How doctors cook the books and fry their patients…

The simplistic but flawed methods and logic, the level of denial in conventional medicine has become more obvious in recent years with the use of its own tools to quantify the immense differences between individuals related to epigenetics  and microbiomes unique to each organ and each person. Waving a magic wand called “Science” to cast a spell with the words “Evidence-Based”  or a curse with the words “Anecdotal” or “Quack” does not make their own fault go away. Evidence is everywhere, the critical issue is how to use it.

Rumi voice

3 Peas in a Pod. Proxies + Populations -> p (a measure of confidence or certainty in statistical abnalysis.) Years later many proxies (cholesterol for example) are found to be valid only within severely limited populations and circumstances. Furthermore, the confidence value p is only retroactive for the particular population included in the study. So no matter how large the population (often referred to as N) and no matter how high the calculated value of p for the measured results within that population, the application of that intervention in prescribing treatment or medication to any individual prospectively is uncertain. At best p is a lead, a clue.

An article in a magazine by an MD psychiatrist points out the fallacy in medical fields of so-called scientific methods when the model is the obsolete simplistic science of Newton. Physics and science now encompass Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity with integral and fundamental uncertainties, singularities and non-linearities that were inconceivable in Classical Physics.

“The fault belongs to who speaks it.”-Yunus Emre

The Gambler’s Fallacy is to believe the weight of statistics can be applied to a single incident or individual. (For example, if a gambler has won a big payout on a slot machine he/she will go to another machine to continue playing. Or, if there has been a series of tails the gambler will favor heads in betting if he/she believes the game to be truly random.) The MD’s fallacy in turn is to believe that a study with N=Bigly guarantees or proves something for N=1, that huge studies mean a high level of certainty for any one patient.

The “No True Scotsman Fallacy” is to introduce a judgmental qualifying adjective or criterium which the proponent can redefine to suit his own purposes. For example qualifiers such as True or Evidence-Based or Scientific.

Literally, Ayurveda means the science of life. But, the science of life is more than which herb to use or which food to eat for dinner – it’s a new way of thinking altogether.

Everyone needs medical doctors occasionally, but one’s quality of life comes from daily living. In a health context, Ayurveda allows you to easily match a person with what is good for them in a systematic yet highly individual way. Ayurveda recognizes the natural world as the means to basic wellness. Ayurveda offers a methodical model to approach the natural world as medicine in your day to day life, which can be used by all.

Ayurveda is an objective method of analysis like science, but based on qualifying individual experiences and patterns in nature instead of quantifying them, as science does. Instead of summarizing natural events with statistical averages alone, Ayurveda can switch between statistical models and highly individualized models for assessment with ease. It can be used alongside the scientific method in a variety of situations such as recovering from chemotherapy. Ayurveda even seems at ease navigating the highly individualized effects of chemotherapy. A diet of easy to digest foods that takes the person’s body type into account will enable them to rebuild their digestion (and health) more effectively.

Ayurveda recognizes that all of life is a relationship. In breaking down the dynamics of relationships, Ayurveda offers a model for interactions that predicts how your body will respond to contact with your environment. In addition to describing interactions, Ayurveda helps people describe sensations they are having and puts their experiences into a context, so you can see how the pieces fit with the whole.   http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/article/Why-Ayurveda-is-a-Crucial-New-Way-of-Thinking/5880

Evidence-Based medicine in action:

MD: “You tested negative for Lyme Disease.”

Patient: “Given the symptoms wouldn’t it be better risk/cost management to prescribe the usual antibiotics?”

MD: “You don’t have Lyme Disease therefore it is unethical to prescribe antibiotics.”

Patient: “You said I don’t have Lyme, but a negative test does not prove it. What are the percentage false negative and false positive for that test? I read at least 20% for each.”

MD: “The CDC prohibits prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily because of the growing threat of antibiotic resistant infections.”

Patient: “Is that more about the millions of pounds of antibiotics entering the food chain and the environment from agriculture practices?”

On the same topic, Lyme Disease:

A significant contributing challenge is the disease is notoriously difficult to diagnose using lab testing. The bacteria is able to infect your white blood cells. Testing measures the antibodies white cells produce, but infected cells don’t respond appropriately. Antibodies to the disease appear only after your white cells are functioning normally. This means that to get an accurate blood test, you first have to undergo treatment.16 To overcome this challenge, the CDC recommends a two-step testing process.17 

It is also interesting to note that the stevoside extract, by itself, was not found to be an effective antimicrobial agent against B. burgdorferi; nor did it have any effect on resistant cells.  Mass market stevia products, including Coca-cola’s Truvia (ironic branding, considering it does not have the truly therapeutic property of whole stevia), would not, therefore, have the medicinal property associated with the whole herb extract. This speaks, of course, to the well known principle in natural medicine that the activity of the whole can not be reproduced through a part, nor is the therapeutic activity of the whole identical to that of the sum of its parts. http://www.healthnutnews.com/study-shows-stevia-kills-lyme-disease-pathogen-better-than-antibiotics/




Bad Dogs Need Focus

BDNF-big dogs need food?

Buddha Does Not Flinch! And how to increase your own unflinching “Buddha,” brain derived neurotrophic factor, that is.

What’s on your mind, Facebook asks? BDNF! It is on my mind and in my mind. Yours too, the more the better. BDNF is a trending proxy-a metric for ways to improve mental health and brain function in Baby Boomers.


