Monday, December 26, 2011

Overcome Your Troubles

As years go by, we become more conscious of our age as being a puzzle, a life of uncertainties.

And yet, medical science says that how we think is responsible for sickness and health. Our response to various stresses – and not the stresses themselves – can lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and other ailments.

Executive Fitness Newsletter shares with us the century-old advice on health and happiness by Robert Louis Stevenson that is still valid today.

  • Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
  • Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with the gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t think that somehow you should be protected from misfortunes that befall others.
  • You can’t please everybody. Don’t let criticism worry you.
  • Don’t let your neighbors set your standards. Be yourself.
  • Do the things that you enjoy doing, but stay out of debt.
  • Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than the actual ones.
  • Since hate poisons the soul, don’t cherish enmities, grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
  • Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about new places.
  • Don’t hold post-mortems. Don’t spend your life brooding over sorrows and mistakes.
  • Don’t be one who never gets over things.
  • Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy. Coffee Break, Brescia College.

Stay healthy in 2012 and the coming years--Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Body: A Living Dynamo, Part 2

An Internal Battery. Every functional change in the body is associated with electricity, but the source is uncertain. It is known that all the elements from our food give off electrical radiation. Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and all other minerals combine to form an electrical battery within the body.

Our pulsating heart produces an electrical current that creates electrical magnetic fields, measuring less than one-billionth of the earth’s magnetic field. However, it is still not known how these magnetic fields affect our biological metabolism, although their presence suggests that changes in the earth’s magnetic and static electricity fields do have a bearing on the nervous system.

Dr. Hans Neuberger told delegates at a Pennsylvania Health Conference that many investigators have confirmed that natural atmospheric electricity affects living organisms. Scientists now can predict certain sensory responses in humans and animals on the basis of expected weather changes, he said.

Over the past 200 years, Dr. Neuberger noted, it has been shown statistically that the atmospherics can produce pain, stimulate labor and childbirth, and terminate fatal disease. Moreover, atmospherics can slow physical reaction time, “perhaps thereby favoring traffic and industrial accidents.” Television, radio and radar waves closely resemble these atmospherics.

Little is known about the mechanisms involved in physiological reactions to atmospheric electrical factors. Various body functions may well respond to different frequencies of radio-wave pulses, the meteorologists have theorized, but investigations should cover the whole frequency spectrum.

Experiments that have been conducted furnished some clues to the possible limits of human responses to electricity, Dr. Neuberger said. But much more needs to be done, he added, because it is obvious that atmospherics have great significance for anyone concerned with environmental health.

If air ions and atmospheric electricity can stimulate or reduce pain, encourage or discourage the growth of certain diseases, it is possible that electricity in prescribed amounts could do the same.

It’s even possible that in a few years, five cents worth of electrical current will replace today’s handful of pills, concludes the report.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Body: A Living Dynamo, Part 1

You may not believe it, but we are a living dynamoa human battery.

Executive Fitness Newsletter reports that the use of electricity in controlling pain, the healing of broken bones, and the treatment of body disorders with acupuncture needles, has been well-known. Yet, most of us still consider electricity alien to the human body; on the contrary, electricity is a basic constituent of every living cell.

In explaining that electricity may replace drugs as the prevailing therapy, British Neurophysicist Dr. W. Grey Walter, compares the human brain to a computer; that it would take at least 10 billion electronic cells, occupying some million and a half cubic feet, to duplicate the brain. The system would require one billion watts of power.

Even heart action in its every beat, is the result of muscle contraction caused by electrical impulses. But it is the nervous system that most graphically illustrates the intricate part electrical energy plays in the various functions of the human body.

As the body’s communication system, the nerves are constantly carrying messages throughout the body. Any stimulus – heat, light, sound or whatever it is – acts upon the nerve cell (neuron) to fire an impulse which is transmitted along the nerve fiber (axon).

Electric currents travel along copper wire at a little less than 186,000 miles a second, the speed of light. But impulses traveling through long nerve fibers move at the rate of only 350 feet a second, or 250 miles per hour. The speed is reduced in some shorter fibers to about 2.5 miles per hour.

Copper, the most common type of electric wire, is such a good conductor that most of the electrical energy arrives at the other end. But in the case of axons, energy leaks out so badly that if it were not for the constant amplification all along the way, energy would never reach the end.

There are two types of neurons: sensory nerves that transmit sensations, and motor nerves that send orders. It is the sensory nerves that send out a hurried S.O.S. to the brain when you touch something hot. And it is the motor nerves that race back the signal to move your finger.

Sensory messages, or impulses, travel from billions of neurons to the brain and spinal cord every second. Neurons do not respond to stimuli below a certain threshold – particles of air and fine dust are ignored – and the stimuli above the threshold receive an impulse of a fixed intensity. What is believed to cause different responses to different stimuli is the number of neurons that are activated to form a pattern or code.

Researchers believe nerve cells are fired by the passing of ions across the cell’s membranes. Ions are electrified particles formed when an atom loses or gains electrons. They are contained in every molecule of matter.

(Part 2 will be posted next Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. – J.P.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Balance: Key To Good Health, Part 2

Balancing the pH. According to Dr. Merced, balancing the pH level in our body is a major step toward well-being and greater health. This is true with the human blood, which should be slightly alkaline (7.35-7.45). Below or above this range means symptoms and disease. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. A pH below 7.0 is acidic, and above it is alkaline.

An acidic pH can occur from an acid-forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. The body will try to compensate for pH by using alkaline minerals. If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build-up of acids in the cells will occur. And because diet is crucial to overall health and quality of life, our diet should be plant-based enough to balance our body chemistry.

An acidic balance will decrease the ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients; decrease the energy production in the cells; decrease its ability to repair damaged cells; decrease its ability to detoxify heavy metals; make tumor cells thrive and make them more susceptible to fatigue and illness. A blood pH of 6.9, which is slightly acidic, can induce coma and death.

The reason acidosis (over-acidity) is more common in our society is mostly due to the typical Western diet, which is far too high in acid-forming animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline-producing foods like fresh vegetables. Besides, we eat processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink coffee, including soft drinks. Also, we use too many artificial chemical sweeteners like NutraSweet, Spoonful, Sweet ‘N’ Low, Equal, or Aspartame (which are poison and very acidic).

