#TBT Bigger Bust Belief Burst

SpencerTurner---BiggerBustBeliefBurstDr. Turner received a question on bust developing courses in 1975. The question asked if they are safe and do they cause any side effects in the future. While I personally have not received such questions, a quick search on Google shows that this is still a very popular topic.

It is possible, with exercise, to increase your bust measurement, but as Dr. Turner indicated this measurement does not actually measure the size of your breasts, but rather the circumference of the chest.  The breasts themselves do not contain any supportive muscle tissue. Therefore it is not possible, through exercise to increase your cup size.  What exercise can do, however, is develop the muscles behind your breasts to make them more attractive.

The original article can be read in the Lantern Archives.

Veggie Vitals: Beans Won’t String You Along

GreenBeansGreen beans are a favorite of my family – well I should say home grown and home canned green beans are a favorite.  I made the mistake a few years ago of picking up some store brand green beans and well let’s just say that the words blah and yuck were heard quite a bit that day.  Anyway, green beans are a favorite and actually one of the few “green” veggies that my husband will eat.  So, I got to wondering what kind of health benefit they had to offer.

Low in calories and no saturated fats – approximately 31 calories per serving.

Dietary Fiber – one serving equates to 14-16% of the recommended daily allowance.  Fiber helps to protect the mucous membrane in the colon by decreasing its exposure to toxic substances.

Vitamin A – Helps to protect against aging.

Vitamin C – helps to speed up the healing of cuts and bruises and is important when it comes to cancer prevention.

Vitamin K – This vitamin plays a prominent role in blood clotting and healing of wounds.  It also aids in absorption of calcium and maintaining strong bones in the elderly.

Flavonoids – aid in the reduction of heart disease.

Silicon – a key element in bone regeneration and overall bone health.

Chlorophyll – which can block the carcinogenic effects of that result when grilling meats at high temperatures.  Good to know with summer approaching.

While fresh is best, benefits can be still obtained from frozen or canned.  If you do opt for the canned version make sure to rinse and drain to reduce the sodium content.

Oh my – that soldier just fainted!

A couple of years ago I had the gBriansBasicGradreat privilege of attending my sons graduation from boot camp at Fort Benning. It was quite the ceremony with a tremendous amount of pomp and circumstance. The graduates has been up for the majority of the night and then stationed down at the parade ground waiting for the ceremony to begin and so I’m guessing that while excited they were not physically at their best. We watched all of the young men line up and then stand at attention on the parade ground while the band played, demonstrations were given, and officials spoke. And during the course of all these activities, one of the graduates, front and center, fainted. A couple of sergeants rushed over to him, dragged him to the back behind all of the other graduates while everything else continued. I’m assuming that this young man quickly recovered because the units marched off the parade ground I did not see anyone lying on the ground. When I mentioned the fainting graduate to my son he said something about the soldier locking his knees.

SpencerTurner - FaintingWhenStandingAtAttentionA question of why some people faint after standing at attention for some time was posed of Dr. Spencer Turner in Oct of 1973. Fainting, also called syncope, is defined by WebMD as the sudden, brief, loss of consciousness and posture caused by decreased blood flow to the brain. While there are medical conditions that can cause fainting, what occurred with the soldier was most likely a simple episode known as a vasovagal attack or neutrally-mediated syncope. This type of fainting occurs because blood pressure drops, reducing circulation to the brain and causing loss of consciousness. Typically it occurs while standing and is often preceded by a sensation of warmth, nausea, lightheadedness and visual grayout.

Locking the knees can indeed lead to fainting as it hinders the flow of blood to the brain. The lack of circulation often leads to a light-headed feeling and can end in the individual fainting. The best way to avoidthis situation, if you have to stand for a prolonged period of time, is to bend your knees.

The original article written by Dr. Spencer Turner can be found at the Lantern Archives .

Veggie Vitals: Eggplant Eccentricities

eggplantTo be honest, I’m not quite sure what to do with an eggplant.  It has such a pretty color and shape and is used in dishes such as ratatouille and eggplant parmesan, but whenever I try to incorporate this vegetable into a dish it just doesn’t work.  The eggplant itself always ends up kind of squishy and well, just not very appealing.

It does have quite a few health benefits, though, so it’s well worth your while to figure out how to cook this purple beauty.

Heart health – animal studies show that eggplant may help lower overall cholesterol and improve blood flow.

Brain health – contains nasunin which may help promote healthy brain function by protecting brain fats through scavenging free radicals that target brain lipids.

