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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

HUGO CHAVEZ AND HOLLYWOOD

HUGO CHAVEZ AND HOLLYWOOD

Several weeks ago I wrote a Blog on HUGO CHAVEZ IS A MONKEY. I apologize for having written that because I had no intention to have insulted the monkey. Chavez, on the other hand, can best be described as a megalomaniacal buffoon. His main reason for existence is to spew hatred for the US. In order to explain to his people why there is so much poverty in his country, poverty which he himself created, he, as most other dictators have done before him, must blame someone else. In this case, as is the pattern with others of his ilk, he chooses to blame the big guy on the hill, that is the US. With all his wealth in oil, his people are living in poverty. Chavez will go to the US and give oil to the poor in Harlem and in the process woo individuals like the young Kennedy and completely ignore his own people.

Some have said that Chavez likes the poor so much that he is creating many every day in his own country.

But what is so disturbing is the fact that there are so many misguided people in the US who cannot wait to embrace Chavez, one of the worst and evil leaders in the world today. My father who never went to school used to say to me tell me who you go out with and I will tell you who you are. Look at Chavezs role model. Castro, the economic basket case of the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, we have individuals like ex President Carter, the young Kennedy whom I already mentioned, and the Hollywood types like Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, etc. There are many many more. I just picked the few who hit the news this week. Carter is such a pitiful man who has not found a country he prefers over his own. He was not very bright as a president, probably the worst in our history, and he has not gained in knowledge nor wisdom since. He should have stayed a peanut farmer, but then why should I insult peanut farmers who are very good people providing peanuts, peanut butter for the children, and no cholesterol peanut oil for cooking. But Carter visits and hugs the leaders of North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, and you can name all the other countries who hate the US.

But, my Blog today is to question the motives of all those in Hollywood who embrace individuals like Chavez. They turn their backs on their own country which has provided them their livelihood, fame, money, and fancy life style. They would never have achieved such benefits if they lived in Chavez country, but yet they embrace this charlatan. It was even mentioned that Leonardo Di Caprio was planning to visit Chavez. Has our world turned upside down? Why do individuals like them adopt to live in the US? If these other countries, such as Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba are so wonderful why do they not move there?

Just look at what is happening this week in Chavez country. Since he closed a very popular TV station, people began to riot. Several days ago the army employed water canons to quell the angry mobs. Yesterday the army began with tear gas and firing rubber bullets. And Chavez just does not get it for yesterday he closed the second most popular TV station. Two weeks ago he informed the banks that if they do not toe the line as he saw it, he would nationalize them as he did the oil industry. Now Chavez is a banker. If he were not so pathetic for his people, he would be truly ludicrous.

But this is not funny. It is very sad that the good people of Venezuela have to go through such misery. Evil megalomaniacs, such as Hugo Chavez, do a lot of destruction before they themselves are destroyed. It cannot come too soon for The Venezuelans.

That is all I have to say today.

nicola michael Tauraso, M.D.

Friday, May 25, 2007

AVANDIA THE ANTI DIABETIC DRUG

AVANDIA THE ANTI-DIABETIC DRUG

Several days ago it was reported that individuals who were taking the drug, Avandia, had an increased risk of dying of heart disease. The drug companies who are legally bound to report adverse reactions to their drugs did indeed report such results to the FDA who has known this information since last November, some 6 months ago, but has done nothing about it. This hits a delicate spot within me because of what happened to my mother.

My mother had been taking a drug called DBI made by the drug company, U S Vitamin. At the time when DBI was introduced into the market, it was considered one of the best drugs which had been discovered to control blood sugar in late onset diabetics. I was living in Bethesda, Maryland, at the time when I was working at the National Institutes of Health. My mother was living in Salem, MA. As was my custom every Thursday evening, I telephoned my mother. She asked that I come to see her in Salem the following evening. I told her I could not because I had some very important experiments in the laboratory that required my attention. She retorted: you will come tomorrow evening and that is final. As was also my custom, when my mother spoke in such a way, I knew it was important and I responded that I would be there the following evening.

