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Product Review: Schwinn 231 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Exercise your way to better health in comfort and secure surroundings with the Schwinn Recumbent Bike model 231. The Schwinn Recumbent Bike is easy to assemble, so very quiet and has plenty of programs to satisfy that need for variety in your routine.

Ease of Use, Performance
Look amp; Feel


How Much I enjoy



Schwinn is a world recognized brand in exercise equipment and you only have to look at the most recent innovations in home gym equipment to fully appreciate purchasing your own piece. Modern fitness equipment looks good in any room; no longer are exercise bikes and steppers, climbers and treadmills banished to the basement or garage. The Schwinn Recumbent Bike is a great way to get exercise and a fitness workout in the comfort and convenience of your own home.

The Schwinn Recumbent Bike has plenty of features and works so very well with its quiet operation and plenty of preprogramed routines as well as being able to set your own fitness program to your liking. Let’s talk about the why of buying your own home fitness equipment, I hate the cold and exercising in the winter is terrible in Minnesota so a piece of home fitness equipment is a must for me. I want to be in shape but the basement is not the coziest place to work out and I have no garage so I asked for the Schwinn Recumbent Bike for reviewing to add to my living room.

I received the Schwinn Recumbent Bike model 231 in a large box through ABF Freight and dragged it inside for assembly. The bike weighs about 106 pounds and comes in about a dozen large pieces with a couple of cardboard shrink wrapped pieces laden with nuts, bolts and parts. Checking on the Schwinn website it currently would cost about $130 for shipping so purchasing one of these fine pieces of equipment would be easier at a local store like Sears or other sporting goods or fitness equipment stores. The Schwinn recumbent bike comes with all the tools you need to put the bike together so no need for the toolbox, the little allen wrenches and other tools are included with all those nuts and bolts.

Assembly took me about an hour but might take you longer, another reason to go the route of Sears or another sporting goods store and have them assemble it. It will cost a bit more for them to deliver and assemble it but it will get put together and you will not have to worry about it. Assembly for me went very well and was not all that hard but I was born with a chrome plated wrench in my hand. There are a few parts that went together a bit on the difficult side as you have to thread wires through parts but it does not take a rocket scientist to assemble the bike, only someone with a tiny bit of mechanical talent.

Once assembled the bike is a nice piece of furniture as well as an exercise bike, I’m not kidding. I set the bike up in the corner of my living room and there it shall stay, I am going to buy it from Schwinn, that’s how much I like it. The seat adjusts forward and back from the pedals and main section by unscrewing a knob and pulling it out then moving the seat forward or down and back or uphill. The seat moves forward and back on a slant that moves it up and down the slanted bar to bring you further from or closer to the pedals.

The seat is comfortable and foam rubber coated so sweat does not stain or ruin it, it is cushioned and pliable enough as well as comfortable enough to sit and watch TV without exercising. The handles on the console are to help you get in as well as being able to pull yourself forward and back to get additional arm exercise in as well as the leg workout. The Recumbent Bike has a step through design that allows for easy mounting and dismounting and weighs enough to make it steady but not too much that moving it on the two wheels is easy.

While sitting on the floor the bike is roughly two feet wide and five feet long so you will need about this much room for placing the bike in a room or area. It does not need much more than this and a corner or odd area of a room a little more than this size would be the perfect place for the recumbent bike. The pedals are less than the two feet width so placing the bike near a wall and having them hit the wall is not going to happen. The handle bars on the sides of the bike and the two cross bars of the base stick out the most on the sides.

The bike has two sets of handles, one on the console and one under the seat that sticks out for you to hold onto while biking as well as giving your heart rate. The sensors for the heart rate are in the handles but the rest of the side handle bars are foam rubber coated. The handle bar on the console bar in front of you is sturdy and allows for pulling while you’re pedaling for an even better workout.

