food


Its advertisements were pretty attractive in English and Chinese. Its target market is practically the whole world of people (yes, it has Halal certification to cater to the world’s Muslim community) with “Symptoms of Cell Deterioration” – nocturia, lethargy, urinal disability, arthritis, incompetence, fatigue, skin aging, obesity, cold-averse). Its news coverage is all over the Internet. It had been sold through the Internet and possibly through multi-level-marketing (MLM).

Some of its online promotions have even stated that a certified laboratory in Singapore has tested that it is not adulterated withAphrodisiac Western Medicines or Illegal Drug Ingredients” and that it was “categorized as food and no MAL number is required” (MAL number is a approval number issued by the Ministry of Health of Malaysia). As listed on some promotional pages, it is stated that its main ingredient is the “Ginseng of The Desert” (Cynomorium Songaricum ) which “Helps invigorates the kidney and supplements essence for kidney YANG and insufficiency of blood manifested as impotence, nourishes the intestine and relaxes the bowels“. Other ingredients include “Ginseng Extract, Hydrolysed Protein, Enzyme, Pomegranate, Polyphenol, Malt“.

Why then would post-market analysis by the Health Science Authority (HSA) of Singapore proved otherwise for Mentalk, “The World First Energizing Candy” ? HSA’s press release on their website stated they found the presence of “Aminotadalafil, which is chemically similar to tadalafil,” It “can cause serious adverse reactions such as heart attacks and strokes in susceptible individuals. Heart patients who are on nitrate drugs may suffer severe hypotension which may be fatal.

What is more worrying as HSA put it was that As the product is marketed as a food-like item, there is potential danger to the wider population if the candy is unwittingly eaten by consumers, including teenagers and young children. . One of its advertisement stated “One world, One Candy”.

As of this writing, follow-up actions by HSA and relevant authorities are underway.

Is it a case of trying to cheat passed the health authorities by submitting a truly safe sample for the lab test and then launching the adulterated version ? If so, it really took guts to have so many ads and one of them to state that “Mentalk does not contain any steroid, western or illegal drug ingredients”.

Or is this a case of product that fell short of its effectiveness after launching and thus with the pressure to maintain the growth plan after pouring some much into the marketing of it, a decision was made to “refine” the product resulting in the adding of extra undeclared ingredients into the formula? If so, it is really foolish to do it in countries like Singapore where our HSA and AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority) are very proactive in conducting post-market survey and analysis of products, especially those that are too good to be true. HSA has been doing public education and awareness campaign.

Oh, I am surprised that Mentalk had included the actual Singapore ALS Laboratory report in their advertisement. Didn’t the report has the same statement “This report cannot be used for advertising purposes.” printed at the top of each of their test reports just like those from laboratories of HSA and SGH (Singapore General Hospital), etc.

Well, Members of the public are strongly advised not to buy or eat ‘Mentalk’ candy. If they have already purchased the candy, they should throw it away immediately. If they feel unwell after eating this candy, they are urged to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

For more update on this candy issue, visit http://www.hsa.gov.sg

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5 + 4 about Good Cholesterol.

Cholesterol, the fat-like substance is the word that most people especially the middle-age group and above hate to hear.

It is a constant advice that we should all cut down or avoid red meats, seafood and products from animal fats because they are high in cholesterol or are high saturated fatty acids which will raise the triglycerides (a form of fat made in the body) and cholesterol levels in the body. However, for most people, without the wonderful delicious pork, beef, mutton, liver, skin of poultry, ham, bacon; drunken prawns, chilly/pepper “Sri Lanka” crabs, “hum/tua tao/lala” (clam), “sotong” (squid, cuttlefish), lobsters; butter, lard, egg yolk, etc., life will be meaningless.

That is just negative which we remembers. The flipped side is that our body needs cholesterol for functions such as making hormones. Besides being found in those products above, it is also produced in our body.

There are good and bad cholesterols. They can’t dissolve in the blood and have to be transported through the bloodstream in different carriers called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) deliver cholesterol to the body, while high-density lipoproteins (HDL or “good” cholesterol) take cholesterol out of the bloodstream to the liver which will then passes them out of the body.

We are told the higher your HDL cholesterol, the better it is. Now, I learned that biological reality is more complex as genes direct the body’s production of HDL and that many of us might not be lucky enough to inherit genes that result in a lot of HDL. Luckily, genes are only part of the story because lifestyle factors and, to a smaller extent, medications can strongly influence HDL levels.