One of the best things we can do to correct our over-acidic body is to clean up our diet and lifestyle.

To maintain health, our diet should consist of 60% alkaline-forming foods and 40% acid-forming foods.

To restore health, our diet should consist of 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods.

Generally, alkaline-forming foods include: most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings; seeds and nuts. Acid-forming foods, on the other hand, include: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains and legumes.

Raw foods are alkaline, while cooked foods are more acidic.

Shift Our pH Toward Alkaline. Our goal is to live healthy and fit, mentally and emotionally stable – right up to our allotted number of years – before we let go… So let’s face it: An acidic body is a sickness magnet. What we eat and drink will impact where our body’s pH level falls. Balance is Key!

(Courtesy of Dr. Fe Jocelyn G. Merced, Lifestream Health Center.;;; tel (+632) 7060420 / 09178988226)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Balance: Key To Good Health, Part 1

We live in a world of duality: Day and night. Light and darkness. Health and sickness. And to underscore the concept of polarity (or opposites), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using the terms yin and yang to describe the interdependence and relationship of opposites in preventing and treating various bodily ailments. So to live well, we have to balance our body through proper diet and good health.

Dr. Fe Jocelyn G. Merced, who was featured earlier in our blog, offers some insights on the importance of balance in achieving health and vitality. She therefore proposes that there are logical things we can do right now to boost the body’s natural healing ability without costing us a fortune. What follows are health facts to whet our appetite:

  • Our bodies are different, yet our foundation is the same. We all breathe oxygen. We all have the same chemistry – it’s just that our bodies are so complex. Why do some get sick from being exposed to something that their neighbor is immune to? Once you understand the complexity of the human body, it all makes sense.
  • You must work with your body – not against it – and that means discovering and maintaining certain things that your body requires. And as you’ll see, if you can correct your body’s foundation, it has huge benefits in ALL areas of your many systems. Never ever discount the healing power of the human body.
  • Drugs work for some symptoms of disease. However, there are two major problems with that approach. First, the drugs often directly cause more problems (the disclaimers and warnings are several pages long). Secondly, lasting change will not occur if the root cause of the problem is not corrected. A symptom is NOT the cause and by avoiding the cause (beside making lasting change more difficult), you create OTHER problems. So why treat the symptom when it is only temporary at best?
  • Treat the cause and never worry about the symptom again. The bottom line is… Nature Still Knows More Than Man!
  • A confusing point for many: If acids are bad, how can lemons or limes be good? First, there are different kinds of acids – and they are not at all bad – in fact, they are much needed in our body. It’s just the proportion of certain kinds of acid in a sick body that’s out of whack. Secondly, there are four kinds of foods: acid foods; alkaline foods; acid-forming foods; and alkaline-forming foods. The last two are related to the chemical process that happens AFTER a food is eaten. Lemon is an example. Because of its citric acid and potassium, it creates carbonic acid when it enters the stomach, together with citric acid; this combination causes the release of secretin, signaling the pancreas to release sodium bicarbonate and other alkalines into the small intestines.
  • Bicarbonate is released into the body’s circulation through the lymph. But it is the potassium citrate in the small intestines that is the strongest alkaline buffers. Doctors have been using potassium citrate for years without problems to raise pH in urine to prevent acid-forming stones. However, a less expensive and pleasant alternative to raise pH in urine is simply adding lemon juice to your drinking water.

(Part 2 of this article will be posted next Monday, Dec.5, 2011. – J.P.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Are You Ready For a Stress Test?

Your heart rate is monitored by a physician while you walk on a treadmill.

The Executive’s Personal Health Advisor cautions that if three or more of the following 10 characteristics hit close to home, you’re probably pushing yourself beyond your acceptable stress threshold:Bold

  • Overplannings. You budget your time so tightly that you can barely finish one task before rushing to the next. There’s no time for the unexpected – which you equate with a mini-disaster. Your schedule is unrealistic since it is impossible to produce quality work in the time allotted. As a result, you become frustrated because you can’t meet the high standards you’ve set for yourself.
  • Multiple Thinking. You’ve got too many thoughts racing through your mind because you’ve bitten off more than what you can chew. While you work on one task, your thoughts dwell on the next decision. You appear to be a good listener, but actually you’re not thinking about what’s being said. Moreover, you want to get on with the discussion. You’ll rush slow talkers to get to the point. With so much cramming your cranium, you lose your concentration and inhibit sound thought and logic.
  • Insistence on Winning. You need to be in first place, since being second is synonymous with failure. As a result, you don’t allow yourself to do something simply for the experience or fun of it.
  • Excessive Need for Recognition. You don’t take pride in a job well done or feel a sense of accomplishment unless your efforts are praised. Recognition is what motivates you, and without it, you often end blatantly bragging.
  • “Guilt Trips” Instead of Relaxation. You have difficulty relaxing and distinguishing the line where your business life ends and leisure begins. Social contacts tend to be clients rather than friends and business dominates your thoughts at social events. Even when you do “get away from all,” you feel guilty.
  • Uncontrollable Impatience. You can’t watch someone do something without advising them or actually doing it yourself. If you can’t take charge, you become frustrated and exasperated. You get upset with yourself, too, when things don’t go exactly as planned or when someone else performs a task better than you. You rush yourself and others, and with this accelerated pace, you never enjoy your accomplishments because you’re too busy moving towards the next goal.
  • A Need for Deadlines. If you don’t have a deadline, you’ll create one thinking it will increase your efficiency. Actually, all it does is increase pressure. You try to do too many things at once and try to stagger deadlines to get everything done. In fact, you never have enough time to devote full attention to any one thing.
  • Preoccupation with Time. The clock rules you. While working on one project, you’re figuring out when it will be done so you can start on the next. You become stressed as you check the time and realize that you’re falling behind schedule.
  • Intense Competitiveness. You’re constantly in competition with everyone in your business and personal life. If you stop for a moment, you fear you’ll be surpassed.
  • Obsession with Work. Everything but work is excluded from your life. You’re the first to arrive and last to leave the office – and even then, you take work home.

