top of page

Best Of: 1st Week of June 2023


Head Injuries Boost Your Premature Death Risk: Best Of: Jan, 2023



Suffering a head injury more than doubles your risk of dying at some time over a 30 year period.  So say University of Pennsylvania neurologists who followed 13,037 adults, median age of 54, between 1987 and 2019.  


Head injuries were experienced by 18% of the group.  The risk of death for this cohort was 2 twice that of the non-injured group.  That risk depended upon the number of head injuries experienced: one bumped the risk up 66% while 2 or more injuries increased the risk 211%.  Severity matters too.  Those sustaining mild head injuries had a 216% higher risk of death; those with moderate, severe, or penetrating injuries had 287% rise in death risk.


Don’t take chances with your head.  During sports and recreational activities, DO wear protective headgear.


#headinjury #death #sports

headinjury, death, sports



Cyclic Sighing Beats Meditation For Stress Control: Best Of: Jan, 2023



Breathing with prolonged exhalation beats other breathing techniques as well as mindless meditation for elevating your mood and extinguishing anxiety.  Stanford University neurobiologists and psychologists studied 108 persons with a mean age of 28 years.  Two-thirds were females.


Four techniques were tested by each of 4 groups for 5 minutes each day for 28 days. The Cyclic Sighing group respired with a prolonged exhalation pattern taking twice as long to expel air as inhale it.  The Box Breathing group breathed with inhalation and exhalation phases of equal duration.  The Cyclic Hyperventilation group performed 30 in and out breaths followed by a 15 second pause with empty lungs.  The Mindful Meditation group closed eyes and concentrated on their foreheads keeping other thoughts out of their minds.


While all of those pursuing controlled breathing showed better mood improvement than those meditating, the cyclic sighing group had the most mood elevation and anxiety suppression.  The next time you need a pick-me-up, consider closing your eyes and breathing in normally but taking twice as long to exhale.


#breathing #sighing #cyclicsighing #medication #stress #anxiety

breathing, sighing, cyclicsighing, medication, stress, anxiety



Politics Can Be Sickening: Best Of: Jan, 2023



Do you develop headaches, become anxious, and feel depressed as you watch the news and digest the political commentary on cable channels?  You’re not alone.


Psychologists from the University of Toronto in collaboration with NYU epidemiologists studied 3,208 Americans in 4 different studies as they observed US politics on broadcast and social media.  Participants felt some negative emotions on 81% of days and stronger negativity on 45% of days.  To protect themselves, Americans attempted distraction on 80% of days and emotional suppression on 70% of days.


When politics and political wars are sickening you, shut off Fox News and MSNBC, read a good book, or watch a heart-warming drama or side-splitting comedy.


#politics #stress #distraction #anxiety #depression #republicans #democrats

politics, stress, distraction, anxiety, depression, republicans, democrats



Eating Mediterranean Style Makes All Genders More Fertile: Best Of: Jan, 2023



The Mediterranean diet, rich in healthy fats and anti-inflammatory nutrients but devoid of red and processed meats fights the inflammation that degrades menstrual regularity, embryo implantation, and sperm quality.  


Australian public health researchers extoll the virtues of the Med diet in an excellent review appearing in the journal Nutrients.  The level of body inflammation, as measured by levels of circulating C-Reactive Protein or CRP, is inversely proportional to the success of both natural reproduction and in vitro fertilization.  The Med Diet is one of several ani-inflammatory diets which include the Healthy Nordic Diet and the Okinawan Diet.  All of these feature monounsaturated fats, flavonoids, Vitamins C and E, and polyphenols.


What are these diet’s benefits? Consuming these healthy diets seems to improve egg and embryo quality, implantation success, and successful gestations though not all studies confirm these benefits.  On the male side, anti-inflammatory diets compared with Western diets high in fat, sugar, and red meat improve sperm count and concentration as well as sperm membrane composition.


Bottom line: if you’re a couple trying to get pregnant, consider the MedDiet.


#pregnancy #fertility #mediterraneandiet #inflammation #westerndiet

pregnancy, fertility, mediterraneandiet, inflammation, westerndiet



Only Children Are More Unhealthy Eaters: Best Of: May, 2021



Children without siblings are nearly 5 times more likely to demonstrate unhealthy eating patterns compared with those having brothers and sisters.  University of Oklahoma nutritionists reviewed food consumption diaries from 67 families to determine a Healthy Eating Index for each.


Healthy eating habits are not diminished by time away from home in daycare or pre-school.  Less nutritious eating occurs when mother herself suffers from weight problems and when the family spends added time snacking in front of the TV.


If you have an only child, be cautious about his or her diet.  Eliminate the junk food, fill the fridge with carrots, apples, and grapes, end reduce time eating in front of TV.


Chelsea L. Kracht, Susan B. Sisson, Emily Hill Guseman, Laura Hubbs-Tait, Sandra H. Arnold, Jennifer Graef, Allen Knehans. Family Eating Behavior and Child Eating Patterns Differences Between Children With and Without Siblings. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2019; 51 (10): 1188 DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2019.08.004


#Onlykids #healthyfood #overweight #obesity

Onlykids, healthyfood, overweight, obesity



Exercise To Elevate Your Mood: Best Of: May, 2021



Just four hours of weekly exercise, any exercise, will reduce your chances of a depression episode by 17% even if you are genetically predisposed.  Harvard researchers now publish this result after studying 8,000 participants in a Boston database for whom they calculated a depression risk score based on family history and mood assessment by questionnaire.


The study shows similar benefits from high intensity exercise such as cycling, running, and dance and more relaxed efforts including yoga and stretching.  Although focusing on those at risk for depression, the investigators suggest universal beneficial effects for 35 minutes of daily exercise.