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) and the American Diabetes Association advise people to aim for HDL levels of at least 40 mg/dL. An even more protective goal, according to the NCEP, is 60 mg/dL or higher.

Why is having high HDL cholesterol is important?

At first, scientists believed that HDL was simply a garbage collector that picked up cholesterol from an artery’s walls and delivered it to the liver for disposal. That’s still considered the main role of HDL, but research is starting to suggest that HDL can help protect the heart in many ways:

  • Reverse cholesterol transport. HDL latches onto LDL embedded in an artery wall, lugs it back into the bloodstream, and carries it to the liver. The liver collects cholesterol from the HDL particles, packages it into bile salts and bile acids, and dumps it into the intestines for excretion.
  • Antioxidant activity. LDL cholesterol in the artery wall is bombarded by oxygen free radicals, which turns it into oxidized LDL cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is the stuff that’s actually responsible for arterial damage — and research shows that HDL can help protect LDL cholesterol from free radicals.
  • Anti-inflammatory action. HDL helps to quiet the inflammation of an atherosclerotic plaque. Elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) reflect the inflammation of such a plaque and HDL may neutralize CRP’s tendency to perpetuate the inflammatory cycle.
  • Antithrombotic activity. Plaque rupture triggers the formation of an artery-blocking blood clot. By halting the flow of oxygen-rich blood, the clot kills heart muscle cells (heart attack) or brain cells (stroke). HDL reduces clot formation and accelerates the healing process that dissolves clots.
  • Endothelial function. Blood vessels plagued with atherosclerosis sustain other damage. In particular, the endothelial cells lining the arteries fail to produce normal amounts of nitric oxide, the chemical that allows arteries to dilate (widen) when tissues need more oxygen. HDL helps preserve nitric oxide production and protect endothelial function.

How much does HDL help?

The Framingham Heart Study was responsible for many landmark discoveries about HDL cholesterol, and the Physicians’ Health Study helped confirm that HDL was protective, reporting that various HDL subtypes are all helpful. Data continue to show that the good cholesterol is very good indeed.

  • Heart disease. Low HDL levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, while high levels are protective. According to the Framingham Heart Study, cardiac risk rises sharply as HDL cholesterol levels fall below 40 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). In general, each 1 mg/dL rise in an HDL cholesterol level can be expected to cut cardiac risk by 2% to 3%.
  • Stroke. Strokes come in many forms, but the most common type, ischemic stroke, shares many risk factors with heart attack. High HDL cholesterol levels reduce the risk of stroke; in several studies, HDL cholesterol is a much better predictor of risk than LDL cholesterol, particularly in people older than 75.
  • Erectile dysfunction. Normal erections depend on many things, including healthy arteries that produce good amounts of nitric oxide. It’s no surprise, then, that the Massachusetts Male Aging Study found that 16% of men with low levels of HDL cholesterol had erectile dysfunction, but none of the men with the highest levels did.
  • Longevity. Several investigations suggest that high HDL levels are linked to longevity, particularly exceptional longevity. Other research links high levels of HDL cholesterol to preserved cognitive function in old age. More research is needed to learn if HDL deserves the credit or if other genetic factors are responsible.

Ways to raise your HDL

  • Exercise. Exercise is an important way to boost HDL levels. On average, sedentary people who start to exercise regularly can expect their HDL levels to rise by 3% to 20%. The benefit can occur with as little as one mile of walking or jogging a day, but the more you do, the better your result. Brisk walking for 40 minutes a day is a good target, but if you need more help, aim higher.
  • Watch your dietary fats. Saturated fat won’t affect your HDL cholesterol, but it will raise your LDL cholesterol. The latest American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines call for limiting saturated fat to less than 7% of your total daily calories. Reduce your intake of trans fats to less than 1% of your total daily calories. Trans fat lowers HDL cholesterol and raises LDL cholesterol, a double whammy to health. But unsaturated fats like virgin olive oil may boost HDL levels, and the omega 3 fats in fish, nuts, and canola oil may promote cardiac health even if they don’t affect your HDL reading.
  • Watch your carbs! Or at least the types of carbs you’re eating. Diets that provide large amounts of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates are clearly linked to low levels of HDL cholesterol. Avoid highly refined carbohydrates in favor of coarsely ground, whole grain, unrefined carbs like whole grain bread, oatmeal, and beans.
  • Alcohol. Moderate drinking will raise HDL levels by about 4 mg/dL, which should cut cardiac risk by about 10%. This translates to one to two drinks a day for men, and one drink a day for women. For this “prescription,” count 5 ounces of wine, 1½ ounces of liquor, or 12 ounces of beer as one drink.
  • Weight control. Obesity is linked to low HDL levels, but weight loss can help. Exercise and diet are the dynamic duo for weight loss, but shedding excess pounds will boost HDL levels over and above the independent effects of regular exercise and a healthful diet.

