Understanding pH and Healthy Water

A Woman's Hand Filling Water from a Water Purifier

pH What?

Before we delve into the health of water, let’s define a few terms related to this subject.

    • Acidity: Acidity means that an element (in the periodic table) can donate protons or accept electrons. Not all elements can do this, but for those that can donate protons, it happens during chemical reactions. One example is sulfuric acid, which can cause two protons to be donated. So, the underlying idea is to understand that any substances called ‘acids’ have the ability to donate protons in chemical reactions.
    • Alkalinity: This process counters the hydrogen ions that enter a water body or solution. This action helps maintain the pH relatively stable, preventing it from becoming too acidic, which is not good for the environment, specifically drinking water.
    • pH: pH, which stands for “potential of hydrogen,” is a scale that measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Its numeric representation ranges from 0 to 14. Specifically, it indicates the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, while values below 7 are acidic and above 7 are alkaline.

Water’s pH is crucial in determining its quality and potential health effects. Healthy water typically falls within a specific pH range suitable for human consumption. Let’s delve deeper into how pH relates to healthy water and why maintaining optimal pH levels is essential.

pH and Drinking Water

Yes, water can taste good, and it’s related to pH. Let’s take a look. 

The pH of drinking water can vary depending on various factors, such as the original source of the water and the process by which the water is treated. Drinking water with a pH between 6.5 and 8.5 is considered healthy, but water below 6.5 may taste acidic (remember, acidity means atoms that can donate protons). Water with a pH above 8.5 may taste bitter but contain dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Acidic vs. Alkaline Water

pH value scale chart for acid and alkaline solutions. iStock

As mentioned, water with a pH below 6.5 is considered acidic. Water with pH levels on or below 6 is considered lightly acidic and generally safe to drink. However, highly acidic water (below pH 5) can not only be harmful to our health but can cause such things as plumbing fixtures to begin to corrode. And if that’s the case, just think what it can do to your teeth!

Water with a pH above 7 is known as alkaline and in contrast to acidic water,  alkaline water is  known to have some health benefits. One study done in 2020 with mice showed it helped improve the aging process. 

Maybe that’s because our bodies tend to be more alkaline naturally by a slight margin, with pH levels ranging from 7.35 to 7.45. In so doing, water within these levels can help support the body’s natural pH balance and maintain ideal hydration, so it is recommended to stay within this range when drinking water; however, many scientists believe that, in general, drinking alkaline water with a pH level of around 8 may be more beneficial in terms of hydration and bone health. It may also assist in the antioxidant process. But more scientific research is needed.

But let’s not overdo it. Drinking alkaline water excessively may alter the body’s pH balance too much, leading to negative health issues, such as disturbing the digestive system and causing acid reflux, and can possibly cause alkalosis, which can result in various health issues.

Drinking water with a pH that deviates significantly from the body’s natural pH on either side will most likely disrupt our internal processes and can potentially lead to more severe health issues. For instance, highly acidic water may irritate the digestive system and contribute to conditions like acid reflux, while highly alkaline water can also cause digestive issues and skin irritation. 

Water Treatment and pH Adjustment

When living in the Bronx, this author’s father once said, “NYC water is the best water you can drink,” and he’s right. Just think of the consequences if 8.5 million people drink water that is not treated correctly!

Water treatment facilities adjust the pH of drinking water to ensure it meets regulatory standards and is safe for consumption. Common methods for pH adjustment include adding alkaline substances like lime or sodium hydroxide to raise pH or using acids like carbon dioxide or sulfuric acid to lower pH. The water is also tested frequently.

Testing and Monitoring pH

test strip in wate for PH testing

Water treatment plants regularly test and monitor pH to ensure quality and safety. Home testing kits or DIY tests are available if you’d like to test your water’s pH. 


The ideal pH range for drinking water is between 6.5 and 8.5.

pH is a critical factor in determining the quality and suitability of water for drinking. Healthy water typically falls within a pH range of 6.5 to 8.5, which is compatible with the body’s natural pH balance and supports optimal hydration.

In general, water with a pH level below 6.5 is considered acidic, and Water with a pH level above 7 is alkaline. To easily remember which side of the pH scale is acidic and which is alkaline, use the phrase “Highline Alkaline.” This mnemonic links to the famous High Line park in NYC, helping you recall that alkaline substances are on the higher end of the pH scale, while acidic substances are on the lower end.

Proper pH levels in water ensure its safety and taste. Regular testing and pH monitoring help identify deviations from the optimal range and facilitate appropriate corrective measures to maintain water quality and health.



The Impact of Climate Change and Its Affects on Human Health

Illustration on what climate change can do to the enviprnent by showing trees

Climate Change Overview

Climate change is one of our planet’s most pressing issues, and its significance cannot be overstated. It is a global problem that affects every aspect of our lives, from the environment to the economy, and if left unchecked, it has the potential to cause devastating consequences.

Global warming directly affects human and animal life by making our environment hotter, dirtier, and more unpredictable. Increasing hotter weather can make us all sick, especially the elderly. It also makes the air dirtier, which can cause breathing problems like asthma.

