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Best Of - 3rd - Week of May 2023


Gorging on Fast Food Can Destroy Your Liver: Best Of: Jan, 2023



Consuming more than 20% of your daily calories by wolfing down quarter-pounders, pizza, and donuts risks depositing enough fat in your liver to damage it, stop it from its vital detoxification role, and eventually triggering the need for a liver transplant.


University of Southern California investigators studied liver fat measurements and dietary habits of about 4,000 US adults.  About 29% of the cohort clocked one-fifth or more of their daily calories by consuming fast food.  Only this group developed abnormal fatty liver deposits, and the association was not changed by excessive body weight or the development of diabetes.


Bottom line: moderate your trips to those drive-through windows and populate your diet with fish, fruit, vegetables, and healthy grains.


#fattyliver #fastfood #friedfood #obesity #diabetes #liverfailure

fattyliver, fastfood, friedfood, obesity, diabetes, liverfailure



Cough Medicine Is Poisoning Our Youngest Kids: Best Of: Nov, 2022



One commonly prescribed, non-narcotic cough medicine is a danger to any family with children under 10.  That drug is benzonatate, previously marketed as Tessalon and Zonatuss, and now sold as the generic.  The drug is indicated for cough suppression in those 10 years or over.  


The FDA is now warning all parents and their pediatricians that the cases of benzonatate poisonings has skyrocketed.  Prescription of this drug has increased more than 62% over the past 10 years.  Accidental ingestions account for 77% of cases and 83% involve kids under 5 years.  When children 9 months through 4 years accidentally ingest the gleaming capsules called perles, what follows is often cardiac and respiratory arrests, seizures, and death.


If you have this drug in your medicine cabinet and there are younger children at home, lock it up.


#fda #cough #benzonatate #tessalon #poisoning #death

fda, cough, benzonatate, tessalon, poisoning, death



Blue Light Therapy Helps PTSD: Best Of: Nov, 2022



Daily exposure to blue light each morning significantly improves Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.  University of Arizona psychiatrists report these findings following their study of 82 PTSD sufferers.


All study participants committed to a daily 30 minute light treatment continued over a 6 week period.  The treatment group of 43 were exposed to blue wavelength LED lights operating at a wavelength of 469 nm while the 39 controls received amber LED light treatments at a wavelength of 578 nm.  All participants underwent neurocognitive and neuroimaging assessments to quantitate PTSD symptoms, sleep quality, and fear conditioning.


Blue light therapy reduced the numbers and severity of PTSD symptoms.  Light therapy improved sleep quality but both light wavelengths improved sleep.  The blue light improved the subjects abilities to extinguish fear memories.


#ptsd #sleep #bluelight #fear

ptsd, sleep, bluelight, fear



Pomegranates Kill Your Appetite While Saving You: Best Of: Sep, 2022



You’ve no doubt heard that pomegranates are chock full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and those cancer-killing antioxidants.  A Scottish study now adds appetite-suppression to the pomegranate’s beneficial powers.


Twenty-eight subjects with a mean age of 35 years were randomized to receive a 3 week priming course of pomegranate extract or a placebo. On the test day, the test subjects and controls all consumed a breakfast and lunch also with pom juice.  Those subjects who had the pom prime over the previous 3 weeks, felt fuller, more satiated, and, later, less hungry than the group without a pom prime and only pom juice at the meals.


Regular pomegranate juice will likely keep you healthy, in part, because it may kill your appetite and keep you at a healthy weight.


#pomegranate #satiation #obesity #antioxidant

pomegranate, satiation, obesity, antioxidant



Sugary Drinks Trigger Bowel Cancer In Women: Best Of: May, 2021



Young women consuming more than two servings a day of sugar-sweetened drinks more than double their risk (2.2) of bowel cancer.  Public health researchers at St. Louis’ Washington University issue this warning after comparing the dietary records of 95,464 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study.


The cancer risk escalates 16% for every extra sugary drink serving/day.  That risk doubles to 32% for those consuming an extra beverage during their teen years.   Conversely, eliminating that sugary drink in favor of coffee, milk, or diet drinks reduces the colon cancer risk from 17-36%.


Your bowels may not tolerate sugar well, but colon cancer feeds off it.


#cancer #sugar #softdrinks #colon #women

cancer, sugar, softdrinks, colon, women



Women’s Chest Pain Taken Less Seriously Than Men’s: Best Of: May, 2021



Women with heart attack symptoms are significantly less likely than men to receive timely therapy.  This the conclusion of an NYU study just presented at the American College of Cardiology’s spring scientific sessions.


Though women with chest pain arrived at the ED as quickly as men, they were less likely to be triaged as first priority emergencies, they waited for attention 11 minutes longe.  Women were less likely to undergo a timely EKG, less likely to begin cardiac monitoring, and less likely to have a timely cardiology consult.


