Friday, May 31, 2013


Alcohol has no food value and is exceedingly limited in its action as a remedial agent. Dr. Henry Monroe says, "every kind of substance employed by man as food consists of sugar, starch, oil and glutinous matter mingled together in various proportions. These are designed for the support of the animal frame. The glutinous principles of food fibrine, albumen and casein are employed to build up the structure while the oil, starch and sugar are chiefly used to generate heat in the body".

Now it is clear that if alcohol is a food, it will be found to contain one or more of these substances. There must be in it either the nitrogenous elements found chiefly in meats, eggs, milk, vegetables and seeds, out of which animal tissue is built and waste repaired or the carbonaceous elements found in fat, starch and sugar, in the consumption of which heat and force are evolved.

"The distinctness of these groups of foods," says Dr. Hunt, "and their relations to the tissue-producing and heat-evolving capacities of man, are so definite and so confirmed by experiments on animals and by manifold tests of scientific, physiological and clinical experience, that no attempt to discard the classification has prevailed. To draw so straight a line of demarcation as to limit the one entirely to tissue or cell production and the other to heat and force production through ordinary combustion and to deny any power of interchangeability under special demands or amid defective supply of one variety is, indeed, untenable. This does not in the least invalidate the fact that we are able to use these as ascertained landmarks".

How these substances when taken into the body, are assimilated and how they generate force, are well known to the chemist and physiologist, who is able, in the light of well-ascertained laws, to determine whether alcohol does or does not possess a food value. For years, the ablest men in the medical profession have given this subject the most careful study, and have subjected alcohol to every known test and experiment, and the result is that it has been, by common consent, excluded from the class of tissue-building foods. "We have never," says Dr. Hunt, "seen but a single suggestion that it could so act, and this a promiscuous guess. One writer (Hammond) thinks it possible that it may 'somehow' enter into combination with the products of decay in tissues, and 'under certain circumstances might yield their nitrogen to the construction of new tissues.' No parallel in organic chemistry, nor any evidence in animal chemistry, can be found to surround this guess with the areola of a possible hypothesis".

Dr. Richardson says: "Alcohol contains no nitrogen; it has none of the qualities of structure-building foods; it is incapable of being transformed into any of them; it is, therefore, not a food in any sense of its being a constructive agent in building up the body." Dr. W.B. Carpenter says: "Alcohol cannot supply anything which is essential to the true nutrition of the tissues." Dr. Liebig says: "Beer, wine, spirits, etc., furnish no element capable of entering into the composition of the blood, muscular fibre, or any part which is the seat of the principle of life." Dr. Hammond, in his Tribune Lectures, in which he advocates the use of alcohol in certain cases, says: "It is not demonstrable that alcohol undergoes conversion into tissue." Cameron, in his Manuel of Hygiene, says: "There is nothing in alcohol with which any part of the body can be nourished." Dr. E. Smith, F.R.S., says: "Alcohol is not a true food. It interferes with alimentation." Dr. T.K. Chambers says: "It is clear that we must cease to regard alcohol, as in any sense, a food".

"Not detecting in this substance," says Dr. Hunt, "any tissue-making ingredients, nor in its breaking up any combinations, such as we are able to trace in the cell foods, nor any evidence either in the experience of physiologists or the trials of alimentarians, it is not wonderful that in it we should find neither the expectancy nor the realization of constructive power."

Not finding in alcohol anything out of which the body can be built up or its waste supplied, it is next to be examined as to its heat-producing quality.

Production of heat.

"The first usual test for a force-producing food," says Dr. Hunt, "and that to which other foods of that class respond, is the production of heat in the combination of oxygen therewith. This heat means vital force, and is, in no small degree, a measure of the comparative value of the so-called respiratory foods. If we examine the fats, the starches and the sugars, we can trace and estimate the processes by which they evolve heat and are changed into vital force, and can weigh the capacities of different foods. We find that the consumption of carbon by union with oxygen is the law, that heat is the product, and that the legitimate result is force, while the result of the union of the hydrogen of the foods with oxygen is water. If alcohol comes at all under this class of foods, we rightly expect to find some of the evidences which attach to the hydrocarbons."