Climate change also disturbs our planet’s natural environment. For example, insects that spread diseases like malaria and Lyme disease are moving to new locations, affecting more people who have never been exposed to these diseases before. Sometimes, there’s too much rain or not enough, which can interfere with our food and water supply. Bad storms and disasters are occurring more often. To stay healthy, we must stop climate change and care for each other.

This essay will explore why climate change is so important and why urgent action is necessary to mitigate its effects.

The Environment

Photo of an oil drill

First and foremost, climate change, also known as global warming, poses a major threat to our ecosystem. The Earth’s climate is a complex entity, and any changes can have far-reaching consequences.

The continuous rise in greenhouse emissions, such as pollutants from cars, planes, and industrial complexes, is raising temperatures

For example, rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns can lead to more frequent natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and droughts, which can destroy homes and infrastructure.

The temperature has risen about 1.8 degrees F (1 C) over the last century, but most of this rise has occurred within the last four decades.

If this small rise in temperature doesn’t sound significant, it is and has already caused numerous global issues. 

The natural disasters occurring because of this can also lead to a significant economic burden, as governments and individuals would be forced to spend billions of dollars to rebuild damaged infrastructure and homes, as discussed later in this article.

Upsetting the Balance of Nature

Orange and white koi-fish near-yellow koi-fish-

Wildlife will not be immune to this changing environment. As temperatures rise, it is becoming increasingly difficult for some animals to adapt. Some species could become endangered or even go extinct, and even now, polar bears are struggling to find food as the Arctic ice melts, and coral reefs are dying due to rising ocean temperatures. 

The potential results can have problematic effects on our crops and agriculture. Crop failures will lead to increased food prices and potential famine in certain parts of the world, and disruptions in supply chains can lead to food and water shortages.

A negative change in the climate will also cause sea levels to rise, which can lead to flooding and erosion of coastlines, further exacerbating the damage caused by natural disasters. 

The Human Effect

Woman showing amazment

Climate change can significantly impact our health. As temperatures rise, so does the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and dehydration.

Increased air pollution due to industrialization and deforestation can result in respiratory problems, heart disease, and even cancer. It can also spread diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, as warmer temperatures create more favorable conditions for disease-carrying insects to proprogate and spread to new regions.

Poor air quality resulting from increased pollution can also exacerbate the situation. Respiratory problems such as asthma may become more common and can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

These health issues will disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing medical conditions. In populated communities, such as large cities, they can increase exponentially.

The Economy

As extreme weather events become more frequent, there is an increasing risk of damage to infrastructure, such as buildings, roads, and bridges. In addition, its impact on food prices will be detrimental worldwide. Building sea walls and other protective infrastructure is likely to be more common and subsequently very costly.

Is There Light At the End of the Climate Tunnel?

Wind Turbines
Wind Turbines

The transition to a low-carbon economy can create economic opportunities, such as developing renewable energy sources and creating green jobs. ant economic issue. The effects of climate change can disrupt agriculture, leading to lower crop yields and higher food prices. This can disproportionately impact low-income countries, where agriculture is a significant part of the economy. 

What You Can Do About It!

Given climate change’s significant impacts on the environment, human health, and the economy, we must take action to address this problem. The good news is that individuals, governments, and businesses can do many things to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Here are some of the more prominent advocacy groups that you can join to help mitigate climate change and reduce its impact on the environment and health.

    • 350.org: A global grassroots movement focused on ending the use of fossil fuels and promoting renewable energy solutions.
    • Greenpeace: Known for its direct action campaigns, Greenpeace works to combat climate change, protect biodiversity, and advocate for environmental justice.
    • Sierra Club: One of the oldest and largest environmental organizations in the United States, the Sierra Club works on issues including climate change, conservation, and renewable energy.







Acid Rain and the Effect on Our Climate

Oil Refinary
Photo: Graphic Stock

No doubt climate change is among us and in this article we will dwelve into one specific aspect of climate change and that the affects of acid rain. 

What is Acid Rain?

The burning of fossil fuels, the eruption of volcanoes and rotting plants all release harmful gases. When these gases react with water, oxygen, and other substances in the environment, it results in the production of acid. As the winds blow, this acidic content may spread over hundreds and thousands of miles.

Like a domino effect, the acid then falls from the atmosphere and enters our water supply. This results in potential contamination of the water, subsequently affecting fish and other species, which can result in contamination of our entire food chain.

When the water is consumed by animals or for the cultivation of crops, both the animals and human beings bear the consequences. Acid rain also corrodes the trees and affects their ability to absorb nutrients from the soil and take up water.

Most of the acid rain today is a result of human activities. And since everything in the environment is closely linked to each other, if something harms one part of the environment, everything else gets affected.

Acid Rain – The Details?

Some natural activities such as rotting vegetation and volcanic activities result in the release of harmful gases. Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels also result in the release of compounds like sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen. When these gases are released into the air, they react with other substances such as water and oxygen. This reaction results in the formation of acidic pollutants and can easily become a part of the rain, snow and fog.