Exogenous BDNF treatment significantly improved neuromuscular transmission in all groups and NMTF in McAb3-treated rats was no longer different from control or McAb1-treated animals. We conclude that BDNF improves neuromuscular transmission in adult myasthenic rats. http://www.fasebj.org/content/24/1_Supplement/1064.13.short

A grab-bag of related info from ergo-log.com:   >BDNF does to brain cells pretty much what steroids do to muscle cells. It helps them grow – not in physical size, but by helping brain cells to make new connections with each other.

>BDNF enables brain cells to grow and form new connections, so that the brain can absorb new information. DHA boosted the concentration of BDNF, and yes, this increase was larger when combined with exercise.
“The protective effects associated with elevations in brain carnosine appear to be related to a protection of BDNF expression in the hippocampus”, the researchers concluded. “The precise mechanism of how elevated carnosine concentrations support BDNF expression requires additional research. This appears to be the first study known to demonstrate a potential role of bèta-alanine as a dietary supplement for the treatment or prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder.”

rumi noah

Paradoxically, perhaps, nicotine increases BDNF. >Although nicotine has been shown to improve cognitive function in various studies, the mechanisms underlying acute nicotine treatment-induced neuroprotection remain incompletely understood.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26259694

Considering the multifactorial nature of the biochemical links between physical activity and neurophysiology it is likely that there are many pharmacological mechanisms by which the beneficial actions of exercise can be effectively reproduced using chemical agents. Most studies to date have focused on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as a signaling target for the enhancement of neuronal function by exercise.

Understanding the molecular targets for exercise-induced regulation of neuroplasticity may lead to the development of novel therapeutic treatments for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.


>Based on our current findings, we anticipate that fucoxanthin might exhibit
great therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease by acting on multiple targets,including inhibiting AChE and increasing BDNF expression.   file:///root/Downloads/marinedrugs-14-00067.pdf

More grab-bags or call them tool boxes:




Linking brain and gut health:


Butyrate, neuroepigenetics and the gut microbiome: Can a high fiber diet improve brain health?

Microsoft Word - Butyrate Review Final Revisions_V2.docx



Coffee Fruit, Caffeine, Nicotine, WTH?

The cigarette smokers’ Paradox

Separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff:

BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor, is good.

Telomerase is good. *(See telomeres, telomerase, aging and disease note below)

Nicotine is good… since nicotine is known to increase blood levels of BDNF(53)


Tobacco Plants, Nicotiana

*>Age is the highest risk factor for some of the most prevalent human diseases, including cancer. Telomere shortening is thought to play a central role in the aging process in humans. The link between telomeres and aging is highlighted by the fact that genetic diseases causing telomerase deficiency are associated with premature aging and increased risk of cancer. Telomeres are crucial for genome stability: they prevent chromosome ends from engaging in illegitimate repair and ensure their maintenance by recruiting the enzyme telomerase, a reverse transcriptase that elongates telomeres (de Lange, 2005). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4958310

There has long been a question or so-called paradox related to the high levels of known toxins in cigarette smoke. As bad as cigarette smoking is for health, you might expect it to be much, much worse!

WTH! “Past and current smokers were less likely to develop cognitive impairment during a 10-year follow-up than were those who had never smoked. The present study suggests that smoking may be protective for cognitive function.”

But I will stick to rubbing fresh tobacco leaf juice on my skin for my nicotine fix…


Nevertheless, the present work suggests that procyanidins may have the ability to increase plasma BDNF levels and, perhaps, to a larger extent than caffeine itself. This is particularly interesting considering that recent research show that procyanidin oligomers play a role in neuroprotection from excitotoxic injury(50).

BDNF-dependent telomerase activity has been shown to promote neuron survival in developing hippocampal neurons(51). Increased BDNF expression and telomerase activity after brain injury suggest that telomerase may play a role in BDNF-mediated neuroprotection. Furthermore, BDNF has been shown to up-regulate telomerase expression and activity in spinal motor neurons(52). These neurons, treated with BDNF, are more resistant to ex-cytotoxic injury, presumably from increased cellular resistance to apoptosis. It is interesting to speculate that WCFC possibly may also exert an anti-apoptotic effect through telomerase by increased BDNF activity.

WCFC was tested under experimental conditions reducing impact of possible confounding effects; for example, non-smokers were not included in the present study, since nicotine is known to increase blood levels of BDNF(53). All subjects remained in the clinical site during the duration of the study to avoid any shifts in blood level of BDNF due to exercise and physical activity(34).

The final reference in the article above:

The relationship between cigarette smoking and cognitive impairment is not a simple one. Some studies have demonstrated that cigarette smoking is a risk factor for cognitive impairment in the elderly, whereas other studies have shown cigarette smoking to be protective against dementia.

The possible “hinge factor” could be nicotine.

500 years ago, as Monardes wrote in “Joyfull News out of the New Found World,” tobacco among other “discovered” medicinal plants was considered to be a cure-all, a panacea.


Bonus Marilyn Monroe sighting!




Third Brother Angus

I was thinking what kind of herbal tea to hydrate sprouting and malting seeds like broccoli, wheat, fenugreek, mung beans and desi chick peas to encourage growth and prevent mold. Malting, that means growing long enough to increase the phyto-nutrients to optimum concentration, usually 3-4 days and less than half inch sprout. Growing longer is a multiple liability, diluting the healthiest products of early germination for the sake of chlorophyll in emerging leaves: not the best reason to grow sprouts. You want chlorophyll? Eat spinach, spirulina, chlorella, etc. You want glucosinolates or whatever the major attraction in broccoli sprouts? Harvest them at 3-4 days max.

