jeudi 22 mars 2018


When you think of the early years of the State of Israel, names like Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Levi Eshkol, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres come to mind. They did not become leaders overnight, but it was as if they had been prepared for generations for the historic task of leading this incredible State from its birth through its infancy. All were visionaries, nurturing a sense of safety, security, caring for each other, advancing in all fields of science and technology and dreaming big.
It was Shimon Peres who said: If I have any regrets, it is that I did not dream even bigger!

Unlike many politicians of other countries, rich and poor, they did not arrive to lead with mediocre talent and lots of luck and connections. Sons succeeding fathers happens not only in North Korea but as well in Kenya, Congo, India, Malaysia just to name a few democratic states, not to mention autocratic Sheikdoms and Sultanates and Emirates.
Let us look at the genealogy of one such Israeli politician: Shimon Peres
His grandfather on his mother’s side was a graduate of the famous Volozhin Yeshiva, described as a “wise Jew proud and strong-minded”. Since the age of nine, Shimon read Dostoevsky, Gogol, Tolstoy and other Russian writers. Apart from reading the classic Jewish writers of that time, Shalom Aleichem, Mapu, Peretz, Mendele-Mokher Sefarim, he also read Russian Classics. Shimon’s paternal grandfather was an offspring of the Voloshin Yeshiva’s founder. He grew up well versed in the Talmud and could speak Hebrew, Yiddish as well as Russian and Polish.
You do not become a statesman of the stature of Shimon Peres overnight or not even in one generation!
I am reading the biography of Shimon Peres by Michael Bar-Zohar
It is an interesting, absorbing read and my opinion, respect and admiration for SHIMON PERES goes up with each page.

(photos of Technion taken during my recent visit)

Lucky to have had such great leaders at the time of the birth of the State of Israel and later on to lead the country to the state of innovation and science and technology and advances to such fabulous heights 
dwarfing most of the Europeans, in the geographical region where it is, surrounded by States and Statesmen who cannot hold a wimpy candle up !

mercredi 21 mars 2018


I had been concerned about the rise in my arterial Blood Pressure in the last few years, I had never suffered from High Blood Pressure or Hypertension but during the course of the last two years at least, I had become aware of the rise in arterial Blood Pressure. A friend of mine who is the Head of the Department of Family Practice advised me to drink more water and watch my blood pressure. I wanted to take the advice that I give my patients, do things naturally and only resort to western medications when it is absolutely or acutely necessary. 
What are the natural ways of decreasing Blood Pressure?
The doctors would advise you to watch your diet, limit your salt, eat sensibly, exercise, do not smoke, deal with your stress: general advice which is good for any illness. I wanted something specific.
I have been interested in Yogic Philosophy (Patanjali's Yoga Sutra) and have been studying Native American Indian Philosophy.
The prescription that I gave myself:
Indians would say, if a person who is disagreeable confronts, just avoid them and go around them.
I decided deliberately to stop communicating with people who were sources of conflict in my life, big and small, this included people in France, Cuba and Nebraska
Secondly: both Yogic and Indian philosophies would counsel you: when the student is ready, the teacher would appear.
Munching who had introduced me to Yoga in 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, on our last meeting in KL in November 2017, gave me the book by Sadhguru on Inner Engineering. He also stressed that attachment-aversion,  the Structural defects as pointed out in Yoga Sutra would hinder Joy. MunChing later on sent me a link to ISHA KRIYA YOGA  and recommended that I try to do it. 
I was not sure I would be able to pursue it, but I have been and the first set of readings are from today. 
BP readings at 8 31 pm and then Isha Kriya Yoga and taken again at 904 pm.

I had showed the following two readings to a colleague of mine and she asked, whether the readings are influenced by coffee or some other extraneous matter, that is why I decided to do Isha Kriya this evening, making sure that there were no stimulants or stress and that I was calm when I began and when I finished.
Any one, medical professional or otherwise would tell you that the above results are impressive: 14 mm hg of Systolic Pressure and 8 mm Hg in the Diastolic pressure, very similar to the drops in blood pressures we see when we introduce medications.
Looking at the readings from yesterday  5 pm and then again at 10 pm, similar results can be seen. So todays results are not spurious one.