Normal rain has a pH value between 5.0 and 5.5. So it is slightly acidic. But when acidic pollutants become a part of the rain, it becomes more acidic than normal and is known as acid rain.

Effects of Acid Rain on the Environment 

Nature depends on balance. There is a certain percentage of acidic content present in the environment, which is normal, but as one noble writer put it quite eloquently and to the point: “Too much of anything is not good for you”; hence, an overabundance of acidic content will have a negative impact on the environment with which we live.

Effects on Plants and Trees

Acid rain affects plants and trees in multiple ways. When the acidic pollutants are absorbed in the soil, it removes the essential minerals and nutrients. As a result, plants and trees do not get adequate nutrition. Acid rain also allows aluminum to seep into the soil. This affects the ability of the trees to absorb water which is essential for their growth.

Another way through which acid rain affects the trees is by hindering their ability to absorb sunlight. The acidic fog and air do not allow the absorption of sunlight through the leaves. Since the basic requirements for the growth of plants are not met, the trees eventually die.

Effects on Marine and Wildlife

The effects of acid rain are most obvious on the marine ecosystem. As the contaminated water flows through the soil, it can bring along soil that is rich in aluminum to the streams and lakes. Thus, the streams and lakes develop more acidic water along with a higher content of aluminum.

Some marine plants and animals are more resistant to acidic water.

Underwater photo of fish and its landscape
Photo: Grapic Stock

However, species that are sensitive to high acidic content suffer greatly due to acid rain. The eggs of most species of fish cannot hatch in an acidic environment. Also, some species of adult fish can actually die.

In cases where the fish can tolerate acidic water, most of the other animals and plants they feed on might not survive in that environment. As a result, the fish die due to inadequate nutrition.

While acid rain directly affects marine species, it indirectly affects birds and other animals as well. Acid rain is known to be the biggest reason for the decline of the population of some species of birds including wood thrush. It also affects animals that depend on marine life for survival. Mammals including bears which heavily depend on fish need to find an alternate source of food due to the decreasing population of these types of fish.

Effects on Humans

The presence of sulfuric and nitric acid in the environment can make the air hazy. This is the reason why acid rain is a primary contributor to the formation of fog and smog. As far as the effect on humans is concerned, walking in acid rain is no more damaging than walking in normal rain. However, the presence of pollutants in the air can have a harmful effect on human health. The presence of acidic pollutants affects the quality of air. The sulfate and nitrate particles in the air can affect the function of the heart and lungs. Thus, acid rain is one of the major causes of increasing respiratory problems in humans including asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia.


Apart from living things, acid rain is known to affect non-living things as well. It can corrode buildings, statues and other man-made structures. Though sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide are not greenhouse gases, they definitely have an important effect on the recent climate change as both these gases have serious effects on the environment. Since the primary source of these gases comes from burning fossil fuels, by reducing the reliance on fossil fuels, we can control the damaging effects of acid rain.


Neuralink – The Brain’s Sixth Sense

AI in the form of woman cyborg or bot coming out of the screen phone and offers to use digital mind

Lucy Has Arrived!

In 2014, the sci-fi thriller Lucy was released in theaters nationwide. It starred Scarlett Johanson, whose brain became so powerful that she could move objects with nothing but a thought.

This may sound far out, but it is much closer than you think. Enter the ‘Link’ —a computer chip implanted inside the human brain. It can read and convert our thoughts into digital signals a computer will understand and respond to.

Although the Link is in its fetal stages, the results are so promising that we can confidently say that Lucy is here to stay. No more is it a thought of the future (pun intended )

One example would be a person who wants to browse the web on their iPhone, and he/she would control the device by simply thinking about it. This can be particularly useful for those who have paralysis, neurological disorders, or prosthetic limbs, as well as assisting with a range of other disorders where a person is medically incapacitated. 

The Makers of the Link 

Elon Musk discussing the Neuralink
Elon Musk discussing the Neuralink. Wikimedia CC

Neuralink is an advanced neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk. It specializes in developing brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). These interfaces allow communication between the human brain and external devices by translating neural activity (movement of brain cells) into digital signals (the electrical impulses (1s and 0s) that computer systems use, called “bits)

The Neuralink Device

The Link is a tiny, flexible device about the size of a small coin surgically embedded into the human skull. It contains thousands of hair-thin electrodes that interface directly with the brain cells. These electrodes read the neural activity and translate them into digital data (the 1s and 0s mentioned above). 

This is quite fascinating because there are roughly 86 billion cells in the brain, each measuring about 680 microns, which is extremely small. One micron equals 0.000039 inches or 1/100 the size of a human hair.

Groundbreaking Medical Features

Man head showing the human brain

Wireless Charging

From cell phones to earbuds to EV cars, we all have some device that needs routine charging, maybe twice a day, depending upon its use. With the Link, it gets its charge from the skin.   

A Robotic Miracle

If you think AI is cool, imagine a robot that surgically implants the device in the brain! That might sound scary, but it has been proven to work more efficiently than any human can do, no matter how skilled the surgeon might be.

How Does It Work?

The process involves several steps.

