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.


The Great Norwegian Porridge Feud

A tempest in a porridge pot or microcosm of nutrition and health science in 1865 Europe?

“The more things change, the more it is the same.” The newest and best is here! Modernizers, scientists, doctors, the new adopters, the “experts” backed by the latest discoveries tell you, “Yes, there were mistakes in the past, but trust us, now we got it right, this is the answer, the best!”


Note that porridge so-called was made with grains not exclusively oats; the same general use of the word kasha in Russian. Oats may have been most common in Scotland, buckwheat in Russia, maze corn polenta in North Italy; not clear here what was the most common grain used in Norway at that time.

At first glance, it sounds like much ado about nothing, with a silly name to boot — the Norwegian Porridge Feud, indeed! — but once upon a time in Norway, the preparation of a simple bowl of porridge became a nexus for deeply-held, passionately-argued views about the natural sciences, nutrition, economy, the role of women in Norwegian society, education, tradition, nationalism, progressivism and enlightenment.

It was the custom of Norwegian farmers’ wives to prepare porridge by throwing a quantity of flour into the porridge as soon as it was ready to eat. One might see such a practice — adding uncooked grain to cooked — as a redundancy, but the author of Fornuftig Madstel, Peter Christen Asbjornsen (writing under the pseudonym Clemens Bonifacius) attacked this practice as worse than redundant: he argued that it was in fact a loss to the eater, as the flour would pass unabsorbed through the body, and it was a loss to the Norwegian economy, as all of this unused flour could be put to better use. He argued further that the only way to reverse this chronic waste, and the resultant weakening of the Norwegian population, was to revise the known methods of cookery and optimal consumption of foods to adhere to the principles of natural sciences; since women were the primary cooks for their families, they were responsible for the deleterious effects of bad cookery, and they should be retaught everything they knew from scratch, in accordance with natural science.

The tenacity of Asbjornsen’s ideas is all the more remarkable when we learn that the argument that started the Norwegian Porridge Feud — uncooked flour, added to cooked porridge, passes unused through the body — was disproved two years after the publication of Fornuftig Madstel, when a Norwegian doctor put it to the test…

A more recent review and analysis proposes that the enzymatic/amylase sweetening effect of the added flour explains the preference for the traditional porridge cooking method in dispute so long ago.

To study cooking practices in depth, transdisciplinary
approaches (Ramadier, 2004) are required; uni- or
interdisciplinary approaches may fail to notice vital

Bonus alphabetical listing of porridge names and ingredients from Atole to Wheatena:




Them Damn Canadians Hanged Louis Riel

Louis Riel Day, November 16. The day that the Metis President of the Manitoba Republic-leader of the rebellion against the Hudson Bay Company rule transferred to the newly established Canadian government-was hanged by the Mounties.


The title above is also the title of a good book on the subject by James McNamee, published `1971. 2nd hand copies readily available from the usual sources.

Here is the short version, same idea, in a poem:

 There is a small display for Gabriel Dumont hidden in a back corridor of the Saskatoon airport departures and transfers lounge.



Cod Liver Oil, A?

And D, and K!

So I bought her a bottle, t’was just for to try
And the way that she scoffed it you’d swear she was dry
I bought her another, it went just the same
Till I owned she’s got cod liver oil on the brain


A piece, perhaps a critical one, of the nutrition and health jigsaw puzzle. Understanding the interaction and conditional or optimum requirements for Vitamins A, D and K could be valuable also for dog food. I recall back in the 70s and 80s buying large cans of cod liver oil to add to the sled dog’s food. The NAS 1968 Nutrient Requirements of Mink and Foxes had a more practical approach than for dogs since the processed pet food industry already controlled that field. The document recommends dietary Min/Max limits for animal liver 1.5/7% and cod liver oil .3/.8%

Health bonus not addressed in the W-P article below, the bottle of CLO I have in front of me also contains per 5 ml, 430 mg EPA and 390 mg DHA, and “Quik-Sorb” ginger, amla and capsicum. Could increase absorption as the name implies, protect as antioxidant, reduce burping? Don’t ask me about burping, I use it on salad with olive oil and herbs for dressing.

In many countries a spoonful of cod liver oil was a daily supplement ritual for children. They usually disliked the taste. Some products were flavored with malt extract, some with black currant syrup to improve palatability. CLO can be purchased now with lemon, orange or similar added flavor.

BTW, if you are going to eat cod fillets, the best way to cook Poor Man’s Lobster is to lay Bay leaf on top when you steam or poach the fish, then eat with melted butter.