Large quantities of inducers of enzymes that protect against carcinogens can be delivered in the diet by small quantities of young crucifer sprouts (e.g., 3-day-old broccoli sprouts) that contain as much inducer activity as 10–100 times larger quantities of mature vegetables. Moreover, the inducer activity arises primarily from glucoraphanin (the glucosinolate of sulforaphane) and such sprouts contain relatively low quantities of indole glucosinolates, which are potential tumor promoters.

Preliminary experiments indicated that inducer potencies (expressed per g of plant) of extracts of young sprouts of arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, cress, daikon, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, turnip, and watercress ranged from 10 to 100 times those of mature field-grown plants. Similarly, in sprouts of eight broccoli cultivars, grown without exogenous nutrients, the inducer activity (nearly all of which arose from glucosinolates) per unit plant weight declined initially in an exponential manner from a maximum in the seed (Fig. (Fig.3)3) and continued to decline thereafter, approaching the values in mature broccoli heads after about 15 days (data not shown), whereas the total inducer activity per plant remained constant. The inducer activity fell from 1.8 million units/g of seeds to 180,000 units/g fr. wt. at 9 days, largely due to an increase in plant weight from seeds (3.3 mg) to 9-day-old sprouts (60 mg). Apparently no significant net synthesis of glucosinolates occurred under these conditions.

…A 100-g serving of mature broccoli would, therefore, provide 108 μmol of methylsulfinylalkyl glucosinolates and 229 μmol of indole glucosinolates, whereas consumption of an equivalent quantity of methylsulfinylalkyl glucosinolates via a much smaller serving of sprouts (5 g) would result in the consumption of only 11.2 μmol of indole glucosinolates.



I already use willow bark, oak bark, horsetail. I only rinse sprouting seeds the first time, shaking the closed jar with enough water to cover the seeds thereby knocking loose any coating or harmful dust or spores on their surface then filling the container and draining all that readily comes off. After that it is hermetic, “hermetic sprouting,” in re-purposed pint glass salsa jars. Frequent rinsing involves a trade-off with a delicate balance of more risks than advantages, often causing mold because by keeping the seeds constantly wet with frequent exposure to spores floating in the air especially during the warm seasons. My method involves an optimum minimum necessary but sufficient hydration of the sprouting seeds.


Then I was thinking about a quote from the Turkish TV series Yunus Emre: “If there were three brothers, Cain would have the other one do it.”

Trinity, threesome, trifecta, hat trick!

Glycerol is a triol, three valent alcohol. Shouldn’t it have anti-fungal and anti-mold activity? Bingo!

In a dual culture assay, the degree of inhibition of the molds was strongly enhanced by an increase in glycerol concentrations, while the yeast was less affected. In broth cultures, decreased pH in glycerol medium was probably responsible for the complete inhibition of the indicator fungi. NMR spectra of the glycerol conversion confirmed that propionic acid was the dominant metabolite. Based on the results obtained, the increased antifungal effect seen by glycerol addition to cultures of propionibacteria is due to the production of propionic acid and pH reduction of the medium. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3038612/

Tangentially, a study supplementing cows’ diet with glycerol found bottom line benefits for production.

Supplementing cattle diets with crude glycerin and soybean oil can boost the nutritional quality of beef and block saturated fatty acid generation, research shows. The researchers found a link between the additions and a less bio-hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids, as well as better duodenal flow of fatty acids, resulting in “an immediate improvement on the fatty acid (FA) profile of meat and milk.” http://www.feednavigator.com/R-D/Can-crude-glycerin-soybean-oil-improve-the-nutritional-quality-of-beef

The effects are thought to be related to changes in rumen microbial activity. Increased propionate vs. butyrate and lactate generation is associated with healthy cows vs. more favorable butyrate increase in humans. Endogenous butyrate is considered to be the preferred energy source for colonocytes in humans and dogs. What is best for poultry?




Puts A Double-Whammy On Cancer

(In the words of the article below)

What the goddess of Aspirin, Guanyin, and horse nuggets have in common.

The bottom line at the top, summarizing easily adopted, simple, prevention, therapy, and treatments, especially for dreaded colorectal cancers: NAD+, Niacin, Butyrate, Psyllium, Flax, seem to work together in parallel or complementary fashion. Butyrate is not something you can or would want to buy. Metabolism produces butyrate and analogues as “ketones” for energy when fasting or on a low carbohydrate diet. “Ketogenic diets.” Butyrate and diacetyl, a similar four carbon molecule, at low levels contribute to desirable flavors in cottage cheese, beer and other fermented foods. Butyrate is named for butter where it was first identified in the form of tributyrin, the triglyceride ester, a molecule of glycerol with three butyrates attached.

“The dose makes the poison.”-Paracelsus

Don’t freak out! Butyric acid is the smell of vomit (retrograde intestinal action in emesis/vomiting demonstrates its importance and relatively high presence in the gut) but because butyrate exists in the form of triglyceride in foods only a small amount is present as free fatty acid. And “ketones,” the healthy levels from fasting and ketogenic diets are an order of magnitude lower ~one tenth the amounts resulting from diabetic ketoacidosis.

