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Cancer Is Not Just a Random Disease

A recent study from respected researchers at Johns Hopkins claims that two-thirds of adult cancers are caused by random DNA mutations in your cells, and far fewer cancers are caused by genetics, lifestyle or exposure to cancer-causing agents.

Your Appendix is Useful After All

I had my appendix removed when I was a child because the doctor told my mother it was a useless organ that might someday burst and cause horrible problems. After generations of children had their appendices removed for no reason, researchers have found that perhaps it may have an important function.

Gut Bacteria and Auto-Immune Diseases

New studies show that two auto-immune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis, may be caused by having pro-inflammatory bacteria in your gut. These bacteria are likely to punch holes in your intestines, which allows bacteria to slip into your bloodstream to cause inflammation.

Heart Attack Prevention Guidelines

On November 10, 2018, heart specialists presented the latest recommendations for preventing heart attacks from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association: Treat all of their patients with recommendations for heart-attack-preventing lifestyle changes, and Treat all patients with significant heart attack risk factors with medications that lower blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol.

What We Have Learned So Far from Eight Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Infection with COVID-19 comes primarily from breathing air in indoor spaces where people with the coronavirus have been, and the more virus you breathe in, the more likely you are to become infected.

Most Urinary Symptoms are Caused by Infections

The vast majority of women who have burning on urination, frequency and urgency have urinary tract infections, even if their cultures do not grow any germs.

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.

The Hidden Epidemic of Early Diabetes

Many people with high blood sugar levels are told by their doctors that they do not have diabetes because their fasting blood sugar levels are below 100 mg/dl, which is considered normal. Early in the disease, diabetics often have a "normal" fasting blood sugar, but one hour after they eat, their blood sugar levels rise above 140, which signals that they are at increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, cancers, nerve damage and premature death.

Ingrown Toenails

Edges of toenails that press into the flesh can cause pain, swelling, redness, and even infection. Your skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail. Treatments include special chemicals, lasers, and various ways to remove the edge of the nail that presses into the skin.

Co-Enzyme Q10 Pills Do Not Lessen Muscle Aches from Statins

Up to 20 percent of people who take statin drugs to lower cholesterol suffer from muscle aches, particularly when they try to exercise. A systematic review found eight studies that showed that Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) does not reduce statin-induced muscle pain, compared to placebo.

Testosterone for Older Men

Medical journals have reported trials that examine the benefits and harms of taking testosterone for men over 65 with low blood levels of testosterone (less than 275 ng/dL). At 12 study sites across the country, a total of 790 participants were given testosterone gel or a placebo applied daily to the skin.

Dementia May Be Preventable

The American Heart Association has published a scientific statement on “Harnessing Healthy Behaviors to Prevent Dementia” (Stroke, Mar 15, 2021:52(6A);52:e295–e308). They report that dementia is associated with the following modifiable risk factors: depression, all heart attack risk factors, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, an inflammatory diet, smoking, social isolation, excessive alcohol use, sleep disorders and hearing loss.

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.

Yogurt or Cheese Instead of Milk Reduces Heart Attack Risk

A recent Danish study followed 54,903 healthy men and women, 50-64 years old, for 16 years. Those who ate primarily fermented dairy products such as cheese and yogurt were significantly less likely to suffer heart attacks than those who drank milk.

Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle to Treat Arthritis and Many Other Diseases

Many types of arthritis are believed to be caused by inflammation, where a person’s own immune system attacks and damages joints and other tissues in the body. An anti-inflammatory diet may help to control arthritis ) as well as giving its well-established benefit of helping to prevent heart attacks.

Blood Type

There are more than 300 known variations in blood types. For example, you are also classified as to whether the surface of your red blood cells contain a Duffy surface. Almost no one in Africa has the Duffy red blood cell type.

Duct Tape for Warts

A study from Cincinnati Children's Hospital showed that common duct tape is significantly more effective in curing common warts than the standard treatment of liquid nitrogen.

High Triglycerides Are a Major Risk Factor for Heart Attacks and Diabetes

Having blood triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) puts you at increased risk for a heart attack, stroke, or heart valve disease, even if your blood cholesterol levels are normal (Eur Heart J, Dec 2021;42(47):4791-4806). About 10 percent of North Americans suffer from high triglyceride levels. High triglycerides are often found in people who are diabetic, obese or alcoholic.

Recent News on COVID-19

CAUTION: The news media often reports on articles from the websites of scientific journals that have not yet been peer reviewed by other doctors. It has become common practice to "pre-publish" studies or press releases online before they have been fully reviewed, and many of these reports are sent out by companies with a lot of money at stake.

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.

Large Doses of Vitamin D Can Be Harmful

Lack of vitamin D can cause weak bones that break easily, bone pain, and muscle weakness, and may increase risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers, nerve damage and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis. However, taking very high doses (>3000 IU/day) of vitamin D can harm you.

Reduce Inflammation to Help Prevent Cancer

Certain dietary habits are associated with increased risk for breast and prostate cancer. Of 3184 adults followed for more than 20 years, 565 were diagnosed with cancer. Those who drank sugary drinks had three times as much prostate cancer as those who took in less. Men who ate processed lunch foods (pizza, deli meats and burgers) four or more times a week had double the risk for prostate cancer. Women who ate vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes were 67 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, compared with women who favored refined carbohydrates.

High Calcium Artery Score Doesn’t Always Mean High Risk for a Heart Attack

Since heart attacks are usually caused by plaques breaking off from the inner linings of arteries leading to the heart, doctors use a test called Coronary Artery Calcium Score (CAC) to predict which people have the largest plaques and therefore are at high risk for suffering heart attacks that cause one out of four deaths in North America.

Colon Cancer, a Preventable Disease?

One in 20 North Americans can expect to develop colon cancer, with more than 100,000 new cases each year. A recent review of 80 studies found that most cases of colon cancer are linked to poor lifestyle choices.

Lifestyle Changes Do Help to Prevent Cancers and Heart Attacks

In North America, more than 40 percent of cancers and cancer deaths from 26 different cancers are associated with lifestyle factors such as excess weight, a faulty diet or lack of exercise.

Dementia Risk Increased by Harmful Bacteria in Your Colon

More than 30 percent of North Americans over the age of 85 suffer from dementia. A study presented recently at the International Stroke Conference 2019 shows that having harmful bacteria in your colon increases risk for dementia.

Manipulation for Low Back Pain

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that spinal manipulation is at least as effective in controlling low-back pain as the standard medical treatments of ultrasound, antiinflammatory drugs, anti-pain drugs, diathermy heat treatments, hot or cold packs, use of a corset or transcutaneous nerve stimulation.

Preventing Osteoporosis

Everyone loses bone with aging. A review of 40 studies on almost 80,000 subjects found that more than 35 percent of people over 60 suffer from osteoporosis that increases risk for bone fractures and death. People who suffer osteoporotic hip fractures have a 20 percent chance of dying within the next year. If you have suffered bone fractures with minimal trauma, the odds are strong that you have osteoporosis.

Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

A bunion is a bony prominence on the side of the foot, at the base of the big toe joint. This enlargement of the joint, spurring, bump or lump can be aggravated by sports or tight shoes. There is progressive movement of the big toe toward the other toes.

Autophagy: Self-Eating Breakthrough

Autophagy means "self-eating". When a cell is damaged or dies, the body quickly breaks down the dead cell’s parts (protein-making, power-generating, and transport systems) into small molecules that can be reassembled to be used for making new cell parts and supplying the energy to power these processes.