North Atlantic Cod

Looks somewhat like walleye aka perch pike or pickerel, but the freshwater cod around here are called lawyers aka burbot, loche, lingcod, mariah.

cod-liver-oilcod-liver-oil-vitamin-a    Selected excerpts:

>In order for vitamin D to activate the expression of its target genes, it must bind to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and then combine with the retinoid X receptor (RXR), which is activated by a particular form of vitamin A called 9-cis retinoic acid. Researchers from Spain recently showed that vitamin D can only effectively activate target genes when its partner receptor is activated by vitamin A.

WAPF Response: A dose of 1000 IU vitamin D daily is adequate to avoid problems with vitamin A in adults. If the ratio of A to D in cod liver oil is 10 to 1, then it is easy to obtain a safe amount of vitamin A along with an adequate amount of vitamin D.

WAPF Response: As stated earlier, vitamin A can be toxic when vitamin D is absent. Vitamin A does not antagonize vitamin D—both are needed for optimal assimilation. It would be amazing if vitamins A and D were antagonistic since they are so often found in the same foods.

Our primary message is that vitamin A levels are far too low in the modern American diet compared to primitive diets. Primitive peoples consumed very high levels of vitamin A from organ meats, insects, fish eggs, fish heads, liver and fish liver oils, as well as from butterfat and egg yolks from grassfed animals. Since most of our animals are raised in confinement today, and many of the vitamin A-rich foods are unacceptable to modern palates, we recommend taking cod liver oil on a daily basis. We have never recommended taking a multivitamin. Likewise, we have never stated that vitamin A is “not at all” toxic.

We have thoroughly explored this topic and shown that plant foods are a very poor source of vitamin A for humans, especially for babies and children, diabetics, and those suffering from thyroid and digestive disorders.

WOUND HEALING: The combination of zinc oxide and cod liver oil was found to be superior to the formulations containing only one active ingredient. This combination was also found to be most efficient in accelerating wound healing when it is retarded by repeated dexamethasone treatment (Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2006 Sep;113(9):331-4).

HIP FRACTURE: Multivitamin or cod liver oil supplementation was associated with a significantly lower risk of any fracture. “We found no evidence to support any skeletal harm associated with increased serum indices of retinol exposure or modest retinol supplementation in this population” (J Bone Miner Res. 2005 Jun;20(6):913-20).

UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS IN CHILDREN: Children supplemented with cod liver oil had a decrease in upper respiratory tract infections and pediatric visits over time (Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2004 Nov;113(11):891-901).


Try B And See…

Boron, a new nutritional wunderkind.

The element Boron has many uses in the form of borax, boric acid, and a naturally occurring organic complex in plants, calcium fructoborate.

Boron and borate not to be confused with bromine and bromate. Borax sold as laundry booster can be used as powder or spray on wet floors and walls subject to mildew. It is also a cheap, effective and nontoxic wood preservative that will dissolve and spread in the wet  or moist environment, reaching areas below the surface and inside walls. Boric acid  or borates like borax are typically and commonly used in eyewashes, antifungal salves and cosmetics.

Recent research shows calcium fructoborate dietary supplementation and consumption as found in foods can have valuable health benefits. However when elemental boron levels are low or depleted in soils the consequent levels in foods grown there will also be low.

>Calcium fructoborate (CF), a natural sugar-borate ester found in fresh fruits and vegetables, is a source of soluble boron. CF contains three forms of borate (diester, monoester, and boric acid) and all are biologically active, both at the intracellular (as free boric acid) and extracellular level (as fructose-borate diester and monoester). At the cellular and molecular level, CF is superior to the boric acid/borate, exhibiting a complex “protective” effect against inflammatory response. CF is commercially available in the USA as a “nature-identical” complex, an active compound for dietary supplements. It provides effective and safe support against the discomfort and lack of flexibility associated with osteoarticular conditions (arthritis and joint degeneration), and improves Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) and McGill indexes. In addition, orally administered CF is effective in ameliorating symptoms of physiological response to stress, including inflammation of the mucous membranes, discomfort associated with osteoarthritis disorders, and bone loss, and also for supporting cardiovascular health. Clinical studies have exhibited the ability of CF to significantly modulate molecular markers associated with inflammatory mechanisms, mainly on the elevated serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).

The following article includes studies showing the effects of boron as trace mineral in some or in the form of CF in others:

> As the current article shows, boron has been proven to be an important trace mineral because it

(1) is essential for the growth and maintenance of bone;

(2) greatly improves wound healing;

(3) beneficially impacts the body’s use of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D;

(4) boosts magnesium absorption;

(5) reduces levels of inflammatory biomarkers, such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α);

(6) raises levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase;

(7) protects against pesticide-induced oxidative stress and heavy-metal toxicity;

(8) improves the brains electrical activity, cognitive performance, and short-term memory for elders;

(9) influences the formation and activity of key biomolecules, such as S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-e) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+);

(10) has demonstrated preventive and therapeutic effects in a number of cancers, such as prostate, cervical, and lung cancers, and multiple and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; and (11) may help ameliorate the adverse effects of traditional chemotherapeutic agents.

