Metabolism and Assumptions:

We have all been told that after 20 years of age your metabolism starts to slow down, and you eventually gain weight. That men have a faster metabolism then women. That women have a harder time losing weight as opposed to men especially after menopause. Now after a new publication in “Science” these assumptions seem a little misguided. Data from 6,500 people ranging from 8 days to 95 years of age, allowed researchers to divide a lifetime into 4 distinct periods of metabolism. The study involved 80 co-authors who shared data along with information from 6 labs using data from the past 40 years. Calories were measured by what is considered the “Gold Standard”. This measures the number of calories burned by tracking the amount of carbon dioxide expelled after daily activities. All factors were taken into consideration- height, weight, percentage of body fat. 1) Infancy -metabolic rate is 50% higher than adults, 2) Age 1 to 20 metabolism slows about 3% a year, 3) 20 to 60 it holds steady, 4) after 60 declines about 0.7% per year. They found no difference between men and women. Although the metabolic rate of individuals varies, the general pattern holds true for life. The results dispute the notion that there is a constant rate of expenditure per pound. Metabolic rate is shown in these studies to be dependent on age.

Drops the New Eyeglasses…

If you have difficulty reading up close you may not need to run for your glasses. As many as 128 million people have difficulty with age-related near vision. Vuity is a new eye drop which was approved By the FDA in October will be available this week. about to be given the okay. It will enable a person to see up close without affection distant vision. Presbyopia enables one to  focus on near objects in which the eye lens must change shape. This ability diminishes as we age. Vuity constricts the pupil, restricts peripheral light creating a pin hole effect. The active ingredient is pilocarpine which has been used for decades to treat glaucoma. In test trials Vuity improved near vision from 6 to 10 hours with just one drop in each eye. Its use is not to replace reading glasses but to limit the time you may need them. However, the cost is $80 for a 30-day supply and is not covered by insurance.


Is it true that it is better to give than to receive? Some attribute it to the fact that it makes one feel that your life is more valuable. Can doing good for someone else counter act anxiety, depression, as well as all the stress brought about by the pandemic. “Prosocial Behavior” is a term given to acting in a way that may be beneficial or helpful to others.  An act of kindness can bring about both positive mental and physical changes from lowering stress levels to releasing feel-good hormones. Even Darwin who wrote about survival of the fittest felt that caring for others is instinctual. An act of kindness can be as simple as a positive e-mail to someone who may be having a rough day. Sociologists feel it should begin with the next generation. That is teaching children to empathize with others, recognize injustice and take part in changing things. Compassion can release serotonin to counter depression and at the same time slow heart rate to calm a person down. Empathy is fine but an act of kindness needs to have a follow up. Being able to see and feel that someone needs help is only half of the solution. It needs to be accompanied by action. Community is created by kindness. Researchers are finding that celebrating a friend’s success is as or more important than responding to when that person is in need. Kindness is also the ability to tell the truth to someone in a gentle but constructive way. It goes both ways which means that you should be able to receive constructive criticism if done with kindness. Most of all it means being kind and taking care of oneself.

Brain Smear vs. Wind Turbines…

Fast moving rotating objects can register in the brain as a blur. This is what happens when you look at the blades of a rotating window fan. It creates what is known as a “brain or motion smear”. In other words, the blades become invisible. There has been great controversy recently about the use of wind power provided by turbines causing the death of a large number of birds. Birds have excellent peripheral vision but do not see as well when looking straight on. In a recent study performed at the Norwegian Institute for Natural Research it was discovered that painting one of the four blades black reduced the number of bird deaths by 72%. The study was conducted on the Norwegian island of Smola and was published in Ecology and Evolution. There were 8 turbines in the research. Half had one blade painted black. It lasted 7.5 years and there were 1,275 sniffing dogs involved. Their job was to sniff out any birds that may have died. The larger birds of prey seem to have benefited the most. Now what to do about the number one cause of bird demise by cats.