    1. Recording Neural Activity: The Link has thousands of thin, flexible electrodes embedded in the brain tissue. These terminals capture the electrical pulses of nearby neurons and their voltage fluctuations. The fluctuations are in analog format, meaning that they act like a sine wave. Digital data is in the form of whether a signal is on (represented by a computer bit of 1) or off (represented by a computer bit of 0). The size of the voltage fluctuations determines which instance it is and is subsequently converted to the appropriate computer bit format.
    2. Neuron cells send electrical chemical signals. 3d illustration
      Neuron cells send electrical chemical signals. 3d illustration. iStock
    3. Analog-to-Digital Conversion: This is a common practice for many devices we use every day, and the Neuralink device is no different, except that the translation process occurs within the tiny Link chip. The captured analog signals are changed into digital data via the chip’s electronics, which amplifies the weak signals, filters out the noise, and then converts the voltage changes into a series of digital bits.
    4. Feature Extraction: Not all neural activity is converted. The Link’s processing unit analyzes the digital data stream and extracts specific features that are known to be associated with the desired output, such as movement, speech, or sensory perception. This could involve identifying patterns in the timing and frequency of the electrical spikes or the activity of specific groups of neurons.
    5. Machine Learning Algorithms: Now, the AI part. The extracted data is fed into machine learning algorithms trained on a large dataset of brain activity. These algorithms map the neural patterns to specific commands, thoughts, or sensations; in other words, they decode the brain’s messages. 
    6. Output Generation: Based on the decoded information, the Link can trigger specific actions (e.g., controlling a computer cursor or prosthetic limb) or generate external signals (e.g., synthetic speech or electrical stimulation for sensory restoration).

How the Link Will Be Applied 

Neuralink’s technology can potentially transform medical technology into the 24th century and beyond.

 Man's brainwaves connecting to his body. AI generated
Fotor AI-Generated

    • Human-Computer Interaction: The ability to control devices directly through thought is closer now than ever.
    • Medical Applications: Restoring lost sensory and motor functions in individuals with paralysis or neurological disorders.
    • Cognitive Enhancement: Humans may be able to retain information at an exceptional level, called Enhancing Memory. The possibility of having extremely long-term memory can have significant advantages for everyone, from students to the elderly, who would gain the most benefits.

The Future of Neuralink

The Neuralink technology holds immense potential to reshape our understanding of the brain and its interaction with technology.  While challenges remain, ongoing research and development efforts bring us closer to a future where brain-computer interfaces will become a reality. The potential for advanced human abilities and our interaction with the world around us will be within our reach!




Geraldo Rivera Day

A Day for Geraldo

Regarding journalism, it’s hard to match the accomplishments of Geraldo Rivera and officials in Long Island wanted to emphasize his achievements by making May 13th ‘Geraldo Rivera Day’. 

At a ceremony in Westbury, NY, honoring attorney and philanthropist Howard Fensterman for his charitable donations to healthcare research, it was an opportune time to acknowledge River for his outstanding reporting about the horrendous conditions at the Willowbrook School for the mentally disabled. 

Fensterman’s law firm, Abrams Fensterman, LLP, partially sponsored the ceremonial event along with Hudson Regional LTC Pharmacy and car manufacturer Subaru.

Rivera became nationally famous when, as a NYC reporter for ABC’s Eyewitness News in 1972, he uncovered these conditions at the Willowbrook institution in Staten Island, NY. 

As a result of Rivera’s reporting, significant policy changes materialized for the care of mentally ill patients and individuals with disabilities, ultimately leading to the deinstitutionalization movement, which moved patients from large, isolated institutions to community-based care centers. Additionally, legislation such as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (later known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 were introduced. 

At the ceremony, Geraldo stood alongside Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Town of Babylon officials as they announced the special day at Life WORC’s 36th annual Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic. 

Depraved Indifference Induces Morality

WORC provides residential and community services, employment services, and financial support to patients and families who have developmental disabilities, including autism. It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded by Vicki Schneps-Yunis in 1971, whose daughter was an attendant at the Willowbrook School. 

Howard Fensterman and Vickey Schepps-Yunis
Howard Fensterman and Vickey Schepps-Yunis at the WORC ceremony in Westbury, LI

I met Geraldo at Willowbrook when my daughter was there and I was marching and picketing, and I was working on knocking on air until Geraldo came with his cameras and the power of his passionate coverage of my darling Lara and the 5400 people that lived there propelled us to a class action lawsuit Willowbrook was closed,” quoting Schneps-Yunis by the Long Island Press.

The facility was shut down due to the advocacy work of Schneps-Yunis and the reporting by Rivera, which brought this issue to the forefront. 

The Long Island Press quoted Blakeman stating “Geraldo Rivera is an amazing guy, He’s had an incredible career in journalism and as an advocate. I remember Geraldo when he was a fighting reporter. And he met Vicki [Schneps-Yunis] through his advocacy and his journalistic work at the Willowbrook Center, which was a center that was abusing children. He exposed that and he changed the whole conversation with respect to how we treat people with disabilities and with mental illness. So we’re here to celebrate him, we’re here with Vicki to to raise money and raise the consciousness of people to the plight of these individuals that could use a little extra help.

