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Prof. Keith Scott-Mumby's Total Health Newsletter #53. Week ending June 20th, 2010
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  1. Brush Your Teeth, Live Longer
  2. What On Earth Is Sexsomnia?
  3. Is Happiness Contagious?
  4. Major Anti-Aging Teleclass Available
  5. A Beautiful, Tiny Church On Dartmoor
  6. What's In A Word?

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This Week's Quote:

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card"

- Jon Gordon

The original, I recognize, was by Adelle Davis (1904- 1974) from her best-selling book "Let's Eat Right To Keep Fit":

"Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and supper like a pauper."

It's to point out the folly that our biggest meal of the day is always when we have finished working and burning up energy! Duh! We need our calories through the day, rather than at night. Unused calories just go to fat.



1. Brush Your Teeth, Live Longer

Those of you who have read my book "Virtual Medicine" (if you haven't, why not!), will have been surprised by my report that teeth can kill. It began as dental infections lodging bacteria in the heart and causing fatal widespread septicemia in the days before antibiotics. But 100 years later, by the end of the 20th Century, it had come around again despite antibiotics, that significant gum disease (periodontal disease) was a major risk factor for death by heart attack.

Now a brand new study (May 27, 2010) has re-inforced what I said. Teeth and gum infections are deadly. Consider this a minor installment on my anti-aging "outside the box" report which is coming up any day now.

Researchers in the UK analyzed data from over 11,000 people who were taking part in a study called the Scottish Health Survey. Patients were asked whether they visited a dentist at least once every six months, every one to two years, rarely, or never. They were also asked how often they brushed their teeth -- twice daily, once a day, or less than every day.

The researchers found that 62% of participants said they went to a dentist every six months, 71% said they brushed their teeth twice a day.

After adjusting the data for cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, smoking, social class, and family heart disease history, the researchers found that people who admitted to brushing their teeth less frequently had a 70% extra risk of heart disease.

What's more, people who reported poor oral hygiene also tested positive for important inflammatory markers such as fibrinogen and C-reactive protein, which themselves are predictors of early death. In other words, if you slouch on cleaning your teeth, you are very significantly more likely to die young. It may seem incredible but the pathways are clear, well demonstrated and the backup science is pretty well irrefutable.

Do you need me to tell you what to do? I think not.

[The study is published in the journal BMJ, published online May 27, 2010].



2. What On Earth Is Sexsomnia?

Sexsomnia is the scientific word for sex in your sleep. It can be dreams, erections, orgasms, masturbation of other acts of tumescence and detumescence: excitement and arousal, followed by discharge and release. It applies equally to men and women (tumescence for a woman still means erection equivalent, such as swelling of the nipples and labia, which then subsides when she orgasms).

Most of us have an event of this type now and again, usually quite involuntary, and it takes us by surprise. But around 8% of the population it seems has it often and reports this a "problem". Men accounted for three-quarters of the self-reported sexsomniacs.

In a study presented June 7th 2010, at SLEEP 2010, San Antonio, researchers asked 832 patients about sexual behavior while sleeping, which can range from masturbation to intercourse. About 11% of men and 4% of women said they had engaged in "sleep sex." This finding surprised researchers from the Sleep Research Laboratory at the University Health Network in Toronto. It comes out at almost one in twelve people.

Sexsomnia has been used as a criminal defense in sexual assault cases. In 2008, a Toronto man was found not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman after the court heard evidence that the man had engaged in "sleep sex" with several former girlfriends, according to news reports.

What brings on sexsomnia isn't really understood, but obvious triggers include mood drugs and alcohol. I have noticed pronounced arousal in the exhausted sleep, or semi-sleep, after long plane journeys. Somehow fatigue is the trigger and that is consistent with a clinical finding, which is that sexsomnia especially affects people who had experienced problems with falling or staying asleep, fatigue and depression.

Should we treat it? I'm not just being facetious. Of course we should treat it. But not with drugs: typically benzodiazepines, such as clonazepam, which is also used to treat epilepsy and anxiety disorders, are used. To me this is a disaster, when the condition is hardly malignant or debilitating! It can even be fun if you have a sympathetic partner with a sense of humor!

Light counselling and correction of sleep disorder is the way to go.



3. Is Happiness Contagious?

Well, they say happiness can be infectious but… How about if a bacteria could transfer happiness? I was surprised to learn it happens!

Researchers looked at Mycobacterium vaccae, a kind of natural bacteria that's found in soil. People ingest or breathe in the germ when they spend time in nature and feel good as a result, said researcher Dorothy Matthews of The Sage Colleges in Troy, N.Y. in a news release.

So far, I wasn’t impressed. To me it seems obvious that time spent in nature will make you feel happier. No story.

But then this:

Previous research suggested that when injected into mice, Mycobacterium vaccae boosted levels of serotonin and lowered anxiety. Since serotonin levels are associated with learning, Matthews and her colleague Susan Jenks decided to feed the live bacteria to mice and see if they did a better job of learning a maze than control mice who were not fed the germ.

The mice who ate the bacteria "navigated the maze twice as fast and with less demonstrated anxiety behaviors as control mice," Matthews said.

Ok, this is learning, not happiness. But increased serotonin levels = peace and content. We all know that. But look at the brain response: double the learning rate. Double the happiness factor would do nicely, wouldn't it?

Hey, bring it on! I think I want to get infected with this stuff! Someone open a window!!

Maybe kids at school should spend more time outdoors, too. Kids will be exposed to Mycobacterium vaccae and that may help them feel less stressed and learn more easily.

Don’t you just love Mother nature and her quirks?

SOURCE: American Society for Microbiology, May 24, 2010, press release.



4. Major Anti-Aging Teleclass Recording Available

Most or all of you know I do occasional teleclasses for Hilton Johnson Productions, a remote (home) learning corporation. Their subdivision "globalteleclass.com" has fine speakers, such as Norman Shealy, Bernie Siegel, Mark Victor Hansen, Barbara De Angelis (and me!)

I was talking about "Anti-Aging Outside The Box", prior to the imminent release of my new report that you all asked for (remember the survey a few weeks ago? Well, I've been busting a gut delivering the book you asked for and it's going to be released any day).

Here's some of the bare bones and structure of the report (I mean, what can you say about anti-aging in just over an hour?)

You can get the broadcast here (remember, this is telephone quality):

If you want to download the recording, to play on your MP3 player, go ahead and right-click here:

anti-aging teleclass mp3



5. A Beautiful Tiny Church On Dartmoor

Here's a short video I shot for Vivien, just using a small handheld video camera (about the size of a cell phone) - hence the shaking. It concerns a little church in England, a place I am very fond of and hope to take Vivien some day. Join me in a little personal journey!




6. What's In A Word?


Not a word we hear often any more. It's a bit pretentious. It means feeling or showing haughty disdain; displaying arrogant pride, scorn, or indifference. Actually, haughty itself is almost as interesting: it comes from the Old French haut (as in haut cuisine or haut cauture). It means high.

Supercilious comes from the Latin superciliosus, from supercilium, eyebrow or pride: super-, super- + cilium, lower eyelid. Doesn't that say it nicely? We raise our eyebrows and look down on others when we are supercilious.

Here's old John McCain with his eyebrows in the definite supercilious position!! Oohoo, I wonder who is his target?

john mccain



So, that's all for this week!

Be well; find the sacred in all you do, otherwise don't do it!


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