Once assembled the bike has a power cord to plug in and you turn the bike on by pedaling and the bike will shut off on its own. The various workout methods vary according to your tastes but can be as simple as pressing the reset when you get on the bike and then hitting Reset and Quick Start. You then adjust the levels of difficulty by pressing the up and down arrows for more effort in pedaling or less while the console shows the difficulty and time on the computer controlled device. The computer on the main console adjusts as well by tilting forward and back depending on your position of the seat so if your closer or further away the console adjusts for the best viewing angle.

During any workout you can always adjust the level of difficulty as well as showing your speed, how many calories you have burned and distance. You can also have a result at the end of a workout for the total distance, total calories burned and time of your work at the various levels of difficulty. You can use these results to help chart your workout routine and show your progress toward a goal you set for yourself like a certain distance in a time frame or a total calories burned over a certain time period.

The computer has several exercise routines as well as the quick start with one manual program and ten profile programs ranging from a Ride in the Park to a Cross Training level. Each program has a different focus and level of difficulty and you can use which ever profile program you enjoy the most. You can also set up two of your own programs and save them to the computer for a personal workout. The computer also has 3 programs that are heart rate controlled with the workout set according to your heart rate.

The recumbent bike has a time trial test to gauge how fast you cover a certain distance using a pacer that you preset and then follow for the test to give you one way to measure your fitness. Another way is to use the Fitness Test that asks questions that you input to the computer and then bike according to your heart rate with a score at the end of the test. Each time you take the test you should be doing the test at the same difficulty but your score should be increasing if your fitness is increasing to help encourage you to better fitness.

With the Recumbent Bikes fitness tests, programs and the Quick Start you can easily set up your own routine and get in shape smoothly and evenly without the problems of going out in the weather. Some other features that may be a plus are the water bottle holder under the seat and the magazine holder in front of the computer but the fan is a bit much. It does give you a little air in the face for your workout but by far the best feature of the Schwinn Recumbent Bike is how quiet it is.

You can easily watch television, a movie or music with the bike going full tilt and quietly enjoy your fitness workout. The bike is very quiet with its magnetic 22 pound steel flywheel that spins very freely and quietly with very smooth bearings. When the flywheel spins without the resistance of the magnetism it will turn very easily and the eddy current magnetism is what gives your resistance during the workout instead of some friction against the flywheen that would make noise. Upping the resistance or the power of the magnet will increase the resistance of your workout on the pedals but without any additional noise. You can jump on the bike and without the power on it turns very freely but increase the resistance by small increments with a total of 16 and you get a full range of workout for your legs.

Adding a simple push up and sit up routine will make for a full and well rounded exercise routine that you can perform in your living room. Push ups may not be the most enjoyable but add a set of stairs and you have a varying level of difficulty by just moving up or down some steps. The heart rate workout on the bike will give you a nice routine for keeping in shape and you can vary this with strength building using a routine like the Pyramids or Rolling Hills.

The really nice workout programs and wide variety of routines make for a great workout regimen and give you a good variety so you don’t get bored with the same old exercises. The recumbent bike and how quiet it is offers a great way to get the exercise you need in the comfort of your own home whenever you want. You won’t be bothering anyone by using the bike during a good movie or even the Super Bowl as it is really very quiet. You can hardly hear it when you are standing next to or even on it. The Schwinn Recumbent Bike model 231 is so quiet it is easily quieter than the aquarium burbling away on the other side of the living room while I’m pedaling my way up the hills.

The Schwinn Recumbent Bike is really a fantastic piece of exercise equipment and well worth the cost. You can currently purchase one for $550 at many sporting goods and fitness stores including Sears, truly worth the cost in good health.

February is International Prenatal Infection Awareness Month: Infections Pregnant Women Can Get and How to Prevent Them

February is the national observance for International Prenatal Infection Awareness Month. The goal of this observance, which was created in February 2007, is to help women who are pregnant prevent infection and keep their unborn baby safe and healthy.

According to the Group B Strep International website, Group B streptococcus is the leading infectious killer of newborns. There are also other types of infections that can be harmful to an unborn or newborn baby. With the International Prenatal Infection Awareness Month, information is being provided to educate pregnant woman on the common infections and how to prevent them.

Group B Streptococcus

Group B streptococcus (Group B Strep) is a bacterial infection that while harmless in adults, can be deadly for a newborn baby. Babies who have been infected with Group B Strep can get pneumonia, meningitis or a blood infection. Approximately 1 in 2,000 babies are born with Group B Strep in the U.S. and 10% – 30% of pregnant women are carriers of the infection.

Pregnant women can be tested during the end of pregnancy to see if they are infected with Group B Strep. If positive, intravenous IV antibiotics will be given during the labor and delivery.


Chickenpox is a viral infection that mainly affects children. There is now a vaccine that children can get to prevent chickenpox. But if you are an adult, there is up to a 95% chance that you had chickenpox as a child and there is no way you can catch it again. But there is a 1 in 2,000 chance that a pregnant woman can get chickenpox. It can be very dangerous to the fetus if a woman gets chickenpox while pregnant after her 20th week. Before the 20th week there is a less than 1% chance that the baby will be born with birth defects. If the infection occurs around the delivery date, the baby can be born with the chickenpox infection that can lead to death if not treated.

There is a blood test that can be taken to determine if you are immune to chickenpox or not when you are in the early stages of pregnancy. If you are not pregnant, and are not immune to chickenpox, you can have the vaccine. If you are pregnant and have not had chickenpox, avoid being around anyone who is currently infected.


Toxoplasmosis affects between 400 and 4,000 newborns a year. It is a common infection that can have serious consequences for an unborn baby. Some newborns can die a few days after birth. Others can have pneumonia, jaundice, eye infections, an enlarged liver and spleen, seizures, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and major vision loss.

Pregnant women can help prevent toxoplasmosis by not eating undercooked meats and washing hands thoroughly immediately after handling raw meat. Other steps that can be taken include peeling and washing raw fruits and vegetables before eating; washing thoroughly all cutting and cooking utensils used in cutting up and preparing raw meats; and no changing or cleaning of the cat’s litter box.

Fifth Disease

Fifth disease is a common childhood illness. Over half of the adult population has been infected with fifth disease. Fifth disease causes a rash on the face of the child. Other symptoms that are less common include fever, sore throat, headache, and joint pain. If you are infected as an adult, you will have the less common symptoms but not the rash.

Most unborn babies are not harmed if the mother gets infected while pregnant, but there are circumstances where some do. A severe form of anemia can develop in these babies and heart failure also. Death may occur in approximately 2% – 9% of fetal infections and the woman will miscarry.

Pregnant women can help prevent fifth disease by making sure they wash their hands thoroughly and several times throughout the day. This is especially important if you work around children, have other children at home and are handling dirty tissues. It is also advised not to share drinking glasses with anyone who may be infected with this illness.

Other Preventions

Pregnant women should also make sure they take the following preventive measures while pregnant to ensure a healthy baby. You should always wash your hands:

After using the bathroom

After gardening or touching soil

After handling pets

After being around sick people

After changing diapers

With International Prenatal Infection Awareness Month, hopefully more pregnant women will become aware of how they can keep their unborn babies protected and safe.

Using Whole Foods to Heal and Maintain Optimum Health: Make Food Your Medicine

When I think over the way we use food in our modern culture, I get perplexed. We eat from boxes off of store shelves, that contain highly processed foods which are stripped of most of their nutritional value. To add to this downward spiral we follow it up with some good old refined sugar, and after years and years of living this way constantly, we have some sort of health crisis and can’t seem to figure out why. Its the food people, its the food thats getting past your mouths!

I think too many people underestimate the awesome power contained within the whole foods that were created for us. Somehow we have successfully forgotten about what it is that maintains our health. We spend years eating nutritionally empty foods and can’t seem to put two and two together when it comes to helping ourselves out of a health crisis. Many years ago, I worked at a local hospital when I think back on it, I wonder how any healing can take place under the roof of those institutions at all when you see the food they serve to the patients. People that have just undergone major surgeries and have had serious health breakdowns of all sorts do not need white bread and jello. They need whole unadulterated foods. Thats whats going to bring on some real healing.

