60-65% fatty acids with carbon chain length 6-12, some people believe that medium chain F.A. cannot be stored as fat. It is false.  While medium chain fats follow a different route, are more water soluble, taking up into blood stream  independently, not using chylomicrons, and are carried to liver, the caprilic acid (C 8:0) and the capric acid (C10:0) are not the only ones in the coconut oil. The lauric acid (C12:0) is the main fatty acid in the oil, and can be present up to 50%. Beyond a carbon chain of 10, any fatty acid is incorporated in chylomicrons starting with the lauric acid. On top of that, the coconut oil raise the blood LDL and HDL levels quite fast. The other claims that it is good for skin or that it is slowing premature ageing were also not proven.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

More fats - Omega 3

We will only touch the trans fats in few phrases, just because every specialist knows, and they were actively reduced in the last 30 years. Trans fats strongly raise cholesterol LDL in plasma. They are companies that are pushing clever marketing campaign associating this fats and sugar with active life or relaxation. They are the today's villains, in the same way the tobacco companies agenda worked in the Seventies, as this is the main cause of obesity, one of the roots of multiple health problems.

Omega 3 - or as it is called n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), are the following: linolenic acid, EPA and DHA, also known as fish oil fatty acids. Their properties are different than n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated  fatty acids (MUFA). Omega 3 fatty acids are believed to lower blood triglyceride levels, reducing V - LDL in liver and stimulating V-LDL metabolism in muscle and tissue.

A bit of history: when the Inuit population was checked, they got a low occurrence of cardio-vascular diseases (CVD). Their diet is abundant in fatty fish and fish oil, so we reach the conclusion that this provides protection against different CVD. The following research discovered that this diet can provide a 0% to 40% reduction of CVD risk (again, the individual factor is prevalent) and decrease the risk of fatal CVD, but no effect was noted on heart dysfunctions (fibrillation and arrhythmia) .

In conclusion: we do not have enough data to gather strong evidence, but today we have excellent treatment options, so if you survive the first hearth attack, chances are that the second will never happen (we got statins, blood thinners, beta blockers, blood pressure lowering medicine).

N-3 PUFA, or Omega 3 as they are widely known, are effective for high triglycerides, likely effective for heart disease and possible effective for blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis and weight loss. They have potent anti-inflammatory actions.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Saturated (SFA) and mono/poli unsaturated (MUFA - PUFA) fatty acids

The mainstream idea is that reducing the intake of saturated fat will reduce the coronary heart diseases (CHD). According to the latest researches, it is more important to limit refined carbs and to reduce excess adiposity.

There is a famous research done by Ancel Keys on Japanese men migrating from Japan to Hawaii or California, related to the increased percentage of CHD risk if the calories from SFA increase. If the SFA intake increases, the CHD risk dramatically increase. But the results are still treated as inconclusive, as there are too many variables involved.

The idea behind this is that when the SFA intake increases through dietary intervention, the serum lipids values increase (mostly LDL, but also HDL in a smaller proportion), and the CHD risk prediction also increase.

Few useful conclusions from other researches:

Vegetable oils (poliunsaturated fatty acids - PUFA) replacing SFA from dairy and meat will lower the CHD risk.

Reducing SFA and increasing refined carbs make no change to the CHD risk.

SFA raises LDL (causal factor for CHD and atherosclerosis), replacing SFA with MUFA/PUFA lower LDL levels.

Replacing SFA with PUFA prevents and regresses atherosclerosis in non human primates.



Sources of SFA - dairy foods (butter, cream, cheese, milk), fatty meat, processed meat, salami, sausages, chicken skin, cured meat, palm oil, cooking margarine, coconut oil and milk, fatty snack foods, deep fried, cakes, biscuits, pastries.

Sources of PUFA - Omega3/Omega6 healthy fats - soy bean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, walnuts, tofu, canola, sunflower and flax seeds, fish (salmon, tuna, trout, herring, mackerel).

Sources of MUFA - nuts, avocado, canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, peanut butter.


Sunday, 10 June 2018

One interesting study about fat and health correlations

As we keep talking about the role of fat in our health, here it is one very important study.

If the study seems to much for your actual level of knowledge you can see some important parts of it here. Or here.

My favorite quote from the text:
"Stupidity is what's killing us, not sugar or saturated fat."

