Pessimism Is Bad For Your Immune System

The human immune system is incredibly complex. As living organisms, we are constantly bombarded by invading viruses, fungus, and bacteria and it is a constant battle with first, second and third lines of defense against invaders. 

We have immunoglobulin A, for example, in our saliva, to help kill invaders as they enter our mouths. We have many different immunoglobulins in our lungs, our intestines, our tears, etc. — in our points of vulnerability — the places where an invader can invade. At those points, we have immune defenses, guard posts, forts, standing guards. 

Our lives are at stake and the immune system that has evolved is amazing. The benefit of an advance in immune system technology all along our billions of years of evolution were enormous: The ultimate benefit — life or death.

We have T-cells that circulate in the blood and when they recognize an invader they have fought before, the measles or a flu virus for example, they reproduce the antibody for that invader and overwhelm it to kill it off.

When a virus invades your body, it's always a race between your T-cells and the invader. Whichever one can multiply fastest wins. You are invaded fairly often, but if your T-cells reproduce faster than the invader, you never even know the war went on. You won. You didn't get sick. But if your T-cells are sluggish, if they don't reproduce fast enough, the invaders multiply too quickly and overwhelm your defenses, and then backup defenses take over: Fever, excess mucous, whatever tools your immune system can muster to destroy the invader and prevent your own death.

Another battalion in your immune system is natural killer cells (NK cells). They cruise through your blood looking for anything foreign, like cancer cells, and kill it off. Your NK cells are more effective under certain conditions than others.

In one study, the researchers measured the level of pessimism, cynicism and defeatism (the deadly triad) in a group of elderly people and also once a year took blood samples to check the activity level of their immune system. The immune system was less vigorous and less effective in those with the highest measure of the deadly triad. Pessimism is bad for your immune system. Pessimism weakens your defenses against disease.

In another study, researchers looked at what might happen if people learned to think less pessimistically. They divided cancer patients into two groups. Both groups received standard medical care, and one group also received training in thinking less pessimistically once a week for twelve weeks, and also learned some relaxation techniques.

Taking blood samples, the researchers measured the NK cell activity. It was dramatically higher in the people trained to think differently.

In a study I mentioned in my book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, people were tested for their level of pessimism, cynicism, and defeatism. Then they were given some health-related information to study on health topics (like cancer, for example). Here's an interesting finding that really ought to be obvious: The most pessimistic spent less time studying the information and remembered less of it. It ought to be obvious but it was surprising to me when I first read about it, and it's surprising to a lot of people (especially pessimists).

But if you think about it, the outcome of the study makes perfect sense. Pessimism of course makes you less inclined to believe you can do anything to successfully change the course of events. And if you assume you can't do anything about preventing cancer, for example, you're not going to be very motivated to learn anything about it, are you? By assuming you're helpless, you become more of a victim.

What I like about this study is it counters what seems to be a common belief negative people have about optimists. They believe it is a form of sticking your head in the sand and ignoring reality. How else, the pessimists ask, could you avoid being pessimistic, cynical and defeatist? But this study shows that it is actually the people infected with the lamprey of the mind who are avoiding reality. People who haven't had their strength drained by the lamprey know that their own actions have an impact on the world. They know they aren't helpless. They know they have an influence on the outcome of events, so they are more open to information that can help them influence those events.

Because they get more information and they don't make themselves feel defeated, optimistic people are more likely to take action like eating better, exercising, getting checkups at the doctor. A pessimist is less inclined to take those kinds of actions because they feel it won't make much difference. And their lack of positive action makes them statistically more likely to die prematurely.

An optimist (and here I'm using the word in the scientific sense, which really has nothing to do with looking on the bright side or saying nice things to yourself; read more about scientific optimism) might say, "I can quit smoking." And if they try once and fail, they wouldn't give up. They aren't defeated so easily. They'll try again.

A pessimist would be less likely to try in the first place because they explain events in more defeatist ways. "I can't help it. Nicotine has me completely addicted." But if they try anyway but fail, their explanation will not motivate them to try again: "I guess I just can't do it." They are more likely to accept their fate and die prematurely.

In a study of cancer patients, those who thought most pessimistically had the highest death rates, even though they weren't any more diseased when the study began.

Here's another interesting study. Researchers from California and Finland teamed up to ask 2400 men how much they agreed with these two statements:

1. The future seems to me to be hopeless, and I can't believe that things are changing for the better.

2. I feel that it is impossible to reach the goals I would like to strive for.

Clearly this simple questionnaire measures how thoroughly the lamprey has done its work.

Six years later, the ones who answered with pessimism, cynicism and defeatism were two to three times more likely to have heart attacks, develop cancer, or die of any cause.

Researchers are amazingly creative. Some people collect stamps. I collect studies. I love the way researchers go about discovering how things work. Here's another good one. Researchers in Texas tested 2300 people over the age of 65 for the following:

        1. Hopefulness about the future.
        2. How much they enjoyed life.
        3. Self-worth.
        4. Their average walking speed.
        5. Their happiness level at the time.

