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Foot Odor

Do you know why you should wear socks? It's to keep your feet and shoes from smelling. Foot odor is caused by bacteria or fungi rotting old skin. Your skin turns over every 28 days. A new cell starts on the bottom layer of skin, then another skin cell forms underneath it. The process continues...

Mitral Valve Prolapse

One in ten Americans suffers from mitral valve prolapse and the vast majority have no symptoms and will never know that they have it. Valves are located in your heart to keep blood from backing up. With aging, some of these valves can stretch and fail to close completely, so they allow a small...

More Benefits of Mid-Life Fitness for Men

A study that followed 13,000 men from 1971 to 2009 shows that men who keep a high level of fitness from their forties onward have a one third lower risk overall of dying from certain cancers after age 65 (JAMA Oncology, March 27, 2015). Fitness was measured by their ability to keep on running...

Exercise Can Help to Treat (and Prevent) Cancer

Exercise is now recommended as part of the treatment for cancer by the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Cancer Society, the Oncology Nursing Society, the Commission on Cancer and the Cancer Foundation for Life.

Angioplasty’s Questionable Results

Angioplasty may not boost survival for heart disease patients. A 15-year follow-up shows that those who have had angioplasties do not live longer than those who received just medication. This supports other studies that have shown that some angioplasties should not have been done

Neu5Gc: A Genetic Reason Why Humans Have More Heart Attacks Than Other Mammals

Two to three million years ago, our pre-human ancestors had a single genetic mutation in their CMAH gene that protected them from a deadly form of malaria but set them up for risk for heart attacks that increases when they eat a lot of meat from any kind of mammal (PNAS, July 22, 2019)....

Can Your Cholesterol be Too Low?

Almost everyone agrees that having total blood cholesterol levels above 250 is likely to shorten your life and markedly increases your chances of suffering a heart attack, unless you have a very high HDL (which is good). Other studies also show that people with very low cholesterol are at increased risk for cancer of the stomach, esophagus, liver and colon, but it looks like the incubating cancers cause the low cholesterol, rather than a low cholesterol causing the cancers.

Brahms Had Sleep Apnea

An article in the medical journal, Chest, reports that composer Johannes Brahms was overweight, stored fat primarily in his upper body, and made horrible sounds when he slept. These are signs of sleep apnea, a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for more than 30 seconds many times each night. Brahms once remarked:...

Tinea Versicolor

If you notice dark brown or whitish circles on your skin, particularly on your chest or back, you probably have a fungus infection called tinea versicolor. Tinea versicolor is especially noticeable as white spots on your skin when you try to get a suntan. You don't have to treat it as it usually causes no harm...

Exercise lowers homocysteine

A regular exercise program helps to lower high blood levels of homocysteine, according to a study from multiple medical centers (European Journal of Applied Physiology, November 2006). High blood levels of homocysteine increase your risk for heart attacks, but at this time, nobody knows why. More than 200 papers show high blood levels of...

Hepatitis C

If you are tired, feel sick and have muscle and joint pains, part of your evaluation should include a blood test for hepatitis C, even if all liver function tests are normal.

Aspirin to Prevent Colon Cancer?

People who take aspirin are at reduced risk for colon cancer, unless they are among the four percent of North Americans who have a genetic susceptibility for colon cancer (JAMA, March 17, 2015;313(11):1133-1142). Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States (after lung cancer), with 1,162,426 people living...

Protein Found in Belly Fat Increases Cancer Risk

Visceral fat (the fat inside your belly and around organs) makes a protein called fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) in much larger amounts than fat underneath your skin does. FGF2 can convert normal cells into cancerous ones.

Agent Orange Does Not Cause Diabetes

In April 2000, a study from the Air Force was widely reported in newspapers to have shown that agent orange causes diabetes. Only Gina Kolata of the New York Times wasn't fooled (NYT, April 20, 2000).

Varicose Veins Helped by Exercise

A regular exercise program may be the most effective treatment for varicose veins. Veins are supposed to contain valves that keep blood from backing up. When the valves cannot close properly, veins become varicose, blood backs up and causes the veins to widen and look like blue snakes underneath the skin. Since varicose veins...

Healthful Diet Helps to Prevent Colon Cancer

A study published this week shows that vegetarians who eat fish have a 43 percent reduced risk for developing colon cancer, compared to people who eat meat (JAMA Internal Medicine, March 9, 2015). Researchers analyzed the diets of nearly 78,000 men and women. During an average seven years of follow-up, they identified 380 cases...

The Hidden Cause of Many Heart Attacks

More than 40 percent of people who have had heart attacks are diabetic and these patients are the ones who are most likely to die from their heart attacks (Lancet, 2002; 359: 2140-44). Three tests are commonly used to diagnose diabetes: fasting blood sugar, blood sugar level two hours after eating, and HbA1c, a measurement of how much sugar is attached to cells.

How Excess Fat Can Spread Cancer

People who have cancer and are also overweight are at increased risk for having the cancer spread through their bodies. A new study shows how excess weight may spread cancer cells through the body.

Grapefruit Juice Effects on Drugs

Several reports show that taking certain medications with grapefruit juice can cause problems by markedly increasing absorption of the medication. Many drugs are broken down in your intestines by an enzyme called cytochrome P450 that is normally there, so these drugs have to be given in higher concentrations than normal to achieve adequate blood levels....

Dangers of Shoveling Snow

What's the most common cause of winter-time heart attacks, shoveling snow or breathing cold air? A study in Toronto showed that most heart attacks occur on the day after a snowfall, not on the coldest days. Your heart has to work two and a half times harder to pump blood through your arms than...

Smoking Increases Cervical Cancer Risk

Cervical cancer is a venereal disease caused by the human papilloma virus called HPV. Nineteen different strains of HPV have been associated with cervical cancer. HPV-16 is the most carcinogenic. As solid cancers grow, they produce angiogenesis factors that increase blood flow to them to supply nutrients and energy. Tobacco contains nicotine, a potent...

Impotence is a Major Risk Factor for Heart Attacks

A review of published studies shows that the world-wide incidence of inability to achieve an erection varies widely from three percent to 76.5 percent, and the geographical incidence of impotence is associated with all the same risk factors as those for heart attacks, dementia and having an enlarged prostate (BJU International, July 3, 2019)....

Atrial Fibrillation: Irregular Heartbeats

Atrial fibrillation is the most common irregular heartbeat. It occurs in 1.5 to 2 percent of the general population and risk increases with age. It affects 10 percent of 75-year-olds and 20 percent of those over 85, because aging increases the risk factors for atrial fibrillation such as blocked arteries, high blood pressure or...

New Studies on Fatty Liver

A liver full of fat can be caused by anything that damages the liver. Doctors used to separate liver damage into that caused by alcohol and that not caused by alcohol (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). Now we know that a liver damaged by excess alcohol has the same harmful consequences as a...

LDL Cholesterol Can Be Too Low

A study of more than 100,000 healthy Chinese citizens followed for nine years showed that having very low levels of LDL cholesterol (<70 mg/dl) is associated with increased risk for bleeding into the brain, and the lower the LDL, the greater the risk (Neurology, July 2, 2019). Normal blood levels of LDL cholesterol are...