lundi 30 septembre 2019

LAST DAY OF JEWISH YEAR 5779 . WHAT A LOVELY END!

WHAT A LOVELY END 
Loves have only grown..
CUBA my home, the numerous brothers and sister that I toil for..
a glass of Chenin Blanc from an Indian winery, ah well..
 Sunset on the last day of 5779 seen through the Chinese fishing nets in Fort Cochin (a contribution of the great Chinese navigator Zheng He)

 Members of a Gypsy family from Rajasthan with whom I have been friends for ages and bring their handicrafts to my friends in the rest of the world

Dinner on the last day of 5779 . Crab Curry and for dessert, Payasam

one lesson from the departing 5779, in the words of my Cuban Sister:
Friendship is a responsibility
Don't ever be a traitor to it.
Shelomi Shabbat sings..
...hakadosh baruch hu malek...
Let us forget with generosity those who decided not to love us
Good bye, Brussels..
At the lighthouse hotel, the former home of Mr Fort Cochin, Sir Robert Bristow, the waiter, from Andhra Pradesh, suggested and chose my dinners, today those CRAB(full) curry which was simply delicious
plus chenin blanc from India 
and thanks to Spotify, I could hear, my Franco-Algerian co-religionist Enrico Macias belting out   Je suis Oriental..
ah well, moi aussi, je suis oriental
I am lost in my own world ..
I am physically in Fort Cochin, with the breeze from the Arabian sea, gently touching me ..
 Kerala-Gulf States Connection!
 Local Muslim women enjoying tghe beach 
The chinese fishing nets 

I love all the things there are to be loved 
Did Pablo Neruda say that ?
I feel it..
Little and Grand loves of my heart 
Havana, Tehran, Brussels 
I love you, Marcos and Auntie G
I love you, Ashleen and Mauricio BB
Big and Little stars in my sky
Welcome 5780 L Shanah Tovah 
My brother in Haifa
My brothers in Portland, Oregon
I have such good friends RN, MM in Cochin, Kerala, India whom I see more often than my brothers in Portland, Oregon, USA, but I love them.
 A North Indian staple for Breakfast 
 A gift for my little house in Cuba
(I have always been interested in the Persian contribution to the "Indian" culture, happy to see a book about it, needless to say, the book will go back with me)

I have travelled less in USA in 5779 than before, but my sister friends MS and DBG in her new home have been present as well as Mena of the Kickapoo.
Miami meant my sister J and Joseph and M &G. 
People are spending less and less time together. 
For the wonderful 5779, I have to thank friends in 
Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Colombia, Brasil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Austria 
A content 5780 to all of you ..
Thank you 
to the hotel staff at
Bristow's LightHouse Bungalow Hotel in Fort Cochin, where I am writing this from 
Marriott Marquis in Doha, Qatar
Beyond Yangon, Siem Reap in Cambodia 
Be Grateful
Be Humble 
Be Helpful
5779 and 5780 as well 
Special thanks to J and J in Miami and BQ in Havana..
(Cuba is always present in my heart and also in Fort Cochin)

Soon, after I finish a telephone call to Twilight , I am off to the Cochin Airport
It was a great year for TRAVEL
Cuba USA Mexico Colombia Brasil Uruguay Argentina Easter Island 
Belgium France UK Spain Portugal Italy Slovenia Austria Israel Malaysia Myanmar Cambodia India Qatar
Many of them more than once . (except Easter Island)

I look forward to a content 5780
in which I hope a collaborative effort with scientists from Israel
visit to Israel 
further visits to Cochin
the birth of an NGO to offer help to the indigenous people



samedi 21 septembre 2019

CAN PLASTICS CAUSE TYPE 2 DIABETES? YES OF COURSE


Can Plastics cause Diabetes? Asked a prominent British Endocrine Researcher. The audience was aghast, such a relationship was unthinkable. Of course now we know that ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CHEMICALS create havoc in our bodies, in the environment and also amidst the other living things.
Research from University of Adelaide:

Chemicals found in plastic used for food packaging, toys and some medical devices are linked to type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions in men, research suggests.

An Australian study has found that phthalates could also increase the risk of males suffering from cardiovascular disease and 
high blood pressure.

Scientists from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) tested 1,500 men and found evidence of phthalates in the urine of 99.6 per cent of the participants who were aged 35 or over, although they do not know why.

"We found that the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, 
type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure increased among those men with higher total phthalate levels," said senior author associate professor Zumin Shi, from the University of Adelaide's Adelaide Medical School and the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health.

"While we still don't understand the exact reasons why phthalates are independently linked to disease, we do know the chemicals impact on the human endocrine system, which controls hormone release that regulate the body's growth, 
metabolism, and sexual development and function."

