Monday, December 31, 2018

Once We Were Beautiful

Prefaced by a Malaysian expat who prefers to remain anonymous:

I am viciously critical of unfairness.

I know the saying life isn't fair, it's said by arseholes who don't care about making the world a better place, their interest begins and ends with looking out for number one.

My country has gone so far downhill from the country I knew in the '60s that frankly, I don't want to live there any more.

Sure, I have dozens of friends I get along well with, and if I just cast my gaze no further than my friends, I could be happy. 

Unfortunately, that is not in my character. I devour news, and I could not be oblivious to all I hate about the Malaysia of today.

I met up with old and dear friends for lunch today, and someone I met for the first time, friend of a friend, asked why I live in Thailand when I could live in Malaysia.

He wouldn't accept that I was here because of my wife, so I admitted I prefer to live here.

Here, as long as I pay my bills and behave myself, I'm a welcome guest. Yes, I don't have any political or citizenship rights, my only appeal is to the Constitution and Human Rights.

In the country of my birth and citizenship, I am a fourth class citizen, an afterthought.

Do I have citizenship rights? Not really, when the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and minority religions are persecuted by Islamist fanatics, I don't think so.

Human Rights are subservient to Islamo-Fascist activists, while the so called silent majority do exactly that, remain silent.

You think I am exaggerating?

Art Harun is a social commentator I have a deal of respect for, and apparently was recently appointed as Chairman of the Election Commission, replacing the unknown Toady who preceded him.

He wrote beautifully of the Malaya/Malaysia of the '60s. That was exactly how we lived, my Malay, Chinese and Indian schoolmates and neighbours are like brothers to me. They are my family.

That doesn't exist anymore.

Read the article I reproduce below and understand why my heart bleeds.

And let's be very clear, if I had children in a school that closed the canteen during the fasting month, I would transfer them immediately. If I hadn't the means for a private school, I'd put them in a Chinese school. My daughter speaks Cantonese anyway, a result of her fascination with the Chinese soap operas of her youth.

Anyway, the piece by the esteemed Art Harun.

--------------------------

Read below and savor the throwback to the 60s that Art Harun, our new EC Chairman, has pulled together.... those were the days, my friends (pls viral it, to shake up our sick society):

“Art Harun, the new Chairman of Election Commission.

*A MALAYSIA DAY MESSAGE FROM ART HARUN*

Once we were beautiful
By
Art Harun, TMI

I am blessed.

So are many of my friends who are of or around my age.

So are many who are older than me.

As a child of the 60s, I went through my formative years in an English-stream school. It was a big school in town.

And there were hundreds of us Malays, Chinese and Indian boys (it wasn’t co-ed).

Our first headmaster was a Chinese gentleman who was as fierce as they came those days.

When he left, he was replaced by an Indian gentleman, who also was as fierce.

My first class teacher was Ms Leong, all long haired and short skirted.

And yes, armed with a wooden ruler, she would knock my knuckles for failing to properly write the number 8.

My first English sentence, learnt on the first day at school was to be uttered after raising my right hand, “Please teacher may I go out?”

That was to be said if any of us had to go to the toilet to do the normal stuffs we all do in the toilet (and not to eat).

Then there were Mr Linggam, Cikgu Aziz and wife, Sharom, Mr Lee the karate guy, Mr Khor, Cikgu Mutalib and various others.

We were a happy bunch. We played together, ate together, learned together and of course, at times, punished together.

And we were equal. In standard 5, I began fasting.

The school canteen stayed open for the whole month.

No renovation. No closure. Muslim and non-Muslim kids, who did not fast, ate as usual.

If they bought a proper meal, such like nasi lemak or mee goreng, they would eat at the canteen.

If it was some kind of snack, they would just eat while walking around, in the class or where ever.

No fuss. No issue. No problem.

My impressionable years were spent in a boarding school. It was the same scenario.

All of us, regardless of race or religion studied together, ate together, played together and at times, getting one or two rotan together.

Visiting a non-Malay house was not a problem.

Eating there was not a problem too. Sharing food with non-Muslims was not an issue.

Things have however, sadly, changed.

And change for the worse. Nowadays, non-Muslims don’t send their kids to national school anymore.

They prefer to send the kids to the vernacular schools.

The ones who could afford would send their kids to private schools.

National schools are almost invariably filled with Muslim/Malay students.

National schools would recite prayers before class begin in the morning.

Quranic verses and hadith would adorn walls in the canteen, school office and even classes.

Ustaz and ustazah would even ask school kids to raise their hands if their parents do not pray 5 times a day.

In secondary schools, the tudung is not compulsory for girls – according to the Ministry of Education’s circular, if I am not mistaken – but girls without tudung would be viewed askance by schoolmates and teachers alike.

Due to the small number of non-Muslim/Malay kids in national schools, the Malay kids do not have the opportunity to mix around and integrate with non-Malays in their formative and impressionable years.

The small number of non-Malay kids also gives a sense of false superiority complex to the Malay kids as well as teachers.

Thus, my race and my religion are more important than you, your religion and everything else.

Hence the closure of the school canteen during Ramadhan.

This is prevailing in many national schools. Apparently, this is done to “respect” the Muslim students who are fasting.

Forget the fact that non-Muslims do not fast and they, like any other human beings or animals, have to eat and drink.

Forget the fact that there are Muslim kids who do not fast.

Anybody who just about mentions the word “food” would have been taken as insulting Islam.

On Facebook last week, there were two guys admonishing a hotel which advertised its breakfast package on its page.

They viewed it as disrespectful.

But to be fair, the two were widely condemned by other Muslim facebookers.

