Science & technology

for a better life



< WHYLLness 010        WHYLLness 021 >

» 011 Have water over cola » 012 Stay active in all aspects of your life   » 013 Eat fruits and vegetables  » 014 Move every 30 min » 015 Eat dinner 2 hrs before bed » 016 Avoid salty foods » 017 Have tomato & blueberry in your diet » 018 Know your family history » 019 Brush & floss your teeth  » 020 Do some house chores

011 Have water over cola

              Drinking enough amount of clean water daily keeps your body systems in physical and physiological balance. This may also prevent cardiovascular and kidney diseases.



Water over carbonated drinks

              While carbonated drinks are tasty, they can potentially cause biochemical imbalance within the body. Soda drinks are high in phosphorus, diet sodas are filled with artificial sweeteners, and processed juices are high in sugar. Too much phosphorous may cause calcium loss from your body, artificial sweeteners such as saccharin may not be so safe, and sugary drinks may contribute to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Too much intake of colas may potentially harm your kidneys and bone.57 Drinking of diet sodas by pregnant women has been shown to increase the risk of premature delivery.

              Your best drink is filtered water. Unsweetened herbal tea is another healthy substitute.


How much water is enough?

              The human body is about 60% water in adult, 40% is inside the cells (intracellular) and 20% is outside the cells (extracellular). For our body to function properly, average adult person needs to drink approximately 2 liters (6-8 glasses) of water daily to maintain proper hydration. This is in addition to about 1 liter water contained in the food that we eat. At extreme conditions of body water loss, however, our body may require up to 7 liters of water per day to avoid dehydration.

Hydrate before, during, and after you play

              Water is essential for your athletic performance. Stay hydrated, and you will increase your chances of performing well, avoiding injury, and recovering as quickly as possible in case of injuries.


Sugary drinks are not that sweet for your health

             Consumption of sugary soda drinks has been shown to contribute to diabetes and heart disease. A more recent study suggests that it also promotes the development of pancreatic cancer. People who drink at least two sugary sodas a week have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared with individuals who did not consume soft drinks.58


Water in coffee and alcoholic drinks

              Alcoholic beverages, though they contain water, may not provide fluid for the body, instead the diuretic effect of alcohol draws fluid out of the body. Caffeine in coffee also induces diuretic effects. If the drink contains high alcohol or caffeine in it, the more you need to drink water to replenish the water lost due to diuresis.


Is lot of peeing bad or good?

              Peeing a lot could be a sign that you are having a urinary problem resulting in frequent urge to pee. However, if you are drinking lots of water, tea or other drinks, then it could be a good sign that you are taking enough fluids and hydrating yourself well, thus doing something good for your health.


012 Stay active in all aspects of your life

              Staying active in all parts of your life will allow you to enjoy your life and stay young and healthy physically and mentally.



Stay physically active

              About 60 minutes of daily moderate physical activity leads to an "active" lifestyle and prevents you from becoming overweight. Even among elderly, exercise programs designed to increase muscle density help reduce rates of disability and hospitalization. Continuing or initiating physical activity among the very old is associated with better function and survival.59

Stay social but selective

              Join a club, have dinner with family and friends, and do other activities with your social support network.

Staying connected with people and the society is an important component of your social and emotional wellbeing. However, being selective to some degree in choosing people to socialize with and having an attitude that avoids conflicts might help you have a healthy and exceptionally long life, according to a study.60


Stay tech savvy

              Stay connected by email and get involved in forums, blogs, and chat rooms that interest you. New models of mobile phones are usually more challenging to use and equipped with many functions that can help you communicate, play, listen to music, view your favorite pictures, see video and watch TV. Using these devices and subjecting your brain to the challenges of learning how to use them, may improve cognitive functions and mental abilities.



Keep learning

              Learning starts even before we are born and ends only when we die. The more you keep learning things the more you keep your ability to learn.

              Teaching can be a better way to learn. Seniors who tutor kids may also sharpen their own minds as well.


013 Eat fruits & vegetables

              Eating fresh fruits and vegetables reduces your risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and some vascular diseases.61 Fresh fruits are good sources of antioxidants; increased antioxidant intake decreases oxidative stress and may lead to reduced risk of cancer.62



Eat plant-based diet

              Eat a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and minimally processed foods. This will reduce inflammation in your body, improve blood circulation, and prevent many forms of illnesses, including diabetes. Even children born to mothers who ate plenty of vegetables during pregnancy are less likely to have Type 1 diabetes.

              Beneficial effects of eating fruits and vegetables are due to its nutritional contents. Moreover, fruits and vegetable are high in fiber. These dietary fibers, also called roughage, regulate digestion absorbs fluids and eases defecation. In addition these fibers may also retain toxins and carcinogenic substances for disposal through feces rather than being absorbed in the body.

Healthy snacks

              For snacks, dried fruits and nuts are conveniently easy to carry and with just a handful every day can make a big difference in your overall health. Research shows that many of these nuts and seeds are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and lignans,63 which help prevent cardiovascular64 and age-related diseases.



              The term phytochemicals is generally used to refer to those chemical compounds naturally occurring in plants that may affect health, but are not yet established as essential nutrients. Table 13 lists down common sources of some phytochemicals known to benefit health.


Table 13. Phytochemicals from common fruits and vegetable

Some good sources


Tomato, guava & pink citrus


Sweet potato, carrots, okra, malunggay


Fruits, green tea & black tea


Red chili pepper, corn & kiwifruit


Avocado, asparagus & strawberries


Broccoli, cauliflower & cabbage


WHYLLness by Dr. Feril


Vegetarian diet

              A study showed that vegetarian diets are associated with lower bone mineral density.65 This may pose an increased risk for osteoporosis. However, other studies suggest that the magnitude of such association is clinically not significant.66


In the Philippines

              Moringa oleifera or "Drumstick tree" (Locally known in the Philippines as Malunggay) is an exceptionally nutritious vegetable tree with a variety of potential uses. The leaves are significant source of beta-carotene, Vit. A, Vit. C, protein, iron, and potassium. Another vegetable, bitter gourd (locally known as Ampalaya) is another good source of vitamins and minerals.


              Among fruits, several have anticancer properties. Papaya was shown to have anticancer effect against tumors of the cervix, breast, liver, lungs and other forms of cancers. Another research also suggests anti-leukemic properties of papaya that is likely through the anti-proliferative effect of baicalein and the genotoxic property of wogonin.67


014 Move every 30 min

              Doing leg and body exercises every 30 minutes may prevent blood stagnation and blood clot formation. 



Movement promotes blood circulation

              Whether you are sitting down in your office, watching TV or taking a long ride, make sure you move your body from time to time. Doing leg and body exercises every 30 minutes may prevent blood stagnation and blood clot formation. Stand from time to time, do some stretching, or shift your body weight from one side to the other coupled with stretching.

              If you are working in an office that requires you to sit most of the time, you can redesign your office in such a way that will make you move from time to time.

              Prolonged stationary posturing may cause stagnation of blood circulation in the lower part of your body, and may increase your chance of developing hemorrhoids, varicose veins and thrombus (blood clot) formation called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).


Economy class syndrome

             Business class, the expensive seats, in a flight is usually spacious that you can easily stretch and comfortably move from time to time. The cheaper seats, commonly called the "economy class", however, are crowded and may not be so comfortable. Taking a long flight in a cramped space of an economy class seat is associated with DVT or clot formation usually in the deep veins of the legs. If that clot dislodges, it will travel to the different organs in the body (venous thromboembolism or VTE). If it travels to the lungs, it can cause a potentially fatal condition called pulmonary embolism. In addition to hours of sitting, dehydration (low water level in the body) is also a contributing factor to the development of DVT. So if you are taking a long flight, drink plenty of water or tea. This will help hydrate your body while your urge to go to the bathroom will also provide you the chance to move and do some stretching.