Previous research has found factors such as age and western diets to be linked with high concentrations of phthalates, while another past study showed males who consumed less fresh fruit and vegetables and ate more 
processed food had much higher levels of phthalates in their bodies.

Shi added: "Importantly, while 82 per cent of the men we tested were overweight or obese - conditions known to be associated with chronic diseases - when we adjusted for this in our study, the significant association between high levels of phthalates and disease was not substantially altered.

"In addition, when we adjusted for socio-economic and lifestyle factors such as 
smoking and alcohol, the association between high levels of phthalates and disease was unchanged."

Although the research team only used men in their research, they believe similar findings would be also relevant to women.

"While further research is required, reducing environmental phthalates exposure where possible, along with the adoption of healthier lifestyles, may help to reduce the risk of chronic disease," he said.

The findings were published in the journal 
Environmental Research

Just this morning, the following study arrived in my email.

Journal Scan / Review · September 20, 2019

Endocrine Disruptors as Potentially Modifiable Diabetes Risk Factors

Diabetologia

TAKE-HOME MESSAGE

  • In this review, the authors discuss the evidence implicating endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) as novel risk factors of metabolic diseases.
  • Although there is accumulating evidence associating EDCs in the pathogenesis of diabetes across the lifespan, there are specific developmental windows that are particularly vulnerable to permanent disruptions in metabolism, including preconception, gestation, and early infancy. Despite robust evidence on the role of EDCs as diabetes risk factors, clinical practice guidelines have not yet reflected the concerns that have emerged from these studies, particularly given potentially important public health implications.
– Jacqueline A. Seiglie, MD, MSc

Type 2 diabetes prevalence is increasing dramatically across the globe, imposing a tremendous toll on individuals and healthcare systems. Reversing these trends requires comprehensive approaches to address both classical and emerging diabetes risk factors. Recently, environmental toxicants acting as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have emerged as novel metabolic disease risk factors. EDCs implicated in diabetes pathogenesis include various inorganic and organic molecules of both natural and synthetic origin, including arsenic, bisphenol A, phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides. Indeed, evidence implicates EDC exposures across the lifespan in metabolic dysfunction; moreover, specific developmental windows exhibit enhanced sensitivity to EDC-induced metabolic disruption, with potential impacts across generations. Importantly, differential exposures to diabetogenic EDCs likely also contribute to racial/ethnic and economic disparities. Despite these emerging links, clinical practice guidelines fail to address this underappreciated diabetes risk factor. Comprehensive approaches to stem the tide of diabetes must include efforts to address its environmental drivers.

By avoiding PLASTICS we might also be helping mother earth.
I recently did four days of strictly organic only food consumption and the results were amazing. I have never been a fan of plastics of any sorts and will further try to reduce its use in the future.
Like the high school students in the USA said: we will use glass or other containers to drink water from, trying to reverse the trend of questionable quality water in plastic bottle which clog up the environment, a habit strted in the USA along with the year 2000 Atlanta Olympics

Education of the population is important but the help of FOOD INDUSTRY is also necessary to make good FOOD available to the population. Just telling people to eat well is a form of high handed offense and as INDIANS would say: tell us and teach us how to eat well and make sure we have access to good food.

After seeing the leadership of young people in the fight for CLIMATE CHANGE regulations, I feel hopeful that USA now will lead the fight to provide good food to its population.
And  as SADHGURU has said: whatever USA does the rest of the world want to follow, just look at the fad of torn jeans, Americans started wearing it and now the entire world, mothers and daughters are wearing them. So if USA begins a good nutritional programe to provide good food to all its population, and a habit of eating non plastic non chemical food, the rest of the world would follow that fad also, in this case a healthy one.

THE FEASTS OF HAVANA CUBA : A GLIMPSE OF LIVES HAPPILY LIVED

After I had delivered a talk at the annual conference of Endocrinology in 2019, an Argentine doctor said she needed an explanation: This is my first visit to Cuba, she said, but I cannot understand how the Cubans are so happy and of wonderful disposition when by our standards they should be miserable.
I gave a long and detailed explanation of Cuban Happiness. Solidarity, Friendship and strong relationships and sharing.
Here is a glimpse of that during my stay in September in my island. 


