A glass of warm milk helps to sleep, and a bacon sandwich equal or more

Image result for sleepFew nutritional myths have far surpassed the inexorable proof of having contrasted it with one’s own experience, such as that a glass of warm milk helps to get to sleep. It is true, and it also helps to receive a kiss on the forehead (to be able to be the mother of each one) or feel a warm hand holding your own or, simply, that hand lies on one arm or caress the aforementioned front. Those things, help to sleep . But it is not necessary to look for the cat three feet.

What is inexplicable in knowing that making a conscious call to reflect on our particular waking state can serve as a first step to adopt a behavior that favors the reconciliation of sleep? And if they help us with that kiss or that better caress.

But no, apparently you have to look for a “scientific explanation”, I mean the milk of the cup of the ditto. And they have “found” it, of course. Says so:

Do not tell me it’s not cool and super-neuro-scientific . However, this response is far from being serious or contrasted and, in the opposite direction, has much scientist and gimmick . It is not the same.

The explanation you just read is part of a recent press release from the National Federation of Dairy Industries (FeNIL) and it is common to hear it repeated in the mouths of many people including not a few health professionals . So … you ask yourself, are you implying that this explanation is not true?

It’s not that I imply it, it’s more false than a 23-euro bill … no matter how good it sounds, no matter how much tryptophan the milk has (which, in fact, it is not) and how much precursor this amino acid is essential of serotonin, melatonin and other blablablás.

Milk girl

Why does the milk glass work for sleep?

Possibly due to the effect of two non-exclusive processes:

On the one hand, the aforementioned “interventionism” consisting in making a conscious separation between the before (of sleeping) and the beginning of a series of relaxing rituals conducive to the desired effect , in this case, to sleep. A practice that could have a little relationship with the highly studied and practical in certain situations ” placebo effect “. The intention with which someone provides or can get that glass of warm milk to someone else, the “good night” with which it is accompanied … and let’s not say the kiss on the forehead, and …

On the other hand, the contrasted somnolence that causes to some extent any digestive process (feeling with a full stomach). Especially and, in this case, also facilitated by the warmth of a soft and silky product .

Why tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin is a gimmicky fallacy

In this case based on three arguments:

The first , because even assuming that in the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin prominently intervenes the amino acid tryptophan as a precursor element, it is necessary to realize that the process that must follow that tryptophan to be used in the synthesis of serotonin or Melatonin is not exactly immediate : It is ingested with milk; digests this; its nutrients are absorbed (including the famous tryptophan); it is incorporated into the blood circulation; arrives at the neurons of the central nervous system (something that has enough crumb and in which other dietary factors influence); they incorporate it into their cytoplasm (cellular interior) by means of a specific transmembrane transporter; there it is used for the synthesis of serotonin; this substance must in turn be introduced into the neuronal vesicles for their subsequent release in the terminals that are a considerable distance away from their place of synthesis … So, this process that is not especially immediate facilitates, it is true, that a Starting from tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin are synthesized and with them the sleep is conciliated. It’s true … but the day after having taken that glass of warm milk … which is not part of the explanation ( drink milk to have serotonin and melatonin enough to be sleepy … the next day )

The process described is especially verifiable in the case of serotonin. In the case of melatonin, things get a little more complicated when their release is also especially mediated by the incidence of light . Rather because of its absence, regardless of the milk that one drinks.

The second , because the action of serotonin and melatonin is going to be interfered with by many other neurotransmitters and hormones that can have a synergistic effect with these (favoring sleep) or, on the contrary, antagonist, making it difficult . So, to say that to get to sleep is desirable to incorporate dietary sources of tryptophan is as simplistic as to say that to beat the world record of the 100 meters is necessary to have good athletic shoes (and say nothing more).

And the third argument … the most devastating and simple to understand . Even ignoring the two previous arguments, and stating the truth that is the tryptophan which immediately promotes the synthesis and release of serotonin and melatonin, it is necessary to take into account that if the tryptophan is treated there are many foods with as much or much more of this amino acid than milk .

Using standard quantities of consumption, it is necessary to know that a 200 ml glass of milk contains about 92 mg of tryptophan … is this a lot or a little? you will be asking.