The eating-in-the-changing-room debacle yesterday is just the surface of a far unhealthier trend in Malaysia.

Beneath that surface is a society which is fractious, intolerant, selfish and uncompromising.

The obvious question is how did we, as a nation, become like this? As a nation we started so well.

The Federal Constitution was agreed upon by consensus between three major races anchored to give-and-take and win-win camaraderie.

There was a blemish in 1969 but that was quickly nipped in the bud and we soldiered on.

In football, we were in the Olympic final in 1972 and 1980.

By the law of progression, we should be in the World Cup by now. By contrast, Japan and Korea, whom we used to beat, were already in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

We now struggle to beat the likes of Vietnam and even Singapore.

Like our football team, the state of our racial integration and inter-faith relationship has moved in reverse gear.

Years of political posturing utilizing religion and race have now begun to show its ugly consequences.

The so-called Islamisation that we embark upon, which is shorn of any meaningful spiritual understanding of the religion, but rather born out of political necessities, convenience and mired in political one-upmanship has now produced a nation which is unsure of itself and a people who are fractious, angry, suspicious and at odd with each other.

We need to take a real good look at ourselves and examine our ways. And we need to reboot our operating system if we want to avoid a total crash. And we need to reboot fast.


Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

DIABETES | More Thoughts

DIABETES | More Thoughts

I was shocked to learn that there are a quarter of a million diabetics in the UK on the wrong (low carb) diet, and being advised and encouraged by https://www.diabetes.co.uk/ to eat low carbs.

How can they even claim to get good results? And even win awards? Maybe, temporarily, in the short term...

Jason Fung advocates low carb, keto diet yet he says ectopic fat is the cause of insulin resistance... Can’t he see the elephant in the room?

My theory on “why some people eat a western diet and are not diabetic” (yet) is simple: They have lots of fat cells to store the fat they eat but don’t burn up. 

Its only the ectopic fat that becomes intramyocellular lipids that causes insulin resistance; not fats stored in fat cells.

Why they have lots of fat cells and not others is largely genetic. However, when their fat cells are saturated and if they continue to eat excess fat, they’ll get ectopic fat and develop insulin resistance.

Its not weight reduction per se that is the end goal but getting rid of the intramyocellular lipids and fat in fat cells. While getting rid of those fats will result in weight loss, exercising will build muscle mass and may actually result in some weight gain.

Its percentage body fat that needs to come down.

Fats in the liver is a bit tricky to get rid off as exercise doesn’t help. I’ve done coffee enemas and they’ve helped me. Mastering Diabetes seem to be silent on this modality, largely, I suspect, simply because they just have yet to explored it.

I see the liver as a battery. An energy storage battery that you charge by feeding it glucose. It converts the glucose to the polysaccharide glycogen and stores it. When the body requires energy, it converts the glycogen back to glucose and releases it into the bloodstream for uptake by the muscles.

When a battery is already fully charged, it will not be able to store more energy. Likewise, the liver which is already full of glycogen will not be able to store more so it just doesn’t convert glucose to glycogen, resulting in elevated blood glucose levels.

I have an issue with the common diabetic medication metformin, which works by impairing the liver’s ability to convert glycogen to glucose. By reducing the amount of glucose it releases into the bloodstream, it keeps blood glucose levels low.

But, at what cost? The corollary is that it keeps glycogen levels in the liver high, indirectly keeping it saturated and reducing its ability to convert excess blood glucose to glycogen and hence keeping blood glucose levels elevated.

This is where fasting comes in, to get rid of all that excess energy already in the body - glucose, glycogen and fats - all in one stroke.

Then, when we do eat, its vital to not add more fat to avoid becoming more insulin resistant. To eat complex carbohydrate, not monosaccharides or disaccharides. Even though all carbohydrates eventually get broken down to glucose, the idea is to drip feed the body with glucose, not inundate with a tsunami of glucose.

The operative word is “eventually,” - the longer this takes, they less likely of a blood glucose spike. Without exercise, the body burns energy at a steady rate, if we add more energy than the burn rate, we have excess energy and end up with an energy storage problem. In the first instance, as elevated blood glucose.

Of course, we can increase the burn rate - that’s where exercise comes in.

An extreme would be to exercise while fasting. That would be like cleaning out the fuel storage tanks.

We need to set the example and be the change we wish to see in the world...


https://www.facebook.com/480010398715154/posts/2010749078974604/

Sunday, December 23, 2018

NEAL BARNARD

How Cheese and Low-Carbohydrate Diets Cause Chronic Disease
Neal Barnard, MD, FACC

Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, is a New York Times bestselling author, a physician and a clinical researcher who runs the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit organization that promotes preventative medicine and higher standards for ethics in research. Dr. Barnard has written 18 books, including “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes,” in which he clearly lays out a program that is designed to target and reverse the root cause of diabetes using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition.

https://youtu.be/UPlBIgQ-y8k
https://www.pcrm.org/about-us/staff/neal-barnard-md-facc

Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

ROBERT H. LUSTIG

Robert H. Lustig

Robert H. Lustig (born 1957) is an American pediatric endocrinologist. He is Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he specializes in neuroendocrinology and childhood obesity. He is also director of UCSF's WATCH program (Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health), and president and co-founder of the non-profit Institute for Responsible Nutrition.

Robert Lustig came to public attention in 2009 when one of his medical lectures, "Sugar: The Bitter Truth," went viral on YouTube. He is the editor of Obesity Before Birth: Maternal and Prenatal Influences on the Offspring (2010), and author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease (2013).

