Fastrack Archives January 2013
Tuesday January 1, 2013
Reactions to Everyday Stress Predict Future Health
It is not stress itself that causes health problems, it is how we react to stress that will determine our health 10 years from now according to the November 2012 issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine.
Researchers at Penn State surveyed 2000 people daily for 8 days regarding the level of stress in their lives and measured their cortisol level. They then re-surveyed them and re-measured cortisol levels 10 years later. People who were upset at the beginning of the study by daily stressors and continued to dwell on them were more likely to suffer from chronic health issues such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease 10 years later.
It is far better to learn to deal with stress sooner than later!
Thursday January 3, 2013
Medical School-Big Pharma Conflicts of Interest
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) is grading med schools on their ability to block Big Pharma representatives from bribing them with meals, gifts, free drug samples, and industry funded education. Only two medical schools had a perfect scorecard. Of the 152 med schools, only 105 received a grade of A or B. This was up from 2008 when only 79 schools passed.
My book, A Return to Healing, has a chapter called: The Karma of Big Pharma is at times shameful, especially when it comes to the research it funds. They have 10s of millions invested that from a purely business point of view.
We have a long way to go to disengage from the tentacles of the pharmaceutical companies. Congratulations to the medical students who recognize and understand this dreadful situition and are taking steps to fix it.
Friday January 4, 2013
How to Prevent Mass Murders
Losing a child from a mass murder is incomprehensively horrendous. We are outraged every time there is a mass murder, but what do we do to prevent another? Not much. Gun control is understandably a complicated issue because we certainly don't want to have a dangerously deranged person who is capable of a mass murder to have a gun.
Yet the second amendment to the US Constitution gives us the right to bear arms. How do we solve both problems? Where do we draw the line; with hand guns, shot guns, automatic rifles, grenades, bombs, tanks, missles? As a society we cannot give up our right to bear arms. Too many countries have banned guns, which was followed by millions of people being massacred.
We believe the solution can come from being able to identify potential mass murderers through programs that can be implemented in every school, and at every level. A few schools have classes oriented to a group therapy type of functioning. In these classes the social problems students face are explored. This is not only very important of our social and psychological education but it would also make it fairly easy to identify most people who have the potential of being a mass murderer. Mass murderers have a personality type that is usually straightforward to identify. Dr. Len and Nurse Vicki reviewe this and much more.
Monday January 7, 2013
Oncologists Admit Income is Linked to Treatment
A survey of 480 oncologists published in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that they get paid more when they administer and sell chemotherapy and other drugs to their patients. This has been previously shown to account for up to 65% of their income in some instances. Yet only 27% of these oncologists acknowledged this was true for their practices.
The problem with this, of course, is that there would be a temptation to overtreat with drugs that are expensive and perhaps not especially beneficial.
Tuesday January 8, 2013
MDs admit being unqualified to deal with obesity
An article In the December 2012 issue of the British Medical Journal reports that 56% of MDs felt they could not help obese people lose weight. They felt that measuring the body mass index (BMI) and putting people on low calorie diets would be a major step forward. For the time being they felt that dieticians and nutritionists would be better at helping these people.
Hogwash! This is a naive approach to understanding why people are overweight. We all know when we're overweight, we don't need a fancy scale that measure our BMI or another diet that doesn't work.
We need to use our skills as doctors to search for the underlying problems that led to becoming obese if we're going to have any chance of solving the problem. Factors such as hypothyroidism, insulin and leptin resistance, inflammation, insomnia, toxic exposures, use of many medications such asa SSRIs, anti-psychotics, beta blockers, anti-seizure medications, PTSD, bulimia, and much more need to be considered.
Wednesday January 9, 2013
Breast milk is a probiotic
Spanish researchers reported in the January 2013 issue of theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition that there are more than 700 species of bacteria in normal human breast milk. They suggest that this is one of the factors leading to which bacteria will colonize the infant's digestive tract.
Mother's milk is primarily lactose, but it is also loaded with more than 30 undigestible complex sugars that serve as food for the friendly bacteria in the GI tract. Which microbes grow in our intestinal tract has a lot to do with immunity, digestion, and a wide range of illnesses.
We live in a symbiotic relationship with a sea of microbes and they play a very important role in keeping us healthy in many ways. To learn more about this click here.
Thursday January 10, 2013
Can Giving Improve Your Health?
The act of giving not only feels good but is good for your biochemistry, physiology, overall health and longevity! How much of this is related to the feel good hormone, oxytocin, and how much is related to doing a good deed? Giving oxytocin to people leads to their being more giving and feeling happier.
Studies on volunteers over 30 years show that this was associated with a 44% lower risk for dying. In general, volunteers enjoyed better quality of life, were happier, more satisfied, had greater self esteem, had less depression and enjoyed better heath.
Friday January 11, 2013
Is infant formula safe?
Infant formula will never come remotely close to providing the nutrients found in human breast milk. Formula has the wrong fats, sugars, and proteins and is missing most nutrients found in mother's milk. Sixty percent of the calories derived from mother's milk is from fat. It is critical that mothers to be eat a healthy diet starting about 6 months before planning to get pregnant.
Mother's milk has between 2 and 6% fat, 1% protein, and 7% carbohydrate. The carbohydrate in formula is corn syrup (glucose and fructose) and table sugar (sucrose, which is also glucose and fructose). Babies don't need fructose. In addition, there is little lactose or any of the other 30 complex sugars that are in mother's milk that support the development of the baby's intestinal microflora.
