Links on heart disease, calcium and iodine

Whether nutrient deficiencies or other metabolic imbalance is the cause is not clear or it may be a response to oxidative stress, however levels of the trace nutrients magnesium, selenium, zinc, and vitamin D3 were found to be low and the level of calcium elevated in myocardium, a type of muscle tissue in the heart. (1)

The short story – adequate nutrition is needed to support pregnancy and lactation (breast feeding) – longer duration breast feeding (6-12 months or more) is associated with less heart disease (2) and breast cancer (3risk. Increased amounts of iodine is needed for pregnancy and lactation (4) and low iodine and low selenium may be involved in breast cancer risk. (5)

A high protein diet, especially one high in dairy products is associated with more heart disease risk. (6) Background information – a high protein diet creates more work for the kidneys in order to excrete the extra nitrogen from protein that was converted into energy (ketones) (7) instead of being used to build muscle or other proteins.

Magnesium may help protect against calcification in heart disease in two important ways. It is needed for the kidneys to be able to excrete excess calcium. It also acts as a calcium channel blocker by providing electrical power from inside of cells or organ tissue in order to help keep excess calcium from entering the soft tissue and blood vessels through the membrane calcium channels. Medications used for hypertension include several calcium channel blockers.

Cholesterol plaque formation (atherosclerotic plaques) along vessel membrane walls may be simply acting as a coating to prevent the electrically active calcium ions from entering cells or doing other damage by plastering it in place, like plaster or spackle on dry wall. Calcium and magnesium levels in normal health are very carefully controlled by the kidneys. Lack of potassium and excess sodium may also affect the kidneys ability to excrete excess calcium.

The current understanding of atherosclerosis does not describe the role of magnesium in this way – current description: (8) and (9).

The role of potassium, magnesium and calcium in hypertension is available here: (10).

Magnesium has been found to help reduce vascular calcification (atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels) in animal based research, (11) {and I believe in a few human research studies too but I have to find the links again. See Table 7 for a list of symptoms common to magnesium deficiency, hypertension and myocardial infarction are included: (14)} Magnesium may also help reduce prostate cancer risk or progression, (15), and low magnesium levels may be an underlying factor in the formation of cancer tumors, (18); and depression (16) can be a symptom of magnesium deficiency (14) and frequently co-occurs with other diagnoses. (17)

The short story – excess calcium may increase heart disease risk while adequate iodine, selenium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin D are all important for a healthy pregnancy, ability to lactate for a longer duration and reduce the risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

Addition, miscarriage history and history of having more than four pregnancies/four children has been associated with increased risk of heart disease for the mothers. (12) Increased losses of iodine and magnesium stores from the bones may be an underlying factor.  Premature infants born to multiparous women (women who had previous pregnancies) are more likely to have low Thyroid Stimulating Factor – which is associated with hypothyroidism which can simply be due to low iodine levels during the pregnancy. (13)

The long story is in the links below;

except for references about magnesium, potassium and vitamin D for pregnancy and breast feeding but they are also important for pregnancy and lactation. The baby may not thrive or may be fussier if the breast milk is low in essential nutrients or it may be difficult to maintain an adequate supply if the woman is malnourished.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes. Thanks.

  1. Karl T. Weber, William B. Weglicki, Robert U. Simpson, Macro- and micronutrient dyshomeostasis in the adverse structural remodelling of myocardium, Cardiovasc Res. 2009 Feb 15; 81(3): 500–508. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18835843 (1)
  2. Katherine Lindemann, Mothers who breastfeed may be less likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke later in life, an interview with Sanne A. E. Peters, University of Oxford, Research Fellow in Epidemiology, June 21, 2017, researchgate.net blog post,   https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/breastfeeding-may-have-long-term-health-benefits-for-mothers-too  Benefits were seen/measured with six months increments in breastfeeding duration, with a large group of Chinese mothers, “Mothers who had breastfed their babies had a nine percent lower risk of heart disease and an eight percent lower risk of stroke.” (2)
  3. Loren Lipworth, L. Reness Bailey, Dimitrios Trichopoulos,

    History of Breast-Feeding in Relation to Breast Cancer Risk: a Review of the Epidemiologic Literature, JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 92, Issue 4, 16 February 2000, Pages 302–312, https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/92/4/302/2624708 “Overall, the evidence with respect to “ever” breast-feeding remains inconclusive, with results indicating either no association or a rather weak protective effect against breast cancer. […] It appears that the protective effect, if any, of long-term breast-feeding is stronger among, or confined to, premenopausal women. It has been hypothesized that an apparently protective effect of breast-feeding may be due to elevated breast cancer risk among women who discontinue breast-feeding or who take medication to suppress lactation; however, the evidence is limited and should be interpreted with caution” (3)