If these symptoms sound all too familiar, you are stressed. Better yet, get off the daily grind so you’ll have a more comfortable existence. Or indulge in a relaxing hobby, like listening to soft music or reading your favorite pocketbook.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Exercise Strengthens The Heart

When you exercise, noticeable changes occur such as deep breathing, profuse sweating, and a heavy pounding in your chest. Other changes that may not be noticeable are higher metabolic rate and increased size of the capillaries. These variations are called immediate or acute effects of exercise. These temporary changes occur whether you have been exercising for weeks or months or you have just started an exercise program.

If you continue to exercise daily or weekly, other changes take place gradually. The changes occur as the body adapts to the exercise. They are called the chronic effects of exercise and occur when you exercise vigorously for approximately six weeks or more. Long-term exercise is called training.

Below is a summary of the incredible and chronic effects of exercise on the major systems of the body.

The Cardiovascular System. The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, arteries, veins, arterioles, and capillaries. The system's function is to supply blood to the various parts of the body. The blood, in turn, furnishes the tissues with food and oxygen necessary for energy; waste products are also removed by the blood. The heart is the pump that provides the force to circulate the blood throughout the body.

When you exercise, your heart rate increases. Along with the higher heart rate, there is also an increased contracting force of the heart which results in a greater amount of blood being expelled from the heart with each contraction (stroke volume). The increased stroke volume and heart rate result in an increase of blood flow to the muscles; consequently, more blood is pumped by the heart per minute.

Blood pressure is also affected during vigorous exercise. As the systolic pressure increases, more blood is forced into the capillary beds (a maze of capillaries). The diastolic blood pressure is affected in one of two ways. If you have a poor fitness level, your diastolic pressure will increase because of an increased resistance to the blood flow. But if you have a good fitness level, your diastolic blood pressure will drop, decreasing the resistance of blood flow.

Exercise also increases the flow of blood to the heart. Since the heart is a muscle with arteries, capillaries and veins, it needs an adequate supply of blood to keep it strong and healthy.

One of the greatest benefits of regular exercise is the consistent reduction in the resting heart beat. These lowered heart rate allows the heart a greater rest between beats. Our body needs rest to recover from physical stress and the same is true for our most important body organ--the heart.

Monday, November 7, 2011

12 Nutritious Vegetables, Part 2

  • Kangkong (Swamp Cabbage). Swamp cabbage is a common green leafy vegetable included in Filipino dishes such as sour fish, sinigang, and adobong kangkong--the last two dishes being popular among Filipinos. The cabbage's parts are edible although its leaves are fragile and will require careful handling in order to minimize damage and wilting. It has high carotene content that can be converted to vitamin A by the body; loaded with iron, swamp cabbage also prevents anemia.
  • Talbos ng Kamote (Sweet Potato Tops). These are leaves of sweet potato, a root crop grown in the Philippines and used in viands, soups and salads. Sweet potato tops have the highest content of polyphenolics, substances found in plants that can protect the body from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Niacin (that helps in the normal functioning of the brain) and iron (that can prevent anemia) are also found in sweet potato tops.
  • Ampalaya (Bitter Melon). Bitter melon is known for its bitter taste and acknowledged to have outstanding health benefits. Its leaves are frequently used to cure coughs and skin diseases. Bitter melon is recommended to complement medication of people with diabetes because it lowers blood glucose level.
  • Okra (Lady's Fingers). This vegetable with low-calorie content, is packed with thiamin that helps body cells convert carbohydrates to energy and riboflavin that assists in the formation of red blood cells and antibodies. Fiber in okra contributes to a stabilized blood sugar and an improved bowel movement.
  • Saluyot (Jute Leaves). Vitamins A, C, and E, known to be powerful antioxidants, are present in jute leaves. They are responsible in repairing in repairing body cells and in improving eyesight. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in jute leaves lowers the risk of having cataracts. It also contains vitamin E that slows down the aches and pains brought about by aging. Various studies show that jute leaves can address illnesses related to inflammation and pain.
  • Alugbati (Malabar Spinach). This vegetable resembles and tastes like spinach. When cooked, it becomes slimy and sticky like okra (lady's fingers). It is a good source of vitamin A that helps maintain normal vision; loaded with vitamin C, Malabar spinach increases the body's resistance to infections and promotes healthy gums.

Monday, October 31, 2011

12 Nutritious Vegetables, Part 1

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), through Director Mario V. Capanzana, Ph.D., has graciously allowed us to feature its study on 12 vegetables popular among Filipinos.

In the report, Dr. Capanzana underscores the importance of vegetables in the daily diet:

"Vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that maintain health and prevent diseases. They are also indispensable sources of fiber, which help regulate bowel movement.
This in turn prevents constipation, which is a common problem among elderly and pregnant women. Soluble fiber can also lower blood cholesterol levels and slow down the absorption of
sugar, thereby beneficial to persons with hypertension and diabetes."

Here's the list of vegetables for your eating delight:

  • Malunggay (Moringa). All of its parts are edible, but the leaves are the most popular. It is a good source of calcium, iron and zinc as well as beta-carotene needed by lactating mothers. In areas where malnutrition is a major concern, moringa is recommended for consumption because it contains various vitamins, minerals and high protein.
  • Mongo (Mung Bean). Packed with nutrients, it is rich in protein for growth and maintenance. It has iron that promotes healthy blood. As a good source of calcium and phosphorus, mung bean helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Finally, mung bean supplies vitamin B to the body to keep the nerves in shape.
  • Patola (Loofah). Loofah is eaten as a vegetable, particularly in Asia and Africa. Hence, it is included in viands such as sauteed miswa or chopsuey. It is a good source of dietary fiber that regulates bowel movement and prevents obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some forms of cancer.
  • Sitaw (String Beans). This vegetable is a good source of protein that builds and repairs body tissues for growth and maintenance. It contains calcium that promotes strong bones and teeth; is rich in vitamins - A for good eyesight, B for increased body energy, and C for resistance to infection.
  • Kalabasa (Squash). Squash is a vegetable used in making soups, pies and breads. It has pro-vitamin A that promotes normal eyesight, healthy hair, smooth and clear skin, and overall growth. It contains calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth; iron that aids in building healthy red blood cells, and has been used recently as an alternative to wheat flour.