Friday, 8 June 2018

Dietary cholesterol

Low-density Lipids (LDL) are sensitive to changes in dietary fat composition. The amount of cholesterol, trans fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids in daily diet can change the level of lipoproteins in blood. But, for the majority of the people, the blood cholesterol levels are rather insensitive to the dietary cholesterol intake. Dietary cholesterol contributions are only 33% the total cholesterol content in the body. Also, the changes are influenced differently for every individual, and just for 25-33% of the population a raise in dietary cholesterol will trigger a raise in the cholesterol blood levels. The relation between dietary and blood cholesterol is determined genetically via fractional cholesterol absorption - the proportion of the cholesterol absorbed in intestines can vary between 30-80% at humans.

Dietary guidelines of the past suggested 300 mg daily, but today the researchers said that the cholesterol is much less of a concern. Anyway, the high intake can lead to cardiovascular disease to some segments of the population, such as people with diabetes type 2.

What is the long term strategy?

Avoid cholesterol rich foods like eggs, organ meats, shellfish. Increase the intake of fibers - pectins, psyllium, betaglucans and inulin. Plant sterols and stanols decrease the cholesterol absorption (and they are today added to yogurt, milk and spreads to create functional foods with lower cholesterol).

Different people react different to dietary changes, and the fiber pill relation to the cholesterol levels is not a one size fill all strategy. The latest approach is called personalized nutrition - the possibility to adjust nutritional advice in relation with the person response to dietary changes.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Are you a runner?

What do you know about the ideal running temperature? What about nutrition, race course turns and hills? Pacing formation? Conservative drafting? Nike or Adidas?

Check this link and enjoy the results!

Good luck!

Friday, 1 June 2018

Cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis and eicosanoids (good fat vs bad fat)

A cardiovascular disease (CVD) involves heart and blood vessels problems. The most common is the coronary heart disease (CHD), when the coronary arteries become narrow and rigid restricting the blood flow towards the heart. It is also called Ischemic heart disease.

Another common disease is stroke, when the arteries supplying blood to the brain become blocked, reducing the blood flow.

Most of the CVD are related to the atherosclerosis (the build-up of the plaque on the wall of the arteries, gradually obstructing the blood flow due to the narrowing of the arteries). We can also mention here the not-so-common diseases such as heart failure, cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), heart valve problems and arrhythmia.

Regarding the cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death in the high income countries is CHD, while in the low income countries the infections are the major cause of death. Highest rates of death by CHD are found in Eastern Europe, while the lowest rate is in France and Japan. The substantial increase in Coronary heart disease in Eastern Europe has been linked to tobacco use, dietary behaviors, alcohol use and poor medical care.

Let's talk about atherosclerosis, which is the gradual narrowing of the arteries due to the build of plaque. It is asymptomatic, developing slowly and insidiously. When the oxygen supply cannot meet the demands, because the blood flow is impaired, the problems start to manifest (if it is happening in the heart is ischemia, in the brain is stroke, outside of those two areas is peripheral vascular disease).

The normal artery contains three layers. The inner layer - the endothelium - is in direct contact with the blood. The middle layer contains smooth muscle cells that expands and contracts the blood vessels. The outer layer is composed mostly form connective tissue. The experts believe that the plaque begins to form due to the damaged endothelium, highly supported by an elevated lipids level in the blood, high blood pressure and smoking. Because of the damage, we have white cells sticking to the endothelium, as this layer starts to produce sticky molecules called adhesion molecules, with role in the capture of the white cells. After adhesion, the white cells can move even further into the wall of the arteries. (including t-cells and macrophages). In the vessel wall, the macrophages can take up lipid droplets, becoming foam cells and the wall gradually thicken as it fills up with lipids. When the process advances, the smooth muscles move up to the inner layer and start to produce collagen, giving a connective tissue appearance to the inner wall. As the atherosclerotic process advances even more, cells die and the cell debris and lipids accumulates in the central region of the plaque (called lipid core or necrotic core). Lipids from the atherosclerotic plaque primarily originate from LDL cholesterol, which is interacting with the macrophages creating foam cells, which in turn produce molecules that aggravate the inflammation.

The lipid hypothesis says that lipids, especially LDL cholesterol are deposited in the atherosclerotic lesions and it is a 60 years old supposition. But the idea that elevated lipid levels contribute casually to atherosclerosis is still faced with skepticism. The other mainstream hypothesis is the inflammatory one, stating that inflammation and the immune system got a role in the apparition of the atherosclerosis. It is not proved yet that anti-inflammatory therapy reduces the myocardial infarctions (heart attack).