Two years later, the researchers followed up on these people. Using these measurements of emotional health, they found that the least pessimistic participants were:

    1. Half as likely to have trouble with their daily activities.
    2. Were twice as likely to be alive.
    3. Had faster average walking speeds.

And these results were independent of their sex, weight, education level, or how much they drank or smoked.

In a Carnegie Mellon University study, researchers gave a cold virus using a nasal spray to 400 volunteers. They found that the most stressed out were twice as likely to catch the cold. Pessimistic, cynical, defeated ways of thinking make mildly stressful situation into more intensely stressful events, and as their actions ensue from their thoughts, they make things get even more stressful (by snapping at people, for example, causing people to snap back). The stress and the cortisol it produces then impairs the immune system.

Another great study was done by the Mayo Clinic. This one followed 800 people for 35 years. Every ten point difference in their level of pessimism increased their chances of dying from any cause 19 percent.

cortisol: the stress hormone

When you undergo stress, your body responds by pumping cortisol into your blood stream. Scientists all over the world have shown how cortisol influences the immune system, sometimes quite directly. For example, college students volunteered to have their mouths injured once during their summer vacation, and once again three days before the first test of a new semester. Cortisol levels are lower during summer vacation and higher right before exams.

The wound given in the mouth was very exact and measured carefully. Then the researchers measured a wound-healing substance in the blood and measured how long it took the wounds to heal. The ability to heal a wound is another of the immune system's line of defense.

During vacation, the wounds healed, on average, in eight days. During the exams, the wounds took eleven days. During the exams, the amount of the wound-healing substance in the blood dropped a whopping 68%.

Psychological stress is one of the side-effects of pessimism. And stress alters the level of certain hormones, like cortisol. These changes in hormones then alter the synthesis of other compounds. For example, cytokines are a compound that help regulate the immune system. When stress levels go up, it changes the level of cytokines.

This kind of roundabout causal chain explains some of the many different influences pessimism, cynicism and defeatism have on the immune system. For example, when people are given a vaccination for Hepatitis B or the flu, their immune system responds. Researchers have found that stress suppresses T-cell activity and measurably lowers antibody levels.

It's a common observation of doctors that people don't recover from surgery as well if they are very anxious and depressed before the surgery, but researchers have only recently begun to find out how this could be possible. Like the study above, another experiment deliberately injured volunteers and then carefully measured the immune response to see if the more stressed volunteers' immune response differed from the less stressed ones. It did.

The researchers created minor blisters on the volunteers' forearms and then removed the top skin layer of the blisters, sterilized it and covered it with plastic. They then tested the fluid in the blisters five hours later and then 24 hours later.

They were looking for two specific cytokines and the number of cells called neutrophils (a key cell your body uses to repair an injury).

The number of neutrophils was no different in stressed and unstressed people. But the number of cytokines was significantly lower in stressed people. They tested the volunteers' stress level by measuring the cortisol in their saliva. There was a strong correlation: The higher the cortisol level, the lower the cytokine level. Stress directly suppressed their immune response.

And thinking pessimistically, cynically, and defeatedly increases your stress level.

Researchers at the University of Texas Cancer Center discovered that stress hormones like norepinephrine (also known as noradrenaline) blocked the ability of macrophages to kill tumor cells. Macrophages are one type of white blood cell that surrounds and destroys invaders.

Here again, we see a chain reaction: An event happens and you interpret it. If the lamprey has a hold of your mind, the event causes stress hormones to be released into your blood stream. The stress hormones then weaken and hobble your immune system, making you more vulnerable to any number of health problems.

Feelings of confidence can influence your immune system. UCLA researchers tested the immune systems of a group of first-year law students at the beginning of a semester. By mid-term, those who thought pessimistically about their chances of succeeding had weaker immune systems by mid-term. Those who weren't under the influence of pessimism still had strong immune systems by mid-term.

If you know anything about evolution, you have probably had the thought, "Wouldn't our immune systems have evolved to kick into high gear during stress rather than slowing down?" But the body is making a trade-off. Stress hormones activate your body to deal with an immediate, physical threat. Stress hormones release blood sugar and rush it to your muscles. They speed up the heart and breathing rate, etc. When a virus enters your system, however, it doesn't upset you. No adrenaline is poured into your blood stream. You don't even know it happened until later. It is an altogether different kind of threat, and we have evolved an altogether different system to deal with it.

A stress response is an evolved response designed to be brief and infrequent. During a stress reaction, your immune system is temporarily hampered, but for a good cause: You moved quickly up a tree and evaded the pride of lions. Given the world we now live in, which is much different than the environment our bodies evolved to handle, pessimism, cynicism, and defeatism can produce more frequent stress reactions that last longer, which puts our immune systems are in danger.

marriage

As if this wasn't enough, it gets worse. Pessimism influences the way you speak, and the way you speak influences the way you argue with your spouse, and the way you argue determines how stressful those arguments will be.

Negative speech patterns obviously express negative thought patterns. And when you argue with your spouse using "negative fighting behaviors" as the researchers call them, it causes extra stress for your spouse. And the stress you cause your spouse impairs your spouse's immune system. But your negative fighting behaviors also impair your own immune responses.

Negative fighting behaviors stem from negative thinking patterns. Pessimism, cynicism, and defeatism are expressed in arguments in the form of name calling (labeling your spouse with a negative label), being sarcastic, finger-pointing, and withdrawing in hopeless exasperation (giving up, feeling helpless and defeated).

These negative fighting behaviors have been studied and they do indeed result in impaired immune functioning. They also increase the chance that the marriage will end in divorce, and divorce itself usually has an enormously negative impact on the immune system.

The average married couple has a serious argument about once a month, with small quarrels in between. Studies show if a couple never disagrees, if they avoid conflict, they will have less intimacy and problems are more likely to go unsolved. That's pretty obvious.

But if they disagree badly — if they think pessimistically, if they are cynical, if they get defeated easily by setbacks — they are more likely to divorce, and, more to the point for this section, it will be bad for their immune systems.

Howard Markman of the University of Denver, an expert on marital discord, has tried to figure out what the financial costs of marital fighting is. He estimates that Americans lose almost three billion dollars a year in diminished productivity. That's not even counting the damage to doors and frying pans.

Conflicts between husbands and wives lead to more illnesses and sick days. And even when they go to work, an argument with a spouse is likely to impair their performance at least a little.

Ohio State University researchers coaxed married couples to spend a half hour arguing about whatever topic got them the most angry at each other. The researchers looked at their fighting behaviors and measured their immune systems.

The researchers labeled behaviors like accepting responsibility, finding points of agreement, and suggesting compromises as "positive fighting behaviors." They labeled behaviors like criticism, blaming, sarcasm, disapproval, dismissal, and withdrawal as "negative fighting behaviors."

The couples' immune functions were tested before and after the half-hour argument. Everyone's immune function was weakened at least slightly from the argument. But the immune function was significantly weaker in those who used the most negative fighting behaviors.

So this is another angle on the same point: Pessimism is bad for your immune system. The researchers also found that the negative fighters had more antibodies for the Epstein-Barr virus, a virus that most of us keep in check fairly easily. The presence of more antibodies means that their immune systems were not just impaired from the immediate stress, but that their immune systems were not as effective in general. The way they fight is only an easily-seen display of the way they think, and the way they think is constantly disabling their immune system.

This information only scratches the surface. The studies go on and on. New ones are continually coming out. You can use this summary, however, to give you ammunition when you influence your loved ones to destroy the lampreys in their own minds. This information gives us a strong motivation to do something about it. It is not merely "nice" to feel more positive — it is imperative if we want to live a healthy life.

And hopefully it motivates you to root out and destroy the last remnants of pessimistic thinking lurking in your own mind. And to protect yourself from further infection from the pessimism that is constantly trying to worm its way into your mind. Here is where to start: Undemoralize Yourself.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

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Reframe by Visualizing Goals - Season 3, Episode 13


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How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
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What Difference Does It Make: https://amzn.to/2LPWPt8 

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Episode 30, How Long Can Someone Fast Before They Die?

This is a short excerpt of a much longer podcast (called What's So Great About Fasting?). This excerpt looks at some of the recorded extremes of fasting duration.

Click on the link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Periods of Hunger Stimulate Your Brain to Create New Brain Cells

Read more about this startling finding: 

http://drmirkin.com/public/ezine022612.html

http://www.naturalhealth365.com/natural_healing/brain-power.html

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fasting-brain-function/#axzz3Nw6rxk2M

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/feb/18/fasting-protect-brain-diseases-scientists

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2107299/Can-fasting-days-week-stop-dementia-It-sounds-far-fetched-scientists-think-slashing-calories-combat-host-illnesses.html

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/improve-brain-function-and-productivity-with-fasti.html

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-24/news/ct-x-0424-trice-column-20130424_1_brain-cells-michelle-harvie-alternate-day-fasting

Four Powerful Industries That Will Make Less Money When Fasting Becomes Popular

The medical industry.
The pharmaceutical industry.
The health insurance industry.
Food companies.

And if you live longer, which is a real possibility if you fast regularly, the government (and therefore the taxpayers) will have to spend more money for Social Security and Medicare.

To Stop Road Rage We Need a New Gesture

Most face-to-face encounters we have with strangers are very polite. But when two people encounter each other in their cars, you get road rage. Why is this? A few months ago, I was watching the excellent program called The Human Face and the host, John Cleese, suggested it was because in cars we can't see each others' facial expressions. If we saw each others' faces, would it stop road rage? 

Since we can't see our faces, the solution to road rage seems obvious: Someone needs to invent a new gesture. It would be so useful, its meaning would quickly spread and it would very quickly be universally known and used, stopping a great deal of road rage in the world. Specifically, we need a hand gesture that means, "Oops! I'm sorry." 

