Twice while watching The Big Bang Theory as I ate lunch I’ve come dangerously close to needing the Heimlich manoeuvre when a funny line caught me mid-swallow. Other noon time TV fare often involves cat litter or unpleasant topics that threaten to make me upchuck.
Thus I’ve settled on Dr. Oz. After years of working in a pathology lab I’m unfazed by his handling of brains and hearts, tracing the food trail, and showing what happens when we abuse our body.
Dr. Oz has taught me things that made me think “Wow!” Recently:
* Men possess an extra enzyme that helps them digest alcohol. Because of this enzyme, it takes longer drinking more alcohol for a man to become drunk than it would for a woman. Natives and Asians lack that enzyme.
* Women have more taste buds than men, making women more sensitive to sweets.
* Men’s brains have a smaller area devoted to memory. Dr. Oz says this could be why wives vividly remember the smallest slights and arguments years after their husbands have totally forgotten the incidents.
* Eating late at night may cause you to feel stiff and achy when you wake in the morning.
* Then we get into diet and obesity, that never-ending dilemma for so many. Dr. Oz says, “By the time a woman reaches age 50, being 100 pounds overweight will shorten her life expectancy as much as if she has breast cancer.”
That’s an unsettling thought. Yet the situation can be improved immediately with better diet choices and exercise. No chemo. No radiation. No losing hair. No loss of energy. Just sensible eating and moving those feet.
Since Dr. Oz made me pause mid-bite with his scary revelation I’ve managed to program my $29 pedometer and have worked myself up to 8,000 steps a day, still short of the recommended 10,000 daily steps. My dogs look forward to our daily rambles through the bush, on a choice of two trails — one of 2300 steps, the other of 3800 steps.
On the recommendation of a relative who controls his diabetes through wise food choices, I top my morning oatmeal with two tablespoons of bran buds, and my evening yogurt with one tablespoonful. That totals the recommended daily equivalent of 12 grams of fibre, the internal scrubber. Crunchy bran buds on oatmeal is a morning waker upper.
Appearing as a guest on three of Oprah’s final shows, Dr. Oz faced an audience made up of 170 men and 170 women. They all had intimate questions, some so personal no one in the audience dared voice them. Instead a listener was interviewed by phone identified only by first name.
Questions about men’s sexual dysfunctions occupied a lot of air time. A widespread concern centered on erectile dysfunction.
* The condition steers a doctor toward diagnosing the overall quality of a man’s blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction results when the arteries supplying the penis become blocked impeding the flow of blood. If the penis lacks blood, chances are arteries throughout the rest of the body are also impaired and starving other organs of proper blood supply, putting the man at greater risk of heart attack and stroke.
* In the absence of any other physical complaint, erectile dysfunction may also be an early clue of diabetes. * Men asked about the seriousness of ads for Cialis and Viagra that caution a man to seek immediate medical attention if an erection lasts longer than four hours. Snickers aside, Dr. Oz says in that time, due to tourniquet-like constriction of blood flow when Viagra expands gases in the tissues, the penis can die.
All 340 audience members went “Wow!” when Dr. Oz said, “With the loss of every 35 pounds, a man gains one inch of penis length.”