What we know is that the atherosclerosis lesions are quite stable most of the time, as the lipid core is covered in a thick layer of materials creating the fibrous cap. When inflamed, the white cells produce molecules that gradually break the fibrous cap. The plaque is thinning out and break, then rupture of the plaque leads to thrombosis, triggering the blood clotting. The blood clot can occlude the blood vessel partially or completely at the site of rupture. The blood clot stays there or it is dislodged and block the blood vessel elsewhere. Thrombosis is the formation of a thrombus (blood clot) inside of a blood vessel, impairing the blood flow. Blood clots are formed via coagulation (a process characterized by activation, adhesion and aggregation of the platelets). When someone suffer from heart attack, receiving rapid treatment with thrombolytic drugs (blood clot dissolvants) can save them.

The interesting part is that the blood coagulation is controlled by certain eicosanoids (as we know the eicosanoids are made from unsaturated fatty acids). A way to deal with this is to use not-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to inhibit the synthesis if the eicosanoids, blocking the cyclooxigenase enzyme, as primary and secondary prevention (for people who already had a heart attack). Because the eicosanoids are made mostly from essential fatty acids, the types of poli-unsaturated fatty acids present in our diet can influence the production of eicosanoids or just to put it in another way, the fatty acids that we eat may influence the blood clotting, in a good or a bad way. 

And another thing for you to know, the atherosclerosis process can be reversed and reduced using a right diet. We will talk about this another time. 

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Eicosanoids, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases

In my next post i will try to delve even further in the role played by the eicosanoids in the prevention of the cardiovascular diseases.

I am working currently at a careful wording, in order to not use to many scientific terms. I try.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

The eicosanoids and their relation with the essential fatty acids

This is a bit complicated, but please read slowly and check the connections with the previous posts.

Not very well known, the eicosanoids have roles in virtually every process in the body. Mainly they are binding to receptors on the surface and inside the cells. They can be categorized in prostaglandins (prostacyclins, thromboxanes) and leukotrienes (lipoxins).

The main substrate for eicosanoids synthesis is the arachidonic acid, resulted from the linoleic acid, one of the essential fatty oils. The prostaglandins synthesis from arachidonic acid, catalyzed by cyclo-oxigenase, can be inhibited by certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (Aspirine).

The other essential fatty acid - the linolenic acid - is transformed in EPA - a precursor for other eicosanoids synthesis - types that have more anti-inflammatory properties. We can mention Resolvins - which are made only from EPA.

In US and Norway, the main source for linolenic acid is soybean oil and its derivatives (tofu and other soybean-based products). EPA and DHA are obtained from krill and algae, but the real source is the algae producing the EPA/DHA, which is consumed by the krill, which in turn is eaten by the fishes. (30% of the fatty acids are in DHA form). In the infant formula all over the globe, the DHA  is coming from algae.

As you can see, i mentioned the essential fatty acids, the linoleic (part of the n-6 fatty acids family) and the linolenic acid (part of the n-3 fatty acids family). Those fatty acids need to be provided in diet, the lack of it can lead to poor growth and even death. They are essential because mammals cannot introduce double bonds beyond Carbon10 (counting from the carboxyl (end of the fatty acid). We cannot introduce Delta12 and Delta15, but we can make arachidonic acid (C20:4, N-6) from linoleic acid (C18:2:N-6) and EPA (C20:5,N-3) from linolenic acid ( C18:3, N-3).

The linoleic acid is a precursor for the arachidonic acid, source for various eicosanoids (functions in the body, pain management, immune function, blood pressure regulation and blood clotting). The linolenic acid is a precursor for EPA (eicosapentoic acid) and DHA (docosahexapentoic acid), serving to certains prostaglandins, such as the phospholipids in the brain and retina (from DHA). EPA and DHA can be found only in fatty fish and are sometimes reffered as fish oil fatty acids. A vegan or vegetarian diet will never have any EPA/DHA, so you will need to compensate by choosing good sources for linoleic and linolenic acids.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Dietary fats - Part two (Triglycerides digestion)

Many foods contains substantial amounts of dietary fats. Cooking oils (Sunflower, peanut, olive) got 100% fats as triglycerides. Butter and mayo - got more than 80% fat, bacon and sausages - around 40% fats, as opposed to fruits and veg - little to no fat.