Delicious sources of antioxidants for healthy summer eating

Forget the hype about single antioxidants, like vitamin E or beta carotene. They’ve never lived up to the promise that they can halt heart disease, cure cancer, eradicate eye disease, or prevent Alzheimer’s.

But that doesn’t mean antioxidants aren’t important to your health. The notion that antioxidants are good for you comes from studies showing that people who eat foods rich in a variety of antioxidants have better long-term health. Trials of single supplements, usually taken in pill form, have yielded disappointing results.

Antioxidants stabilize harmful by-products of the body’s energy-making machinery. These by-products, known as free radicals, can damage DNA, make LDL (“bad”) cholesterol even worse, and wreak havoc elsewhere in the body.

It’s possible that single antioxidants haven’t panned out because it takes a network of antioxidants — like those that exist in foods — to neutralize free radicals. If that’s the case, then it would be helpful to know the antioxidant content of various foods.

An international team of researchers did just that for more than a thousand foods that Americans commonly eat. Topping the list for antioxidant content were blackberries, walnuts, strawberries, artichokes, cranberries, coffee, raspberries, pecans, blueberries, and ground cloves (see “Antioxidant-rich foods”).

Antioxidant-rich foods

Here are the three dozen foods with the highest per-serving content of antioxidants.

Product

Antioxidants (mmol/serving)

Blackberries

5.746

Walnuts

3.721

Strawberries

3.584

Artichokes, prepared

3.559

Cranberries

3.125

Coffee

2.959

Raspberries

2.870

Pecans

2.741

Blueberries

2.680

Cloves, ground

2.637

Grape juice

2.557

Chocolate, baking, unsweetened

2.516

Cranberry juice

2.474

Cherries, sour

2.205

Wine, red

2.199

Power Bar, chocolate flavor

1.875

Pineapple juice

1.859

Guava nectar

1.858

Juice drinks, 10% juice, blueberry or strawberry flavor, vitamin C enriched

1.821

Cranapple juice

1.790

Prunes

1.715

Chocolate, dark, sugar-free

1.675

Cabbage, red, cooked

1.614

Orange juice

1.510

Apple juice, with added vitamin C

1.462

Mango nectar

1.281

Pineapples

1.276

Oranges

1.261

Bran Flakes breakfast cereal

1.244

Plums, black

1.205

Pinto beans, dried

1.137

Canned chili with meat and beans

1.049

Canned chili with meat, no beans

1.045

Spinach, frozen

1.040

Whole Grain Total breakfast cereal

1.024

Chocolate, sugar-free

1.001

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2006

Cooking appears to increase the antioxidant potential of most foods, with the exception of grains such as rice, pasta, and corn grits, which show lower levels after cooking.

The researchers were careful not to claim that eating foods at the top of the list will keep you healthy. Instead, they believe that rating the antioxidant potential of different foods could help test whether antioxidants really do prevent disease. In the meantime, the list toppers are healthy foods, so don’t hesitate to dig in.

For more information on antioxidant-rich foods, order our Special Health Report, The Benefits and Risks of Vitamins and Minerals, at www.health.harvard.edu/VM.

10 things about the killer Constipation that I’ve learned 

Constipation in the past to me was just about the inability to pass motions smoothly, or in the crude language, inability to shit successfully in the toilet. 

My ignorance and indifference ceased when I have to understand this as part of the learning about our Good Image Tea, the unique tea which proves to resolve and prevent constipation, apart from its ability to detoxify the body particularly the gastro-intestinal system, promote metabolism, escalates toxin removal, enhances complexion and swiftly remove excess fats. 

Besides fats, constipation is what I keep hearing. Now, I have learned 10 things about not messing with constipation. 

(1) Constipation is not just about the problem of having hard stools or problems in passing stools, Constipation can also be defined as having fewer bowel movements than usual. It is a symptom and not a disease. 

(2) It is one symptom that no one particularly the older folks wants to admit or talk openly about. Doctors especially in the
U.S. probably knew best since it is the most common gastrointestinal complaint there clocking about 2 million patient visits annually.
 

(3) 1 in 2 women suffers from constipation, I read in one brochure on constipation.  Elsewhere, on the net, we can read that older people are more likely than younger people to become constipated. 

