Macular Degeneration and BDNF

Alva2 eye

A new study from LSU Health Sciences Center found that one of the omega-3 fatty acids protects your retina from lethal injuries as they happen. But it does much more… Researchers found that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) also protects your eyes from damage that may occur in the future. They said that DHA “preconditions” photoreceptor cells — special neurons in the retina — to survive future injuries.

It does the same thing for your retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. The RPE nourishes your retina. It’s also the first line of defense against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness. In other words, DHA acts like a vaccine. It provides protection against a future injury to the retina or other parts of the eye. When rats were given DHA before oxidative stress struck, the DHA protected against the damage that usually would occur in the eye.

If you have ever been diagnosed with an eye condition such as macular degeneration or cataracts, the doctor might have told you: “All we can do is watch and track the disease’s progress. It will inevitably get worse, and there is no way to reverse or regenerate the deterioration.
> Researchers found that cells in the eyes—specifically retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which are responsible for transmitting information from the eyes to the brain—are capable of regeneration, too. This is groundbreaking.

BDNF crucial to healing and regeneration of eyes.

We can reverse and heal damage due to traumatic injuries or degenerative diseases by boosting our BDNF levels. This is powerful information! Here’s how to do it:

Do aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes per day.
Get 30 minutes of sunlight per day.
Try intermittent fasting. Fasting rests your digestive system and stimulates healing.
Consume omega-3 fatty acids.
Add pre-probiotic fiber to your diet. Gut bacteria converts prebiotics into butyrate, a substance that has been shown to increase BDNF.
Eat curcumin to enhance mood and cognition and improve BDNF production.
Eliminate sugar and processed foods.
Drink antioxidant-rich green tea.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Cultivate positive relationships.
Add resveratrol and other polyphenols to your diet for their neuroprotective properties.
Get good-quality sleep.
Reduce your stress levels. Irregular cortisol levels can disrupt BDNF production.
Add magnesium to your diet. It’s estimated more than 50 percent of Americans are deficient in this mineral.
Add zinc to your diet. This trace mineral has antidepressant qualities and can increase BDNF levels in the brain.

Add these foods with eye-healthy nutrients to your diet.

>Asparagus. It contains glutathione, known as the ‘master antioxidant’ of the body, which is especially important in the lens and macula of the eye. Asparagus also contains folic acid which has been shown to prevent or reduce age-related macular degeneration.
Avocados. I eat one avocado a day. It has Omega-9 oils which prevent optic nerve problems and support a healthy brain, eye, and body.
Carrots. The beta-carotene is really great for all the eye tissues.
Coconut oil. This is a great fat that protects the optic nerve and the macula. It also helps reduce inflammation in the body.
Cordyceps. This is a medicinal mushroom that helps improve the respiratory system and the kidneys
Corn. Of course, I’m talking about non-GMO corn. But the yellow and the orange parts of the corn contain lutein, which is an important carotenoid that helps protect our retinas.
Blueberries. These are high in antioxidants that protect microcapillaries of the retina. It also helps our night vision.
Goji berries. This is a superfood which contains amino acids that help protect the macula and overall retina.
Lime. This is another very important fruit that has high levels of flavonoids, which balance the pH level in the body. Limes are also loaded with antioxidants.
Pumpkin seeds. These seeds contain high amounts of zinc and are a good source of protein and trace minerals. This is one of my go-tos in terms of getting plant-based protein.
Strawberries. Last but not least, strawberries are excellent for the health of your macula and retina.    (

(Note that the preceding recommendations are based on proxies such as BDNF and others listed, antioxidants, lutein, glutathione, etc.



A History of Mushing Before We Knew It


Albert Campbell from The Pas, Manitoba, winner of the 1917 St Paul Winter Carnival Winnipeg to St Paul race


Emil St Godard, winner of the 1932 Lake Placid Winter Olympics sled dog race

The Pas mushers

Shorty Russick on the left, 3rd place Lake Placid, St Godard far right the winner of the 1932 sled dog race gold medal, railroad baggage car used to transport sled dogs across the US and Canada to participate in races



Every 4 years the Winter Olympics and around the same time the Iditarod generate the same question: why isn’t mushing in the Olympics?