 A grandmother with her two spanish granddaughters stopped by. It was the day of Virgin del Cobre, the patron saint of Cuba. So i made them light the candles.
 My sister had prepared an elaborate lunch of: eggplants with sardines, jasmine rice from thailand, avacado and other vegetables, soup of red beans.. I was so full and my stomach swelled so much that i did not eat much for the next couple of days 
 This is my best friend from Baracoa, the Little Poet of the First City of Cuba. He was in Havana for some official business regarding his travel to Spain. We met in front of Cine Yara and had a nice reunion, I had not seen him in one year and we walked back to my apartment. It was nice to reminisce while feeding him my sister's delicious potaje and I opened a bottle of Malbec.
 I try to catch sunrise and sunset when I am in Havana as the seawall is only one block from my home. Nice to look at the reflection of the rising or fading sun on the buildings along the Malecon.

 A nice art deco building: La Casa de la Americas.. a literary foundation
 Havana is a visual delight. Walking to the park just one block away, I can see this bored couple waiting for something or other in a motorcar of yesterday's glory. Old women are getting ready for their morning exercises.
 Friends and colleagues drop by for dinner, the menu is usually Lobster and if they are allergic to seafood, Chicken or Lamb. My sister decides on the menu, prepares the food and goes home before the guests arrive.
 She offered me this but I just took the cigars to give away as presents on my trips around the world.

 Both my sisters, in Miami and in La Habana love to cook, so I eat reasonably well on either side of the Gulf.
 Ready for guests. The african outfit was bought in Benin on my only trip to that country many years ago. Israeli flags which decorate my home are gifts of my younger brother in Israel.
 After preparing the meal and I help her set up the table and my sister goes home. I wait for my colleagues to arrive and update myself on the situation with Health Care in my Specialty in Cuba. Both professors are associated with the National Institute of Endocrinology and the younger women, also a Cuban, is a professor of Special Education (Autism) in Malaga, Spain


 The main in the photo is a well known Cuban painter.

 Two days later, I wanted to invite 20 people for dinner to celebrate one of my friends receiving Spanish citizenship. 


 Cake to celebrate arriving balanced gently
The man who is my massage therapist as well as the woman who had come with him helped in the kitchen, toiling for hours to get ready the elaborate dinner  
 Lobster is a luxury that I enjoy in Cuba 
 The menu was varied but mainly Cuban including pasta with olives (from Israel), small buns with Tuna(from France), thai jazmine rice, crepes from Brittany, local cheese, excellent cuban icecream with Nutella available for those who desire it! plus wine from Spain, Argentina and Chile plus Ameretto liquor for adults to add to their icecreams.. a very nice meal thanks to my sister.. But the company and the jovial and pleasantness companionship was what mattered. 

 A poet who had won national honours
 People of all ages integrate themselves to the Fiesta 
  a  FP doctor from Baracoa, who had been on medical missions in both Venezuela and Brasil
 Father and Son, both doctors. In Cuba at a gathering like this, you would meet very highly educated group of people. One thing Cuba can be justly proud of . My massage therapist had to go to university for five years to be licensed in Culture of Physical Education!

 A gentleman who has written many books on the Syncretic belief system of Cuba was present and generous with his knowledge of Cuban life. He graduated with a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of St Petersburg in Russia.
 Every one was digging into the food.. delicious as always and plenty and varied.

 Cakes galore..
 Cuba produces probably the best ice cream in the world, pure cream and no chemical additives so the taste is delicious and of course, the children love it.. with or without Nutella

 Necessity is the mother of Invention. Nowhere it is true like in Cuba. This contraption is a electrical bicycle with a range of 50 km, good to run around town and of course less pollution and very handy when there are petrol shortage..

 I had other visitors who stayed over, sharing food and drinks.
 I was so engrossed in the book by Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore, so much so that I was snatching time in between all these social activities to read a little bit. Exciting and up my alley of magical realism.
 Candles and good representation of CHE 
 Always nice to catch a glimpse of the morning sun..
 Early morning visitors

 I made my good friend from Baracoa, who is a revolutionary, light candles to "saint" Che..
 Time to leave and carry on the messages of CUBA to other parts of the world 


 As usual my driver was very punctual and I sighed looking at the sights of la Habana.. I am leaving for Portugal and India.. but I would be back soon, I am sure..
 Saying good bye to Cuba and before long, Miami is underneath.. the contrast in the lives and characters of people on either end of the Gulf is a large gulf indeed..


 I had known that my close friends from Miami were arriving that afternoon in Miami from Paris and I stood in a strategic position after clearing Immigration to welcome them to Miamia..I said that in Spanish of course..
 Miami Airport
 Life is full of little surprises but one has to be aware of them..

My flight had arrived within minutes of the Paris flight and it was a pleasant moment to greet my friends at the Immigration. Lovely reunion.

Air France to Paris and connect to Lisboa; two days later Qatar Airways to Cochin via Doha..
Unexpected Pleasures as always ...