MANY thoughts must be swirling in the head of President – elect Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). Lame duck President Ebele Jonathan, who will quit office in about 14 days, has suddenly abandoned the toga of a “Shockingly slow and inept “ President and begun to dig the ground around Gen. Buhari. In the digging around the incoming President, President Jonathan has been planting human “mines” in the forms of appointment of his party–men to public offices. In other words, he is infusing the blood of his party into the blood of the in–coming administration. And since the “blood” of both political parties do not belong to the same “blood group”, we can expect the infusion of PDP men through the back door into an APC government to produce a “Shockingly slow and inept” effect in the Buhari administration, if he does not immediately quash all appointments President Jonathan has been making since his election defeat by Gen Buhari (rtd) on March 28. I expect you to ask me how I came by the expression, “Shockingly slow and inept.” It isn’t my own coinage. It was developed by the American media to describe the responses of the Jonathan administration to burning issues of governance in Nigeria. So if a shockingly slow and inept president suddenly becomes an “active volcano” on the eve of his departure from office, this must create a swirl in the head and mind of the man who is to take office from him, in this case Gen. Buhari (rtd). There are other ongoing political matters that can or are creating more swirls.

This swirl will be generating free radicals in the blood and in the cells of the brain and else where which will require antioxidants to quench. We should remember that this series has focused on:

Knowledge from anti – aging research that the free radicals we ingest or produce in our bodies destroy our cells and organs, make us age prematurely or make us die many years before the expiry date of our bodies.

Antioxidants destroy these free radicals, thereby protecting our bodies and giving us the opportunity to live for as long as possible pain and disease free.

An aged person like Gen. Buhari (rtd), 72, will face severe rigours of office which may expose him to free radicals barrage, thereby making him unable to apply his physical body as effectively and as efficiently as the needs to, if he is to ride the storms and keep his election promises predicated on Change of all life forms in Nigeria for the better.

What applies to Gen. Buhari (rtd) applies to us all, young and old. I am glad many readers of the column are getting the message of this free radicals battle to destroy our bodies and how we can add antioxidants to our diet to destroy them. Last week, I met with one of such readers for more than one hour. He is Mr. Onisomo, a senior company executive in Lagos. A young man in comparison with my age (65 by, August 23),he did not wish to make the mistake old people of today made in their youth, carrying less about their health than everything else and arriving in old age with One Or more deformities of their health. He obtained the first inspiration for this from a talk given somewhere by Charlie Boy. 62, in that talk, Charlie Boy advised the youth not to delay care for their bodies until those bodies literately began to protest lack of care with manifestations of pain and disease. As the series progresses, it would visit other organs in need of care and return occasionally to the brain and the eyes on in respect of which some ideas have been shared. For now, I would like to share one more on the brain. It is about melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, an endocrine gland situated deep behind the brain. As we age, the pineal produces smaller amounts of melatonin than it did when we were young. One  of our guides on this anti – aging tour, Judy Limberg Mcfarland, whose book, Aging without growing old, which I have been suggesting is a must – book for the health library of every one ,

reports:  ,,… 30 years of laboratory research  resulted in Dr. Walter Pier. Paoli’s landmark studies which demonstrated that the pineal gland is our body’s natural time keeper and is regulated by natural ebb and flow by the hormone melatonin. I had the honour of meeting and hearing Dr. Pier Paoli’s lecture on melatonin at the 2nd international Anti – Aging Conference in Monte Carlo, Monaco. He feels that we may be able to slow the process of aging, turn back the hands of time, strengthen our immune system, and thereby heighten our resistance to disease and even prolong our sexual vitality by simply restoring the melatonin levels of youth. There are thousands of animal and human studies that suggest many roles for melatonin”.

Judy Mc farland says Dr. Frank Varese, of Laguna Hills, California, introduced her to natural hormone replacement many years ago. And this would spur her interest in melatonin.

She said that, through him, she learned about Dr Pier paoli’s, a leading researcher on melatonin who co– authored the book

MELATONIN MIRACLE

rom him and other researcher it has come to light that melatonin miracle may be the most powerful antioxidant yet to be discovered. according to Dr. Russel J. Riter, Ph.D.,  author of Melatonin your body’s natural wonder drug, and professor of neuroendocrinology, of the University of Texas. He had behind him more than 30 years of melatonin research. We now know that melatonin is made from tryptophan

An essential amino acids, which the body cannot manufacture from other amino acids but obtain from the diet. Judy Mcfarland says some dietery sources of melatonin include turkey, milk, whey, soy protein, cottage cheese, yoghurt, fish, bee, liver, lamb, peanuts, pumpken, and sesame seeds, brown rice and lentils” I would not forget to add SPIRULINA, the blue green aigae which warehouses all 23 or80 amino acids.