My Blood pressure readings were much higher in the past few months with Diastolic pressure (the bottom reading) consistently remaining in the 90 range.
The only new things in my life were the two things I outlined above
Letting go of some people from my life
Doing Isha Kriya.

Here is the video that I follow
I highly recommend it.

mardi 20 mars 2018


Not very far from where I stay, my sisters home in Miami, there is a small tree shaded collection of shops: TJMaxx, Uniform Store, A supermarket, a coffee shop, a sandwich shop, two beauty salons, a Dollar tree store, some sundry stores as well, including a Thai Restaurant. Most of the shops have been there for a long time, considering that in Miami ten years in the same place is considered a long time.
Few months ago, I was looking at the baskets of goodies for hair and skin, nicely packaged and I was thinking of taking one of them as a gift to one of my medical students.
Do you speak English, asked a character of undetermined nationality, with a face that betrayed Middle Eastern origin? He had spoken to me in Spanish, which is normal in Miami. Yes I do speak English I said as I looked at his Levantine face, most possibly an Arab from the Levant or Maghreb. To aggravate him, which is a joking fashion with me, I asked him, do you speak Arabic? Yes, I do he replied, concretizing my thoughts about his geographical origin, I was to proven wrong with the next sentence.
 What other language do you speak? He asked, while still smiling, explaining that the baskets are a great bargain. Just to see his reaction, I answered: I speak Hebrew.
I am a Jew too, he exclaimed and hugged me!
Thus began my pleasant friendship with Mr. AB of Rishon Le Zion in Israel. But his story is not that straight forward.
He was born in the SUDAN, to Egyptian/Iraqi parents and were forced to leave as the Islamists came into power. Jews had lived in the Sudan for at least 100 years before then. He has since lived in Greece, Israel, Switzerland and finally in Miami.
We became friends; he wanted me to carry a small facsimile of Zohar in my person for good luck and success, during my travels and work around the world. He was the first ever Sudanese Jew I had met.

On this first day of spring he invited me to have lunch and at the same time had organized for me to get a haircut. When I wanted to settle the bill he said, it is all been taken care of. I want you to remember that whenever you are in Miami, you have a family here.
This is what I call Am Israel Chai!
Those made me think of the far-flung Jews of this world who had clung on to their faith through thick and thin throughout the centuries and millennia.
Here I do not include groups of people who have recently recognized something about themselves and connect it physically with Jewish immigrants.
I have been very lucky to visit some of these Jewish communities or make acquaintance with some others.
If you know the history of Jewish traders from Baghdad, you would end up in Bombay, Calcutta, Rangoon, Hong Kong and Singapore. You can follow traders from Aden, Yemen and you would end up in many parts of Africa; if you follow the Moroccan Jews, you can read their names in the cemeteries of Iquitos, Peru or Cienfuegos, Cuba.
There had been communities of interest in Kabul (Zablon SimanTov is the only Jew left in Afghanistan).
Two Jewish communities stand out, who can authenticate their origins and more importantly the continuity of their Jewish existence for hundreds of years: The Malabari Jews of Cochin and the Mountain Jews of Azerbaijan. (Sarita Hadad the Israeli singer is of Mountain Jewish origin and you can hear the strains of her ancestral music in her songs).
There are living historic Jewish communities all around the world, which are less exotic: Argentina, Temuco, Chile, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. As well as Iran, Turkey.

I have visited the Jewish cemeteries and synagogues if extant in Iquitos Peru (no synagogue but a large cemetery), Curacao, Kingston, Jamaica, Penang and of course the neglected cemeteries of the Malabari Jews in Cochin, Chendamangalam and Mala (wonderful synagogue being refurbished by the Last Jew of Cochin).

 It is a shame that the descendants of Jews from those cities have left the cemeteries where their ancestors are buried to such rack and ruin (many Jews from Arab countries cannot visit the cemeteries of their ancestors but Malabari Jews can!)
Coming back to my friend, the Jew from Sudan, we had lunch together and had a pleasant time. I am glad to have met him and made this connection.
(a jewish family get together in Khartoum, The Anglo Egyptian Sudan)


TODAY around 6 pm, the official SPRING begins even though I saw a video from NASA, showing the passage of the SUN across the Equator few minutes ago.

