HRT reduces risk of death and does not increase cancer (according to new study)

Fig 5 Primary endpoint and mortality for hormone replacement therapy in total population and in four specified subsets of participants, 16 years data including 11 years of randomised treatment. Women in the treated group who had undergone hysterectomy received oestrogen only, whereas women with an intact uterus received combination therapy

If I read this correctly, hazard ratios of 1 would mean that mortality and myocardial infarction rates between the HRT treated (numerator) and control (denominator) groups are equal. Hazard ratios of less than 1 indicate that mortality is lower for the HRT treated groups, which is what the study concludes. Note that the 95% confidence intervals for some groups actually do extend in the range above 1, but the averages for the intervals are still below 1.

Our findings suggest that initiation of hormone replacement therapy in women early after menopause significantly reduces the risk of the combined endpoint of mortality, myocardial infarction, or heart failure. Importantly, early initiation and prolonged hormone replacement therapy did not result in an increased risk of breast cancer or stroke.

Its a win-win-win thing – according to this study at least: Take hormones, live longer, have less (of at least some) illness.

The purpose of the study was “To investigate the long term effect of hormone replacement therapy on cardiovascular outcomes in recently postmenopausal women.” It involved 1006 Danish women who were pre- or post-menopausal, half of whom received hormone treatment and half who received none.

Effect of hormone replacement therapy on cardiovascular events in recently postmenopausal women: randomised trial
BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 9 October 2012)
BMJ 2012;345:e6409

Purslane-Kale Salad

There has been purslane at the farmers market recently. Purslane is in the same family as Miner’s lettuce – the Portulacaceae family which is also called the purslane family.

There is purslane that grows wild all over San Francisco in the cracks of the streets. If you are bicycling along and look down at a crack in the ground you’re likely to see purslane. Whether this is the same as the kind that is at the farmers market I am not sure.

According to the Wikipedia article:

Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular[4]) than any other leafy vegetable plant. Research published by Artemis P. Simopoulos states that Purslane has 0.01 mg/g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This is an extraordinary amount of EPA for a land-based vegetable source. EPA is an Omega-3 fatty acid found mostly in fish, some algae, and flax seeds.[5] It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. Also present are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish betacyanins (visible in the coloration of the stems) and the yellow betaxanthins (noticeable in the flowers and in the slight yellowish cast of the leaves). Both of these pigment types are potent antioxidants and have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory studies.[6]

Yes, this plant which grows in the cracks of the streets in San Francisco happens to be this ultra-extraordinary food source which is highly valuable. It can be considered among the best vegetables.

Recently I’ve been making kale-purslane salads and loving them. I use flax oil with it plus other things. The sharpness of kale seems to complement the mellow flavor of purslane perfectly.

Its so sad to me to see the wonderful abundance of Earth and all the things there are for us to enjoy and love, yet how this world is so badly mistreated and abused.

At least I am able to love and appreciate beautiful things of this world even though there’s so much carelessness and destruction.

What is Chocomatcha?

What: Chocomatcha is this amazing drink: a mixture of pure cocoa powder and matcha green tea powder.  For my chocomatcha I like to use organic unsweetened almond milk and no sweetners or other additives.

Why: Chocomatcha is a very refreshing drink which undoubtedly is beneficial to drink.  The benefits of chocolate – particularly pure, unsweetened chocolate, and green-tea are well-known.  Chocomatcha just combines the two together into an incredibly refreshing and invigorating drink which can be enjoyed any time.

How: Just add the same amount of pure cocoa powder that one would to make hot chocolate.  I prefer to make  a cup with about 150 ml water, a heaping teaspoon or so of chocolate, and a couple thimblefulls of matcha powder.  One can use one of those matcha mixing thingamajiggies or just use a plastic spoon like I do.  I like to serve it with the plastic spoon in the cup and stir it as I drink it since the mixtures tend to sediment at the bottom.  150 ml of water is a smallish-cup amount.  Its a bit more I think that a traditional amount of matcha tea would be, but less than a big cup of hot chocolate that most are accustomed to.

Non-GMO tofu restaurant in San Francisco

Today I was happy to learn that a company in my city which makes tofu and supplies it to the restaurant I was eating at does not use genetically-modified soybeans.

Sometimes it is difficult to ask a restaurant if the tofu they use is non-GMO. I have learned that the following questions are useful:

Is the tofu not genetic?

Is the tofu not GMO?

One of the issues is that if someone were to ask a non-native speaker of English something like “Does the tofu you use come from genetically modified soybeans?” the likelihood is very high that they will not even understand the question. But if you ask if it is “not genetic” or “not GMO” it is something clear that they will at least understand the question.

“Not” is a basic English word that even an only partially-fluent non-native speaker will immediately understand. Keeping the construction of the sentence basic and straightforward also helps. A non-native speaker should be familiar with a question form like “Is X Y?”. “Is the book green?” “The book is green.” “Is the flower yellow?” “The flower is yellow.” Etc.

The word “genetic” or the acronym “GMO” is where the other person will probably be thrown off. But because the rest of the question was simple and straightforward, they will understand the general context of the question: it is an inquiry about an attribute of something.

Another thing about the question process extends beyond language. It has to do with how the question is asked. If it is asked in a pleasant, polite way by a person who the server or other restaurant staff has a good impression of, then they may form the idea “This person seems like a good, nice, kind, intelligent person. They are concerned about X (genetic, GMO). I am now curious about what X is because it is something which is clearly important to this person.”

Many tofu packages clearly state something like “not from genetically modified soybeans” so if one were to ask “is it not genetic” there’s a good chance that they will at least remember seeing it on the package.

In the case of the restaurant today, she checked but apparently the packaging did not indicate that it was not genetic. She gave me the name of the tofu company and when I called them they confirmed immediately that their tofu comes from non-GMO soy.

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