(Part 2 of this week's article will be posted in our blog on November 7, 2011--J.P.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Exercise After Waking Up, Part 2

Churning. Crampton considers this exercise as difficult, so he suggests to do the exercise in front of a mirror. Sit upright at the edge of the bed, keep head and hips stationary.

To acquaint yourself with the movements, first move the trunk as far forward as possible, then as far back as possible, then to the right, and then to the left. Head and hips are to remain in line.
Push your trunk out front, then swivel to the right side, then out in back, and finally to the left.
Your shoulders will dip for the side positions, but not for the front or back positions.

To begin with, stop at each of the four positions for a second or two. After the movements have been mastered, swing slowly in a circle without stopping. Repeat about ten times in the beginning adding more circles each week until you are doing about 25.

Second only to headaches, backaches are our most common complaint. And most organic back problems are either caused or made worse by weak stomach muscles. The next exercise will strengthen the abdominal muscles as it limbers up and strengthens the back (stiff back muscles also cause back pain).

Compass. Named after the four points of the compass, this exercise has you standing, with feet about 24 inches apart and hands on hips. Bend to the right as far as possible, then to the left as far as possible, then back to the center. Bend forward as far as possible, then back all the way, then forward to the center.

Go easy in the beginning as you'll be stretching muscles that have grown stiff--and muscles may become strained or sore if overdone.

The Star Gazer. Crampton calls this exercise the star gazer (as you'll be looking at the ceiling). Most exercise programs, particularly those that are as brief as this one, overlook the neck. In fact, few people give their neck a thought, unless it becomes stiff. Although there are vertebrae between the shoulders and the skull, it is the muscle that keeps the head upright. Crampton's star gazer both strengthens the neck muscles and prevents tension and stiffness. Here's how it's done:

Stand erect, feet comfortably spread apart. Clasp hands behind the neck and look down for a count of 1. Raise your head and look straight ahead for the count of 2. Raise your head still further to a 45 degree angle for the count of 3--still clasping your hands behind the base of your skull. Now lift your head back parallel with the floor and look directly up to the ceiling for the count of 4, to the left for the count of 5, back to the center for the 6th count, over to the right for the 7th count, and back to the center for the final count of 8. Repeat this exercise several times.

In the beginning, you'll be performing these exercises at a fairly slow pace. After you become familiar with the movements and your stamina has increased, you'll be able to do more repetitions within the allotted 10 minutes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Exercise After Waking Up, Part 1

How many of us exercise in bed upon waking up in the morning?

The rejuvenation of our mind and body takes place during sleep. So we should be filled with vitality to face the day. More often the opposite is true--we stagger to our feet unnerved, not energized. We rush to the bathroom, to the breakfast table, and then on to work.

But the daily morning rush needn't be. A prescription was written a few years ago by C. Ward Crampton, M.D., a former director of the Department of Education and Hygiene of the New York Board of Education.

Dr. Crampton offers instruction on how to start the day with exercise. But what is unique--if not surprising--Crampton is against bouncing off the mattress to do calisthenics. He warns that such a procedure is doomed to failure in that not one in a hundred individuals will continue the program. It would give them another reason to stay in bed, perhaps to sleep a little longer. No, you don't climb to exercise--you do it in bed.

The Crampton method of waking up is gradual. It takes ten minutes and 7 exercises. You remain in bed, graduate to a sitting position, and finish on your feet wide awake and alert. Here it is, step by step:

When you wake up in the morning (use an alarm clock if you wish), just lie and don't do anything for a minute. Then reach back with one hand and toss your pillow aside. Bring both hands up to the shoulders and take a deep breath. Push your hand back to fill the void formerly occupied by the pillow and stretch out your toes with stiff legs. Still holding your breath, bend your body to the right as you stretch the left arm up and the right arm out. Exhale as you return the arms to the starting position and straighten out your body. Repeat the whole sequence, this time bending the body to the left with the right arm up. All movements described above may be accompanied by a yawn.

Stretching while lying in bed gently massages the muscles and stimulates circulation. Your body is now ready for more oxygen to convert fat and carbohydrates to energy. In contrast, the sedentary person uses only about one-seventh of his lung capacity because of shallow breathing.

Complete breathing involves filling up the lower area of the lungs, not just the upper chest area. First exhale. Although it is impossible to completely empty the lungs, you can remove much of the stale air by pulling in your stomach muscles. Slowly suck in air through your nose as your abdomen swells, filling the bottom of the lungs. Continue to slowly draw in air by expanding your chest and rib cage. Finish the process by raising your collar bones and shoulders. The last movement is called clavicular breathing. It further expands the lung's capacity to hold air.

Complete the exercise by slowly exhaling. As you lower your shoulders, contract the chest and draw in your abdomen. Repeat the deep breathing exercise three or four times.

(More Crampton exercise routines will be posted on our blog next Monday, October 24, 2011)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Waist Reduction For Better Health

More than physical attraction, a trim waistline is good for your health. A pot belly, however, is not just unsightly--it is downright unhealthy.

A bulging tummy can be a strain on the heart as it causes organs to distend and weaken, ultimately leading to poor posture and back problems.

Overeating is a common cause of the potbelly, but not necessarily the main cause, according to studies. And when fat is the problem, it usually includes the buttocks and thighs.

The first step to strengthen the stomach is to cut down calorie consumption; the second step is to follow a regular exercise program with a special accent on waist reduction and strengthening.

Although our muscles grow in size and strength as we mature, most adults fail to subject the abdominal muscles to exercise to maintain toughness. The practice of sitting many hours doing computer work or watching television has principally contributed to a potbelly.

The abdomen is one of the most difficult areas of the body to trim down. To get the best results, you have to concentrate on feeling your abs compress, not just doing the exercise.

