“Google Knows Everything??!”


A common comment we hear in conversation when one is confronted with unanswerable questions is, “Google knows everything”. And it surely does offer many solutions when people need answers.
But recent studies from Queensland University of Technology in Australia have just researched the accuracy of online self-diagnosis search engines when people are looking for remedies to certain health conditions. Their findings have been disturbing.  
Doctors have found major search engines providing irrelevant information that could lead to incorrect self-diagnosis, self-treatment and possibly more harm than good.
The rush to search for remedies to ailments online is a significant amount of internet searching in today’s world. Google reports 1 in 20 of its 100 billion searches a month is for health related information. Previous studies have shown 35 percent of adults in USA alone have been online to self-diagnose medical conditions. But in all that searching and reliance upon 'Dr Google', Dr Guildo Zuccon reports that only about 3 of the first 10 results were highly useful for self-diagnosis, and only half of the top 10 hits were somewhat relevant to diagnosing particular medical conditions.
Dr Zuccon has expressed his concern that some people who are not completely sure what they are searching for; are not completely satisfied with their findings, and continue searching, ending up with wrong advice which can potentially do an awful lot of harm. He also gave an example if someone is searching for some diagnosis for something like a bad head-flu, when the word ‘head’ is typed in, the search engines pick up on the more popular entries of ‘head ’which can lead to ailments unrelated, like brain cancer or similar.
Dr Zuccon commented that illnesses known to the search engine, can be reasonably effective, but out of all the study on this new trend of self-diagnosis, he suggests that Dr Google is not the best option for accurate diagnosis.
But all this does not make Google bad, it fills a tremendous need in this world, but just remember it is an information source, not an educated, qualified physician. So for those of us who are real keen to keep away from doctors, pills and potions, don’t blame Dr Google, just make sure you go to the correct avenue to diagnose your ailment.
But there is some good news, Queensland University of Technology is currently developing methods for search engines to better promote the most useful pages.

~Drawn from ScienceDaily, May 6 2015


Phytates in Beans:
Anti-Nutrient or Anti-Cancer?

Recent research has revealed that phytates in beans may be the reason why legumes are so successful in preventing cancer and re-educating cancer cells. What about in the treatment of existing cancer patients?
Colorectal cancer is a major killer in our western world. It arises from “adenomatous polyps,” meaning that colon cancer starts out as a benign little bump called a polyp and then grows into cancer that can eventually spread to other organs and kill. So the National Cancer Institute funded the Polyp Prevention Trial, to determine the effects of a high-fiber, high fruit and vegetable, low-fat diet.
Researchers found no significant associations between polyp formation and overall change in fruit and vegetable consumption. However, those with the greatest increase in bean intake only had about a third of the odds of advanced polyps popping up. It could have been the fiber in the beans, but there’s lots of fiber in fruits and vegetables, too.
So since then, further research has been carried out on breast cancer patients.  Although a few case studies where phytates were given in combination with chemotherapy clearly showed encouraging data; organized, controlled, randomized clinical studies were never done—until now. Fourteen women with invasive breast cancer were divided randomly into two groups. One group got extra phytates; the other got placebo. At the end of six months, the phytate group had a better quality of life, significantly more functionality, fewer symptoms from the chemo, and did not get the drop in immune cells and platelets chemo patients normally experience.
Because cancer development is such an extended process—it can take decades to grow—we need cancer preventive agents that we can take long-term. Phytates, which naturally occur in beans, grains, nuts, and seeds, seem to fit the bill.
In the past, there used to be a concern that phytate consumption might lead to calcium deficiency, which then led to weakened bones, but researchers discovered that the opposite was true, that phytates actually protect against osteoporosis.
As one paper in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology suggests the inclusion of phytates in our diet for prevention and therapy of various ailments, cancer in particular, is warranted.

~Drawn from Michael Greger, M.D., NutritionFacts.org, 28 May 2015


Recipe of the Month

Refried Beans
    2 large onions, sliced
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 T coconut oil
    2 large red capsicum, diced
    1 t oregano
    2 t ground cumin
   *2 t chilli powder
    1 t salt
    2 T lemon juice
    140g can tomato paste
    3 cups pinto beans, cooked
    Liquid from pinto beans

Saute onions and garlic in the oil. Add capsicum, seasonings and lemon juice. Stir frequently. Once capsicums are soft, add tomato paste and beans. Simmer gently together for five minutes. Blend all in a food processor, adding liquid from the beans until desired consistency is achieved.
Spread on wraps with salad, in a sandwich, on crackers or in burritos.

 Rather than blend,  can use as stew. Nice on toast, crackers or on corn chips  under a salad.

* Chilli Powder Recipe
    2 T paprika
    1 T basil
    1/8 t cayenne pepper
    1 t oregano
    1/2 t ground dill
    1 T parsley

Mix well together and store in an airtight container.
Can also be used for curries or Mexican dishes.