Born
1957, Brooklyn, New York

Education
Bachelor's, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1976.
MD, Cornell University Medical College, 1980.
Residency in pediatriacs, St. Louis Children's Hospital, 1983.
Clinical fellowship in pediatric endocrinology, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, 1984.
Postdoctoral fellowship in neuroendocrinology, Rockefeller University, 1986.
Master of Studies in Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Profession
Clinical medical practice, teaching and research in neuroendocrinology, pediatric endocrinology

Institutions
University of California, San Francisco, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Sub-Specialties
Childhood obesity, metabolic syndrome

Research
Biochemical, neural, hormonal and genetic influences contributing to obesity

Websites
https://profiles.ucsf.edu/robert.lustig 
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Lustig

Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

HOW FOR ASK FOR SUPPORT

How to Ask for Support from Your Medical Team, Friends, and Family
Kylie Buckner, RN

Kylie Buckner, RN is a registered nurse and has a master’s degree in nursing education. She has more than 18 years of experience as a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, in labor and delivery, in OB-GYN, and in pediatrics. She has dedicated her life to caring for people as a nurse and has an in-depth understanding of the challenges of adopting a plant-based lifestyle. She specializes in helping people talk with their healthcare providers about their plant-based transition. She is also a certified yoga teacher and has been 100% plant-based for over 6 years. Kylie is a coach at Mastering Diabetes and provides support to our members every day. 


INTERMITTENT FASTING FOR MAXIMUM WEIGHT LOSS

Intermittent Fasting for Maximum Weight Loss: Understanding the Connection between Fatty Liver, Insulin Resistance and High Cholesterol

Robby Barbaro
Robby Barbaro was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12 and has been living a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food lifestyle since 2006. He graduated from the University of Florida, and is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes. He worked at Forks Over Knives for 6 years before deciding to coach people with diabetes to exceptional health. Robby eats pounds of fruit every day, has stable blood glucose control, and has coached thousands of people towards exceptional health living with all forms of diabetes. Robby enjoys exercising every day, spending time with friends, and sharing his lifestyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using diet and exercise. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012.

Monday, December 17, 2018

SLOW JUICING 101

JUICING 101

A friend asked me a simple question about juicing (see photo). Here is my lengthy and comprehensive response, which I believe deserves a wider audience; which is why I’m putting it in the public domain. I’m also sharing my playlist of 40 juicing and smoothie recipes.

Depends on volume, but even then slow cold pressed juices are best as a supplement as you really need more (insoluble) fibre in a meal. I make smoothies in my Kuvings SV-500 vacuum blender as meal replacements. The vacuum blender blends the fruit and water mixture in a vacuum, preventing oxidation of the nutrients. In addition to fruit, I add oil seeds, rye flakes, rolled oats or oat bran for additional nutrients and dietary fibre. And sometimes a teaspoon or two of lecithin granules as both a dietary supplement and an emulsifying agent. My juice and smoothie recipes are archived here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKOb_MJ4QZqnW2tIM-Aoh1Mh3thFWx-qy

You’ll notice I tend to use a lot of ingredients, but a bit of everything. The idea behind that is to get a diversity of nutrients from assorted sources. Besides, I already tried just about every 2- or 3-ingredient blends and am now more adventurous. 

Notes and nutritional info about the fruits and other stuff I juice and blend are archived in the album called SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS available here:
https://www.facebook.com/480010398715154/posts/1872876066095240/

First thing to know is that you really need to use a slow juicer, aka cold pressed or masticating juicer. I use the Korean brand Kuvings, Model EVO820.

None of the regular white goods brands make slow juicers, due to intellectual property reasons. Breville in Australia sells a previous generation (i.e. old model) Kuvings made under licence from Kuvings with some cosmetic changes to make it look like the rest of the Breville range.

Do not buy a Kuvings online at discount sites - they use brushless motors that are very sensitive to both voltage and frequency. They design different motors for different markets and many online sites (Lazada is notorious for doing this) sell grey imports meant for different markets that will not work properly and damaging the motor when used in a market whose electricity voltage and/or AC frequency it is not designed for. Usual problem is over-heating or motor burn out.

If you use a centrifugal juicer, like a Moulinex or Philips, or even a Breville, the mechanism is a high-speed grate spinning against the fruit at a few thousand rpm. This speed forces a lot of air into the juice, oxidising it and destroying 90% of the nutrients within 90 seconds. In this video from 2:14:00 the expert especially mentions the (expensive) brand Vitamix as being useless due to the very high speed of its motor:
https://youtu.be/2MWEz_Jz_n0

Another advantage of a slow juicer is that it retains the soluble fibre in the juice. If you let it stand, the juice will not separate out, i.e. there is no sedimentation, even after 8 hours. It will not oxidise and retains its colour and nutritional value. The pulp that is discarded is mostly insoluble fibre but actually also contains loads of phyto-nutrients, trace elements and etc. That’s why I now do smoothies more often - so that I consume the lot. And because of the insoluble fibre, its more suitable as a meal replacement, especially if you drink 800 to 1,200 ml of smoothie at one go, like I do as a meal replacement.

In many food stalls in Malaysia, its even worse, they use a blender, add water and sugar syrup and then filter the resulting mush to give you the “jus buah.”

How juicing works can be summed up in two words: “nutrient density.” Many people get results drinking as little as 250 ml of slow juice a day at breakfast. They say they don’t feel the same the rest of the day (more sluggish, less alert) if they miss their morning fix. Its like taking your daily dose of vitamins but instead of pill popping, getting the nutrients fresh from source.

Hope this explains and helps. If you have more questions, I’d be happy to answer. The father of juicing is Jay The Juiceman Kordich. He died recently at a ripe old age. He’s written a number of books and there are lots of videos by him on YouTube. He and other experts advocate specific juice combinations for specific ailments.