It’s not the germ, it’s the host/terrain/milieu!-Bernard vs. Pasteur

In the book, The Stress of Life (Mc Graw-Hill, 1956), Dr. Hans Selye, the foremost authority on stress and its effect on the human system, writes: “Let me point out here parenthetically that Pasteur was sharply criticized by many of his enemies for failing to recognize the importance of the terrain (the soil in which disease develops). They said he was too one-sidely preoccupied with the apparent cause of disease: the microbe itself. There were, in fact, many debates about this between Pasteur and his great contemporary, Claude Bernard: the former insisted on the importance of the disease-producer, the latter on that of the body’s own equilibrium. Yet Pasteur’s work on immunity induced with serums and vaccines shows that he recognized the importance of the soil. In any event, it is rather significant that Pasteur attached so much importance to this point that on his deathbed he said to Professor A. Renon who looked after him: “Bernard avait raison. Le germe n’est rien, c’est le terrain qui est tout.” (“Bernard was right. The microbe is nothing, the soil is everything.”)


Stress is like a lever, and current physiological and mental state, the terrain, establish the position of the fulcrum for better and worse, determining how much functional advantage or disadvantage stress has in the final result. Eustress is the level of stress that stimulates growth and health. Distress is excess stress with net harmful effects. The factor determining whether stress is good or bad may often be the mental state of the subject at the outset of the trial.

The first article below focuses on the immediate source of butyrate, that produced by bacteria in the gut from dietary fiber. The most studied amplifier of butyrate gut levels is psyllium husk which seems to increase production by itself and leveraging other fiber, as well as the microbe populations that generate butyrate. Not to exclude the possibility of other foods or fibers with similar or even greater effects. But the market for constipation relief has driven research, and the collateral heart health benefits discovered from psyllium husk products like Metamucil have partly determined the targets and results.

Psyllium husk is the seed coat of plantain/plantago species, the common garden weed. The pure seed coat has a bland slightly bitter taste. In gluten-free baked foods, breads and dough the bitterness contributes a desirable flavor replacing something lost when wheat is excluded.

Psyllium and ground flax can be added to porridge or pancakes or bread without compromising taste. In dishes using ginger or pumpkin pie/chai tea/gingerbread spices it’s a slam dunk. Organic whole flax seed has good storage life until ground. Buy one or several electric coffee grinders, typically ~$15 new, to use for grinding flax and many herbs and spices. Psyllium seed husk does not need pulverizing to be effective, flax does.

Researchers report in the April issue of Cancer Research that the GPR109A receptor is activated by butyrate, a metabolite produced by fiber-eating bacteria in the colon. The receptor puts a double-whammy on cancer by sending signals that trigger cell death, or apoptosis, and shutting down a protein that causes inflammation, a precursor to cancer.

More about flax: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21390942

Whole rye may have effects similar to flax, sharing at least one common constituent which produces enterolactone or enterodiols.

What is the role of grapefruit in ketogenic diets?  http://www.livestrong.com/article/480028-the-three-day-aha-diet/



List of some foods and dietary supplements with alleged or extrapolated anti-cancer effects: NAD+, Niacin, Beta-Alanine, Flax, Rye, endogenous butyrate production increased by psyllium, butyrate in butter…


Whole real foods… what is not real or natural about psyllium, the seed husk of plantain? (Plantago species, not banana-like plantain) That Metamucil is the commercialized version with added sugar or artificial sweetener and/or orange flavor does not detract from the pure herbal food which has been used for centuries and likely millennia. A copy of Culpeper’s Complete Herbal date 1563 lists the seed as useful for several conditions. The seeds are and have been used for food and medicine going back to ancient times. The husk or seed coat of many seeds has food and medicine value but often discarded. Buckwheat hulls are added back into the flour for flavor and color but it’s now recognized that they increase the nutritional/health value.

As mentioned above, psyllium has been found in studies to increase butyrate production in the gut. It does not require much to have an effect. A heaping teaspoon of psyllium will quickly turn a glass of water into gel. Perhaps in part the dietary fiber effects are due to the increase in viscosity of digesta, entraining other foods that are usually otherwise digested higher up in the GI tract, turning digestible carbs into resistant carbs.

Dietary fiber is a broad classification that does not tell you much by itself. Soluble, insoluble, fermentable, non-fermentable? Specific varieties of polysacharides, beta glucans, have been studied and classified according to the locations of the glucose-glucose linkages and their health/immune support effects.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-glucan

The dose makes the poison, wrote the “Father of Toxicology,” Paracelsus. The dose makes the medicine. The dose makes the difference. But only by interacting with the individual host, terrain, milieu. For example, glucose, the common blood sugar, is a reactive aldehyde. Even at moderate levels the reactions with proteins that cause glycosylation or Maillard browning on the crust of bread also cause proteins in the body to be denatured and inactivated. However, at moderate levels metabolism can detoxify and dispose of these. That is what hemoglobin A1c tests are about with diabetics. To say “moderate” is using the No True Scotsman logical fallacy. If there are bad effects then the levels are not moderate. Moderate or not moderate depends on the host.

Chemical reactions go in both directions. OH + H > H2O  Water is fairly stable and the potential energy of the H-OH bond drives the reaction strongly toward H2O. But not totally! That is what equilibrium constants, the mass action principle and pH tell you. So too with ketone and ketone bodies, hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate. Acetoacetate becomes acetone spontaneously in the body but the ratio of acetone to the “ketone bodies” is low but not negligible. So too with the esterification/hydrolysis reaction glycerol + butyric acid = tributyrin.