              DVT most commonly occur in calf veins in men and non-pregnant women. Among pregnant women, however, in which DVT is more common, it is most likely to occur on the left side, and particularly in the left leg.68

Sitting too much can be deadly

              Most people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to get fat, to suffer a heart attack or even die.

              Any physical activity promotes blood circulation. When your muscle contracts it pushes out the blood, and when it relaxes, negative pressure pumps in blood. This is how the pumping effect of muscles works when you move your body. Proper blood circulation is important for any biomolecular and physiological function within your body.


015 Eat dinner 2 hrs before bed

              Eating light dinner at 7 pm or earlier before going to bed at 10 pm is ideal for your body considering the daily cycle of activity and rest which is also in accordance to the biochemical and physiological changes within the body also called chronobiology.69

Eating habit of modern life

              A modern lifestyle of high-energy consumption and low level of activity is a leading cause of obesity.70 Snacks after dinner or just before bed is also a major factor in obesity.71

             We eat food mainly to provide us energy. If the energy from food we eat is not utilized after eating, this is stored as fat in the body. Sleeping just after eating will make you fat and may also cause some other metabolic problems. Having a light dinner hours before going to bed is therefore best. And remember to always eat slow and chew your food properly. In this way you will enjoy your meal with your satiety center telling you that you already have enough calories even if you have taken less than what you usually take.


Acute pancreatitis

              Acute pancreatitis is a major cause of sudden and unexpected death,72,73 according to an autopsy-based study.72 Though there is no solid scientific evidence, it is believed that taking a heavy dinner just before bed can increase your chances of having acute pancreatitis which can be life threatening and with high mortality rate, up to 24% in one study. But one thing is sure that obesity, which can be the result of such eating habit, is considered a risk factor for severe acute pancreatitis.74 Other risk factors for acute pancreatitis include alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking.75


016 Avoid salty foods

              Consuming just the amount of salt your body needs daily can help prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and may be cancer.


Sodium chloride

Sodium and chlorine, the two chemical components of salt, are necessary for survival of all known living creatures, including humans. Salt is involved in regulating the water content of the body. However, over consumption of salt increases the risk of health problems. Salt contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney problems,76 and probably elevates your risk of gastric cancer.77 Not only does a high-salt diet contribute to hypertension, but it also reduces the effectiveness of anti-hypertension drugs.

Salt in food

              Sodium is an essential nutrient, but very little is needed in the daily diet.

              Salt is widely overused, either from directly using it to improve food taste or from foods that use salt in their processing. Much of our salt intake is from the processed foods that we eat. Sodium contents of table salt and common foods are shown in Table 16.


Table 16. Sodium contents.


Sodium (mg)

Salt (100 g)


Salt (1 teaspoon)


Baking soda (1 teaspoon)


Wheat germ (100 g)


Processed meat: sausage, hotdog.. (100 g)


Fresh meat (100 g)


Margarine (100 g)


Cheese (100 g)


Crackers (100 g)


Cereals (100g)


Cocoa, processed (100 g)


Cocoa (100 g)


Rice (100 g)


Banana (100 g)


The values are combined from several sources. Nutritional Information including sodium content may be indicated in food product labels. Aim to eat less than 1,500 of sodium per day.                              


Sodium recommended daily allowance (RDA)

              In the US, the current recommendation is for an adult to consume less than 2,400 mg of sodium per day. This is about one teaspoon of table salt per day. It includes all sodium consumed, including sodium used in cooking and at the table. The US sodium RDA is higher than the UK recommended nutritional intake (RNI) whose upper limit is 1,600 mg.

              For people with high blood pressure, consuming a diet with less than 1,500 mg sodium per day is shown to have better blood pressure lowering benefits.