Sled dogs have coexisted and cooperated in partnership with humans for many thousands of years in the northern regions of North America and Siberia. Archeological evidence puts the earliest date at over 4,000 years ago. Some anthropologists suggest that human habitation and survival in the Arctic would not have been possible without sled dogs. In the Southwest of what is now the United States the first Spanish explorers encountered Indians who used dogs as draft animals pulling travois. They remarked that these dogs were an integral part of the Indians’ culture. In fact, in many North American Indian cultures the relationship with dogs was central to their style of life and the introduction of horses occurred in parallel without replacing or diminishing the cultural importance of dogs as respected associates and partners.

Sled dog activities as recreation and friendly competition may have existed for almost as long as the relationship between dogs and humans in the regions where snow was a seasonal probability. The first written account of a race was an informal challenge between travelers on the route from Winnipeg to St. Paul in the 1850s. In 1886 the first Saint Paul Winter Carnival featured sled dog races and ski competitions as part of the festival to glorify the attractions of winter in Minnesota. Sled dog races have been part of the Winter Carnival to the present day. The most memorable event was the 1917 race from Winnipeg to Saint Paul on which a recent Walt Disney movie (Iron Will) was loosely based. In reality the race that year was won by Albert Campbell, a Metis from The Pas, Manitoba followed by his brother in second place.

At the turn of the century the attention of the outside world had been drawn to the far North, Alaska and the Yukon, by the Gold Rush. The first major sled dog races to receive world wide attention were organized in Nome, Alaska as the All-Alaska Sweepstakes. Scotty Allan was a Scotsman who had come to North America as a handler for work horses and then joined the prospectors in the Klondike as a dog musher freighting supplies in to the remote mines and camps. He played a major role in the organization and focus of the early races in Alaska. It was Scotty Allan’s experience and understanding of working animals that helped to determine the course of the first races in Nome and of the sport these races inspired, insisting on the paramount importance of dog care. The All Alaska Sweepstakes races and the concurrent festivities were reported in the New York Times and other major newspapers. In addition to Scotty Allan, another musher who first came to prominence in Nome, Leonard Seppala, went on to have a major influence on the development of the sport.

By the 1920’s returning gold miners brought sled dog racing to New England where it prospered. The Gold Rush influence was felt throughout North America, even where mushing was already a popular sport. In the region around The Pas, Manitoba, where racing had continued since the teens, the style of harness changed from the traditional trap line tandem hitch with horse collar harnesses to the new Alaskan gangline with dogs in pairs and lightweight harnesses entirely made from webbing or lamp wicking. These were the glory years for sled dog racing during the 20’s and 30’s. The top professional mushers were often sponsored by prominent businesses or businessmen and the teams traveled across the continent by rail in boxcars, from New England to races as far west as Ashton, Idaho.

The attention given to mushing and its popularity in the news media made it a natural consequence that the first Winter Olympics held in North America would feature sled dog racing as representative of sports that originated on this continent. The 1932 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games included Sled Dog Racing as a Demonstration Sport. The contestants ran 7-dog teams 25 miles each day for two days. The winner was a French Canadian from The Pas, Manitoba, Emile St. Goddard whose duels with Leonard Seppala on the trails were already legend. Second was the Norwegian by way of Alaska, Leonard Seppala, and third was a Russian by way of Brooklyn and Manitoba, Shorty Russick.

Despite the international character of the participants in the race in Lake Placid there was little activity outside North America except in Norway where the use of dogs for military supply and ambulance work beginning at the time of the First World War had been transformed into a sport. (Sled dogs were also used during WWI in France and the SudTirol/Alto Adige region of Italy.) The influence of Nansen and Amundsen who used sled dogs in the North and South Polar regions was also important in establishing a Scandinavian sled dog sport. In the 1952 Oslo Olympics sled dogs were featured again as a Demonstration Sport this time in the form of pulka races where the driver accompanies the dogs on skis behind a toboggan or pulka.