(4) 80% of
New York women constipated.
This is what a doctor author wrote in his book about the amusing
New York women protest in 1994 demanding the government heath department to address the constipation issue plaguing women. According to the 1991 National Health Interview Survey, about 4 1/2 million people in the
United States say they are constipated most or all of the time.
 

(5) Constipation is the weight that even the strongest man in the world will not be able to force out easily. For those who have constipated, you will know what I meant? 

(6) Constipation can be the worst nightmare and it is better off getting pregnant than constipated. This is what one blogger wrote about her ordeal of “Numbness, pain, sometimes balance loss or limping, insomnia” “after two days of not normal toilet visits”. “The soonest it ends everything goes back to ‘normal’”. 

 

(7) What shocked me is that constipation can be the cause that resulted in stroke or heart attack. 

I recalled about people who died in their sleep or died sitting in their sofa, car, etc. Postmortem showed that they died of stroke or heart attack. But to think it can also be due to constipation is surprising. 

During my recent trip to
China with my factory boss, we met our partners and friends about packaging our Good Image Tea.
 

They told me that it will be extremely dangerous for those who had constipation and yet do not know that they have high blood pressure or brain tumor. If they decide to force the stools out, the prolonged strain will naturally cause the blood pressure to shoot up which might trigger a stroke or heart attack. 

Even if the person does not have a heart attack, straining oneself while holding one’s breath to force out the stools can cause the haemorrhoidal blood pressure to increase. The rough dry faeces might cause abrasions and rupture the surrounding tissues of the anus and thus cause bleeding, painful defecation and stress. 

(8) The hard stools that causes constipation is at the front and is just 3 to 5 cm long while the rest following that are soft or watery. 

(9) The large intestine (colon) which is about 1.5 meters long receives the waste from the small intestine at about 10 cm per hour. It compresses the waste and absorbs the water before the solid waste or stools reach the anus. If the stools are stuck at the anus for too long, it will lead to the hardening of the stools starting from the front. Just imagine that if we eat and eat and do not pass out the stools in 15 hours, the whole large intestine will be jammed. 

(10) No wonder the Chinese has a saying that “一日不排便,毒胜三包烟” which means that if one does not discharge stools from the body every day, its toxin in the body is worst than smoking three packages of cigarettes. 

Healthy Liver, Beautiful Skin

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Unlike the computer that I have faced for more than 20 years, the human body is a different and complex machinery that I have to learn now. As part of understanding my product Good Image Tea (green tea), I have to gather feedback from customers and friends on what effects it has on them after taking our uniquely formulated detox/anti-constipation/excess fat removal beverage.

Weight reduction is not so obvious unless the weight was measured before and after drinking the Good Image Tea religiously for a period of about 45 days.

What I heard commonly is that their skin complexion becomes obviously better, especially for those who have not or were unsuccessful in taking care of their skin.

It was explained to me that when the body is free from toxin, the organs like the liver will be healthy. The liver has many functions. They include:

  • Storing energy in the form of sugar (glucose)
  • Storing vitamins, iron, and other minerals
  • Making proteins, including blood clotting factors, to keep the body healthy and help it grow
  • Killing germs that enter the body through the intestine
  • Processing worn out red blood cells
  • Making bile which is needed for food digestion
  • Metabolizing or breaking down many medications and alcohol

I read that the liver shoulders a heavy workload for the body, plays an important role in the metabolism and almost never complains as it can also regenerate itself. The liver breakdowns and filters the oily fats from the food we take and excrete the waste through the intestines. If the liver is overworked or ill and is unable to filter effectively, the skin is the alternative venue for such removal. Otherwise, those oily fats can reach the kidney and adversely affect the function of the kidney.

We have a saying, “要美的起来,就须要健康 which translates as “Be healthy so as to become beautiful” .

Thus, with a detoxed body which translates to healthy organs reinforced with the antioxidants found in the green tea and other supporting herbs, the skin should naturally become better and more radiant.

Overweight, overeat

OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE IS FAT – WHAT ELSE TO TALK ABOUT? The subject of overweight, obese or fat has never interest me before until now.  It just came across to me that there was reported 1 billion people in the world that are overweight including 300 millions who are obese.  As I am fortunate that I am not one of the 30% of Singaporean reported to be overweight or obese, all these while, to me, overweight or obese is just being fat. 

Now that I recalled, in the print and broadcast media, we frequently see and read that hypertension, constipation, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, degeneration of the kidney, etc. creep into lives of middle age men and women, especially the aged folks. 

