Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Body themes

Two themes related to our bodies are popping up enough to notice.  One is that our way of life seems to involve more physical sitting than is healthy.  The other is that the millions of microbes and the thousands of different species represented on and in us are certainly an important and powerful enough biological presence that we should know more about them, what they do for and against us, and how we can live better with them.


Nutrition Action, a newsletter from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, had a message in the last couple of days to "Get Off Your Duff".  There is a TED talk on holding meetings while walking.  There was an article in the AARP Bulletin within the last couple of years called "Sitting is the New Smoking".  I respect the idea and I have found that using my computer while standing has helped me avoid back pains.  I have found that a sore back and hips are much more of a factor when I have been sitting, especially in the evening for a movie of some length.  Right now, it is not all that possible to avoid sitting while driving but there are many attempts and ideas for sitting less while doing desk work.

Body bacteria

I suffered from diverticulosis for about 30 years.  Painful episodes would occur a couple of times a year, at seemingly random times.  I had surgery to remove the lower part of my colon which was the most common site of an diversion and infection.  I haven't had any problem since but in trying to avoid any, a specialist advised that I take the 30 capsules, one a day, in the product Culturelle.  I think that was my first serious notice that the bugs in my body matter.  Then, Lynn read Martha Herbert's "The Autism Revolution", in which that scientist emphasized the possibility that various birth and early life events and medical treatments might affect people's health in numerous way by decimating or eliminating some bugs that affect what nutrients the body can get and use.  The TED talk by Jonathan Eisen, "Meet Your Microbes", articles by Carl Zimmer and the much older book, "Life on Man", relate to the emerging realization that we are covered in life forms and we might as well understand them and their interactions with us better.  Recently, I have seen several references to fecal transplants that can enable a person without some important body bug to get some from someone who has them.

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