The following are three good exercises to firm up the waistline:
  • Rowing Curl. Lie flat on your back with arms extended overhead. Curl the head and the upper body forward. At the same time bringing the arms forward and then the knees. This exercise is good for the abdominal muscles.
  • Curl Up, Knees Bent. Lie on your back, knees bent with the feet flat on the floor. Your hands behind your head. Raise the head and shoulders off the floor just enough to see through the knees to the feet. Return to the starting position. As you sit up make sure that you tense the abdominal muscles. This exercise helps to firm the waistline. Build up until you are able to do 2o of these.
  • Side Double Leg Raises. Lie on your right side, legs extended, head supported by the right arm. Raise both legs together as high as possible, and lower to the starting position. Do 10 times on this side and then repeat on the opposite. This exercise helps to firm the lateral muscles of the trunk and hips.

Waistline Pointers. In addition to regular abs exercises, maintaining good posture while sitting, standing or walking, can contribute to a flat tummy. Research shows that slouching can lead to poor posture, causing the abdominal muscles to droop and weaken; it may even cause internal organs to sag due to weight or pressure, making it difficult to stand up straight.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sobering Thoughts About Social Drinking, Part 2

Exercise and Alcohol. What about alcohol's influence on physical exercise? Does drinking offset the benefits of exercise and, if so, can exercise still reverse it? Yes. Here are medical findings explaining how exercise can overcome the bad effects of alcohol:

Blood, with its nutrients and oxygen, is pumped by the heart through its network of arteries and capillaries. Aorta is the largest artery, measuring an inch in diameter. The smallest capillary, in contrast, is so narrow that only one blood cell can pass through it at a time. Five million red blood cells fill one cubic millimeter--about the size of a pinhead.

In order for the oxygen and nutrients to reach the tissues, they must be released by these tiny capillaries. If the capillaries are blocked by alcohol, the surrounding tissues will die from suffocation.

The muscles, including the heart, require more oxygen during physical exertion than when resting. And when blood flow is hindered by alcohol, glucose and oxygen, reaching the muscles is restricted--causing fatigue.

Another factor relating alcohol to fatigue is that alcohol increases the body's supply of lactic acid, which has long been associated with muscle fatigue. However, there is still some discussion as to whether fatigue is the cause or result of this natural chemical.

Alcohol affects the body, weakening the immune system, as disease does. A fit person can resist the effects of alcohol the way he resists disease. While it is not possible to restore brain cells destroyed by alcohol, exercise is helpful in minimizing arterial clogging.

Nutrition and Alcohol. It is an accepted premise that alcoholism leads to malnutrition, but the renowned biochemist, Roger J. Williams, Ph.D., says that "malnutrition is the cause, not the result of one who follows good nutritional practices will ever become an alcoholic."

Although all who imbibe will realize physiological damages, according to their thirst, it is only those drinkers "whose appetite mechanisms are deranged (that) become alcoholics," Dr. Williams says.

"When we consume calories in the form of alcohol, we eventually crowd out of our diet about the same number of calories we would be getting from wholesome food. There can be no doubt that a prealcoholic--as he passes down the road toward alcoholism--becomes progressively worse off nutritionally month by month. As he consumes more alcohol, he not only gets less good food, but he also gets increased effects of alcohol poisoning," concludes Dr. Williams.

If you drink, bear in mind that no safe level of alcohol has been established. Even moderate amounts will crowd out nutritional calories with empty calories, destroy brain and organ cells, and plug capillaries.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sobering Thoughts About Social Drinking, Part 1

Drinking, like smoking, is bad for the health.

The obvious ill effects from excessive drinking, such as kidney damage, cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. are familiar to everyone. However, most drinkers believe that alcohol is completely harmless when taken in moderation. This misconception is even disseminated by many physicians and psychiatrists who see alcohol problems originated in the drinker and seldom in the bottle. But alcohol is a toxic chemical that can damage the body's cells even in small amounts.

According to the U.S. National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, alcohol was labeled the nation's most abused drug. Because objections to alcohol are generally confined to its influence on behavior, the effects of social drinking on health and disease are often ignored.

The speed with which alcohol alters consciousness in its ability to cause relaxation, light headedness, and drunkenness occurs because of its rapid solubility. Unlike foods, it is not necessary for alcohol to be digested. It is absorbed through the walls of the stomach and small intestines directly into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, it goes to all organs and cells in the body. The higher the fluid content of an organ, the higher the rate of absorption. This explains why the brain, with its high percent of water, responds so quickly to alcohol.

Drinking on an empty stomach increases absorption, causing at least 90 percent of the alcohol to enter the bloodstream within an hour. Once a maximum alcohol-blood level is reached, it remains fairly constant for about five hours.

The ability of alcohol to relieve tension, remove inhibitions, and provide a sense of well-being is due to its depressive action on the central nervous system. With the cerebral cortex dulled, there is an initial feeling of exhilaration, followed by the dulling of the senses and impairment of judgment. Eventually, if the intake continues, motor centers in the brain are depressed and muscle control is decreased. By this time, the exhilaration may be reversed and melancholy set in.

Brain damage in alcoholics is well documented, but Drs. Knisely, Moskow, and Pennington of the Medical College of South Carolina, told the 28th International Congress on Alcohol and Alcoholism, that even moderate social drinking destroys brain cells.

Dr. Knisely and his associates found that alcohol thickens the blood. The more alcohol present, the slower the blood flows in small vessels until they are plugged, causing the brain cells to die from a lack of oxygen. As many as 10,000 brain cells can be destroyed in a single drinking bout, and although the brain has 17 billion cells, the destructive effect of alcohol are cumulative.

(Part 2, which discusses the effects of alcohol on nutrition and exercise, will be posted on Monday, October 3, 2011)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Smoking Affects Fitness Level

If you think the risks of cancer , hardening of the arteries, heart attacks, stroke, and emphysema are the only negative effects of smoking, you're wrong.

Your body's capacity for physical work depends on the amount of oxygen it can take in. Without oxygen the body cells cannot burn food for energy. And the only way oxygen can get into the body cells is through the process of respiration, which occurs on two different levels. In external respiration (what we call breathing) the lungs exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen from the atmosphere. Internal respiration involves the same exchange of gases between the bloodstream and body cells.