I knew my mother had not been feeling well for a couple of months but I had no idea how sick, for when I opened the door to enter the house, I almost did not recognize my mother who appeared 20 years older than when I last saw her three months before. I telephoned her physician who informed me that my mother was dying of a strange cardiomyopathy (a degeneration of the cardiac muscle characterized by a ballooning of the heart because it was failing). They were doing all they could but nothing seemed to be working.

My mother gave me instructions on what I was to do with her affairs should she die, this being the real reason why she ordered me to come home. You see, I was the first born son in an Italian family, and there were certain things expected of me. I returned to Bethesda on Sunday evening. My mother died very early Tuesday morning on the couch where she fell asleep watching TV knitting the night before.

Why the story? Within one year of my mothers death DBI was taken off the market because it was discovered that some so-called sensitive individuals taking DBI died of an unexplained cardiomyopathy.

Folks, many drugs are dangerous. For instance, one salesperson was trying to prove to me the relative benefits of a new drug to replace phenobarbital, a relaxing drug sometimes used for children prone to convulsions. My argument was why should I change from a drug I knew was extremely safe to one, although tested before it was able to get FDA approval, did not stand up to the long test of time of phenobarbital?

The reality is that drug companies are constantly developing new drugs to replace older ones. Not to be paranoid, I believe the impetus for such new developments is the fact that after a period of time patents run out and new drugs must be provided to eliminate the competition and maintain the financial edge and to preserve profits. Ordinarily drugs are tested in the neighborhood of several ten of thousands of individuals to determine safety, efficacy, and potency. After a drug is released, the users of a drug may easily reach millions. A potential reaction of low incidence may not show up until a drug is in full use.

It is important to note that drugs are not all bad, but their use must be weighed each time they are prescribed. All drugs are potentially dangerous. They are foreign chemicals with physiological effects not normal for the human body. The toxic properties of drugs should always be weighed against the potential effect upon controlling a disease process. When a person has multiple disease conditions, then evaluation of the use of a drug becomes even more difficult. A drug may improve one condition while having a potential adverse reaction to another. An individual who has both diabetes and a heart problem has to be doubly concerned. A drug like Avandia, given to control the diabetes might not be good to use in an individual with a pre existing heart problem.

On my medical web site I discuss the dangers of taking Statin drugs because their use interferes with the metabolism of CoQ10 an important vitamin like substance required for proper functioning of skeletal and cardiac muscle among other things. A large number of individuals taking Station drugs develop cardiac failure caused by their use. My cardiologist friends think I am a quack preaching the ills of taking Statins. My response to them is that they should not criticize me because they do not know. My approach is not very conducive to making friends.


nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

RON PAUL AND THE REPUBLICAN DEBATES

RON PAUL AND THE REPUBLICAN DEBATES

Being a political buff from afar, I watched the Fox News sponsored debates held in South Carolina last week. Although I usually watch Fox News because of its fair and balanced approach (ha ha!), I am beginning to worry about them, however. Although, as far as I am concerned, Fox News is the only game in town, at least when contrasted to the other networks who are so far out beyond the left that they have lost credibility long ago in my eyes.

When Texas Representative Ron Paul made his famous statement about the possible reasons why Moslem terrorists perpetrated the 911 disaster, Giulianis subsequent retort questioning Ron Pauls statement elicited a large positive response from the audience. What was surprising was what happened AFTER the debate ended. Viewers were asked to vote on who they thought won the debate. When I turned the TV off Ron Paul was ahead of all the others by a large margin. Romney and Giuliani were trailing significantly. Even CNBCs poll showed Ron Paul with a vote of 38%, with Romney at 30%, and Giuliani at 23%. Apparently, even though the audience with their overwhelming applause appeared to support Giuliani, the general public watching the debate supported Ron Paul.

What was even more surprising was the fact that Fox News never mentioned the results of the poll the following day, nor the day after, nor subsequently. The news media kept showing the tape of Ron Paul which initially showed him to be out of touch with his party. But, this is not what really happened. The viewers actually believed Ron Paul to be more correct and more on target than the other debaters. I believe we can correctly assume that more Republicans were watching the debates than Democrats, and the subsequent voting represented the conclusions of more Republicans than Democrats. I may be wrong but I draw this conclusion from past experience. My Democrat friends rarely watch the Republican convention speeches and vice versa.

