Do you have the guts?

The small intestine is 15 feet long,  but the large intestine is only 5 feet long!  They are named for their width, not their length.

On average, the food we eat stays in our intestines from 18 hours to 2 days.

During their lifetime, the average human’s intestine will handle 50 tons of food and liquid.

Gas is produced by bacteria in the intestine.  We have 500 types of bacteria that live in our intestines.   As the bacteria break down the food, the bacteria release gas. The sulphur-containing gas they release is what causes the smell of farts.

Farts are flammable because of the gases released!

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That seems fishy…

If you’re looking for ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, think about eating more fish!

As you know, fish is a great source of protein.  The American Heart Association recommends eating fish two times a week for adults who are not pregnant.

Fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, and sardines are high in “Omega-3 Fatty Acids”.  These are special types of fats that are needed for normal metabolism.

Eating fish high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids may protect against heart attacks.  Omega-3 Fatty acids actually reduce triglycerides.   They also appears to help with blood pressure for patients who have High Blood Pressure (Hypertension).

There are even studies showing that Omega-3 Fatty Acids may help with depression and anxiety!

How does it work?  The Omega-3 Fatty Acids appear to decrease the body’s inflammatory process that can cause damage to our body’s organs.

salmon

Diabetes: Progress over the years!

Diabetes was first written about in 1552 BC.  Doctors saw that ants were attracted to the urine of diabetic patients, because of the sugar (glucose) in it!

However, insulin wasn’t discovered until 1921.  It was first tested on a 14-year-old boy and was found to successfully treat his diabetes.

In the 1940s, the average life expectancy for a patient with insulin-dependent diabetes was only 45 years!

The first pancreas transplant for severe diabetic patients was discovered in 1966.

The insulin pump was developed in the 1970s.  The insulin pump is a device that is implanted under the skin and delivers continuous insulin infusion.

There are now more than 300 types of insulin analogues that allow for patient treatment to be customized, reduce side effects, and improve outcomes for patients with diabetes.

Because of the advances in treatment for diabetics, new study results show that the average patient with Type I diabetes can now expect to live to almost 75 years of age, and some patients have survived into their 80s.

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Can you stomach this?

In a human’s lifetime, they spend 5 years total eating. In a lifetime, a human eats 7,000 times their weight in food!

There is a 20 minutes delay from when you start eating until you start feeling full.

Feeling “full” is a function of the brain, and not the stomach. Feeling full is the result of the brain reacting to chemicals released when food or drink is placed in the stomach. The brain takes around 20 minutes to register these chemicals. After the meal, the levels continue to rise over 10 to 30 minutes. They stay elevated for three to five hours following the meal.

stomach

 

Get some sleep!

 

Infants sleep 16 hours a day. Most adults sleep 7-8 hours a day.

Infants have dreams before they are born.

Twenty five percent of Americans are habitual snorers.

Fifteen percent of people sleepwalk. Sleepwalking is most common from ages 3-7.

The average person takes 7 minutes to fall asleep.

Most people dream 1-2 hours a night and have 4-7 dreams a night.

Twelve percent of people dream only in black and white.

You burn more calories during sleep than watching TV!

sleep

It’s cold season!

When you have a cold, it seems like you produce more mucous, but the mucous really just changes consistency and becomes thicker and often a different, greenish color.

The reason that the mucous during a cold becomes green later in the course of the cold is because your immune system sends white blood cells called neutrophils rushing to the lining of the nose to try to fight infection. These cells contain a greenish-colored enzyme, and in large numbers they can turn the mucus the same color of green.

cold

Do you love a redhead?

Recent research has shown that patients with red hair need larger doses of anesthesia, and that they are resistant to local pain injections.

Red-haired patients have a gene called melanocortin-1 receptor that is different than patient’s with brown, black, or blond hair.  This “Mc1R” gene controls pain receptors in the brain.

Because of this genetic difference, redheads require up to 20% more general anesthetic to control their pain during surgery!

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Good things about coffee…

Many people worry about whether they drink too much coffee.  Some people are sensitive to too much caffeine, and can even get palpitations (irregular heart beats) if they have too much.  But has science shown any health benefits from coffee?  Here is what studies have shown to date:

  1.  Coffee can lower the risk of Type II Diabetes
  2.  Coffee lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
  3. Coffee can help prevent Cirrhosis of the liver for those who have 4 cups a day
  4. One cup of coffee has Vitamin B1 (thiamine) B3 (niacin), B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), many antioxidants, potassium and manganese!

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Fun Flu Facts

Every year, 200,000 people in the United States will contract the flu.  About 30,000 people die from the flu a year in the United States, which is about the same number that die from motor vehicle accidents.  In 1918, the “Spanish” flu caused 20 million deaths worldwide.

The word influenza comes from the Italian word for “influence”, because it was believed that the planets, stars and moon influenced the timing of the flu season.

If someone who has the flu sneezes on a table or hard surface, the virus can live between 2-8 hours.

The economic cost of the flu in the United States per year is $8.4 billion in lost worker productivity.

Getting the flu shot reduces your chance of getting the flu by 50-60%.  And you can’t get the flu from the flu shot!

The flu virus under an electron microscope:

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