One of the best things we can do to heal and maintain good health is to eat raw whole food. Things that come from the earth. Any kind of fruit or vegetable or whole grain is going to give us the sustenance we need to maintain thriving health and prevent disease. These foods carry within them their very own enzymes which aid in their break down so that the nutrients in them may be adequately absorbed. The whole idea is to make it as easy on our bodies as we can. When we eat processed and cooked food our body needs to put forth more of its own enzymes, (and lots of them I might add) to get things broken down so that they may be absorbed well. Then if the food we’re trying to break down and absorb is nutritionally deficient we’re at even less of an advantage.

Anything that is enzyme rich is the way to go. Sprouts are another excellent source of great enzyme levels and they are actually fun to do. There are lots of sites on the web that explain how to go about growing sprouts and its really not too difficult. If you have some kids they usually like to help with this as well. Eating these little enzyme packed nuggets are such a great way to improve your health. They can be very tasty too. You can make a mix of sprouts drizzled with your favorite salad dressing, and I think you’ll find it every bit as filling as a good steak! One of my favorites is sprouted garbanzo beans, mixed with sprouted sunflower seeds, and then drizzled with some olive oil and lemon juice. There’s endless combinations to try.

One of the biggest things whole foods does for us is clean house. It inherently contains within it the ability to churn out the sludge that mucks us up. Thats why its here folks, to mop us up. Pretty cool design huh? We come into so much toxin by way of our environment as well as poor food choices made for years that we congest our liver and kidneys which do the most for us with regard to detoxifying our systems. However, if we never give our bodies the whole raw food it needs to clean up the mess we continually make, we can expect trouble for ourselves before too long.

One great way to help us cleanse is by raw juicing. It is quick, and easy and cleans up in a snap. One of the biggest complaints I heard from clients over my years in the health food business is that they didn’t feel like they had the time to sit and chop up raw veggies and fruits for eating. Well, the juicer solves that problem within a minute or two, and before you know it your done drinking it and on to other things in your life. Its such a convenient way to give our bodies what it needs quickly. I can’t imagine living without it.

As a former owner and operator of a health food store I was able to witness numerous people that changed their diets to more raw, whole foods and were able to enjoy the benefits of coming off of all sorts of pharmaceuticals. Once that sort of thing happens in someone’s life and they find themselves enjoying life without all of the limitations that go along with poor health, they begin to live a more pleasant existence and can’t imagine going through life the way they once did. I know it can be that way for so many more if good food choices would just be given more of a chance. We would spend less time at doctor appointments and running around trying to manage our diseases, because food would be healing and maintaining our health. We have more control over our health than we give ourselves credit for. Its all in what makes it past your lips.

Health Myths

Myth, double-feature: Eggs are bad for you. Truth: Eggs contain a variety of extremely beneficial nutrients. The contain cholesterol, which is a potent antioxidant. No one seems to tell anyone else that cholesterol is an extremely potent antioxidant, but it’s true. Also, the cholesterol in eggs will not increase the cholesterol in your body. Dietary cholesterol does not affect serum cholesterol. Serum cholesterol–that is, cholesterol in your blood–is made from fat. Not dietary cholesterol. Most of the cholesterol is in the yolk; most of the vitamins are in the yolk. Without the yolk, a 70-calorie large egg is only about 20 calories. The albumen, the egg white, is mostly devoid of micronutritional content, though it is a good source of fiber. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you to make an omelete without the yolks. Dropping a yolk or two is fine, if you like it like that, but to completely remove the yolks is a sin against your own body. By removing all the yolks, you are actually causing a nutritional imbalance in your body that will deplete your levels of biotin. Also, about half of the protein in the egg is in the yolk. There is no, I repeat, no good reason to not eat eggs, or to not eat the yolks. Eat the whole egg, or not at all, if you’re worried about your heart. Eggs are cheap, filling, tasty, and very versatile. Organic eggs, which have a slightly keener fat ratio, are also cheap, though slightly less so, filling, tasty, and also versatile. As cheap as eggs are, organic eggs can probably be afforded without much of a problem.