We can have cholesterol only in foods of animal origin (highest amount in egg yolk and shrimps). Saturated fatty acids can be found in lard, butter, coconut oil, and unsaturated fatty acids in vegetable oils. Soy bean oil - has linolenic acids (C18:3), coconut oil - has medium chain fatty acids (8-12 chains, fish oil - has fatty acids with 20-22 chain length. Flax-seed oil is a good source of essential fatty acids (50% linolenic acids).

Fat digestion - we would talk especially about triglycerides digestion. The breakdown of a triglycerides molecule is done under the influence of an enzyme called lipase. It is broken in 2 fatty acids and one monoglyceride attached to a fatty acids. We got lingual lipase, in the mouth, with a role in fat taste detection more than digestion. The process starts in the stomach under the gastric lipase, and it is continued in the intestines, with the pancreatic lipase doing most of the job. When dietary fat enters in the intestines, a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) is released, to activate the gall bladder contractions, and the secretion of bile acids. Bile acids are made from cholesterol and are stored in the gall bladder with cholesterol and phospholipids, and has the role of an emulsifier, changing fat in little droplets, for pancreatic lipase easy access. The main bile acid is the cholic acid, can be attached easily to amino-acids like taurine and glycine (making taurocholate and glycocholate - conjugated acids). The broken down fatty acids and the monoglycerides resulted from the digestion of triglycerides form a special structure called mycelle and the bile acids play an important role in it. Then they are taken up by the enterocyte (intestinal cell) and reconverted into triglycerides via a process called re-esterification. Then they are packaged into special particles called chylomicrons - which carry the dietary fats through the body, using the lymphatic circulation (small vessels called lacteals) to reach the subclavian vein.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Fats - intro

The fats, also known by the scientific (fancy) name of lipids, are digested and released in the blood stream, as lipoproteins (ULDL, HDL, LDL), and then stored as fat tissue. An important role is played by the essential fatty acids (linoleic acid and linolenic acid), but about this we will write a bit later.

There are different tipes of fat, and the first classification is by saturation grade (saturated (triglycerides, phospholipids, sterols) and unsaturated. Out of dietary lipids, the triglycerides make 95% of our daily fat. A triglyceride is made from 3 fatty acids linked via a glycerol molecule.
Another classification is made according to the state of the lipids at room temperature - if solid  is called fat, if liquid is called oil.

Fatty acids - are made from a chain of hydrogenated carbon atoms connected to a carboxil group. The chain length could be anywhere between 3 to 24 carbon atoms. The degree of saturation is related to the number of double bonds - unsaturated fatty acids got at least on double bond (mono-unsaturated f.a. has one, poli-unsaturated f.a. at least two double bonds). Point of unsaturation - where the double bonds are located in the fatty acid molecule - n (omega) and delta designation (shows all double bonds. The most abundant fatty acids in our food are oleic and palmitic acids (2/3 of our daily intake).

According to the point of unsaturation, the most common acids in our diet are C16:0 - palmitic acid, C18:0 stearic acid, C18:2 linoleic acid, C18:3 linolenic acic and C18:1 oleic acid.
The lenght of the chain is related to the melting point, shorther the chain, lower the melting point. The more unsaturated, the lower the melting point also. Liquids such as vegetable oils (made from sunflower, corn, olive, peanut, canola or soy) are mostly unsaturated, while solid fats like butter are mostly saturated fatty acids.

Triglycerides are mostly saturated, more stable and less prone to oxidation (one of the important oxidation reaction is the hydrogenation - unsaturated fatty acids become saturated). Hydrogenation is a common process in food manufacturing (or used to be) but it is also transforming the Cis fatty acids in Trans fatty acids, with negative influence on health. The Trans fatty acids are made during industrial processing and in the stomach of ruminants such as cows.

Phospholipids contains a diglyceride, a phosphate and a simple organic molecule such as choline. The got a polar and an apolar side (amphipathic properties). Are major components of cell membranes (you can find them in plant and animal food). They are added during food preparation as emulsifiers, to help the oil and the water to create a stable emulsion (prevents oil and water to separate). They line up tail-to-tail in the membrane of the cell to form a bylayer, as a barrier for entry of many molecules into the cell.

Sterols are the third lipid component in the diet. The main one is known as cholesterol, found in foods of animal origin. The plants have sterols and stanols, most of them being eliminated via stools. Added to the food to reduce the absorption of cholesterol, they can potentially lead to a 10% reduction of the cholesterol in the blood stream .