In none of the numerous studies conducted to date, however, do boron’s beneficial effects appear at intakes > 3 mg/d. No estimated average requirements (EARs) or dietary reference intakes (DRIs) have been set for boron—only an upper intake level (UL) of 20 mg/d for individuals aged ≥ 18 y. The absence of studies showing harm in conjunction with the substantial number of articles showing benefits support the consideration of boron supplementation of 3 mg/d for any individual who is consuming a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables or who is at risk for or has osteopenia; osteoporosis; osteoarthritis (OA); or breast, prostate, or lung cancer.

Avocado has the highest level of boron in commonly available foods.




Red Hair & Freckles Alert!


Literally! Green Self-Medication Selfie! For Real!
Nicotiana alata (Azteca), Freckles, Keratoses, Scissors…Thumbs up!  (From Nicotiana alata is called Azteca NIght Blooming; other sources might call particular N rustica varieties Aztec so beware common names vs. the more reliable botanical “binomial” names.)

“…faut cultiver son jardin!” Candide/Voltaire

Tobacco species, genus Nicotiana, one of which (rustica/Hopi) was used to treat skin diseases/cancer successfully 450 years ago by Jean Nicot based on Monardes’ introduction; another species, Nicotiana alata (Azteca in the photo), was discovered recently, better to say rediscovered, to contain antimicrobial peptides, AMP Defensins, that do in fact attack and eviscerate human cells with irregular or abnormal membrane characteristics without harming healthy ones, a better alternative than fluorouracil treatment for sunlight damaged skin aka actinic keratoses.

Re: Are traditional herbal medicines obsolete?

What replaces them? Recent drug “inventions,” many based on traditional plant constituents? Drugs which may treat particular conditions but for some people have serious adverse collateral effects? Methods and substances based on the principle of attacking the agent of disease while often ignoring prevention and harming the host organism? Closing the barn door after the horses escaped, or worse, shooting the horses that did escape! Is the traditional method built on hundreds of years experience replaced by so-called controlled studies which can’t possibly control for all possible variables?

In fact, genetics, epigenetics, and the evidence of pervasive effects of microbiomes different for each person and each organ have all kicked the support out from under the 20th century evidence-based eco-phobic allopathic medicine scam. It is a method based on the misuse of statistics to imply more certainty or confidence than can exist in highly variable real-world populations and never applies to any single person. Statistics do not apply to individuals, no surprise there! The Medical Industrial Pharmaceutical Complex or cartel is  more about liability, insurance, invested interests, entitlement, and psycho-social politics at many levels, not true science. Use all the buzz-words you want, try to claim evidence to support one position or another, but evidence and data are not misleading, people misuse statistics calling them evidence to mislead people. “Asinus asinum fricat.”

Statistics give you probabilities about future behavior of collections or aggregates of objects/events based on and derived from analysis of past outcomes of similar (but necessarily not identical) populations and events. How good is the modeling and similarity?

True science, as opposed to the pseudo-science practiced in “Evidence-based” medicine, would acknowledge that a single case, an anecdote, while suggesting a possibility of causality, does not confirm any general conclusion, at the same time also recognizing that the statistical results of a population study do not confirm or predict with certainty the outcome of a single case.

“What is truth?” so Pontius Pilate said to Jesus

What is any fact or truth that Evidence-Based Medicine can claim to own it exclusively? From the book, The Half-Life of Facts:

“Facts” live and die, writes Samuel Arbesman in this nifty introduction to “scientometrics,” the ecology of knowledge; facts migrate through social networks, interbreed, evolve, and undergo mass extinctions. Surprisingly, the growth and turnover of knowledge plot the same predictable curves as bacteria in a petri dish or a radioisotope’s decay. But predictable doesn’t mean optimal: errors are perpetuated, effort is duplicated, and pieces of many a lifesaving puzzle lie buried in widely separated studies.

The simplistic “Evidence-Based Medicine” approach on careful logical examination turns out to be another version of the No True Scotsman fallacy.                                        >This fallacy is a form of circular argument, with an existing belief being assumed to be true in order to dismiss any apparent counter-examples to it. The existing belief thus becomes unfalsifiable.

“Those who cling to perceptions and views wander the world offending people.” The Buddha

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” The Buddha