Judy mcfarland goes on: “66

Melatonin was discovered in 1958 when Dr. Lernar at Yale University isolated the molecule. The other sex hormones have discussed, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, prognorelone, is all made from cholesterol. Melatonin, however, is made from the amino acid tryptophan.”

Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) which helps to control mood and sleep may therefore, be good for people suffering from depression. Sleep at night,” says Judy Mcfarland,” serotonin is converted into melatonin.The initial clinical studies on melatonin focused on problems related to the sleep wake cycle or circadian rhythm of the body. But today, melatonin ranks as one of the important hormones, stimulating the release of a wide variety of other hormones from the pituitary gland. Not to bore you, I would quickly like to mention a study which I believe will excite your interest in melatonin and encourage you to add more tryptophan rich foods or supplement, including spirulina, to your diet.

Dr. Pierpaoli, mentioned earlier, reports on his melatonin experiments with mice:

“In the fall of 1985, I began the first of what will be many experiments, testing the effect of administering melatonin supplement to older mice. I selected healthy male mice that were 19 months old (human equivalent of about 65 years). They live to about 24 months. I divided the mice into two groups, one given melatonin in the evening drinking water, the other group regular tap water. Everything else, diet, living conditions, was exactly the same. At first, I could detect very little difference between the two groups of mice.

Within five months, however, the difference was astonishing. The untreated mice began to display the expected signs and symptoms of old age of senescence. They lost muscle mass, they developed bald patches, their eyes grew cloudy with cataracts, their digestion slowed down, and, so, generally, did they in some they seemed horn out and tired. They were winding down and becoming old. On the other hand, the melatonin –treated mice looked and behaved like their grand children. The mice on melatonin had actually grown more for and continued to boast thick, shiny coats. Their eyes were clear and cataracts free, their digestion had improved and, instead of growing thin and wasting in the manner of the non- melatonin treated mice; they maintained their strength and muscle tone. The vigour and energy with which they moved around their cage resembled the behavior of mice half their age.

Most importantly, they lived much longer than the untreated mice, having reached their expected lifespan of about 24 months (70- 75 years in human terms), began to die. Yet the melatonin mice lived on and on, an astonishing six months longer, which in human terms would amount to gaining an extra 25 years of life, or living part 100.

Judy Mcfarland says when Dr. Pierpoli determined the cause of death in the untreated mice; he found they had died of cancer. This was common for the breed and age “surprisingly, the melatonin- treated mice were disease free, even in their extended lives. Their organs had shrunk, typically of old age but they did not suffer or die from cancer.”

The import of these experiment, says Judy Mcfarland, is that if melatonin extended the lives of the rats, and they did not die of disease even during the extension, disease couldn’t be age-related as many people think but a cause of the abundance of free radicals and a deficiency of antioxidants.

The experiments were repeated many times over, and the same results were observed. When male and female mice were used, it was discovered that they “displayed the sexual prowess of much younger mice, in fact, right up until their death these mice were sexually active.” As this would be the equivalents of men and women 100 years old, it was thought melatonin supplementation of the diet could improve libido and sexual response to that age in humans.

Beyond these, melatonin has been put up as capable of lowering high blood cholesterol, reducing the formation of atheroma plaque in blood vessels and damaging them, offsetting or normalising high blood pressure; checking damage to heart muscle by corticosteroids and free radicals, apart from boosting immune function. In young people in whom the pineal gland is working optimally, Dr. Pierpoli says melatonin can enlarge the size of the thymus gland to normal. This gland matures the T-Cells which fight off foreign organisms and cancernous cells. In old people, the thymus gland would have shrunk and may even reappear to disappear. In breast cancer research, the pineal gland has been found to pump out more melatonin, which is found in deficient states in cancer disease. Coincidentally, chemotherapy suppresses the pineal gland.