  4. Angela M. Leung, MD, MSc, Elizabeth N. Pearce, MD, MSc,* and Lewis E. Braverman, MD, Iodine Nutrition in Pregnancy an Lactation, Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2011 Dec; 40(4): 765–777. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3266621/  Iodine needs are increased during pregnancy and lactation and in iodine replete geographic areas breast milk levels seemed adequate for the infant’s needs. 250-290 micrograms is estimated to be needed compared to the RDA of 150 micrograms. That level did not seem adequate in geographically low area of New Zealand: ” In a recent study, the iodine needs for breastfed infants in iodine-deficient New Zealand remained inadequate even when their mothers were supplemented with 150 μg/d of iodine during the first 6 postpartum months.” (4)
  5. Peter PA Smyth, The Thyroid, Iodine and Breast CancerBreast Cancer Res. 2003; 5(5): 235–238.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC314438/ Autoimmune thyroid disease and goiter is more common in patients with breast cancer. Iodine and selenium may be protective against both conditions, a review of literature rather than a study. (5)
  6. Heart Risk of High Protein Diets, June 4, 2018, The Hippocrtic Post,  https://www.hippocraticpost.com/ageing/heart-risk-of-high-protein-diets/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=webpush&utm_campaign=notifications The group of men with the highest intake of protein in percentage of total calories had increased risk of heart disease, except for protein from fish or eggs. “When they compared men who ate the most protein to those who ate the least, they found their risk of heart failure was:33 percent higher for all sources of protein;
    43 percent higher for animal protein;
    49 percent higher for dairy protein;
    17 percent higher for plant protein.” (6)
  7. Sherwin RS, Hendler RG, Felig P.,  Effect of Ketone Infusions on Amino Acid and Nitrogen Metabolism in ManJ Clin Invest. 1975 Jun;55(6):1382-90.
       https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1133179 (7)
  8. Isabella AlbaneseKashif KhanBianca BarrattHamood Al‐KindiAdel Schwertani, Atherosclerotic Calcification: Wnt is the Hint, Basic Science for Clinicians, February 8, 2018 Journal of the American Heart Association,  http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/7/4/e007356 (8)
  9. The Cardiovascular System in Disease, Diseases of the Vessels, Chapter 6, Ch006-M3430.indd 4/19/2007, http://booksite.elsevier.com/samplechapters/9780723434306/9780723434306.pdf (9)
  10. Mark C. Houston MD, MS, Karen J. Harper MS, PharmD,  Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium: Their Role in Both the Cause and Treatment of Hypertension, JCH, Vol 10, Issue 7, pp 3-11, July 2008,  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1751-7176.2008.08575.x (10)
  11. Fatih Kircelli, Mirjam E. Peter, Ebru Sevinc Ok, Fatma Gul Celenk, Mumtaz Yilmaz, Sonja Steppan, Gulay Asci, Ercan Ok, Jutta Passlick-Deetjen, Magnesium reduces calcification in bovine vascular smooth muscle cells
    in a dose-dependent manner, Nephrol Dial Transplant (2012) 27: 514–521, https://watermark.silverchair.com/gfr321.pdf?token=AQECAHi208BE49Ooan9kkhW_Ercy7Dm3ZL_9Cf3qfKAc485ysgAAAZ0wggGZBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagggGKMIIBhgIBADCCAX8GCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMbSRHWigPf17i-jCnAgEQgIIBUIkKsm3S-WvD5qd-tNiIBBwsoiqBg-FrbTXdm2oS2q2AdX0wuviR-rsM-hi6IMVKWwMEinUYTbh7DopBg7SWLxBIi4bHXaQft3IHdQqhDKr_RiB69uxkVRwW_2aHFGYjR0FzhUSfhDrmVLweVHZRTIYDVbrSkgaVgLnFq4YHvxohG08oMbAeF4C26XL026jpA7J1xbOodHz_o5MUvoQgVcxwhrIFuu7ysxD_B7bjJehfrw6SLjkrm3Q43jrsS3vS37v_hIig_lTQyFCPe5L6UhFwlQvH1mwPIKPNituSvoob5OxY5odMFjtcXNg0Wz2tqLajbKP_Cg4Rt1X0c67CLvTGMkos_d7QLKbxwiFibtfpcrPJlIfbPPEIjd4jKRI2MWFePBaQTQLnUOoC934JHOp4abLCC5jRaOAgHykzJhZPOpvgmvrgj-jJmZBtfdgW9g (11)
  12. Kashmira Gander, Having More Kids Linked to Heart Disease Risk in Mothers, According to New Study, June 4, 2018, newsweek.com, http://www.newsweek.com/kids-linked-heart-disease-risk-mothers-according-new-study-956066 (12)
  13. Kelli K Ryckman, M.S., PhD, Cassandra N Spracklen, M.S., John M Dagle, M.D., PhD., Jeffrey C Murray, M.D.Maternal Factors and Complications of Preterm Birth Associated with Neonatal Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Sep; 27(0): 929–938. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4260397/ “Maternal and neonatal thyroid levels are tightly correlated and hypothyroidism …. Multiparous women had infants with lower TSH levels (P=8×10−4) compared to …” (13)