Formula fats are vegetable oils that are processed and sometimes a small amount of essential fatty acids such as DHA and arachadonic acid. Occasionally there is some coconut oil, which is needed to make certain antibiotic fatty acid derivatives.
Breast milk proteins include alpha-lactalbumin, lactoferrin, immunoglobulin IgA, lysozyme, and serum albumin.
Monday January 21, 2013
Cancer Studies Downplay Chemotherapy Side Effects
According to the January 2013 issue of Annals of Oncology, the side effects of chemotherapy are left out of the articles. Investigators are going overboard to make their studies look as positive as possible. Two thirds of 164 studies were found to downplay the side effects of chemotherapy. This, of course, leads oncologists to treatment protocols that don't give patients an honest appraisal of what their treament.
Scientists were found to spin their results to make them look better than they really are. There is a lot of pressure on researchers because their job depends on publishing research.
Tuesday January 22, 2013
CDC Says 2013 Flu is now an Epidemic
According to the CDC influenza has reached epidemic proportions. The "exaggerati" are back at work spreading fear and panic to the American people. After the lies and deception the CDC published durig the swine flu in 2009-10 it is amazing they have the audacity to continue spreading their propaganda.
It seems that the people benefiting from their made up statistics are the pharmaceutical companies that make the flu vaccine and drugs to treat it such as Tamiflu. If you would like to review the deception during the swine flu pandemic, click here.
Wednesday January 23, 2013
H. Pylori Protects Against Stroke and Lung Cancer
The January 6, 2013 issue of the journal, GUT, reported that in a 12 year study of 10,000 people, the presence of a very virulent strain of H. pylori protected against stroke and lung cancer. We know that H. pylori causes gastric ulcers and carcinoma but it remains ironic that this versatile microbe seems to have protective effects against these disorders.
The risk of death from stroke was dimished by 55% and of lung cancer by 45%. Nonetheless, it is important to appreciate that these numbers are merely based on associations and that it is far from proven that these findings may be no more than a marker for some other process.
Thursday January 24, 2013
Patients Rarely Told of Medication Errors in the Hospital
According to an article in the January 2013 issue of Critical Care Medicine, patients and their families are rarely told when there is a medication error in the hospital. Eight hundred and forty thousand voluntarily reported medication errors from 537 US hospitals over 6 years were evaluated. You can just imagine how many errors there were that went unreported. How many MDs would be eager to admit their patient was the victim of a serious drug error, especially if they were at fault?
If you do the math from this report it becomes apparent that there were an average of only 261 errors per year at each hospital. There would be some days when this many medication errors are made a our largest hospitals. So, the prevalence of this problem is far more than is what was reported. Some estimates in the medical literature say that there are nearly 100 unreported errors for each voluntarily reported mistakes.
The practice of medicine is unrealistically complicated when it is practiced properly, especially when patients are given 10-30 different drugs when in the hospital. Our MDs deserve a lot of credit for doing as well as they do for people sick enough to be in the hospital.
Friday January 25, 2012
Trees and Human Health Go Together
A US Forrest Service published an article in the January issue of theAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine, that correlated massive loss of trees with cardiovascular and pulmonary deaths in an 18 year study across the eastern and midwestern US. The study included 1296 counties and 15 states where there was a loss of 100 million ash trees from theemerald ash borrer beetle. They calculated there were an extra 15,000 cardiovascular deaths and 6000 pulmonary deaths.
This association is suggestive but not proof that the loss of trees actually was directly responsible for this increase in mortality.
Monday January 28, 2013
Is Coca-Cola another Phillip Morris?
Coca-Cola is intensifying its ads portraying the company as trying to lessen the epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes by producing better tasting artificial sweeteners and introducing smaller cans. This seems like full blown damage control to preserve the market for a product that is causing the the problem. In our opinion they are pretending they're part of the solution instead of part of the problem!
The high fructose corn syrup leads to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, gout, cirrhosis of the liver (no this is not a misprint), abnormal blood lipids, and hypertension.
Coke spent more than $600 million advertising in 2011.
Tuesday January 29, 2013
What You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana
A study of 19 patients in a convalescent hospital in Israel using medical marijuana showed that it is helpful to improve appetite, ease pain, reduce tremors, improve mood, concentration, communication skills, and improve sleep. Permits for medical cannabis in Israel increased from 400 in 2009 to11,000 now.
Cannabis has been used for 2000 years. The active ingredient, THC (tetra hydrocannabinol) is one of 70 cannabinoids and 400 compounds that increase cerebral blood flow andcortical activity, and also kill respiratory pathogens and have powerful anti-inflammatory activiity. They have an unusual safety profile and do not cause cancer. They have some anti-cancer activity because they inhibit angiogenesis and the spread of metastases.
Cannabis is illegal federally, but 16 states have legalized marihuana and 12 more have pending legislation. It is far safer than alcohol and many presciption drugs, and it is not addicting. As long as marijuana is illegal it will be a source of massive income for the underworld.
Wednesday January 30, 2013
Kids with Fewer Vaccines have Fewer Doctor and Emergency Room Visits
Pediatrics published an article looking at the "benefits" of having vaccines on schedule vs not in two groups of infants between the ages of 6 and 24 months. What they found and what they reported is very different. To their surprise, those children who did not have vaccines by deliberately avoid some of them, had fewer visits to their pediatricians or to the emergency room. So, what did they report? "Undervaccinated children appear to have different health care utilization patterns compared to age-appropriately vaccinated children."
This is science at a low point! It is a little surprising that the 15 researchers who were involved in this paper published anything at all.
It is time to do the studies that are necessary to assess the value of immunizations in a scientific way. Let's hope that the age of proclamations is coming to an end.