Science & technology

for a better life



                               < WHYLLness 021-030          WHYLLness 041 >

» 031 Take the stairs   » 032 Have more ABC & E in your diet   » 033 Have tea (or cocoa) over coffee   » 034 Drink fresh juices   » 035 Keep learning   » 036 Find time to play   » 037 Move bowel daily   » 038 Massage face daily   » 039 Eat yogurt everyday   » 040 Have sex more

031 Take the stairs

              Make it a habit to take the stairs rather than the escalators or elevators, or to walk rather than ride for short distances. This may help compensate for lack of exercise. In fact, climbing the stairs is a good form of exercise to strengthen the muscles in your thigh and abdomen. In addition, taking this as a habit will improve your determination to do exercise.


Take that overpass or skyway

              Taking the skyway or overpass makes you climb stairs and makes you walk longer. Not only will it add up to your daily exercise, it's also the safest way to cross a street. Pedestrians crossing or navigating the streets are shown to be the most vulnerable persons in cases involving fatal traffic accident (Fig. 84 in 004).


Strengthen your bones & muscles

              Humans are born with more than 300 bones. Many of these bones fuse together between birth and maturity to produce an average adult total of 208 bones. Walking and other activities that use strength make your bone stronger.

              Regularly climbing stairs prevents shortening of your iliopsoas muscles. Iliopsoas muscle, together with other hip flexors muscles (rectus femoris, sartorius, and tensor fasciae latae) is important for standing, walking, and running. Shortening of iliopsoas muscle can lead to limitation of hip extension making you unable to stand erect. Being unable to stand erect may not shorten your life, but it won't make you look healthy and certainly not younger either.



Actively commute to work

              People who actively commute are more likely to be physically fit, with normal BMI, unlikely to be obese, with low triglyceride levels in blood, lower blood pressure, and normal insulin level.122 Some people who commute also do cycling. Cycling is also associated with lower lifetime risks of diseases related to the heart and blood vessels.123

              Furthermore, a new study shows that bicycling improves motor functions of patients with Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disorder that impairs motor skills.


Avoid online shopping

              Buying things through the internet, commonly called online shopping, is very convenient, but diminishes the actual physical activity that you do in the traditional going out to buy something. Besides, going out and seeing for yourself the things you wanted to buy, makes you able to decide what is best or what it is you really like. Chances are you might find out something better or more healthy food products than what you had intended to buy. Meeting people you know while shopping may also be of help to you psycho-emotionally.


Walking as antidepressant

              A daily dose of walking outside could be as effective as taking antidepressant drugs for treating mild to moderate depression.


032 Have more ABC & E in your diet

              Vitamins A, C and E are good antioxidants and are good protectors against stress, injury, illness including cancers124 and aging. Together with vitamin B, they constitute the important micronutrients in our body.


ACE of health

              Vitamins A, C and E are known antioxidants and are considered important in shielding us against the bad health effects of oxidation.


Table 32a. Food sources rich in vitamins A, C and/or E.

Food source (100 g)


A (IU)















Balsam-pear (Ampalaya)
















Egg yolk












Swamp spinach (kangkong)




WHYLLness by Dr. Feril


              Oxidation in the body produces free radicals causing oxidative stress resulting to aging and other illnesses such as heart diseases and cancers. Sufficient intake of vitamins A, C and E help catch or trap free radicals promoting youthfulness and preventing illness associated with oxidative stress.

              Carrot, spinach and balsam-pear are rich in Vit. A. On the other hand, guava, balsam-pear and moringa (Malunggay) are good sources of vitamin C. Egg yolk is high in vitamin E but it is also high in cholesterol. Other good and healthier sources of vitamin E are avocado, spinach, balsam-pear and walnut (see Table 32a).


Have more folate in your diet

              Folate is a B vitamin, together with other vitamin B thiamine, niacin and vitamin B12 they have important roles in a child's normal growth and development.


