Participants: Agatha Thrash (Host), Don Miller, Justina Thomas
Series Code: HYTH
Program Code: HYTH000214
00:01 In Jamaica they have a way of letting you know when fruit
00:04 is ripe and ready to eat by saying that it is fit,
00:09 if a fruit is fit, then it is ready to eat.
00:12 In this country when we speak of something being fit,
00:16 if a person is fit they are physically fit, their heart
00:19 is good, they are in good shape, what they are doing,
00:23 their lifestyle is sufficient to keep them healthy.
00:25 We have a number of things that can help you to have good
00:30 cardiac health, we'll be talking about a few of these numerous
00:33 things in this program, and we hope that you will join us
00:37 so that you can be fit.
00:58 Welcome to Help Yourself To Health
01:00 with Dr. Agatha Thrash of Uchee Pines Institute
01:03 and now here is your host Dr. Thrash.
01:06 In this country we have become sort of couch potatoes,
01:12 many people are couch potatoes, one of the reasons for that
01:15 is that they don't especially like what goes on outside,
01:19 they do like what goes on inside, especially TV,
01:22 and the things that they read and people they talk with
01:26 on the telephone and the computer, all of these things
01:29 have joined together to sort make us in America be certainly
01:33 what we could call couch potatoes.
01:35 How do you know whether you are one of those who should be
01:38 a couch potato and should stay inside the house and carefully
01:42 watch over your heart and make certain that nothing happens
01:45 to it, or that you are physically fit and that you
01:49 can enter into all kinds of activities outdoors, in fact
01:53 you should to keep your heart in good shape, so that you can
01:56 live a long time.
01:57 Well I have asked Justina Thomas and Dr. Don Miller
02:01 to help me to show you one of the tests that can enable you
02:06 to know whether you are fit, physically fit.
02:11 This one that I will talk about first is the chair stand,
02:15 and I have Justina, this is Justina Thomas and she is
02:20 officiating in the chair, she will do the stands and then
02:24 Dr. Don Miller will count off one 30 second increment
02:28 and during this 30 seconds Justina will stand as many times
02:33 as she can, so Dr. Miller are you ready?
02:37 - I'm ready are you ready Justina?
02:38 - I'm ready! - All right here we go,
02:40 Ready, Go!
02:44 - Ok, so now he is timing her so that we can see how many,
02:48 he is also counting how many times she has been able to
02:52 get up and down, and you will see here on the board just
02:56 how she ought to be able how to do.
03:00 A 50 year old person should be able to do:
03:25 Well the 30 seconds has gone by what did you find?
03:29 - I think she needs a cane, she did 20.
03:33 - Ok! That's something that we need to work on then!
03:38 In 30 seconds a 50 year old should be able to do 30,
03:43 now if you are 50, you get up from a chair that Justina was
03:50 sitting in is not the very best one, it should be one that
03:53 has a flat bottom and is just about the height that one
03:59 usually sits in, so the chair that she was sitting in was
04:02 a little low and also slanted backward which many chairs do
04:06 have, so that's an important thing to letting us know how
04:11 physically fit we are.
04:13 I happen to know that Justina is more physically fit than it
04:17 would be indicated by 20 chair stands in 30 seconds because
04:24 I see her walking vigorously a lot of the time on campus
04:29 so I know she is quite physically fit.
04:32 Throughout one's years of life one should from time to time
04:38 do certain tests of this nature so that one can find just how
04:45 physically fit one is, and if not physically fit,
04:49 then some measures should be taken so that the person
04:52 can get into physical fitness promptly.
04:56 Now Dr. Miller is going to talk with you about another
05:00 aspect of what you can do at home to help yourself know
05:05 whether you are in good shape or not, Dr. Miller what
05:11 would you like to tell us about that.
05:13 - We did a little thing on Justina last night,
05:15 it is called the waist- hip ratio,
05:19 and what you do is a very simple test, you get yourself a
05:22 seamstress tape, a cloth tape, sort of like what Dr. Thrash
05:27 has here, and what we do... Go ahead and stand up there
05:30 Justina, you run it abound the waist about the level of the
05:34 navel, so we are just going to wrap this around you Justina
05:37 and we look at the numbers, of course you wouldn't want to
05:40 do this around a sweater and everything else, you want to get
05:43 as much just skin and a little bit of clothing around there,
05:47 you make that measurement, and then you make the next
05:50 measurement around the largest part of the hips, right about
05:53 midway through the buttocks, that's where you are going to
05:56 get your measurement at.
05:58 Now the reason why we take these two measurements
06:01 is there is a healthy type of overweight and an unhealthy
06:05 type of overweight, they are both unhealthy,
06:06 but those who carry their weight in their hips
06:10 it's healthier, basically we call this the pear shape
06:16 and then there is also those who have their weight up on
06:20 top, the trunkal obesity, which is sort of the beach ball shape.
06:24 So what we do is we take those two numbers and we divide
06:27 the hips into the waist to get a ratio, now you can understand
06:32 that if the hips are larger and you are dividing into the waist
06:35 you are going to get a fraction, if the waist is larger and you
06:40 are dividing into that you are going to get a whole number
06:42 or a whole and a fraction.
06:44 We did this to Justina last night, her waist hip ratio
06:48 is.79, the good average for a woman a good healthy average is
06:54 .8, so she is very healthy because she is even below that.
06:59 For a man it can be one, anything over this for a woman
07:05 or a man shows that they are starting to get to much trunkal
07:09 obesity, carrying to much weight above the waist which we have
07:13 found to be less healthful than those who carry more down
07:18 below the waist, so it's a simple test Dr. Thrash
07:20 and I suggest that it is some- thing that we can be doing.
07:22 - Yes! It is a very simple test.
07:24 Now Justina if you will just stand over here, I would like
07:28 to show another thing, these are just calipers, you can get
07:32 these sometimes from a department store or you can
07:35 simply measure it just with a nice ruler that gives you
07:40 centimeter increments, so I would like to show you if you
07:44 are only going to do one, you do it over the biceps,
07:47 but we ideally do it not only over the biceps but also
07:52 over this fold right here, and this fold right here,
07:57 and a fold that is right beside the abdomen, I can't really
08:02 pinch up much on Justina, I don't think that you will be
08:06 the champion women's wrestler any time soon, but let's just
08:13 say we are going to do one measurement which is the biceps.
08:18 Here we go with this very simple device and just pinch up
08:26 just the skin and subcutaneous tissue and with this kind of
08:29 device you just measure, let it just measure the amount and
08:36 she measures between.6 and .7, now for a woman the ideal is
08:46 less than one, for a man the it's about 1/2 centimeter
08:50 not very much.
08:51 He needs to be thinner than she is, women tend to store
08:57 a little bit more fat than men do and that's normal and
09:01 natural, it has to do with the reproductive process and she
09:05 just naturally, hormonally carries a little more
09:08 subcutaneous fat than a man does.
09:11 Thank you Justina!
09:13 Now these are some tests that you can do at home that will
09:17 help you to know whether you are physically fit,
09:19 but there are some laboratory tests, that I would like to see
09:22 people getting more than they do, and one of those is called
09:26 the CRP or C-Reactive Protein, this is an inflammatory
09:31 substance that if it is high in the blood it usually means
09:35 that the person has some inflammatory process going on
09:38 somewhere in the body.
09:39 I would like to talk with you just a bit about where these
09:43 inflammatory processes begin and what their target organ is.
09:48 These inflammatory processes often have their origins in some
09:52 need that the body has, such as to fight a tumor or to
09:57 heal some kind of infection or injury that you have had
10:04 but sometimes they don't have any known origin, it's just the
10:09 general lifestyle of the person but as we have studied this
10:13 it is beginning to develop that a certain type of lifestyle
10:17 does lead to a development of these inflammatory substances.
10:21 just one of which is tested for, or just a group of them
10:26 are tested for in the C-Reactive Protein, but enough to give us a
10:30 good idea as a general screening test for these
10:34 inflammatory substances.
10:36 What happens to the person, or what is the condition of the
10:43 person when we find these inflammatory substances high?
10:47 Well they may have such things as diabetes, hypertension,
10:51 cancer, there is a whole list of them, high blood cholesterol,
10:55 especially the kind that will lead to heart attacks and
11:01 strokes, that means a high LDL and a low HDL.
11:06 Then they have diabetes and Alzheimer's disease is now being
11:10 found to be associated with high C-Reactive Protein
11:13 and other inflammatory substances, there are certain
11:17 cytokine's, also inflammatory substances which tend to stiffen
11:23 the lining cells of our various blood vessels, these cytokines
11:29 are a product of the lifestyle.