FYI: potential heart attack victims should be seen and evaluated with an EKG within 10 minutes.  Don’t be put off ladies!


#women #heartattack #ekg #delay #emergency #chestpain

women, heartattack, ekg, delay, emergency, chestpain



Specific Blood Pressure Drugs Associated With Skin Cancer: Best Of: Apr, 2021



Thiazide blood pressure drugs including hydrochlorthazide can bump up the risk of deadly skin cancer by 60%.  This the conclusion from a University of Toronto study comparing 302,634 adults on hypertensive medications and 605, 268 unmedicated matched controls. 


Increasing doses of thiazide medications were associated with increasing incidence of melanoma and the less lethal keratinocyte carcinoma.  On the whole those on this medication had a 60% higher incidence of melanoma, a 52% higher incidence of advanced keratinocyte carcinoma, and a 44% increased rate of keratinocyte carcinoma.


Those with light, sensitive skin prone to cancer should use another blood pressure med.  Those on thiazides should have their skin checked carefully by a dermatologist.


#thiazide #hydrochlorthiazide #melanoma #skincancer #hypertension

thiazide, hydrochlorthiazide, melanoma, skincancer, hypertension



Work and Social Stress Drive Women’s Heart Disease: Best Of: Apr, 2021



The strains of holding down a job and maintaining social relationships increases a woman’s risk of developing heart disease by 21%.  Public health scientists at Philadelphia’s Drexel University report this and other conclusions following their study of 80,825 postmenopausal women over nearly a quarter century.


Relationship stress including a spousal death or a divorce/separation increases the heart disease risk by 12%. General, non-relationship social strains, increase the risk by 9%.  Job stress alone does not appear to increase heart disease risk, but data reveals a strong association between social strain and job strain.


All women must closely monitor their health and consistently use stress reduction strategies.


#women #heart #coronary #stress #work #relationships #marriage #social

women, heart, coronary, stress, work, relationships, marriage, social



Stool Testing Can Replace Colonoscopy: Best Of: Feb, 2019



We all must screen for colon cancer.   New data suggests that  you might be able to use a simple chemical test at home to replace that nasty bowel prep followed by either colonoscopy under anesthesia or a CT scan.  


A meta-analysis by Indiana University of some 31 studies testing more than 120,000 persons shows that the so called FIT test, the fecal immunochemical test, is so sensitive and specific that it may be used on an annual basis by many of us in place of the screening colonoscopy.


The FIT test may be purchased over the counter online for $10 to $30 and looks specifically for a chemical trace of blood in the stool. You need not follow any special diet or avoid any medications before using the test.  


Each FIT test is different.  With some, you simply place a bit of stool on the test surface and cover the zone before dropping on developing liquid or mailing it off to the lab.  With others, you toss an indicator strip into the toilet bowl with the stool and watch for a color change.


This test is only appropriate for healthy persons without a history of polyps and without a family history of bowel disease including polyps and cancer.  It can only detect blood in the stool and will not reliably detect polyps.  It must be repeated yearly, and, if the test is positive, you must have a colonoscopy.


Thomas F. Imperiale, Rachel N. Gruber,Timothy E. Stump, Thomas W. Emmett, Patrick O. Monahan. Test Characteristics of Fecal Immunochemical Tests for Colorectal Cancer and Advanced Adenomatous Polyps: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2019 DOI: 10.7326/M18-2390


#colonscreening #colonoscopy #FIT #fecalimmunochemicaltest #healthnews

colonscreening, colonoscopy, FIT, fecalimmunochemicaltest, healthnews



Aerobics For Depression: Best Of: Feb, 1991: WBZ NewsRadio



Dr. Smith and Peggy Keating, Duke University exercise physiologist speak with a WBZ Radio caller about using exercise to help manager depression.


#depression #exercise #aerobics #endorphins #anxiety #wbznewsradio 

depression, exercise, aerobics, endorphins, anxiety, wbznewsradio 



Clicking Knees: Best Of: Jan, 1990: WBZ NewsRadio



A WBZ Radio caller asks Dr. Smith about her “clicking” knee joints.


#knee #clicking #cartilage #meniscus #kneecap #patella #wbznewsradio

knee, clicking, cartilage, meniscus, kneecap, patella, wbznewsradio



How To Insert A Suppository: Best Of: Sept, 1991: WBZ NewsRadio



Dr. Smith and WBZ Newsradio anchor Susan Rist discuss the proper way to insert a rectal suppository and a study that points out a popular misconception.


#suppository #rectal #wbznewsradio

suppository, rectal, wbznewsradio

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