Mushing in its many different forms has gradually spread around the world since that period. In 1992 the International Federation of Sleddog Sports was officially incorporated as a way to focus the efforts of many national, local and international organizations on the goal of Olympic recognition and alignment of mushing with other mainstream sports through the General Association of International Sports Federations. IFSS is recognized by GAISF and in all countries as the world governing body of sled dog sports. For more information visit the website at

In the 1950s and 60s the use of working dogs was gradually disappearing throughout North America. Airplanes and snowmobiles eliminated the need for sled dogs as transportation. One person, Joe Redington Senior and one race, the Iditarod, more than any other factors were responsible for preserving and reinvigorating mushing and continuing its traditions. Critics at the time said the only reason he and Dick Mackey started and put so much effort into the Iditarod was that their dogs and teams were too slow to be competitive in the existing sprint races like the Open North American Championship and Anchorage Fur Rondy. I believe that Joe Redington more than anyone else sustained and revived the true spirit of dog mushing as a way of life and the joyful working partnership with sled dogs that it had always been, at a time when, with the use of snow machines and other machinery, the dogs’ traditional role in transportation and subsistence and the tradition itself was disappearing. The Iditarod is not simply the most reported and recognized sled dog race in the world; it is a living monument to Joe and his vision and appreciation of the spirit of mushing.

Ironically, one important reason that sled dog racing is not part of the official Olympic Program now is its success outside the Olympics during the early years when other winter sports were barely recognized. The 1932 medal winners in Lake Placid were all professionals by the IOC standards of the time. For the sled dog race, a different definition was deliberately used, considering the importance to the Lake Placid Olympics of having competitors already recognized as household names in many parts of North America, when few if any other winter sports could claim an audience at all. During the following years sled dog racing continued its independent path of development and promotion.

A more direct answer as to why mushing is not in the Olympics considering the specific details and incidents:

The fact that dogs were used was not a disqualification. There are two sports in the Olympics already that involve horses. There are sports like archery and shooting that require less outright athletic ability. There is as much skill needed in sled dog racing as any other sport. The fact that it was different, an extreme sport in its own right at a time when the Olympics absorbed snowboarding and added X games type sports/events was an attraction added to the history of being in the Lake Placid Olympics where mushing was the leading most publicized sport. The New York Times commented that organizers were worried that the Lake Placid Games would not attract enough attention or spectators and were counting on the sled dog races to do it. So it was: the NY State Troopers were called in to clear the roads and road crossings during the sled dog race because of the crowds that showed up coming by train from NY City.

As president or vice president of the IFSS for 8 years beginning late ’98 one of the biggest problems I had was with people in the sport and in mushing organizations who were telling me with their own certainty what to do to achieve Olympic recognition. When I tracked down the basis for their assumptions or talked directly to the IOC and other International Olympic Sports Federations the people within mushing who claimed to know were invariably wrong. One of the biggest failings by IFSS was not recognizing the importance to the Olympic Movement of DEVELOPMENT. The commitment to use the resources of the sport especially from wealthier countries where that sport is well-established to subsidize and promote the sport in new regions and countries and to recruit and train new participants throughout the world. Programs and activities to recruit and train new participants should especially also be directed to youth in all countries.

When mushing was put to a vote at a meeting in Tokyo mid 90s it was expected to be approved but a last minute objection brought to the meeting from a pure breed organization undid all the other effort and work that had been done. Without due preparation FISTC claims were not going to disappear by ignoring them.

Simple answer: the personal animosity and jealousy of two Frenchmen antagonists whose true sport was politics, unwilling to share or be part of a much bigger scope for mushing, couples with their own and other mushing bureaucrats’ inability and lack of preparation to address the issues in the context of the Olympic Movement principles related to inclusion and DEVELOPMENT.

Either a joint application of the two organizations or having one person credible to IOC as advocate on the side of IFSS who could have answered FISTC’s claim as a rival to IFSS would have put mushing in the Olympic Program. So Gerhard Heiberg said to me 10 years later. Heiberg was at that meeting as head of the Lillehammer Games Organizing Committee and later became a member of the IOC Executive Board.


What does it mean really?

There’s many a slip between the evidence for populations and any particular patient! Perhaps evidence-BIASED would be more accurate way to characterize the problems.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Medical Science…

As a marketing slogan Evidence-Based seems to have lost its punch and now serves primarily to remind the public of their increasing distrust of the institutions and institutionalized methods that too often are market-driven distortions of valid scientific process.

The Trump Administration was doing the CDC a favor to caution them not to use the terms evidence based or science based in their press releases.

DMSO capsaicin

Notice DMSO listed as an inactive ingredient. Although it has anti-inflammatory properties no good would come of claiming it does have medicinal value and letting loose the FDA dogs.

“It’s called dimethyl sulfoxide, or DMSO. It’s a sulfur-rich compound that’s actually produced from trees when they’re turned into wood pulp for paper making.