11:32 Then there a bunch of metallomatrix types of
11:38 inflammatory substances that are also lifestyle and they
11:44 tend to cause inflammation and be deposited in various
11:49 tissues such as the heart and the brain in sufficient quantity
11:55 to cause some cellular death in that area, and then you have
11:59 a scar there, a scar in the heart, or a scar in the brain
12:03 or other parts of the body that can cause difficulty for
12:10 you in having a healthy heart.
12:12 There are some of these inflammatory substances that
12:15 will actually soften or even digest collagen, now you may
12:20 have heard of collagen diseases, they are like lupus, and
12:24 rheumatoid arthritis, and a whole class of diseases that go
12:29 under the name of collagen diseases.
12:32 Now if inflammatory substances are deposited in the tissues
12:37 cause damage, may cause us to have chronic ill health, even
12:41 progressive ill health and they are associated with
12:45 lifestyle, then it behooves us to find out what kind of
12:48 lifestyle that is and to make the necessary changes.
12:51 Weight gain, very big weight gain can triple the
13:00 C- Reactive Protein, well that immediately lets you know that
13:04 weight gain, especially as is the case in males,
13:09 a rapid weight gain can triple the C-Reactive Protein.
13:12 A sedentary lifestyle can also triple these inflammatory
13:20 substances, tension and stress are famed for causing an
13:25 increase in inflammatory substances, then competitive
13:30 games, even computer games, but also sports, these competitive
13:35 games are also famed for increasing your inflammatory
13:41 An animal based diet is likely to do the same, so as we study
13:47 these inflammatory substances we come to recognize that
13:51 there are things that we can do that can slow down our
13:55 probability of getting into a chronic progressive
13:59 diseased state.
14:02 One of the important ones that people are all the time doing
14:06 that they really shouldn't do is eating A-G-E's, AGE's,
14:14 that stands for Advanced Glycation End Products.
14:21 Advanced Glycation End Products are AGE's occur when you burn
14:26 your toast, when you over cook anything, when you scorch your
14:30 nuts, or when you barbeque things and get some smoke
14:37 flavoring on your food, these kinds of things do produce
14:43 these AGE's and make it so you have more inflammatory
14:47 substances in your blood stream, these include also
14:50 tumor necrosis factor, which is and inflammatory product
14:55 and can cause serious increase in your likelihood of getting
15:00 a chronic progressive disease.
15:03 Now some other things that can cause heart disease
15:07 Dr. Don Miller will talk with you about and at this time
15:12 he has some interesting things that you will find to be also
15:16 very helpful, Dr. Miller!
15:18 - I think most people are getting pretty heart wise but
15:22 there is one thing that we hear a lot about and we wonder
15:25 what does that really mean and it's that thing
15:27 called free radicals.
15:29 It's not some radical person that escaped from a hospital
15:34 or a from a prison, but a free radical is something very
15:36 interesting, I want to go to the board and we're going to
15:39 look at something very interesting about what a
15:42 free radical is.
15:43 If you remember your high school chemistry
15:46 you remember that we have atoms, now basically our human body is
15:50 made up of cells, and the cells are made up of molecules,
15:53 molecules are made up of various forms of atoms, and here I've
15:58 drawn a particular atom on the board.
16:01 Now if you remember from your high school chemistry
16:04 you've got your protons and you've got your electrons,
16:08 you've got your neutrons also, but you basically are going to
16:11 deal here... The main thing in free radicals
16:13 is your electrons, now this is an oxygen atom,
16:19 it's got eight protons and so that tells you how many
16:24 electrons it's going to have, and the electrons come
16:28 in shells, the first shell is going to have two electrons,
16:31 the next shell to be complete will have eight electrons
16:36 but in this case it only has six electrons,
16:39 so it is always looking for somebody to mate up with.
16:43 So what is one of the most common things you know of
16:46 that has oxygen in there, well let's talk about water
16:50 let's add water to it, what is water, water is H2O, which means
16:57 there are two atoms of hydrogen one atom of oxygen.
17:01 The hydrogen has one proton and one electron, it also
17:09 is looking for a mate, and so it comes down and it shares
17:13 a mate with the oxygen, but that gives it only seven,
17:19 this one is now shared with the hydrogen, so another
17:22 hydrogen settles up next to here with it's proton, and it shares
17:27 an electron, and now we have two atoms of hydrogen
17:32 one of oxygen, and we have a very stable or an inert form
17:36 called water.