As Rivera, who is a West Babylon native, took the podium and said “For all these many, many years, we’ve been on this crusade, we’ve taken this idea, this idea of humanity, this idea of caring for the disabled, treating them with the same constitutional rights as any able-bodied person. It has changed the world with that simple concept, the concept of equality. We have changed the world. No more warehousing of humanity. No more shutting people away. Now it’s embracing, celebrating and moving forward.

Geraldo Rivera’s impact on journalism and advocacy, particularly through his groundbreaking reporting on the Willowbrook School, has left an indelible mark on society. The designation of May 13th as ‘Geraldo Rivera Day’ in Long Island serves as a testament to his contributions. The ceremony in Westbury, NY, honoring both Howard Fensterman for his philanthropic efforts and Rivera for his advocacy, highlighted the profound changes spurred by Rivera’s work. His exposure of the inhumane conditions at Willowbrook not only led to policy reforms and significant legislation but also shifted the societal approach toward individuals with disabilities, advocating for their rights and dignity.

In Conclusion

This event, supported by Fensterman’s law firm, Hudson Regional LTC Pharmacy, and Subaru, showcased the continued commitment to these ideals through organizations like Life WORC, founded by Vicki Schneps-Yunis, a fellow advocate inspired by Rivera’s work.

As Rivera eloquently stated, the fight for equality and humane treatment for all individuals, regardless of their abilities, continues to drive forward, changing the world for the better. The community’s recognition and celebration of Rivera’s legacy reinforce the enduring importance of journalistic integrity and advocacy in fostering social change. Donations to Life WORC remain a vital avenue for supporting this ongoing mission.

Which Brain Cells Require Stimulation to Support Memory?

Neurons in the Brain

We previously discussed the top foods are for brain health, but some supplements have been studied to be healthy for your brain as well. With all the advertising about this subject, let’s take a look at what ingredients are nutrients act as the real stimulants for your brain cells.


Temporal Lobe - Hippocampus collage
Temporal Lobe – Hippocampus. iStock

Before we delve into brain cells, it is important to note which part of the brain has the most influence on cognitive functionality: the hippocampus. Located in the medial temporal lobe, it is associated with learning and memory functions.  

The Cells

While there isn’t a single type of cell responsible for memory, several cell types play crucial roles:


Active neuron cell function

Neurons are the primary cells in the brain responsible for transmitting and processing information. Certain types of neurons, particularly those involved in long-term potentiation (LTP) and synaptic plasticity, are crucial in memory. These neurons form connections (synapses) with other neurons, and the strength and efficiency of these connections are believed to underlie memory formation.

Glial Cells

Glial cells, the unsung heroes of the brain, including astrocytes and microglia, are not just support staff for neurons. As recent research suggests, they also have active roles in synaptic transmission and plasticity, which are the building blocks of memory formation.


Several neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin, modulate synaptic transmission. In layman’s terms, this means that they control the communication between neurons at the synapse, which is the gap between two nerve cells where neurotransmitters are released and received. 

This is the fundamental process underlying memory formation.


Contrary to the long-held belief that neurogenesis, the birth of new neurons, is a one-time event in the brain’s development, recent evidence suggests it’s a lifelong process in certain brain regions, including the hippocampus. These fresh neurons are believed to contribute to specific memory processes, adding a fascinating layer to our understanding of memory formation.

Stimulating specific brain regions or cell types through transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or optogenetics can modulate neural activity and potentially enhance memory formation. However, the precise mechanisms underlying memory formation are still an active research area.

Cognitive Function Enhances

Now that we’ve grasped the functions of cells in the brain, let’s delve into some substances that bolster these cells, ensuring their vitality and health. While this compilation isn’t exhaustive, it serves as a starting point for identifying key components in brain-enhancing supplements, commonly referred to as nootropics.

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

DHA is food for your brain cells. It’s a healthy fat that keeps the cells strong and flexible, similar to how eating veggies helps your body remain healthy. When you have enough DHA in your diet, it supports the health of all kinds of brain cells, assisting them to communicate better and work more efficiently. This can lead to improved memory, learning, and overall brain function.

DHA is part of the omega-3 fatty acid family and consequently, it helps keep the cell receptors healthy. Cell receptors are located on the surface of cells or inside the cell. They serve as “sensors” that can recognize and bind to the neurotransmitters; in other words, they help enhance the singling process of the neurons. And as an FYI, you can also help your cell receptors by eating fish, especially salmon. 


No, you don’t need to get it from a swimming pool, but you can get it in a supplement. Research has found that choline supplementation may have cognitive benefits, particularly in memory and attention. It is believed to enhance cognitive performance in adults and may reduce the risk of cognitive decline with aging.

Huperzine A

This is a natural compound derived from the Chinese club moss plant, Huperzia serrata. It works on neurotransmitters, specifically, it keeps acetylcholine alive and well by prohibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase from breaking it down. By inhibiting this enzyme, Huperzine A can increase the levels of acetylcholine; thus, it maintains neural transmission, which is important for memory, learning, and overall cognitive function. 
Huperzine A has been studied as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Some research suggests that it may improve memory and cognitive function in individuals with these conditions.

