26 Apr

Getting responsible for our own health


Is it too big a challenge?

We are experiencing a transition from our health model. The system as it was designed in the 1950s no longer works. But there are ways to break the deadlock.

We are facing great changes. The first concerns what we could call the enlightened patient or augmented patient, the second focuses on new health technologies, connected health or e-health, and the third on epigenetics, the science that demonstrates how human behavior affects gene expression. These three elements create a new possibility of measurable prevention and making people responsible for their health, which the pharmaceutical industry is beginning to understand.

Enlightened patients

Enlightened patients are people who are increasingly connected to social networks and who can find information about their health on search engines. They discuss together, exchange and are more and more informed and concerned. Many doctors today assure that they appreciate dealing with patients who ask them the right questions, even if they can go as far as contradicting their prescriptions.

Digital plays a decisive role in the evolution of health models. The health applications available on smartphones are increasing exponentially today. The tools are not only portable, but also wearable. Like watches, for example, which measure a certain number of parameters on the skin, making it possible to visualize the results or the alerts on a personalized health dashboard, the screen of your smartphone for example, results that you can download elsewhere or send to your doctor.

Towards new models of health through subscriptions

Our behaviors will change and especially the relationship with our doctor. The latter will increasingly become a life counselor and not just a prescriber of prescription drugs.

To maintain good health, five behaviors must be respected: exercise, nutrition, stress management, pleasure, social and professional harmony. These five behaviors influence the expression of our genes and cause some to slow down, inhibit, or express themselves even more. We can somehow become the conductors of our own body, keep it in good health and slow down aging.

Prevention is not deprivation, it is a pleasure to do good!

The pharmaceutical industry has already become aware of this development. Some Big Pharma companies are already moving towards health maintenance programs. Even today, these companies live on the margins made by pharmacy sales of drugs prescribed by doctors and reimbursed by health insurance. However, we are starting to see that pharmaceutical groups associate with insurance companies and offer pharma-insurances: that is to say subscriptions to programs that ensure good health. This is what I call the health maintenance program or abbreviated PMS.

In this way some believe that the pharmaceutical industry will make more profits by subscriptions than by margins made on drugs sold in pharmacies. Besides, we can check on the Internet that the most successful companies are those that have many customers subscribed to their service and their products. Whether it’s music, subscriptions to renewable energy production systems, transportation, or housing.

It is in these new health models, possibly by subscription, that what is called 4P medicine comes into play, which means: Personalized, Predictive, Preventive, and Participative medicine. It is not only a question of curing when one is sick, but above all of not getting sick.

But these new practices risk creating a form of uberization of health. Companies have created the disintermediation of traditional structures by offering more personalized services and products, more quickly, in the face of systems that are too heavy, too expensive, too complex. Thanks to digital, we can reconcile supply and demand. These disintermediation companies, like GAFA, are disruptors who reverse the classic and traditional model that we know. In health too. This risk exists.

The doctor of tomorrow can be assisted by digital or AI tools.

Predictive medicine thanks to AI

With artificial intelligence (AI), which some now prefer to call auxiliary intelligence, we can increase human intelligence. No doctor can read and assimilate all the scientific reviews, all the studies, suitable for treating a pathology. On the other hand, who can correlate all the information already published to make predictions or improve diagnoses? Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence program, does it in minutes.

Google is developing an AI usage support program, Kubeflow. The doctor of tomorrow can be assisted by digital or AI tools, to devote more time to his patients. Many are already experimenting with it, since you can download Watson on your smartphone.

The most important question for the future is the role that individuals will play in the prevention of their health, thanks to an improved knowledge of the fundamental principles of nutrition, of the fight against pollutants that we inflict on ourselves like cigarettes, or which are present in the environment due to a lack of efficient waste management systems.

The ministries of health of many countries realize today that the biggest savings on the health insurance system will be made thanks to the participation of people in improving their health capital and the permanent investment in this capital thanks to the basic rules of good living that are nutrition, exercise, or stress management. Hence the importance of education and especially of co-education in families and schools to make young people understand the fundamental bases of balanced nutrition and permanent reinvestment in their health capital.

We can already see that the major magazines, in addition to specialized magazines, and even the daily newspapers devote more and more important spaces to the explanation of these fundamental principles of balanced nutrition and moderate exercise. These trends will only get stronger in the future, given the economic challenges represented by healthcare systems around the world and the transition to more economic and more democratic models.

31 Mar

What Global Harming Has in Store for Our Grandchildren


As this decade 2020 promises to be decisive in terms of climate, we invite you to imagine what the future could be like at the end of the 21st century. A distant future for you. But so present for your children and grandchildren. A present which, in a scenario of generalized awareness takes shape rather rapidly. But which, in a scenario of business as usual”, looks very dark.

