Consuming Fat Can Have Exceptional Health Benefits – Whale Fat

By Anupum Pant

Blubber Crash-course

Blubber is thick layer of fat that is present under the skin of many sea dwelling animals which helps them withstand the cold sea temperatures. It is found in animals like dolphins, whales, seals etc. Since fur fails to insulate once the animal is inside water, blubber is what helps them stay warm in there. Depending on the size of the animal, the thickness of this fat layer can vary from 2 to 12 inches. Look at a minute-long Sick Science experiment (Video) that demonstrates this particular function of a layer of fat (shortening in this case).

The other important use of blubber for these animals is that it can act as a buffer stock of energy. During the times when sea animals aren’t able to find food, they burn up the fat for energy. It helps them last for a long time without food. Also, blubber helps them float better in water.

Eskimos eat this

Inuit, a group of people living in parts of Arctic, Canada, Greenland and USA, commonly known as Eskimos, love to include blubber in their food because it is a great source of  omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. They consume raw, dried and boiled blubber with meat regularly, either with soya sauce or sea oil.

The positive health benefits of blubber, as Wikipedia puts it, can be observed in Greenland, where people consume it regularly. As a result, they are less likely to die due to Heart diseases. It says, not a single person died in that region in the 1970s due to cardiovascular diseases. Someone needs to study the same for the present decade.

It cites the following a source that no longer exists. However, another source clarifies it (source):

In the 1970s there was not a single death due to cardiovascular disease in the hunting district of Uummannaq with about 3,000 inhabitants. The average 70-year-old Inuit with a traditional diet of whale and seal has arteries as elastic as those of a 20-year-old Danish resident.

That is a pretty incredible health benefit, given hardening of arteries due to build-up of fat has become such big killer in developed countries.

Is Blubber really that good today?

Today, whales and other sea animals that are a primary source of blubber for Eskimos, come across huge amounts of toxic chemicals in the sea – mostly through food. They consume these industrial wastes, and with time carcinogens build up in their bodies. These carcinogens ultimately enter the traditional food items of Eskimos through blubber.

So, heart disease might not be a widespread phenomena in Greenland, but in a few years, cancer could be. But, that is just the poor human logical brain talking.

According to current studies, blubber based diet has is indeed been credited to the Inuit health and longevity.

Also read –

  1. Sharks Are Not So Bad After All
  2. Ambergris – Whale Vomit Can Make You Rich

Third-Hand Smoke is as Bad as Smoking

By Anupum Pant

Yes, third-hand smoke (THS)! I knew there was second-hand smoke that someone standing near a smoker could inhale and get affected, but never knew there was third-hand smoke. The worst part about it – It is as deadly as smoking a cigarette and effectively affects everybody, irrespective of your proximity to the smoker and his smoke.

So, if you are a non-smoker and the next time someone tells you that their smoking habit is none of your business, you need to tell them, actually it is. The third hand smoke is killing even the non-smokers.

What is third-hand smoke?

Since smoke is nothing but a collection of several tiny particles floating in air, it can get trapped in things like cloth fibers, hair and surfaces. This is the reason you always get that whiff of burning cigarette once a smoker without his cigarette enters a relatively clean room. It stays there, on clothes and objects, for a long time, even after the cigarette has been extinguished and is called third-hand smoke.

Interesting studies

1. Recently, researchers at University of California Riverside decided to study the deadly effects of third-hand smoke. They did the study on mice, exposed them to the kind of exposure normal human beings have to THS. Significant damage to livers and lungs of mice was recorded.

2. Last year, Lara Gundel, a scientist from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, published a study on the effects of THS on Human DNA. Scientists exposed paper strips to cigarette smoke for 258 hours and ventilated air for 35 hours. After this, they exposed the compounds collected in that paper to human cells in petri dishes. It showed that THS can cause harm and mutation in Human DNA cells. It doesn’t stop at that. The potential to cause problems by THS can increase with time.

How it affects you

The thing about third-hand smoke that should worry you the most is, almost everyone comes in contact with it; at home, work, restaurants, bars, shops, etc… It is not like second-hand smoke where you have to inhale the smoke to get affected (equally deadly).

  • Smoke from cigarettes can collect over time on the walls and objects of a room; layer upon layer of carcinogenic compounds!
  • Cars, due to their small sizes and a lot of fibrous material inside can be the worst THS affected areas.
  • Someone smoking in some other room with a fan turned on can send a significant amount of particulates your way. These things can travel far, keep collecting in your room and can potentially affect every body.
  • Children and infants are the worst affected. As they touch objects and put things in their mouths, their tender developing brains can get affected by this more than adults (infants experience about 20 times greater effects)
  • Watch out for smoke rooms. You shouldn’t have a reason to go with your smoker friends in there.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Darkness Is Good For You

By Anupum Pant

It is astounding how the tiniest things can affect your life greatly. Who would have thought that sleeping with lights on can change you into a completely different person, over time?

Sleeping with lights on, or simply not getting enough exposure to darkness can have long-lasting effects. Darkness is good for you.

Melatonin – The Darkness Hormone

Melatonin is a hormone found in all living creatures from the most basic ones to humans. Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland (a part of the brain), by the retina, lens and GI tract. Production of melatonin is influenced by the information received from the retina about the daily pattern of light and darkness. It is primarily secreted when the information of “darkness” is obtained by the gland.

Its Effects

Its levels vary in a daily cycle. In humans, it plays a role in the regulation of several biological functions. Three of its functions we are interested in here are – its effect on out mood, performance and aging process.

Aging, behavior and memory effects:
According to one study, in mice that were aged artificially, Melatonin had immense anti-aging effects. In a similar study, the combined effect of physical exercise and increase in of Melatonin concentration led to improvements in behavior, learning and memory.

Studies on humans have also produced results on similar lines. The hormone’s effect on mood, performance, memory and visual sensitivity were assessed among 14 healthy men in a study carried out at MIT. It was found that externally administered Melatonin had a significant but short acting sedative-like effect on humans. In terms of mood, it had a calming effect.

Anti-Cancer effects:
Melatonin causes cancer cells to self-destruct. The hormone also boosts your production of substances that make your immune system stronger. As a result, your system gets better at identifying and attacking mutated cells that lead to bad cancer.

Other effects:
Melatonin’s effect is not just limited to that. It plays a great role in decreasing Heart Diseases, Headaches, Diabetes and Osteoporosis too. And more…

Improving your Melatonin production

  • Avoid screen time during the last few hours of your day before going to bed.
  • Avoid using any sort of night-light or bed-side lamp. Sleep in complete darkness.
  • Avoid waking up abruptly due to loud alarms or bright light. Use a crescendo for alarms.
  • Sleep away from your phone.
  • Maintain a set light and dark, wake and sleep rhythm.
  • Most important of all, to optimize the production of this hormone, you need exposure to bright sunlight during the day. Unlike what just-the-headline suggests, it is important to note that you are not doing yourself any good by lying in darkness all the time. There has to be a continuous rhythm of light and darkness.


Enhanced by Zemanta