It was once an underground sensation among pro athletes, in-the-know-doctors, and even racehorse trainers… because of its amazing bio-chemical effects… (Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes even did a full-length piece on the health benefits of DMSO in 1982)…

But because it’s not a prescription drug, doctors slowly stopped using it. And it was all but forgotten in scientific circles…”

>“Randomized controlled trials,” which compare how one group responds to a treatment against how an identical group fares without the treatment, had long been considered nearly unshakable evidence, but they, too, ended up being wrong some of the time. “I realized even our gold-standard research had a lot of problems,” he says. Baffled, he started looking for the specific ways in which studies were going wrong. And before long he discovered that the range of errors being committed was astonishing: from what questions researchers posed, to how they set up the studies, to which patients they recruited for the studies, to which measurements they took, to how they analyzed the data, to how they presented their results, to how particular studies came to be published in medical journals.

If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proving untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable. That article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (

>John Ioannidis is one of the world’s foremost experts on the credibility of medical research. He and his team have repeatedly shown that many of the conclusions biomedical researchers arrive at in their published studies are exaggerated or flat-out wrong. Yet this is the “science-based evidence” doctors use to prescribe drugs or recommend surgery. According to Ioannidis’ findings, as much as 90 percent of the published medical information relied on by doctors is flawed or incorrect.9

He’s not the only one who has reached this conclusion. In fact, the idea that conventional medical treatments are “scientifically proven” and based on solid science is quite the misnomer. According to 2007 data from the British Medical Journal’s “Clinical Evidence” website, of the 2,500 treatments evaluated, only 15 percent were rated as beneficial. A whopping 46 percent had an efficacy rating of “unknown.”10,11

In other words, nearly half of accepted medical treatments used in general practice were not scientifically proven to work or provide benefit for the patient. Granted, that’s a significant improvement over statistics compiled in 1978, when the Office of Technology Assessment concluded only 10 to 20 percent of medical treatments had evidence to support their use.12 Research also shows that many novel medical treatments gain popularity over older standards of care due mostly to clever marketing, not solid science.

An investigation13 by the Mayo Clinic published in 2013 proved this point. To determine the overall effectiveness of medical care, researchers tracked the frequency of medical reversals over the past decade. Not only did they find that reversals are common across all classes of medical practice, but they too confirmed that a significant proportion of medical treatments offer no patient benefit.

The most telling data in the report confirm that many common medical treatments actually do more harm than good. Of the studies that tested an existing standard of care, 40 percent reversed the practice as it was found to be either ineffective or harmful. Only 38 percent of the studies reaffirmed existing standards.

The remaining 22 percent were inconclusive. This means that anywhere between 40 and 78 percent of the medical testing, treatments and procedures you receive are of no benefit to you — or are actually harmful — according to clinical studies.

Doctors (not to mention drug companies) may bemoan the lack of trust and faith in their offerings, but you certainly cannot claim that it’s an undeserved trend. In 2000, Dr. Barbara Starfield published a study revealing that doctors are in fact the third leading cause of death in the U.S., killing an estimated 225,000 patients annually.17 Her statistics showed that each year:

  • 12,000 die from unnecessary surgery
  • 7,000 die from medication errors in hospitals
  • 20,000 die from other errors in hospitals
  • 80,000 die from hospital-acquired infections
  • 106,000 die from the negative side effects of drugs taken as prescribed

According to a 2012 report by the Institute of Medicine, an estimated 30 percent of all medical procedures, tests and medications may in fact be unnecessary,22 at a cost of at least $750 billion a year. (

Shut Your Mouth!

And don’t believe everything you think…

Short clip from the end of the film. Henry Fonda is Jack Beauregard:

As a trick or joke it goes back at least to The Odyssey, the Cyclops shouts for help: “Nobody is trying to kill me!”
Then more recently in the Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western, My Name Is Nobody. After the final shootout the inscription on on the loser’s grave marker reads, JACK BEAUREGARD 1848-1899 NOBODY WAS FASTER ON THE DRAW
Here’s a new spin on the meme: “NO gas from the nose and sinuses is inhaled with every breath”