We already have a hand gesture that means, "You did a bad thing and I don't like it!" It is universally known. I thought at first I could just look it up in my Dictionary of Sign Language, but the sign for "I'm sorry" is making a circle over your chest with a fist. That won't work. You can't signal someone in a car behind you using that sign. You can't stick your hand out the window to make the gesture. I thought of using the peace sign (two fingers in the air) but through the back of a car window it might easily be mistaken for giving someone the finger, and that won't help. And even if it is correctly seen, it might easily be misinterpreted to mean, "Calm down," or "You're making a big deal out of nothing," which could actually cause road rage rather than stop it. 

Right now, the best most people can do is to wave at someone, but it is an ambiguous message. It helps in some circumstances and with some people, but it is not clear what you mean when you wave your hand.

I'm calling on all you inventive people, or anyone who knows other forms of sign language. Let's put an end to road rage, or at least greatly reduce it. What we need is a gesture that can be made with one hand stuck out the window, and is easily distinguishable from the birdie, so it cannot possibly be mistaken for it. If you have an idea, or if you come up with one, send us a photo or video of it, and we'll post it here. 

Think about what a difference it would make to you if you saw someone do something that could easily be construed as hostile or incredibly stupid but then they signaled you that they know they just made a mistake and they are sorry about it. Or think about what a relief it would be to have made a mistake yourself while driving, and to be able to communicate to the car behind you that you know you made a mistake and you're sorry about it. 

We really need to gestures. One that means thank you and one that means I'm sorry.

This simple thing could really make a big difference on the road. Think about it and then post your ideas on the comments here. Or just launch the campaign on your own and let me know about it and I'll help you promote it.

A Lesson in Reframing From Groundhog Day - Season 3, Episode 12


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Adam is the author of the following books: 

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
Self-Reliance, Translated: https://amzn.to/2TqW25V 
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The Problem Isn't So Much Overeating, But Underfasting

 

Most Americans Are In Favor of Fuel Competition

A thousand adult Americans were asked, "Do you favor or oppose requiring automobile manufacturers to build cars that will run on fuel sources other than oil, such as electricity, natural gas and bio-fuels?" An overwhelming 76 percent of people were in favor of it.

That's what the Open Fuel Standard would do: Require automobiles to make fuel competition possible. But the bill goes one step further. In addition to cars running on fuel sources other than oil, it requires car makers to build cars to run on other fuel sources in addition to gasoline. Luckily, the tweak required to turn a gas-only car into a GEM vehicle (that can burn gasoline, ethanol and methanol in any proportion) is miniscule.

But that one small change ushers in an entirely new economic era for the United States.

Episode 31, Why You're Less Hungry Fasting Than Dieting

This is a short excerpt from a much longer podcast (What's So Great About Fasting?). This one touches on the counterintuitive biological reasons many people find fasting to be significantly easier than dieting.

Click on the link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Pleasures of Fasting

There are a few unpleasant things about fasting. But it is also true some things about it are quite pleasant:

  • A feeling of peace. Your body wants to stop wasting energy, so "nervous energy" stops. When you are at rest, you are very calmly still. Sleep is very peaceful and restful too.
  • You have lots of time. Because you're not interrupting yourself to eat, it feels like you have a few more hours in your day.
  • You don't have to wash dishes. Or cook.
  • You save money because you're not buying food.
  • You look better quickly because you're losing weight.
  • Your mood is more stable. No food coma. 
  • Mentally, you know you're doing something very positive for your body.
  • If you stretch or do yoga, it feels especially good to do when you're fasting.

All these things are a positive pleasure derived from fasting. And let it be noted that when you're eating, it is not all pleasurable. Don't you sometimes feel unpleasantly full? Sometimes for hours? Contrast that with only fleeting, occasional feelings of hunger. As far as uncomfortable minutes spent, fasting feels better than feeling full.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

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The Open Fuel Standard is a Legitimate Exception to the No-Mandates Principle

It is wise to resist mandates as a general rule. As much as possible, we should avoid allowing the government to interfere with private enterprise. And the Open Fuel Standard is a mandate. It requires automakers to manufacture and warrant their vehicles to burn not just gasoline, but methanol and ethanol as well. It might seem reasonable to categorically reject the bill because it's a government mandate.

On the other hand, one of the most legitimate uses of government power is breaking up monopolies. And oil is definitely monopolizing the transportation fuel market. And because it is, our national security and economic viability are suffering. But oil's monopoly can be broken and fuel competition can commence with the passing of the OFS bill — a simple bill only six pages long that costs taxpayers nothing and creates no subsidies, but a bill with enormous repercussions. The purpose of the bill is to break the monopoly.

Monopolies inhibit free markets, and in this case, the monopoly is preventing competition with the most strategically important commodity on earth: Transportation fuel.