As the blood flows through the capillaries, it releases oxygen into the cells. Simultaneously, carbon dioxide passes from the cells into the bloodstream. The blood then goes to the lungs to expel its load of carbon dioxide and picks up a fresh supply of oxygen. Because the body tissues cannot store oxygen, they must be continuously resupplied by the blood stream.

Studies have shown that some cells are unable to carry oxygen for more than 12 hours after transporting carbon monoxide. If you smoke about 20 cigarettes, the oxygen supply in your circulatory system is reduced by five to ten percent. As a result, oxygen transport (the carrying of oxygen throughout the body by the blood cells) is limited considerably. This reduction in the oxygen-transporting capacity results in the corresponding reduction in the physical performance capacity during heavy work.

A non-smoker who trains regularly can expect a 10 to 20 percent increase in his maximum oxygen absorption. However, this training improvement is cut in half for the smoker whose oxygen uptake goes up only five to ten percent. Cigarette smoking has also been linked to an increased oxygen debt after exercise.

Perhaps the most conclusive evidence of smoking's effect on performance was revealed by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, author of Aerobics, in a 1968 study of 419 Air Force recruits. Cooper and his colleagues evaluated the airmen during their first six weeks of active duty by having them perform the 12-minute maximum running test. Although both smokers and non-smokers improved by the end of six weeks, those who smoked 10 to 30 cigarettes a day showed a significantly smaller change in fitness levels than did the non-smokers. Cooper concluded that smoking causes chronic problems which affect endurance and performance improvement during training.

Cooper also proved what other researchers have been saying for years--that the airmen's smoking increased their pulse rate and oxygen consumption during rest, raised their blood pressure, constricted certain blood vessels, decreased defusing capacity (the lung's ability to exchange gases with the bloodstream) and lung capacity and incurred a larger oxygen debt during exercise. Any or all of these symptoms can cut down on your body's overall efficiency.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gallstones Risk Can Be Reduced

Dr. Olin Thurston of Alberta, Canada, says that the risk of gallstones can be reduced significantly simply by eating a bowl of bran cereal everyday.

"By feeding gallstone patients added fiber in their diet in the form of bran, we were able to reduce the cholesterol saturation of their bile," explains Dr. Thurston.

Researchers recommend drinking celery juice to prevent the formation of gallstones.

But how do we develop gallstones?

Medical studies tell us that when cholesterol in the liver or gallbladder solidifies with the bile that is secreted by the liver to help digest fat, gallstones form.

Gallstones are formed in the gallbladder , a membrane sac attached to the liver where excess bile (or gall) is stored; they may pass through the body unnoticed, but if the gallstones get lodged
in the cystic duct--a small passageway from the liver to the gallbladder--they may eventually cause intense pain. Symptoms of the disease may vary from mild discomfort to severe pain. Nausea, jaundice, or fever may result when the patient's bile duct is blocked by the gallstones.

To help prevent gallstone formation, please follow these health tips:
  • Eat omega-3 fatty acids, like chia seeds and flaxseed oil.
  • Take lecithin daily, supplemented by vitamin E, to lower gallstone formation.
  • Drink enough water to help prevent gallstones. (Water keeps the gallbladder clean)
  • Do not eat animal fat as it can cause gallstones.
  • Avoid processed foods, fried, sweet or junk foods.
  • Do not use alcohol, caffeine, or tobacco.
  • Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits daily, instead of refined carbohydrates, to prevent stone formation. (Richest food sources of vitamin E are: wheat germ; whole wheat; safflower nuts; sunflower seeds; walnuts; hazelnuts; almonds; brazil nuts; cashew; olive oil; cabbage; spinach; asparagus; broccoli; oats; barley; avocados--and more)
  • Exercise. (Cholesterol is excreted more rapidly by the liver and bladder with regular exercise)
  • Maintain an ideal weight. (Overweight women over 40--not to mention those having several children--have the most gallstones, compared with men of the same age bracket, according to studies)
TIDBITS... Speaking of acid-alkaline balance, Organic Consumer reports that the relationship of about 80% alkaline-forming foods (fruits and vegetables) to 20% acid-forming foods (protein) will maintain a healthful balance--if the stomach produces sufficient hydrochloric acid (HCL).

Hydrochloric acid is but one component of the stomach's digestive juices and enzymes. The pancreas manufactures and secretes not only pancreatin, but a wide spectrum of enzymes and ferments, active in the small intestine, the primary site for food absorption into the blood stream.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation

In a timely article, Cell Phone Radiation Triggers Measurable Brain Cell Damage In Mere Minutes (originally published in Mike Adams' website,, we are reproducing the following report by David Gutierrez:

As little as 10 minutes on a cell phone can trigger changes in brain cells linked to cell division and cancer, suggests a new study conducted by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and published in the Biochemical Journal.

Previously, advocates of cell-phone safety have maintained that the phones cannot cause brain damage because the microwave radiation that they emit is at a level too low to heat the body's cells. But in the new study, changes in biological processes began at an energy level even lower than that used by a typical phone, even without heating occurring.

"Safety guidelines assume (that) health effects from mobiles can only occur when significant heating of body tissue occurs. (But) this study shows biological changes in response to low-level mobile phone radiation--something that could potentially have implications for health," said Graham Philips of the British nonprofit Powerwatch.

Researchers exposed both human and rat cells to low-level radiation at a frequency of 875 megahertz, a similar frequency to that used by most cellular phones. The intensity of the radiation was far lower than that used by most phones, however.

Even so, within 10 minutes the scientists observed changes within the cells. A chemical switch regulating cell division was switched on--a switch that has been linked to a variety of cancers.

There was no direct evidence of cancer inducement in the current study . However, the researchers point out that the changes occurring at the low radiation level were non-thermal in nature, something previously said to be impossible. Thus, the study challenges the entire the entire basis on which cell phones' presumption of safety has been based.