While being slightly overweight is very common, being obese is no joke. I have noted down that that obesity is regarded an invisible killer which causes numerous contemporary diseases. It was reported that how vulnerable are obese people as compared to normal people in terms of the following diseases: 

  1. hypertension incidence rate, obese people are 3 times higher
  2. atherosclerosis incident rate, obese people are 2-3 times higher
  3. heart disease and arteriosclerosis incident rate, obese people are 2.5 times higher
  4. cancer incidence rate, obese people are twice higher

Now I learned that there are fundamentally four factors that lead to obesity. 

  1. Congenital  obesity – this is hereditary, which means that it is genetically passed down from parent to their offspring
  2. Pathological obesity – caused by infection from disease
  3. Medicinal obesity – caused by medicinal drugs that affect the hormones. One of the common hormonal drugs is oral contraceptives.
  4. Acquired obesity – this is caused by unbalanced diet, excessive consumption of meat, sugary food and animal fat, or just being gluttonous.

For the congenital, pathological and medicinal obese people, if they intend to lose weight, they will need to consult their doctors who will diagnose and prescript the appropriate remedy. 

Acquired obesity is easy to take care of. There are all kinds of pills and medicines that can take care of it but there can be different side effects which need to be advised by professional doctors.  Another type is the used of traditional herbs like those found in Good Image Tea which is proven to safely and swiftly decompose the excessive solid fat accumulated in the body. The result is also the cleansing of the intestinal systems which also solve the habitual constipation problem that many people in the world are suffering from. 

Body detoxification is for men too ! 

Every person needs to be enlightened in different aspect and at different stage of their lives. 

Having spent many years in detoxifying computers and preaching about anti-virus / Trojans / spyware / ransomware / phishing, anti-spam and what-have-you in the IT content security world, I stepped into the “different” yet the “same” industry. Different in the sense of human beings vs computers but yet the same as it is about health. Until 2 months ago, it had never occurred to me that it is not just about another business but about the real need to detoxify our body. 

Like most if not all “unenlightened” men, the sheer mention of “detox” or “detoxification” will raise my eyebrows followed by a frown and ended with a quick switch of subject to something else. The basic reason is that this ritual or obsession is for the female population. It is all about skin beauty that the “rugged” men do not have to be concerned about.

As marketing professional which loves Alvin Toffler’s quotation that The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”, I set on “unlearning” the previous (IT) products and immediately dive into learning the new product which is the Good Image Tea, which is formulated, manufactured and distributed by our company and group’s herbal manufacturing plant.

 biolife3-1.jpgGood Image Tea

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It is through the course of understanding the overall Good Image Tea, the characteristics and benefits of each of the ingredients such as green tea, licorice, peppermint and ginseng; as well as talking and learning from people in the same industry, customers and associates that I “relearn” that detoxification is for men too, especially those that are entering the middle age and beyond.

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Detoxification is not about maintaining skin beauty, it is about health maintenance.

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How many men in modern days do not entertain, smoke, drink alcohol, eat all kinds of “unhealthy” food?   The demand from life, the stress from career to excel, the swing between happiness and sadness are the “evils” that everyone has to face them. However, when come to the physical well-being, most men are not too concerned about it or do not have the time to manage them. As chauvinist pig, the man might think to himself, “if there is so much toxin in my body, why is it that I am still so strong and healthy?” My shifu (teacher) told me that when one doesn’t take care of the body, it will “calculate the bill” when he or she gets older. This reminds me of the how we are treating mother earth all these years and the global warming, chaotic weather changes and unprecedented disasters are cropping across the globe might just be what mother earth is showing the bill now. 

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Back to the men – haven’t you noticed that men reaching the 40’s are experiencing many serious challenges ? – long sightedness, memory retardation, more lethargic, facial wrinkles, pot belly, pain at the joints, puffy eyes, etc. These are the signs of the changes in metabolism.  It is not that there is no toxin, but it is because the toxins accumulated over the years have yet to create havoc. The rising number of people with constipation is just a simple sign of toxin accumulation. Once the toxins have accumulated to a certain level, they will start to block your arteries, get into the blood, damage the organs and finally causing the body to collapse. 

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Younger people are no longer spared too! 

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News of men in the thirty’s having heart attack & stroke is not uncommon.  Be it the heavy mental stress at work, unbalanced diet or the fun and “de-stressing” night activities, the chauvinistic men will not admit or reveal it and are nonchalant about it. 

Call it doom-saying but this kind of attitude towards health will be a great mistake. As the world progresses, our health habits should follow suit to harmonize with our body.  Men must personally take care of themselves.  Detox is definitely for men too.

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