Grandpa, I am 15 years old today. My life is just beginning. Yours was completed yesterday. Today, I am offered this incredible chance to write you this postcard. A postcard from the future, of your future, from my present. Of this world that you left me. A chance to maybe be able to change things. Because in 2020, Grandpa, the time when you too were 15, there was still time.

I would first like to tell you that it was the heat that won you over. The one who, without pity for us who provoked it, now breaks in successive waves every summer. The last, it is true, has been particularly extreme. The information has just fallen. A new temperature record has been broken here: 54.9 ° C. Can you just imagine, Grandpa, from the top of your indifferent fortnight?

54.9 °C! This is what your SUV that you will buy in less than ten years have done to the world. Your insatiable hunger for fresh meat too. And, you will soon find out, all these things thrown away barely bought. This latest trendy T-shirt that you’ve only worn three times. Or this smartphone paid for at a hefty price that had to be replaced six months later by its latest development. Evolution? Grandpa, do you really think that this is evolution?

The climate crisis is global. Wait, you haven’t heard everything yet, but yes! you heard it. The scientists had alerted you. The sea level has risen. More than a meter today since your time. And you know what, Grandpa? Millions of people have suffered from it. Children on the other side of the world that you care little about? I imagine it pretty well. But also European children.

Children who look like you. Whose parents may have been sitting next to you on the school benches. Children like me. Florida has become an island. Amsterdam has been wiped off the map. Bordeaux has more than ever its feet in the water. And these children today are desperately knocking on the doors of those who were luckier than them. For how much longer? How much longer will we be able to welcome these climate refugees that nobody wanted to hear about, even in your time, Grandpa? How much longer … will we be luckier than them?

Tomorrow we will move out. We are going to have to leave behind this beautiful house that your father had built. This strong and solid house, all in concrete. This house from another time. The one you loved so much. The last coastal flood was the reason for this attachment. You see, Grandpa, it’s not just polar bears in the arctic circle that are pushed far from home. It’s not just anonymous strangers. Your own family is now suffering the consequences of your disbelief.

And if you only knew … Your daughter, Grandpa, she died two years ago. She was not 40 years old. It is not an age to die like this in a society that is said to be advanced. But she died. Carried away by yet another hurricane, somewhere in the Antilles that she cherished. A hurricane of such power that it devastated the region, leaving behind only sadness and desolation. Your own daughter, Grandpa! You cried all the tears of your body.

Living on this Earth today is hell! Every year, appalling fires are started. In the Arctic, in the Amazon rainforest, or what’s left of it, in Australia. They only worsen an already catastrophic situation. All ecosystems suffer. The animals are massively disappearing. The air becomes unbreathable. Pollution is everywhere and all the dumpster rentals in the world will not be enough to remove all the garbage and waste created by humankind.. The world is coughing. The world is choking. And people are dying earlier than before. You were lucky, Grandpa, to live so old. I will certainly not have as many years as you have.

But it can still be resolved. Drink a glass of water. To eat an apple. It has become a luxury. We have exhausted the resources of our Earth. Of course, solutions have been found. Because the researchers never gave up. But these are just simple bandages placed on open wounds today. What more could they do without the support of the people? Without your membership, Grandpa? They could not prevent water from running out even in the southern regions of our Europe. Droughts of several years have hit the United States.

And the researchers could not prevent the catastrophic rise in food prices that followed either. Your faulty indolence has cost us dearly, Grandpa. It has claimed the lives of those affected by extreme poverty or new diseases. It also, more subtly, cost people’s happiness. Because while you continue to eat hamburgers on this overheated terrace that blows tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, I cry a world that will never return. From the height of my 15 years, I know it. Everyone knows it now: there is no plan B. No planet B.

My only hope today is you, Grandpa! So I beg you, stop doubting science. Stop waiting for others to make decisions. Stop blaming them. You can act, now. Take the things over control. Choose a different future. You just have to believe it. And get started.

21 Aug

America’s Natural Wonders


When traveling to a new country, tourists often are concerned with a multitude of different things. What hotels they should stay at, what areas they should visit, and most importantly, what sites they should see are just a few of the details that every traveler concerns themselves with. Although some tourists focus on what sites they should see in a more urban setting, there are others that are more interesting in seeing the natural sites of the area there visiting.

Fortunately for tourists traveling to the USA, there are all sorts of different natural wonders that are worth visiting within the states. In fact, there are so many that one cannot possibly see them in one trip; because of this, which ones should you visit? Where are they located? Can you visit these places on your own or should you explore them with a tour group?