It is important to note that while Huperzine A shows promise as a cognitive enhancer, more research is needed to understand its effects and potential long-term benefits and risks fully. Like other nootropics, it should be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

B Vitamins

B vitamins, particularly B6, B12, and folic acid (B9), play a crucial role in brain function. They help the body convert food into energy for cells, including brain cells and are important for the production of neurotransmitters that regulate mood, memory, and focus. 


While the field of nootropics continues to evolve, it is evident that certain ingredients hold promise in supporting memory, focus, and overall cognitive well-being. However, further research and regulation are imperative to ensure safety, efficacy, and ethical use for some of them.

Here we gave a summary of some of the components of the brain and some potential brain enhancing ingredients. As we navigate this exciting frontier further it is essential to approach brain enhancement with a balanced perspective, acknowledging both the possibilities and limitations of these ingredients in enhancing our cognitive abilities.

Who was Typhoid Mary?

Photo of Mary Mallon ( Typhoid Mary) in hospital bed
Mary Mallon (Typhoid Mary) in hospital bed

Mary Mallon, otherwise known as Typhoid Mary, holds the title of one of history’s most notorious cases as a disease carrier. She gained infamy for being linked to multiple outbreaks of typhoid fever in the early 20th century. Mallon was born to an Irish family and worked as a cook, which is how she spread the disease when she came to the United States.

What Causes Typhoid Fever?

Composition of Medicaments Stop Typhoid showing doctor's chart

Salmonella bacteria is the ultimate cause of the disease and is found in places with unsanitary conditions. It is virtually nonexistent in the United States and other developed countries, but cases remain in Africa and Asia; however, conditions were not that optimum in the United States back in the 19th century. 

Typhoid fever was a severe and often deadly illness transmitted primarily through contaminated food and water. However, the concept of asymptomatic carriers—people carrying and spreading disease without showing symptoms—was not widely understood at that time.

About Typhoid Mary

Born in 1869 in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland, Mallon immigrated to the United States at a young age. She worked as a cook for wealthy families in New York City, a profession that would ultimately lead to her unfortunate notoriety.

Despite never showing signs of the illness, she unknowingly spread the bacteria to numerous people through the food she prepared. The precise number of infections attributed to her is unknown, but it is believed to be significant.

How Was It Determined That It Was Mary?

The first documented case occurred in 1900 when she worked for a family in Mamaroneck, New York. Several members of the household fell ill, which was later determined to be due to typhoid fever. Investigators traced the source of the outbreak back to Mary. However, lacking a proper understanding of disease transmission, Mary was not held accountable, and she moved on to work for other families in the area.

Over the next several years, wherever Mary went, outbreaks of typhoid fever followed her. It wasn’t until 1906, during an outbreak at the Sloane Maternity Hospital in New York City, that her role as an asymptomatic carrier was established. George Soper, a sanitary engineer investigating the outbreak, discovered that Mary had worked at several affected households before the outbreak. He identified her as a likely source of the infection and attempted to have her cooperate with health authorities. Still, Mary vehemently denied being a carrier and refused to provide samples for testing.

Eventually, Soper enlisted the help of Dr. Sara Josephine Baker, a pioneering public health official, to track down Mary. After a lengthy investigation, Mary was located and apprehended. Tests confirmed that she was indeed a carrier of typhoid fever, although she remained healthy herself. Mary was placed in isolation against her will at a hospital on North Brother Island in New York City’s East River, where she would spend the next three years.

Lesson Not Learned

In 1910, Mary was released from isolation under the condition that she never work as a cook again and take precautions to prevent the spreading of the disease. However, Mary soon returned to her profession, using aliases to conceal her identity and continuing to work as a cook in various establishments throughout New York City.

In 1915, another outbreak of typhoid fever was linked to Mary, and she was once again apprehended and returned to isolation on North Brother Island, where she would spend the remainder of her life. Despite numerous appeals for release, Mary remained in isolation until her death in 1938.

Rights Violated? 

The case of Typhoid Mary sparked significant public debate about the rights of individuals versus the need to protect public health. Mary herself vehemently maintained her innocence and objected to being forcibly quarantined, while health officials argued that she posed a significant risk to the public.

When Was the Disease Erraticated?

The vaccine for typhoid fever was developed in the late 19th century by Almroth Edward Wright, who made the discovery that led to the development of the first effective typhoid vaccine in 1896. This marked a significant advancement in the prevention of typhoid fever and laid the foundation for subsequent research and development in vaccines.


Asymptomatic individuals can pose a significant risk to others who are not infected with a disease. The story of Typhoid Mary continues to be studied and debated by historians, epidemiologists, and ethicists to this day. Her case serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of understanding disease transmission and the delicate balance between individual rights and public health.

