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< WHYLLness 011-020          WHYLLness 031 >

» 021 Avoid bad fats   » 022 Use olive oil & eat nuts   » 023 Take a bath or wash your face before bed   » 024 Get immunized   » 025 Watch funny shows over sad ones   » 026 Find time to relax   » 027 Use that new mobile phone   » 028 Sleep early & wakeup early   » 029 Avoid UV treatments   » 030 Wash hands properly


021 Avoid bad fats

              Your body needs fats and fatty acids both for energy and other nutritional needs. However, several forms of fats are doing more harm to your body than good. Choosing the right fats in your diet is essential to keep you healthy.


Avoid too much fat in your diet

              Fats have high caloric content that having too much in your diet can easily exceed your required daily caloric intake. In addition taking too much fat would likely involve taking bad fats.


Saturated fats and trans-fats are bad fats

              Fats from most animals are abundant in saturated fats and cholesterols. Saturated fats, cholesterol and in addition trans fats are considered bad fats (see Table 21a and b) because they tend to clog your blood circulation affecting many organ systems in the body. On the other hand, good fats tend to block or prevent or even reverse the bad effects caused by bad fats.


Table 21a. Good and bad fats and fat-soluble substances

Good for you

Bad for you

Unsaturated fatty acids

Saturated fatty acids

Omega-3: EPA & DHA


High-density lipoprotein (HDL)

Low-density lipoprotein(LDL)

Vitamin A, D & E


Cis fat

Trans fat


               Avoid using cooking oils that are high in saturated fats and/or trans fats such as coconut oil, or palm oil (see Table 21b). Instead, use oils that are low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil and sunflower oil [022]. When buying food, always look for trans-fat free alternative products.

              Monounsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (LDL-Low-density Lipoproteins) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL-High-density Lipoproteins). Polyunsaturated fats also lower total cholesterol and LDL. Omega-3 fatty acids belong to this group [001].


Table 21b. Some common sources of bad fats.

Fat or oil source


Tallow (beef fat)

High in saturated fats & cholesterol

Lard (pork fat)

High in saturated fats & cholesterol


High in saturated fats & cholesterol


High in saturated fatty acids & cholesterol


Usually high in saturated and trans fats

Coconut oil

High in saturated fats

Palm kernel oil

High in saturated fats


              Good sources of good fats include sunflower oil, olive oil and canola oil. Corn oil and wheat germ oil are also abundant in unsaturated fats but because of the relatively high omega-6 (considered bad fat, table 21a) contents concerns as to health-benefit has been raised. Another oil that had raised controversy is garlic oil. Several studies have earlier suggested that garlic oil intake or supplementation can lower blood cholesterol level. A finding disputed by a more recent randomized study showed that taking raw garlic or commercial garlic supplement did not significantly lower blood cholesterol level among the subjects.87 However, no bad effects have been observed from taking garlic oils.


Table 21c. Butter vs. sunflower oil


Butter (100g)

Sunflower oil (100 g)

Bad fats



Saturated (g)



Cholesterol (mg)



Good fats:



Monounsaturated (g)



Polyunsaturated (g)



Vitamin E (mg)




022 Use olive oil & eat nuts

              Substituting your kitchen oil with olive oil, and eating nuts for snacks provide you the health benefits of good fats, such as healthy heart and smooth blood circulations.

Use olive oil and other good fats

              Saturated fats such as those from animal fats and butter can elevate cholesterol and triglycerides levels in your blood, leading to increased chance of heart attack and stroke which are major causes of disabilities and early deaths.



Table 22a. Good sources of good fats or oil.

Fats source


Fish oil

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Avocado oil

Contains vit. E & in co-enzyme 10; Rich in monounsaturated fats

Canola oil

Contains omega-3; rich in monounsaturated fats

Olive oil

Rich in monounsaturated fats

Sunflower oil

Rich in polyunsaturated fats

Flax seed oil

High in omega-3

Sesame seed oil

Contains vit. E & rich in poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids

Argan oil

Rich in vit. E, carotenes, phenols; high in unsaturated fats; rarest oil

WHYLLness by Dr. Feril


              To avoid these bad effects of bad fats, switch to olive oil or one with mono- or polyunsaturated fats, which protect you from heart disease and premature aging. Olive oil provide the essential fatty acids needed by our body and also provides good fats that can help clean the blood vessels of bad cholesterols.