So in spite of the fact that the bill is a mandate, it should be done. Constituents (you and me) simply need to make it clear to our Members of Congress that the Open Fuel Standard is a mandate that should be passed. The repugnance many of us feel to mandates in general should not blind us to the need for this exception.

"The intellectual inflexibility displayed in the defense of the sacred principle of no-mandates," write Anne Korin and Gal Luft in their book, Petropoly, "is leading the United States to economic suicide. There is no gentler way of saying it: members of Congress — many of whom voted for mandates from digital television to rear end cameras in cars — who oppose measures that open the fuel market to competition are aiding and abetting OPEC and others who benefit from the single-fuel system. In the end, it is they who stand between the perpetuation of a restrictive, monopolistic and economically ruinous fuel system and a free and competitive fuel market which could provide us true and lasting energy security."

Adam Khan is the co-author with Klassy Evans of Fill Your Tank With Freedom and the author of Slotralogy and Self-Reliance, Translated. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

End Political Contributions - Episode 35, Season 1

A lot of political problems in the U.S. can be traced to a single source: That politicians are legally allowed to accept money for their campaigns, and then they owe those contributors a favor. But this problem can be solved, and there are already effective organizations working on solving it. This episode explains the ideas behind the movement.

Click on the link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

How Much Weight Will You Lose While Fasting?

How many calories do you usually burn in a day? According to CalorieKing, I need about 2400. A pound of butter is 3200 calories. So I should burn about three cubes of butter's worth of calories a day. Not coincidentally, that is about how much weight I lose per day when I'm fasting: roughly 3/4ths of a pound.

Since the caloric content of butter is probably the same as the fat on my body (or close enough), this all makes sense and it's easy to think about.

By the way, it will seem like you're losing more weight than that, at least for the first day or so, because food, and especially carbohydrates, cause your body to retain a certain amount of water. So you may immediately lose two or three pounds. But when you start eating again, that water weight will come back.

How to Gain Perspective - Season 3, Episode 11


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How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
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Articles on Fasting

This one is about the latest research showing that fasting causes your body to recycle damaged white blood cells and generate new, healthy white blood cells: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10878625/Fasting-for-three-days-can-regenerate-entire-immune-system-study-finds.html

This one shows that even a short fast once a month can reduce the incidence of heart disease by 40%: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/imc-sfr033111.php

This one shows that fasting before doing chemotherapy causes the chemo to kill fewer of your healthy cells and more of your cancer cells: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fasting-might-boost-chemo/

BBC Documentary on Fasting

Below are four links to the same BBC documentary. It's about 58 minutes long. The host of the show talked to various experts on fasting and then did each kind of fast himself, testing his bio-markers before and after each regimen to see what effects the fast had on his body.

According to these researchers, fasting improves your reaction time (reversing the normal age-related decline), improves your balance (again, reversing the normal age-related decline), prevents both heart disease and cancer, and stimulates your brain to create new brain cells (which delays or prevents Alzheimer's disease). And this is not optimistic, pie-in-the-sky conjecture. The researchers are drawing these conclusions by looking at real data.

Watch the documentary at one of these sites:

YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ihhj_VSKiTs

http://www.documentarytube.com/videos/eat-fast-and-live-longer-bbc-horizon-2012

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xvdbtt_eat-fast-live-longer-hd_shortfilms

http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/110651/BBC_Horizon_2012_Eat_Fast_and_Live_Longer/

http://documentaryheaven.com/eat-fast-and-live-longer/

Benjamin Franklin on Fasting

 

Overpopulation Solved - Episode 36, Season 1

One of the most consequential issues, one of the most important contributors to global problems (especially environmental problems) is something that most of us consider a taboo subject: Overpopulation. This needs to change. And this episode provides a solution to the problem.

Click on the link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

One Way to Remember More of What You Learn - Episode 37, Season 1

This episode covers a simple method you can use to remember more of what you learn, and remember it longer. And it's something that won't really take much extra time to do.

Click on the link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Finding Your Place in the World - Episode 39, Season 1

How can you find true contentment? Ancient Greek mythology had a surprisingly profound answer, which we cover in this episode. And we also look into what hidden superpower you have.

Click on a link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7MZumBdru2gbm2HiGRgtHe
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxSH7k2tyfK7wSmkg91pE2PZ7iLwl2wV9
Apple Podcasts: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/apple-podcasts/id525463029
Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9lNWVhZTMwL3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz
Radio Public: https://radiopublic.com/the-adam-bomb-WdAE05
Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/r6cddvxh
Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/the-adam-bomb
Anchor: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb
Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1481990586/the-adam-bomb

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb/support

Adam is the author of the following books: 

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
Self-Reliance, Translated: https://amzn.to/2TqW25V 
What Difference Does It Make: https://amzn.to/2LPWPt8 

Follow Adam Li Khan here: https://www.adamlikhan.com/ 

Himalayan Blackberry Vines: Are They Good or Bad? - Episode 40, Season 1

The Himalayan blackberry is well-known as an invasive species. Why is it so successful? And what should we do with invasive species? There are massive efforts around the world to eliminate them where they don't belong. Is this the best approach?