The Grand Canyon

One of the most breath-takingly beautiful natural sites to visit is undoubtedly the Grand Canyon. This Arizona view is utterly stunning. From either your own car or the park’s free shuttle bus, you are able to observe what the elements have created in one of the most well-known geological sites in the world. Watch the colors change in this mile-deep canyon from dawn until dusk.

For travelers with an adventurous streak, you are able to hike across this natural phenomenon. Guided tours of the Grand Canyon are also available. A few example of many of the great tours offered in the park include the following: a guided bicycle tour, mule trips, and guided hikes.

Old Faithful

Another spot to consider visiting is the awe-inspiring, reliable Old Faithful. Old Faithful is a cone geyser that is known as one of the most reliable natural wonders of the world. This is because the geyser erupts every 91 minutes, without fail. By visiting this spot not only do you have the opportunity to visit Old Faithful yourself, but you can also view anything else that strikes your fancy at Yellowstone National Park (a park which spreads across three states: Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana).

As well as the geyser and the park itself, you will be able to observe wild creatures, such as grizzly bears, in their natural habitat. Tourists are able to experience Old Faithful and the rest of Yellowstone National Park on their own; however, there are tours available as well. For example, there are hiking and backpacking tours, river safaris, Yellowstone safaris, and llama treks available for interested travelers.

Sequoia National Park

Yet another wonderful and stunning natural wonder in the United States is Sequoia National Park in Three Rivers, California. This is an astounding place to visit for one very simple reason: its trees. Although this nature preserve has many trees, it has one that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon. General Sherman is the name of this famous tree and it is the largest tree in world. This tree stands over two hundred feet tall and is definitely something you don’t want to miss while exploring America’s numerous natural wonders.

Aside from these spectacular trees, there are endless amounts of other plant life around the park for you to discover as well as exploring the Sierra Nevada Foothills, Moro Rock, and the Great Western Divide. Aside from the interesting and attractive plant life that is in this park, you also have the chance to see the wild life within this park, such as roaming black bears. This national park is one that you can explore alone or take part in one of its many tours. One example is the Sequoia Sightseeing Tours, the first which takes half a day, the second a full day.

The three previously listed national wonders are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the beautiful and exciting world of the United States’ natural wonders. There are many other exciting, beautiful, and fun places to explore all throughout the country’s fifty states.

11 Apr

The Healthiest Fish You Can Eat


The fact that you’re reading this article means you already know by now that including fish in your diet twice a week is needed for optimal health and weight.

Fish is a lean piece of protein that are packed in healthy vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. With the variety of fish sold in the market, there are only a couple of them that are exceptionally good for you. Yes, not all kinds of fish deliver the omega-3 fatty acids your diet requires.

Fish is not just a healthy way to add protein to your diet, it is also a protein that can reduce the risk of developing diabetes and other heart-related diseases.

When choosing this protein, you need to make sure they are fresh. One way to look at it is that the eyes shouldn’t be bloodshot, and the gills should be a vibrant reddish pink. One factor to consider is its sustainability. As we have a responsibility to maintain the environment, choosing a sustainable fish will not only be beneficial for the entire community, but to the fish’s habitat as well.

Here are the 4 of the healthiest sustainable fish you can easily find in your market:

Purse Seine (Atlantic Mackerel)

This is a strong-flavored fish packed with heart-healthy omega-3s that works really well with bold seasonings. You can get 20 grams of protein in a fillet of 30 grams – not bad as a lean source of protein. Atlantic Mackerel is also a sustainable kind as they can repopulate easily and can handle frequent amounts of fishing. The gear used to fish them is a regular fish net, this makes the way of catching them efficient and environment friendly.

Freshwater Salmon

Salmon is widely used in many Asian cooking. Known for its use in sushi platters, salmon is typically caught wild. However, to maintain its sustainability, many freshwater farms have raised salmon to cater to the demands, especially in the United States.

To be specific, freshwater coho salmon is a farmed fish that got a Super Green Rating. This means they are deemed fresh, healthy and contain no contaminants at all. There are still other farms today that are still on the “avoid” list – that’s another information worth checking. The only downside of getting freshwater salmon is its susceptibility to parasitic infections. There are times that these fish are exposed to antibiotic treatments which many consumers are put off by.

Wild Caught Salmon (From Alaska)

Alaska’s Salmon fishery is considered to be one of the strictest fisheries around the world. Biologists are stationed at river mouths to ensure that wild fish comes back to reproduce again.

