Monday, January 12, 2009 0 comments

It is awfully horrifying to come to terms with the lame and inane reasons why Israel should bully Gaza and kill hundreds of Palestinians in the process. The ancient enmity between the Israelites and the Palestinians has never been so controversial until now. I was shocked to see hundreds of dead innocent bodies pile in the streets of Gaza, destroying families, leaving a bloody wake in their petty retribution and I find it equally appalling to understand their "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" justification because I am sure that they are overreacting and understating the real meaning of the old testament passage. Could the Israeli officials' brains been as ancient as their ancestors? Do they not know that the "eye for an eye" doctrine applies only to the biblical era? Do they have a false perception of time? Surely land domination, and empire building is a thing of the past.
The Jews have really exceeded themselves, acting like the David fighting the Palestinian Goliath when it is really them acting Goliath bullying the Palestinian David. Sure, they can defend their Israeli communities from Palestinian rocket attacks, however what they are doing lately is hurting innocent civilians more than the rebels. They are more fit to be called terrorists than those they try to punish.
Despite having received world condemnation, it is but annoying to see that Israel remains blatant in their barbarish pursuits. Israel recently rejected a United Nation's resolution calling for a ceasefire. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dismissed the UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate and durable ceasefire. They said Hamas fighters were still firing rockets into their territory but no casualties in their turf were reported compared to the 784 casualties they have caused in Gaza.
80% of Gaza's 1.5 million population are in dire need of assistance, describing the health situation as "extremely worrying". Most of Gaza is without power, solid waste is piling up and over 21,000 people are now sheltering in UN schools amid shortage of blankets and other essentials.
The condition that the Israelis and the Palestinians want for the ceasefire to immediately happen is really possible and not that hard to attain. Hamas wants Israel to end its crippling economic blockade of the Gaza strip and the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the territory, while Israel demands for a complete halt to Hamas rocket fire and to stop the islamist group rearming via smuggling tunnels under the border with Egypt. Plausible isn't it? So what are they thinking? Why not stop the bloodshed and get on with it? Have enough lives been wasted enough or they want more?
I will condemn Hamas for their selfish pursuit to cause damage and terrorize Israel but I will also condemn Israel for reacting so violently from a 'tickle'. I choose the lesser evil, Hamas, because as some experts say this Israeli-Palestinian war is lopsided. Miguel d'Escoto of the UN said "the behavior of Israel in bombarding Gaza is simply the commission of wanton aggression by a very powerful state against a territory that it illegally occupies." He also stated the following violations Israel incurred:
- Collective punishment - the entire 1.5 million people who live in Gaza are being punished for the action of a few militants.
- Targeting civilians - the air strike were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world.
- Disproportionate military response - the air strike have not only destroyed every police and security office of Gaza's elected government but have killed 784 and wounded thousands more.
It is true that peace can only be achieved when one is at peace with himself. Truly the people behind this ancient brawl are not in peace with themselves because they are clouded with their selfish ambitions and arrogance of power.

Fructose-based Softdrinks Blamed for Gout Incidence

Sunday, January 11, 2009 0 comments

The annual meeting of the British Society for Rheumatology recently disclosed the findings of their study about the sharp increase in gout among American adults that has occurred in recent decades was partly because of their consumption of soft drinks containing fructose.
Since the advent of the use of high-fructose corn-syrup in the sweetening of soft drinks there has been an increase in its consumption. It is found out that since the steady increase in its consumption there has been a steady increase in of gout incidence among adults who consumed these soft drinks.
Lay persons who have been afflicted of gout and those of us who have a medical background know that the conventional "low purine" diet is the widely accepted regimen for gout stricken individuals because uric acid is the breakdown product of purine. However, a rheumatologist at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver found out that fructose can increase uric acid production by breaking down adenosine triphosphate into adenosine monophosphate, a uric precursor.
Fructose also contributes to impaired glucose tolerance and increase insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia which could indirectly elevate serum uric acid levels.
Studies have found out in adults who consumed about 5-6 servings of sugary soft drinks per week had a multivariate relative risk of 1.29, there has been also an 85% increase in gout incidence among those who consumed two or more soft drinks per day.
Another study found out that drinking coffee may be protective, but only if it is drunk in considerable quantities. They have found out that serum uric acid levels in individuals drinking six cups of coffee per day were significantly lower by 0.43 mg/dL than those who did not drink coffee. They think that the chlorogenic acid in coffee is responsible, which is a powerful anti-oxidant.
In conclusion, people should halt dietary intake of sugary soft drinks if not limit it into moderation, not only for gout prevention but also for the common comorbidities it can cause and coffee intake is also beneficial.

*Taken from an article in the Philippine Star dated January 11, 2009.

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