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Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Joint Pain

Eighty percent of North Americans have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis by age 65, and 60 percent have significant joint pain. Researchers at Surrey University in England reviewed 68 studies on the effects of diet on osteoarthritis and found that osteoarthritis is associated with everything that increases inflammation, and that the joint pain can be reduced by everything associated with the control of inflammation.

Nuts Linked to Improved Colon Cancer Outcomes

A 6.5-year-long study followed 826 people who had been diagnosed with colon cancer that had already spread to their lymph nodes and been treated with chemotherapy and radiation. The researchers found that those who ate at least two one-ounce servings of tree nuts per week gained a 42 percent reduced rate of cancer recurrence and and a 57 percent reduced risk for death during the study period.

Colon Cancer May Be Caused by Bacteria

More than 1.3 million North Americans have had colorectal cancer, a disease associated with lifestyle factors that encourage cancer-causing bacteria to thrive in your colon. A new study shows that 992 people who were already diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread beyond the colon, who changed to a healthier diet and exercise program, had a 42 percent lower risk of dying over the next seven years compared to those who did not change their lifestyles.

Warnings from Impotence

The same lifestyle factors and diseases that cause impotence also cause heart attacks. Many impotent men have no idea they are at high risk for a heart attack and cannot even name any of the six factors that put them at high risk for both impotence and heart attacks: smoking, overweight, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and lack of exercise.

Meats Linked to Fatty Liver and Diabetes

Eating mammal meat or processed meats is associated with increased risk for diabetes, particularly if the meat is cooked at high temperatures. The authors showed that eating red or processed meat is associated with excess fat in the liver that can cause high blood sugar levels.

Slim Evidence for Stem Cell Treatment of Arthritis

Hundreds of stem cell clinics in the United States are promoting stem cell treatments for knee osteoarthritis without solid evidence that they help to relieve pain or repair broken cartilage. Stem cells are primordial cells that can become any tissue such as bone, muscle, cartilage and so forth. Very promising research is being done now at several medical schools in which the DNA in stem cells is altered to make them become cartilage cells.

Statin Drugs and Exercise

The evidence is overwhelming that statin drugs do help to lower cholesterol and to reduce risk for heart attacks. However, a new study confirms that statins interfere with the ability to exercise and to compete in sports, even in patients who report no symptoms.

Too Much Skin Washing?

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.

Herpes

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:

Cancer Treatment Should Include Heart Attack Prevention

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.

How Eating and Drinking Sugar Can Cause Diabetes

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.

Fish Oil Pills Have Not Been Shown to Prevent Heart Attacks

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.

Inactivity Increases Risk for Knee Pain

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.

How Prunes Treat Constipation

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.

What Do Blood Cholesterol Levels Mean?

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.

Colon Cancer and Bacteria

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.

Insulin Resistance Predicts Heart Attacks and Diabetes

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" .

Both Low and High HDL Can Predict Harm

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.

Osteoarthritis has Doubled in the Last Fifty Years

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.

Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Does Not Rule Out Diabetes

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.

Blood Pressure Guidelines

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.

HDL Cholesterol: a New Understanding

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.

Sugared Drinks and Diabetes

This year there is virtually complete agreement among doctors that sugared drinks cause the highest rises in blood sugar that cause a fatty liver that leads to diabetes.

Questions About Stents

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.

Exercise Helps People with Heart Disease

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.

Cancer Cells and Sugar

An exciting new study in yeast contributes to our understanding of the link between cancer cells and sugar. Yeast cells, like cancer cells, get most of their energy from fermentation of sugar without needing oxygen.

Deceptive Headlines about Exercise and Heart Attacks

"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.

Helping to Prevent Osteoporosis

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.

How Sugar Can Fill Your Liver with Fat

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.

Breakfast Skippers Have More Plaques

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.