Table 32b. Food sources rich in folate

Food source (100 g)

Folate (mcg)









Balsam-pear (Ampalaya)






WHYLLness by Dr. Feril


              Folate is known as an essential factor for the de novo biosynthesis of purines and thymidylate, and it plays an important role in DNA synthesis and replication. Higher dietary folate intake lowers odds of developing colorectal cancers,125 according to a study.

              Green vegetables and beans are rich in folate. Good sources of folate include asparagus, spinach, broccoli, okra, avocado, lentils, green peas, cabbage, mixed nuts, and guava (see Table 32).

              Okra contains 46 mcg of folate per 100 gram of boiled vegetable. You can double the amount of folate that you can get to 88 mcg if you eat it fresh.


033 Have tea (or cocoa) over coffee

              Drinking tea, especially green tea, may reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancers. Drinking cocoa also provide similar health benefits.



Flavonoids in green tea and cocoa

              Green tea is rich in flavonoids which are potent antioxidant compounds with potential to reduce incidence of heart disease and cancer. Although flavonoids are also found in other teas, some of the flavonoids are usually oxidized and lose their antioxidant properties. The method used in producing green tea prevents oxidation and therefore conserves most of its flavonoids contents. The major flavonoids in green tea are kaempferol and catechins.

              Habitual consumption of green tea appear to significantly lower the risk of developing lung cancer among smokers and nonsmokers alike.126

              In addition to the health benefits cited above, green tea together with other tea preparations also have antibacterial effects. Regular consumption promotes good oral health. When you can't brush your teeth, drinking tea may help you buy some time before you can finally brush your teeth to prevent tooth decay or gum infection.


Table 33. Flavonoids abundant in common drinks.



Green tea

Kaempferol, catechins


Hesperidin, quercitrin, rutin, tangeritin

Red wine

Several flavonoids, resveratrol


Epicatechin and several other flovonoids

WHYLLness by Dr. Feril


              Cocoa consumption on the other hand may lead to decreased risk of dying early from heart and other vascular diseases, according to a study.127 Even small amount of dark chocolate (6.3 g; made from cocoa) a day can efficiently reduce blood pressure and improve blood circulation, according to another study.128


Caffeine in coffee and tea

              Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant, causing you to experience a racing mind, and even insomnia. Children, pregnant women and people with high blood pressure need to avoid or limit their caffeine intake.

              Both coffee and tea may contain caffeine. For example a 100 g regular instant coffee powder may contain 3132 mg of caffeine, while any 100 g regular instant powder tea may contain 11 to 3680 mg of caffeine. Although some tea may contain very high concentration of caffeine, most tea available in the market contains 1/6 of the caffeine content of most coffee.

              High intakes of coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea are associated with reduced risk of diabetes.129 Although this effect seems to be independent from caffeine, another beneficial effect of drinking coffee does require caffeine. Caffeine consumption at a dose 500 mg/day may help treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease.130


034 Drink fresh juices

              Drinking fresh juices, rather than the processed ones, benefit you with all the vitamins and phytochemicals that could protect you from many illnesses, without the risk of diabetes58 and obesity associated with drinking processed sweetened juice drinks.


Freshly extracted fruit juices

              Freshly extracted juices are better than stored extracted juices. Storing the extracted juices allows oxidation, thereby losing its vitamin content and some antioxidants, making these antioxidants practically useless in the body.

              In addition processing significantly alters the nutritional components of the fruit juices.


Table 34. Vit. C, fibers and energy of common drinks.

Drinks and fruits

(per 100 g)

Vit. C (mg)

Dietary Fiber (g)

Energy (kcal)

Cola (pop, soda, soft drink)




Coconut water




Apple juice, unsweetened




Apple fruit, raw




Mango nectar, canned




Mango fruit, raw




Guava nectar, canned




Guava fruit, raw




Orange juice, unsweetened




Orange fruit, raw




Lemon juice, canned or bottled




Lemon fruit, raw




Source: USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory (nal.usda.gov)


Processed juice drinks

              Fresh fruits are high in natural vitamins, minerals and fiber contents. During processing to make juices out of these fruits, the juices lose some of its healthy nutritional contents. However, some of these nutrients are retained, making them a better alternative than other artificial carbonated drinks (Fig. 34).

              Consequently, addition of sugar will significantly increase the energy content of these drinks that too much intake can lead to obesity and perhaps diabetes.

              Coconut water is a healthy choice for a drink. It contains vitamins and dietary fibers yet very low in energy content.


Oral habituation to sweet

              Drinking sweetened processed drinks and sweet foods may result into an elevated and sustained desire for sweet taste131 leading to obesity and its eventual complications.

Unsweetened (though naturally sweet) is unlikely to lead to habituation.


035 Keep learning

              If you continue using your brain, the brain cells will tend to remain functional as long as you use them. Learn new things and this will not only make you smart for your age, this will also project an image of you as an active and younger person with a healthy attitude towards life.


Learn and get updated

              The health and scientific community is constantly advising people new ways of having a healthy life. Keeping yourself updated by reading and learning new ideas will keep you abreast of the current and important ways to remain healthy and live longer. Actively using your brain brings about a positive change in cortico-cortical white matter tracts in young learners132 and the active use of the brain will help ward off age-related memory loss.


Learning the present and the future

              Actively knowing current events and understanding them will make you live a life in harmony with the present society-its current culture and norms. And by looking at the trends, this makes you able to have an idea on what would likely be the future. Anticipating the future will make you be more equipped and be ready to face the challenges the future may offer.

              People who have good understanding of the world may have a higher ability to withstand blows to their mental health.


Stay social and connected

              Join a club, be part of a community or school activity, have dinner with family and friends, and establish or be part of a support group. Learn how to avail and use communication services such as phone and internet then get involved in forums that interest you.

              Any intellectual conversation can help promote the efficiency of the brain.


Be rich or strive to be one

              It is a common perception that richer people are generally healthier.133 Being rich makes you able to buy nutritious foods, quality materials for hygiene, modern appliances and devices with advanced safety features, communication and learning materials for health and access to good medical care.

              Certainly richer people can afford beauty and health products that can help them improve their look to appear not only elegant but also younger. But considering the possible higher level of stress associated with money making activities, will this benefit translate to overall increase in life span among rich people? A US study showed that mortality ratio for men is higher by up to 30% and for women by up to 50% if they belong to the lowest lifetime income bracket compared to those of the highest income bracket.134

              Academic achievements may also count to help extend years in your life. A study comparing the life span of those who won the Nobel price and those who were merely being nominated and found that winning the award is associated with about 2 years of extra longevity.135


036 Find time to play

              Playing can be fun and can be a stress busting activity. This will promote good health. Enjoying a play can add life to your years.


All work, no play is bad for your health

              Working hard and focusing on your work is becoming the trend of the modern society, especially in highly urbanized cities. This can be a source of physical, mental and emotional stress if you don't find a way to play and enjoy yourself from time to time.


Find time to play for fun

              Going to the ballpark, visiting relatives and friends, and playing bingo are simple diversions for many. But for the elderly, these social pastimes may play a critical role in preserving their physical and mental health.

              Physical activity such as dancing, singing, swimming and ball sports can be a good form of play when you do it just for fun and not for competition or for winning.

              If you are tired of focusing on something, have a break, try answering online quizzes. Health quizzes are available online. This will not only provide you interesting new health information, it will sometimes be amusing for you to know how much you didn't know.


Active video games

              New video game devices such as the one created by Nintendo, the Wii, provides a new generation of electronic games with the benefit of actual physical exercise. A study showed that energy expenditure during active video game play is comparable to moderate-intensity walking. Thus, for children who spend considerable time playing electronic screen games for entertainment, physically active games seem to be a safe, fun, and valuable means of promoting energy expenditure.108

              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.107 Electronic screen games for entertainment and physical activity, such as Wii Sports, seem to be a safe, fun, and can supplement physical exercise, especially in children.108

Avoid gambling as play

              Play that involves betting should be avoided. As a form of gambling, any play that involves significant amount of money can be addicting and no amount of enjoyment can overcome the consequences for potential loss of resources and productivity due to gambling.

              Excessive gambling can lead to decreased health functioning, according to a study.136 In addition, the study found that even recreational gambling may not provide any health benefit at all.


037 Move bowel daily

              Moving your bowel once or twice a day can be very good for your health.


Normal bowel habit

              Normal bowel movement differs for each person and can be affected by many factors including diet and physical activities. More than 3 bowel movements a day can be considered diarrhea if the stool is watery. Less than 3 movements a week may indicate constipation. The general rule therefore; 3 times a day to 3 times a week could be normal. However, 1 to 2 times a day might be ideal for optimal health.



Bowel habit and cancer

              It has been shown that higher frequency of bowel action (movements) is associated with a lower incidence of large-bowel cancer.137 Frequent constipation is therefore an important factor for colon and rectal cancers.20,138


Changes in bowel habit

              Maintaining a regular bowel movement habit is not only healthy for you, it can also help you notice any changes in your bowel habits that may require medical attention.


              A change in bowel habit may be a sign of a more serious problem. These can be a constant change in bowel frequency or change in stool color, consistency, or shape of stool. Any of this signs warrants special concern in people who are 50 years or older.


Food that helps facilitate bowel movement

              Several food can help facilitate bowel movement, particularly for people with constipation. Food rich in fibers, such as fruits and vegetables, can prevent or relieve constipation. In addition foods rich in soluble fiber, such as oats, peas and beans, can also lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and probably cancer.


Table 37. Foods high in dietary fiber.

Food (100 g)

Total dietary fiber (g)



Nuts (mixed)




Yam (gabi)




Wheat bran bread











Exercise and bowel movement

              Physical exercise can also improve your bowel habits. Walking three times a week, for 30 minutes each time, will aid your digestion and make moving your bowels less difficult.


Safe drug for constipation

              If diet and exercise are not enough to relieve constipation, a long-used laxative medicine, sodium picosulfate, has been found to be safe and effective in improving bowel functions in patients with chronic constipation.139 Talk to your doctor about this drug if you feel you need it.


Toilet matters

              When choosing a place to stay, a vehicle to take a trip, a supermarket to shop, or a school to study, make sure that toilet facilities are available, maintained clean and supplied with toiletries such as tissue paper, hand soap and warm air dryer. In this way you will be able to maintain your regular bowel habit without you holding your urge resulting in forced bowel changes.



              Consider toilets with washlet or spray for washing your anal region. These are more sanitary, convenient, and may be more economical. After cleaning with a washlet, you would only need a small amount of toilet paper to dry, far less than what you usually need to clean.


038 Massage face daily

              Massaging your face regularly can make you look younger, healthier, and wealthier. People who look younger are likely to live longer.


Keeping a younger face

              Experts agree that looking good will make you healthier and wealthier than you can ever imagine. It is human instinct to be attracted to attractive people. But what makes a person attractive? Ones looks account for much, other factors include: voice quality, behavior, sense of humor, status in society, health, family background, organizational affiliations, and many others. Facial beauty accounts for much of ones looks. Although pretty faces have typical characteristics, keeping your face look "baby face" certainly counts.

The benefits of facial massage

              Facial massage promotes blood circulation and brings more oxygen to your facial muscles and skin, giving your face less wrinkles and a glowing skin. Massaging your face also stimulates the formation of collagen resulting in tightening of your skin. Some people who have a tendency to develop facial puffiness may also benefit from regular facial massage. Remember that a healthy and glowing skin is one of your beauty assets.


Table 38. Ten-step simple facial massage technique.

1. Have some cream or face cream for facial massage

2. Wash your hands thoroughly and cleanse your face with soap and cold water

3. Sit back on a chair, and apply ample amount of cream on your face and neck. Massage it gently into your skin. You could start from the neck. Massage your neck using upward strokes

4. Massage the rest of the face using upward and outward circular strokes

5. Circle your eyes, pressing down on the temples. Avoid applying pressure over the eyeballs

6. Similarly, use upward and outward strokes on your forehead

7. Make a V with two fingers of one hand and put it on your face using the index finger of the other hand, massage the skin inside the V area. Move this V all around your face

8. Use quick, sharp tapping strokes on your cheeks. Do this for 2 to 3 minutes

9. Do your massage session with upward and outward strokes to lift your face, and followed with occasional long downward stroke to facilitate lymphatic drainage

10. Wash your face with cold water after a massage then dry your face using clean towel. You may also apply facial lotion if you are using one

Notes: If you develop a few pimples days or weeks after a massage, as some people do140, wait until the pimples go, and use another cream the next time. In addition to face massage, make sure you exercise regularly [004] and drink plenty of water or tea daily.


