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Friday, December 3, 2021

SUPPLEMENTATION

 


The evolution of food. 

Today, it seems nutrition has taken a back seat to convenience. Staple grains like wheat are being mass-produced for mass consumption and losing essential nutrients in the process. More and more preservatives are added to our foods to increase shelf life. Colour, flavour and texture are created and added to make food more enticing, ultimately decreasing what is most important, the nutritional value of the foods we eat. Natural farming processes are becoming a rarity and pesticide use has increased. Agro-chemicals require more energy and work within our bodies as they need to be filtered out and detoxified. The natural mineral content in our soil is depleting and therefore the mineral content of most vegetables is significantly less than what was grown just 50 years ago. In general, food today is simply more processed, being stripped of its inherent nutritional properties for the sake of mass production and convenience. Pollution plays a role here, as well. Our air, water and soil quality are changing for the worse and the plants and animals that live and grow in this environment are affected.

Lately, we have heard a great deal about the importance of Omega 3 fatty acids. Simultaneously we are learning more and more about the heavy metal content, mainly mercury, in many of our tastiest fish friends. Fish oil is a prime example of a supplement that is becoming more and more necessary to reduce the levels of mercury content while still getting in the essential Omega 3 fatty acids, needed to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol and protect against a variety of neurological concerns.

Need change.

The fact of the matter is, as we age and grow, our nutritional needs do change. Lifestyle factors like stress, use of prescription medications and habits like smoking also change our nutritional needs. There are certainly times in our lives when we need to boost levels of certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients in order to adapt to these changing needs. During pregnancy, for instance, a prenatal vitamin is almost universally recommended in order to compensate for the growing babe in the making. In childhood, vitamin C and iron may be necessary in supplement form to round out your little picky eater's diet. Teenagers may also need extra calcium, as they are growing rapidly during this period. Seniors also need to supplement with extra calcium and vitamin D, as well as possibly a B complex if their eating habits are deteriorating. The calcium requirement of postmenopausal women is increased due to both reduced intestinal absorption and less efficient kidney conservation. Calcium supplementation has been shown to significantly decrease bone loss in postmenopausal women, reducing the risk of osteoporosis in this susceptible group. Women who are still menstruating may benefit from extra iron, especially if their menses are heavy.

We are all susceptible to the odd cold or flu, no matter how well we eat. When our immune system is compromised, our body is smart and uses up the resources it has in order to fight these bugs. In cases like this, supplements like vitamin C are necessary to boost these depleted levels. When smart bugs get the best of us, antibiotics are often prescribed. Although they do a great job of getting rid of nasty bacteria, they also completely wipe out the population of good bacteria within our gastrointestinal tract. Probiotic and prebiotic supplementation is an effective way to repopulate these good bacteria in order to prevent dysbiosis.

Even as exercise habits change, so do nutritional needs. Bodybuilders, marathon runners and individuals looking to shed a few pounds need to make sure they are supporting their bodies changing needs as they exercise. A high-protein powder, for example, is made to be absorbed quickly and efficiently, providing essential amino acids in the smallest number of calories and may prove to be an essential and complementary addition to any athlete's daily diet. Free radicals are generated more quickly during exercise, and as such, athletes may also want to consider supplementing with antioxidants after especially taxing workouts.

Medicinal properties.

There are a number of plants that have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. Years ago, these plants were usually eaten in their whole form or boiled and made into teas. Nowadays it is more common for these plants to be dried, powdered and made into capsules, or made into alcohol extractions known as tinctures and taken in liquid form. Either way, these herbs have a well-supported history of use and can show amazing results in the treatment and prevention of both acute and chronic concerns. For the treatment and prevention of the common cold or flu, herbs like astragalus, echinacea and goldenseal all have strong immune supportive, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, often making over-the-counter or prescription medications avoidable if used before the condition gets too advanced. Plants that we do often eat in the form of spices, oregano, turmeric and cinnamon being excellent examples, also have very well-known and effective medicinal properties. The problem is that there tends to be a significant difference between the amount of these substances that we would use when sprinkling them on food, versus the amounts that are recommended in terms of disease prevention and treatment. In cases like this, taking the herb in supplement form makes it much easier or more palatable.

Deficiencies increase requirements.

Magnesium deficiency is extremely common, with some reports stating that well over half the world's population is deficient in this much-needed mineral. Simply put, once deficiencies arise, it is difficult to restore your levels to the required amounts without supplementation. Again, it becomes a matter of efficiency and effectiveness. When we are already low in a specific vitamin or mineral, chances are that we are not accustomed to eating enough or possibly any foods that are high in these substances. Although increasing our intake of these substances through food is necessary, it can often be too overwhelming for an individual to go from nothing to something overnight. Supplementation is the perfect compromise. In the case of magnesium deficiency, supplementing with magnesium will compliment an increase through dietary means, and can usually be stopped once levels are adequately increased, allowing for food to maintain these levels once they are achieved.