Digestion and Weight Loss – 1 cup of eggplant contains about 8% of the daily recommended dietary fiber and that 1 cup, cubed and cooked, contains only 35 calories.

Bone health – Contains many of the minerals needed to maintain strong, healthy bones; manganese, potassium, magnesium, and copper.

Cancer prevention – The phytochemical known as BEC5 is believed to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells.  BEC5 cream is purported to have worked in thousands of cases with a success rate of nearly 100% when used for 12 weeks. (The FDA has not yet approved its use in the US.)

Seeing all of these health benefits has inspired me to once again give the eggplant a try.  Perhaps this recipe from Rachael Ray will do the trick:

Sesame-Honey Eggplant

Brush 1/4-inch-thick eggplant planks with vegetable oil and broil, turning once, until tender. Drizzle with a dressing made with equal parts soy sauce, honey, toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar seasoned with freshly grated ginger. Top with toasted sesame seeds.

How about you?  Have you been ab

Brain Gain – Gate not Weight

brain-grows-with-knowledgeSpencer Turner MD, received the above question from a student in the 70s about the brain.  He had been told, by a high school teacher, that the more a person learns the heavier the brain becomes. He wondered if, after a couple of semesters, his brain was becoming heavier and if this would impact him medically.  I’m assuming he was wondering about supporting his soon to be enormous brain on his neck and back.  Ok – so just to debunk this myth, his high school teach was WRONG.

According to WebMD the human adult brain weighs approximately 3 pounds which is about 2% of body weight.  At age 2 the brain has reached 80% or so of its adult size.  Maximum size is reached between 19 and 21. Although growth in size has stopped, development of the brain continues for several more years. The neural connections (gateways) continue to form, change, and redirect when confronted with new experiences and ideas.

Conclusion –  the brain will not increase in weight while you are studying those calculus equations, but it will increase in gate, forming, changing, and redirecting those neural connections.

Oh – and about Einstein’s brain.  A study was conducted of his brain in 1999 based upon images taken at the time of his death.  Despite what a high school geometry teacher might say, Einstein did not have a larger than normal brain.  In fact it was a bit smaller than most.  His parietal lobes, linked to math ability, however, were 15% wider than most.

Here are some other tidbits WebMD has to offer on the brain:

  • There are 100 billion brain cells, most of which are present from birth to death.
  • A good night’s sleep allows your brain to store memories – good to know as finals approach.
  • Multitasking is not really multitasking after all, instead the brain switches quickly from 1 task to another.
  • The best way to keep the brain fit is with exercise. Learn new skills or do mental tasks.

Original Lantern article can be viewed in the Lantern Archives.

Veggie Vitals – I do not like broccoli

bush-broccoli“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” George H. W. Bush

The above quote was made when then President Bush banned broccoli from being served on Air Force One.  While I can certainly understand not like something – sauerkraut has never been served in my home – President Bush was definitely missing out on a good thing with broccoli.  It has been touted as a super vegetable.

  • Potassium – helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, promote regular muscle growth
  • Magnesium and calcium – helps regulate blood pressure
  • Vitamin C – fights free radicals and effective antihistamine for easing discomfort of common cold
  • Vitamin K and calcium – important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis
  • Beta-carotene, zinc, and selenium – strengthen immune defense actions
  • Glucoraphanin – processed by the body into sulforaphane which rids the body of H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase risk of gastric cancer
  • Fiber – aids in digestion, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.
  • Carotenoid lutein – helps prevent age related macular degeneration and cataracts and may also slow down or prevent thickening of arteries.
  • B6 and folate reduce risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

So, before you side with President Bush and ban broccoli from your home, consider the many health benefits this vegetable offers.  Maybe with a little bit of garlic and parmesan cheese you’ll be able to consume this veggie and reap the benefits of this super food.

Submitted by Tina Comston, M.Ed.

Doc gives straight “poop” on floating feces

Turner---floating-fecesFloat or sink?  Not really a question I’ve pondered with friends, but apparently it was a point of discussion for some students in the 70s.  Youcan check out the original article written by Dr. Spencer Turner in the Lantern Archives. Interestingly, as I was reading through this column, it did remind me of a presentation I sat through back in the late 80s.  A guest speaker came to a division luncheon and spoke on – yes floaters versus sinkers.  Not really the lunch time conversation I was expecting, but entertaining none the less.  The basic premise of his presentation was that you could measure your health by whether you had 6 inch sinkers or 8 inch floaters.

I would have expected the 8 inch floater to be an indication of health – thinking that the more water and veggies you were eating the less dense the result, but that is not the case.  It’s the 6 inch sinker that’s an indicator of health.

