Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for December 20th, 2022

Garden Mint on a snowbound day

leave a comment »

Shaving setup with large brush that has black synthetic bristles with light grey tips and an amber handle next to a large flat tub of shaving soap stand on its edge and labeled "Super Smooth Garden Mint." Next to that is a small rectangular transparent glass bottle of aftershave with a white cap and red and blue label that reads "Speick Men." In front is a black DE razor with a bulky head, lying on its side.

Snow covers everything outside, so it seemed a good day to shave with Wickham’s Garden Mint shaving soap, to bring a sense of spring to the start of the day. My Phoenix Artisan Amber Aerolite easily worked up a good lather, and I set to work with my RazoRock Stealth, a wonderful (albeit discontinued) slant. 

Three passes cleared the stubble easily and efficiently, and a splash of Speick aftershave finished the job.

The tea this morning is Murchie’s Queen Victoria: “rich Darjeeling and Ceylon, smoky Lapsang Souchong, and sweet Jasmine.”

Written by Leisureguy

20 December 2022 at 10:39 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Some specific villains in the Standard American Diet

leave a comment »

Medscape has an interesting video (with transcript) by David A. Johnson, MD, professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. The entire transcript is worth reading, but this section in particular caught my eye:

How Food Additives Actually Detract Nutritional Value

There are other elements in the diet that may contribute to disease.

Some things commonly added to diets have been shown in animal models to have a significant impact in changing gut integrity. In particular, this is observed in prepacked foods that are often found in the Western diet, which incorporate things such as emulsifiers and food additives with a goal toward enhanced aesthetics and taste.

Some that we see routinely in popular food items are carboxymethyl cellulose and polysorbate-80. These are derivatives in a variety of dairy products. Interestingly, they decelerate the melting of ice cream. That may be good for your kids eating an ice cream cone in the backseat in the summer, but not so good potentially for the intestine.

The same is true as it relates to maltodextrin, which is a very common thickener and sweetener, but again decreases the mucosal layer thickness and increases gut permeability.

Carrageenan, which is made from red seaweed, is added to increase texture, primarily in dairy products and sauces. It also decreases gut integrity and permeability changes and antigenic translocation.

Another common food additive is high-fructose corn syrup, something we’re seeing more and more data about. Its use in sugary beverages was once implied to have, and now clearly is associated with, an increased risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, early colon cancer, and a variety of other cancer pathways. Recent animal model data have shown mechanistically how it contributes to colon cancer. It was also most recently associated with liver cancer in postmenopausal women ingesting one sugary beverage a day.

Almost all sugary beverages have shifted from using cane sugar to high-fructose corn syrup because it’s cheaper and sweeter. Interestingly, as data have become more onerous regarding its disease associations, in 2012 the corn industry went to the US Food and Drug Administration and petitioned to change the name from high-fructose corn syrup to corn sugar. That term sounds a lot easier and maybe even sweeter when it comes to possible health implications, but the FDA said no.

Since then, the widespread use of high-fructose corn syrup has been described as a food public health crisis. High-fructose corn syrup is something that is very easy to avoid when you talk about sugary beverages.

When it comes to artificial sweeteners, the top three that have been studied to date are aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose (Splenda). They are not absorbed but rather are fermentable sugars that get to the gut and change the gut microbiome. In animal models, they have been shown to promote obesity and diabetes, which is very much paradoxical to what their advertised intent is. Again, this has only been studied for these three agents, and we also don’t have data in lower-threshold exposures.

I think it’s common sense to minimize the use of these things and instead ask patients to use natural sugars, consume water, and incorporate other strategies; that’s what I discuss with my own patients.

Written by Leisureguy

20 December 2022 at 9:06 am

%d bloggers like this: