Author: Robert Stephens

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Robert StephensTest and Balance Professional5003 Walzem Rd #207San Antonio, TX 78218rg_stephens@nutrition101.org 1 916 877 6670An experienced and reliable technician.Clean driving record. No criminal record.Proficient with commercial TAB, technical writing, equipment repair and maintenance. Background in electronics and engineering.Six Sigma Green BeltBilingual (English, Spanish) Work Experience 

Muscle Tension

Muscle Tension

What can you do for tight muscles, especially in the shoulders and back? Poor posture can be a cause (forward head posture) Use better sitting posture Consult a PT (Moench method) Pettibon Chiropractor for exersizes and therapies to improve posture Personal trainer can give you 

High Blood Pressure – Does it have a nutritional cause?

High Blood Pressure – Does it have a nutritional cause?

In the last few years, I’ve talked to a few people who had elevated blood pressure, with an unknown cause. Typically, we think of high blood pressure as being associated with heart disease or insulin resistance, typically in an older person. When someone has athleroschlerosis the artery walls become stiff and no longer able to produce nitric oxide. These were younger, heathy people. They had both been checked out by doctors, and had not found a definite cause for their hypertension.

Inflammation can raise blood pressure. This is why when you’re sick, your blood pressure might go up a little bit. This is only mild and temporary. I’m talking about long term elevated blood pressure.

One condition that sometimes gets overlooked is IgA nephropathy. This is a condition in which immunoglobulins (a type of immune cells) get tangled up and form large immune complexes that get stuck in the glomerulus of the kidney, and result in high blood pressure. Usually this will result in protein and blood in the urine, and this will also be diagnosed with a urinalysis. IgA nephropathy is considered to be a genetic disease. There is definitely a genetic component, because there’s a missing amino acid in the IgA molecule, but there’s some research showing that it could be related to a food allergy.

There are genetics in the nitric oxide synthase gene that predispose to high blood pressure. This could be partly be corrected by arginine supplementation.

Also, consider if sleep apnea could be an issue. I met a guy who had high blood pressure for many years, along with an abnormal heart rhythm, and for decades he never got a proper diagnosis, except that the doctor told him that he needed to take blood pressure medications. After he got treatment for sleep apnea, the blood pressure normalized, and he had a normal heart rhythm. The sleep apnea was probably resulting in loss of sodium, which was causing blood pressure to go up.

If you’re a mouth breather, or if you sleep with your mouth open, this is a serious concern. We’re designed to breathe mostly through our nose. Mouth breathing will result in improper oxygenation of tissues, and ……………….

Chronic sinus infections can made it difficult to breathe through the nose. Often it’s the result of improper posture. There are treatments for this. Look up videos or podcasts that describe mouth taping, or other therapies for mouth breathing.

Another thing that can cause high blood pressure is mineral deficiencies. If you’re not consuming enough salt, low sodium will cause an activation of stress hormones which cause blood pressure to go up. Most of us need to be getting much more salt in our diet. Our kidneys spend a lot of energy to reabsorb sodium. Consuming more sodium will increase blood volume, and this is a good thing, but it can cause problems if sodium is out of balance with other minerals.

Inadequate intake of minerals, including trace minerals, is very common. This is partly because we don’t consume enough mineral rich foods. Obviously, agriculture has changed a lot in recent years, with soils being depleted of minerals. Even 100 years ago, scientists were lamenting the fact that farmland was being depleted, and we were losing topsoil, and obviously it’s much worse now. We need to be more proactive in making sure we’re not deficient. Insulin resistance or inflammatory conditions can result in excessive losses of magnesium and potassium. It’s possible to test for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but they testing is quite expensive, and I haven’t done enough of them to have confidence in the results. Hair mineral analysis would be a good option to evaluate mineral status.

The single best source of minerals is from meat and meat products, for example, homemade bone broths. Even if people are eating meat, what are they eating it with? Typically we eat meat along with bread, or other cereal grains. This is a huge problem. Grains and seeds are extremely high in phytates. Phytate, or phytic acid, is made by plants as a way of holding onto minerals, until the seed is ready to germinate. Traditionally grains have always undergone a special preparation method before cooking. For example, bread dough would be fermented to produce “sour dough” bread. We think of sourdough bread as being a flavor, but it’s actually an very old tradition of making bread more digestible. Native Americans would soak nuts and seeds for several days before consuming. “Maza” or cornmeal has to go through a certain process to make tryptophan more digestible, and it’s actually a method of fermentation. Grains also contain the phytase enzyme that breaks down phytic acid, but modern store-bought bread and cereals are made in high-temperature, high-speed production methods, which destroys phytase, and leaves very high levels of phytic acid.

