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Best Of - 1st - Week of May 2023


Smoking During Pregnancy Risks Sudden Infant Death: Best Of: Feb, 2023



Smoking before and during a pregnancy increases by 5 fold the risk that an infant will die suddenly over the months following birth.  Rutgers University’s SIDS Center of New Jersey studied over one-half million white mother-child pairs and over 83,000 black mother-child pairs cataloging maternal smoking stats and the incidence of SIDS.


The data shows that smoking pre-pregnancy increases the SIDS risk about 2 fold for both groups.  As smoking continued through the trimesters, the risk for white families rapidly escalated to a whopping 7 fold while the risk for black families gradually increased to about half that at 3.6 fold.


This is yet another good reason to stop smoking if you expect to become pregnant, and your partner should stop as well.  Certainly both should ditch the habit once you have conceived.  Do it for your baby as well as for yourselves.


#smoking #pregnancy #SIDS #rutgers #race

smoking, pregnancy, SIDS, rutgers, race



A High Fat Diet Makes You Eat More and More: Best Of: Jan, 2023



Eating those fries and donuts modifies your brain cells and they begin to whisper, “eat more and more.”  Penn State neuroscience and behavioral scientists now report their mouse model studies demonstrating that a high-fat diet continuing even 3 to 5 days desensitizes the brain astrocytes.  


Astrocytes normally react to circulating fat and trigger appetite suppression by slowing stomach emptying and prolonging a feeling of being full.  With astrocytes bombarded and eating suppression reduced, you eat more and more further depressing your astrocytes and completing a vicious circle leading to weight gain and obesity.


#fat #astrocytes #appetite #obesity

fat, astrocytes, appetite, obesity



Teens Having Weight Loss Surgery Suffer Post-op Alcoholism: Best Of: 12/2022



By 8 years after adolescents undergo bariatric, weight loss, surgery, half of them have alcohol use disorders. Surgical investigators at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital led a multi-center study of 217 subjects ages 13 through 19 years.  Their data shows that, on average, these surgical patients develop an 8-fold increase in hazardous alcohol consumption and a 13-fold bump in alcohol-related problems.   If your child is having or has had a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, be on the lookout for their possible overuse of alcohol and get them help pronto.


#obesity #bariatricsurgery #alcohol #3alcoholism #gastrectomy #sleeveresection

obesity, bariatricsurgery, alcohol, alcoholism, gastrectomy, sleeveresection



A Green Mediterranean Diet Dissolves Beer Bellies Best: Best Of: 12/2022



Consuming a so-called green Mediterranean diet enriched with plant-based polyphenols and reduced red and processed meats more than triples the loss of intra-abdominal, visceral adipose tissue compared with merely following health dietary guidelines.  The green Med diet doubles the belly fat loss compared with a standard Mediterranean diet.


These findings stem from an international collaborative study of 286  subjects 88% of whom were men.   The green Mediterranean diet was polyphenol-enriched by the addition of green tea and green shake drinks.


Following either Mediterranean diet led to a modest weight loss, 2.7% for the standard variety and 3.9% for the green supplemented variety.  The effect of which diet the subjects followed was more significant on the loss of visceral adipose tissue. Those on a standard, healthy diet lost 4.2%, on a Mediterranean diet lost 6%, but those on the green Mediterranean diet dropped 14%.


#beerbelly #visceraladiposetissue #vat #Mediterraneandiet #greenMediterraneandiet

beerbelly, visceraladiposetissue, vat, Mediterraneandiet, greenMediterraneandiet



Reusable Contact Lenses Risk Infection: Best Of: Oct, 2022



Those wearing reusable contact lenses were nearly 4 times more likely to develop microbial keratitis, a corneal infection, in comparison to those using disposable lenses.  Ophthalmologists at University College London reviewed the cases of 205 contact lens wearers.