Myth: Low-fat yogurt is good for you. Truth: Low-fat yogurt is typically sweetened with an artificial sweetener like Splenda, aspartame, acesulfame-K, also known as acesulfame potassium. And if it doesn’t contain an artificial sweetener, it contains the real thing. Sugar. There is no winning with low-fat yogurt. When you take out the fat from dairy products, you’re killing the flavor. Your brain actually does not react the same way to low-fat yogurt as it does to yogurt with all the fat in it. Splenda and aspartame have been known to cause headaches in people who eat them. Aspartame breaks down into formaldehyde in the digestive tract, and has been linked to headaches, blurry vision, immune problems, gastrointestinal distress, and more. Acesulfame potassium or acesulfame-K is a known carcinogen that is actually banned in some places. Sugar is equally bad, though in different ways. Where they took out fat they added sweet, so you still get your fix for either fatty things or sugary things. Sugar is the most addictive substance on the planet. Don’t believe me? Go a month without eating any refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or anything like that. You will get cravings, horrible cravings, and you likely will not make it to the month and a half mark.

Myth: Fat-free things are good for you. Truth: This flows right in from the last myth. It’s simply not true. Your body needs fat in order to function. Fats from the diet are responsible for making hormones, healthy endocrine function, especially sex hormones, the repair and creation of cell membranes, neurological function, and more. Don’t let anyone tell you that fat is bad for you. They are simply wrong.

Myth: Sugar-substitutes are okay. Truth: Sugar substitutes are not okay. They tend to be carcinogenic or bad for you in other ways. Stevia is a natural sweetener that has no carcinogenic effects and is actually several times sweeter than sugar. You could use stevia…if it weren’t illegal in the United States. Seems like Big Sugar’s fat and happy being on top, and has no intention of letting anything get in its way, especially something that doesn’t have addictive properties and can be bought in small amounts at a time and last for years for cheap.

Myth: Long-distance running is a good idea. Truth: It’s not. Long-distance running causes the body to catabolize muscle tissue, and inhibits strength development by breaking down heavy chain myocin. Long-distance running also teaches the body to store fat, because long-distance running tends to burn fat as a primary fuel after reaching a certain point of oxidation.

The Shame of the Canadian Health Care System

Canada has medical coverage for its citizens, which is seemingly a wonderful idea. How much is covered varies from province to province The shame of this Canadian health care system however, is what does not happen for the patients who fall between the cracks. This is because of lack of adequate staffing and available services. It is also because there are many who cannot afford the additional expenses outside of the covered hospitalization. If they are in the hospital, the coverage is often phenomenal.

Some areas of Canada are still struggling for enough medical practitioners to perform the necessary services. Unless a procedure is deemed immediately life threatening, the patient is often put on long waiting lists for necessary surgeries and/or treatments. Some have to wait months or over a year, while suffering the symptoms of whatever particular illness or disease they are living with. It is often something treatable that affects their abilities to function and contribute to their daily lives in a productive manner.

The catch is, that unless you get the treatment/s or medications, you don’t get well or get to a fully functioning level. Without that ability you can’t get the work to pay for the treatments the Canadian health care system does not cover.

If you are lucky enough to have an employer or a medical plan which covers the additional costs, then the system works in your favour. For those who do not have the luxury of this additional coverage and fall into the working class poor category, they are put in a position where they cannot get full treatment. Even for those who do have the ability to pay for additional medications and/or treatments, the additional expenses can be overwhelming. Additionally, dentistry and optometry are often not covered at all.