So how do we survive eating modern processed foods? Well, our stomach produces enzymes to deal with plant starches, even though store-bought bread from modern species of wheat has protease and amalase inhibitors that make it harder to digest.

Most of the deactivation of phytates is done by our own intestinal bacteria. So someone who has excellent digestion could probably do fine eating it, but most of us don’t. Perhaps it would make sense to use a probiotic, and take some digestive enzymes. It’s also best to avoid store-bought breads. I encourage everyone, if you eat bread, to make it yourself, and start making bone broth from scratch, and take mineral supplements, especially magnesium. And salt your food to taste. If you crave salt, you probably need more salt.

If you want to learn more about mineral intake, and it’s relationship to blood pressure I’ll link to some books and articles

Aceite Vegetal: ¿Es Saludable?

Aceite Vegetal: ¿Es Saludable?

Los expertos dicen que la grasa más saludable es el aceite vegetal, por ejemplo, aceite de maíz, canola, safflower. Estos expertos también dicen, que lo peor que uno puede comer, es la comida frita. Pero, ¿qué aceite usamos para freir las papas, tortillas, y comida 

Are Vaccines Morally Objectionable for Christians?

Are Vaccines Morally Objectionable for Christians?

To compel another person to participate in a dangerous experiment is a mockery of any code of ethics.

How to convert a 2010-2014 Subaru Outback to FWD. (AWD to FWD conversion, 6MT transmission, with pictures.)

How to convert a 2010-2014 Subaru Outback to FWD. (AWD to FWD conversion, 6MT transmission, with pictures.)

Why would someone choose to ruin a perfectly good Subaru by eliminating the AWD system? In my case, I had a defective center differential, which caused binding on turns. By converting to FWD, you’ll get better gas mileage, and eliminate the need to have all the tires the same size. However, this modification will greatly decrease traction and drivability! Do this at your own risk! Subaru has a 50/50 weight distribution, and is not designed to be a front-wheel drive vehicle. This project was done with a 2014 Outback, with 6 speed TY751 standard transmission. If you have a 5 speed transmission (Forester, etc), the procedure is slightly different. I used parts from Bremar Automotive. I had to wait several weeks for parts to arrive, since Bremar is in Australia, and I am in Texas.

It’s not necessary to remove the transmission! Nor is it necessary to remove any roll pins or shifter cables (except with the 5 speed transmission). The only difficult part is removing the 27 millimeter bolt on the transmission output shaft. It’s not possible to get an ordinary wrench or socket on the nut. I used a Crowfoot wrench. Let me know if you figure out an easier way. Also, removing the rear cover of the transfer case requires a soft hammer, pry bars, and patience.

Before you begin, here are some special tools you will need to complete this project:

  1. A sleeve for locking the transmission output shaft to the front gearset. There are videos on how to do this by welding and cutting parts, but the sleeve makes it much easier. https://www.bremar3dscanstore.com/
  2. 27mm jumbo crowfoot wrench, 1/2″ drive. I used the Sunex 97327A https://ebay.us/PjMwL0
  3. 1/2″ drive air impact wrench.
  4. T-70 Torx (to remove the drain plug)
  5. Mosquito repellent (if you live in Texas)

To begin, you must drain the fluid from the transmission. The transmission and transfer case share the same fluid. I will capture the fluid in a clean pan to reuse later. You’ll need a T70 Torx wrench or socket.

SAFETY FIRST! Make sure you’re supporting the vehicle with jackstands, or an appropriate floor jack that’s not going to fall. Remove the section of exhaust pipe that’s directly below the transmission. The anterior part (below the engine) has three 14mm bolts. The rear part has two bolts, 14mm and 12mm. In the center, there’s a single bolt.

With the exhaust pipe removed, remove the brace supporting the transmission. The brace can stay in one piece, no need to separate it. Two 17mm bolts, and four 14mm bolts. Also remove the two nuts between the brace and transmission mount. This brace is connected to the shield between the exhaust pipe and driveshaft. This can all be removed together.

You may now remove the rear driveshaft. After this procedure is complete, the rear driveshaft is no longer necessary. The rear differential will also not be needed, however, I will leave it in for now.

Now you may remove the nine bolts on the transfer case cover. Also move the clip holding the shift cables and move the cables out of the way. With the 6 speed tranmission, it’s NOT necessary to disconnect the shifter mechanism, or remove any roll pins. If you have a Forester with the 5 speed transmission, you’ll need to remove the roll pin and remove the shifter linkage.

