From the monthly archives: "August 2008"
This month’s news of the weird: An Indonesian man, dubbed the tree manbecause of the freakish amount of warts that had formed all over his body, successfully underwent wart-removal surgery to remove the unsightly growths.According to recent reports, Dede, a 37-year-old from rural West Java, had six kilograms (13.2 pounds) of woody growths removed from his body. The warts, so plentiful they looked like tree-bark, started growing when Dede was a teenager. An American dermatologist diagnosed Dede last year as suffering from a combination of depressed immune system, and infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). His immune system is too weak to fight off the virus. Crazy. Dede has had eight operations so far, and is scheduled for one more to remove an additional 2/3 pound of warts. He is currently being treated with medications and vitamin A to prevent regrowth of the warts.

Warts come in many flavors and are the result of infection with HPV. They can be passed from person to person, but the risk is very small…so don’t freak out by your warty friends (Dede’s wife freaked out and left him). Warts can also be picked up by sharing towels, so I definitely discourage that practice (please make note hosts and hostesses: use papertowels in the washroom when entertaining).

And the treatment to remove warts? There are a few; the most notable (all from Wikipedia):

  • Keratolysis, removal of dead surface skin cells usually using salicylic acid, blistering agents, immune system modifiers (“immunomodulators”), or formaldehyde, often with mechanical paring of the wart with a pumice stone, blade etc.
  • Cryosurgery, which involves freezing the wart (generally with liquid nitrogen), creating a blister between the wart and epidermal layer, after which the wart and surrounding dead skin falls off by itself.
  • Surgical curettage of the wart.
  • Laser treatment.
  • Imiquimod, a topical cream that helps the body’s immune system fight the wart virus by encouraging interferon production.

So if you’ve got warts to rival Dede’s, I guess you’re going to have some fun in the near future–I know, I had a few doozies myself when I was a teenager. Froze them off with liquid nitrogen. Figure it was about the fourth worst pain I’ve ever experienced. So I can’t really imagine what poor Dede went through. But both he and I are wart free…for now.

When it comes to teaching children healthy habits, what is the best thing parents can do to help their cause? You guessed it–practicing what they preach.

A new study that observed more than 1,300 families showed that when parents up their consumption of fruits and vegetables, so do their kids. No surprise here. As I’ve said before: Kids do as their parents do. Drink lots of soda–expect Junior to drink lots of soda. Watch lots of T.V.–expect Muffin to watch lots of T.V. Bypass the gym and blow up–well, you get the point.

But isn’t it refreshing to know that you can influence your children in the positive, too? All you have to do is adopt healthy lifestyle habits: eat fruits and vegetables, can the sodas, exercise regularly, get chiropractic care, rest up, and kick the smoking habit. And most important–believe in it! I promise you, whatever your children see you do regularly will be what they do too. You can bet on it. Doesn’t it make sense to pass on healthy habits to your children? Don’t make poor health choices your family legacy. Do the right things and your kids will too.

You know how I feel about yoga: I think it’s at the very top of the physical and mental wellness spectrum. From flexibility to strength to mental focus, yoga is the practice of uniting the mind, the body and the spirit. Well, now yoga has been shown to help women ease the symptoms of menopause.

According to research conducted the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in Bangalore, India, 120 menopausal women aged 45-50 years old were randomly assigned to yoga practice or simple stretching and strengthening exercises five days a week. The yoga group also listened to lectures on using yoga to manage stress and other yoga-related topics. The non-yoga group listened to lectures on diet, exercise, stress management, and the physiology of menopause. After eight weeks of this routine, the yoga group showed significant reduction in hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances, as well as improved attention and concentration.

My only criticism of these findings is that the study was conducted in India, where people are generally more exposed to the practice of yoga in their lifetimes. Even if not everybody in the population practices yoga, they have at least a working knowledge of the discipline. What I would really like to see is the same study done in the U.S., or any other country where yoga is not a part of the general culture. I’m certain that the results will be the same, but it’s the only way to know that cultural factors aren’t at play here.

That said, I know the immense power of a regular yoga practice. I know it personally and professionally. Whether you’re pre-menopausal or menopausal, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re old or young, yoga will enhance your life significantly. Try it for six months and you’ll see what I’m talking about–life changing.