It is a NEW DAY, new BEGINNING and the Iranians would be celebrating their New year  NOWRUZ..
In all ancient cultures, spiritual significance has been associated with Spring Equinox.
Here is an explanation by Sadhguru of the Yogic significance of Spring Equinox
His message on this new Spring Day is as follows:
oday marks the Spring Equinox. When spring happens, all life flourishes because even an insect understands, “This is the time for me.” Even a little worm understands, “This is the time for me to make my life.” The upcoming years will be a big springtime for spiritual seekers; make sure it happens to you.
Walk and sit in such a way that even the very grass that you are sitting upon will bless you because you are sitting there, not curse you because you are sitting upon it. There is a certain way to do it. “How Sadhguru? Tell me, how will the grass bless me? Should I eat it?” Understand that between you and the grass, between you and the insect in the grass, there is not much difference in the cosmic scale. You are less than a blade of grass. What a blade of grass is for you, in the cosmic scale, you are less than that.
If you understand this every moment of your life, if you keep this in your memory, you will walk gently, you will breathe gently, you will exist gently. Gentleness is not something that you practice because somebody tells you, “Love everybody.” If you understand the size and shape of who you are in this creation, it will be just like that.
Let all that you touch be a blessing.
Masculine and Feminine elements are equal on this day: Let me salute  Jaylin, Lily, Ariel, Elsie the four people who have brought a lot of joy into my life.

samedi 17 mars 2018


Microbial modulation of diabetes  (type 2)
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced by various human gut microbes. SCFAs act as an energy source to the colonic epithelium and are also sensed by host signaling pathways that modulate appetite and inflammation. Deficiency of gut SCFAs is associated with type 2 diabetes. Zhao et al. found that adopting a high-fiber diet promoted the growth of SCFA-producing organisms in diabetic humans. The high-fiber diet induced changes in the entire gut microbe community and correlated with elevated levels of glucagon-like peptide-1, a decline in acetylated hemoglobin levels, and improved blood-glucose regulation.


Gut bacteria selectively promoted by dietary fibers alleviate type 2 diabetes

Science 09 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1151-1156
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao5774

Ann Med. 2017 Feb; 49(1):11-22. doi: 10.1080/07853890.2016.1222449. Epub 2016 Nov 29.

Is there a role for gut micro biota in type 1 diabetes pathogenesis?

Author information


Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) is an autoimmune disease characterized by insufficient insulin production due to the destruction of insulin secreting β-cells in the Langerhans islets. A variety of factors, including chemicals, viruses, commensal bacteria and diet have been proposed to contribute to the risk of developing the disorder. In the last years, gut micro biota has been proposed as a main factor in T1D pathogenesis. Several alterations of gut microbiota composition were described both in animal model and in humans. The decrease of Firmicutes/Bacteroides ratio was the most frequent pattern described, in particular, in human studies. Furthermore, Bacteroides, Clostridium cluster XIVa, Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Prevotella relative abundances were different in healthy and affected subjects. Dysbiosis would seem to increase intestinal permeability and thus promote the development of a pro-inflammatory niche that stimulates β-cell autoimmunity in predisposed subjects. Preliminary studies on animal models were realized to investigate the role of gut microbiota modulation as therapy or prevention approach in predisposed animals: promising and stimulating results have been reported. Key message Dietary antigens and microbiota-derived products might act as triggers of T1D by causing a pro-inflammatory and metabolic dysfunctional environment.

I remember my colleagues laughing at me in 2005 when I expressed my opinion that Diabetes 1 and 2 are inflammatory manifestations and that many of the measurements such as Cholesterol were just inflammatory markers. Microbiome understanding was just surfacing at that time.
Now they are not laughing, both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in susceptible people have been associated with Microbiome changes in diversity and that treatment may include methods of increasing the diversity.

This is the advantage of doing Clinical Work exclusively among a single cultural racial group such as American Indians in my case. Your desire to alleviate some of their suffering would lead you to think in innovative fashion about the origins of metabolic diseases among this group.