Compared with those using disposable lenses, the risk of amoeba-driven keratitis was 3.8 fold higher for those using reusable soft lenses and 4.6 fold higher for those using rigid reusables.  Other factors that drove increased keratititis rates included showering or swimming wearing lenses (3.3 fold increase), overnight lens wearing (3.9 fold increase, and infrequent professional eye exams (10 fold increase).


Amoebic keratitis is rare affecting only 1 in every 20,000 contact lens wearers.  Even so, it accounts for about 50% of eyesight loss, and 25% of those infected require corneal transplants to restore vision.  The sad fact: about 90% of these cases are avoidable.


#keratitis #contactlenses #reusables #disposables #blindness

keratitis, contactlenses, reusables, disposables, blindness



Nicotine Gummies A Child Poisoning Risk: Best Of: Aug, 2022



Fruit-flavored gummy candies containing nicotine, marketing to help smokers kick the habit, pose a danger to young children and teenagers.  The FDA has sent a warning letter to VPR Brands, the marketer of these nicotine candies, giving the company 15 days to remove the product or prevent its distribution to younger Americans.  These gummy cubes, never approved for sale by the FDA, can trigger nicotine poisoning and sometimes death if consumed by small children.


An FDA-funded California study found that these nicotine candies were the second most popular nicotine-containing product after e-cigarettes.


#nicotine #gummies #children #adolescents #poisoning

nicotine, gummies, children, adolescents, poisoning



Don’t Let Your Baby Cook Too Long-: Best Of: May, 2021



Forty-one weeks of gestation appears to be the safe upper limit for pregnancies.  This the conclusion of a Swedish multisite study of more than 2700 women with post-mature babies.


Half the group were randomized to be induced at 41 weeks,  The remainder were followed for up to another 7 days with mandatory induction at 42 weeks.  The study was abruptly ended when six babies in the watch and wait group died versus none in the 41 week-induced group.


A pregnancy is conventionally considered safe up to 42 weeks.  If you or a loved one is pregnant, insist on delivery by 41 weeks if the baby is large enough by ultrasound.


A.M. Jukic, D.D. Baird, C.R. Weinberg, D.R. McConnaughey, A.J. Wilcox. Length of human pregnancy and contributors to its natural variation. Human Reproduction, 2013 DOI: 10.1093/humrep/det297


#Pregnancy #postterm #induction #csection

Pregnancy, postterm, induction, csection



Ramping Up Male Hormones Can Be Deadly: Best  Of: May, 2021



Taking extra testosterone can double a man’s risk of dangerous leg blood clots, and that risk is tripled if he is younger than 65.  A study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine studied use of the supplement in nearly 40,000 men over a 7 year period.


Leg blood clots can travel up into the lungs and trigger a pulmonary embolism.  This blockage of blood into the lungs that kills up to 100,000 Americans each year.


Men take testosterone to increase physical and sexual vitality despite good scientific proof.  On the other hand extra hormone can enlarge a man’s breasts, reduce his sperm production, enlarge his prostate, and trigger sleep apnea.


I wouldn’t recommend it guys!


Walker RF, Zakai NA, MacLehose RF, et al. Association of Testosterone Therapy With Risk of Venous Thromboembolism Among Men With and Without Hypogonadism. JAMA Intern Med. Published online November 11, 2019. doi:


#testosterone #DVT #bloodclot #pulmonaryembolism

testosterone, DVT, bloodclot, pulmonaryembolism



Flavanols Prevent Stress-Induced Vascular Damage: Best Of: Apr, 2021



Drinking a flavanol-enriched cocoa beverage can protect your blood vessels during times of mental stress.  This the conclusion of a tightly controlled British study involving 30 male subjects from the University of Birmingham.


Each subject’s arm blood flow and a full battery of cardiovascular tests were performed at baseline and after drinking different cocoa drinks with either high or low concentrations of flavanol while being challenged with a difficult math problems.  


The flavanol significantly improved peripheral blood flow during subject stress without impacting either heart rate or blood pressure. Such blood flow improvement could positively impact an individual’s reasoning abilities.