You can never accuse me of being one-sided. Although it may seem that I only pick on the medical and pharmaceutical industries, I actually enjoy picking on other “health” industries equally as much. Whether it be the “natural” products industry, psychotherapy, the weight loss industry, or bottled water, nobody is immune to my ridicule. I merely call it as I see it, and I love to point out the flaws in what’s being sold as “good health.” One industry in particular that I love to knock, simply because it’s so knockable, is the “anti-aging” shamsters.

So here’s the latest: I’m sure you’ve heard of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). It’s a hormone produced naturally by the adrenal glands and is converted into other hormones, like testosterone and estrogen. It is sold as an over-the-counter supplement and touted heavily by anti-aging enthusiasts. Maybe you’ve been taking it yourself, to boost brain power, memory, and such. No? Oh, that’s good, because the first large scale study done to test supplemental DHEA’s effectiveness in brain function showed that it didn’t do diddly. That’s right…nothing, nada, nunca.

Here is the idea behind DHEA supplementation: DHEA is a natural steroid prohormone produced from cholesterol. It is the precursor of androstenedione (remember this stuff, baseball fans?), which can convert into the androgen testosterone and estrogens. DHEA levels peak during a person’s twenties, and then slowly declines with age. Because DHEA levels decline with age, and certain physiological functions also decline with age, while certain diseases increase with age (cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, etc.), then the thought is that DHEA must be linked to age related health decline (oh, lord). So to prevent natural decline in physiological function, to decrease one’s risk of developing age-related illnesses, to improve one’s libido, energy levels, strength and bone density, and essentially to slow down or halt the aging process, one need only supplement with DHEA. Cha Ching! Or so the story goes.

But the latest research reported in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that supplementing with DHEA for as long as one year had no beneficial effects on brain function, memory or other cognitive abilities. According to lead researcher Dr. Donna Kritz-Silverstein, “healthy older adults should not turn to DHEA for the purpose of improving their cognitive function or overall well-being.” And I agree.

But here’s something older adults (and younger one’s too) can turn to quite confidently in their attempts to increase their natural levels of DHEA, and, in turn, age gracefully with increased strength, endurance, vibrancy and vigor: regular exercise, healthy diet, supplementation with basic vitamins and minerals, EFAs and a good antioxidant, regular bodywork, proper rest and recuperation, and minimizing toxin exposure (polluted air, polluted water, drugs, and so forth). And for boosting brain power, nothing…and I mean NOTHING…beats regular mental challenge like learning something new; and staying mentally engaged–reading, debating, writing, thinking, studying, problem-solving–at all times.

The research also showed that the subjects taking DHEA supplements had 2-3 times higher DHEA levels in the blood, so it’s not as if the body was just removing the supplemental form of the molecule (injecting the prohormone is, therefore, not a more effective alternative). Higher blood levels of DHEA had no benefit to mental function…zero. So I conclude by saying, once again, that things were designed the way they were for a reason. The body knows what to produce, at what concentrations, at any given time. It’s called Innate Intelligence, and every living thing has it. Man cannot improve on the wisdom of the body–not with Viagra, not with LASIK, not with pig-heart valves, nothing. And this latest research on DHEA is just another proof to that principle.

Severe stress during pregnancy may help cause schizophrenia. So says a study out New York University School of Medicine. According to researchers, severe stress–like wars, natural disasters, terrorism, or sudden bereavement–can lead to epigenetic changes, which are changes in gene expression, not changes to the DNA itself.

The study looked at data from 88,829 people born in Jerusalem from 1964 to 1976. They wanted to see if an increase in schizophrenia occurred in babies born to women during the height of the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six-Day War. What they found is astounding: babies born to mothers who were two months pregnant in June of 1967 were significantly more likely to develop schizophrenia. The height of bombing in Jerusalem was a three day period from June 5-7.

Females born during this period (January 1968 to be exact) were 4.2 times more likely to develop schizophrenia than the 1.1 % of the population which is the global norm. Males born during this period were 1.2 times more likely to develop the mental illness. Wow! Although the researchers didn’t rule out a genetic link–that is, the babies had a high family risk for developing schizophrenia–it is unlikely. While schizophrenia in the general population has some family ties, the majority of cases do not. So epigenetics seems to be the logical mechanism.