I have no scientific evidence to attribute improvement in my mental health solely to juicing - I can’t prove the causality for a fact, to the exclusion of other factors. But I’m pretty sure it plays a role. Our body can heal itself, it just needs lots of good quality sleep and nutrients as the building blocks to manufacture what it needs. Juicing is a really good way to load ourselves with nutrients, save eating the fruits themselves. By removing the bulk, it concentrates the nutrients. But then again, the pulp that we discard also contains good stuff; so best to do a combination of juicing, smoothies and eating whole fruits and vegetables.

Oh, our gut carries about 2 kg of microbiomes. These gut bacteria feed on the insoluble fibre and produce nutrients that we cannot get from the plant kingdom. This solves a mystery for me - my mom and I know of many lifelong Indian vegans - vegetarians from birth - who are a lot healthier than omnivores. This puzzled me because the anti-vegans keep saying vitamin B12 and some essential amino acids can only be obtained from the animal kingdom as plants don’t make them. Well, the good news is that the gut microbiome makes them for us, especially if you’re Indian and drink lassi and tairoo, i.e. probiotics, as part of your culinary cultural heritage.

Originally posted at:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/MyKuvings/permalink/962475290606816/ 

#GivingwithKuvings 
#lemmelearn 
#everyonedeservesachance

Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Friday, December 07, 2018

A SECRET I SHARED TODAY | Friday, Dec 7 2018

Let me tell you a secret from CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) whose most basic underlying principle is:

UNDERSTANDING WHAT’S GOING ON, IN ITSELF, CURES YOU.

Let me introduce you to another fundamental of human behaviour - your brain has been designed to operate in optimal survival mode. Whatever you do, your brain has searched through its toolbox and found the solution that serves your best interests, to keep you alive.

When what your brain tells you to do doesn’t serve you, its only because it has only limited tools in its toolbox and doesn’t have the right tools to understand what’s really going on.

So you need to invest in the time and effort to educate yourself. One rule of thumb is to spend four hours a week. Another guru says if you read 300 books on a subject, you’ll have learnt the equivalent of a PhD in that subject. Another says if you practise doing something for 10,000 hours, you’ll end up mastering it.

In management, we say decision-making is based on accurate, complete and timely information. In the light of perfect knowledge, all decisions will be perfect.

In reality, our brains make do with whatever info we have in hand. Sure, we’ll make mistakes, but at the time, based on what we have in our toolbox, that was the best decision we could make under the circumstances.

Now, coming back to understanding what’s going on. If you suffer from lipoprotein overload, have intramyocellular lipids that block your insulin receptors sites causing insulin resistance, are obese (clinically defined as >20% above your ideal body weight) and if you know that eating animal protein (which invariably comes together with animal fat) will only increase your lipoprotein overload, you wouldn’t want to do that.

Because you know it’ll only make your insulin resistance worse. If you’ve been on a WFPB diet, you know having a cheat day (depending on what and how much you ate) may set you back one, even two, weeks.

So why would you want to do that?

Get info, try to find out what’s going on as best you can. It’ll not only inform you on what is the right path to take, but it’ll also motivate you to keep on track.

I hope, in my long-winded way, I’ve helped you understand these fundamental truths. They’ll help you with all sorts of situations and problems as they are general principles that can be applied in a multitude of situations to do with the human predicament.

PLANT MUSINGS | Friday, Dec 7 2018

MUSINGS | Friday, Dec 7 2018

One of the reasons why I support the Free Tree Society (I’m a life member) is because I advocate a Whole Food Plant Based Way of Eating (WFPB WOE). As a gardener, I design and maintain foodscapes (edible landscapes), meaning I grow only food plants - no time for bunga kertas, orchids and other ornamentals.

The more I learn about human nutrition, the more I realise how important it is for our food to be pesticide- and chemical-free and how plant- based whole foods are vital for our health and well-being. Whole food means unprocessed, unrefined natural plant-based foods. So no flours, oils, sugar and alcohol. From a biochemical and metabolic point of view, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, gula melaka (jaggery powder) are all just as bad as white sucrose crystals (aka evaporated sugarcane juice), i.e. white sugar.

Eating fruits, where nutritients such as fructose, oils, proteins, dietary fibre (soluble and insoluble), antioxidants, polyphenols and etc. exist in a three-dimensional matrix that takes time to be unpacked and utilised by our digestive tract has a very different metabolic impact and insulin impact than consuming refined sugar.

Gula melaka doesn’t come from Melaka, by the way, most of the jaggery powder consumed in Malaysia is imported in gunny sacks from Tamil Nadu. Gunny sacks are made from industrial hemp, the same species (Cannabis sativa) as marijuana. Recreational cannabis has been selectively bred to contain more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive hallucinogen than cannabidiol (CBD) - CBD is the C in THC. CBD not only negates the psychoactive effects of THC but also has beneficial health effects in its own right. Hemp seeds you buy in the organic section of supermarkets are from industrial hemp. Unfortunately, the hemp seeds are already hulled and milled, and are no longer viable - or else, I would have planted them long ago! Its a species endemic to our Southeast Asian equitorial habitat.

Talking about melaka, the melaka tree is amla (amalaki in Sanskrit) aka the Indian gooseberry, Phyllanthus emblica, although also quite commonly referred to by its synonym, 
Emblica officinalis Gaertn.

I have found two cordials that contain amla in my local kedai runcit India, one has hibiscus in it and the other is a traditional ayuredic preparation called Triphala juice. It says “juice,” but its really a cordial. One of the other ingredients is Hemidesmus indicus (Indian saraparilla) and so triphala juice does taste like sarsi.