Supplementation is especially important if the deficiency has gotten so low as to affect the health of the individual. In the case of iron deficiency, anemia, for instance, a patient may find it both difficult as well as a very slow process to attempt to increase their iron stores strictly through diet. Supplementation with Iron is faster, easier and can increase stores within a few months, improving energy and helping to build up their immune system. In the case of intestinal inflammatory conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, there is often malabsorption, especially of fat-soluble vitamins. Once again, conditions like this may make supplementation necessary. Vitamin E, for instance, is a fat-soluble vitamin and potent antioxidant. It can be found in a variety of nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables, but may not be absorbed in this form, as inflammation impairs the mucosal membranes along the digestive tract.

Supplementation with a multivitamin and mineral complex, ensuring adequate fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E is available in order to avoid severe malnutrition. Vegetarians or vegans may have difficulty finding non-animal sources of vitamin A, vitamin D and most B vitamins, once again to avoid a state of deficiency in these vitamins, supplementation may be the only way to compensate for lower-than-normal levels.

With life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, some cancers, a variety of neurological diseases, autoimmune diseases and diabetes on the rise, not only do treatments need to focus on deficiencies that leave us more susceptible, but more focus needs to be put on prevention. Yes, a healthy diet and exercise are a great start, but they may not be enough. Talk to your health professional. Be honest about your dietary habits, your current health state and any family history of diseases. Ask about deficiencies and make an educated decision about what your individual nutritional needs are and if they are being met. If it turns out you need added support in one area or another, supplementation is an easy, reliable and effective option. It could make all the difference to your health.

As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp. For more information or to order for Memo Plus Gold, please visit : https://oze.my.

5,551 new Covid-19 cases reported

 

PETALING JAYA: The health ministry has reported 5,551 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours.

In a Twitter post, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the total number of infections now stands at 2,649,578. - FMT

Home Ministry approves over 2,000 body cams for police, final specs yet to be decided

 Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin speaks to the media at the Terengganu Police Contingent headquarters October 4, 2021. — Bernama pic

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin speaks to the media at the Terengganu Police Contingent headquarters October 4, 2021. — Bernama pic



KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — The Home Ministry has approved the acquisition of 2,040 high tech body cameras to be worn by policemen in 85 locations in the country.

However, the exact type and cost of the equipment has yet to be finalised, the ministry told Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng in a written parliamentary reply that he shared today.

“A total of 2,040 units of body cameras will be purchased and distributed to 85 locations covering police stations, district police headquarters, contingent police headquarters and Bukit Aman police headquarters,” Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said in his written answer.

He said the procurement will be through an open tender through the ePerolehan system to all eligible suppliers.

He added that the products will have to be of high quality, and there is a requirement for artificial intelligence technology, as well as be capable of “live” video streaming and meet SIRIM standards.

Lim, a DAP lawmaker, had asked the minister for details on the status of the body cameras that had been allocated under the 12th Malaysia Plan, the number of units, the model to be used, and the breakdown of the cost.

The police force had asked the Home Ministry in May to expedite the tender offer process for the procurement of body cameras for its field officers.

The government had previously approved an allocation of RM30 million for the body cameras under the 12MP.

Former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that this was to protect police personnel from defamation, amid growing public scrutiny on alleged abuses by some officers and deaths in custody. - malaymail

The readable life story of Mr Opposition

From Fadzilah Amin

Before reading Kee Thuan Chye’s book, “Lim Kit Siang – Malaysian First” (Volume One: None But The Bold), I didn’t know very much about Kit Siang.

I knew he was a leader of DAP, perhaps the most prominent leader, and that he has a son called Guan Eng, who is now the secretary-general of DAP and used to be the Penang chief minister and later finance minister in the Pakatan Harapan government.

I had assumed that Kit Siang came from Melaka since his earlier parliamentary and state seats were in Melaka and so were his son’s.

I must explain at the outset that this ignorance came not from any prejudice against Kit Siang. I am not a member or supporter of any political party and voted in each general election according to my judgment at that time.

Imagine my surprise to find out from Kee’s book that Kit Siang was born and bred in Batu Pahat, in my home state of Johor! Also that I knew his good friend Michael Ong and his classmate Bob Tjoa, when we were colleagues at Universiti Malaya.

Kee’s book is very readable and thoroughly researched. He drew from a wide range of sources besides the subject himself. These were personal interviews with Kit Siang’s family and relatives, friends, associates, other political figures (including Musa Hitam), articles, books, and at least one PhD dissertation. This first volume of a two-volume biography is titled None But the Bold.