After removing all the 14mm bolts, you’ll need to use a mallet, or maybe a pry-bar or slide hammer to coax the rear cover off. There are two pins in opposite corners. Some oil will drain out when the cover comes loose. Once it starts coming apart you can use a screwdriver or pry bar, and work on the corners closest to the pins. I’ve left the shift lever in place, so you’ll need to work around it.

Centering pin in the lower left. Another pin is on the upper right (not shown).

After removing the case, you will see the output shaft going to the rear axle (top right) and center differential (bottom). You’ll need to remove both of these. They should slide out easily. These will no longer be needed.

Bremar Automotive sells a custom backing plate. Without it, you’ll need to figure out a way to seal the opening where the rear driveshaft was, so that oil doesn’t leak from this hole. I removed the oil seal and found a plastic cap that was the same size, and sealed it with silicone.

The next challenge is removing the 27mm nut on the transmission output shaft. I’m doing this with a Crowfoot wrench and a short extension. Also need a 1/2 inch air impact wrench to overcome the torque retention feature. If you have the front wheels of the car on the ground, the shaft will not be able to move. If the transmission is out of the vehicle, you’ll have to find another way to immobilize the driveshaft. Bremar recommends making a Drive Shaft Restraint.

With the nut loose, remove the washers and spline adapter until you only have the transmission output spline, and the smaller spline. Insert the Bremer sleeve over these. You may need to turn the front wheels until the spline goes completely into place. Re-install the nut and a washer over the sleeve, and tighten well, using the torque retention tab. Loc Tite might be a good idea.

After removing the 27mm nut, remove this spline, and the washers.

And now this is the finished product! The sleeve sends power from the transmission to the front wheels. The transfer drive gear will be left in place, but the center differential and rear shaft have been removed. We will now use oil-resistant RTV silicone to seal the rear of the transfer case.

Now you’ll need to reinstall the rear cover. The bolts should be torqued to 30 ft-lb. You can see the plastic cap I’ve used to seal the rear output shaft.

Now don’t forget to fill the transmission with fluid, and top off if necessary. Remove the air intake for easier access to the dipstick. The 2010 to 2014 manual transmission uses GL-5 limited slip gear oil, as recommended by Subaru. I’m using 75W90 fully synthetic. Make sure to use gear oil designed for hypoid gears.

Now re-install the transmission support and exhaust pipe. The following parts aren’t needed. Isn’t it nice to get rid of the extra parts that were adding unnecessary weight to your car? You can also remove the rear differential and CV axles, but leave the end of the CV axles in place to keep tension on the wheel bearings.

When you’re done, make sure to check the fluid levels.

¿Plaquenol protege contra Covid-19?

¿Plaquenol protege contra Covid-19?

El presidente Trump promovió un protocolo que involucra sulfato de zinc, azitromicina e hidrocloroquina (Plaquenol) basado en la recomendación del Dr. Zelenko, un profesional que utilizó este protocolo con pacientes con Covid-19 en Nueva York. El Dr. Zelenko desarrolló este protocolo basado en el hecho 

Covid-19 natural remedies – Where is the evidence?

Covid-19 natural remedies – Where is the evidence?

Disclaimer: Nothing contained here is medical advice. Viruses are all around us, and we constantly interact with them. We are all carrying around countless microbes, most of which are beneficial. Staying healthy isn’t about avoiding germs, but rather in being well nourished, and supporting the 

Mouse study finds toxic effects of glyphosate in the second and third generation after exposure

Mouse study finds toxic effects of glyphosate in the second and third generation after exposure

In a Washington State University study, researchers found toxic effects from glyphosate on the offspring of mice that were exposed to glyphosate during early pregnancy. Glyphosate is the most commonly used pesticide worldwide, and regulatory agencies consider it to be safe for humans.

In this study, pregnant mice were injected with 25mg/kg/day of glyphosate during gestation days 8-14. This is below the level that would be expected to cause harm. The mice were followed for three generations. The mice exposed to glyphosate experienced higher levels of various diseases, including kidney disease, reproductive diseases, and obesity.

Researchers used the term “generational toxicology”, which refers to genetic changes due to alterations in factors that don’t involve mutations.

When a pregnant mouse (F0) was injected with glyphosate, effects are seen on the children (F1), grandchildren (F2), and great-grand mouse children (F3).

Sources:
Scientific Reports Volume 9, Article number: 6372 (2019)
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-42860-0

Autoimmune Disease: A Weak Immune System?

Autoimmune Disease: A Weak Immune System?

Common knowledge says that autoimmunity is an overactive immune system. In other words, “the body is attacking itself.” Not exactly. In most cases, the immune system isn’t too strong, it’s actually too weak, and becomes dysfunctional. The immune system is made up of various components.