Here is a case in point. This is an actual case. A man and wife are both working. One works full time for income outside the home, the other works very hard , often at all hours of the day and night for minimal pay managing the apartment complex they live in. . This pay covers most of their rent. He cannot get a job besides this, even though he has tried over and over, primarily because of his medical conditions. They both work long hard hours, and struggle over everything including food. They are hard working responsible people who contribute to society in many ways. The spouse working the complex they live in, suffers from diabetes and heart problems, amongst other things. He also does volunteer work for a local food bank to help other people, even though he and his wife are already working hard to exist. He is able to go to the doctor for free, but here is the hitch. These doctors prescribe a plethora of medicines that they cannot possibly afford on their income. They have no other means to receive these funds. Therefore the husband is unable to get the daily treatment he needs. He sometimes is forced to go into the hospital to receive enough treatment for free in order to keep him going. Then he is given prescriptions upon release that he cannot possibly fill or pay for. It becomes a vicious cycle to survive. These are people who take pride in being productive citizens and yet they cannot receive the most basic daily treatments under the existing Canadian health care system.

The pros of the Canadian health care system are obvious. For people in other countries, these benefits , even with these problems, would be a vast improvement over what they have. The United States has millions of uninsured citizens, which is shameful in a country that has such amazing resources. The shame of the Canadian health care system is that the lower income families, although often hard working, are left to suffer. Hospitalization is a last resource, but under this system, it often gets used as the only resource, which the government then funds, when smaller less expensive treatment such as simple medications would suffice.

Childhood Obesity and Iron Deficiency Anemia Linked to Prolonged Bottle Feeding

According to a 2003 survey and study conducted by Karen A. Bonuck, Ph.D., and Richard Kahn, M.S., of the Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, children who are bottle fed for a prolonged period of time may be at higher than normal risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia or becoming obese.

The study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and included 95 children, most of whom were Hispanic or black and from lower income families. They ranged in age from 18 to 56 months, with the average age being 36 months. The children’s caretakers were given the survey when they reported for re-certification at several Bronx, N.Y., Women’s, Infants amp; Children (WIC) supplemental feeding programs.

The doctors found the following:

Based on their BMI, 50 percent of the children were overweight; 36 percent were obese.

Based on their blood test results, 21 percent of the children met the criteria for anemia, as set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Caregivers reported that 63 percent of the children were given daily bottles of milk or sweet liquids such as juice; each child was given anywhere from three to 10 bottles each day.

The researchers concluded that use of the bottle did not seem to be significantly associated with a child being overweight, but both obesity and iron-deficiency anemia were significantly linked to a child’s bottle use.

Although iron deficiency is common in children, iron-deficiency anemia has been associated with delayed mental and psychomotor development. Children who either don’t eat enough or eat foods that are poor sources of iron are at greatest risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia. According to, poverty has been found to also be a contributing factor to iron-deficiency anemia because children of poor families often don’t get enough iron-rich foods.

Interestingly, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be introduced to drinking from a cup by six months of age; they recommend a child be completely weaned from the bottle by 15 months. However, 20 percent of children two years old and nine percent of children three years old are still using a baby bottle. Further, babies who are more likely to stay on the bottle the longest are from poor, urban, less-educated and minority parents.

According to Drs. Bonuck and Kahn, children who aren’t weaned by the recommended time often become habituated to drinking milk or sweet liquids throughout both day and night, rather than drinking water. Cow’s milk is low in the iron needed for growth and development, and it also decreases the absorption of iron. Further, drinking milk and sweet liquids can also discourage a child’s taste for other food, as well as for a more balanced diet.




American Academy of Pediatrics

What Are Good Fish Oils and Why Should I Take Them?

There is much publicity these days about eating good fish. The benefits are well advertised, eating three meals with good fish as the main protein each week will help lower cholesterol, prevent heart attacks, lower blood pressure, prevent strokes and lubricate our joints.

But what are good fish? Good fish are what are known as oily fish. They are rich in omega three fatty acids. These are the fish that are usually found in cold seas or at great depth: they are not usually white fleshed. They include fish such as Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Halibut, and Herring. Tinned fish is as good as fresh fish to eat for this purpose. All fish livers contain these good fats; it is just that these particular fish are a richer source of it. Fish liver oil capsules are made from other fish, and concentrated.

Omega three fatty acids are the ones that are helpful to our health. Research has shown that these fats will lower cholesterol levels, particularly the harmful low-density lipids, and may in fact aid in dissolving plaques that have already formed in our blood vessels. Fish oils reduce blood pressure slightly. This reduces the risk of all coronary diseases. Omega three fatty acids are beneficial in all inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, rheumatism and general sore muscles and joints. This is thought to be due to their action on the prostaglandin system, which plays a part in coronary disease as well.

Less well known are the benefits of fish oil in ADHD, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and schizophrenia. These benefits are due to the vital role that essential fatty acids play in brain development. Pregnant and breast-feeding women are encouraged to have an adequate intake of these fats to promote healthy brain development in their children. Many commercial baby formulas now contain added omega three oils. Pregnant women have to be sure that their source of omega three is safe from mercury contamination, and so often use soybean or flaxseed oil instead of fish. They are not as rich a source as fish oils but seem safer.

Recent concern has focused on the fact that commercially caught fish may be contaminated with mercury. This has led to a movement away from fish eating, and towards the taking of capsules that are guaranteed to be free of mercury. The mercury contamination appears to be with naturally occurring Mercury, not just industrial by products, and so the region of the world the fish are caught in makes little difference. The fish with the highest levels of mercury are found to be shellfish and apex predators, such as swordfish, which is why pregnant women are advised to avoid them. Unless you eat exceedingly high amounts of these fish the levels of mercury you ingest are not likely to be very high.

All people, whatever their age or state of health, benefit from a daily dose of fish liver oil capsules, or from eating oily fish three times a week. The spoonful of cod liver oil our grandparents and parents were forced to swallow every day really was doing them good, much as they would have wished it otherwise.

How the Healthcare System Failed One Girl: When Money’s More Important Than Lives

This is not a political article about health care. I’m going to put a face and a heart to the subject of health care. I worked in a hospital that shall for obvious reasons remain nameless. Health care was given to those who were insured and those that could afford to pay. Unfortunately, some patients had to go without. This article is dedicated to a baby girl who never got to grow up because her parents didn’t have insurance. I worked the night she was brought into my emergency room on the 11pm – 7am shift.

A woman without insurance came with her husband to the hospital to be delivered of the baby that she was carrying. The parents were poor, but they expected their baby to be born without any problem. The delivery room was adjacent to the emergency room, so often staff would go back and forth between the two departments if help was needed.

I was brand new to my nursing career. I had been working the ER for about a month in 1980 when around midnight my nursing supervisor came in with a pale and cold infant wrapped in a blanket. I was instructed to watch the baby until it stopped breathing. I was horrified, and told her the baby needs to be put under the warming lights. My supervisor said, no.

“This baby is clinically dead.” She said. I couldn’t understand how anyone could be so heartless as to tell the parents their baby had died, when she was still alive. Her pulse, when I got her, was in the mid 60s. A heart rate so slow cannot sustain life, but it was my opinion that this baby could have rallied if she were put under the warming lights like every other baby was.

“This baby has medical problems and needs to be shipped out. We are not qualified to meet her needs.” She said. Again I was livid. She told me to be quiet. And said the parents didn’t have insurance, and no hospital will take her. My supervisor then placed the infant in my arms and then told me to keep my mouth shut. If I were to report this to anyone I would have lost my job.

Looking back to that night I still cry for that baby that wasn’t given a chance to live. Money meant the difference between a life and death. I don’t know what was wrong with the baby. She had 10 toes, and 10 fingers. She was breathing on her own until her heart began to tire. I will always feel if everyone had done their jobs this baby would be a woman now, maybe with children of her own.