17:37 Oxygen itself, if the air that you breathe is not an atom of
17:43 oxygen and it's a molecule of oxygen made up of two oxygen
17:49 atoms put together, so you are going to have two electrons
17:53 being shared in this outer shell with the other electrons of the
17:59 oxygen atom, now you have 02 which is what we breathe.
18:05 This is the way it should be, now, what's the problem?
18:09 When we have something going on in the body,
18:12 now our body makes free radicals on purpose sometimes,
18:15 the immune system makes free radicals to attack viruses and
18:21 bacteria's that get into the body, they work very well
18:23 for that purpose, but we also have other free radicals,
18:27 we have a break down of atoms and molecules in the body
18:32 as a result of herbicides, cigarette smoke, pollution,
18:37 radiation, we have these things happening all the time
18:40 which is no problem normally, if we have enough of what we
18:46 call anti-oxidants, see when we oxidize something...
18:48 Let's talk about one of the dangerous things in the
18:51 blood stream called LDL, low density lipoprotein,
18:57 when this becomes oxidized, or that means it is attached to a
19:02 free radical it becomes a major problem, and what we have to do
19:06 is somehow keep this thing from becoming oxidized
19:09 by getting rid of the free radicals in the body.
19:12 We do this by a high intake of vitamin E, a high intake of
19:16 vitamin C, the E is a fat based vitamin and the C being a
19:23 water based, they are very good and they are very
19:25 heart protective, how do you get your E's?
19:28 You take yellow, orange, and green vegetables and fruits,
19:33 and C is in almost everything, plenty of fruits and vegetables
19:36 make you very heart healthy.
19:38 The more anti-oxidants you have in your body,
19:41 the less problem you are going to have with free-radical
19:43 damage, because once an atom becomes a free radical,
19:49 it's lost the electron and it's looking for the electron,
19:52 it will share one with somebody or it will steal somebody
19:56 else's, if it steals somebody else's then it will be looking
19:59 for something and you have a chain reaction and it gets
20:02 worse and worse as a person gets older, and this leads to
20:05 accelerated aging.
20:07 So the older a person gets, the more important it is to have
20:11 plenty of vitamin C, and vitamin E in their systems.
20:15 Now the anti-oxidants foods, what happens to them when they
20:20 get a free radical attached to them and they steal one of their
20:22 electrons, no problem, an anti-oxidant is stable both
20:28 with the right number of electrons in it's outer shell
20:33 or the wrong number, it's stable either way.
20:36 So the idea about eating your fruits and vegetables to protect
20:41 your body, especially from the oxidation of the LDL is
20:44 extremely important so your yellow, your orange, your green
20:48 fruits and vegetables, eat plenty of those things,
20:50 your citrus fruits, your avocados are great in vitamin C,
20:54 eat these foods and you are going to find that your
20:57 anti-oxidant value goes up in your body, and the free radicals
21:00 go down in the body, you are not going to have all this
21:03 problem getting plaques in your blood stream, so a simple very
21:09 brief, very quick look at free radicals, we hear about
21:12 them a lot, hopefully you will know a little bit more by now
21:15 but if not, well, get an elementary or a high school
21:20 chemistry book and read about chemistry it is an interesting
21:23 subject Dr. Thrash.
21:24 - Yes it is, we are made up of chemistry and our food is
21:27 chemistry and water is chemistry the air is chemistry,
21:29 we are chemistry, and we live in a world of chemistry,
21:31 it's really fun to study.
21:35 Congestive heart failure is another of those things that
21:39 you should learn about, congestive heart failure is not
21:43 all that common but when it does occur in a family there are
21:47 things that you can do.
21:48 Congestive heart failure simply means that the heart itself
21:51 is not completely emptying itself with each contraction
21:54 so instead of making a firm contraction that completely
21:58 empties it with every heart beat, the heart is simply
22:02 beating but not completely emptying, and as the pressure
22:07 builds up because the heart doesn't completely empty then
22:10 one develops fluid in various organs, the legs, and finally
22:16 the pelvis, and finally gets into the abdomen and eventually
22:20 into the chest, and the person is swollen all over.
22:23 So how can you deal with a person who has
22:27 congestive heart failure?
22:29 When it first begins try to do what you can to eliminate those
22:34 lifestyle problems that have initiated the hardening of the
22:39 arteries or the high blood cholesterol, or the high
22:42 blood pressure, and a variety of other things that can cause
22:47 congestive heart failure.