Click on a link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7MZumBdru2gbm2HiGRgtHe
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxSH7k2tyfK7wSmkg91pE2PZ7iLwl2wV9
Apple Podcasts: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/apple-podcasts/id525463029
Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9lNWVhZTMwL3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz
Radio Public: https://radiopublic.com/the-adam-bomb-WdAE05
Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/r6cddvxh
Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/the-adam-bomb
Anchor: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb
Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1481990586/the-adam-bomb

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb/support

Adam is the author of the following books: 

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
Self-Reliance, Translated: https://amzn.to/2TqW25V 
What Difference Does It Make: https://amzn.to/2LPWPt8 

Follow Adam Li Khan here: https://www.adamlikhan.com/ 

Fuel Competition: What We Are Proposing

We want to create vigorous fuel competition in America, so when you fill up your car with fuel, you will have at least two options besides petroleum.

With an open fuel standard, your car will be warranted to burn multiple fuels, so you'll be able to choose what fuel you want to buy today. Will it be gasoline? Ethanol from the local waste-management facility? Ethanol from corn? Methanol from agricultural waste? Methanol from natural gas? You will be able to choose. You will be able to decide where your fuel dollars go. And because these fuels will have to compete with each other, fuel prices will come down. You will pay less at the pump.

Our purpose is to break the oil monopoly and introduce a free market in transportation fuels. The way to accomplish this is to make the cars themselves platforms upon which fuels can compete. This requires only a small tweak to the cars themselves because internal combustion engines burn methanol and ethanol very well.

There are many things you can do to help make this happen. The very first thing you can do is stop contributing to the oil monopoly. What we are proposing is that you immediately install a conversion kit in your car if it is not already an FFV (flex-fuel vehicle) so you can use E85 (85% ethanol) for fuel, and we urge you to spend all of your fuel dollars on E85 instead of gasoline from now on, or until an even better alternative fuel comes along. 

And we urge you to convince all your friends and family to do the same: Convert their gas-only cars to flex fuel cars and then buy E85.

Our first move toward fuel competition is for each of us to use all our fuel dollars to strengthen the ethanol industry so it becomes the thin edge of a big wedge with which we can force open the fuel market into greater and greater fuel competition.

The problem we face is not "oil addiction." The problem is that oil has a virtual monopoly over transportation fuel. The solution is fuel competition.

The reason we are suggesting the exclusive use of E85 is that it's the only alternative fuel widely available that can be used in the cars we already own. But that's just the beginning. We can go much further to create robust fuel competition in America.

And fuel competition in the U.S. will change the world.

America consumes more oil than any other country, so what Americans do will have an impact on the car and fuel industries throughout the world. By creating vigorous fuel competition here, we will strip oil of its strategic status, which will have massive positive repercussions for national and international security. And it will benefit the economy of America and create millions of high-paying jobs.

Because fuel competition will reduce the excessive money flowing to repressive regimes, it will help to create freedom for millions of oppressed people, especially women, who have very limited human rights and very little freedom in many of the richest oil-producing nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Fuel competition will cause more food to be grown around the world as millions of acres that now lie fallow will be fruitful again. And in developing nations, there will be rising opportunities to grow fuel crops for an energy-hungry world, boosting local and rural economies worldwide.

America's national security and economic vitality have been tied to oil for a hundred years. Since 1973, OPEC has used its illegal cartel to control our economy. Fuel competition will permanently free us from their control.

We don't have to wait for "the people in charge" to solve this problem. It can be solved by the individual choices of each driver. When you go to the fuel station, you make the choice to either maintain the monopoly or help create fuel competition. You get to choose what your money will support. You are literally choosing to fund tyranny or freedom. And since fuel is expensive, your personal choice makes a difference. You personally spend a lot of money on fuel, and when you buy ethanol rather than gasoline you are simultaneously cutting off money to one industry and boosting the other.

If you're ready to fill your tank with freedom, start by getting a conversion kit for your car if it's not already an FFV.

Then fill up with E85 from now on. If there isn't an ethanol pump close by, persuade your local gas station to carry it. 

Subscribe to this blog and send our posts to your friends and family, talk to them about what you're doing and why, and convince them to start choosing fuel competition. Always bring the conversation back to competition. Anyone can see that fuel competition is better than a fuel monopoly. 

When an Open Fuel Standard is proposed in Congress, urge your Members of Congress to vote that bill into law. We need fuel competition to commence as soon as possible because we are hemorrhaging our wealth quickly and dangerous regimes are growing in financial power. Sooner is better than later.