Salt in Filipino diet

              The 1993 National Nutrition Survey reported that 41% of Filipino adults aged 60 years old and over were hypertensive.78 High salt intake among Filipinos may account for this prevalence.


Lack of sodium

              Low sodium concentration in blood, also called hyponatremia or sodium deficiency is not common but can occur during heavy and prolonged exercise or high temperature due to loss of sodium in sweat. This may also happen if you take too much water. Signs of sodium deficiency include thirst, nausea and vomiting, headache, cramps, weakness, and fatigue.


017 Have tomato & blueberry in your diet

              Eating food rich in flavonoids such as tomato and blueberry protects you from many illnesses such as heart diseases and cancers.



Health benefits from flavonoids

              Flavonoids may lower cardiovascular risk through their antioxidant properties.  Flavonol-rich diet could reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 23%79 and ovarian cancer, and is also being investigated against breast, cervical, and prostate cancers.50 Blueberry juice biotransformed with little added bacteria has also been suggested to fight obesity and diabetes and a food pattern associated with the intake of flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin is associated with lower pancreatic cancer risk in smokers. However, other studies failed to establish the association between flavonoids intake and risk of pancreatic cancer.79


Other sources of flavonoids

              Other good sources of flavonoids include many fruits such as grapes, and also teas. Both black and green teas are good sources of flavonoids.


018 Know your family history

              Be aware of your genetic predisposition to illness and be proactive in preventing them by learning more and try to do what you need to do.

              Hereditary diseases that are more common are actually multifactorial that they are likely associated with the effects of multiple genes in combination with lifestyle and environmental factors.

Self-evaluation checklist

              See table 18 below and tic the box if you have the following multifactorial and polygenic disorders in your family. Any presence of these diseases in your family means that you need to learn more about this particular disease and know what you need to do about it; or better, talk to your doctor about it.


Table 18a. Self-evaluation checklist. Tic the box to indicate presence of potentially familial disease in your family.


Father's side

Mother's side

1. Hypertension

2. Diabetes

3. Asthma

4. Heart disease

5. Multiple sclerosis

6. Cancers

7. Obesity

8. Mental retardation

9. Autism

10. Inflammatory bowel disease


              Your family history not only reveals your risk for conditions such as anxiety, depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse, but it may also predict the cause and prognosis of any illness you are likely to have80. A family history screen may help determine the illnesses you are at risk of having and which of these illnesses will cause the greatest impairment on you even if you are likely or not to use treatment resources.

              For instance, a new study showed that relatives of pancreatic cancer patients are at higher risk of developing cancers at other sites. This finding highlights the importance of a complete family history in clinical risk assessment.81


Table 18b. Top 10 hereditary conditions.

1. Alcoholism

2. Breast cancer

3. Color blindness

4. Bullying

5. Obesity

6. Heart disease

7. Having twins

8. Acne

9. Lactose intolerance

10. Baldness

Source: livescience.com, retrieved April 30, 2010


Stem cells

              Potential therapeutic applications of stem cells have been highlighted in current biomedical research. Human stem cells have the ability to differentiate into a diverse range of specialized cell type hence an embryonic stem cell can differentiate into all of the embryonic tissues of the body parts. In adult, adult stem cells act as a repair system for the body. Biomedical scientists have successfully cultured embryonic cells, allow them to grow and transform into cells of various tissues such as nerves, heart muscles, and other organ tissues. Stem cells from a variety of sources, including bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, are routinely used in medical therapies.


Cord blood bank

              If any in your family is pregnant, ask information how you can save and store the cord blood of your newborn as source of stem cells for possible use in the future. Cord blood banks are available for this purpose. In the Philippines, cord blood banking services is available from CordLife Philippines at Unit 101 Building H, UP-Ayalaland Technohub, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman Quezon City, Philippines; Tel. (02) 710-9195; e-mail: info@ph.cordlife.com (cordlife.com/ph, retrieved March 28, 2010).