22:48 Some things that you can do, first do the lifestyle matters,
22:53 the second thing is to judge how much exercise the person
22:59 with congestive heart failure should have, now I was very
23:03 careful to let you know that exercise is a part of the
23:07 treatment for people with congestive heart failure.
23:10 When I was in medical school it wasn't so, a person with
23:13 congestive heart failure we told the person to prop their feet up
23:18 in their home and be served by someone else from now on,
23:23 and we expected that to last until the end of their lives.
23:26 Now we are expecting to have some rehabilitation for the
23:29 person so we start out with very mild exercise,
23:33 they may get a little short of breath, but day by day
23:36 they just stroll a little bit farther and finally they are
23:40 able to pick up their speed a little bit, so little by little
23:44 they gain some thing that they have lost in the way of
23:48 physical fitness, then another thing that we always do for
23:52 people with congestive hear failure is help them to loose
23:56 weight if that's applicable.
23:57 The way to loose weight is very simple, first you start
24:02 with eliminating all free fats, now since we need some of the
24:06 fat types of vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin E is very
24:12 healthful for the heart so we want to eat all those foods
24:16 that are high in vitamin E, such as grains and beans,
24:20 anything that's fatty itself since this is a fatty vitamin,
24:26 those things will contain vitamin E, and also present in
24:31 fruits and vegetables that are deep yellow, that can be helpful
24:35 for you to know what to eat.
24:37 Then one can take a supplement of vitamin E of maybe 200 or 400
24:44 international units a day, that's very helpful, Arginine,
24:49 also called L-Arginine, can be very helpful in congestive
24:55 heart failure and one can take from one to three teaspoonfuls
25:01 per day of this powder, CO-Q10 can be
25:04 very helpful, it's a cardiac nutrient and can
25:07 help you quite a lot.
25:08 So I hope with these things the person in your family
25:12 with congestive failure can be helped remarkably.
25:15 There is another problem with the heart called angina,
25:18 and Dr. Miller will talk with you about that to give you
25:22 some idea how to deal with angina.
25:25 - You know there are two basic health principles, one,
25:28 the life is in the blood, the second is there is perfect
25:30 health requires perfect circulation.
25:32 A good test for this is get a blood pressure cuff, put it on
25:35 your arm, pump it up, don't let the air out and just do some
25:38 exercises and see how long it takes before pain happens
25:40 in your hand and in your arm, same thing is happening in your
25:43 heart with angina.
25:45 It's basically you are having insufficiency of blood flow to
25:48 the heart muscle itself, and when your muscle starts getting
25:51 starved for blood, it's going to start telling you, and that is
25:54 what it is, it's a signal, pain is signal that I'm being damaged
25:59 down here, now what do you do about angina?
26:02 There is a very good article that came out a few years ago
26:05 in Lancet, the British Medical Journal, and it gave some simple
26:09 steps that you can do to cure, "Cure" they use the word cure,
26:13 angina, and I am going to give you these simple steps:
26:16 1. No free fats in your diet, no butter, no margarine,
26:17 no fried foods, no salad oils, no cooking fats, no nut butters.
26:24 no mayonnaise, anything that has visible fat is out of
26:27 your diet, that is the first second thing, no animal
26:31 products, high is saturated fats, saturated fats will find
26:35 a home in your coronary arteries so you get off of all animal
26:40 products, three, when you start to feel the angina attack
26:44 start coming, you don't stop and lay down, you slow your pace
26:48 and you walk through the pain, you slow down it subsides
26:53 and you stay at that pace right there, and you walk through
26:56 the pain, fourth thing is fruits and vegetables
27:00 in your dietary, in your diet, fruits and vegetables,
27:04 whole grains, nuts and seeds.
27:05 Another thing, keep your arms and your legs from
27:09 being chilled, summer and winter keep yourself
27:11 well clothed, even a cold breeze in your face could precipitate
27:15 a angina attack, and so these simple steps, they've shown
27:21 in the Lancet and in American Medical Journals that these
27:25 things right there can take care of your angina problems
27:28 Dr. Thrash.
27:29 - Yes! Those are very excellent steps to take.
27:32 There are a few other supplements that I like to give
27:36 to heart people and one of those is garlic, not only in the diet
27:41 but also as pills, so make a stock of these things that are
27:46 heart healthy, and if anyone in your family develops any
27:50 kind of heart disease you are already prepared to be
27:53 of assistance to them.