How to Overcome Sleep Deprivation

Man-having-trouble-sleeping-squeezes-a-pillow-around-his-ears Overview
Our previous article focused on what causes you to feel tired during the day. In this article, we expand on this problem by providing some additional reasons for daytime tiredness, the associated illnesses, and what you can do about it. Let’s dive in.

One of the most common reasons for feeling tired is sleep deprivation. Adults typically require seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, some individuals may not get enough sleep due to their busy schedules or other lifestyle factors. Chronic sleep deprivation can cause several health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Lack of sleep can also affect a person’s mood, cognitive functions, and overall quality of life. We all have felt this way at one time or another.

What Illnesses Cause Sleep Deprivation?

Sometimes, the issue may not be a lack of sleep but a sleep disorder. Sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy are some of the common sleep disorders that can cause excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep, leading to poor-quality sleep. Restless leg syndrome occurs when a person experiences an uncomfortable sensation in their legs, making it difficult to fall asleep. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness, which can lead to sudden sleep attacks.

Sleep ApneaObstructive sleep apnea syndrome concept vector illustration.

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome concept vector illustration. iStock A common ailment among many people, and a good percentage don’t even know they have it; sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. When this happens, there could be a loss of oxygen in the brain. In addition, it can increase the chances of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, not to mention the dangers of driving or handling machinery when you are not 100% awake. There are treatments for sleep apnea. The most common is the CPAP machine. It is a bulky, noisy mask that you put over your face while you sleep, but there are dental devices that can work just as well, and the latest technology is where a small device is inserted near your heart.

My Pilow, Your Bed

Woman trying to fall asleep
Image by Taras Shevchenko from Pixabay
Another possible cause of fatigue is poor sleep quality. Even if a person gets the recommended amount of sleep, the quality of their sleep can be poor. Factors such as noise, an uncomfortable bed, and temperature can all impact the quality of your sleep. Medical conditions can also cause fatigue. Chronic fatigue syndrome, anemia, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and depression are some of the conditions that can cause chronic fatigue. Anemia is when the person has a low red blood cell count, leading to reduced oxygen supply to the body.
Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones, leading to fatigue and other symptoms. Depression is a mental health condition that can cause physical and emotional symptoms, including fatigue. Lack of exercise is another factor that can lead to chronic fatigue. Regular exercise can help improve sleep quality and boost energy levels. Sedentary lifestyles can lead to reduced energy levels and increased risk of health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

You Are What You Eat

Fast Food hamburger on a bub
Photo by Miguel Andrade on Unsplash
Poor nutrition can also cause fatigue. A diet lacking nutrients such as iron, vitamin B12, and magnesium can lead to fatigue. Eating a healthy and balanced meal can help improve energy levels and overall health. Lastly, chronic stress can also cause fatigue. Chronic stress can cause physical and emotional symptoms, including fatigue. Prolonged exposure to stress hormones can lead to the depletion of the body’s energy reserves. In conclusion, feeling tired or fatigued can indicate an underlying health issue.
While there are several reasons why a person may feel tired all the time, the most common reasons include sleep deprivation, sleep disorders, poor sleep quality, medical conditions, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and chronic stress. It’s important to address chronic fatigue promptly as it can impact the person’s overall health and quality of life. Seeking professional medical advice and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help alleviate fatigue and improve overall health.

How Healthy is Granola?

Woman eating granola

Granola is a popular breakfast and snack option that has gained a reputation for being a healthy choice that can be added to any meal. However, we need to be watchful of several factors, including its ingredients, serving size, and how it’s consumed, which will have an impact on how healthy this ingredient is. Let’s delve into the components of granola and its nutritional value to better understand its health implications.


Granola typically consists of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, sweeteners, and sometimes additional flavorings like spices or chocolate. Each ingredient contributes to its overall nutritional value. The following list details the usual ingredients found in granola.

    • Rolled Oats: Oats are a good source of fiber, particularly beta-glucan, which can help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. They also provide complex carbohydrates, which offer sustained energy.
    • Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They can contribute to satiety and provide essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids (in walnuts and flaxseeds) and magnesium (in almonds and sunflower seeds).
    • Dried Fruits: Dried fruits offer natural sweetness and can provide additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, they are also concentrated sources of sugar and calories, so moderation is key.
    • Sweeteners: Some granolas contain added sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, or cane sugar. While these can enhance flavor, they also contribute to the overall sugar content of the granola.
    • Add some blueberries, strawberries, or other fruity items to your dish to make it even healthier.

Nutritional Value

Container of granola with label showingThe nutritional value of granola can vary widely depending on the specific ingredients and their proportions. Generally, granola provides a mix of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Please read the label to confirm what ingredients are in it. Also, it’s important to be mindful of serving sizes, as granola can be calorie-dense.

    • Carbohydrates: Granola is typically a carbohydrate-rich food due to the oats and added sweeteners. Carbohydrates provide energy, but excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates (e.g., granola with high sugar content) may lead to blood sugar spikes and energy crashes.
    • Protein: Nuts, seeds, and occasionally grains in granola contribute to its protein content. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and promoting satiety.
    • Fat: Granola contains nuts, seeds, and sometimes added oils, which provide healthy fats. These fats are important for brain health, hormone production, and nutrient absorption. However, some granolas may contain unhealthy fats from added oils or processed ingredients.
    • Fiber: Oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits in granola contribute to its fiber content. Fiber is crucial for digestive health, promoting satiety, and regulating blood sugar levels.
    • Vitamins and Minerals: Granola can provide various vitamins and minerals, mainly if it contains nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. These may include vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.