What, then, is the result of experiments in this direction? They have been conducted through long periods and with the greatest care, by men of the highest attainments in chemistry and physiology, and the result is given in these few words, by Dr. H.R. Wood, Jr., in his Materia Medica. "No one has been able to detect in the blood any of the ordinary results of its oxidation." That is, no one has been able to find that alcohol has undergone combustion, like fat, or starch, or sugar, and so given heat to the body.

Alcohol and reduction of temperature.

instead of increasing it; and it has even been used in fevers as an anti-pyretic. So uniform has been the testimony of physicians in Europe and America as to the cooling effects of alcohol, that Dr. Wood says, in his Materia Medica, "that it does not seem worth while to occupy space with a discussion of the subject." Liebermeister, one of the most learned contributors to Zeimssen's Cyclopaedia of the Practice of Medicine, 1875, says: "I long since convinced myself, by direct experiments, that alcohol, even in comparatively large doses, does not elevate the temperature of the body in either well or sick people." So well had this become known to Arctic voyagers, that, even before physiologists had demonstrated the fact that alcohol reduced, instead of increasing, the temperature of the body, they had learned that spirits lessened their power to withstand extreme cold. "In the Northern regions," says Edward Smith, "it was proved that the entire exclusion of spirits was necessary, in order to retain heat under these unfavorable conditions."

Alcohol does not make you strong.

If alcohol does not contain tissue-building material, nor give heat to the body, it cannot possibly add to its strength. "Every kind of power an animal can generate," says Dr. G. Budd, F.R.S., "the mechanical power of the muscles, the chemical (or digestive) power of the stomach, the intellectual power of the brain accumulates through the nutrition of the organ on which it depends." Dr. F.R. Lees, of Edinburgh, after discussing the question, and educing evidence, remarks: "From the very nature of things, it will now be seen how impossible it is that alcohol can be strengthening food of either kind. Since it cannot become a part of the body, it cannot consequently contribute to its cohesive, organic strength, or fixed power; and, since it comes out of the body just as it went in, it cannot, by its decomposition, generate heat force."

Sir Benjamin Brodie says: "Stimulants do not create nervous power; they merely enable you, as it were, to use up that which is left, and then they leave you more in need of rest than before."

Baron Liebig, so far back as 1843, in his "Animal Chemistry," pointed out the fallacy of alcohol generating power. He says: "The circulation will appear accelerated at the expense of the force available for voluntary motion, but without the production of a greater amount of mechanical force." In his later "Letters," he again says: "Wine is quite superfluous to man, it is constantly followed by the expenditure of power" whereas, the real function of food is to give power. He adds: "These drinks promote the change of matter in the body, and are, consequently, attended by an inward loss of power, which ceases to be productive, because it is not employed in overcoming outward difficulties i.e., in working." In other words, this great chemist asserts that alcohol abstracts the power of the system from doing useful work in the field or workshop, in order to cleanse the house from the defilement of alcohol itself.

The late Dr. W. Brinton, Physician to St. Thomas', in his great work on Dietetics, says: "Careful observation leaves little doubt that a moderate dose of beer or wine would, in most cases, at once diminish the maximum weight which a healthy person could lift. Mental acuteness, accuracy of perception and delicacy of the senses are all so far opposed by alcohol, as that the maximum efforts of each are incompatible with the ingestion of any moderate quantity of fermented liquid. A single glass will often suffice to take the edge off both mind and body, and to reduce their capacity to something below their perfection of work."

Dr. F.R. Lees, F.S.A., writing on the subject of alcohol as a food, makes the following quotation from an essay on "Stimulating Drinks," published by Dr. H.R. Madden, as long ago as 1847: "Alcohol is not the natural stimulus to any of our organs, and hence, functions performed in consequence of its application, tend to debilitate the organ acted upon.

Alcohol is incapable of being assimilated or converted into any organic proximate principle, and hence, cannot be considered nutritious.

The strength experienced after the use of alcohol is not new strength added to the system, but is manifested by calling into exercise the nervous energy pre-existing.