  14. R. Swaminathan, Magnesium Metabolism and Its Disorders, Clin Biochem Rev. 2003 May; 24(2): 47–66.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1855626/ (14)
  15. Oseni, Saheed & Quiroz, Elsa & Kumi-Diaka, Jim. (2016). Chemopreventive Effects of Magnesium Chloride Supplementation on Hormone Independent Prostate Cancer Cells. Functional Foods in Health and Disease. 6. 1-15.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291164181_Chemopreventive_Effects_of_Magnesium_Chloride_Supplementation_on_Hormone_Independent_Prostate_Cancer_Cells (15)

  16. Eby GA, Eby KL, Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment.Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(2):362-70. Epub 2006 Mar 20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16542786 (16

  17. Hee-Ju Kang, Seon-Young Kim, Kyung-Yeol Bae, Sung-Wan Kim, Il-Seon Shin, Jin-Sang Yoon, and Jae-Min Kim, Comorbidity of Depression with Physical Disorders: Research ad Clinical ImplicationsChonnam Med J. 2015 Apr; 51(1): 8–18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406996/ (17)
  18. : Castiglioni S, Maier JAM. Magnesium and cancer: a dangerous liason. Magnes Res 2011; 24(3): S92-S100 doi:10.1684/mrh.2011.0285   http://www.mgwater.com/Magnesium%20and%20Cancer.pdf (18)
  19.  Pharmacology of Cardiac Potassium Channels, Cardiovascular Research, Volume 62, Issue 1, 1 April 2004, Pages 9–33, Oxford Academic – see Table 4, https://academic.oup.com/cardiovascres/article/62/1/9/373105 (19)
  20. Lakshman Goonetilleke, John Quayle, TREK-1 K+ Channels in the Cardiovascular System: Their Significance and Potential as a Therapeutic Target, Cardiovascular Therapeutics 30 (2012) e23–e29  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1755-5922.2010.00227.x (20)
  21. University of Pittsburgh: Cardiovascular system during the postpartum state in women with a history of preeclampsia, Chapter 2: Cardiovascular System,  pp 190-191, Advances in Physiology Research and Application: 2012 Edition, Scholarly EditionsDec 26, 2012, ebook, https://books.google.com/books?id=3SyvNMZLBU0C&pg=PA190&lpg=PA190&dq=TREK+1+preeclampsia&source=bl&ots=2SzKQHcFJ0&sig=fGwDeK6cMIkUXhtwPDNKqio1zIQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirhN_h6-XbAhUSbq0KHWDZCS0Q6AEIUjAF#v=onepage&q=TREK%201%20preeclampsia&f=false (21)
  22. Ma R, Seifi M, Papanikolaou M, Brown JF, Swinny JD, Lewis A.TREK-1 Channel Expression in Smooth Muscle as a Target for Regulating Murine Intestinal Contractility: Therapeutic Implications for Motility Disorders.  Front Physiol. 2018 Mar 6;9:157, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845753/ (22)
  23. Antidepressant Drugs Suppress Activity of Potassium Channels, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Feb. 8, 2011, psypost.org,  https://www.psypost.org/2011/02/antidepressant-ssri-potassium-channel-4068 (23)
  24. Nicholas J. Talley, SSRIs in IBS: Sensing a dash of disappointment. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, May 2003, Volume 1, Issue 3, Pages 155–159.  https://www.cghjournal.org/article/S1542-3565(03)70030-5/fulltext (24)
  25. Tülay Özkan Seyhan, Olgaç Bezen, Mukadder Orhan Sungur, İbrahim Kalelioğlu, Meltem Karadeniz, and Kemalettin Koltka, Balkan Med J. 2014 Jun; 31(2): 143–148.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4115934/ Exerimental group needed less fluid replacement and waited longer before requesting additional pain killing medication than the women with normal (no preeclampsia) deliveries. (25)
  26. Ramanathan J, Vaddadi AK, Arheart KL. Combined spinal and epidural anesthesia with low doses of intrathecal bupivacaine in women with severe preeclampsia: a preliminary report. Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2001 Jan-Feb;26(1):46-51. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11172511 (26)
  27. KCNK2 potassium two pore domain channel subfamily K member 2 [ Homo sapiens (human) ], Gene ID: 3776, updated on 23-May-2018,   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/3776 (27)

