Friday, September 17, 2004

Your life expectancy is..

.. 85.4 years!

To calculate your own life expectancy you need to calculate your BMI first.
BMI [in metric]: weight in kg / (height in meter)²
Then click on the link above.

Your height and weight
Obesity is associated with inefficient energy production and an increased production of oxygen radicals within cells, therefore leading to increased risk of various cancers, heart disease and accelerated ageing. It may also lead to diabetes.

Q1: Do you smoke, chew tobacco, inhale snuff, or are you often around second-hand smoke (in pubs or at work)?
Cigarette smoke contains toxins which directly damage DNA and subsequently cause cancer. Cigarettes are the biggest direct source of nitrosamines (a carcinogen) humans are exposed to. These substances, along with other constituents of cigarette smoke, are potent oxidants and carcinogens that lead to accelerated ageing, lung disease, and diseases associated with ageing. Stopping smoking decreases your risk.

Q2: Do you eat more than a couple of hot dogs, sausages, or slices of bacon a week?
Some studies suggest that 90% of all human cancers are environmentally induced, 30-40% of these by diet. Preserved and cured meats (bacon, sausage, salami, etc.) are an important source of nitrites in our diet. Nitrites lead to the formation in our bodies of nitrosoamines, which are important environmental oxidants and carcinogens. For instance, there is a significant association between nitrosamines and stomach cancer.

Q3: Do you cook your fish, poultry, or meat until it's charred, either by grilling or on the barbecue?
Grilling can change proteins and amino acids into substances called heterocyclic amines (which are potent mutagens), or substances which can alter your DNA. This is turn can increase cancer risk.

Q4 & 5: Do you avoid butter, cream, lard, sweets and other saturated fats as well as fried food (e.g., chips)?
And do you minimise meat in your diet, preferably making a point to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and bran instead?
High protein diets, and the combination of a high fat and protein diet, have been associated with increased risk of cancer of the breast, uterus, prostate, colon, pancreas and kidney. An important mechanism is that these foods can be inefficient sources of energy and cause excess oxygen radical formation. Of course, saturated fats also lead to obesity and its risks. On the other hand, diets which emphasise fruits and vegetables have been associated with significantly lower heart disease risk and better quality of life.

Q6: Do you drink more than a pint of beer, or 2 glasses of wine/mixed drinks, a day?
Excessive alcohol is a toxin which damages the liver, nerve cells, and the mitochondria (individual cells' power producers) within most cells of the body. This leads to acceleration of ageing and increased susceptibility to many diseases associated with ageing.
For more information:

Q6: cont'd) Do you drink a moderate amount of alcohol - less than a pint of beer or less than 2 glasses of wine - a day?
Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with decreased heart disease risk. This may be one explanation for the 'French paradox,' in which the French are known for their love of high saturated fat foods, and yet their heart disease risks may be lower (except in the case of those who smoke cigarettes), perhaps because of the higher consumption of wine in that country.

Q7: Do you live in an urban area with poor air quality and lots of pollution? Numerous air pollutants are potent causes of cancer and contain oxidants which accelerate ageing.

Q8: Do you drink more than 3 cups of coffee a day?
Excessive coffee can be a sign of increased stress. Stress can lead to a hormonal imbalance which can physically stress and age numerous organs. In addition, coffee predisposes the stomach to chronic inflammation of the stomach and ulcers. Such chronic inflammation leads to release of substances that raise the risk of heart disease.

Q8: cont'd) Do you drink tea instead of coffee?
Tea drinkers in general appear to be healthier, and green tea especially has been noted for its significant anti-oxidant content.

Q9: Do you take an aspirin a day?
81 mg of Aspirin per day has been noted to significantly decrease heart disease risk. This benefit may be due to the anti-blood clotting effects of aspirin. Chronic inflammation may also play a role in heart disease and therefore, aspirin's effect on inflammation may also be helpful.

Q10: Do you floss your teeth every day?
Recent scientific evidence reveals that chronic gum disease leads to the release of certain bacteria and inflammatory, toxic substances into the blood stream which potentiate plaque formation in arteries and ultimately lead to heart disease. This process probably also increases the risk of stroke and accelerated ageing.

Q11: Do you have a bowel movement at least once every 2 days?
Keeping gut transit time under 20 hours seems to decrease the incidence of colon cancer, probably by decreasing the contact time between the gut lining and cancer-potentiating substances in the diet. These substances influence DNA damage and repair and therefore probably also influence the rate of ageing as well. Epidemiological studies in humans and animal studies suggest that increasing dietary fibre will reduce the risk of certain cancers - perhaps by increasing the frequency of bowel movements.