The ultimate exhausting effects of alcohol, owing to its stimulant properties, produce an unnatural susceptibility to morbid action in all the organs, and this, with the plethora superinduced, becomes a fertile source of disease.

A person who habitually exerts himself to such an extent as to require the daily use of stimulants to ward off exhaustion, may be compared to a machine working under high pressure. He will become much more obnoxious to the causes of disease, and will certainly break down sooner than he would have done under more favorable circumstances.

The more frequently alcohol is had recourse to for the purpose of overcoming feelings of debility, the more it will be required, and by constant repetition a period is at length reached when it cannot be foregone, unless reaction is simultaneously brought about by a temporary total change of the habits of life.

Driven to the wall.

Not finding that alcohol possesses any direct alimentary value, the medical advocates of its use have been driven to the assumption that it is a kind of secondary food, in that it has the power to delay the metamorphosis of tissue. "By the metamorphosis of tissue is meant," says Dr. Hunt, "that change which is constantly going on in the system which involves a constant disintegration of material; a breaking up and avoiding of that which is no longer aliment, making room for that new supply which is to sustain life." Another medical writer, in referring to this metamorphosis, says: "The importance of this process to the maintenance of life is readily shown by the injurious effects which follow upon its disturbance. If the discharge of the excrementitious substances be in any way impeded or suspended, these substances accumulate either in the blood or tissues, or both. In consequence of this retention and accumulation they become poisonous, and rapidly produce a derangement of the vital functions. Their influence is principally exerted upon the nervous system, through which they produce most frequent irritability, disturbance of the special senses, delirium, insensibility, coma, and finally, death."

"This description," remarks Dr. Hunt, "seems almost intended for alcohol." He then says: "To claim alcohol as a food because it delays the metamorphosis of tissue, is to claim that it in some way suspends the normal conduct of the laws of assimilation and nutrition, of waste and repair. A leading advocate of alcohol (Hammond) thus illustrates it: 'Alcohol retards the destruction of the tissues. By this destruction, force is generated, muscles contract, thoughts are developed, organs secrete and excrete.' In other words, alcohol interferes with all these. No wonder the author 'is not clear' how it does this, and we are not clear how such delayed metamorphosis recuperates.

Not an originator of vital force.

which is not known to have any of the usual power of foods, and use it on the double assumption that it delays metamorphosis of tissue, and that such delay is conservative of health, is to pass outside of the bounds of science into the land of remote possibilities, and confer the title of adjuster upon an agent whose agency is itself doubtful.

Having failed to identify alcohol as a nitrogenous or non-nitrogenous food, not having found it amenable to any of the evidences by which the food-force of aliments is generally measured, it will not do for us to talk of benefit by delay of regressive metamorphosis unless such process is accompanied with something evidential of the fact something scientifically descriptive of its mode of accomplishment in the case at hand, and unless it is shown to be practically desirable for alimentation.

There can be no doubt that alcohol does cause defects in the processes of elimination which are natural to the healthy body and which even in disease are often conservative of health.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Action on the stomach.

The action of alcohol on the stomach is extremely dangerous that it becomes unable to produce the natural digestive fluid in sufficient quantity and also fails to absorb the food which it may imperfectly digest. A condition marked by the sense of nausea emptiness, prostration and distention will always be faced by an alcoholic. This results in a loathing for food and is teased with a craving for more drink. Thus there is engendered a permanent disorder which is called dyspepsia. The disastrous forms of confirmed indigestion originate by this practice.

How the liver gets affected.

The organic deteriorations caused by the continued use of alcohol are often of a fatal character. The organ which most frequently undergoes structural changes from alcohol, is the liver. Normally, the liver has the capacity to hold active substances in its cellular parts. In instances of poisoning by various poisonous compounds, we analyse liver as if it were the central depot of the foreign matter. It is practically the same in respect to alcohol. The liver of an alcoholic is never free from the influence of alcohol and it is too often saturated with it. The minute membranous or capsular structure of the liver gets affected, preventing proper dialysis and free secretion. The liver becomes large due to the dilatation of its vessels, the surcharge of fluid matter and the thickening of tissue. This follows contraction of membrane and shrinking of the whole organ in its cellular parts. Then the lower parts of the alcoholic becomes dropsical owing to the obstruction offered to the returning blood by the veins. The structure of the liver may be charged with fatty cells and undergo what is technically designated 'fatty liver'.

How the Kidneys deteriorate.

The Kidneys also suffer due to the excessive consumption of alcohol. The vessels of Kidneys lose elasticity and power of contraction. The minute structures in them go through fatty modification. Albumin from the blood easily passes through their membranes. This results in the body losing its power as if it were being run out of blood gradually.

Congestion of the lungs.

Alcohol relaxes the vessels of the lungs easily as they are most exposed to the fluctuations of heat and cold. When subjected to the effects of a rapid variation in atmospheric temperature, they get readily congested. During severe winter seasons, the suddenly fatal congestions of lungs easily affects an alcoholic.

Alcohol weakens the heart.

Consumption of alcohol greatly affects the heart. The quality of the membraneous structures which cover and line the heart changes and are thickened, become cartilaginous or calcareous. Then the valves lose their suppleness and what is termed valvular disorder becomes permanent. The structure of the the coats of the great blood-vessel leading from the heart share in the same changes of structure so that the vessel loses its elasticity and its power to feed the heart by the recoil from its distention, after the heart, by its stroke, has filled it with blood.

Again, the muscular structure of the heart fails owing to degenerative changes in its tissue. The elements of the muscular fibre are replaced by fatty cells or, if not so replaced, are themselves transferred into a modified muscular texture in which the power of contraction is greatly reduced.

Those who suffer from these organic deteriorations of the central and governing organ of the circulation of the blood learn the fact so insidiously, it hardly breaks upon them until the mischief is far advanced. They are conscious of a central failure of power from slight causes such as overexertion, trouble, broken rest or too long abstinence from food. They feel what they call a 'sinking' but they know that wine or some other stimulant will at once relieve the sensation. Thus they seek to relieve it until at last they discover that the remedy fails. The jaded, overworked, faithful heart will bear no more. it has run its course and the governor of the blood-streams broken. The current either overflows into the tissues gradually damming up the courses or under some slight shock or excess of motion ceases wholly at the centre.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

7 Diet Secrets of the Stars

Celebrities always look fabulous. Whether appearing in television or films or strutting down the red carpet during movie premiers and awards, they never cease to fascinate us with their larger than life presence. The truth is, it takes a lot of effort to look the way they do, and being the public figures that they are, they cannot afford to slack off when it comes to taking care of their physical appearances. Their livelihood largely depends on how they look. Aside from the clothes, the hair and the makeup, celebrities have to take good care of their bodies.

So it is no surprise that these stars have their own secrets when it comes to staying fit and gorgeous. Their health agenda can range from extreme workouts to well-planned meals. Who doesn't want to know their secrets in staying absolutely sexy? Here are some of the diet secrets of seven women celebrities.

1. Jennifer Aniston
The star of the phenomenal television show Friends not only mesmerized audiences with her adorable comic sense and her famous hairstyle, she was also known for having one of the sexiest bodies in Hollywood, as she appeared in countless magazine covers. To stay trim, Jennifer follows the 40:30:30 diet method. The diet consists of:

40% Low glycemic carbohydrates
-Foods such as beans, fruits and vegetables, legumes

30% lean proteins
-Tofu, fish, chicken, turkey, beef and low fat dairy products

30% essential fats
-nuts and seeds, fish and olive oils

It is essential that every meal should contain macronutrients to attain the balance of hormones and maximum weight loss.

2. Kate Hudson
The gorgeous daughter of actress Goldie Hawn gained 60 pounds during her pregnancy, which she needed to shed quickly before commencing on her next film. From her previous eating plan, she switched to a higher protein diet. She consumed high protein meals in smaller portions, and she combined this diet with an exercise program that includes weight training and cardiovascular workouts. After getting a lot of flak because of her post-pregnancy figure, Kate removed all that baby weight in only four months and has gained abdominal muscles that gained the envy of many in Hollywood.

3. Oprah Winfrey
As one of the most successful talk-show hosts in the world, there is no question that Oprah needs to maintain her physical appearance for her millions of audiences. Known as one of those celebrities who are constantly battling weight gain, she has recently toned up her figure and has never looked figure in age 50 by combining a regular exercise regime and diet plan. Oprah works out five days a week, spending 30 minutes on the threadmill and doing free weights. Her eating plan consists of legumes, fish, nuts, fruits and vegetables, chicken and dairy products that are lowfat. She limits her consumption of white sugar and flour. Oprah also credits her trim figure to her habit of not eating anything after seven in the evening.

4. Gwyneth Paltrow
A lot of people may find it hard to believe that the perpetually slim Academy award-winning actress actually needs to diet. Gwyneth actually follows a healthy eating plan that resembles Oprah's, avoiding sugar and white flour. She usually follows a macrobiotic diet, eating foods like vegetables, brown rice, and lean meat. She also eliminated dairy from her diet, and does yoga everyday.

5. Madonna
The pop star known as the Material Girl has always flaunted a body that is to die for, and has become a true fitness paragon over the years. She keeps herself in tip-top shape by having Ashtanga Yoga, and follows a strict diet that mostly shuns junk foods. She adopted a macrobiotic eating plan that includes organic foods rich in lean protein.

6. Claudia Schiffer
The bodacious German supermodel eats salad and steamed vegetables for dinner and eats only fruits before the afternoon. While on locations, she prefers to eat black grapes and drinks tomato juice and herbal tea.

7. Christie Brinkley
Long-time supermodel maintains her all-American good looks by being a vegetarian. She does not keep junk foods of any kind inside her home to make sure that she does not eat them when cravings occur. She snacks on sweet potatoes in place of candy bars, and she adopts a liquid juice diet when she needs to slim down fast.

Celebrities are just like ordinary people. They need to maintain their figures just like anyone else, and there is more pressure on their part since they are constantly in the public eye. Ordinary folks can have celebrity-like bodies, too, and by following these diet and fitness plans, they can also look like red-carpet worthy.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Advantages to Indemnity Health Insurance Plans

Indemnity health insurance plans are more regularly known as traditional health insurance plans. These health insurance plans can be costly but often cover most health problems that may arise, while other insurance plans exclude some illnesses or diseases from their coverage. Some disadvantages to indemnity plans are that they do not usually cover preventative health care like physicals, and traditional health insurance plans often cover only a percentage of your bill. Research the advantages and disadvantages to indemnity health insurance when you are considering health insurance options.

While the disadvantages may seem problematic, there are many advantages to indemnity health insurance plans. You may have a higher monthly premium and you may need to pay upfront costs and submit claims paperwork, but your deductible will be more manageable and your coverage will be wider. Some health insurance plans will not cover certain medical expenses or care, but indemnity plans often do.

Another benefit of indemnity health insurance plans that many people desire is the freedom to choose your own physician. While other health insurance plans offered by the insurance industry limit your choice of physicians and hospitals to a list of preferred providers, indemnity insurance will cover any physician or hospital. This benefit may seem unworthy of mention, but there has been more than one instance where a mother finds that her son or daughter's pediatrician is not in their preferred provider network and has to search for another pediatrician. This also means that you can see a specialist without having to consult with your primary care physician first.

Overall, indemnity health insurance plans also offer you the best emergency medical coverage in the industry. While preferred provider organizations (PPOs) or point-of-service (POS) plans limit the physician you can see to a list of network physicians and hospitals, the freedom of choosing any physician is nationwide with indemnity health insurance plans. This means that if you are traveling across the country and have an accident or a medical emergency, you can go to the nearest hospital or see the closest physician without worrying about the expense. There have been instances where hospitals or physicians will either refuse to treat patients or treat them only minimally because the hospital or physician is not inside the plan's preferred provider network - meaning that the patient's health insurance will only cover a small part of the expense and the patient is liable to pay the rest of the bill. This is a risky financial situation for the physician and/or hospital since patients are often unable to fully pay costly medical bills. With indemnity health insurance plans, this is almost never the case. Consider this and the other benefits of indemnity health insurance when choosing the plan that is right for you.

What if I leave my job?

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
(COBRA), a law created in 1986, gives workers (and
members of their family) who lose their health
insurance benefits the right continue their group
health insurance for a limited period of time under
circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job
loss, reduction in hours, transition between jobs,
divorce, adoption and death.

Generally, the employee pays up to 102% of the premium
cost for the same policy; this is still usually less
expensive than buying an individual insurance policy.

There are three basic aspects for qualifying for
COBRA: the qualifying event, the insurance plan
coverage and the qualified person.

Each aspect is taken into consideration when applying
for COBRA and you must elect to either apply for COBRA
or waive your rights to COBRA within 14 days after a
qualifying event.

You must also have been in the group insurance plan
during your employment to be eligible. Although there
are exceptions, generally you may continue to pay your
own premiums to keep COBRA coverage intact for up to
18 months.

Companies who have fewer than 20 employees, State or
Federal employers or employee organizations may not
offer COBRA coverage.

Check with your health insurance administrator to see
if you may qualify. You may also have this information
readily available in your group health insurance
policy or in your company handbook.

Although it may be expensive, the cost of being able
to keep your group insurance coverage rate may be well
worth it.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

What Happens When I Retire?

Health insurance considerations weigh heavily on the
minds of people wanting to retire before Medicare
coverage kicks in at age 65. Many people put off
retirement simply because the cost of an individual
health insurance policy is too great on a limited

What options for health insurance do you have if you
choose to retire before age 65? Although they are not
required to, you may be able to get COBRA-like
coverage from your employer.

As an added retirement benefit, your employer may
allow you to pick up the premium on your policy;
although paying 100% of your premium may initially
appear to be an expensive option, purchasing an
individual policy apart from a group may be even more
costly and not provide you with the level of coverage
you previously had.

Some companies are offering basic high-deductible
insurance reasonably in the hopes that they will be
able to enroll you in Medicare Part C (supplemental
insurance) when you retire.

Another option is to budget and save money to cover
your anticipated medical costs for the time period
between retirement and age 65. If you are in very good
health, this may be a viable alternative for you.

Pre-planning for retirement is an important issue; the
earlier you start planning, the better. Realizing the
Medicare does not pay all of your medical expenses,
you should budget money for medical expenses even
after retirement.

What are HIPAA Laws?

Your visit to the doctor now contains a page where you sign that you acknowledge that the physician's office has notified you about their compliance with HIPAA laws. More often than not, you probably read through quickly or barely skim the authorization form before signing it. However, HIPAA laws are important, and they are in place to protect you from identity theft, being denied care, and/or health insurance coverage.

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, enacted in 1996. HIPAA laws created a new national standard in protecting your health information. As you see different physicians or become admitted to different hospitals, your health information should follow you. HIPAA delineates the need to properly protect your health information as it flows through to these different channels. As more and more transactions are completed electronically these days, HIPAA laws focus on the protection of your health information specifically through these channels.

So what does HIPAA protect? For you, HIPAA protects personally identifiable health information, such as your Social Security number, birth date, address, etc., as well as current, past, or even future physical and/or mental conditions or treatment. Such information may not be disclosed except for specific uses. Information that HIPAA does not cover must specifically be personally non-identifiable. In protecting this sort of information, there is more protection against identity theft and more recourse if such a thing should happen.

HIPAA also protects how health insurance providers may use your health information. These entities may use your information without your authorization only if they are sending you information, using this information to provide the best treatment or health care, or collecting payment on medical expenses, among other things. If disclosure of your health information does not fall under these categories, you must authorize the transfer of information in writing. Furthermore, because the government understands that highly technical language can be a barrier in understanding your health information privacy rights, any authorization must be in plain language.

This may all seem like unnecessary paperwork, but beyond identity theft, HIPAA laws also help those looking for health insurance coverage. Title 1 of the HIPAA laws oversees the availability and range of health insurance plans for those without perfect health. It outlaws any health insurance plan from creating discriminatory rules to create premium rates or deny coverage. HIPAA laws are quite extensive, but this gives you a look at how your health information is being protected and used. Your department of health should be able to give you further information, or you can search the government's Web site for the entire HIPAA law.