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Prevent Diabetes with Exercise and a Plant-Based Diet

Two new studies show that you can help to prevent diabetes by following a regular exercise program and by eating a plant-based diet that avoids foods that cause a high rise in blood sugar.

Mediterranean Diet Associated with Improved Sexuality in Men

A study of 21,469 U.S. male health professionals, ages 40 to 75, found that those who followed a Mediterranean diet had a markedly reduced rate of erectile dysfunction. The more closely they followed the dietary rules, the more likely they were to be able to achieve an erection.

Three Effective COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be Available Soon

We now have three apparently safe and effective vaccines to help stop the current COVID-19 pandemic. The latest estimates are that the pandemic will not end until 70 to 90 percent of the North American population has some degree of immunity.

Blood Pressure During and After Exercise

Your blood pressure usually rises as soon as you start to exercise and drops a little bit while you exercise at the same intensity. However, as you continue to increase the intensity of exercise, your blood pressure usually rises higher and higher.

Pfizer Vaccine 90 Percent Effective in Early Data

Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, have announced that their COVID-19 vaccine appears to be more than 90 percent effective against the disease. Early data from their 44,000-person trial analyzed the first 94 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 among the participants who received either the two-dose vaccine or a saline placebo.

Exercise Should Be Part of the Treatment for Cancer

A study from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that repeated bouts of exercise slow the growth of, and help to prevent recurrences of, cancers. The authors showed, in both mice and humans, that exercising muscles release into the bloodstream chemicals that increase production of CD8+ cells that an individual's own immune system uses to kill cancer cells.

Colon Cancer Risk and Neu5Gc Antibodies

Researchers have suggested a method to measure antibodies in humans after they eat the foods that contain Neu5Gc (BMC Medicine, Oct 23, 2020;18(262)). The more meat and dairy a person eats, the higher the rise in antibodies against Neu5Gc.

Herd Immunity With Vaccines

The only way that the pandemic will end is when a sufficient percentage of people become immune to COVID-19, most by being vaccinated plus a lesser number of people who have been infected with the virus and recovered. This is called herd immunity. Researchers tell us that in the U.S., the pandemic will not end until about 40 to 70 percent of the population is immune.

Drugs Given to President Trump for COVID-19

As reported by the White House medical team, the drugs given to President Trump to treat COVID-19 included Regeneron's antibody cocktail (monoclonal antibodies), Gilead Sciences' remdesivir (brand name Veklury), and dexamethasone.

Beat Diabetes By Getting Fat Out of Your Liver and Muscles

Almost 50 percent of North Americans will eventually develop diabetes or pre-diabetes, because we eat too much and exercise too little. This is sad because you can prevent and treat most cases of type II diabetes (insulin-resistant diabetes) by getting fat out of your liver and muscles, and increasing the size of your muscles with resistance exercise.

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.

Inappropriate Stents

A final report on the official outcomes of the ISCHEMIA Studies was recently published. It suggests that most people with clogged arteries do as well with medication and lifestyle changes as they do after undergoing invasive procedures to reopen their blood vessels such as stents, balloon angioplasty or bypass surgery

Do Not Overdose on Vitamin D

You cannot be poisoned by vitamin D through sun exposure or diet alone, but vitamin D poisoning can occur when people take high-dose supplements for an extended time. Excess vitamin D can cause blood calcium levels to rise and after several months of having high blood calcium levels and having no symptoms at all, you can develop kidney failure and not even know it.

Get Your Flu Shot During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A flu shot will help to protect you from this year's flu viruses. A flu shot will not protect you from developing COVID-19, but the odds of severe disease, ventilatory support requirement, and death were reduced in people who had a recent trivalent flu vaccine.

Inhaled COVID-19 Vaccine Being Tested

Oxford University researchers have started testing inhaled versions of their COVID-19 vaccines compared to those given by intramuscular injection (Associated Press, Sept 14, 2020). An inhaled vaccine could be more effective than those given by injection because it may cause a stronger local immunity in the throat and nose, which are the primary entryways for the virus.