Monday, 2 April 2018

Supplement trends - Uridine monophosphate

Uridine monophosphate

Uridine monophosphate (UMP), also known as 5′-uridylic acid (conjugate base uridylate), is a nucleotide that is used as a monomer in RNA. It is an ester of phosphoric acid with the nucleoside uridine. UMP consists of the phosphate group, the pentose sugar ribose, and the nucleobase uracil; hence, it is a ribonucleotide monophosphate. As a substituent or radical its name takes the form of the prefix uridylyl-. The deoxy form is abbreviated dUMP.

In brain research studies, uridine monophosphate is used as a convenient delivery compound for uridine. Uridine is the active component of this compound. Uridine is present in many foods, mainly in the form of RNA. Non-phosphorylated uridine is not bioavailable beyond first-pass metabolism, as it is almost entirely catabolised in the liver and gastrointestinal tract.

Uridine Monophosphate, also known as UMP, is one of four major components of ribonucleic acid (RNA); the other three are adenosine, guanine and cytidine. Below are products containing uridine in the form of RNA. However, uridine in this form is bioavailable. It is destroyed by the liver and gastrointestinal tract, and the food intake does not increase the level of uridine in the blood. In infant’s consuming breast milk or commercial infant formula, uridine monophosphate present as, and this is indeed a source of uridine bioavailability and enters the blood. Consumption of food rich RNA may lead to increased levels of purines (adenosine and guanosine) in the blood. High levels cause an increase in purines uric acid levels and can impair or lead to the development of diseases such as gout. Moderate consumption of yeast, about 5 grams per day will provide adequate levels of uridine, for health improvement with minimal side effects. It has been suggested that RNA from yeast products must be chemically reduced, if these products are consumed in large amounts (50 g or more per day) as a source of protein. However, such processing is expensive and is rarely used. Harvard researchers have reported that the addition of uridine and EPA / DHA omega-3 fatty acids in rats act as antidepressants. Uridine plays an important role in glycolysis pathway galactose. There is no catabolic process for the metabolism of galactose. Thus, the galactose into glucose and glucose metabolized in the general way. After converting incoming galactose-1-phosphate (Gal-1-P), it participates in the reaction with UDP-glucose, a glucose molecule attached to a molecule of UDP (uridine di-phosphate). This process is catalyzed by the enzyme galactose-1-phosphate uridiltransferazy and transmits the UDP galactose molecule. The result is a molecule UDP-galactose and glucose molecule-1-phosphate. This process continues for the galactose molecule glycolysis.

Often uridine is used in conjunction with cytidine. Nucleotide such as uridine triphosphate and cytidine monophosphate is used to treat diseases of the central nervous system. Cytidine active substance participates in the synthesis of complex lipids forming the neuronal membrane, preferably sphingomyelin – a chief component of myelin membrane. Furthermore, cytidine is a precursor of nucleic acids (RNA and DNA), is a serious component of cell metabolism. Uridine active substance acts as a coenzyme participating in the synthesis of neuronal structures of glycolipids and myelin sheath, thereby complementing the action of cytidine. Uridine is a source of energy in the process of muscle contraction. The combined effects of cytidine and uridine contribute to the regeneration of the myelin sheath, as well as the proper conduction of nerve impulses and restore muscle trophism.

Indicated for the treatment:

– Neuropathies osteoarticular etiology (lumbago, sciatica);
– Neuropathies metabolic etiology (diabetic, alcoholic polyneuropathy);
– Neuropathies infectious etiology (shingles);
– Inflammation of the facial nerve;
– Inflammation of the trigeminal nerve;
– Intercostal neuralgia;
– Lumbodynia.

Perform classical pharmacokinetic studies practically impracticable, because the medicament contains physiological products and cannot determine with accuracy the amount of endogenous and exogenous components. Due to the heavy load radiological also impossible to carry out analysis using labeled (radioactively) product. Given the low toxicity of the drug, overdose is unlikely even if unintentional excess of therapeutic doses. It does not affect driving and work that requires high concentration and speed of psychomotor reactions. In patients with hypersensitivity may develop allergic reactions.

Uridine can be found in many foods such as tomatoes, beer, and breast milk. Uridine can bypass the blood-brain barrier effectively by one of two neuro transporters known as equilibrate and concentrative. Uridine also when administered orally causes a production of CDP-choline.