When I was first listening to Ron Paul, I thought his views were so out of touch with what others believed. I reacted very much in agreement with the comments of Giuliani. But, I consider myself an open minded individual so as such why not examine what Ron Paul said.

We have such a short memory. Individuals who produce TV shows know this, and their programs indicate this. The music videos are even more in tune with the population short memory span with each music video segment lasting usually less than two or three seconds.

Can anyone remember just a few years ago why Bin Laden was so disturbed at the US? His very early complaint was the fact that US troops were stationed in his home country, Saudi Arabia. This was in part due to the fact that Bin Laden really wanted to overthrow the ruling party of Saudi Arabia and regain the country for true believers, his form of believer, and the presence of US troops interfered with his plans. He blamed the United States and it was an easy transition to adjust his target country because it is easier to gain allies when the target country is the most successful country in the world. Dictators for centuries have selected larger world countries upon which to blame the problems they are unable to cure within their own country, problems usually caused by the policies of the so called persecuted country. Hitler selected the Jews as the cause of Germanys problem. The Moslems blamed the Christians in Bosnia. The Near Eastern Countries are now blaming the US and Israel for their problems. Of course, they will never admit the obvious that their problems are caused by themselves. It would take a great leap of intellect for them to realize that when they kill themselves over who should really should carry the mantel of Muhammad, the Sunni or the Shiites.

This blaming other countries will continue as long as there are dictators who create problems they are unable to cure within their own countries. Hang on, folks, it is going to be a recurring bumpy ride!

To return to Ron Paul, his observations on the original source of the terrorist problem have much validity. This does not condone the 911 event by any stretch of the imagination, but there is a value to attempt to wear the moccasins of your enemy. It, at least, might give some insight into their thinking as bizarre and evil as it may be. Ron Paul is a Libertarian, one of the few in Congress. After having been a loyal Republican all my life, I recently started to embrace the principles of Libertarianism which seems to be the most sensible political philosophy in the US today. Unfortunately, the two party system is so entrenched that it will take an individual like a Lincoln or a Teddy Roosevelt to create another viable alternative to what we now have. Maybe Ronald Reagan could have pulled it off!

We need to get rid of the idea of policing the world. The United Nations is supposed to do that, and look at the mess they are making, a more dishonest, corrupt, and self serving group of people who appear to be able only to dance the Political Side Step Dance for their own advantage. John Bolton was doing a good job at the UN, but again the politics of the Left got rid of him. The UN was a good idea but it is not working. What do they say: the proof is in the pudding.

From where I stand, kudos for Ron Paul.

nicola michael c. Tauraso. M.D.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

IGNORANCE AND INTOLERANCE

IGNORANCE AND INTOLERANCE

It was a slow day here in Panama and I was hoping to find a subject about which to write. One just came to me so I went to my favorite restaurant across the street from where I am living and sitting on the outdoor patio I write. It really does not get any better than this!

My Blog site has been down because of some technical difficulties occurring while changing my host carrier. I decided to check whether I had any comments logged in from my previous Blogs. Frequently, readers send me comments on something I had written, some agreeing with me, others taking issue with what I have said. Since I have control over what gets published, I usually publish most, if they have something substantive to say whether they agree or disagree. Although it is always flattering to have others agree with you, frequently I enjoy some of those who disagree because they often get me to rethink what I have said.

I particularly respect those individuals who sign their names but I recognize others may just want to send their comments anonymously. But it was a comment I received today which instigated my writing this present Blog on IGNORANCE AND INTOLERANCE. Initially, I thought of ignoring the comment but decided to publish it anyway. And here it is:

Dr. Tauraso for years doesn't know what he is even talking about. He is just a quack who doesn't care about patients but only sucking the money out of people. He practices a questionable practice, giving false advice. He moved to Panama to avoid mal-practice suits. Avoid this questionable doctor at all costs. Anonymous

Whether for years I do not know about which I am talking, was I wrong when in the 1980s I preached the ills of eating trans fats? (Please note anonymous ended his sentence with a preposition; I did not) Everyone thought I was crazy until in the early 1990s Harvard (my Medical School Alma Mater) published a study warning about the ills of consuming trans fats.