Adam Khan is the co-author with Klassy Evans of Fill Your Tank With Freedom and the author of Slotralogy and Self-Reliance, Translated. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

Reframing a Disadvantage - Season 3, Episode 10


Click on a link below to listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7MZumBdru2gbm2HiGRgtHe
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxSH7k2tyfK7wSmkg91pE2PZ7iLwl2wV9
Apple Podcasts: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/apple-podcasts/id525463029
Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9lNWVhZTMwL3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz
Radio Public: https://radiopublic.com/the-adam-bomb-WdAE05
Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/r6cddvxh
Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/the-adam-bomb
Anchor: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb
Overcast: https://overcast.fm/itunes1481990586/the-adam-bomb

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-adam-bomb/support

Adam is the author of the following books: 

How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English): https://amzn.to/3gdiQ33 
Antivirus For Your Mind: https://amzn.to/36nq9ka 
Principles For Personal Growth: https://amzn.to/3bRidbR 
Cultivating Fire: https://amzn.to/2WTiiYs 
Direct Your Mind: https://amzn.to/3gePh16 
Self-Help Stuff That Works: https://amzn.to/3bUwMvB 
Slotralogy: https://amzn.to/2zj8DBm 
Fill Your Tank With Freedom: https://amzn.to/2LPtnU7 
Self-Reliance, Translated: https://amzn.to/2TqW25V 
What Difference Does It Make: https://amzn.to/2LPWPt8 

Follow Adam Li Khan here: https://www.adamlikhan.com/

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Monopoly 101: Block Access to the Competition

The oil industry has done more than try to discredit alcohol fuel. They’ve actively blocked our access to it. We have 160,000 stations today with gasoline pumps and only 2,900 stations with at least one E85 pump (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline), and not one station selling M85 (85% methanol, 15% gasoline).

Most of the 2,900 E85 pumps are at independent stations because oil companies have tried to block E85 being sold at their stations. They’ve used several tactics according to a report by the Consumer Federation of America. One is a requirement that the franchise owners must buy all their fuel from the oil company. Another is requiring franchise owners to sign a contract that limits how much they can advertise E85. Some contracts dictate that if a station owner puts in an E85 pump, it must be on a separate island and not under the main canopy. Loren Beard, senior manager for energy planning and policy for Chrysler put it succinctly: “Big Oil is at the top of the list for blocking the spread of ethanol acceptance by consumers and the marketplace.”

Excerpted from the book, Fill Your Tank With Freedom.

You Should Be Outraged

In America, we have 487 different kinds of breakfast cereals to choose from. And there are, of course, other things you can have for breakfast besides cereal. But for one of your biggest expenses (fuel), you have only one choice at almost every filling station in the country and with almost every car on the road.

If petroleum was the only fuel that worked, this would be somewhat acceptable. But there are alternatives that are cheaper, burn cleaner, and make your car last longer, and your access to those fuels are being deliberately blocked. That should make our situation completely unacceptable to all of us.

How is our access being blocked? Oil companies make it very difficult or impossible for fuel station owners to offer any other fuel but petroleum. The oil industry has also invested heavily in car companies, which is why we see gasoline-only cars on the road with their flex-fuel capability disabled by the manufacturers, preventing you from having any choice at the pump. The American Petroleum Institute has helped create EPA regulations that prevent widespread use of alternative fuels. And the oil industry spends lavishly to influence politicians in Washington DC. The oil and gas industry employs 736 lobbyists in DC. Just to give you a number to compare that to, the NRA (which is considered a very powerful lobbying group) has 28 lobbyists. Saudi Arabia alone has 100 lobbyists in Washington. And the oil industry also spends lavishly on PR campaigns to discredit alternative fuels.

If this was happening with any other product, people would be completely outraged. But we've grown up with it, so it seems "normal." If there were other choices of breakfast cereal available, but the only one in the store was Cocoa Puffs because the Cocoa Puffs manufacturers were preventing stores from carrying anything else, people would be justifiably up in arms. I know I would. I hate Cocoa Puffs.

And breakfast cereal matters far less than fuel. Especially when you consider two other factors: Oil's monopoly allows OPEC to plunder the world's wealth, and what they are doing with that money is awful for everyone in the world, including their own citizens.

OPEC produces a large enough percentage of the world's oil production that they can cut their production by only a little to raise world oil prices, and they do exactly that. They've been doing it for years. They get together twice a year to determine what price they want, and they keep raising it, and we all keep paying it because we don't have any choice. Saudi Arabia, which has the biggest influence on OPEC, can produce a barrel of oil for less that $2. But they have raised oil to over $100 a barrel. Year after year they reap tremendous windfalls, providing them with almost unlimited funds, which they use to repress their own people, spread violent fundamentalism around the world, and corrupt our government.

This has got to stop, and the sooner the better. What we need is an open fuel standard.

Adam Khan is the co-author with Klassy Evans of Fill Your Tank With Freedom and the author of Slotralogy and Self-Reliance, Translated. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

What if Ethanol Didn't Raise Food Prices?

Someone emailed us recently. He wrote, "I talk to a lot of people on the subject of ethanol as a source of fuel and some people get kind of hostile because they think that will make the price of food go up. One couple I know have a hog farm in and they claimed that using corn for making fuel made the price of hog feed go up."