Image result for bacon sandwichWell, to give you an idea a sandwich of bacon (60g of bread = 46.8mg of tryptophan and 50g of bacon = 48.5mg of tryptophan), add 95.3mg of tryptophan , almost equal and above the well-known milk … but fame is her. You see In addition, if you want to put tryptophan in plan a sac , because you believe this nonsense related to ” nutritionism “, you can try better than with milk with:

  • A fried egg (55g) provides 98 mg of tryptophan
  • 40 grams of gouda cheese: 141 mg
  • 40 grams of parmesan: 224 mg
  • 125 grams of grilled pork loin: 483 mg
  • 125 grams of grilled chicken breast: 496 mg
  • 125 grams of grilled sirloin steak: 498 mg
  • 150 grams of salted cod: 1,096 mg
  • Etc

And now, let’s go with the tip … the few studies that have highlighted the possibility that tryptophan has a more or less immediate effect when inducing sleep , they have done with higher (never lower) to 1 gram of tryptophan and up to about 15 grams. Figures that are very, very far from those contained in a glass of milk. Here you have a review on the subject: Effects of L-tryptophan on sleepiness and on sleep .

And then if you drink milk to sleep that has a lot of tryptophan … and then serotonin up and melatonin down … what if the sleep hormone and if you blah, blah, blah.

Of course, a glass of warm milk can help you fall asleep , but it is not because of the gimmicky explanation that they usually offer … those who get carried away by the rumor mill or, what is worse, those who have more interest in selling milk “at any price” that intention to exercise its responsibility with rigor . And I do not look at anyone.

The salary of the poor in the United States

The salary of the poor in the United States

“While Gail and I were wrapping silverware in napkins (the only task during which we were allowed to sit down), she confessed that she was thinking of running away from her shared apartment and moving to the Days Inn hotel. Do not think about paying between 40 and 60 dollars a day? “Gail left the cutlery in the bar, rolled her eyes and said surprised:” And, where do you want me to take out a month’s rent and another one of bail to live on my own? ‘In poverty, the way you start is everything.’

This is a paragraph adapted from the book Nickel and Dimed , by the American journalist Bárbara Ehrenreich. The author wants to discover how the people who earn the minimum wage in her country survive, and she decides to experience it herself: she temporarily renounces her well-to-do life and dedicates herself to working in low- paid and low-paid positions, unskilled, low-wage jobs . In the first one he meets Gail, a middle-aged woman who serves tables and refills Dijon mustard containers under the scrutiny of her supervisor and spends half of her income renting a room she shares with someone she would not have chosen as a friend

With some variations, Gail’s is the situation of millions of employees in the United States : despite working throughout their lives full-time living in precariousness because they receive the minimum wage stipulated, $ 7.25 per hour, that the often leaves below the poverty line (estimated at $ 11,170 per person and $ 23,050 for a family of four). Often they can not save, acquire basic medical insurance or access housing in conditions. Sometimes they end up spending almost all their salary on temporary accommodation, such as hotels, because they can not accumulate two months of rent to enter a flat. Some live in houses on wheels ( mobile homes ) or in caravans, and when the money no longer reaches them, they begin their journey through family homes and shelters. Others sleep in their car or on the street, and wash in the toilets of the public library or one of the ubiquitous Starbucks. They suffer obesity, diabetes or other diseases related to a diet in which chicken nuggets are repeated a lot, because fruit and vegetables are for those who earn more. It is very difficult for them and the following generations to get out of that circle and improve, because the combination of economic scarcity and strenuous work numbs the senses. It is not the working class. It’s the poor working class. It should be an oxymoron, but in the world we live in it is not.

The minimum wage in the United States

Image result for minimum wage in america jobs

In this country the federal minimum wage was established in 1938 ($ 0.25 per hour). “A fair payment for a fair day,” proclaimed President Roosevelt when he presented his bill before Congress. But since then it has not always risen in relation to the cost of living and inflation. At present, according to poverty indicators, it seems evident that you can not live with dignity if you only have a salary of 7.25 dollars per hour, one of the lowest among rich countries.

