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Statins and Alternatives to Lower Cholesterol

Having high cholesterol increases risk for a heart attack, but a review of 49 studies showed that the reduced risk for suffering a heart attack is the same for statins as it is for dietary changes.

Risk Factors for Prostate 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.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection that causes itching or peeling skin on the feet, especially between the toes. A diagnosis of athlete's foot is made by taking a scraping of skin and looking for fungus under a microscope. If nothing is seen, scrapings of skin are placed in a culture bottle to...

Being Overweight Increases Risk for Many Cancers

Nobody knows exactly why overweight is associated with increased risk for so many types of cancer, but the most likely explanation is that storing fat in your belly means that you store excess fat in your liver. Your liver controls blood sugar levels.

Systolic or Diastolic Blood Pressure

You have two blood pressures: the systolic that measures blood pressure when your heart contracts, and the much lower diastolic reading that measures the pressure when your heart relaxes. When your heart contracts, it pushes a huge amount of blood forward to your arteries. Your arteries are supposed to act like balloons and expand to accept the blood and prevent your blood pressure from rising too high.

Alzheimer’s Disease

The most common cause of senility in North America is Alzheimer's disease, a horrible condition in which a person loses his capacity to reason, think, recognize and function. Former president Ronald Reagan had Alzheimer's disease, as did some Nobel Prize winners and some of the most brilliant people who have walked this earth.

Cancer Treatment Should Include Lifestyle Improvements

The recent medical literature shows that certain lifestyle factors are associated with developing prostate, breast, colon, pancreatic and many other cancers and that changing these same lifestyle factors should be part of every treatment for people who are diagnosed with any type of cancer. Up to 40 percent of human cancers are at least partially caused by modifiable lifestyle factors.

Lifestyle and Drugs to Prevent and Treat Osteoporosis

On April 9, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new osteoporosis drug called Evenity. Bones are constantly changed by bone cells called osteoblasts that grow new bone and osteoclasts that remove old bone cells. Evenity is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the effects of the protein sclerostin that encourages the growth of osteoclasts that remove old bone cells.

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 Drug May Slow Down Alzheimer’s Disease

A study of 856 patients with a mild, early form of Alzheimer’s disease, found that a new drug called BAN2401 may reduce the amount of amyloid plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. The drug reduced the amount of Beta-amyloid in sticky plaques that form around nerves in the brain to prevent messages being sent from one nerve to another.

Healthful Lifestyles to Prevent Cancer

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults age 20 years or older are overweight or obese. Being overweight markedly increases cancer risk.

Deaths from Liver Cancer Increasing

Deaths from cancer of the liver are increasing every year. Each year, more than 35,000 North Americans develop liver cancer and 25,000 die from it. Less than 20 percent of liver cancer patients are alive five years after being diagnosed. If the cancer is diagnosed after it has spread to surrounding tissues, the five-year survival rate drops to 11 percent.

Alcohol At Any Dose Can Increase Cancer Risk

Compared to non-drinkers, people who take one or two drinks per day for one year are at increased risk for cancer, and drinking even one glass of wine a day raises the risk of cancer of the throat, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum or breast.

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).

The Latest on COVID-19

I am following the latest developments on COVID-19 and our efforts to control the pandemic. I will update this page regularly, so if you are interested, check back often.

Lyme Disease

Many medical authors recommend treating all Lyme disease patients with 30 days of intravenous Rocephin. However, intravenous antibiotics may offer no advantage over less expensive pills (1). For many years I have been criticized for treating my Lyme disease patients who have muscle and joint pain and fatigue with 100 mg of minocycline or...

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.

How Soluble Fiber Helps to Prevent Heart Attacks

Forty percent of deaths in the United States are from heart disease, which kills more than 400,000 people each year. Soluble fiber (from beans, oats, peas, barley, nuts, fruits and vegetables) reduces high blood levels of Low-Density Cholesterol (LDL), one of the strongest predictors of heart attack risk

Best Diet to Prevent and Treat Diabetes

More than 30 million adults in North America suffer from diabetes and another 85 million have pre-diabetes that is likely to become full-blown diabetes within five years. Research papers published this month suggest that people who are diabetic or likely to become diabetic should eat a very large amount of plant fiber and restrict animal products, particularly red meat and processed meats.

Sunlight: More than Vitamin D

For many years I have offered my opinion that sunlight provides benefits that are not gained just from taking vitamin D pills. Recent research is confirming that opinion, and many scientists now believe that low vitamin D blood levels are only a marker for not getting enough sunlight.

Early Breast Cancers May Be Over-Treated

Each year more than 60,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with a type of early breast cancer called Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), which represents 25 percent of all breast cancer cases. Almost all DCIS patients are treated with surgery to remove the lump, the entire breast or even both breasts. Two...

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.

Lifestyle Changes to Treat and Prevent Prostate Cancer

Extensive data show that the typical western diet, obesity, and lack of exercise are associated with increased risk for prostate cancer. Recent studies now show that intense exercise and an anti-inflammatory diet help to reduce markers for prostate cancer progression in men who already have prostate cancer.

Dementia Risk May Be Increased by Some Common Drugs

A study of 58,769 patients over 55 years of age diagnosed with dementia and 225,574 people of the same age without dementia found a 50 percent increased risk of dementia among people who used a strong anticholinergic drug daily for about three years within the 10-year study period

Can Cell Phones Cause Memory Loss or Cancer?

Two recent studies show that non-ionizing radiation from cell phones may be associated with impaired ability to recall images, but not words, in teenagers; and at high levels, can increase brain and heart tumors in rats. Most studies on cell phone use have not shown increased cancer risk or memory loss.

Who is Pre-Diabetic?

You can tell if you are at high risk for diabetes if you store fat primarily in your belly. Pinch your belly; if you can pinch an more than an inch of fat under the skin there, you are at increased risk and should get a blood test called HBA1C. Having high blood levels of triglycerides and low levels of the good HDL cholesterol that helps prevent heart attacks also increases your risk for diabetes.

Tietze’s Syndrome or Costochondritis

When patients come to me with pain in the chest and I feel swelling and they hurt when I press on ribs just to the side of the large bone in the middle of the chest, I often diagnose a usually harmless condition called Tietze's syndrome, also known as costochondritis. Chest pain can be a...

Treatment of Insulin Resistance

Most people who develop diabetes in later life can be controlled so that they are not at increased risk for the many complications of diabetes such as heart attacks, strokes, blindness, deafness, amputations, kidney failure, burning foot syndrome, venous insufficiency with ulceration and stasis dermatitis.

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.

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.