Uridine is a Ribonucleoside, which are the building blocks for both RNA and DNA. Uridine is one of the four essential components of RNA (ribonucleic acid), and is absorbed within the intestinal tract. Studies have shown that supplementation of Uridine along with Choline and fish oil increases synaptic formation and function, showing improvement in persons suffering from mild Alzheimer’s Disease. This nootropic may increase or raise dopamine levels within the brain.
(Now these are two side effects that i will be happy to trigger, dopamine being the cause of most of our addictions - hint - decrease or stop smoking, caffeine or alcohol consumption, and synaptic formation and function means that the brain can regenerate and perform better.)

Other key element is that it is working better in combination with fish oil (Omega 3) supplements. I was already talking about the benefits of having a daily supplementation of Omega 3 fatty acids, and seems that a minimal dose of uridine will greatly increase the benefits of the aforementioned fatty acids.

You can find good sources of Uridine online.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Carbohidrates II (About fiber and lactose-intolerance)

Let's continue to explore the carbs story.

As i said in a previous post, there are some carbs that cannot be digested. They are named fibers, and they can be water soluble and insoluble.
-Soluble fibers are known to lower blood cholesterol  (reducing the risk of heart disease), slow glucose absorption (protecting against type 2 diabetes) and hold moisture in stools (preventing constipation).
-The insoluble fibers are known to increase fecal weight, speed fecal passage and provide bulk and fullness feelings when eaten.

At first, in the past decades, researchers believed in a relation between fibers and colon cancer, but recent cohort studies proved that untrue. However, an increase in fibers can improve health, only because we are not having the right amount every day.


Lactose intolerance

What is lactose? Lactose is the sugar from milk, yogurt and dairy. Lactose intolerance is manifested through abdominal pain, bloating, gas development and diarrhea. Is is the result of a deficiency of an enzyme present in the gastro-intestinal tract, called lactase. Lactase can break the lactose in its primary components - glucose and galactose. Anyway, as you age, your body gradually lose the ability to produce lactase. Most of the people around the world will become eventually lactose-intolerant. Globally,most of the Northern and Western Europe is lactose-tolerant, while most of the Asia is lactose intolerant.

Does this means complete elimination of milk and dairy? Not always, sometimes yogurt is better tolerated than milk, but if this is not the case, you can always use lacto-free milk (made from soy or almonds, for example).

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Sweeteners 101

There are two kinds of sweeteners: non-nutritive and nutritive. Non-nutritive sweeteners are also called high intensity sweeteners as they are used in small amounts instead of sugar. Let's see them!

Non-nutritive sweetener / Relative sweetness
Stevia                                  250
Aspartame                      150-200
Acesulfame Potassium      200
Sodium Ciclamate              30
Neotame(Nutrasweet)       800
Saccharin                          300
Sucralose                          600

Only Stevia is a non-artificial sweetener, being extracted from a plant, all the others are artificial made. They are also heat stable, except the Aspartame, which is not, and for this reason is used mainly for diet beverages. The others can be used in baked good without problem. First artificial sweetener discovered before WW1 was saccharin. Next one, discovered in USA in 1965 was aspartame, which was used largely, even as table top sweetener. But lately in the 90's we witnessed the anti-aspartame craze, and some companies like PepsiCo for example, went with the trend and used sucralose, marketing their drinks as aspartame free. Of course, the taste changed, so three months later they started to use aspartame again.  Some interesting facts, there is a direct link between using sweeteners and gaining weight, but no causality established. According to the research, replacing added sugar with sweeteners may result in lower energy and reduced body weight, there were few small studies, but no clear conclusion was drawn. The idea is that you should not have extra drinks or food just because is diet, because this is how you gain weight.

The second category is called nutritive sweeteners, also known as sugar alcohols. Their energy value is between 1.6-3kcal/gram (sugar -4kcal/gram) and their sweetness is slightly lower than sugar.

Nutritive sweetener / Relative sweetness
Sorbitol                       0.6
Maltitol                       0.9
Xylitol                         1
Lactitol                       0.4
Manitol                       0.5

They are used in sugar free gum (preventing tooth decay) and as sugar alternative in sweets for diabetics (smaller increase in blood sugar response, but also a laxative effect in high doses).

Monday, 12 March 2018

Luck and Success

Seems that the role of luck in achieving tremendous success is much more important that we are believing to be. Check this article to find more.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Writing, second language and Nicaraguan signs

* I was listening again the podcast with the guy who is writing a book every 21 days. Few years ago he would get just enough to stop working for a living, but now, two years later, he is averaging 40-50k per months with more than 100 books.