Was I wrong when again in the 1980s I was teaching individuals how to meditate to relax rather than use tranquilizers. At that time a doctor in my hometown reported me to the Commission on Medical Discipline. The fact that when the Commission met they all agreed that it was in the longstanding armamentarium of medicine for centuries to employ relaxation techniq1ues. Do you think that the Commission might have been influenced by the presence of an American Civil Liberties lawyer who accompanied me to the meeting that evening?

Concerning moving to Panama, I have NEVER had a malpractice charge made against me. The person making this accusation must be drinking Kool Aid!

Concerning sucking money out of people, I never charged a patient with cancer, unlike all the other physicians in my home town. I remember one day visiting a cancer patient at her home to give dietary advice which might have helped her deal with her illness. I never charged this lady nor others suffering from cancer, but on her fireplace mantel was a check for $50.00 for the doctor who was coming that afternoon to give her a shot of some anti cancer drug. The lady refused to take advice. any dietary advice, but then it was not her who had initially called me for dietary advice. It was her friend.

I stand by what I have done and accomplished during my medical career. There were times, especially when I opened an holistic medical clinic in a community not prepared nor ready for such divergent medical views, when many in the medical community thought that I lost my mind. But being before ones time is not often easy, especially among ones colleagues. But I have frequently taken that proverbial road less traveled by. Sometimes, the road was quite bumpy, but it was never boring!

I have always been a confrontational person, sometimes to my own detriment, but I am ready to defend my views. I remember once when a mother of a patient of mine (I was a Pediatrician) asked what I might have done to a particular person who was saying something against me at a party the weekend before. I told the mother that I did not know the person, had not ever met him and could not understand why he was saying such things about me.

That evening I decided to telephone the man and, after introducing myself, asked him if we had ever met. He replied no. I asked him if what I was told about what he said about me at the party was true. He was honest enough to admit it. I then told him that if we had met and he believed me to be a s** of a b**** then he could speak from first hand experience. But, having never met me, he should have never said such things. Was I shocked when he not only agreed but apologized. Now there was an honest man and I complemented him for it. But, such things must be confronted, if, at least to set the record straight.

I have met many individuals such as the person who wrote the above hateful words without any evidence backing up his accusations.. Although it is none of his business, I moved to Panama because I like the warm weather and the people. Many of my friends wonder how could I move away from the US. Just because they lack the courage to think beyond the US centricity of thinking there is no place like the US, they should not criticize me for doing what I want to do. My real friends, and I have many, understand and are supportive.

I have met many people in my 72 years on Planet Earth, and I thank God that my encounters with ignorant and intolerant, if not also stupid and lacking facts, are rare. The individual who wrote the above words is one of those individuals. He should come to Panama to develop tolerance and perhaps begin to love his fellow man. Perhaps he can avoid HIS enemies here. But he will not, for his enemies are within and will follow him wherever he goes.

Thank you Anonymous.

And now to finish my glass of wine, I remain

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

STEM CELL RESEARCH

THE TRUTH OF STEM CELL RESEARCH

I mentioned it here earlier in a previous Blog that when an issue gets within the political realm you might as well forget about logic, reason, common sense, and truth. This is so true in the areas of Stem Cell research and of Global Warming. I spoke earlier on how the issue of Global Warming has entered the political arena with the efforts of Al Gore whose privately owned company is making a fortune from the scam of selling carbon credits. The way the public is being fooled is an indication of how the stupid and/or uneducated masses can be swayed by a few vocal influential charlatans.

The public is constantly being bombarded by mis information, especially on TV where visual images become powerful forces in programming the mind/brain to believe what is being shown. I discuss this factor in two previous books, namely, How to Benefit from Stress, and Awaken the Genius in Your Child.

This, what I call Programming Effect, reminds me of watching in any one of the Moslem countries crowds of people who are loudly chanting the phrases of one individual with a bull horn. We frequently now see such occurrences also in the US. One only needs to attend a Rock concert and observe thousands of fans acting with similar frenzy as the Rock star leads them into a screaming oblivion. The psychology of such behavior is similar.