>The heart preferentially utilizes fatty acids as fuel under normal physiologic conditions. However, under ketotic conditions, the heart can effectively utilize ketone bodies for this purpose.[9]

The brain gets a portion of its fuel requirements from ketone bodies when glucose is less available than normal (e.g., during fasting, strenuousexercise, low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet and in neonates). In the event of a low glucose concentration in the blood, most other tissues have alternative fuel sources besides ketone bodies and glucose (such as fatty acids), but the brain has an obligatory requirement for some glucose.[10]After the diet has been changed to lower blood glucose utilization for 3 days, the brain gets 25% of its energy from ketone bodies.[11] After about 4 days, this goes up to 70%[12] (during the initial stages the brain does not burn ketones, since they are an important substrate for lipid synthesis in the brain). Furthermore, ketones produced from omega-3 fatty acids may reduce cognitive deterioration in old age.[13] 

The process of ketosis is currently being investigated for efficacy in ameliorating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.[15]   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketone_bodies


http://www.plefa.com/article/S0952-3278(06)00090-1/abstract  Brain DHA level seems to be an important regulator of brain glucose uptake, possibly by affecting the activity of some but not all the glucose transporters. DHA synthesis from either α-linolenic acid (ALA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is very low in humans begging the question of whether these DHA precursors are likely to be helpful in maintaining cognition during aging. We speculate that ALA and EPA may well have useful supporting roles in maintaining brain function during aging but not by their conversion to DHA. ALA is an efficient ketogenic fatty acid, while EPA promotes fatty acid oxidation. By helping to produce ketone bodies, the effects of ALA and EPA could well be useful in strategies intended to use ketones to bypass problems of impaired glucose access to the brain during aging. Hence, it may be time to consider whether the main omega-3 fatty acids have distinct but complementary roles in brain function.


Note konjac root used in Japan for shirataki noodles.





Brain, Don’t Fail Me Now!

Image > Imagination > Creativity

Language-learning, according to the professionals, the pedagogues, proceeds in several steps: recognize a word or phrase, speak or write as part of instructional dialogue… but you do not own the word/phrase until you can “produce it,” saying it spontaneously in new/unscripted situation. That applies to all learning.  “Put your hands on the subject.”

Yunus Emre wrote, “The world is a lie.” What you believe is not. This is no paradox. Words and thoughts are no lie. Atheism is an oxymoron, belief is the existence of God. The taste of words… bitter, sweet, nauseating. Thinking of a friend who said that mushrooms made him vomit. He could eat a pizza believing it did not contain mushrooms but finding out later that it did he became nauseous!Far_Side_-_Cat_Fud

At what stage and level of abstraction, at what junction and under what circumstances will a small mind draw the line, refusing to accept a higher or deeper meaning of symbols? A letter in the alphabet is just a line. A word is just a series of letters. A phrase is only a series of words…

Science and Sanity

>He survived the horrific battlegrounds of World War I and wondered why humans could progress and advance in some areas, but not in others. He theorized that the attitudes and methodologies responsible for advance­ments in engineering, the sciences, and mathematics could be applied to the daily af­fairs of individuals, and ultimately cultures. He called this new field “general semantics” and introduced it as a practical, teachable system in his 1933 book, Science and Sanity.

Korzybski  “argued that human knowledge of the world is limited both by the human nervous system and the languages humans have developed, and thus no one can have direct access to reality, given that the most we can know is that which is filtered through the brain’s responses to reality. His best known dictum is “The map is not the territory”.


The students were chewing vigorously. Then he tore the white paper from the biscuits, in order to reveal the original packaging. On it was a big picture of a dog’s head and the words “Dog Cookies.” The students looked at the package, and were shocked. Two of them wanted to vomit, put their hands in front of their mouths, and ran out of the lecture hall to the toilet. “You see,” Korzybski remarked, “I have just demonstrated that people don’t just eat food, but also words, and that the taste of the former is often outdone by the taste of the latter.”[4]


Typically we spend the first twenty years of life learning to think, speak and write. Assuming mostly that direct, definitive and explicit language is best. That we must be able to put everything in words. Certainly for most studies that is true. Isn’t that necessary for law, science, medicine? But poetry is always there if we recognize it, or use, or not! USA Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote in one famous decision about pornography, “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.” Chinese poet Zhou Zuoren wrote, “What can be contained in words has little value.” No student in Math or quantitative sciences or of a second language can go far without mastering principles related to semantics and symbols, although he or she may not know them by name or in other contexts.

“In the beginning was The Word and The Word was God and The Word was with God.”-Gospel of John

In the original Greek version of the Bible, Logos was the word now translated in English as The Word. Logos meant much more than could be translated to any English word. It corresponds to meaning and logic, relationships, structure and content of all objects, physical and abstract.

Has the English language after 2000 years still no translation to fulfill the Greek word Logos? PO, Meme’s The Word. God is a meme and memes are God.

I find it useful when discussing this distinction to consider the Greek words from which our English words “logical” and “mythical” have been derived, logos and mythos. Both Greek words can be translated as something like “story” or “account”; mythical thinking and logical thinking both provide an account of the world, but they do so in very different ways. Those using logical thinking approach the world scientifically and empirically. They look for explanations using observable facts, controlled experiments, and deductive proofs. Truth discovered through logos seeks to be objective and universal. Those using mythical thinking, on the other hand, approach the world through less direct, more intuitive means. A person might gain poetic insights into the nature of the world by seeing a caterpillar emerge from a cocoon or watching a full moon rise as the sun sets. Truth discovered through mythos is more subjective, based on individual feelings and experiences.


