Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Is Exercise Bad for Your Teeth? -

Is Exercise Bad for Your Teeth? - 

Vigorous exercise is good for almost all of the body — except perhaps the teeth, according to a surprising new study of athletes. The study, published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, found that heavy training may contribute to dental problems in unexpected ways.

There have been hints in the past that athletes could have a heightened risk for cavities and other oral issues. In a study published last year in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, dentists who examined 278 athletes at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London reported that a majority displayed “poor oral health,” including high levels of tooth decay, often in conjunction with gum disease and erosion of the tooth enamel. The athletes came from the United States and Europe as well as less-developed parts of the world, and most had access to good-quality dentistry, although many had not visited a dentist in the last year.

The study didn’t examine why the athletes were at such high risk of dental problems, although many of us might assume that sugary sports drinks and bars would be a primary cause. Other studies, however, have found little if any link between consuming sports drinks and developing cavities.

So to better understand what is going on inside the mouths of athletes, researchers with the dental school at University Hospital Heidelberg in Germany and other institutions recruited 35 competitive triathletes and 35 age- and gender-matched healthy adults who were not athletes.

All of the volunteers visited the hospital’s dental lab for a full oral examination, including collection of their saliva after they had been sitting quietly. They also completed questionnaires about their diets, including consumption of sports drinks and other beverages, their normal oral hygiene routines, and their exercise habits, if any.

Fifteen of the athletes also completed an increasingly strenuous run of about 35 minutes on an outdoor track, during which their saliva was collected several times.

Then the researchers compared the groups’ teeth and spit, which turned out to be different in telling ways.

Compared with the control group, the athletes showed significantly greater erosion of their tooth enamel. They also tended to have more cavities, with the risk increasing as an athlete’s training time grew. Over all, the more hours that an athlete spent working out, the more likely he or she was to have cavities.

The researchers found no correlation, however, between consuming sports drinks or any other elements of the athletes’ diets and their oral health.

They also found no differences in the amount or chemical make-up of their volunteers’ saliva after the athletes and the non-athletes had been at rest.

But that situation changed when the athletes worked out. During their experimental runs, the amount of saliva that they produced progressively lessened, meaning that their mouths became drier, regardless of whether they consumed water or other beverages during the workout. The saliva’s chemical composition also shifted, growing more alkaline as the workout continued. Excess alkalinity in saliva is thought to contribute to the development of tartar plaques on teeth and other problems.

The extent of the changes in the athletes’ saliva during a workout were something of a surprise, said Dr. Cornelia Frese, a senior dentist at University Hospital Heidelberg, who led the study.

“We had thought sports drinks and nutrition might have the most detrimental influence on dental decay,” she said, “but we saw no direct link” between them. Instead, it was the changes in saliva during exercise that differentiated the athletes’ mouths from those of the control group. Since saliva “has a very protective function” for teeth, Dr. Frese said, having less of it or a chemically different version during exercise could be problematic.

But, she cautions, this study was small, short-term and in many ways unrepresentative of the oral risks most of us would likely face from exercise. “The athletes participating in our study had a mean weekly training time of nine hours,” she said. They were, in technical parlance, hard-core.

“All we can say” based on the data from this group, she said, “is that prolonged endurance training might be a risk factor for oral health.” Whether less frequent or intense exercise would likewise affect oral health is uncertain but unlikely, Dr. Frese said.

Still there are a few precautions that anyone who exercises and has concerns about their oral health might want to take, she said. Drinking water during workouts could be a start, although the connection between hydration and oral health is not scientifically established, Dr. Frese said. More generally, brush and floss, as you know you should. And if you’re a serious endurance athlete, consider visiting a dentist with a specialty in sports dentistry, she said. The goal is to ensure that your teeth remain in as good shape as the rest of you.


Miss a Car Payment? Good Luck Moving That Car -

Miss a Car Payment? Good Luck Moving That Car - 

The thermometer showed a 103.5-degree fever, and her 10-year-old’s asthma was flaring up. Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start.

The cause was not a mechanical problem — it was her lender.

Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March.

“I felt absolutely helpless,” said Ms. Bolender, a single mother who stopped working to care for her daughter. It was not the only time this happened: Her car was shut down that March, once in April and again in June.

This new technology is bringing auto loans — and Wall Street’s version of Big Brother — into the lives of people with credit scores battered by the financial downturn.

Auto loans to borrowers considered subprime, those with credit scores at or below 640, have spiked in the last five years. The jump has been driven in large part by the demand among investors for securities backed by the loans, which offer high returns at a time of low interest rates. Roughly 25 percent of all new auto loans made last year were subprime, and the volume of subprime auto loans reached more than $145 billion in the first three months of this year.

But before they can drive off the lot, many subprime borrowers like Ms. Bolender must have their car outfitted with a so-called starter interrupt device, which allows lenders to remotely disable the ignition. Using the GPS technology on the devices, the lenders can also track the cars’ location and movements.

The devices, which have been installed in about two million vehicles, are helping feed the subprime boom by enabling more high-risk borrowers to get loans. But there is a big catch. By simply clicking a mouse or tapping a smartphone, lenders retain the ultimate control. Borrowers must stay current with their payments, or lose access to their vehicle.

“I have disabled a car while I was shopping at Walmart,” said Lionel M. Vead Jr., the head of collections at First Castle Federal Credit Union in Covington, La. Roughly 30 percent of customers with an auto loan at the credit union have starter interrupt devices.

Now used in about one-quarter of subprime auto loans nationwide, the devices are reshaping the dynamics of auto lending by making timely payments as vital to driving a car as gasoline.

Seizing on such technological advances, lenders are reaching deeper and deeper into the ranks of Americans on the financial margins, with interest rates on some of the loans exceeding 29 percent. Concerns raised by regulators and some rating firms about loose lending standards have disturbing echoes of the subprime-mortgage crisis.

As the ignition devices proliferate, so have complaints from troubled borrowers, many of whom are finding that credit comes at a steep price to their privacy and, at times, their dignity, according to interviews with state and federal regulators, borrowers and consumer lawyers.

Some borrowers say their cars were disabled when they were only a few days behind on their payments, leaving them stranded in dangerous neighborhoods. Others said their cars were shut down while idling at stoplights. Some described how they could not take their children to school or to doctor’s appointments. One woman in Nevada said her car was shut down while she was driving on the freeway.

Beyond the ability to disable a vehicle, the devices have tracking capabilities that allow lenders and others to know the movements of borrowers, a major concern for privacy advocates. And the warnings the devices emit — beeps that become more persistent as the due date for the loan payment approaches — are seen by some borrowers as more degrading than helpful.

“No middle-class person would ever be hounded for being a day late,” said Robert Swearingen, a lawyer with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, in St. Louis. “But for poor people, there is a debt collector right there in the car with them.”

Lenders and manufacturers of the technology say borrowers consent to having these devices installed in their cars. And without them, they say, millions of Americans might not qualify for a car loan at all.


In Case You Are Still Confused By What Is Going On In The Middle East -

Then the following recent recap by a contributor to the Daily Mail should explain everything.

Canada Warns Its Citizens Not To Take Cash To The USA -

Canada Warns Its Citizens Not To Take Cash To The USA - 

The Canadian government has had to warn its citizens not to carry cash to the USA because the USA does not presume innocence but guilt when it comes to money. Over $2.5 billion has been confiscated from Canadians traveling to the USA, funding the police who grab it.

If you are bringing cash to the land of the free, you will find that that saying really means they are FREE to seize all your money under the pretense you are engaged in drugs with no evidence or other charges.

It costs more money in legal fees to try to get it back so it is a boom business for unethical lawyers to such an extent than only one in sixth people ever try to get their money back and the cops just pocket it. That’s right. Money confiscated is usually allowed to be kept by the department who confiscated it.

This is strangely working its way into funding police and pensions.

This is identical to the very issue that resulted in the final collapse of Rome when the armies began to sack cities to pay for their pensions. We are at that level now with respect to seizing whatever they want knowing you will have to spend more in legal fees to assert your rights that do not really exist.

Those trying to flee tyranny elsewhere can not bring money with them for the police get to take it on this end.

This pretend war on terrorism is really a wholesale war against the people. It serves as the justification to seize whatever they desire ever since 9/11 as reported by the Washington Post.


Dead Ebola Patients Resurrect? -

Dead Ebola Patients Resurrect? - 

Two Ebola patients, who died of the virus in separate communities in Nimba County have reportedly resurrected in the county. The victims, both females, believed to be in their 60s and 40s respectively, died of the Ebola virus recently in Hope Village Community and the Catholic Community in Ganta, Nimba.

But to the amazement of residents and onlookers on Monday, the deceased reportedly regained life in total disbelief. The New Dawn Nimba County correspondent said the late Dorris Quoi of Hope Village Community and the second victim only identified as Ma Kebeh, said to be in her late 60s, were about to be taken for burial when they resurrected.

Ma Kebeh had reportedly been in door for two nights without food and medication before her alleged death. Nimba County has had bizarre news of Ebola cases with a native doctor from the county, who claimed that he could cure infected victims, dying of the virus himself last week.

News of the resurrection of the two victims has reportedly created panic in residents of Hope Village Community and Ganta at large, with some citizens describing Dorris Quoi as a ghost, who shouldn't live among them. Since the Ebola outbreak in Nimba County, this is the first incident of dead victims resurrecting.

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