Today, I would like to direct my comments of the issue of Stem Cell research. If I were to ask how many diseases have been cured by Stem Cells, would you be surprised to know that there has been only one, and this medical condition has been cured this way long before anyone was thinking about stem cells?

Many years ago we discovered that we could perform bone marrow transplants in individuals whose own bone marrow has been destroyed by diseases such as aplastic anemia or by chemotherapy. The bone marrow of healthy individuals contain very primitive bone marrow stem cells. These stem cells multiply and differentiate into more adult marrow cells which eventually become adult red blood cells. In fact, in the normal marrow there is this process of development and differentiation of cells from the early stem cell forms to the adult cell. And as I already mentioned our use of bone marrow transplant has been employing the principles of stem cell development for many years, only we were not employing the term. It is very important to note that these blood stem cell have already been programmed to achieve their destiny to become adult blood cells. This is unlike the stem cells taken from embryos or umbilical cords whose ultimate destiny we do not know. I will come back to this later in this Blog.

Today, the issue of Stem Cell research is emotionally charged by promising cures in almost every serious chronic disease plaguing the human race: retinal degeneration, Parkinsons Disease, Alzheimers,, spinal cord injuries, stroke, burns, heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophies, and liver disease. With such a long list, the scientists and their political sycophants are amassing a large group of emotionally involved individuals who will serve as their source of monetary funding, not to speak of the ability of this large army to mobilize political support for their point of view..

When I was a young boy, I would venture deep into the woods observing everything in nature. Very early in life I read the biography of Pasteur and a true scientist I wanted to be.

It was not until I went to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that I discovered that all scientists were not all that noble. After all, scientists were drawn from the same human pool from which lawyers, accountants, and other professionals came. At the NIH I met many honorable and some not so honorable men. In fact, I met a few outright dishonest individuals who might well be described as empire builders at any expense. The public would be sold a bill of goods solely for the purposes of building the laboratory empire of a few. But, be that as it may, some of these individuals even believed their own hype and press. In this process they become true believers and expound their beliefs and draw other would be believers to their cause.

Today scientists doing Stem Cell research are asking us to believe that Stem Cells will cure every disease not yet cured. This is not the case, my friends. Although it would seem that stem cells might offer a new approach to curing some diseases, even after several years of such research, not a single disease or medical condition has yet been cured except for the single one mentioned earlier and we have known how to treat this particular problem for years. So let us not believe every scientific charlatan coming down the block. Most of all let us not call those who do not believe all this hype names accusing them of being cruel non-believers. The Stem Cell debate has entered the political sphere and you already know what I think about that.

I am always drawn to my education in philosophy to put things in perspective. A stem cell in a developing embryo is directed finally to become a tissue then an organ by forces admittedly beyond our knowledge, control, and comprehension. Where is that same stem cell going once removed from the body? Where are the unknown forces which once directed it to go somewhere and become something within the body now? How do we tell it what to become when we did not know how it was directed while within the embryo? I believe that unless we find the answers to these questions, we are blindly going nowhere.

There have been reports of individuals who have gone abroad to places like South East Asia and got injected with stem cells and experienced some temporary cures. But they might also have been cured by having been injected with monkey gonad tissue! I have seen cures of diseases by some strange practices but not in every case and every time. Remember the Placebo Effect? The strong contribution of the effect the mind has upon the ability to cure oneself must also be considered.

As intelligent individuals we need to understand that what we want to believe might be different from what should be or is to be believed. In many of my Blogs I implore readers to be reasonable in evaluating what others are asking them to believe. Inquire of the motives of the preacher before we jump on the band wagon. Once reason disappears adequate and intelligent evaluation is impossible. Remember OMT.

At Boston College I had an old Physics Professor who the first day of class wrote on the chalk board: OMT, standing for Observe, Measure, and Think. He quickly added than some might translate this to Old Man Tobin, but this was not so. The Professors name was Father Tobin! Although he was in his eighties at the time, he was still a sharp thinker. As I also recalled the Jesuits never seemed to retire their members of the SJ.