     

  28. Tayyba Y Ali, Fiona Broughton Pipkin, and Raheela N Khan, The Effect of pH and Ion Channel Modulators on Human Placental Arteries. PLoS One. 2014; 9(12): e114405. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4260857/  “In vessels isolated from placentae of women with pre-eclampsia (n = 6), pH responses were attenuated.” (28) *attenuated means a weakened response, less responsive to the stimulus.

All are equal in Equal Opportunity Programs

“Some are more equal than others” in the book Animal Farm by George Orwell. (paraphrased)

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

In the 60’s and 70’s women’s liberation and sexual liberation were somewhat connected. Being a single unwed mother was rare and was disapproved of.  That has changed for the better, women and children are accepted no matter the marital history. However the poverty support programs as they are currently written promote unwed mothers by penalizing couples -giving less support or no support help to married couples or unwed couples where the father is named.

A support net that promotes single parenting and not naming a child’s father is discriminating against the child’s right to know their father and their medical and cultural heritage. Welfare programs in larger areas even inspect for evidence of an unnamed father figure and women can lose their benefits even if the large size jeans were their own. Supporting children is a goal that benefits society and stressful situations make parenting more difficult. Rewriting policies that are more open to two parent households whether it is mom and dad, or mom and mom, or dad and dad, would be a positive goal for the sake of raising healthy and secure children who have adequate caregiving available.

Raising children is a challenge with two parents and raising them with one parent may be less stressful and the wiser choice if one parent is unreliable or abusive, so flexibility in any welfare type support net program is the wisest choice for the children’s sake. And for the future’s sake raising secure well adjusted children is most likely to lead to more well adjusted  prosocial tax paying self sufficient adults. (link elsewhere on this site.: From a previous post: Regarding potential underlying reasons for a person to resort to mass violence – typically it isn’t due to “mentally ill” people unless they were already prone to violence. An increased risk for violence is not associated with depression, anxiety or ADHD. Increased risk for mass violence is significantly associated though with being a male who had experienced child trauma and who is a binge drinker.  (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318286/ ))

Sexual liberation was openly discussed by some in the past, 60s/70s, but it wasn’t common for the average woman or household (some women were free/open to casual encounters but most others were not; and swinging/key parties were an experiment of the 70s). Now we have fifty percent (roughly) of children growing up in poverty and many of them living in poverty have single parent households. The inequality of women’s pay to men’s pay when broken down into more precise detail is actually more of a difference in mother’s pay to other’s pay. nytimes The salaries of women without children are more comparable to men’s wages.

So who is liberated now – father’s from their previous role as a head of household? Or are they liberated from being anywhere in the household? Maybe but liberated maybe not. Some are in prison as the number of prisoners has increased with the for-profit prison industry. Since 1974 the amount of prisoners has increased from a steady 100/100,000 to 500/100,000 by 2004. nap.edu

Is sexual liberation still around – or just single parenthood? It seems to be the latter, based on my experience it went away with the increase in sexually transmitted disease and the increase in AIDS/HIV that occurred in the 80s and 90s.

What about equality? Are some animals more equal than others? Yes, some do seem to have different rules than others regarding taxation and legal protection and even in television show games we have many that focus on voting who to keep and who to remove from the lineup of contenders. Some animals are more equal it seems, in our modern times.

In my world we are all equal and the animals count too. We need offshore microbes to modify the form of trace minerals found in ocean water into a form that is available in the atmosphere.

Some animals may think they are more equal than other animals but in the long run we may all be looking to microbes for help that they won’t be able to provide in an ocean that is more acidic and warmer. It is hard to predict who will be more equal than who in a greatly changed world, planning ahead now might make the transition go smoother. Stopping change is already too late, it is happening at the more severe rates that have been used in calculations of predicted events.