Apparently, you can buy fresh amla fruits from Klang market. Must ask my Indian friends in Klang to get for me. I need to plant a melaka tree in my foodscape.

A friend just brought me terap (Artocarpus odoratissimus
seeds from Sabah. Unlike the wild Semenanjung terap only fit for monkeys, the cultivars from Borneo have been selectively bred for sweetness and texture for generations.

Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

THANK YOU, BLOOD DONORS!

I would like to record my utmost gratitude and most personal heartfelt thanks to the anonymous blood donors who helped my mom, who needed two transfusions yesterday. You are unsung heroes. For legal and medical ethical reasons, blood donors need to remain anonymous.

I’ve donated blood 56 times and have never received a blood transfusion myself. This is the closest I’ve been to knowing and feeling what its like to be on the receiving end.

I’ve only met one patient who indirectly benefited from one of my blood donations. She was a 12-year-old thalassemia patient who looked six. I had donated blood at Banting District Hospital and she came up to me to thank me. She said my blood type was not compatible with hers but because I made the donation, Banting District Hospital was able to exchange my blood for a compatible unit with Klang General Hospital. She must have been hanging around the blood bank for hours waiting for someone to make a donation and giver her a lifeline. I was touched. Sadly, I learnt a few months later, that she had passed on but I was glad to do whatever little I can to make her last days on this planet possible.

I would urge you to register as a blood donor, if you haven’t already done so. They are many benefits to being a blood donor, they are listed at the back of your donor card. Unfortunately, I lost mine after 38 years, a few weeks ago. I started donating blood long before it was a common thing to do, long before the National Blood Centre was set up, long before records were computerised. I’ve donated at GH KL, Pusat Darah Negara, Banting District Hospital, at Miri District Hospital, at Queen Elizabeth General Hospital, University Hospital and at University College Hospital in London.

You can donate whole blood, plasma or platelets. You can donate again only after three months of donating whole blood but as little as two weeks after donating plasma or platelets. Donating plasma or platelets take a lot longer than donating whole blood, though.

No, there’s no pain involved and it feels just like a prick. But blood donation is not for everyone. If you are below 1.52 m tall, weigh less than 45 kg, are anaemic, have hypotension, HIV, VD, hepatitis or any other of a myriad of contraindications, you are not eligible. You’ll have to contribute to humanity in some other way, hopefully through sweat, not tears. 

Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Sunday, November 04, 2018

ABOUT TIME WE ENFORCE ANTI-SMOKING LAWS

These bloody fools have been saying this same bloody toothless tiger nonsense for decades - the bloody stupid law exists already but the bloody stupid thing is...

NO ENFORCEMENT!

Who is suppose to enforce?

Restaurant owner?

Other diners?

Police?

Non-existent Health Inspectors?

Local Authorities?

Once the cabinet has decided, wake me up, okay.

Until then, pundek lah...

NATO. NO ACTION TALK TALK TALK ONLY...

https://thecoverage.my/news/lim-guan-eng-government-will-not-allow-smokers-light-restaurants-fined-rm10000-jailed-2-years




Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Thoughts on Diabetes

Thinking Out Aloud about Diabetes 

I just want to sound out if my understanding of diabetes is correct, so please correct me if my understanding is incorrect, so that I can learn. Understanding what’s going on, cures you. Because the correct understanding empowers and motivates you to make the necessary lifestyle changes. Diabetes, after all, is a lifestyle disease.

Pancreas
There are cells called the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas that produces insulin. These cells constitute only 1% of the cells in the pancreas. The other 99% of the cells produce various digestive enzymes for you to digest various foods.

Pancreatic Cancer
Patients with pancreatic cancer have a very grim prognosis. The survival rate at 5 years is 9% and at 10 years is 1%. There has been very little progress in the treatment of patients since World War II, or at least in the past 40 years. The main treatment modality is radiotherapy.

Patients have a low survival rate because without digestive enzymes, they are unable to metabolise the food they eat, starving all their cells, tissues, organs and muscles of nutrition. Its a very systemic shutdown of the whole human body.

Type 1 Diabetes 
This is usually diagnosed in childhood or in the teens. Most patients have some genetic make-up that causes their pancreas to be unable to produce insulin at all, or only in very small amounts.

Type 1.5 Diabetes 
I’ve heard this term used, but am unsure what it means.

Type 2 Diabetes 
This used to be called adult onset diabetes. In these patients, their blood glucose levels are high and there can be many different causes. That is why some experts say that there are actually between 47-50 different types of diabetes, depending on what particular aetiology is responsible for the high blood glucose.

In patients who cannot produce  insulin at all, they have to take insulin artificially, usually by injection; the route of administration may be subcutaneous, intramuscular, intravenous. If they can produce insulin, but only in insufficient amounts, two treatment modalities are usually employed:

a) insulin injections
b) medications (such as gliclazide and metformin). They work in various ways. Some meds may cause the pancreas to increase production of insulin, others work by forcing the cells to uptake glucose from the blood. Yet others work by removing the excess glucose in the blood by excreting it in the urine, hence the Malay name for diabetes, “kencing manis” - sweet urine. In the old days, people with diabetes would notice that ants would go hurong their urine. 

Type 3 Diabetes 
I’ve heard this term used to mean “diabetes of the brain,” but again, I am unsure exactly what it means.

Insulin
Insulin is a hormone produced by the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. It has a half-life of only 4 to 7 minutes. Its production is triggered by eating carbohydrates. So, counter-intuitively, if your pancreas is still able to produce insulin, you need to eat some (a little) carbohydrate to trigger the production of insulin. The exact amount differs from person to person and also on your state or condition.