The lesson here is always to approach a situation with the scrutiny of Occams Razor, described in an earlier Blog, but also to OM, Observe, Measure, and then to T, Think and Evaluate. Yes, I would like to add the T so we will have OMTE.

Much like the Global Warming debate, those who legitamately disagree with the true worth of pushing forward with Stem Cell Research should not be demonized for their critical approach.

I will write later on the relative value of stem cells from embryos versus from adult sources such as umbilical cord.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

IMPORTANT NEWS RELEASE ON AL GORE

IMPORTANT NEWS RELEASE

Our astute investigative team has just discovered that Ex Vice President Al Gore is planning to take a Virgin Airline trip to Mars and Triton, the largest moon of Neptune. He will be accompanied by his wife, Tipper, and Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin. Susan Sarandon, although invited, decided not to go because of a previous commitment. Their plans are to return to Earth for refueling then to proceed to Planet Venus. Tipper will stay home because she does not like the heat, but Sarandon will join the group at this point for she just loves the heat and sucking up the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid, not unlike the atmosphere of her neighborhood in Hollywood.

The reason for this trip is to investigate, first hand, the scientific reports that Mars, Triton, and Venus are warming up much like Earth. Our investigative team has discovered that the principal diet of the inhabitants of both Mars and Triton consists of beans, and the resulting gas is contributing to the global warming there. This is not too dissimilar to the reports of the contribution of gas elimination of cows and rice fields here on Earth. If we were to eliminate or even cut down on Earths cow population, this would seriously affect infant nutrition because of low milk supply and populations whose source of dietary protein is beef. Additionally, those peoples who depend upon rice as a major staple of their diet would suffer starvation unless another food source is discovered.

Since legumes (beans) are out, for this is apparently what is getting Mars and Triton in trouble, the Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations for Alternative Food Sources has appointed a committee to further investigate the potential problem of decreasing food supply. Our crack investigators have learned that the Chairman of this special committee will be none other than Maurice Strong, former Under Secretary of the United Nations for Climate Affairs. Maurice was one of the chief architects of the Kyoto Conference and he is a partner of Al Gore in the carbon credit scam currently being perpetrated on the populations of Planet Earth.

Reputable scientists are objecting to the planned trip because most now believe

that reason should prevail and that we should utilize the philosophical principle of Occams Razor (first proposed by Sir William of Occam, 1300-1349) which states that when considering multiple explanations to a phenomenon or event, the simplest is usually the correct one. I apologize to all those who adhere to conspiracy theories, but blame Sir William of Occam, not me.

The simplest explanation for global warming would come from analyzing what Earth, Mars, Triton, and Venus have in common. It is the Sun, my dear friends! The Sun IS getting hotter, ergo, these other celestial bodies are getting warmer.

I do not wish to minimize the importance of doing what we can to eliminate the gases which man creates by burning fossil fuels because nature in the natural scheme of things never intended for such pollutants to get into the atmosphere at this time. They might have been there in very early times of the development of the planet, but now with the animals and humans who must share the planet, certain man-made gases which might adversely affect life must be controlled.

But cows and rice fields, or even beans for that matter, let us be reasonable! We will keep you updated on the intergalactic antics of Al Gore and others of his ilk.

As always, I remain

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Ps. The above is a comedic parody.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

FEDS OUT OF TOUCH AGAIN

This Blog has been temporarily out of commission as we changed our site host. I am happy to say that we are now back in operation and ready to move forward. I thank our readers for their patience.

FEDS OUT OF TOUCH AGAIN

I thought that Alan Greenspan was one of the worst Federal Reserve Chairmen the US has ever had. He was unable to communicate, he spoke in a form of speech which eventually became known as Greenspeak, and most of all he never saw an interest hike he did not like. He was always so concerned about inflation, even when it did not exist, and he also did not appreciate the fact that some things which are done which might affect the market might not be reflected in the financial markets until months down the pike. In this respect, President Bush with his tax cuts has been a better prognosticator than most. Imagine where we might be with our economy if we were not bogged down in a war.

Greenspan held the needle which pricked the .com market bubble several years ago, not that eventually the bubble would not have burst for some other reason. But we hire learned men like Greenspan to prevent these things from happening. He got credit for one of the greatest expansions of the US markets, when, in reality, he was just there when it happened anyway.