In the world I grew up as a child in the 70s we cared about climate and cleaning up air and water and women’s liberation included freedom to touch and be touched not just be seen in more exposed and expensive fashions. Fathers were part of the household, not just on visitation days. Was it perfect then? probably not, but is it perfect now? not really. Lack of jobs for many and lack of time for those who do have jobs is a problem in our modern society that isn’t going to change without the creation of new industries. Globalization has decreased poverty around the world but has led to fewer jobs in the U.S. that are as well paying in proportion to the type of pay that a father as head of household might have had in the 50s or 60s. It will require planned change in priorities to create a new job or basic income society. The advantage could be more stable parenting by two parent households.

Men, on average, are still expected to be a good earner in order to win a woman’s partnership as a spouse and parent. cnn.com/american-men-less-marriageable-partner Expectations may be involved in the suicide rate by males which is a problem of our modern society that was also a problem in the 50s and 60s. More men commit suicide than women on average (males ~18-21/100,000, females ~ 4-6/100,000) and both rates have been fairly consistent since the 1950s. statista.com  Social roles being demanding in different ways seems unlikely to explain that consistent of a difference, speculatively, testosterone levels are not directly associated with violence but in individuals whether male or female if prone to violence increased testosterone can increase tendency towards violence and suicide is a violent reaction against the self. (Sapolosky, Behave)

So are women liberated yet? are men? are children? Prisoners certainly aren’t. /https://mic.com/articles/86519/19-actual-statistics-about-america-s-prison-system#.RB8uGOHzW/ And are we sexually liberated yet? I read one study showed an average of less than two encounters per week for couples – we were supposed to be shocked that the use of medical marijuana was associated with a 20% increase in the rate, bumping up close to 1/week to closer to 2/week metro.co.uk/2017/10/27/weed-smokers-have-more-sex-apparently – I was shocked by both rates. It was not a large study, so maybe there’s more healthy fun going on in the world of consensual couples. Although for the busy pace of a full-time job and commute and helping with children’s homework or doing other household chores it can be difficult to find energy let alone time for extraneous activities no matter how fun. For me fun, solo, helps with better mental health and it can have pain killing benefits for a woman. Migraine relief was sometimes only a few minutes of concentration away if I had some privacy. Good and good for you.

Asexuality seems to be the new liberation. Zinc and omega 3 fatty acids and iodine and selenium may all be helpful for boosting that average for men or women. Food sources of iodine and selenium are available here: effectivecare.info/g9-iodine-&-thyroid

Some animals do seem to be more equal than others. George Orwell was right about that part.

The new site that I still need to work on is meant as ideas, not to be considered better or worse than anyone, the point of Equal Opportunity Programs is that all are treated equally, equal service offered in a variety of languages. The site has ideas, just ideas to consider and online translation services can give a rough translation, but currently the site is in English and written from the perspective of someone who worked in the U.S. in a field that was largely staffed by women, so my ideas may not convert well to a modern mixed gender working world, however the goal of Equal Opportunity Employment is that gender ratios in all of the businesses participating would be similar or not matter if they weren’t in similar ratios. Pay and benefits would be equivalent. Goals are a starting point to consider and work towards, ideas are a place to start.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.  

Banana Republics – an old novel for a current era

11/2017 – the USDA Food Composition Database is still missing critically important information – and until we can discuss that there is much else that isn’t going to be discussed. Note – this is about my concern that the entire public is being victimized by inadequate health care options as well as the information missing from a public database, and the history likely involves the radioactive incidents and factory work that took place in Hanford, Washington. Adequate iodine supply helps protect the body and thyroid gland from developing cancer and yet instead of educating the public regarding that fact the opposite occurred. Radioactive iodine is treated as a therapy for detecting cancer with the use of X-ray machines and for destroying thyroid cancer. Emergency supplies of higher dose iodine are produced for use in case of a nuclear incident but long term adequacy of iodine would work just as well or better than a short term use of high dose iodine if/when a nuclear incident occurred. The negative health effects of radioactive iodine have also been tested on the U.S. public without permission in covert experiments that took place during the Cold War years. See number six: http://theweek.com/articles/622448/8-government-conspiracy-theories-how-could-right/

Another plant can help reduce radiation in the soil – sunflowers have been used to help clean up radioactive hazardous waste sites. So instead of growing banana plants it might be helpful in some areas to plant sunflowers. https://gardencollage.com/change/sustainability/scientists-using-sunflowers-clean-nuclear-radiation/

Happy Holidays anyway – food sources for iodine and selenium, another trace mineral that is important for thyroid health is collected in an initial draft on my newer website: https://effectivecare.info/g9-iodine-%26-thyroid

Don Quixote, USA is a novel by Richard Powell that I read many times as a youth. Banana growing was a serious love for a nerdy young man who joined the Peace Corps and went to a South American country to help teach others. Somehow in the ensuing comedic adventures and misadventures he managed to grow bananas and takeover a Banana Republic – it is never too late to catch up on the classics.

