Subscribe to Dr. Mirkin's free FITNESS & HEALTH NEWSLETTER      

Having High Cholesterol Increases Risk for Dementia

Thirty percent of North Americans over the age of 85 suffer from dementia. A recent study shows that people whose blood cholesterol levels varied the most over a 12 year period had a 19 percent increased risk for Alzheimer's dementia compared to those with little or no variability, and people who had high variations in their triglyceride levels had a 23 percent increased risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Emulsifiers in Processed Foods Associated with Increased Risk for Heart Attacks

The French NutriNet-Santé cohort study has strengthened the association between processed foods and heart attacks. Their results suggest a link between the dietary intake of emulsifiers and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Otzi the Iceman and 5,300 Years of the Diseases of Inflammation

In 1991, hikers in the Italian Alps discovered Otzi the Iceman, a man who was preserved in ice after his murder about 5,300 years ago. He was killed by a hard hit on his head and an arrow through his shoulder when he was about 46 years old. He is now entombed at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy with a life-size statue of him as he may have looked standing nearby.

MRIs Help to Reduce Prostate Biopsies

A study of 23,802 Swedish men found that getting an MRI before scheduling a prostate biopsy was associated with reduced proportion of men who received biopsies,, reduced biopsies in low-risk prostate cancers (Gleason score of 6 or lower) who usually are not treated, and increased detection of the number of men at high risk for prostate cancer (Gleason score greater than 6) who need immediate treatment

Avoid Diets that Severely Restrict Carbohydrates or Fats

There are healthful and harmful fats and healthful and harmful carbohydrates. It makes no sense to try to restrict either most fats or most carbohydrates. You need soluble fiber and resistant starch carbohydrates to help prevent heart attacks and prolong your life, and you also need monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to help prevent heart attacks, certain cancers and premature death.

Steve Harwell: Brain Damage from Alcohol

Steve Harwell was lead vocalist for the rock band Smash Mouth from its formation in 1994 until his retirement in 2021. He produced three top hit songs: "Walkin' on the Sun," "All Star" and “I’m a Believer." He and the band sold more than 10 million albums and had two #1 hit singles, five Top 40 singles, three Hot 100 singles, four Billboard 200 albums and a Grammy nomination. The band also appeared on hundreds of film and television placements and was featured on “Shrek.”

Osteoarthritis and Inflammation

More than half of North American adults over 65 years of age suffer from osteoarthritis. It used to be that you would go to your doctor and tell them that you have pain in your knees, hips, hands or spine. Your doctor would order multiple x-rays and blood tests and most would come back normal, so they would then tell you, “Aha, you have osteoarthritis, ” which meant they didn’t have the foggiest idea why your joints hurt.

Early Diagnosis Helps to Prevent and Treat Colon Cancer

An early colon cancer often has no symptoms whatever, so screening tests can boost survival rates by diagnosing a colon cancer before it has caused symptoms and spread to other parts of the body. Polyps detected in any of the screening tests can be removed, which greatly improves the rates of survival.

Jimmy Buffett’s Merkel Cell Skin Cancer

Jimmy Buffett was a famous singer and ukelele and guitar player who combined country, rock, folk, calypso and pop music. His top hits that he wrote and sang were "Margaritaville" and "Come Monday," and he had nine platinum albums and eight gold albums.He was also a businessman who was worth more than $1 billion from an incredible number of investments, including restaurant chains named after two of his best-known songs, the Margaritaville Cafe and Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurants.

Lifestyle Factors Linked to Delaying Memory Loss

A study from Spain called the Vallecas Project has followed 1169 non-demented people, average age 74.4, for six years and found that some of the participants had memory test scores that were equal to people who were 30 years younger. The authors call the high-scorers "superagers" and they have done further testing on 64 of them, with a matched control group of 55 "typical older adults" who had average memory test scores.