Q12: Do you engage in risky sexual (unprotected or
promiscuous) or drug-related behaviour that increase your risk of contracting HIV or viruses that can cause cancer?

Viruses such as HIV and others which are transmitted by risky behaviour not only cause AIDS, but also various cancers including lymphoma. These viruses change DNA and probably also, as a result, influence ageing as well.

Q13: Do you ever try to get a suntan - or ever expose yourself to the sun without wearing SPF 30 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing?The association between sun exposure and accelerated skin ageing are clear. The ultraviolet rays in sunlight directly damages DNA. More sun means more wrinkles sooner. It also means a higher risk Of deadly skin cancer. Excessive sun exposure may also have more toxic consequences for the body in general.

Q14: Do you live near enough to other family members (other than your spouse and dependent children)
that you can pop by to see them spontaneously - or vice versa?
Extended family cohesiveness and frequent contact is a notable feature of centenarian families. Researchers have noted that people who do not belong to cohesive families have fewer coping resources and increased levels of social and psychological stress. Psychological stress is associated with heart disease, various cancers and increased mortality risk.

Q15: Can you shed stress?
Centenarians shed emotional stress exceptionally well. Their stress-shedding personalities and the familial support which they receive and contribute to are important stress-reducing mechanisms.

Q16: Does more than one member of your immediate family (parents and siblings) have diabetes?
Diabetes causes excessive exposure to glucose and therefore debilitating cross-linking of proteins. This results in age-related problems such as cataracts, impaired nerve function, eye disease, heart disease and other vascular problems.

Q17 & 18: Your immediate family history
Genetics plays a significant role in the ability to achieve extreme old age in good health. If both sides of your family contract diseases associated with ageing, significantly before average life expectancy, then it behoves you to do all you can to maximise your health status. Be sure to enter into a diligent programme of screening and prevention with your physician. If you have significant extreme longevity in your family, this will help significantly in your own ability to achieve old age in good health.
For more information:
50 plus

Q19: Do you exercise 30 minutes, 3 days a week, or more?Exercise leads to more efficient mitochondrial energy production (within individual cells) and less oxygen radical formation. Muscle building exercise becomes even more important than aerobic exercise as you get older.

Q20: Do you take both vitamin E (400-800 international units) and selenium (100-200 microgrammes) everyday?
Vitamin E is thus far the best scientifically proven antioxidant available either in the diet or as a dietary supplement. It has been shown in epidemiological studies to delay or retard the progression of Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and stroke. It also boosts the immune system. Selenium appears to have dramatic effects in preventing cancer.

Vitamin dan resikonya

Menurut program Horizonnya BBC semalam, minum vitamin tambahan (Supplement) tidak selamanya tanpa resiko. Industri vitamin yang bernilai jutaan dolar saat ini diawali oleh kepercayaan dari seorang pemenang Nobel, Linus Pauling , di tahun 60-an. Menurut ahli kimia ini pengunaan vitamin C dosis tinggi dapat mencegah badan terjangkit selesma.

Ternyata, menurut penelitian Balz Frei dari Linus Pauling Institute di Amerika Serikat hal ini tidak terbukti. Vitamin C dosis tinggi tidak dapat mencegah terserang selesma. Tapi, dapat mempersingkat lamanya selesma sebanyak 20% bila diberikan pada awal masa terjangkit.

Salah satu efek dari vitamin A,C, dan E adalah kerjanya sebagai anti oksidan yang memerangi radikal bebas dalam tubuh. Hal ini oleh industri Farmasi dijadikan salah satu kampanye menjual produknya. Tapi apakah penggunaan vitamin, terutama dengan dosis tinggi, tersebut tidak ada efek sampingannya?

Salah satu studi yang dilakukan oleh Linus Pauling Institute menemukan bahwa pengunaan vitamin E sebelum makan tidak ada artinya. Vitamin tersebut tidak terserap dalam tubuh. Penelitian ini kemudian direplikasi oleh Frank Kelly dari King's College, Inggris. Subyek meminum vitamin E dengan tiga macam cairan yang berbeda, air, susu full fat, milkshake dengan 40% lemak. Hasilnya diluar dugaan. Ternyata penyerapan tubuh atas vitamin E dengan ketiga cairan tersebut hampir sama jumlahnya. Ternyata, Penelitian pertama menggunakan kapsul vitamin E yang khusus yang tidak ada lemaknya, sementara pada penelitian Kelly digunakan vitamin E yg dijual dipasaran yg diimbuhi sedikit lemak dalam kapsulnya. Sayangnya penelitian Kelly hanya menggunakan subyek yang amat sedikit dan hanya menggunakan satu jenis vitamin E sehingga hasilnya tidak dapat dijadikan pegangan. Namun dari kedua penelitian ini dapat disimpulkan, bila anda ingin mengkonsumsi vitamin E sebaiknya dilakukan bersama dengan sedikit lemak agar tidak percuma.