It's the most common objection we get to fuel competition. Ethanol has, in fact, raised corn prices slightly, because the corn is more valuable on the market, which has allowed the government to stop some subsidies. Many people in the food industry do not like this because those subsidies were allowing the food industry to buy corn and its products (for example, high-fructose corn syrup) at less than the market price. So they joined with the oil industry in 2008 in a PR campaign to make people think ethanol will raise food prices and cause starvation.

By far the biggest cause of rising corn prices is rising oil prices, and the oil industry has done an expert job of deflecting attention away from their own culpability and laying the blame on their biggest competitor (ethanol). It has been a brilliant campaign, although underhanded and bad for America. They have successfully misled even people in industries that depend on corn (like those hog farmers). 

Having said all that, we really shouldn't bother making ethanol from corn. It's not the most efficient thing to make ethanol out of. The only reason so much of the ethanol in America is made from corn in the first place is that for almost the entire 20th century, farmers had an overproduction problem. They grew too much corn. When there was too much, prices dropped so low that farmers went out of business. Since it's bad for a country's population when its farmers go out of business, the U.S. government has tried many things to prevent it from happening. They could have just told farmers what to grow, but that's pure socialism, and besides, what happens if there's a drought that year? Instead, they tried to find other markets for excess grain. One of the things they came up with is adding ethanol to gasoline instead of lead (gasoline by itself isn't high enough octane to use without the engine knocking, so the oil industry added lead for a long time, but since it is highly poisonous, it was eventually made illegal, so now ethanol is used to raise the octane level).

But many other sources (feedstocks) can be used to make ethanol that are far more productive and efficient than corn. Let me give you some comparisons:

Wheat: 277 gallons per acre
Corn: 354 gallons per acre
Sweet Sorghum: 374 gallons per acre
Sugarcane: 662 gallons per acre
Sugar Beets: 714 gallons per acre
Switchgrass: 1,150 gallons per acre

Sugar beets and switchgrass both require less fertilizer than corn. Researchers have created a genetically-altered strain capable of increasing switchgrass’s massive ethanol yield by another 38 percent!

This doesn’t even begin to cover all the things alcohol fuels can be made from. With gasification technology (heating up organic material until the basic elements separate) we can inexpensively make alcohol fuels from wheat and barley straw, rice bagasse, municipal waste and a variety of agricultural wastes like corn stover (the stalks and husks left over after harvest), sawdust, paper pulp, small diameter trees, etc.

And waste can be made into ethanol.

Ethanol can also be made for $1.50 per gallon right now, without any subsidies, from natural gas or coal, both of which are abundant in the USA and inexpensive.We've got so much natural gas, we're just burning it off to get rid of it (mainly because it isn't able to compete in the fuel market yet — but we're working to change that).
 
America has plenty of fuels. We simply need to make them available and allow them to compete with each other. Fuel competition will move the United States closer to fuel independence, limit money going to dangerous women-oppressing regimes, lower the amount of lobbying and influence the oil industry enjoys today, revitalize the American economy, drastically improve our national security, help solve our garbage and landfill problem, help people in developing nations rise out of poverty, help prevent mental illness, and reduce the amount of pollution and greenhouse gases that are sent into the atmosphere, into the ocean, and into the ground. And you will be paying significantly less at the pump.

Adam Khan is the co-author with Klassy Evans of Fill Your Tank With Freedom and the author of Slotralogy and Self-Reliance, Translated. Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.

Natural Gas is a Fossil Fuel: Do We Really Want to Burn It?

One of the most promising potential rivals capable of competing with petroleum in the liquid fuel market is methanol made from natural gas. But some people don't like it because it is a fossil fuel. I would like to offer an argument in favor of natural gas, despite its fossil fuel status:

It is being burned anyway.

When drilling for oil, natural gas comes up too. It could be captured and sold, but natural gas is now so cheap and plentiful, many producers around the world simply flare it — they burn it just to get rid of it.

A recent satellite photo shows the flaring taking place in the Bakken fields, which flares the equivalent of one fourth of all the natural gas being used in the United States. The Bakken fields are only one of many places in the U.S. doing this. And it is being done in oil fields all over the world.

If the natural gas now being flared was turned into methanol and sold at the current price of 93 cents a gallon, it could displace a lot of gasoline. At the moment, we're burning both. We're burning gasoline (a much dirtier fossil fuel) to move our cars and we're flaring off natural gas for no purpose whatsoever. If the market was opened to methanol as a liquid fuel (one of the outcomes of the Open Fuel Standard), significantly less total fossil fuel would be burned. And it would create a market for other inexpensive non-fossil fuels, like methanol made from municipal waste, which would reduce landfill bulk and pollution and decrease the burning of fossil fuels even further (using market forces rather than costly government regulation).

The fastest way to true fuel competition is a bill now in Congress: The Open Fuel Standard.