I was not so efficient like him, with two books published in March last year and another two this year in February, reaching the total count of 12.

** When it is about children, a negative habit such as whining or hysteric episodes, the way to deal with them is by using the psychological idea of extinction. But our rate of success needs to be as close to 100% as possible. If we decide to not give in when the child is whining, consistence is the key. If we stop after a while, we will reinforce the idea that we will eventually give up when the child is persistent. So giving in later is a No-No.

***Learning a new language as a child can have its own benefits. The second language will be native if it is learned before age of three, decreasing in quality with each age group (4-15, 15-18, 19-39) After age of 39, you will never speak perfectly, in theory. One good resource to check your child language is wordbank.stanford.edu. The ideal age of acquisition for a second language is before age of 10. A peer group talking in the studied language is ideal. If this is done early, the child will gradually lose the ability to speak first language, even if he/she will understand it. Even if parents are using the language. But not if he/she will have a second peer group where to use the language. An interesting observation was done in Nicaragua, where the deaf children were not supported until 1980s. Because of that, being deaf in there meant that you will have only rudiments of language, but something strange happen. After 1980, they start to create schools for deaf children, and their sign language started to get structure and subtlety with each new generation. The result was called Nicaraguan Sign Language. Main benefits in learning the second language are believed to be a result of switching from one language to another, creating a series of cognitive advantages called executive functions (EF). The main influence of the executive functions are observed in planning, flexibility and stopping/inhibition. They will relate later in life with retirement habits, diet, stopping bad habits such as smoking. Let's talk about diet as an example. Everybody knows the theory, but we do not do the right things, even if we know them. When you are on diet, and see food, the initial response (prepotent tendency) is to eat, but then we switch and stop. Same as when we are French speaking - English, but we are asked in French. The first impulse is to answer in English, but we switch and answer in French.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Food experiment

I just wrote everything that i was eating and drinking for two days, and it is still place to improve.

Statistically speaking, i have 2 meals and 2 snacks of average, with 800-1000 ml of drinks daily. I know, i need to drink a bit more, and probably i can have some better quality snacks prepared. Except this, everything is alright.

Next ones to plan:

7 days diary on my activities by hours
1 month diary on all my income and expenses

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

How to avoid getting fat in few easy steps (part 1)

This is a story of love, a Valentine's Day special, the story of interdependence and attachment between two main macro-nutrients, let's call them carbohydrates and fats.

Carbohydrates can be simple and complex. The simple ones can be classified in monosaccharides (glucose, fructose and galactose) and disaccharides (maltose, sucrose and lactose). The complex ones are glycogen, starchi and fibers.

During digestion, the starch is broken to same degree, under the action of the amylase enzyme, secreted by salivary glands. When the carbohydrates reaches the stomach, the amylase is inactivated by the acidic medium. The digestion continues in the duodenum, under the action of the pancreatic amylase (an enzyme secreted by the pancreas). The starch is broken in maltose, sucrose and lactose. They are transformed in fructose, glucose and galactose under the action of enzymes such as maltase, sucrase and lactase).

Absorbed in the blood stream, the monosaccharides (glucose, fructose and galactose) are then processed in the liver, where almost all the fructose and galactose is used, and a big part of the glucose goes back in the blood stream, in direct relation to the blood sugar level (glucose level).

When glucose level goes up, the pancreas is secreting the insulin hormone, the role of insulin being to transform the glucose from the blood stream into glycogen, and to deposit the glycogen into the muscle and in the liver. After this process the blood sugar level is decreasing. Because of this action, the pancreas is secreting another hormone called glucagon, to break the glycogen from the liver into glucose, and when the liver deposit is finished (for example during a period of fasting), the glycogen from the muscle is used. The glycogen deposit from the muscle it is also used to generate energy when we are exercising. If we finish both of them (the deposits from muscle and from liver), the muscle is used for glycogen and we lose weight.

If both the deposits are up to 100%, the glucose is transformed into fat. But the fat is never transformed back into glucose.

Conclusions:

Fasting and exercise are helping us to deplete the glycogen deposits, so the glucose will not be transformed in fat. (Search on Google about intermittent fasting)

If we fast and exercise too much, we will lose weight (but this will be muscle weight and not fat weight).

It is possible to eat plenty of sweets, as long as you are having a fasting period right before/after, or you exercise, or both. (This is by far my favourite conclusion)


(More to come soon - this is an excerpt from the future second edition of the book The Macronutrients Pocket Guide, written by me, of course )

Take care of your glycogen deposits,
G.