Depression is the most frequent cause of disability on the planet.  Keeping moving and avoid it.


#Exercise #depression #aerobics #yoga

Exercise #depression, aerobics, yoga



The Aching Heart Needs Company: Best Of: May, 2021



A Danish study just published in the British Medical Journal shows that cardiac patients who describe themselves as lonely are 3 times more likely to die from any cause.  Lonely men were 40% more likely to experience a repeat cardiac illness within one year after an initial evetn.


The researchers studied more than 13,400 subjects with coronary disease, rhythm problems, valve disease, and heart failure.  Loneliness and living alone are associated with significantly poorer recovery from all forms of heart disease.


If you have heart disease or know someone that does, surround yourself or them with caring and supportive family and friends. The best medicines and surgery may fail due to lack of love.


Anne Vinggaard Christensen, Knud Juel, Ola Ekholm, Lars Thrysøe, Charlotte Brun Thorup, Britt Borregaard, Rikke Elmose Mols, Trine Bernholdt Rasmussen, Selina Kikkenborg Berg. Significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality among cardiac patients feeling lonely. Heart, 2019; heartjnl-2019-315460 DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2019-315460


#Loneliness #heartdisease

Loneliness, heartdisease



A Beer Belly Is Bad For Your Thinking: Best Of: Dec, 2019



Accumulations of belly fat and love handles are associated with a reduction in our problem-solving powers.  This from an Iowa State University study of more than 4400 middle-aged men and women.


The researchers measured both belly and waist fat as well as lean muscle mass.  Participants with belly fat accumulations were the worst problem solvers followed by those with love handles.  Those with more lean muscle mass scored the highest.


To avoid a pear-shaped body and add lean body mass, exercise with resistance training and aerobics.  Then, eating right cutting out those saturated fatty doughnuts and carb-loaded beers.


Brandon S. Klinedinst, Colleen Pappas, Scott Le, Shan Yu, Qian Wang, Li Wang, Karin Allenspach-Jorn, Jonathan P. Mochel, Auriel A. Willette. Aging-related changes in fluid intelligence, muscle and adipose mass, and sex-specific immunologic mediation: A longitudinal UK Biobank study. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2019; 82: 396 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.09.008


#Beerbelly #bellyfat #lovehandles #pearshape #creativity #intelligence

Beerbelly, bellyfat, lovehandles, pearshape, creativity, intelligence



Virtual Reality Helps Fine Tune Your Balance: Best Of: Mar, 2019



If you’re struggling with balance problems due to an accident, an injury, or advancing age, that VR headset laying around the house or on the store shelf may just be the key to your recovery.  Balance specialists and physiotherapists at Sweden’s Lund University now report their results using a virtual reality environment to help subjects train their balance systems. 


Patients with chronic balance system issues often begin to rely almost exclusively on visual input to stabilize their stance.   By repeatedly practicing stabilizing themselves on a postural stability platform while immersed in a VR roller coaster ride, the 20 experimental subjects were able to deploy the non-visual balance sensors in their muscles, joints, and ears to better reach a state of balance equilibration.  


The average number of near fall events diminished 10-fold after 5 VR rides by the female subjects.  The males experienced fewer fall events overall but enjoyed a similar pattern of improvement.


The researchers speculate that VR technology could play a key role in the rehabilitation of both head injury and stroke victims.


Per-Anders Fransson, Mitesh Patel, Hanna Jensen, Michèle Lundberg, Fredrik Tjernström, Måns Magnusson, Eva Ekvall Hansson. Postural instability in an immersive Virtual Reality adapts with repetition and includes directional and gender specific effects. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39104-6


#VR #virtualreality #vestibularsystem #dizzy #balance

VR, virtualreality,  vestibularsystem, dizzy, balance



Hairline Foot Fracture: Best Of: WBZ NewsRadio: Apr, 1991



Dr. Smith discusses hairline foot fractures with a WBZ Radio caller.


#hairline #fracture #foot #nonunion #orthopedics #wbznewsradio

hairline, fracture, foot, nonunion, orthopedics, wbznewsradio



Evaluation of Fainting: Best Of: WBZ NewsRadio: Jan, 1991



Dr. Smith asks Mark Linzer, MD, Director, Syncope Center, New England Medical Center, about the evaluation for fainting which is technically called syncope.


#fainting #syncope #arrhythmia #holtermonitoring #wbznewsradio

fainting, syncope, arrhythmia, holtermonitoring, wbznewsradio



Breast Cancer In Men: Best Of: WBZ NewsRadio: June, 1991



Dr. Smith and the late Robert Osteen, MD of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital briefly speak about male breast cancer.


#breastcancer #men #nippledischarge #wbznewsradio

breastcancer, men, nippledischarge, wbznewsradio



History of Hypnosis: Best Of: WBZ NewsRadio: May, 1990



Dr. Smith and hypnotherapist Barry Beder, MSW, LICSW discuss the history of hypnosis.


#hypnosis #magic #benfranklin #hypnotherapy #wbznewsradio

hypnosis, magic, benfranklin, hypnotherapy, wbznewsradio



Hypnosis Effects On The Body: Best Of: WBZ NewsRadio: May, 1990



Dr. Smith and hypnotherapist Barry Beder, MSW, LICSW discuss the effects that hypnosis can have on the body


#hypnosis #healing #mindbody #hypnotherapy #pain #bleeding #wbznewsradio

hypnosis, healing, mindbody, hypnotherapy, pain, bleeding, wbznewsradio

bottom of page