Floaters can be caused by a number of reasons, but the most common are:

  • Poor digestion – the body has to work harder at breaking down food which creates more gas and as a result gas-filled stools.
  • Gastrointestinal infections – cause the digestive system to flush out harmful bacteria and viruses, making food move through the colon too quickly and as a result gas-filled stools
  • Change of diet – eating more veggies and the like is tougher for the body to break down and as a result gas-filled stools

Hmm – did you see a theme?

Just in the case the floater versus sinker conversation doesn’t provide enough fodder, here’s some more tidbits from WebMd:

  • Healthy stool comes in all shapes and sizes, curvy, sausage, snake-like, and more. You need to seek out a doc if it looks thin and narrow like a pencil for several weeks.
  • Healthy stools come in a variety of colors, yellow, tan, green and more. Usually the change in color is a result of medication or food.
  • Tarry, sticky, black poop can be sign of bleeding or injury in the stomach or parts of the intestine. Always get this checked out by a doctor.
  • It’s OK if you don’t poop every day. Your body knows what it’s doing.  If, however, you have 3 or less BMS in a week, then you may be experiencing constipation.

Tina Comston, M.Ed.

Veggie Vitals: Carrots are a Punishment

I don’t know about you, but carrots seem to be the number one diet food.  Going on a diet?  Stock up on carrots.  Which might be why my co-worker views carrots as a punishment and not a pleasure.

Carrots, however, should not be reserved for diets alone.  They provide a number of health benefits that can be enjoyed year round.carrots

  • Improves vision – beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the liver and the vitamin A is then transformed by the retina to rhodopsin which is necessary for night vision.
  • Helps prevent cancer – Studies have shown a reduction in the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.
  • Slows down aging – beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism.
  • Promotes healthier skin – vitamin A and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage. Helps prevent infection – shredded raw or boiled and mashed can be used on cuts.
  • Prevents heart disease – Studies have shown diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
  • Cleanses the body – Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing toxins from the body.
  • Protects teeth and gums – They scrape off plaque and food particles and stimulate gums.
  • Prevents stroke – Studies show that people who are more than 6 carrots a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate 1 or less.

So, go ahead and “punish” yourself by eating carrots.  The health benefits make it definitely worth it.


Veggie Vitals: To Beet or Not To Beet

A couple of years ago I went to a healthy cooking demonstration here on campus.  The goal of the demo was to introduce different ways that veggies could be incorporated into a meal.  They started out with a beet smoothie.  Beets were not something that I had incorporated into my diet at that time, but I’m always game to try new things and I like smoothies, so I gave it a try.

Now, before allowing us to sample the smoothie they instructed us that we should carefully wash the beets and they recommended peeling it to remove the earthly taste.  They also suggested adding strawberries or some other fruit to add a bit of sweetness. They passed round the samples for us to try and well let’s just say I was not impressed.  To be honest I felt it tasted like dirt.  Blah!  Needless to say I was not enamored with the beet.

Fast forward a couple of years and I have joined an organic co-op, where they deliver a bag of fresh veggies to me every week.  And one week – yes, they include beets.  Not just the bottom portion which is what I would have considered to be the beet, but the whole plant, leafy greens included.  I must admit I was baffled.  Why not cut off the greens?  Were they just being lazy?  Or is this part of the organic thing – to give you the whole plant?

I did a bit of research and found that the whole plant is edible and that the greens offer benefits as well as the bulb or root.  Here are some of the health benefits of a beet as a whole:


  • Low in calories with zero cholesterol and a small amount of fat
  • Rich source of glycine betaine which can lower your risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular diseases.
  • Raw beets (ugh, think dirt) are an excellent source of folates which are necessary for DNA synthesis within cells. Cooking, however, significantly reduces the folate levels.
  • Rich source of B-complex vitamins.
  • Moderate levels of potassium which lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism
  • The greens are an excellent source of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant.
  • The greens are an excellent source of carotenoids, flavonoids antioxidants, and vitamin A which is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision.

I have now embraced the beet, all of it, bulb/root and greens.  I, however, choose to roast the bulb with a bit of olive oil and garlic powder.  This removes the earthy taste and actually makes it kind of sweet.  The greens – those I put into a smoothie with a banana and berries.  Much, much better than the bulb!

I should caution you, however, that there is a very noticeable side effect from eating beets.  A day or so after consumption you will see a noticeable color change in your stool and potentially in your urine as well.

Tina Comston, M.Ed.