"The significance lies in showing cells do react to cell-phone radiation in a non-thermal way," said co-author Rony Seger. "We used radiation power levels that were around one tenth of those produced by a normal mobile. The changes we observed were clearly not caused by heating."

"This helps explain why mobile phone radiation has been linked to increases in cancer tumors," said consumer health advocate Mike Adams. "Until now, skeptics have said the radiation wasn't intense enough to cause cells to overheat, but now we're learning there can be significant cellular changes taking place at far lower levels of exposure."

(Our profound thanks to Mike Adams for sharing with us this important report which we have considered as a health "gem."--J.P.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our Saliva's Vital Functions

As we had earlier discussed in the two-part article, Hormone Imbalance: Disease Indicator (posted last August 15 and 22, 2011), our saliva is not only used for testing hormone levels but also performs other functions necessary for cellular energy and metabolism.

The secretion of saliva is one such function, often ignored, that can go wrong for most people as age advances. Looking like tiny clusters of grapes, there are six salivary glands, three on each side of the mouth. The parotid, below the ear, is the largest; the sublingual glands are under the tip of the tongue; the remaining two submaxillary glands are under the lower jaw. Together, the glands secrete more than two and a half pints of saliva a day (not much, considering the cow produces about 12 gallons daily).

Because we seldom miss the water until the well runs dry--or we feel thirsty--we take saliva for granted. But saliva does more than wet our tongue: it is important in the digestion of food. While our teeth grind food into the pulp called bolus, digestive juices in the saliva begin the breakdown of carbohydrates.

The reason we are advised to chew our food well is that digestion starts in the mouth. Anything put into the mouth causes a flow of saliva. It not only liquifies and lubricates the food to be swallowed, it activates the taste bud glands which stimulate the release of digestive juices in the stomach. And to keep our mouth healthy, our saliva excretes germ-killing substances that protect our mouth from disease.

The smell, and even sight, of savory food will make the mouth water, while fear, nervousness and depression can cause dry mouth, all demonstrating that our salivary glands are influenced by the nervous system.

Dry mouth is often a symptom of disease, and possibly the most serious is diabetes. The research group at the University of Alabama Department of Oral Medicine, headed by E. Cheraskin, M.D., D.M.D., found that a dry mouth is not only a symptom of diabetes or a similar condition of hyperglycemia but actually reflects any disorder of the carbohydrate metabolism that will cause the blood to contain too much or too little sugar.

Physiological disorders can influence the salivary flow. Mumps and other virus infections affect the parotid gland, and such infections are fairly common in people over sixty.

Salivary ducts (tubes) can be blocked by stones (calculi). When this occurs in the submaxillary duct, it is sometimes possible to feel a tender lump in the lower mouth under the tongue. Abscess is a frequent result and surgery is usually required to bring relief.

Hypersecretion can result in up to 10 quarts of saliva in a day. The cause can be ill-fitting dentures, drugs, various poisons, and a long list of organic and emotional disorders. If your flow of saliva has changed and you think it might be more or less normal, see your doctor.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hormonal Imbalance:Disease Indicator, Part 2

Hormones which need testing. The major sex hormones to assess, according to Dr. Merced, are estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. The main adrenal hormones are DHEA and cortisol. These five hormones will provide crucial information about deficiencies, excesses, and daily patterns, which then result in a specifically tailored treatment approach.

Below is a brief description of each of the five hormones:

  • Estrogen comes in three forms made by the body: estrone, estradiol and estriol. Estradiol is the form used in past hormone replacement therapies, often in the form of concentrated pregnant mare's urine (premarin). It is a proliferative (causes growth) hormone that grows the lining of the uterus; a known cancer-causing hormone that can induce breast and endometrial (uterine) in women and prostate cancer in men. It can treat menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, insomnia and memory-loss. With the bio-identical formulas, estriol is matched with estradiol (biest) to provide protective effects and additional estrogenic benefits. The other major protector in keeping estradiol from running amok is progesterone.
  • Progesterone is called the anti-estrogen hormone because it balances estradiol's proliferative effects. It is considered preventive for breast and prostate cancers as well as osteoporosis. In addition, too little progesterone promotes depression, irritability, increased inflammation, irregular menses, breast tenderness, urinary frequency and prostate gland enlargement (BPH).
  • Testosterone is an anabolic hormone (builds tissue) that is essential for men and women. The proper level of testosterone is necessary for bone health, muscle strength, stamina, sex drive and performance, heart function and mental focus.
  • DHEA is an important adrenal gland hormone which is essential for energy production and blood sugar balance. DHEA is a precursor to other hormones, mainly testosterone.
  • Cortisol is your waking day hormone (highest in the morning and lowest at night). It is necessary for energy production, blood sugar metabolism, anti-inflammatory effects and stress response.
Some of the common imbalances identified through testing include estrogen dominance, estrogen deficiency, progesterone deficiency, androgen (testosterone and DHEA) excess or deficiencies, adrenal dysfunction and adrenal fatigue.

Finally, Dr. Merced enumerates the steps in checking if our hormones are balanced:
  • Saliva test for hormone levels.
  • Review the results with your doctor.
  • Determine together the hormone supplementation program best for you.
  • Repeat testing and follow up with your practitioner as advised.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hormonal Imbalance: Disease Indicator, Part 1

Dr. Fe Jocelyn G. Merced, an Alternative and Integrative Medicine practitioner, who operates Lifestream Health Centre, in Pasig City, Philippines, recently discussed with us the health benefits of maintaining the endocrine glands.

The endocrine glands produce hormones that affect bodily processes, such as sleep and emotional well-being. As we age, the endocrine glands may begin to shrink in size, causing hormone production to decline. Melatonin, an antioxidant that affects sleep, declines with age; so does DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a natural hormone produced by the adrenal gland that boosts T-helper lymphocytes to fight infections, increases circulation, and improves memory.

Dr. Merced has more to say about hormones and overall health:

"Hormones are powerful molecules essential for maintaining physical and mental health. We frequently think of estrogen as being a female hormone, and testosterone as being a male hormone. But men and women make both, plus several more that need to be in balance for optimum health. An imbalance of any one hormone can throw your physical and mental health out of balance, causing aggravating and even serious health problems.

