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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.

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).

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...

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...

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.

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....

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...

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...

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...

The Latest on COVID-19: Archive

This post contains older entries in my summaries of research on COVID-19 vaccinations and other aspects of the epidemic since it began in late 2019. Newer entries can be found in the main post titled The Latest on COVID-19.

Mammal Meat is Associated with Increased Risk for Diabetes

A study from Australia found that middle-aged women who ate meat daily were significantly more likely to be diabetic and have uncontrolled high levels of blood sugar than those who ate a plant-based diet with little or no red meat. The authors conclude that plant-based diets reduce diabetes risk by increasing the body’s response to insulin and reducing body fat.

Intense Exercisers Have More Plaques but Fewer Heart Attacks

The MARC-2 study followed 291 older men for 6.3 years with a test called Coronary Artery Calcification (CAC), and found that the amount of calcium in the arteries leading to the heart increased most in men who exercised at the highest intensity, even more than those who exercised the most. The authors said this showed that intense exercise increases the amount of plaques in arteries, which may be true. However, they would then have to explain why intense exercisers are far less likely to suffer heart attacks than non-exercisers