Science & technology

for a better life



                             < WHYLLness 051-060          WHYLLness 071 >

» 061 Have a healthy relationship  » 062 Go on a nature trip every month  » 063 Be into sports  » 064 Have red wine over hard liquor  » 065 Learn your health issues  » 066 Wear the right sunglasses  » 067 Use sunscreen  » 068 Learn from your bad experiences  » 069 Eat some seaweed  » 070 Have an appropriate hairstyle

061 Have a healthy relationship

              Good interpersonal relationships between family members, friends, co-workers and social networks are positive determinants for good physical and mental health.


Social capital

              A social concept referring to connections within and between social networks, called social capital, has been evaluated to find its role in public health. Social capital may differ among rural and urban areas and between different socioeconomic strata,209 however, most studies show that a higher level of social capital is associated with better physical and mental health.


Get married and stay married

              A healthy relationship will bring you a nice time spent with your partner and a sense of emotional security. Happily married couples have better heart health than singles.

              Women who are happy with their sex lives have better well-being than women who are sexually dissatisfied, according to a study.


Social isolation and stress

              Social isolation may increase the risk of breast cancer. Socially isolated females possessed an anxious, fearful, and vigilant phenotype. These women experience psychosocial stresses that can potentially increase growth and malignancy of breast cancer.210

              Improving your social life is important in maintaining your wellbeing. Being open to some people, such as your boss by telling them what you think of them cuts stress and is therefore good for your health.

              Relationship with others is particularly important to people diagnosed with severe disease. Diagnosis of a deadly disease like cancer can be unnerving enough to up a man's odds for either suicide or fatal heart attack. A diagnosis of prostate cancer may increase the immediate risks of suicide and cardiovascular death.211 This risk is significantly reduced if a patient is having a good personal relationship with his family and friends.

Child-parent relationship

              Attachment to parents is important to adolescent health and development. But the new trends brought about by modern life style and new technologies, may contribute to a change in parent-child relationship and may affect the child's development.

              For instance the increasing number of hours spent in TV, movies, computers and other electronic games among adolescents is a cause for concern. Too much time in front of computers or televisions actually increases the likelihood that teens will have poor relationships with their peers and parents, according to a study.212


062 Go on a nature trip every month

              Go out and let nature take your stress away. Simply being outdoors with trees, flowers, the sound of nature and fresh air can make you relax and feel good about life. Going on a nature trip at least once a month can be best for you.


Nature trips

              Breathing in fresh air, enjoying green relaxing sceneries and flexing and stretching your muscles in a wide unpolluted area are good ways to unwind and release physical and emotional stresses you have from work, from home, and from living in an urban city.

              These nature trips may include a cool beach resort, a botanical garden, a zoo, a mountain trail, a camping site, islands, scuba diving sites, snorkeling sites, or lake canoeing. Visiting a historical museum may also be considered a nature trip.

              However, you should avoid risky nature trips and activities.



              Getting out and enjoying nature can be be therapeutic, hence the term "ecotherapy". Ecotherapy or ecopsychology is a study whose aim is to connect psychology and ecology.213

              Ecopsychology values the relationship of humans to other species and the ecosystem thus promoting ecological awareness and environmentally friendly activities. This in turn encourages activities such as a walk in the park, mountain climbing and camping.


Find someone or something to hug

              When you are down or feeling depressed, you might want to hug someone. But if nobody opens his arms for you, hugging your pet or a tree may work just fine.

The artwork is courtesy of Dr. Timur Saliev, Univ. of Dundee, Scotland, UK


Star gazing

              Star gazing at night can be relaxing and provide you some sense of infinite space especially at times when things are pushing you into life's corner.


Depression in children

              Identifying depression in children is an important step to manage the problem. In young pre-school children, depression is commonly regarded as just occasional tantrums. A study, however, suggests that depression in children as young as 3 is real214 and must be identified and addressed properly. Depression in childhood may also lead to obesity and there appears to be a link between the two.

              Breaking this vicious cycle is important. Ecotherapy in children can be a powerful, effective and a safe modality to break this vicious cycle.


Travel and diseases

              Traveling to the great nature sites around the world can be a life boosting and a soul-lifting experience. However, several health risks may exist. Several diseases can be acquired during trips to different countries and localities. Men and women have different profiles of travel-related morbidity.215 Women are proportionately more likely than men to have acute diarrhea, chronic diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, psychological stressors, oral and dental conditions, or adverse reactions to medication. While more common among male travelers are febrile illnesses, vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, leishmaniasis, or rickettsioses, sexually transmitted infections; viral hepatitis, or noninfectious problems, including cardiovascular disease, acute mountain sickness, and frostbite.


063 Be into sports

              Sports is a good venue for physical exercise, socialization, enjoyment and may be an economic opportunity. So don't just watch sports on TV, go out and have some real healthy fun.


Sports as a form of physical activity

              Most sports require you to use several muscles in your body, to improve strength and stamina to stay in the game for the required time, and more strength and stamina to win the game.

              However, some sports may tend to over use one side of your body over the other. For example, in tennis you will be using your dominant arm over the other. To compensate for this imbalance, you may need to do regular weight lifting and other exercises to train the other less used arm.

              Combining several sports may be best to attain a more balanced physical activity.


Sports for children

              A sport as a form of physical activity is very vital in a child's physical and mental development. Parental influence is an important factor in this regard. Children are likely to join team sports if their parents like team sports, according to a study. Encouraging your children to participate in team sports also lowers the odds that they will use tobacco194 or illegal drugs.216


Avoid sports-related injury

              Just like any physical exercise, a proper warm up and stretching prior to engaging in the sport and cooling down after any sports activity is necessary to avoid injuries.

              Programs to prevent sport-related injuries are important to attain a more injury-free sports activity. One is a multifaceted resistance training program that includes instruction on movement biomechanics. This may reduce the risk of sports-related injuries in young athletes.217


Limit the risk

              Most physical sports have some risk. Enjoying every game and every sport is the aim while maintaining caution and following safety protocols is important to avoid injuries.

              Never try to prove to everyone that you are the best, because it might put you into unnecessary risk or stress, unless of course if you really are the best.


064 Have red wine over hard liquor

              If you want to drink alcoholic beverages, have red wine instead. In moderation, red wine provides more health benefits than possible bad effects.


Polyphenols in red wine is good for you

              Red wine contains polyphenols which include flavonols. White wine also contains lesser amount of flavonols. Flavonols, which are also present in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, are found to be effective in reducing disease burden, including those from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and cognitive impairments associated with aging.218


Wine may prevent you from becoming obese

              A study showed that women who are overweight are more vulnerable to the bad effect of alcohol on the liver.219 But this does not involve moderate intake of red wine. A glass or two of wine may even help you maintain a normal body weight, according to a recent study.220


Risk of cancer

              Lifetime consumption of alcoholic beverages can increase your risk of cancer. Among men, incidence of cancers in the esophagus, colon, rectum,221 stomach,222 pancreas, liver, lung and prostate are particularly elevated. The link appears to involve mostly beer and spirit consumptions, but not wine. A small amount of wine daily may even lower your risk of cancer. A research found that less than 1.5 drinks per day lowered the women's odds of developing breast cancer.223

Fluid loss from alcohol

              Whenever you consume drinks containing alcohol, always remember that alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it will promote loss of body fluid instead of providing more fluids. To compensate the loss of fluid, you need to drink more water when drinking alcoholic beverages. If your doctor tells you to take more fluids, always consider alcohol as anti-fluid.


Who should avoid drinking wine?

              A pregnant woman, individuals who are allergic to wine, and those who are taking several medications, should avoid drinking alcohol-containing drinks, including wine.

              Alcohol, even in small amounts is bad for the fetus particularly in the early part of pregnancy.224


065 Learn your health issues

              Learning about your health issues can also help you prevent diseases and complications of your existing problems. Understanding your health issue encourages you to seek the right treatment in a timely manner. This could also serve as a motivation to read more about health, disease prevention, and early detection.


Keep a family or personal doctor

              Keeping a family or personal doctor that you can be personal with is important in monitoring your health, updating you with relevant developments on medical health technology, and in keeping your medical record to keep track of any of your health issues. Your family doctor can also help you understand the more technical terms and the more technical aspect of your medical concerns.

              If possible, avoid doctors who smoke, who drink alcoholic beverages heavily, who are superstitious, and who sell health products not approved by BFAD or any authorities that regulates health products.


066 Wear the right sunglasses

              Wear sunglasses that block out UV. These sunglasses protect your eyes from the bad effects of sunlight, such as cataract,225 uveal melanoma226 and degenerative eye diseases.226

Wear the right sunglasses

             You should wear sunglasses that block out 99 percent to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. Sunglasses without such protection can actually cause the pupils to dilate, thereby doing more harm than good by allowing more UV rays to get into the inner part of your eyes. Therefore the glass lens color is not a guarantee of protection. Lighter glasses are better than dark glasses of the same UV blocking ability.


Blue lights

              The retinohypothalamic tract of the brain that regulates the circadian rhythm of our body, among its many functions, is most sensitive to blue light (wavelength of roughly 459-485 nm) stimulation.227 Blue light has been shown to influence our circadian rhythm and may suppress sleep.

              Regarding the protection against blue light, blue or gray lenses cannot offer the necessary protection against blue light. Blue light blocking lenses are commonly yellow, orange or brown. But again, you should remember that not every yellow or brown lens sufficiently block blue light. On the other hand, blue glasses are sometimes recommended to treat insomnia as part of a therapy to reestablish circadian rhythm.

              Some glasses may block too much blue light that can affect your color vision and may pose a risk of accidents when colored signals such as traffic signals are not properly recognized.


Polarized lenses

              Some glasses have polarized lenses made of polarized Polaroid plastic sheeting. These types of glasses help reduce glare caused by light reflected from surfaces such as water. This can be especially useful when in beaches and when fishing.

Glasses with protective coating

              Wear eyeglasses with an anti-reflective coating to improve your vision. In contrast, mirrored wraparound sunglasses are an alternative to polarization for UV protection.


Children are more vulnerable

              The eye's lenses of young individuals are more transparent than that of adults, risking retinal exposure to a greater degree of short wavelength light such as UVs. UV exposure has been linked to the onset of cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye problems. UV rays reflected off the water, pavement, and sand are extremely dangerous.

              UV is stronger in the summertime, at midday, at higher altitude, and closer to the equator.


Protecting your eyes in style

              With many designs to choose from, sunglasses can add texture to your style and fashion. Some hats include detachable sunglasses that can easily be put over your eyeglasses if you wear one.


067 Use sunscreen

       Avoiding direct exposure to sunlight is very important to protect yourself from the sun's deadly rays. However, because of sunlight being reflected, this measure may not be enough. Protecting yourself from the reflected sunlight and from occasional direct exposure to sunlight is necessary. Wearing appropriate clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen38 will help improve the level of protection you will get. Sunscreen, also commonly known as sunblock or sun cream, is a lotion, gel, or spray or any topical product that protects you from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation.


How sunscreen works?

        The ingredients in sunscreen protect the skin by absorbing, blocking or reflecting UV radiation. The best sunscreen is the one that blocks enough UV rays to protect your skin. For best results, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure to the sun.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

       Sunscreens are rated by the SPF system which is a measure of protection against UV subtype B (UVB). The numeric value indicates how long that sunscreen can enable you to stay in the sun before you start experiencing sunburn. For example, the SPF 50 sunscreen allows a person to stay out in the sun 50 times longer. So, if you usually take 10 minutes to start having sunburn, the sunscreen will delay its onset to 500 minutes.


Table 67a. Sunscreen protection against UV radiation

UV subtypes

Sunscreen protection system

Bad effects that may be

prevented by sunscreen


PA (+ to +++)

Collagen damage

Hasten skin aging


SPF (2 to 100)

Sunburn; DNA damage

Causes skin cancer



What is PA?

       Newer sunscreens in the market also contain agents that filter ultraviolet A (UVA). Their protective effect against UVA is measured with the Protection Grade of UVA (PA). PA is only a rough indicator of the amount of UVA protection the sunscreen offers. There are three grades, PA+ is adequate for most activities and P+++ offers the most protection.

              UV is stronger in the summertime, at midday (especially between 10 AM to 2 PM), at higher altitude, and especially if you live closer to the equator, like in the Philippines.

              When you are outdoors, wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and a PA+. For best results, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposing to the sun.


Table 67b. Some of the FDA-approved sunscreens



Trade names/other names



Parsol 1789; Eusolex 9020



Eusolex 4360; Escalol 567



Meroxyl SX


p-Aminobenzoic acid



Octyl salicylate

2-ethylhexyl salicylate



Homomethyl salicylate, HMS






Benzophenone-4; Escalol 577



2-Ethoxyethyl p-methoxycinnamate



Eusolex OCR



Phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid


UVB but not UVA radiation initiates melanoma         

              Although all subtypes of UV can potentially harm the skin, UVB was found to be the main player in initiating the formation of cutaneous malignant melanoma228, the most deadly form of skin cancer..

              Baron et al.38 summarized the FDA-approved sunscreen of which some are shown in table 65b.


Warning: Skin irritation and allergic reaction to sunscreen ingredients has been reported. Because different ingredients are being used to formulate sunscreens, shifting to another product using a different ingredient may be recommended. Consult your dermatologist on what is the best sunscreen for you and your skin.

              Use of sunscreen is not recommended for children younger than 6 months.


068 Learn from your bad experiences

              Let your bad experiences in the past become learning experiences that will enable you to make good decisions for a better life in the future.

              However, remember that you have no power over the past and have limited power over the future. So you better replace your sad memories of the past and fears of the future with a positive attitude of living the present.


Bad experiences and health

              Bad experiences sometimes haunt you and make you feel depressed that may lead you to get ill. Learning not to mind these experiences after learning from them is a task that you should do to protect your health. As the saying goes, "leave no regrets".


Learn to laugh at yourself

              Embarrassing moments can be traumatic to some and may lead to stress, sleep problems, depression, or worst, suicide, though to some people a similar experience will just be nothing but a simple bad experience. Therefore, a bad or embarrassing experience can be highly subjective. Laughing at yourself more often will make you learn to lighten up that awful experience and be more able to put things behind you and you may be able to consider these as nothing but a learning experience. Make it a habit; lighten up, so laugher can spill forth from your everyday routine.30


069 Eat some seaweed

              Other than fish, seaweeds are a good source of fibers, vitamins, minerals, phosphates and many other substances that have potential therapeutic effects against heart diseases and cancer.


Edible seaweed

              Seaweeds are rich in calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, and other dietary minerals. These are also abundant in protein, vitamins (A,B, and C), carotene and fiber. Intake of seaweed has been associated with long and healthy life. Seaweed consumption may reduce the risk of developing diabetes mellitus,229 decrease the risk of cancer230 and cardiovascular diseases.231

Nutritional-toxicological conflict

              Just like fishes from the sea, potential contamination from toxic wastes is also present in seaweeds. However, studies have shown that the benefits of increased seafood consumption outweigh the risks of having the bad effects of contaminants.232


Table 69. Some common edible seaweeds.

1. Seagrape or green caviar (Caulerpa lentillifera)

Locally called "ar-arosep" or "latu" in the Philippines.

2. Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida)

is a sea vegetable, that has a subtly sweet flavor and is most often served in soups and salads.

3. Laver (Porphyra laciniatal, P. yezoensis and P. tenera)

is commonly used as a wrap for sushi and onigiri. It is also a common garnish or flavoring in noodle preparations and soups. It is called nori in Japan and kim or jim in Korea.

4. Cockscomb vegetable (Meristotheca papulosa)

Locally called "goso" in the Philippines.

5. Arame (Eisenia bicyclis)

One of the many species of seaweed used in Japanese dishes.

6. Mozuku (Cladosiphon okamuranus)

Naturally found in Okinawa, Japan. It is a source of Fucoidan, one type of sulfated polysaccharide used in cancer treatment aid health supplements.


WHYLLness by Dr. Feril


070 Have an appropriate hairstyle

              Your look is greatly affected by your hair style. A professional hair expert or hair stylist can help you optimize your hair or the lack of it, to make you look younger and healthier. A hairstyle that suits your face and personality can drastically improve the way you feel by making you look younger and by boosting your confidence.

The artwork is courtesy of Dr. Timur Saliev, Univ. of Dundee, Scotland, UK



              If you can't afford expert services, several do-it-yourself styles are available at hairstyle.com and other websites offering useful suggestions.

              You should try different hair styles and find out what suits you best.


Hair care

Keeping your hair healthy is basic for you to look healthy. Some products like hairsprays can dry and damage your hair, especially when left on for a long period of time.

              After shampoo, be sure to use conditioner that is gentle to your hair. A good conditioner can increase your hair strength and prevents your scalp from drying.

Handle your hair as gently as possible to avoid breaking your hair shafts, don't over-brush.


Baldness and how you can deal with it

              Proper scalp care is important to prevent hair loss. However, in some people especially men with familial pattern baldness, no amount of scalp care can prevent the eventual progressive hair loss.

              In these cases, several ways to address this type of baldness can be done. In addition to scalp and hair care, you might be eligible to take medications (e.g. Finasteride) that may prevent hair loss. If baldness progresses, you might need a more definitive surgical method to restore your hair. This is done by hair transplantation [A more detailed discussion in this topic is in 048].

              Use of artificial hair as volume enhancer or as a wig is becoming common. Use of real human hair that matches your hair type also provides excellent results. Wigs may also protect your bald or hairless head from the harmful effects of the sun.

              Some people may also look great with a clean shaved head devoid of hair, not even facial hair, while others prefer to make their head as an artwork by cutting their hair very short and pattern-shave it to a unique design. This design can be a flower, a maze, a word, a castle or any design that incorporate or hide the balding part in it.

» 061 Have a healthy relationship  » 062 Go on a nature trip every month  » 063 Be into sports  » 064 Have red wine over hard liquor  » 065 Learn your health issues  » 066 Wear the right sunglasses  » 067 Use sunscreen  » 068 Learn from your bad experiences  » 069 Eat some seaweed  » 070 Have an appropriate hairstyle

< WHYLLness 051-060          WHYLLness 071 >

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