Quote of the day

"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older."
(- Larry McMurty -)

In order to achieve your goals, you do not need to be a genius, to have some incredible skills or to be amazing in what you are doing. You do not need to excel, you do not need to be a master planner or an expert. 

You need only to start. Action is the defining difference between winners and losers. Action will make all the difference between success and failure. 

Think about something that you always wanted to do. And start right now. See what it is and how to do it. Go on Wikipedia website. In the next month learn a bit and read a bit every day about your thing. Find the best three books about this and read them. After one month, check where you are. It this getting closer? Did you do it?

I feel inspired. I will check right now some informations about flight and planes. See you soon.

G.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Love, time and fool's gold


"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." (- Rumi -)


I enjoy beauty, whenever i can. Sometimes my perception change and a wave of everlasting beauty appear to manifest all around me. A flower's smell, a ray of sunshine, or just a cat rolling around can make me happy.

There is all this talk about love and how love conquer everything. I am not calling this BS, but seem that beauty is easy to manifest and replicate in your own being, but love, love is infinitely more difficult. Maybe i was not used to love enough, maybe i do not recognize the real love. I love little, and i know that.

So, in response to this matter, not love, but beauty is my religion. I can just see God as infinite beauty, and not defined by any name.

If you were to choose, what would you choose? Beauty of Love?

Life strategies

Read this article. It is quite good and you can see when you need to persuade somebody and when not to do it.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Book published - The No-Diet book - Eat healthy and live longer

Finally, after few years of tinkering, the book about diet is ready. You can buy it now from Amazon.

Link: here

Here are the main chapters:


1

The theory of healthy eating
2
The individual nutritional needs
3
How you plan a healthy diet
4
The management of weight
5
Eating disorders. What are them?
6
Food safety


I hope you will enjoy it and learn something new from reading it. 

(I am happy i finally finish it, hooray!)

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Fasting as a longevity factor

I was writing before about eating in a 6-10 hours interval and fast for the remaining 14-18 hours as a longevity hack. I was also talking about a monthly 24-72 hours fasting monthly with only water as a boost to health and a major "decrease in the inflammatory processes" hack.

In the following article you will also see an interesting detail, the author referring at health span as opposed to life span. As you guessed, the health span is the interval of life when we are healthy, and that is reminding me of James Dean's words "Ideally is to die young, but as late as possible."

Read full article about food and longevity here. Dr.Jason Fung everyone! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

"Black Swan" Nassim Taleb about Bitcoin

Check the link here.

A very interesting point about it, as i was expecting.

Working extra time is killing us slowly

Nobody died from too much work, some said, but I know at least one case in UK, one in Romania and few more in Japan to contradict those people.

Now I had even the research backing me up. Read this article for more information.

Friday, 12 January 2018

The poetry corner - Rumi

Delusion is a divine curse
that makes someone envious, conceited, malicious,
so that he doesn't know the evil he does
will strike him back.

If he could see his nothingness
and his deadly, festering wound,
pain would arise from looking within,
and that pain would save him.

-Rumi

Saturday, 6 January 2018

How to fail in the right way

Motto: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." (Samuel Becket)

You will now that something is wrong with our society when someone become angry while driving after 5 red lights. If you consider the green light a win, you have the right to be frustrated. We are conditioned to win, and to achieve more than our parents did. Sometimes we will achieve their dreams for them. Why? What happen if i want less than my parents? What happen if i would like to be a painter, even if both of them are doctors?

I repeat. We are conditioned to win. This being the source of our every pain. We do not know how to lose. We do not know how to fail. This is mostly a Western culture problem. Imagine that a Japanese try to solve a riddle for 20 years. And he did it in the end. Can you see yourself doing something similar? We all want to be rich, to be succesful, to have everything we think we deserve. But what if we do not deserve anything? What if we have the same bragging rights like everybody else in this little town where we live. 290.300 equal citizens.

Learning to fail is the most important thing in life. Because the result of that is a neglected skill called perseverance. When you persevere, you can do anything. We often heard about average people, surpassing geniuses. What is their secret? Perseverance. If you learn how to fail, but you fail better every time after first try, eventual you will refine your aim. And reach the final goal. The insurmountable one.

Fail again. But never in the same way.  Fail better. And keep doing that until you succeed. Life is too short to live in an average way.

Good night!
G.