One of the qualities that makes the book a pleasure to read is the use of quotations in their original Malaysian English. Take this, for example, from one of Kit Siang’s school teachers, as quoted by a school friend. It is about the teaching staff’s expectation that Kit Siang and his classmate Tjoa would break the school record and get 8As in the 1959 School Certificate examination:

“… I had high hopes for these two, but now I think it’s going to be very difficult. Aiyo! One of them, Bobby lah has no time to do anything except spend his time in church, church, church. The other fella, every day after school, girlfriend’s house. Every day not interested to study …”

Still, Kit Siang and Tjoa managed five and six As, respectively, and both came near the top in the entrance examination to the only Sixth Form class in the state at that time.

Perhaps the first bold step that Kit Siang took in his life came two months after entering Sixth Form at English College, Johor Bahru. I have heard of girls giving up the prospect of higher education in order to get married and have a family. But I had never heard of a boy of 19 doing this! This is what Kit Siang did in 1960. And it was not a hasty elopement that ended disastrously. It resulted in a stable and happy marriage to Yok Tee, the girlfriend, that has lasted to this day when he is 80. By the time he was in his early 20s, Kit Siang and his wife had had three children, but he always managed to find work to support his wife and family. He might have been precocious, but he was not irresponsible.

The biography then took us to his work as a young journalist in Singapore (after about a year’s teaching in Senai) at a politically interesting time when the formation of Malaysia was being discussed. He got to cover important events, like the national referendum on joining Malaysia and the detention of some opposition figures. He also got to know Devan Nair, who was instrumental in bringing him back to Malaysia as his political secretary after Singapore split from Malaysia in 1965. The details are all covered in this book.

When PAP was deregistered in Malaysia after the split, Nair got together with Dr Chen Man Hin and a few other people to form DAP, which was formally registered on March 8, 1966. Kit Siang was among the first members.

Thus began Kit Siang’s long career in politics which seemed to run parallel to DAP’s progress as an opposition party. Kee details this career while showing its effects on his family. A clear instance is how the family coped when he was detained in Muar under the ISA from July 1969 to October 1970 after a 60-day remand in Kuala Selangor.

There is also drama in the telling of the Kit Siang story. One would expect a politician’s life to be full of drama, and confrontations in parliament and out of it, especially if the politician is an outspoken member of the opposition. Among the dramatic events highlighted by Kee are Kit Siang’s insistence that the government thoroughly investigate the BMF scandal of 1983 culminating in a three-and-a-half-hour speech in parliament, and his relentless campaign to save Bukit China as a national heritage, which included an unplanned long walk by him and his supporters that blistered their feet. Both campaigns were successful, although there were other campaigners besides DAP, and there are still unanswered questions about the BMF scandal.

This book is certainly worth reading for the light it throws on Lim Kit Siang the man, as well as the ups and downs of his party, its challenges in dealing with the government and also its infighting. There is also a lot of interesting material about political developments in Malaysia outside the party. It would make a useful reference book for a general reader interested in Malaysian politics. However, there is no index at the end, so it is rather hard to find something you have read that you want to read again. I hope future reprints and the next volume would include an index.

The photographs, especially the black-and-white ones of Kit Siang’s family and schoolmates add another dimension to the book. The school photographs might make adult readers nostalgic for the time when they were in uniform and sat down with their schoolmates and teachers for those official photographs taken by a photographer with a camera on a tripod and not a smartphone.

The book will be launched in Penang on Dec 5. - FMT

 

Fadzilah Amin taught English literature at Universiti Malaya before her retirement many years ago.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

Singaporean blogger jailed in US for child pornography, grooming

 

Blogger Amos Yee had been jailed twice in Singapore for harassment and insulting a religious group. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: A US court has sentenced Singaporean blogger Amos Yee to six years’ jail after he pleaded guilty to two charges of child pornography and grooming.

The Chicago court also ordered Yee, 23, yesterday not to contact the 14-year-old victim for two years after his release from jail.

The 16 other child pornography-related charges Yee faced were dismissed as part of a plea deal he accepted, Singapore’s The Straits Times reported.

According to the first child pornography charge, Yee solicited, persuaded and induced the victim to pose salaciously on video and other mediums between February and July 2019.

Under Illinois criminal law, the charge is a class one felony and considered the second-most serious type of offence, carrying a prison sentence of four to 15 years.

According to the second charge of grooming, Yee used WhatsApp to seduce, solicit and lure the victim to pose for photographs. This charge has a minimum jail term of one year and a maximum of three years.

The Straits Times quoted judge Carol Howard as saying that by pleading guilty, Yee may be deported, denied admission to the US or denied naturalisation as a US citizen in the future.

Yee was living in Cook County, Chicago, at the time of his offences and began an “online courtship” in February 2019, the report said.

To appeal his charges, he must file a motion within 30 days to withdraw his guilty plea.

Previously, he had been jailed twice in Singapore for harassment and insulting a religious group in 2015 and 2016.