So here comes Ben Bernache. He instituted some 15 rate increases in a row. Like his predecessor, Greenspan, Ben does not appreciate the delay factor. If it were not for the Bush tax cuts, we would not be experiencing the growth in the economy that we now have. But Bush is so hated because of the Irak war that he will never get the credit. And, like his predecessor, Greenspan, Bernache held the needle which pricked the housing bubble. Without all those rate cuts the decline in the housing market might have been more gradual.

During this most recent collapse of the housing market there were some real losers and gainers. The losers are the people who lost their homes; the gainers are the banks who foreclose on properties.

Within the past two weeks there have been indications that the economy is slowing down at about the correct time after the Fed rate increases. But the Feds are not seeing it. By the time they do, it will be too late to correct the situation.

Because of economists always giving the on-the-one-hand and on-the-other-hand scenarios, Truman once quipped: Oh, please give me a one arm economist! I would like to see an economist who has a memory of history and who has vision. A knowledge of history would help in someone who might remember what happened after similar behavior in the past. Vision would help for someone to be creative for a chance.

The Federal Reserve has continued to print worthless paper money with nothing to back it up but a GDP number which is not a stable real commodity. Meanwhile, the Euro has increased in value so that it now takes about $1.33 to buy one Euro. I remember when the Euro was established there was parity. Additionally, the GDP of the European Union is not as strong as in the US. It does not take a genius to realize that the financial world considers the Euro more valuable. This scenario also holds true for other world currencies.

I understand the Federal Reserve finds itself between a rock and a hard place. If they up the interest rate, it would make the dollar go up but there would be the risk of pushing the US economy into recession. If they decrease the rate, the dollar will further decline in value as a reserve currency and other world currencies will rise against the dollar. This is all due to having printed all that paper money over the years without anything tangible to back it up. Who would have thought that some day the dollar would be worth .74 Euros? And it is not going to get any better!

I sometime think that, if we put individuals who at one time owned a successful small business in the Federal Reserve, they might do a better job in controlling the nations money supply. At least, these people would know the worth of a business is related to the money intake and the reserve on hand.

On a side note, it might also be interesting to dream what a government we would have without so many lawyers becoming politicians who tend to make more laws that even they do not understand.

This is the way I see it today.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

MINERAL DEFICINCIES AND BLOOD LEVELS

MINERAL DEFICIENCIES AND BLOOD LEVELS

Readers of my Blog have noticed that I frequently write about politics and politicians. I am the first to admit that I am not an expert in these matters. I write on these topics because they provide a diversion to the mundane things in life, and I like humor. Writing about politics and politicians is humorous. Politicians are very funny people. They deserve to be laughed at because they do very funny things and, if you or I take any of them seriously, then we become funny and foolish too. Besides I like to think that I can dabble in philosophy.

The meaning of philosophy from the Greek: philos meaning friend or lover; sophy meaning wisdom put together means a lover of wisdom. So the joke would be, if I am trying to be philosophical, why am I writing about politics and politicians? Perhaps the joke is on me. But I am told that not taking oneself seriously may be the key to a long and happy life.

The purpose of my Blog today is to discuss something I might know something about. I am both a Medical man and a self appointed philosopher. I do not know why I stay up some nights thinking about answers to questions asked by no one, but, nevertheless, questions come into my mind. I do not ask for these questions, but, as I am saying, they just pop into my mind anyway. The last several nights I have been thinking about the answer to a question: how come some people develop osteoporosis but if you check their blood calcium levels these are normal their entire life. I do not know of anyone who has developed osteoporosis who has had chronic low blood calcium levels. But yet, we tell these people to take calcium supplements. Why? The answer is because they need them.

The same can be said of other mineral deficiencies. Sunstroke, for instance, has little to do with exposure to the sun except that over heating results in losing through perspiration an excessive amount of sodium. The resulting low blood sodium causes a disturbance of sodium/potassium balance resulting in an electrical short circuit in the brain which is sunstroke. The taking of salt pills under these conditions can prevent this imbalance and the resulting sunstroke. Years ago companies developed a drink called Gatorade designed for athletes. This drink was high in salts and prevented individuals from becoming deficient in some important nutrients during training and games.