I find these results fascinating, because I’m a firm believer that we all have every gene, but it’s whether or not it’s expressed that counts. This would explain some seemingly random human variations, like gender identity disorders, psychopathy, and schizophrenia. And it makes complete sense that a strong connection exists between Mom’s experiences during gestation and how baby forms.

In epigenetics, as it is understood and discussed today, we are talking about a narrow form of gene expression, a once in a lifetime event. In other words, humans are not susceptible to environmentally induced genetic changes multiple times in their lifetime; major genetic variations occur during gestational development only. In the case of severe stress, the stress hormones can affect the placenta, ultimately changing the environment of the fetus, which then changes in response.

But wait! Don’t freak out, soon to be mom’s: we’re talking about severe stress here, not simply getting in a fight with baby’s daddy. I reported in an earlier post that this just isn’t the case, so unless you’re involved in a major trauma, you probably have nothing to worry about. But I think we will learn in the near future just how much severe stressors during pregnancy can affect the unborn child. Any thoughts?

Here’s a piece about a growing problem plaguing elderly men in industrialized countries, which leads to poor physical and mental outcomes. According to recent reports from the British charity Help the Aged, the number of males over-60 living alone in Great Britain has hit the one million mark, with half of them reporting feelings of loneliness and isolation. And I’m sure the Brits aren’t the only ones with this problem.

Human beings are social animals and we need rich social circles to thrive as living organisms. The importance of social connectedness to physical and mental health is fairly well known. The phenomenon as it relates to physical health has been studied by researchers at the University of Chicago, and I’ve reported on many of the mental benefits to a rich social life here in this blog. Social connectedness improves memory and prevents dementia, and improves surgical outcomes. People who retain strong social ties just report doing better overall.

That’s why I find this story so interesting: Large numbers of men are socially isolated. Men, as they age, have a hard time fitting in and participating in social groups. This is not true of women, however, who tend to feel more comfortable in social situations. Interestingly, in Britain at least, most social organizations for the elderly are female oriented, making it even harder for the men to find groups or situations that they feel comfortable in.

I think this is something we should all think about, as the marvels of modern medicine and the desire to stay healthy are keeping people living longer than ever before. Whether a spouse dies or whether divorced, aging men and women need opportunities to be social. But another important point is that it really brings home how crucial it is to take care of your health as if it’s your most valuable asset. Because at the end of the day, it really is. Think about it: who has the greater opportunity for a rich social life–the person who can barely walk, has trouble breathing and is racked with pain, or the person who is physically fit, vibrant and full of life? Uh, dunno…what do you think? And who has time for social activities anyway, when one’s day is filled with doctor’s appointments (I personally know several older folk who live this life)? And who has the constitution to partake in social activities when they’re hopped up on twenty, thirty different meds (I’ve had a number of elderly patients bring me their medication lists which easily add to these numbers)? Don’t get caught in the mind trap of believing that aging equals deterioration and isolation–it doesn’t.

Take care of your precious health today. God forbid, you find yourself alone in the near future. But if you do, keep your social life active. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. And you’ll be better–all around–in body, mind, and spirit.

As far as emotions go, happiness is highly overrated. Some pseudo-scientists (read: psychologists), however, feel that the pursuit of happiness is a worthwhile endeavor. Take, for instance, the latest study out of Rotterdam’s Erasmus University in the Netherlands which links happiness to health. According to its lead author, happiness is the key to a long life. Hmmm…I’m skeptical. Here’s why:

The study looked at 30 other studies (a meta-analysis) which were carried out worldwide over periods ranging from one to 60 years. The results were that “feeling good could lengthen life by between 7.5 and 10 years.” In fact, it compared the effects of happiness on longevity to smoking on life expectancy.

Oy vey. Does anybody besides me see the nonsense in this junk science? First off, there is absolutely no such thing as a life of perpetual happiness. Every living being experiences unhappiness, loss, challenge, and so forth, at various times in their life. Life is a constant stream of varying psychological and emotional experiences. Even the human predicament of dissatisfaction is a necessary component to personal growth and development. Actually, it’s the pursuit of perpetual happiness that leads to the inordinate amount of depression in our society. The people who choose this pursuit get let down again and again because they are chasing the unattainable. No wonder antidepressant use is beyond comprehension. The people who chase happiness the most tend to be the most unhappy, and more importantly, the most unsatisfied people in society. Just an observation.

