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

Heart Disease and Cancers Share Many Risk Factors

The risk factors for a heart attack are also risk factors for many cancers. People who are at 20 percent increased risk for suffering a heart attack in 10 years are three times more likely to develop cancer in 10 years, while those who develop a heart attack, heart failure or atrial fibrillation are seven times more likely to develop a cancer.

High Calcium Artery Score Doesn’t Always Mean High Risk for a Heart Attack

Since heart attacks are usually caused by plaques breaking off from the inner linings of arteries leading to the heart, doctors use a test called Coronary Artery Calcium Score (CAC) to predict which people have the largest plaques and therefore are at high risk for suffering heart attacks that cause one out of four deaths in North America.

Cold Hands – Raynaud’s Phenomenon

If your fingers turn white and start to hurt when you are out in the cold, you may have a condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon. When your body temperature starts to drop, your brain sends signals along nerves to shut blood flow to your hands and the skin turns white.

Taking Testosterone Increases Risk for Clots in Lungs

A study of 39,622 men who had blood clots in their veins shows that those who took testosterone (for legitimate medical reasons or not) suffered increased risk for forming potentially-fatal blood clots.

Stents and Bypass Surgery Not More Effective than Lifestyle Changes and Medication for Stable Heart Disease

The $100 million ISCHEMIA Trial showed that after four years, surgical treatments (stents or coronary artery bypass surgery) were not more effective than lifestyle changes and medication in preventing heart attacks deaths in patients with stable heart disease.

Statins and Alternatives to Lower Cholesterol

Having high cholesterol increases risk for a heart attack, but a review of 49 studies showed that the reduced risk for suffering a heart attack is the same for statins as it is for dietary changes.

Sunlight May Help to Prevent Auto-Immune Diseases by Altering Gut Bacteria

Lack of vitamin D may change the colon bacteria to an overabundance of harmful bacteria to cause inflammation that increases risk for autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lupus and some types of arthritis.

Breakthrough Research from Winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine

2019 Nobel Prize honors the discovery of how your body responds when you can't meet your needs for oxygen. Their groundbreaking research is now being used to treat certain cancers, strokes, infections, anemia, heart attack risks, and some eye diseases that can cause blindness.

People with Arthritis Should Keep On Moving

If you have joint pains, you should still keep moving. Inactivity worsens arthritis by preventing joints from healing.

NSAIDs and Heart Attack Risk

An analysis of 7,743 people suffering from osteoarthritis found that those who took NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) were at 41 percent increased risk for suffering heart attacks, heart failure and strokes, compared to arthritis patients who did not take NSAIDs.

Strengthen Bones with Weight Training

Your bones weaken progressively after age 30, and between ages 35 and 50, about 28 percent of North American men and women suffer from bone weakening called osteopenia. Just one year of lifting weights can strengthen the bones enough to help protect people from fractures.

Statin Drugs and Muscle Pain

At last we have a reasonable explanation why statins can cause some people to suffer skeletal muscle pain and damage, but do not cause heart muscle damage.

Head Injuries Increase Risk for Impotence

A study of more than 3,400 former National Football League players, average age 52, found that those who had had a concussion were at increased risk for low testosterone and erectile dysfunction, regardless how young or old they were.

Fasting Blood Sugar Can Be Too Low

A low fasting blood sugar or an abnormally low HbA1C (a test of the amount of sugar stuck on cells) may increase risk for heart attacks. Researchers followed almost 5000 people for 13 years and found that having a very low fasting blood sugar (<80 mg/dL) and very low HbA1c (<5.0 percent) is strongly associated with increased risk for heart attacks and premature death.

Inflammation Can Help or Harm

Your body uses inflammation to protect you from invading germs and to heal injuries. When a germ gets into your body, you make cells and proteins to kill that germ. As soon as the germ is gone, your immune system is supposed to dampen down and stop making large amounts of these cells and antibodies.

Being Overweight Increases Cancer Risk

A study of more than two million people showed that being overweight markedly increases risk for at least nine different cancers in men (bladder, colorectum, gallbladder, kidney, liver, lung, lymphatic system, pancreas, stomach) and eleven cancers in women (gallbladder, kidney, liver, lung, lymphatic system, ovaries, pancreas, stomach, uterus, cervix, and endometrium).