Being a nurse in a small hospital in the ’80s and ’90s was bittersweet. There were wonderful times, but there were times when I was ashamed to say I worked there. There has been more than one occasion that I was instructed to keep my mouth shut. Health care shouldn’t have only been for those who qualified for aid, or for those with insurance, or for those that could afford it.

I think everyone has heard about atrocities that have happened to patients that have come to a hospital for emergency care and they were either turned away or given shoddy care. Through the years I hope our health care workers and the people that write the laws will come together and treat everyone with the same modicum of respect. It shouldn’t matter if the patient is a mom delivering her child, or the new born baby, or any other medical need; everyone should be treated the same, whether they are rich or poor.

I think there is less chance of things like this happening now. But every now and then you still hear of things just as bad as this incident. I think it is time that everyone have affordable health care.

Quit Smoking Now: The Most Effective Methods

Smoking is addictive. Smoking is unattractive. Smoking is harmful to your health. Unless you’re wandering about with a MIG welder in your mouth, there is no need to be inhaling smoke. Although the reasons to quit smoking seem fairly obvious, it is much easier said than done. There is a reason cigarettes have become a booming industry around the world. They is highly addictive. Even if you desperately want to quit, it takes a great deal of effort. Some people can do it on their own, while others needs a bit of help. Wherever you are, you are not alone. There are millions of people all over the world trying to quit just like you. Now is the best time to begin. There are some highly effective smoking cessation programs and products on the market today.

Nicotine products

The main drug found in cigarettes is nicotine. Nicotine is the chemical that causes the addiction to smoking. Cigarettes, however, not only supply the body with nicotine, but also harmful chemicals found in smoke. The smoke from the cigarette is the most dangerous element of smoking. Some products on the market today take away the harmful smoke aspect, while still giving individuals the nicotine. Products such as nicotine gum and patches are now available over-the-counter. When used in conjunction with other smoking cessation programs, they can be quite effective.


Another smoking cessation product on the market is the filtrim. This is a device that actually changes the way standard cigarettes burn. It punches perforations into your favorite brand of cigarette. These perforations reduce the amount of nicotine and smoke poisons you ingest while inhaling. It comes with a four stage process that slowly weens you from your nicotine addiction. This system works best for people who find themselves smoking during certain times of the day or in a particular atmosphere. The filter doesn’t alter the taste of the cigarette, just the way the cigarette burns.

Cold Turkey

Some folks would rather skip all the products on the market and jump in head first. People who decide to quit smoking immediately, without weening themselves from the nicotine have decided to go “cold turkey”. This method works for some, but can be devastating to others. Smokers who quit cold turkey usually have problems with withdrawal symptoms. They also have a tendency to have a lower success rate. Some smokers, however, do better if they never touch another cigarette again. In this case, cold turkey is the answer.


Hypnosis is a method of therapy used in many different situations. People have used hypnosis to overcome the fear of flying, lose weight, and even stop smoking. Hypnosis can be done by a professional hypnotherapist or by oneself. The goal is to alter the mind response to cigarettes and their physical cues. For example, instead of craving a cigarette when you are stressed, you can alter your mind to crave exercise. Hypnosis can be extremely successful for some smokers and ineffectual for others.

Smoking is a horrible habit for you and for those around you. It does not, however, have complete power over your body and mind. While it is highly addictive, it is also very possible to overcome. Many have defeated their smoking addiction. You could be next. Smoking cessation methods and products on the market today can be a great help you on your journey.

Healthy Teeth Leads to Healthy Heart

Scientists find that taking care of our teeth proves to be a good way to prevent heart diseases. The periodontal patients show evidence to reaction to bacteria associated with periodontitis. These patients may be prone to developing cardiovascular disease. The scientists studied the long term effects of periodontitis. Kenneth Kornman, editor of the journal of periodontology, thinks that extended bacterial exposure leads to cardiovascular disease. The researchers analyzed the level of bacterial exposure. They also measured the biological indicators of biological exposure. It has been found that people with periodontal disease whose biomarkers showed increase in biological exposure were at a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease or atherogenesis.