I’m sure you won’t find this surprising but the lead author of this study, Mr. Ruut Veenhoven, is a psychologist. The psychology profession stands to gain the most from putting forth the illusion that we can measure, and ultimately reach, a “state of happiness”.

Listen, happiness exists, no doubt. But it’s certainly as objective as beauty is. A Laker win might make me happy, but that sure as hell doesn’t have any lasting effect on me. So whether or not that’s going to have an effect on my health or longevity is simply ludicrous. In fact, it directly contradicts an earlier study that showed women end up more unhappy than men later in life, despite the fact that they generally live longer.

So striving for perpetual happiness, in my opinion, is futile. Fulfillment, however, is worth striving for; and this, like happiness, is completely subjective–so we aren’t going to be able to measure it any better. Veenhoven’s study discusses hedonics–the branch of psychology that studies pleasant and unpleasant sensations and states of mind, as well as the economic method of estimating demand or value. But this concept, like the entire measuring happiness thing, is flawed. According to critics of this pleasure measuring statistical regression, it’s “impossible to measure the immeasurable”, specifically because what makes an individual or society happy (or fulfilled) changes all the time. Well, no duh..uh..uh..uh..uh!

So I reiterate my earlier thought, the group most benefiting from this nonsense is the psychology profession. Not surprising since they are the professionals that strive the most to help people become happier. But I think the whole concept is bunk. You just can’t put a measure on happiness, and you certainly can’t link something that subjective to health. We need both happiness and sadness, challenge and support, pain and pleasure to grow and develop–it’s part of human evolution. But wouldn’t you expect psychotherapists to push the one-sided ideal of a happy life? Makes good business sense, anyway, don’t you think?

Wanna know the best way to test a new experimental vaccine? Give it to unsuspecting poor people. Want to know how to get away with shoddy recruitment practices when you get caught–make sure those poor people are in Latin America. Don’t believe me? Read on.

According tho the Argentina’s food and drug administration, an investigation is being launched into the possible link between an “experimental” vaccine and the deaths of 14 children in Argentina and Panama. Pharmaceutical maker, GlaxoSmithKline, developed Synflorix as a vaccine to combat pneumonia–a noble undertaking–but sources say that the mega-drug maker may have used dubious tactics to recruit volunteers. One watchdog group says that many participants were not told of the experimental nature of the vaccine. “They didn’t explain to the parents that this was an experimental vaccine, and a lot of the parents who signed consent forms were illiterate,” said Ana Maria Marchesse, a pediatrician who heads the Health Professionals’ Labor Association in the northern Argentine province of Santiago del Estero, where seven of the 14 children died.

GlaxoSmithKline defends itself by saying that safety is always their utmost concern. In fact, they say, the number of pneumonia deaths among the experimental group was four times less than in the general population. Not bad numbers.

But “Uh, uh, uh, no, no, no…,” say doctors in the Santiago del Estero region of Argentina. They report that they witnessed “poor ethical management” of patient recruitment. “In some cases, they first gave them the vaccine and then gave them a 13-page consent form to sign that I had to read three times to understand,” Dr. Marchesse added.

A case of he said, she said? Hmmm…what do you think? I think we’ll be hearing more of this in the near future.

Great news coming out of the National Institute of Health: Researchers there have discovered that high doses on vitamin C decreased cancerous tumors in mice by 50%. The vitamin showed anti-cancerous effects on 75% of the cancer cell lines tested. Wow! And I remember a time when nutritional remedies were thought to be severely limited, at least in medical circles–and now this!

Vitamin C, or ascorbate, is an essential nutrient that acts as a cofactor in enzymatic reactions, an antioxidant, and is a major player involved in collagen formation. The anti-cancerous properties of vitamin C appear to be from the formation of hydrogen peroxide which surrounds the tumors in their extracellular matrix. The hydrogen peroxide is damaging to the cancer cells but leaves normal cells alone.

