The Mediterranean Diet Myth
This myth—of Mediterranean diet being the cause of longevity—was doing the rounds in medical circles for decades and many people still believe it blindly. Although the diet in that region is healthier than in the rest of the Western world, it cannot be the sole factor for their longevity. A recent in-depth study, looking at the whole picture, gives a different story about their lifestyle which might be the prime mover.
In general, people there are happier and have less worry. They love life and have better social interactions. Even while eating, they eat with friends and family—and enjoy their meals. Junk food and stale, preserved foods are not on their menu. Olive oil could be a better oil for cooking; but it is not as good as coconut oil. They eat slowly and take time to enjoy their food. They have more outdoor life in the sun and walk much more than the other Westerners. Smoking is much less. Although they do not have a regimented exercise schedule, they walk all day and use vehicles much less.
Now that this study gives us a better perspective, the myth could be set to rest. Another important aspect of this study is that this is not funded by any vested interests. This is a public funded study.
Toilet Seat and Resulting Infections
As much as 85% of women interviewed said that they never sat on the toilet seat to micturate but crouched on it. Such is the fear! Toilet seats are not bad as people think they are. It is very difficult to catch any disease from the seat if one has intact skin of the buttock and thighs. Many studies have shown that door handles and cell-phones have more bugs than toilet seats.
Washing hands after using the toilet seat thoroughly with soap and water should protect one from any danger. Many germs find it hard to survive on a polished seat for long.
The Placebo Effect
There seems to be a lot of interest in the placebo effect in medical research. It is now found that drug companies—after spending lot of money on a new drug molecule—find it hard to get the molecule passed as better than a dummy pill (placebo). The more the common man gets to know about drugs, the more he falls prey to this placebo trap! No one has been able to explain why this occurs. What we do know, though, is that the human mind has a very powerful effect on the human body, as both of them are but two faces of the same coin. As I have been always saying, even ‘major’ surgical operations, where ‘heroic’ surgeons boast that the patient got better because of them, the placebo effect has been shown as having an equally good effect. This is evident even in the so-called coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), also known as heart bypass surgery!
I look forward to the day, not far away from today, where the patient will be able to use his/her own mind to direct the body to correct itself, an effect so eloquently described in ancient Ayurveda and Indian scriptures. There was a discussion on BBC about the placebo effect, recently. That goes to show that this new finding seems to agitate conventional researchers who sought to prove that it is their chemical potions and surgical methods that keep mankind going on this planet.
I could find one reference to this in Western literature in a book by a respected NIH (National Institute of Health, US) researcher, Candace Pert, in her book Molecules of Emotion. Oliver Wendell Holmes, a Harvard graduate, once wrote that the most potent drug that mankind can ever discover is: two kind words of a human doctor. How very true!