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FDA Proposes New Sunscreen Rules

At last, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing new rules on sunscreen safety. Finalizing these rules and actually making changes on the regulation or labeling of sunscreens will take time, so I advise you to follow their recommendations now by reading the labels and avoiding those products with ingredients that are unlikely to be safe or may be found unsafe. Here are the proposed rules.

Prostate Biopsy Not So Benign

Doctors do not need to biopsy every man with a high PSA screening blood test for prostate cancer. Most patients become infected from the procedure, 20 percent suffer severe pain, 10 percent require strong pain medicines, and 15 percent of previously potent patients report that they can't get an erection one month later.

Heart Attacks and Cancers Share the Same Risk Factors

Once a year for 10 years, 6,814 people received Coronary Artery Calcium Score tests using X rays to measure the amount of plaques in their arteries, to predict their chances for suffering a heart attack (Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging, December 2015). The participants were ages 45-84 and free of heart disease at the beginning of the study. The results showed that those with persistent coronary calcium scores of zero were at very low risk for heart disease.

Dementia Linked to Excess Belly Fat

We now have data that links having a large belly to increased risk for dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, a debilitating way to spend your last years.

Aspirin to Prevent Colon Cancer?

People who take aspirin are at reduced risk for colon cancer, unless they are among the four percent of North Americans who have a genetic susceptibility for colon cancer (JAMA, March 17, 2015;313(11):1133-1142). Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States (after lung cancer), with 1,162,426 people living...

Male Hair Loss and Heart Attacks

A depressing study from Harvard School of Public Health showed that loss of hair on the top of the head markedly increases a man's chances of suffering a heart attack, and the more hair he loses, the more likely he is to suffer a heart attack (1). Men with male pattern baldness have higher than...

How Diet Can Lower High Blood Pressure

Changes in diet should be the first strategy for anyone with high blood pressure, but most people will need to make drastic changes in their eating habits to succeed. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have shown why the DASH diet lowers high blood pressure to normal in more than 80 percent of...

Brain Tissue Loss Linked to Diabetes

Research shows that the longer a patient has diabetes, the smaller his brain, particularly in the gray matter that interprets and directs muscle control, seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision-making and self-control. Diabetics lose brain size more than twice as rapidly as non-diabetics. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely he is to suffer dementia.

Cholesterol Guidelines

The current cholesterol guidelines recommend that everyone should have a blood level of the bad LDL cholesterol below 100. If you live in Canada, divide the American number by 40.

Exercise for Arthritis

When you have arthritis, your joints hurt every time you move. When you wake up, your muscles and tendons are so stiff that you can barely get out of bed, but you force yourself to get up and as you keep on moving, the pain lessens and you can move a little faster. Is your...

Cancer Treatment Should Include Lifestyle Improvements (Long)

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.

How Excess Weight Can Cause Arthritis

Osteoarthritis affects almost 30 million North Americans, making it the most common joint disease. It damages cartilage most often in the knees, hips, fingers and spine and is associated with aging, trauma, and obesity, but its primary cause now appears to be an overactive immunity that damages joints.

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...

Statin Guidelines Flawed

The American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) proposed guidelines for prescribing statin drugs to prevent heart attacks. The old rule was to prescribe statins whenever a person's bad LDL cholesterol is greater than 100 mg/dL

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.

Beta Blocker Side Effects

Research shows that some beta blockers and diuretics that are prescribed to control high blood pressure can cause high blood sugar levels, weight gain, tiredness and impotence

Triglyceride/HDL Ratio Predicts Heart Attacks, Diabetes

Two blood tests that are done during routine physical exams can be used to predict whether you are at increased risk for a heart attack. It's called the triglyceride/HDL ratio, calculated by dividing your triglycerides number by your HDL number.

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.

Getting Rid of Dark Spots on the Skin

With aging, many people develop dark spots on their skin, particularly in the sun-exposed areas of the face and back of the hands. Others develop dark spots after pregnancy or trauma, such as an abrasion, insect bite or cut.

Who Gets High Blood Sugar After Meals?

Some foods raise blood sugar far more than others, and a high rise in blood sugar after meals can increase risk for diabetes, heart attacks and premature death. A study from Israel shows that some people develop surprisingly high blood sugar levels after eating foods such as bread, pizza, potato, tomatoes or bananas, while others do not develop the expected rise in blood sugar even after drinking a sugared soft drink or eating a cookie.

Sweet Drinks Raise Risk for Diabetes

A just-published study shows that drinking either sugared or artificially-sweetened drinks is associated with increased risk for diabetes (Am J Clin Nutr, Jun 28, 2017). Of 64,850 post-menopausal women followed for 8.4 years, 4675 developed diabetes.

Get Rid of Fat in Liver to Cure Type II Diabetes

A breakthrough article from Johns Hopkins implies that most cases of type II diabetes could be cured by reducing the amount of fat in the liver and that some diabetics may have to rid themselves of most of the fat from the rest of their bodies before they will get enough fat out of their liver.

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.

Total Knee Replacement

When all the cartilage in your knee is gone, the only effective treatment is to replace the whole knee. The ends of bones are soft, so they must be covered with a thick white gristle called cartilage. Once damaged, cartilage can never heal or re-grow. Small holes in cartilage can be repaired, but usually once cartilage is damaged the person spends the rest of his or her life losing cartilage until it is completely gone and the knee hurts 24 hours a day.

DASH (High-Plant) Diet for Heart Health, Weight Loss and Diabetes Prevention/Control

Reports from Harvard School of Public Health shows that a diet rich in plants lowers high blood pressure (1,2). It's called the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.) Other studies show that similar eating patterns lower cholesterol, help to control diabetes and cause weight loss in people who are overweight.

Knee Osteoarthritis: Exercise Therapy More Effective than Surgery

With aging, a person wears away the shock-absorbing cartilage in the knees, which increases risk for pain and swelling. Many studies present overwhelming evidence that surgery for torn knee cartilage (torn meniscus) does not reduce knee pain or swelling in the long run.

Zinc and Prostate Cancer

A study from the National Cancer Institutes showed that taking more than 100 mg of zinc supplements a day doubles a man's chances of developing advanced prostate cancer. There are hundreds of products on the market today that contain zinc and they are advertised to help treat the prostate, help prevent prostate cancer, help treat an enlarged prostate, treat impotence, increase sexuality, increase ejaculation volume, and make a man more potent. All of these claims are unsupported by scientific data.

Can Cancer Cells be Starved to Death?

The New York Times published a major article on the possibility of curing cancer by starving cancer cells to death (NYT, May 12, 2016), a theory first proposed almost 100 years ago by Otto Warburg, arguably the world's greatest chemist ever. With the discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick more than 50 years ago, scientists diverted their attention to a genetic basis for cancer research. However, it now appears that most cancers are influenced by environmental factors.

Colon Cleansers

Colon cleansers are foods and laxatives that loosen your stool and make you go to the bathroom. The latest research shows that regular use of laxatives or colon cleansers can harm you by blocking the absorption of healthful nutrients from your colon into your bloodstream.

Preventing Kidney Stones

Thirteen percent of North American men and seven percent of women suffer from kidney stones which can be incredibly painful to pass from the kidneys to the bladder. Those who get one stone have a 50 percent chance of passing another stone within the next five years. Here are the current recommendations for preventing kidney stones: