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Sunscreens and Sun Protection

Sunscreens help to prevent sunburns and skin cancers because they actually block the ultraviolet rays of the sun that damage the skin. However, some sunscreens are safe, while others may not be safe.

COVID-19 Precautions May Affect Other Respiratory Infections in the Future

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that we may need to continue social distancing and hand washing for years to come. The significant reduction in non-COVID-19 respiratory infections this year could decrease the number of people who are immune to other respiratory viruses, and increase the frequency and severity of other respiratory infections in the future.

Guidelines for COVID-19 Fully Vaccinated People

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released recommendations for fully vaccinated people who are two weeks past their second injection of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, or have had the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As of March 8, 2021, more than 31 million people (9.4 percent of the U.S. population) had completed these vaccines.

Prostate Cancer and Heart Attacks Share Lifestyle Factors

A study of 90,494 U.S. veterans with prostate cancer found that more than half suffered from uncontrolled risk factors for heart attacks. Men who suffer from prostate cancer have a very high rate of heart attack risk factors and heart disease.

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine Approved

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use in the U.S., and millions of doses are now being shipped. We already have mass immunizations underway with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which look better and better as we keep getting new reports of their benefits and minimal side effects.

Gut Bacteria and Colon Cancer Risk Factors

A review of 45 prospective studies found that risk for suffering colon cancer is increased by drinking alcohol and eating red meat, and decreased by eating more fiber and yogurt. More than 1.3 million North Americans have had colorectal cancer, a disease associated with lifestyle factors that cause bad bacteria to thrive in your colon.

Omega-3’s from Fish and Plants Help to Prevent Heart Attacks

People who had higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids at the time of a heart attack were far less likely to die or to have repeat heart attacks within three years, compared to those who had lower levels. The sources of omega-3s in the 944 heart attack patients in this study included both fish and plants.

People Who Have Had COVID-19 Are Protected for Three Months, Probably More

Two studies suggest that you can get long-term immunity after being infected with COVID-19. People who previously had COVID-19 have high protective antibody titers for at least three months, and at six months still had persistent parts of the COVID-19 virus in their intestines that continued to cause high protection antibodies.

Messenger RNA May Help to Beat Cancer

The two currently-approved COVID-19 vaccines use a technique called messenger RNA (mRNA) that could lead to cures for cancer and many other diseases.

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine is Coming

The soon to be approved vaccine for COVID-19 from Johnson & Johnson requires just one injection, instead of the two required for the previously-approved vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The J&J vaccine can be stored with ordinary refrigeration and does not need the extremely cold storage required for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine Can Be Delayed if Necessary

Many people are worried that they may not receive their second dose of the vaccine on schedule because of delayed deliveries of the vaccine, or because of suggestions that the scheduled second doses of the vaccines should be given as a first dose to others so that more people can be immunized.

Two New COVID-19 Vaccines Coming Soon

The Pfizer\BioNTech and Moderna messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines are already available for some people. They require two injections and look better all the time, with very few serious reactions so far and good antibody response for prevention of COVID-19. Two more vaccines appear ready to be available soon for public immunization.

High Blood Pressure Increases Risk for Dementia

A study of 7063 people, average age 58.9 years, found that those who had high blood pressure had significantly lower memory and recognition test scores than the people with normal blood pressure. In four years of follow-up, they found that better control of high blood pressure during the study period helped to reduce the loss of mental function.

Many Cases of COVID-19 Come from People with No Symptoms

People with no symptoms transmit more than half of all cases of COVID-19, according to a model developed by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This reinforces the importance of following the CDC's basic guidelines: wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay socially distant.

Safety of the Messenger RNA Vaccines for COVID-19 (Pfizer and Moderna)

Results from clinical trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines showed about 95 percent effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 infections, and they were given Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 13 and December 20, 2020. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says...

How Pre-Diabetes Increases Risk for Dementia

One of the definitions of pre-diabetes is a high rise in blood sugar after meals, and a recent study suggests that many cases of dementia are linked to these high rises in blood sugar. This study of 3889 adults found that people who suffer from loss of mental function and dementia have much higher levels of Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs) in their skin.

Low Vitamin D Increases COVID-19 Risks

If your vitamin D level is below 30 ng/mL, you are at increased risk for contracting COVID-19. A review of 40 studies showed that adequate vitamin D reduced the frequency and severity of COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions, and lowered the death rate

Long COVID-19 Syndrome

Most people who develop COVID-19 recover in 2-6 weeks, but between 10 and 70 percent of recovered COVID-19 patients develop “Long COVID-19 Syndrome,” suffering at least one symptom for many weeks or months after their initial infection.

Meat Increases Risk for Type II Diabetes

A review of 28 studies found that risk for type II diabetes was increased by 36 percent for every 100 grams of meat from mammals or 50 grams of processed meat eaten each day. This increased risk was associated with higher blood levels of TMAO from the choline and lecithin in meat.

Check Your Own Blood Pressure

You can’t depend completely on blood pressure measurements done only in a doctor’s office because being active, having “white coat syndrome,” (feeling nervous or stressed), or an improper hurried measurement can raise blood pressure considerably. In one study, systolic blood pressure was 7.3 mm Hg higher in a doctor’s office than when measured more precisely in a research setting.

Many Common Drugs Linked to Risk for Dementia

The American Geriatrics Society strongly recommends avoiding the use of anticholinergic medications in older adults, because seniors may be more likely to experience unwanted side effects than younger people. One out of every three drugs prescribed for men and women over 65 are anticholinergic drugs, which are associated with increased risk for dementia.

Should You Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

Are you concerned about getting one of the new COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are approved? We have no long-term safety information because no one has more than 10 months of experience with this disease. However, we do have decades of experience with other vaccines.

Prevent Diabetes with Exercise and a Plant-Based Diet

Two new studies show that you can help to prevent diabetes by following a regular exercise program and by eating a plant-based diet that avoids foods that cause a high rise in blood sugar.

Mediterranean Diet Associated with Improved Sexuality in Men

A study of 21,469 U.S. male health professionals, ages 40 to 75, found that those who followed a Mediterranean diet had a markedly reduced rate of erectile dysfunction. The more closely they followed the dietary rules, the more likely they were to be able to achieve an erection.

Three Effective COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be Available Soon

We now have three apparently safe and effective vaccines to help stop the current COVID-19 pandemic. The latest estimates are that the pandemic will not end until 70 to 90 percent of the North American population has some degree of immunity.

Blood Pressure During and After Exercise

Your blood pressure usually rises as soon as you start to exercise and drops a little bit while you exercise at the same intensity. However, as you continue to increase the intensity of exercise, your blood pressure usually rises higher and higher.

Pfizer Vaccine 90 Percent Effective in Early Data

Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, have announced that their COVID-19 vaccine appears to be more than 90 percent effective against the disease. Early data from their 44,000-person trial analyzed the first 94 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 among the participants who received either the two-dose vaccine or a saline placebo.

Exercise Should Be Part of the Treatment for Cancer

A study from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that repeated bouts of exercise slow the growth of, and help to prevent recurrences of, cancers. The authors showed, in both mice and humans, that exercising muscles release into the bloodstream chemicals that increase production of CD8+ cells that an individual's own immune system uses to kill cancer cells.

Colon Cancer Risk and Neu5Gc Antibodies

Researchers have suggested a method to measure antibodies in humans after they eat the foods that contain Neu5Gc (BMC Medicine, Oct 23, 2020;18(262)). The more meat and dairy a person eats, the higher the rise in antibodies against Neu5Gc.

Herd Immunity With Vaccines

The only way that the pandemic will end is when a sufficient percentage of people become immune to COVID-19, most by being vaccinated plus a lesser number of people who have been infected with the virus and recovered. This is called herd immunity. Researchers tell us that in the U.S., the pandemic will not end until about 40 to 70 percent of the population is immune.