>The discovery within the paranasal sinuses for the production of nitric oxide (NO) has altered the traditional explanations of sinus physiology. This review article reports the ongoing investigation of sinus physiology beginning with the discovery of NO gas production in the paranasal sinuses that occurred in 1995, and the impact that finding has had both in the basic science and clinical arenas. It was shown that healthy paranasal sinus epithelium expresses an inducible NO synthase that continuously generates large amounts of NO, a pluripotent gaseous messenger with potent vasodilating, and antimicrobial activity. This NO can be measured noninvasively in nasally exhaled breath. The role of NO in the sinuses is likely to enhance local host defense mechanisms via direct inhibition of pathogen growth and stimulation of mucociliary activity. The NO concentration in a healthy sinus exceeds those that are needed for antibacterial effects in vitro. In patients with primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and in cystic fibrosis, nasal NO is extremely low. This defect NO generation likely contributes to the great susceptibility to chronic sinusitis in these patients. In addition, the low-nasal NO is of diagnostic value especially in PCD, where nasal NO is very low or absent. Intriguingly, NO gas from the nose and sinuses is inhaled with every breath and reaches the lungs in a more diluted form to enhance pulmonary oxygen uptake via local vasodilation. In this sense NO may be regarded as an “aerocrine” hormone that is produced in the nose and sinuses and transported to a distal site of action with every inhalation. (
More reason to heed George Catlin and Weston Price’s advice to Shut Your Mouth! (breath through your nose)

>There is accumulating evidence that nasal humming (which is the production of a tone without opening the lips or forming words) during nNO measurement increases nNO levels due to a rapid gas exchange in the paranasal sinuses. (

>This suggests that flavones may have anti-gram-negative potential as topical therapeutics when combined with antibiotics or in the context of innate antimicrobials secreted by the respiratory or other epithelia. This may have an additive effect when combined with T2R14-activated NO production. Additional studies are necessary to understand which flavone compounds or mixtures are the most efficacious. (

Put The Lyme In The Coconut

“It’s an ill wind that blows no good”

On the anniversary of Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration the CDC is reducing their fear-mongering protection racket activities because of the government budget shutdown.

They won’t be able to continue pushing the self-serving and Big Pharma agenda for hyper-vaccination, apocalipstick flu-phobia and general eco-phobia, they won’t be trumpeting the straw man fallacy that people with persistent symptoms after Lyme disease are hypochondriacs because no Borrelia are found.
Fortunately there are Alternative Medicine methods and substances! In medicine as in biology, diversity is strength. Monoculture leads to distress and dysfunction.

Further studies in ceftriaxone-treated infected mice have shown that Borrelia
infections in mice can have a resurgent pattern. The treated mice tested consistently negative for Borrelia through microscopy, culture, xenodiagnoses and PCR from 1 to 8 months after infection.

However, the presence of non-culturable Borrelia was discovered in treated mice 12 months after infection through PCR. At month 12, the levels of Borrelia flaB DNA in the treated mice were similar to the levels found in the saline-treated infected control group.

These results suggest that Borrelia actually replicated after antibiotic removal in a form that is not culturable and that mice may be used as a viable model for long-term treatment study of PTLDS.

The commonly used Lyme antibiotics have been found to be highly effective
against actively growing log phase Borrelia cultures, but have little activity against stationary phase populations.

In order to address this issue, I chose to examine 13 drugs that were orally
bioavailable, had low toxicity, and were previously shown to have high activity against
stationary phase Borrelia populations (<60% viable cells remaining after antibiotic
exposure). These drugs were tested both in double and triple drug combinations in order to study the effects of a combinatorial approach to Borrelia antibiotic treatment.

However, the recommendation against the use of drug combinations for Lyme disease is based primarily on lack of proven efficacy and toxicity concerns, which I have addressed in this study through the use of low toxicity drugs that are frequently used effectively in combination for other diseases.

Methylene blue is the only drug that in the screen with high activity against both
stationary phase and persistent populations. Methylene blue is a photosensitive dye once used as an antimalarial that produces free radicals and hydroxides when exposed to light.

Here, we evaluated the activity of 34 essential oils against B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture as a model for persister bacteria. We found that not all essential oils had activity against the B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture, with top five essential oils (oregano, cinnamon bark, clove bud, citronella, and wintergreen) at a low concentration of 0.25% showing high anti-persister activity that is more active than the known persister drug daptomycin. Interestingly, some highly active essential oils were found to have excellent anti-biofilm ability as shown by their ability to dissolve the aggregated biofilm-like structures. The top three hits, oregano, cinnamon bark, and clove bud completely eradicated all viable cells without any regrowth in subculture in fresh medium, whereas but not citronella and wintergreen did not have this effect.