Researchers report that the high doses of vitamin C had to be administered by injection because taking mega-doses orally are actually regulated by the gut, and is therefore harder to reach the high concentrations needed to fight cancer. Saying this, however, high doses (up to 10 grams per day) taken orally can be quite beneficial prophylactically for people without cancer. This, at least, was Linus Pauling’s belief, and I happen to agree.

So if you are suffering from cancer, print the material I’ve linked to on this post and give it to your treating doctor. See if he or she will start administering high doses of vitamin C immediately. And if you aren’t a cancer patient, you can start taking high doses of vitamin C for you general health. Since it’s water soluble, it can’t hurt you (maybe a little diarrhea in the beginning, so increase incrementally). Many experts believe that increasing your vitamin C to optimal levels is the secret to preventing many of today’s chronic degenerative disorders. Now you know.

Check out this great vitamin C website, Cforyourself.

The human obsession with easy has reached an all time high. It appears as if hard work is as passé as Paris Hilton. Now it appears that getting in shape the old fashioned way–with lots of pain, sweat and tears–is a thing of the past. So says a recent report out of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.

According to researchers, a gene responsible for regulating the effects of exercise–increased metabolism (fat burning) and lasting endurance–has been identified. On top of that, the same researchers have produced a couple of drugs that can mimic those effects. They have dubbed their findings, “Exercise in a pill.”

The genetic mechanism of exercise uncovered by this study is fascinating, even if I don’t agree with the conclusions. For instance, the researchers found that by giving mice the drugs alone (no exercise), they showed no benefits related to exercise. It wasn’t until the mice actually exercised that the benefits appeared. They found that mice who were given the drugs and exercised, even just a little, reaped huge metabolic rewards–they increased their endurance by 77%. They also found a decrease in blood glucose and free floating fatty acids–good news for diabetics and the obese. And, remarkably, they found that mice given these drugs stayed lean even when fed a high-fat diet.

The mechanism of this extraordinary process is the following: When we exercise we deplete our energy molecule, ATP. The byproduct of this depletion is another molecule, AMP. As AMP levels rise in the cells, they act as a sort of fuel gauge and tell the gene, PPAR-delta, to turn on. When this gene is turned on, metabolism increases telling the body to burn more fuel. Burning fuel, in the form of stored fat, creates more ATP. More ATP equals more energy and, as a result, leads to greater endurance. That’s the way the body works during high activity. Fascinating, isn’t it? But now with the help of two new drugs, GW1516 and AICAR, scientists can mimic the effects of exercise.

Here are some things to think about: First, the whole process works only when ATP (energy) levels decrease. This happens solely through high levels of activity, like exercise. That’s precisely why researchers got zero effect in the non-exercising mice. No exertion, no lowering of ATP, no turning on PPAR-delta, and thus, no metabolic or endurance effects. When they made the mice exercise, though, the whole process was turned on, and the physiological benefits occurred. So the idea, according to the study’s conclusions, is that people who “like exercise” can use these drugs to boost what they are already doing–a sort of doping for amateurs, while obese people, or people who “don’t like exercise”, can use the drugs for benefit with minimal activity. Remember, some activity must occur for the physiological cascade to happen.

The reason I said I do not agree with the conclusions is that I know of nothing in the universe which is free. No free lunch. Whenever man thinks he has got the upper hand on Mother Nature when it comes to human functioning, he gets slapped in the face with a dose of reality. Antidepressants are not risk free, nor is Viagra, and I promise you, neither will be “exercise in a pill.” My guess is that the whole purpose of this cellular process of energy repletion is to act as a self-regulating feedback mechanism. It’s a part of the Innate Intelligence of the body. It knows when to turn on, when to maintain, and when to shut off. And it does so because I’ll bet it is of a distinct disadvantage for this process to be turned on at all times. So why would we want to have the process turned on for longer than the body deems necessary, obese or not obese? I’ll bet that by manipulating the gene with drugs to turn on PPAR-delta in the absence of heavy exercise will have some deleterious consequences, but, I guess, only time will tell. Anyway, the drugs are not on the market yet, so I’m sure there will be further testing and we’ll just have to see.

