More than one million North Americans are diagnosed each year with skin cancers. Twenty percent of people have the bacterium called Staphylococcus epidermidis living on their skin. It produces molecules that have been shown to slow or stop the development of skin cancers in mice.
If you get recurrent painful blisters with itching or tingling in your skin, around your mouth or in your genital area, check with your doctor who will usually do a culture of the blisters. If the culture shows that you have an infection with one of the two herpes simplex viruses, your doctor can give you a prescription for pills containing one of three common drugs used to shorten the course of each outbreak of blisters:
Chemotherapy and radiation used to treat cancers can help to prolong lives, but these treatments can also increase heart attack risk. The American Heart Association recently recommended that patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation to treat breast cancers should be made aware that these treatments increase heart attack risk and that all people being treated for cancer should be on a lifestyle program to prevent heart attacks.
Very exciting research from Princeton University explains how taking in sugared drinks and any sugar added to foods (not in whole fruits and vegetables) can cause diabetes. The authors of this study show that fructose is converted to glucose primarily in the intestines, and not in the liver as scientists thought previously.
Studies this month show that neither taking omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in fish oil pills nor eating fish reduce the risk for heart attacks, September 16, 2016). A review of studies in the world's scientific literature agrees that taking fish oil pills does not prevent heart attacks.
Eighty percent of North Americans have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis by age 65, and sixty percent have significant joint pain. More than 700,000 people in the United States have their knees replaced each year. It now looks like inflammation, lack of exercise and being overweight are the major causes of knee joint pain.
A study this month showed that prunes are an effective treatment for constipation, with 120 healthy adults, who did not eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and had bowel movements only 3 to 6 times a week, assigned to groups given either 0, 10 or 15 prunes per day for 4 weeks.
Having a high (>100 mg/dL) bad LDL cholesterol or a low (<40) good HDL cholesterol has long been associated with increased risk for heart attacks. However, new studies show that you can form plaques and be at risk for a heart attack even if your bad LDL cholesterol is as low as 50.
Researchers at Harvard University and VHIO cancer Institute in Barcelona report that colon cancer may be caused by a specific bacteria, Fusobacterium nucleatum. I believe this is breakthrough research that could lead to a potential cure for colon cancer and a Nobel Prize.
An article written by two highly-respected physicians and an investigative reporter concludes that, "Emerging evidence shows that insulin resistance is the most important predictor of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes" .
Having high blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol predicts increased risk for heart attacks, but contrary to what we thought in the past, having high levels of "good" HDL cholesterol does not necessarily predict protection from heart disease. A recent report from the Copenhagen General Population Study shows that having either low or high levels of HDL cholesterol also predicts increased risk for infections such as gastroenteritis and bacterial pneumonia.
Eighty percent of North Americans have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis by age 65, and sixty percent have significant joint pain. A recent study compared the size of knee cartilage in skeletons, and the researchers found that the incidence of knee osteoarthritis (loss of cartilage) has risen at a frightening rate over the last 50 years.
Many doctors are missing a chance to save the lives of their patients by not ordering a blood sugar level one hour after eating a meal. Having a normal fasting blood sugar (<100 mg/dl) does not rule out diabetes.
The American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other heart health groups now agree that you have high blood pressure if your blood pressure is above 130/80, not 140/90 as the previous guidelines recommended.
For many years HDL cholesterol has been called "good" because it carries plaque-forming particles from your arteries and bloodstream back to your liver where they can be removed from your body. An exciting new study shows that regular HDL cholesterol may not be very effective in doing this, but another form called Nascent HDL carries these protein-fats much more quickly to your liver to be removed from your circulation.
A recent study suggests that stents placed in arteries leading to the heart have not been shown to cure chest pain (Lancet, Nov 2, 2017). Placing stents in people who have heart pain from narrowed arteries and giving them medication is not more effective in relieving pain than just giving them medication and no stents. Stents do help to prevent the heart muscle from dying when put in place within the first few hours after the start of a heart attack.
A recent study shows that stable angina patients who exercise are less likely to die from heart attacks. Stable angina means that you may or may not have chest discomfort or pain at rest, but pain occurs or worsens when you exert yourself such as walking up stairs, walking faster or lifting something heavy.
"You Can Exercise Yourself to Death, Says New Study" was the headline in The New York Post on October 17, 2017. Headlines like that are likely to discourage people from exercising and thus to shorten their lives.
Twenty-eight million North Americans have osteoporosis that puts them at high risk for breaking bones. People who suffer osteoporotic hip fractures have a 20 percent chance of dying within the next year. You can help to prevent osteoporosis or slow its progression by exercising, maintaining a healthful weight and eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
A study this month shows how people who eat a lot of sugar can develop a liver full of fat that can lead to diabetes. When your blood sugar rises too high, the insulin released by your pancreas converts the sugar to a type of fat called triglycerides. HDL (good) cholesterol then carries the triglycerides to your liver where they are stored to cause a fatty liver.
A new study surveyed more than 4,000 adults ages 40 to 54 about their breakfast habits and then checked them for heart attack risk factors. The researchers found that people who eat a large percentage of their total daily calories for breakfast have the fewest heart attack risk factors, while those who skip breakfast are more likely to have plaques in their arteries and other heart attack risk factors.
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.
For many years we have been told to watch existing moles for changes that may signal a melanoma, but a new review of 38 studies covering 20,126 melanomas shows that fewer than 30 percent of melanomas are found on moles. More than 70 percent of melanomas show up on previously normal skin.
Most heart attacks are caused by lifestyle factors, not by genes, and the prevention of heart attacks depends far more on what you do now than what you did earlier in your life. It is an incredible tragedy that many physicians prescribe statin drugs to prevent heart attacks without also explaining the importance of lifestyle changes.
The alcohol industry is downplaying the cancer risks of their products in the same way that the tobacco industry did 70 years ago. The alcohol industry claims that moderate drinking is safe, yet thirty percent of all alcohol–related deaths are caused by cancer, with 60 percent of these deaths from breast cancer.
Several studies show that a high-plant diet such as a Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk for the type of prostate cancer than can kill you, and if you already have prostate cancer, that diet is associated with reduced chance of dying from that disease.
In the biggest advance in knowledge about the prevention of heart attacks since the discovery of statins, researchers at Harvard Medical School have shown that blocking inflammation helps to prevent heart attacks and cancers.