Sunday, May 31, 2015


Smoking Gently To Die Sweetly
by Ambrosio R. Villorente

According to the Department of Health report, 10 Filipinos die every hour due to smoking and its complications. This is equivalent to 240 deaths a day.

The report suggested the conduct of a massive information campaign against smoking in all places in the Philippines to reduce if not totally stop smoking. The information campaign should be addressed to the children and parents.

Statistics show there are about 17.3 million Filipinos who are tobacco smokers which may lead to cancer and other chronic diseases, warns Dr. Ivanhoe Escortin of the Department of Health (DOH).

To none smokers, it is equally dangerous to go near a smoking person. Second hand cigarette smoke is equally dangerous. There are 64 percent of the Filipino youth who are exposed to second hand smoke in public places. In the ASEAN member states, about 600,000 die annually due to exposure to second hand tobacco smoke.

About six (6) million people die yearly caused by smoking tobacco in the world.

Can Sex Keep Heart Healthy?

This question is answered in the article: “Heart to Heart” by Quincey Joel V. Cahilig of the Philippine Rotary Magazine, May 2015 issue. Cahilig interviewed Dr. Adolfo B. Bellosillo, a cardiologist at the Makati Medical Center.

Here are what Dr. Bellosillo said during his interview with Cahilig:

“Sex can keep the heart healthy. It is good for the heart, but it actually depends on how one does it. Sex can be considered as a workout and most likely, if a person is physically active during intercourse, there are health benefits.”

But Dr. Bellosillo cautions that sexual activity is not good as aerobics or jogging. There are qualifications for a physical activity to have a good effect on the heart.

First, it must use the big muscles in alternate contraction and relaxation.

Second, it must be done regularly.

Finally, it must raise one’s heart rate to a desired level for 30 minutes.

Dr. Bellosillo, based on research findings said, the desired heart rate during intercourse is only reached during orgasm. Can orgasm last for one half hour? “Hence, sex is not a good form of exercise to keep the heart healthy,” said Dr. Bellosillo.

He advised that sex in the morning can be dangerous for individuals who suffer from hypertension and coronary heart disease due to the phenomenon called Circadian Variation. “If one has a coronary heart disease or hypertension, moments that will make one’s heart beat fast and hard sex must be avoided because the heart will require oxygen which will not easily pass through.

Studies show that in the process of waking up in the morning, a person’s adrenal glands are already being stimulated to secrete hormones called adrenaline and non-adrenaline which are notorious for making a person’s heart beat faster and harder. “How much more if one exercises or engages in sexual intercourse?” Dr. Bellosillo asked.

Nevertheless, he prescribes to those who can’t really resist to take their medication before hand.

Hypertension is a lifetime disease, Dr. Bellosillo stressed. There is no medication and surgical procedures that can cure hypertension. The only way to be protected from high blood pressure is the regular intake of prescribed medicines.

Are Men More Prone To Heart Disease Than Women?

According to Dr. Bellosillo, the risk is almost the same in both genders depending on the kind of heart disease. But during the early years, the risk of atherosclerotic  heart disease, the build-up of plaques in the blood vessels that lead to stroke and heart attack, is higher in men than in women. But when women reach the age of menopause, the incidence of heart attack becomes almost equal with men. And worse when women have a hear attack, it is more fatal. This is due to the protection by their hormones during the child bearing years of women.

Heart attack is usually triggered when platelets in the blood suddenly aggregate which blocks blood flow. Research studies show Aspirin diminishes the tendency of platelets to aggregate and helps lower the risk of heart attack.

Dr. Bellosillo advised those who take Aspirin to take it after meal. Better still to take the said drug late in the evening because it will help prevent platelet aggregation which happens at four o’clock dawn.

Eat Fruits Before Meals

To eat fruits after meals is not to help digestive system according to Dr. Ping Bonus, a lifestyle and integrative medicine physician. She advised people to eat vegetables first before eating meat. This is understandable as vegetables had fiber while meat has no fiber. Human body needs fiber to help digest the meat.

Dr. Bonus suggests that meat must be eaten at lunch and not during dinner. Meat eaten at lunch can be best digested while meat eaten at dinner can hardly be digested because people tends to sleep after eating in the evening.

“It is best to eat fruits 30 minutes before meals,” Dr. Bonus pointed out. /MP

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