Bagaimana dengan vitamin A yang didengungkan baik untuk kulit, serta dapat mengurangi kanker paru paru?

Salah satu jenis suplemen vitamin A yang banyak dijual berbentuk betakarotin yang dipercaya mampu mengurangi resiko kanker paru-paru. D. Albanus melakukan penelitian efek betakarotin pada perokok selama delapan tahun. Subyek penelitian ini mengkonsumsi satu capsul betakarotin yang isi setara dengan 6 wortel tiap hari. Ternyata, dari populasi ini terjadi kenaikan resiko kanker paru-paru sebanyak 18% sehingga akhirnya penelitian ini dihentikan sebelum masa studi berakhir.

Delapan belas bulan kemudian penelitian sejenis yang lain juga dihentikan karena adanya kenaikan sebanyak 28% resiko kanker paru-paru. Akhirnya tahun 2003 keluar anjuran bagi perokok untuk tidak mengkonsumsi betakarotin, bagi non perokok dianjurkan mengurangi konsumsi betakarotin suplemen.

Jenis vitamin A lain yang ada di pasaran bernama Retinol. Mereka yang percara akan penggunaan vitamin berdosis tinggi mengganjurkan penggunakan retinol sampai 3 kali jumlah yang dianjurkan per hari. Ternyata menurut R. Goldin konsumsi sebanyak ini dapat menyebabkan kerusakan hati pada manusia.

Penelitian di Swedia juga menunjukkan bahaya konsumsi vitamin A (retinol) yang terlalu banyak. Secara kultural, masyarakat Swedia terbiasa mengkonsumsi makanan yang kaya kalsium, dan makanan yang kaya vitamin A seperti ikan, minyak ikan, dan susunya pun diperkaya dengan vitamin A. Ternyata, jumlah penderita osteoporosis (kerapuhan tulang) di negara ini termasuk tinggi.
Dalam studi pola makanan dengan 66000 subyek wanita berusia diatas 40 tahun ditemukan bahwa konsumsi jangka panjang vitamin A dalam jumlah kecil (1500 mikrogram) pun yg dapat dicapai dari konsumsi makanan sehari hari pun dapat menyebabkan turunnya kepadatan tulang sebanyak 10 % dan kenaikan resiko patah tulang pinggul sebanyak 2 kali lipat.

Hasil serupa juga ditemui pada subyek pria.

Menurut A. Renick salah seorang ahli keamanan vitamin, penggunaan vitamin A lebih dari 1500 mikrogram sehari tidak dianjurkan.

Dari sini dapat disimpulkan, bahwa vitamin yang kita perlukan untuk berfungsi optimal setiap hari ternyata tidak selamanya tidak beresiko. Sebaiknya pemasukan vitamin didapatkan dari makanan bernutrisi yang dikonsumsi setiap hari. Bila masih ingin mengkonsumsi suplemen vitamin, lakukan dibawah pengawasan dokter anda.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

Setelah lama ngga ketemu dengan Justin dan Patricia, kami janjian hari minggu sore² ketemu di kota. Jam 2-an Justin telefon dan usul untuk ketemu di The Lounge-nya Krasnapolsky sekitar jam 3.

Mereka sampai duluan di sana, karena aku detour ke Bijenkorf di seberangnya dulu ngeliat² MAC :) Sampai di Lobby, yg ada cuma Patricia karena Justin lagi ke kamar mandi. Sambil nunggu kami basa basi dulu, maklum itu kali kedua kami bertemu. Sebelumnya pas perkawinan mereka bulan Mei lalu. Tak lama Justin datang. Wah.. jadi gemuk dia sejak Mei lalu! Rupanya sudah ada yg ngurusin jadi "beda":)

Karena mereka habis mencoba tempat dimsum baru di dekat leidseplein yg menurut laporannya enak, kami hanya makan kecil saja sambil ngobrol dan nonton orang lewat di Dam dan di kejauhan Istana Kerajaan. Aku pesan Jus d'Orange dan chocolate truffel cake, Justin pesan kopi dan cake yg sama sementara Patricia pesan kopi dan cake buah.