In layman’s terms, the best analogy is to think of insulin as a key. Insulin binds with the receptor site (think of it as a keyhole) on the surface of your cells. When your cells require energy, it signals insulin to come to the keyhole to unlock the door that allows glucose to enter your cells.

Carbohydrates
This is an umbrella term for both starches and sugars. Laymen usually use it to refer specifically to starches, though, not to sugars. However, medically trained people use the term carbohydrate to collectively refer to both starches and sugars. This can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.

Saccharides, polysaccharides, oligosaccharides
These terms are used in biochemistry to refer to various types of sugar. The simplest form of sugar is called glucose. All starches, all other types of complex sugars are broken down to glucose in the digestive process. Glucose is what is required by your muscles to make them contract. Basically, we metabolise glucose to create energy. I don’t quite understand the exact process but it involves a chemical called ATP - adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a complex organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, e.g. muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, chemical synthesis. Fructose is fruit sugar, sucrose is cane sugar. Usually, chemicals ending with “-ose” is some kind of sugar, i.e. galactose, lactose (milk sugar), maltose, and etc.

Starches
Also known as complex carbohydrates. These are long chains of molecules, structurally bound with cellulose (aka dietary fibre) that slowly get digested to eventually become glucose. The whole idea is to eat complex carbohydrates rather than glucose or simple sugars such as sucrose or fructose so that our bodies are “drip fed” with small amounts of glucose over time as our digestive process breaks down these complex carbohydrates. As opposed to getting a “sugar rush” or spike in blood glucose by consuming a lot of simple sugars in one go.

Glucose Transfer Factor and Chromium
Glucose Transfer Factor (GTF) is a complex chemical that functions in assisting glucose through the doorway into the cells. At its core is the trace element chromium. Chromium is usually regarded as a heavy metal, and indeed, large amounts of it can cause toxicity. We require trace amounts of it for our GFT. MLM distributors are very gung ho in recommending chromium whenever they hear of anyone just been diagnosed with diabetes (their eyes light up as they see “hot prospect” so that they can kena you properly).

Guardian, Caring and Alpro have all stopped selling chromium tablets. Why? You only need trace amounts and if you eat enough whole fruits and leady vegetables daily, you will have sufficient chromium.

No need to spend RM100 buying chromium picolinate because its supposedly much better than other forms of chromium. You only need 200 micrograms (mcg) daily, not even milligrams (mg). Just spend a few dollars eating sayur lah.

Actually, you can get almost all your nutritional needs from the plant kingdom; the only stuff you need that you can only get from the animal kingdom are what are called essential amino acids. These are essential building blocks to produce protein that the human body cannot synthesise and is not available from the plant kingdom.

That is the conventional wisdom anyway and vegans and vegetarians dispute this. They point to the elephant, the largest animal in the jungle, so big and muscular, so much protein. Yet, I have never met an elephant that has eaten a single steak in its life. Have you?

Something to think about, yeah...

Lipoprotein
This is an umbrella term to cover lipids, oils, fats, fatty acids, triglycerides and the like.

Insulin Resistance
This term refers to the inability our cells to utilise insulin to unlock the door through which glucose can enter the cells. The main cause is lipoprotein overload. This simply means that we have too much lipoproteins. This excess lipoproteins block the keyhole (insulin receptor site) on the surface of our cells. Which means insulin cannot go into the keyhole to unlock the door which allows glucose to enter the cells.

Insulin resistance usually refers to patients who can produce sufficient amounts of insulin but the cells cannot use it to unlock the glucose door. For these patients, taking meds in the long term is problematic as the meds force insulin production to go into hyperdrive, leading to complications down the road. Logically, it would seem better to clean out the blockages in the keyhole in the first place, i.e. get rid of the excess lipoproteins.

“How?” you may well ask
Go on the 70-15-15 INSULIN RESISTANCE REVERSAL DIET. This diet is not suitable for all diabetic patients. Firstly, your body needs to be producing sufficient amounts of insulin in the first place. Usually, these patients with insulin resistance can produce sufficient insulin; its just that excess lipoproteins block it from doing its work. However, patients on insulin have also benefited in that they can reduce their insulin dose, as their insulin keyholes get unblocked. If your body can produce sufficient insulin in the first place, you only need go on this diet for 90 days; this would be sufficient time to get rid of the excess lipoproteins that has been blocking the insulin receptor sites.

But you need to do this under medical supervision, preferably in consultation with a dietician as well. You need to monitor five biomarkers, PILAF:

P - (Blood) Pressure (every other day)
I - Ideal Body Weight (how far are you from it?)
L - Lipoprotein Profile (every three months)
A - (Hb)A1c (every three months)
F - Fasting Blood Glucose (weekly is sufficient)

More about this diet at:
www.masteringdiabetes.org

Another credible and authoritative source of information about diabetes by the world’s leading experts and researchers that I highly recommend is:

www.coursera.org/learn/diabetes-essential-facts

Reminder
Please do not make a friend request unless we’ve met and I know you in real life as I routinely block people whom I have no idea who they are. I prefer to answer questions publicly either here or any of the pages I administer so that others may benefit, too, from the discussion. I am not a physician and am not in the business of giving medical advice so please do not message me. I am a fellow patient, just like you, on this same journey together. I can only speak from my own personal experience (read anecdotal evidence with a sample of one) and from what I’ve read and learnt. We really need to invest the time to educate ourselves about our health because we, as patients, need to be accountable and responsible for our own health - we cannot simply abdicate this responsibility to our healthcare providers.



Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Tax on Sugared Water

TAX ON SUGAR WATER

I already wrote about this on August 27. Instead of being pro-active and doing scenario planning, contingency plans, and etc., many corporations I have spoken to told me they have not received any official word and simply adopt a “wait and see” attitude. 

Well, now you have official word and your wait is over. Selamat berkial-kial, mofos...

https://says.com/my/news/budget2019-government-to-introduce-tax-on-sugary-drinks-from-april-2019

My piece of Aug 27:
http://azlanadnan.blogspot.com/2018/08/soda-tax.html

Bila nak terberak baru nak cari changkol gali lobang...

I welcome suggestions from diabetics on how the 40 sen tax should be spent on to improve our quality of life. I’ll compile your suggestions and sent it as an open letter to:

YB Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad
Minister of Health Malaysia
Ministry of Health
Block E1, E3 , E6 , E7 & E10, Parcel E
Federal Government Administration Centre
62590 PUTRAJAYA
Malaysia
Phone No: 03-8883 2527
Email: drdzul@moh.gov.my 

I first met YB Dr Dzul six and a half years ago, he is on the extreme left in this video:
https://youtu.be/RcLZoCFIN3A

If you want to write to him directly, please feel free to do so. The more people write, the more our voice will be heard.

For example, I visited both Klinik Kesihatan Kota Damansara and Klinik Kesihatan Kelana Jaya earlier this week. There is so much room for improvement...

Some notes about the state of public healthcare in Malaysia. 

I live in Kampung Sungai Kayu Ara, within the catchment area of Klinik Kesihatan Kelana Jaya, which has a pathology lab. The earliest date I can get to check my HbA1c, lipoprotein profile, uric acid, and etc is in Feb 2019. I can only get the results a month later. The results will be handwritten as the clinic does not have a printer.
https://goo.gl/maps/77ctvwpbVoq

There is a Community Clinic (previously known as Klinik 1Malaysia) within walking distance to my place. They can only do FBG and BP. Even then, the MA says they get sent only 15-20 test strips a time, and frequently run out.
https://goo.gl/maps/SQPRRtniesT2

Klinik Kesihatan Kota Damansara is even more horrific. Two MOs share an examination room. They sit on desks pushed against each other and sit facing each other. You tell your medical problems to the MO attending to you whilst another patient does the same to the other MO within earshot of you, although you sit back to back.
https://goo.gl/maps/82Df5DiBxXm

There is no pathology lab in Klinik Kesihatan Kota Damansara; all specimens are sent to the pathology lab at Klinik Kesihatan Kelana Jaya and it typically takes three weeks to get your results back. I neglected to inquire if they have a printer.

If you think there is room for improvement, please lobby your MP to vote for a bigger budget for healthcare and less on military spending. We, the Rakyat, need to make our voices heard for change to happen. Change doesn’t happen spontaneously without a call to action.

In Latvia, sugared drinks are banned altogether - no cordials like Ribena, SunQuick sold in supermarkets or wherever. Fruit juices are not permitted to contain added sugar, just pure fruit juice. Soft drinks like Coke need to be zero calories, only with non-calorific sweeteners.

On all my visits to Riga and JĊĞrmala, I noticed the girls are all svelte, slim and look like ballerinas. Now you know why I go to Latvia every summer...

https://youtu.be/k8pb0aSJMhg

Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

Monday, October 22, 2018

HOW KETO CAUSED MY DIABETES

I am a 60-year-old male that was diagnosed with Non Insulin Dependent Type 2 Diabetes a year ago in Oct 2017. My HbA1c was 7.5% on Jan 10 2018 and has since lowered to 6.7% on Sept 5 2018.

I suspect I became insulin resistant because I started on a ketogenic diet from Nov 2016. Initially, I was just trying keto out but starting from Ramadan (May) 2017, I went full steam ahead on a nutritional ketosis diet. The main downside was the high oil and fat intake caused lipoprotein overload and made me insulin resistant by Sept 2017. Basically, lipoproteins block insulin receptors at the cellular level, denying glucose entry into cells, where it would have been burnt up as fuel. Instead, glucose remains in the blood at elevated levels - the definition of diabetes.

Having only learnt about this yesterday, I’ve now embarked on a diet for diabetics.

The dietary requirements for Diabetics is very specific. Its not vegan or vegetarian as such. It is plant-based, yes, but is it also whole food, meaning no processed or refined plant products such as oils, sugar, flour or alcohol.

Oils are to lipids as refined white sugar (white sucrose crystals) are to carbohydrates.

Whole food means you can eat coconut or kelapa parut or kelapa parut blended in water but not coconut oil, VCO or santan squeezed from kelapa parut without the coconut hampas. This is what is meant by whole food—minimal or no processing, refining, or extraction processing involved. This leaves your food whole, with all antioxidants, leptins, micro-nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, trace elements, and etc. intact. 

As oils are refined products, they are excluded but, more importantly, they are excluded because the main cause of insulin resistance is lipoprotein overload as oil (fatty acid) molecules block the insulin receptors of our cells. When the insulin receptors are blocked, insulin is unable to allow glucose to enter the cellular tissue to be burnt up as fuel. Instead, glucose remains circulating in the blood - and this what diabetes is defined as - high blood glucose levels.

Diet for diabetics is also mainly raw food because nutrients like vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants are damaged by heat.

Think of insulin as a key, literally. The insulin receptor as a keyhole. Insulin unlocks the door that allows glucose to enter your cells to fuel your cells, giving the energy to allow your muscles to contract and for you to move.

But correct nutrition is just one aspect of controlling diabetes, exercise is another. All that excess glucose in your blood needs to go somewhere (your cells) and be burnt up. Even if the glucose door to your cells is open, glucose will not enter if there is no need for it. Its only needed when you exercise. Without exercise, glucose will still remain circulating in your blood. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard work; any form of daily exercise that makes you sweat for 30 minutes daily is sufficient. This is better than working out for three hours once a week. The daily consistency is required to continuously remove glucose from your blood.

There are five biomarkers to determine whether someone is insulin resistant or truly insulin sensitive. They can be summed up by the acronym PILAF:

P - (blood) Pressure
I - Ideal Body Weight
L - Lipid Profile
A - HbA1c
F - Fasting Blood Glucose 

All five indicators need to be seen as a whole to get a complete picture of what’s actually going on. Looking at just fasting blood glucose (which I check once a week) and HbA1c (check every 3 months) is insufficient.

And as they say in CBT, understanding what’s going on, in itself, cures you.

I’ve come to this level of understanding after one year of researching about diabetes and insulin resistance as a patient because both my physician and my nutritionist are next to useless, they simply don’t have enough time to educate me on my condition. I believe we as patients have to be responsible and accountable for our own health, we cannot abdicate this entirely to our healthcare providers. 

And, I’m still learning...

https://www.masteringdiabetes.org/recipe/

Copyright 2003-2018 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia

ON DIABETES, EXERCISE & KETOSIS

More on Diabetes, Exercise & Ketosis

About exercise, I just saw a video where a nutritionist explains that exercising for ten minutes every hour is more beneficial that exercising in one 30-minute session per day:

https://youtu.be/MXqVRPF9lrg

A good indicator of the level of exercise intensity you need is sweating. It doesn’t really much matter what kind of exercise you do, as long as it makes you sweat. The skin is the largest organ in the human body and one of its functions is as an organ of elimination. Water-soluble toxins are eliminated in your sweat.

I go for a morning walk about 0900 hrs to the laundry or kedai runcit/supermarket daily and also for another walk between asar and 0630 hrs. If it rains, I sweat it out in my FIR sauna.

In my experience, the single-biggest factor in determining my fasting blood glucose is nutrition, not just what I eat but how much of it. Next is exercise or movement. Next is medications and last is supplements and herbal remedies. If I have known this a year ago, I could have saved thousands of ringgit on supplements. Be very wary of MLM distributors - they will recommend all sorts of expensive and unnecessary stuff of dubious efficacy. When you complain got not results, they will say have to take for minimum six months before can see any results.

For immediate results, I have done coffee enema at Pure Detox in TTDI. The first time I did it, so much fatty gunk came out of my liver, selonggok macam nasi lemak bungkus. It was a congealed mass of fatty substance. I know its fat, as it wasn’t water-soluble. It took me ten minutes to hose it down as it wouldn’t dissolve in water.

Another treatment modality with immediate results is bekam or wet cupping. I do this at Akubekam, also in TTDI. It is particularly effective at removing uric acid. If I have a gout attack and can’t even walk, I get relief 45 minutes into my bekam session. The first thing I notice is that movement in my fingers are flexible and supple, from stiff and rigid. By the end of the session, not only can walk, but I feel lighter and sprightly. If I have elevated liver enzyme levels, I do both bekam and coffee enema. One session of each is sufficient to normalise elevated levels of uric acid and liver enzymes.

Both have contraindications, so best to have a consultation before starting on either.

I am very open about my health challenges and write about them publicly on my foodscape FB page. One downside of this, is that I become a prospect of every MLM distributor in town. At first, I was naive and gullible and bought chromium picolinate  lah, and almost four thousands of ringgit of Unicity products. Dah serik so last week, when an Amway distributor started prospecting me, terus aku block.

You can also do a free online clinical course on diabetes from the University of Copenhagen at:

https://www.coursera.org/learn/diabetes-essential-facts

This course is a gold mine of information, with lectures and interviews with leading experts and researchers on diabetes from around the world.

At the end of the day, the best investment I made in my health is education. Understanding what’s going on, cures you. Why? Because not only you will learn what to do, but more importantly why. Its the why that will motivate you, to stop giving excuses and prevent procrastination. I’m very aggressive in trying new treatment modalities. I was very gung ho with nutritional ketosis (aka LCHF) diet until I learnt that it only works in the short term (3-6 months) and I got diabetic in the first place because of keto. You see, the cause of insulin resistance is lipoprotein (fat) overload. The lipoproteins block the insulin receptor sites at the cellular tissue level. When the sites are blocked, insulin is unable to unlock the pathway to allow glucose into the cells to be metamobolised and provide energy for muscle contraction.

This results not only in elevated blood glucose but also in elevated insulin levels as the pancreas keep producing more and more insulin. Insulin only has a half life of 4-7 minutes, this is hard to detect. But in the long term, the dangers of elevated lipoprotein, glucose and insulin levels outweigh the short term benefits of a keto diet.

Can you imagine how shocked I was to learn that it was keto that caused my diabetes in the first place? I did keto to reduce my weight. Ended becoming diabetic. Celaka betul. Luckily, there is a plant-based, whole food (60% raw food -ulam) insulin resistance reversal diet.

I was such an advocate of keto, but keto is only half the picture. I would really advise all keto advocates to study the facts as presented at 

http://www.masteringdiabetes.org 

to see the big picture. It will be a life-changing (and life-saving) experience. Some of the material appears counterintuitive, its only when you learn and understand the micro-details that you understand exactly why.

You really need to invest your time to study this. Luckily, the resources are freely available at no cost!



Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan Legal Notice Copyright 2003-2011 Azlan Adnan. This blog post is sponsored by The Green Party of Malaysia