One MD’s take on Lyme:

“Lyme disease isn’t something that anyone would ever wish for. It changes everyone it touches. It can leave you broken and bitter.

Ten years of my life were robbed by my encounter with chronic Lyme disease. I lost my profession, my social community, and even my passion for life. Everything had to be rebuilt.

Oddly, despite those losses, I’m a better person for having experienced Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is the ultimate teacher. I learned more about overcoming chronic illness in the years I struggled with Lyme disease than I learned in all of medical school and 20 years of medical practice.

I also learned about myself. But it didn’t just happen to me — I had to make it happen for myself.”

Mushing Is Not Skiing

Sleds are not skis.

Tim Alpirod 1

Outside foot on the inside (of the turn radius) runner, inside foot on the ground beyond the inside runner.


I made and sold sleds from 1977 until around 1998. Hundreds of sleds. None of them were laterally flexible. The plastic bed toboggan sleds had aluminum cross brace between the rear stanchions. The Aero sleds with plastic tunnel bed, no wooden parts, aluminum runners, the driving bow was a single piece combination driving bow and stanchions made of aluminum tube or rod. Rigid laterally. If you caught the outside edge/runner it could throw you out or off, but only if your weight was high and you did not shift your weight to lean into turns and side hills. The photos show how. Get Down! Schwarzenegger the actor says in a role in the movies.

With a heavy load, a person or cargo, if the sled runners tilt too easily and the load shifts, it will steer the sled beyond/out of the driver’s control, usually in the wrong direction, sideways down a hill or to the outside of a turn. Positive feedback with negative effects can be catastrophic.

I see many photos of sprint races with traditional basket sleds and newer so-called improved designs that have more sideways flexibility than the pictured Aero sled but the runners are in this same position and the outside runner is partly in the air going around corners on the trail. Because dog sledding is not downhill skiing! The ski instructor tells you to lean into a turn, put your weight on the outside or downhill ski and close the distance between the two skis. The sled runners are a constant distance apart and for mushing you put your weight on the uphill or inside runner. In one of the best mushing videos of my collection, 1993 Alpirod, Deedee is explaining this but got it backwards. “Do as I do, not as I say.” If you lean into a turn which runner will you put your weight on?

This is the best way to balance, to be stable around a corner with a sled having runners 50 cm apart (not like XC or downhill skis that you can bring close together) The exception trail condition is side hill (devers in French) on hard icy surface, or worse, bare pavement. I never encountered this condition in all the years racing in USA and Canada and Alaska and Argentina. In Europe I never encountered this condition except a few times on particular corners in Alpirod, but the rigid sled worked fine.  If you can edge/cant runners on ice you may loose control when you edge too much or hit a bad spot, or if you count on the runner edge and don’t lean into the turn enough. Only one time, last stage of Pirena, mostly it was demonstration for a large spectator crowd on trail that would not be used otherwise, there were hundreds of meters of continuous side hill in very icy conditions.

The sometimes horrifying trails and conditions in Alpirod did drive innovation but only afterward, around 2000, I tried to get a bit more edging with the sled designs, so rarely was it a problem. Then I found it was the attachment of the brake bar that prevented the few degrees of runner edging that would be needed. Using a larger bushing/hole in the mounting bracket 1/8″  or 2-3 mm larger OD than the pin was all that was needed, not an expensive and heavier ball joint. I much prefer simplicity in design and construction.

Ed Moody was a sled builder and musher who understood engineering. Here is a photo of his smaller model named for his daughter, Roz.

Sled Moody Roz

In the Kotzebue sprint race around 1997 there was bare ice on most of the triangle loop trail and strong winds paradoxically seemed to be mostly side winds. None of the sleds worked worth a #!@$. Roxie, Ed Dayton and I stood on the brakes most of the way to keep the line to the dogs tight, otherwise the sled might be perpendicular to the trail. We were so sore could hardly stand up after the race. A slew brake, like a skate edge to bite into the ice, might have helped.