Waktu cake datang... alamak, itu chocolate cake besar aja. Sayang kita ngga ada yg bawa kamera hari itu... bentuknya cantik, di pinggirnya ada lapisan cake lembut bergaris coklat dan putih. Basisnya dari bahan cake yang sama. Kemudian coklatnya itu lho... ngga nahan: banyak, creamy, dengan kemanisan yg pas dan tidak bikin eneg. diatasnya ada sedikit whipped cream yg diatasnya ditaruh Arbei. Duh, sambil nulis juga rasanya masih terbayang². *salivating*

Nah kalau cakenya Patricia, berhubung ngga nyobain, cuma bisa cerita rupanya saja. Jadi crustnya dari pastry trus ada cream sedikit ditengahnya, diatasnya ada buah buahan, diameternya sekitar 6 cm kali ya. Kayaknya sih enak, dan Patricia bilang enak :)As for the juice, jeruk asli yg ngga ada sepet²-nya. Kalau kopi, wah ndak tau ya.. udah bertahun tahun ngga minum kopi soalnya.

Setelah puas makan dan minum, kami jalan² ke Bijenkorf (lagi) karena Justin mau nunjukin jaket yg mau dibeli, tapi akhirnya Patricia dan aku nyuruh beli yg lain. *grin*

Yang kocak, ketika minta rekening waktu di the Lounge datang tagihan 10 euro, rupanya si Ober yg baru kerja seminggu itu lupa masukin tagihan kue². Jadi kami musti ngingetin dia dulu. Total akhirnya ternyata €20,50 saja.

Dari sana kami jalan kaki ke dekat Vondelpark untuk ambil mobil karena hampir semua tram ngga jalan lewat Leidseplein sore itu. Kemudian kami pisah di Schiphol, dan pulang ke rumah masing masing.

Oya, Bagi yg suka makan di Winter Garden-nya Krasnapolsky, I'm happy to report that it opens again after renovation. Hm.. yummy!

Dam, 9, Amsterdam/(+31.20.554.9111)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Pastavino, Aalsmeer

Sabtu lalu abis nonton shooting di studio Endemol yg di Van Cleeffkade, Aalsmeer berdua mbak Ria, kami kelaparan dan memutuskan mencari makan di jalan belakang studio.

Kebetulan malam itu ada perayaan di Aalsmeer, jadi tempat yg tadinya kami tuju disulap jadi tempat pesta, dan kami terpaksa pindah ke ujung jalan, di Pastavino.Tempatnya ngga terlalu besar dan dekornya boleh dibilang seadanya, mungkin ada 10 meja. Biarpun sudah hampir jam 22.30, ternyata masih penuh. Begitu masuk, si empunya yg orang Italia asli masih sibuk mencatat pesanan sekelompok orang di meja dibelakang kami. Ketika kami tanya, katanya dapur tutup jam 22.30, jadi kami cuma punya waktu 10 menit untuk memilih makanan.

Dari menunya ada puluhan macam hidangan pasta dengan berbagai jenis pasta, pizza, juga hidangan seafood atau daging yg harganya ngga mahal.Harganya juga ngga mahal, pasta satu porsi sekitar €7,95, padahal kalau di Rotterdam hampir pasti lebih dari segitu harganya kalau pakai ikan. Sebetulnya aku pengen makan makanan yg di oven², cuma katanya sudah ngga bisa karena sudah telat, akhirnya milih pasta dengan saus salmon, vodka dan pala dengan minum cola. Mbak Ria pesan pasta dengan sayur mayur, karena sedang diet katanya dan minum red wine yg enak. Tadinya aku mau pesan wine juga, cuma takut besoknya ngga bisa bangun jadi hanya mencicipi punya mbak Ria.

Ngga lama datanglah pesanan yg baunya serta tampilannya amat mengundang selera. Dan rupanya rasanya pun enak. Salmonnya pas dan sausnya ngga machtig. Setelah tandas, kami memutuskan untuk memesan penutup. Saya memilih tiramisu, sementara mbak Ria memesan salad buah. Wah tiramisunya enak banget, ngga salah milih deh. Rupanya, mereka menggunakan cake, bukan lange finger yg dicelup amaretto, dan ditaruh selang seling dengan cream cheesenya. Rasa campuran mascarponenya pas, ngga terlalu manis, ngga terlalu overpower. Dan diatasnya bubuk kakaonya termasuk enak dan lumayan banyak.

Ternyata, makan seenak itu berdua habisnya ngga sampai 30! Asyik kan? Apalagi trus mbak Ria yg traktir.. makin top aja:) Thanks ya mbak.

Sesudahnya kami berdua sempat niat nonton konser didekat situ, tapi rupanya musti bayar. Akhirnya kami memutuskan pulang dan meneruskan ngerumpi dirumah:)

(0297) 32 38 35