In the modern view of semantics and thought, connotations and denotations, Logos may be less subjective than Mythos, and Logos may seek to be more objective and universal but can never be divorced from personal and individual circumstances and subjectivity.

Isak Dinesen discussed Logos and Mythos in one of her short stories but I have not found a good link.


Flush With Health Success

To what extent is flushing from nicotinic acid/niacin and beta-alanine positively or proportionally related to health?

With a mean follow-up of 15 years, nearly 9 years after termination of the trial, mortality from all causes in each of the drug groups, except for niacin, was similar to that in the placebo group. Mortality in the niacin group was 11% lower than in the placebo group (52.0 versus 58.2%; p = 0.0004). This late benefit of niacin, occurring after discontinuation of the drug, may be a result of a translation into a mortality benefit over subsequent years of the early favorable effect of niacin in decreasing nonfatal reinfarction or a result of the cholesterol-lowering effect of niacin, or both.”

In particular, both the precursor for the coenzyme beta-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)), nicotinamide, and the growth factor erythropoietin offer novel platforms for drug discovery that involve cellular metabolic homeostasis and inflammatory cell control. 

More recently, the health benefits of niacin have been shown to be far more extensive than previously appreciated — Numerous reports indicate niacin might help prevent atherosclerosis, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Niacin is effective in assisting burn-wound recovery, and in the prevention of cataracts and skin cancer.  


In addition, new NAD+ boosters are welcomed since the side effects of niacin generally lead to poor compliance, despite its known efficacy in a myriad of diseases. Therefore, the dosing and safety of these new NAD+ boosters (e.g. NAD+ precursors, CD38 inhibitors and PARP inhibitors) must be thoroughly assessed to translate these exciting insights into NAD+ biology towards human relevance.

Interestingly, niacin is found in maize but is not bioavailable unless given an alkali treatment, a process used in Aztec and Mesoamerican times termed nixtamalization (Gwirtz and Garcia-Casal, 2014). In animal products, and probably in all uncooked foods, the NAD+ and NADP+ cellular content accounts for much of their dietary niacin content (Gross and Henderson, 1983), yet, as exemplified above with corn nixtamalization, their bioavailability might be affected by food processing or cooking.

However, the clinical use of NA has been limited by the fact that it induces cutaneous flushing, which compromises compliance (Birjmohun et al., 2005). This flushing does not derive from the ability of NA to drive NAD+ synthesis, but rather from the activation of a G-coupled receptor, GPR109A (Benyo et al., 2005).

Alternatively, strong evidence for the ability of NAD+to enhance the activity of sirtuins provides a mechanism of action that also drives benefits on lipid homeostasis (Canto and Auwerx, 2012).

NR was recently demonstrated to have a surprisingly robust effect on systemic metabolism. First, dietary supplementation with NR protected against diet-induced obesity (Canto et al., 2012). NR treatment increased both intracellular and mitochondrial liver NAD+ levels, concomitant to an enhancement of SIRT1 as well as SIRT3 activities (Canto et al., 2012). As a result, there was a SIRT1-dependent increase in FOXO1 deacetylation, along with elevations in SOD2 expression, a FOXO1 target gene.

Maintaining NAD+ levels seems to, hence, sustain basal metabolic function and health in neurons. Furthermore, based on the preliminary evidence above, NR might have a privileged position among different NAD+ precursors in the prevention of neurodegeneration, as the effect of NR may be enhanced by the increase in NRK2 during axonal damage.


  • Adaptive cellular metabolism relies on NAD+ to mediate energy signaling
  • NAD+ therapeutics is showing its potential to treat disease
  • Metabolic syndrome, cancer and aging all involve NAD+ signaling

Many more cherries to pick here but I picked the most edible.


Take it to the bank!

>The problem, Guarente says, is that it’s nearly impossible to prove, in any reasonable time frame, that drugs that extend the lifespan of animals can do the same in people; such an experiment could take decades. That’s why Guarente says he decided to take the unconventional route of packaging cutting-edge lab research as so-called nutraceuticals, which don’t require clinical trials or approval by the FDA.

This means there’s no guarantee that Elysium’s first product, a blue pill called Basis that is going on sale this week, will actually keep you young. The product contains a chemical precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD, a compound that cells use to carry out metabolic reactions like releasing energy from glucose. The compound is believed cause some effects similar to a diet that is severely short on calories—a proven way to make a mouse live longer.

Guarente says Elysium’s pill includes a precursor to NAD, called nicotinamide riboside, which the body can transform into NAD and put to use. In addition, the pill contains pterostilbene, an antioxidant that Guarente says stimulates sirtuins in a different way. Both ingredients can already be found in specialty vitamins.  “We expect a synergistic effect [from] combining them,” he says.



Here is a more direct approach to the title question:


Tangentially, the inflammatory metabolite (related to inflammation which niacin may be protective against) can be measured in sewage to give a marker of community health.

As the company notes. stress-related health factors found to correlate with 8-isoprostane levels can include obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, smoking, cancer, and alcohol consumption.” Thus, it is indeed a useful test for evaluating community health.


Hence, we think that chronically high levels of PGD2 are likely to prevent or reduce the effect of acute signals of PGD2 that would otherwise be anti-inflammatory. See sections on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) below, where chronically high PGD2 signaling is thought to be a major cause of the neurodegenerative features characteristic of AD (Maesaka, 2013).

A very interesting recent paper (Vong, 2010) was published by scientists who believe that the increased expression of prostaglandin D2 synthesis and its EP1 receptor that they detected in individuals in long-term remission from ulcerative colitis suggest that the release of PGD2 in response to acute releases of inflammatory stimuli could be important antiinflammatory protection to maintain colonic mucosal homeostasis.

It appears to us that pulsatile PGD2 release a few times a day with immediate release niacin supplementation may offer better protection against a variety of inflammatory diseases.

PO, hypothetically, if the flush is associated with purging or reducing pre-existing inflammation levels and inflammatory mediators then tolerance or adaptation to a particular dose, less flush with repeated doses, might indicate success.



Beams And Motes, Memes And Quotes


“A single word can brighten the face
of one who knows the value of words.
Ripened in silence, a single word
acquires a great energy for work.”-Junus Emre

Beams and Motes refers to Jesus’ advice, “do not tell your neighbor how to remove a speck of sawdust (mote) from his eye when you have an entire plank (beam) in your own.”

Memes in the current and present definition are the fundamental functional units of language, expression, thought and memory. A phrase can be a meme. An acronym can be a powerful meme. Think PTSD or the acronym meme PO invented by Edward deBono as a tool for lateral thinking. A rose is a rose is a rose, in the words of Gertrude Stein, is a meme. Similarly we can say “meme” is a meme, and further, “a meme is a meme” is a meme.

Upset the Apple Cart to find the Hidden Jewel

Someone wrote as an answer to the question, what is it that essentially distinguishes humans from other animals, “Hawaiian Shirts!” That the statement is superficially true but not correct is an example of PO, a provocative operation that compels you to try to reconcile the dissonance, a paradox or counter-intuitive or counter-factual statement.There is an excellent French word, “invraisemblable,” not true seeming, unlikely. Why is a statement true but not correct? A better answer to the original question would be abstract pattern recognition.


Inauguration of the new sculpture, Puzzle, at the Grand Marais Public Library

Humans are problem solvers and one of our most valuable tools is to recognize patterns, not only visual but on many other levels of logic, behavior, representation and correlation. Coincidence is not causality but it is a good clue. We try to find patterns, as if all things were pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and our challenge is to find how they fit together. We classify, generalize, interpolate and extrapolate. We like to make rules to govern our thoughts and behavior. Then we extend the rule, the generalization or pattern definition to see how far it will go until we run into a contradiction. Given the complexity of the universe we might better sometimes accept without shame, as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography, “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.”

To Know the Means Look at the Extremes

“Presuppose and put it to the test.” Faced with a contradiction or limit to our generalization or algorithm we try to deny it rather than see it as PO. Many times we rationalize. Emerson wrote,

The Existential, Viral, Fractal, and Subjective Nature of Memes

Symbols, letters, words, are like hyperlinks in the myriad dimensions and levels of the universe and of each person’s mind; the exact nature or meaning, the connotations, are necessarily different for each person and for any person from one moment and context to another. The medium and the message, the structure and the contents. The map is the territory. Like a cascade or chain reaction propagating internally, within the mind, and externally, through time and the universe.

Deep or shallow is a measure of the person more than a characteristic of any meme. The connotations of symbols and images, memes, concepts, thoughts and ideas, have only subjective power, the energy referred to in the poem, in relation to and with each person. What resonates with one is wasted on another.

The Turkish TV series Yunus Emre is on Netflix in the USA. It loosely dramatizes the life of the Sufi Dervish poet who lived in 13th century Anatolia and his mentor or guru Taptuk Emre. Taptuk Emre speaks in parables, metaphors and aphorisms. In our world, especially in politics, circumlocutions and indirection are abused to hide the truth. With Taptuk Emre the tangential and sometimes seeming to be irrelevant words and phrases reveal the truth within each hearer or reader.


Taptuk Emre says, “Don’t know what you know, know what you don’t know.” One connotation of this is about Pride, Anger, and Ego. A parallel could be, don’t let your knowledge interfere with learning.

He tells of a Holy Man on his pilgrimage to Mecca. Standing outside the shrine the Holy Man recognizes Satan with many horses’ reins draped over his arm up to the elbow. The Holy Man asks Satan, are you waiting the horses’ return? Satan agrees. The Holy Man then asks, am I one of them? Satan smiles, “I do not need reins to ride you.”

God permeates the whole wide world,
Yet his truth is revealed to none.
You better seek Him in yourself,
You and He aren't apart - you're one.
The man who feels 
the marvels of true love
Abandons his religion and nation.

“Faith, Hope, and Love… And the greatest of these is Love.”-St Paul

Oneness, One World, One Love, One Life. I see the threads connecting Buddha, the Torah, early Greek Stoics and Cynics, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Christianity, Islam, Rastafarian and Bob Marley.


Heads-up: On Netflix the two seasons are presented as consecutive continuous episode numbers. Around episode 20 must be the second season with better subtitles translation to English and better sets and picture quality; even script writing seems better. In the first season each episode has 15-20 minutes of recap (you can fast-forward past it) followed by 40-50 minutes new content. Season 2 has shorter recaps introducing each episode. Some viewers have less patience, though impatience is associated with the goose of Pride as you may learn in this series. Those viewers may be content to start around episode 19. Much of the first season is recapped in brief flashbacks and dreams in the following episodes.


A single word can brighten the face

by Yunus Emre

English version by Kabir Helminski & Refik Algan
Original Language Turkish

A single word can brighten the face
of one who knows the value of words.
Ripened in silence, a single word
acquires a great energy for work.

War is cut short by a word,
and a word heals the wounds,
and there’s a word that changes
poison into butter and honey.

Let a word mature inside yourself.
Withhold the unripened thought.
Come and understand the kind of word
that reduces money and riches to dust.

Know when to speak a word
and when not to speak at all.
A single word turns the universe of hell
into eight paradises.

Follow the Way. Don’t be fooled
by what you already know. Be watchful.
Reflect before you speak.
A foolish mouth can brand your soul.

Yunus, say one last thing
about the power of words —
Only the word “I”
divides me from God.

The fault belongs to who speaks of it

Mind your words, do not mind others words

Do not waste strength on being offended

Calling the vicious innocent would be vicious to the innocent

Slander belongs to the speaker

Noah’s son said I know how to swim

The World is a lie, your property is…

If you break a heart once you do not need to pray


No True Scotsman/Moving The Goalposts

Cheap trick or acceptable logic? Another version of the “Straw Man Fallacy?”

The namesake example of the “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy or scam goes:

“No true Scotsman eats porridge with sugar on it.”

“Angus McDuff does!”

“Well then, he’s no true Scotsman.”


I begin to recognize the currency of this flawed logic in many contexts beyond porridge.

In medicine if unorthodox treatments work for a particular condition the NTS response is that the condition did not exist or was misdiagnosed.

In politics it goes with the typical double-talk of vague promises and pandering slogans. There is great and there is Great. USA is the greatest country in the world vs. Make America Great Again.

In the world of dog breeding and kennel clubs you can find it in the standards and judging.



Na Zdrovie

A new method and substance to indirectly self-medicate, a probiotic “adjuvant” based on the interaction of bacteria and phages.


In almost all ecosystems that so far have been subjected to in-depth studies, it has been estimated that there are around ten phages for every microbial cell, rendering phages the most abundant biological entities on our planet [12]. By killing bacteria, phages significantly influence global biochemical cycles, while they are also considered to be crucial in driving microbial species diversity due to the fact that phage are species-specific [13]

Thus, by extension one could argue that in the human gut no specific bacterial strains persist in dominant numbers over time and that there is a dynamic equilibrium of functionally redundant bacterial and viral strains that continuously substitute each other in a “kill-the winner” fashion, thereby maintaining stable metabolic potential and taxonomical diversity.
>An important aspect that deserves a much more detailed investigation is the potential role of phages in defining the limits of bacterial populations in the human intestine when a dietary intervention introduces a considerable amount of bacteria. Such an approach is commonly known as probiotic treatment and consists of the supplementation of viable microbial cells in sufficient numbers so as to modify the intestinal bacterial populations in order to elicit a beneficial effect on human healt

Someone thinks it can be done…



>Giving Probiotics a Boost

Many people live in a state of dysbiosis or imbalance that not only threatens their long-term health, but may also contribute to sleep disorders, to a sense of malaise or “fogginess,” and to a range of stomach distress issues that cannot be explained by a specific disease. Fortunately, many studies have shown that positively changing the microbiome—shifting it toward a healthy profile and away from dysbiosis—can also change symptoms and disease risk.14,35,36

One important way of improving the intestinal microbiome is through the use of probiotic bacteria. Probiotics are a great additive therapy that increase the abundance of organisms that can rebalance an ailing microbiome. In some cases, however, probiotics by themselves have difficulty competing with the more aggressive microbes that contribute to dysbiosis in the first place.

A more comprehensive approach is to use probiotics in combination with another therapy, one that selectively targets and reduces the troublesome bacteria that are taking over the microbiome. This approach of targeting harmful bacteria while replenishing beneficial bacteria can make way forprobiotics to better help restore the microbiome to a healthy, balanced state. That is how phage therapy works.

Phage therapy reduces potentially troublesome organisms that are overabundant in the microbiome, allowing beneficial organisms to flourish. This helps restore the microbiome to a healthy, balanced state.37

>After 24 hours, compared with the control group, animals in the phage-treated group gave powerful evidence of a reduction in the disease-causing bacteria as can be seen on the following page:

  • About a 10-fold decrease of E. coli in the small intestine
  • About a 100-fold decrease of E. coli in the colon (large intestine)
  • About a 100-fold decrease of E. coli in fecal matter

At the same time, the phage-treated animals showed remarkable increases in the beneficial (B. longum) bacteria as follows:

  • About 100-fold increase of B. longum in the small intestine
  • About 100-fold increase of B. longum in the colon
  • About 40-fold increase of B. longum in fecal matter

This study also revealed marked differences in the appearance of tissue samples and digestive function across the different groups of mice.

Mice treated with E. coli and B. longum alone were constipated, and intestinal segments showed swelling, redness, and leaks compared with healthy animals. The mice given B. longum and E. coliplus the phage mixture had normal bowel movements, while their intestinal tissues showed no detrimental changes.

And the product being pitched:

Supplement Facts
Serving Size 1 liquid vegetarian capsule
Amount Per Serving
Proprietary Probiotic Blend 15 Billion CFU†
Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14; Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04; L. paracasei Lpc-37; L. rhamnosus Lr-32; B. bifidum/lactis Bb-02; B. longum Bl-05
TetraPhage Blend 15 mg
LH01 – Myoviridae; LL5 – Siphorviridae; T4D – Myoviridae; LL12 – Myoviridae
Other ingredients: glycerin, vegetable cellulose (capsule), microcrystalline cellulose, silica, purified water, stearic acid, chlorophyllin.


†Colony Forming Units at time of manufacture.

Dosage and Use
  • Take one (1) capsule daily, with or without food, or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner.