Thursday, April 25, 2013

Multi-tasking bad for brain and makes for less effective employees

I've had a hypothesis for years after reading a similar article to this one (see link) a few years back.  The hypothesis is that many adults who either are diagnosed or self diagnose themselves with Attention Deficit Disorder don't have a disorder - they simply have to multi-task too much in their jobs or they don't have to, but they do.  Think about how much better you perform and how many fewer errors you make when you are  have the time, focus, and lack of distractions and competing demands to work on one important project.  Baseball players aren't expected to hit and field at the same time, basketball players don't have to play offense and defense at the same time, etc.   Multi-tasking continues to be shown to be harmful to the human brain and there is a known correlation between how much workers multi-task and how ineffective and error-prone they are when performing their work.

See this article

Monday, April 8, 2013

Red Meat and Carnitine - creating TMAO - culprit in heart disease?

Thanks to both my Dad and my writing instructor David Morgan for sending me today's New York Times article entitled "Culprit in Heart Disease Goes Beyond Meat's Fat." 

In the article, Gina Kolata details a study led by Dr. Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic.  The researchers were testing a new hypothesis that the real culprit in meat that contributes to heart disease is a chemical (carnitine) "burped" out by bacteria in the intestines after people eat red meat that then is converted in by the liver into another chemical called TMAO that gets into the blood and increases the risk of heart disease. 

Interestingly, the researchers found that after eating red meat - the meat eaters in the study had a burst of TMAO in their blood but participating Vegans DID NOT.  Additional studies by the researchers further showed the nexus between TMAO and heart disease and that meat eaters have higher levels of TMAO in their blood than vegetarians and vegans.

The study is important because it indicates that the association between red meat consumption and heart disease is likely not just related to the levels of saturated fat and cholesterol in red meat but these chemicals and the physiological processes described above that convert one into another.  While also found in foods like fish, chicken, and even dairy products - red meat contains the largest quantities of carnitine.   

What surprised the researchers the most was that TMAO levels DID NOT surge after the participating VEGANS ate the red meat.   Virtually NO TMAO appeared in the vegans' blood after consuming the red meat. 

It's Not Rocket Science -- even the lead researcher Dr. Hazen has modified his own dietary habits such that he no longer eats 12 ounces of red meat several times a week.  Now he eats red meat only once every two weeks and has no more than 4 to 6 ounces at a time.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Compelling Information/Videos of former smoker Terrie (CDC) - message=DON'T SMOKE

I saw this CDC commercial tonight that, let me tell you, is so impactful about this lady's story that I felt compelled to just introduce it and include the link.  If this doesn't convince smokers NOT TO SMOKE, I doubt anything would or will.

CDC's Tips from Former Smokers (Terrie)