Health Considerations

While granola can be a nutritious addition to a balanced diet, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

    • Added Sugars: Some granolas contain high amounts of sugars, which can contribute to excess calorie intake and negatively impact health if consumed in large quantities. Opt for granolas with minimal added sugars, or choose unsweetened varieties.
    • Portion Size: Granola is calorie-dense, so it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes. A small serving can provide a satisfying crunch and nutrient boost without excessive calorie intake.
    • Processed Ingredients: Some commercial granolas may contain processed ingredients, preservatives, and additives. Choose granolas with simple, whole-food ingredients whenever possible.
    • Allergens: Granola contains nuts and gluten-containing grains. If you have food sensitivities or allergies, be mindful of potential allergens.


Granola can be a nutritious and convenient option for any meal, providing a mix of carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, choosing varieties with wholesome ingredients, minimal added sugars, and moderate portion sizes is essential. Be aware of the sugar and calorie intake, especially if you are on a diet or have certain allergies.

By incorporating a balanced amount of granola into your meal or snack alongside other nutrient-dense foods, you can enjoy its health benefits while minimizing potential drawbacks.


Measles: A Resurgence of a Preventable Disease

Nurse holding a newborn baby with measles

What is Measles?

Measles (MeV) is a highly contagious respiratory illness that typically spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles primarily affects children, but it can occur in people of any age who haven’t been vaccinated or previously infected.


Woman with baby with the flu
Photo: iStock

The symptoms of measles usually appear about 10 to 14 days after exposure and can include:

    • High fever
    • Cough
    • Runny nose
    • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
    • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)
    • A red, blotchy rash that usually starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body

On Its Way Back

Once considered nearly eradicated in the US and many developed countries, the disease has recently seen a surge in cases. This resurgence poses a significant public health threat, particularly to vulnerable populations like young children.

A Disease We Thought We Conquered

Maculopapular rash on the abdomen after 3 days of measles infection
Maculopapular rash on the abdomen after 3 days of measles infection

Before widespread vaccination campaigns were initiated, measles was a common illness mainly affecting children. In the United States alone, an estimated 3-4 million cases occur annually, resulting in hundreds of deaths. However, the introduction of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine in 1963 dramatically changed the landscape of these diseases. By 2000, measles was declared eliminated in the US, meaning continuous transmission was no longer occurring.

Why Measles is Back

The resurgence of measles is attributed to several key factors:

    • Decreased Vaccination Rates: Vaccine hesitancy, fueled by misinformation and mistrust in science, has led to declining vaccination rates in some communities. This creates pockets of susceptible individuals where the virus can quickly spread. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated this issue, disrupting routine vaccinations and lowering overall vaccination rates.
    • Global Travel: Measles is still prevalent in many parts of the world. Travelers infected with the virus can quickly bring it into countries with lower vaccination rates, sparking outbreaks.
    • Waning Immunity: The effectiveness of the measles vaccine weakens over time. Booster shots are crucial for long-term protection, but some individuals may neglect getting them.

The Impact of the Resurgence

The return of measles is concerning for several reasons:

    • Serious Complications: Measles is not a benign illness. It can lead to severe complications like pneumonia, encephalitis (brain swelling), and even death. These complications are dangerous for young children and those with compromised immune systems.
    • Outbreaks: When vaccination rates fall below a critical threshold (around 95%), “herd immunity” (those areas where the diseases have been mostly eradicated) weakens. The virus can easily spread through a community, even infecting vaccinated people.
    • Strain on Healthcare Systems: Measles outbreaks can significantly burden healthcare systems, requiring hospitalization for some patients and diverting resources from other critical medical needs.

The Importance of Vaccination

Person getting covid injection
Photo by Frank Merino from Pexels

Many of us, especially if we live in New York State, probably don’t remember getting a measles vaccine when we were young, but rest assured we did! It is mandatory in New York State; however, that does not mean we won’t get it again. According to experts, the chances are unlikely that you will acquire it, but even if you do, your symptoms will be much milder than someone who wasn’t vaccinated. The best advice would be to talk to your doctor and see if you need a booster shot.

The good news is that measles is an entirely preventable disease through vaccination. The MMR vaccine is safe and highly effective, offering long-term protection against measles, mumps, and rubella.

Here’s what you can do:

    • Get Vaccinated: Ensure you and your family are up-to-date on your MMR vaccinations. Consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
    • Educate Yourself: Seek reliable information about vaccine safety and effectiveness from reputable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO).
    • Advocate for Vaccination: Encourage others to get vaccinated and dispel myths or misinformation surrounding vaccines.

By working together to increase vaccination rates, we can prevent the spread of measles and protect ourselves and our communities from this potentially devastating disease.