More related:

Solomon’s Seal





And how to use; excerpts from the article below:

>Today, however, few practitioners know how to use Solomon’s Seal anymore. In China, Huangjing never was a component of the classical materia medica (it is not mentioned in either the Shen Nong bencao jing nor the Shanghan lun), but featured prominently in Daoist alchemical texts such as the writings of Ge Hong, Tao Hongjing, and Sun Simiao. Tao Hongjing’s initial introduction of Huangjing in his 6th century Mingyi bielu (An Extraneous Record of Famous Physicians) conveys the typical Daoist flavor that has become associated with the herb since then:

When consumed for long periods of time, Huangjing will cause the body to become weightless, prolong its life span, and alleviate the need to eat food.

Modern biochemical research shows that Huangjing contains a complex array of sugars, starches, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. At the same time, it has been identified as one of the most effective antifungal agents within the Chinese materia medica. It therefore is not surprising that the ritual imbibing of Huangjing during prolonged periods of fasting and cleansing was once a key component of Daoist hermit practice in China. Over time, many stories developed that enshrouded the medicinal properties of Huangjing in the terms of mythological lore, often associating the herb with the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu), legendary ancestor of Daoist longevity knowledge, or the clairvoyant healer Hua Tuo.

One reason why Huangjing features so prominently in the esoteric arts of nourishing life in China is the pungent flavor* of the unprocessed root, linking it to the concept of yang qi and solar forces. Taiyangcao (Sun Herb) is a common nickname for Huangjing in Daoist folklore, and even its proper name Huangjing can potentially be rendered as “essence of the sun.” The Song dynasty literatus Zhu Qi once exclaimed in a poem composed after being presented with a bottle of Huangjing Wine: “The Sun Herb: nothing more potent in the scrolls of the Immortals for keeping old age at bay!”

A decoction made from processed Huangjing is sweet and nourishing, yet not as rich and sticky as a soup made from Dihuang. It stabilizes blood sugar while exhibiting anti-parasitic qualities, a rare and highly desirable feature among tonic herbs. Ginseng, in contrast, has a tendency to stimulate parasitic activity in people with latent viruses and other chronic pathogens. This particular feature makes Huangjing an excellent candidate for replacing Renshen in ginseng containing prescriptions for people who suffer from chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Touted as an adaptogenic energy tonic that helps skinny people to gain weight and a blood sugar stabilizer for obese patients who wish to eat less, it is generally stewed with chicken or pork, or immersed in alcohol with other herbs to produce Longevity Wine.

In sum, the recent flurry of Huangjing research attributes the following actions to this ancient Daoist herb:

  • Strengthen physical weakness
  • Stimulate weak digestive function
  • Increase oxygen absorption
  • Increase memory and study focus; reverse developmental issues in children
  • Regulate heart rhythm
  • Decrease elevated cholesterol levels
  • Regulate immune function (increase low WBC count)
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Counteract fungal infections
  • Benefit the eyes and correct near sightedness

*The Solomon Seal species that grow in North America are not at all pungent.

Another herb related to rat root/calamus/acorus


Tuxedo and Trenchcoat

Hunter T

Recently ran across several studies and analyses about fiber and lung function. Confirms what I first learned feeding flax and psyllium to a dog Trenchcoat (or was it her mother Tuxedo?) who had polyps obstructing in the gut, then seeing the beneficial effects to all the dogs. No more respiratory infections, no kennel cough, no need for the rotten bordetella vaccine. At the time more than 25 years ago people said, how can feeding fiber change the dog’s resistance to infection and congestion in the lungs?

I told Dominique Grandjean, the Alpirod chief vet, about the psyllium husk and it was added to the Royal Canin “sausage” provided to their sponsored teams. There are many proxies, and proxies for proxies, related to prebiotics and health. Butyrate and propionate are sometimes used. A problem that makes many such studies no better than anecdotes for relevance to other situations is that the prebiotics interact with the other foods eaten at the same time and with the specific host individual’s microbiome immediately, initially, and then over a period of many meals. But, to say, the husk of the plantago seed aka psyllium is extremely hydrophilic and forms a viscous mass that probably during passage through the GI tract entrains other food that is not otherwise dietary fiber but reaches the large intestine where effectively it is.