As soon as the number of fish depletes, the fishery closes down until it raises up the reference threshold again. Alaskan salmon contains 1,210mg of omega-3 for every 3 ounces of serving. Wild caught salmon, unlike freshwater salmon, contains less contaminants and are less likely to get parasites.

Wild Caught Sardines

Compared to salmon, tuna or just about any other fish in the market, this inexpensive and tiny fish contains 1,950mg of omega 3 for every 3 ounces of serving, making its was as one of the superfoods that you should have in your kitchen. Rich in vitamin D, sardines are also one of the most sustainable fish as they reproduce quickly.

Eating fish on a regular basis is a healthy habit. Not just that, you may also lose some weight if you replace your meat and junk food with fish, as you will feel full almost as fast but with much less calories intake.

The importance of including healthy fatty acids in your diet is a must. Always remember that not all fish contains the right amount of omega-3 and there are those out there that can do more harm than good for your health. Be mindful of contaminated fish and those that are high in mercury content.

10 May

The Origin Of The Apple


What is the origin of the apple?

There are forests of incredible prehistoric wild apple trees grown in the mountains of Kazakhstan. Apples would have appeared 165 million years. These trees can reach up to 30 meters high and their apples, with nice shapes and colors are edible, some sweet and tasty.

A small number have developed an exceptional resistance to diseases, especially the number one scourge of apple: apple scab. The trees present in Kazakhstan have a set of resistance genes that were lost during the long process of domestication of apples when they journeyed from Asia to Europe.

Are these trees the ancestors of our modern cultivated apple?

It is an academician from Kazakhstan who explored this unparalleled biodiversity. The journey of this amazing vision was bright and incorruptible, identifying, mapping and studying these magnificent trees. In adversity and underground, isolated under Stalin who was hostile to the progress of modern genetics, he dedicated his life to the study and protection of the apples.

This scientific work is of great importance today as it allowed an extensive research on resistance to parasites of the apple at Cornell University in the United States as well as Oxford, England.

Researchers in genetics and horticulture worked on genetic improvement and the creation of new varieties of quality fruit while reducing the use of pesticides. Several apple varieties have been developed, including the Ariane apple, the fruit of 30 years of research.

The apple is the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Paradoxically, its fruit is loaded with symbolism from the beginning, it is the forbidden fruit. Countless varieties of apples are generously produced all year. The apple has been known since ancient times. Our apples are present from wild apple trees from Asia Minor to the Caucasus.

You bet, people even observed the apple tree in the Himalayas up to 3000 meters. Gradually and more recently, the apple trees have been developed into many hybrids. Crosses gave different forms of apples from what we knew. Today there are nearly 6,000 varieties of apples clearly identified. The apple tree is very old, perfectly suited to the South of the Europe, one of his favorite parts. Indeed, climate and soil make its fruits tastier and excellent for dessert or cider.

Towards the end of the Tertiary, beginning of the Quaternary about 1.7 million years ago, appeared the wild apple. Prints of wild apple leaves were found in France. About one million years ago the first primates belonging to the same family as man started to collect wild plants.

Wild apple growing in hedges or bushes provided fruit smaller and more colorful than those of the cultivated varieties. Their presence ensured good pollination of other species. The wild apple can make excellent jellies. Remains of apples have been found cut in prehistoric settlements in lake dwellings of Neolithic and Bronze Age, about 4550-750 BC.

The Celts, who invaded Gaul in the first millennium, much appreciated the apple. This fruit was a symbol in their traditions and a reward in some games, but the Romans and the Germans destroyed the power of the Celtic Druids. Their culture only survived in the kingdoms of Ireland among the invaded countries.

The culture of the apple has mainly spread around the Mediterranean. Apple was best known to Egyptian, Jewish and Greek civilizations. The winning Israelites in the exodus from Egypt, brought it in Palestine in the 19th century BC. The apple tree was among the trees that the pharaoh Ramses II planted in his garden Delta.

Olympus is a steep snow-capped peak which was to inspire fear in the Greeks. No doubt they will represent the abode of the gods as a place very light air, inaccessible and mysterious. This is where the games took place every four years, where athletes competed in tournaments to find the winner in each type of game.

Hesiod, Greek poet of the 8th century BC, teaches field work for the days and seasons of the year. There was already talking of grafting apple. For the Gauls, apple, a word of Celtic origin, was a sacred tree such as oak, probably because it is often charged with mistletoe, the sacred mistletoe revered by the Druids, and they would not play near it.

If the French name of the apple comes from the Latin word meaning fruit (pomum), it is probably because it was in this country, the most common fruit. The Romans practiced the graft. They had rich orchards on their land. Pomona was the goddess of fruits and gardens. So thanks Pomona to bring the good apple to us today.