              Table 22a shows a list of some good sources of good fats and oils, which includes olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil and sesame oil among others. The least known among these is argan oil. Argan oil is valued for its nutritive and cosmetic uses. It is exceptionally rich in vitamin E, phenols, phenolic acid, carotenes, squalene, and essential fatty acids. Argan oil usually contains about 80% unsaturated fatty acids and is more resistant to oxidation than olive oil. Although argan oil is a better substitute for olive oil, this oil is very rare and hard to secure, and could be very expensive than other good oils.

Table 22b. Healthy amount of nuts you may eat per day.

Type of nuts

30-60 grams of nuts without shell


32-63 whole pieces

Cashew nuts

20-40 whole pieces

Almond nuts

30-60 whole pieces


12-24 whole pieces

Pistachio nuts

47-94 whole pieces


WHYLLness by Dr. Feril


Be nuts with nuts

              Nuts contain protein and good fats; although high in calorie these are good for you in small doses (see Table 22b). Consumption of nuts is associated with improved blood lipid levels, lower BMI,88 and  reduced chronic heart diseases risk89 and probably lower cancer risk.


Aflatoxin risk

             Spoiled nuts are usually infected with fungus. This fungus may contain aflatoxin, which is known to cause cancer, particularly liver cancer.


023 Take a bath or wash your face before bed

              You can avoid taking with you to bed the microorganisms and dirt you were exposed with during the day by taking a shower. On very busy days, properly washing your face before going to bed is a must.

Properly wash your face

              Use warm water and mild soap to wash your face. Warm water opens skin pores and facilitates removal of dirt and other unwanted materials in the skin. However, you should not forget to end your face washing by washing it with cold water to close the pores and avoid losing too much natural skin oils. Leaving the pores open would expose the pores to environmental pathogens rendering it more susceptible to infection; or to antigens that can illicit allergic reaction.

              After the cold wash, tumble dry with a clean towel before applying moisturizing cream or any regimen you are using.


Swimming in pools

              Swimming is a good form of physical exercise for children and older people alike. However, swimming in pools disinfected with chlorine may not be good for children. Chlorinated pool exposure raises the odds that a child will develop asthma or allergies during adolescence,90 according to a study. This risk is higher when the child starts swimming before the age of 2.


Look good to live longer

              Looking young may actually mean living longer. People who look younger than their years were found to also live longer, according to a survey.


024 Get immunized

              Administering vaccines to immunize children against certain infections has become routine in almost all countries in the world. In the Philippines, the standard routine immunization includes BCG, DPT, OPV, Hepatitis B, and Measles (Table 24a).  However, other vaccines may be requested by the child's parents or advised by the doctor.


Table 24a. Routine infant immunization in the Philippines



Target age





Diphtheria; Pertussis; Tetanus

6 weeks~



6 weeks~

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B




9 months~



Vaccines for adults

              Everyone should know that vaccines are not only for children, but many young adults are unaware of the need to keep up with their shots. Table 24b lists vaccines recommended in the US for the year 2010.91


Annual flu shots

              Influenza (flu) is caused by influenza viruses. Influenza viruses (Types A and B) are rapidly evolving that a vaccine formulated one year may be ineffective in the following year. Thus making a yearly vaccination important to insure high level of protection. Outbreaks of new strain may also require a newly formulated vaccine for that particular strain; example is the new vaccine against H1N1 influenzavirus A, which caused the Spanish flu in 1918 and the more recent 2009 flu pandemic.


Table 24b. Recommended adult immunization in the US



Target age (dose)


Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis

19-64; booster every 10 yrs


Cervical cancer

19-25 (3 doses)


Chicken pox

19~ (2 doses)



65~ (1 dose)


Measles, mumps, rubella

19-49 (1 or 2 doses) 50-above (1 dose)

Influenza (TIV)

Influenza A and B

19~ (1 dose every yr)


Pneumonia; Meningitis;


19-64 (1 or 2 doses); 65~ (1 dose)

Hep. A

Hepatitis A

19~ (2 doses)

Hep. B

Hepatitis B

19~ (3 doses)


Meningitis and menigococcemia

10~ (1 or more doses)


               A study showed that regular endurance exercise improves influenza vaccine responses.92


HPV for cervical and penile cancer

              Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine can prevent cervical cancer that is 99% associated with HPV infection.93 HPV infection also accounts for half of penile cancers thus making HPV vaccine likely to be effective in the fight against penile cancer.94


Vaccinations for travelers

              Several travel advisories require travelers to a particular area to get immunized against certain diseases. More common are, hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever,95 Japanese encephalitis, rabies, rotavirus, rubella, yellow fever, mumps, anthrax, Q fever, meningococcal, and cholera. Prophylaxis against malaria is also commonly advised.

              When planning a trip, know the travel advisories and consult your doctor for any possible preventive measures you might need.


Newly developed vaccine

              Vaccine against haemophilus influenza bacterium (one of the three main bacterial causes of otitis media (an infection of the middle ear) is currently being developed, while a newly approved pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) is available for all children 2 to 59 months and children with chronic illnesses who are younger than 71 months. PCV13 covers 13 strains of streptococcus pneumoniae, is now in use to prevent a major cause of pneumonia, meningitis and bacteremia worldwide.


Vaccination against allergy

              A study has developed a strategy based on rational molecular reassembly to convert one of the clinically most relevant allergens into a hypoallergenic derivative for allergy vaccination.96

              Allergy vaccinations relieve children's hay fever and lowers expenses associated with the disease.


Are vaccines safe?

              Vaccines are made from viruses, bacteria or parts of them that have been killed or weakened so they generally can't cause an infection. But a patient who has a depressed immunity might be at increased risk of infection from a vaccine. For example, babies with HIV could die if given a standard tuberculosis vaccine. Most vaccines however, are safe even for these patients, or in most instances the benefit of immunization outweighs the risk.

              You need to inform your doctor about any allergies especially to egg and also about your health condition or any concerns you have before undergoing any vaccination.

Natural immunization


025 Watch funny shows over sad ones

              Enjoying a show or movie makes you feel better. Feeling good is an important aspect of promoting your wellbeing and this may prolong your life too.


Health and humor

              The health benefit of humor is a contentious issue among scientist mainly because of its complex nature when being studied.97 Most health care professional believe that appropriate humor and play may actually help a patient in the management of disease symptoms such as pain and anxiety. The promotion of appropriate use of humor and play by all health care professionals is encouraged.98

              Cheerfulness, sense of humor and optimism might be adding life to your years more than adding years to your life.99


Laughter is primal

              Laughing is a very basic way of communicating. Whether you speak English, French, Chinese or Filipino, everyone will understand laughter.

              Laughing will not only make you feel better, it can also improve your social life.


Laughter is medicine

              Humor and laughter makes you healthy. Humor is a priceless medicine, fun, free, and easy to use while laughter is medicine for the mind and body. Laughing produces endorphins that can promote good feelings and inhibit pains. This may also boost your immune system.

              After a good hearty laugh, your whole body, releases tension and improves your mood.

             Because of the potential therapeutic and other medical effects of laughter, gelotology, the study of laughing and laughter and there medical significance, came to being.

             Gelotology give birth to practices such as, humor therapy, laughter therapy, laughter meditation, laughter clubs and laughter yoga.


Humor your accidents

              Let your social accident provide a comic relief by making fun of it or yourself. Several situations can lead to embarrassments that can make you feel bad. These include going out with mis-paired shoes, spilling tea over your clothes in public, accidentally losing your wig, being unable to answer very simple question during an interview, etc. These can lead to anxiety if you take the incident "seriously" against yourself. However, you can transform it to a funny case by making fun of it or yourself. Although doing this may involve dignity issues to some people.


026 Find time to relax

             To be able to have an active, productive and enjoyable day, you need to be able to stay calm and focus all day long. Several techniques, involving deep conscious breathing exercises, establishing ease and inner relaxation such as yoga are helpful. If you have a very busy day, five good minutes might just be enough.30



Be with nature to relax

             The color green or the sight of trees are naturally relaxing to most people.100

Spending time in a botanical garden, sitting in a park or walking in the woods are good ways to relax and have fresh air.


Is talking to yourself crazy?

             Talking to yourself may be a sign that you are already crazy, or may be you are just helping yourself from becoming crazy.

             We commonly observe people with mental health problems, either in real life or as depicted in movies that they tend to talk to themselves alone or to an inanimate or imaginary things. However, talking to yourself or to inanimate things when you are stressed, afraid, worried, anxious, or confused is a healthy habit that can make you relax or release tension and thus may prevent you from losing your mind.

             If you believe in God, talking to Him in prayer can also be a good stress reducing activity.


Meditation for a deeper relaxation

              Relaxation is the best way to unwind and is therefore an important part of stress reduction process.