"There are several ways to test for hormones (saliva, serum and urine), but the state-of-the-art method is through the saliva test. This is because only the active portions of hormones are measured and it is these portions that determine how individuals feel.

"Symptoms are an indicator that things are not right. If you have any of the following symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, memory loss, mood swings, low sex drive, depression, fatigue, irregular periods, breast tenderness, increased skin wrinkling, feeling bloated, weight gain, morning fatigue, fibromyalgia, allergies, decreased stamina, headaches, anxiety, sugar cravings, irritability, and dizzy spells--you might have hormonal imbalance. Then you might have to undergo a saliva test.

Persons requiring a saliva test:
  • Men and women with decreasing hormone levels because of age.
  • Women experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) related to a hormonal imbalance.
  • Peri and postmenopausal women concerned with their estradiol and progesterone levels for replacement considerations.
  • Those wishing to monitor their hormone levels following replacement therapy (oral, sublingual or topical), and subsequently regulate their supplement levels.
  • Anyone with symptoms involving fatigue, insomnia, stress, , immunity problems, blood sugar problems, and overweight should be tested for cortisol levels as well as 'sex' hormones.
  • Men and women of any age who have symptoms of hormone imbalances should test for all hormones that may be associated with their symptoms.
  • Men and women over the age of forty who may want to do a baseline test. Frequent imbalances will be detectable for a time period before symptoms gain attention."
(Part 2 will be posted next week)

(Dr. Merced's clinic is at Units 1507-1508, One San Miguel Avenue Bldg., No. 1 San Miguel Ave. cor. Shaw Blvd., Pasig City 1608, Philippines. E-mail:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dr. Estuita's Free Radical Scavenger Diet

"To live longer, healthier and have a better quality of life, build your nutritional fortress around these diet guidelines. This is an anti-aging diet, anti-atherosclerosis, anti-cancer, anti-arthritis and other degenerative diseases, " explains Dr. Arturo Estuita (who was featured in an earlier article, "Cardiovascular Chelation," of our June 20, 2011 posting).

The following food selections comprise Dr. Estuita's Free Radical Scavenger Diet:

  • Eat raw, fresh fruits and vegetables (5-6 servings: 1 serving is equivalent to 1 cup).
  • Eat meat substitutes (vegemeat, gluten, raw assorted nuts, Japanese tofu, miso, beans).
  • Eat whole grains (unpolished rice, brown wheat bread, and oatmeal).
  • No chlorinated drinking and bathing water.
  • Drink vegetable and fruit juices (suggested combinations for juicing vegetables and fruits: carrots, cabbage, celery, apple, pears; carrots, broccoli, raw potato, apple, pears; carrots, cucumber, apple, any favorite fruit; carrots, cauliflower, string beans).
Dr. Estuita also advises us to avoid eating junk foods, such as pastry, candy, chocolate bars, soft drinks, ice cream (commercial), sauces, gravies, canned soup, processed cereals, white rice, doughnuts, fried potatoes, white flour-baked foods, meat, hamburgers, hotdogs, luncheon meat, corned beef, etc.

In addition to his Free Radical Scavenger Diet, Dr. Estuita suggests that we take mega-vitamins and minerals as an effective preventive and maintenance program. This will serve as a therapeutic diet for those with chronic degenerative diseases being chelated. There is no way that an artery will be declogged, arthritis reversed, and other degenerative conditions improved, if junk foods are eaten, he emphasized.

Diseases that are related to junk foods and malnutrition are:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Mental Illness
(Our profound thanks to Dr. Estuita for sharing with us the above health "gems."--J.P.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cholesterol, Fats & Oil: Healthy Or Harmful?

Cholesterol is synonymous with fats and oil that are believed to be the major cause of cardiovascular disease and clogged arteries.

But this is not exactly true because cholesterol is vital to health and long life. It is a major component in the production of cell membranes, giving them energy.

There are good and bad types of cholesterol: HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is the good type that protects against heart attack, stroke, angina, and other cardiovascular complications; LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the bad type that contributes to atherosclerosis (plaque development and hardening of the arteries).

As there are HDL and LDL types of cholesterol, there are also good and bad fats in foods. The good fats in foods are: virgin coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, and walnuts (these actually improve cholesterol levels in the blood, significantly reducing the risk that the heart will suddenly stop).

As to bad fats, there are now two villains instead of just one: saturated fats (meat, butter and ice cream--all champion artery-cloggers) and trans fats (found primarily in processed foods, such as margarine, whole milk, cooking oil, and many commercially baked or fried foods).

Cardiologist and chelation specialist, Dr. Arturo Estuita, tells us that " medicine, fats and oil are the same: fats are solid; oil is liquid at room temperature." He emphasizes the importance of remembering the following:

  • Avoid margarine. This oil, derived from plants, is transformed to semi-solid fat by the process of hydrogenation, and the product--hydrogenated fat--may cause atherosclerosis, allergy and cancer.
  • Use coconut oil in cooking. It is heat-resistant and can be used a few times for cooking without the danger of turning into trans fat.
  • Use olive oil liberally in salads. If used in cooking, do not re-use as it may easily form trans fat.
  • Avoid fried foods from fast food restaurants because of the possibility of having trans fat from re-used cooking oil.
  • Avoid animal fat. It contains arachedonic acid which is converted to prostaglandin A2, the cause of artery obstruction. Prostaglandin A2 is a potent constrictor of arteries that thickens the blood and may cause inflammation, contributing to the narrowing of the opening (lumen) of the arteries.
  • Avoid cholesterol lowering medicine (ref: Newman, et al, JAMA 1996. "Carcinogenocity of Cholesterol Lowering Drugs"). It is best to neutralize by orthomolecular therapy the bad cholesterol which are HDL3 and oxidized LDL. It is not good to lower numerically total cholesterol. The cells need cholesterol--the higher the good cholesterol, the better.
  • Avoid rancid oil or fried food. It contains oxidized oil which is unhealthy. Rancid oil is formed when oil (especially polyunsaturated oil, like olive oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and corn oil) is exposed to air for a prolonged period.