A small amount of certain fiber/prebiotic can have major effects. I was reminded also of  konjac fiber in addition to psyllium/plantain, oats, Aloe vera gel, marshmallow roots and leaves…
>This study provides the first evidence that dietary fiber is independently associated with better lung function and reduced prevalence of COPD.
More on the general subject prebiotics and health:

The general benefit to health of dietary fiber is demonstrated in the results of a longevity study conducted in China, see in an earlier post:

Seize, Crimp, Swage

Tools, fittings and hardware from diverse fields used also for sleds and mushing equipment


Working on the identification and explanation of what’s shown:

Upper level, on yellow plastic, left to right: 1. rolls of sled cables made of steel wire cable (7X7?) coated with black plastic, eyes on the ends swaged with aluminum oval swages (2 such swages are sitting on the larger tool to the right) 2. tool for crimping hose clips/clamps, can also be used on rubber shock cord, 4 such clamps in the middle below, 2 that are ready for use, 2 already clamped tight but with nothing inside 3. multiple opening/size swaging tool used and sold for wire cable aircraft and other applications 4. rubber shock cord hanging down onto the plywood with loop/eye on the end clamped tight/swaged using that tool and thin wall oval sleeve sitting next to the loop/eye (thin wall style oval sleeve in view as purchased was cut to make 2 shorter pieces then cut ends cleaned with wire brush and countersink tool to remove burrs to prevent cut and fray the outer braid on shock cord.

Lower level sitting on plywood bench, left to right: 1. tool for closing/crimping wire clips used on rope and rubber shock cords, red handles 2. wire cable with swaged eyes, oval sleeve/swage covered in heat shrink, center section with white plastic sleeve, used as snow hook/anchor hanger between driving bow stanchions 3. wire clips/rings 4. hose clamps 5. another tool for closing/tightening wire clips or pig rings 6. shock cord with loop on end and full size thin wall oval sleeve.

Sources and suppliers found on the Internet under tools, fittings, hardware, marine, boating, aircraft, cable, ultra-light and combinations of these tags.

The aircraft wire cable tool and fittings and oval sleeves shown were first used to make cable ganglines starting in the 1980s . Then for the single stanchion Aerosled design front and back stay cables.


Sleds Aero

Timo Jokela’s design below:

Sleds Timo1


Dissecting Longevity

Dissecting the Big Data

There is a marvelous phenomenon in Bama county, Guangxi province, China, where the ratio of centenarians was the highest in China. According to the Population Census of China in 2010 [17], there were 80 centenarians in the population of 224,637, reaching to a ratio of 35.6 centenarians per 1 × 105persons [18]. The ratio of centenarians in this region far exceeds the world longevity county standard specified by the United Nations (7.5/100,000) [19]. Nevertheless, few researches have been focused on the metabolites and element profiles of elderly people living in Bama longevous region (LR) because of their traditional and conservative lifestyle.

The study was conducted in the Bama district and Xixiangtang district of the Guangxi province, China, during the period from 2013 to 2015. The Xixiangtang district was selected as the non-longevous region (NLR), where the ratio of centenarians was relatively lower [18] (only three centenarians in the population of 1,156,173 [17], a ratio of 0.26 centenarians per 1 × 105 persons), and the climatic environment was similar with the Bama district.

longevity china nutritents

Longevity Region Centenarians / LR Elderly / Non LRE

Longevity china scfa

Table 3 has some “poke your eye out” differences comparing both LR to NLR

longevity china analysis

Table 4 above and Table 5 below show the relative importance of the variables measured. Table 5 is easier to read and identify the variables such as Total SCFA and specific short chain fatty acids Acetic, Propanoic, Valeric, Butyric, and two minerals, Cobalt and Manganese.

longevity china analysis 2

There were significant differences in acetic acid (p = 0.000), total SCFA (p = 0.000), Mn (p = 0.000), Co (p = 0.000), propionic acid (p = 0.000), butyric acid (p = 0.000) and valeric acid (p = 0.000) among the three groups; the concentrations of these differential components in the LRC group were relatively higher. Therefore, the seven significant differential components could serve as the characteristic components closely related to centenarians from the LR.

There was a significant positive correlation between dietary fiber intake and butyric acid contents in feces, and the correlation coefficient was highest (r = 0.896, p < 0.01). The other short chain fatty acids were also positively associated with dietary fiber intake (p < 0.05). In addition, the contents of the SCFAs were also significantly associated with the intake of energy, protein, vitamin A and nicotinic acid (p < 0.05).

(Nutrient Intake Is Associated with Longevity Characterization by Metabolites and Element Profiles of Healthy Centenarians )

*The lead to this article was a study finding a positive correlation between gut valeric acid and lower Parkinsons and Alzheimers incidence.