Get a regular facial

              There are numerous benefits to a facial massage. If you have access to an inexpensive facial clinic or parlor, get a regular facial done 1 to 4 times a month depending on your facial condition. Alternatively, you can learn and give yourself a face massage at home.


Massage technique

              Several massage techniques are available. The procedure varies according to the main objective of the massage, and according to the principle adopted by the massage technician. No single procedure works for all, so you may try different techniques and find out which one works best for you.

              Table 38 shows a ten-step facial massage technique.

Unwanted moles, warts, and other unsightly growths and discolorations

             There are several ways to remove any unwanted lesions on your face. These include surgical removal, electrocauterization, laser treatment, chemical removal, and using a cashew extract.

              Cashew extract, anacardium occidentale, treatment is available in the Philippines with services and products marketed by RCC Amazing TouchTM.


039 Eat yogurt everyday

              Probiotics are considered the "good" bacteria which are found in yogurt and in diet supplements that aid in digestion. Taking these supplements regularly may help you maintain a healthy balance of intestinal microorganisms that promote digestion and prevent some forms of gastro-intestinal discomfort and probably lowers your risk of some diseases like diabetes.



Good bacteria

              Your gastrointestinal system is filled with many tiny microorganisms. Some of these microorganisms are bacteria that help your body digest and absorb food and protect against disease, these are considered "good bacteria". However, your intestinal system may also contain "bad" bacteria that can cause intestinal distress and negative effects on digestion.

              Some illness, stress or use of certain drugs may decrease the number of good bacteria within your body, making them unable to control the growth of bad bacteria. These may cause abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and other illnesses.

              However, taking yogurt or other supplements containing good bacteria or probiotics may help you maintain a healthy balance of intestinal microorganisms.

              Lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus help digest lactose, the form of sugar in milk.


Yogurt to maintain healthy body weight

              Bacteria that make their home in the gut may help cause obesity and a range of health-threatening symptoms that go along with it. Use of good bacteria to modify the population of one's gut bacteria may eventually be useful in obesity management.43

              Blueberry juice biotransformed with little added good bacteria may one day help people fight obesity and diabetes. This study shows that the preparation decreases hyperglycemia in diabetic mice and also protects young pre-diabetic mice from developing obesity and diabetes.141

              A research found that taking a probiotics supplement after a gastric bypass surgery, a surgical procedure to treat morbid obesity, helped patients lose weight faster and avoid vitamin B deficiency, a common post-surgical condition. In this study, probiotic administration improves bacterial overgrowth, vitamin B12 availability, and weight loss.142


Yogurt to improve digestion

              Probiotics have well-established beneficial effects in the management of diarrheal diseases. In addition, taking probiotics have other health benefits. Probiotics prevented intestinal bacterial overgrowth after surgery among patients who underwent gut surgery. In liver health, the main benefits of probiotics might occur through preventing the production and/or uptake of lipopolysaccharides in the gut, and therefore reducing levels of low-grade inflammation.143

              Newer evidences suggest that probiotics also have the potential to reduce onefs risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases. And because patients with inflammatory bowel disease have a 10- to 100-fold increased risk of nephrolithiasis, manipulation of gastrointestinal microorganisms can influence urinary oxalate excretion to reduce urinary supersaturation levels. Such strategy has been suggested in a study.144


Small doses of bad bacteria might be good

              Ultra-clean environment during childhood may lead to allergies, and increased susceptibility to certain infection later on in life.

              If you let your kids romp in the mud and eat food that has fallen on the floor, you could be helping to protect them against maladies like heart disease later in life. Ultra-clean, ultra-hygienic environment early in life may contribute to higher levels of inflammation as an adult, which in turn increases risks for a wide range of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and allergies.

              Also, modifying the bowel flora with probiotics, both to influence and prevent established allergic disease has been suggested.145


040 Have sex more

              Love making strengthens the heart, relieves pain and stress, decreases a man's chance of developing prostate cancer, and has been shown to increase longevity and better health in middle age and later in life translates into better sexual life.146

              High ejaculation frequency was shown to be related to decreased risk of total prostate cancer.147


              Undoubtedly, sexual activity involves physical activity and is associated with well-being and longevity. Health and exercise professionals should therefore take into account sexual activity in advancing exercise programs and in executing studies.148


Daily sex, healthy sperm

              Daily sex makes healthier sperm. Daily ejaculation improves the quality of men's sperm and may be recommended for couples trying to conceive. If the female partner has regular period, daily sex for a week around the time of ovulation could be a good strategy. Healthier sperm may also mean longer life. Semen quality may therefore be a fundamental biomarker of overall male health.149


Doing it alone

              For most men successful ejaculation can be attained by the manual penile manipulation, called masturbation. Masturbation can be considered to be the safest form of sexual activity. For women, orgasm may be attained by vaginal manipulation with fingers or with the use of sex toys including vibrators. Use of vibrators is linked to positive sexual function such as desire and ease of orgasm, and it's rarely associated with any side effects.150


Sexual problems

              Among Asian men and women, sex is very important but many of them are not satisfied with their sex lives.151

              Ejaculating very early in the sexual act is called premature ejaculation, while inability to attain the level of erection that is necessary for a successful intercourse is considered erectile dysfunction. Premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction are very common problems and they frequently overlap.152

              A study found that for younger men, the more and the longer they have erection per day, the less they will have erectile problem when they grow older. Regular erection exercises, just like regular exercises for the major muscles in the body, might be an important activity to prevent erectile dysfunction in men.

              Sexual problems are not only common to men, women are also affected. A survey finds that a great majority of American women have experienced a sexual health issue, and 22% of them were very concerned about it. In another study, several aspects of body image, including physical condition, weight concern, and sexual attractiveness predict sexual satisfaction in women.153 The findings may be useful in treating women who experience low sexual satisfaction.


Diet for sex

              Diet may play a role in your sex life. Obviously, proper nutrition is important to maintain regular sexual activity just as you need energy to power up your sex. Diet high in carbohydrate before the sexual act promotes erection, while diet rich in protein promotes ejaculation. Saturated fats narrows arteries and blocks flow to your penis and because blood has to reach the penis for an erection to take place, high fat diet can cause erectile problems.

              So if you have premature ejaculation or can't keep your erection during sex, try a meal high in carbohydrate prior to the sex act and avoid high fat in your daily diet. If ejaculating is your problem, try high protein diet before the act.

              Diet rich in hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) may also promote erection and delay ejaculation.154


Sex and the society

              Human attitude towards sex, sexuality and sexual activity is greatly influenced by the moral standards and the laws of the society. Masturbation may be healthy, but if your belief is against it, emotional stress and anxiety from doing it may put a toll on your health easily negating the beneficial effect; just as illegal sexual activity may bring you troubles that may cost you your health.


Viagra and other sex drugs

              Several drugs that can help with erectile problems in men are currently available in the market. The more familiar one is Viagra.

              Recently a topical lidocaine-prilocaine spray was found to prolong ejaculation time and improved sexual satisfactions in individuals with premature ejaculation problem.155

              Consult your doctor about the proper use of these drugs.

» 031 Take the stairs  » 032 Have more ABC & E in your diet  » 033 Have tea (or cocoa) over coffee  » 034 Drink fresh juices  » 035 Keep learning  » 036 Find time to play  » 037 Move bowel daily  » 038 Massage face daily  » 039 Eat yogurt everyday  » 040 Have sex more

< WHYLLness 021-030          WHYLLness 041 >

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