I have been very interested for a long time in magnesium deficiency. Among other things magnesium deficiency can result in excessive and spastic muscular activity and constipation. One of the first things I recommend to a person with chronic constipation is to increase their water intake and magnesium supplements. Why would one want to take a laxative or other medication, if the problem can be corrected naturally?

Something which triggered my thinking along these lines was watching television ads for people to take this or that medication for insomnia with many of these same people being plagued with so-called restless leg syndrome. Why not consider magnesium? Drug companies do not make money on magnesium supplements. They make it peddling the latest drug coming off the research assembly line.

I would like to return to the philosophical question. People exhibit all kinds of symptoms of calcium, magnesium, sodium/potassium deficiencies, but they never exhibit abnormal levels of these minerals in their blood. The answer is quite simple. The body is very good at establishing and maintaining a level of these minerals necessary for overt normal bodily functions.

One can be chronically deficient in calcium for many years with the consequence of developing osteoporosis many years down the pike. But their calcium blood level is normal because, if the blood level gets dangerously low, convulsions and death can occur. The same can be said of other mineral deficiencies. Low or high potassium can result in cardiac arrhythmias; low sodium levels can interfere with brain function. The body works at maintaining adequate levels of such substances, and long term greater body deficiencies go undetected. In fact, in the case of calcium, the body depends upon the reserves in the bones to take out from the bones what is needed to maintain the equilibrium and return to the bone to store the excess.

We tend to be chronically deficient in magnesium. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why we experience so many nervous conditions. Magnesium can be considered the body tranquilizer and muscle relaxant.

What are the dietary sources of magnesium? They are green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, among other things. When one makes a green salad and removes the green portion and keeps the white portion, one has just thrown away the magnesium-containing part of the lettuce. Magnesium is to chlorophyll as iron is to hemoglobin. Magnesium is in the center of the chlorophyll molecule which allows plants to photosynthesize just as iron is in the center of the hemoglobin molecule required to carry oxygen to the tissues of the body. Besides, how many individuals eat bowls of green leafy vegetables? A salad is insufficient in providing magnesium. A bowl of cooked spinach is quite another thing. But a bowl of cooked spinach would be equivalent to a packet or two of raw spinach. Do you get what I mean?

To eat nuts to give us enough magnesium would result in obesity. And how about whole grains? Whole grain bread which is mostly white flour is high in calories. There usually is a small portion of whole grain flour which contains the wheat germ part of the outer coat of the grain containing the magnesium. The diet should really contain it all: a healthy mixture of green leafy vegetables, nuts, and grains and other foods known to provide magnesium. But, if one is chronically deficient, diet may not be sufficient to catch up and magnesium supplements may be necessary for awhile. This would also be the case in chronic deficiency states of other minerals.

I practiced so-called Holistic Health in my home town of Frederick, Maryland. Let me tell you I was considered somewhat of a pariah by many of my fellow physicians. My friends forgave me for my aberrant ways. Some other physicians thought me a threat and a quack. But that is another story.

Digressing as I tend to do quite well, during the late 1970's and early to mid 80's I traveled around the US lecturing on Holistic Health and diet. When I talked about the dangers of eating trans fats people looked at me asking what are trans fats and what are you talking about? In the late 1980's and early 90's, Harvard (my medical Alma Mater) did a study of the dangers of trans fats. All of a sudden, I was not crazy any more. I was just ten or so years before the time of enlightenment! By that time I owned a 4-star Italian restaurant where people were eating all those trans fat-containing foods, and they were enjoying it!

In summary, let me say that because of poor dietary habits many individuals are deficient in many essential nutrients resulting in medical conditions for which drugs should not be the answer. If the body is deficient of a particular nutrient, replace the needed nutrient. Taking medicines may get rid of the symptoms because conventional medicine is good at getting rid of symptoms, but the deficiency still exists. Eating a good diet is a must. If the condition is chronic, consider taking supplements for these may be necessary to bring the levels to true normal.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic