This is what you should be reading when diseases remain prevalent alongside decades of “Healthy Eating Model” comprising of 60% carbohydrates, 25% fats, 15% protein.
This is for everyone, more so for people into healthcare
Ever occurred to you that modern medicine may hinder complete recovery from viral attacks e.g. influenza and common ailments?
Here is how it might contradict our body’s natural defences:
Taking paracetamol to relieve pain and quell the mild fever experienced by your body when it senses threats in your system when the fever actually serves to kill off bacteria or viruses.
Decongestants to block mucus production to help you breathe better but isn’t mucus suppose to drain these viruses to your stomach where they are executed by the extreme pH?
Suppressing a cough with cough syrup, denying your lungs a chance to expunge the virus-laden mucus out of your system.
Coconut oil is lauded to be full of saturated fat. Close to 90% of fats in coconut oil are saturated fats. There is widespread advice to limit the amount of saturated fat intake in our diet but recently, review of coconut oil looks promising to include it as part of a healthy diet.
Components of Coconut Oil:
Common Name Composition Percentage
Caproic acid ND - 0.7
Caprylic acid 4.6 - 10.0
Capric acid 5.0 - 8.0
Lauric acid 45.1- 53.2
Myristic acid 16.8 - 21
Palmitic acid 7.5 - 10.2
Palmitoleic acid ND
Stearic acid 2.0 - 4.0
Oleic acid 5.0 - 10.0
Linoleic acid 1.0 - 2.5
Linolenic acid ND - 0.2
Caproic, caprylic, and capric acids
In bovine and human milk, caproic acid (6:0) is present at ≈1% and 0.1% of milk fat, respectively, and caprylic acid (8:0) and capric acid (10:0) are present at ≈0.3% and 1.2% of milk fat, respectively. Goat milk contains the highest percentage of caprylic acid, at 2.7% of milk fat. These 3 fatty acids have similar biological activities. Both caprylic acid and capric acid have antiviral activity, and when formed from capric acid in the animal body, monocaprin has antiviral activity against HIV. Caprylic acid has also been reported to have antitumor activity in mice. Negative effects of these fatty acids on CAD and cholesterol have not been a dietary issue.
Lauric acid (12:0) is a medium-chain fatty acid that is present in human and bovine milk at ≈5.8% and 2.2% of milk fat, respectively. This fatty acid has been recognized for its antiviral and antibacterial functions. Recent results suggest that Helicobacter pylori present in stomach contents (but not necessarily within the mucus barrier) should be rapidly killed by the millimolar concentrations of fatty acids and monoacylglycerols that are produced by preintestinal lipases acting on suitable triacylglycerols, such as those present in milk fat. Lauric acid is also effective as an anticaries and antiplaque agent. Medium-chain saturated fatty acids and their monoacylglycerol derivatives can have adverse effects on various microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses, by disrupting the lipid membranes of the organisms and thus inactivating them. This deactivation process also occurs in human and bovine milk when fatty acids are added to milk. The release of monolaurin from milk lipids by human milk lipases may be involved in the resulting antiprotozoal functions. One study indicated that one antimicrobial effect against bacteria is related to the interference of monolaurin with signal transduction or toxin formation. In addition to disrupting membranes to inactivate viruses, lauric acid has an effect on virus reproduction by interfering with assembly and maturation, ie, cells make the components of the virus, but their assembly is inhibited.
Bovine milk fat contains 8–14% myristic acid (14:0), and in human milk, myristic acid averages 8.6% of milk fat. As stated above, myristic acid is one of the major saturated fatty acids that have been associated with an increased risk of CAD, and human epidemiologic studies have shown that myristic acid and lauric acid are the saturated fatty acids most strongly related to average serum cholesterol concentrations. However, in healthy subjects, although myristic acid is hypercholesterolemic, it increased both LDL- and HDL-cholesterol concentrations compared with oleic acid.
Palmitic acid (16:0) is present in human and bovine milk at 22.6% and 26.3% of milk fat, respectively. Palmitic acid in triacylglycerols in human milk is predominantly esterified in the sn-2 position of the molecule. Feeding human infants a formula containing triacylglycerols similar to those in human milk (16% palmitic acid esterified predominantly in the sn-2 position) has significant effects on fatty acid intestinal absorption. Myristic, palmitic, and stearic acids are better absorbed from human-like milk than from standard formula, without a change in total fat fecal excretion. Mineral balance is improved in comparison with a conventional formula, as shown by lower fecal calcium excretion, higher urinary calcium, and lower urinary phosphate. The specific distribution of the fatty acids in the triacylglycerol is known to play a key role in lipid digestion and absorption. Because pancreatic lipase selectively hydrolyzes triacylglycerols at thesn-1 and sn-3 positions, free fatty acids and 2-monoacylglyceriols are produced. Free palmitic acid, but not 2-monopalmitin (which is efficiently absorbed), may be lost as a calcium-fatty acid soap in the feces. A comparison between the effects of dietary laurate-myristate and the effects of palmitic acid in normolipemic humans showed that palmitic acid lowers serum cholesterol. In humans, replacement of dietary laurate-myristate with palmitate-oleate has a beneficial effect on an important index of thrombogenesis, ie, the ratio of thromboxane to prostacyclin in plasma.