              Umbilical cord blood multipotent stem cells also have potential for nonhematopoietic tissue and cell regeneration.82 These cells can be a source of replacements tissues in almost all parts of the body. Banking cord blood, is therefore an investment that can save the life of your child or other members of your family against certain diseases that can be life-threatening (e.g. leukemia and lymphoma) and more than 80 other types of diseases (cancers, blood and immune system related genetic diseases, and blood disorders). Stem cells can also be manipulated to produce cells such as corneal tissue--to restore vision to some patients, nerves--to restore motor functions, and hormone producing tissue--to restore metabolic functions.


019 Brush & floss your teeth

              Brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing your teeth once daily not only prevents you from having dental problems but also lowers your risk of cardiovascular diseases and probably some forms of cancer.



Healthy teeth for health

              Periodontitis (gum disease) has been linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases including stroke.83 A new study suggests that periodontitis may also be a risk for cancers of the head and neck. This study suggests that chronic periodontitis is an independent risk factor for head and neck cancers and tobacco use modifies this association.84 Oral hygiene and dental care are also important in preventing health problems related to the gastrointestinal tracts and the lungs.


Table 19. Things you can do to maintain healthy teeth.

1. Brush your teeth every after meal or at least twice daily


2. Floss once daily, preferably before going to bed


3. Drink plenty of water or unsweetened tea


4. Avoid carbonated drinks and sweetened juices


5. Change toothbrush at least once a month


6. Have a regular dental examination


7. Use toothpaste with fluoride


8. Use a tongue cleaner and clean your tongue regularly



Change your toothbrush as frequently as possible

              The types and number of bacteria in the mouth is greatly affected by changing to a new toothbrush. Using the same toothbrush, will not only will affect the effectivity of your brushing as the brush is getting damaged, it is also contaminated and can introduce or reintroduce microorganism into the oral cavity. If possible change your toothbrush once every month..

              The best toothbrush is the one with good bristles, not too hard and not too soft, and with angled handle. But no matter how effective your brushing might be, flossing to remove dirt between teeth is still necessary.


Start dental care early

              Protect your baby's smile. Give your children's teeth a healthy start by beginning dental care early in life.


020 Do some house chores

              Doing house chores not only adds up to your daily physical activity, it also provides some psychological belongingness to your household and home.




House chores you can do

              Cooking, doing the dishes, washing clothes, mopping the floor, cleaning the bathroom, watering the plants, and disposing of the garbage, are among the common house chores. Doing them is more than just physical activity; they also bring you emotionally closer to home and develop that sense of being able to live a life of your own.


Table 20. Calories you can burn by doing chores.

Chore (30 minutes)

Calories you can burn (55 kg person)



Walking up stairs


Moving furniture






Carrying laundry


Mopping floor


Changing bed sheets






Washing dishes


Sources include weightbydate.com and gethealthier.blogspot.com, retrieved June 24, 2010.


Unconscious fitness

              Things that you would not have counted as part of your daily exercise may have been enough to compensate the inadequate time you spent for your exercise. These are part of your unconscious fitness activities.85 These activities include your house chores and physical activities at work.


Let kids do some house chores

              Allowing kids to help out with everyday tasks is important for your childfs development.86 Giving kids chores make them feel part of the household, promoting the value of responsibility and teamwork. This will also help them develop a habit of being organized and learn the value of hygiene and cleanliness.

Giving kids chores can be a good training for them to do and complete an assigned task that can be important in eventually developing self-esteem.

» 011 Have water over cola » 012 Stay active in all aspects of your life   » 013 Eat fruits and vegetables  » 014 Move every 30 min » 015 Eat dinner 2 hrs before bed » 016 Avoid salty foods » 017 Have tomato & blueberry in your diet » 018 Know your family history » 019 Brush & floss your teeth  » 020 Do some house chores

< WHYLLness 010        WHYLLness 021 > 

Share on Facebook     AddThis Social Bookmark Button        Give us your comment



Newest Members

Recent Blog Entries

Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.