The current government has proposed to increase to $ 9 : “Nobody who works full time should live in poverty,” proclaimed President Obama in his speech on the state of the nation in February this year. This increase would not be a big change, of course. There will still be working people who are in great need, who ask for credit cards at a 25% interest rate to cover essential expenses, or who have to choose between going to the doctor or paying the electric bill. As one of Barbara Ehrenheich’s coworkers in Maine: when she dislocated her ankle she kept scrubbing tables and sweeping floors without mentioning anything. But that increase would set a level somewhat closer to the price of life and bring the minimum wage closer to an amount that can be lived. A working wage would also be a living wage .

A recent survey published by the Pew Research Center shows the response of the population to the initiative of the Obama Administration: about a third are reluctant to change that, for three main reasons: the first, because it could lead to destruction of employment, the automation of services and the increase in the cost of products. For example, an investigation by the University of California-Irvine highlights the correlation between wage increases and the loss of low-skilled jobs. The second, because only 3% of workers in the country receive a basic income, and half of these are young people between the ages of 16 and 24. In addition, many receive government aid, such as food stamps, and tax reductions for work income. Finally, in some countries with a strong economy and low unemployment there is no minimum wage, as is the case in Germany, Finland, Norway or Sweden. And in others, like Spain, it has been proposed to eliminate it.

However, other research suggests that the salary increase would improve the national economy as it would, among other things, reduce government aid, encourage rent and purchase of better housing and avoid diseases related to such a stressful life. The destruction of employment and rising prices, if any, would be insignificant in relation to the benefit that would represent increasing the purchasing power of the several million workers living in misery. More than those officially known. Because the percentage, if analyzed well, is well above the 3% collected by the Census Bureau: this figure does not include tipped staff , nor certain employees such as newspaper delivery workers or babysitters, nor students, since employers are exempt from paying the minimum wage to all these groups, which together total two million people. Nor does it include those who have a fixed remuneration, not hours. Not even undocumented immigrants, who we hire to pick up fruit from the fields because we do not want to do it. Nor, of course, to trainees, who earn nothing. There are many millions who exchange their time for very few dollars a month, many of them adults and some parents without any other source of income.

As for the argument regarding the rich countries without minimum remuneration, in these there are generally more employment regulations than in the United States to guarantee the rights of the worker. And in particular in Germany, the first European power, it has already been proposed to set it at 8.5 euros per hour (11.6 dollars).

A country of rich and poor

Image result for america

The debate that arises in this article has its origin in the profound discontent of the American population in the face of the progressive pauperization of the middle class and socioeconomic disparity in the country, more typical of populist or authoritarian regimes. In 2012, the highest salaried 10% took 50% of the country’s income. A minimum hired employee must work three months to earn the same as a chief executive in one hour. Most of the businesses that hire minimum wage have a workforce of more than 100 workers and makes substantial profits, and some are chains with annual benefits of billionaires, such as WalMart, which strongly opposes a change in legislation and whose motto is “Save money and live better.”

Bárbara, the writer turned into a waitress at the beginning of the article, soon discovers that she has to make a double day to continue paying her rent of 500 dollars a month. He works from 8 in the morning to 10 at night, in two restaurants, and he takes some Aleve aspirins between shifts and shifts to stop muscle pain. He spends more than an hour a day on the road, which takes away the little time available to look for other job opportunities that are better paid. The decisions you make are not the smartest, but the only viable ones according to your budget. Dinner two-dollar hamburgers laden with sauce and crushed in paper, destines the 20 dollars a day of tips for gasoline and food in the supermarket, and when he gets home at night deposits the four remaining bills in a pantry drawer, for emergencies .

Common sense

<strong>Common sense</strong>

Studies on the possible salary increase are still scarce and show divergent results, as I point above. It can not be anticipated precisely what would be the effect of a rise in incomes in the country’s economy. But let’s appeal to common sense: is there someone who is reading these lines and who has not worked at all eight hours a day without being able to sit down and at the end of the month has charged a sum so low that the first week of basic needs disappears? Who has not endured some kind of unfair treatment of their superiors despite having spent years in that company for a pay that never allows him to progress, that marginalizes him gradually? Who has not had jobs already in his adult age in which he earned so little that he calculated some expenses in ridiculous amounts of cents?

In a democratic and developed country the remuneration of a full-time employee should not plunge him into poverty, much less if those employees are counted by millions, while a minority accounts for half of the national salary and a good number of entrepreneurs have margins marital extraordinary. That idea should be the starting point when debating a reform.