Meditation can bring you beyond the reflexive "thinking" mind into a deeper state of relaxation. During meditation, you may aim to attain a higher state of consciousness, a greater focus or creativity, a heightened self-awareness, or simply a more peaceful frame of mind.

              Meditation is a powerful healing tool for stress101 and has been shown to benefit a wide range of patients suffering different medical conditions.102

              There are several meditation practices that can be categorized into three: 1. concentration, 2. mindfulness and 3. automatic self-transcending. Mindfulness meditation is commonly used in clinical practice.103

              Several studies have demonstrated that mindfulness improves spirituality and promotes positive health.104 To some with psycho-emotional distress, mindful meditation decreases depressive relapse, depressive recurrence and psychological distresses. Mindfulness also improves relationships and stress coping abilities among practitioners.105


Kids benefit from mindfulness

              Teach your kids how to handle stress in a healthy way. Mindfulness and other meditative techniques can help them sleep better, reduce their anxiety, and stay more focused. Mindful breathing, mindful walking, and mindful listening are exercises that can help young kids achieve higher levels of mindfulness.


027 Use that new mobile phone

              Regardless of your age, try to use gadgets that are not harmful but are useful in your day-to-day activities such as computers, new breed of cell phones, high tech camera, and computer game consoles. This will not only keep you mentally upbeat but also socially in tone with the younger generation.



Train your brain and body

              Using new gadgets such as new models of mobile phones, computers loaded with new soft wares, and electronic games can be exciting and challenging. This will also help train your brain just like when you are working a daily crossword puzzle. In addition to mental exercise, some new computer games such as the one created by Nintendo are loaded with games involving actual physical interaction by the player. One is the Nintendo Wii Fit which has been shown to immediately improve the player's balance and strength.106 A study also found that electronic screen games for entertainment and physical activity, such as Wii Sports, are safe, fun, and can supplement physical exercise both in children and adults.107

              Playing video games can also improve reflexes, processing speed, memory, attention skills and spatial abilities, particularly among older adults who are 60s and above.


Table 27. Some ways to train your brain

1. High tech



Mobile phone


Video games


Electronic word games


Online quizzes

2. Traditional

Crossword puzzle


Sudoko puzzle


Jigsaw puzzle


Rubikfs cube puzzle


Trivia and quizzes


WHYLLness by Dr. Feril


Does a mobile phone pose health risk?

              Several studies have raised concern as to the risk of radiofrequency fields coming from electrical and electronic devices, especially mobile phones.

              Most investigators have recently concluded that there is no clear evidence of adverse health effects associated with RF fields exposures,108 and instead, a new study suggests that mobile phone use may stave off or reverse Alzheimer's disease.109

              Though, some experts warn that modern gadgets such as "smart phones" can be addicting.


028 Sleep early & wakeup early

              Sleeping early (not later than 12 PM) and waking up early (not later than 8 AM) will help result into a harmonious sleep pattern that optimizes sleep in recuperating your body and mind.



Sleep in the dark

              Years of evolution have made our body atoned to sleep at night (when it is suppose to be dark) and stay awake when it is daytime (bright). This is supported by the light dependence of hormones and bio-molecules regulating sleep such as melatonin. Production of melatonin by the pineal gland in the brain is inhibited by light and permitted by darkness. In return, high levels of melatonin promote sleep while low levels inhibit sleep. Sleeping in complete darkness is best to attain optimal sleep.

              However, in cases where complete darkness may not be reasonable, such as in the polar region and those with poor housing facilities, wearing goggle or glasses that block blue light in the hours before bedtime may avoid melatonin loss110 and may therefore help regulate sleep. This is possible because it is principally blue light that suppresses melatonin.111 In addition, melatonin has other functions in the body. It has been found to be a powerful antioxidant112 and has a neuro-protective effect.113 Several therapeutic and potential clinical benefits of melatonin is currently being investigated.114


Sleeping habits in today's society

              So to complete the daily cycle of an 8-hour sleep, the best hour would be to sleep at 10 PM and to wakeup before 6 AM when it starts to be bright. But the demand of modern society keeps people awake late at night. This may be due to long travel from work, heavy traffic on the way home, work overtime work, late night dinner, evening shopping, internet games, favorite late night TV shows, and many others.

              Today's kids are also spending more hours watching TV, sitting at the computer or playing video games, with less time to sleep and more time being active. Too much TV viewing often comes with an unhealthy snacking behavior, and also can lead to stress responses that disrupt sleep. Less sleep has been tied to high blood pressure.