The eye

s promised last Thursday, here’s more information on eye care. I did promise to provide more information on EYEMAXPLUS which I suggested was more comprehensive with about 20 nutrients than many of the eye health formulas on the Nigerian market today. These eye health antioxidant formulas are good for the prevention of eye disease and for supporting eye recovery from surgery, for example. The package of EYEMAXPLUS (every two capsules comprises Vitamin A beta carotene) 15,000.Vitamin C ( as a cerola fruit and Aascorbic Acid) 500 mg. Vitamin D ( as ergocalciferol) 200 i.u. i.u.Vitamin E ( as Aloha tocopherol and succinate)

400 i.u. Vitamin B1 (as thiamine mononitrate) 25mg. Vitamin B2  (as Riboflavin ) 10 mg. Vitamin B3 (as Nacinur) 50 mg.Vitamin B6 (as pyriodoxine) 25 mg. folate (as folic acid 800mg. Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobamin) 25mg. Biotin 300 mg. pantothenic acid ( as calcium pantothenate) 150 mg. calcium (as calcium carbonate) 200 mg. iodine from help 400 mg. magnesium (as magnesium oxide) 400 mg. zinc (as zinc aspartate, oxide complex) 25 mg. selenium ( as selenium amino acid ) 200 mcg. copper ( amino acid chelate) 2mg.

Macular degeneration

If you find someone standing right before you, who does not look at you straight in the eye but from the corners of the eye, he or she most probably is suffering from macular degeneration.

Judy mcfarland describes it as follows The cause of macular degenerating is unknown, although it is suggested that free radicals damage due to long – term exposure to visible light and uv radiation may be responsible. Several studies have shown that when deprived of antioxidants, many different species, including primates, our closest relatives in the annual kingdom, are likely to develop retinal degeneration. Studies also show that exposure to bright light also accelerates retinal degeneration in animals. Macular degeneration is a progressive but painless disorder that affects the central part of the retina, causing gradual loss of vision. The retina is responsible for central vision, which is required for writing, swimming, driving and distinguishing colour. It usually affects both eyes, either simultaneously or one shortly after the other. She says trouble begins with partial breakdown of an misulating layer between the retina and the choroid.” Fluid leaks and new blood vessels growing from the choroid through the retina damage the latter. This creates “a circular area of blindness” which grows until it may wipe off two or three words at normal reading distance.

Diabetic retinopathy

This is a disease of diabetics and hypertensive’s. Blood vessels of the retina begin to bleed in diabetes, a group of blood cells called platlets clump together, causing diseases of small and large blood vessels. Vitamin E reduces this tendency. All other antioxidants, including Alpha Lipoic Acid, especially good for diabetics are well recommended by Judy McFarland for this condition. So are Chromium and Selenium. Chromium helps burn blood sugar. Selenium sometimes acts like Vitamin E.

The information comes with the warning that, going by the Physician Desk Reference List, there are about 94 Pharmaceutical medications that can cause glaucoma. This includes steroids, anti-hypertensive and anti-depressants. Other suggestions made for eye health are Bilbery, ginkgo biloba, Lutein and Zeazanthen, Taurine, Carotenoids, Grape Seed extract, Vitamin C, Selenium, Vitamin A, B2, B6, Glutathione etc.

Conclusion

As we wade through the storms of earthly existence, we cannot avoid those swirls of the head, mind and body which expose us to free radical predation. Lame duck President Jonathan is already digging the ground around in-coming President Buhari and planting human mines everywhere. There should be some combustion if a President Buhari erases these human – mine appointments. Besides the outgoing government party has been trying to belittle or flaw the election victory of General Buhari. It says votes were inflated for General Buhari and that President Jonathan is not contesting the votes to prevent bloodbath in Nigeria. That makes Jonathan a hero of Nigerian people and paints Buhari as a villain. The Jonathan side does not mention votes on its side configured under “special circumstances” they do not say what Jonathan would have done if we won the polls outright and the north rose against him. Anyone who knows Jonathan well knows he would have done same.

Poor me: Toga and called in the troops. Happily, while Jonathan was busy throwing money at the voters, the opposition was getting the international community interested in the upcoming polls. They, and the Nigerian courts, dissuaded Jonathan from using soldiers to railroad himself back to power. His balloon was punctured, and he had no choice but to go. If he did not go away and people died through his use of troops, he would have faced the wrath of the world community trying to discredit the victor is uncharitable and ungentlemanly. Trying to set bobby traps with lame duck – time appointments is worse. Equally terrible is the agenda that, within six months, Buhari’s government would have failed every-one. We all should expect the swirls and arm up with antioxidant defenses for our health.