Dementia Risk May Be Increased by Some Common Drugs

A study of 58,769 patients over 55 years of age diagnosed with dementia and 225,574 people of the same age without dementia found a 50 percent increased risk of dementia among people who used a strong anticholinergic drug daily for about three years within the 10-year study period

Reduce Inflammation and Clotting to Prevent Heart Attacks

Heart attacks and strokes cause 50 percent of the deaths in North America today, yet many people are not adopting the lifestyle changes needed to prevent the factors that cause them: inflammation and clotting. A new study from the University of Michigan shows how important inflammation is as a cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Lifestyle and Drugs to Prevent and Treat Osteoporosis

On April 9, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new osteoporosis drug called Evenity. Bones are constantly changed by bone cells called osteoblasts that grow new bone and osteoclasts that remove old bone cells. Evenity is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the effects of the protein sclerostin that encourages the growth of osteoclasts that remove old bone cells.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Colon Bacteria

If you have rheumatoid arthritis or any other type of arthritis, anti-inflammatory lifestyle habits should be an important part of your treatment program. For many years, exercise has been recommended as part of the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, and a recent summary of studies confirms that vigorous exercise is beneficial. An anti-inflammatory diet high in plants and low in meat and sugar, and weight control, also reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

High Blood Pressure and Colon Bacteria

The recently published CARDIA Study shows that having certain types of bacteria in your colon is associated with having high blood pressure, and that you can lower blood pressure by improving the proportion of healthful to unhealthful bacteria in your colon. Lifestyle changes may be more important than drugs in treating high blood pressure.

Bad Colon Bacteria May Cause Heart Attacks

A strong new study shows that with aging, there is an increase in the types of harmful colon bacteria that produce amines, specifically TMAO (trimethylamine oxide), that damage arteries to increase risk for heart attacks, strokes and cell damage throughout your body.

Signs of a Fatty Liver

You can often tell if people have diabetes just by looking at them. A person with a big belly and small buttocks is at very high risk for being diabetic, because those who store fat primarily in the belly are most likely to also store a large amount of fat in the liver. Having excess fat in your liver markedly increases risk for diabetes and heart attacks.

FDA Proposes New Sunscreen Rules

At last, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing new rules on sunscreen safety. Finalizing these rules and actually making changes on the regulation or labeling of sunscreens will take time, so I advise you to follow their recommendations now by reading the labels and avoiding those products with ingredients that are unlikely to be safe or may be found unsafe. Here are the proposed rules.

Dementia Risk Increased by Harmful Bacteria in Your Colon

More than 30 percent of North Americans over the age of 85 suffer from dementia. A study presented recently at the International Stroke Conference 2019 shows that having harmful bacteria in your colon increases risk for dementia.

Best Diet to Prevent and Treat Diabetes

More than 30 million adults in North America suffer from diabetes and another 85 million have pre-diabetes that is likely to become full-blown diabetes within five years. Research papers published this month suggest that people who are diabetic or likely to become diabetic should eat a very large amount of plant fiber and restrict animal products, particularly red meat and processed meats.

Exercisers Have Fewer Heart Attacks

A study of 21,758 men, average age 51.7 years, followed for an average 10.4 years, showed that men who exercised the most have more plaques in their arteries, but do not suffer more heart attacks or deaths than those with less heart artery calcification.

Daily Aspirin May Not Save Lives

Aspirin has been shown to help prevent a second heart attack in people who have already had a heart attack. However, aspirin also causes bleeding that can kill a person, so researchers wanted to find out if the heart-attack-preventing effects of aspirin would be offset by the complications of bleeding that aspirin can cause.

Sunlight: More than Vitamin D

For many years I have offered my opinion that sunlight provides benefits that are not gained just from taking vitamin D pills. Recent research is confirming that opinion, and many scientists now believe that low vitamin D blood levels are only a marker for not getting enough sunlight.

Knee Pain: Treat with Lifestyle Changes

A review of 47 .studies on 22,037 patients with knee osteoarthritis treated for at least 12 months showed no clear difference in controlling long-term pain between medications and placebos. With the exception of immune suppressants that have lots of serious side effects, medications and health supplements do not prevent progressive damage to joints and are used only to help lessen pain.