Low Vitamin D Can Increase Risk for and Severity of COVID-19

Vitamin D deficiency increases risk for becoming infected with COVID-19, and for complications and death from the disease. A study of 500 patients showed that those who had low blood levels of hydroxy vitamin D were twice as likely as those with normal levels to develop COVID-19.

How Would I Treat Myself If I Got COVID-19?

If I had COVID-19 and was not very sick, I do not know if I would take anything. Today there are no drugs or treatments proven to prevent or cure COVID-19, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not licensed any treatment specifically for the virus.

Avoid Ultra Violet Lamps for COVID-19

Don't put your faith in the many advertisements for ultraviolet light machines making claims that they destroy SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They have not been shown to be effective, and UV rays strong enough to kill a virus may also damage your skin and eyes.

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.

Making Vaccines to Stop the COVID-19 Pandemic

The only way that scientists are going to end this current pandemic is to develop vaccines and immunize enough people to reach immunity in about 40 percent of the population from the vaccines or by having been infected with the disease.

High Blood Sugar After Meals Predicts Heart Attacks

A review of 129 studies found that tests for a high rise in blood sugar after meals were better than tests of fasting blood sugar levels as a predictor of coronary heart disease, strokes, or death from any cause.

High Blood Sugar Increases Risk for Complications in COVID-19

A study from Wuhan, China showed that non-diabetic COVID-19 patients with high blood sugar levels on admission to the hospital were more than twice as likely to die within a month and four times more likely to suffer the most serious complications caused by that disease.

Restrict Added Sugars to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

People who are at high risk for suffering a heart attack because they have a genetic factor that causes high LDL (bad) cholesterol should be treated with severe restriction of added sugars and all refined carbohydrates. The same advice should be given to people who are at increased risk for heart attacks for any reason.

Brain Health Supplements Are a Waste of Money

The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) reports that supplements sold to improve your memory and to prevent dementia are a waste of your money. There is no good evidence that any over-the-counter or prescription supplement can delay the onset of dementia, or prevent, treat or reverse Alzheimer’s disease.

Some Cases of Dementia Have Effective Treatments

More than six million North Americans suffer from dementia, which affects three percent of people age 65-74, 17 percent of age 75-84, and 32 percent of those age 85 and older. Anything that damages brain cells can cause dementia and many of the causes are treatable.

Taking Testosterone May Be Bad for Your Heart

Men should not take the male hormone, testosterone, unless their testicles are not producing adequate amounts. A study of 172,000 men found that those who have the genes for high blood levels of testosterone are at a 37 percent increased risk for suffering a heart attack, eight times the risk for heart failure and double the risk for blood clots in the brain and lungs.

Protecting Yourself from COVID-19

As businesses and activities are re-opening, many people have decided to relax their precautions to avoid infection with COVID-19. If you are a person who is at high risk for complications from this virus, I believe that you should continue to be on guard.

Resting Heart Rates Can Be Too High or Too Low

A resting heart rate greater than 80 beats per minute is a strong predictor for future heart attacks, diabetes and even cancer. From 1974 to 2002, 53,322 healthy people were followed at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas. Those with a resting heart rate lower than 60 beats per minute were far less likely to suffer heart attacks or to die than those with a resting heart rate greater than 80 beats per minute

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery is Usually Useless

I have said repeatedly that surgery to trim attached cartilage in the knee is usually worthless. I have seen many patients who have had cartilage removed by surgeons for an average charge of $5000, and then they must have a knee replacement several years later.

Diabetes is Often Missed

U.S. government data shows that the number of newly diagnosed diabetics dropped from 1.7 million in 2009 to 1.3 million in 2017, but huge numbers of diabetics have not been diagnosed, so they do not know that they have the disease..