Sleeping late can make you more depressed

              Studies show that those who sleep late or after midnight are more likely to get depressed than those who sleep early (10 PM)


029 Avoid UV treatments

              Avoid using UV treatments for tanning or for other non-necessary purposes. This lowers your risk of skin cancer and prevents UV induced skin damage and premature skin aging.


Table 29. Subtypes of ultraviolet light.

UV subtypes

Wavelength (nm)

Bad Effects



Damage collagen;

Destroy vit. A

Accelerates skin aging.



DNA damage, sunburn, skin cancer

Cataracts, pterygium and pinguecula foramation.

Destroy vit A



Damage DNA



Melanoma risk

              The health risks posed by the exposure to UV for artificial tanning outweigh the benefits.

              Cancer experts around the world now consider tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet rays (UV) radiation as carcinogenic. The risk of skin cancer increases by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30.



              The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also raised the classification of ultraviolet-emitting tanning devices from "probably carcinogenic to humans" to the highest category, "carcinogenic to humans" based on evidence of a substantially higher risk of cutaneous melanoma in those who regularly use tanning beds.115 The World Health Organization (WHO) listed tanning beds as definitive cancer-causers, and ranked along side tobacco, arsenic and asbestos as carcinogenic to humans


030 Wash hands properly

              Washing your hands properly and habitually reduces your chances of getting ill. This will also help in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.


Hand washing can make a big difference

              Hand washing is so simple that you can even teach a 2-year old to do it.

              In a wider scope of public health management, teaching everyone to properly and regularly wash hands can be very cost effective in the management of infectious diseases.116

Influenza and hand washing

              The world has just experienced a viral pandemic when in 2009 a new strain of influenza A virus (H1N1) outbreak infected millions of people across the continents.117 Control of such outbreak includes hand hygiene primarily proper hand washing. Hand hygiene is a key element in preventing the transmission of many illnesses particularly those caused by flu and cold viruses.118

              Hand washing is a very important habit to maintain personal hygiene. Washing your hand with soap and water is the standard. Hand washing can reduce illness and subsequent absenteeism in school-age children. However, if conditions do not allow hand washing, such as in areas wherein water is scarce and washing facilities are absent, the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is good enough, according to a study.119



Proper hand washing

              Our hands are the most mobile and functional part of our body. It is also the part of our body that gets in contact with many things and is therefore most likely to get dirty or contaminated with agents that may potentially cause some health problems. Making a habit to properly wash our hands with clean water and mild soap is important in preventing diseases.

Proper hand-washing technique:120

1. Avoid wearing rings and wristwatch.

2. Stand before the sink, keeping your hands and clothing away from the sink surface

3. Turn on the water and adjust the temperature to warm (if heater is available).

4. Wet your hands and wrist thoroughly under the running water.

5. Keep your hands and forearms lower than your elbows to prevent water from flowing from the most to the least contaminated area.

6. Apply 3 to 5 ml of liquid soap to your hands and lather thoroughly. (If you must use bar soap, rinse it before and after using it.)

7. Using plenty of lather and friction, wash hands for 10 to 15 seconds. Vigorously wash the palms and backs of your hands, each finger, the areas between fingers, and your knuckles, wrists, and forearms. Wash 3 cm above your wrists.

8. Also clean parts under your finger nails.

9. Keeping your hands down, rinse your hands and wrists thoroughly.

10. With a clean paper towel or clean cotton towel, blot your hands from the fingers toward your wrists and forearms. Avoid sharing towels whenever possible.

11. Turn off the water, if using a hand-operated faucet, cover it with a paper towel to avoid contaminating your hands.

12. Discard the paper towel in a proper receptacle.

13. Apply lotion to your hands to prevent chapped skin, which can harbor organisms. Avoid lanolin if you're going to put on latex gloves because it degrades latex and may weaken the gloves.


1. Don't touch the sink. If your hands touch the sink or faucet at any time, start over.

2. Don't use hot water. It tends to open the pores and remove skin oils. If using warm water, finish it with cold water then apply lotion after drying your hands with clean towel.

3. Don't splash water on your clothing.


» 021 Avoid bad fats   » 022 Use olive oil & eat nuts   » 023 Take a bath or wash your face before bed   » 024 Get immunized   » 025 Watch funny shows over sad ones   » 026 Find time to relax   » 027 Use that new mobile phone   » 028 Sleep early & wakeup early   » 029 Avoid UV treatments   » 030 Wash hands properly

< WHYLLness 011-020              WHYLLness 031 >

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