The other day I visited a client for our usual session (I see her 3x/wk). She was absolutely exhausted from a weekend from hell-her husband is fighting cancer and lymphodemia, and has been battling this cancer for nine years. He got sick to his stomach on Friday evening, was so weak all weekend he could barely walk, and 911 was called Sunday night because his blood sugar was down to 44 (100 is the norm on a fasting stomach). She got virtually no sleep, her stress level very high, and her concern for her husband showed. The physical and emotional toll situations like this cause on a caregiver are tremendous. She is in her 80’s, and luckily for her, in very good shape-she has been exercising for years, and this has definitely helped her deal with the situation. How many of us could? Are we prepared to deal with all that comes with caring for our loved one, our partner in life? Exercise can supply you with the ammunition you need to fight the potholes of life’s path. I’m not saying that it’s a panacea for what lies ahead, but it is a great first step. Live for today but plan for the future, because it will be here sooner than any of us can imagine. Exercise while you still have options.

Another word on supplements. L-arginine is an amino acid that has shown great promise in the prevention of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, as well as enhancement of sexual function. Heart attacks and stroke are the #1 and #3 killers annually in the U.S. Atherosclerosis starts with an injury to the endothelial cells lining your arterial walls. Cholesterol, fat, and platelets are drawn to the injured sites, where they adhere. White blood cells then migrate to the site and damage the muscle wall of the artery. This is called atherosclerosis. If the process continues, arteries will become clogged wit this build-up of platelets, cholesterol, and white blood cells.

Healthy endothelial cells produce a substance called nitric oxide (NO) that causes relaxation of the blood vessels and prevent platelets and white blood cells and cholesterol from attaching to the walls. NO is the active ingredient of nitroglycerin, and is in Viagra. To make NO, your endothelial cells must have enough L-arginine. L-arginine is metabolized very quickly, so I take 500 mg every three hours, or you can get Perfusia-SR by Thorne Research, a time-release form of L-arginine that provides continuous delivery. Consult with your physician if you are taking Viagra, nitroglycerin or a related drug, if you are pregnant or have any of the following: migraines, autoimmune disorders, AIDS, cyrrhosis, depression, or cancer.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.