Flavanols occur in apples, berries, soy, tea, and red wine.


#flavanols #bloodflow #stress #problemsolving

flavanols, bloodflow, stress, problemsolving



Mushrooms May Prevent Cancer: Best Of: Apr, 2021



Consistent consumption of mushrooms may reduce your risk of cancer by as much as 34%.  Penn State public health and food scientists report this observation after their meta-analysis of 17 observational studies published between 1966 and 2020 with data for more than 19,500 cancer patients.


The beneficial effect of mushrooms was particularly strong for breast cancer patients and many of the reports focused on this type of cancer.  Comparing the risk of non-breast cancer for the highest mushroom consumers versus the lowest revealed only a 20% benefit.


Mushrooms are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.  Shiitake, oyster, maitake and king oyster mushrooms are particularly rich in the powerful antioxidant ergothioneine.


#cancer #mushrooms #antioxidants #ergothoneine

cancer, mushrooms, antioxidants, ergothoneine



Being Fun Scores You More Real Life Followers: Best Of: Apr, 2020



Contrary to urban legend, the best-liked kids are not always the best-looking, athletic, or smartest.  They are the most fun!  Psychologists at the Florida Atlantic University and Montreal’s Concordia University performed a longitudinal study on 1273 pre-teens 9-12 years of age.


The data reveal that being fun, stimulating other kids with upbeat creativity and sometimes mischievous behaviors, is a peer magnet.  The poster child for fun is Ferris Bueller.  The school principal hates him but ..... (clip: He’s a righteous dude!


Fun leads to status. Then elevated social status often translates into lifetime success.


#fun #popularity #success #ferrisbueller

fun, popularity, success, ferrisbueller



Exercise For Better Executive Brain Skills: Best Of: Feb, 2019



Exercising regularly not only tones your muscles but also the executive control center in your brain.  This is the conclusion of a study by Columbia University neurologists.


They studied 132 couch potatos of all ages and split them into two groups each with an identical age profile, gender distribution, educational background, and test scores on cognitive exams.  One group started regular aerobic exercise while the other group pursued non-strenuous stretching and toning.


The subjects who were aerobically exercising by either treadmill walking, stationery cycling, or using an ellipical machine scored twice as high on problem-solving tests as those only stretching.  Those aerobic exercisers who were middle-aged tested as though they had the executive brain powers of those 10 years younger while elder exercisers performed as though they were a whopping 20 years younger.


Aerobic exercise is good at any age, but it really pays off as you get older.



Yaakov Stern, Anna MacKay-Brandt, Seonjoo Lee, Paula McKinley, Kathleen McIntyre, Qolamreza Razlighi, Emil Agarunov, Matthew Bartels, Richard P. Sloan. Effect of aerobic exercise on cognition in younger adults A randomized clinical trial. Neurology, 2019 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000007003


#aerobics #executivefunction #cognitiveimprovement 

aerobics, executivefunction, cognitiveimprovement



Unilateral Throat Pain: Best Of: 0191: WBZ News Radio



Dr. Smith speaks with a male caller with a unilateral throat tickle.  They discuss the fact that a tickle is the mildest form of pain.  Dr. Smith also cautions about the danger of one-sided throat pain.


#throatpain #unilateral #tonsillitis #peritonsillarabscess #neckabscess #tickle #wbznewsradio

throatpain, unilateral, tonsillitis, peritonsillarabscess, neckabscess, tickle, wbznewsradio



Missed Period: Best Of: 0191: WBZ News Radio



Dr. Smith takes an on-air call from a woman with a late menstrual period.  They discuss signs of pregnancy, home and in-office pregnancy testing, and reasons for late periods.


#lateperiod #pregnancy #pregnancytest #menstrualcycle #wbznewsradio

lateperiod, pregnancy, pregnancytest, menstrualcycle, wbznewsradio

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