He was granted asylum in the US in 2017. - FMT

Get people’s views on massive skytrain project, Sabah govt told

 

The proposed skytrain line is said to be similar to Germany’s H-Bahn. (Wikipedia pic)

KOTA KINABALU: An environmental group has urged the Sabah government to get the public’s feedback on its multi-billion-ringgit skytrain project for the state capital.

Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa) president Alexander Yee said the people must be allowed to scrutinise any project of such a huge scale.

He told FMT that Sepa was surprised by the government’s decision to undertake the project instead of opting for a more user-friendly system such as buses.

“But we are glad that the state is finally looking into a public transportation system,” he said. “As such, we ask for public consultation and transparency in this proposed development.”

According to reports, the project will be carried out in two phases, the first spanning 10.5km from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport to the city centre and Jesselton New City. This is expected to take three years to build at a cost of RM1 billion.

Jesselton New City is a 64ha mixed commercial development complex to be located near the Sabah International Convention Centre in Likas Bay.

The second phase, which will cost RM1.4 billion and also take three years, will span 15km, running from Jesselton New City to government administrative buildings, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and commercial and residential areas in Likas.

Deputy chief minister Bung Moktar Radin recently witnessed the signing of a four-way partnership deal on the project. The four parties are Vizione Construction Sdn Bhd, Sycal Skycity Sdn Bhd, Guangcai China (M) Sdn Bhd and Warisan Harta Sdn Bhd, which is a subsidiary of state investment arm Qhazanah Sabah Bhd.

On reclamation at Likas Bay, Yee said he trusted the state government to use wise judgment, noting that it had once rejected a similar proposal on various grounds.

“One of the reasons was the lack of public consultation and we certainly trust that history provides valuable lessons for administrators to develop Sabah,” he said.

“But we emphasise the importance of conducting an environmental impact assessment and making the findings public.”

Yee also said Sepa was seeking the state tourism, culture and environment ministry’s consent to reinstate the group into the Environmental Action Committee, a forum in which stakeholders provide the government with views on various projects undertaken by the state.

Nicolas Pilcher, a marine biologist, told FMT he believed the skytrain and Jesselton New City projects would cause only minor environmental concerns, but he called for a serious look at waste management.

“Where will all the sewage and solid waste go after development?” he asked.

“The area is far enough away from dive spots that it will likely not have an impact. But what about public access to the coast? Those interested in recreational fishing and picnic enthusiasts flock to this area.

“Environmental concerns always have to compromise with development. But when is enough really enough? It is not any one single development but the cumulative impact. If our leadership does not prioritise the environment and set an example, how can we expect the public to follow?”

Pro-environment academic James Alin said the two projects would ease traffic congestion and provide job opportunities.

However, he voiced some concern over the plan to build the 64ha Jesselton New City, saying it would most likely involve coastal reclamation work, which could affect the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, located about 3km from the state capital.

Alin also said he felt Bung’s understanding of environmental impact assessments was faulty. He was referring to a report saying the deputy chief minister had guaranteed that the reclamation work would not affect the marine ecosystem.

“The EIA is not a tool to approve projects but to analyse the projects’ impact now and in the future as well as propose alternatives that are less harmful to the environment,” he said.

Sabah DAP secretary Phoong Jin Zhe recently questioned the government over the projects, saying he feared that they might end up as white elephants if there was no proper planning.

He also said the government must disclose the capabilities and backgrounds of the private companies involved in the projects. - FMT

Govt reiterates intention to amend constitution on child citizenship

 

Six mothers and representatives from the NGO Family Frontiers outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court, which ruled that Malaysian women are entitled to confer citizenship on their children born overseas to foreign fathers by operation of law.

PETALING JAYA: The home ministry has reiterated its intention to propose a constitutional amendment to allow Malaysian mothers to confer citizenship on their children born overseas to foreign fathers.

Currently, only Malaysian fathers have this right under the Federal Constitution, which has led to a number of court challenges.

Recently, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that mothers are entitled to confer citizenship by operation of law in all processes, but the decision has since been appealed by the government.

In a parliamentary written reply to Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said, the ministry said it still intends to get the proposal approved by the Conference of Rulers before the constitutional amendment is tabled.

“The ministry intends to amend the constitution to allow the acquisition of Malaysian citizenship for individuals under 21 years of age born abroad to Malaysian mothers who are married to non-citizen fathers,” it said.

Second chance for drug addicts and abusers

In a separate reply to Raub MP Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji, the ministry said it is preparing a bill to replace the Drug Dependants (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act 1983,

“This bill aims to increase access to drug and substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation and provide a second chance to addicts and abusers,” it said

Currently, drug addicts prosecuted under the Act are subject to two years of compulsory treatment, which some have likened to incarceration. - FMT