I read the Reader’s Digest version which is mentioned in this book review. Reader’s Digest publishes slightly condensed versions of full length novels and publishes a book that includes four novels. Having read a few of the novels in their original and the Reader’s Digest condensed version I would say, great job Reader’s Digest at putting books in young adult’s and adult’s hands. I have not read the full length version of Don Quixote, USA but trust that it is even better than the Reader’s Digest version. Part of their success might be in choosing great books in the first place.

Book Review: Don Quixote, USA by Richard Powell

The novel is also available in a Kindle version and has an all star review on Amazon: Don Quixote, USA .

Take home lesson – if you don’t like something don’t just smash walnuts, unless you can also grow bananas. Read Don Quixote, USA to find  out more.

/Or spoiler for those who like to take things the wrong way, when the nerdy looking Peace Corps first arrives he is met by the current dictator who liked to crack nuts – smashing them – with the handle end of his pistol. When the now swash buckling Peace Corps member finds himself in the dictator’s chair as the people’s choice he finds the desktop has rounded indentations that do hold the walnut in place for handing cracking with the pistol handle (or whatever type it was, I don’t quite remember). The point in my sharing this is about negative smear campaigns against information – why is iodine information being withheld from the U.S. public when it was once available. No other nutrients seem to be missing and several non-nutrients are included. In 2012 I had an account on a social media site and multiple fake looking accounts were following it in a way that seemed to be trying to link me to the President in office at the time – I closed the account as the simplest way to end the parody followers attempt at a negative smear campaign. I didn’t know who might have been behind the fake looking followers but there were many of the same type of persona.

More on the less amusing history of the term Banana Republic is available on the Smithsonian website: Where we got the term Banana Republic. 

The take home lesson – don’t let your country be taken over by a business dictatorship where money talks, dictators listen, and everyone else asks how high to jump because they know that more than walnuts will be smashed.

Disclosure: Among my many houseplants I have grown a banana plant. they would need more sun than normal indoor light provides to actually produce fruit but as a large, lovely green tropical plant banana plants grow quickly and easily. https://www.thespruce.com/grow-bananas-indoors-1902483

Growing bananas in the right outdoor climate is relatively easy because new sprouts grow around the base of the older fruit bearing plant which can be the size of a small tree. The individual small plants can be dug up, and replanted with more space around them so that they all will be able to have the nutrients and sunlight that they will need in order to become a fullsize fruit bearing plant. I’ve never grown more than one potted plant banana but the book explains the process and it is an important part of the story – the young man changed himself in the process of helping the struggling people grow a more productive product for export. The dictator was overthrown by the will of the people who had grown to appreciate the young man’s help.

The Peace Corps volunteer knew about the amazing properties of the banana plant and his hard work led to a productive country, while the dictator that had been in charge knew more about cracking walnuts. The book includes details about growing bananas as the problem with the dictatorship at the time was a lack of productivity and lack of income.

The lesson isn’t about one Peace Corps worker or one dictator, it is about the group of people learning productive skills – no one alone can grow an entire field of bananas – it took a while for the young man to get enough interest and help.

A row of immature banana plants that need to be separated and replanted in a field. Or needed to be separated and replanted before they got this big. Ideally the sprouts would be used when they first appear and are only a few inches tall. This row would have roots that are too intertwined to be able to be separated.
A full size banana plant in the autumn, with a row of immature sprouts at the base – used for decorative purposes, I just happened to notice them.

And a daily reminder iodine content in our food supply was removed from a public database. This would not have been an accident – government agencies do what they are told. Why would the Obama Administration want to remove iodine information from public use? and why would the Trump Administration continue the policy? Food sources and other information about iodine and selenium is collected in a draft form on a different website: G9: Iodine & Thyroid

Where’s the iodine? Still missing from the USDA Food Composition Database, November, 2017.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.