Dietary stearic acid (18:0) is derived primarily from bovine meat and dairy products. Stearic acid is present in human and bovine milk at 7.7% and 13.2% of milk fat, respectively. In relation to the question of their effects on serum cholesterol, stearic acid and saturated fatty acids with <12 carbon atoms are thought not to increase cholesterol concentrations. Dietary stearic acid decreases plasma and liver cholesterol concentrations by reducing intestinal cholesterol absorption. Recent data from studies with hamsters, which have a lipoprotein cholesterol response to dietary saturated fat that is similar to that of humans, suggest that reduced cholesterol absorption by dietary stearic acid is due, at least in part, to reduced cholesterol solubility and further suggest that stearic acid may alter the microflora populations that synthesize secondary bile acids.
The absorption of stearic acid from triacylglycerols containing only oleate and stearate depends on the position of esterification. 2-Monstearin is well absorbed if the stearic acid is esterified at the sn-2 position of the triacylglycerol. If the triacylglycerol is esterified at the sn-1 or the sn-3 position, it is released as free stearic acid, and in the presence of calcium and magnesium, it is poorly absorbed. In a study of the effects of dietary fat on serum lipid and lipoporoteion concentrations, the absorption of dietary oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid was similar, which indicates that differential effects of these fatty acids on plasma lipoprotein cholesterol are not due to differential absorption. Another study in humans also indicated that, even though stearic acid appears to have different metabolic effects with respect to its effect on the risk of cardiovascular disease than do other saturated fatty acids, reduced stearic acid absorption does not appear to be responsible for the differences in plasma lipoprotein responses.
Compared with consumption of dietary palmitic acid, consumption of dietary stearic acid (19 g/d) for 4 wk by healthy males produced beneficial effects on thrombogenic and atherogenic risk factors. Mean platelet volume, coagulation factor VII activity, and plasma lipid concentrations decreased significantly with consumption of the stearic acid diet, whereas platelet aggregation increased significantly with consumption of the palmitic acid diet. A subsequent study showed no alteration in plasma lipids, platelet aggregation, or platelet activation in short-term (3 wk) feeding trials when stearic acid and palmitic acid were provided in commercially available foods. An interesting finding in a study of the association between the composition of serum free fatty acids and the risk of a first myocardial infarction was that the percentage content of both very-long-chain n–3 fatty acids and stearic acid is inversely associated with the risk of myocardial infarction. The investigators speculated that the very-long-chain n–3 fatty acids might reflect diet but also that these 2 free fatty acids might in some way be related to the pathogenetic process and not just reflect their content in adipose tissue.
Resolutions for 2012
1. Survive my first year in medical school
In general, having a gap year is mostly beneficial with a chance to see the world and what is like out there but 2 years for me ?! I have forgotten almost everything I learnt in school. It will be difficult to kick start the intellectual cells.
2. Break some personal bests in running
Simple resolution but most difficult to achieve.
3. Stop being a social retard
Instead of just camping on the computer everyday, I would like to be more adventurous by initiating more friendship, going out to chill more often and of course, the fun that awaits!
4. Cut refined carbohydrates to a realistic 10% of my diet
Get white rice, white bread, white flour, white sugar etc. etc. all out of my plate.
5. Attempt a new sport
University is about having fun and there is no harm trying a new sport to get to know people.
Singapore is recognised as a healthcare superstar in South East Asia for her cost effective strategies in meeting a nationwide demand. Over the years, the rise in demand for healthcare in Singapore has resulted in many strategies and plan to tackle the impending crisis. Hospitals are barely coping with the high amount of patients buzzing in and out daily, government subsidised polyclinics are are constantly packed with patients, people who are in need of medical attention struggle through the long waiting hours, GPs and specialists leaving public hospitals for better prospects thus creating a crunch and the constant need to search for expensive state-of-the-art facilities to deliver high quality medical care.
The government has splashed the cash and work is in progress to remedy the situation at various fronts.
The healthcare system is now turning their attention to Allied Health Professionals (AHP) such as physiotherapists, speech therapists, dietitian and podiatrists just to name a few to supplement the taxed system. Indeed, they are very much more specialised and have always been under recognised for their qualifications and abilities in the healthcare sector. AHPs generally deliver rehabilitative treatment and it is a critical part of recovery. MOHH is actively giving out more scholarships each year to talented people of genuine interest, including yours truly, hoping to nurture them to be leaders of the healthcare system in Singapore.
AHPs are expected to rise up and become alternatives to seeking treatment but in reality, achieving this is not possible in the short term. It is difficult to change the thought process of “seeing a doctor” whenever something happens. It is so ingrained in our mindset and it has became an instant reflex to seek one for treatment. Even though there is greater awareness of AHPs, people will still tend to visit a GP and then wait for a referral to the appropriate personnel. This creates a bottleneck at the GP level and A&E departments.
To tackle the crunch in doctors, they are actively recruiting foreign senior specialists to value add training to junior doctors, increasing the number of places for the medical course by building more medical schools and expanding facilities, relooking into the remunerations of doctors in the public sectors, recruiting Singaporean foreign graduates back to the health system by introducing grants and keeping in touch with them and having plans to improve working conditions in public hospitals. Results have been dismal so far with the situation being stagnant for some time.
What is severely lacking is the effort to educate the younger generation in maintaining good health. Living in a world of processed food and low activity, illnesses are bound to be on a rise because we are not meant to eat processed food. Our ancestors were hunters and predators on the move and they feast on nature. The change in lifestyle and demography is so rapid that genetic evolution just cannot match up and here we are, living and eating differently with just about the same biological constituent as our forefathers. The emphasis on subjects such as food and nutrition taught in schools should be shifted to inspire students to lead a healthy lifestyle and not just learn a practical skill. In fact, it should be a compulsory subject because it relates to every single being.