I just never understand why we’ve got to rely on training wheels to get a job done that can be taken care of through our own efforts. Hey, I get the concept of convenience–I like paying for my gas at the pump, too, instead of walking all the way over to the cashier’s window. Who doesn’t? But to take a pill so I can get the benefits of exercise without actually exercising is like, well…masturbating. I guess it’s OK but…I prefer the real deal. I’m weird like that. I mean, imagine inheriting a fortune…or being Gerald Ford…or getting the job simply because you’re the boss’ son. I don’t know about you but I personally don’t see the satisfaction in that. I can appreciate, however, that I’m probably in the minority on this issue. So, all in all, I figure that when these drugs finally hit the market they’ll be huge. But we’ll have to wait and see what price they’ll bring with them.

Here’s a little story about how politics, helped by the media and popular culture, can influence belief to such a degree that even health practices change. I’m sure nobody reading this is ignorant of the fact that global warming is one of today’s hippest issues, right up there with saving Africa. Global warming is so hip that it threatens to influence nearly every facet of life, from business to engineering to development. But not until now has it touched the health sector.

According to recent reports, global warming may increase the incidence of kidney stones in the U.S. in the coming years. Researchers at the University of Texas estimate that the number of kidney stones will increase by thirty percent over the next few years. Kidney stones are caused by the crystallization of dissolved minerals in the urine, usually from low water levels in the body, or dehydration. The researchers point out that as temperatures rise more people will become dehydrated leading to a higher production of kidney stones.

Well, you’ll get no argument out of me that dehydration is a growing concern. But I have to say, blaming it on global warming is pure, unadulterated horse manure. Let’s try a little more obvious reason, like too many people bypass drinking water for the more accessible and heavily marketed soda pop. Duh! No, no, it must be global warming. Oh heavens Longhorns, can you get less original? The scientists at UT point out that an increase in kidney stones is already being seen in the southeastern belt of the U.S.–that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. I’ll bet if the numbers are crunched they’ll show that that region has a super-high imbibition of sodas, sweetened iced tea, and liquor–all of which are highly dehydrating. And I can tell you that all three of those beverages will lead to an increased development of kidney stones. BS Campos…it has to be global warming. Yes, I know.

I really don’t care what method is used to get people to drink more water–I feel it’s that important to human health. But here’s the problem: Just four months ago, the consensus from the scientific community was that the necessity of drinking water was just a myth. Remember my earlier post on the subject? And if you’ve read my book, you know that I’m adamant about proper hydration. You would also know from reading my book that some scientists think that drinking water can be harmful to one’s health. And many people watching the nightly news, or listening to their family physicians believe that you can get most of your body’s water through the food you eat (I swear, I’ve heard this nonsense before). Yet today…science has found that proper hydration is now necessary because of global warming?!?! Whatever.

I guess I’m gonna just give in and jump on the ol’ global warming bandwagon. So here goes some health news I’d like to see:

  • Global Warming Causes People to Need More Chiropractic!
  • Global Warming Makes People Vitamin Deficient.
  • Global Warming Reduced by Exercise.
  • Global Warming Caused by Excessive Statin and Antidepressant Use.

Yeah, that’ll be the day.

Check out how incredible the human body is: Researchers have now uncovered how mothers deliver a hormonal burst to breastfeeding babies which triggers feelings of love and the baby’s trust that all of its needs are met. WOW! That’s simply incredible. The human body never ceases to amaze me.

Take a bite out of this tripper: When a baby breastfeeds, the suckling reflex triggers a hormonal cascade–large surges of the hormone oxytocin are released from mom’s brain–that provide baby with a sense of well-being. Science has known this, but what it didn’t know was how. The quandary was that the production of oxytocin from mother’s brain cells was just not enough to provide this response in baby alone, yet large surges in the hormone have been measured. Through computer simulation, however, researchers from China, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom found that the female brain recruits dendrites–whose normal job is to create communication channels between brain cells–into secreting the hormone. Mama mia! Now is there anybody who doesn’t find this as mind-blowing as I do?

The only thing I can say in my awe is that this is yet another example of Innate Intelligence working miraculous feats of living wonderment in what separates man from cadaver. This same Innate Intelligence know exactly which chemicals and neurotransmitters to secrete at all times, and frankly, I find it humbling. Whenever I come across man’s attempt to “improve” upon physiology through artificial means, I shake my head in contempt, simply because I know man can’t do it better than mother nature can–not now, not ever. But, sometimes, just understanding is enough. I bow down to the power of nature.

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